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Sample records for human respirovirus virulence

  1. Differential regulation of type I interferon and epidermal growth factor pathways by a human Respirovirus virulence factor.

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    Grégory Caignard

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available A number of paramyxoviruses are responsible for acute respiratory infections in children, elderly and immuno-compromised individuals, resulting in airway inflammation and exacerbation of chronic diseases like asthma. To understand the molecular pathogenesis of these infections, we searched for cellular targets of the virulence protein C of human parainfluenza virus type 3 (hPIV3-C. We found that hPIV3-C interacts directly through its C-terminal domain with STAT1 and GRB2, whereas C proteins from measles or Nipah viruses failed to do so. Binding to STAT1 explains the previously reported capacity of hPIV3-C to block type I interferon signaling, but the interaction with GRB2 was unexpected. This adaptor protein bridges Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF receptor to MAPK/ERK pathway, a signaling cascade recently found to be involved in airway inflammatory response. We report that either hPIV3 infection or transient expression of hPIV3-C both increase cellular response to EGF, as assessed by Elk1 transactivation and phosphorylation levels of ERK1/2, 40S ribosomal subunit protein S6 and translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E. Furthermore, inhibition of MAPK/ERK pathway with U0126 prevented viral protein expression in infected cells. Altogether, our data provide molecular basis to explain the role of hPIV3-C as a virulence factor and determinant of pathogenesis and demonstrate that Paramyxoviridae have evolved a single virulence factor to block type I interferon signaling and to boost simultaneous cellular response to growth factors.

  2. Pathogenicity of Virulent Species of Group C Streptococci in Human

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    Marta Kłos

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Group C streptococci (GCS are livestock pathogens and they often cause zoonotic diseases in humans. They are Gram-positive, in mostly β-hemolytic and facultative anaerobes. Because of their close evolutionary kinship with group A streptococci (GAS, GCS share many common virulence factors with GAS and cause a similar range of diseases. Due to the exchange of genetic material with GAS, GCS belong to bacteria that are difficult to be distinguished from group A streptococci; GCS are often treated in microbiological diagnostics as contamination of the culture. This report focuses mainly on the pathogenicity of virulent species of GCS and their association with human diseases. The condition that is most frequently quoted is pharyngitis. In this paper, the virulence factors have also been mentioned and an interesting link has been made between GCS and the pathogenesis of rheumatic diseases among the native people of India and Aboriginal populations.

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

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Steps toward broad-spectrum therapeutics: discovering virulence-associated genes present in diverse human pathogens

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    de Rochefort Anna

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background New and improved antimicrobial countermeasures are urgently needed to counteract increased resistance to existing antimicrobial treatments and to combat currently untreatable or new emerging infectious diseases. We demonstrate that computational comparative genomics, together with experimental screening, can identify potential generic (i.e., conserved across multiple pathogen species and novel virulence-associated genes that may serve as targets for broad-spectrum countermeasures. Results Using phylogenetic profiles of protein clusters from completed microbial genome sequences, we identified seventeen protein candidates that are common to diverse human pathogens and absent or uncommon in non-pathogens. Mutants of 13 of these candidates were successfully generated in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and the potential role of the proteins in virulence was assayed in an animal model. Six candidate proteins are suggested to be involved in the virulence of Y. pseudotuberculosis, none of which have previously been implicated in the virulence of Y. pseudotuberculosis and three have no record of involvement in the virulence of any bacteria. Conclusion This work demonstrates a strategy for the identification of potential virulence factors that are conserved across a number of human pathogenic bacterial species, confirming the usefulness of this tool.

  7. Differences in Virulence Between Legionella pneumophila Isolates From Human and Non-human Sources Determined in Galleria mellonella Infection Model

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    Patrícia S. Sousa

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Legionella pneumophila is a ubiquitous bacterium in freshwater environments and in many man-made water systems capable of inducing pneumonia in humans. Despite its ubiquitous character most studies on L. pneumophila virulence focused on clinical strains and isolates from man-made environments, so little is known about the nature and extent of virulence variation in strains isolated from natural environments. It has been established that clinical isolates are less diverse than man-made and natural environmental strains, suggesting that only a subset of environmental isolates is specially adapted to infect humans. In this work we intended to determine if unrelated L. pneumophila strains, isolated from different environments and with distinct virulence-related genetic backgrounds, displayed differences in virulence, using the Wax Moth Galleria mellonella infection model. We found that all tested strains were pathogenic in G. mellonella, regardless of their origin. Indeed, a panoply of virulence-related phenotypes was observed sustaining the existence of significant differences on the ability of L. pneumophila strains to induce disease. Taken together our results suggest that the occurrence of human infection is not related with the increased capability of some strains to induce disease since we also found a concentration threshold above which L. pneumophila strains are equally able to cause disease. In addition, no link could be established between the sequence-type (ST and L. pneumophila pathogenicity. We envision that in man-made water distribution systems environmental filtering selection and biotic competition acts structuring L. pneumophila populations by selecting more resilient and adapted strains that can rise to high concentration if no control measures are implemented. Therefore, public health strategies based on the sequence based typing (STB scheme analysis should take into account that the major disease-associated clones of L

  8. Virulence-associated gene pattern of porcine and human Yersinia enterocolitica biotype 4 isolates.

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    Schneeberger, M; Brodard, I; Overesch, G

    2015-04-02

    Yersinia enterocolitica 4/O:3 is the most important human pathogenic bioserotype in Europe and the predominant pathogenic bioserotype in slaughter pigs. Although many studies on the virulence of Y. enterocolitica strains have showed a broad spectrum of detectable factors in pigs and humans, an analysis based on a strict comparative approach and serving to verify the virulence capability of porcine Y. enterocolitica as a source for human yersiniosis is lacking. Therefore, in the present study, strains of biotype (BT) 4 isolated from Swiss slaughter pig tonsils and feces and isolates from human clinical cases were compared in terms of their spectrum of virulence-associated genes (yadA, virF, ail, inv, rovA, ymoA, ystA, ystB and myfA). An analysis of the associated antimicrobial susceptibility pattern completed the characterization. All analyzed BT 4 strains showed a nearly similar pattern, comprising the known fundamental virulence-associated genes yadA, virF, ail, inv, rovA, ymoA, ystA and myfA. Only ystB was not detectable among all analyzed isolates. Importantly, neither the source of the isolates (porcine tonsils and feces, humans) nor the serotype (ST) had any influence on the gene pattern. From these findings, it can be concluded that the presence of the full complement of virulence genes necessary for human infection is common among porcine BT 4 strains. Swiss porcine BT 4 strains not only showed antimicrobial susceptibility to chloramphenicol, cefotaxime, ceftazidime, ciprofloxacin, colistin, florfenicol, gentamicin, kanamycin, nalidixic acid, sulfamethoxazole, streptomycin, tetracycline and trimethoprim but also showed 100% antibiotic resistance to ampicillin. The human BT 4 strains revealed comparable results. However, in addition to 100% antibiotic resistance to ampicillin, 2 strains were resistant to chloramphenicol and nalidixic acid. Additionally, 1 of these strains was resistant to sulfamethoxazole. The results demonstrated that Y. enterocolitica BT 4

  9. The virulence of human pathogenic fungi: notes from the South of France.

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    Reedy, Jennifer L; Bastidas, Robert J; Heitman, Joseph

    2007-08-16

    The Second FEBS Advanced Lecture Course on Human Fungal Pathogens: Molecular Mechanisms of Host-Pathogen Interactions and Virulence, organized by Christophe d'Enfert (Institut Pasteur, France), Anita Sil (UCSF, USA), and Steffen Rupp (Fraunhofer, IGB, Germany), occurred May 2007 in La Colle sur Loup, France. Here we review the advances presented and the current state of knowledge in key areas of fungal pathogenesis.

  10. Virulence evolution of the human pathogen Neisseria meningitidis by recombination in the core and accessory genome.

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    Biju Joseph

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Neisseria meningitidis is a naturally transformable, facultative pathogen colonizing the human nasopharynx. Here, we analyze on a genome-wide level the impact of recombination on gene-complement diversity and virulence evolution in N. meningitidis. We combined comparative genome hybridization using microarrays (mCGH and multilocus sequence typing (MLST of 29 meningococcal isolates with computational comparison of a subset of seven meningococcal genome sequences. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We found that lateral gene transfer of minimal mobile elements as well as prophages are major forces shaping meningococcal population structure. Extensive gene content comparison revealed novel associations of virulence with genetic elements besides the recently discovered meningococcal disease associated (MDA island. In particular, we identified an association of virulence with a recently described canonical genomic island termed IHT-E and a differential distribution of genes encoding RTX toxin- and two-partner secretion systems among hyperinvasive and non-hyperinvasive lineages. By computationally screening also the core genome for signs of recombination, we provided evidence that about 40% of the meningococcal core genes are affected by recombination primarily within metabolic genes as well as genes involved in DNA replication and repair. By comparison with the results of previous mCGH studies, our data indicated that genetic structuring as revealed by mCGH is stable over time and highly similar for isolates from different geographic origins. CONCLUSIONS: Recombination comprising lateral transfer of entire genes as well as homologous intragenic recombination has a profound impact on meningococcal population structure and genome composition. Our data support the hypothesis that meningococcal virulence is polygenic in nature and that differences in metabolism might contribute to virulence.

  11. Computational determination of the effects of virulent Escherichia coli and salmonella bacteriophages on human gut.

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    Mostafa, Marwa Mostafa; Nassef, Mohammad; Badr, Amr

    2016-10-01

    Salmonella and Escherichia coli are different types of bacteria that cause food poisoning in humans. In the elderly, infants and people with chronic conditions, it is very dangerous if Salmonella or E. coli gets into the bloodstream and then they must be treated by phage therapy. Treating Salmonella and E. coli by phage therapy affects the gut flora. This research paper presents a system for detecting the effects of virulent E. coli and Salmonella bacteriophages on human gut. A method based on Domain-Domain Interactions (DDIs) model is implemented in the proposed system to determine the interactions between the proteins of human gut bacteria and the proteins of bacteriophages that infect virulent E. coli and Salmonella. The system helps gastroenterologists to realize the effect of injecting bacteriophages that infect virulent E. coli and Salmonella on the human gut. By testing the system over Enterobacteria phage 933W, Enterobacteria phage VT2-Sa and Enterobacteria phage P22, it resulted in four interactions between the proteins of the bacteriophages that infect E. coli O157:H7, E. coli O104:H4 and Salmonella typhimurium and the proteins of human gut bacterium strains. Several effects were detected such as: antibacterial activity against a number of bacterial species in human gut, regulation of cellular differentiation and organogenesis during gut, lung, and heart development, ammonia assimilation in bacteria, yeasts, and plants, energizing defense system and its function in the detoxification of lipopolysaccharide, and in the prevention of bacterial translocation in human gut. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Comparison of phenotypic and virulence genes characteristics in human and chicken isolates of Proteus mirabilis.

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    Barbour, Elie K; Hajj, Zahi G; Hamadeh, Shadi; Shaib, Houssam A; Farran, Mohamad T; Araj, George; Faroon, Obaid; Barbour, Kamil E; Jirjis, Faris; Azhar, Esam; Kumosani, Taha; Harakeh, Steve

    2012-10-01

    The objective of this work is to compare the phenotypic and virulence genes characteristics in human and chicken isolates of Proteus mirabilis. The bacterial examination of 50 livers of individual broilers, marketed by four major outlets, revealed a high recovery of P. mirabilis (66%), and a low recovery frequency of Salmonella spp. (4%), Serratia odorifera (2%), Citrobacter brakii (2%), and Providencia stuartii (2%). The phenotypic biochemical characterization of the recovered 33 chicken isolates of P. mirabilis were compared to 30 human isolates (23 urinary and six respiratory isolates). The comparison revealed significant differences in the presence of gelatinase enzyme (100% presence in chicken isolates versus 91.3 and 83.3% presence in human urinary and respiratory isolates, respectively, P,0.05). The H(2)S production occurred in 100% of chicken isolates versus 95.6 and 66.7% presence in human urinary and respiratory isolates, respectively, P,0.05). The other 17 biochemical characteristics did not differ significantly among the three groups of isolates (P.0.05). Two virulence genes, the mrpA and FliL, were having a typical 100% presence in randomly selected isolates of P. mirabilis recovered from chicken livers (N510) versus isolates recovered from urinary (N55) and respiratory specimens of humans (N55) (P.0.05). The average percentage similarity of mrpA gene nucleotide sequence of poultry isolates to human urinary and respiratory isolates was 93.2 and 97.5-%, respectively. The high similarity in phenotypic characteristics, associated with typical frequency of presence of two virulence genes, and high similarity in sequences of mrpA gene among poultry versus human P. mirabilis isolates justifies future investigations targeting the evaluation of adaptable pathogenicity of avian Proteus mirabilis isolates to mammalian hosts.

  13. Pregnancy - associated human listeriosis: Virulence and genotypic analysis of Listeria monocytogenes from clinical samples.

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    Soni, Dharmendra Kumar; Singh, Durg Vijai; Dubey, Suresh Kumar

    2015-09-01

    Listeria monocytogenes, a life-threatening pathogen, poses severe risk during pregnancy, may cause abortion, fetal death or neonatal morbidity in terms of septicemia and meningitis. The present study aimed at characterizing L. monocytogenes isolated from pregnant women based on serotyping, antibiotic susceptibility, virulence genes, in vivo pathogenicity test and ERIC- and REP-PCR fingerprint analyses. The results revealed that out of 3700 human clinical samples, a total of 30 (0.81%) isolates [12 (0.80%) from placental bit (1500), 18 (0.81%) from vaginal swab (2200)] were positive for L. monocytogenes. All the isolates belonged to serogroup 4b, and were + ve for virulence genes tested i.e. inlA, inlC, inlJ, plcA, prfA, actA, hlyA, and iap. Based on the mice inoculation tests, 20 isolates showed 100% and 4 isolates 60% relative virulence while 6 isolates were non-pathogenic. Moreover, 2 and 10 isolates were resistant to ciprofloxacin and cefoxitin, respectively, while the rest susceptible to other antibiotics used in this study. ERIC- and REP-PCR collectively depicted that the isolates from placental bit and vaginal swab had distinct PCR fingerprints except a few isolates with identical patterns. This study demonstrates prevalence of pathogenic strains mostly resistant to cefoxitin and/or ciprofloxacin. The results indicate the importance of isolating and characterizing the pathogen from human clinical samples as the pre-requisite for accurate epidemiological investigations.

  14. Plasma membrane organization promotes virulence of the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans.

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    Douglas, Lois M; Konopka, James B

    2016-03-01

    Candida albicans is a human fungal pathogen capable of causing lethal systemic infections. The plasma membrane plays key roles in virulence because it not only functions as a protective barrier, it also mediates dynamic functions including secretion of virulence factors, cell wall synthesis, invasive hyphal morphogenesis, endocytosis, and nutrient uptake. Consistent with this functional complexity, the plasma membrane is composed of a wide array of lipids and proteins. These components are organized into distinct domains that will be the topic of this review. Some of the plasma membrane domains that will be described are known to act as scaffolds or barriers to diffusion, such as MCC/eisosomes, septins, and sites of contact with the endoplasmic reticulum. Other zones mediate dynamic processes, including secretion, endocytosis, and a special region at hyphal tips that facilitates rapid growth. The highly organized architecture of the plasma membrane facilitates the coordination of diverse functions and promotes the pathogenesis of C. albicans.

  15. Plasma membrane organization promotes virulence of the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans

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    Douglas, Lois M.; Konopka, James. B.

    2017-01-01

    Candida albicans is a human fungal pathogen capable of causing lethal systemic infections. The plasma membrane plays key roles in virulence because it not only functions as a protective barrier, it also mediates dynamic functions including secretion of virulence factors, cell wall synthesis, invasive hyphal morphogenesis, endocytosis, and nutrient uptake. Consistent with this functional complexity, the plasma membrane is composed of a wide array of lipids and proteins. These components are organized into distinct domains that will be the topic of this review. Some of the plasma membrane domains that will be described are known to act as scaffolds or barriers to diffusion, such as MCC/eisosomes, septins, and sites of contact with the endoplasmic reticulum. Other zones mediate dynamic processes, including secretion, endocytosis, and a special region at hyphal tips that facilitates rapid growth. The highly organized architecture of the plasma membrane facilitates the coordination of diverse functions and promotes the pathogenesis of C. albicans. PMID:26920878

  16. Bacteriocinogenic potential and virulence traits of Enterococcus faecium and E. faecalis isolated from human milk

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    Khalkhali, Soodabeh; Mojgani, Naheed

    2017-01-01

    Background and Objectives: Human milk is a continuous supply of Lactic Acid bacteria (LAB), including enterococci with probiotic potentials. The aim of this study was to analyze two Enterococcus species, isolated from human milk for their probiotic potential, bacteriocin producing ability and virulence traits. Materials and Methods: Enterococcus faecium TA0033 and E. faecalis TA102 were tested for acid and bile tolerance, survival in simulated gastric and intestinal conditions. The antibacterial spectrum of the isolates was tested by agar well diffusion assay. The antagonistic agent was characterized by physico-chemical methods. The enterocin structural genes, virulence determinants, vancomycin resistance and biogenic amine genes, such as hdc1, hdc2, tdc, ldc and odc were also determined. Results: The tested isolates survived acidic conditions, high bile salt (1%), simulated gastric and intestinal conditions. The culture supernatant fluids of the two isolates inhibited the growth of Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella typhi, Staphylococcus aureus, Shigella dysenteriae and Streptococcus agalactiae. The antagonistic activity was lost in the presence of proteolytic enzymes but tolerated the action of catalase, lysozyme and lipase. In contrast to enterocin TA102, enterocin TA0033 possessed bactericidal mode of action. Bacteriocin structural genes, entA and entB were present in the genome of the two isolates, while E. faecalis TA102 additionally harboured entP and bac31 genes. The phenotypic and genotypic virulence assessment studies indicated hyaluronidase (hyl) production and vancomycin resistance in E. faecalis TA102 while, none of the isolates harboured the biogenic amine genes. Conclusion: The presence of virulence genes in E. faecalis TA102 calls for careful monitoring of Enterococcus isolates for their safety parameters. PMID:29238458

  17. Occurrence of Putative Virulence Genes in Arcobacter Species Isolated from Humans and Animals

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    Douidah, Laid; de Zutter, Lieven; Baré, Julie; De Vos, Paul; Vandamme, Peter; Vandenberg, Olivier; Van den Abeele, Anne-Marie

    2012-01-01

    Interest in arcobacters in veterinary and human public health has increased since the first report of the isolation of arcobacters from food of animal origin. Since then, studies worldwide have reported the occurrence of arcobacters on food and in food production animals and have highlighted possible transmission, especially of Arcobacter butzleri, to the human population. In humans, arcobacters are associated with enteritis and septicemia. To assess their clinical relevance for humans and animals, evaluation of potential virulence factors is required. However, up to now, little has been known about the mechanisms of pathogenicity. Because of their close phylogenetic affiliation to the food-borne pathogen Campylobacter and their similar clinical manifestations, the presence of nine putative Campylobacter virulence genes (cadF, ciaB, cj1349, hecA, hecB, irgA, mviN, pldA, and tlyA) previously identified in the recent Arcobacter butzleri ATCC 49616 genome sequence was determined in a large set of human and animal Arcobacter butzleri, Arcobacter cryaerophilus, and Arcobacter skirrowii strains after the development of rapid and accurate PCR assays and confirmed by sequencing and dot blot hybridization. PMID:22170914

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

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    Devyn D Gilette

    2014-04-01

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

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

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Carbon storage regulator A contributes to the virulence of Haemophilus ducreyi in humans by multiple mechanisms.

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    Gangaiah, Dharanesh; Li, Wei; Fortney, Kate R; Janowicz, Diane M; Ellinger, Sheila; Zwickl, Beth; Katz, Barry P; Spinola, Stanley M

    2013-02-01

    The carbon storage regulator A (CsrA) controls a wide variety of bacterial processes, including metabolism, adherence, stress responses, and virulence. Haemophilus ducreyi, the causative agent of chancroid, harbors a homolog of csrA. Here, we generated an unmarked, in-frame deletion mutant of csrA to assess its contribution to H. ducreyi pathogenesis. In human inoculation experiments, the csrA mutant was partially attenuated for pustule formation compared to its parent. Deletion of csrA resulted in decreased adherence of H. ducreyi to human foreskin fibroblasts (HFF); Flp1 and Flp2, the determinants of H. ducreyi adherence to HFF cells, were downregulated in the csrA mutant. Compared to its parent, the csrA mutant had a significantly reduced ability to tolerate oxidative stress and heat shock. The enhanced sensitivity of the mutant to oxidative stress was more pronounced in bacteria grown to stationary phase compared to that in bacteria grown to mid-log phase. The csrA mutant also had a significant survival defect within human macrophages when the bacteria were grown to stationary phase but not to mid-log phase. Complementation in trans partially or fully restored the mutant phenotypes. These data suggest that CsrA contributes to virulence by multiple mechanisms and that these contributions may be more profound in bacterial cell populations that are not rapidly dividing in the human host.

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

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

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Heterologous expression of Streptococcus mutans Cnm in Lactococcus lactis promotes intracellular invasion, adhesion to human cardiac tissues and virulence.

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    Freires, Irlan A; Avilés-Reyes, Alejandro; Kitten, Todd; Simpson-Haidaris, P J; Swartz, Michael; Knight, Peter A; Rosalen, Pedro L; Lemos, José A; Abranches, Jacqueline

    2017-01-02

    In S. mutans, the expression of the surface glycoprotein Cnm mediates binding to extracellular matrix proteins, endothelial cell invasion and virulence in the Galleria mellonella invertebrate model. To further characterize Cnm as a virulence factor, the cnm gene from S. mutans strain OMZ175 was expressed in the non-pathogenic Lactococcus lactis NZ9800 using a nisin-inducible system. Despite the absence of the machinery necessary for Cnm glycosylation, Western blot and immunofluorescence microscopy analyses demonstrated that Cnm was effectively expressed and translocated to the cell wall of L. lactis. Similar to S. mutans, expression of Cnm in L. lactis enabled robust binding to collagen and laminin, invasion of human coronary artery endothelial cells and increased virulence in G. mellonella. Using an ex vivo human heart tissue colonization model, we showed that Cnm-positive strains of either S. mutans or L. lactis outcompete their Cnm-negative counterparts for tissue colonization. Finally, Cnm expression facilitated L. lactis adhesion and colonization in a rabbit model of infective endocarditis. Collectively, our results provide unequivocal evidence that binding to extracellular matrices mediated by Cnm is an important virulence attribute of S. mutans and confirm the usefulness of the L. lactis heterologous system for further characterization of bacterial virulence factors.

  3. Siderophore biosynthesis coordinately modulated the virulence-associated interactive metabolome of uropathogenic Escherichia coli and human urine.

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    Su, Qiao; Guan, Tianbing; Lv, Haitao

    2016-04-14

    Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) growth in women's bladders during urinary tract infection (UTI) incurs substantial chemical exchange, termed the "interactive metabolome", which primarily accounts for the metabolic costs (utilized metabolome) and metabolic donations (excreted metabolome) between UPEC and human urine. Here, we attempted to identify the individualized interactive metabolome between UPEC and human urine. We were able to distinguish UPEC from non-UPEC by employing a combination of metabolomics and genetics. Our results revealed that the interactive metabolome between UPEC and human urine was markedly different from that between non-UPEC and human urine, and that UPEC triggered much stronger perturbations in the interactive metabolome in human urine. Furthermore, siderophore biosynthesis coordinately modulated the individualized interactive metabolome, which we found to be a critical component of UPEC virulence. The individualized virulence-associated interactive metabolome contained 31 different metabolites and 17 central metabolic pathways that were annotated to host these different metabolites, including energetic metabolism, amino acid metabolism, and gut microbe metabolism. Changes in the activities of these pathways mechanistically pinpointed the virulent capability of siderophore biosynthesis. Together, our findings provide novel insights into UPEC virulence, and we propose that siderophores are potential targets for further discovery of drugs to treat UPEC-induced UTI.

  4. Quantitative Assessment of Contamination of Fresh Food Produce of Various Retail Types by Human-Virulent Microsporidian Spores▿

    OpenAIRE

    Jedrzejewski, Szymon; Graczyk, Thaddeus K.; Slodkowicz-Kowalska, Anna; Tamang, Leena; Majewska, Anna C.

    2007-01-01

    This study demonstrated that fresh food produce, such as berries, sprouts, and green-leafed vegetables, sold at the retail level can contain potentially viable microsporidian spores of human-virulent species, such as Enterocytozoon bieneusi, Encephalitozoon intestinalis, and Encephalitozoon cuniculi, at quantities representing a threat of food-borne infection.

  5. Expression of the Flp proteins by Haemophilus ducreyi is necessary for virulence in human volunteers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zwickl Beth W

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Haemophilus ducreyi, the causative agent of the sexually transmitted disease chancroid, contains a flp (fimbria like protein operon that encodes proteins predicted to contribute to adherence and pathogenesis. H. ducreyi mutants that lack expression of Flp1 and Flp2 or TadA, which has homology to NTPases of type IV secretion systems, have decreased abilities to attach to and form microcolonies on human foreskin fibroblasts (HFF. A tadA mutant is attenuated in its ability to cause disease in human volunteers and in the temperature dependent rabbit model, but a flp1flp2 mutant is virulent in rabbits. Whether a flp deletion mutant would cause disease in humans is not clear. Results We constructed 35000HPΔflp1-3, a deletion mutant that lacks expression of all three Flp proteins but has an intact tad secretion system. 35000HPΔflp1-3 was impaired in its ability to form microcolonies and to attach to HFF in vitro when compared to its parent (35000HP. Complementation of the mutant with flp1-3 in trans restored the parental phenotype. To test whether expression of Flp1-3 was necessary for virulence in humans, ten healthy adult volunteers were experimentally infected with a fixed dose of 35000HP (ranging from 54 to 67 CFU on one arm and three doses of 35000HPΔflp1-3 (ranging from 63 to 961 CFU on the other arm. The overall papule formation rate for the parent was 80% (95% confidence interval, CI, 55.2%-99.9% and for the mutant was 70.0% (95% CI, 50.5%-89.5% (P = 0.52. Mutant papules were significantly smaller (mean, 11.2 mm2 than were parent papules (21.8 mm2 24 h after inoculation (P = 0.018. The overall pustule formation rates were 46.7% (95% CI 23.7-69.7% at 30 parent sites and 6.7% (95% CI, 0.1-19.1% at 30 mutant sites (P = 0.001. Conclusion These data suggest that production and secretion of the Flp proteins contributes to microcolony formation and attachment to HFF cells in vitro. Expression of flp1-3 is also necessary for H

  6. Expression of the Flp proteins by Haemophilus ducreyi is necessary for virulence in human volunteers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janowicz, Diane M; Cooney, Sean A; Walsh, Jessica; Baker, Beth; Katz, Barry P; Fortney, Kate R; Zwickl, Beth W; Ellinger, Sheila; Munson, Robert S

    2011-09-22

    Haemophilus ducreyi, the causative agent of the sexually transmitted disease chancroid, contains a flp (fimbria like protein) operon that encodes proteins predicted to contribute to adherence and pathogenesis. H. ducreyi mutants that lack expression of Flp1 and Flp2 or TadA, which has homology to NTPases of type IV secretion systems, have decreased abilities to attach to and form microcolonies on human foreskin fibroblasts (HFF). A tadA mutant is attenuated in its ability to cause disease in human volunteers and in the temperature dependent rabbit model, but a flp1flp2 mutant is virulent in rabbits. Whether a flp deletion mutant would cause disease in humans is not clear. We constructed 35000HPΔflp1-3, a deletion mutant that lacks expression of all three Flp proteins but has an intact tad secretion system. 35000HPΔflp1-3 was impaired in its ability to form microcolonies and to attach to HFF in vitro when compared to its parent (35000HP). Complementation of the mutant with flp1-3 in trans restored the parental phenotype. To test whether expression of Flp1-3 was necessary for virulence in humans, ten healthy adult volunteers were experimentally infected with a fixed dose of 35000HP (ranging from 54 to 67 CFU) on one arm and three doses of 35000HPΔflp1-3 (ranging from 63 to 961 CFU) on the other arm. The overall papule formation rate for the parent was 80% (95% confidence interval, CI, 55.2%-99.9%) and for the mutant was 70.0% (95% CI, 50.5%-89.5%) (P = 0.52). Mutant papules were significantly smaller (mean, 11.2 mm2) than were parent papules (21.8 mm2) 24 h after inoculation (P = 0.018). The overall pustule formation rates were 46.7% (95% CI 23.7-69.7%) at 30 parent sites and 6.7% (95% CI, 0.1-19.1%) at 30 mutant sites (P = 0.001). These data suggest that production and secretion of the Flp proteins contributes to microcolony formation and attachment to HFF cells in vitro. Expression of flp1-3 is also necessary for H. ducreyi to initiate disease and progress to

  7. Virulence of Mycobacterium avium Subsp. hominissuis Human Isolates in an in vitro Macrophage Infection Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Rindi

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Mycobacterium avium subsp. hominissuis (MAH is an environmental opportunistic pathogen for humans and swine worldwide; in humans, the vast majority of MAH infections is due to strains belonging to specific genotypes, such as the internal transcribed spacer (ITS-sequevars Mav-A and Mav-B that mostly cause pulmonary infections in elderly patients and severe disseminated infections in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome patients, respectively. To test whether the different types of infections in distinct patients' populations might reflect a different virulence of the infecting genotypes, MAH human isolates, genotyped by ITS sequencing and MIRU-VNTR minisatellite analysis, were studied for the capacity to infect and replicate in human macrophages in vitro. Methods: Cultures of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells and phagocytic human leukemic cell line THP-1 cells were infected with each MAH isolate and intracellular colony-forming units (CFU were determined. Results: At 2 h after infection, i.e., immediately after cell entry, the numbers of intracellular bacteria did not differ between Mav-A and Mav-B organisms in both phagocytic cell types. At 5 days, Mav-A organisms, sharing highly related VNTR-MIRU genotypes, yielded numbers of intracellular CFUs significantly higher than Mav-B organisms in both phagocytic cell types. MIRU-VNTR-based minimum spanning tree analysis of the MAH isolates showed a divergent phylogenetic pathway of Mav-A and Mav-B organisms. Conclusion: Mav-A and Mav-B sequevars might have evolved different pathogenetic properties that might account for their association with different human infections.

  8. Evaluation of approaches to monitor Staphylococcus aureus virulence factor expression during human disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wouter Rozemeijer

    Full Text Available Staphylococcus aureus is a versatile pathogen of medical significance, using multiple virulence factors to cause disease. A prophylactic S. aureus 4-antigen (SA4Ag vaccine comprising capsular polysaccharide (types 5 and 8 conjugates, clumping factor A (ClfA and manganese transporter C (MntC is under development. This study was designed to characterize S. aureus isolates recovered from infected patients and also to investigate approaches for examining expression of S. aureus vaccine candidates and the host response during human infection. Confirmation of antigen expression in different disease states is important to support the inclusion of these antigens in a prophylactic vaccine. Hospitalized patients with diagnosed S. aureus wound (27 or bloodstream (24 infections were enrolled. Invasive and nasal carriage S. aureus isolates were recovered and characterized for genotypic diversity. S. aureus antigen expression was evaluated directly by real-time, quantitative, reverse-transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR analysis and indirectly by serology using a competitive Luminex immunoassay. Study isolates were genotypically diverse and all had the genes encoding the antigens present in the SA4Ag vaccine. S. aureus nasal carriage was detected in 55% of patients, and in those subjects 64% of the carriage isolates matched the invasive strain. In swab samples with detectable S. aureus triosephosphate isomerase housekeeping gene expression, RNA transcripts encoding the S. aureus virulence factors ClfA, MntC, and capsule polysaccharide were detected by qRT-PCR. Antigen expression was indirectly confirmed by increases in antibody titer during the course of infection from acute to convalescent phase. Demonstration of bacterial transcript expression together with immunological response to the SA4Ag antigens in a clinically relevant patient population provides support for inclusion of these antigens in a prophylactic vaccine.

  9. Evaluation of approaches to monitor Staphylococcus aureus virulence factor expression during human disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozemeijer, Wouter; Fink, Pamela; Rojas, Eduardo; Jones, C Hal; Pavliakova, Danka; Giardina, Peter; Murphy, Ellen; Liberator, Paul; Jiang, Qin; Girgenti, Douglas; Peters, Remco P H; Savelkoul, Paul H M; Jansen, Kathrin U; Anderson, Annaliesa S; Kluytmans, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a versatile pathogen of medical significance, using multiple virulence factors to cause disease. A prophylactic S. aureus 4-antigen (SA4Ag) vaccine comprising capsular polysaccharide (types 5 and 8) conjugates, clumping factor A (ClfA) and manganese transporter C (MntC) is under development. This study was designed to characterize S. aureus isolates recovered from infected patients and also to investigate approaches for examining expression of S. aureus vaccine candidates and the host response during human infection. Confirmation of antigen expression in different disease states is important to support the inclusion of these antigens in a prophylactic vaccine. Hospitalized patients with diagnosed S. aureus wound (27) or bloodstream (24) infections were enrolled. Invasive and nasal carriage S. aureus isolates were recovered and characterized for genotypic diversity. S. aureus antigen expression was evaluated directly by real-time, quantitative, reverse-transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis and indirectly by serology using a competitive Luminex immunoassay. Study isolates were genotypically diverse and all had the genes encoding the antigens present in the SA4Ag vaccine. S. aureus nasal carriage was detected in 55% of patients, and in those subjects 64% of the carriage isolates matched the invasive strain. In swab samples with detectable S. aureus triosephosphate isomerase housekeeping gene expression, RNA transcripts encoding the S. aureus virulence factors ClfA, MntC, and capsule polysaccharide were detected by qRT-PCR. Antigen expression was indirectly confirmed by increases in antibody titer during the course of infection from acute to convalescent phase. Demonstration of bacterial transcript expression together with immunological response to the SA4Ag antigens in a clinically relevant patient population provides support for inclusion of these antigens in a prophylactic vaccine.

  10. Sialylation of lipooligosaccharides is dispensable for the virulence of Haemophilus ducreyi in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spinola, Stanley M; Li, Wei; Fortney, Kate R; Janowicz, Diane M; Zwickl, Beth; Katz, Barry P; Munson, Robert S

    2012-02-01

    Sialylated glycoconjugates on the surfaces of mammalian cells play important roles in intercellular communication and self-recognition. The sialic acid preferentially expressed in human tissues is N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac). In a process called molecular mimicry, many bacterial pathogens decorate their cell surface glycolipids with Neu5Ac. Incorporation of Neu5Ac into bacterial glycolipids promotes bacterial interactions with host cell receptors called Siglecs. These interactions affect bacterial adherence, resistance to serum killing and phagocytosis, and innate immune responses. Haemophilus ducreyi, the etiologic agent of chancroid, expresses lipooligosaccharides (LOS) that are highly sialylated. However, an H. ducreyi sialyltransferase (lst) mutant, whose LOS contain reduced levels of Neu5Ac, is fully virulent in human volunteers. Recently, a second sialyltransferase gene (Hd0053) was discovered in H. ducreyi, raising the possibility that Hd0053 compensated for the loss of lst during human infection. CMP-Neu5Ac is the obligate nucleotide sugar donor for all bacterial sialyltransferases; LOS derived from an H. ducreyi CMP-Neu5Ac synthetase (neuA) mutant has no detectable Neu5Ac. Here, we compared an H. ducreyi neuA mutant to its wild-type parent in several models of pathogenesis. In human inoculation experiments, the neuA mutant formed papules and pustules at rates that were no different than those of its parent. When grown in media with and without Neu5Ac supplementation, the neuA mutant and its parent had similar phenotypes in bactericidal, macrophage uptake, and dendritic cell activation assays. Although we cannot preclude a contribution of LOS sialylation to ulcerative disease, these data strongly suggest that sialylation of LOS is dispensable for H. ducreyi pathogenesis in humans.

  11. Virulent PB1-F2 residues: effects on fitness of H1N1 influenza A virus in mice and changes during evolution of human influenza A viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alymova, Irina V; McCullers, Jonathan A; Kamal, Ram P; Vogel, Peter; Green, Amanda M; Gansebom, Shane; York, Ian A

    2018-05-10

    Specific residues of influenza A virus (IAV) PB1-F2 proteins may enhance inflammation or cytotoxicity. In a series of studies, we evaluated the function of these virulence-associated residues in the context of different IAV subtypes in mice. Here, we demonstrate that, as with the previously assessed pandemic 1968 (H3N2) IAV, PB1-F2 inflammatory residues increase the virulence of H1N1 IAV, suggesting that this effect might be a universal feature. Combining both inflammatory and cytotoxic residues in PB1-F2 enhanced virulence further, compared to either motif alone. Residues from these virulent motifs have been present in natural isolates from human seasonal IAV of all subtypes, but there has been a trend toward a gradual reduction in the number of virulent residues over time. However, human IAV of swine and avian origin tend to have more virulent residues than do the human-adapted seasonal strains, raising the possibility that donation of PB1 segments from these zoonotic viruses may increase the severity of some seasonal human strains. Our data suggest the value of surveillance of virulent residues in both human and animal IAV to predict the severity of influenza season.

  12. Identification of virulence determinants of the human pathogenic fungi Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans by proteomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kniemeyer, Olaf; Schmidt, André D; Vödisch, Martin; Wartenberg, Dirk; Brakhage, Axel A

    2011-06-01

    Both fungi Candida albicans and Aspergillus fumigatus can cause a number of life-threatening systemic infections in humans. The commensal yeast C. albicans is one of the main causes of nosocomial fungal infectious diseases, whereas the filamentous fungus A. fumigatus has become one of the most prevalent airborne fungal pathogens. Early diagnosis of these fungal infections is challenging, only a limited number of antifungals for treatment are available, and the molecular details of pathogenicity are hardly understood. The completion of both the A. fumigatus and C. albicans genome sequence provides the opportunity to improve diagnosis, to define new drug targets, to understand the functions of many uncharacterised proteins, and to study protein regulation on a global scale. With the application of proteomic tools, particularly two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and LC/MS-based methods, a comprehensive overview about the proteins of A. fumigatus and C. albicans present or induced during environmental changes and stress conditions has been obtained in the past 5 years. However, for the discovery of further putative virulence determinants, more sensitive and targeted proteomic methods have to be applied. Here, we review the recent proteome data generated for A. fumigatus and C. albicans that are related to factors required for pathogenicity. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  13. Asexual propagation of a virulent clone complex in a human and feline outbreak of sporotrichosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, Marcus de Melo; Rodrigues, Anderson Messias; Tsui, Clement K M; de Almeida, Luiz Gonzaga Paulo; Van Diepeningen, Anne D; van den Ende, Bert Gerrits; Fernandes, Geisa Ferreira; Kano, Rui; Hamelin, Richard C; Lopes-Bezerra, Leila Maria; Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza Ribeiro; de Hoog, Sybren; de Camargo, Zoilo Pires; Felipe, Maria Sueli Soares

    2015-02-01

    Sporotrichosis is one of the most frequent subcutaneous fungal infections in humans and animals caused by members of the plant-associated, dimorphic genus Sporothrix. Three of the four medically important Sporothrix species found in Brazil have been considered asexual as no sexual stage has ever been reported in Sporothrix schenckii, Sporothrix brasiliensis, or Sporothrix globosa. We have identified the mating type (MAT) loci in the S. schenckii (strain 1099-18/ATCC MYA-4821) and S. brasiliensis (strain 5110/ATCC MYA-4823) genomes by using comparative genomic approaches to determine the mating type ratio in these pathogen populations. Our analysis revealed the presence of a MAT1-1 locus in S. schenckii while a MAT1-2 locus was found in S. brasiliensis representing genomic synteny to other Sordariomycetes. Furthermore, the components of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)-pheromone pathway, pheromone processing enzymes, and meiotic regulators have also been identified in the two pathogens, suggesting the potential for sexual reproduction. The ratio of MAT1-1 to MAT1-2 was not significantly different from 1:1 for all three Sporothrix species, but the population of S. brasiliensis in the outbreaks originated from a single mating type. We also explored the population genetic structure of these pathogens using sequence data of two loci to improve our knowledge of the pattern of geographic distribution, genetic variation, and virulence phenotypes. Population genetics data showed significant population differentiation and clonality with a low level of haplotype diversity in S. brasiliensis isolates from different regions of sporotrichosis outbreaks in Brazil. In contrast, S. schenckii isolates demonstrated a high degree of genetic variability without significant geographic differentiation, indicating the presence of recombination. This study demonstrated that two species causing the same disease have contrasting reproductive strategies and genetic variability

  14. Characterization of Yersinia enterocolitica strains potentially virulent for humans and animals in river water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terech-Majewska, E; Pajdak, J; Platt-Samoraj, A; Szczerba-Turek, A; Bancerz-Kisiel, A; Grabowska, K

    2016-08-01

    The aim of this study was to isolate and identify potentially pathogenic strains of Yersinia enterocolitica in water samples collected from the upstream section of the Drwęca River in Poland. Thirty-nine water samples were collected. Strains were isolated, identified with the use of the API(®) 20E test kit (Biomerieux, Marcy l'Etoile, France) at 37°C, serotyped and subjected to a molecular analysis. Multiplex PCR was carried out to amplify three virulence genes: ail, ystA and ystB. Fragments of ail and ystA genes were not identified in the genetic material of the analysed strains. The ystB gene was identified in four strains. Yersinia enterocolitica strains of biotype 1A, which contain the ystB gene, may cause gastrointestinal problems. In our study, Y. enterocolitica strains of biotype 1A/ystB with serotypes 0 : 3, 0 : 5 and 0 : 8 were identified in samples collected from the Drwęca River which flows through the areas protected by Natura 2000, one of the largest networks of nature conservation areas in the European Union. The presence of Y. enterocolitica in the Drwęca River indicates that the analysed bacteria colonize natural water bodies. Most research focuses on food or sewage as a source of Y. enterocolitica infections. Little is known about the occurrence of this pathogen in natural waters. Our results show that natural waters are also a potential threat to human and animal health. © 2016 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  15. Environmental Legionella spp. collected in urban test sites of South East Queensland, Australia, are virulent to human macrophages in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, Amba; Eglezos, Sofroni; Huston, Wilhelmina

    2016-01-01

    Legionellae are frequent contaminants of potable water supplies, resulting in sporadic infections and occasional outbreaks. Isolates of Legionella were collected from urban test sites within South East Queensland and evaluated for their virulence potential in vitro. Two strains (from the species Legionella londiniensis and Legionella quinlivanii) were demonstrated to have the ability to infect human macrophages, while a strain from the species Legionella anisa did not maintain an infection over the same time course. This suggests that the spectrum of urban environmentally associated Legionella with potential to cause human disease might be greater than currently considered. Copyright © 2015 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  16. Virulence Genes among Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium Isolated from Coastal Beaches and Human and Nonhuman Sources in Southern California and Puerto Rico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donna M. Ferguson

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Most Enterococcus faecalis and E. faecium are harmless to humans; however, strains harboring virulence genes, including esp, gelE, cylA, asa1, and hyl, have been associated with human infections. E. faecalis and E. faecium are present in beach waters worldwide, yet little is known about their virulence potential. Here, multiplex PCR was used to compare the distribution of virulence genes among E. faecalis and E. faecium isolated from beaches in Southern California and Puerto Rico to isolates from potential sources including humans, animals, birds, and plants. All five virulence genes were found in E. faecalis and E. faecium from beach water, mostly among E. faecalis. gelE was the most common among isolates from all source types. There was a lower incidence of asa1, esp, cylA, and hyl genes among isolates from beach water, sewage, septage, urban runoff, sea wrack, and eelgrass as compared to human isolates, indicating that virulent strains of E. faecalis and E. faecium may not be widely disseminated at beaches. A higher frequency of asa1 and esp among E. faecalis from dogs and of asa1 among birds (mostly seagull suggests that further studies on the distribution and virulence potential of strains carrying these genes may be warranted.

  17. Evaluation of approaches to monitor Staphylococcus aureus virulence factor expression during human disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rozemeijer, Wouter; Fink, Pamela; Rojas, Eduardo; Jones, C Hal; Pavliakova, Danka; Giardina, Peter; Murphy, Ellen; Liberator, Paul; Jiang, Qin; Girgenti, Douglas; Peters, Remco P H; Savelkoul, Paul H M; Jansen, Kathrin U; Anderson, Annaliesa S; Kluytmans, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a versatile pathogen of medical significance, using multiple virulence factors to cause disease. A prophylactic S. aureus 4-antigen (SA4Ag) vaccine comprising capsular polysaccharide (types 5 and 8) conjugates, clumping factor A (ClfA) and manganese transporter C (MntC) is

  18. Outer membrane protein P4 is not required for virulence in the human challenge model of Haemophilus ducreyi infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janowicz, Diane M; Zwickl, Beth W; Fortney, Kate R; Katz, Barry P; Bauer, Margaret E

    2014-06-24

    Bacterial lipoproteins often play important roles in pathogenesis and can stimulate protective immune responses. Such lipoproteins are viable vaccine candidates. Haemophilus ducreyi, which causes the sexually transmitted disease chancroid, expresses a number of lipoproteins during human infection. One such lipoprotein, OmpP4, is homologous to the outer membrane lipoprotein e (P4) of H. influenzae. In H. influenzae, e (P4) stimulates production of bactericidal and protective antibodies and contributes to pathogenesis by facilitating acquisition of the essential nutrients heme and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). Here, we tested the hypothesis that, like its homolog, H. ducreyi OmpP4 contributes to virulence and stimulates production of bactericidal antibodies. We determined that OmpP4 is broadly conserved among clinical isolates of H. ducreyi. We next constructed and characterized an isogenic ompP4 mutant, designated 35000HPompP4, in H. ducreyi strain 35000HP. To test whether OmpP4 was necessary for virulence in humans, eight healthy adults were experimentally infected. Each subject was inoculated with a fixed dose of 35000HP on one arm and three doses of 35000HPompP4 on the other arm. The overall parent and mutant pustule formation rates were 52.4% and 47.6%, respectively (P = 0.74). These results indicate that expression of OmpP4 in not necessary for H. ducreyi to initiate disease or progress to pustule formation in humans. Hyperimmune mouse serum raised against purified, recombinant OmpP4 did not promote bactericidal killing of 35000HP or phagocytosis by J774A.1 mouse macrophages in serum bactericidal and phagocytosis assays, respectively. Our data suggest that, unlike e (P4), H. ducreyi OmpP4 is not a suitable vaccine candidate. OmpP4 may be dispensable for virulence because of redundant mechanisms in H. ducreyi for heme acquisition and NAD utilization.

  19. Evaluation of Approaches to Monitor Staphylococcus aureus Virulence Factor Expression during Human Disease

    OpenAIRE

    Rozemeijer, Wouter; Fink, Pamela; Rojas, Eduardo; Jones, C. Hal; Pavliakova, Danka; Giardina, Peter; Murphy, Ellen; Liberator, Paul; Jiang, Qin; Girgenti, Douglas; Peters, Remco P. H.; Savelkoul, Paul H. M.; Jansen, Kathrin U.; Anderson, Annaliesa S.; Kluytmans, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a versatile pathogen of medical significance, using multiple virulence factors to cause disease. A prophylactic S. aureus 4-antigen (SA4Ag) vaccine comprising capsular polysaccharide (types 5 and 8) conjugates, clumping factor A (ClfA) and manganese transporter C (MntC) is under development. This study was designed to characterize S. aureus isolates recovered from infected patients and also to investigate approaches for examining expression of S. aureus vaccine candid...

  20. Role of Streptococcus pneumoniae OM001 operon in capsular polysaccharide production, virulence and survival in human saliva.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Zuleeza; Harvey, Richard M; Paton, James C; Standish, Alistair J; Morona, Renato

    2018-01-01

    Streptococcus pneumoniae is the leading cause of community-acquired pneumonia in all ages worldwide, and with ever-increasing antibiotic resistance, the understanding of its pathogenesis and spread is as important as ever. Recently, we reported the presence of a Low Molecular Weight Tyrosine Phosphatase (LMWPTP) Spd1837 in the pneumococcus. This protein is encoded in an operon, OM001 with two other genes, with previous work implicating this operon as important for pneumococcal virulence. Thus, we set out to investigate the role of the individual genes in the operon during pneumococcal pathogenesis. As LMWPTPs play a major role in capsular polysaccharide (CPS) biosynthesis in many bacteria, we tested the effect of mutating spd1837 and its adjacent genes, spd1836 and spd1838 on CPS levels. Our results suggest that individual deletion of the genes, including the LMWPTP, did not modulate CPS levels, in multiple conditions, and in different strain backgrounds. Following in vivo studies, Spd1836 was identified as a novel virulence factor during pneumococcal invasive disease, in both the lungs and blood, with this protein alone responsible for the effects of operon's role in virulence. We also showed that a deletion in spd1836, spd1838 or the overall OM001 operon reduced survival in human saliva during the conditions that mimic transmission compared to the wildtype strain. With studies suggesting that survival in human saliva may be important for transmission, this study identifies Spd1836 and Spd1838 as transmission factors, potentially facilitating the spread of the pneumococcus from person to person. Overall, this study hopes to further our understanding of the bacterial transmission that precedes disease and outbreaks.

  1. Inactivation of the Haemophilus ducreyi luxS gene affects the virulence of this pathogen in human subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labandeira-Rey, Maria; Janowicz, Diane M; Blick, Robert J; Fortney, Kate R; Zwickl, Beth; Katz, Barry P; Spinola, Stanley M; Hansen, Eric J

    2009-08-01

    Haemophilus ducreyi 35000HP contains a homologue of the luxS gene, which encodes an enzyme that synthesizes autoinducer 2 (AI-2) in other gram-negative bacteria. H. ducreyi 35000HP produced AI-2 that functioned in a Vibrio harveyi-based reporter system. A H. ducreyi luxS mutant was constructed by insertional inactivation of the luxS gene and lost the ability to produce AI-2. Provision of the H. ducreyi luxS gene in trans partially restored AI-2 production by the mutant. The luxS mutant was compared with its parent for virulence in the human challenge model of experimental chancroid. The pustule-formation rate in 5 volunteers was 93.3% (95% confidence interval, 81.7%-99.9%) at 15 parent sites and 60.0% (95% confidence interval, 48.3%-71.7%) at 15 mutant sites (1-tailed P < .001). Thus, the luxS mutant was partially attenuated for virulence. This is the first report of AI-2 production contributing to the pathogenesis of a genital ulcer disease.

  2. Cytokine responses in primary chicken embryo intestinal cells infected with Campylobacter jejuni strains of human and chicken origin and the expression of bacterial virulence-associated genes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Yiping; Ingmer, Hanne; Madsen, Mogens

    2008-01-01

    of the bacterial genes. We have investigated the invasiveness of primary chicken embryo intestinal cells (CEICs) by C. jejuni strains of human and chicken origins and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines as well as the expression of the bacterial virulence-associated genes during co-cultivation. Results C......-free media from another co-cultivation experiment also increased the expression of the virulence-associated genes in the C. jejuni chicken isolate, indicating that the expression of bacterial genes is regulated by component(s) secreted upon co-cultivation of bacteria and CEICs. Conclusion We show that under...... in vitro culture condition C. jejuni strains of both human and chicken origins can invade avian host cells with a pro-inflammatory response and that the virulence-associated genes of C. jejuni may play a role in this process....

  3. Isolate-dependent growth, virulence, and cell wall composition in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nansalmaa Amarsaikhan

    Full Text Available The ubiquitous fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus is a mediator of allergic sensitization and invasive disease in susceptible individuals. The significant genetic and phenotypic variability between and among clinical and environmental isolates are important considerations in host-pathogen studies of A. fumigatus-mediated disease. We observed decreased radial growth, rate of germination, and ability to establish colony growth in a single environmental isolate of A. fumigatus, Af5517, when compared to other clinical and environmental isolates. Af5517 also exhibited increased hyphal diameter and cell wall β-glucan and chitin content, with chitin most significantly increased. Morbidity, mortality, lung fungal burden, and tissue pathology were decreased in neutropenic Af5517-infected mice when compared to the clinical isolate Af293. Our results support previous findings that suggest a correlation between in vitro growth rates and in vivo virulence, and we propose that changes in cell wall composition may contribute to this phenotype.

  4. Porphyromonas gulae Has Virulence and Immunological Characteristics Similar to Those of the Human Periodontal Pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenzo, Jason C; O'Brien-Simpson, Neil M; Orth, Rebecca K; Mitchell, Helen L; Dashper, Stuart G; Reynolds, Eric C

    2016-09-01

    Periodontitis is a significant problem in companion animals, and yet little is known about the disease-associated microbiota. A major virulence factor for the human periodontal pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis is the lysyl- and arginyl-specific proteolytic activity of the gingipains. We screened several Porphyromonas species isolated from companion animals-P. asaccharolytica, P. circumdentaria, P. endodontalis, P. levii, P. gulae, P. macacae, P. catoniae, and P. salivosa-for Lys- and Arg-specific proteolytic activity and compared the epithelial and macrophage responses and induction of alveolar bone resorption of the protease active species to that of Porphyromonas gingivalis Only P. gulae exhibited Lys-and Arg-specific proteolytic activity. The genes encoding the gingipains (RgpA/B and Kgp) were identified in the P. gulae strain ATCC 51700 and all publicly available 12 draft genomes of P. gulae strains. P. gulae ATCC 51700 induced levels of alveolar bone resorption in an animal model of periodontitis similar to those in P. gingivalis W50 and exhibited a higher capacity for autoaggregation and binding to oral epithelial cells with induction of apoptosis. Macrophages (RAW 264.7) were found to phagocytose P. gulae ATCC 51700 and the fimbriated P. gingivalis ATCC 33277 at similar levels. In response to P. gulae ATCC 51700, macrophages secreted higher levels of cytokines than those induced by P. gingivalis ATCC 33277 but lower than those induced by P. gingivalis W50, except for the interleukin-6 response. Our results indicate that P. gulae exhibits virulence characteristics similar to those of the human periodontal pathogen P. gingivalis and therefore may play a key role in the development of periodontitis in companion animals. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  5. ArgO145, a Stx2a prophage of a bovine O145 : H-STEC strain, is closely related to phages of virulent human strains

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krüger, A; Burgán, J; Friedrich, A W; Jwa, Rossen; Pma, Lucchesi

    Shiga toxins (Stx) are the main virulence factor of a pathogroup of Escherichia coli strains that cause severe human diseases. These toxins are encoded in prophages (Stx prophages), and generally their expression depends on prophage induction. Several studies have reported high diversity among both

  6. 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.

  7. Differences in virulence genes and genome patterns of mastitis-associated Staphylococcus aureus among goat, cow, and human isolates in Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Chishih; Wei, Yajiun; Chuang, Shih-Te; Yu, Changyou; Changchien, Chih-Hsuan; Su, Yaochi

    2013-03-01

    A total of 117 mastitis-associated Staphylococcus aureus isolates from cow, goat, and human patients were analyzed for differences in antibiotic susceptibility, virulence genes, and genotypes using accessory gene regulator (agr) typing, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Multidrug-resistant (MDR) S. aureus were commonly found in all sources, though they were predominantly found in human and goat isolates. Almost 70% of the isolates were resistant to ampicillin and penicillin. Host-associated virulence genes were identified as follows: tst, a gene encoding toxic shock syndrome toxin, was found in goat isolates; lukED and lukM, genes encoding leukocidin, found in cow isolates; lukPV, a gene encoding leukocidin, found in human isolates; and eta, a gene encoding for exfoliative toxin, found in both human and cow isolates. All four types of hemolysin, α, β, γ, and δ, were identified in human isolates, three types (α, γ, and δ), were identified in cow isolates, and two types (α and δ) were identified in goat isolates. Agr-typing determined agr1 to be the main subtype in human and cow isolates. PFGE and MLST analysis revealed the presence of diverse genotypes among the three sources. In conclusion, mastitis-associated, genetically diverse strains of MDR S. aureus differed in virulence genes among human, cow, and goat isolates.

  8. Vitamin A deficiency impairs adaptive B and T cell responses to a prototype monovalent attenuated human rotavirus vaccine and virulent human rotavirus challenge in a gnotobiotic piglet model.

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    Kuldeep S Chattha

    Full Text Available Rotaviruses (RV are a major cause of gastroenteritis in children. Widespread vitamin A deficiency is associated with reduced efficacy of vaccines and higher incidence of diarrheal infections in children in developing countries. We established a vitamin A deficient (VAD gnotobiotic piglet model that mimics subclinical vitamin A deficiency in children to study its effects on an oral human rotavirus (HRV vaccine and virulent HRV challenge. Piglets derived from VAD and vitamin A sufficient (VAS sows were orally vaccinated with attenuated HRV or mock, with/without supplemental vitamin A and challenged with virulent HRV. Unvaccinated VAD control piglets had significantly lower hepatic vitamin A, higher severity and duration of diarrhea and HRV fecal shedding post-challenge as compared to VAS control pigs. Reduced protection coincided with significantly higher innate (IFNα cytokine and CD8 T cell frequencies in the blood and intestinal tissues, higher pro-inflammatory (IL12 and 2-3 fold lower anti-inflammatory (IL10 cytokines, in VAD compared to VAS control pigs. Vaccinated VAD pigs had higher diarrhea severity scores compared to vaccinated VAS pigs, which coincided with lower serum IgA HRV antibody titers and significantly lower intestinal IgA antibody secreting cells post-challenge in the former groups suggesting lower anamnestic responses. A trend for higher serum HRV IgG antibodies was observed in VAD vs VAS vaccinated groups post-challenge. The vaccinated VAD (non-vitamin A supplemented pigs had significantly higher serum IL12 (PID2 and IFNγ (PID6 compared to vaccinated VAS groups suggesting higher Th1 responses in VAD conditions. Furthermore, regulatory T-cell responses were compromised in VAD pigs. Supplemental vitamin A in VAD pigs did not fully restore the dysregulated immune responses to AttHRV vaccine or moderate virulent HRV diarrhea. Our findings suggest that that VAD in children in developing countries may partially contribute to more

  9. Transcriptome analysis of Neisseria meningitidis in human whole blood and mutagenesis studies identify virulence factors involved in blood survival.

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    Hebert Echenique-Rivera

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available During infection Neisseria meningitidis (Nm encounters multiple environments within the host, which makes rapid adaptation a crucial factor for meningococcal survival. Despite the importance of invasion into the bloodstream in the meningococcal disease process, little is known about how Nm adapts to permit survival and growth in blood. To address this, we performed a time-course transcriptome analysis using an ex vivo model of human whole blood infection. We observed that Nm alters the expression of ≈30% of ORFs of the genome and major dynamic changes were observed in the expression of transcriptional regulators, transport and binding proteins, energy metabolism, and surface-exposed virulence factors. In particular, we found that the gene encoding the regulator Fur, as well as all genes encoding iron uptake systems, were significantly up-regulated. Analysis of regulated genes encoding for surface-exposed proteins involved in Nm pathogenesis allowed us to better understand mechanisms used to circumvent host defenses. During blood infection, Nm activates genes encoding for the factor H binding proteins, fHbp and NspA, genes encoding for detoxifying enzymes such as SodC, Kat and AniA, as well as several less characterized surface-exposed proteins that might have a role in blood survival. Through mutagenesis studies of a subset of up-regulated genes we were able to identify new proteins important for survival in human blood and also to identify additional roles of previously known virulence factors in aiding survival in blood. Nm mutant strains lacking the genes encoding the hypothetical protein NMB1483 and the surface-exposed proteins NalP, Mip and NspA, the Fur regulator, the transferrin binding protein TbpB, and the L-lactate permease LctP were sensitive to killing by human blood. This increased knowledge of how Nm responds to adaptation in blood could also be helpful to develop diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to control the devastating

  10. Virulence of Group A Streptococci Is Enhanced by Human Complement Inhibitors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ermert, David; Shaughnessy, Jutamas; Joeris, Thorsten

    2015-01-01

    Streptococcus pyogenes, also known as Group A Streptococcus (GAS), is an important human bacterial pathogen that can cause invasive infections. Once it colonizes its exclusively human host, GAS needs to surmount numerous innate immune defense mechanisms, including opsonization by complement and c...... in studies of GAS pathogenesis and for developing vaccines and therapeutics that rely on human complement activation for efficacy.......Streptococcus pyogenes, also known as Group A Streptococcus (GAS), is an important human bacterial pathogen that can cause invasive infections. Once it colonizes its exclusively human host, GAS needs to surmount numerous innate immune defense mechanisms, including opsonization by complement...... and consequent phagocytosis. Several strains of GAS bind to human-specific complement inhibitors, C4b-binding protein (C4BP) and/or Factor H (FH), to curtail complement C3 (a critical opsonin) deposition. This results in diminished activation of phagocytes and clearance of GAS that may lead to the host being...

  11. When green and red mycology meet: Impressions from an interdisciplinary forum on virulence mechanisms of phyto- and human-pathogenic fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Yidong; Hube, Bernhard; Kämper, Jörg; Meyer, Vera; Krappmann, Sven

    2017-10-03

    Fungal infections pose a constant threat to plants and humans, but detailed knowledge about pathogenesis, immunity, or virulence is rather scarce. Due to the fact that a certain overlap in the armoury of infection exists between plant- and human-pathogenic fungi, an interdisciplinary forum was held in October 2016 at the Institute for Clinical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene in Erlangen under the organisational umbrella from two special interest groups of German microbial societies. Scientific exchange and intense discussion of this timely topic was fostered by bringing together renowned experts in their respective fields to present their thoughts and recent findings in the course of a plenary lecture and six themed sessions, accompanied by oral and poster contributions of young researchers. By targeting the topic of fungal virulence mechanisms from various angles and in the context of plant and human hosts, some common grounds and exciting perspectives could be deduced during this vibrant scientific event.

  12. Molecular prevalence of putative virulence-associated genes in Brucella melitensis and Brucella abortus isolates from human and livestock specimens in Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashemifar, Iman; Yadegar, Abbas; Jazi, Faramarz Masjedian; Amirmozafari, Nour

    2017-04-01

    Molecular prevalence of nine putative virulence factors in two more prevalent Brucella species in Iranian patients and livestock was investigated. During five years (2010-2015), 120 human and animal specimens were collected from three geographical areas of Iran. All samples were cultured in blood culture media and subcultured into Brucella agar medium. Nine primer pairs were designed for detection of VirB2, VirB5, VceC, BtpA, BtpB, PrpA, BetB, BPE275 and BSPB virulence factors using PCR and sequence analysis. Totally, 68 Brucella isolates including 60 B. melitensis and 8 B. abortus were isolated from the human and animal specimens examined. Approximately, all B. melitensis and B. abortus strains were positive (100%) regarding btpA, btpB, virB5, vceC, bpe275, bspB, and virB2 genes except for prpA and betB that were detected in 86% and 97% of the strains, respectively. Significant relationships were found between the presence of prpA and human B. melitensis isolates (P = 0.04), and also between the presence of betB and human isolates of B. abortus (P = 0.03). In conclusion, our results revealed that Iranian Brucella strains, regardless of human or animal sources, are extremely virulent due to high prevalence of virulence attributes in almost all strains studied. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. "Asexual propagation of a virulent clone complex in human and feline outbreak of sporotrichosis"

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Teixeira, Marcus de Melo; Rodrigues, Anderson Messias; Tsui, Clement K M; de Almeida, Luiz Gonzaga Paulo; Van Diepeningen, Anne D; Gerrits van den Ende, Bert; Fernandes, Geisa Ferreira; Kano, Rui; Hamelin, Richard C; Lopes-Bezerra, Leila Maria; Ribeiro Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza; de Hoog, Sybren; de Camargo, Zoilo Pires; Felipe, Maria Sueli Soares

    2014-01-01

    Sporotrichosis is one of the most frequent subcutaneous fungal infections to human and animals caused by members of the plant-associated, dimorphic genus Sporothrix. Three of the four medically important Sporothrix species found in Brazil have been considered asexual, as no sexual stage has ever

  14. Analysis of Humoral Immune Responses to Surface and Virulence-Associated Chlamydia abortus Proteins in Ovine and Human Abortions by Use of a Newly Developed Line Immunoassay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagemann, Jürgen Benjamin; Simnacher, Ulrike; Longbottom, David; Livingstone, Morag; Maile, Julia; Soutschek, Erwin; Walder, Gernot; Boden, Katharina; Sachse, Konrad; Essig, Andreas

    2016-07-01

    The obligate intracellular bacterium Chlamydia abortus is the causative agent of enzootic abortion of ewes and poses a significant zoonotic risk for pregnant women. Using proteomic analysis and gene expression library screening in a previous project, we identified potential virulence factors and candidates for serodiagnosis, of which nine were scrutinized here with a strip immunoassay. We have shown that aborting sheep exhibited a strong antibody response to surface (MOMP, MIP, Pmp13G) and virulence-associated (CPAF, TARP, SINC) antigens. While the latter disappeared within 18 weeks following abortion in a majority of the animals, antibodies to surface proteins persisted beyond the duration of the study. In contrast, nonaborting experimentally infected sheep developed mainly antibodies to surface antigens (MOMP, MIP, Pmp13G), all of which did not persist. We were also able to detect antibodies to these surface antigens in C abortus-infected women who had undergone septic abortion, whereas a group of shepherds and veterinarians with occupational exposure to C abortus-infected sheep revealed only sporadic immune responses to the antigens selected. The most specific antigen for the serodiagnosis of human C abortus infections was Pmp13G, which showed no cross-reactivity with other chlamydiae infecting humans. We suggest that Pmp13G-based serodiagnosis accomplished by the detection of antibodies to virulence-associated antigens such as CPAF, TARP, and SINC may improve the laboratory diagnosis of human and animal C abortus infections. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  15. Exploiting amoeboid and non-vertebrate animal model systems to study the virulence of human pathogenic fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mylonakis, Eleftherios; Casadevall, Arturo; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2007-07-27

    Experiments with insects, protozoa, nematodes, and slime molds have recently come to the forefront in the study of host-fungal interactions. Many of the virulence factors required for pathogenicity in mammals are also important for fungal survival during interactions with non-vertebrate hosts, suggesting that fungal virulence may have evolved, and been maintained, as a countermeasure to environmental predation by amoebae and nematodes and other small non-vertebrates that feed on microorganisms. Host innate immune responses are also broadly conserved across many phyla. The study of the interaction between invertebrate model hosts and pathogenic fungi therefore provides insights into the mechanisms underlying pathogen virulence and host immunity, and complements the use of mammalian models by enabling whole-animal high throughput infection assays. This review aims to assist researchers in identifying appropriate invertebrate systems for the study of particular aspects of fungal pathogenesis.

  16. Exploiting amoeboid and non-vertebrate animal model systems to study the virulence of human pathogenic fungi.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eleftherios Mylonakis

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Experiments with insects, protozoa, nematodes, and slime molds have recently come to the forefront in the study of host-fungal interactions. Many of the virulence factors required for pathogenicity in mammals are also important for fungal survival during interactions with non-vertebrate hosts, suggesting that fungal virulence may have evolved, and been maintained, as a countermeasure to environmental predation by amoebae and nematodes and other small non-vertebrates that feed on microorganisms. Host innate immune responses are also broadly conserved across many phyla. The study of the interaction between invertebrate model hosts and pathogenic fungi therefore provides insights into the mechanisms underlying pathogen virulence and host immunity, and complements the use of mammalian models by enabling whole-animal high throughput infection assays. This review aims to assist researchers in identifying appropriate invertebrate systems for the study of particular aspects of fungal pathogenesis.

  17. The MAP kinase-activated protein kinase Rck2p regulates cellular responses to cell wall stresses, filamentation and virulence in the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xichuan; Du, Wei; Zhao, Jingwen; Zhang, Lilin; Zhu, Zhiyan; Jiang, Linghuo

    2010-06-01

    Rck2p is the Hog1p-MAP kinase-activated protein kinase required for the attenuation of protein synthesis in response to an osmotic challenge in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Rck2p also regulates rapamycin sensitivity in both S. cerevisiae and Candida albicans. In this study, we demonstrate that the deletion of CaRCK2 renders C. albicans cells sensitive to, and CaRck2p translocates from the cytosol to the nucleus in response to, cell wall stresses caused by Congo red, Calcoflor White, elevated heat and zymolyase. However, the kinase activity of CaRck2p is not required for the cellular response to these cell wall stresses. Furthermore, transcripts of cell wall protein-encoding genes CaBGL2, CaHWP1 and CaXOG1 are reduced in C. albicans cells lacking CaRCK2. The deletion of CaRCK2 also reduces the in vitro filamentation of C. albicans and its virulence in a mouse model of systemic candidasis. The kinase activity of CaRck2p is required for the virulence, but not for the in vitro filamentation, in C. albicans. Therefore, Rck2p regulates cellular responses to cell wall stresses, filamentation and virulence in the human fungal pathogen C. albicans.

  18. Profile of Virulence Factors in the Multi-Drug Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa Strains of Human Urinary Tract Infections (UTI).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habibi, Asghar; Honarmand, Ramin

    2015-12-01

    Putative virulence factors are responsible for the pathogenicity of UTIs caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa). Resistance of P. aeruginosa to commonly used antibiotics is caused by the extreme overprescription of those antibiotics. The goal of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of virulence factors and the antibiotic resistance patterns of P. aeruginosa isolates in UTI cases in Iran. Two hundred and fifty urine samples were collected from patients who suffered from UTIs. Samples were cultured immediately, and those that were P. aeruginosa-positive were analyzed for the presence of virulence genes using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) was performed using the disk diffusion method. Of the 250 urine samples analyzed, 8 samples (3.2%) were positive for P. aeruginosa. The prevalence of P. aeruginosa in male and female patients was 2.7% and 3.5%, respectively, (P = 0.035). In patients less than 10 years old, it was 4.2%, and in patients more than 55 years old, it was 4.2%. These were the most commonly infected groups. The highest levels of resistance were seen against ampicillin (87.5%), norfloxacin (62.5%), gentamycin (62.5%), amikacin (62.5%), and aztreonam (62.5%), while the lowest were seen for meropenem (0%), imipenem (12.5%), and polymyxin B (12.5%). LasB (87.5%), pclH (75%), pilB (75%), and exoS (75%) were the most commonly detected virulence factors in the P. aeruginosa isolates. It is logical to first prescribe meropenem, imipenem, and polymyxin B in cases of UTIs caused by P. aeruginosa. Medical practitioners should be aware of the presence of levels of antibiotic resistance in hospitalized UTI patients in Iran.

  19. 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.

  20. Calcineurin plays key roles in the dimorphic transition and virulence of the human pathogenic zygomycete Mucor circinelloides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Soo Chan; Li, Alicia; Calo, Silvia; Heitman, Joseph

    2013-01-01

    Many pathogenic fungi are dimorphic and switch between yeast and filamentous states. This switch alters host-microbe interactions and is critical for pathogenicity. However, in zygomycetes, whether dimorphism contributes to virulence is a central unanswered question. The pathogenic zygomycete Mucor circinelloides exhibits hyphal growth in aerobic conditions but switches to multi-budded yeast growth under anaerobic/high CO₂ conditions. We found that in the presence of the calcineurin inhibitor FK506, Mucor exhibits exclusively multi-budded yeast growth. We also found that M. circinelloides encodes three calcineurin catalytic A subunits (CnaA, CnaB, and CnaC) and one calcineurin regulatory B subunit (CnbR). Mutations in the latch region of CnbR and in the FKBP12-FK506 binding domain of CnaA result in hyphal growth of Mucor in the presence of FK506. Disruption of the cnbR gene encoding the sole calcineurin B subunit necessary for calcineurin activity yielded mutants locked in permanent yeast phase growth. These findings reveal that the calcineurin pathway plays key roles in the dimorphic transition from yeast to hyphae. The cnbR yeast-locked mutants are less virulent than the wild-type strain in a heterologous host system, providing evidence that hyphae or the yeast-hyphal transition are linked to virulence. Protein kinase A activity (PKA) is elevated during yeast growth under anaerobic conditions, in the presence of FK506, or in the yeast-locked cnbR mutants, suggesting a novel connection between PKA and calcineurin. cnaA mutants lacking the CnaA catalytic subunit are hypersensitive to calcineurin inhibitors, display a hyphal polarity defect, and produce a mixture of yeast and hyphae in aerobic culture. The cnaA mutants also produce spores that are larger than wild-type, and spore size is correlated with virulence potential. Our results demonstrate that the calcineurin pathway orchestrates the yeast-hyphal and spore size dimorphic transitions that contribute to

  1. Detection of Alpha-Toxin and Other Virulence Factors in Biofilms of Staphylococcus aureus on Polystyrene and a Human Epidermal Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    den Reijer, P M; Haisma, E M; Lemmens-den Toom, N A; Willemse, J; Koning, R I; Koning, R A; Demmers, J A A; Dekkers, D H W; Rijkers, E; El Ghalbzouri, A; Nibbering, P H; van Wamel, W

    2016-01-01

    The ability of Staphylococcus aureus to successfully colonize (a)biotic surfaces may be explained by biofilm formation and the actions of virulence factors. The aim of the present study was to establish the presence of 52 proteins, including virulence factors such as alpha-toxin, during biofilm formation of five different (methicillin resistant) S. aureus strains on Leiden human epidermal models (LEMs) and polystyrene surfaces (PS) using a competitive Luminex-based assay. All five S. aureus strains formed biofilms on PS, whereas only three out of five strains formed biofilms on LEMs. Out of the 52 tested proteins, six functionally diverse proteins (ClfB, glucosaminidase, IsdA, IsaA, SACOL0688 and nuclease) were detected in biofilms of all strains on both PS and LEMs. At the same time, four toxins (alpha-toxin, gamma-hemolysin B and leukocidins D and E), two immune modulators (formyl peptide receptor-like inhibitory protein and Staphylococcal superantigen-like protein 1), and two other proteins (lipase and LytM) were detectable in biofilms by all five S. aureus strains on LEMs, but not on PS. In contrast, fibronectin-binding protein B (FnbpB) was detectable in biofilms by all S. aureus biofilms on PS, but not on LEMs. These data were largely confirmed by the results from proteomic and transcriptomic analyses and in case of alpha-toxin additionally by GFP-reporter technology. Functionally diverse virulence factors of (methicillin-resistant) S. aureus are present during biofilm formation on LEMs and PS. These results could aid in identifying novel targets for future treatment strategies against biofilm-associated infections.

  2. Identification of serotypes and virulence markers of Escherichia coli isolated from human stool and urine samples in Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K M Osman

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: Haemorrhagic colitis and haemolytic-uremic syndrome are associated with Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC. There are others DEC (Diarrhoeagenic E. coli pathotypes responsible for outbreaks and others toxins associated to these. Most clinical signs of disease arise as a consequence of the production of Shiga toxin 1 (Stx1, Stx2 or combinations of these toxins. Other major virulence factors include E. coli haemolysin (hlyA, and intimin, the product of the eaeA gene that is involved in the attaching and effacing adherence phenotype. Materials and Methods: In this study, the PCR assay was used to detect 12 E. coli genes associated with virulence (stx1, stx2, hylA, Flic h7 , stb, F41, K99, sta, F17, LT-I, LT-II and eaeA. Results: A total of 108 E. coli strains were serotyped into 64 typable strains. The investigated strains from the stool, 8/80 (10% strains were O 164:K, while the 56/110 strains isolated from the urine were O126:K71 (44/110, 40% and O 86:K 61 (12/110, 11%. The distribution pattern of the detected virulence genes was observed to be in the following order: F17 (10% from the stool and 44% from the urine, Sta (10% from the stool, hylA (10% from the stool and 44% from the urine, Stb (44% from the urine and stx1 (27% from the urine. The 8 faecal strains encoded a combination of the F17, Sta and hylA genes, while the 56 urine strains encoded a combination of the F17 0+ Stb + hylA (44/110, 40% and Stx1 only (12/60, 20%. Conclusion: This is the first report on the molecular characterization of E. coli diarrhoeagenic strains in Egypt and the first report on the potential role of E. coli in diarrhoea and urinary tract infections in a localized geographic area where the people engage in various occupational activities.

  3. Genetic diversity, phylogroup distribution and virulence gene profile of pks positive Escherichia coli colonizing human intestinal polyps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarshar, Meysam; Scribano, Daniela; Marazzato, Massimiliano; Ambrosi, Cecilia; Aprea, Maria Rita; Aleandri, Marta; Pronio, Annamaria; Longhi, Catia; Nicoletti, Mauro; Zagaglia, Carlo; Palamara, Anna Teresa; Conte, Maria Pia

    2017-11-01

    Some Escherichia coli strains of phylogroup B2 harbor a (pks) pathogenicity island that encodes a polyketide-peptide genotoxin called colibactin. It causes DNA double-strand breaks and megalocytosis in eukaryotic cells and it may contribute to cancer development. Study of bacterial community that colonizes the adenomatous polyp lesion, defined as precancerous lesions, could be helpful to assess if such pathogenic bacteria possess a role in the polyp progression to cancer. In this cross-sectional study, a total of 1500 E. coli isolates were obtained from biopsies of patients presenting adenomatous colon polyps, the normal tissues adjacent to the polyp lesion and patients presenting normal mucosa. pks island frequency, phylogenetic grouping, fingerprint genotyping, and virulence gene features of pks positive (pks + ) E. coli isolates were performed. We found pks + E. coli strongly colonize two patients presenting polypoid lesions and none were identified in patients presenting normal mucosa. Predominant phylogroups among pks + E. coli isolates were B2, followed by D. Clustering based on fragment profiles of composite analysis, typed the pks + isolates into 5 major clusters (I-V) and 17 sub-clusters, demonstrating a high level of genetic diversity among them. The most prevalent virulence genes were fimH and fyuA (100%), followed by vat (92%), hra and papA (69%), ibeA (28%), and hlyA (25%). Our results revealed that pks + E. coli can colonize the precancerous lesions, with a high distribution in both the polyp lesions and in normal tissues adjacent to the lesion. The high differences in fingerprinting patterns obtained indicate that pks + E. coli strains were genetically diverse, possibly allowing them to more easily adapt to environmental variations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. The Human Antimicrobial Protein Calgranulin C Participates in Control of Helicobacter pylori Growth and Regulation of Virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haley, Kathryn P; Delgado, Alberto G; Piazuelo, M Blanca; Mortensen, Brittany L; Correa, Pelayo; Damo, Steven M; Chazin, Walter J; Skaar, Eric P; Gaddy, Jennifer A

    2015-07-01

    During infectious processes, antimicrobial proteins are produced by both epithelial cells and innate immune cells. Some of these antimicrobial molecules function by targeting transition metals and sequestering these metals in a process referred to as "nutritional immunity." This chelation strategy ultimately starves invading pathogens, limiting their growth within the vertebrate host. Recent evidence suggests that these metal-binding antimicrobial molecules have the capacity to affect bacterial virulence, including toxin secretion systems. Our previous work showed that the S100A8/S100A9 heterodimer (calprotectin, or calgranulin A/B) binds zinc and represses the elaboration of the H. pylori cag type IV secretion system (T4SS). However, there are several other S100 proteins that are produced in response to infection. We hypothesized that the zinc-binding protein S100A12 (calgranulin C) is induced in response to H. pylori infection and also plays a role in controlling H. pylori growth and virulence. To test this, we analyzed gastric biopsy specimens from H. pylori-positive and -negative patients for S100A12 expression. These assays showed that S100A12 is induced in response to H. pylori infection and inhibits bacterial growth and viability in vitro by binding nutrient zinc. Furthermore, the data establish that the zinc-binding activity of the S100A12 protein represses the activity of the cag T4SS, as evidenced by the gastric cell "hummingbird" phenotype, interleukin 8 (IL-8) secretion, and CagA translocation assays. In addition, high-resolution field emission gun scanning electron microscopy (FEG-SEM) was used to demonstrate that S100A12 represses biogenesis of the cag T4SS. Together with our previous work, these data reveal that multiple S100 proteins can repress the elaboration of an oncogenic bacterial surface organelle. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pragman, Alexa A; Schlievert, Patrick M

    2004-10-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. SCF Ubiquitin Ligase F-box Protein Fbx15 Controls Nuclear Co-repressor Localization, Stress Response and Virulence of the Human Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bastian Jöhnk

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available F-box proteins share the F-box domain to connect substrates of E3 SCF ubiquitin RING ligases through the adaptor Skp1/A to Cul1/A scaffolds. F-box protein Fbx15 is part of the general stress response of the human pathogenic mold Aspergillus fumigatus. Oxidative stress induces a transient peak of fbx15 expression, resulting in 3x elevated Fbx15 protein levels. During non-stress conditions Fbx15 is phosphorylated and F-box mediated interaction with SkpA preferentially happens in smaller subpopulations in the cytoplasm. The F-box of Fbx15 is required for an appropriate oxidative stress response, which results in rapid dephosphorylation of Fbx15 and a shift of the cellular interaction with SkpA to the nucleus. Fbx15 binds SsnF/Ssn6 as part of the RcoA/Tup1-SsnF/Ssn6 co-repressor and is required for its correct nuclear localization. Dephosphorylated Fbx15 prevents SsnF/Ssn6 nuclear localization and results in the derepression of gliotoxin gene expression. fbx15 deletion mutants are unable to infect immunocompromised mice in a model for invasive aspergillosis. Fbx15 has a novel dual molecular function by controlling transcriptional repression and being part of SCF E3 ubiquitin ligases, which is essential for stress response, gliotoxin production and virulence in the opportunistic human pathogen A. fumigatus.

  8. Dandruff-associated Malassezia genomes reveal convergent and divergent virulence traits shared with plant and human fungal pathogens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Xu, J.; Saunders, C.; Hu, P.; Grant, R.A.; Boekhout, T.; Kuramae, E.E.; Kronstad, J.W.; DeAngelis, Y.M.; Reeder, N.L.; Johnstone, K.R.; Leland, M.; Fieno, A.M.; Begley, W.M.; Sun, Y.; Lacey, M.P.; Chaudhary, T.; Keough, T.; Chu, L.; Sears, R.; Yuan, B.; Dawson Jr., T.L.

    2007-01-01

    Fungi in the genus Malassezia are ubiquitous skin residents of humans and other warm-blooded animals. Malassezia are involved in disorders including dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis, which together affect >50% of humans. Despite the importance of Malassezia in common skin diseases, remarkably

  9. Dandruff-associated Malassezia genomes reveal convergent and divergent virulence traits shared with plant and human fungal pathogens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Xu, Jun; Saunders, Charles W.; Hu, Ping; Grant, Raymond A.; Boekhout, Teun; Kuramae, Eiko E.; Kronstad, James W.; DeAngelis, Yvonne M.; Reeder, Nancy L.; Johnstone, Kevin R.; Leland, Meredith; Fieno, Angela M.; Begley, William M.; Sun, Yiping; Lacey, Martin P.; Chaudhary, Tanuja; Keough, Thomas; Chu, Lien; Sears, Russell; Yuan, Bo; Dawson, Thomas L.

    2007-01-01

    Fungi in the genus Malassezia are ubiquitous skin residents of humans and other warm-blooded animals. Malassezia are involved in disorders including dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis, which together affect > 50% of humans. Despite the importance of Malassezia in common skin diseases, remarkably

  10. Characterization of the virulence, growth temperature and antibiotic resistance of the Campylobacter jejuni IAL 2383 strain isolated from humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonseca, B.B.; Rossi, D.A.; Maia, C.A.; Nalevaiko, P.C.; Melo, R.T.; Cuccato, L.P.; Beletti, M.E.

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this study was to characterize the C. jejuni IAL2383 strain isolated from humans in Brazil. Transcripts for the racR, dnaJ and ciaB genes were found and flaA, plda and cadF genes were present in the genome and bacteria was sensitive to most of the important antimicrobials used to treat humans. C. jejuni IAL2383 is a good experimental model to analyze the interactions with cells. PMID:24948944

  11. 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.

  12. Human Tear Fluid Reduces Culturability of Contact Lens Associated Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilms but Induces Expression of the Virulence Associated Type III Secretion System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yvonne T.; Tam, Connie; Zhu, Lucia S.; Evans, David J.; Fleiszig, Suzanne M. J.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose The type III secretion system (T3SS) is a significant virulence determinant for Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Using a rodent model, we found that contact lens (CL)-related corneal infections were associated with lens surface biofilms. Here, we studied the impact of human tear fluid on CL-associated biofilm growth and T3SS expression. Methods P. aeruginosa biofilms were formed on contact lenses for up to 7 days with or without human tear fluid, then exposed to tear fluid for 5 or 24 h. Biofilms were imaged using confocal microscopy. Bacterial culturability was quantified by viable counts, and T3SS gene expression measured by RT-qPCR. Controls included trypticase soy broth, PBS and planktonic bacteria. Results With or without tear fluid, biofilms grew to ~108 cfu viable bacteria by 24 h. Exposing biofilms to tear fluid after they had formed without it on lenses reduced bacterial culturability ~180-fold (pbacteria [5.46 ± 0.24-fold for T3SS transcriptional activitor exsA (p=.02), and 3.76 ± 0.36-fold for T3SS effector toxin exoS (p=.01)]. Tear fluid further enhanced exsA and exoS expression in CL-grown biofilms, but not planktonic bacteria, by 2.09 ± 0.38-fold (p = 0.04) and 1.89 ± 0.26-fold (p<.001), respectively. Conclusions Considering the pivitol role of the T3SS in P. aeruginosa infections, its induction in CL-grown P. aeruginosa biofilms by tear fluid might contribute to the pathogenesis of CL-related P. aeruginosa keratitis. PMID:27670247

  13. Comparison of Escherichia coli Isolates from humans, food, and farm and companion animals for presence of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli virulence markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murinda, Shelton E; Nguyen, Lien T; Landers, Tippi L; Draughon, F Ann; Mathew, Alan G; Hogan, Joseph S; Smith, K Larry; Hancock, Dale D; Oliver, Stephen P

    2004-01-01

    The objective of this study was to characterize Escherichia coli isolates from dairy cows/feedlots, calves, mastitis, pigs, dogs, parrot, iguana, human disease, and food products for prevalence of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) virulence markers. The rationale of the study was that, isolates of the same serotypes that were obtained from different sources and possessed the same marker profiles, could be cross-species transmissible. Multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to detect presence of genes encoding Shiga toxin 1 and 2 (stx1 and stx2), H7 flagella (flicC), enterohemolysin (hly) and intimin (eaeA) in E. coli isolates (n = 400). Shiga toxin-producing isolates were tested for production of Shiga toxins (Stx1 and Stx2 and enterohemolysin. Of the E. coli O157:H7/H- strains, 150 of 164 (mostly human, cattle, and food) isolates were stx+. Sixty-five percent of O157 STEC produced both Stx1 and Stx2; 32% and 0.7% produced Stx2 or Stx1, respectively. Ninety-eight percent of O157 STEC had sequences for genes encoding intimin and enterohemolysin. Five of 20 E. coli O111, 4 of 14 O128 and 4 of 10 O26 were stx+ . Five of 6 stx+ O26 and O111 produced Stx1, however, stx+ O128 were Stx-negative. Acid resistance (93.3%) and tellurite resistance (87.3%) were common attributes of O157 STEC, whereas, non-O157 stx+ strains exhibited 38.5% and 30.8% of the respective resistances. stx-positive isolates were mostly associated with humans and cattle, whereas, all isolates from mastitis (n = 105), and pigs, dogs, parrot and iguanas (n = 48) were stx-negative. Multiplex PCR was an effective tool for characterizing STEC pathogenic profiles and distinguished STEC O157:H7 from other STEC. Isolates from cattle and human disease shared similar toxigenic profiles, whereas isolates from other disease sources had few characteristics in common with the former isolates. These data suggest interspecies transmissibility of certain serotypes, in particular, STEC O157:H7, between

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheryl D Chun

    2007-02-01

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

  17. Broiler chickens, broiler chicken meat, pigs and pork as sources of ExPEC related virulence genes and resistance in Escherichia coli isolates from community-dwelling humans and UTI patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakobsen, Lotte; Spangholm, Daniel J; Pedersen, Karl; Jensen, Lars B; Emborg, Hanne-Dorthe; Agersø, Yvonne; Aarestrup, Frank M; Hammerum, Anette M; Frimodt-Møller, Niels

    2010-08-15

    Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common bacterial infections. UTI is primarily caused by extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) from the patients' own fecal flora. The ExPEC often belong to phylogroups B2 and D, the groups which include potent human ExPEC isolates causing UTI, bacteremia, and meningitis. The external sources of these ExPEC in the human intestine are unknown. The food supply may transmit ExPEC to humans. However, evidence of this hypothesis is limited. To assess this hypothesis, the objective of our study was to investigate the presence of ExPEC related virulence genes in E. coli isolates from UTI patients, community-dwelling humans, meat, and production animals. Accordingly, we included 964 geographically and temporally matched E. coli isolates from UTI patients (n=102), community-dwelling humans (n=109), fresh Danish (n=197) and imported broiler chicken meat (n=86), broiler chickens (n=138), fresh Danish (n=177) and imported pork (n=10), and pigs (n=145) in the study. All isolates were investigated for the presence of eight ExPEC related genes (kpsM II, papA, papC, iutA, sfaS, focG, afa, hlyD) using PCR. To investigate any similarities between isolates from the different origins, we performed a cluster analysis including antimicrobial resistance data previously published. We detected seven of the eight ExPEC related genes in isolates from broiler chicken meat, broiler chickens, pork and pigs. Our findings suggest that broiler chicken meat, broiler chickens, pork and pigs could be the source of strains with these ExPEC related virulence genes in community-dwelling humans and UTI patients. Especially detection of ExPEC related virulence genes in isolates belonging to phylogroups B2 and D is very concerning and may have a significant medical impact. The cluster analysis of virulence gene and antimicrobial resistance profiles showed strong similarities between UTI patient, community-dwelling human isolates, meat, and

  18. Broiler chickens, broiler chicken meat, pigs and pork as sources of ExPEC related virulence genes and resistance in Escherichia coli isolates from community-dwelling humans and UTI patients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jakobsen, L; Spangholm, D. J.; Pedersen, Karl

    2010-01-01

    Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common bacterial infections. UTI is primarily caused by extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) from the patients' own fecal flora. The ExPEC often belong to phylogroups B2 and D, the groups which include potent human ExPEC isolates...... causing UTI, bacteremia, and meningitis. The external sources of these ExPEC in the human intestine are unknown. The food supply may transmit ExPEC to humans. However, evidence of this hypothesis is limited. To assess this hypothesis, the objective of our study was to investigate the presence of Ex......PEC related virulence genes in E. coli isolates from UTI patients, community-dwelling humans, meat, and production animals. Accordingly, we included 964 geographically and temporally matched E. coli isolates from UTI patients (n=102), community-dwelling humans (n=109), fresh Danish (n=197) and imported...

  19. 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

  20. Glucose- but not rice-based oral rehydration therapy enhances the production of virulence determinants in the human pathogen Vibrio cholerae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliane Kühn

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Despite major attempts to prevent cholera transmission, millions of people worldwide still must address this devastating disease. Cholera research has so far mainly focused on the causative agent, the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, or on disease treatment, but rarely were results from both fields interconnected. Indeed, the treatment of this severe diarrheal disease is mostly accomplished by oral rehydration therapy (ORT, whereby water and electrolytes are replenished. Commonly distributed oral rehydration salts also contain glucose. Here, we analyzed the effects of glucose and alternative carbon sources on the production of virulence determinants in the causative agent of cholera, the bacterium Vibrio cholerae during in vitro experimentation. We demonstrate that virulence gene expression and the production of cholera toxin are enhanced in the presence of glucose or similarly transported sugars in a ToxR-, TcpP- and ToxT-dependent manner. The virulence genes were significantly less expressed if alternative non-PTS carbon sources, including rice-based starch, were utilized. Notably, even though glucose-based ORT is commonly used, field studies indicated that rice-based ORT performs better. We therefore used a spatially explicit epidemiological model to demonstrate that the better performing rice-based ORT could have a significant impact on epidemic progression based on the recent outbreak of cholera in Haiti. Our results strongly support a change of carbon source for the treatment of cholera, especially in epidemic settings.

  1. Avian influenza viruses that cause highly virulent infections in humans exhibit distinct replicative properties in contrast to human H1N1 viruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Philippe F.; de La Vega, Marc-Antoine; Paradis, Éric; Mendoza, Emelissa; Coombs, Kevin M.; Kobasa, Darwyn; Beauchemin, Catherine A. A.

    2016-04-01

    Avian influenza viruses present an emerging epidemiological concern as some strains of H5N1 avian influenza can cause severe infections in humans with lethality rates of up to 60%. These have been in circulation since 1997 and recently a novel H7N9-subtyped virus has been causing epizootics in China with lethality rates around 20%. To better understand the replication kinetics of these viruses, we combined several extensive viral kinetics experiments with mathematical modelling of in vitro infections in human A549 cells. We extracted fundamental replication parameters revealing that, while both the H5N1 and H7N9 viruses replicate faster and to higher titers than two low-pathogenicity H1N1 strains, they accomplish this via different mechanisms. While the H7N9 virions exhibit a faster rate of infection, the H5N1 virions are produced at a higher rate. Of the two H1N1 strains studied, the 2009 pandemic H1N1 strain exhibits the longest eclipse phase, possibly indicative of a less effective neuraminidase activity, but causes infection more rapidly than the seasonal strain. This explains, in part, the pandemic strain’s generally slower growth kinetics and permissiveness to accept mutations causing neuraminidase inhibitor resistance without significant loss in fitness. Our results highlight differential growth properties of H1N1, H5N1 and H7N9 influenza viruses.

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Method for Screening Compounds That Influence Virulence Gene Expression in Staphylococcus aureus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, A.; Nielsen, Kristian Fog; Frees, D.

    2010-01-01

    We present a simple assay to examine effects of compounds on virulence gene expression in the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. The assay employs transcriptional reporter strains carrying lacZ fused to central virulence genes. Compounds affecting virulence gene expression and activity...... of the agr locus are scored based on color change in the presence of a chromogenic beta-galactosidase substrate. The assay can be used to screen for novel antivirulence compounds from many different sources, such as fungi, as demonstrated here....

  6. Proteomics Analysis Reveals Previously Uncharacterized Virulence Factors in Vibrio proteolyticus

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    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.

  7. Virulence Factors of Streptococcus mutans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-08-01

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

  8. CRISPR interference can prevent natural transformation and virulence acquisition during in vivo bacterial infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bikard, David; Hatoum-Aslan, Asma; Mucida, Daniel; Marraffini, Luciano A

    2012-08-16

    Pathogenic bacterial strains emerge largely due to transfer of virulence and antimicrobial resistance genes between bacteria, a process known as horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) loci of bacteria and archaea encode a sequence-specific defense mechanism against bacteriophages and constitute a programmable barrier to HGT. However, the impact of CRISPRs on the emergence of virulence is unknown. We programmed the human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae with CRISPR sequences that target capsule genes, an essential pneumococcal virulence factor, and show that CRISPR interference can prevent transformation of nonencapsulated, avirulent pneumococci into capsulated, virulent strains during infection in mice. Further, at low frequencies bacteria can lose CRISPR function, acquire capsule genes, and mount a successful infection. These results demonstrate that CRISPR interference can prevent the emergence of virulence in vivo and that strong selective pressure for virulence or antibiotic resistance can lead to CRISPR loss in bacterial pathogens. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. The consequences of a sudden demographic change on the seroprevalence pattern, virulence genes, identification and characterisation of integron-mediated antibiotic resistance in the Salmonella enterica isolated from clinically diarrhoeic humans in Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osman, K M; Hassan, W M M; Mohamed, R A H

    2014-08-01

    The present study was undertaken to identify and characterise integrons and integrated resistance gene cassettes among eight multidrug-resistant (MDR) Salmonella serovars isolated from humans in Egypt. Virulotyping by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used for the detection of the presence of virulence genes. Integron PCR was used to detect the presence of class 1 in the MDR strains. The associated individual resistance gene cassettes were identified using specific PCRs. The isolated serovars were Salmonella Grampian (C1; 2/5), Larose (C1; 1/5), Hato (B; 1/5) and Texas (B; 1/5). Among the Salmonella serovars, five Salmonella isolates showed the highest resistance to amoxicillin, ampicillin, chloramphenicol, lincomycin, gentamicin, nalidixic acid, streptomycin and trimethoprim (100%), followed by neomycin, norfloxacin and tetracycline (80%), while the lowest resistance was recorded to colistin sulphate and ciprofloxacin in percentages of 20 and 40%, respectively. The invA, avrA, ssaQ, mgtC, siiD and sopB genes were detected in all isolates (100%), while the spvC and gipA genes were totally (100%) absent from all isolates. The remaining three virulence genes were diversely distributed as follows: the bcfC gene was detected in all isolates except Salmonella Hato (80%); the sodC1 gene was detected only in Salmonella Grampian and Salmonella Texas (60%); and the sopE1 gene was detected only in Salmonella Grampian, Hato and Texas (60%). Class 1 integrons were detected in 90% of the MDR isolates, comprising serovars Muenster, Florian, Noya, Grampian, Larose, Hato and Texas. Of the class 1 integron-positive isolates, 45% harboured Salmonella genomic island 1 (SGI1) either right junction or right and left junction having an A-C-S-T phenotype. Of the class 1 integron-positive isolates, 44% harboured integron gene cassette aadA2, while 11% harboured the floR gene present in multidrug resistance flanked by two integrons of SGI1. The results of the present study indicate that

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. Molecular determinants of Ebola virus virulence in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hideki Ebihara

    2006-07-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Cytokine responses in primary chicken embryo intestinal cells infected with Campylobacter jejuni strains of human and chicken origin and the expression of bacterial virulence-associated genes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Yiping; Ingmer, Hanne; Madsen, Mogens

    2008-01-01

    Background Campylobacter jejuni is a major cause of inflammatory diarrhoea in humans and is considered a commensal of the gastroenteric tract of the avian host. However, little is known about the interaction between C. jejuni and the avian host including the cytokine responses and the expression...

  15. Nigribactin, a Novel Siderophore from Vibrio nigripulchritudo, Modulates Staphylococcus aureus Virulence Gene Expression

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Anita; Månsson, Maria; Wietz, Matthias

    2012-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a serious human pathogen that employs a number of virulence factors as part of its pathogenesis. The purpose of the present study was to explore marine bacteria as a source of compounds that modulate virulence gene expression in S. aureus. During the global marine Galathea...... 3 expedition, a strain collection was established comprising bacteria that express antimicrobial activity against Vibrio anguillarum and/or Staphylococcus aureus. Within this collection we searched colony material, culture supernatants, and cell extracts for virulence modulating activity showing......, enterobactin, failed to influence S. aureus virulence gene expression. This study shows that marine microorganisms produce compounds with potential use in therapeutic strategies targeting virulence rather than viability of human pathogens....

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yeasmin Sabina

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Type III secretion system and virulence markers highlight similarities and differences between human- and plant-associated Pseudomonads related to Pseudomonas fluorescens and P-putida

    OpenAIRE

    Mazurier, Sylvie; Merieau, Annabelle; Bergeau, Dorian; Decoin, Victorien; Sperandio, Daniel; Crepin, Alexandre; Barbey, Corinne; Jeannot, Katy; Vicre-Gibouin, Maité; Plesiat, Patrick; Lemanceau, Philippe; Latour, Xavier

    2015-01-01

    Pseudomonas fluorescens is commonly considered a saprophytic rhizobacterium devoid of pathogenic potential. Nevertheless, the recurrent isolation of strains from clinical human cases could indicate the emergence of novel strains originating from the rhizosphere reservoir, which could be particularly resistant to the immune system and clinical treatment. The importance of type three secretion systems (T3SSs) in the related Pseudomonas aeruginosa nosocomial species and the occurrence of this se...

  20. Variations in virulence between different electrophoretic types of Listeria monocytogenes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nørrung, Birgit; Andersen, Jens Kirk

    2000-01-01

    A total of 245 strains of Listeria monocytogenes, representing 33 different electrophoretic types (ETs), were examined quantitatively for haemolytic activity. No significant difference was observed in the mean haemolytic activity between different ETs. Eighty four out of 91 strains examined were...... compared with 3.64 among food isolates). The explanation for this may be that more virulent strains are more prone to cause human infection. It is, however, also possible that strains oft. monocytogenes may become more virulent while multiplying in a living organism compared with multiplying in foods....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krieger, John N; Thumbikat, Praveen

    2016-02-01

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

  2. Screening of virulence genes in Staphylococcus aureus isolates from rabbits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Viana Martín

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Staphylococcus aureus is a versatile pathogen able to cause disease in both humans and animals. In rabbits, this bacterium infects animals of different ages, producing several purulent lesions. The ability of S. aureus to cause disease depends on a combination of virulence factors. The aim of this study was therefore to investigate the distribution of bacterial virulence determinants in 69 S. aureus isolates from rabbits. Some virulence factors (7 adhesins, 1 toxin and 1 protease were positive in all rabbit S. aureus isolates analysed, while others (1 adhesin and 10 toxins were always negative. The remaining virulence factors were more variable among isolates. An association between genotype and the different profiles of virulence factors was observed, but not with the type of lesion (P<0.05. One strain of each genotype was further analysed by multilocus sequence typing, generating ST121, ST96 and ST2951, determining a greater number of enterotoxins in ST121 isolates compared to ST96 and ST2951 isolates, which could justify the different pathogenicity between strains. 

  3. 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.

  4. Role of dupA in virulence of Helicobacter pylori.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talebi Bezmin Abadi, Amin; Perez-Perez, Guillermo

    2016-12-14

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

  5. OrfX, a Nucleomodulin Required for Listeria monocytogenes Virulence

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    Andrzej Prokop

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterial pathogen causing severe foodborne infections in humans and animals. Listeria can enter into host cells and survive and multiply therein, due to an arsenal of virulence determinants encoded in different loci on the chromosome. Several key Listeria virulence genes are clustered in Listeria pathogenicity island 1. This important locus also contains orfX (lmo0206, a gene of unknown function. Here, we found that OrfX is a small, secreted protein whose expression is positively regulated by PrfA, the major transcriptional activator of Listeria virulence genes. We provide evidence that OrfX is a virulence factor that dampens the oxidative response of infected macrophages, which contributes to intracellular survival of bacteria. OrfX is targeted to the nucleus and interacts with the regulatory protein RybP. We show that in macrophages, the expression of OrfX decreases the level of RybP, which controls cellular infection. Collectively, these data reveal that Listeria targets RybP and evades macrophage oxidative stress for efficient infection. Altogether, OrfX is after LntA, the second virulence factor acting directly in the nucleus.

  6. Expression of Haemophilus ducreyi collagen binding outer membrane protein NcaA is required for virulence in swine and human challenge models of chancroid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulcher, Robert A; Cole, Leah E; Janowicz, Diane M; Toffer, Kristen L; Fortney, Kate R; Katz, Barry P; Orndorff, Paul E; Spinola, Stanley M; Kawula, Thomas H

    2006-05-01

    Haemophilus ducreyi, the etiologic agent of the sexually transmitted genital ulcer disease chancroid, has been shown to associate with dermal collagen fibers within infected skin lesions. Here we describe NcaA, a previously uncharacterized outer membrane protein that is important for H. ducreyi collagen binding and host colonization. An H. ducreyi strain lacking the ncaA gene was impaired in adherence to type I collagen but not fibronectin (plasma or cellular form) or heparin. The mutation had no effect on serum resistance or binding to HaCaT keratinocytes or human foreskin fibroblasts in vitro. Escherichia coli expressing H. ducreyi NcaA bound to type I collagen, demonstrating that NcaA is sufficient to confer collagen attachment. The importance of NcaA in H. ducreyi pathogenesis was assessed using both swine and human experimental models of chancroid. In the swine model, 20% of lesions from sites inoculated with the ncaA mutant were culture positive for H. ducreyi 7 days after inoculation, compared to 73% of wild-type-inoculated sites. The average number of CFU recovered from mutant-inoculated lesions was also significantly reduced compared to that recovered from wild-type-inoculated sites at both 2 and 7 days after inoculation. In the human challenge model, 8 of 30 sites inoculated with wild-type H. ducreyi progressed to the pustular stage, compared to 0 of 30 sites inoculated with the ncaA mutant. Together these results demonstrate that the collagen binding protein NcaA is required for H. ducreyi infection.

  7. Type III secretion system and virulence markers highlight similarities and differences between human- and plant-associated pseudomonads related to Pseudomonas fluorescens and P. putida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazurier, Sylvie; Merieau, Annabelle; Bergeau, Dorian; Decoin, Victorien; Sperandio, Daniel; Crépin, Alexandre; Barbey, Corinne; Jeannot, Katy; Vicré-Gibouin, Maïté; Plésiat, Patrick; Lemanceau, Philippe; Latour, Xavier

    2015-04-01

    Pseudomonas fluorescens is commonly considered a saprophytic rhizobacterium devoid of pathogenic potential. Nevertheless, the recurrent isolation of strains from clinical human cases could indicate the emergence of novel strains originating from the rhizosphere reservoir, which could be particularly resistant to the immune system and clinical treatment. The importance of type three secretion systems (T3SSs) in the related Pseudomonas aeruginosa nosocomial species and the occurrence of this secretion system in plant-associated P. fluorescens raise the question of whether clinical isolates may also harbor T3SSs. In this study, isolates associated with clinical infections and identified in hospitals as belonging to P. fluorescens were compared with fluorescent pseudomonads harboring T3SSs isolated from plants. Bacterial isolates were tested for (i) their genetic relationships based on their 16S rRNA phylogeny, (ii) the presence of T3SS genes by PCR, and (iii) their infectious potential on animals and plants under environmental or physiological temperature conditions. Two groups of bacteria were delineated among the clinical isolates. The first group encompassed thermotolerant (41°C) isolates from patients suffering from blood infections; these isolates were finally found to not belong to P. fluorescens but were closely related and harbored highly conserved T3SS genes belonging to the Ysc-T3SS family, like the T3SSs from P. aeruginosa. The second group encompassed isolates from patients suffering from cystic fibrosis; these isolates belonged to P. fluorescens and harbored T3SS genes belonging to the Hrp1-T3SS family found commonly in plant-associated P. fluorescens. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  8. Metabolism and virulence in Neisseria meningitidis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph eSchoen

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available A longstanding question in infection biology addresses the genetic basis for invasive behaviour in commensal pathogens. A prime example for such a pathogen is Neisseria meningitidis. On the one hand it is a harmless commensal bacterium exquisitely adapted to humans, and on the other hand it sometimes behaves like a ferocious pathogen causing potentially lethal disease such as sepsis and acute bacterial meningitis. Despite the lack of a classical repertoire of virulence genes in N. meningitidis separating commensal from invasive strains, molecular epidemiology suggests that carriage and invasive strains belong to genetically distinct populations. In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that metabolic adaptation enables meningococci to exploit host resources, supporting the concept of nutritional virulence as a crucial determinant of invasive capability. Here, we discuss the contribution of core metabolic pathways in the context of colonization and invasion with special emphasis on results from genome-wide surveys. The metabolism of lactate, the oxidative stress response, and, in particular, glutathione metabolism as well as the denitrification pathway provide examples of how meningococcal metabolism is intimately linked to pathogenesis. We further discuss evidence from genome-wide approaches regarding potential metabolic differences between strains from hyperinvasive and carriage lineages and present new data assessing in vitro growth differences of strains from these two populations. We hypothesize that strains from carriage and hyperinvasive lineages differ in the expression of regulatory genes involved particularly in stress responses and amino acid metabolism under infection conditions.

  9. RNAi-Based Functional Genomics Identifies New Virulence Determinants in Mucormycosis.

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    Trung Anh Trieu

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Mucorales are an emerging group of human pathogens that are responsible for the lethal disease mucormycosis. Unfortunately, functional studies on the genetic factors behind the virulence of these organisms are hampered by their limited genetic tractability, since they are reluctant to classical genetic tools like transposable elements or gene mapping. Here, we describe an RNAi-based functional genomic platform that allows the identification of new virulence factors through a forward genetic approach firstly described in Mucorales. This platform contains a whole-genome collection of Mucor circinelloides silenced transformants that presented a broad assortment of phenotypes related to the main physiological processes in fungi, including virulence, hyphae morphology, mycelial and yeast growth, carotenogenesis and asexual sporulation. Selection of transformants with reduced virulence allowed the identification of mcplD, which encodes a Phospholipase D, and mcmyo5, encoding a probably essential cargo transporter of the Myosin V family, as required for a fully virulent phenotype of M. circinelloides. Knock-out mutants for those genes showed reduced virulence in both Galleria mellonella and Mus musculus models, probably due to a delayed germination and polarized growth within macrophages. This study provides a robust approach to study virulence in Mucorales and as a proof of concept identified new virulence determinants in M. circinelloides that could represent promising targets for future antifungal therapies.

  10. Diminished Virulence of an Alpha-Toxin Mutant of Staphylococcus aureus in Experimental Brain Abscesses

    OpenAIRE

    Kielian, Tammy; Cheung, Ambrose; Hickey, William F.

    2001-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is one of the major etiologic agents of brain abscesses in humans, occasionally leading to focal neurological deficits and even death. The objective of the present study was to identify key virulence determinants contributing to the pathogenesis of S. aureus in the brain using a murine brain abscess model. The importance of virulence factor production in disease development was demonstrated by the inability of heat-inactivated S. aureus to induce proinflammatory cytokine...

  11. Quorum-sensing regulators control virulence gene expression in Vibrio cholerae

    OpenAIRE

    Zhu, Jun; Miller, Melissa B.; Vance, Russell E.; Dziejman, Michelle; Bassler, Bonnie L.; Mekalanos, John J.

    2002-01-01

    The production of virulence factors including cholera toxin and the toxin-coregulated pilus in the human pathogen Vibrio cholerae is strongly influenced by environmental conditions. The well-characterized ToxR signal transduction cascade is responsible for sensing and integrating the environmental information and controlling the virulence regulon. We show here that, in addition to the known components of the ToxR signaling circuit, quorum-sensing regulators are involved in regulation of V. ch...

  12. Can Clays in Livestock Feed Promote Antibiotic Resistance and Virulence in Pathogenic Bacteria?

    OpenAIRE

    Rodr?guez-Rojas, Alexandro; Rodr?guez-Beltr?n, Jer?nimo; Valverde, Jos? Ram?n; Bl?zquez, Jes?s

    2015-01-01

    The use of antibiotics in animal husbandry has long been associated with the appearance of antibiotic resistance and virulence factor determinants. Nonetheless, the number of cases of human infection involving resistant or virulent microorganisms that originate in farms is increasing. While many antibiotics have been banned as dietary supplements in some countries, other additives thought to be innocuous in terms of the development and spread of antibiotic resistance are used as growth promot...

  13. Genes involved in virulence of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valero-Jiménez, Claudio A; Wiegers, Harm; Zwaan, Bas J; Koenraadt, Constantianus J M; van Kan, Jan A L

    2016-01-01

    Pest insects cause severe damage to global crop production and pose a threat to human health by transmitting diseases. Traditionally, chemical pesticides (insecticides) have been used to control such pests and have proven to be effective only for a limited amount of time because of the rapid spread of genetic insecticide resistance. The basis of this resistance is mostly caused by (co)dominant mutations in single genes, which explains why insecticide use alone is an unsustainable solution. Therefore, robust solutions for insect pest control need to be sought in alternative methods such as biological control agents for which single-gene resistance is less likely to evolve. The entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana has shown potential as a biological control agent of insects, and insight into the mechanisms of virulence is essential to show the robustness of its use. With the recent availability of the whole genome sequence of B. bassiana, progress in understanding the genetics that constitute virulence toward insects can be made more quickly. In this review we divide the infection process into distinct steps and provide an overview of what is currently known about genes and mechanisms influencing virulence in B. bassiana. We also discuss the need for novel strategies and experimental methods to better understand the infection mechanisms deployed by entomopathogenic fungi. Such knowledge can help improve biocontrol agents, not only by selecting the most virulent genotypes, but also by selecting the genotypes that use combinations of virulence mechanisms for which resistance in the insect host is least likely to develop. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    FAB Coutinho

    1999-08-01

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

  16. Anaerobiosis induced virulence of Salmonella typhi

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Dr DADIE Thomas

    2014-02-17

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

  18. Comparative genomics and transcriptomics of Escherichia coli isolates carrying virulence factors of both enteropathogenic and enterotoxigenic E. coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hazen, Tracy H; Michalski, Jane; Luo, Qingwei; Shetty, Amol C; Daugherty, Sean C; Fleckenstein, James M; Rasko, David A

    2017-06-14

    Escherichia coli that are capable of causing human disease are often classified into pathogenic variants (pathovars) based on their virulence gene content. However, disease-associated hybrid E. coli, containing unique combinations of multiple canonical virulence factors have also been described. Such was the case of the E. coli O104:H4 outbreak in 2011, which caused significant morbidity and mortality. Among the pathovars of diarrheagenic E. coli that cause significant human disease are the enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) and enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC). In the current study we use comparative genomics, transcriptomics, and functional studies to characterize isolates that contain virulence factors of both EPEC and ETEC. Based on phylogenomic analysis, these hybrid isolates are more genomically-related to EPEC, but appear to have acquired ETEC virulence genes. Global transcriptional analysis using RNA sequencing, demonstrated that the EPEC and ETEC virulence genes of these hybrid isolates were differentially-expressed under virulence-inducing laboratory conditions, similar to reference isolates. Immunoblot assays further verified that the virulence gene products were produced and that the T3SS effector EspB of EPEC, and heat-labile toxin of ETEC were secreted. These findings document the existence and virulence potential of an E. coli pathovar hybrid that blurs the distinction between E. coli pathovars.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  20. Prevalence of Virulent Escherichia coli Belonging B1 Phylogroup in Municipal Water Supply in Dhaka, Bangladesh

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ferdous, Jannataul; Rashid, Ridwan Bin; Tulsiani, Suhella

    isolated from drinking water in Arichpur, a low income area of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The distribution of the phylogroups and virulence genes were investigated in 200 isolates among them 110 isolates were from municipal water supply system and 90 were from household drinking water. Gene profile of virulence.......001. Therefore, it can be inferred municipal water supply was a greater contributor of pathogenic E. coli from the B1 phylogroup. Usually commensals fall in the Phylogroups A and B1. The presence of greater number of virulent B1 phylogroup isolates originating from municipal water supply indicates......Escherichia coli is a commensal organism of the digestive tracts of many vertebrates, including humans. Contamination of drinking water with pathogenic E. coli is a serious public health concern. This study focused on the distribution of phylogenetic groups and virulence gene profile of E. coli...

  1. Protocols for screening antimicrobial peptides that influence virulence gene expression in Staphylococcus aureus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bojer, Martin Saxtorph; Baldry, Mara; Ingmer, Hanne

    2017-01-01

    Compounds that inhibit virulence gene expression in bacterial pathogens have received increasing interest as possible alternatives to the traditional antibiotic treatment of infections. For the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus, we have developed two simple assays based on reporter gene fusions...... to central virulence genes that are easily applicable for screening various sources of natural and synthetic peptides for anti-virulence effects. The plate assay is qualitative but simultaneously assesses the effect of gradient concentrations of the investigated compound, whereas the liquid assay...... is quantitative and can be employed to address whether a compound is acting on the central quorum sensing regulatory system, agr, that controls a large number of virulence genes in S. aureus....

  2. Virulence determinants of Moraxella catarrhalis: distribution and considerations for vaccine development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blakeway, Luke V; Tan, Aimee; Peak, Ian R A; Seib, Kate L

    2017-10-01

    Moraxella catarrhalis is a human-restricted opportunistic bacterial pathogen of the respiratory mucosa. It frequently colonizes the nasopharynx asymptomatically, but is also an important causative agent of otitis media (OM) in children, and plays a significant role in acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in adults. As the current treatment options for M. catarrhalis infection in OM and exacerbations of COPD are often ineffective, the development of an efficacious vaccine is warranted. However, no vaccine candidates for M. catarrhalis have progressed to clinical trials, and information regarding the distribution of M. catarrhalis virulence factors and vaccine candidates is inconsistent in the literature. It is largely unknown if virulence is associated with particular strains or subpopulations of M. catarrhalis, or if differences in clinical manifestation can be attributed to the heterogeneous expression of specific M. catarrhalis virulence factors in the circulating population. Further investigation of the distribution of M. catarrhalis virulence factors in the context of carriage and disease is required so that vaccine development may be targeted at relevant antigens that are conserved among disease-causing strains. The challenge of determining which of the proposed M. catarrhalis virulence factors are relevant to human disease is amplified by the lack of a standardized M. catarrhalis typing system to facilitate direct comparisons of worldwide isolates. Here we summarize and evaluate proposed relationships between M. catarrhalis subpopulations and specific virulence factors in the context of colonization and disease, as well as the current methods used to infer these associations.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Pathogenic Leptospira: Advances in understanding the molecular pathogenesis and virulence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghazaei, Ciamak

    2018-01-01

    Leptospirosis is a common zoonotic disease has emerged as a major public health problem, with developing countries bearing disproportionate burdens. Although the diverse range of clinical manifestations of the leptospirosis in humans is widely documented, the mechanisms through which the pathogen causes disease remain undetermined. In addition, leptospirosis is a much-neglected life-threatening disease although it is one of the most important zoonoses occurring in a diverse range of epidemiological distribution. Recent advances in molecular profiling of pathogenic species of the genus Leptospira have improved our understanding of the evolutionary factors that determine virulence and mechanisms that the bacteria employ to survive. However, a major impediment to the formulation of intervention strategies has been the limited understanding of the disease determinants. Consequently, the association of the biological mechanisms to the pathogenesis of Leptospira, as well as the functions of numerous essential virulence factors still remain implicit. This review examines recent advances in genetic screening technologies, the underlying microbiological processes, the virulence factors and associated molecular mechanisms driving pathogenesis of Leptospira species. PMID:29445617

  7. An investigation of virulence factors of Legionella pneumophila environmental isolates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elif Özlem Arslan-Aydoğdu

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Nine Legionella pneumophila strains isolated from cooling towers and a standard strain (L. pneumophila serogroup 1, ATCC 33152, Philadelphia 1 were analyzed and compared in terms of motility, flagella structure, ability to form biofilms, enzymatic activities (hemolysin, nucleases, protease, phospholipase A, phospholipase C, acid phosphatase, alkaline phosphatase and lipase, hemagglutination capabilities, and pathogenicity in various host cells (Acanthamoeba castellanii ATCC 30234, mouse peritoneal macrophages and human peripheral monocytes. All the isolates of bacteria appeared to be motile and polar-flagellated and possessed the type-IV fimbria. Upon the evaluation of virulence factors, isolate 4 was found to be the most pathogenic strain, while 6 out of the 9 isolates (the isolates 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 were more virulent than the ATCC 33152 strain. The different bacterial strains exhibited differences in properties such as adhesion, penetration and reproduction in the hosts, and preferred host type. To our knowledge, this is the first study to compare the virulence of environmental L. pneumophila strains isolated in Turkey, and it provides important information relevant for understanding the epidemiology of L. pneumophila.

  8. Virulence Factors Associated with Pediatric Shigellosis in Brazilian Amazon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolinie Batista Nobre da Cruz

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Shigellosis is a global human health problem and the incidence is highest among children. In the present work, main Shigella virulence genes was examined by PCR and compared to symptoms of pediatric shigellosis. Thirty Shigella isolates were identified from an etiologic study at which 1,339 children ranging 0–10 years old were enrolled. S. flexneri was the most frequent species reaching 60.0% of isolates, 22.2% were S. sonnei, and 6.6% were both S. dysenteriae and S. boydii. All Shigella infected children had diarrhea, but not all were accompanied by others symptoms of bacillary dysentery. Among major virulence genes, the PCR typing revealed ipaBCD was present in all isolates, followed by IpaH7.8, set-1A, set-1B, sen/ospD3, virF, and invE. The pathogenic potential of the ShET-1B subunit was observed in relation to dehydration (P<0.001 and ShET-2 related to the intestinal injury (P=0.033 evidenced by the presence of bloody diarrhea. Our results show associations among symptoms of shigellosis and virulence genes of clinical isolates of Shigella spp.

  9. Evaluation of phytochemicals from medicinal plants of Myrtaceae family on virulence factor production by Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musthafa, Khadar Syed; Sianglum, Wipawadee; Saising, Jongkon; Lethongkam, Sakkarin; Voravuthikunchai, Supayang Piyawan

    2017-05-01

    Virulence factors regulated by quorum sensing (QS) play a critical role in the pathogenesis of an opportunistic human pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa in causing infections to the host. Hence, in the present work, the anti-virulence potential of the medicinal plant extracts and their derived phytochemicals from Myrtaceae family was evaluated against P. aeruginosa. In the preliminary screening of the tested medicinal plant extracts, Syzygium jambos and Syzygium antisepticum demonstrated a maximum inhibition in QS-dependent violacein pigment production by Chromobacterium violaceum DMST 21761. These extracts demonstrated an inhibitory activity over a virulence factor, pyoverdin, production by P. aeruginosa ATCC 27853. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometric (GC-MS) analysis revealed the presence of 23 and 12 phytochemicals from the extracts of S. jambos and S. antisepticum respectively. Three top-ranking phytochemicals, including phytol, ethyl linoleate and methyl linolenate, selected on the basis of docking score in molecular docking studies lowered virulence factors such as pyoverdin production, protease and haemolytic activities of P. aeruginosa to a significant level. In addition, the phytochemicals reduced rhamnolipid production by the organism. The work demonstrated an importance of plant-derived compounds as anti-virulence drugs to conquer P. aeruginosa virulence towards the host. © 2017 APMIS. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. 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.

  11. Role of Arf GTPases in fungal morphogenesis and virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hayet Labbaoui

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Virulence of the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans depends on the switch from budding to filamentous growth, which requires sustained membrane traffic and polarized growth. In many organisms, small GTPases of the Arf (ADP-ribosylation factor family regulate membrane/protein trafficking, yet little is known about their role in fungal filamentous growth. To investigate these GTPases in C. albicans, we generated loss of function mutants in all 3 Arf proteins, Arf1-Arf3, and 2 Arf-like proteins, Arl1 and Arl3. Our results indicate that of these proteins, Arf2 is required for viability and sensitivity to antifungal drugs. Repressible ARF2 expression results in defects in filamentous growth, cell wall integrity and virulence, likely due to alteration of the Golgi. Arl1 is also required for invasive filamentous growth and, although arl1/arl1 cells can initiate hyphal growth, hyphae are substantially shorter than that of the wild-type, due to the inability of this mutant to maintain hyphal growth at a single site. We show that this defect does not result from an alteration of phospholipid distribution and is unlikely to result from the sole Golgin Imh1 mislocalization, as Imh1 is not required for invasive filamentous growth. Rather, our results suggest that the arl1/arl1 hyphal growth defect results from increased secretion in this mutant. Strikingly, the arl1/arl1 mutant is drastically reduced in virulence during oropharyngeal candidiasis. Together, our results highlight the importance of Arl1 and Arf2 as key regulators of hyphal growth and virulence in C. albicans and identify a unique function of Arl1 in secretion.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia R Molins

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

  13. Phosphotyrosine-Mediated Regulation of Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli Virulence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Colin D.; Hazen, Tracy H.; Kaper, James B.

    2018-01-01

    ABSTRACT Enteric pathogens with low infectious doses rely on the ability to orchestrate the expression of virulence and metabolism-associated genes in response to environmental cues for successful infection. Accordingly, the human pathogen enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) employs a complex multifaceted regulatory network to link the expression of type III secretion system (T3SS) components to nutrient availability. While phosphorylation of histidine and aspartate residues on two-component system response regulators is recognized as an integral part of bacterial signaling, the involvement of phosphotyrosine-mediated control is minimally explored in Gram-negative pathogens. Our recent phosphotyrosine profiling study of E. coli identified 342 phosphorylated proteins, indicating that phosphotyrosine modifications in bacteria are more prevalent than previously anticipated. The present study demonstrates that tyrosine phosphorylation of a metabolite-responsive LacI/GalR family regulator, Cra, negatively affects T3SS expression under glycolytic conditions that are typical for the colonic lumen environment where production of the T3SS is unnecessary. Our data suggest that Cra phosphorylation affects T3SS expression by modulating the expression of ler, which encodes the major activator of EHEC virulence gene expression. Phosphorylation of the Cra Y47 residue diminishes DNA binding to fine-tune the expression of virulence-associated genes, including those of the locus of enterocyte effacement pathogenicity island that encode the T3SS, and thereby negatively affects the formation of attaching and effacing lesions. Our data indicate that tyrosine phosphorylation provides an additional mechanism to control the DNA binding of Cra and other LacI/GalR family regulators, including LacI and PurR. This study describes an initial effort to unravel the role of global phosphotyrosine signaling in the control of EHEC virulence potential. PMID:29487233

  14. 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.

  15. Phosphotyrosine-Mediated Regulation of Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli Virulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colin D. Robertson

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Enteric pathogens with low infectious doses rely on the ability to orchestrate the expression of virulence and metabolism-associated genes in response to environmental cues for successful infection. Accordingly, the human pathogen enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC employs a complex multifaceted regulatory network to link the expression of type III secretion system (T3SS components to nutrient availability. While phosphorylation of histidine and aspartate residues on two-component system response regulators is recognized as an integral part of bacterial signaling, the involvement of phosphotyrosine-mediated control is minimally explored in Gram-negative pathogens. Our recent phosphotyrosine profiling study of E. coli identified 342 phosphorylated proteins, indicating that phosphotyrosine modifications in bacteria are more prevalent than previously anticipated. The present study demonstrates that tyrosine phosphorylation of a metabolite-responsive LacI/GalR family regulator, Cra, negatively affects T3SS expression under glycolytic conditions that are typical for the colonic lumen environment where production of the T3SS is unnecessary. Our data suggest that Cra phosphorylation affects T3SS expression by modulating the expression of ler, which encodes the major activator of EHEC virulence gene expression. Phosphorylation of the Cra Y47 residue diminishes DNA binding to fine-tune the expression of virulence-associated genes, including those of the locus of enterocyte effacement pathogenicity island that encode the T3SS, and thereby negatively affects the formation of attaching and effacing lesions. Our data indicate that tyrosine phosphorylation provides an additional mechanism to control the DNA binding of Cra and other LacI/GalR family regulators, including LacI and PurR. This study describes an initial effort to unravel the role of global phosphotyrosine signaling in the control of EHEC virulence potential.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. [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.

  19. 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.

  20. Virulence Factors of Helicobacter pylori

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Sinclair

    1991-01-01

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

  1. Protein kinase A and fungal virulence: a sinister side to a conserved nutrient sensing pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuller, Kevin K; Rhodes, Judith C

    2012-01-01

    Diverse fungal species are the cause of devastating agricultural and human diseases. As successful pathogenesis is dependent upon the ability of the fungus to adapt to the nutritional and chemical environment of the host, the understanding of signaling pathways required for such adaptation will provide insights into the virulence of these pathogens and the potential identification of novel targets for antifungal intervention. The cAMP-PKA signaling pathway is well conserved across eukaryotes. In the nonpathogenic yeast, S. cerevisiae, PKA is activated in response to extracellular nutrients and subsequently regulates metabolism and growth. Importantly, this pathway is also a regulator of pathogenesis, as defects in PKA signaling lead to an attenuation of virulence in diverse plant and human pathogenic fungi. This review will compare and contrast PKA signaling in S. cerevisiae vs. various pathogenic species and provide a framework for the role of this pathway in regulating fungal virulence.

  2. Emergence of the virulence-associated PB2 E627K substitution in a fatal human case of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus A(H7N7) infection as determined by Illumina ultra-deep sequencing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jonges, Marcel; Welkers, Matthijs R. A.; Jeeninga, Rienk E.; Meijer, Adam; Schneeberger, Peter; Fouchier, Ron A. M.; de Jong, Menno D.; Koopmans, Marion

    2014-01-01

    Avian influenza viruses are capable of crossing the species barrier and infecting humans. Although evidence of human-to-human transmission of avian influenza viruses to date is limited, evolution of variants toward more-efficient human-to-human transmission could result in a new influenza virus

  3. Microarray Evaluation of Antimicrobial Resistance and Virulence of Escherichia coli Isolates from Portuguese Poultry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nuno Mendonça

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The presence of antimicrobial resistance and virulence factors of 174 Escherichia coli strains isolated from healthy Portuguese Gallus gallus was evaluated. Resistance profiles were determined against 33 antimicrobials by microbroth dilution. Resistance was prevalent for tetracycline (70% and ampicillin (63%. Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL phenotype was observed in 18% of the isolates. Multidrug resistance was found in 56% of isolates. A subset of 74 isolates were screened by DNA microarrays for the carriage of 88 antibiotic resistance genes and 62 virulence genes. Overall, 37 different resistance genes were detected. The most common were tet(A (72%, blaTEM (68%, and sul1 (47%, while 21% isolates harbored an ESBL gene (blaCTX-M group 1, group 2, or group 9. Of these, 96% carried the increased serum survival (iss virulence gene, while 89% presented the enterobactin siderophore receptor protein (iroN, 70% the temperature-sensitive hemagglutinin (tsh, and 68% the long polar fimbriae (lpfA virulence genes associated with extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli. In conclusion, prevalence of antibiotic resistant E. coli from the microbiota of Portuguese chickens was high, including to extended spectrum cephalosporins. The majority of isolates seems to have the potential to trigger extraintestinal human infection due to the presence of some virulence genes. However, the absence of genes specific for enteropathogenic E. coli reduces the risk for human intestinal infection.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hee-Soo Park

    2016-09-01

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

  5. Salmonella typhimurium DT104: a virulent and drug-resistant pathogen.

    OpenAIRE

    Poppe, C; Smart, N; Khakhria, R; Johnson, W; Spika, J; Prescott, J

    1998-01-01

    Salmonella typhimurium phage type (PT) or definitive type (DT) 104 is a virulent pathogen for humans and animals, particularly cattle. It has been isolated increasingly from humans and animals in the United Kingdom and several other European countries and, more recently, in the United States and Canada. Humans may acquire the infection from foods of animal origin contaminated with the infective organism. Farm families are particularly at risk of acquiring the infection by contact with infecte...

  6. Network analysis of S. aureus response to ramoplanin reveals modules for virulence factors and resistance mechanisms and characteristic novel genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subramanian, Devika; Natarajan, Jeyakumar

    2015-12-10

    Staphylococcus aureus is a major human pathogen and ramoplanin is an antimicrobial attributed for effective treatment. The goal of this study was to examine the transcriptomic profiles of ramoplanin sensitive and resistant S. aureus to identify putative modules responsible for virulence and resistance-mechanisms and its characteristic novel genes. The dysregulated genes were used to reconstruct protein functional association networks for virulence-factors and resistance-mechanisms individually. Strong link between metabolic-pathways and development of virulence/resistance is suggested. We identified 15 putative modules of virulence factors. Six hypothetical genes were annotated with novel virulence activity among which SACOL0281 was discovered to be an essential virulence factor EsaD. The roles of MazEF toxin-antitoxin system, SACOL0202/SACOL0201 two-component system and that of amino-sugar and nucleotide-sugar metabolism in virulence are also suggested. In addition, 14 putative modules of resistance mechanisms including modules of ribosomal protein-coding genes and metabolic pathways such as biotin-synthesis, TCA-cycle, riboflavin-biosynthesis, peptidoglycan-biosynthesis etc. are also indicated. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Ecological fitness and virulence features of Vibrio parahaemolyticus in estuarine environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovell, Charles R

    2017-03-01

    Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a commonly encountered and highly successful organism in marine ecosystems. It is a fast-growing, extremely versatile copiotroph that is active over a very broad range of conditions. It frequently occurs suspended in the water column (often attached to particles or zooplankton), and is a proficient colonist of submerged surfaces. This organism is an important pathogen of animals ranging from microcrustaceans to humans and is a causative agent of seafood-associated food poisoning. This review examines specific ecological adaptations of V. parahaemolyticus, including its broad tolerances to temperature and salinity, its utilization of a wide variety of organic carbon and energy sources, and its pervasive colonization of suspended and stationary materials that contribute to its success and ubiquity in temperate and tropical estuarine ecosystems. Several virulence-related features are examined, in particular the thermostable direct hemolysin (TDH), the TDH-related hemolysin (TRH), and the type 3 secretion system, and the possible importance of these features in V. parahaemolyticus pathogenicity is explored. The impact of new and much more effective PCR primers on V. parahaemolyticus detection and our views of virulent strain abundance are also described. It is clear that strains carrying the canonical virulence genes are far more common than previously thought, which opens questions regarding the role of these genes in pathogenesis. It is also clear that virulence is an evolving feature of V. parahaemolyticus and that novel combinations of virulence factors can lead to emergent virulence in which a strain that is markedly more pathogenic evolves and propagates to produce an outbreak. The effects of global climate change on the frequency of epidemic disease, the geographic distribution of outbreaks, and the human impacts of V. parahaemolyticus are increasing and this review provides information on why this ubiquitous human pathogen has

  8. Dirofilariosis in the Americas: a more virulent Dirofilaria immitis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Otranto, Domenico

    2013-10-02

    Dirofilarioses are widespread diseases caused by filarioid nematodes (superfamily Filarioidea) of the genus Dirofilaria, which are transmitted by a plethora of mosquito species. The principal agent of canine dirofilariosis in the Americas is Dirofilaria immitis, which may also occasionally infest humans, resulting in pulmonary nodules that may be confounded with malignant lung tumours. Because human cases of dirofilariosis by D. immitis are relatively frequent in the Americas and rare in Europe and other eastern countries, where Dirofilaria repens is the main causative agent, the existence of a more virulent strain of D. immitis in the Americas has been speculated. Recently, a case of human ocular infestation by Dirofilaria sp. was diagnosed in Pará State, northern Brazil, where canine heartworm dirofilariosis is endemic. The nematode was shown to be morphologically and phylogenetically related to D. immitis but it was genetically distinct from reference sequences, including those of D. immitis infesting dogs in the same geographical area. This finding raised questions regarding the aetiology of human dirofilariosis in the Americas, since information on the genetic makeup of filarioids infesting dogs and humans is meagre. Further studies would be needed to better characterize filarioids infesting dogs, wild animals, and humans in the Americas and to assess the existence of a more virulent D. immitis strain in this continent. Finally, the competence of different culicid species/strains from Europe and the Americas as vectors of Dirofilaria species should be investigated. Such studies would help us to understand possible variations in transmission patterns and even to predict possible scenarios that may emerge in the future, with the introduction of non-endemic Dirofilaria species/strains in free areas through importation of infested animals, vectors, or both.

  9. Prevalence, serotype, virulence characteristics, clonality and antibiotic susceptibility of pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica from swine feces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Introduction: Swine are the only known animal reservoir of Yersinia enterocolitica (YE), a human pathogen. Since YE is a fecal organism of swine, the primary goal of this study was to evaluate the prevalence, serotype, virulence plasmid (pYV)-associated characteristics, clonality, and antibiotic su...

  10. 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.

  11. Influence of sublethal concentrations of common disinfectants on expression of virulence genes in Listeria monocytogenes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kastbjerg, Vicky Gaedt; Larsen, M. H.; Gram, Lone

    2010-01-01

    Listeria monocytogenes is a food-borne human pathogen that causes listeriosis, a relatively rare infection with a high fatality rate. The regulation of virulence gene expression is influenced by several environmental factors, and the aim of the present study was to determine how disinfectants use......, such as antibiotic resistance....... by Northern blot analysis. Eleven disinfectants representing four different groups of active components were evaluated in this study. Disinfectants with the same active ingredients had a similar effect on gene expression. Peroxy and chlorine compounds reduced the expression of the virulence genes...

  12. Escherichia coli Isolates Causing Asymptomatic Bacteriuria in Catheterized and Noncatheterized Individuals Possess Similar Virulence Properties

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Watts, Rebecca E; Hancock, Viktoria; Ong, Cheryl-lynn Y

    2010-01-01

    Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are among the most common infectious diseases of humans, with Escherichia coli being responsible for >80% of all cases. Asymptomatic bacteriuria (ABU) occurs when bacteria colonize the urinary tract without causing clinical symptoms and can affect both catheterized...... patients (catheter-associated ABU [CA-ABU]) and noncatheterized patients. Here, we compared the virulence properties of a collection of ABU and CA-ABU nosocomial E. coli isolates in terms of antibiotic resistance, phylogenetic grouping, specific UTI-associated virulence genes, hemagglutination...

  13. 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.

  14. Identification of virulence determinants for endocarditis in Streptococcus sanguinis by signature-tagged mutagenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paik, Sehmi; Senty, Lauren; Das, Sankar; Noe, Jody C; Munro, Cindy L; Kitten, Todd

    2005-09-01

    Streptococcus sanguinis is a gram-positive, facultative anaerobe and a normal inhabitant of the human oral cavity. It is also one of the most common agents of infective endocarditis, a serious endovascular infection. To identify virulence factors for infective endocarditis, signature-tagged mutagenesis (STM) was applied to the SK36 strain of S. sanguinis, whose genome is being sequenced. STM allows the large-scale creation, in vivo screening, and recovery of a series of mutants with altered virulence. Screening of 800 mutants by STM identified 38 putative avirulent and 5 putative hypervirulent mutants. Subsequent molecular analysis of a subset of these mutants identified genes encoding undecaprenol kinase, homoserine kinase, anaerobic ribonucleotide reductase, adenylosuccinate lyase, and a hypothetical protein. Virulence reductions ranging from 2-to 150-fold were confirmed by competitive index assays. One putatively hypervirulent strain with a transposon insertion in an intergenic region was identified, though increased virulence was not confirmed in competitive index assays. All mutants grew comparably to SK36 in aerobic broth culture except for the homoserine kinase mutant. Growth of this mutant was restored by the addition of threonine to the medium. Mutants containing an insertion or in-frame deletion in the anaerobic ribonucleotide reductase gene failed to grow under strictly anaerobic conditions. The results suggest that housekeeping functions such as cell wall synthesis, amino acid and nucleic acid synthesis, and the ability to survive under anaerobic conditions are important virulence factors in S. sanguinis endocarditis.

  15. Identification of Virulence Determinants for Endocarditis in Streptococcus sanguinis by Signature-Tagged Mutagenesis†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paik, Sehmi; Senty, Lauren; Das, Sankar; Noe, Jody C.; Munro, Cindy L.; Kitten, Todd

    2005-01-01

    Streptococcus sanguinis is a gram-positive, facultative anaerobe and a normal inhabitant of the human oral cavity. It is also one of the most common agents of infective endocarditis, a serious endovascular infection. To identify virulence factors for infective endocarditis, signature-tagged mutagenesis (STM) was applied to the SK36 strain of S. sanguinis, whose genome is being sequenced. STM allows the large-scale creation, in vivo screening, and recovery of a series of mutants with altered virulence. Screening of 800 mutants by STM identified 38 putative avirulent and 5 putative hypervirulent mutants. Subsequent molecular analysis of a subset of these mutants identified genes encoding undecaprenol kinase, homoserine kinase, anaerobic ribonucleotide reductase, adenylosuccinate lyase, and a hypothetical protein. Virulence reductions ranging from 2-to 150-fold were confirmed by competitive index assays. One putatively hypervirulent strain with a transposon insertion in an intergenic region was identified, though increased virulence was not confirmed in competitive index assays. All mutants grew comparably to SK36 in aerobic broth culture except for the homoserine kinase mutant. Growth of this mutant was restored by the addition of threonine to the medium. Mutants containing an insertion or in-frame deletion in the anaerobic ribonucleotide reductase gene failed to grow under strictly anaerobic conditions. The results suggest that housekeeping functions such as cell wall synthesis, amino acid and nucleic acid synthesis, and the ability to survive under anaerobic conditions are important virulence factors in S. sanguinis endocarditis. PMID:16113327

  16. A gacS deletion in Pseudomonas aeruginosa cystic fibrosis isolate CHA shapes its virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khady Mayebine Sall

    Full Text Available Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a human opportunistic pathogen, is capable of provoking acute and chronic infections that are associated with defined sets of virulence factors. During chronic infections, the bacterium accumulates mutations that silence some and activate other genes. Here we show that the cystic fibrosis isolate CHA exhibits a unique virulence phenotype featuring a mucoid morphology, an active Type III Secretion System (T3SS, hallmark of acute infections, and no Type VI Secretion System (H1-T6SS. This virulence profile is due to a 426 bp deletion in the 3' end of the gacS gene encoding an essential regulatory protein. The absence of GacS disturbs the Gac/Rsm pathway leading to depletion of the small regulatory RNAs RsmY/RsmZ and, in consequence, to expression of T3SS, while switching off the expression of H1-T6SS and Pel polysaccharides. The CHA isolate also exhibits full ability to swim and twitch, due to active flagellum and Type IVa pili. Thus, unlike the classical scheme of balance between virulence factors, clinical strains may adapt to a local niche by expressing both alginate exopolysaccharide, a hallmark of membrane stress that protects from antibiotic action, host defences and phagocytosis, and efficient T3S machinery that is considered as an aggressive virulence factor.

  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. Virulence of oral Candida isolated from HIV-positive women with oral candidiasis and asymptomatic carriers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owotade, Foluso J; Patel, Mrudula

    2014-10-01

    This study compared the virulence of oral Candida species isolated from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive women with and without oral candidiasis. Candida species were isolated from 197 women, and their virulence attributes were measured. Of the 197 women, 117 (59.4%) carried Candida. Of these, 15 (12.8%) had symptoms of oral candidiasis. Among highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)-naive patients, 33% were diagnosed with oral candidiasis, whereas 5.9% were asymptomatic carriers (P oral candidiasis had higher levels of Candida (P = .02) than asymptomatic carriers. There was no difference in the CD4 counts and the virulence attributes of Candida from both the groups. This study indicates that oral candidiasis is mainly caused by high counts of C. albicans and suggests the importance of therapies targeting Candida counts in the oral cavity even in patients on HAART to reduce the development of infections. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Economic Game Theory to Model the Attenuation of Virulence of an Obligate Intracellular Bacterium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tago, Damian; Meyer, Damien F

    2016-01-01

    Diseases induced by obligate intracellular pathogens have a large burden on global human and animal health. Understanding the factors involved in the virulence and fitness of these pathogens contributes to the development of control strategies against these diseases. Based on biological observations, a theoretical model using game theory is proposed to explain how obligate intracellular bacteria interact with their host. The equilibrium in such a game shows that the virulence and fitness of the bacterium is host-triggered and by changing the host's defense system to which the bacterium is confronted, an evolutionary process leads to an attenuated strain. Although, the attenuation procedure has already been conducted in practice in order to develop an attenuated vaccine (e.g., with Ehrlichia ruminantium), there was a lack of understanding of the theoretical basis behind this process. Our work provides a model to better comprehend the existence of different phenotypes and some underlying evolutionary mechanisms for the virulence of obligate intracellular bacteria.

  20. The worm has turned--microbial virulence modeled in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sifri, Costi D; Begun, Jakob; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2005-03-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is emerging as a facile and economical model host for the study of evolutionarily conserved mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis and innate immunity. A rapidly growing number of human and animal microbial pathogens have been shown to injure and kill nematodes. In many cases, microbial genes known to be important for full virulence in mammalian models have been shown to be similarly required for maximum pathogenicity in nematodes. C. elegans has been used in mutation-based screening systems to identify novel virulence-related microbial genes and immune-related host genes, many of which have been validated in mammalian models of disease. C. elegans-based pathogenesis systems hold the potential to simultaneously explore the molecular genetic determinants of both pathogen virulence and host defense.

  1. The success of acinetobacter species; genetic, metabolic and virulence attributes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anton Y Peleg

    Full Text Available An understanding of why certain Acinetobacter species are more successful in causing nosocomial infections, transmission and epidemic spread in healthcare institutions compared with other species is lacking. We used genomic, phenotypic and virulence studies to identify differences between Acinetobacter species. Fourteen strains representing nine species were examined. Genomic analysis of six strains showed that the A. baumannii core genome contains many genes important for diverse metabolism and survival in the host. Most of the A. baumannii core genes were also present in one or more of the less clinically successful species. In contrast, when the accessory genome of an individual A. baumannii strain was compared to a strain of a less successful species (A. calcoaceticus RUH2202, many operons with putative virulence function were found to be present only in the A. baumannii strain, including the csu operon, the acinetobactin chromosomal cluster, and bacterial defence mechanisms. Phenotype microarray analysis showed that compared to A. calcoaceticus (RUH2202, A. baumannii ATCC 19606(T was able to utilise nitrogen sources more effectively and was more tolerant to pH, osmotic and antimicrobial stress. Virulence differences were also observed, with A. baumannii ATCC 19606(T, A. pittii SH024, and A. nosocomialis RUH2624 persisting and forming larger biofilms on human skin than A. calcoaceticus. A. baumannii ATCC 19606(T and A. pittii SH024 were also able to survive in a murine thigh infection model, whereas the other two species were eradicated. The current study provides important insights into the elucidation of differences in clinical relevance among Acinetobacter species.

  2. The Success of Acinetobacter Species; Genetic, Metabolic and Virulence Attributes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peleg, Anton Y.; de Breij, Anna; Adams, Mark D.; Cerqueira, Gustavo M.; Mocali, Stefano; Galardini, Marco; Nibbering, Peter H.; Earl, Ashlee M.; Ward, Doyle V.; Paterson, David L.; Seifert, Harald; Dijkshoorn, Lenie

    2012-01-01

    An understanding of why certain Acinetobacter species are more successful in causing nosocomial infections, transmission and epidemic spread in healthcare institutions compared with other species is lacking. We used genomic, phenotypic and virulence studies to identify differences between Acinetobacter species. Fourteen strains representing nine species were examined. Genomic analysis of six strains showed that the A. baumannii core genome contains many genes important for diverse metabolism and survival in the host. Most of the A. baumannii core genes were also present in one or more of the less clinically successful species. In contrast, when the accessory genome of an individual A. baumannii strain was compared to a strain of a less successful species (A. calcoaceticus RUH2202), many operons with putative virulence function were found to be present only in the A. baumannii strain, including the csu operon, the acinetobactin chromosomal cluster, and bacterial defence mechanisms. Phenotype microarray analysis showed that compared to A. calcoaceticus (RUH2202), A. baumannii ATCC 19606T was able to utilise nitrogen sources more effectively and was more tolerant to pH, osmotic and antimicrobial stress. Virulence differences were also observed, with A. baumannii ATCC 19606T, A. pittii SH024, and A. nosocomialis RUH2624 persisting and forming larger biofilms on human skin than A. calcoaceticus. A. baumannii ATCC 19606T and A. pittii SH024 were also able to survive in a murine thigh infection model, whereas the other two species were eradicated. The current study provides important insights into the elucidation of differences in clinical relevance among Acinetobacter species. PMID:23144699

  3. Characterization of Aeromonas hydrophila wound pathotypes by comparative genomic and functional analyses of virulence genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grim, Christopher J; Kozlova, Elena V; Sha, Jian; Fitts, Eric C; van Lier, Christina J; Kirtley, Michelle L; Joseph, Sandeep J; Read, Timothy D; Burd, Eileen M; Tall, Ben D; Joseph, Sam W; Horneman, Amy J; Chopra, Ashok K; Shak, Joshua R

    2013-04-23

    Aeromonas hydrophila has increasingly been implicated as a virulent and antibiotic-resistant etiologic agent in various human diseases. In a previously published case report, we described a subject with a polymicrobial wound infection that included a persistent and aggressive strain of A. hydrophila (E1), as well as a more antibiotic-resistant strain of A. hydrophila (E2). To better understand the differences between pathogenic and environmental strains of A. hydrophila, we conducted comparative genomic and functional analyses of virulence-associated genes of these two wound isolates (E1 and E2), the environmental type strain A. hydrophila ATCC 7966(T), and four other isolates belonging to A. aquariorum, A. veronii, A. salmonicida, and A. caviae. Full-genome sequencing of strains E1 and E2 revealed extensive differences between the two and strain ATCC 7966(T). The more persistent wound infection strain, E1, harbored coding sequences for a cytotoxic enterotoxin (Act), a type 3 secretion system (T3SS), flagella, hemolysins, and a homolog of exotoxin A found in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Corresponding phenotypic analyses with A. hydrophila ATCC 7966(T) and SSU as reference strains demonstrated the functionality of these virulence genes, with strain E1 displaying enhanced swimming and swarming motility, lateral flagella on electron microscopy, the presence of T3SS effector AexU, and enhanced lethality in a mouse model of Aeromonas infection. By combining sequence-based analysis and functional assays, we characterized an A. hydrophila pathotype, exemplified by strain E1, that exhibited increased virulence in a mouse model of infection, likely because of encapsulation, enhanced motility, toxin secretion, and cellular toxicity. Aeromonas hydrophila is a common aquatic bacterium that has increasingly been implicated in serious human infections. While many determinants of virulence have been identified in Aeromonas, rapid identification of pathogenic versus nonpathogenic

  4. Genomic comparison of virulent and non-virulent Streptococcus agalactiae in fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delannoy, C M J; Zadoks, R N; Crumlish, M; Rodgers, D; Lainson, F A; Ferguson, H W; Turnbull, J; Fontaine, M C

    2016-01-01

    Streptococcus agalactiae infections in fish are predominantly caused by beta-haemolytic strains of clonal complex (CC) 7, notably its namesake sequence type (ST) 7, or by non-haemolytic strains of CC552, including the globally distributed ST260. In contrast, CC23, including its namesake ST23, has been associated with a wide homeothermic and poikilothermic host range, but never with fish. The aim of this study was to determine whether ST23 is virulent in fish and to identify genomic markers of fish adaptation of S. agalactiae. Intraperitoneal challenge of Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus (Linnaeus), showed that ST260 is lethal at doses down to 10(2) cfu per fish, whereas ST23 does not cause disease at 10(7) cfu per fish. Comparison of the genome sequence of ST260 and ST23 with those of strains derived from fish, cattle and humans revealed the presence of genomic elements that are unique to subpopulations of S. agalactiae that have the ability to infect fish (CC7 and CC552). These loci occurred in clusters exhibiting typical signatures of mobile genetic elements. PCR-based screening of a collection of isolates from multiple host species confirmed the association of selected genes with fish-derived strains. Several fish-associated genes encode proteins that potentially provide fitness in the aquatic environment. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Bile Sensing: The Activation of Vibrio parahaemolyticus Virulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bey-Hing Goh

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Bacteria must develop resistance to various inhospitable conditions in order to survive in the human gastrointestinal tract. Bile, which is secreted by the liver, and plays an important role in food digestion also has antimicrobial properties and is able to disrupt cellular homeostasis. Paradoxically, although bile is one of the guts defenses, many studies have reported that bacteria such as Vibrio parahaemolyticus can sense bile and use its presence as an environmental cue to upregulate virulence genes during infection. This article aims to discuss how bile is detected by V. parahaemolyticus and its role in regulating type III secretion system 2 leading to human infection. This bile–bacteria interaction pathway gives us a clearer understanding of the biochemical and structural analysis of the bacterial receptors involved in mediating a response to bile salts which appear to be a significant environmental cue during initiation of an infection.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wolinsky, Murray A

    2004-01-01

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

  7. Are secondary metabolites dispensable for virulence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    The production of toxins by conidial fungal pathogens and their association with virulence has been assumed to occur in vivo and is widely accepted as dogma, but this association has yet to be definitively proven by either genetic or chemical means. Several studies from our labs have used targeted g...

  8. Mechanisms of disease: Helicobacter pylori virulence factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamaoka, Yoshio

    2010-11-01

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

  9. Efflux inhibitor suppresses Streptococcus mutans virulence properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Huihui; Liu, Jia; Ling, Junqi

    2017-04-01

    It is well established that efflux pumps play important roles in bacterial pathogenicity and efflux inhibitors (EIs) have been proved to be effective in suppressing bacterial virulence properties. However, little is known regarding the EI of Streptococcus mutans, a well-known caries-inducing bacterium. In this study, we identified the EI of S. mutans through ethidium bromide efflux assay and investigated how EI affected S. mutans virulence regarding the cariogenicity and stress response. Results indicated that reserpine, the identified EI, suppressed acid tolerance, mutacin production and transformation efficiency of S. mutans, and modified biofilm architecture and extracellular polysaccharide distribution. Suppressed glycosyltransferase activity was also noted after reserpine exposure. The data from quantitative real-time-PCR demonstrated that reserpine significantly altered the expression profile of quorum-sensing and virulence-associated genes. These findings suggest that reserpine represents a promising adjunct anticariogenic agent in that it suppresses virulence properties of S. mutans. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. 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...

  11. NEW VIRULENCE FACTORS OF STREPTOCOCCUS PNEUMONIAE

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hermans, Peter Wilhelmus Maria; Bootsma, Jeanette Hester; Burghout, Pieter Jan; Kuipers, Oscar; Bijlsma, Johanna Jacoba Elisabeth; Kloosterman, Tomas Gerrit; Andersen, Christian O.

    2011-01-01

    The present invention provides proteins/genes, which are essential for survival, and consequently, for virulence of Streptococcus pneumoniae in vivo, and thus are ideal vaccine candidates for a vaccine preparation against pneumococcal infection. Further, also antibodies against said protein(s) are

  12. 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.

  13. Pathogenicity, Epidemiology and Virulence Factors of Salmonella species: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamègnon Victorien DOUGNON

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Salmonella infections are major public health problems worldwide. The hereby review aimed to establish an overview on the pathogenicity, epidemiology and virulence factors of Salmonella spp. in the world. A systematic search was conducted online using the keywords ‘Salmonella’, ‘Salmonella spp.’, ‘Salmonella spp. Epidemiology’, ‘virulence factors of Salmonella spp. in the world’, ‘bacteria responsible for the contamination of meat products’, ‘non-typhoid salmonella’. These keywords were entered into databases such as PubMed and Google Scholar using mainly French language. The obtained articles were included based on the reliability of their source, the study area (usually Benin and Africa and the subject. The review revealed that Salmonella spp. is motile Gram-negative rod-shaped bacteria, of the family Enterobacteriaceae, currently counting more than 2,600 serovars. Human contamination occurs through the ingestion of contaminated water and food and can cause gastroenteritis or typhoid fever, which are two serious public health problems. A gene set constituting the pathogenicity islands determines the pathogenesis of Salmonella spp. The diagnosis is based on bacteriological, serological and molecular techniques. Salmonella infections are usually treated using antibiotics; however, emergence of antibiotic resistance in these microorganisms suggests that the anti-salmonella control should explore new sources such as medicinal plants

  14. Brucella abortus: pathogenicity and gene regulation of virulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Rivas-Solano

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Brucella abortus is a zoonotic intracellular facultative pathogen belonging to the subdivision α2 of class Proteobacteria. It causes a worldwide distributed zoonotic disease called brucellosis. The main symptoms are abortion and sterility in cattle, as well as an undulant febrile condition in humans. In endemic regions like Central America, brucellosis has a high socioeconomic impact. A basic research project was recently conducted at the ITCR with the purpose of studying gene regulation of virulence, structure and immunogenicity in B. abortus. The present review was written as part of this project. B. abortus virulence seems to be determined by its ability to invade, survive and replicate inside professional and non-professional phagocytes. It reaches its intracellular replicative niche without the activation of host antimicrobial mechanisms of innate immunity. It also has gene regulation mechanisms for a rapid adaptation to an intracellular environment such as the two-component signal transduction system BvrR/BvrS and the quorum sensing regulator called Vjbr, as well as other transcription factors. All of them integrate a complex gene regulation network.

  15. Mechanosensing regulates virulence in Escherichia coli O157:H7.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Islam, Md Shahidul; Krachler, Anne Marie

    2016-01-01

    Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 is a food-borne pathogen transmitted via the fecal-oral route, and can cause bloody diarrhea and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) in the human host. Although a range of colonization factors, Shiga toxins and a type III secretion system (T3SS) all contribute to disease development, the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) encoded T3SS is responsible for the formation of lesions in the intestinal tract. While a variety of chemical cues in the host environment are known to up-regulate LEE expression, we recently demonstrated that changes in physical forces at the site of attachment are required for localized, full induction of the system and thus spatial regulation of virulence in the intestinal tract. Here, we discuss our findings in the light of other recent studies describing mechanosensing of the host and force-dependent induction of virulence mechanisms. We discuss potential mechanisms of mechanosensing and mechanotransduction, and the level of conservation across bacterial species.

  16. Stress tolerant virulent strains of Cronobacter sakazakii from food

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Md Fakruddin

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Cronobacter sakazakii is considered as an emerging foodborne pathogen. The aim of this study was to isolate and characterize virulent strains of Cronobacter sakazakii from food samples of Bangladesh. RESULT: Six (6 Cronobacter sakazakii was isolated and identified from 54 food samples on the basis of biochemical characteristics, sugar fermentation, SDS-PAGE of whole cell protein, plasmid profile and PCR of Cronobacter spp. specific genes (esak, gluA, zpx, ompA, ERIC, BOX-AIR and sequencing. These strains were found to have moderately high antibiotic resistance against common antibiotics and some are ESBL producer. Most of the C. sakazakii isolates were capable of producing biofilm (strong biofilm producer, extracellular protease and siderophores, curli expression, haemolysin, haemagglutinin, mannose resistant haemagglutinin, had high cell surface hydrophobicity, significant resistance to human serum, can tolerate high concentration of salt, bile and DNase production. Most of them produced enterotoxins of different molecular weight. The isolates pose significant serological cross-reactivity with other gram negative pathogens such as serotypes of Salmonella spp., Shigella boydii, Shigella sonnei, Shigella flexneri and Vibrio cholerae. They had significant tolerance to high temperature, low pH, dryness and osmotic stress. CONCLUSION: Special attention should be given in ensuring hygiene in production and post-processing to prevent contamination of food with such stress-tolerant virulent Cronobacter sakazakii.

  17. Comparative genomic analysis of Brucella abortus vaccine strain 104M reveals a set of candidate genes associated with its virulence attenuation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Dong; Hui, Yiming; Zai, Xiaodong; Xu, Junjie; Liang, Long; Wang, Bingxiang; Yue, Junjie; Li, Shanhu

    2015-01-01

    The Brucella abortus strain 104M, a spontaneously attenuated strain, has been used as a vaccine strain in humans against brucellosis for 6 decades in China. Despite many studies, the molecular mechanisms that cause the attenuation are still unclear. Here, we determined the whole-genome sequence of 104M and conducted a comprehensive comparative analysis against the whole genome sequences of the virulent strain, A13334, and other reference strains. This analysis revealed a highly similar genome structure between 104M and A13334. The further comparative genomic analysis between 104M and A13334 revealed a set of genes missing in 104M. Some of these genes were identified to be directly or indirectly associated with virulence. Similarly, a set of mutations in the virulence-related genes was also identified, which may be related to virulence alteration. This study provides a set of candidate genes associated with virulence attenuation in B.abortus vaccine strain 104M.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Novel cyclic di-GMP effectors of the YajQ protein family control bacterial virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shi-qi An

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Bis-(3',5' cyclic di-guanylate (cyclic di-GMP is a key bacterial second messenger that is implicated in the regulation of many critical processes that include motility, biofilm formation and virulence. Cyclic di-GMP influences diverse functions through interaction with a range of effectors. Our knowledge of these effectors and their different regulatory actions is far from complete, however. Here we have used an affinity pull-down assay using cyclic di-GMP-coupled magnetic beads to identify cyclic di-GMP binding proteins in the plant pathogen Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc. This analysis identified XC_3703, a protein of the YajQ family, as a potential cyclic di-GMP receptor. Isothermal titration calorimetry showed that the purified XC_3703 protein bound cyclic di-GMP with a high affinity (K(d∼2 µM. Mutation of XC_3703 led to reduced virulence of Xcc to plants and alteration in biofilm formation. Yeast two-hybrid and far-western analyses showed that XC_3703 was able to interact with XC_2801, a transcription factor of the LysR family. Mutation of XC_2801 and XC_3703 had partially overlapping effects on the transcriptome of Xcc, and both affected virulence. Electromobility shift assays showed that XC_3703 positively affected the binding of XC_2801 to the promoters of target virulence genes, an effect that was reversed by cyclic di-GMP. Genetic and functional analysis of YajQ family members from the human pathogens Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia showed that they also specifically bound cyclic di-GMP and contributed to virulence in model systems. The findings thus identify a new class of cyclic di-GMP effector that regulates bacterial virulence.

  1. Functional dissection of Streptococcus pyogenes M5 protein: the hypervariable region is essential for virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johan Waldemarsson

    Full Text Available The surface-localized M protein of Streptococcus pyogenes is a major virulence factor that inhibits phagocytosis, as determined ex vivo. Because little is known about the role of M protein in vivo we analyzed the contribution of different M protein regions to virulence, using the fibrinogen (Fg-binding M5 protein and a mouse model of acute invasive infection. This model was suitable, because M5 is required for mouse virulence and binds mouse and human Fg equally well, as shown here. Mixed infection experiments with wild type bacteria demonstrated that mutants lacking the N-terminal hypervariable region (HVR or the Fg-binding B-repeat region were strongly attenuated, while a mutant lacking the conserved C-repeats was only slightly attenuated. Because the HVR of M5 is not required for phagocytosis resistance, our data imply that this HVR plays a major but unknown role during acute infection. The B-repeat region is required for phagocytosis resistance and specifically binds Fg, suggesting that it promotes virulence by binding Fg. However, B-repeat mutants were attenuated even in Fg-deficient mice, implying that the B-repeats may have a second function, in addition to Fg-binding. These data demonstrate that two distinct M5 regions, including the HVR, are essential to virulence during the early stages of an infection. In particular, our data provide the first in vivo evidence that the HVR of an M protein plays a major role in virulence, focusing interest on the molecular role of this region.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna C Llewellyn

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

  3. Amino Acid Permeases and Virulence in Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin Felipe Cruz Martho

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

  4. Staphylococcus aureus resistance to human defensins and evasion of neutrophil killing via the novel virulence factor MprF is based on modification of membrane lipids with L-lysine

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peschel, A.; Jack, R.W.; Otto, M.; Collins, L.V.; Staubitz, P.; Nicholson, G.; Kalbacher, H.; Nieuwenhuizen, W.F.; Jung, G.; Tarkowski, A.; Kessel, K.P.M. van; Strijp, J.A.G. van

    2001-01-01

    Defensins, antimicrobial peptides of the innate immune system, protect human mucosal epithelia and skin against microbial infections and are produced in large amounts by neutrophils. The bacterial pathogen Staphylococcus aureus is insensitive to defensins by virtue of an unknown resistance

  5. Molecular investigation of virulence factors of Brucella melitensis and Brucella abortus strains isolated from clinical and non-clinical samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirnejad, Reza; Jazi, Faramarz Masjedian; Mostafaei, Shayan; Sedighi, Mansour

    2017-08-01

    Brucella is zoonotic pathogen that induces abortion and sterility in domestic mammals and chronic infections in humans called Malta fever. It is a facultative intracellular potential pathogen with high infectivity. The virulence of Brucella is dependent upon its potential virulence factors such as enzymes and cell envelope associated virulence genes. The aim of this study was to investigate the Brucella virulence factors among strains isolated from humans and animals in different parts of Iran. Seventy eight strains of Brucella species isolated from suspected human and animal cases from several provinces of Iran during 2015-2016 and identified by phenotypic and molecular methods. The multiplex-PCR (M-PCR) assay was performed in order to detect the ure, wbkA, omp19, mviN, manA and perA genes by using gene specific primers. Out of 78 isolates of Brucella spp., 57 (73%) and 21 (27%) isolates were detected as B. melitensis and B. abortus, respectively, by molecular method. The relative frequency of virulence genes ure, wbkA, omp19, mviN, manA and perA were 74.4%, 89.7%, 93.6%, 94.9%, 100% and 92.3%, respectively. Our results indicate that the most of Brucella strains isolated from this region possess high percent of virulence factor genes (ure, wbkA, omp19, mviN, manA and perA) in their genome. So, each step of infection can be mediated by a number of virulence factors and each strain may have a unique combination of these factors that affected the rate of bacterial pathogenesis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Prevalence of diarrheagenic Escherichia coli virulence genes in the feces of slaughtered cattle, chickens, and pigs in Burkina Faso

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kagambèga, Assèta; Martikainen, Outi; Siitonen, Anja; Traoré, Alfred S; Barro, Nicolas; Haukka, Kaisa

    2012-01-01

    We investigated the prevalence of the virulence genes specific for five major pathogroups of diarrheagenic Escherichia coli (DEC) in primary cultures from feces of animals slaughtered for human consumption in Burkina Faso. For the study, 704 feces samples were collected from cattle (n = 304), chickens (n = 350), and pigs (n = 50) during carcass processing. The presence of the virulence-associated genes in the mixed bacterial cultures was assessed using 16-plex polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Virulence genes indicating presence of DEC were detected in 48% of the cattle, 48% of the chicken, and 68% of the pig feces samples. Virulence genes specific for different DECs were detected in the following percentages of the cattle, chicken, and pig feces samples: Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) in 37%, 6%, and 30%; enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) in 8%, 37%, and 32%; enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) in 4%, 5%, and 18%; and enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) in 7%, 6%, and 32%. Enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC) virulence genes were detected in 1% of chicken feces samples only. The study was the first of its kind in Burkina Faso and revealed the common occurrence of the diarrheal virulence genes in feces of food animals. This indicates that food animals are reservoirs of DEC that may contaminate meat because of the defective slaughter and storage conditions and pose a health risk to the consumers in Burkina Faso. PMID:23170227

  7. All Yersinia enterocolitica are pathogenic: virulence of phylogroup 1 Y. enterocolitica in a Galleria mellonella infection model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alenizi, Dhahi; Ringwood, Tamara; Redhwan, Alya; Bouraha, Bouchra; Wren, Brendan W; Prentice, Michael; McNally, Alan

    2016-08-01

    Yersinia enterocolitica is a zoonotic pathogen and a common cause of gastroenteritis in humans. The species is composed of six diverse phylogroups, of which strains of phylogroup 1 are considered non-pathogenic to mammals due to the lack of the major virulence plasmid pYV, and their lack of virulence in a mouse infection model. In the present report we present data examining the pathogenicity of strains of Y. enterocolitica across all six phylogroups in a Galleria mellonellla model. We have demonstrated that in this model strains of phylogroup 1 exhibit severe pathogenesis with a lethal dose of as low as 10 c.f.u., that this virulence is an active process and that flagella play a major role in the virulence phenotype. We have also demonstrated that the complete lack of virulence in Galleria of the mammalian pathogenic phylogroups is not due to carriage of the pYV virulence plasmid. Our data suggest that all Y. enterocolitica can be pathogenic, which may be a reflection of the true natural habitat of the species, and that we may need to reconsider the eco-evo perspective of this important bacterial species.

  8. Multilocus Sequence Typing and Virulence Profiles in Uropathogenic Escherichia coli Isolated from Cats in the United States.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoqiang Liu

    Full Text Available The population structure, virulence, and antimicrobial resistance of uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC from cats are rarely characterized. The aim of this study was to compare and characterize the UPEC isolated from cats in four geographic regions of USA in terms of their multilocus sequence typing (MLST, virulence profiles, clinical signs, antimicrobial resistance and phylogenetic grouping. The results showed that a total of 74 E. coli isolates were typed to 40 sequence types with 10 being novel. The most frequent phylogenetic group was B2 (n = 57. The most frequent sequence types were ST73 (n = 12 and ST83 (n = 6, ST73 was represented by four multidrug resistant (MDR and eight non-multidrug resistant (SDR isolates, and ST83 were significantly more likely to exhibit no drug resistant (NDR isolates carrying the highest number of virulence genes. Additionally, MDR isolates were more diverse, and followed by SDR and NDR isolates in regards to the distribution of the STs. afa/draBC was the most prevalent among the 29 virulence-associated genes. Linking virulence profile and antimicrobial resistance, the majority of virulence-associated genes tested were more prevalent in NDR isolates, and followed by SDR and MDR isolates. Twenty (50% MLST types in this study have previously been associated with human isolates, suggesting that these STs are potentially zoonotic. Our data enhanced the understanding of E. coli population structure and virulence association from cats. The diverse and various combinations of virulence-associated genes implied that the infection control may be challenging.

  9. Genome-wide identification of Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence-related genes using a Caenorhabditis elegans infection model.

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    Rhonda L Feinbaum

    Full Text Available Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PA14 is an opportunistic human pathogen capable of infecting a wide range of organisms including the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We used a non-redundant transposon mutant library consisting of 5,850 clones corresponding to 75% of the total and approximately 80% of the non-essential PA14 ORFs to carry out a genome-wide screen for attenuation of PA14 virulence in C. elegans. We defined a functionally diverse 180 mutant set (representing 170 unique genes necessary for normal levels of virulence that included both known and novel virulence factors. Seven previously uncharacterized virulence genes (ABC transporters PchH and PchI, aminopeptidase PepP, ATPase/molecular chaperone ClpA, cold shock domain protein PA0456, putative enoyl-CoA hydratase/isomerase PA0745, and putative transcriptional regulator PA14_27700 were characterized with respect to pigment production and motility and all but one of these mutants exhibited pleiotropic defects in addition to their avirulent phenotype. We examined the collection of genes required for normal levels of PA14 virulence with respect to occurrence in P. aeruginosa strain-specific genomic regions, location on putative and known genomic islands, and phylogenetic distribution across prokaryotes. Genes predominantly contributing to virulence in C. elegans showed neither a bias for strain-specific regions of the P. aeruginosa genome nor for putatively horizontally transferred genomic islands. Instead, within the collection of virulence-related PA14 genes, there was an overrepresentation of genes with a broad phylogenetic distribution that also occur with high frequency in many prokaryotic clades, suggesting that in aggregate the genes required for PA14 virulence in C. elegans are biased towards evolutionarily conserved genes.

  10. Genome-wide identification of Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence-related genes using a Caenorhabditis elegans infection model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feinbaum, Rhonda L; Urbach, Jonathan M; Liberati, Nicole T; Djonovic, Slavica; Adonizio, Allison; Carvunis, Anne-Ruxandra; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2012-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PA14 is an opportunistic human pathogen capable of infecting a wide range of organisms including the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We used a non-redundant transposon mutant library consisting of 5,850 clones corresponding to 75% of the total and approximately 80% of the non-essential PA14 ORFs to carry out a genome-wide screen for attenuation of PA14 virulence in C. elegans. We defined a functionally diverse 180 mutant set (representing 170 unique genes) necessary for normal levels of virulence that included both known and novel virulence factors. Seven previously uncharacterized virulence genes (ABC transporters PchH and PchI, aminopeptidase PepP, ATPase/molecular chaperone ClpA, cold shock domain protein PA0456, putative enoyl-CoA hydratase/isomerase PA0745, and putative transcriptional regulator PA14_27700) were characterized with respect to pigment production and motility and all but one of these mutants exhibited pleiotropic defects in addition to their avirulent phenotype. We examined the collection of genes required for normal levels of PA14 virulence with respect to occurrence in P. aeruginosa strain-specific genomic regions, location on putative and known genomic islands, and phylogenetic distribution across prokaryotes. Genes predominantly contributing to virulence in C. elegans showed neither a bias for strain-specific regions of the P. aeruginosa genome nor for putatively horizontally transferred genomic islands. Instead, within the collection of virulence-related PA14 genes, there was an overrepresentation of genes with a broad phylogenetic distribution that also occur with high frequency in many prokaryotic clades, suggesting that in aggregate the genes required for PA14 virulence in C. elegans are biased towards evolutionarily conserved genes.

  11. 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

  12. Riboregulators: Fine-Tuning Virulence in Shigella.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fris, Megan E; Murphy, Erin R

    2016-01-01

    Within the past several years, RNA-mediated regulation (ribo-regulation) has become increasingly recognized for its importance in controlling critical bacterial processes. Regulatory RNA molecules, or riboregulators, are perpetually responsive to changes within the micro-environment of a bacterium. Notably, several characterized riboregulators control virulence in pathogenic bacteria, as is the case for each riboregulator characterized to date in Shigella. The timing of virulence gene expression and the ability of the pathogen to adapt to rapidly changing environmental conditions is critical to the establishment and progression of infection by Shigella species; ribo-regulators mediate each of these important processes. This mini review will present the current state of knowledge regarding RNA-mediated regulation in Shigella by detailing the characterization and function of each identified riboregulator in these pathogens.

  13. 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

  14. Virulence Factors of Erwinia amylovora: A Review

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    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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in Central Greece: prevalence and virulence genes of O157:H7 and non-O157 in animal feces, vegetables, and humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinaka, O; Pournaras, S; Mouchtouri, V; Plakokefalos, E; Katsiaflaka, A; Kolokythopoulou, F; Barboutsi, E; Bitsolas, N; Hadjichristodoulou, C

    2013-11-01

    In Greece, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) have only been sporadically reported. The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of STEC and Escherichia coli O157:H7 in farm animals, vegetables, and humans in Greece. A total number of 1,010 fecal samples were collected from farm animals (sheep, goats, cattle, chickens, pigs), 667 diarrheal samples from humans, and 60 from vegetables, which were cultured in specific media for STEC isolates. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to detect toxin-producing colonies, which, subsequently, were subjected to a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for stx1, stx2, eae, rfbE O157, and fliC h7 genes. Eighty isolates (7.9 %) from animal samples were found to produce Shiga toxin by ELISA, while by PCR, O157 STEC isolates were detected from 8 (0.8 %) samples and non-O157 STEC isolates from 43 (4.2 %) samples. STEC isolates were recovered mainly from sheep and goats, rarely from cattle, and not from pigs and chickens, suggesting that small ruminants constitute a potential risk for human infections. However, only three human specimens (0.4 %) were positive for the detection of Shiga toxins and all were PCR-negative. Similarly, all 60 vegetable samples were negative for toxin production and for toxin genes, but three samples (two roman rockets and one spinach) were positive by PCR for rfbE O157 and fliC h7 genes. These findings indicate that sheep, goats, cattle, and leafy vegetables can be a reservoir of STEC and Escherichia coli O157:H7 isolates in Greece, which are still rarely detected among humans.

  18. The Ebola Virus Glycoprotein Contributes to but Is Not Sufficient for Virulence In Vivo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groseth, Allison; Marzi, Andrea; Hoenen, Thomas; Herwig, Astrid; Gardner, Don; Becker, Stephan; Ebihara, Hideki; Feldmann, Heinz

    2012-01-01

    Among the Ebola viruses most species cause severe hemorrhagic fever in humans; however, Reston ebolavirus (REBOV) has not been associated with human disease despite numerous documented infections. While the molecular basis for this difference remains unclear, in vitro evidence has suggested a role for the glycoprotein (GP) as a major filovirus pathogenicity factor, but direct evidence for such a role in the context of virus infection has been notably lacking. In order to assess the role of GP in EBOV virulence, we have developed a novel reverse genetics system for REBOV, which we report here. Together with a previously published full-length clone for Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV), this provides a unique possibility to directly investigate the role of an entire filovirus protein in pathogenesis. To this end we have generated recombinant ZEBOV (rZEBOV) and REBOV (rREBOV), as well as chimeric viruses in which the glycoproteins from these two virus species have been exchanged (rZEBOV-RGP and rREBOV-ZGP). All of these viruses could be rescued and the chimeras replicated with kinetics similar to their parent virus in tissue culture, indicating that the exchange of GP in these chimeric viruses is well tolerated. However, in a mouse model of infection rZEBOV-RGP demonstrated markedly decreased lethality and prolonged time to death when compared to rZEBOV, confirming that GP does indeed contribute to the full expression of virulence by ZEBOV. In contrast, rREBOV-ZGP did not show any signs of virulence, and was in fact slightly attenuated compared to rREBOV, demonstrating that GP alone is not sufficient to confer a lethal phenotype or exacerbate disease in this model. Thus, while these findings provide direct evidence that GP contributes to filovirus virulence in vivo, they also clearly indicate that other factors are needed for the acquisition of full virulence. PMID:22876185

  19. 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.

  20. The Ebola virus glycoprotein contributes to but is not sufficient for virulence in vivo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allison Groseth

    Full Text Available Among the Ebola viruses most species cause severe hemorrhagic fever in humans; however, Reston ebolavirus (REBOV has not been associated with human disease despite numerous documented infections. While the molecular basis for this difference remains unclear, in vitro evidence has suggested a role for the glycoprotein (GP as a major filovirus pathogenicity factor, but direct evidence for such a role in the context of virus infection has been notably lacking. In order to assess the role of GP in EBOV virulence, we have developed a novel reverse genetics system for REBOV, which we report here. Together with a previously published full-length clone for Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV, this provides a unique possibility to directly investigate the role of an entire filovirus protein in pathogenesis. To this end we have generated recombinant ZEBOV (rZEBOV and REBOV (rREBOV, as well as chimeric viruses in which the glycoproteins from these two virus species have been exchanged (rZEBOV-RGP and rREBOV-ZGP. All of these viruses could be rescued and the chimeras replicated with kinetics similar to their parent virus in tissue culture, indicating that the exchange of GP in these chimeric viruses is well tolerated. However, in a mouse model of infection rZEBOV-RGP demonstrated markedly decreased lethality and prolonged time to death when compared to rZEBOV, confirming that GP does indeed contribute to the full expression of virulence by ZEBOV. In contrast, rREBOV-ZGP did not show any signs of virulence, and was in fact slightly attenuated compared to rREBOV, demonstrating that GP alone is not sufficient to confer a lethal phenotype or exacerbate disease in this model. Thus, while these findings provide direct evidence that GP contributes to filovirus virulence in vivo, they also clearly indicate that other factors are needed for the acquisition of full virulence.

  1. Analysis of multilocus sequence typing and virulence characterization of Listeria monocytogenes isolates from Chinese retail ready-to-eat food

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    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 Galleria mellonella larvae as an in vivo model for evaluation of Shigella virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnoy, Shoshana; Gancz, Hanan; Zhu, Yuewei; Honnold, Cary L; Zurawski, Daniel V; Venkatesan, Malabi M

    2017-07-04

    Shigella spp. causing bacterial diarrhea and dysentery are human enteroinvasive bacterial pathogens that are orally transmitted through contaminated food and water and cause bacillary dysentery. Although natural Shigella infections are restricted to humans and primates, several smaller animal models are used to analyze individual steps in pathogenesis. No animal model fully duplicates the human response and sustaining the models requires expensive animals, costly maintenance of animal facilities, veterinary services and approved animal protocols. This study proposes the development of the caterpillar larvae of Galleria mellonella as a simple, inexpensive, informative, and rapid in-vivo model for evaluating virulence and the interaction of Shigella with cells of the insect innate immunity. Virulent Shigella injected through the forelegs causes larvae death. The mortality rates were dependent on the Shigella strain, the infectious dose, and the presence of the virulence plasmid. Wild-type S. flexneri 2a, persisted and replicated within the larvae, resulting in haemocyte cell death, whereas plasmid-cured mutants were rapidly cleared. Histology of the infected larvae in conjunction with fluorescence, immunofluorescence, and transmission electron microscopy indicate that S. flexneri reside within a vacuole of the insect haemocytes that ultrastructurally resembles vacuoles described in studies with mouse and human macrophage cell lines. Some of these bacteria-laden vacuoles had double-membranes characteristic of autophagosomes. These results suggest that G. mellonella larvae can be used as an easy-to-use animal model to understand Shigella pathogenesis that requires none of the time and labor-consuming procedures typical of other systems.

  4. AhrC and Eep Are Biofilm Infection-Associated Virulence Factors in Enterococcus faecalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guiton, Pascale S.; Barnes, Aaron M. T.; Manias, Dawn A.; Chuang-Smith, Olivia N.; Kohler, Petra L.; Spaulding, Adam R.; Hultgren, Scott J.; Schlievert, Patrick M.; Dunny, Gary M.

    2013-01-01

    Enterococcus faecalis is part of the human intestinal microbiome and is a prominent cause of health care-associated infections. The pathogenesis of many E. faecalis infections, including endocarditis and catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI), is related to the ability of clinical isolates to form biofilms. To identify chromosomal genetic determinants responsible for E. faecalis biofilm-mediated infection, we used a rabbit model of endocarditis to test strains with transposon insertions or in-frame deletions in biofilm-associated loci: ahrC, argR, atlA, opuBC, pyrC, recN, and sepF. Only the ahrC mutant was significantly attenuated in endocarditis. We demonstrate that the transcriptional regulator AhrC and the protease Eep, which we showed previously to be an endocarditis virulence factor, are also required for full virulence in murine CAUTI. Therefore, AhrC and Eep can be classified as enterococcal biofilm-associated virulence factors. Loss of ahrC caused defects in early attachment and accumulation of biofilm biomass. Characterization of ahrC transcription revealed that the temporal expression of this locus observed in wild-type cells promotes initiation of early biofilm formation and the establishment of endocarditis. This is the first report of AhrC serving as a virulence factor in any bacterial species. PMID:23460519

  5. ESX-1-mediated translocation to the cytosol controls virulence of mycobacteria

    KAUST Repository

    Houben, Diane; Demangel, Caroline; Van Ingen, Jakko; Perez, Jorge; Baldeó n, Lucy R.; Abdallah, Abdallah; Caleechurn, Laxmee; Bottai, Daria; Van Zon, Maaike; De Punder, Karin; Van Der Laan, Tridia; Kant, Arie; Bossers-De Vries, Ruth; Willemsen, Peter Th J; Bitter, Wilbert M.; Van Soolingen, Dick; Brosch, Roland; Van Der Wel, Nicole N.; Peters, Peter J.

    2012-01-01

    Mycobacterium species, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium leprae, are among the most potent human bacterial pathogens. The discovery of cytosolic mycobacteria challenged the paradigm that these pathogens exclusively localize within the phagosome of host cells. As yet the biological relevance of mycobacterial translocation to the cytosol remained unclear. In this current study we used electron microscopy techniques to establish a clear link between translocation and mycobacterial virulence. Pathogenic, patient-derived mycobacteria species were found to translocate to the cytosol, while non-pathogenic species did not. We were further able to link cytosolic translocation with pathogenicity by introducing the ESX-1 (type VII) secretion system into the non-virulent, exclusively phagolysosomal Mycobacterium bovis BCG. Furthermore, we show that translocation is dependent on the C-terminus of the early-secreted antigen ESAT-6. The C-terminal truncation of ESAT-6 was shown to result in attenuation in mice, again linking translocation to virulence. Together, these data demonstrate the molecular mechanism facilitating translocation of mycobacteria. The ability to translocate from the phagolysosome to the cytosol is with this study proven to be biologically significant as it determines mycobacterial virulence. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  6. Genetic recombination and Cryptosporidium hominis virulent subtype IbA10G2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Na; Xiao, Lihua; Cama, Vitaliano A; Ortega, Ynes; Gilman, Robert H; Guo, Meijin; Feng, Yaoyu

    2013-10-01

    Little is known about the emergence and spread of virulent subtypes of Cryptosporidium hominis, the predominant species responsible for human cryptosporidiosis. We conducted sequence analyses of 32 genetic loci of 53 C. hominis specimens isolated from a longitudinally followed cohort of children living in a small community. We identified by linkage disequilibrium and recombination analyses only limited genetic recombination, which occurred exclusively within the 60-kDa glycoprotein gene subtype IbA10G2, a predominant subtype for outbreaks in industrialized nations and a virulent subtype in the study community. Intensive transmission of virulent subtype IbA10G2 in the study area might have resulted in genetic recombination with other subtypes. Moreover, we identified selection for IbA10G2 at a 129-kb region around the 60-kDa glycoprotein gene in chromosome 6. These findings improve our understanding of the origin and evolution of C. hominis subtypes and the spread of virulent subtypes.

  7. Sequence Analysis of Hypothetical Proteins from 26695 to Identify Potential Virulence Factors

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    Ahmad Abu Turab Naqvi

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Helicobacter pylori is a Gram-negative bacteria that is responsible for gastritis in human. Its spiral flagellated body helps in locomotion and colonization in the host environment. It is capable of living in the highly acidic environment of the stomach with the help of acid adaptive genes. The genome of H. pylori 26695 strain contains 1,555 coding genes that encode 1,445 proteins. Out of these, 340 proteins are characterized as hypothetical proteins (HP. This study involves extensive analysis of the HPs using an established pipeline which comprises various bioinformatics tools and databases to find out probable functions of the HPs and identification of virulence factors. After extensive analysis of all the 340 HPs, we found that 104 HPs are showing characteristic similarities with the proteins with known functions. Thus, on the basis of such similarities, we assigned probable functions to 104 HPs with high confidence and precision. All the predicted HPs contain representative members of diverse functional classes of proteins such as enzymes, transporters, binding proteins, regulatory proteins, proteins involved in cellular processes and other proteins with miscellaneous functions. Therefore, we classified 104 HPs into aforementioned functional groups. During the virulence factors analysis of the HPs, we found 11 HPs are showing significant virulence. The identification of virulence proteins with the help their predicted functions may pave the way for drug target estimation and development of effective drug to counter the activity of that protein.

  8. Virulence of geographically different Cryptosporidium parvum isolates in experimental animal model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayed, Fatma G.; Hamza, Amany I.; Galal, Lamia A.; Sayed, Douaa M.; Gaber, Mona

    2016-10-01

    Cryptosporidium parvum is a coccidian parasite which causes gastrointestinal disease in humans and a variety of other mammalian species. Several studies have reported different degrees of pathogenicity and virulence among Cryptosporidium species and isolates of the same species as well as evidence of variation in host susceptibility to infection. The study aimed to investigate infectivity and virulence of two Cryptosporidium parvum “Iowa isolate” (CpI) and a “local water isolate” (CpW). Thirty-three Swiss albino mice have been divided into three groups: Negative control Group (C), the CpI group infected with “Iowa isolate “and the CpW group infected with C. parvum oocysts isolated from a local water supply. Infectivity and virulence have been measured by evaluating clinical, parasitological and histological aspects of infection. Significant differences were detected regarding oocysts shedding rate, clinical outcomes, and the histopathological picture of the intestine, lung, and brain. It was concluded that the local water isolate is significantly more virulent than the exported one.

  9. Ciprofloxacin and Trimethoprim Cause Phage Induction and Virulence Modulation in Staphylococcus aureus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goerke, Christiane; Köller, Johanna; Wolz, Christiane

    2006-01-01

    In Staphylococcus aureus strains of human origin, phages which integrate into the chromosomal gene coding for β-hemolysin (hlb) are widely distributed. Most of them encode accessory virulence determinants such as staphylokinase (sak) or enterotoxins. Here, we analyzed the effects of ciprofloxacin and trimethoprim on phage induction and expression of phage-encoded virulence factors by using isolates from patients with cystic fibrosis for which the induction of hlb-converting phages was demonstrated in vivo (C. Goerke, S. Matias y Papenberg, S. Dasbach, K. Dietz, R. Ziebach, B. C. Kahl, and C. Wolz, J. Infect. Dis. 189:724-734, 2004) as well as a φ13 lysogen of phage-cured strain 8325-4. Treatment of lysogens with subinhibitory concentrations of either antibiotic resulted in (i) delysogenization of strains resembling the isolates picked up after chronic lung infection and (ii) replication of phages in the bacterial host in a dose-dependent manner. Ciprofloxacin treatment resulted in enhanced recA transcription, indicating involvement of the SOS response in phage mobilization. Induction of φ13 was linked to elevated expression of the phage-encoded virulence gene sak, chiefly due to the activation of latent phage promoters. In summary, we could show the induction of hlb-converting phages and a subsequent virulence modulation of the host bacterium by ciprofloxacin and trimethoprim. PMID:16377683

  10. Secretome analysis defines the major role of SecDF in Staphylococcus aureus virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chantal Quiblier

    Full Text Available The Sec pathway plays a prominent role in protein export and membrane insertion, including the secretion of major bacterial virulence determinants. The accessory Sec constituent SecDF has been proposed to contribute to protein export. Deletion of Staphylococcus aureus secDF has previously been shown to reduce resistance, to alter cell separation, and to change the expression of certain virulence factors. To analyse the impact of the secDF deletion in S. aureus on protein secretion, a quantitative secretome analysis was performed. Numerous Sec signal containing proteins involved in virulence were found to be decreased in the supernatant of the secDF mutant. However, two Sec-dependent hydrolases were increased in comparison to the wild type, suggesting additional indirect, regulatory effects to occur upon deletion of secDF. Adhesion, invasion, and cytotoxicity of the secDF mutant were reduced in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Virulence was significantly reduced using a Galleria mellonella insect model. Altogether, SecDF is a promising therapeutic target for controlling S. aureus infections.

  11. ESX-1-mediated translocation to the cytosol controls virulence of mycobacteria

    KAUST Repository

    Houben, Diane

    2012-05-08

    Mycobacterium species, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium leprae, are among the most potent human bacterial pathogens. The discovery of cytosolic mycobacteria challenged the paradigm that these pathogens exclusively localize within the phagosome of host cells. As yet the biological relevance of mycobacterial translocation to the cytosol remained unclear. In this current study we used electron microscopy techniques to establish a clear link between translocation and mycobacterial virulence. Pathogenic, patient-derived mycobacteria species were found to translocate to the cytosol, while non-pathogenic species did not. We were further able to link cytosolic translocation with pathogenicity by introducing the ESX-1 (type VII) secretion system into the non-virulent, exclusively phagolysosomal Mycobacterium bovis BCG. Furthermore, we show that translocation is dependent on the C-terminus of the early-secreted antigen ESAT-6. The C-terminal truncation of ESAT-6 was shown to result in attenuation in mice, again linking translocation to virulence. Together, these data demonstrate the molecular mechanism facilitating translocation of mycobacteria. The ability to translocate from the phagolysosome to the cytosol is with this study proven to be biologically significant as it determines mycobacterial virulence. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  12. Virulence Inhibitors from Brazilian Peppertree Block Quorum Sensing and Abate Dermonecrosis in Skin Infection Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muhs, Amelia; Lyles, James T.; Parlet, Corey P.; Nelson, Kate; Kavanaugh, Jeffery S.; Horswill, Alexander R.; Quave, Cassandra L.

    2017-01-01

    Widespread antibiotic resistance is on the rise and current therapies are becoming increasingly limited in both scope and efficacy. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) represents a major contributor to this trend. Quorum sensing controlled virulence factors include secreted toxins responsible for extensive damage to host tissues and evasion of the immune system response; they are major contributors to morbidity and mortality. Investigation of botanical folk medicines for wounds and infections led us to study Schinus terebinthifolia (Brazilian Peppertree) as a potential source of virulence inhibitors. Here, we report the inhibitory activity of a flavone rich extract “430D-F5” against all S. aureus accessory gene regulator (agr) alleles in the absence of growth inhibition. Evidence for this activity is supported by its agr-quenching activity (IC50 2–32 μg mL−1) in transcriptional reporters, direct protein outputs (α-hemolysin and δ-toxin), and an in vivo skin challenge model. Importantly, 430D-F5 was well tolerated by human keratinocytes in cell culture and mouse skin in vivo; it also demonstrated significant reduction in dermonecrosis following skin challenge with a virulent strain of MRSA. This study provides an explanation for the anti-infective activity of peppertree remedies and yields insight into the potential utility of non-biocide virulence inhibitors in treating skin infections. PMID:28186134

  13. 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.

  14. The Regulatory Small RNA MarS Supports Virulence of Streptococcus pyogenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pappesch, Roberto; Warnke, Philipp; Mikkat, Stefan; Normann, Jana; Wisniewska-Kucper, Aleksandra; Huschka, Franziska; Wittmann, Maja; Khani, Afsaneh; Schwengers, Oliver; Oehmcke-Hecht, Sonja; Hain, Torsten; Kreikemeyer, Bernd; Patenge, Nadja

    2017-09-25

    Small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) play a role in the control of bacterial virulence gene expression. In this study, we investigated an sRNA that was identified in Streptococcus pyogenes (group A Streptococcus, GAS) but is conserved throughout various streptococci. In a deletion strain, expression of mga, the gene encoding the multiple virulence gene regulator, was reduced. Accordingly, transcript and proteome analyses revealed decreased expression of several Mga-activated genes. Therefore, and because the sRNA was shown to interact with the 5' UTR of the mga transcript in a gel-shift assay, we designated it MarS for m ga-activating regulatory sRNA. Down-regulation of important virulence factors, including the antiphagocytic M-protein, led to increased susceptibility of the deletion strain to phagocytosis and reduced adherence to human keratinocytes. In a mouse infection model, the marS deletion mutant showed reduced dissemination to the liver, kidney, and spleen. Additionally, deletion of marS led to increased tolerance towards oxidative stress. Our in vitro and in vivo results indicate a modulating effect of MarS on virulence gene expression and on the pathogenic potential of GAS.

  15. Virulence of Rhodococcus equi Isolated from Cats and Dogs

    OpenAIRE

    Takai, Shinji; Martens, Ronald J.; Julian, Alan; Garcia Ribeiro, Márcio; Rodrigues de Farias, Marconi; Sasaki, Yukako; Inuzuka, Kazuho; Kakuda, Tsutomu; Tsubaki, Shiro; Prescott, John F.

    2003-01-01

    Nine cat isolates and nine dog isolates of Rhodococcus equi from clinical material were investigated for the presence of the virulence-associated antigens (VapA and VapB) and virulence plasmids. Five of the cat isolates and one dog isolate were VapA positive and contained an 85-kb type I or an 87-kb type I plasmid. The remaining 12 isolates were avirulent R. equi strains and contained no virulence plasmids.

  16. Mutations induced by ultraviolet radiation affecting virulence in Puccinia striiformis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shang Hongsheng; Jing Jinxue; Li Zhenqi

    1994-01-01

    Uredospores of parent culture, cy 29-1, were treated by ultraviolet radiation and mutations to virulent were tested on resistant wheat cultivars inoculated with treated spores. 7 mutant cultures virulent to the test cultivars were developed with estimated mutation rate 10~6~10~4. The virulence of mutant cultures was different from the all known races of stripe rust. Resistance segregation to mutant cultures was detected in two test cultivars. The results suggested that mutation was important mechanism of virulence variation operative in asexual population of rust fungi

  17. 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.

  18. Relevance of Peptide Uptake Systems to the Physiology and Virulence of Streptococcus agalactiae

    OpenAIRE

    Samen, Ulrike; Gottschalk, Birgit; Eikmanns, Bernhard J.; Reinscheid, Dieter J.

    2004-01-01

    Streptococcus agalactiae is a major cause of invasive infections in human newborns. To satisfy its growth requirements, S. agalactiae takes up 9 of the 20 proteinogenic amino acids from the environment. Defined S. agalactiae mutants in one or several of four putative peptide permease systems were constructed and tested for peptide uptake, growth in various media, and expression of virulence traits. Oligopeptide uptake by S. agalactiae was shown to be mediated by the ABC transporter OppA1-F, w...

  19. Export of the Virulence Factors from Shigella Flexneri and Characterization of the mxi loci

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-07-20

    studied in a monkey model for Shigella infection. The in vitro assays just described have been routinely used to closely examine each of the steps in...to Shigella protein antigens in Rhesus monkeys and humans infected with Shigella spp. Infect. Immun_ 53:57-63. Oaks, E. V. , and K. R. Turbyfill...thesis manuscript ent itled: ~Export of Virulence Faclors from Shigella f/exneri and characterization of the mxi loci. ~ beyond brief excerpts is

  20. Cytopathogenic effects in enterocytelike Caco-2 cells differentiate virulent from avirulent Listeria strains.

    OpenAIRE

    Pine, L; Kathariou, S; Quinn, F; George, V; Wenger, J D; Weaver, R E

    1991-01-01

    We have developed a simple test that differentiates between virulent and avirulent Listeria species as defined by the mouse 50% lethal doses (LD50S). The assay is based on trypan blue-revealed cytopathogenic effects that are produced during the infection of the human enterocytelike cell line Caco-2. These effects were elicited only by Listeria strains that had an intraperitoneal mouse LD50 less than 10(8) and were not produced by nonhemolytic, avirulent strains of Listeria monocytogenes gener...

  1. Omics strategies for revealing Yersinia pestis virulence

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. The δ subunit of RNA polymerase guides promoter selectivity and virulence in Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, Andy; Ibarra, J Antonio; Paoletti, Jessica; Carroll, Ronan K; Shaw, Lindsey N

    2014-04-01

    In Gram-positive bacteria, and particularly the Firmicutes, the DNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RNAP) complex contains an additional subunit, termed the δ factor, or RpoE. This enigmatic protein has been studied for more than 30 years for various organisms, but its function is still not well understood. In this study, we investigated its role in the major human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. We showed conservation of important structural regions of RpoE in S. aureus and other species and demonstrated binding to core RNAP that is mediated by the β and/or β' subunits. To identify the impact of the δ subunit on transcription, we performed transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis and observed 191 differentially expressed genes in the rpoE mutant. Ontological analysis revealed, quite strikingly, that many of the downregulated genes were known virulence factors, while several mobile genetic elements (SaPI5 and prophage SA3usa) were strongly upregulated. Phenotypically, the rpoE mutant had decreased accumulation and/or activity of a number of key virulence factors, including alpha toxin, secreted proteases, and Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL). We further observed significantly decreased survival of the mutant in whole human blood, increased phagocytosis by human leukocytes, and impaired virulence in a murine model of infection. Collectively, our results demonstrate that the δ subunit of RNAP is a critical component of the S. aureus transcription machinery and plays an important role during infection.

  5. Phenotypic Analysis and Virulence of Candida albicans LIG4 Mutants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andaluz, Encarnación; Calderone, Richard; Reyes, Guadalupe; Larriba, Germán

    2001-01-01

    In previous studies, we reported the isolation and preliminary characterization of a DNA ligase-encoding gene of Candida albicans. This gene (LIG4) is the structural and functional homologue of both yeast and human ligase IV, which is involved in nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ) of DNA double-strand breaks. In the present study, we have shown that there are no other LIG4 homologues in C. albicans. In order to study the function of LIG4 in morphogenesis and virulence, we constructed gene deletions. LIG4 transcript levels were reduced in the heterozygote and were completely absent in null strains. Concomitantly, the heterozygote showed a pronounced defect in myceliation, which was slightly greater in the null strain. This was true with several solid and liquid media, such as Spider medium, medium 199, and 2% glucose–1% yeast extract–2% Bacto Peptone, at several pHs. Reintroduction of the wild-type allele into the null mutant partially restored the ability of cells to form hyphae. In agreement with the positive role of LIG4 in morphogenesis, we detected a significant rise in mRNA levels during the morphological transition. LIG4 is not essential for DNA replication or for the repair of DNA damage induced by ionizing radiation or UV light, indicating that these lesions are repaired primarily by homologous recombination. However, our data show that the NHEJ apparatus of C. albicans may control morphogenesis in this diploid organism. In addition, deletion of one or both copies of LIG4 resulted in attenuation of virulence in a murine model of candidiasis. PMID:11119499

  6. Structure of the virulence-associated protein VapD from the intracellular pathogen Rhodococcus equi

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whittingham, Jean L.; Blagova, Elena V.; Finn, Ciaran E.; Luo, Haixia; Miranda-CasoLuengo, Raúl; Turkenburg, Johan P.; Leech, Andrew P.; Walton, Paul H.; Murzin, Alexey G.; Meijer, Wim G.; Wilkinson, Anthony J.

    2014-01-01

    VapD is one of a set of highly homologous virulence-associated proteins from the multi-host pathogen Rhodococcus equi. The crystal structure reveals an eight-stranded β-barrel with a novel fold and a glycine rich ‘bald’ surface. Rhodococcus equi is a multi-host pathogen that infects a range of animals as well as immune-compromised humans. Equine and porcine isolates harbour a virulence plasmid encoding a homologous family of virulence-associated proteins associated with the capacity of R. equi to divert the normal processes of endosomal maturation, enabling bacterial survival and proliferation in alveolar macrophages. To provide a basis for probing the function of the Vap proteins in virulence, the crystal structure of VapD was determined. VapD is a monomer as determined by multi-angle laser light scattering. The structure reveals an elliptical, compact eight-stranded β-barrel with a novel strand topology and pseudo-twofold symmetry, suggesting evolution from an ancestral dimer. Surface-associated octyl-β-d-glucoside molecules may provide clues to function. Circular-dichroism spectroscopic analysis suggests that the β-barrel structure is preceded by a natively disordered region at the N-terminus. Sequence comparisons indicate that the core folds of the other plasmid-encoded virulence-associated proteins from R. equi strains are similar to that of VapD. It is further shown that sequences encoding putative R. equi Vap-like proteins occur in diverse bacterial species. Finally, the functional implications of the structure are discussed in the light of the unique structural features of VapD and its partial structural similarity to other β-barrel proteins

  7. Structure of the virulence-associated protein VapD from the intracellular pathogen Rhodococcus equi

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whittingham, Jean L.; Blagova, Elena V. [University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD (United Kingdom); Finn, Ciaran E.; Luo, Haixia; Miranda-CasoLuengo, Raúl [University College Dublin, Dublin (Ireland); Turkenburg, Johan P.; Leech, Andrew P.; Walton, Paul H. [University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD (United Kingdom); Murzin, Alexey G. [MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Francis Crick Avenue, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge CB2 0QH (United Kingdom); Meijer, Wim G. [University College Dublin, Dublin (Ireland); Wilkinson, Anthony J., E-mail: tony.wilkinson@york.ac.uk [University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD (United Kingdom)

    2014-08-01

    VapD is one of a set of highly homologous virulence-associated proteins from the multi-host pathogen Rhodococcus equi. The crystal structure reveals an eight-stranded β-barrel with a novel fold and a glycine rich ‘bald’ surface. Rhodococcus equi is a multi-host pathogen that infects a range of animals as well as immune-compromised humans. Equine and porcine isolates harbour a virulence plasmid encoding a homologous family of virulence-associated proteins associated with the capacity of R. equi to divert the normal processes of endosomal maturation, enabling bacterial survival and proliferation in alveolar macrophages. To provide a basis for probing the function of the Vap proteins in virulence, the crystal structure of VapD was determined. VapD is a monomer as determined by multi-angle laser light scattering. The structure reveals an elliptical, compact eight-stranded β-barrel with a novel strand topology and pseudo-twofold symmetry, suggesting evolution from an ancestral dimer. Surface-associated octyl-β-d-glucoside molecules may provide clues to function. Circular-dichroism spectroscopic analysis suggests that the β-barrel structure is preceded by a natively disordered region at the N-terminus. Sequence comparisons indicate that the core folds of the other plasmid-encoded virulence-associated proteins from R. equi strains are similar to that of VapD. It is further shown that sequences encoding putative R. equi Vap-like proteins occur in diverse bacterial species. Finally, the functional implications of the structure are discussed in the light of the unique structural features of VapD and its partial structural similarity to other β-barrel proteins.

  8. Disruption of tetR type regulator adeN by mobile genetic element confers elevated virulence in Acinetobacter baumannii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saranathan, Rajagopalan; Pagal, Sudhakar; Sawant, Ajit R; Tomar, Archana; Madhangi, M; Sah, Suresh; Satti, Annapurna; Arunkumar, K P; Prashanth, K

    2017-10-03

    Acinetobacter baumannii is an important human pathogen and considered as a major threat due to its extreme drug resistance. In this study, the genome of a hyper-virulent MDR strain PKAB07 of A. baumannii isolated from an Indian patient was sequenced and analyzed to understand its mechanisms of virulence, resistance and evolution. Comparative genome analysis of PKAB07 revealed virulence and resistance related genes scattered throughout the genome, instead of being organized as an island, indicating the highly mosaic nature of the genome. Many intermittent horizontal gene transfer events, insertion sequence (IS) element insertions identified were augmenting resistance machinery and elevating the SNP densities in A. baumannii eventually aiding in their swift evolution. ISAba1, the most widely distributed insertion sequence in A. baumannii was found in multiple sites in PKAB07. Out of many ISAba1 insertions, we identified novel insertions in 9 different genes wherein insertional inactivation of adeN (tetR type regulator) was significant. To assess the significance of this disruption in A. baumannii, adeN mutant and complement strains were constructed in A. baumannii ATCC 17978 strain and studied. Biofilm levels were abrogated in the adeN knockout when compared with the wild type and complemented strain of adeN knockout. Virulence of the adeN knockout mutant strain was observed to be high, which was validated by in vitro experiments and Galleria mellonella infection model. The overexpression of adeJ, a major component of AdeIJK efflux pump observed in adeN knockout strain could be the possible reason for the elevated virulence in adeN mutant and PKB07 strain. Knocking out of adeN in ATCC strain led to increased resistance and virulence at par with the PKAB07. Disruption of tetR type regulator adeN by ISAba1 consequently has led to elevated virulence in this pathogen.

  9. Virulence-associated gene profiling of Streptococcus suis isolates by PCR

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Silva, L.M.G.; Baums, C.G.; Rehm, T.; Wisselink, H.J.; Goethe, R.; Valentin-Weigand, P.

    2006-01-01

    Definition of virulent Streptococcus suis strains is controversial. One successful approach for identification of virulent European strains is differentiation of capsular serotypes (or the corresponding cps types) and subsequent detection of virulence-associated factors, namely the extracellular

  10. 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.

  11. [Virulence of Sporothrix globosa in murine models].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz Choappa, Rodrigo; Pérez Gaete, Salomón; Rodríguez Badilla, Valentina; Vieille Oyarzo, Peggy; Opazo Sanchez, Héctor

    The sporothricosis disease is an infection caused by species included in Sporothrix schenkii complex. Verify the virulence of a strain of S. globosa using two different concentrations of inoculum by intraperitoneally and subcutaneously, into a mouse model. Nonrandomized pilot study, in murine inoculated with a strain of S. globosa (CBS 14.076M) by intraperitoneally and subcutaneously with inoculum concentrations of 0.5 and 4 McFarland. For this purpose 18 rodents CF-1 (ISP, Santiago, Chile) were used. The studied strain did not induce illness or injury on animals, they all survived and neither the tissue culture nor the histopathological analysis showed fungal growth or suggestive infection by organ abnormalities. The S. globosa strain did not present any virulence enough to cause disease at 0.5 and 4.0 McFarland concentration inoculum when inoculated in both intraperitoneally and subcutaneously, in murine models. Copyright © 2016 Asociación Argentina de Microbiología. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  12. Porphyromonas gingivalis : Its virulence and vaccine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nymphea Pandit

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: The microbial florae in adult periodontitis lesions are comprised of anaerobic rods with Porphyromonas gingivalis as one of the major components (Slots 1976; Slots 1979; and Tanner et al., 1979. P. gingivalis is a black-pigmented gram-negative anaerobic rod and a secondary colonizer of dental plaque requiring antecedent organisms. The presence of this organism either alone or as a mixed infection with other bacteria and with the absence of beneficial species appears to be essential for disease activity. It is a predominant member of the subgingival microbiota in disease. It possesses and "excretes" numerous potentially toxic virulence factors. Aim of this study is to perform a systematic review of studies on P. gingivalis and its virulence factors with a special focus on its vaccine. Materials and Methods: An electronic and manual search based on agreed search phrases between the primary investigator and a secondary investigator was performed for the literature review till January 2014. The articles that were identified by this systematic review (total of 190 were analyzed in detail, which included the study of inference and conclusion. Conclusions: Within the limits of this systematic review, it can be concluded that P. gingivalis induce immune inflammatory response in periodontitis subjects. Therapeutic vaccines need to be developed and studied for their efficacy in controlling periodontitis.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-03-29

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

  14. 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.

  15. Detection of virulence-associated genes in Brucella melitensis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Ibrahim Eldaghayes

    2018-03-20

    Mar 20, 2018 ... isolated from goats. This discrepancies may indicate that B. melitensis field strains prevailing in Egypt are more virulent than the strains of B. melitensis isolated from caprines in Iran. As, it was emphasized that the. T4SS of Brucella encoded by the virB operon is a major virulence factor (Delrue et al., 2005).

  16. 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...

  17. Antibiotic Resistance and Virulence Properties in Escherichia coli ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study determined E. coli resistance to commonly used antibiotics together with their virulence properties in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. A total of 137 E. coli isolates from cases of urinary tract infection were tested for their sensitivity to commonly used antibiotics and possession of virulence factors using standard methods.

  18. Norlichexanthone Reduces Virulence Gene Expression and Biofilm Formation in Staphylococcus aureus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baldry, Mara; Nielsen, Anita; Bojer, Martin S.

    2016-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a serious human pathogen and antibiotic resistant, community-associated strains, such as the methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strain USA300, continue to spread. To avoid resistance, anti-virulence therapy has been proposed where toxicity is targeted rather than...... viability. Previously we have shown that norlichexanthone, a small non-reduced tricyclic polyketide produced by fungi and lichens, reduces expression of hla encoding α-hemolysin as well as the regulatory RNAIII of the agr quorum sensing system in S. aureus 8325-4. The aim of the present study was to further...... SaeRS system. Our data show that norlichexanthone treatment reduces expression of key virulence factors in CA-MRSA strain USA300 via AgrA binding and represses biofilm formation....

  19. Can Clays in Livestock Feed Promote Antibiotic Resistance and Virulence in Pathogenic Bacteria?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandro Rodríguez-Rojas

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The use of antibiotics in animal husbandry has long been associated with the appearance of antibiotic resistance and virulence factor determinants. Nonetheless, the number of cases of human infection involving resistant or virulent microorganisms that originate in farms is increasing. While many antibiotics have been banned as dietary supplements in some countries, other additives thought to be innocuous in terms of the development and spread of antibiotic resistance are used as growth promoters. In fact, several clay materials are routinely added to animal feed with the aim of improving growth and animal product quality. However, recent findings suggest that sepiolite, a clay additive, mediates the direct transfer of plasmids between different bacterial species. We therefore hypothesize that clays present in animal feed facilitate the horizontal transfer of resistance determinants in the digestive tract of farm animals.

  20. The Central Metabolism Regulator EIIAGlc Switches Salmonella from Growth Arrest to Acute Virulence through Activation of Virulence Factor Secretion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alain Mazé

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The ability of Salmonella to cause disease depends on metabolic activities and virulence factors. Here, we show that a key metabolic protein, EIIAGlc, is absolutely essential for acute infection, but not for Salmonella survival, in a mouse typhoid fever model. Surprisingly, phosphorylation-dependent EIIAGlc functions, including carbohydrate transport and activation of adenylate cyclase for global regulation, do not explain this virulence phenotype. Instead, biochemical studies, in vitro secretion and translocation assays, and in vivo genetic epistasis experiments suggest that EIIAGlc binds to the type three secretion system 2 (TTSS-2 involved in systemic virulence, stabilizes its cytoplasmic part including the crucial TTSS-2 ATPase, and activates virulence factor secretion. This unexpected role of EIIAGlc reveals a striking direct link between central Salmonella metabolism and a crucial virulence mechanism.

  1. Electronic cigarette inhalation alters innate immunity and airway cytokines while increasing the virulence of colonizing bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, John H; Lyes, Matthew; Sladewski, Katherine; Enany, Shymaa; McEachern, Elisa; Mathew, Denzil P; Das, Soumita; Moshensky, Alexander; Bapat, Sagar; Pride, David T; Ongkeko, Weg M; Crotty Alexander, Laura E

    2016-06-01

    Electronic (e)-cigarette use is rapidly rising, with 20 % of Americans ages 25-44 now using these drug delivery devices. E-cigarette users expose their airways, cells of host defense, and colonizing bacteria to e-cigarette vapor (EV). Here, we report that exposure of human epithelial cells at the air-liquid interface to fresh EV (vaped from an e-cigarette device) resulted in dose-dependent cell death. After exposure to EV, cells of host defense-epithelial cells, alveolar macrophages, and neutrophils-had reduced antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus (SA). Mouse inhalation of EV for 1 h daily for 4 weeks led to alterations in inflammatory markers within the airways and elevation of an acute phase reactant in serum. Upon exposure to e-cigarette vapor extract (EVE), airway colonizer SA had increased biofilm formation, adherence and invasion of epithelial cells, resistance to human antimicrobial peptide LL-37, and up-regulation of virulence genes. EVE-exposed SA were more virulent in a mouse model of pneumonia. These data suggest that e-cigarettes may be toxic to airway cells, suppress host defenses, and promote inflammation over time, while also promoting virulence of colonizing bacteria. Acute exposure to e-cigarette vapor (EV) is cytotoxic to airway cells in vitro. Acute exposure to EV decreases macrophage and neutrophil antimicrobial function. Inhalation of EV alters immunomodulating cytokines in the airways of mice. Inhalation of EV leads to increased markers of inflammation in BAL and serum. Staphylococcus aureus become more virulent when exposed to EV.

  2. Haemophilus ducreyi Hfq contributes to virulence gene regulation as cells enter stationary phase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gangaiah, Dharanesh; Labandeira-Rey, Maria; Zhang, Xinjun; Fortney, Kate R; Ellinger, Sheila; Zwickl, Beth; Baker, Beth; Liu, Yunlong; Janowicz, Diane M; Katz, Barry P; Brautigam, Chad A; Munson, Robert S; Hansen, Eric J; Spinola, Stanley M

    2014-02-11

    To adapt to stresses encountered in stationary phase, Gram-negative bacteria utilize the alternative sigma factor RpoS. However, some species lack RpoS; thus, it is unclear how stationary-phase adaptation is regulated in these organisms. Here we defined the growth-phase-dependent transcriptomes of Haemophilus ducreyi, which lacks an RpoS homolog. Compared to mid-log-phase organisms, cells harvested from the stationary phase upregulated genes encoding several virulence determinants and a homolog of hfq. Insertional inactivation of hfq altered the expression of ~16% of the H. ducreyi genes. Importantly, there were a significant overlap and an inverse correlation in the transcript levels of genes differentially expressed in the hfq inactivation mutant relative to its parent and the genes differentially expressed in stationary phase relative to mid-log phase in the parent. Inactivation of hfq downregulated genes in the flp-tad and lspB-lspA2 operons, which encode several virulence determinants. To comply with FDA guidelines for human inoculation experiments, an unmarked hfq deletion mutant was constructed and was fully attenuated for virulence in humans. Inactivation or deletion of hfq downregulated Flp1 and impaired the ability of H. ducreyi to form microcolonies, downregulated DsrA and rendered H. ducreyi serum susceptible, and downregulated LspB and LspA2, which allow H. ducreyi to resist phagocytosis. We propose that, in the absence of an RpoS homolog, Hfq serves as a major contributor of H. ducreyi stationary-phase and virulence gene regulation. The contribution of Hfq to stationary-phase gene regulation may have broad implications for other organisms that lack an RpoS homolog. Pathogenic bacteria encounter a wide range of stresses in their hosts, including nutrient limitation; the ability to sense and respond to such stresses is crucial for bacterial pathogens to successfully establish an infection. Gram-negative bacteria frequently utilize the alternative sigma

  3. Temperature Regulation of Shigella Virulence: Identification of Temperature-Regulated Shigella Invasion Genes by the Isolation of inv::lacZ Operon Fusions and the Characterization of the Virulence Gene Regulator virR

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-04-10

    conserved in virulent strains of Shigella and EIEC. Evaluation of the serum Immune response to Shigella proteins in Rhesus monkeys and humans revealed...sera from both humans and monkeys following a Shigella infection (Hale et al. , 1985; Oaks et al., 1986). Moreover, Tn5 insertions In various...Microbiology, Washington, D.C. 108. Oaks, E, V,, T, L. Hale, and S. B. Formal. 1986. Serum Immune response to Shigella protein antigens In Rhesus monkeys

  4. Virulence evolution at the front line of spreading epidemics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griette, Quentin; Raoul, Gaël; Gandon, Sylvain

    2015-11-01

    Understanding and predicting the spatial spread of emerging pathogens is a major challenge for the public health management of infectious diseases. Theoretical epidemiology shows that the speed of an epidemic is governed by the life-history characteristics of the pathogen and its ability to disperse. Rapid evolution of these traits during the invasion may thus affect the speed of epidemics. Here we study the influence of virulence evolution on the spatial spread of an epidemic. At the edge of the invasion front, we show that more virulent and transmissible genotypes are expected to win the competition with other pathogens. Behind the front line, however, more prudent exploitation strategies outcompete virulent pathogens. Crucially, even when the presence of the virulent mutant is limited to the edge of the front, the invasion speed can be dramatically altered by pathogen evolution. We support our analysis with individual-based simulations and we discuss the additional effects of demographic stochasticity taking place at the front line on virulence evolution. We confirm that an increase of virulence can occur at the front, but only if the carrying capacity of the invading pathogen is large enough. These results are discussed in the light of recent empirical studies examining virulence evolution at the edge of spreading epidemics. © 2015 The Author(s). Evolution © 2015 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Virulence potential of filamentous fungi isolated from poultry barns in Cascavel, Paraná, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cleison Ledesma Taira

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Opportunistic fungi are those that normally would not cause diseases in otherwise healthy people, but are able to cause problems under some circumstances, and for this they need to possess a certain virulence potential. The objective of this study was to identify samples of filamentous fungi isolated from poultry barns in Cascavel, Paraná, and also to evaluate their virulence potential by assessing proteinase production, hemolytic activity, urease production, and growth rate at 37 ºC. We have evaluated the following samples: Acremonium hyalinulum (1 sample, Aspergillus sp. (12, Beauveria bassiana (1, Curvularia brachyspora (1, Paecilomyces variotti (1, and Penicillium sp. (2. Out of the 18 samples analyzed, 44.4% showed proteolytic activity using albumin as the substrate versus 66.7% when using casein; 66.7% showed hemolytic activity, 83.3% were positive for urea, and 88.9% grew at a temperature of 37 ºC. The results demonstrated that the majority of the isolates expressed virulence factors. Therefore, these isolates have the potential to harm human hosts, such as those working at poultry barns, especially predisposed or susceptible individuals.Fungos oportunistas são aqueles que normalmente não causariam doenças em pessoas saudáveis, mas eles são capazes de causar problemas sob certas circunstâncias e, para isso, eles necessitam possuir algum potencial de virulência. O objetivo deste trabalho foi identificar amostras de fungos filamentosos isolados de granjas de aves em Cascavel, Paraná, e também avaliar o seu potencial de virulência, verificando a produção de proteinase, atividade hemolítica, produção de urease e crescimento a 37 ºC. Foram avaliados Acremonium hyalinulum (01, Aspergillus sp (12, Beauveria bassiana (01, Curvularia brachyspora (01, Paecylomices variotti (01 e Penicillium sp (02. Das 18 amostras, 44,4% apresentaram atividade proteolítica usando como substrato a albumina e 66,7% com caseína; 66,7% demonstraram

  8. Human Infection with Burkholderia thailandensis, China, 2013.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Kai; Luo, Jie; Xu, Huan; Li, Min; Zhang, Fengling; Li, Jin; Gu, Dayong; Deng, Shaoli; Chen, Ming; Lu, Weiping

    2017-08-01

    Burkholderia thailandensis infection in humans is uncommon. We describe a case of B. thailandensis infection in a person in China, a location heretofore unknown for B. thailandensis. We identified the specific virulence factors of B. thailandensis, which may indicate a transition to a new virulent form.

  9. 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...

  10. Comparison of Antibiotic Resistance and Virulence Factors among Escherichia coli Isolated from Conventional and Free-Range Poultry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa L. Koga

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Microbiological contamination in commercial poultry production has caused concerns for human health because of both the presence of pathogenic microorganisms and the increase in antimicrobial resistance in bacterial strains that can cause treatment failure of human infections. The aim of our study was to analyze the profile of antimicrobial resistance and virulence factors of E. coli isolates from chicken carcasses obtained from different farming systems (conventional and free-range poultry. A total of 156 E. coli strains were isolated and characterized for genes encoding virulence factors described in extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed for 15 antimicrobials, and strains were confirmed as extended spectrum of β-lactamases- (ESBLs- producing E. coli by phenotypic and genotypic tests. The results indicated that strains from free-range poultry have fewer virulence factors than strains from conventional poultry. Strains from conventionally raised chickens had a higher frequency of antimicrobial resistance for all antibiotics tested and also exhibited genes encoding ESBL and AmpC, unlike free-range poultry isolates, which did not. Group 2 CTX-M and CIT were the most prevalent ESBL and AmpC genes, respectively. The farming systems of poultries can be related with the frequency of virulence factors and resistance to antimicrobials in bacteria.

  11. 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.

  12. Coliform bacteria isolated from recreational lakes carry class 1 and class 2 integrons and virulence-associated genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koczura, R; Krysiak, N; Taraszewska, A; Mokracka, J

    2015-08-01

    To characterize the integron-harbouring Gram-negative bacteria in recreational lakes, with focus on the genetic content of integrons, antimicrobial resistance profiles and virulence-associated genes. The presence and structure of integrons in coliform bacteria isolated from the water of four recreational lakes located in Poznań, Poland, was determined by PCR method. Antimicrobial resistance testing was done by disc diffusion method. Virulence-associated genes in integron-bearing Escherichia coli isolates were detected by PCR. A total of 155 integron-bearing strains of coliform bacteria were cultured. Sequence analysis showed the presence of dfrA7, aadA1, dfrA1-aadA1, dfrA17-aadA5 and dfrA12-orfF-aadA2 gene cassette arrays in class 1 integrons and dfrA1-sat2-aadA1 in class 2 integrons. Higher frequency of integron-positive bacteria and higher antimicrobial resistance ranges were noted in colder months (January and November) compared with spring and summer months. The integron-harbouring E. coli carried up to nine virulence-associated genes, with the highest frequency of kpsMT (84.6%) and traT (783%), coding for group 2 capsule and determining human serum resistance respectively. Integron-bearing multidrug resistant coliform bacteria carrying virulence genes are present in waters of recreational lakes. This study presents antimicrobial resistance and virulence-associated genes in integron-bearing coliform bacteria present in the waters of recreational lakes, which showed that multidrug resistant bacteria with virulence traits might pose a threat to public health. Moreover, the presence of genes typical for enterotoxigenic and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli is a concern. © 2015 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  13. Typing and virulence factors of food-borne Candida spp. isolates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajkowska, Katarzyna; Kunicka-Styczyńska, Alina

    2018-08-20

    Food-borne yeasts, excluding yeasts used as starter cultures, are commonly considered as food spoilage microorganisms. However, the incidence of non-C. albicans Candida (NCAC) infections has increased considerably over the past two decades. Although 15 Candida species are frequently identified as pathogens, a threat to human from food-borne Candida is poorly recognized. In the present study food-borne NCAC were characterized for the virulence factors, known to be associated with yeast pathogenicity. All food-borne strains in planktonic forms and 89% in biofilm structures represented biotypes established for C. albicans, and 61% demonstrated hemolytic activity. 56-94% of food-borne isolates formed biofilms on glass and biomaterials at a level comparable to clinical C. albicans. Nine out of eighteen tested food-borne NCAC strains (C. krusei, C. lusitaniae, C. famata, C. colliculosa, C. parapsilosis, C. tropicalis) showed similarity to clinical C. albicans in terms of their biotypes and the tested virulence factors, allocating them in a group of risk of potential pathogens. However, their capacity to grow at 37 °C seems to be the preliminary criterion in the study of potential virulence of food-borne yeasts. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Comparative genomics analyses revealed two virulent Listeria monocytogenes strains isolated from ready-to-eat food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Shu Yong; Yap, Kien-Pong; Thong, Kwai Lin

    2016-01-01

    Listeria monocytogenes is an important foodborne pathogen that causes considerable morbidity in humans with high mortality rates. In this study, we have sequenced the genomes and performed comparative genomics analyses on two strains, LM115 and LM41, isolated from ready-to-eat food in Malaysia. The genome size of LM115 and LM41 was 2,959,041 and 2,963,111 bp, respectively. These two strains shared approximately 90% homologous genes. Comparative genomics and phylogenomic analyses revealed that LM115 and LM41 were more closely related to the reference strains F2365 and EGD-e, respectively. Our virulence profiling indicated a total of 31 virulence genes shared by both analysed strains. These shared genes included those that encode for internalins and L. monocytogenes pathogenicity island 1 (LIPI-1). Both the Malaysian L. monocytogenes strains also harboured several genes associated with stress tolerance to counter the adverse conditions. Seven antibiotic and efflux pump related genes which may confer resistance against lincomycin, erythromycin, fosfomycin, quinolone, tetracycline, and penicillin, and macrolides were identified in the genomes of both strains. Whole genome sequencing and comparative genomics analyses revealed two virulent L. monocytogenes strains isolated from ready-to-eat foods in Malaysia. The identification of strains with pathogenic, persistent, and antibiotic resistant potentials from minimally processed food warrant close attention from both healthcare and food industry.

  15. 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.

  16. Characterization of Antimicrobial Resistance Patterns and Detection of Virulence Genes in Campylobacter Isolates in Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Giannatale, Elisabetta; Di Serafino, Gabriella; Zilli, Katiuscia; Alessiani, Alessandra; Sacchini, Lorena; Garofolo, Giuliano; Aprea, Giuseppe; Marotta, Francesca

    2014-01-01

    Campylobacter has developed resistance to several antimicrobial agents over the years, including macrolides, quinolones and fluoroquinolones, becoming a significant public health hazard. A total of 145 strains derived from raw milk, chicken faeces, chicken carcasses, cattle faeces and human faeces collected from various Italian regions, were screened for antimicrobial susceptibility, molecular characterization (SmaI pulsed-field gel electrophoresis) and detection of virulence genes (sequencing and DNA microarray analysis). The prevalence of C. jejuni and C. coli was 62.75% and 37.24% respectively. Antimicrobial susceptibility revealed a high level of resistance for ciprofloxacin (62.76%), tetracycline (55.86%) and nalidixic acid (55.17%). Genotyping of Campylobacter isolates using PFGE revealed a total of 86 unique SmaI patterns. Virulence gene profiles were determined using a new microbial diagnostic microarray composed of 70-mer oligonucleotide probes targeting genes implicated in Campylobacter pathogenicity. Correspondence between PFGE and microarray clusters was observed. Comparisons of PFGE and virulence profiles reflected the high genetic diversity of the strains examined, leading us to speculate different degrees of pathogenicity inside Campylobacter populations. PMID:24556669

  17. Role of the Ubiquitin-Proteasome Systems in the Biology and Virulence of Protozoan Parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Muñoz

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In eukaryotic cells, proteasomes perform crucial roles in many cellular pathways by degrading proteins to enforce quality control and regulate many cellular processes such as cell cycle progression, signal transduction, cell death, immune responses, metabolism, protein-quality control, and development. The catalytic heart of these complexes, the 20S proteasome, is highly conserved in bacteria, yeast, and humans. However, until a few years ago, the role of proteasomes in parasite biology was completely unknown. Here, we summarize findings about the role of proteasomes in protozoan parasites biology and virulence. Several reports have confirmed the role of proteasomes in parasite biological processes such as cell differentiation, cell cycle, proliferation, and encystation. Proliferation and cell differentiation are key steps in host colonization. Considering the importance of proteasomes in both processes in many different parasites such as Trypanosoma, Leishmania, Toxoplasma, and Entamoeba, parasite proteasomes might serve as virulence factors. Several pieces of evidence strongly suggest that the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway is also a viable parasitic therapeutic target. Research in recent years has shown that the proteasome is a valid drug target for sleeping sickness and malaria. Then, proteasomes are a key organelle in parasite biology and virulence and appear to be an attractive new chemotherapeutic target.

  18. 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

  19. Anti-biofilm, anti-hemolysis, and anti-virulence activities of black pepper, cananga, myrrh oils, and nerolidol against Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kayeon; Lee, Jin-Hyung; Kim, Soon-Il; Cho, Moo Hwan; Lee, Jintae

    2014-11-01

    The long-term usage of antibiotics has resulted in the evolution of multidrug-resistant bacteria. Unlike antibiotics, anti-virulence approaches target bacterial virulence without affecting cell viability, which may be less prone to develop drug resistance. Staphylococcus aureus is a major human pathogen that produces diverse virulence factors, such as α-toxin, which is hemolytic. Also, biofilm formation of S. aureus is one of the mechanisms of its drug resistance. In this study, anti-biofilm screening of 83 essential oils showed that black pepper, cananga, and myrrh oils and their common constituent cis-nerolidol at 0.01 % markedly inhibited S. aureus biofilm formation. Furthermore, the three essential oils and cis-nerolidol at below 0.005 % almost abolished the hemolytic activity of S. aureus. Transcriptional analyses showed that black pepper oil down-regulated the expressions of the α-toxin gene (hla), the nuclease genes, and the regulatory genes. In addition, black pepper, cananga, and myrrh oils and cis-nerolidol attenuated S. aureus virulence in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. This study is one of the most extensive on anti-virulence screening using diverse essential oils and provides comprehensive data on the subject. This finding implies other beneficial effects of essential oils and suggests that black pepper, cananga, and myrrh oils have potential use as anti-virulence strategies against persistent S. aureus infections.

  20. The exopolysaccharide matrix: a virulence determinant of cariogenic biofilm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koo, H; Falsetta, M L; Klein, M I

    2013-12-01

    Many infectious diseases in humans are caused or exacerbated by biofilms. Dental caries is a prime example of a biofilm-dependent disease, resulting from interactions of microorganisms, host factors, and diet (sugars), which modulate the dynamic formation of biofilms on tooth surfaces. All biofilms have a microbial-derived extracellular matrix as an essential constituent. The exopolysaccharides formed through interactions between sucrose- (and starch-) and Streptococcus mutans-derived exoenzymes present in the pellicle and on microbial surfaces (including non-mutans) provide binding sites for cariogenic and other organisms. The polymers formed in situ enmesh the microorganisms while forming a matrix facilitating the assembly of three-dimensional (3D) multicellular structures that encompass a series of microenvironments and are firmly attached to teeth. The metabolic activity of microbes embedded in this exopolysaccharide-rich and diffusion-limiting matrix leads to acidification of the milieu and, eventually, acid-dissolution of enamel. Here, we discuss recent advances concerning spatio-temporal development of the exopolysaccharide matrix and its essential role in the pathogenesis of dental caries. We focus on how the matrix serves as a 3D scaffold for biofilm assembly while creating spatial heterogeneities and low-pH microenvironments/niches. Further understanding on how the matrix modulates microbial activity and virulence expression could lead to new approaches to control cariogenic biofilms.

  1. Basis of Virulence in Enterotoxin-Mediated Staphylococcal Food Poisoning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilie L. Fisher

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxins are a superfamily of secreted virulence factors that share structural and functional similarities and possess potent superantigenic activity causing disruptions in adaptive immunity. The enterotoxins can be separated into two groups; the classical (SEA-SEE and the newer (SEG-SElY and counting enterotoxin groups. Many members from both these groups contribute to the pathogenesis of several serious human diseases, including toxic shock syndrome, pneumonia, and sepsis-related infections. Additionally, many members demonstrate emetic activity and are frequently responsible for food poisoning outbreaks. Due to their robust tolerance to denaturing, the enterotoxins retain activity in food contaminated previously with S. aureus. The genes encoding the enterotoxins are found mostly on a variety of different mobile genetic elements. Therefore, the presence of enterotoxins can vary widely among different S. aureus isolates. Additionally, the enterotoxins are regulated by multiple, and often overlapping, regulatory pathways, which are influenced by environmental factors. In this review, we also will focus on the newer enterotoxins (SEG-SElY, which matter for the role of S. aureus as an enteropathogen, and summarize our current knowledge on their prevalence in recent food poisoning outbreaks. Finally, we will review the current literature regarding the key elements that govern the complex regulation of enterotoxins, the molecular mechanisms underlying their enterotoxigenic, superantigenic, and immunomodulatory functions, and discuss how these activities may collectively contribute to the overall manifestation of staphylococcal food poisoning.

  2. Pneumococcal lipoproteins involved in bacterial fitness, virulence, and immune evasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Sylvia; Voß, Franziska; Gómez Mejia, Alejandro; Brown, Jeremy S; Hammerschmidt, Sven

    2016-11-01

    Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) has evolved sophisticated strategies to survive in several niches within the human body either as a harmless commensal or as a serious pathogen causing a variety of diseases. The dynamic interaction between pneumococci and resident host cells during colonization of the upper respiratory tract and at the site of infection is critical for bacterial survival and the development of disease. Pneumococcal lipoproteins are peripherally anchored membrane proteins and have pivotal roles in bacterial fitness including envelope stability, cell division, nutrient acquisition, signal transduction, transport (as substrate-binding proteins of ABC transporter systems), resistance to oxidative stress and antibiotics, and protein folding. In addition, lipoproteins are directly involved in virulence-associated processes such as adhesion, colonization, and persistence through immune evasion. Conversely, lipoproteins are also targets for the host response both as ligands for toll-like receptors and as targets for acquired antibodies. This review summarizes the multifaceted roles of selected pneumococcal lipoproteins and how this knowledge can be exploited to combat pneumococcal infections. © 2016 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  3. Biatriosporin D displays anti-virulence activity through decreasing the intracellular cAMP levels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Ming; Chang, Wenqiang; Shi, Hongzhuo; Zhou, Yanhui; Zheng, Sha; Li, Ying; Li, Lin; Lou, Hongxiang, E-mail: louhongxiang@sdu.edu.cn

    2017-05-01

    Candidiasis has long been a serious human health problem, and novel antifungal approaches are greatly needed. During both superficial and systemic infection, C. albicans relies on a battery of virulence factors, such as adherence, filamentation, and biofilm formation. In this study, we found that a small phenolic compound, Biatriosporin D (BD), isolated from an endolichenic fungus, Biatriospora sp., displayed anti-virulence activity by inhibiting adhesion, hyphal morphogenesis and biofilm formation of C. albicans. Of note is the high efficacy of BD in preventing filamentation with a much lower dose than its MIC value. Furthermore, BD prolonged the survival of worms infected by C. albicans in vivo. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis, exogenous cAMP rescue experiments and intracellular cAMP measurements revealed that BD regulates the Ras1-cAMP-Efg1 pathway by reducing cAMP levels to inhibit the hyphal formation. Further investigation showed that BD could upregulate Dpp3 to synthesize much more farnesol, which could inhibit the activity of Cdc35 and reduce the generation of cAMP. Taken together, these findings indicate that BD stimulates the expression of Dpp3 to synthesize more farnesol that directly inhibits the Cdc35 activity, reducing intracellular cAMP and thereby disrupting the morphologic transition and attenuating the virulence of C. albicans. Our study uncovers the underlying mechanism of BD as a prodrug in fighting against pathogenic C. albicans and provides a potential application of BD in fighting clinically relevant fungal infections by targeting fungal virulence. - Highlights: • BD inhibits the filamentation of C. albicans in multiple hypha-inducing conditions. • BD can prolong the survival of nematodes infected by C. albicans. • BD stimulates the expression of Dpp3 to synthesize more farnesol. • BD reduces intracellular cAMP and regulates Ras1-cAMP-PKA pathway.

  4. Distinct virulence of Rift Valley fever phlebovirus strains from different genetic lineages in a mouse model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tetsuro Ikegami

    Full Text Available Rift Valley fever phlebovirus (RVFV causes high rates of abortions and fetal malformations in ruminants, and hemorrhagic fever, encephalitis, or blindness in humans. Viral transmission occurs via mosquito vectors in endemic areas, which necessitates regular vaccination of susceptible livestock animals to prevent the RVF outbreaks. Although ZH501 strain has been used as a challenge strain for past vaccine efficacy studies, further characterization of other RVFV strains is important to optimize ruminant and nonhuman primate RVFV challenge models. This study aimed to characterize the virulence of wild-type RVFV strains belonging to different genetic lineages in outbred CD1 mice. Mice were intraperitoneally infected with 1x103 PFU of wild-type ZH501, Kenya 9800523, Kenya 90058, Saudi Arabia 200010911, OS1, OS7, SA75, Entebbe, or SA51 strains. Among them, mice infected with SA51, Entebbe, or OS7 strain showed rapid dissemination of virus in livers and peracute necrotic hepatitis at 2-3 dpi. Recombinant SA51 (rSA51 and Zinga (rZinga strains were recovered by reverse genetics, and their virulence was also tested in CD1 mice. The rSA51 strain reproduced peracute RVF disease in mice, whereas the rZinga strain showed a similar virulence with that of rZH501 strain. This study showed that RVFV strains in different genetic lineages display distinct virulence in outbred mice. Importantly, since wild-type RVFV strains contain defective-interfering RNA or various genetic subpopulations during passage from original viral isolations, recombinant RVFV strains generated by reverse genetics will be better suitable for reproducible challenge studies for vaccine development as well as pathological studies.

  5. Polyamine transporter potABCD is required for virulence of encapsulated but not nonencapsulated Streptococcus pneumoniae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haley R Pipkins

    Full Text Available Streptococcus pneumoniae is commonly found in the human nasopharynx and is the causative agent of multiple diseases. Since invasive pneumococcal infections are associated with encapsulated pneumococci, the capsular polysaccharide is the target of licensed pneumococcal vaccines. However, there is an increasing distribution of non-vaccine serotypes, as well as nonencapsulated S. pneumoniae (NESp. Both encapsulated and nonencapsulated pneumococci possess the polyamine oligo-transport operon (potABCD. Previous research has shown inactivation of the pot operon in encapsulated pneumococci alters protein expression and leads to a significant reduction in pneumococcal murine colonization, but the role of the pot operon in NESp is unknown. Here, we demonstrate deletion of potD from the NESp NCC1 strain MNZ67 does impact expression of the key proteins pneumolysin and PspK, but it does not inhibit murine colonization. Additionally, we show the absence of potD significantly increases biofilm production, both in vitro and in vivo. In a chinchilla model of otitis media (OM, the absence of potD does not significantly affect MNZ67 virulence, but it does significantly reduce the pathogenesis of the virulent encapsulated strain TIGR4 (serotype 4. Deletion of potD also significantly reduced persistence of TIGR4 in the lungs but increased persistence of PIP01 in the lungs. We conclude the pot operon is important for the regulation of protein expression and biofilm formation in both encapsulated and NCC1 nonencapsulated Streptococcus pneumoniae. However, in contrast to encapsulated pneumococcal strains, polyamine acquisition via the pot operon is not required for MNZ67 murine colonization, persistence in the lungs, or full virulence in a model of OM. Therefore, NESp virulence regulation needs to be further established to identify potential NESp therapeutic targets.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David M Bland

    2011-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-02

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

  8. In vivo transcriptional profiling of Listeria monocytogenes and mutagenesis identify new virulence factors involved in infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Camejo

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Listeria monocytogenes is a human intracellular pathogen able to colonize host tissues after ingestion of contaminated food, causing severe invasive infections. In order to gain a better understanding of the nature of host-pathogen interactions, we studied the L. monocytogenes genome expression during mouse infection. In the spleen of infected mice, approximately 20% of the Listeria genome is differentially expressed, essentially through gene activation, as compared to exponential growth in rich broth medium. Data presented here show that, during infection, Listeria is in an active multiplication phase, as revealed by the high expression of genes involved in replication, cell division and multiplication. In vivo bacterial growth requires increased expression of genes involved in adaptation of the bacterial metabolism and stress responses, in particular to oxidative stress. Listeria interaction with its host induces cell wall metabolism and surface expression of virulence factors. During infection, L. monocytogenes also activates subversion mechanisms of host defenses, including resistance to cationic peptides, peptidoglycan modifications and release of muramyl peptides. We show that the in vivo differential expression of the Listeria genome is coordinated by a complex regulatory network, with a central role for the PrfA-SigB interplay. In particular, L. monocytogenes up regulates in vivo the two major virulence regulators, PrfA and VirR, and their downstream effectors. Mutagenesis of in vivo induced genes allowed the identification of novel L. monocytogenes virulence factors, including an LPXTG surface protein, suggesting a role for S-layer glycoproteins and for cadmium efflux system in Listeria virulence.

  9. Genomic sequence and virulence of clonal isolates of vaccinia virus Tiantan, the Chinese smallpox vaccine strain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qicheng Zhang

    Full Text Available Despite the worldwide eradication of smallpox in 1979, the potential bioterrorism threat from variola virus and the ongoing use of vaccinia virus (VACV as a vector for vaccine development argue for continued research on VACV. In China, the VACV Tiantan strain (TT was used in the smallpox eradication campaign. Its progeny strain is currently being used to develop a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV vaccine. Here we sequenced the full genomes of five TT clones isolated by plaque purification from the TT (752-1 viral stock. Phylogenetic analysis with other commonly used VACV strains showed that TT (752-1 and its clones clustered and exhibited higher sequence diversity than that found in Dryvax clones. The ∼190 kbp genomes of TT appeared to encode 273 open reading frames (ORFs. ORFs located in the middle of the genome were more conserved than those located at the two termini, where many virulence and immunomodulation associated genes reside. Several patterns of nucleotide changes including point mutations, insertions and deletions were identified. The polymorphisms in seven virulence-associated proteins and six immunomodulation-related proteins were analyzed. We also investigated the neuro- and skin- virulence of TT clones in mice and rabbits, respectively. The TT clones exhibited significantly less virulence than the New York City Board of Health (NYCBH strain, as evidenced by less extensive weight loss and morbidity in mice as well as produced smaller skin lesions and lower incidence of putrescence in rabbits. The complete genome sequences, ORF annotations, and phenotypic diversity yielded from this study aid our understanding of the Chinese historic TT strain and are useful for HIV vaccine projects employing TT as a vector.

  10. Genomic sequence and virulence of clonal isolates of vaccinia virus Tiantan, the Chinese smallpox vaccine strain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qicheng; Tian, Meijuan; Feng, Yi; Zhao, Kai; Xu, Jing; Liu, Ying; Shao, Yiming

    2013-01-01

    Despite the worldwide eradication of smallpox in 1979, the potential bioterrorism threat from variola virus and the ongoing use of vaccinia virus (VACV) as a vector for vaccine development argue for continued research on VACV. In China, the VACV Tiantan strain (TT) was used in the smallpox eradication campaign. Its progeny strain is currently being used to develop a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) vaccine. Here we sequenced the full genomes of five TT clones isolated by plaque purification from the TT (752-1) viral stock. Phylogenetic analysis with other commonly used VACV strains showed that TT (752-1) and its clones clustered and exhibited higher sequence diversity than that found in Dryvax clones. The ∼190 kbp genomes of TT appeared to encode 273 open reading frames (ORFs). ORFs located in the middle of the genome were more conserved than those located at the two termini, where many virulence and immunomodulation associated genes reside. Several patterns of nucleotide changes including point mutations, insertions and deletions were identified. The polymorphisms in seven virulence-associated proteins and six immunomodulation-related proteins were analyzed. We also investigated the neuro- and skin- virulence of TT clones in mice and rabbits, respectively. The TT clones exhibited significantly less virulence than the New York City Board of Health (NYCBH) strain, as evidenced by less extensive weight loss and morbidity in mice as well as produced smaller skin lesions and lower incidence of putrescence in rabbits. The complete genome sequences, ORF annotations, and phenotypic diversity yielded from this study aid our understanding of the Chinese historic TT strain and are useful for HIV vaccine projects employing TT as a vector.

  11. Apophysomyces variabilis: draft genome sequence and comparison of predictive virulence determinants with other medically important Mucorales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prakash, Hariprasath; Rudramurthy, Shivaprakash Mandya; Gandham, Prasad S; Ghosh, Anup Kumar; Kumar, Milner M; Badapanda, Chandan; Chakrabarti, Arunaloke

    2017-09-18

    Apophysomyces species are prevalent in tropical countries and A. variabilis is the second most frequent agent causing mucormycosis in India. Among Apophysomyces species, A. elegans, A. trapeziformis and A. variabilis are commonly incriminated in human infections. The genome sequences of A. elegans and A. trapeziformis are available in public database, but not A. variabilis. We, therefore, performed the whole genome sequence of A. variabilis to explore its genomic structure and possible genes determining the virulence of the organism. The whole genome of A. variabilis NCCPF 102052 was sequenced and the genomic structure of A. variabilis was compared with already available genome structures of A. elegans, A. trapeziformis and other medically important Mucorales. The total size of genome assembly of A. variabilis was 39.38 Mb with 12,764 protein-coding genes. The transposable elements (TEs) were low in Apophysomyces genome and the retrotransposon Ty3-gypsy was the common TE. Phylogenetically, Apophysomyces species were grouped closely with Phycomyces blakesleeanus. OrthoMCL analysis revealed 3025 orthologues proteins, which were common in those three pathogenic Apophysomyces species. Expansion of multiple gene families/duplication was observed in Apophysomyces genomes. Approximately 6% of Apophysomyces genes were predicted to be associated with virulence on PHIbase analysis. The virulence determinants included the protein families of CotH proteins (invasins), proteases, iron utilisation pathways, siderophores and signal transduction pathways. Serine proteases were the major group of proteases found in all Apophysomyces genomes. The carbohydrate active enzymes (CAZymes) constitute the majority of the secretory proteins. The present study is the maiden attempt to sequence and analyze the genomic structure of A. variabilis. Together with available genome sequence of A. elegans and A. trapeziformis, the study helped to indicate the possible virulence determinants of

  12. Biatriosporin D displays anti-virulence activity through decreasing the intracellular cAMP levels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Ming; Chang, Wenqiang; Shi, Hongzhuo; Zhou, Yanhui; Zheng, Sha; Li, Ying; Li, Lin; Lou, Hongxiang

    2017-01-01

    Candidiasis has long been a serious human health problem, and novel antifungal approaches are greatly needed. During both superficial and systemic infection, C. albicans relies on a battery of virulence factors, such as adherence, filamentation, and biofilm formation. In this study, we found that a small phenolic compound, Biatriosporin D (BD), isolated from an endolichenic fungus, Biatriospora sp., displayed anti-virulence activity by inhibiting adhesion, hyphal morphogenesis and biofilm formation of C. albicans. Of note is the high efficacy of BD in preventing filamentation with a much lower dose than its MIC value. Furthermore, BD prolonged the survival of worms infected by C. albicans in vivo. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis, exogenous cAMP rescue experiments and intracellular cAMP measurements revealed that BD regulates the Ras1-cAMP-Efg1 pathway by reducing cAMP levels to inhibit the hyphal formation. Further investigation showed that BD could upregulate Dpp3 to synthesize much more farnesol, which could inhibit the activity of Cdc35 and reduce the generation of cAMP. Taken together, these findings indicate that BD stimulates the expression of Dpp3 to synthesize more farnesol that directly inhibits the Cdc35 activity, reducing intracellular cAMP and thereby disrupting the morphologic transition and attenuating the virulence of C. albicans. Our study uncovers the underlying mechanism of BD as a prodrug in fighting against pathogenic C. albicans and provides a potential application of BD in fighting clinically relevant fungal infections by targeting fungal virulence. - Highlights: • BD inhibits the filamentation of C. albicans in multiple hypha-inducing conditions. • BD can prolong the survival of nematodes infected by C. albicans. • BD stimulates the expression of Dpp3 to synthesize more farnesol. • BD reduces intracellular cAMP and regulates Ras1-cAMP-PKA pathway.

  13. Cold Plasma Inactivation of Bacterial Biofilms and Reduction of Quorum Sensing Regulated Virulence Factors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dana Ziuzina

    Full Text Available The main objectives of this work were to investigate the effect of atmospheric cold plasma (ACP against a range of microbial biofilms commonly implicated in foodborne and healthcare associated human infections and against P. aeruginosa quorum sensing (QS-regulated virulence factors, such as pyocyanin, elastase (Las B and biofilm formation capacity post-ACP treatment. The effect of processing factors, namely treatment time and mode of plasma exposure on antimicrobial activity of ACP were also examined. Antibiofilm activity was assessed for E. coli, L. monocytogenes and S. aureus in terms of reduction of culturability and retention of metabolic activity using colony count and XTT assays, respectively. All samples were treated 'inpack' using sealed polypropylene containers with a high voltage dielectric barrier discharge ACP generated at 80 kV for 0, 60, 120 and 300 s and a post treatment storage time of 24 h. According to colony counts, ACP treatment for 60 s reduced populations of E. coli to undetectable levels, whereas 300 s was necessary to significantly reduce populations of L. monocytogenes and S. aureus biofilms. The results obtained from XTT assay indicated possible induction of viable but non culturable state of bacteria. With respect to P. aeruginosa QS-related virulence factors, the production of pyocyanin was significantly inhibited after short treatment times, but reduction of elastase was notable only after 300 s and no reduction in actual biofilm formation was achieved post-ACP treatment. Importantly, reduction of virulence factors was associated with reduction of the cytotoxic effects of the bacterial supernatant on CHO-K1 cells, regardless of mode and duration of treatment. The results of this study point to ACP technology as an effective strategy for inactivation of established biofilms and may play an important role in attenuation of virulence of pathogenic bacteria. Further investigation is warranted to propose direct evidence

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Molecular Detection of Virulence Genes and Antibiotic Resistance ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Pathogen, E. coli O157:H7, virulence genes, antibiotic-resistance, beef meat. Correspondence: ... box to the laboratory for further processing. Isolation and identification of ... Technologies (IDT) Inc, U.S.A. The sequences and annealing ...

  17. Sporangiospore size dimorphism is linked to virulence of Mucor circinelloides

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, C.H.; Cervantes, M.; Springer, D.J.; Boekhout, T.; Ruiz-Vazquez, R.M.; Torres-Martinez, S.R.; Heitman, J.; Lee, S.S.

    2011-01-01

    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

  18. Virulence Factors Associated with Enterococcus Faecalis Infective Endocarditis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Kristian T; Skov, Marianne N; Gill, Sabine

    2017-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: The enterococci are accountable for up to 20% of all cases of infective endocarditis, with Enterococcus faecalis being the primary causative isolate. Infective endocarditis is a life-threatening infection of the endocardium that results in the formation of vegetations. Based...... on a literature review, this paper provides an overview of the virulence factors associated with E. faecalis infective endocarditis. Furthermore, it reports the effects of active or passive immunization against some of these involved factors. INDIVIDUAL VIRULENCE FACTORS: Nine virulence factors have in particular...... been associated with E. faecalis infective endocarditis. Absence of these factors entailed attenuation of strains in both mixed- and mono-bacterial infection endocarditis models as well as in in vitro and ex vivo assays when compared to their virulence factor expressing parental strains. PATHOGENESIS...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Qingmei; Horwitz, Marcus A.

    2018-01-01

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

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Virulence potential of Staphylococcus aureus isolates from Buruli ulcer patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amissah, Nana Ama; Chlebowicz, Monika A; Ablordey, Anthony; Tetteh, Caitlin S; Prah, Isaac; van der Werf, Tjip S; Friedrich, Alex W; van Dijl, Jan Maarten; Stienstra, Ymkje; Rossen, John W

    2017-06-01

    Buruli ulcer (BU) is a necrotizing infection of the skin and subcutaneous tissue caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans. BU wounds may also be colonized with other microorganisms including Staphylococcus aureus. This study aimed to characterize the virulence factors of S. aureus isolated from BU patients. Previously sequenced genomes of 21 S. aureus isolates from BU patients were screened for the presence of virulence genes. The results show that all S. aureus isolates harbored on their core genomes genes for known virulence factors like α-hemolysin, and the α- and β-phenol soluble modulins. Besides the core genome virulence genes, mobile genetic elements (MGEs), i.e. prophages, genomic islands, pathogenicity islands and a Staphylococcal cassette chromosome (SCC) were found to carry different combinations of virulence factors, among them genes that are known to encode factors that promote immune evasion, superantigens and Panton-Valentine Leucocidin. The present observations imply that the S. aureus isolates from BU patients harbor a diverse repertoire of virulence genes that may enhance bacterial survival and persistence in the wound environment and potentially contribute to delayed wound healing. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH.. All rights reserved.

  4. Antibiotic susceptibility profiling and virulence potential of Campylobacter jejuni isolates from different sources in Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siddiqui, Fariha Masood; Akram, Muhammad; Noureen, Nighat; Noreen, Zobia; Bokhari, Habib

    2015-03-01

    To determine antibiotic resistance patterns and virulence potential of Campylobacter jejuni (C. jejuni) isolates from clinical human diarrheal infections, cattle and healthy broilers. Antibiotic sensitivity patterns of C. jejuni isolates were determined by Kirby Bauer Disc Diffusion assay. These isolates were then subjected to virulence profiling for the detection of mapA (membrane-associated protein), cadF (fibronectin binding protein), wlaN (beta-l,3-galactosyltransferase) and neuAB (sialic acid biosynthesis gene). Further C. jejuni isolates were grouped by random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD) profiling. A total of 436 samples from poultry (n=88), cattle (n=216) and humans (n=132) from different locations were collected. Results revealed percentage of C. jejuni isolates were 35.2% (31/88), 25.0% (54/216) and 11.3% (15/132) among poultry, cattle and clinical human samples respectively. Antibiotic susceptibility results showed that similar resistance patterns to cephalothin was ie. 87.0%, 87.1% and 89%among humans, poultry and cattle respectively, followed by sulfamethoxazole+trimethoprim 40.0%, 38.7% and 31.0% in humans, poultry and cattle and Ampicillin 40%, 32% and 20% in humans, poultry and cattle respectively. Beta-lactamase activity was detected in 40.00% humans, 20.37% cattle and 32.25% in poultry C. jejuni isolates. CadF and mapA were present in all poultry, cattle and human C. jejuni isolates, wlaN was not detected in any isolate and neuAB was found in 9/31 (36%) poultry isolates. RAPD profiling results suggested high diversity of C. jejuni isolates. Detection of multidrug resistant C. jejuni strains from poultry and cattle is alarming as they can be potential hazard to humans. Moreover, predominant association of virulence factors, cadF and mapA (100% each) in C. jejuni isolates from all sources and neuAB (36%) with poultry isolates suggest the potential source of transmission of diverse types of C. jejuni to humans. Copyright © 2015 Hainan

  5. Differences in cell morphometry, cell wall topography and gp70 expression correlate with the virulence of Sporothrix brasiliensis clinical isolates.

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    Rafaela A Castro

    Full Text Available Sporotrichosis is a chronic infectious disease affecting both humans and animals. For many years, this subcutaneous mycosis had been attributed to a single etiological agent; however, it is now known that this taxon consists of a complex of at least four pathogenic species, including Sporothrix schenckii and Sporothrix brasiliensis. Gp70 was previously shown to be an important antigen and adhesin expressed on the fungal cell surface and may have a key role in immunomodulation and host response. The aim of this work was to study the virulence, morphometry, cell surface topology and gp70 expression of clinical isolates of S. brasiliensis compared with two reference strains of S. schenckii. Several clinical isolates related to severe human cases or associated with the Brazilian zoonotic outbreak of sporotrichosis were genotyped and clustered as S. brasiliensis. Interestingly, in a murine subcutaneous model of sporotrichosis, these isolates showed a higher virulence profile compared with S. schenckii. A single S. brasiliensis isolate from an HIV-positive patient not only showed lower virulence but also presented differences in cell morphometry, cell wall topography and abundant gp70 expression compared with the virulent isolates. In contrast, the highly virulent S. brasiliensis isolates showed reduced levels of cell wall gp70. These observations were confirmed by the topographical location of the gp70 antigen using immunoelectromicroscopy in both species. In addition, the gp70 molecule was sequenced and identified using mass spectrometry, and the sequenced peptides were aligned into predicted proteins using Blastp with the S. schenckii and S. brasiliensis genomes.

  6. 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.

  7. Profiling antibody responses to infections by Chlamydia abortus enables identification of potential virulence factors and candidates for serodiagnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsbach-Birk, Vera; Foddis, Corinna; Simnacher, Ulrike; Wilkat, Max; Longbottom, David; Walder, Gernot; Benesch, Christiane; Ganter, Martin; Sachse, Konrad; Essig, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    Enzootic abortion of ewes (EAE) due to infection with the obligate intracellular pathogen Chlamydia (C.) abortus is an important zoonosis leading to considerable economic loss to agriculture worldwide. The pathogen can be transmitted to humans and may lead to serious infection in pregnant women. Knowledge about epidemiology, clinical course and transmission to humans is hampered by the lack of reliable diagnostic tools. Immunoreactive proteins, which are expressed in infected animals and humans, may serve as novel candidates for diagnostic marker proteins and represent putative virulence factors. In order to broaden the spectrum of immunogenic C. abortus proteins we applied 2D immunoblot analysis and screening of an expression library using human and animal sera. We have identified 48 immunoreactive proteins representing potential diagnostic markers and also putative virulence factors, such as CAB080 (homologue of the "macrophage infectivity potentiator", MIP), CAB167 (homologue of the "translocated actin recruitment protein", TARP), CAB712 (homologue of the "chlamydial protease-like activity factor", CPAF), CAB776 (homologue of the "Polymorphic membrane protein D", PmpD), and the "hypothetical proteins" CAB063, CAB408 and CAB821, which are predicted to be type III secreted. We selected two putative virulence factors for further characterization, i.e. CAB080 (cMIP) and CAB063, and studied their expression profiles at transcript and protein levels. Analysis of the subcellular localization of both proteins throughout the developmental cycle revealed CAB063 being the first C. abortus protein shown to be translocated to the host cell nucleus.

  8. Profiling antibody responses to infections by Chlamydia abortus enables identification of potential virulence factors and candidates for serodiagnosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vera Forsbach-Birk

    Full Text Available Enzootic abortion of ewes (EAE due to infection with the obligate intracellular pathogen Chlamydia (C. abortus is an important zoonosis leading to considerable economic loss to agriculture worldwide. The pathogen can be transmitted to humans and may lead to serious infection in pregnant women. Knowledge about epidemiology, clinical course and transmission to humans is hampered by the lack of reliable diagnostic tools. Immunoreactive proteins, which are expressed in infected animals and humans, may serve as novel candidates for diagnostic marker proteins and represent putative virulence factors. In order to broaden the spectrum of immunogenic C. abortus proteins we applied 2D immunoblot analysis and screening of an expression library using human and animal sera. We have identified 48 immunoreactive proteins representing potential diagnostic markers and also putative virulence factors, such as CAB080 (homologue of the "macrophage infectivity potentiator", MIP, CAB167 (homologue of the "translocated actin recruitment protein", TARP, CAB712 (homologue of the "chlamydial protease-like activity factor", CPAF, CAB776 (homologue of the "Polymorphic membrane protein D", PmpD, and the "hypothetical proteins" CAB063, CAB408 and CAB821, which are predicted to be type III secreted. We selected two putative virulence factors for further characterization, i.e. CAB080 (cMIP and CAB063, and studied their expression profiles at transcript and protein levels. Analysis of the subcellular localization of both proteins throughout the developmental cycle revealed CAB063 being the first C. abortus protein shown to be translocated to the host cell nucleus.

  9. Pouring Salt on a Wound: Pseudomonas aeruginosa Virulence Factors Alter Na+ and Cl− Flux in the Lung

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballok, Alicia E.

    2013-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a ubiquitous opportunistic pathogen with multiple niches in the human body, including the lung. P. aeruginosa infections are particularly damaging or fatal for patients with ventilator-associated pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cystic fibrosis (CF). To establish an infection, P. aeruginosa relies on a suite of virulence factors, including lipopolysaccharide, phospholipases, exoproteases, phenazines, outer membrane vesicles, type III secreted effectors, flagella, and pili. These factors not only damage the epithelial cell lining but also induce changes in cell physiology and function such as cell shape, membrane permeability, and protein synthesis. While such virulence factors are important in initial infection, many become dysregulated or nonfunctional during the course of chronic infection. Recent work on the virulence factors alkaline protease (AprA) and CF transmembrane conductance regulator inhibitory factor (Cif) show that P. aeruginosa also perturbs epithelial ion transport and osmosis, which may be important for the long-term survival of this microbe in the lung. Here we discuss the literature regarding host physiology-altering virulence factors with a focus on Cif and AprA and their potential roles in chronic infection and immune evasion. PMID:23836869

  10. Resveratrol Induces Apoptosis-Like Death and Prevents In Vitro and In Vivo Virulence of Entamoeba histolytica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pais-Morales, Jonnatan; Betanzos, Abigail; García-Rivera, Guillermina; Chávez-Munguía, Bibiana; Shibayama, Mineko; Orozco, Esther

    2016-01-01

    Entamoeba histolytica causes amoebiasis, an infection that kills 100,000 individuals each year. Metronidazole and its derivatives are currently used against this protozoan, but these drugs present adverse effects on human health. Here, we investigated the effect of resveratrol (a natural compound) on E. histolytica trophozoites viability, as well as its influence on the parasite virulence. Trophozoites growth was arrested by 72 μM resveratrol and the IC50 was determined as 220 μM at 48 h. Cells appeared smaller, rounded and in clusters, with debris-containing vacuoles and with abnormally condensed chromatin. Resveratrol triggered reactive oxygen species production. It caused lipid peroxidation and produced phosphatidylserine externalization and DNA fragmentation this latter evidenced by TUNEL assays. It also provoked an increase of intracellular Ca2+ concentration, activated calpain and decreased superoxide dismutase activity, indicating that an apoptosis-like event occurred; however, autophagy was not detected. Cytopathic activity, phagocytosis, encystment and in vivo virulence were diminished dramatically by pre-incubation of trophozoites with resveratrol, evidencing that resveratrol attenuated the trophozoite virulence in vitro. Interestingly, after the inoculation of virulent trophozoites, animals treated with the drug did not develop or developed very small abscesses. Our findings propose that resveratrol could be an alternative to contend amoebiasis. PMID:26731663

  11. New Insight into Biofilm Formation Ability, the Presence of Virulence Genes and Probiotic Potential of Enterococcus sp. Dairy Isolates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikola Popović

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Enterococci have controversial status due to their emerging role in nosocomial infections and transmission of antibiotic resistance genes, while some enterococci strains are used as probiotics for humans and animals and starter cultures in dairy industry. In order to improve our understanding of factors involved in the safe use of enterococci as potential probiotics, the antibiotic susceptibility, virulence and probiotic traits of 75 dairy enterococci isolates belonging to Enterococcus durans (50, En. faecium (15, En. faecalis (6, En. italicus (3, and En. hirae (1 were evaluated. The results revealed that ciprofloxacin resistance and biofilm formation are correlated with isolates originated from Golija mountain (Serbia, while gelatinase activity was more common in isolates from Prigorje region (Croatia, pointing to uncontrolled use of antibiotics and anthropogenic impact on dairy products' microbiota in these regions. The virulence genes were sporadically present in 13 selected dairy enterococci isolates. Interestingly, biofilm formation was correlated with higher ability of strains to reduce the adhesion of E. coli and Salmonella Enteritidis to HT29-MTX cells. To our knowledge this is the first study reporting the presence of the esp gene (previously correlated with pathogenesis in dairy enterococci isolates, mostly associated with the genes involved in adhesion property. Hence, the results of this study revealed that the virulence genes are sporadically present in dairy isolates and more correlated to adhesion properties and biofilm formation, implicating their role in gut colonization rather than to the virulence traits.

  12. Analysis of the Rickettsia africae genome reveals that virulence acquisition in Rickettsia species may be explained by genome reduction

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    Audic Stéphane

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Rickettsia genus includes 25 validated species, 17 of which are proven human pathogens. Among these, the pathogenicity varies greatly, from the highly virulent R. prowazekii, which causes epidemic typhus and kills its arthropod host, to the mild pathogen R. africae, the agent of African tick-bite fever, which does not affect the fitness of its tick vector. Results We evaluated the clonality of R. africae in 70 patients and 155 ticks, and determined its genome sequence, which comprises a circular chromosome of 1,278,540 bp including a tra operon and an unstable 12,377-bp plasmid. To study the genetic characteristics associated with virulence, we compared this species to R. prowazekii, R. rickettsii and R. conorii. R. africae and R. prowazekii have, respectively, the less and most decayed genomes. Eighteen genes are present only in R. africae including one with a putative protease domain upregulated at 37°C. Conclusion Based on these data, we speculate that a loss of regulatory genes causes an increase of virulence of rickettsial species in ticks and mammals. We also speculate that in Rickettsia species virulence is mostly associated with gene loss. The genome sequence was deposited in GenBank under accession number [GenBank: NZ_AAUY01000001].

  13. 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.

  14. Countermeasure development for Rift Valley fever: deletion, modification or targeting of major virulence factor NSs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lihoradova, Olga; Ikegami, Tetsuro

    2014-01-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne zoonotic disease characterized by a high rate of abortion in ruminants, and febrile illness, hemorrhagic fever, retinitis and encephalitis in humans. RVF is caused by the RVF virus (RVFV), belonging to the genus Phlebovirus of the family Bunyaviridae . RVFV encodes a major virulence factor, NSs , which is dispensable for viral replication, yet required for evasion of host innate immune responses. RVFV NSs inhibits host gene upregulation at the transcriptional level, while promoting viral translation in the cytoplasm. In this article, we summarize the virology and pathology of RVF, and countermeasure development for RVF, with emphasis on NSs function and applications.

  15. Dynamics of Vibrio with virulence genes detected in Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardii) off California: implications for marine mammal health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Stephanie N; Greig, Denise J; Miller, Woutrina A; Byrne, Barbara A; Gulland, Frances M D; Harvey, James T

    2013-05-01

    Given their coastal site fidelity and opportunistic foraging behavior, harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) may serve as sentinels for coastal ecosystem health. Seals using urbanized coastal habitat can acquire enteric bacteria, including Vibrio that may affect their health. To understand Vibrio dynamics in seals, demographic and environmental factors were tested for predicting potentially virulent Vibrio in free-ranging and stranded Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardii) off California. Vibrio prevalence did not vary with season and was greater in free-ranging seals (29 %, n = 319) compared with stranded seals (17 %, n = 189). Of the factors tested, location, turbidity, and/or salinity best predicted Vibrio prevalence in free-ranging seals. The relationship of environmental factors with Vibrio prevalence differed by location and may be related to oceanographic or terrestrial contributions to water quality. Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Vibrio alginolyticus, and Vibrio cholerae were observed in seals, with V. cholerae found almost exclusively in stranded pups and yearlings. Additionally, virulence genes (trh and tdh) were detected in V. parahaemolyticus isolates. Vibrio cholerae isolates lacked targeted virulence genes, but were hemolytic. Three out of four stranded pups with V. parahaemolyticus (trh+ and/or tdh+) died in rehabilitation, but the role of Vibrio in causing mortality is unclear, and Vibrio expression of virulence genes should be investigated. Considering that humans share the environment and food resources with seals, potentially virulent Vibrio observed in seals also may be of concern to human health.

  16. Antibiotic resistance, virulence factors and biofilm formation ability in Escherichia coli strains isolated from chicken meat and wildlife in the Czech Republic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlickova, Silvie; Klancnik, Anja; Dolezalova, Magda; Mozina, Sonja Smole; Holko, Ivan

    2017-08-03

    Attachment of pathogenic bacteria to food contact surfaces and the subsequent biofilm formation represent a serious threat for the food industry, since these bacteria are more resistant to antimicrobials or possess more virulence factors. The main aim of this study was to investigate the correlation between antibiotic resistance against 13 antibiotics, distribution of 10 virulence factors and biofilm formation in 105 Escherichia coli strains according to their origin. The high prevalence of antibiotic resistance that we have found in wildlife isolates could be acquired by horizontal transfer of resistance genes from human or domestic or farm animals. Consequently, these commensal bacteria might serve as indicator of antimicrobial usage for human and veterinary purposes in the Czech Republic. Further, 46 out of 66 resistant isolates (70%) were able to form biofilm and we found out statistically significant correlation between prevalence of antibiotic resistance and biofilm formation ability. The highest prevalence of antibiotic resistance was observed in weak biofilm producers. Biofilm formation was not statistically associated with any virulence determinant. However, we confirmed the correlation between prevalence of virulence factors and host origin. Chicken isolates possessed more virulence factors (66%), than isolates from wildlife (37%). We can conclude that the potential spread of antibiotic resistance pattern via the food chain is of high concern for public health. Even more, alarming is that E. coli isolates remain pathogenic potential with ability to form biofilm and these bacteria may persist during food processing and consequently lead to greater risks of food contamination.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-29

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

  18. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fei Sun

    2010-12-01

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

  20. Antimicrobial resistance and virulence genes in enterococci from wild game meat in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrero-Ramos, Emilia; Cordero, Jorge; Molina-González, Diana; Poeta, Patrícia; Igrejas, Gilberto; Alonso-Calleja, Carlos; Capita, Rosa

    2016-02-01

    A total of 55 enterococci (45 Enterococcus faecium, 7 Enterococcus faecalis, and three Enterococcus durans) isolated from the meat of wild game animals (roe deer, boar, rabbit, pheasant, and pigeon) in North-Western Spain were tested for susceptibility to 14 antimicrobials by the disc diffusion method. All strains showed a multi-resistant phenotype (resistance to between three and 10 antimicrobials). The strains exhibited high percentages of resistance to erythromycin (89.1%), tetracycline (67.3%), ciprofloxacin (92.7%), nitrofurantoin (67.3%), and quinupristin-dalfopristin (81.8%). The lowest values (9.1%) were observed for high-level resistance to gentamicin, kanamycin, and streptomycin. The average number of resistances per strain was 5.8 for E. faecium isolates, 7.9 for E. faecalis, and 5.7 for E. durans. Genes encoding antimicrobial resistance and virulence were studied by polymerase chain reaction. A total of 15 (57.7%) of the 26 vancomycin-resistant isolates harboured the vanA gene. Other resistance genes detected included vanB, erm(B) and/or erm(C), tet(L) and/or tet(M), acc(6')-aph(2″), and aph(3')-IIIa in strains resistant to vancomycin, erythromycin, tetracycline, gentamicin, and kanamycin, respectively. Specific genes of the Tn5397 transposon were detected in 54.8% of the tet(M)-positive enterococci. Nine virulence factors (gelE, agg, ace, cpd, frs, esp, hyl, efaAfs and efaAfm) were studied. All virulence genes, with the exception of the frs gene, were found to be present in the enterococcal isolates. At least one virulence gene was detected in 20.0% of E. faecium, 71.4% of E. faecalis and 33.3% of E. durans isolates, with ace and cpd being the most frequently detected genes (6 isolates each). This suggests that wild game meat might play a role in the spreading through the food chain of enterococci with antimicrobial resistance and virulence determinants to humans. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Heterologous expression of Ralp3 in Streptococcus pyogenes M2 and M6 strains affects the virulence characteristics.

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    Nikolai Siemens

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Ralp3 is a transcriptional regulator present in a serotype specific fashion on the chromosome of the human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococci, GAS. In serotypes harbouring the ralp3 gene either positive or negative effects on important metabolic and virulence genes involved in colonization and immune evasion in the human host were observed. A previous study revealed that deletion of ralp3 in a GAS M49 serotype significantly attenuated many virulence traits and caused metabolic disadvantages. This leads to two questions: (i which kind of consequences could Ralp3 expression have in GAS serotypes naturally lacking this gene, and (ii is Ralp3 actively lost during evolution in these serotypes. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We investigated the role of Ralp3 in GAS M2 and M6 pathogenesis. Both serotypes lack ralp3 on their chromosome. The heterologous expression of ralp3 in both serotypes resulted in reduced attachment to and internalization into the majority of tested epithelial cells. Both ralp3 expression strains showed a decreased ability to survive in human blood and exclusively M2::ralp3 showed decreased survival in human serum. Both mutants secreted more active SpeB in the supernatant, resulting in a higher activity compared to wild type strains. The respective M2 and M6 wild type strains outcompeted the ralp3 expression strains in direct metabolic competition assays. The phenotypic changes observed in the M2:ralp3 and M6:ralp3 were verified on the transcriptional level. Consistent with the virulence data, tested genes showed transcript level changes in the same direction. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Together these data suggest that Ralp3 can take over transcriptional control of virulence genes in serotypes lacking the ralp3 gene. Those serotypes most likely lost Ralp3 during evolution since obviously expression of this gene is disadvantageous for metabolism and pathogenesis.

  2. Heterologous expression of Ralp3 in Streptococcus pyogenes M2 and M6 strains affects the virulence characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siemens, Nikolai; Kreikemeyer, Bernd

    2013-01-01

    Ralp3 is a transcriptional regulator present in a serotype specific fashion on the chromosome of the human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococci, GAS). In serotypes harbouring the ralp3 gene either positive or negative effects on important metabolic and virulence genes involved in colonization and immune evasion in the human host were observed. A previous study revealed that deletion of ralp3 in a GAS M49 serotype significantly attenuated many virulence traits and caused metabolic disadvantages. This leads to two questions: (i) which kind of consequences could Ralp3 expression have in GAS serotypes naturally lacking this gene, and (ii) is Ralp3 actively lost during evolution in these serotypes. We investigated the role of Ralp3 in GAS M2 and M6 pathogenesis. Both serotypes lack ralp3 on their chromosome. The heterologous expression of ralp3 in both serotypes resulted in reduced attachment to and internalization into the majority of tested epithelial cells. Both ralp3 expression strains showed a decreased ability to survive in human blood and exclusively M2::ralp3 showed decreased survival in human serum. Both mutants secreted more active SpeB in the supernatant, resulting in a higher activity compared to wild type strains. The respective M2 and M6 wild type strains outcompeted the ralp3 expression strains in direct metabolic competition assays. The phenotypic changes observed in the M2:ralp3 and M6:ralp3 were verified on the transcriptional level. Consistent with the virulence data, tested genes showed transcript level changes in the same direction. Together these data suggest that Ralp3 can take over transcriptional control of virulence genes in serotypes lacking the ralp3 gene. Those serotypes most likely lost Ralp3 during evolution since obviously expression of this gene is disadvantageous for metabolism and pathogenesis.

  3. Cloning, expression, and purification of recombinant protein MPT-64 from a virulent strain of Mycobacterium bovis in a prokaryotic system

    OpenAIRE

    Maryam Mohammadi Tashakkori; Majid Tebianian; Mohammad Tabatabaei; Nader Mosavari

    2016-01-01

    Objective: Tuberculosis (TB) is a zoonotic infectious disease common to humans and animals that is caused by the rod-shaped acid-fast bacterium Mycobacterium bovis. Rapid and sensitive detection of TB is promoted by specific antigens. Virulent strains of the TB complex from M. bovis contain 16 regions of difference (RD) in their genome that encode important proteins, including major protein of Mycobacterium tuberculosis 64 (MBT-64, which is a primary immune-stimulating antigen encoded by RD-2...

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

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    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

  5. Molecular epidemiology and virulence assessment of Aspergillus fumigatus isolates from white stork chicks and their environment.

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    Olias, Philipp; Gruber, Achim D; Hafez, Hafez M; Lierz, Michael; Slesiona, Silvia; Brock, Matthias; Jacobsen, Ilse D

    2011-03-24

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a common pathogen in poultry and captive wild birds and an emerging opportunistic fungal pathogen in immunocompromised humans. Although invasive aspergillosis is frequently reported in free-ranging wild birds, the incidence and epidemiology of the disease in a natural setting is unknown. We recently reported endemic outbreaks of invasive aspergillosis at white stork nesting sites close to human habitation in Germany with significant subsequent breeding losses. Therefore, we hypothesized that A. fumigatus strains with higher virulence in birds may have evolved in this environment and performed the first epidemiological analysis of invasive aspergillosis in free-ranging wild birds. Sixty-one clinical and environmental A. fumigatus isolates from six affected nesting sites were genotyped by microsatellite analysis using the STRAf-assay. The isolates showed a remarkable high genomic diversity and, contrary to the initial hypothesis, clinical and environmental isolates did not cluster significantly. Interestingly, storks were infected with two to four different genotypes and in most cases both mating types MAT-1.1 and MAT-1.2 were present within the same specimen. The majority of selected clinical and environmental strains exhibited similar virulence in an in vivo infection model using embryonated chicken eggs. Noteworthy, virulence was not associated with one distinct fungal mating type. These results further support the assumption that the majority of A. fumigatus strains have the potential to cause disease in susceptible hosts. In white storks, immaturity of the immune system during the first three weeks of age may enhance susceptibility to invasive aspergillosis. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Microevolution of Virulence-Related Genes in Helicobacter pylori Familial Infection.

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    Yoshikazu Furuta

    Full Text Available Helicobacter pylori, a bacterial pathogen that can infect human stomach causing gastritis, ulcers and cancer, is known to have a high degree of genome/epigenome diversity as the result of mutation and recombination. The bacteria often infect in childhood and persist for the life of the host. One of the reasons of the rapid evolution of H. pylori is that it changes its genome drastically for adaptation to a new host. To investigate microevolution and adaptation of the H. pylori genome, we undertook whole genome sequencing of the same or very similar sequence type in multi-locus sequence typing (MLST with seven genes in members of the same family consisting of parents and children in Japan. Detection of nucleotide substitutions revealed likely transmission pathways involving children. Nonsynonymous (amino acid changing mutations were found in virulence-related genes (cag genes, vacA, hcpDX, tnfα, ggt, htrA and the collagenase gene, outer membrane protein (OMP genes and other cell surface-related protein genes, signal transduction genes and restriction-modification genes. We reconstructed various pathways by which H. pylori can adapt to a new human host, and our results raised the possibility that the mutational changes in virulence-related genes have a role in adaptation to a child host. Changes in restriction-modification genes might remodel the methylome and transcriptome to help adaptation. This study has provided insights into H. pylori transmission and virulence and has implications for basic research as well as clinical practice.

  7. Yersinia enterocolitica of porcine origin: carriage of virulence genes and genotypic diversity.

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    Tadesse, Daniel A; Bahnson, Peter B; Funk, Julie A; Morrow, W E Morgan; Abley, Melanie J; Ponte, Valeria A; Thakur, Siddhartha; Wittum, Thomas; DeGraves, Fred J; Rajala-Schultz, Paivi J; Gebreyes, Wondwossen A

    2013-01-01

    Yersinia enterocolitica is an important foodborne pathogen, and pigs are recognized as a major reservoir and potential source of pathogenic strains to humans. A total of 172 Y. enterocolitica recovered from conventional and antimicrobial-free pig production systems from different geographic regions (North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa) were investigated to determine their pathogenic significance to humans. Phenotypic and genotypic diversity of the isolates was assessed using antibiogram, serogrouping, and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP). Carriage of chromosomal and plasmid-borne virulence genes were investigated using polymerase chain reaction. A total of 12 antimicrobial resistance patterns were identified. More than two-thirds (67.4%) of Y. enterocolitica were pan-susceptible, and 27.9% were resistant against β-lactams. The most predominant serogroup was O:3 (43%), followed by O:5 (25.6%) and O:9 (4.1%). Twenty-two of 172 (12.8%) isolates were found to carry Yersinia adhesion A (yadA), a virulence gene encoded on the Yersinia virulence plasmid. Sixty-nine (40.1%) isolates were found to carry ail gene. The ystA and ystB genes were detected in 77% and 26.2% of the strains, respectively. AFLP genotyping of isolates showed wide genotypic diversity and were grouped into nine clades with an overall genotypic similarity of 66.8-99.3%. AFLP analysis revealed that isolates from the same production system showed clonal relatedness, while more than one genotype of Y. enterocolitica circulates within a farm.

  8. Genetic Regulation of Virulence and Antibiotic Resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii

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    Kröger, Carsten; Kary, Stefani C.; Schauer, Kristina; Cameron, Andrew D. S.

    2016-01-01

    Multidrug resistant microorganisms are forecast to become the single biggest challenge to medical care in the 21st century. Over the last decades, members of the genus Acinetobacter have emerged as bacterial opportunistic pathogens, in particular as challenging nosocomial pathogens because of the rapid evolution of antimicrobial resistances. Although we lack fundamental biological insight into virulence mechanisms, an increasing number of researchers are working to identify virulence factors and to study antibiotic resistance. Here, we review current knowledge regarding the regulation of virulence genes and antibiotic resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii. A survey of the two-component systems AdeRS, BaeSR, GacSA and PmrAB explains how each contributes to antibiotic resistance and virulence gene expression, while BfmRS regulates cell envelope structures important for pathogen persistence. A. baumannii uses the transcription factors Fur and Zur to sense iron or zinc depletion and upregulate genes for metal scavenging as a critical survival tool in an animal host. Quorum sensing, nucleoid-associated proteins, and non-classical transcription factors such as AtfA and small regulatory RNAs are discussed in the context of virulence and antibiotic resistance. PMID:28036056

  9. The Role of Antibiotics in Modulating Virulence in Staphylococcus aureus.

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    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.

  10. Proteomics as a tool for studying bacterial virulence and antimicrobial resistance

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    Francisco José Pérez -Llarena

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Proteomic studies have improved our understanding of the microbial world. The most recent advances in this field have helped us to explore aspects beyond genomics. For example, by studying proteins and their regulation, researchers now understand how some pathogenic bacteria have adapted to the lethal actions of antibiotics. Proteomics has also advanced our knowledge of mechanisms of bacterial virulence and some important aspects of how bacteria interact with human cells and, thus, of the pathogenesis of infectious diseases. This review article addresses these issues in some of the most important human pathogens. It also reports some applications of MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry that may be important for the diagnosis of bacterial resistance in clinical laboratories in the future. The reported advances will enable new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to be developed in the fight against some of the most lethal bacteria affecting humans.

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

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    Kutz, Russell; Okwumabua, Ogi

    2008-10-01

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

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

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    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

  13. Ulcerogenic Helicobacter pylori strains isolated from children: a contribution to get insight into the virulence of the bacteria.

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    Inês Vitoriano

    Full Text Available Infection with Helicobacter pylori is the major cause for the development of peptic ulcer disease (PUD. In children, with no other etiology for the disease, this rare event occurs shortly after infection. In these young patients, habits of smoking, diet, consumption of alcohol and non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs and stress, in addition to the genetic susceptibility of the patient, represent a minor influence. Accordingly, the virulence of the implicated H. pylori strain should play a crucial role in the development of PUD. Corroborating this, our in vitro infection assays comparing a pool of five H. pylori strains isolated from children with PUD to a pool of five other pediatric clinical isolates associated with non-ulcer dyspepsia (NUD showed the greater ability of PUD strains to induce a marked decrease in the viability of gastric cells and to cause severe damage in the cells cytoskeleton as well as an impairment in the production/secretion of mucins. To uncover virulence features, we compared the proteome of these two groups of H. pylori strains. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis followed by mass-spectrometry allowed us to detect 27 differentially expressed proteins between them. In addition to the presence of genes encoding well established virulence factors, namely cagA, vacAs1, oipA "on" status, homB and jhp562 genes, the pediatric ulcerogenic strains shared a proteome profile characterized by changes in the abundance of: motility-associated proteins, accounting for higher motility; antioxidant proteins, which may confer increased resistance to inflammation; and enzymes involved in key steps in the metabolism of glucose, amino acids and urea, which may be advantageous to face fluctuations of nutrients. In conclusion, the enhanced virulence of the pediatric ulcerogenic H. pylori strains may result from a synergy between their natural ability to better adapt to the hostile human stomach and the expression of the established virulence

  14. The subtilisin-like protease AprV2 is required for virulence and uses a novel disulphide-tethered exosite to bind substrates.

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    Ruth M Kennan

    Full Text Available Many bacterial pathogens produce extracellular proteases that degrade the extracellular matrix of the host and therefore are involved in disease pathogenesis. Dichelobacter nodosus is the causative agent of ovine footrot, a highly contagious disease that is characterized by the separation of the hoof from the underlying tissue. D. nodosus secretes three subtilisin-like proteases whose analysis forms the basis of diagnostic tests that differentiate between virulent and benign strains and have been postulated to play a role in virulence. We have constructed protease mutants of D. nodosus; their analysis in a sheep virulence model revealed that one of these enzymes, AprV2, was required for virulence. These studies challenge the previous hypothesis that the elastase activity of AprV2 is important for disease progression, since aprV2 mutants were virulent when complemented with aprB2, which encodes a variant that has impaired elastase activity. We have determined the crystal structures of both AprV2 and AprB2 and characterized the biological activity of these enzymes. These data reveal that an unusual extended disulphide-tethered loop functions as an exosite, mediating effective enzyme-substrate interactions. The disulphide bond and Tyr92, which was located at the exposed end of the loop, were functionally important. Bioinformatic analyses suggested that other pathogenic bacteria may have proteases that utilize a similar mechanism. In conclusion, we have used an integrated multidisciplinary combination of bacterial genetics, whole animal virulence trials in the original host, biochemical studies, and comprehensive analysis of crystal structures to provide the first definitive evidence that the extracellular secreted proteases produced by D. nodosus are required for virulence and to elucidate the molecular mechanism by which these proteases bind to their natural substrates. We postulate that this exosite mechanism may be used by proteases produced by

  15. Low virulent oral Candida albicans strains isolated from smokers.

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    de Azevedo Izidoro, Ana Claudia Santos; Semprebom, Andressa Marafon; Baboni, Fernanda Brasil; Rosa, Rosimeire Takaki; Machado, Maria Angela Naval; Samaranayake, Lakshman Perera; Rosa, Edvaldo Antonio Ribeiro

    2012-02-01

    It is widely accepted that tabagism is a predisposing factor to oral candidosis and cumulate data suggest that cigarette compounds may increase candidal virulence. To verify if enhanced virulence occurs in Candida albicans from chronic smokers, a cohort of 42 non-smokers and other of 58 smokers (all with excellent oral conditions and without signs of candidosis) were swabbed on tong dorsum and jugal mucosa. Results showed that oral candidal loads do not differ between smoker and non-smokers. Activities of secreted aspartyl-protease (Sap), phospholipase, chondroitinase, esterase-lipase, and haemolysin secretions were screened for thirty-two C. albicans isolates. There were detected significant increments in phospholipasic and chondroitinasic activities in isolates from non-smokers. For other virulence factors, no differences between both cohorts were achieved. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Potent innate immune response to pathogenic leptospira in human whole blood.

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    Marga G A Goris

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Leptospirosis is caused by pathogenic spirochetes of the genus Leptospira. The bacteria enter the human body via abraded skin or mucous membranes and may disseminate throughout. In general the clinical picture is mild but some patients develop rapidly progressive, severe disease with a high case fatality rate. Not much is known about the innate immune response to leptospires during haematogenous dissemination. Previous work showed that a human THP-1 cell line recognized heat-killed leptospires and leptospiral LPS through TLR2 instead of TLR4. The LPS of virulent leptospires displayed a lower potency to trigger TNF production by THP-1 cells compared to LPS of non-virulent leptospires. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We investigated the host response and killing of virulent and non-virulent Leptospira of different serovars by human THP-1 cells, human PBMC's and human whole blood. Virulence of each leptospiral strain was tested in a well accepted standard guinea pig model. Virulent leptospires displayed complement resistance in human serum and whole blood while in-vitro attenuated non-virulent leptospires were rapidly killed in a complement dependent manner. In vitro stimulation of THP-1 and PBMC's with heat-killed and living leptospires showed differential serovar and cell type dependence of cytokine induction. However, at low, physiological, leptospiral dose, living virulent complement resistant strains were consistently more potent in whole blood stimulations than the corresponding non-virulent complement sensitive strains. At higher dose living virulent and non-virulent leptospires were equipotent in whole blood. Inhibition of different TLRs indicated that both TLR2 and TLR4 as well as TLR5 play a role in the whole blood cytokine response to living leptospires. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Thus, in a minimally altered system as human whole blood, highly virulent Leptospira are potent inducers of the cytokine response.

  17. The special neuraminidase stalk-motif responsible for increased virulence and pathogenesis of H5N1 influenza A virus.

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    Hongbo Zhou

    Full Text Available The variation of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 virus results in gradually increased virulence in poultry, and human cases continue to accumulate. The neuraminidase (NA stalk region of influenza virus varies considerably and may associate with its virulence. The NA stalk region of all N1 subtype influenza A viruses can be divided into six different stalk-motifs, H5N1/2004-like (NA-wt, WSN-like, H5N1/97-like, PR/8-like, H7N1/99-like and H5N1/96-like. The NA-wt is a special NA stalk-motif which was first observed in H5N1 influenza virus in 2000, with a 20-amino acid deletion in the 49(th to 68(th positions of the stalk region. Here we show that there is a gradual increase of the special NA stalk-motif in H5N1 isolates from 2000 to 2007, and notably, the special stalk-motif is observed in all 173 H5N1 human isolates from 2004 to 2007. The recombinant H5N1 virus with the special stalk-motif possesses the highest virulence and pathogenicity in chicken and mice, while the recombinant viruses with the other stalk-motifs display attenuated phenotype. This indicates that the special stalk-motif has contributed to the high virulence and pathogenicity of H5N1 isolates since 2000. The gradually increasing emergence of the special NA stalk-motif in H5N1 isolates, especially in human isolates, deserves attention by all.

  18. Natural Selection in Virulence Genes of Francisella tularensis.

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  20. Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphisms of Virulence Plasmids in Rhodococcus equi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takai, Shinji; Shoda, Masato; Sasaki, Yukako; Tsubaki, Shiro; Fortier, Guillaume; Pronost, Stephane; Rahal, Karim; Becu, Teotimo; Begg, Angela; Browning, Glenn; Nicholson, Vivian M.; Prescott, John F.

    1999-01-01

    Virulent Rhodococcus equi, which is a well-known cause of pyogranulomatous pneumonia in foals, possesses a large plasmid encoding virulence-associated 15- to 17-kDa antigens. Foal and soil isolates from five countries—Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, and Japan—were investigated for the presence of 15- to 17-kDa antigens by colony blotting, using the monoclonal antibody 10G5, and the gene coding for 15- to 17-kDa antigens by PCR. Plasmid DNAs extracted from positive isolates were digested with restriction endonucleases BamHI, EcoRI, EcoT22I, and HindIII, and the digestion patterns that resulted divided the plasmids of virulent isolates into five closely related types. Three of the five types had already been reported in Canadian and Japanese isolates, and the two new types had been found in French and Japanese isolates. Therefore, we tentatively designated these five types 85-kb type I (pREAT701), 85-kb type II (a new type), 87-kb type I (EcoRI and BamHI type 2 [V. M. Nicholson and J. F. Prescott, J. Clin. Microbiol. 35:738–740, 1997]), 87-kb type II (a new type), and 90-kb (pREL1) plasmids. The 85-kb type I plasmid was found in isolates from Argentina, Australia, Canada, and France. Plasmid 87-kb type I was isolated in specimens from Argentina, Canada, and France. The 85-kb type II plasmid appeared in isolates from France. On the other hand, plasmids 87-kb type II and 90-kb were found only in isolates from Japan. These results revealed geographic differences in the distribution of the virulence plasmids found in the five countries and suggested that the restriction fragment length polymorphism of virulence plasmids might be useful to elucidate the molecular epidemiology of virulent R. equi in the world. PMID:10488224

  1. A peptide factor secreted by Staphylococcus pseudintermedius exhibits properties of both bacteriocins and virulence factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wladyka, Benedykt; Piejko, Marcin; Bzowska, Monika; Pieta, Piotr; Krzysik, Monika; Mazurek, Łukasz; Guevara-Lora, Ibeth; Bukowski, Michał; Sabat, Artur J; Friedrich, Alexander W; Bonar, Emilia; Międzobrodzki, Jacek; Dubin, Adam; Mak, Paweł

    2015-09-28

    Staphylococcus pseudintermedius is a common commensal bacterium colonizing the skin and mucosal surfaces of household animals. However, it has recently emerged as a dangerous opportunistic pathogen, comparable to S. aureus for humans. The epidemiological situation is further complicated by the increasing number of methicillin-resistant S. pseudintermedius infections and evidence of gene transmission driving antibiotic resistance between staphylococci colonizing human and zoonotic hosts. In the present study, we describe a unique peptide, BacSp222, that possesses features characteristic of both bacteriocins and virulence factors. BacSp222 is secreted in high quantities by S. pseudintermedius strain 222 isolated from dog skin lesions. This linear, fifty-amino-acid highly cationic peptide is plasmid-encoded and does not exhibit significant sequence similarities to any other known peptides or proteins. BacSp222 kills gram-positive bacteria (at doses ranging from 0.1 to several micromol/l) but also demonstrates significant cytotoxic activities towards eukaryotic cells at slightly higher concentrations. Moreover, at nanomolar concentrations, the peptide also possesses modulatory properties, efficiently enhancing interferon gamma-induced nitric oxide release in murine macrophage-like cell lines. BacSp222 appears to be one of the first examples of multifunctional peptides that breaks the convention of splitting bacteriocins and virulence factors into two unrelated groups.

  2. Structural characterization of the virulence factor nuclease A from Streptococcus agalactiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moon, Andrea F; Gaudu, Philippe; Pedersen, Lars C

    2014-11-01

    The group B pathogen Streptococcus agalactiae commonly populates the human gut and urogenital tract, and is a major cause of infection-based mortality in neonatal infants and in elderly or immunocompromised adults. Nuclease A (GBS_NucA), a secreted DNA/RNA nuclease, serves as a virulence factor for S. agalactiae, facilitating bacterial evasion of the human innate immune response. GBS_NucA efficiently degrades the DNA matrix component of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), which attempt to kill and clear invading bacteria during the early stages of infection. In order to better understand the mechanisms of DNA substrate binding and catalysis of GBS_NucA, the high-resolution structure of a catalytically inactive mutant (H148G) was solved by X-ray crystallography. Several mutants on the surface of GBS_NucA which might influence DNA substrate binding and catalysis were generated and evaluated using an imidazole chemical rescue technique. While several of these mutants severely inhibited nuclease activity, two mutants (K146R and Q183A) exhibited significantly increased activity. These structural and biochemical studies have greatly increased our understanding of the mechanism of action of GBS_NucA in bacterial virulence and may serve as a foundation for the structure-based drug design of antibacterial compounds targeted to S. agalactiae.

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

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    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.

  4. Identification of anti-virulence compounds that disrupt quorum-sensing regulated acute and persistent pathogenicity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa Starkey

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Etiological agents of acute, persistent, or relapsing clinical infections are often refractory to antibiotics due to multidrug resistance and/or antibiotic tolerance. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic Gram-negative bacterial pathogen that causes recalcitrant and severe acute chronic and persistent human infections. Here, we target the MvfR-regulated P. aeruginosa quorum sensing (QS virulence pathway to isolate robust molecules that specifically inhibit infection without affecting bacterial growth or viability to mitigate selective resistance. Using a whole-cell high-throughput screen (HTS and structure-activity relationship (SAR analysis, we identify compounds that block the synthesis of both pro-persistence and pro-acute MvfR-dependent signaling molecules. These compounds, which share a benzamide-benzimidazole backbone and are unrelated to previous MvfR-regulon inhibitors, bind the global virulence QS transcriptional regulator, MvfR (PqsR; inhibit the MvfR regulon in multi-drug resistant isolates; are active against P. aeruginosa acute and persistent murine infections; and do not perturb bacterial growth. In addition, they are the first compounds identified to reduce the formation of antibiotic-tolerant persister cells. As such, these molecules provide for the development of next-generation clinical therapeutics to more effectively treat refractory and deleterious bacterial-human infections.

  5. Evaluation the virulence of Mycobacterium bovis isolated from milk samples through histopathological study in laboratory animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Saqur, I M; Al-Thwani, A N; Al-Attar, I M; Al-Mashhadani, M S

    2016-12-01

    Mycobacterium bovis has a broad host range, and it is the principal agent responsible for tuberculosis (TB) in bovine, domestic and wild mammals. M. bovis also infects human, causing zoonotic TB through ingestion, inhalation and, less frequently by contact with mucous membranes and broken skin. Zoonotic TB was formerly an endemic disease, usually transmitted to man by consumption of raw cow's milk. It is indistinguishable clinically or pathologically from TB caused by M. tuberculosis. The aims of this study were, to isolate and identified M. bovis from raw milk samples by different methods, and evaluate the virulence of M. bovis in laboratory animals (Rabbit). To conduct the study, ninety three cow's milk samples were collected from farms around Baghdad governorate. The decontamination of milk samples was firstly carried out, then samples were subjected to routine tests which include, direct smear for Ziehl Neelsen acid fast stain, culture, each sample was cultured on Lowenstein Jensen media with Sodium pyruvite (All cultures incubated on 37°C for 4-10weeks with continuous observation), and biochemical testes as Nitrate reduction test, Niacin paper strip test and pyrazinamidase test, were employed to diagnose and identified the bacteria. Beside molecular assay was used to confirm the identification of the isolates by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) using specific primers for M. bovis. The virulence of these isolates were investigated through inoculate it in group of laboratory animals consist of 8 rabbit in addition to other group of 4 animals as control (inoculate with Phosphate Buffer Saline). The animals were scarified after 6weeks of inoculation, post- mortem examination was carried out, smears were taken from lesions, and tissue samples were collected from lymph nodes and different organs. The results revealed five isolates of M. bovis in direct smear by acid fast Ziehl-Neelsen stain, while eight isolates observed by culture, the colonies appeared with

  6. Influenza A virus NS1 gene mutations F103L and M106I increase replication and virulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ping Jihui

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background To understand the evolutionary steps required for a virus to become virulent in a new host, a human influenza A virus (IAV, A/Hong Kong/1/68(H3N2 (HK-wt, was adapted to increased virulence in the mouse. Among eleven mutations selected in the NS1 gene, two mutations F103L and M106I had been previously detected in the highly virulent human H5N1 isolate, A/HK/156/97, suggesting a role for these mutations in virulence in mice and humans. Results To determine the selective advantage of these mutations, reverse genetics was used to rescue viruses containing each of the NS1 mouse adapted mutations into viruses possessing the HK-wt NS1 gene on the A/PR/8/34 genetic backbone. Both F103L and M106I NS1 mutations significantly enhanced growth in vitro (mouse and canine cells and in vivo (BALB/c mouse lungs as well as enhanced virulence in the mouse. Only the M106I NS1 mutation enhanced growth in human cells. Furthermore, these NS1 mutations enhanced early viral protein synthesis in MDCK cells and showed an increased ability to replicate in mouse interferon β (IFN-β pre-treated mouse cells relative to rPR8-HK-NS-wt NS1. The double mutant, rPR8-HK-NS-F103L + M106I, demonstrated growth attenuation late in infection due to increased IFN-β induction in mouse cells. We then generated a rPR8 virus possessing the A/HK/156/97 NS gene that possesses 103L + 106I, and then rescued the L103F + I106M mutant. The 103L + 106I mutations increased virulence by >10 fold in BALB/c mice. We also inserted the avian A/Ck/Beijing/1/95 NS1 gene (the source lineage of the A/HK/156/97 NS1 gene that possesses 103L + 106I, onto the A/WSN/33 backbone and then generated the L103F + I106M mutant. None of the H5N1 and H9N2 NS containing viruses resulted in increased IFN-β induction. The rWSN-A/Ck/Beijing/1/95-NS1 gene possessing 103L and 106I demonstrated 100 fold enhanced growth and >10 fold enhanced virulence that was associated with increased tropism for lung

  7. Neuraminidase stalk length and additional glycosylation of the hemagglutinin influence the virulence of influenza H5N1 viruses for mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuoka, Yumiko; Swayne, David E; Thomas, Colleen; Rameix-Welti, Marie-Anne; Naffakh, Nadia; Warnes, Christine; Altholtz, Melanie; Donis, Ruben; Subbarao, Kanta

    2009-05-01

    Following circulation of avian influenza H5 and H7 viruses in poultry, the hemagglutinin (HA) can acquire additional glycosylation sites, and the neuraminidase (NA) stalk becomes shorter. We investigated whether these features play a role in the pathogenesis of infection in mammalian hosts. From 1996 to 2007, H5N1 viruses with a short NA stalk have become widespread in several avian species. Compared to viruses with a long-stalk NA, viruses with a short-stalk NA showed a decreased capacity to elute from red blood cells and an increased virulence in mice, but not in chickens. The presence of additional HA glycosylation sites had less of an effect on virulence than did NA stalk length. The short-stalk NA of H5N1 viruses circulating in Asia may contribute to virulence in humans.

  8. Neuraminidase Stalk Length and Additional Glycosylation of the Hemagglutinin Influence the Virulence of Influenza H5N1 Viruses for Mice▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuoka, Yumiko; Swayne, David E.; Thomas, Colleen; Rameix-Welti, Marie-Anne; Naffakh, Nadia; Warnes, Christine; Altholtz, Melanie; Donis, Ruben; Subbarao, Kanta

    2009-01-01

    Following circulation of avian influenza H5 and H7 viruses in poultry, the hemagglutinin (HA) can acquire additional glycosylation sites, and the neuraminidase (NA) stalk becomes shorter. We investigated whether these features play a role in the pathogenesis of infection in mammalian hosts. From 1996 to 2007, H5N1 viruses with a short NA stalk have become widespread in several avian species. Compared to viruses with a long-stalk NA, viruses with a short-stalk NA showed a decreased capacity to elute from red blood cells and an increased virulence in mice, but not in chickens. The presence of additional HA glycosylation sites had less of an effect on virulence than did NA stalk length. The short-stalk NA of H5N1 viruses circulating in Asia may contribute to virulence in humans. PMID:19225004

  9. The combined effects of starvation and pH on the virulence of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ACER

    2013-04-17

    Apr 17, 2013 ... the virulence of Shigella sonnei ATCC25931. Ali Ellafi* .... P-values of < 0.05 were considered as significant. ..... Virulence factors of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and other ... gene expression in Porphyromonas gingivalis. Infect.

  10. 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...

  11. [Investigation of some virulence factors in Trichosporon spp. strains].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demir, Feyza; Kuştimur, Semra

    2014-10-01

    The frequency of fungal infections have increased recently in parallel to prolonged survival of patients with chronical infections, common use of the broad-spectrum antibiotics and cytotoxic drugs and surgical interventions. Fungi such as Trichosporon, Fusarium and Geotrichum that were previously evaluated as contaminant/colonization, become important causes of morbidity and mortality especially in neutropenic patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of virulence factors such as acid proteinase, phospholipase, esterase, coagulase and hemolytic activity among Trichosporon species. A total of 40 Trichosporon strains, of them 24 (60%) were T.asahii, 6 (15%) were T.inkin and 10 (25%) were the other species (one of each of T.aquatile, T.asteroides, T.coremiiforme, T.cutaneum, T.dermatis, T.faecale, T.japonicum, T.montevideense, T.mucoides, T.ovoides) were included in the study. Identification of the isolates was performed according to microscopic morphology (blastospores, arthrospores, pseudohyphae and true hyphae) on corn meal agar media, and carbohydrate assimilation patterns (API ID32C; bioMérieux, France). Secretory acid proteinase, phospholipase and esterase activities of the strains were evaluated by 1% bovine serum albumin containing agar, by egg yolk containing solid medium, and by Tween 80 containing solid medium, respectively. Hemolytic activity of the isolates were evaluated by 5-10% sheep blood Sabouraud dextrose agar. Coagulase enzyme activity was determined by using human and rabbit plasma. In our study, all of the 40 Trichosporon spp. strains were found negative in terms of acid proteinase and phospholipase enzyme activity, however all were positive for esterase enzyme activity. Hemolytic enzyme activity were identified in a total of 15 (37.5%) strains, being "+++" in three strains (2 T.asahii, 1 T.japonicum), and "++" in 12 isolates (9 T.asahii, 1 T.inkin, 1 T.asteroides, 1 T.mentevideense). Although 11 of those 15 positive

  12. The effect of milk components and storage conditions on the virulence of Listeria monocytogenes as determined by a Caco-2 cell assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pricope-Ciolacu, Luminita; Nicolau, Anca Ioana; Wagner, Martin; Rychli, Kathrin

    2013-08-16

    Nearly all cases of human listeriosis have been associated with consumption of contaminated food, therefore the investigation of the virulence of Listeria (L.) monocytogenes after exposure to environmental conditions in food matrices is critical in order to understand and control its impact on public health. As milk and dairy products have been implicated in more than half of the listeriosis outbreaks, we investigated the in vitro virulence of L. monocytogenes incubated in different milk types at various storage conditions. Incubation in pasteurized milk at refrigeration conditions (4°C) revealed a higher invasion and intracellular proliferation of four different L. monocytogenes strains compared to raw milk using human intestinal epithelial Caco-2 cells. Furthermore the period of storage, which increased L. monocytogenes cell numbers, decreased in vitro virulence. However, L. monocytogenes stored for 3weeks at 4°C in milk are still able to invade and proliferate into the host cell. Interestingly abused storage temperatures (25°C and 30°C) for a short time period (2h) revealed an attenuated impact on the in vitro virulence of L. monocytogenes compared to the storage temperature of 4°C. Regarding the major milk compounds, the level of milk fat significantly affected the in vitro virulence of L. monocytogenes. Pre-incubation in milk with high fat content (3.6%) resulted in a lower invasion capability compared to milk with low fat content. In contrast casein and lactose did not influence the invasiveness of L. monocytogenes into the host cell. In conclusion our study shows that the milk environment and different storage conditions influence the in vitro virulence of L. monocytogenes, both of which have to be considered in the risk assessment of contaminated food. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Macrophage and Galleria mellonella infection models reflect the virulence of naturally occurring isolates of B. pseudomallei, B. thailandensis and B. oklahomensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michell Stephen L

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Burkholderia pseudomallei is the causative agent of melioidosis, a tropical disease of humans with a variable and often fatal outcome. In murine models of infection, different strains exhibit varying degrees of virulence. In contrast, two related species, B. thailandensis and B. oklahomensis, are highly attenuated in mice. Our aim was to determine whether virulence in mice is reflected in macrophage or wax moth larvae (Galleria mellonella infection models. Results B. pseudomallei strains 576 and K96243, which have low median lethal dose (MLD values in mice, were able to replicate and induce cellular damage in macrophages and caused rapid death of G. mellonella. In contrast, B. pseudomallei strain 708a, which is attenuated in mice, showed reduced replication in macrophages, negligible cellular damage and was avirulent in G. mellonella larvae. B. thailandensis isolates were less virulent than B. pseudomallei in all of the models tested. However, we did record strain dependent differences. B. oklahomensis isolates were the least virulent isolates. They showed minimal ability to replicate in macrophages, were unable to evoke actin-based motility or to form multinucleated giant cells and were markedly attenuated in G. mellonella compared to B. thailandensis. Conclusions We have shown that the alternative infection models tested here, namely macrophages and Galleria mellonella, are able to distinguish between strains of B. pseudomallei, B. thailandensis and B. oklahomensis and that these differences reflect the observed virulence in murine infection models. Our results indicate that B. oklahomensis is the least pathogenic of the species investigated. They also show a correlation between isolates of B. thailandensis associated with human infection and virulence in macrophage and Galleria infection models.

  14. Correlates between Models of Virulence for Mycobacterium tuberculosis among Isolates of the Central Asian Lineage: a Case for Lysozyme Resistance Testing?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casali, Nicola; Clark, Simon O.; Hooper, Richard; Williams, Ann; Velji, Preya; Gonzalo, Ximena

    2015-01-01

    Virulence factors (VFs) contribute to the emergence of new human Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains, are lineage dependent, and are relevant to the development of M. tuberculosis drugs/vaccines. VFs were sought within M. tuberculosis lineage 3, which has the Central Asian (CAS) spoligotype. Three isolates were selected from clusters previously identified as dominant in London, United Kingdom. Strain-associated virulence was studied in guinea pig, monocyte-derived macrophage, and lysozyme resistance assays. Whole-genome sequencing, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis, and a literature review contributed to the identification of SNPs of interest. The animal model revealed borderline differences in strain-associated pathogenicity. Ex vivo, isolate C72 exhibited statistically significant differences in intracellular growth relative to C6 and C14. SNP candidates inducing lower fitness levels included 123 unique nonsynonymous SNPs, including three located in genes (lysX, caeA, and ponA2) previously identified as VFs in the laboratory-adapted reference strain H37Rv and shown to confer lysozyme resistance. C72 growth was most affected by lysozyme in vitro. A BLAST search revealed that all three SNPs of interest (C35F, P76Q, and P780R) also occurred in Tiruvallur, India, and in Uganda. Unlike C72, however, no single isolate identified through BLAST carried all three SNPs simultaneously. CAS isolates representative of three medium-sized human clusters demonstrated differential outcomes in models commonly used to estimate strain-associated virulence, supporting the idea that virulence varies within, not just across, M. tuberculosis lineages. Three VF SNPs of interest were identified in two additional locations worldwide, which suggested independent selection and supported a role for these SNPs in virulence. The relevance of lysozyme resistance to strain virulence remains to be established. PMID:25776753

  15. 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.

  16. 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).

  17. Plasmid fingerprinting and virulence gene detection among indigenous strains of salmonella enterica serovar enteritidis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sajid, S.U.; Schwarz, S.

    2009-01-01

    Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis is an important frequently reported zoonotic pathogen and a common cause of human gastroenteritis worldwide. The highly conserved Serospecific plasmids (SSPs) and Salmonella plasmid virulence (Spv) genes have been shown to mediate extra-intestinal colonization and systemic infection. The objective of current study was to document the presence of SSPs and SpvB/SpvC genes prevailing in the indigenous population of serovar Enteritidis. A total of 48 epidemiologically unrelated strains of Salmonella enteritidis were included in the study. Preparation of plasmids DNA suitable for endonuclease digestion and separation of respective fragments by agarose gel electrophoresis followed previously described protocols. The plasmids of Escherichia coli V517, 1-kbp ladder, and lambda DNA HindIII fragments served as DNA size standards. Transfer of DNA fragments from agarose gels to nitrocellulose membranes was achieved by capillary blot procedure. An ECL labeled 3.6 kbp HindIII fragment of plasmid PRQ 51 was used as probe for SpvB/SpvC gene detection. Plasmid DNA fingerprinting revealed the presence of two different profiles of approximately 55 kbp and 90 kbp and were identified as virulence plasmids by DNA hybridization. The SpvB/SpvC genes were located on HindIII fragments of 3.6 kbp in each of the two types of virulence plasmids. The study confirms the presence of SSPs and SpvB/SpvC genes in indigenous strains of S. enteritidis isolated from Northern Punjab area of Pakistan and substantiate the previous data on such findings from other parts of the world. (author)

  18. Structure of Rot, a global regulator of virulence genes in Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Yuwei; Fan, Xiaojiao; Zhang, Xu; Jiang, Xuguang; Niu, Liwen; Teng, Maikun; Li, Xu

    2014-09-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a highly versatile pathogen that can infect human tissue by producing a large arsenal of virulence factors that are tightly regulated by a complex regulatory network. Rot, which shares sequence similarity with SarA homologues, is a global regulator that regulates numerous virulence genes. However, the recognition model of Rot for the promoter region of target genes and the putative regulation mechanism remain elusive. In this study, the 1.77 Å resolution X-ray crystal structure of Rot is reported. The structure reveals that two Rot molecules form a compact homodimer, each of which contains a typical helix-turn-helix module and a β-hairpin motif connected by a flexible loop. Fluorescence polarization results indicate that Rot preferentially recognizes AT-rich dsDNA with ~30-base-pair nucleotides and that the conserved positively charged residues on the winged-helix motif are vital for binding to the AT-rich dsDNA. It is proposed that the DNA-recognition model of Rot may be similar to that of SarA, SarR and SarS, in which the helix-turn-helix motifs of each monomer interact with the major grooves of target dsDNA and the winged motifs contact the minor grooves. Interestingly, the structure shows that Rot adopts a novel dimerization model that differs from that of other SarA homologues. As expected, perturbation of the dimer interface abolishes the dsDNA-binding ability of Rot, suggesting that Rot functions as a dimer. In addition, the results have been further confirmed in vivo by measuring the transcriptional regulation of α-toxin, a major virulence factor produced by most S. aureus strains.

  19. Spaceflight and Simulated Microgravity Increases Virulence of the Known Bacterial Pathogen S. Marcescens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clemens-Grisham, Rachel Andrea; Bhattacharya, Sharmila; Wade, William

    2016-01-01

    After spaceflight, the number of immune cells is reduced in humans. In other research models, including Drosophila, not only is there a reduction in the number of plasmatocytes, but expression of immune-related genes is also changed after spaceflight. These observations suggest that the immune system is compromised after exposure to microgravity. It has also been reported that there is a change in virulence of some bacterial pathogens after spaceflight. We recently observed that samples of gram-negative S. marcescens retrieved from spaceflight is more virulent than ground controls, as determined by reduced survival and increased bacterial growth in the host. We were able to repeat this finding of increased virulence after exposure to simulated microgravity using the rotating wall vessel, a ground based analog to microgravity. With the ground and spaceflight samples, we looked at involvement of the Toll and Imd pathways in the Drosophila host in fighting infection by ground and spaceflight samples. We observed that Imd-pathway mutants were more susceptible to infection by the ground bacterial samples, which aligns with the known role of this pathway in fighting infections by gram-negative bacteria. When the Imd-pathway mutants were infected with the spaceflight sample, however, they exhibited the same susceptibility as seen with the ground control bacteria. Interestingly, all mutant flies show the same susceptibility to the spaceflight bacterial sample as do wild type flies. This suggests that neither humoral immunity pathway is effectively able to counter the increased pathogenicity of the space-flown S. marcescens bacteria.

  20. Norepinephrine and dopamine increase motility, biofilm formation and virulence of Vibrio harveyi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qian eYang

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Vibrio harveyi is one of the major pathogens of aquatic organisms, affecting both vertebrates and invertebrates, and causes important losses in the aquaculture industry. In order to develop novel methods to control disease caused by this pathogen, we need to obtain a better understanding of pathogenicity mechanisms. Sensing of catecholamines increases both growth and production of virulence-related factors in pathogens of terrestrial animals and humans. However, at this moment, knowledge on the impact of catecholamines on the virulence of pathogens of aquatic organisms is lacking. In the present study, we report that in V. harveyi, norepinephrine and dopamine increased growth in serum-supplemented medium, siderophore production, swimming motility and expression of genes involved in flagellar motility, biofilm formation, and exopolysaccharide production. Consistent with this, pretreatment of V. harveyi with catecholamines prior to inoculation into the rearing water resulted in significantly decreased survival of gnotobiotic brine shrimp larvae, when compared to larvae challenged with untreated V. harveyi. Further, norepinephrine-induced effects could be neutralized by α-adrenergic antagonists or by the bacterial catecholamine receptor antagonist LED209, but not by β-adrenergic or dopaminergic antagonists. Dopamine-induced effects could be neutralized by dopaminergic antagonists or LED209, but not by adrenergic antagonists. Together, our results indicate that catecholamine sensing increases the success of transmission of V. harveyi and that interfering with catecholamine sensing might be an interesting strategy to control vibriosis in aquaculture. We hypothesise that upon tissue and/or hemocyte damage during infection, pathogens come into contact with elevated catecholamine levels, and that this stimulates the expression of virulence factors that are required to colonize a new host.

  1. Norepinephrine and dopamine increase motility, biofilm formation, and virulence of Vibrio harveyi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Qian; Anh, Nguyen D Q; Bossier, Peter; Defoirdt, Tom

    2014-01-01

    Vibrio harveyi is one of the major pathogens of aquatic organisms, affecting both vertebrates and invertebrates, and causes important losses in the aquaculture industry. In order to develop novel methods to control disease caused by this pathogen, we need to obtain a better understanding of pathogenicity mechanisms. Sensing of catecholamines increases both growth and production of virulence-related factors in pathogens of terrestrial animals and humans. However, at this moment, knowledge on the impact of catecholamines on the virulence of pathogens of aquatic organisms is lacking. In the present study, we report that in V. harveyi, norepinephrine (NE) and dopamine (Dopa) increased growth in serum-supplemented medium, siderophore production, swimming motility, and expression of genes involved in flagellar motility, biofilm formation, and exopolysaccharide production. Consistent with this, pretreatment of V. harveyi with catecholamines prior to inoculation into the rearing water resulted in significantly decreased survival of gnotobiotic brine shrimp larvae, when compared to larvae challenged with untreated V. harveyi. Further, NE-induced effects could be neutralized by α-adrenergic antagonists or by the bacterial catecholamine receptor antagonist LED209, but not by β-adrenergic or dopaminergic antagonists. Dopa-induced effects could be neutralized by dopaminergic antagonists or LED209, but not by adrenergic antagonists. Together, our results indicate that catecholamine sensing increases the success of transmission of V. harveyi and that interfering with catecholamine sensing might be an interesting strategy to control vibriosis in aquaculture. We hypothesize that upon tissue and/or hemocyte damage during infection, pathogens come into contact with elevated catecholamine levels, and that this stimulates the expression of virulence factors that are required to colonize a new host.

  2. Virulence traits and antibiotic resistance among enterococci isolated from dogs with periodontal disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Manuela; Tavares, Marta; Gomes, Diana; Touret, Tiago; São Braz, Berta; Tavares, Luís; Semedo-Lemsaddek, Teresa

    2016-06-01

    Periodontal disease - PD - is one of the most widespread diseases in dogs, but the role of this odontogenic infection in the dissemination of pathogenic bacteria present in the oral mucosa to other animals or pet owners is understudied. Trying to unveil the putative pathogenicity of enterococci present in the gums of dogs diagnosed with PD, thirty-two animals were investigated during routine visits to a private veterinary clinic. Seventy-one enterococci were recovered and characterized regarding species, genomic variability, virulence traits, antimicrobial resistance and biofilm-forming ability. Isolates were mainly identified as Enterococcus faecalis, with the large majority (95%) being able to produce biofilm. Regarding antibiotic resistance, all dog-enterococci were susceptible to ampicillin, amoxicillin/clavulanate, gentamicin-120, imipenem and vancomycin; while distinct levels of resistance were observed for chloramphenicol (10%), erythromycin (20%), streptomycin-300 (35%) and tetracycline (95%). For virulence traits incidence levels of 35% were observed for β-hemolysis and 25% for cylA, 25% for gelatinase and 35% for gelE; 85% harbor efaAfs and ebpABC; while ace, agg and esp are present respectively in 50, 30 and 10% of the dog-enterococci; efaAfm and acm were detected in all the Enterococcus faecium. Overall, the widespread prevalence of PD in dogs, associated with the close contact between companion animals, other animals and humans, may act as source for the dissemination of opportunistic pathogenic bacteria. Hence, aforementioned data on virulence and resistance features, emphasizes the need for active surveillance measures, such as the diagnose of PD in companion animals during routine visits to the veterinary clinic. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Genomic resources for a unique, low-virulence Babesia taxon from China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guiquan Guan

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Babesiosis is a socioeconomically important tick-borne disease of animals (including humans caused by haemoprotozoan parasites. The severity of babesiosis relates to host and parasite factors, particularly virulence/pathogenicity. Although Babesia bovis is a particularly pathogenic species of cattle, there are species of Babesia of ruminants that have limited pathogenicity. For instance, the operational taxonomic unit Babesia sp. Xinjiang (abbreviated here as Bx of sheep from China is substantially less virulent/pathogenic than B. bovis is in cattle. Although the reason for this distinctiveness is presently unknown, it is possible that Bx has a reduced ability to adhere to cells or evade/suppress immune responses, which might relate to particular proteins, such as the variant erythrocyte surface antigens (VESAs. Results We sequenced and annotated the 8.4 Mb nuclear draft genome of Bx and compared it with those of B. bovis and B. bigemina by synteny analysis; we also investigated the genetic relationship of Bx with selected Babesia species and related apicomplexans for which genomic datasets are available, and explored the VESA complement in Bx. Conclusions The availability of the Bx genome now provides unique opportunities to elucidate aspects of the molecular biology, biochemistry and physiology of Bx, and to explore the reason(s for its limited virulence and/or apparent ability to evade immune attack by the host animal. Moreover, the present genomic resource and an in vitro culture system for Bx raises the prospect of establishing a functional genomic platform to explore essential genes as new intervention targets against babesiosis.

  4. Genomic resources for a unique, low-virulence Babesia taxon from China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Guiquan; Korhonen, Pasi K; Young, Neil D; Koehler, Anson V; Wang, Tao; Li, Youquan; Liu, Zhijie; Luo, Jianxun; Yin, Hong; Gasser, Robin B

    2016-10-27

    Babesiosis is a socioeconomically important tick-borne disease of animals (including humans) caused by haemoprotozoan parasites. The severity of babesiosis relates to host and parasite factors, particularly virulence/pathogenicity. Although Babesia bovis is a particularly pathogenic species of cattle, there are species of Babesia of ruminants that have limited pathogenicity. For instance, the operational taxonomic unit Babesia sp. Xinjiang (abbreviated here as Bx) of sheep from China is substantially less virulent/pathogenic than B. bovis is in cattle. Although the reason for this distinctiveness is presently unknown, it is possible that Bx has a reduced ability to adhere to cells or evade/suppress immune responses, which might relate to particular proteins, such as the variant erythrocyte surface antigens (VESAs). We sequenced and annotated the 8.4 Mb nuclear draft genome of Bx and compared it with those of B. bovis and B. bigemina by synteny analysis; we also investigated the genetic relationship of Bx with selected Babesia species and related apicomplexans for which genomic datasets are available, and explored the VESA complement in Bx. The availability of the Bx genome now provides unique opportunities to elucidate aspects of the molecular biology, biochemistry and physiology of Bx, and to explore the reason(s) for its limited virulence and/or apparent ability to evade immune attack by the host animal. Moreover, the present genomic resource and an in vitro culture system for Bx raises the prospect of establishing a functional genomic platform to explore essential genes as new intervention targets against babesiosis.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Virulence genes and genetic diversity of Streptococcus suis serotype 2 isolates from Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maneerat, K; Yongkiettrakul, S; Kramomtong, I; Tongtawe, P; Tapchaisri, P; Luangsuk, P; Chaicumpa, W; Gottschalk, M; Srimanote, P

    2013-11-01

    Isolates of Streptococcus suis from different Western countries as well as those from China and Vietnam have been previously well characterized. So far, the genetic characteristics and relationship between S. suis strains isolated from both humans and pigs in Thailand are unknown. In this study, a total of 245 S. suis isolates were collected from both human cases (epidemic and sporadic) and pigs (diseased and asymptomatic) in Thailand. Bacterial strains were identified by biochemical tests and PCR targeting both, the 16S rRNA and gdh genes. Thirty-six isolates were identified as serotype 2 based on serotyping and the cps2-PCR. These isolates were tested for the presence of six virulence-associated genes: an arginine deiminase (arcA), a 38-kDa protein and protective antigen (bay046), an extracellular factor (epf), an hyaluronidase (hyl), a muramidase-released protein (mrp) and a suilysin (sly). In addition, the genetic diversities of these isolates were studied by RAPD PCR and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis. Four virulence-associated gene patterns (VAGP 1 to 4) were obtained, and the majority of isolates (32/36) carried all genes tested (VAGP1). Each of the three OPB primers used provided 4 patterns designated RAPD-A to RAPD-D. Furthermore, MLST analysis could also distinguish the 36 isolates into four sequence types (STs): ST1 (n = 32), ST104 (n = 2), ST233 (n = 1) and a newly identified ST, ST336 (n = 1). Dendrogram constructions based on RAPD patterns indicated that S. suis serotype 2 isolates from Thailand could be divided into four groups and that the characteristics of the individual groups were in complete agreement with the virulence gene profiles and STs. The majority (32/36) of isolates recovered from diseased pigs, slaughterhouse pigs or human patients could be classified into a single group (VAGP1, RAPD-A and ST1). This genetic information strongly suggests the transmission of S. suis isolates from pigs to humans in Thailand. Our findings are

  8. Characterization of surface antigen protein 1 (SurA1) from Acinetobacter baumannii and its role in virulence and fitness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Dong; Liu, Zeng-Shan; Hu, Pan; Cai, Ling; Fu, Bao-Quan; Li, Yan-Song; Lu, Shi-Ying; Liu, Nan-Nan; Ma, Xiao-Long; Chi, Dan; Chang, Jiang; Shui, Yi-Ming; Li, Zhao-Hui; Ahmad, Waqas; Zhou, Yu; Ren, Hong-Lin

    2016-04-15

    Acinetobacter baumannii is a Gram-negative bacillus that causes nosocomial infections, such as bacteremia, pneumonia, and meningitis and urinary tract and wound infections. In the present study, the surface antigen protein 1 (SurA1) gene of A. baumannii strain CCGGD201101 was identified, cloned and expressed, and then its roles in fitness and virulence were investigated. Virulence was observed in the human lung cancer cell lines A549 and HEp-2 at one week after treatment with recombinant SurA1. One isogenic SurA1 knock-out strain, GR0015, which was derived from the A. baumannii strain CCGGD201101 isolated from diseased chicks in a previous study, highlighted the effect of SurA1 on fitness and growth. Its growth rate in LB broth and killing activity in human sera were significantly decreased compared with strain CCGGD201101. In the Galleria mellonella insect model, the isogenic SurA1 knock-out strain exhibited a lower survival rate and decreased dissemination. These results suggest that SurA1 plays an important role in the fitness and virulence of A. baumannii. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. A genomic survey of positive selection in Burkholderia pseudomallei provides insights into the evolution of accidental virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tannistha Nandi

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Certain environmental microorganisms can cause severe human infections, even in the absence of an obvious requirement for transition through an animal host for replication ("accidental virulence". To understand this process, we compared eleven isolate genomes of Burkholderia pseudomallei (Bp, a tropical soil microbe and causative agent of the human and animal disease melioidosis. We found evidence for the existence of several new genes in the Bp reference genome, identifying 282 novel genes supported by at least two independent lines of supporting evidence (mRNA transcripts, database homologs, and presence of ribosomal binding sites and 81 novel genes supported by all three lines. Within the Bp core genome, 211 genes exhibited significant levels of positive selection (4.5%, distributed across many cellular pathways including carbohydrate and secondary metabolism. Functional experiments revealed that certain positively selected genes might enhance mammalian virulence by interacting with host cellular pathways or utilizing host nutrients. Evolutionary modifications improving Bp environmental fitness may thus have indirectly facilitated the ability of Bp to colonize and survive in mammalian hosts. These findings improve our understanding of the pathogenesis of melioidosis, and establish Bp as a model system for studying the genetics of accidental virulence.

  10. 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.

  11. Reconstruction of the metabolic network of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to interrogate virulence factor synthesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bartell, Jennifer; Blazier, Anna S; Yen, Phillip

    2017-01-01

    Virulence-linked pathways in opportunistic pathogens are putative therapeutic targets that may be associated with less potential for resistance than targets in growth-essential pathways. However, efficacy of virulence-linked targets may be affected by the contribution of virulence-related genes t...

  12. A Strong Case for Viral Genetic Factors in HIV Virulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua T. Herbeck

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available HIV infections show great variation in the rate of progression to disease, and the role of viral genetic factors in this variation had remained poorly characterized until recently. Now a series of four studies [1–4] published within a year has filled this important gap and has demonstrated a robust effect of the viral genotype on HIV virulence.

  13. Detection of some virulence factors in Staphylococcus aureus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    USER

    2010-06-21

    Jun 21, 2010 ... Mastitis is one of the common diseases of dairy cattle and an inflammatory ... Key words: Bovine mastitis, Staphylococcus aureus, virulence factors, ... frequent cause of subclinical intramammary infections in ... genotypes has not been investigated. ... genes in S. aureus, we were particularly interested in the.

  14. Detection of some virulence factors in Staphylococcus aureus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Detection of some virulence factors in Staphylococcus aureus isolated from clinical and subclinical bovine mastitis in Iran. ... Mastitis is one of the common diseases of dairy cattle and an inflammatory response of the mammary glands tissue. ... and B genes, 10 samples contained agrI gene, 42 samples contained agrII gene, ...

  15. Metabolism of the vacuolar pathogen Legionella and implications for virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manske, Christian; Hilbi, Hubert

    2014-01-01

    Legionella pneumophila is a ubiquitous environmental bacterium that thrives in fresh water habitats, either as planktonic form or as part of biofilms. The bacteria also grow intracellularly in free-living protozoa as well as in mammalian alveolar macrophages, thus triggering a potentially fatal pneumonia called "Legionnaires' disease." To establish its intracellular niche termed the "Legionella-containing vacuole" (LCV), L. pneumophila employs a type IV secretion system and translocates ~300 different "effector" proteins into host cells. The pathogen switches between two distinct forms to grow in its extra- or intracellular niches: transmissive bacteria are virulent for phagocytes, and replicative bacteria multiply within their hosts. The switch between these forms is regulated by different metabolic cues that signal conditions favorable for replication or transmission, respectively, causing a tight link between metabolism and virulence of the bacteria. Amino acids represent the prime carbon and energy source of extra- or intracellularly growing L. pneumophila. Yet, the genome sequences of several Legionella spp. as well as transcriptome and proteome data and metabolism studies indicate that the bacteria possess broad catabolic capacities and also utilize carbohydrates such as glucose. Accordingly, L. pneumophila mutant strains lacking catabolic genes show intracellular growth defects, and thus, intracellular metabolism and virulence of the pathogen are intimately connected. In this review we will summarize recent findings on the extra- and intracellular metabolism of L. pneumophila using genetic, biochemical and cellular microbial approaches. Recent progress in this field sheds light on the complex interplay between metabolism, differentiation and virulence of the pathogen.

  16. Virulence properties and random amplification of polymorphic DNA ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Genotypic and phenotypic characterization as well as studies on the virulence factors of Candida albicans isolates obtained from oral cavity of patients was carried out using random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) fingerprinting and epithelial cells adherence assay, respectively. RAPD patterns revealed the presence of ...

  17. Detection of viable toxigenic Vibrio cholerae and virulent Shigella ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    . cholerae and the invasion plasmid antigen gene (ipaH) of virulent Shigella spp., was performed and the PCR products were visualised by agarose gel electrophoresis. The assay allowed the detection of as few as 1 cfu/100 ml of V. cholerae ...

  18. Gene encoding virulence markers among Escherichia coli isolates ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    River water sources and diarrhoeic stools of residents in the Venda Region, Limpopo Province of South Africa were analysed for the prevalence of Escherichia coli (E. coli) and the presence of virulence genes among the isolates. A control group of 100 nondiarrhoeic stool samples was included. Escherichia coli was ...

  19. Amoebapore is an important virulence factor of Entamoeba histolytica

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    ... ap-a genes. The silenced transfectant was not virulent at all. These results demonstrate that important factors need to be expressed at the correct cellular location and that the parasite has additional internal control mechanisms such as transcriptional gene silencing which can prevent excess amounts of gene expression.

  20. Virulence of Xanthomonas translucens pv. poae Isolated from Poa annua

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arielle Chaves

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial wilt is a vascular wilt disease caused by Xanthomonas translucens pv. poae that infects Poa annua, a grass that is commonly found on golf course greens throughout the world. Bacterial wilt causes symptoms of etiolation, wilting, and foliar necrosis. The damage is most prevalent during the summer and the pathogen can kill turf under conditions optimal for disease development. Fifteen isolates of X. translucens pv. poae were collected from northern regions in the United States and tested for virulence against P. annua. All 15 isolates were pathogenic on P. annua, but demonstrated variable levels of virulence when inoculated onto P. annua under greenhouse conditions. The isolates were divided into two virulence groups. The first group containing four isolates generally resulted in less than 40% mortality following inoculation. The second group, containing the other eleven isolates, produced between 90 and 100% mortality following inoculation. These results suggest that differences in the virulence of bacterial populations present on a golf course may result in more or less severe amounts of observed disease.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  2. Prevalence of Escherichia coli virulence genes in patients with ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this study, we investigated the prevalence of the virulence genes specific for five major pathogroups of diarrheagenic Escherichia coli (DEC) in primary cultures from diarrhoeagenic patients in Burkina Faso. Methodology: From September 2016 to Mars 2017, a total of 211 faecal samples from diarrhoeagenic patients from ...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Virulence potential of Staphylococcus aureus isolates from Buruli ulcer patients

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Amissah, Nana Ama; Chlebowicz, Monika A.; Ablordey, Anthony; Tetteh, Caitlin S.; Prah, Isaac; van der Werf, Tjip S.; Friedrich, Alex W.; van Dijl, Jan Maarten; Stienstra, Ymkje; Rossen, John W.

    Buruli ulcer (BU) is a necrotizing infection of the skin and subcutaneous tissue caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans. BU wounds may also be colonized with other microorganisms including Staphylococcus aureus. This study aimed to characterize the virulence factors of S. aureus isolated from BU patients.

  6. Genospecies and virulence factors of Aeromonas species in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Introduction: Aeromonads of medical importance have been reported from numerous clinical, food, and water sources, but identification of genospecies and virulence factors of Aeromonas species from countries in North Africa and the Middle East are few. Methods: In total 99 Aeromonas species isolates from different ...

  7. Molecular Detection of Virulence Genes and Antibiotic Resistance ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Escherichia coli O157:H7 is an important food-borne pathogen that can cause diarrhea, haemorrhagic colitis and haemolytic uremic syndrome. This study was conducted to investigate the prevalence, virulence genes and antibiotic resistance patterns of E. coli O157:H7 in raw beef meat sold in Abeokuta, South west Nigeria ...

  8. Molecular Characterization of Putative Virulence Determinants in Burkholderia pseudomallei

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suat Moi Puah

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The Gram-negative saprophyte Burkholderia pseudomallei is the causative agent of melioidosis, an infectious disease which is endemic in Southeast Asia and northern Australia. This bacterium possesses many virulence factors which are thought to contribute to its survival and pathogenicity. Using a virulent clinical isolate of B. pseudomallei and an attenuated strain of the same B. pseudomallei isolate, 6 genes BPSL2033, BP1026B_I2784, BP1026B_I2780, BURPS1106A_A0094, BURPS1106A_1131, and BURPS1710A_1419 were identified earlier by PCR-based subtractive hybridization. These genes were extensively characterized at the molecular level, together with an additional gene BPSL3147 that had been identified by other investigators. Through a reverse genetic approach, single-gene knockout mutants were successfully constructed by using site-specific insertion mutagenesis and were confirmed by PCR. BPSL2033::Km and BURPS1710A_1419::Km mutants showed reduced rates of survival inside macrophage RAW 264.7 cells and also low levels of virulence in the nematode infection model. BPSL2033::Km demonstrated weak statistical significance (P=0.049 at 8 hours after infection in macrophage infection study but this was not seen in BURPS1710A_1419::Km. Nevertheless, complemented strains of both genes were able to partially restore the gene defects in both in vitro and in vivo studies, thus suggesting that they individually play a minor role in the virulence of B. pseudomallei.

  9. Virulence Types of Magnaporthe oryzae to Hybrid Rice in Sichuan, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu-lian BAI

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available A total of 638 isolates of rice blast (Magnaporthe oryzae were isolated in 2002–2009 from different rice varieties in different regions of Sichuan, China and inoculated onto seven rice varieties (Lijiangxintuanheigu, IR24, Minghui 63, Duohui 1, Chenghui 448, Neihui 99-14 and RHR-1 to differentiate the virulence types of the fungus and trace the changes. The virulence to the seven varieties was respectively scored at 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 and 64. The total scores of individual M. grisea isolates which were the sum of scores infecting differential varieties could, in turn, be used for the nomenclature of the virulence types due to their accordance to the special virulence patterns. The 638 tested isolates were then differentiated into 56 different virulence types. Type 15 virulent to Lijiangxintuanheigu, IR24 and Minghui 63, and Type 127 virulent to all of the seven varieties were the most dominant virulence types respectively with the occurrence frequencies of 15.99% and 15.83%. Type 19 and other seven virulence types were not monitored during 2002–2009. Type 15 was the predominant virulence type in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2007, whereas Type 127 had been the most dominant virulence type after 2005 except for the year 2007 when the province underwent severe drought. Five hundred and seven out of the 638 tested isolates were virulent to Minghui 63, and 89.58% of the 384 isolates virulent to either Duohui 1, Chenghui 448 or Neihui 99-14 were virulent to Minghui 63, which indicated the impact of the extensive plantation of hybrid rice Minghui 63 as the restorer line on the virulence evolution of M. oryzae in Sichuan. The virulence pattern of the dominant virulence types suggested that the acquiring of virulence to all the major resistant restorer lines was the main routes of the evolution in virulence of M. oryzae to hybrid rice in Sichuan. The virulence frequencies of the 638 tested isolates to IR24, Minghui 63, Duohui 1, Chenghui 448, Neihui 99

  10. 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.

  11. Virulence Genes and Antibiotic Susceptibilities of Uropathogenic E. coli Strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uzun, Cengiz; Oncül, Oral; Gümüş, Defne; Alan, Servet; Dayioğlu, Nurten; Küçüker, Mine Anğ

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study is to detect the presence of and possible relation between virulence genes and antibiotic resistance in E. coli strains isolated from patients with acute, uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTI). 62 E. coli strains isolated from patients with acute, uncomplicated urinary tract infections (50 strains isolated from acute uncomplicated cystitis cases (AUC); 12 strains from acute uncomplicated pyelonephritis cases (AUP)) were screened for virulence genes [pap (pyelonephritis-associated pili), sfa/foc (S and F1C fimbriae), afa (afimbrial adhesins), hly (hemolysin), cnf1 (cytotoxic necrotizing factor), aer (aerobactin), PAI (pathogenicity island marker), iroN (catecholate siderophore receptor), ompT (outer membrane protein T), usp (uropathogenic specific protein)] by PCR and for antimicrobial resistance by disk diffusion method according to CLSI criteria. It was found that 56 strains (90.3%) carried at least one virulence gene. The most common virulence genes were ompT (79%), aer (51.6%), PAI (51.6%) and usp (56.5%). 60% of the strains were resistant to at least one antibiotic. The highest resistance rates were against ampicillin (79%) and co-trimoxazole (41.9%). Fifty percent of the E. coli strains (31 strains) were found to be multiple resistant. Eight (12.9%) out of 62 strains were found to be ESBL positive. Statistically significant relationships were found between the absence of usp and AMP - SXT resistance, iroN and OFX - CIP resistance, PAI and SXT resistance, cnf1 and AMP resistance, and a significant relationship was also found between the presence of the afa and OFX resistance. No difference between E. coli strains isolated from two different clinical presentations was found in terms of virulence genes and antibiotic susceptibility.

  12. Virulence Factors of Aeromonas hydrophila: in the Wake of Reclassification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cody R Rasmussen-Ivey

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The ubiquitous jack-of-all-trades, Aeromonas hydrophila, is a freshwater, Gram-negative bacterial pathogen under revision in regard to its phylogenetic and functional affiliation with other aeromonads. While virulence factors are expectedly diverse across A. hydrophila strains and closely related species, our mechanistic knowledge of the vast majority of these factors is based on the molecular characterization of the strains A. hydrophila AH-3 and SSU, which were reclassified as A. piscicola AH-3 in 2009 and A. dhakensis SSU in 2013. Individually, these reclassifications raise important questions involving the applicability of previous research on A. hydrophila virulence mechanisms; however, this issue is exacerbated by a lack of genomic data on other research strains. Collectively, these changes represent a fundamental gap in the literature on A. hydrophila and confirm the necessity of biochemical, molecular, and morphological techniques in the classification of research strains that are used as a foundation for future research. This review revisits what is known about virulence in A. hydrophila and the feasibility of using comparative genomics in light of this phylogenetic revision. Conflicting data between virulence factors, secretion systems, quorum sensing, and their effect on A. hydrophila pathogenicity appears to be an artifact of inappropriate taxonomic comparisons and/or be due to the fact that these properties are strain-specific. This review audits emerging data on dominant virulence factors that are present in both A. dhakensis and A. hydrophila in order to synthesize existing data with the aim of locating where future research is needed.

  13. [Virulence markers of Escherichia coli O1 strains].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makarova, M A; Kaftyreva, L A; Grigor'eva, N S; Kicha, E V; Lipatova, L A

    2011-01-01

    To detect virulence genes in clinical isolates of Escherichia coli O1 using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). One hundred and twenty strains of E.coli O1 strains isolated from faeces of patients with acute diarrhea (n = 45) and healthy persons (n = 75) were studied. PCR with primers for rfb and fliC genes, which control synthesis of O- and H- antigens respectively, was used. Fourteen virulence genes (pap, aaf, sfa, afa, eaeA, bfpA, ial, hly, cnf, stx1, stx2, lt, st, and aer) were detected by PCR primers. K1-antigen was determined by Pastorex Meningo B/E. coli O1 kit (Bio-Rad). rfb gene controlling O-antigen synthesis in serogroup O1 as well as fliC gene controlling synthesis of H7 and K1 antigens were detected in all strains. Thus all E. coli strains had antigenic structure O1:K1 :H-:F7. Virulence genes aafl, sfa, afa, eaeA, bfpA, ial, hly, cnf, stx1, stx2, lt, and st were not detected. All strains owned pap and aer genes regardless of the presence of acute diarrhea symptoms. It was shown that E. coli O1:KI:H-:F7 strains do not have virulence genes which are characteristic for diarrhea-causing Escherichia. In accordance with the presence of pap and aer genes they could be attributed to uropathogenic Escherichia (UPEC) or avian-pathogenic Escherichia (APEC). It is necessary to detect virulence factors in order to determine E. coli as a cause of intestinal infection.

  14. 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

  15. Virulence marker candidates in N-protein of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV): virulence variability within VHSV Ib clones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ito, Takafumi; Kurita, Jun; Mori, Koh-ichiro

    2018-01-01

    , upon cloning by limited dilution, both isolates appeared to be heterogeneous in terms of reactivity with nucleo (N)-protein-specific MAbs as well their gene sequences. Infection trials in rainbow trout further revealed differences in the virulence of these virus clones derived from the same primary...

  16. Heterogeneous virulence of pandemic 2009 influenza H1N1 virus in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farooqui Amber

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Understanding the pathogenesis of influenza infection is a key factor leading to the prevention and control of future outbreaks. Pandemic 2009 Influenza H1N1 infection, although frequently mild, led to a severe and fatal form of disease in certain cases that make its virulence nature debatable. Much effort has been made toward explaining the determinants of disease severity; however, no absolute reason has been established. Results This study presents the heterogeneous virulence of clinically similar strains of pandemic 2009 influenza virus in human alveolar adenocarcinoma cells and mice. The viruses were obtained from patients who were admitted in a local hospital in China with a similar course of infection and recovered. The A/Nanchang/8002/2009 and A/Nanchang/8011/2009 viruses showed efficient replication and high lethality in mice while infection with A/Nanchang/8008/2009 was not lethal with impaired viral replication, minimal pathology and modest proinflammatory activity in lungs. Sequence analysis displayed prominent differences between polymerase subunits (PB2 and PA of viral genomes that might correlate with their different phenotypic behavior. Conclusions The study confirms that biological heterogeneity, linked with the extent of viral replication, exists among pandemic H1N1 strains that may serve as a benchmark for future investigations on influenza pathogenesis.

  17. Excess labile carbon promotes the expression of virulence factors in coral reef bacterioplankton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cárdenas, Anny; Neave, Matthew J; Haroon, Mohamed Fauzi; Pogoreutz, Claudia; Rädecker, Nils; Wild, Christian; Gärdes, Astrid; Voolstra, Christian R

    2018-01-01

    Coastal pollution and algal cover are increasing on many coral reefs, resulting in higher dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations. High DOC concentrations strongly affect microbial activity in reef waters and select for copiotrophic, often potentially virulent microbial populations. High DOC concentrations on coral reefs are also hypothesized to be a determinant for switching microbial lifestyles from commensal to pathogenic, thereby contributing to coral reef degradation, but evidence is missing. In this study, we conducted ex situ incubations to assess gene expression of planktonic microbial populations under elevated concentrations of naturally abundant monosaccharides (glucose, galactose, mannose, and xylose) in algal exudates and sewage inflows. We assembled 27 near-complete (>70%) microbial genomes through metagenomic sequencing and determined associated expression patterns through metatranscriptomic sequencing. Differential gene expression analysis revealed a shift in the central carbohydrate metabolism and the induction of metalloproteases, siderophores, and toxins in Alteromonas, Erythrobacter, Oceanicola, and Alcanivorax populations. Sugar-specific induction of virulence factors suggests a mechanistic link for the switch from a commensal to a pathogenic lifestyle, particularly relevant during increased algal cover and human-derived pollution on coral reefs. Although an explicit test remains to be performed, our data support the hypothesis that increased availability of specific sugars changes net microbial community activity in ways that increase the emergence and abundance of opportunistic pathogens, potentially contributing to coral reef degradation.

  18. [Diversity of Legionella pneumophila in cooling towers: coculture kinetics and virulence studies].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ragull, Sonia; García-Núñez, Marian; Pedro-Botet, María Luisa; Rey-Joly, Celestino; Sabria, Miquel

    2011-05-01

    Legionella pneumophila (L. pneumophila) was isolated from three cooling towers involved in three community outbreaks of Legionnaireś disease. Each cooling tower had two different chromosomal DNA subtypes. However, only one matched identically to the clinical strains. To try to understand why only one of the environmental strains caused clinical cases we investigated the intrinsic virulence of these strains. We selected six strains of L. pneumophila sg.1: two strains (A1 and B1) from cooling tower 1, two strains (A2 and B2) from tower 2 and two strains (A3 and B3) from tower 3. One of the two subtypes (A) exhibited the same chromosomal DNA subtype as the strains isolated from the patients in each outbreak and the other exhibited a different subtype. The replication within macrophages, the presence of lipopolysaccharide epitope recognized by MAb 3/1 and the growth kinetics in BCYE broth were investigated. Isolates were typed by pulsed field electrophoresis. The A strains did not have a higher virulence level, but were able to grow and survive better than strains B in BCYE broth. These results suggest that the strains better adapted to the environment will manage to displace the others and will be able to spread and infect humans. The adaptation to the environmental conditions could play an important role in the pathogenesis of the strains. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier España, S.L. All rights reserved.

  19. Multidrug Efflux Pumps at the Crossroad between Antibiotic Resistance and Bacterial Virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcalde-Rico, Manuel; Hernando-Amado, Sara; Blanco, Paula; Martínez, José L

    2016-01-01

    Multidrug efflux pumps can be involved in bacterial resistance to antibiotics at different levels. Some efflux pumps are constitutively expressed at low levels and contribute to intrinsic resistance. In addition, their overexpression may allow higher levels of resistance. This overexpression can be transient, in the presence of an effector (phenotypic resistance), or constitutive when mutants in the regulatory elements of the expression of efflux pumps are selected (acquired resistance). Efflux pumps are present in all cells, from human to bacteria and are highly conserved, which indicates that they are ancient elements in the evolution of different organisms. Consequently, it has been suggested that, besides antibiotic resistance, bacterial multidrug efflux pumps would likely contribute to other relevant processes of the microbial physiology. In the current article, we discuss some specific examples of the role that efflux pumps may have in the bacterial virulence of animals' and plants' pathogens, including the processes of intercellular communication. Based in these evidences, we propose that efflux pumps are at the crossroad between resistance and virulence of bacterial pathogens. Consequently, the comprehensive study of multidrug efflux pumps requires addressing these functions, which are of relevance for the bacterial-host interactions during infection.

  20. Inhibition of quorum sensing-mediated virulence in Serratia marcescens by Bacillus subtilis R-18.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devi, Kannan Rama; Srinivasan, Subramaniyan; Ravi, Arumugam Veera

    2018-04-13

    Serratia marcescens is an opportunistic human pathogen causing various nosocomial infections, most importantly urinary tract infections (UTIs). It exhibits increased resistance towards the conventional antibiotics. This study was aimed to evaluate the anti-virulence effect of a rhizosphere soil bacterium Bacillus subtilis strain R-18 against the uropathogen S. marcescens. First, the bacterial cell-free culture supernatant (CFCS) of B. subtilis strain R-18 was evaluated for its quorum sensing inhibitory (QSI) potential against biomarker strain Chromobacterium violaceum and the test pathogen S. marcescens. The B. subtilis R-18 CFCS effectively inhibited the quorum sensing (QS)-mediated violacein pigment production in C. violaceum and prodigiosin pigment production in S. marcescens. Furthermore, B. subtilis R-18 CFCS was successively extracted with different solvent systems. Of these solvents, B. subtilis R-18 petroleum ether (PE) extract showed inhibition in biofilm formation, protease, lipase, and hemolysin productions in S. marcescens. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic (FT-IR) analysis revealed the alterations in the cellular components of bacterial cell pellets obtained from B. subtilis R-18 PE extract treated and untreated S. marcescens. The differential gene expression study further validated the downregulation of virulence-associated genes. Characterization of the active principle in B. subtilis R-18 PE extract by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis showed the presence of multiple compounds with therapeutic values, which could possibly reduce the QS-dependent phenotypes in S. marcescens. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  1. Multidrug efflux pumps at the crossroad between antibiotic resistance and bacterial virulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Alcalde-Rico

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Multidrug efflux pumps can be involved in bacterial resistance to antibiotics at different levels. Some efflux pumps are constitutively expressed at low levels and contribute to intrinsic resistance. In addition, their overexpression may allow higher levels of resistance. This overexpression can be transient, in the presence of an effector (phenotypic resistance, or constitutive when mutants in the regulatory elements of the expression of efflux pumps are selected (acquired resistance. Efflux pumps are present in all cells, from human to bacteria and are highly conserved, which indicates that they are ancient elements in the evolution of different organisms. Consequently, it has been suggested that, besides antibiotic resistance, bacterial multidrug efflux pumps would likely contribute to other relevant process of the microbial physiology. In the current article, we discuss some specific examples of the role that efflux pumps may have in the bacterial virulence of animals' and plants' pathogens, including the processes of intercellular communication. Based in these evidences, we propose that efflux pumps are at the crossroad between resistance and virulence of bacterial pathogens. Consequently, the comprehensive study of multidrug efflux pumps requires addressing these functions, which are of relevance for the bacterial-host interactions during infection.

  2. Excess labile carbon promotes the expression of virulence factors in coral reef bacterioplankton

    KAUST Repository

    Cardenas, Anny

    2017-09-12

    Coastal pollution and algal cover are increasing on many coral reefs, resulting in higher dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations. High DOC concentrations strongly affect microbial activity in reef waters and select for copiotrophic, often potentially virulent microbial populations. High DOC concentrations on coral reefs are also hypothesized to be a determinant for switching microbial lifestyles from commensal to pathogenic, thereby contributing to coral reef degradation, but evidence is missing. In this study, we conducted ex situ incubations to assess gene expression of planktonic microbial populations under elevated concentrations of naturally abundant monosaccharides (glucose, galactose, mannose, and xylose) in algal exudates and sewage inflows. We assembled 27 near-complete (>70%) microbial genomes through metagenomic sequencing and determined associated expression patterns through metatranscriptomic sequencing. Differential gene expression analysis revealed a shift in the central carbohydrate metabolism and the induction of metalloproteases, siderophores, and toxins in Alteromonas, Erythrobacter, Oceanicola, and Alcanivorax populations. Sugar-specific induction of virulence factors suggests a mechanistic link for the switch from a commensal to a pathogenic lifestyle, particularly relevant during increased algal cover and human-derived pollution on coral reefs. Although an explicit test remains to be performed, our data support the hypothesis that increased availability of specific sugars changes net microbial community activity in ways that increase the emergence and abundance of opportunistic pathogens, potentially contributing to coral reef degradation.

  3. Excess labile carbon promotes the expression of virulence factors in coral reef bacterioplankton

    KAUST Repository

    Cardenas, Anny; Neave, Matthew J.; Haroon, Mohamed; Pogoreutz, Claudia; Radecker, Nils; Wild, Christian; Gä rdes, Astrid; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2017-01-01

    Coastal pollution and algal cover are increasing on many coral reefs, resulting in higher dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations. High DOC concentrations strongly affect microbial activity in reef waters and select for copiotrophic, often potentially virulent microbial populations. High DOC concentrations on coral reefs are also hypothesized to be a determinant for switching microbial lifestyles from commensal to pathogenic, thereby contributing to coral reef degradation, but evidence is missing. In this study, we conducted ex situ incubations to assess gene expression of planktonic microbial populations under elevated concentrations of naturally abundant monosaccharides (glucose, galactose, mannose, and xylose) in algal exudates and sewage inflows. We assembled 27 near-complete (>70%) microbial genomes through metagenomic sequencing and determined associated expression patterns through metatranscriptomic sequencing. Differential gene expression analysis revealed a shift in the central carbohydrate metabolism and the induction of metalloproteases, siderophores, and toxins in Alteromonas, Erythrobacter, Oceanicola, and Alcanivorax populations. Sugar-specific induction of virulence factors suggests a mechanistic link for the switch from a commensal to a pathogenic lifestyle, particularly relevant during increased algal cover and human-derived pollution on coral reefs. Although an explicit test remains to be performed, our data support the hypothesis that increased availability of specific sugars changes net microbial community activity in ways that increase the emergence and abundance of opportunistic pathogens, potentially contributing to coral reef degradation.

  4. Decrease of virulence for BALB/c mice produced by continuous subculturing of Nocardia brasiliensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almaguer-Chávez, Janeth A; Welsh, Oliverio; Lozano-Garza, Hector G; Said-Fernández, Salvador; Romero-Díaz, Víktor J; Ocampo-Candiani, Jorge; Vera-Cabrera, Lucio

    2011-10-26

    Subculturing has been extensively used to attenuate human pathogens. In this work we studied the effect of continuous subculturing of Nocardia brasiliensis HUJEG-1 on virulence in a murine model. Nocardia brasiliensis HUJEG-1 was subcultured up to 130 times on brain heart infusion over four years. BALB/c mice were inoculated in the right foot pad with the bacteria subcultured 0, 40, 80, 100 and 130 times (T0, T40, T80 T100 and T130). The induction of resistance was tested by using T130 to inoculate a group of mice followed by challenge with T0 12 weeks later. Biopsies were taken from the newly infected foot-pad and immunostained with antibodies against CD4, CD8 and CD14 in order to analyze the in situ immunological changes. When using T40, T80 T100 and T130 as inoculums we observed lesions in 10, 5, 0 and 0 percent of the animals, respectively, at the end of 12 weeks. In contrast, their controls produced mycetoma in 80, 80, 70 and 60% of the inoculated animals. When studying the protection of T130, we observed a partial resistance to the infection. Immunostaining revealed an intense CD4+ lymphocytic and macrophage infiltrate in healing lesions. After 130 in vitro passages of N. brasiliensis HUJEG-1 a severe decrease in its virulence was observed. Immunization of BALB/c mice, with these attenuated cells, produced a state of partial resistance to infection with the non-subcultured isolate.

  5. Role of Uropathogenic Escherichia coli Virulence Factors in Development of Urinary Tract Infection and Kidney Damage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bien, Justyna; Sokolova, Olga; Bozko, Przemyslaw

    2012-01-01

    Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) is a causative agent in the vast majority of urinary tract infections (UTIs), including cystitis and pyelonephritis, and infectious complications, which may result in acute renal failure in healthy individuals as well as in renal transplant patients. UPEC expresses a multitude of virulence factors to break the inertia of the mucosal barrier. In response to the breach by UPEC into the normally sterile urinary tract, host inflammatory responses are triggered leading to cytokine production, neutrophil influx, and the exfoliation of infected bladder epithelial cells. Several signaling pathways activated during UPEC infection, including the pathways known to activate the innate immune response, interact with calcium-dependent signaling pathways. Some UPEC isolates, however, might possess strategies to delay or suppress the activation of components of the innate host response in the urinary tract. Studies published in the recent past provide new information regarding how virulence factors of uropathogenic E. coli are involved in activation of the innate host response. Despite numerous host defense mechanisms, UPEC can persist within the urinary tract and may serve as a reservoir for recurrent infections and serious complications. Presentation of the molecular details of these events is essential for development of successful strategies for prevention of human UTIs and urological complications associated with UTIs. PMID:22506110

  6. Targeting Bacterial Dsb Proteins for the Development of Anti-Virulence Agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roxanne P. Smith

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Recent years have witnessed a dramatic increase in bacterial antimicrobial resistance and a decline in the development of novel antibiotics. New therapeutic strategies are urgently needed to combat the growing threat posed by multidrug resistant bacterial infections. The Dsb disulfide bond forming pathways are potential targets for the development of antimicrobial agents because they play a central role in bacterial pathogenesis. In particular, the DsbA/DsbB system catalyses disulfide bond formation in a wide array of virulence factors, which are essential for many pathogens to establish infections and cause disease. These redox enzymes are well placed as antimicrobial targets because they are taxonomically widespread, share low sequence identity with human proteins, and many years of basic research have provided a deep molecular understanding of these systems in bacteria. In this review, we discuss disulfide bond catalytic pathways in bacteria and their significance in pathogenesis. We also review the use of different approaches to develop inhibitors against Dsb proteins as potential anti-virulence agents, including fragment-based drug discovery, high-throughput screening and other structure-based drug discovery methods.

  7. The impact of the postharvest environment on the viability and virulence of decay fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jia; Sui, Yuan; Wisniewski, Michael; Xie, Zhigang; Liu, Yiqing; You, Yuming; Zhang, Xiaojing; Sun, Zhiqiang; Li, Wenhua; Li, Yan; Wang, Qi

    2018-07-03

    Postharvest decay of fruits, vegetables, and grains by fungal pathogens causes significant economic losses. Infected produce presents a potential health risk since some decay fungi produce mycotoxins that are hazardous to human health. Infections are the result of the interplay between host resistance and pathogen virulence. Both of these processes, however, are significantly impacted by environmental factors, such as temperature, UV, oxidative stress, and water activity. In the present review, the impact of various physical postharvest treatments (e.g., heat and UV) on the viability and virulence of postharvest pathogens is reviewed and discussed. Oxidative injury, protein impairment, and cell wall degradation have all been proposed as the mechanisms by which these abiotic stresses reduce fungal viability and pathogenicity. The response of decay fungi to pH and the ability of pathogens to modulate the pH of the host environment also affect pathogenicity. The effects of the manipulation of the postharvest environment by ethylene, natural edible coatings, and controlled atmosphere storage on fungal viability are also discussed. Lastly, avenues of future research are proposed.

  8. Entomopathogenic fungi as biological controllers: New insights into their virulence and pathogenicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shahid Ali Ahmad

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Entomopathogenic fungi vary considerably in their mode of action and virulence. Successful infection depends primarily on the adherence and penetration ability of a fungus to the host integuments. A variety of extracellular enzymes is produced during the degradation of insect integument. The attempts to control insects have changed over time from chemicals to natural control methods. This is why the development of natural methods of insect control or biopesticides, is preferred. By the use of fungal entomopathogens, insect pests can be controlled. There is no doubt that insects have been used for many years, but their effective use in the field remains elusive. However, their additional role in nature has also been discovered. Comparison of entomopathogens with conventional chemical pesticides depends on their efficiency and cost. In addition to efficiency, there are advantages in using microbial control agents, such as human safety and other non-target organisms; pesticide residues are minimized in food and biodiversity increased in managed ecosystems. In the present review the pathogenicity and virulence of entomopathogenic fungi and their role as biological control agents using biotechnology will be discussed.

  9. Systematic mutagenesis of genes encoding predicted autotransported proteins of Burkholderia pseudomallei identifies factors mediating virulence in mice, net intracellular replication and a novel protein conferring serum resistance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalie R Lazar Adler

    Full Text Available Burkholderia pseudomallei is the causative agent of the severe tropical disease melioidosis, which commonly presents as sepsis. The B. pseudomallei K96243 genome encodes eleven predicted autotransporters, a diverse family of secreted and outer membrane proteins often associated with virulence. In a systematic study of these autotransporters, we constructed insertion mutants in each gene predicted to encode an autotransporter and assessed them for three pathogenesis-associated phenotypes: virulence in the BALB/c intra-peritoneal mouse melioidosis model, net intracellular replication in J774.2 murine macrophage-like cells and survival in 45% (v/v normal human serum. From the complete repertoire of eleven autotransporter mutants, we identified eight mutants which exhibited an increase in median lethal dose of 1 to 2-log10 compared to the isogenic parent strain (bcaA, boaA, boaB, bpaA, bpaC, bpaE, bpaF and bimA. Four mutants, all demonstrating attenuation for virulence, exhibited reduced net intracellular replication in J774.2 macrophage-like cells (bimA, boaB, bpaC and bpaE. A single mutant (bpaC was identified that exhibited significantly reduced serum survival compared to wild-type. The bpaC mutant, which demonstrated attenuation for virulence and net intracellular replication, was sensitive to complement-mediated killing via the classical and/or lectin pathway. Serum resistance was rescued by in trans complementation. Subsequently, we expressed recombinant proteins of the passenger domain of four predicted autotransporters representing each of the phenotypic groups identified: those attenuated for virulence (BcaA, those attenuated for virulence and net intracellular replication (BpaE, the BpaC mutant with defects in virulence, net intracellular replication and serum resistance and those displaying wild-type phenotypes (BatA. Only BcaA and BpaE elicited a strong IFN-γ response in a restimulation assay using whole blood from seropositive donors

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roderick F Felsheim

    2009-12-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-01-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Genomes of the most dangerous epidemic bacteria have a virulence repertoire characterized by fewer genes but more toxin-antitoxin modules.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kalliopi Georgiades

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available We conducted a comparative genomic study based on a neutral approach to identify genome specificities associated with the virulence capacity of pathogenic bacteria. We also determined whether virulence is dictated by rules, or if it is the result of individual evolutionary histories. We systematically compared the genomes of the 12 most dangerous pandemic bacteria for humans ("bad bugs" to their closest non-epidemic related species ("controls".We found several significantly different features in the "bad bugs", one of which was a smaller genome that likely resulted from a degraded recombination and repair system. The 10 Cluster of Orthologous Group (COG functional categories revealed a significantly smaller number of genes in the "bad bugs", which lacked mostly transcription, signal transduction mechanisms, cell motility, energy production and conversion, and metabolic and regulatory functions. A few genes were identified as virulence factors, including secretion system proteins. Five "bad bugs" showed a greater number of poly (A tails compared to the controls, whereas an elevated number of poly (A tails was found to be strongly correlated to a low GC% content. The "bad bugs" had fewer tandem repeat sequences compared to controls. Moreover, the results obtained from a principal component analysis (PCA showed that the "bad bugs" had surprisingly more toxin-antitoxin modules than did the controls.We conclude that pathogenic capacity is not the result of "virulence factors" but is the outcome of a virulent gene repertoire resulting from reduced genome repertoires. Toxin-antitoxin systems could participate in the virulence repertoire, but they may have developed independently of selfish evolution.

  14. Dengue virus markers of virulence and pathogenicity

    OpenAIRE

    Rico-Hesse, Rebeca

    2009-01-01

    The increased spread of dengue fever and its more severe form, dengue hemorrhagic fever, have made the study of the mosquito-borne dengue viruses that cause these diseases a public health priority. Little is known about how or why the four different (serotypes 1–4) dengue viruses cause pathology in humans only, and there have been no animal models of disease to date. Therefore, there are no vaccines or antivirals to prevent or treat infection and mortality rates of dengue hemorrhagic fever pa...

  15. Virulence factors and genetic variability of Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from raw sheep's milk cheese.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spanu, Vincenzo; Spanu, Carlo; Virdis, Salvatore; Cossu, Francesca; Scarano, Christian; De Santis, Enrico Pietro Luigi

    2012-02-01

    Contamination of dairy products with Staphylococcus aureus can be of animal or human origin. The host pathogen relationship is an important factor determining genetic polymorphism of the strains and their potential virulence. The aim of the present study was to carry out an extensive characterization of virulence factors and to study the genetic variability of S. aureus strains isolated from raw ewe's milk cheese. A total of 100 S. aureus strains isolated from cheese samples produced in 10 artisan cheese factories were analyzed for the presence of enterotoxins (sea-see) and enterotoxins-like genes (seh, sek, sel, sem, seo, sep), leukocidins, exfoliatins, haemolysins, toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1) and the accessory gene regulator alleles (agr). Strains were also typed using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). AMOVA analysis carried out on PFGE and PCR data showed that the major component explaining genetic distance between strains was the dairy of origin. Of the total isolates 81% had a pathogenicity profile ascribable to "animal" biovar while 16% could be related to "human" biovar. The biovar allowed to estimate the most likely origin of the contamination. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of nine antimicrobial agents and the presence of the corresponding genes coding for antibiotic resistance was also investigated. 18 strains carrying blaZ gene showed resistance to ampicillin and penicillin and 6 strains carrying tetM gene were resistant to tetracycline. The presence of mecA gene and methicillin resistance, typical of strains of human origin, was never detected. The results obtained in the present study confirm that S. aureus contamination in artisan cheese production is mainly of animal origin. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  16. 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

  17. Proteomics identifies Bacillus cereus EntD as a pivotal protein for the production of numerous virulence factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hélène eOmer

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus cereus is a gram-positive pathogen that causes a wide variety of diseases in humans. It secretes into the extracellular milieu proteins that may contribute directly or indirectly to its virulence. EntD is a novel exoprotein identified by proteogenomics of B. cereus ATCC 14579. We constructed a ΔentD mutant and analyzed the impact of entD disruption on the cellular proteome and exoproteome isolated from early, late and stationary-phase cultures. We identified 308 and 79 proteins regulated by EntD in the cellular proteome and the exoproteome, respectively. The contribution of these proteins to important virulence-associated functions, including central metabolism, cell structure, antioxidative ability, cell motility and toxin production, are presented. The proteomic data were correlated with the growth defect, cell morphology change, reduced motility and reduced cytotoxicity of the ΔentD mutant strain. We conclude that EntD is an important player in B. cereus virulence. The function of EntD and the putative EntD-dependent regulatory network are discussed. To our knowledge, this study is the first characterization of an Ent family protein in a species of the B. cereus group.

  18. Phage-mediated dispersal of biofilm and distribution of bacterial virulence genes is induced by quorum sensing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Friederike S Rossmann

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The microbiome and the phage meta-genome within the human gut are influenced by antibiotic treatments. Identifying a novel mechanism, here we demonstrate that bacteria use the universal communication molecule AI-2 to induce virulence genes and transfer them via phage release. High concentrations (i.e. 100 μM of AI-2 promote dispersal of bacteria from already established biofilms, and is associated with release of phages capable of infecting other bacteria. Enterococcus faecalis V583ΔABC harbours 7 prophages in its genome, and a mutant deficient in one of these prophages (i.e. prophage 5 showed a greatly reduced dispersal of biofilm. Infection of a probiotic E. faecalis strain without lytic prophages with prophage 5 resulted in increased biofilm formation and also in biofilm dispersal upon induction with AI-2. Infection of the probiotic E. faecalis strain with phage-containing supernatants released through AI-2 from E. faecalis V583ΔABC resulted in a strong increase in pathogenicity of this strain. The polylysogenic probiotic strain was also more virulent in a mouse sepsis model and a rat endocarditis model. Both AI-2 and ciprofloxacin lead to phage release, indicating that conditions in the gastrointestinal tract of hospitalized patients treated with antibiotics might lead to distribution of virulence genes to apathogenic enterococci and possibly also to other commensals or even to beneficial probiotic strains.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vienna R Brown

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

  20. [Accumulation of the bvg- Bordetella pertussis a virulent mutants in the process of experimental whooping cough in mice].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medkova, A Iu; Siniashina, L N; Rumiantseva, Iu P; Voronina, O L; Kunda, M S; Karataev, G I

    2013-01-01

    The duration of the persistence and dynamics of accumulation of insertion bvg- Bordetella pertussis mutants were studied in lungs of laboratory mice after intranasal and intravenous challenge by virulent bacteria of the causative agent of whooping cough. The capability of the virulent B. pertussis bacteria to long-term persistence in the body of mice was tested. Using the real-time PCR approximately hundred genome equivalents of the B. pertussis DNA were detected in lungs of mice in two months after infection regardless of the way of challenge. Using the bacterial test bacteria were identified during only four weeks after challenge. Bvg- B. pertussis avirulent mutants were accumulated for the infection time. The percentage of the avirulent bacteria in the B. pertussis population reached 50% in 7-9 weeks after challenge. The obtained results show that the laboratory mice can be used for study of the B. pertussis insertion mutant formation dynamics in vivo and confirm the hypothesis about insertional bvg- B. pertussis virulent mutants accumulation during development of pertussis infection in human.

  1. Factor H binds to the hypervariable region of many Streptococcus pyogenes M proteins but does not promote phagocytosis resistance or acute virulence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gustafsson, Caj Ulrik Mattias; Lannergård, Jonas; Nilsson, Olof Rickard

    2013-01-01

    Many pathogens express a surface protein that binds the human complement regulator factor H (FH), as first described for Streptococcus pyogenes and the antiphagocytic M6 protein. It is commonly assumed that FH recruited to an M protein enhances virulence by protecting the bacteria against...... represents a distinct ligand-binding domain. The isolated HVRs specifically interacted with FH among all human serum proteins, interacted with the same region in FH and showed species specificity, but exhibited little or no antigenic cross-reactivity. Although these findings suggested that FH recruited...... to an M protein promotes virulence, studies in transgenic mice did not demonstrate a role for bound FH during acute infection. Moreover, phagocytosis tests indicated that ability to bind FH is neither sufficient nor necessary for S. pyogenes to resist killing in whole human blood. While these data shed...

  2. Profiling Antibody Responses to Infections by Chlamydia abortus Enables Identification of Potential Virulence Factors and Candidates for Serodiagnosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsbach-Birk, Vera; Foddis, Corinna; Simnacher, Ulrike; Wilkat, Max; Longbottom, David; Walder, Gernot; Benesch, Christiane; Ganter, Martin; Sachse, Konrad; Essig, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    Enzootic abortion of ewes (EAE) due to infection with the obligate intracellular pathogen Chlamydia (C.) abortus is an important zoonosis leading to considerable economic loss to agriculture worldwide. The pathogen can be transmitted to humans and may lead to serious infection in pregnant women. Knowledge about epidemiology, clinical course and transmission to humans is hampered by the lack of reliable diagnostic tools. Immunoreactive proteins, which are expressed in infected animals and humans, may serve as novel candidates for diagnostic marker proteins and represent putative virulence factors. In order to broaden the spectrum of immunogenic C. abortus proteins we applied 2D immunoblot analysis and screening of an expression library using human and animal sera. We have identified 48 immunoreactive proteins representing potential diagnostic markers and also putative virulence factors, such as CAB080 (homologue of the “macrophage infectivity potentiator”, MIP), CAB167 (homologue of the “translocated actin recruitment protein”, TARP), CAB712 (homologue of the “chlamydial protease-like activity factor”, CPAF), CAB776 (homologue of the “Polymorphic membrane protein D”, PmpD), and the “hypothetical proteins” CAB063, CAB408 and CAB821, which are predicted to be type III secreted. We selected two putative virulence factors for further characterization, i.e. CAB080 (cMIP) and CAB063, and studied their expression profiles at transcript and protein levels. Analysis of the subcellular localization of both proteins throughout the developmental cycle revealed CAB063 being the first C. abortus protein shown to be translocated to the host cell nucleus. PMID:24260366

  3. PhoB activates Escherichia coli O157:H7 virulence factors in response to inorganic phosphate limitation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Mohammed Chekabab

    Full Text Available Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC, an emerging food- and water-borne hazard, is highly pathogenic to humans. In the environment, EHEC must survive phosphate (Pi limitation. The response to such Pi starvation is an induction of the Pho regulon including the Pst system that senses Pi variation. The interplay between the virulence of EHEC, Pho-Pst system and environmental Pi remains unknown. To understand the effects of Pi deprivation on the molecular mechanisms involved in EHEC survival and virulence under Pho regulon control, we undertook transcriptome profiling of the EDL933 wild-type strain grown under high Pi and low Pi conditions and its isogenic ΔphoB mutant grown in low Pi conditions. The differentially expressed genes included 1067 Pi-dependent genes and 603 PhoB-dependent genes. Of these 131 genes were both Pi and PhoB-dependent. Differentially expressed genes that were selected included those involved in Pi homeostasis, cellular metabolism, acid stress, oxidative stress and RpoS-dependent stress responses. Differentially expressed virulence systems included the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE encoding the type-3 secretion system (T3SS and its effectors, as well as BP-933W prophage encoded Shiga toxin 2 genes. Moreover, PhoB directly regulated LEE and stx2 gene expression through binding to specific Pho boxes. However, in Pi-rich medium, constitutive activation of the Pho regulon decreased LEE gene expression and reduced adherence to HeLa cells. Together, these findings reveal that EHEC has evolved a sophisticated response to Pi limitation involving multiple biochemical strategies that contribute to its ability to respond to variations in environmental Pi and to coordinating the virulence response.

  4. Proteolysis of virulence regulator ToxR is associated with entry of Vibrio cholerae into a dormant state.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvador Almagro-Moreno

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Vibrio cholerae O1 is a natural inhabitant of aquatic environments and causes the diarrheal disease, cholera. Two of its primary virulence regulators, TcpP and ToxR, are localized in the inner membrane. TcpP is encoded on the Vibrio Pathogenicity Island (VPI, a horizontally acquired mobile genetic element, and functions primarily in virulence gene regulation. TcpP has been shown to undergo regulated intramembrane proteolysis (RIP in response to environmental conditions that are unfavorable for virulence gene expression. ToxR is encoded in the ancestral genome and is present in non-pathogenic strains of V. cholerae, indicating it has roles outside of the human host. In this study, we show that ToxR undergoes RIP in V. cholerae in response to nutrient limitation at alkaline pH, a condition that occurs during the stationary phase of growth. This process involves the site-2 protease RseP (YaeL, and is dependent upon the RpoE-mediated periplasmic stress response, as deletion mutants for the genes encoding these two proteins cannot proteolyze ToxR under nutrient limitation at alkaline pH. We determined that the loss of ToxR, genetically or by proteolysis, is associated with entry of V. cholerae into a dormant state in which the bacterium is normally found in the aquatic environment called viable but nonculturable (VBNC. Strains that can proteolyze ToxR, or do not encode it, lose culturability, experience a change in morphology associated with cells in VBNC, yet remain viable under nutrient limitation at alkaline pH. On the other hand, mutant strains that cannot proteolyze ToxR remain culturable and maintain the morphology of cells in an active state of growth. Overall, our findings provide a link between the proteolysis of a virulence regulator and the entry of a pathogen into an environmentally persistent state.

  5. Poly-N-acetylglucosamine production in Staphylococcus aureus is essential for virulence in murine models of systemic infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kropec, Andrea; Maira-Litran, Tomas; Jefferson, Kimberly K; Grout, Martha; Cramton, Sarah E; Götz, Friedrich; Goldmann, Donald A; Pier, Gerald B

    2005-10-01

    The contribution of the Staphylococcus aureus surface polysaccharide poly-N-acetylglucosamine (PNAG) to virulence was evaluated in three mouse models of systemic infection: bacteremia, renal abscess formation, and lethality following high-dose intraperitoneal (i.p.) infection. Deletion of the intercellular adhesin (ica) locus that encodes the biosynthetic enzymes for PNAG production in S. aureus strains Mn8, Newman, and NCTC 10833 resulted in mutant strains with significantly reduced abilities to maintain bacterial levels in blood following intravenous or i.p. injection, to spread systemically to the kidneys following i.p. injection, or to induce a moribund/lethal state following i.p. infection. In the bacteremia model, neither growth phase nor growth medium used to prepare the S. aureus inoculum affected the conclusion that PNAG production was needed for full virulence. As the SarA regulatory protein has been shown to affect ica transcription, PNAG synthesis, and biofilm formation, we also evaluated S. aureus strains Mn8 and 10833 deleted for the sarA gene in the renal infection model. A decrease in PNAG production was seen in sarA mutants using immunoblots of cell surface extracts but was insufficient to reduce the virulence of sarA-deleted strains in this model. S. aureus strains deleted for the ica genes were much more susceptible to antibody-independent opsonic killing involving human peripheral blood leukocytes and rabbit complement. Thus, PNAG confers on S. aureus resistance to killing mediated by these innate host immune mediators. Overall, PNAG production by S. aureus appears to be a critical virulence factor as assessed in murine models of systemic infection.

  6. Characterization of Aeromonas hydrophila Wound Pathotypes by Comparative Genomic and Functional Analyses of Virulence Genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grim, Christopher J.; Kozlova, Elena V.; Sha, Jian; Fitts, Eric C.; van Lier, Christina J.; Kirtley, Michelle L.; Joseph, Sandeep J.; Read, Timothy D.; Burd, Eileen M.; Tall, Ben D.; Joseph, Sam W.; Horneman, Amy J.; Chopra, Ashok K.; Shak, Joshua R.

    2013-01-01

    ABSTRACT Aeromonas hydrophila has increasingly been implicated as a virulent and antibiotic-resistant etiologic agent in various human diseases. In a previously published case report, we described a subject with a polymicrobial wound infection that included a persistent and aggressive strain of A. hydrophila (E1), as well as a more antibiotic-resistant strain of A. hydrophila (E2). To better understand the differences between pathogenic and environmental strains of A. hydrophila, we conducted comparative genomic and functional analyses of virulence-associated genes of these two wound isolates (E1 and E2), the environmental type strain A. hydrophila ATCC 7966T, and four other isolates belonging to A. aquariorum, A. veronii, A. salmonicida, and A. caviae. Full-genome sequencing of strains E1 and E2 revealed extensive differences between the two and strain ATCC 7966T. The more persistent wound infection strain, E1, harbored coding sequences for a cytotoxic enterotoxin (Act), a type 3 secretion system (T3SS), flagella, hemolysins, and a homolog of exotoxin A found in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Corresponding phenotypic analyses with A. hydrophila ATCC 7966T and SSU as reference strains demonstrated the functionality of these virulence genes, with strain E1 displaying enhanced swimming and swarming motility, lateral flagella on electron microscopy, the presence of T3SS effector AexU, and enhanced lethality in a mouse model of Aeromonas infection. By combining sequence-based analysis and functional assays, we characterized an A. hydrophila pathotype, exemplified by strain E1, that exhibited increased virulence in a mouse model of infection, likely because of encapsulation, enhanced motility, toxin secretion, and cellular toxicity. PMID:23611906

  7. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akihiko Uda

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

  9. Survival and Virulence of Campylobacter spp. in the Environment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bui, Thanh Xuan

    of environmental stress factors, namely heat shock, starvation, osmosis, and oxidation, on the expression of three virulence genes (ciaB, dnaJ, and htrA) of C. jejuni and its uptake by and intracellular survival within A. castellanii. I also investigated the mechanism(s) involved in phagocytosis and killing of C....... jejuni by A. castellanii. I observed that heat and osmotic stresses reduced the survival of C. jejuni significantly, whereas oxidative stress had no effect. The results of qRT-PCR experiments showed that the transcription of virulence genes of C. jejuni was slightly up-regulated under heat and oxidative...... soil flagellates may play a role for the survival of these food-borne pathogens on plant surfaces and in soil. It would be very interesting to further investigate the impacts of this soil flagellate on the survival of different food-borne pathogens in soil and in plant surface that may explain...

  10. Evidence for acquisition of virulence effectors in pathogenic chytrids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Summers Kyle

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The decline in amphibian populations across the world is frequently linked to the infection of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. This is particularly perplexing because Bd was only recently discovered in 1999 and no chytrid fungus had previously been identified as a vertebrate pathogen. Results In this study, we show that two large families of known virulence effector genes, crinkler (CRN proteins and serine peptidases, were acquired by Bd from oomycete pathogens and bacteria, respectively. These two families have been duplicated after their acquisition by Bd. Additional selection analyses indicate that both families evolved under strong positive selection, suggesting that they are involved in the adaptation of Bd to its hosts. Conclusions We propose that the acquisition of virulence effectors, in combination with habitat disruption and climate change, may have driven the Bd epidemics and the decline in amphibian populations. This finding provides a starting point for biochemical investigations of chytridiomycosis.

  11. Spontaneous Loss of Virulence in Natural Populations of Listeria monocytogenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maury, Mylène M; Chenal-Francisque, Viviane; Bracq-Dieye, Hélène; Han, Lei; Leclercq, Alexandre; Vales, Guillaume; Moura, Alexandra; Gouin, Edith; Scortti, Mariela; Disson, Olivier; Vázquez-Boland, José A; Lecuit, Marc

    2017-11-01

    The pathogenesis of Listeria monocytogenes depends on the ability of this bacterium to escape from the phagosome of the host cells via the action of the pore-forming toxin listeriolysin O (LLO). Expression of the LLO-encoding gene ( hly ) requires the transcriptional activator PrfA, and both hly and prfA genes are essential for L. monocytogenes virulence. Here, we used the hemolytic activity of LLO as a phenotypic marker to screen for spontaneous virulence-attenuating mutations in L. monocytogenes Sixty nonhemolytic isolates were identified among a collection of 57,820 confirmed L. monocytogenes strains isolated from a variety of sources (0.1%). In most cases (56/60; 93.3%), the nonhemolytic phenotype resulted from nonsense, missense, or frameshift mutations in prfA Five strains carried hly mutations leading to a single amino acid substitution (G299V) or a premature stop codon causing strong virulence attenuation in mice. In one strain, both hly and gshF (encoding a glutathione synthase required for full PrfA activity) were missing due to genomic rearrangements likely caused by a transposable element. The PrfA/LLO loss-of-function (PrfA - /LLO - ) mutants belonged to phylogenetically diverse clades of L. monocytogenes , and most were identified among nonclinical strains (57/60). Consistent with the rare occurrence of loss-of-virulence mutations, we show that prfA and hly are under purifying selection. Although occurring at a low frequency, PrfA - /LLO - mutational events in L. monocytogenes lead to niche restriction and open an evolutionary path for obligate saprophytism in this facultative intracellular pathogen. Copyright © 2017 Maury et al.

  12. 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...

  13. Species Identification and Virulence Attributes of Saccharomyces boulardii (nom. inval.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCullough, Michael J.; Clemons, Karl V.; McCusker, John H.; Stevens, David A.

    1998-01-01

    Saccharomyces boulardii (nom. inval.) has been used for the treatment of several types of diarrhea. Recent studies have confirmed that S. boulardii is effective in the treatment of diarrhea, in particular chronic or recurrent diarrhea, and furthermore that it is a safe and well-tolerated treatment. The aim of the present study was to identify strains of S. boulardii to the species level and assess their virulence in established murine models. Three strains of S. boulardii were obtained from commercially available products in France and Italy. The three S. boulardii strains did not form spores upon repeated testing. Therefore, classical methods used for the identification of Saccharomyces spp. could not be undertaken. Typing by using the restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) of the PCR-amplified intergenic transcribed spacer regions (including the 5.8S ribosomal DNA) showed that the three isolates of S. boulardii were not separable from authentic isolates of Saccharomyces cerevisiae with any of the 10 restriction endonucleases assessed, whereas 9 of the 10 recognized species of Saccharomyces could be differentiated. RFLP analysis of cellular DNA with EcoRI showed that all three strains of S. boulardii had identical patterns and were similar to other authentic S. cerevisiae isolates tested. Therefore, the commercial strains of S. boulardii available to us cannot be genotypically distinguished from S. cerevisiae. Two S. boulardii strains were tested in CD-1 and DBA/2N mouse models of systemic disease and showed intermediate virulence compared with virulent and avirulent strains of S. cerevisiae. The results of the present study show that these S. boulardii strains are asporogenous strains of the species S. cerevisiae, not representatives of a distinct and separate species, and possess moderate virulence in murine models of systemic infection. Therefore, caution should be advised in the clinical use of these strains in immunocompromised patients until

  14. Detection of virulence-associated genes in Brucella melitensis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The current study involved detection of three virulence genes (bvfA, virB, ure) by PCR in 52 isolates of Brucella melitensis biovar 3, recovered from different animal species (28 sheep, 10 goats, 9 cattle and 5 buffaloes). Of the 52 B. melitensis strains; 48 (92.3%) isolates carried bvfA genes, 51 (98.1%) isolates had virB genes ...

  15. A functional gene array for detection of bacterial virulence elements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jaing, C

    2007-11-01

    We report our development of the first of a series of microarrays designed to detect pathogens with known mechanisms of virulence and antibiotic resistance. By targeting virulence gene families as well as genes unique to specific biothreat agents, these arrays will provide important data about the pathogenic potential and drug resistance profiles of unknown organisms in environmental samples. To validate our approach, we developed a first generation array targeting genes from Escherichia coli strains K12 and CFT073, Enterococcus faecalis and Staphylococcus aureus. We determined optimal probe design parameters for microorganism detection and discrimination, measured the required target concentration, and assessed tolerance for mismatches between probe and target sequences. Mismatch tolerance is a priority for this application, due to DNA sequence variability among members of gene families. Arrays were created using the NimbleGen Maskless Array Synthesizer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Purified genomic DNA from combinations of one or more of the four target organisms, pure cultures of four related organisms, and environmental aerosol samples with spiked-in genomic DNA were hybridized to the arrays. Based on the success of this prototype, we plan to design further arrays in this series, with the goal of detecting all known virulence and antibiotic resistance gene families in a greatly expanded set of organisms.

  16. cipC is important for Aspergillus fumigatus virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  17. Regulation of bacterial virulence by Csr (Rsm) systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vakulskas, Christopher A; Potts, Anastasia H; Babitzke, Paul; Ahmer, Brian M M; Romeo, Tony

    2015-06-01

    Most bacterial pathogens have the remarkable ability to flourish in the external environment and in specialized host niches. This ability requires their metabolism, physiology, and virulence factors to be responsive to changes in their surroundings. It is no surprise that the underlying genetic circuitry that supports this adaptability is multilayered and exceedingly complex. Studies over the past 2 decades have established that the CsrA/RsmA proteins, global regulators of posttranscriptional gene expression, play important roles in the expression of virulence factors of numerous proteobacterial pathogens. To accomplish these tasks, CsrA binds to the 5' untranslated and/or early coding regions of mRNAs and alters translation, mRNA turnover, and/or transcript elongation. CsrA activity is regulated by noncoding small RNAs (sRNAs) that contain multiple CsrA binding sites, which permit them to sequester multiple CsrA homodimers away from mRNA targets. Environmental cues sensed by two-component signal transduction systems and other regulatory factors govern the expression of the CsrA-binding sRNAs and, ultimately, the effects of CsrA on secretion systems, surface molecules and biofilm formation, quorum sensing, motility, pigmentation, siderophore production, and phagocytic avoidance. This review presents the workings of the Csr system, the paradigm shift that it generated for understanding posttranscriptional regulation, and its roles in virulence networks of animal and plant pathogens. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  18. Development of virulence to Meloidogyne incognita on resistant pepper rootstocks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ros-Ibanez, C.; Robertson, L.; Martinez-Lluch, M. C.; Cano-Garcia, A.; Lacasa-Plasencia, A.

    2014-06-01

    The root-knot nematode (RKN) Meloidogyne incognita is a major soil parasite of pepper crops in greenhouses in Southeast Spain. Due to the limitations of the use of soil fumigants, grafting plants on resistant rootstocks (R-rootstocks) has become an important alternative to chemical nematicides. The repeated use of R-rootstocks can bring about the selection of virulent populations capable of overcoming resistance. We carried out a six-year investigation on resistant rootstocks in a naturally M. incognita infested greenhouse, and found that two successive years of growing plants grafted on R-rootstocks Atlante (ATL) were sufficient to overcome resistance (galling index 1.5 and 5.6 in the first and second years respectively). A large variability was observed between several R-rootstocks. Two R-rootstocks (C19 and Snooker) behaved like ATL while two others (Terrano and DRO 8801) were not infected by RKN. Laboratory studies with the same R-rootstocks, inoculated with two nematode isolates (avirulent and virulent against ATL) confirmed the greenhouse results, indicating that some rootstocks may be infested by virulent populations and others may not. It suggests that different R-genes, which are differentially overcome by RKN, have been introgressed into the rootstocks. This may have consequences for the management of resistant rootstocks in the field. (Author)

  19. Virulence of Flavobacterium columnare genomovars in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evenhuis, Jason P; LaFrentz, Benjamin R

    2016-08-09

    Flavobacterium columnare is the causative agent of columnaris disease and is responsible for significant economic losses in aquaculture. F. columnare is a Gram-negative bacterium, and 5 genetic types or genomovars have been described based on restriction fragment length polymorphism of the 16S rRNA gene. Previous research has suggested that genomovar II isolates are more virulent than genomovar I isolates to multiple species of fish, including rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss. In addition, improved genotyping methods have shown that some isolates previously classified as genomovar I, and used in challenge experiments, were in fact genomovar III. Our objective was to confirm previous results with respect to genomovar II virulence, and to determine the susceptibility of rainbow trout to other genomovars. The virulence of 8 genomovar I, 4 genomovar II, 3 genomovar II-B, and 5 genomovar III isolates originating from various sources was determined through 3 independent challenges in rainbow trout using an immersion challenge model. Mean cumulative percent mortality (CPM) of ~49% for genomovar I isolates, ~1% for genomovar II, ~5% for the II-B isolates, and ~7% for the III isolates was observed. The inability of genomovar II isolates to produce mortalities in rainbow trout was unanticipated based on previous studies, but may be due to a number of factors including rainbow trout source and water chemistry. The source of fish and/or the presence of sub-optimal environment may influence the susceptibility of rainbow trout to different F. columnare genomovars.

  20. Effect of salt and acidic pH on the stability of virulence plasmid (pYV) in Yersinia enterocolitica and expression of virulence-associated characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    The stability of the Yersinia enterocolitica virulence plasmid (pYV) under different NaCl concentrations and under acidic pH conditions was investigated. Exposure of five strains representing five serotypes of pYV-bearing virulent Y. enterocolitica to 0.5, 2 and 5% NaCl and under conditions of pH 4...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  2. Two enzymes with redundant fructose bisphosphatase activity sustain gluconeogenesis and virulence in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganapathy, Uday; Marrero, Joeli; Calhoun, Susannah; Eoh, Hyungjin; de Carvalho, Luiz Pedro Sorio; Rhee, Kyu; Ehrt, Sabine

    2015-08-10

    The human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) likely utilizes host fatty acids as a carbon source during infection. Gluconeogenesis is essential for the conversion of fatty acids into biomass. A rate-limiting step in gluconeogenesis is the conversion of fructose 1,6-bisphosphate to fructose 6-phosphate by a fructose bisphosphatase (FBPase). The Mtb genome contains only one annotated FBPase gene, glpX. Here we show that, unexpectedly, an Mtb mutant lacking GLPX grows on gluconeogenic carbon sources and has detectable FBPase activity. We demonstrate that the Mtb genome encodes an alternative FBPase (GPM2, Rv3214) that can maintain gluconeogenesis in the absence of GLPX. Consequently, deletion of both GLPX and GPM2 is required for disruption of gluconeogenesis and attenuation of Mtb in a mouse model of infection. Our work affirms a role for gluconeogenesis in Mtb virulence and reveals previously unidentified metabolic redundancy at the FBPase-catalysed reaction step of the pathway.

  3. Media ion composition controls regulatory and virulence response of Salmonella in spaceflight.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James W Wilson

    Full Text Available The spaceflight environment is relevant to conditions encountered by pathogens during the course of infection and induces novel changes in microbial pathogenesis not observed using conventional methods. It is unclear how microbial cells sense spaceflight-associated changes to their growth environment and orchestrate corresponding changes in molecular and physiological phenotypes relevant to the infection process. Here we report that spaceflight-induced increases in Salmonella virulence are regulated by media ion composition, and that phosphate ion is sufficient to alter related pathogenesis responses in a spaceflight analogue model. Using whole genome microarray and proteomic analyses from two independent Space Shuttle missions, we identified evolutionarily conserved molecular pathways in Salmonella that respond to spaceflight under all media compositions tested. Identification of conserved regulatory paradigms opens new avenues to control microbial responses during the infection process and holds promise to provide an improved understanding of human health and disease on Earth.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-02-01

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

  5. Differential virulence of Candida albicans and C. dubliniensis: A role for Tor1 kinase?

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Sullivan, Derek J

    2011-01-01

    Candida albicans and Candida dubliniensis are two very closely related species of pathogenic yeast. C. albicans is the most prevalent species in the human gastrointestinal tract and is responsible for far more opportunistic infections in comparison with C. dubliniensis. This disparity is likely to be due to the reduced ability of C. dubliniensis to undergo the yeast to hypha transition, a change in morphology that plays an important role in C. albicans virulence. We have recently shown that hypha formation by C. dubliniensis is specifically repressed by nutrients at alkaline pH. In this article, we present new data showing that this can be partly reversed by treatment with rapamycin, an inhibitor of the nutrient sensing kinase Tor1 (Target Of Rapamycin). We also provide a speculative model to describe why C. albicans filaments more efficiently in nutrient rich environments, citing recently described data on Mds3, a pH responsive regulator of Tor1 kinase activity.

  6. 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)

  7. 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.

  8. Virulence and transmissibility of H1N2 influenza virus in ferrets imply the continuing threat of triple-reassortant swine viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pascua, Philippe Noriel Q; Song, Min-Suk; Lee, Jun Han; Baek, Yun Hee; Kwon, Hyeok-il; Park, Su-Jin; Choi, Eun Hye; Lim, Gyo-Jin; Lee, Ok-Jun; Kim, Si-Wook; Kim, Chul-Joong; Sung, Moon Hee; Kim, Myung Hee; Yoon, Sun-Woo; Govorkova, Elena A; Webby, Richard J; Webster, Robert G; Choi, Young-Ki

    2012-09-25

    Efficient worldwide swine surveillance for influenza A viruses is urgently needed; the emergence of a novel reassortant pandemic H1N1 (pH1N1) virus in 2009 demonstrated that swine can be the direct source of pandemic influenza and that the pandemic potential of viruses prevalent in swine populations must be monitored. We used the ferret model to assess the pathogenicity and transmissibility of predominant Korean triple-reassortant swine (TRSw) H1N2 and H3N2 influenza viruses genetically related to North American strains. Although most of the TRSw viruses were moderately pathogenic, one [A/Swine/Korea/1204/2009; Sw/1204 (H1N2)] was virulent in ferrets, causing death within 10 d of inoculation, and was efficiently transmitted to naive contact ferrets via respiratory droplets. Although molecular analysis did not reveal known virulence markers, the Sw/1204 virus acquired mutations in hemagglutinin (HA) (Asp-225-Gly) and neuraminidase (NA) (Ser-315-Asn) proteins during the single ferret passage. The contact-Sw/1204 virus became more virulent in mice, replicated efficiently in vitro, extensively infected human lung tissues ex vivo, and maintained its ability to replicate and transmit in swine. Reverse-genetics studies further indicated that the HA(225G) and NA(315N) substitutions contributed substantially in altering virulence and transmissibility. These findings support the continuing threat of some field TRSw viruses to human and animal health, reviving concerns on the capacity of pigs to create future pandemic viruses. Apart from warranting continued and enhanced global surveillance, this study also provides evidence on the emerging roles of HA(225G) and NA(315N) as potential virulence markers in mammals.

  9. Listeria monocytogenes Isolates Carrying Virulence-Attenuating Mutations in Internalin A Are Commonly Isolated from Ready-to-Eat Food Processing Plant and Retail Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    VAN Stelten, A; Roberts, A R; Manuel, C S; Nightingale, K K

    2016-10-01

    Listeria monocytogenes is a human foodborne pathogen that may cause an invasive disease known as listeriosis in susceptible individuals. Internalin A (InlA; encoded by inlA) is a virulence factor that facilitates crossing of host cell barriers by L. monocytogenes . At least 19 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in inlA that result in a premature stop codon (PMSC) have been described worldwide. SNPs leading to a PMSC in inlA have been shown to be causally associated with attenuated virulence. L. monocytogenes pathogens carrying virulence-attenuating (VA) mutations in inlA have been commonly isolated from ready-to-eat (RTE) foods but rarely have been associated with human disease. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of VA SNPs in inlA among L. monocytogenes from environments associated with RTE food production and handling. More than 700 L. monocytogenes isolates from RTE food processing plant (n = 409) and retail (n = 319) environments were screened for the presence of VA SNPs in inlA. Overall, 26.4% of isolates from RTE food processing plant and 32.6% of isolates from retail environments carried a VA mutation in inlA. Food contact surfaces sampled at retail establishments were significantly (P < 0.0001) more likely to be contaminated by a L. monocytogenes isolate carrying a VA mutation in inlA (56% of 55 isolates) compared with nonfood contact surfaces (28% of 264 isolates). Overall, a significant proportion of L. monocytogenes isolated from RTE food production and handling environments have reduced virulence. These data will be useful in the revision of current and the development of future risk assessments that incorporate strain-specific virulence parameters.

  10. 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

  11. Molecular characteristics of antimicrobial resistance and virulence determinants of Staphylococcus aureus isolates derived from clinical infection and food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Kui; Shao, Fuye; Kamara, Kadijatu N; Chen, Shuaiyin; Zhang, Rongguang; Duan, Guangcai; Yang, Haiyan

    2018-04-20

    Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is an important human etiologic agent. An investigation of the characteristics of common genotypes of S. aureus relating to pathogenicity and antibiotic resistance may provide a foundation to prevent infection. This study collected 275 S. aureus isolates from Zhengzhou city in China, including 148 isolates from patient samples and 127 isolates from ready-to-eat food samples. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed using the broth dilution method. Molecular characteristics of antimicrobial resistance, virulence, and genotypes were identified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). In total, 34.18% (94/275) of S. aureus isolates were MRSA. Compared with food isolates, clinical isolates had significantly higher antibiotic resistance rates, carrying resistance genes such as acc(6')/aph(2'), aph(3')-III, ermA, and ermB and virulence genes such as tetM, sea, seb, pvl, and etb. MRSA-t030-agrI-SCCmecIII and MSSA-t002-agrII were the most common strain types among clinical strains, and MRSA-t002-agrII-SCCmecIII and MSSA-t002-agrII were the most common strain types among food strains. Additionally, some strains in the agr group were also spa type-specific, suggesting that there may be phenotypic consistency. Clinical isolates contained higher numbers of resistance genes and demonstrated higher antibiotic resistance, while 2 source strains exhibited high toxicity. These results indicate that bacteria with different origins may have undergone different evolutionary processes. As resistance and virulence factors in food bacteria can be transmitted to humans, food handlers should strictly follow hygienic measures during food production to ensure the safety of human consumers. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Fatores de virulência de Bacillus thuringiensis: o que existe além das proteínas Cry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gislayne Vilas-Bôas

    2012-03-01

    Virulence Factors of Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner: Something Beyond of Cry Proteins? Abstract. The Cry proteins produced by the entomopathogenic bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner are widely known due to its high toxicity against a variety of insects. The mode of action of these proteins is specific and becomes B. thuringiensis-based products the most used in biological control programs of insect pests in agriculture and of important human disease vectors. However, while the Cry proteins are the best-known insect-specific virulence factor, strains of B. thuringiensis show also a wide range of other virulence factors, which allow the bacteria to achieve the hemolymph and colonize efficiently the insect host. Among these factors, we highlight the Vip proteins, Cyt, enterotoxins, hemolysins, phospholipases, proteases and enzymes of degradation, in addition to the recently described parasporin. This review explores the action of these virulence factors, as well as, the characterization and control of expression of their genes. Additionally, we discuss aspects related to the ecological niche of the bacteria with emphasis on the characteristics involved in the biosafety of the use of B. thuringiensis-based products for biological control of target insects.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. Genetic and Virulent Difference Between Pigmented and Non-pigmented Staphylococcus aureus

    OpenAIRE

    Jing Zhang; Yujuan Suo; Daofeng Zhang; Fangning Jin; Hang Zhao; Chunlei Shi

    2018-01-01

    Staphyloxanthin (STX), a golden carotenoid pigment produced by Staphylococcus aureus, is suggested to act as an important virulence factor due to its antioxidant properties. Restraining biosynthesis of STX was considered as an indicator of virulence decline in pigmented S. aureus isolates. However, it is not clear whether natural non-pigmented S. aureus isolates have less virulence than pigmented ones. In this study, it is aimed to compare the pigmented and non-pigmented S. aureus isolates to...

  16. [Virulent gene prevalence of foodborne Listeria monocytogenes in China in 2005].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yang; Fu, Ping; Guo, Yun-Chang; Pei, Xiao-Yan; Liu, Xiu-Mei

    2010-12-01

    To study the virulent gene prevalence of foodborne Listeria monocytogenes (LM) isolated from China. 78 LM isolates derived from raw meat, cooked food, aquatic products and vegetables of 13 provinces and cities.LM isolates were investigated for prevalence of virulence genes (LIPI-1 (prfA, plcA, hly, mpl, actA, plcB); LIPI-2 (inlA, inlB), and iap) by PCR method. 87.2% (68/78) of the isolates were prfA positive, 98.7% (77/78) of the isolates were plcA, actA and plcB positive, 97.4% (76/78) of the isolates were hly positive, 87.2% (68/78) of the isolates were mpl positive, 92.3% (72/78) of the isolates were inlA positive, 100% (78/78) of the isolates were inlB positive, 98.7% (77/78) of the isolates were iap positive. Among 21 virulent gene negative isolates, there was 7 isolates lack of two or more virulence genes. The rate of virulence genes deletion isolates from cooked meat was 31.3% (10/32), the rate of virulence genes deletion isolates from raw meat was 16.1% (5/31), the rate of virulence genes deletion isolates from vegetables was 36.4% (4/11) and rate of virulence genes deletion isolates from seafood was 50% (2/4). No significant difference was found (χ(2) = 3.721, P > 0.05). The virulence gene array-1 strains were dominant among these isolates. Among 78 LM isolates, prevalent of virulent genes were different except inlB, virulence genes of LIP-1 were deleted prevalently among isolates, virulence gene deletion patterns were diverse.

  17. Ecto-5′-Nucleotidase: A Candidate Virulence Factor in Streptococcus sanguinis Experimental Endocarditis

    OpenAIRE

    Fan, Jingyuan; Zhang, Yongshu; Chuang-Smith, Olivia N.; Frank, Kristi L.; Guenther, Brian D.; Kern, Marissa; Schlievert, Patrick M.; Herzberg, Mark C.

    2012-01-01

    Streptococcus sanguinis is the most common cause of infective endocarditis (IE). Since the molecular basis of virulence of this oral commensal bacterium remains unclear, we searched the genome of S. sanguinis for previously unidentified virulence factors. We identified a cell surface ecto-5′-nucleotidase (Nt5e), as a candidate virulence factor. By colorimetric phosphate assay, we showed that S. sanguinis Nt5e can hydrolyze extracellular adenosine triphosphate to generate adenosine. Moreover, ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-09

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Analysis of a food-borne fungal pathogen outbreak: virulence and genome of a Mucor circinelloides isolate from yogurt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Soo Chan; Billmyre, R Blake; Li, Alicia; Carson, Sandra; Sykes, Sean M; Huh, Eun Young; Mieczkowski, Piotr; Ko, Dennis C; Cuomo, Christina A; Heitman, Joseph

    2014-07-08

    Food-borne pathogens are ongoing problems, and new pathogens are emerging. The impact of fungi, however, is largely underestimated. Recently, commercial yogurts contaminated with Mucor circinelloides were sold, and >200 consumers became ill with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Mucoralean fungi cause the fatal fungal infection mucormycosis, whose incidence has been continuously increasing. In this study, we isolated an M. circinelloides strain from a yogurt container, and multilocus sequence typing identified the strain as Mucor circinelloides f. circinelloides. M. circinelloides f. circinelloides is the most virulent M. circinelloides subspecies and is commonly associated with human infections, whereas M. circinelloides f. lusitanicus and M. circinelloides f. griseocyanus are less common causes of infection. Whole-genome analysis of the yogurt isolate confirmed it as being close to the M. circinelloides f. circinelloides subgroup, with a higher percentage of divergence with the M. circinelloides f. lusitanicus subgroup. In mating assays, the yogurt isolate formed sexual zygospores with the (-) M. circinelloides f. circinelloides tester strain, which is congruent with its sex locus encoding SexP, the (+) mating type sex determinant. The yogurt isolate was virulent in murine and wax moth larva host systems. In a murine gastromucormycosis model, Mucor was recovered from fecal samples of infected mice for up to 10 days, indicating that Mucor can survive transit through the GI tract. In interactions with human immune cells, M. circinelloides f. lusitanicus induced proinflammatory cytokines but M. circinelloides f. circinelloides did not, which may explain the different levels of virulence in mammalian hosts. This study demonstrates that M. circinelloides can spoil food products and cause gastrointestinal illness in consumers and may pose a particular risk to immunocompromised patients. Importance: The U.S. FDA reported that yogurt products were contaminated with M

  2. Effect Of Spaceflight On Microbial Gene Expression And Virulence: Preliminary Results From Microbe Payload Flown On-Board STS-115

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, J. W.; HonerzuBentrup, K,; Schurr, M. J.; Buchanan, K.; Morici, L.; Hammond, T.; Allen, P.; Baker, C.; Ott, C. M.; Nelman-Gonzalez M.; hide

    2007-01-01

    Human presence in space, whether permanent or temporary, is accompanied by the presence of microbes. However, the extent of microbial changes in response to spaceflight conditions and the corresponding changes to infectious disease risk is unclear. Previous studies have indicated that spaceflight weakens the immune system in humans and animals. In addition, preflight and in-flight monitoring of the International Space Station (ISS) and other spacecraft indicates the presence of opportunistic pathogens and the potential of obligate pathogens. Altered antibiotic resistance of microbes in flight has also been shown. As astronauts and cosmonauts live for longer periods in a closed environment, especially one using recycled water and air, there is an increased risk to crewmembers of infectious disease events occurring in-flight. Therefore, understanding how the space environment affects microorganisms and their disease potential is critically important for spaceflight missions and requires further study. The goal of this flight experiment, operationally called MICROBE, is to utilize three model microbial pathogens, Salmonella typhimurium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Candida albicans to examine the global effects of spaceflight on microbial gene expression and virulence attributes. Specifically, the aims are (1) to perform microarray-mediated gene expression profiling of S. typhimurium, P. aeruginosa, and C. albicans, in response to spaceflight in comparison to ground controls and (2) to determine the effect of spaceflight on the virulence potential of these microorganisms immediately following their return from spaceflight using murine models. The model microorganisms were selected as they have been isolated from preflight or in-flight monitoring, represent different degrees of pathogenic behavior, are well characterized, and have sequenced genomes with available microarrays. In particular, extensive studies of S. typhimurium by the Principal Investigator, Dr. Nickerson

  3. Virulence-associated and antibiotic resistance genes of microbial populations in cattle feces analyzed using a metagenomic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durso, Lisa M; Harhay, Gregory P; Bono, James L; Smith, Timothy P L

    2011-02-01

    The bovine fecal microbiota impacts human food safety as well as animal health. Although the bacteria of cattle feces have been well characterized using culture-based and culture-independent methods, techniques have been lacking to correlate total community composition with community function. We used high throughput sequencing of total DNA extracted from fecal material to characterize general community composition and examine the repertoire of microbial genes present in beef cattle feces, including genes associated with antibiotic resistance and bacterial virulence. Results suggest that traditional 16S sequencing using "universal" primers to generate full-length sequence may under represent Acitinobacteria and Proteobacteria. Over eight percent (8.4%) of the sequences from our beef cattle fecal pool sample could be categorized as virulence genes, including a suite of genes associated with resistance to antibiotic and toxic compounds (RATC). This is a higher proportion of virulence genes found in Sargasso sea, chicken cecum, and cow rumen samples, but comparable to the proportion found in Antarctic marine derived lake, human fecal, and farm soil samples. The quantitative nature of metagenomic data, combined with the large number of RATC classes represented in samples from widely different habitats indicates that metagenomic data can be used to track relative amounts of antibiotic resistance genes in individual animals over time. Consequently, these data can be used to generate sample-specific and temporal antibiotic resistance gene profiles to facilitate an understanding of the ecology of the microbial communities in each habitat as well as the epidemiology of antibiotic resistant gene transport between and among habitats. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  4. Effect of ethanol on differential protein production and expression of potential virulence functions in the opportunistic pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chika C Nwugo

    Full Text Available Acinetobacter baumannii persists in the medical environment and causes severe human nosocomial infections. Previous studies showed that low-level ethanol exposure increases the virulence of A. baumannii ATCC 17978. To better understand the mechanisms involved in this response, 2-D gel electrophoresis combined with mass spectrometry was used to investigate differential protein production in bacteria cultured in the presence or absence of ethanol. This approach showed that the presence of ethanol significantly induces and represses the production of 22 and 12 proteins, respectively. Although over 25% of the ethanol-induced proteins were stress-response related, the overall bacterial viability was uncompromised when cultured under these conditions. Production of proteins involved in lipid and carbohydrate anabolism was increased in the presence of ethanol, a response that correlates with increased carbohydrate biofilm content, enhanced biofilm formation on abiotic surfaces and decrease bacterial motility on semi-solid surfaces. The presence of ethanol also induced the acidification of bacterial cultures and the production of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA, a ubiquitous plant hormone that signals bacterial stress-tolerance and promotes plant-bacteria interactions. These responses could be responsible for the significantly enhanced virulence of A. baumannii ATCC 17978 cells cultured in the presence of ethanol when tested with the Galleria mellonella experimental infection model. Taken together, these observations provide new insights into the effect of ethanol in bacterial virulence. This alcohol predisposes the human host to infections by A. baumannii and could favor the survival and adaptation of this pathogen to medical settings and adverse host environments.

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

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    Alfonso Fernández-Álvarez

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

  6. Incidence and virulence characteristics of Aeromonas spp. in fish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashraf M. Abd-El-Malek

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim: This study was conducted to evaluate the presence of Aeromonas spp. in raw and ready-to-eat (RTE fish commonly consumed in Assiut city, Egypt, and to determine virulence factors due to they play a key role in their pathogenicity. Materials and Methods: A total of 125 samples of raw and RTE fish samples were taken from different fish markets and fish restaurants in Assiut Governorate and screened for the presence of Aeromonas spp. by enrichment on tryptic soy broth then incubated at 30°C for 24 h. Plating unto the sterile Petri dishes containing Aeromonas agar base to which Aeromonas selective supplement was added. The plates were incubated at 37°C for 24 h. Presumptive Aeromonas colonies were biochemically confirmed and analyzed for pathogenicity by hemolysin production, protease, and lipase detection. Results: The results indicated that raw fish were contaminated with Aeromonas spp. (40% in wild and 36% in cultured Nile tilapia. Regarding RTE, Aeromonas spp. could be isolated with the percentage of 16%, 28% and 20% in fried Bolti, grilled Bolti and fried Bayad, respectively. Out of 35 isolates obtained, 22 were categorized as Aeromonas hydrophila, 12 were classified as Aeromonas sobria and Aeromonas caviae were found in only one isolate. The virulence factors of Aeromonas spp. were detected and the results showed that all isolates produced of hemolysin (91.4%, protease (77.1%, and lipase enzyme (17.1%. Conclusion: This study indicates that the presence of A. hydrophila with virulence potential in fresh and RTE fish may be a major threat to public health.

  7. 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.

  8. The significance of virulence factors in Helicobacter pylori.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiota, Seiji; Suzuki, Rumiko; Yamaoka, Yoshio

    2013-07-01

    Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is linked to various gastroduodenal diseases; however, only a small fraction of these patients develop associated diseases. Despite the high prevalence of H. pylori infection in Africa and South Asia, the incidence of gastric cancer in these areas is much lower than those in other countries. The incidence of gastric cancer tends to decrease from north to south in East Asia. Such geographical differences in the pathology can be explained, at least in part, by the presence of different types of H. pylori virulence factors in addition to host and environmental factors. Virulence factors of H. pylori, such as CagA, VacA, DupA, IceA, OipA and BabA, have been demonstrated to be the predictors of severe clinical outcomes. Interestingly, a meta-analysis showed that CagA seropositivity was associated with gastric cancer compared with gastritis, even in East Asian countries where almost the strains possess cagA. Another meta-analysis also confirmed the significance of vacA, dupA and iceA. However, it is possible that additional important pathogenic genes may exist because H. pylori consists of approximately 1600 genes. Despite the advances in our understanding of the development of H. pylori infection-related diseases, further work is required to clarify the roles of H. pylori virulence factors. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Digestive Diseases © 2013 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd and Chinese Medical Association Shanghai Branch, Chinese Society of Gastroenterology, Renji Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine.

  9. Antibiotic resistance and virulence genes in coliform water isolates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stange, C; Sidhu, J P S; Tiehm, A; Toze, S

    2016-11-01

    Widespread fecal pollution of surface water may present a major health risk and a significant pathway for dissemination of antibiotic resistance bacteria. The River Rhine is one of the longest and most important rivers in Europe and an important raw water source for drinking water production. A total of 100 coliform isolates obtained from River Rhine (Germany) were examined for their susceptibility to seven antimicrobial agents. Resistances against amoxicillin, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole and tetracycline were detected in 48%, 11% and 9% of isolates respectively. The antibiotic resistance could be traced back to the resistance genes bla TEM , bla SHV , ampC, sul1, sul2, dfrA1, tet(A) and tet(B). Whereby, the ampC gene represents a special case, because its presence is not inevitably linked to a phenotypic antibiotic resistance. Multiple antibiotics resistance was often accompanied by the occurrence of class 1 or 2 integrons. E. coli isolates belonging to phylogenetic groups A and B1 (commensal) were more predominant (57%) compared to B2 and D groups (43%) which are known to carry virulent genes. Additionally, six E. coli virulence genes were also detected. However, the prevalence of virulence genes in the E. coli isolates was low (not exceeding 4.3% per gene) and no diarrheagenic E. coli pathotypes were detected. This study demonstrates that surface water is an important reservoir of ARGs for a number of antibiotic classes such as sulfonamide, trimethoprim, beta-lactam-antibiotics and tetracycline. The occurrence of antibiotic resistance in coliform bacteria isolated from River Rhine provides evidence for the need to develop management strategies to limit the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria in aquatic environment. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  10. The use of transpositional mutagenesis to study bacterial virulence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mousa, M.A.B.

    1989-01-01

    Extracellular protease of A. hydrophila was shown to be lethal factor for fish. Protease deficient mutants were obtained from A. hydrophila strain 79. A. hydrophila was mutagenized by inserting Tn10 (tetracycline resistance factor) into the chromosome. This was achieved by conjugation between A. hydrophila and E. coli which contains Tn10 carried on the suicide vector pRK2013. Virulence of the protease deficient mutants was determined by injecting into channel catfish and comparing the mortalities produced by the mutants to that produced by the wild type strain. Protease deficient isolates were non virulent when inoculated into channel catfish (compared to the wild type strain). Proteolytic activities of some protease deficient isolates were compared to the activities of the wild type strain using a quantitative plate technique. The following substrates were used to study the proteolytic activities: casein, gelatin, elastin, staphylococcus and klebsiella. Loss of the proteolytic activity of caseinase, gelatinase and elastase was associated with the loss of virulence of A. hydrophila. Acquiring the DNA from the media was studied using a new transformation technique; no artificial competence was provided. A strain of Escherchi coli, Edwardsiella ictaluri, and Aeromonas hydrophila acquired antibiotic resistance markers when they were grown on media containing the target antibiotic and the resistance markers. When homologous and heterologous 32 P-labelled DNA were supplied to growing cultures of A. hydrophila, A. hydrophila cells and their chromosomes were found labelled. Total cellular radioactivity of the culture receiving heterologous labelled DNA was higher than the culture receiving homologous DNA; however the chromosomal radioactivity was on the opposite where it was higher in case of the culture receiving homologous DNA

  11. Identification of an essential virulence gene of cyprinid herpesvirus 3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boutier, Maxime; Gao, Yuan; Vancsok, Catherine; Suárez, Nicolás M; Davison, Andrew J; Vanderplasschen, Alain

    2017-09-01

    The genus Cyprinivirus consists of a growing list of phylogenetically related viruses, some of which cause severe economic losses to the aquaculture industry. The archetypal member, cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (CyHV-3) causes mass mortalities worldwide in koi and common carp. A CyHV-3 mutant was described previously that is attenuated in vivo by a deletion affecting two genes (ORF56 and ORF57). The relative contributions of ORF56 and ORF57 to the safety and efficacy profile of this vaccine candidate have now been assessed by analysing viruses individually deleted for ORF56 or ORF57. Inoculation of these viruses into carp demonstrated that the absence of ORF56 did not affect virulence, whereas the absence of ORF57 led to an attenuation comparable to, though slightly less than, that of the doubly deleted virus. To demonstrate further the role of ORF57 as a key virulence factor, a mutant retaining the ORF57 region but unable to express the ORF57 protein was produced by inserting multiple in-frame stop codons into the coding region. Analysis of this virus in vivo revealed a safety and efficacy profile comparable to that of the doubly deleted virus. These findings show that ORF57 encodes an essential CyHV-3 virulence factor. They also indicate that ORF57 orthologues in other cypriniviruses may offer promising targets for the rational design of attenuated recombinant vaccines. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. A Precise Temperature-Responsive Bistable Switch Controlling Yersinia Virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuss, Aaron Mischa; Schuster, Franziska; Roselius, Louisa; Klein, Johannes; Bücker, René; Herbst, Katharina; Heroven, Ann Kathrin; Pisano, Fabio; Wittmann, Christoph; Münch, Richard; Müller, Johannes; Jahn, Dieter; Dersch, Petra

    2016-12-01

    Different biomolecules have been identified in bacterial pathogens that sense changes in temperature and trigger expression of virulence programs upon host entry. However, the dynamics and quantitative outcome of this response in individual cells of a population, and how this influences pathogenicity are unknown. Here, we address these questions using a thermosensing virulence regulator of an intestinal pathogen (RovA of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis) as a model. We reveal that this regulator is part of a novel thermoresponsive bistable switch, which leads to high- and low-invasive subpopulations within a narrow temperature range. The temperature range in which bistability is observed is defined by the degradation and synthesis rate of the regulator, and is further adjustable via a nutrient-responsive regulator. The thermoresponsive switch is also characterized by a hysteretic behavior in which activation and deactivation occurred on vastly different time scales. Mathematical modeling accurately mirrored the experimental behavior and predicted that the thermoresponsiveness of this sophisticated bistable switch is mainly determined by the thermo-triggered increase of RovA proteolysis. We further observed RovA ON and OFF subpopulations of Y. pseudotuberculosis in the Peyer's patches and caecum of infected mice, and that changes in the RovA ON/OFF cell ratio reduce tissue colonization and overall virulence. This points to a bet-hedging strategy in which the thermoresponsive bistable switch plays a key role in adapting the bacteria to the fluctuating conditions encountered as they pass through the host's intestinal epithelium and suggests novel strategies for the development of antimicrobial therapies.

  13. A Precise Temperature-Responsive Bistable Switch Controlling Yersinia Virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron Mischa Nuss

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Different biomolecules have been identified in bacterial pathogens that sense changes in temperature and trigger expression of virulence programs upon host entry. However, the dynamics and quantitative outcome of this response in individual cells of a population, and how this influences pathogenicity are unknown. Here, we address these questions using a thermosensing virulence regulator of an intestinal pathogen (RovA of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model. We reveal that this regulator is part of a novel thermoresponsive bistable switch, which leads to high- and low-invasive subpopulations within a narrow temperature range. The temperature range in which bistability is observed is defined by the degradation and synthesis rate of the regulator, and is further adjustable via a nutrient-responsive regulator. The thermoresponsive switch is also characterized by a hysteretic behavior in which activation and deactivation occurred on vastly different time scales. Mathematical modeling accurately mirrored the experimental behavior and predicted that the thermoresponsiveness of this sophisticated bistable switch is mainly determined by the thermo-triggered increase of RovA proteolysis. We further observed RovA ON and OFF subpopulations of Y. pseudotuberculosis in the Peyer's patches and caecum of infected mice, and that changes in the RovA ON/OFF cell ratio reduce tissue colonization and overall virulence. This points to a bet-hedging strategy in which the thermoresponsive bistable switch plays a key role in adapting the bacteria to the fluctuating conditions encountered as they pass through the host's intestinal epithelium and suggests novel strategies for the development of antimicrobial therapies.

  14. Antibiotic modulation of capsular exopolysaccharide and virulence in Acinetobacter baumannii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward Geisinger

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Acinetobacter baumannii is an opportunistic pathogen of increasing importance due to its propensity for intractable multidrug-resistant infections in hospitals. All clinical isolates examined contain a conserved gene cluster, the K locus, which determines the production of complex polysaccharides, including an exopolysaccharide capsule known to protect against killing by host serum and to increase virulence in animal models of infection. Whether the polysaccharides determined by the K locus contribute to intrinsic defenses against antibiotics is unknown. We demonstrate here that mutants deficient in the exopolysaccharide capsule have lowered intrinsic resistance to peptide antibiotics, while a mutation affecting sugar precursors involved in both capsule and lipopolysaccharide synthesis sensitizes the bacterium to multiple antibiotic classes. We observed that, when grown in the presence of certain antibiotics below their MIC, including the translation inhibitors chloramphenicol and erythromycin, A. baumannii increases production of the K locus exopolysaccharide. Hyperproduction of capsular exopolysaccharide is reversible and non-mutational, and occurs concomitantly with increased resistance to the inducing antibiotic that is independent of the presence of the K locus. Strikingly, antibiotic-enhanced capsular exopolysaccharide production confers increased resistance to killing by host complement and increases virulence in a mouse model of systemic infection. Finally, we show that augmented capsule production upon antibiotic exposure is facilitated by transcriptional increases in K locus gene expression that are dependent on a two-component regulatory system, bfmRS. These studies reveal that the synthesis of capsule, a major pathogenicity determinant, is regulated in response to antibiotic stress. Our data are consistent with a model in which gene expression changes triggered by ineffectual antibiotic treatment cause A. baumannii to transition

  15. Virulence of a Klebsiella pneumoniae strain carrying the New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-1 (NDM-1)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fuursted, Kurt; Schøler, Lone; Hansen, Frank

    2011-01-01

    , and in vitro virulence by assessing various virulence factors. The NDM-1 carrying K. pneumoniae isolate was the most virulent in the murine sepsis model but there was no clear cut correlation to in vitro virulence factors or killing in C. elegans. It is concluded that K. pneumoniae carrying NDM-1 have......The aim of the study was to compare and evaluate virulence in five strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae, including an isolate carrying New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-1 (NDM-1). In vivo virulence was assessed using a murine sepsis model and using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans killing model...

  16. Virulence, immunogenicity and vaccine properties of a novel chimeric pestivirus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Thomas Bruun; Uttenthal, Åse; Reimann, Ilona

    2007-01-01

    A chimeric pestivirus of border disease virus Gifhorn and bovine viral diarrhea virus CP7 (Meyers et al., 1996) was constructed. Virulence, immunogenicity and vaccine properties of the chimeric virus were studied in a vaccination–challenge experiment in pigs. The chimeric virus proved...... to be avirulent and neither chimeric virus nor viral RNA was detected in serum after vaccination. The safety of the vaccine was tested by horizontal transmission to sentinel pigs, which remained uninfected. The vaccine efficacy was examined by challenge infection with classical swine fever virus (CSFV) Eystrup...

  17. 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.

  18. Attenuation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence by quorum sensing inhibitors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hentzer, Morten; Wu, H.; Andersen, Jens Bo

    2003-01-01

    Traditional treatment of infectious diseases is based on compounds that kill or inhibit growth of bacteria. A major concern with this approach is the frequent development of resistance to antibiotics. The discovery of communication systems (quorum sensing systems) regulating bacterial virulence has...... of natural furanone compounds can act as a potent antagonist of bacterial quorum sensing. We employed GeneChip((R)) microarray technology to identify furanone target genes and to map the quorum sensing regulon. The transcriptome analysis showed that the furanone drug specifically targeted quorum sensing...

  19. Virulent poxviruses inhibit DNA sensing by preventing STING activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgana, Iliana; Sumner, Rebecca P; Towers, Greg J; Maluquer de Motes, Carlos

    2018-02-28

    Cytosolic recognition of DNA has emerged as a critical cellular mechanism of host immune activation upon pathogen invasion. The central cytosolic DNA sensor cGAS activates STING, which is phosphorylated, dimerises and translocates from the ER to a perinuclear region to mediate IRF-3 activation. Poxviruses are dsDNA viruses replicating in the cytosol and hence likely to trigger cytosolic DNA sensing. Here we investigated the activation of innate immune signalling by 4 different strains of the prototypic poxvirus vaccinia virus (VACV) in a cell line proficient in DNA sensing. Infection with the attenuated VACV strain MVA activated IRF-3 via cGAS and STING, and accordingly STING dimerised and was phosphorylated during MVA infection. Conversely, VACV strains Copenhagen and Western Reserve inhibited STING dimerisation and phosphorylation during infection and in response to transfected DNA and cGAMP, thus efficiently suppressing DNA sensing and IRF-3 activation. A VACV deletion mutant lacking protein C16, thought to be the only viral DNA sensing inhibitor acting upstream of STING, retained the ability to block STING activation. Similar inhibition of DNA-induced STING activation was also observed for cowpox and ectromelia viruses. Our data demonstrate that virulent poxviruses possess mechanisms for targeting DNA sensing at the level of the cGAS-STING axis and that these mechanisms do not operate in replication-defective strains such as MVA. These findings shed light on the role of cellular DNA sensing in poxvirus-host interactions and will open new avenues to determine its impact on VACV immunogenicity and virulence. IMPORTANCE Poxviruses are dsDNA viruses infecting a wide range of vertebrates and include the causative agent of smallpox (variola virus) and its vaccine vaccinia virus (VACV). Despite smallpox eradication VACV remains of interest as a therapeutic. Attenuated strains are popular vaccine candidates, whereas replication-competent strains are emerging as

  20. Novel Aggregation Properties of Candida albicans Secreted Aspartyl Proteinase Sap6 Mediate Virulence in Oral Candidiasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Rohitashw; Saraswat, Darpan; Tati, Swetha; Edgerton, Mira

    2015-07-01

    Candida albicans, a commensal fungus of the oral microbiome, causes oral candidiasis in humans with localized or systemic immune deficiencies. Secreted aspartic proteinases (Saps) are a family of 10 related proteases and are virulence factors due to their proteolytic activity, as well as their roles in adherence and colonization of host tissues. We found that mice infected sublingually with C. albicans cells overexpressing Sap6 (SAP6 OE and a Δsap8 strain) had thicker fungal plaques and more severe oral infection, while infection with the Δsap6 strain was attenuated. These hypervirulent strains had highly aggregative colony structure in vitro and higher secreted proteinase activity; however, the levels of proteinase activity of C. albicans Saps did not uniformly match their abilities to damage cultured oral epithelial cells (SCC-15 cells). Hyphal induction in cells overexpressing Sap6 (SAP6 OE and Δsap8 cells) resulted in formation of large cell-cell aggregates. These aggregates could be produced in germinated wild-type cells by addition of native or heat-inactivated Sap6. Sap6 bound only to germinated cells and increased C. albicans adhesion to oral epithelial cells. The adhesion properties of Sap6 were lost upon deletion of its integrin-binding motif (RGD) and could be inhibited by addition of RGD peptide or anti-integrin antibodies. Thus, Sap6 (but not Sap5) has an alternative novel function in cell-cell aggregation, independent of its proteinase activity, to promote infection and virulence in oral candidiasis.