Trung Anh Trieu
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.
Yeung, Angela; Cameron, D William; Desjardins, Marc; Lee, B Craig
Elucidating the molecular mechanisms responsible for chancroid, a genital ulcer disease caused by Haemophilus ducreyi, has been hampered in part by the relative genetic intractability of the organism. A whole genome screen using signature-tagged mutagenesis in the temperature-dependent rabbit model (TDRM) of H. ducreyi infection uncovered 26 mutants with a presumptive attenuated phenotype. Insertions in two previously recognized virulence determinants, hgbA and lspA1, validated this genome scanning technique. Database interrogation allowed assignment of 24 mutants to several functional classes, including transport, metabolism, DNA repair, stress response and gene regulation. The attenuated virulence for a 3 strain with a mutation in hicB was confirmed by individual infection in the TDRM. The results from this preliminary study indicate that this high throughput strategy will further the understanding of the pathogenesis of H. ducreyi infection. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Zhu, Yumin; Yu, Xiaoming; Huang, Fenfen; Yu, Ruisong; Dong, Shijuan; Si, Fusheng; Zhang, Yuanshu; Li, Zhen
Four major genotypes of hepatitis E virus (HEV), the causative agent of hepatitis E, have so far been recognized. While genotypes 3 and 4 are both zoonotic, the disease symptoms caused by the latter tend to be more severe. To examine if specific nucleotide/amino acid variations between genotypes 3 and 4 play a role in determining the severity of hepatitis E disease, the complete genome of one swine HEV genotype 4 isolate, SAAS-FX17, was determined and compared with other genotype 4 and genotype 3 genomes to identify putative HEV genotype 4 virulence determinants. A total of 42 conformable nt/aa variations between genotype 3 and 4 HEVs were detected, of which 19 were proposed to be potential disease severity determinants for genotype 4 strains. One potential determinant was located in each of the 5'-UTR and 3'-UTR, 3 and 12 within ORF1 and ORF2 respectively, and 2 in the junction region.
Tscherne, Donna M.; García-Sastre, Adolfo
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
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
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.
Suat Moi Puah
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.
Agrobacterium-mediated transformation (AMT) was used to identify potential virulence factors in Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Screening AMT transformants identified two mutants showing significantly reduced virulence. The mutants showed similar growth rate, colony morphology, and sclerotial and oxalate ...
Boyce, John D.; Adler, Ben
Capsules from a range of pathogenic bacteria are key virulence determinants, and the capsule has been implicated in virulence in Pasteurella multocida. We have previously identified and determined the nucleotide sequence of the P. multocida M1404 (B:2) capsule biosynthetic locus (J. D. Boyce, J. Y. Chung, and B. Adler, Vet. Microbiol. 72:121–134, 2000). The cap locus consists of 15 genes, which can be grouped into three functional regions. Regions 1 and 3 contain genes proposed to encode prot...
Full Text Available Tuberculosis remains one of the major threats to public health worldwide. Given the prevalence of multi drug resistance (MDR in Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains, there is a strong need to develop new anti-mycobacterial drugs with modes of action distinct from classical antibiotics. Inhibitors of mycobacterial virulence might target new molecular processes and may represent a potential new therapeutic alternative. In this study, we used a Dictyostelium discoideum host model to assess virulence of Mycobacterium marinum and to identify compounds inhibiting mycobacterial virulence. Among 9995 chemical compounds, we selected 12 inhibitors of mycobacterial virulence that do not inhibit mycobacterial growth in synthetic medium. Further analyses revealed that 8 of them perturbed functions requiring an intact mycobacterial cell wall such as sliding motility, bacterial aggregation or cell wall permeability. Chemical analogs of two compounds were analyzed. Chemical modifications altered concomitantly their effect on sliding motility and on mycobacterial virulence, suggesting that the alteration of the mycobacterial cell wall caused the loss of virulence. We characterized further one of the selected compounds and found that it inhibited the ability of mycobacteria to replicate in infected cells. Together these results identify new antimycobacterial compounds that represent new tools to unravel the molecular mechanisms controlling mycobacterial pathogenicity. The isolation of compounds with anti-virulence activity is the first step towards developing new antibacterial treatments.
Jing, Shengli; Zhang, Lei; Ma, Yinhua; Liu, Bingfang; Zhao, Yan; Yu, Hangjin; Zhou, Xi; Qin, Rui; Zhu, Lili; He, Guangcun
Insects and plants have coexisted for over 350 million years and their interactions have affected ecosystems and agricultural practices worldwide. Variation in herbivorous insects' virulence to circumvent host resistance has been extensively documented. However, despite decades of investigation, the genetic foundations of virulence are currently unknown. The brown planthopper (Nilaparvata lugens) is the most destructive rice (Oryza sativa) pest in the world. The identification of the resistance gene Bph1 and its introduction in commercial rice varieties prompted the emergence of a new virulent brown planthopper biotype that was able to break the resistance conferred by Bph1. In this study, we aimed to construct a high density linkage map for the brown planthopper and identify the loci responsible for its virulence in order to determine their genetic architecture. Based on genotyping data for hundreds of molecular markers in three mapping populations, we constructed the most comprehensive linkage map available for this species, covering 96.6% of its genome. Fifteen chromosomes were anchored with 124 gene-specific markers. Using genome-wide scanning and interval mapping, the Qhp7 locus that governs preference for Bph1 plants was mapped to a 0.1 cM region of chromosome 7. In addition, two major QTLs that govern the rate of insect growth on resistant rice plants were identified on chromosomes 5 (Qgr5) and 14 (Qgr14). This is the first study to successfully locate virulence in the genome of this important agricultural insect by marker-based genetic mapping. Our results show that the virulence which overcomes the resistance conferred by Bph1 is controlled by a few major genes and that the components of virulence originate from independent genetic characters. The isolation of these loci will enable the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underpinning the rice-brown planthopper interaction and facilitate the development of durable approaches for controlling this most
Full Text Available Insects and plants have coexisted for over 350 million years and their interactions have affected ecosystems and agricultural practices worldwide. Variation in herbivorous insects' virulence to circumvent host resistance has been extensively documented. However, despite decades of investigation, the genetic foundations of virulence are currently unknown. The brown planthopper (Nilaparvata lugens is the most destructive rice (Oryza sativa pest in the world. The identification of the resistance gene Bph1 and its introduction in commercial rice varieties prompted the emergence of a new virulent brown planthopper biotype that was able to break the resistance conferred by Bph1. In this study, we aimed to construct a high density linkage map for the brown planthopper and identify the loci responsible for its virulence in order to determine their genetic architecture. Based on genotyping data for hundreds of molecular markers in three mapping populations, we constructed the most comprehensive linkage map available for this species, covering 96.6% of its genome. Fifteen chromosomes were anchored with 124 gene-specific markers. Using genome-wide scanning and interval mapping, the Qhp7 locus that governs preference for Bph1 plants was mapped to a 0.1 cM region of chromosome 7. In addition, two major QTLs that govern the rate of insect growth on resistant rice plants were identified on chromosomes 5 (Qgr5 and 14 (Qgr14. This is the first study to successfully locate virulence in the genome of this important agricultural insect by marker-based genetic mapping. Our results show that the virulence which overcomes the resistance conferred by Bph1 is controlled by a few major genes and that the components of virulence originate from independent genetic characters. The isolation of these loci will enable the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underpinning the rice-brown planthopper interaction and facilitate the development of durable approaches for
Tayi, Lavanya; Maku, Roshan V.; Patel, Hitendra Kumar; Sonti, Ramesh V.
Xanthomonas oryzae pv.oryzae (Xoo) causes the serious bacterial blight disease of rice. Xoo secretes a repertoire of plant cell wall degrading enzymes (CWDEs) like cellulases, xylanases, esterases etc., which act on various components of the rice cell wall. The major cellulases and xylanases secreted by Xoo have been identified and their role in virulence has been determined. In this study, we have identified some of the pectin degrading enzymes of Xoo and assessed their role in virulence. Bi...
Alexandre Keiji Tashima
Full Text Available Paracoccidioides genus are the etiologic agents of paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM, a systemic mycosis endemic in Latin America. Few virulence factors have been identified in these fungi. This paper describes support data from the quantitative proteomics of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis attenuated and virulent isolates . The protein compositions of two isolates of the Pb18 strain showing distinct infection profiles were quantitatively assessed by stable isotopic dimethyl labeling and proteomic analysis. The mass spectrometry and the analysis dataset have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange Consortium via the PRIDE partner repository with identifier PXD000804.
Full Text Available Intracellular bacterial pathogens are metabolically adapted to grow within mammalian cells. While these adaptations are fundamental to the ability to cause disease, we know little about the relationship between the pathogen's metabolism and virulence. Here we used an integrative Metabolic Analysis Tool that combines transcriptome data with genome-scale metabolic models to define the metabolic requirements of Listeria monocytogenes during infection. Twelve metabolic pathways were identified as differentially active during L. monocytogenes growth in macrophage cells. Intracellular replication requires de novo synthesis of histidine, arginine, purine, and branch chain amino acids (BCAAs, as well as catabolism of L-rhamnose and glycerol. The importance of each metabolic pathway during infection was confirmed by generation of gene knockout mutants in the respective pathways. Next, we investigated the association of these metabolic requirements in the regulation of L. monocytogenes virulence. Here we show that limiting BCAA concentrations, primarily isoleucine, results in robust induction of the master virulence activator gene, prfA, and the PrfA-regulated genes. This response was specific and required the nutrient responsive regulator CodY, which is known to bind isoleucine. Further analysis demonstrated that CodY is involved in prfA regulation, playing a role in prfA activation under limiting conditions of BCAAs. This study evidences an additional regulatory mechanism underlying L. monocytogenes virulence, placing CodY at the crossroads of metabolism and virulence.
Full Text Available The determination of Exserohilum turcicum virulence factors and resistance responses of three sets of maize inbred lines (four differential, eight isogenic and 22 commercial inbreeds to three isolates of this pathogen under greenhouse conditions were studied. The maize inbreeds were selected according to previous testing of resistance based on lesion types in 194 inbreeds under field conditions of plant inoculation with the E. turcicum race 0 (designated as the isolate MRI-Et. The standard procedure was applied to obtained isolates MRIZP-1747 and MRIZP-1416 from resistant and susceptible lesion types, respectively. These lesions were developed on the same leaf of a plant of the experimental hybrid no. 163/99 grown in a nursery at Zemun Polje during 1999. The third isolate (MRIZP-1435 was isolated from a leaf sample originating from the location of Srbobran in which the occurrence of northern corn leaf blight (NCLB, caused by Exserohilum turcicum, was intensive. Based upon virulence/avirulence of three isolates of E. turcicum on differential maize inbred lines, it was found out that the isolate MRIZP-1747 could be classified as race 0, whereas isolates MRIZP-1416 and MRIZP-1435 could be classified as race 1. These are the first results that confirm the presence of race 1 of E. turcicum in Serbia. Not including differential lines, 22 and six lines were resistant to race 0 and race 1, respectively, while eight and five lines were resistant and susceptible to both races, respectively. All isogenic lines not containing the Ht gene were susceptible to both races 0 and 1.
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.
Boyce, J D; Adler, B
Capsules from a range of pathogenic bacteria are key virulence determinants, and the capsule has been implicated in virulence in Pasteurella multocida. We have previously identified and determined the nucleotide sequence of the P. multocida M1404 (B:2) capsule biosynthetic locus (J. D. Boyce, J. Y. Chung, and B. Adler, Vet. Microbiol. 72:121-134, 2000). The cap locus consists of 15 genes, which can be grouped into three functional regions. Regions 1 and 3 contain genes proposed to encode proteins involved in capsule export, and region 2 contains genes proposed to encode proteins involved in polysaccharide biosynthesis. In order to construct a mutant impaired in capsule export, the final gene of region 1, cexA, was disrupted by insertion of a tetracycline resistance cassette by allelic replacement. The genotype of the tet(M) OmegacexA mutant was confirmed by Southern hybridization and PCR. The acapsular phenotype was confirmed by immunofluorescence, and the strain could be complemented and returned to capsule production by the presence of a cloned uninterrupted copy of cexA. Wild-type, mutant, and complemented strains were tested for virulence by intraperitoneal challenge of mice; the presence of the capsule was shown to be a crucial virulence determinant. Following intraperitoneal challenge of mice, the acapsular bacteria were removed efficiently from the blood, spleen, and liver, while wild-type bacteria multiplied rapidly. Acapsular bacteria were readily taken up by murine peritoneal macrophages, but wild-type bacteria were significantly resistant to phagocytosis. Both wild-type and acapsular bacteria were resistant to complement in bovine and murine serum.
Stephenson, Sam; Brown, P D
Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) rely on the correlation of virulence expression with antimicrobial resistance to persist and cause severe urinary tract infections (UTIs). We assessed the virulence pattern and prevalence among UPEC strains susceptible and resistant to multiple antimicrobial classes. A total of 174 non-duplicate UPEC strains from patients with clinically significant UTIs were analysed for susceptibility to aminoglycoside, antifolate, cephalosporin, nitrofuran and quinolone antibiotics for the production of extended-spectrum β-lactamases and for the presence of six virulence determinants encoding adhesins (afimbrial, Type 1 fimbriae, P and S-fimbriae) and toxins (cytotoxic necrotising factor and haemolysin). Relatively high resistance rates to nalidixic acid, ciprofloxacin, cephalothin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (82%, 78%, 62% and 59%, respectively) were observed. Fourteen distinct patterns were identified for the virulence determinants such as afaBC, cnfI, fimH, hylA, papEF and sfaDE. The toxin gene, cnfI (75.3%), was the second most prevalent marker to the adhesin, fimH (97.1%). The significant association of sfaDE/hylA (P < 0.01) among antimicrobial resistant and susceptible strains was also observed notwithstanding an overall greater occurrence of virulence factors among the latter. This study provides a snapshot of UPEC complexity in Jamaica and highlights the significant clonal heterogeneity among strains. Such outcomes emphasise the need for evidence-based strategies in the effective management and control of UTIs.
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
Tsugawa, Takeshi; Tatsumi, Masatoshi; Tsutsumi, Hiroyuki
Although significant clinical efficacy and safety of rotavirus vaccines were recently revealed in many countries, the mechanism of their attenuation is not well understood. We passaged serially a cell culture-adapted murine rotavirus EB strain in mouse pups or in cell cultures alternately and repeatedly and fully sequenced all 11 genes of 21 virus samples passaged in mice or in cell cultures. Sequence analysis revealed that mouse-passaged viruses that regained virulence almost consistently acquired four kinds of amino acid (aa) substitutions in VP4 and substitution in aa 37 (Val to Ala) in NSP4. In addition, they gained and invariably conserved the 3' consensus sequence in NSP1. The molecular changes occurred along with the acquisition of virulence during passages in mice and then disappeared following passages in cell cultures. Intraperitoneal injection of recombinant NSP4 proteins confirmed the aa 37 site as important for its diarrheagenic activity in mice. These genome changes are likely to be correlated with rotavirus virulence. Serial passage of a virulent wild-type virus in vitro often results in loss of virulence of the virus in an original animal host, while serial passage of a cell culture-adapted avirulent virus in vivo often gains virulence in an animal host. Actually, live attenuated virus vaccines were originally produced by serial passage in cell cultures. Although clinical efficacy and safety of rotavirus vaccines were recently revealed, the mechanism of their attenuation is not well understood. We passaged serially a murine rotavirus by alternating switch of host (mice or cell cultures) repeatedly and sequenced the eleven genes of the passaged viruses to identify mutations associated with the emergence or disappearance of virulence. Sequence analysis revealed that changes in three genes (VP4, NSP1, and NSP4) were associated with virulence in mice. Intraperitoneal injection of recombinant NSP4 proteins confirmed its diarrheagenic activity in mice
Tatsumi, Masatoshi; Tsutsumi, Hiroyuki
ABSTRACT Although significant clinical efficacy and safety of rotavirus vaccines were recently revealed in many countries, the mechanism of their attenuation is not well understood. We passaged serially a cell culture-adapted murine rotavirus EB strain in mouse pups or in cell cultures alternately and repeatedly and fully sequenced all 11 genes of 21 virus samples passaged in mice or in cell cultures. Sequence analysis revealed that mouse-passaged viruses that regained virulence almost consistently acquired four kinds of amino acid (aa) substitutions in VP4 and substitution in aa 37 (Val to Ala) in NSP4. In addition, they gained and invariably conserved the 3′ consensus sequence in NSP1. The molecular changes occurred along with the acquisition of virulence during passages in mice and then disappeared following passages in cell cultures. Intraperitoneal injection of recombinant NSP4 proteins confirmed the aa 37 site as important for its diarrheagenic activity in mice. These genome changes are likely to be correlated with rotavirus virulence. IMPORTANCE Serial passage of a virulent wild-type virus in vitro often results in loss of virulence of the virus in an original animal host, while serial passage of a cell culture-adapted avirulent virus in vivo often gains virulence in an animal host. Actually, live attenuated virus vaccines were originally produced by serial passage in cell cultures. Although clinical efficacy and safety of rotavirus vaccines were recently revealed, the mechanism of their attenuation is not well understood. We passaged serially a murine rotavirus by alternating switch of host (mice or cell cultures) repeatedly and sequenced the eleven genes of the passaged viruses to identify mutations associated with the emergence or disappearance of virulence. Sequence analysis revealed that changes in three genes (VP4, NSP1, and NSP4) were associated with virulence in mice. Intraperitoneal injection of recombinant NSP4 proteins confirmed its
Full Text Available Context: Under morphogenesis-inducing conditions, Candida spp. begins to undergo yeast-to-hypha switch. This shift from commensal to pathogenic state is dependent on several virulence factors. Aim: To find out whether the isolated Candida spp. were pathogens causing vulvovaginal candidiasis or mere bystanders. Settings and Design: Cross-sectional observational study conducted on 275 symptomatic hospital patients in Tripura between August 2012 and April 2015. Subjects and Methods: Discharge was collected from patients and identified by Grams staining and wet mount test. Culturing was done in Sabouraud dextrose agar followed by speciation. To test for virulence factors, assays for adherence, plasma coagulase, phospholipase, lipase, protease, hemolysin, and biofilm formation were carried out. Statistical Analysis Used: Significance between two groups was compared using one-way analysis of variance along with Tukey test, and Chi-square 2 × 2 contingency table at 95% confidence interval. Results: Fifty-six Candida spp. could be isolated in the study which was used for further virulence tests. One hundred percent of isolates expressed adherence. Among other virulence factors, maximum virulence 25 (45% was shown through protease production. Hemolysin production and biofilm formation were the second most 22 (39% expressed virulence factors. In a comparison of virulence factors between biofilm-forming isolates and planktonic cells, significant difference was seen for plasma coagulase and hemolysin production. Conclusions: All the isolates expressed one or more virulence factors. Adherence was expressed in all isolates but highest number was observed for Candida albicans. Furthermore, C. albicans strain number was highest for protease, hemolysin and coagulase expression and biofilm formation. Candida krusei isolates were the least in number for expressing any of the virulence factors. Significantly higher number of biofilm forming isolates produced
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.
Begun, Jakob; Sifri, Costi D; Goldman, Samuel; Calderwood, Stephen B; Ausubel, Frederick M
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.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Streptococcus suis is a major swine pathogen and zoonotic agent that mainly causes septicemia, meningitis, and endocarditis. It has recently been suggested that proteinases produced by S. suis (serotype 2 are potential virulence determinants. In the present study, we screened a S. suis mutant library created by the insertion of Tn917 transposon in order to isolate a mutant deficient in a cell surface proteinase. We characterized the gene and assessed the proteinase for its potential as a virulence factor. Results Two mutants (G6G and M3G possessing a single Tn917 insertion were isolated. The affected gene coded for a protein (SSU0757 that shared a high degree of identity with Streptococccus thermophilus PrtS (95.9% and, to a lesser extent, with Streptococcus agalactiae CspA (49.5%, which are cell surface serine proteinases. The SSU0757 protein had a calculated molecular mass of 169.6 kDa and contained the catalytic triad characteristic of subtilisin family proteinases: motif I (Asp200, motif II (His239, and motif III (Ser568. SSU0757 also had the Gram-positive cell wall anchoring motif (Leu-Pro-X-Thr-Gly at the carboxy-terminus, which was followed by a hydrophobic domain. All the S. suis isolates tested, which belonged to different serotypes, possessed the gene encoding the SSU0757 protein. The two mutants devoid of subtilisin-like proteinase activity had longer generation times and were more susceptible to killing by whole blood than the wild-type parent strain P1/7. The virulence of the G6G and M3G mutants was compared to the wild-type strain in the CD1 mouse model. Significant differences in mortality rates were noted between the P1/7 group and the M3G and G6G groups (p Conclusion In summary, we identified a gene coding for a cell surface subtilisin-like serine proteinase that is widely distributed in S. suis. Evidences were brought for the involvement of this proteinase in S. suis virulence.
Paik, Sehmi; Senty, Lauren; Das, Sankar; Noe, Jody C; Munro, Cindy L; Kitten, Todd
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.
Paik, Sehmi; Senty, Lauren; Das, Sankar; Noe, Jody C.; Munro, Cindy L.; Kitten, Todd
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
Blakeway, Luke V; Tan, Aimee; Peak, Ian R A; Seib, Kate L
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.
Koo, H; Falsetta, M L; Klein, M I
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.
Hoshi, Ayaka; Oshima, Kenro; Kakizawa, Shigeyuki; Ishii, Yoshiko; Ozeki, Johji; Hashimoto, Masayoshi; Komatsu, Ken; Kagiwada, Satoshi; Yamaji, Yasuyuki; Namba, Shigetou
One of the most important themes in agricultural science is the identification of virulence factors involved in plant disease. Here, we show that a single virulence factor, tengu-su inducer (TENGU), induces witches' broom and dwarfism and is a small secreted protein of the plant-pathogenic bacterium, phytoplasma. When tengu was expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana plants, these plants showed symptoms of witches' broom and dwarfism, which are typical of phytoplasma infection. Transgenic Arabidop...
Suhail Jawdat Fadihl
Full Text Available Locally produced cheese which called (Gibin Al arab is one of the most common dairy products in Iraq, it has an economic importance and great social value. This research aimed to identify yeast species from locally produced cheese (Gibin Al Arab in Diyala city which traditionally made and sold in markets of old town in Baquba, and study some of virulence factors (Esterase production, Phospholipase and Hemolytic production of yeasts belong to genus of Candida . All cheese samples showed contamination with varying number of yeast, total 88 yeast isolates obtained from 70 cheese samples, they were Geotrichum candidum(20.5%, Rhodotorela species(19.4%, Candida parapsilosis (18%, Candida albicans (13.6%, Candida tropicalis (10.5%, Candida krusei (8%, Saccharomyces cerevisice (3.3% and mixed yeast (un identified at rate of (6.7%. Species of Candida formed half of the total isolates and the most prevalent isolate of Candida spp. was Candida parapsilosis .According to the results determining of (Esterase production, Phospholipase and Hemolytic production as a virulence factors identifying Candida spp. these activities referred that all isolates of Candida spp. show one or more of these activities and that isolates of medically important species Candida albicans were the most virulent isolates. this referred to the importance of take attention about consuming of such types of dairy products and need for applying more hygienic measures during handling, processing of milk and form of storage and/or selling of cheese.
Ahmad Abu Turab Naqvi
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.
Hoshi, Ayaka; Oshima, Kenro; Kakizawa, Shigeyuki; Ishii, Yoshiko; Ozeki, Johji; Hashimoto, Masayoshi; Komatsu, Ken; Kagiwada, Satoshi; Yamaji, Yasuyuki; Namba, Shigetou
One of the most important themes in agricultural science is the identification of virulence factors involved in plant disease. Here, we show that a single virulence factor, tengu-su inducer (TENGU), induces witches' broom and dwarfism and is a small secreted protein of the plant-pathogenic bacterium, phytoplasma. When tengu was expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana plants, these plants showed symptoms of witches' broom and dwarfism, which are typical of phytoplasma infection. Transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana lines expressing tengu exhibited similar symptoms, confirming the effects of tengu expression on plants. Although the localization of phytoplasma was restricted to the phloem, TENGU protein was detected in apical buds by immunohistochemical analysis, suggesting that TENGU was transported from the phloem to other cells. Microarray analyses showed that auxin-responsive genes were significantly down-regulated in the tengu-transgenic plants compared with GUS-transgenic control plants. These results suggest that TENGU inhibits auxin-related pathways, thereby affecting plant development. PMID:19329488
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.
Allydice-Francis, Kashina; Brown, Paul D.
With the increased focus on healthy eating and consuming raw vegetables, this study assessed the extent of contamination of fresh vegetables by Pseudomonas aeruginosa in Jamaica and examined the antibiotic susceptibility profiles and the presence of various virulence associated determinants of P. aeruginosa. Analyses indicated that vegetables from retail markets and supermarkets were widely contaminated by P. aeruginosa; produce from markets were more frequently contaminated, but the differen...
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.
Prakash, Hariprasath; Rudramurthy, Shivaprakash Mandya; Gandham, Prasad S; Ghosh, Anup Kumar; Kumar, Milner M; Badapanda, Chandan; Chakrabarti, Arunaloke
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
Lysons, R J; Kent, K A; Bland, A P; Sellwood, R; Robinson, W F; Frost, A J
The haemolysin from a virulent strain of Treponema hyodysenteriae was extracted and injected into ligated loops of the ileum and colon of germ-free pigs. It caused severe epithelial damage, especially to the differentiated cells at the tips of the villi in the ileum and the cells in the intercrypt zones of the colon; goblet cells were less affected. The changes in the colon were similar to those seen in natural cases of swine dysentery. The ligated loop offers a means of investigating pathogenic mechanisms and the mode of action of the toxin. This study demonstrated that the haemolysin was a potent cytotoxin for pig enterocytes, and a probable virulence determinant in swine dysentery.
Tayi, Lavanya; Maku, Roshan V; Patel, Hitendra Kumar; Sonti, Ramesh V
Xanthomonas oryzae pv.oryzae (Xoo) causes the serious bacterial blight disease of rice. Xoo secretes a repertoire of plant cell wall degrading enzymes (CWDEs) like cellulases, xylanases, esterases etc., which act on various components of the rice cell wall. The major cellulases and xylanases secreted by Xoo have been identified and their role in virulence has been determined. In this study, we have identified some of the pectin degrading enzymes of Xoo and assessed their role in virulence. Bioinformatics analysis indicated the presence of four pectin homogalacturonan (HG) degrading genes in the genome of Xoo. The four HG degrading genes include one polygalacturonase (pglA), one pectin methyl esterase (pmt) and two pectate lyases (pel and pelL). There was no difference in the expression of pglA, pmt and pel genes by laboratory wild type Xoo strain (BXO43) grown in either nutrient rich PS medium or in plant mimic XOM2 medium whereas the expression of pelL gene was induced in XOM2 medium as indicated by qRT-PCR experiments. Gene disruption mutations were generated in each of these four genes. The polygalacturonase mutant pglA- was completely deficient in degrading the substrate Na-polygalacturonicacid (PGA). Strains carrying mutations in the pmt, pel and pelL genes were as efficient as wild type Xoo (BXO43) in cleaving PGA. These observations clearly indicate that PglA is the major pectin degrading enzyme produced by Xoo. The pectin methyl esterase, Pmt, is the pectin de-esterifying enzyme secreted by Xoo as evident from the enzymatic activity assay performed using pectin as the substrate. Mutations in the pglA, pmt, pel and pelL genes have minimal effects on virulence. This suggests that, as compared to cellulases and xylanases, the HG degrading enzymes may not have a major role in the pathogenicity of Xoo.
Full Text Available Xanthomonas oryzae pv.oryzae (Xoo causes the serious bacterial blight disease of rice. Xoo secretes a repertoire of plant cell wall degrading enzymes (CWDEs like cellulases, xylanases, esterases etc., which act on various components of the rice cell wall. The major cellulases and xylanases secreted by Xoo have been identified and their role in virulence has been determined. In this study, we have identified some of the pectin degrading enzymes of Xoo and assessed their role in virulence. Bioinformatics analysis indicated the presence of four pectin homogalacturonan (HG degrading genes in the genome of Xoo. The four HG degrading genes include one polygalacturonase (pglA, one pectin methyl esterase (pmt and two pectate lyases (pel and pelL. There was no difference in the expression of pglA, pmt and pel genes by laboratory wild type Xoo strain (BXO43 grown in either nutrient rich PS medium or in plant mimic XOM2 medium whereas the expression of pelL gene was induced in XOM2 medium as indicated by qRT-PCR experiments. Gene disruption mutations were generated in each of these four genes. The polygalacturonase mutant pglA- was completely deficient in degrading the substrate Na-polygalacturonicacid (PGA. Strains carrying mutations in the pmt, pel and pelL genes were as efficient as wild type Xoo (BXO43 in cleaving PGA. These observations clearly indicate that PglA is the major pectin degrading enzyme produced by Xoo. The pectin methyl esterase, Pmt, is the pectin de-esterifying enzyme secreted by Xoo as evident from the enzymatic activity assay performed using pectin as the substrate. Mutations in the pglA, pmt, pel and pelL genes have minimal effects on virulence. This suggests that, as compared to cellulases and xylanases, the HG degrading enzymes may not have a major role in the pathogenicity of Xoo.
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.
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
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...
Mostafa, Marwa Mostafa; Nassef, Mohammad; Badr, Amr
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.
Patrícia S. Sousa
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
Ou, Hong-Yu; Kuang, Shan N.; He, Xinyi; Molgora, Brenda M.; Ewing, Peter J.; Deng, Zixin; Osby, Melanie; Chen, Wangxue; Xu, H. Howard
Acinetobacter baumannii is an important human pathogen due to its multi-drug resistance. In this study, the genome of an ST10 outbreak A. baumannii isolate LAC-4 was completely sequenced to better understand its epidemiology, antibiotic resistance genetic determinants and potential virulence factors. Compared with 20 other complete genomes of A. baumannii, LAC-4 genome harbors at least 12 copies of five distinct insertion sequences. It contains 12 and 14 copies of two novel IS elements, ISAba25 and ISAba26, respectively. Additionally, three novel composite transposons were identified: Tn6250, Tn6251 and Tn6252, two of which contain resistance genes. The antibiotic resistance genetic determinants on the LAC-4 genome correlate well with observed antimicrobial susceptibility patterns. Moreover, twelve genomic islands (GI) were identified in LAC-4 genome. Among them, the 33.4-kb GI12 contains a large number of genes which constitute the K (capsule) locus. LAC-4 harbors several unique putative virulence factor loci. Furthermore, LAC-4 and all 19 other outbreak isolates were found to harbor a heme oxygenase gene (hemO)-containing gene cluster. The sequencing of the first complete genome of an ST10 A. baumannii clinical strain should accelerate our understanding of the epidemiology, mechanisms of resistance and virulence of A. baumannii. PMID:25728466
Conclusion: Most E. faecalis attaches to abiotic surfaces in hospital environment, which correlates with higher prevalence of gene encoding for virulence factors involved in biofilm formation, such as enterococcal surface protein, aggregation substance, and gelatinase. The intestinal tract is an important reservoir for opportunistic enterococcal pathogens and allows them to access infectious sites through different virulence factors, demonstrated in outpatient isolates in this study.
Martin C Taylor
Full Text Available The neglected parasitic infection Chagas disease is rapidly becoming a globalised public health issue due to migration. There are only two anti-parasitic drugs available to treat this disease, benznidazole and nifurtimox. Thus it is important to identify and validate new drug targets in Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent. T. cruzi expresses an ER-localised ascorbate-dependent peroxidase (TcAPx. This parasite-specific enzyme has attracted interest from the perspective of targeted chemotherapy.To assess the importance of TcAPx in protecting T. cruzi from oxidative stress and to determine if it is essential for virulence, we generated null mutants by targeted gene disruption. Loss of activity was associated with increased sensitivity to exogenous hydrogen peroxide, but had no effect on susceptibility to the front-line Chagas disease drug benznidazole. This suggests that increased oxidative stress in the ER does not play a significant role in its mechanism of action. Homozygous knockouts could proceed through the entire life-cycle in vitro, although they exhibited a significant decrease in their ability to infect mammalian cells. To investigate virulence, we exploited a highly sensitive bioluminescence imaging system which allows parasites to be monitored in real-time in the chronic stage of murine infections. This showed that depletion of enzyme activity had no effect on T. cruzi replication, dissemination or tissue tropism in vivo.TcAPx is not essential for parasite viability within the mammalian host, does not have a significant role in establishment or maintenance of chronic infections, and should therefore not be considered a priority for drug design.
Donaldson, Michael E; Davy, Christina M; Vanderwolf, Karen J; Willis, Craig K R; Saville, Barry J; Kyle, Christopher J
Pseudogymnoascus destructans is the causal agent of bat white-nose syndrome (WNS), which is devastating some North American bat populations. Previous transcriptome studies provided insight regarding the molecular mechanisms involved in WNS; however, it is unclear how different environmental parameters could influence pathogenicity. This information could be useful in developing management strategies to mitigate the negative impacts of P. destructans on bats. We cultured three P. destructans isolates from Atlantic Canada on two growth media (potato dextrose agar and Sabouraud dextrose agar) that differ in their nitrogen source, and at two separate incubation temperatures (4 C and 15 C) that approximate the temperature range of bat hibernacula during the winter and a temperature within its optimal mycelial growth range. We conducted RNA sequencing to determine transcript levels in each sample and performed differential gene expression (DGE) analyses to test the influence of growth medium and incubation temperature on gene expression. We also compared our in vitro results with previous RNA-sequencing data sets generated from P. destructans growing on the wings of a susceptible host, Myotis lucifugus. Our findings point to a critical role for substrate and incubation temperature in influencing the P. destructans transcriptome. DGE analyses suggested that growth medium plays a larger role than temperature in determining P. destructans gene expression and that although the psychrophilic fungus responds to different nitrogen sources, it may have evolved for continued growth at a broad range of low temperatures. Further, our data suggest that down-regulation of the RNA-interference pathway and increased fatty acid metabolism are involved in the P. destructans-bat interaction. Finally, we speculate that to reduce the activation of host defense responses, P. destructans minimizes changes in the expression of genes encoding secreted proteins during bat colonization.
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
Mideros, Santiago X; Chung, Chia-Lin; Wiesner-Hanks, Tyr; Poland, Jesse A; Wu, Dongliang; Fialko, Ariel A; Turgeon, B Gillian; Nelson, Rebecca J
Generating effective and stable strategies for resistance breeding requires an understanding of the genetics of host-pathogen interactions and the implications for pathogen dynamics and evolution. Setosphaeria turcica causes northern leaf blight (NLB), an important disease of maize for which major resistance genes have been deployed. Little is known about the evolutionary dynamics of avirulence (AVR) genes in S. turcica. To test the hypothesis that there is a genetic association between avirulence and in vitro development traits, we (i) created a genetic map of S. turcica, (ii) located candidate AVRHt1 and AVRHt2 regions, and (iii) identified genetic regions associated with several in vitro development traits. A cross was generated between a race 1 and a race 23N strain, and 221 progeny were isolated. Genotyping by sequencing was used to score 2,078 single-nucleotide polymorphism markers. A genetic map spanning 1,981 centimorgans was constructed, consisting of 21 linkage groups. Genetic mapping extended prior evidence for the location and identity of the AVRHt1 gene and identified a region of interest for AVRHt2. The genetic location of AVRHt2 colocalized with loci influencing radial growth and mycelial abundance. Our data suggest a trade-off between virulence on Ht1 and Ht2 and the pathogen's vegetative growth rate. In addition, in-depth analysis of the genotypic data suggests the presence of significant duplication in the genome of S. turcica.
Wysok, Beata; Wojtacka, Joanna
The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of virulence genes responsible for the adhesion (flaA, cadF and racR) and invasion (virB11, iam and pldA) in Campylobacter isolates from cattle and swine and determine their adherence and invasion abilities. The studies conducted revealed high prevalence rate of adherence and invasion associated genes irrespective of the isolates origin. All Campylobacter strains of swine and cattle origin adhered to HeLa cells at mean level 0.1099% ± SD 0.1341% and 0.0845% ± SD 0.1304% of starting viable inoculum, respectively. However swine isolates exhibited higher invasion abilities (0.0012% ± SD 0.0011%) compared to bovine isolates (0.00038% ± SD 0.00055%). The results obtained revealed significantly positive correlation between invasion and adherence abilities of swine origin isolates (R = 0.4867 in regard to C. jejuni and R = 0.4507 in regard to C. coli) and bovine origin isolates (R = 0.726 in regard to C. jejuni). Bacterial virulence is multifactorial and it is affected by the expression of virulence genes. Moreover the presence of virulence genes determines the ability of Campylobacter isolates to adhere and invade the cells. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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.
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
Johnston, Camille Melissa; Fahnøe, Ulrik; Lohse, Louise
Classical Swine Fever is a highly contagious disease of pigs caused by Classical Swine Fever Virus (CSFV), a member of the pestivirus genus within the family Flaviviridae. The E2 glycoprotein of CSFV has been shown to be an important factor for the virulence of the virus. In a recent study, we have......Kos (with the SL motif). The results indicate that the E2 residues 763-64 play an important role in CSFV virulence....
Wunder, Elsio A; Figueira, Cláudio P; Benaroudj, Nadia; Hu, Bo; Tong, Brian A; Trajtenberg, Felipe; Liu, Jun; Reis, Mitermayer G; Charon, Nyles W; Buschiazzo, Alejandro; Picardeau, Mathieu; Ko, Albert I
Leptospira are unique among bacteria based on their helical cell morphology with hook-shaped ends and the presence of periplasmic flagella (PF) with pronounced spontaneous supercoiling. The factors that provoke such supercoiling, as well as the role that PF coiling plays in generating the characteristic hook-end cell morphology and motility, have not been elucidated. We have now identified an abundant protein from the pathogen L. interrogans, exposed on the PF surface, and named it Flagellar-coiling protein A (FcpA). The gene encoding FcpA is highly conserved among Leptospira and was not found in other bacteria. fcpA(-) mutants, obtained from clinical isolates or by allelic exchange, had relatively straight, smaller-diameter PF, and were not able to produce translational motility. These mutants lost their ability to cause disease in the standard hamster model of leptospirosis. Complementation of fcpA restored the wild-type morphology, motility and virulence phenotypes. In summary, we identified a novel Leptospira 36-kDa protein, the main component of the spirochete's PF sheath, and a key determinant of the flagella's coiled structure. FcpA is essential for bacterial translational motility and to enable the spirochete to penetrate the host, traverse tissue barriers, disseminate to cause systemic infection and reach target organs. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Full Text Available With the increased focus on healthy eating and consuming raw vegetables, this study assessed the extent of contamination of fresh vegetables by Pseudomonas aeruginosa in Jamaica and examined the antibiotic susceptibility profiles and the presence of various virulence associated determinants of P. aeruginosa. Analyses indicated that vegetables from retail markets and supermarkets were widely contaminated by P. aeruginosa; produce from markets were more frequently contaminated, but the difference was not significant. Lettuce and carrots were the most frequently contaminated vegetables, while tomatoes were the least. Pigment production (Pyoverdine, pyocyanin, pyomelanin and pyorubin, fluorescein and alginate were common in these isolates. Imipenem, gentamicin and ciprofloxacin were the most inhibitory antimicrobial agents. However, isolates were resistant or showed reduced susceptibility to ampicillin, chloramphenicol, sulphamethoxazole/trimethoprim and aztreonam, and up to 35% of the isolates were resistant to four antimicrobial agents. As many as 30% of the isolates were positive for the fpv1 gene, and 13% had multiple genes. Sixty-four percent of the isolates harboured an exoenzyme gene (exoS, exoT, exoU or exoY, and multiple exo genes were common. We conclude that P. aeruginosa is a major contaminant of fresh vegetables, which might be a source of infection for susceptible persons within the community.
Wang, Changle; Saito, Mitsumasa; Ogawa, Midori; Yoshida, Shin-Ichi
Legionella feeleii is a Gram-negative pathogenic bacterium that causes Pontiac fever and pneumonia in humans. When L. feeleii serogroup 1 (ATCC 35072) was cultured on BCYE agar plates, two types of colonies were observed and exhibited differences in color, opacity and morphology. Since the two colony types are white rugose and brown translucent, they were termed as white rugose L. feeleii (WRLf) and brown translucent L. feeleii (BTLf), respectively. They exhibited different growth capacities in BYE broth in vitro, and it was found that WRLf could transform to BTLf. Under the electron microscope, it was observed that WRLf secreted materials which could be stained with ruthenium red, which was absent in BTLf. When U937 macrophages and HeLa cells were infected with the bacteria, WRLf manifested stronger internalization ability than BTLf. Intracellular growth in murine macrophages and Acanthamoeba cells was affected by the level of initial phagocytosis. WRLf was more resistant to human serum bactericidal action than BTLf. After being inoculated to guinea pigs, both organisms caused fever in the animals. These results suggest that ruthenium red-stained materials secreted in the surroundings may play a crucial role in determining L. feeleii colony morphology and virulence traits. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cheung, A L; Wolz, C; Yeaman, M R; Bayer, A S
A single insertion of transposon Tn551 into a unique chromosomal locus of Staphylococcus aureus ISP479C has resulted in a pleiotropic effect on the expression of both extracellular and cell wall proteins. In particular, the expression of cell wall protein A and clumping activity with fibrinogen were rendered undetectable in the mutant 1E3 compared with the parent. The secretion of alpha-hemolysin in mutant 1E3 was modestly increased. Southern blot and phenotypic analyses indicated that this locus is distinct from agr, xpr, and sar, three previously described global regulatory loci. Transduction experiments demonstrated that the genotype associated with mutant 1E3 could be transferred back into the parental strain ISP479C. The transductant 1E3-2 displayed a phenotypic profile similar to that of the original mutant. Northern (RNA) blot studies showed that this locus may be involved in modulating target genes at the mRNA level. In the rabbit endocarditis model, there was a significant decrease in both the infectivity rate and intravegetation bacterial density with mutant 1E3 compared with the parent at an inoculum of 10(3) CFU. Since protein A and the fibrinogen-binding protein(s) are major surface proteins that may mediate bacterial adhesion to host tissues, this locus may be an important genetic element involved in the expression of virulence determinants in S. aureus.
Kniemeyer, Olaf; Schmidt, André D; Vödisch, Martin; Wartenberg, Dirk; Brakhage, Axel A
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.
Chalmers, Gabhan; Cormier, Ashley C; Nadeau, Marie; Côté, Geneviève; Reid-Smith, Richard J; Boerlin, Patrick
Antimicrobials are frequently used for the prevention of avian colibacillosis, with gentamicin used for this purpose in Québec until 2003. Ceftiofur was also used similarly, but voluntarily withdrawn in 2005 due to increasing resistance. Spectinomycin-lincomycin was employed as a replacement, but ceftiofur use was partially reinstated in 2007 until its definitive ban by the poultry industry in 2014. Gentamicin resistance frequency increased during the past decade in clinical Escherichia coli isolates from broiler chickens in Québec, despite this antimicrobial no longer being used. Since this increase coincided with the use of spectinomycin-lincomycin, co-selection of gentamicin resistance through spectinomycin was suspected. Therefore, relationships between spectinomycin, gentamicin, and ceftiofur resistance determinants were investigated here. The distribution of 13 avian pathogenic E. coli virulence-associated genes and their association with spectinomycin resistance were also assessed. A sample of 586 E. coli isolates from chickens with colibacillosis in Québec between 2009 and 2013 was used. The major genes identified for resistance to ceftiofur, gentamicin, and spectinomycin were bla CMY , aac(3)-VI, and aadA, respectively. The aadA and aac(3)-VI genes were strongly associated and shown to be located on a modified class 1 integron. The aadA and bla CMY genes were negatively associated, but when present together, were generally located on the same plasmids. No statistical positive association was observed between aadA and virulence genes, and virulence genes were only rarely detected on plasmids encoding spectinomycin resistance. Thus, the use of spectinomycin-lincomycin may likely select for gentamicin but not ceftiofur resistance, nor for any of the virulence-associated genes investigated. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Vandelle, Elodie; Puttilli, Maria Rita; Chini, Andrea; Devescovi, Giulia; Venturi, Vittorio; Polverari, Annalisa
The life cycle of bacterial phytopathogens consists of a benign epiphytic phase, during which the bacteria grow in the soil or on the plant surface, and a virulent endophytic phase involving the penetration of host defenses and the colonization of plant tissues. Innovative strategies are urgently required to integrate copper treatments that control the epiphytic phase with complementary tools that control the virulent endophytic phase, thus reducing the quantity of chemicals applied to economically and ecologically acceptable levels. Such strategies include targeted treatments that weaken bacterial pathogens, particularly those inhibiting early infection steps rather than tackling established infections. This chapter describes a reporter gene-based chemical genomic high-throughput screen for the induction of bacterial virulence by plant molecules. Specifically, we describe a chemical genomic screening method to identify agonist and antagonist molecules for the induction of targeted bacterial virulence genes by plant extracts, focusing on the experimental controls required to avoid false positives and thus ensuring the results are reliable and reproducible.
Full Text Available Objective: To investigate prevalence of acute diarrhea in Shanghai and analyze virulence associated-genes and antibiotic resistance of major enteropathogens using combination of conventional and molecular epidemiology methods.Method: The 412 stool specimens were obtained by systematic sampling from diarrhea patients throughout entire year 2016. Bacterial and viral pathogens were identified and bacterial isolates were cultured and screened for antibiotic resistance profiles. Two most prevalent bacteria, Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Salmonella were further typed by multi-locus sequence typing (MLST and analyzed for presence of virulence-associated genes. The association between virulence genes, resistance phenotypes and genetic diversities was analyzed.Results: Among stool specimens testing positive for pathogens (23.1%, 59 bacterial and 36 viral pathogens were identified. V. parahaemolyticus (27/412, 6.6%, Salmonella (23/412, 5.6% and norovirus GII (21/412, 5.1% were three most-commonly found. Most bacterial isolates exhibited high levels of antibiotic resistance with high percentage of MDR. The drug resistance rates of V. parahaemolyticus and Salmonella isolates to cephalosporins were high, such as 100.0 and 34.8% to CFX, 55.6 and 43.4% to CTX, 92.6 and 95.7% to CXM, respectively. The most common resistance combination of V. parahaemolyticus and Salmonella was cephalosporins and quinolone. The dominant sequence types (STs of V. parahaemolyticus and Salmonella were ST3 (70.4% and ST11 (43.5%, respectively. The detection rates of virulence genes in V. parahaemolyticus were tlh (100% and tdh (92.6%, without trh and ureR. Most of the Salmonella isolates were positive for the Salmonella pathogenicity islands (SPIs genes (87–100%, and some for Salmonella plasmid virulence (SPV genes (34.8% for spvA and spvB, 43.5% for spvC. In addition, just like the drug resistance, virulence genes exhibited wide-spread distribution among the different STs albeit
Full Text Available Bursaphelenchus mucronatus (B. mucronatus isolates that originate from different regions may vary in their virulence, but their virulence-associated genes and proteins are poorly understood. Thus, we conducted an integrated study coupling RNA-Seq and isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ to analyse transcriptomic and proteomic data of highly and weakly virulent B. mucronatus isolates during the pathogenic processes. Approximately 40,000 annotated unigenes and 5000 proteins were gained from the isolates. When we matched all of the proteins with their detected transcripts, a low correlation coefficient of r = 0.138 was found, indicating probable post-transcriptional gene regulation involved in the pathogenic processes. A functional analysis showed that five differentially expressed proteins which were all highly expressed in the highly virulent isolate were involved in the pathogenic processes of nematodes. Peroxiredoxin, fatty acid- and retinol-binding protein, and glutathione peroxidase relate to resistance against plant defence responses, while β-1,4-endoglucanase and expansin are associated with the breakdown of plant cell walls. Thus, the pathogenesis of B. mucronatus depends on its successful survival in host plants. Our work adds to the understanding of B. mucronatus’ pathogenesis, and will aid in controlling B. mucronatus and other pinewood nematode species complexes in the future.
Eichenberger, Ramon M; Ramakrishnan, Chandra; Russo, Giancarlo; Deplazes, Peter; Hehl, Adrian B
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.
Pandey, Vishakha; Singh, Manoj; Pandey, Dinesh; Marla, Soma; Kumar, Anil
Tilletia indica is a smut fungus that incites Karnal bunt in wheat. It has been considered as quarantine pest in more than 70 countries. Despite its quarantine significance, there is meager knowledge regarding the molecular mechanisms of disease pathogenesis. Moreover, various disease management strategies have proven futile. Development of effective disease management strategy requires identification of pathogenicity/virulence factors. With this aim, the present study was conducted to compare the secretomes of T. indica isolates, that is, highly (TiK) and low (TiP) virulent isolates. About 120 and 95 protein spots were detected reproducibly in TiK and TiP secretome gel images. Nineteen protein spots, which were consistently observed as upregulated/differential in the secretome of TiK isolate, were selected for their identification by MALDI-TOF/TOF. Identified proteins exhibited homology with fungal proteins playing important role in fungal adhesion, penetration, invasion, protection against host-derived reactive oxygen species, production of virulence factors, cellular signaling, and degradation of host cell wall proteins and antifungal proteins. These results were complemented with T. indica genome sequence leading to identification of candidate pathogenicity/virulence factors homologs that were further subjected to sequence- and structure-based functional annotation. Thus, present study reports the first comparative secretome analysis of T. indica for identification of pathogenicity/virulence factors. This would provide insights into pathogenic mechanisms of T. indica and aid in devising effective disease management strategies. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Persson, Gry; Bojesen, Anders Miki
immunoglobulins, and hemagglutinins, which may promote biofilm formation are all factors likely linked to the virulence of G. anatis. A major advantage for the study of how G. anatis interact with its host is the ability to perform biologically relevant experimental infections where natural routes of exposure...
Full Text Available Abstract Background The global ppGpp-mediated stringent response in pathogenic bacteria plays an important role in the pathogenesis of bacterial infections. In Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium, several genes, including virulence genes, are regulated by ppGpp when bacteria are under the stringent response. To understand the control of virulence genes by ppGpp in S. Typhimurium, agarose 2-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE combined with mass spectrometry was used and a comprehensive 2-DE reference map of amino acid-starved S. Typhimurium strain SH100, a derivative of ATCC 14028, was established. Results Of the 366 examined spots, 269 proteins were successfully identified. The comparative analysis of the wild-type and ppGpp0 mutant strains revealed 55 proteins, the expression patterns of which were affected by ppGpp. Using a mouse infection model, we further identified a novel virulence-associated factor, STM3169, from the ppGpp-regulated and Salmonella-specific proteins. In addition, Salmonella strains carrying mutations in the gene encoding STM3169 showed growth defects and impaired growth within macrophage-like RAW264.7 cells. Furthermore, we found that expression of stm3169 was controlled by ppGpp and SsrB, a response regulator of the two-component system located on Salmonella pathogenicity island 2. Conclusions A proteomic approach using a 2-DE reference map can prove a powerful tool for analyzing virulence factors and the regulatory network involved in Salmonella pathogenesis. Our results also provide evidence of a global response mediated by ppGpp in S. enterica.
Ball, H. J.; Mackie, D. P.
As an estimate of their virulence, the ability of ovine, bovine, canine, feline and simian ureaplasma strains to cause mastitis in the ovine mammary gland was investigated. Five ovine ureaplasmas produced a clinical mastitis. Broth cultures of seven bovine ureaplasmas were unable to infect the ovine gland, but two of these strains plus one other were able to do so following passage through the bovine udder. One of two canine strains and a feline strain both caused mastitis, but the simian str...
Full Text Available Streptococcus pyogenes is one of the most significant bacterial pathogens in the human population mostly causing superficial and uncomplicated infections (pharyngitis and impetigo but also invasive and life-threatening disease. We have previously identified a virulence determinant, protein sHIP, which is secreted at higher levels by an invasive compared to a non-invasive strain of S. pyogenes. The present work presents a further characterization of the structural and functional properties of this bacterial protein. Biophysical and structural studies have shown that protein sHIP forms stable tetramers both in the crystal and in solution. The tetramers are composed of four helix-loop-helix motifs with the loop regions connecting the helices displaying a high degree of flexibility. Owing to interactions at the tetramer interface, the observed tetramer can be described as a dimer of dimers. We identified three residues at the tetramer interface (Leu84, Leu88, Tyr95, which due to largely non-polar side-chains, could be important determinants for protein oligomerization. Based on these observations, we produced a sHIP variant in which these residues were mutated to alanines. Biophysical experiments clearly indicated that the sHIP mutant appear only as dimers in solution confirming the importance of the interfacial residues for protein oligomerisation. Furthermore, we could show that the sHIP mutant interacts with intact histidine-rich glycoprotein (HRG and the histidine-rich repeats in HRG, and inhibits their antibacterial activity to the same or even higher extent as compared to the wild type protein sHIP. We determined the crystal structure of the sHIP mutant, which, as a result of the high quality of the data, allowed us to improve the existing structural model of the protein. Finally, by employing NMR spectroscopy in solution, we generated a model for the complex between the sHIP mutant and an HRG-derived heparin-binding peptide, providing further
Spiering, Martin J
Candida albicans and Candida dubliniensis are closely related species displaying differences in virulence and genome content, therefore providing potential opportunities to identify novel C. albicans virulence genes. C. albicans gene arrays were used for comparative analysis of global gene expression in the two species in reconstituted human oral epithelium (RHE). C. albicans (SC5314) showed upregulation of hypha-specific and virulence genes within 30 min postinoculation, coinciding with rapid induction of filamentation and increased RHE damage. C. dubliniensis (CD36) showed no detectable upregulation of hypha-specific genes, grew as yeast, and caused limited RHE damage. Several genes absent or highly divergent in C. dubliniensis were upregulated in C. albicans. One such gene, SFL2 (orf19.3969), encoding a putative heat shock factor, was deleted in C. albicans. DeltaDeltasfl2 cells failed to filament under a range of hypha-inducing conditions and exhibited greatly reduced RHE damage, reversed by reintroduction of SFL2 into the DeltaDeltasfl2 strain. Moreover, SFL2 overexpression in C. albicans triggered hyphal morphogenesis. Although SFL2 deletion had no apparent effect on host survival in the murine model of systemic infection, DeltaDeltasfl2 strain-infected kidney tissues contained only yeast cells. These results suggest a role for SFL2 in morphogenesis and an indirect role in C. albicans pathogenesis in epithelial tissues.
Campbell, Scott; Collet, Bertrand; Einer-Jensen, Katja
of an isolate recovered in 2000 from a viral haemorrhagic septicaemia disease episode in a marine rainbow trout farm in Sweden (SE-SVA-1033) was evaluated in juvenile rainbow trout via intraperitoneal injection and immersion challenge alongside 3 isolates recovered from wild-caught marine fish (DK-4p37, DK-5e59...... and UKMLA98/6HE1) suspected of being of low pathogenicity to trout. Mortality data revealed that isolate SE-SVA-1033 caused VHSV-specific mortality in both intraperitoneal and immersion challenges (75.0 and 15.4%, respectively). The remaining Genotype Ib isolates caused significantly lower mortalities using...
Full Text Available Aspergillus species are the major cause of health concern worldwide in immunocompromised individuals. Opportunistic Aspergilli cause invasive to allergic aspergillosis, whereas non-infectious Aspergilli have contributed to understand the biology of eukaryotic organisms and serve as a model organism. Morphotypes of Aspergilli such as conidia or mycelia/hyphae helped them to survive in favorable or unfavorable environmental conditions. These morphotypes contribute to virulence, pathogenicity and invasion into hosts by excreting proteins, enzymes or toxins. Morphological transition of Aspergillus species has been a critical step to infect host or to colonize on food products. Thus, we reviewed proteins from Aspergilli to understand the biological processes, biochemical, and cellular pathways that are involved in transition and morphogenesis. We majorly analyzed proteomic studies on A. fumigatus, A. flavus, A. terreus, and A. niger to gain insight into mechanisms involved in the transition from conidia to mycelia along with the role of secondary metabolites. Proteome analysis of morphotypes of Aspergilli provided information on key biological pathways required to exit conidial dormancy, consortia of virulent factors and mycotoxins during the transition. The application of proteomic approaches has uncovered the biological processes during development as well as intermediates of secondary metabolite biosynthesis pathway. We listed key proteins/ enzymes or toxins at different morphological types of Aspergillus that could be applicable in discovery of novel therapeutic targets or metabolite based diagnostic markers.
Shankar, Jata; Tiwari, Shraddha; Shishodia, Sonia K; Gangwar, Manali; Hoda, Shanu; Thakur, Raman; Vijayaraghavan, Pooja
Aspergillus species are the major cause of health concern worldwide in immunocompromised individuals. Opportunistic Aspergilli cause invasive to allergic aspergillosis, whereas non-infectious Aspergilli have contributed to understand the biology of eukaryotic organisms and serve as a model organism. Morphotypes of Aspergilli such as conidia or mycelia/hyphae helped them to survive in favorable or unfavorable environmental conditions. These morphotypes contribute to virulence, pathogenicity and invasion into hosts by excreting proteins, enzymes or toxins. Morphological transition of Aspergillus species has been a critical step to infect host or to colonize on food products. Thus, we reviewed proteins from Aspergilli to understand the biological processes, biochemical, and cellular pathways that are involved in transition and morphogenesis. We majorly analyzed proteomic studies on A. fumigatus, A. flavus, A. terreus , and A. niger to gain insight into mechanisms involved in the transition from conidia to mycelia along with the role of secondary metabolites. Proteome analysis of morphotypes of Aspergilli provided information on key biological pathways required to exit conidial dormancy, consortia of virulent factors and mycotoxins during the transition. The application of proteomic approaches has uncovered the biological processes during development as well as intermediates of secondary metabolite biosynthesis pathway. We listed key proteins/ enzymes or toxins at different morphological types of Aspergillus that could be applicable in discovery of novel therapeutic targets or metabolite based diagnostic markers.
Shankar, Jata; Tiwari, Shraddha; Shishodia, Sonia K.; Gangwar, Manali; Hoda, Shanu; Thakur, Raman; Vijayaraghavan, Pooja
Aspergillus species are the major cause of health concern worldwide in immunocompromised individuals. Opportunistic Aspergilli cause invasive to allergic aspergillosis, whereas non-infectious Aspergilli have contributed to understand the biology of eukaryotic organisms and serve as a model organism. Morphotypes of Aspergilli such as conidia or mycelia/hyphae helped them to survive in favorable or unfavorable environmental conditions. These morphotypes contribute to virulence, pathogenicity and invasion into hosts by excreting proteins, enzymes or toxins. Morphological transition of Aspergillus species has been a critical step to infect host or to colonize on food products. Thus, we reviewed proteins from Aspergilli to understand the biological processes, biochemical, and cellular pathways that are involved in transition and morphogenesis. We majorly analyzed proteomic studies on A. fumigatus, A. flavus, A. terreus, and A. niger to gain insight into mechanisms involved in the transition from conidia to mycelia along with the role of secondary metabolites. Proteome analysis of morphotypes of Aspergilli provided information on key biological pathways required to exit conidial dormancy, consortia of virulent factors and mycotoxins during the transition. The application of proteomic approaches has uncovered the biological processes during development as well as intermediates of secondary metabolite biosynthesis pathway. We listed key proteins/ enzymes or toxins at different morphological types of Aspergillus that could be applicable in discovery of novel therapeutic targets or metabolite based diagnostic markers. PMID:29896454
Luo, Kui; Shao, Fuye; Kamara, Kadijatu N; Chen, Shuaiyin; Zhang, Rongguang; Duan, Guangcai; Yang, Haiyan
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.
Reales-Calderón, Jose Antonio; Corona, Fernando; Monteoliva, Lucía; Gil, Concha; Martínez, Jose Luis
Recent research indicates that the post-transcriptional regulator Crc modulates susceptibility to antibiotics and virulence in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Several P. aeruginosa virulence factors are secreted or engulfed in vesicles. To decipher the Crc modulation of P. aeruginosa virulence, we constructed a crc deficient mutant and measure the proteome associated extracellular vesicles and the vesicle-free secretome using iTRAQ. Fifty vesicle-associated proteins were more abundant and 14 less abundant in the crc-defective strain, whereas 37 were more abundant and 17 less abundant in the vesicle-free secretome. Among them, virulence determinants, such as ToxA, protease IV, azurin, chitin-binding protein, PlcB and Hcp1, were less abundant in the crc-defective mutant. Transcriptomic analysis revealed that some of the observed changes were post-transcriptional and, thus, could be attributed to a direct Crc regulatory role; whereas, for other differentially secreted proteins, the regulatory role was likely indirect. We also observed that the crc mutant presented an impaired vesicle-associated secretion of quorum sensing signal molecules and less cytotoxicity than its wild-type strain. Our results offer new insights into the mechanisms by which Crc regulates P. aeruginosa virulence, through the modulation of vesicle formation and secretion of both virulence determinants and quorum sensing signals. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: HUPO 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Full Text Available Bacteriophages, which are the natural predators of bacteria, have re-emerged as an attractive alternative to combat antibiotic resistant bacteria. Phages are highly specific at the species and strain level and measurement of the phage host range plays an important role in utilizing the phage as antimicrobials. The most common method for phage host range determination has been to spot phage lysates on soft agar overlays and observe plaque formation. In this study, a liquid culture-based assay was developed in a 96-well microtiter plate format to measure the phage host range and virulence for a collection of 15 Salmonella phages against a panel of 20 Salmonella strains representing 11 serovars. This method was compared to a traditional spot method. The majority of the host range results from two methods were in agreement including in cases where a bacterial strain was insensitive to the phage. Each method produced a false-negative result in 19/300 (6% of the measured phage-host combinations when compared to the other method. The spot method tended to indicate greater phage sensitivity than the microtiter assay even though direct comparisons of the response magnitude between the two methods is difficult since they operate on different mechanisms. The microtiter plate assay was able to provide data on both the phage host range and virulence in greater resolution in a high-throughput format.
Xie, Yicheng; Wahab, Laith; Gill, Jason J
Bacteriophages, which are the natural predators of bacteria, have re-emerged as an attractive alternative to combat antibiotic resistant bacteria. Phages are highly specific at the species and strain level and measurement of the phage host range plays an important role in utilizing the phage as antimicrobials. The most common method for phage host range determination has been to spot phage lysates on soft agar overlays and observe plaque formation. In this study, a liquid culture-based assay was developed in a 96-well microtiter plate format to measure the phage host range and virulence for a collection of 15 Salmonella phages against a panel of 20 Salmonella strains representing 11 serovars. This method was compared to a traditional spot method. The majority of the host range results from two methods were in agreement including in cases where a bacterial strain was insensitive to the phage. Each method produced a false-negative result in 19/300 (6%) of the measured phage-host combinations when compared to the other method. The spot method tended to indicate greater phage sensitivity than the microtiter assay even though direct comparisons of the response magnitude between the two methods is difficult since they operate on different mechanisms. The microtiter plate assay was able to provide data on both the phage host range and virulence in greater resolution in a high-throughput format.
Joanna R. Klein
Full Text Available Bioinformatics, the use of computer resources to understand biological information, is an important tool in research, and can be easily integrated into the curriculum of undergraduate courses. Such an example is provided in this series of four activities that introduces students to the field of bioinformatics as they design PCR based tests for pathogenic E. coli strains. A variety of computer tools are used including BLAST searches at NCBI, bacterial genome searches at the Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG database, protein analysis at Pfam and literature research at PubMed. In the process, students also learn about virulence factors, enzyme function and horizontal gene transfer. Some or all of the four activities can be incorporated into microbiology or general biology courses taken by students at a variety of levels, ranging from high school through college. The activities build on one another as they teach and reinforce knowledge and skills, promote critical thinking, and provide for student collaboration and presentation. The computer-based activities can be done either in class or outside of class, thus are appropriate for inclusion in online or blended learning formats. Assessment data showed that students learned general microbiology concepts related to pathogenesis and enzyme function, gained skills in using tools of bioinformatics and molecular biology, and successfully developed and tested a scientific hypothesis.
Frosth, Sara; König, Ulrika; Nyman, Ann-Kristin; Aspán, Anna
Dichelobacter nodosus is the principal cause of ovine footrot and strain virulence is an important factor in disease severity. Therefore, detection and virulence determination of D. nodosus is important for proper diagnosis of the disease. Today this is possible by real-time PCR analysis. Analysis of large numbers of samples is costly and laborious; therefore, pooling of individual samples is common in surveillance programs. However, pooling can reduce the sensitivity of the method. The aim of this study was to develop a pooling method for real-time PCR analysis that would allow sensitive detection and simultaneous virulence determination of D. nodosus. A total of 225 sheep from 17 flocks were sampled using ESwabs within the Swedish Footrot Control Program in 2014. Samples were first analysed individually and then in pools of five by real-time PCR assays targeting the 16S rRNA and aprV2/B2 genes of D. nodosus. Each pool consisted of four negative and one positive D. nodosus samples with varying amounts of the bacterium. In the individual analysis, 61 (27.1%) samples were positive in the 16S rRNA and the aprV2/B2 PCR assays and 164 (72.9%) samples were negative. All samples positive in the aprV2/B2 PCR-assay were of aprB2 variant. The pooled analysis showed that all 41 pools were also positive for D. nodosus 16S rRNA and the aprB2 variant. The diagnostic sensitivity for pooled and individual samples was therefore similar. Our method includes concentration of the bacteria before DNA-extraction. This may account for the maintenance of diagnostic sensitivity. Diagnostic sensitivity in the real-time PCR assays of the pooled samples were comparable to the sensitivity obtained for individually analysed samples. Even sub-clinical infections were able to be detected in the pooled PCR samples which is important for control of the disease. This method may therefore be implemented in footrot control programs where it can replace analysis of individual samples.
Bok, Ewa; Mazurek, Justyna; Stosik, Michał; Wojciech, Magdalena; Baldy-Chudzik, Katarzyna
Cattle is a reservoir of potentially pathogenic E. coli, bacteria that can represent a significant threat to public health, hence it is crucial to monitor the prevalence of the genetic determinants of virulence and antimicrobial resistance among the E. coli population. The aim of this study was the analysis of the phylogenetic structure, distribution of virulence factors (VFs) and prevalence of antimicrobial resistance among E. coli isolated from two groups of healthy cattle: 50 cows housed in the conventional barn (147 isolates) and 42 cows living on the ecological pasture (118 isolates). The phylogenetic analysis, identification of VFs and antimicrobial resistance genes were based on either multiplex or simplex PCR. The antimicrobial susceptibilities of E. coli were examined using the broth microdilution method. Two statistical approaches were used to analyse the results obtained for two groups of cattle. The relations between the dependent (VFs profiles, antibiotics) and the independent variables were described using the two models. The mixed logit model was used to characterise the prevalence of the analysed factors in the sets of isolates. The univariate logistic regression model was used to characterise the prevalence of these factors in particular animals. Given each model, the odds ratio (OR) and the 95% confidence interval for the population were estimated. The phylogroup B1 was predominant among isolates from beef cattle, while the phylogroups A, B1 and D occurred with equal frequency among isolates from dairy cattle. The frequency of VFs-positive isolates was significantly higher among isolates from beef cattle. E. coli from dairy cattle revealed significantly higher resistance to antibiotics. Some of the tested resistance genes were present among isolates from dairy cattle. Our study showed that the habitat and diet may affect the genetic diversity of commensal E. coli in the cattle. The results suggest that the ecological pasture habitat is related to
Full Text Available Dialysis patients with chronic renal failure receiving deferoxamine for treating iron overload are uniquely predisposed for mucormycosis, which is most often caused by Rhizopus oryzae. Although the deferoxamine siderophore is not secreted by Mucorales, previous studies established that Rhizopus species utilize iron from ferrioxamine (iron-rich form of deferoxamine. Here we determined that the CBS domain proteins of Fob1 and Fob2 act as receptors on the cell surface of R. oryzae during iron uptake from ferrioxamine. Fob1 and Fob2 cell surface expression was induced in the presence of ferrioxamine and bound radiolabeled ferrioxamine. A R. oryzae strain with targeted reduced Fob1/Fob2 expression was impaired for iron uptake, germinating, and growing on medium with ferrioxamine as the sole source of iron. This strain also exhibited reduced virulence in a deferoxamine-treated, but not the diabetic ketoacidotic (DKA, mouse model of mucormycosis. The mechanism by which R. oryzae obtains iron from ferrioxamine involves the reductase/permease uptake system since the growth on ferrioxamine supplemented medium is associated with elevated reductase activity and the use of the ferrous chelator bathophenanthroline disulfonate abrogates iron uptake and growth on medium supplemented with ferrioxamine as a sole source of iron. Finally, R. oryzae mutants with reduced copies of the high affinity iron permease (FTR1 or with decreased FTR1 expression had an impaired iron uptake from ferrioxamine in vitro and reduced virulence in the deferoxamine-treated mouse model of mucormycosis. These two receptors appear to be conserved in Mucorales, and can be the subject of future novel therapy to maintain the use of deferoxamine for treating iron-overload.
Assaf, A.George; Josiassen, Alexander
, their tourism industries, and tourism businesses seek to improve the performance of the tourism industry and its constituents by vigorously promoting themselves to international tourists, cutting costs, and identifying synergies in their tourism endeavors. In seeking to improve the tourism industry......, the determinants that affect tourism performance are of key interest to the stakeholders. A key obstacle toward improving performance is the multitude of determinants that can affect tourism performance. The literature has yet to provide concrete insights into the determinants of tourism performance...... and their relative importance. The present study addresses this important gap. We identify and rank the determinants of tourism performance. We also provide performance measures of international tourism destinations. The results are derived using the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and bootstrap truncated regression...
Enea Gino Di Domenico
Full Text Available Bacterial biofilm is a major factor in delayed wound healing and high levels of biofilm production have been repeatedly described in multidrug resistant organisms (MDROs. Nevertheless, a quantitative correlation between biofilm production and the profile of antimicrobial drug resistance in delayed wound healing remains to be determined. Microbial identification, antibiotic susceptibility and biofilm production were assessed in 135 clinical isolates from 87 patients. Gram-negative bacteria were the most represented microorganisms (60.8% with MDROs accounting for 31.8% of the total isolates. Assessment of biofilm production revealed that 80% of the strains were able to form biofilm. A comparable level of biofilm production was found with both MDRO and not-MDRO with no significant differences between groups. All the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA and 80% of Pseudomonas aeruginosa MDR strains were found as moderate/high biofilm producers. Conversely, less than 17% of Klebsiella pneumoniae extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL, Escherichia coli-ESBL and Acinetobacter baumannii were moderate/high biofilm producers. Notably, those strains classified as non-biofilm producers, were always associated with biofilm producer bacteria in polymicrobial colonization. This study shows that biofilm producers were present in all chronic skin ulcers, suggesting that biofilm represents a key virulence determinant in promoting bacterial persistence and chronicity of ulcerative lesions independently from the MDRO phenotype.
Policymakers worldwide try to hinder tax avoidance. In order to implement effective tax regulations, it is essential to completely understand why corporations avoid taxes and why some appear to be more effective than others. However, various challenges in identifying effects and determinants of corporate tax avoidance cause knowledge gaps. This thesis consists of three essays highlighting the necessity of refined identification strategies. The first essay “The Undersheltering Puzzle and its P...
Gnanasekaran, Gopalsamy; Na, Eun Jung; Chung, Han Young; Kim, Suyeon; Kim, You-Tae; Kwak, Woori; Kim, Heebal; Ryu, Sangryeol; Choi, Sang Ho; Lee, Ju-Hoon
Yersinia enterocolitica is a well-known foodborne pathogen causing gastrointestinal infections worldwide. The strain Y. enterocolitica FORC_002 was isolated from the gill of flatfish (plaice) and its genome was sequenced. The genomic DNA consists of 4,837,317 bp with a GC content of 47.1%, and is predicted to contain 4,221 open reading frames, 81 tRNA genes, and 26 rRNA genes. Interestingly, genomic analysis revealed pathogenesis and host immune evasion-associated genes encoding guanylate cyclase (Yst), invasin (Ail and Inv), outer membrane protein (Yops), autotransporter adhesin A (YadA), RTX-like toxins, and a type III secretion system. In particular, guanylate cyclase is a heat-stable enterotoxin causing Yersinia -associated diarrhea, and RTX-like toxins are responsible for attachment to integrin on the target cell for cytotoxic action. This genome can be used to identify virulence factors that can be applied for the development of novel biomarkers for the rapid detection of this pathogen in foods.
Rivera, Frances E; Miller, Halie K; Kolar, Stacey L; Stevens, Stanley M; Shaw, Lindsey N
Staphylococcus aureus is a leading human pathogen of both hospital and community-associated diseases worldwide. This organism causes a wealth of infections within the human host as a result of the vast arsenal of toxins encoded within its genome. Previous transcriptomic studies have shown that toxin production in S. aureus can be strongly impacted by the negative regulator CodY. CodY acts by directly, and indirectly (via Agr), repressing toxin production during times of plentiful nutrition. In this study, we use iTRAQ-based proteomics for the first time to study virulence determinant production in S. aureus, so as to correlate transcriptional observations with actual changes in protein synthesis. Using a codY mutant in the epidemic CA-MRSA clone USA300 we demonstrate that deletion of this transcription factor results in a major upregulation of toxin synthesis in both post-exponential and stationary growth. Specifically, we observe hyper-production of secreted proteases, leukocidins and hemolysins in both growth phases in the USA300 codY mutant. Our findings demonstrate the power of mass spectrometry-based quantitative proteomics for studying toxin production in S. aureus, and the importance of CodY to this central process in disease causation and infection. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Ponnusamy, Duraisamy; Fitts, Eric C; Sha, Jian; Erova, Tatiana E; Kozlova, Elena V; Kirtley, Michelle L; Tiner, Bethany L; Andersson, Jourdan A; Chopra, Ashok K
The identification of new virulence factors in Yersinia pestis and understanding their molecular mechanisms during an infection process are necessary in designing a better vaccine or to formulate an appropriate therapeutic intervention. By using a high-throughput, signature-tagged mutagenic approach, we created 5,088 mutants of Y. pestis strain CO92 and screened them in a mouse model of pneumonic plague at a dose equivalent to 5 50% lethal doses (LD50) of wild-type (WT) CO92. From this screen, we obtained 118 clones showing impairment in disseminating to the spleen, based on hybridization of input versus output DNA from mutant pools with 53 unique signature tags. In the subsequent screen, 20/118 mutants exhibited attenuation at 8 LD50 when tested in a mouse model of bubonic plague, with infection by 10/20 of the aforementioned mutants resulting in 40% or higher survival rates at an infectious dose of 40 LD50. Upon sequencing, six of the attenuated mutants were found to carry interruptions in genes encoding hypothetical proteins or proteins with putative functions. Mutants with in-frame deletion mutations of two of the genes identified from the screen, namely, rbsA, which codes for a putative sugar transport system ATP-binding protein, and vasK, a component of the type VI secretion system, were also found to exhibit some attenuation at 11 or 12 LD50 in a mouse model of pneumonic plague. Likewise, among the remaining 18 signature-tagged mutants, 9 were also attenuated (40 to 100%) at 12 LD50 in a pneumonic plague mouse model. Previously, we found that deleting genes encoding Braun lipoprotein (Lpp) and acyltransferase (MsbB), the latter of which modifies lipopolysaccharide function, reduced the virulence of Y. pestis CO92 in mouse models of bubonic and pneumonic plague. Deletion of rbsA and vasK genes from either the Δlpp single or the Δlpp ΔmsbB double mutant augmented the attenuation to provide 90 to 100% survivability to mice in a pneumonic plague model at 20
Kirdis, Ebru; Jonsson, Ing-Marie; Kubica, Malgorzata; Potempa, Jan; Josefsson, Elisabet; Masalha, Mahmud; Foster, Simon J; Tarkowski, Andrzej
Staphylococcus aureus is the most common cause of joint infections. It also contributes to several other diseases such as pneumonia, osteomyelitis, endocarditis, and sepsis. Bearing in mind that S. aureus becomes rapidly resistant to new antibiotics, many studies survey the virulence factors, with the aim to find alternative prophylaxis/treatment regimens. One potential virulence factor is the bacterial ability to survive at different oxygen tensions. S. aureus expresses ribonucleotide reductases (RNRs), which help it to grow under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions, by reducing ribonucleotides to deoxyribonucleotides. In this study, we investigated the role of RNR class III, which is required for anaerobic growth, as a virulence determinant in the pathogenesis of staphylococcal arthritis. The wild-type S. aureus strain and its isogenic mutant nrdDG mutant were inoculated intravenously into mice. Mice inoculated with the wild-type strain displayed significantly more severe arthritis, with significantly more synovitis and destruction of the bone and cartilage versus mutant strain inoculated mice. Further, the persistence of bacteria in the kidneys was significantly more pronounced in the group inoculated with the wild-type strain. Together these results indicate that RNR class III is an important virulence factor for the establishment of septic arthritis.
Harmsen, Hanne; Jensen, Bjarne
information. The methodological approach to translating market demands into company competencies presented in this article also allows us to develop a method for determining how to create value in a given market, by investigating the links between market demand and company competencies. The theoretical basis...... of our approach is drawn from the competence literature, while the method is based on the concept of managerial cognition. After identifying market demands, we then link these to company competencies through a cognitive mapping procedure using key informants from industry. The article contributes...... to an increased understanding of the complex relationship between market and company and to the development of methodological approaches to determining the creation of market value in a specific situation. It also serves to link the market orientation and competence literature....
Klebsiella pneumoniae asparagine tDNAs are integration hotspots for different genomic islands encoding microcin E492 production determinants and other putative virulence factors present in hypervirulent strains
Andrés Esteban Marcoleta
Full Text Available Due to the developing of multi-resistant and invasive hypervirulent strains, Klebsiella pneumoniae has become one of the most urgent bacterial pathogen threats in the last years. Genomic comparison of a growing number of sequenced isolates has allowed the identification of putative virulence factors, proposed to be acquirable mainly through horizontal gene transfer. In particular, those related with synthesizing the antibacterial peptide microcin E492 (MccE492 and salmochelin siderophores were found to be highly prevalent among hypervirulent strains. The determinants for the production of both molecules were first reported as part of a 13-kbp segment of K. pneumoniae RYC492 chromosome, and were cloned and characterized in E. coli. However, the genomic context of this segment in K. pneumoniae remained uncharacterized.In this work we provided experimental and bioinformatics evidence indicating that the MccE492 cluster is part of a highly conserved 23-kbp genomic island (GI named GIE492, that was integrated in a specific asparagine-tRNA gene (asn-tDNA and was found in a high proportion of isolates from liver abscesses sampled around the world. This element resulted to be unstable and its excision frequency increased after treating bacteria with mytomicin C and upon the overexpression of the island-encoded integrase. Besides the MccE492 genetic cluster, it invariably included an integrase-coding gene, at least 7 protein-coding genes of unknown function, and a putative transfer origin that possibly allows this GI to be mobilized through conjugation. In addition, we analyzed the asn-tDNA loci of all the available K. pneumoniae assembled chromosomes to evaluate them as GI-integration sites. Remarkably, 73% of the strains harbored at least one GI integrated in one of the four asn-tDNA present in this species, confirming them as integration hotspots. Each of these tDNAs was occupied with different frequencies, although they were 100% identical. Also, we
Dudnik, Alexey; Dudler, Robert
derivative that inhibits the eukaryotic proteasome. In strains colonizing dicotyledonous plants, the compound was demonstrated to suppress the salicylic-acid-dependent defense pathway. Here, we analyze virulence factors of three strains colonizing wheat (Triticum aestivum): P. syringae pathovar syringae (Psy...
Full Text Available The use of treated municipal wastewater residues (biosolids as fertilizers is an attractive, inexpensive option for growers and farmers. Various regulatory bodies typically employ indicator organisms (fecal coliforms, E. coli and Salmonella to assess the adequacy and efficiency of the wastewater treatment process in reducing pathogen loads in the final product. Molecular detection approaches can offer some advantages over culture-based methods as they can simultaneously detect a wider microbial species range, including non-cultivable microorganisms. However, they cannot directly assess the viability of the pathogens. Here, we used bacterial enumeration methods together with molecular methods including qPCR, 16S rRNA and cpn60 gene amplicon sequencing and shotgun metagenomic sequencing to compare pre- and post-treatment biosolids from two Canadian wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs. Our results show that an anaerobic digestion WWTP was unsuccessful at reducing the live indicator organism load (coliforms, generic E. coli and Salmonella below acceptable regulatory criteria, while biosolids from a dewatering/pelletization WWTP met these criteria. DNA from other pathogens was detected by the molecular methods, but these species were considered less abundant. Clostridium DNA increased significantly following anaerobic digestion treatments. In addition to pathogen DNA, genes related to virulence and antibiotic resistance were identified in treated biosolids. Shotgun metagenomics revealed the widest range of pathogen DNA and, among the approaches used here, was the only approach that could access functional gene information in treated biosolids. Overall, our results highlight the potential usefulness of amplicon sequencing and shotgun metagenomics as complementary screening methods that could be used in parallel with culture-based methods, although more detailed comparisons across a wider range of sites would be needed.
Yoon, Hyunjin; Ansong, Charles; McDermott, Jason E.; Gritsenko, Marina A.; Smith, Richard D.; Heffron, Fred; Adkins, Joshua N.
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.
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.
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.
Pournajaf, Abazar; Rajabnia, Ramazan; Sedighi, Mansour; Kassani, Aziz; Moqarabzadeh, Vahid; Lotfollahi, Lida; Ardebilli, Abdollah; Emadi, Behzad; Irajian, Gholamreza
This study aimed to determine the prevalence, and virulence factors of Listeria monocytogenes isolated from various samples by multiplex polymerase chain reaction (MPCR). A total of 617 isolates were obtained and MPCR was employed for detection of the inlA, inlC, and inlJ genes. L. monocytogenes was detected in 46 (7.45%) of the 617 specimens. inlA, inlC, and inlJ were detected in 100%, 76.26%, and 71% isolates, respectively. This study validated MPCR in the analysis and rapid detection of L. monocytogenes. The role of the genes in pathogenesis of the strains can also be affirmed.
Gottfried, Michael A.; Gee, Kevin A.
Background/Context: Chronic school absenteeism is a pervasive problem across the US; in early education, it is most rampant in kindergarten and its consequences are particularly detrimental, often leading to poorer academic, behavioral and developmental outcomes later in life. Though prior empirical research has identified a broad range of…
Yauk, Carole Lyn; Argueso, J. Lucas; Auerbach, Scott S.; Awadalla, Philip; Davis, Sean R.; DeMarini, David M.; Douglas, George R.; Dubrova, Yuri E.; Elespuru, Rosalie K.; Glover, Thomas W.; Hales, Barbara F.; Hurles, Matthew E.; Klein, Catherine B.; Lupski, James R.; Manchester, David K.; Marchetti, Francesco; Montpetit, Alexandre; Mulvihill, John J.; Robaire, Bernard; Robbins, Wendie A.; Rouleau, Guy A.; Shaughnessy, Daniel T.; Somers, Christopher M.; Taylor, James G.; Trasler, Jacquetta; Waters, Michael D.; Wilson, Thomas E.; Witt, Kristine L.; Bishop, Jack B.
Next-generation sequencing technologies can now be used to directly measure heritable de novo DNA sequence mutations in humans. However, these techniques have not been used to examine environmental factors that induce such mutations and their associated diseases. To address this issue, a working group on environmentally induced germline mutation analysis (ENIGMA) met in October 2011 to propose the necessary foundational studies, which include sequencing of parent–offspring trios from highly exposed human populations, and controlled dose–response experiments in animals. These studies will establish background levels of variability in germline mutation rates and identify environmental agents that influence these rates and heritable disease. Guidance for the types of exposures to examine come from rodent studies that have identified agents such as cancer chemotherapeutic drugs, ionizing radiation, cigarette smoke, and air pollution as germ-cell mutagens. Research is urgently needed to establish the health consequences of parental exposures on subsequent generations. PMID:22935230
Zhu, Luchang; Lin, Jingjun; Kuang, Zhizhou; Vidal, Jorge E; Lau, Gee W
The competence regulon of Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) is crucial for genetic transformation. During competence development, the alternative sigma factor ComX is activated, which in turn, initiates transcription of 80 'late' competence genes. Interestingly, only 16 late genes are essential for genetic transformation. We hypothesized that these late genes that are dispensable for competence are beneficial to pneumococcal fitness during infection. These late genes were systematically deleted, and the resulting mutants were examined for their fitness during mouse models of bacteremia and acute pneumonia. Among these, 14 late genes were important for fitness in mice. Significantly, deletion of some late genes attenuated pneumococcal fitness to the same level in both wild-type and ComX-null genetic backgrounds, suggesting that the constitutive baseline expression of these genes was important for bacterial fitness. In contrast, some mutants were attenuated only in the wild-type genetic background but not in the ComX-null background, suggesting that specific expression of these genes during competence state contributed to pneumococcal fitness. Increased virulence during competence state was partially caused by the induction of allolytic enzymes that enhanced pneumolysin release. These results distinguish the role of basal expression versus competence induction in virulence functions encoded by ComX-regulated late competence genes. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Singh, Devin; Alam, Fahad; Matava, Clyde
Audio and video podcasts have gained popularity in recent years. Increasingly, podcasts are being used in the field of medicine as a tool to disseminate information. This format has multiple advantages including highly accessible creation tools, low distribution costs, and portability for the user. However, despite its ongoing use in medical education, there are no data describing factors associated with the success or quality of podcasts. The goal of the study was to assess the landscape of anesthesia podcasts in Canada and develop a methodology for evaluating the quality of the podcast. To achieve our objective, we identified the scope of podcasts in anesthesia specifically, constructed an algorithmic model for measuring success, and identified factors linked to both successful podcasts and a peer-review process. Independent reviewers performed a systematic search of anesthesia-related podcasts on iTunes Canada. Data and metrics recorded for each podcast included podcast's authorship, number posted, podcast series duration, target audience, topics, and social media presence. Descriptive statistics summarized mined data, and univariate analysis was used to identify factors associated with podcast success and a peer-review process. Twenty-two podcasts related to anesthesia were included in the final analysis. Less than a third (6/22=27%) were still active. The median longevity of the podcasts' series was just 13 months (interquartile range: 1-39 months). Anesthesiologists were the target audience for 77% of podcast series with clinical topics being most commonly addressed. We defined a novel algorithm for measuring success: Podcast Success Index. Factors associated with a high Podcast Success Index included podcasts targeting fellows (Spearman R=0.434; P=.04), inclusion of professional topics (Spearman R=0.456-0.603; P=.01-.03), and the use of Twitter as a means of social media (Spearman R=0.453;P=.03). In addition, more than two-thirds (16/22=73%) of podcasts
Distribution of antimicrobial resistance determinants, virulence-associated factors and clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats loci in isolates of Enterococcus faecalis from various settings and genetic lineages.
Gawryszewska, Iwona; Malinowska, Katarzyna; Kuch, Alicja; Chrobak-Chmiel, Dorota; Trokenheim, Lucja Laniewska-; Hryniewicz, Waleria; Sadowy, Ewa
Enterococcus faecalis represents an important factor of hospital-associated infections (HAIs). The knowledge on its evolution from a commensal to an opportunistic pathogen is still limited; thus, we performed a study to characterise distribution of factors that may contribute to this adaptation. Using a collection obtained from various settings (hospitalised patients, community carriers, animals, fresh food, sewage, water), we investigated differences in antimicrobial susceptibility, distribution of antimicrobial resistance genes, virulence-associated determinants and phenotypes, and CRISPR loci in the context of the clonal relatedness of isolates. Bayesian Analysis of Population Structure revealed the presence of three major groups; two subgroups comprised almost exclusively HAI isolates, belonging to previously proposed enterococcal high-risk clonal complexes (HiRECCs) 6 and 28. Isolates of these two subgroups were significantly enriched in antimicrobial resistance genes, presumably produced a polysaccharide capsule and often carried the aggregation substance asa1; distribution of other virulence-associated genes, such as esp and cyl, formation of a biofilm and gelatinase production were more variable. Moreover, both subgroups showed a low prevalence of CRISPR-Cas 1 and 3 and presence of small CRISPR2 variants. Our study confirms the importance of HiRECCs in the population of E. faecalis and their confinement to the hospital settings. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
Khatabi, B; Fajolu, O L; Wen, R-H; Hajimorad, M R
Resistance to Soybean mosaic virus (SMV) in soybean is conferred by three dominant genes: Rsv1, Rsv3 and Rsv4. Over the years, scientists in the USA have utilized a set of standard pathotypes, SMV-G1 to SMV-G7, to study interaction with Rsv-genotype soybeans. However, these pathotypes were isolated from a collection of imported soybean germplasm over 30 years ago. In this study, 35 SMV field isolates collected in recent years from 11 states were evaluated for gain of virulence on soybean genotypes containing individual Rsv genes. All isolates were avirulent on L78-379 (Rsv1), whereas 19 were virulent on L29 (Rsv3). On PI88788 (Rsv4), 14 of 15 isolates tested were virulent; however, only one was capable of systemically infecting all of the inoculated V94-5152 (Rsv4). Nevertheless, virulent variants from 11 other field isolates were rapidly selected on initial inoculation onto V94-5152 (Rsv4). The P3 cistrons of the original isolates and their variants on Rsv4-genotype soybeans were sequenced. Analysis showed that virulence on PI88788 (Rsv4) was not associated, in general, with selection of any new amino acid, whereas Q1033K and G1054R substitutions were consistently selected on V94-5152 (Rsv4). The role of Q1033K and G1054R substitutions, individually or in combination, in virulence on V94-5152 (Rsv4) was confirmed on reconstruction in the P3 cistron of avirulent SMV-N, followed by biolistic inoculation. Collectively, our data demonstrate that SMV has evolved virulence towards Rsv3 and Rsv4, but not Rsv1, in the USA. Furthermore, they confirm that SMV virulence determinants on V94-5152 (Rsv4) reside on P3. © 2012 THE AUTHORS. MOLECULAR PLANT PATHOLOGY © 2012 BSPP AND BLACKWELL PUBLISHING LTD.
Lakshman, Dilip; Roberts, Daniel P.; Garrett, Wesley M.; Natarajan, Savithiry S.; Darwish, Omar; Alkharouf, Nadim; Pain, Arnab; Khan, Farooq; Jambhulkar, Prashant P.; Mitra, Amitava
Rhizoctonia solani AG 4 is a soilborne necrotrophic fungal plant pathogen that causes economically important diseases on agronomic crops worldwide. Here we used a proteomics approach to characterize both intracellular proteins and the secretome of R. solani AG 4 isolate Rs23A under several growth conditions; the secretome being highly important in pathogenesis. From over 500 total secretome and soluble intracellular protein spots from 2-D gels, 457 protein spots were analyzed and 318 proteins positively matched with fungal proteins of known function by comparison with available R. solani genome databases specific for anastomosis groups 1-IA, 1-IB, and 3. These proteins were categorized to possible cellular locations and functional groups; and for some proteins their putative roles in plant cell wall degradation and virulence. The majority of the secreted proteins were grouped to extracellular regions and contain hydrolase activity.
Rhizoctonia solani AG 4 is a soilborne necrotrophic fungal plant pathogen that causes economically important diseases on agronomic crops worldwide. Here we used a proteomics approach to characterize both intracellular proteins and the secretome of R. solani AG 4 isolate Rs23A under several growth conditions; the secretome being highly important in pathogenesis. From over 500 total secretome and soluble intracellular protein spots from 2-D gels, 457 protein spots were analyzed and 318 proteins positively matched with fungal proteins of known function by comparison with available R. solani genome databases specific for anastomosis groups 1-IA, 1-IB, and 3. These proteins were categorized to possible cellular locations and functional groups; and for some proteins their putative roles in plant cell wall degradation and virulence. The majority of the secreted proteins were grouped to extracellular regions and contain hydrolase activity.
Kielian, Tammy; Cheung, Ambrose; Hickey, William F.
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...
Full Text Available Abstract INTRODUCTION: This study aimed to determine the prevalence, and virulence factors of Listeria monocytogenes isolated from various samples by multiplex polymerase chain reaction (MPCR. METHODS: A total of 617 isolates were obtained and MPCR was employed for detection of the inlA, inlC, and inlJ genes. RESULTS: L. monocytogenes was detected in 46 (7.45% of the 617 specimens. inlA, inlC, and inlJ were detected in 100%, 76.26%, and 71% isolates, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: This study validated MPCR in the analysis and rapid detection of L. monocytogenes. The role of the genes in pathogenesis of the strains can also be affirmed.
Silva, G F; Santos, V S; Sousa, N R; Hanada, R E; Gasparotto, L
Black sigatoka, caused by the fungus Mycosphaerella fijiensis (anamorphic stage: Paracercospora fijiensis), was first detected in Brazil in early 1998 in the Benjamin Constant and Tabatinga municipalities in the State of Amazonas, near to where the borders of Brazil, Colombia, and Peru converge. Understanding how cultivars react to the pathogen, and characterizing the genetic variability of isolates from two distant and distinct banana-producing regions, are important for determining the virulence of M. fijiensis. In the present study, the genetic diversity of 22 M. fijiensis isolates was assessed using simple sequence repeats (SSR) markers, and their virulence was determined following inoculation on three different banana tree cultivars. All 22 isolates caused symptoms of the disease in the Maçã and Prata Comum cultivars 45 days after inoculation, and at least two virulence groups were identified for the Maçã and Prata Comum cultivars. For the D'Angola cultivars, two virulence groups were observed only after 60 days post-inoculation, and three of the isolates were not virulent. Using SSR markers, the isolates from two different regions of Brazil were placed into two genetic groups, both genetically distant from the Mf 138 isolate collected in Leticia, Colombia. There was no evidence of correlation between the virulence groups and the genetic diversity groups. These results demonstrate variability in virulence between isolates as measured by the severity of black sigatoka in the analyzed cultivars.
Luethy, Paul M; Huynh, Steven; Ribardo, Deborah A; Winter, Sebastian E; Parker, Craig T; Hendrixson, David R
Campylobacter jejuni promotes commensalism in the intestinal tracts of avian hosts and diarrheal disease in humans, yet components of intestinal environments recognized as spatial cues specific for different intestinal regions by the bacterium to initiate interactions in either host are mostly unknown. By analyzing a C. jejuni acetogenesis mutant defective in converting acetyl coenzyme A (Ac-CoA) to acetate and commensal colonization of young chicks, we discovered evidence for in vivo microbiota-derived short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and organic acids as cues recognized by C. jejuni that modulate expression of determinants required for commensalism. We identified a set of C. jejuni genes encoding catabolic enzymes and transport systems for amino acids required for in vivo growth whose expression was modulated by SCFAs. Transcription of these genes was reduced in the acetogenesis mutant but was restored upon supplementation with physiological concentrations of the SCFAs acetate and butyrate present in the lower intestinal tracts of avian and human hosts. Conversely, the organic acid lactate, which is abundant in the upper intestinal tract where C. jejuni colonizes less efficiently, reduced expression of these genes. We propose that microbiota-generated SCFAs and lactate are cues for C. jejuni to discriminate between different intestinal regions. Spatial gradients of these metabolites likely allow C. jejuni to locate preferred niches in the lower intestinal tract and induce expression of factors required for intestinal growth and commensal colonization. Our findings provide insights into the types of cues C. jejuni monitors in the avian host for commensalism and likely in humans to promote diarrheal disease. IMPORTANCE Campylobacter jejuni is a commensal of the intestinal tracts of avian species and other animals and a leading cause of diarrheal disease in humans. The types of cues sensed by C. jejuni to influence responses to promote commensalism or
Malvi, Supriya; Appannanavar, Suma; Mohan, Balvinder; Kaur, Harsimran; Gautam, Neha; Bharti, Bhavneet; Kumar, Yashwant; Taneja, Neelam
The epidemiology of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) and the significance of isolation of atypical EPEC (aEPEC) in childhood diarrhoea have not been well studied in an Indian context. A comparative study was undertaken to investigate virulence determinants, antibiotic susceptibility patterns and serogrouping of typical EPEC (tEPEC) versus aEPEC causing diarrhoea in children. A total of 400 prospective and 500 retrospective E. coli isolates were included. PCR was performed for eae, bfpA, efa, nleB, nleE, cdt, ehxA and paa genes. The Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute's disc diffusion test was used to determine the antimicrobial susceptibility. Phenotypic screening of extended spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs), AmpC and Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) production, and molecular detection of bla(NDM-1), bla(VIM), bla(CTX-M-15), bla(IMP) and bla(KPC) were performed. aEPEC (57.6 %) were more common as compared with tEPEC (42.3 %). The occurrence of virulence genes was observed to be three times higher in aEPEC as compared with tEPEC, efa1 (14.7 % of aEPEC, 4 % of tEPEC) being the most common. Most of the isolates did not belong to the classical EPEC O-serogroups. The highest resistance was observed against amoxicillin (93.22 %) followed by quinolones (83 %), cephalosporins (37.28 %), cotrimoxazole (35.59 %) and carbapenems (30.5 %). Overall equal numbers of aEPEC (41.17 %) and tEPEC (40 %) were observed to be multidrug-resistant. Fifteen EPEC strains demonstrated presence of ESBLs, five produced AmpC and four each produced metallo-β-lactamases and KPC-type carbapenemases; eight, seven and one isolate(s) each were positive for bla(VIM), bla(CTX-M-15) and bla(NDM-1), respectively. Here, to the best of our knowledge, we report for the first time on carbapenem resistance and the presence of bla(NDM-1) and bla(CTX-M-15) in EPEC isolates from India.
Castilho, Daniele G; Chaves, Alison F A; Xander, Patricia; Zelanis, André; Kitano, Eduardo S; Serrano, Solange M T; Tashima, Alexandre K; Batista, Wagner L
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.
Mexican papita viroid (MPVd), a pospiviroid, causes serious disease outbreaks on greenhouse tomato in North America. Two dominant genotypes (MPV-S and MPV-M), sharing 93.8% sequence identity, incited striking different symptom expression (severe and mild) on tomato ‘Rutgers’. To determine genetic ...
Diehl, Carl; Wisniewska, Magdalena; Frick, Inga-Maria
HIP, which is secreted at higher levels by an invasive compared to a non-invasive strain of S. pyogenes. The present work presents a further characterization of the structural and functional properties of this bacterial protein. Biophysical and structural studies have shown that protein sHIP forms stable...... clearly indicated that the sHIP mutant appear only as dimers in solution confirming the importance of the interfacial residues for protein oligomerisation. Furthermore, we could show that the sHIP mutant interacts with intact histidine-rich glycoprotein (HRG) and the histidine-rich repeats in HRG......, and inhibits their antibacterial activity to the same or even higher extent as compared to the wild type protein sHIP. We determined the crystal structure of the sHIP mutant, which, as a result of the high quality of the data, allowed us to improve the existing structural model of the protein. Finally...
Genome-wide DNA microarray analysis of Francisella tularensis strains demonstrates extensive genetic conservation within the species but identifies regions that are unique to the highly virulent F. tularensis subsp. tularensis
Broekhuijsen, M.P.; Larsson, P.; Johansson, A.; Byström, M.; Eriksson, U.; Larsson, E.; Prior, R.G.; Sjöstedt, A.; Titball, R.W.; Forsman, M.
Francisella tularensis is a potent pathogen and a possible bioterrorism agent. Little is known, however, to explain the molecular basis for its virulence and the distinct differences in virulence found between the four recognized subspecies, F. tularensis subsp. tularensis, F. tularensis subsp.
Yu, Dong; Hui, Yiming; Zai, Xiaodong; Xu, Junjie; Liang, Long; Wang, Bingxiang; Yue, Junjie; Li, Shanhu
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.
Suzuki, Haruka; Miyashita, Yuri; Choi, Sun Hee; Hisa, Yusuke; Rihei, Shunsuke; Shimada, Ryoko; Jeon, Eun Jin; Abe, Junya; Uyeda, Ichiro
ABSTRACT Peas carrying the cyv1 recessive resistance gene are resistant to clover yellow vein virus (ClYVV) isolates No.30 (Cl-No.30) and 90-1 (Cl-90-1) but can be infected by a derivative of Cl-90-1 (Cl-90-1 Br2). The main determinant for the breaking of cyv1 resistance by Cl-90-1 Br2 is P3N-PIPO produced from the P3 gene via transcriptional slippage, and the higher level of P3N-PIPO produced by Cl-90-1 Br2 than by Cl-No.30 contributes to the breaking of resistance. Here we show that P3N-PIPO is also a major virulence determinant in susceptible peas that possess another resistance gene, Cyn1, which does not inhibit systemic infection with ClYVV but causes hypersensitive reaction-like lethal systemic cell death. We previously assumed that the susceptible pea cultivar PI 226564 has a weak allele of Cyn1. Cl-No.30 did not induce cell death, but Cl-90-1 Br2 killed the plants. Our results suggest that P3N-PIPO is recognized by Cyn1 and induces cell death. Unexpectedly, heterologously strongly expressed P3N-PIPO of Cl-No.30 appears to be recognized by Cyn1 in PI 226564. The level of P3N-PIPO accumulation from the P3 gene of Cl-No.30 was significantly lower than that of Cl-90-1 Br2 in a Nicotiana benthamiana transient assay. Therefore, Cyn1-mediated cell death also appears to be determined by the level of P3N-PIPO. The more efficiently a ClYVV isolate broke cyv1 resistance, the more it induced cell death systemically (resulting in a loss of the environment for virus accumulation) in susceptible peas carrying Cyn1, suggesting that antagonistic pleiotropy of P3N-PIPO controls the resistance breaking of ClYVV. IMPORTANCE Control of plant viral disease has relied on the use of resistant cultivars; however, emerging mutant viruses have broken many types of resistance. Recently, we revealed that Cl-90-1 Br2 breaks the recessive resistance conferred by cyv1, mainly by accumulating a higher level of P3N-PIPO than that of the nonbreaking isolate Cl-No.30. Here we show that a
Pricope-Ciolacu, Luminita; Nicolau, Anca Ioana; Wagner, Martin; Rychli, Kathrin
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.
MacArthur, Iain; Parreira, Valeria R; Lepp, Dion; Mutharia, Lucy M; Vazquez-Boland, José A; Prescott, John F
Rhodococcus equi is a soil bacterium and, like Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a member of the mycolata. Through possession of a virulence plasmid, it has the ability to infect the alveolar macrophages of foals, resulting in pyogranulomatous bronchopneumonia. The virulence plasmid has an orphan two-component system (TCS) regulatory gene, orf8, mutation of which completely attenuates virulence. This study attempted to find the cognate sensor kinase (SK) of orf8. Annotation of the R. equi strain 103 genome identified 23 TCSs encoded on the chromosome, which were used in a DNA microarray to compare TCS gene transcription in murine macrophage-like cells to growth in vitro. This identified six SKs as significantly up-regulated during growth in macrophages. Mutants of these SKs were constructed and their ability to persist in macrophages was determined with one SK, MprB, found to be required for intracellular survival. The attenuation of the mprB- mutant, and its complementation, was confirmed in a mouse virulence assay. In silico analysis of the R. equi genome sequence identified an MprA binding box motif homologous to that of M. tuberculosis, on mprA, pepD, sigB and sigE. The results of this study also show that R. equi responds to the macrophage environment differently from M. tuberculosis. MprB is the first SK identified as required for R. equi virulence and intracellular survival. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Costechareyre, Denis; Dridi, Bedis; Rahbé, Yvan; Condemine, Guy
The plant pathogenic bacteria Dickeya dadantii is also a pathogen of the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum. The genome of the bacteria contains four cyt genes, encoding homologues of Bacillus thuringiensis Cyt toxins, which are involved in its pathogenicity to insects. We show here that these genes are transcribed as an operon, and we determined the conditions necessary for their expression. Their expression is induced at high temperature and at an osmolarity equivalent to that found in the plant phloem sap. The regulators of cyt genes have also been identified: their expression is repressed by H-NS and VfmE and activated by PecS. These genes are already known to regulate plant virulence factors, but in an opposite way. When tested in a virulence assay by ingestion, the pecS mutant was almost non-pathogenic while hns and vfmE mutants behaved in the same way as the wild-type strain. Mutants of other regulators of plant virulence, GacA, OmpR and PhoP, that do not control Cyt toxin production, also showed reduced pathogenicity. In an assay by injection of bacteria, the gacA strain was less pathogenic but, surprisingly, the pecS mutant was slightly more virulent. These results show that Cyt toxins are not the only virulence factors required to kill aphids, and that these factors act at different stages of the infection. Moreover, their production is controlled by general virulence regulators known for their role in plant virulence. This integration could indicate that virulence towards insects is a normal mode of life for D. dadantii. © 2010 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Roderick F Felsheim
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.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Enterovirus 71 (EV71 has emerged as a neuroinvasive virus responsible for several large outbreaks in the Asia-Pacific region while virulence determinant remains unexplored. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this report, we investigated increased virulence of unadapted EV71 clinical isolate 237 as compared with isolate 4643 in mice. A fragment 12 nucleotides in length in stem loop (SL II of 237 5'-untranslated region (UTR visibly reduced survival time and rate in mice was identified by constructing a series of infectious clones harboring chimeric 5'-UTR. In cells transfected with bicistronic plasmids, and replicon RNAs, the 12-nt fragment of isolate 237 enhanced translational activities and accelerated replication of subgenomic EV71. Finally, single nucleotide change from cytosine to uridine at base 158 in this short fragment of 5'-UTR was proven to reduce viral translation and EV71 virulence in mice. Results collectively indicated a pivotal role of novel virulence determinant C158 on virus translation in vitro and EV71 virulence in vivo. CONCLUSIONS: These results presented the first reported virulence determinant in EV71 5'-UTR and first position discovered from unadapted isolates.
Janssen, Suzanne; van Vuuren, Hubrecht A.; de Jong, Menno D.T.
This study examines the content of developmental networks from the perspective of self-determination theory. We qualitatively examine 18 protégés' constellations of developmental relationships to identify specific types of developmental support functions. Our study shows that the adoption of
Brouwer, Andrew F; Meza, Rafael; Eisenberg, Marisa C
Multistage clonal expansion (MSCE) models of carcinogenesis are continuous-time Markov process models often used to relate cancer incidence to biological mechanism. Identifiability analysis determines what model parameter combinations can, theoretically, be estimated from given data. We use a systematic approach, based on differential algebra methods traditionally used for deterministic ordinary differential equation (ODE) models, to determine identifiable combinations for a generalized subclass of MSCE models with any number of preinitation stages and one clonal expansion. Additionally, we determine the identifiable combinations of the generalized MSCE model with up to four clonal expansion stages, and conjecture the results for any number of clonal expansion stages. The results improve upon previous work in a number of ways and provide a framework to find the identifiable combinations for further variations on the MSCE models. Finally, our approach, which takes advantage of the Kolmogorov backward equations for the probability generating functions of the Markov process, demonstrates that identifiability methods used in engineering and mathematics for systems of ODEs can be applied to continuous-time Markov processes. © 2016 Society for Risk Analysis.
Kannika, K; Pisuttharachai, D; Srisapoome, P; Wongtavatchai, J; Kondo, H; Hirono, I; Unajak, S; Areechon, N
This study aimed to biotype Streptococcus agalactiae isolated from tilapia farms in Thailand based on molecular biotyping methods and to determine the correlation between the serotype and virulence of bacteria. In addition to a biotyping (serotyping) technique based on multiplex PCR of cps genes, in this study, we developed multiplex PCR typing of Group B streptococcus (GBS) virulence genes to examine three clusters of virulence genes and their correlation with the pathogenicity of S. agalactiae. The epidemiology of S. agalactiae in Thailand was analysed to provide bacterial genetic information towards a future rational vaccine strategy for tilapia culture systems. Streptococcus agalactiae were isolated from diseased tilapia from different areas of Thailand. A total of 124 S. agalactiae isolates were identified by phenotypic analysis and confirmed by 16S rRNA PCR. Bacterial genotyping was conducted based on (i) molecular serotyping of the capsular polysaccharide (cps) gene cluster and (ii) virulence gene profiling using multiplex PCR analysis of 14 virulence genes (lmb, scpB, pavA, cspA, spb1, cyl, bca, rib, fbsA, fbsB, cfb, hylB, bac and pbp1A/ponA). Only serotypes Ia and III were found in this study; serotype Ia lacks the lmb, scpB and spb1 genes, whereas serotype III lacks only the bac gene. Virulence tests in juvenile Nile tilapia demonstrated a correlation between the pathogenicity of the bacteria and their virulence gene profile, with serotype III showing higher virulence than serotype Ia. Epidemiological analysis showed an almost equal distribution in all regions of Thailand, except serotype III was found predominantly in the southern areas. Only two serotypes of S. agalactiae were isolated from diseased tilapia in Thailand. Serotype Ia showed fewer virulence genes and lower virulence than serotype III. Both serotypes showed a similar distribution throughout Thailand. We identified two major serotypes of S. agalactiae isolates associated with the outbreak in
Giersch, C; Cornish-Bowden, A
The double modulation method for determining the elasticities of pathway enzymes, originally devised by Kacser & Burns (Biochem. Soc. Trans. 7, 1149-1160, 1979), is extended to pathways of complex topological structure, including branching and feedback loops. An explicit system of linear equations for the unknown elasticities is derived. The constraints imposed on this linear system imply that modulations of more than one enzyme are not necessarily independent. Simple combinatorial rules are described for identifying without using any algebra the set of independent modulations that allow the determination of the elasticities of any enzyme. By repeated application, the minimum numbers of modulations required to determine the elasticities of all enzymes of a given pathway can be determined. The procedure is illustrated with numerous examples.
Full Text Available The purpose of this article is to identify the determinants of organizational development as the key developers of employee soft skills. Various studies have been taken where determinants of organizational development defining soft skills in employees are discussed. However, the current study is different in Pakistani industry context as the link was missing about the determinants of organizational development which in synchronized way help in developing soft skills in employees of firm. This research uses explanatory approach; incorporating secondary data extracted under the light of existing school of thoughts paired with quantification through data collected from respondents in Pakistani corporate sector. Hypotheses are tested using structural equation model (SEM technique. Results This research showed an affirmative link between determinants of organizational development and development of soft skills in employees. Finally, the study proposes enriching insights on few missing links that can be researched and triggered achieving maximized outcomes.
Onyilo, Francis; Tusiime, Geoffrey; Chen, Li-Hung; Falk, Bryce; Stergiopoulos, Ioannis; Tripathi, Jaindra N; Tushemereirwe, Wilberforce; Kubiriba, Jerome; Changa, Charles; Tripathi, Leena
Black Sigatoka disease, caused by Pseudocercospora fijiensis is a serious constraint to banana production worldwide. The disease continues to spread in new ecological niches and there is an urgent need to develop strategies for its control. The high osmolarity glycerol (HOG) pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is well known to respond to changes in external osmolarity. HOG pathway activation leads to phosphorylation, activation and nuclear transduction of the HOG1 mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). The activated HOG1 triggers several responses to osmotic stress, including up or down regulation of different genes, regulation of protein translation, adjustments to cell cycle progression and synthesis of osmolyte glycerol. This study investigated the role of the MAPK-encoding PfHog1 gene on osmotic stress adaptation and virulence of P. fijie nsis. RNA interference-mediated gene silencing of PfHog1 significantly suppressed growth of P. fijiensis on potato dextrose agar media supplemented with 1 M NaCl, indicating that PfHog1 regulates osmotic stress. In addition, virulence of the PfHog1 -silenced mutants of P. fijiensis on banana was significantly reduced, as observed from the low rates of necrosis and disease development on the infected leaves. Staining with lacto phenol cotton blue further confirmed the impaired mycelial growth of the PfHog1 in the infected leaf tissues, which was further confirmed with quantification of the fungal biomass using absolute- quantitative PCR. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that PfHog1 plays a critical role in osmotic stress regulation and virulence of P. fijiensis on its host banana. Thus, PfHog1 could be an interesting target for the control of black Sigatoka disease in banana.
Full Text Available Black Sigatoka disease, caused by Pseudocercospora fijiensis is a serious constraint to banana production worldwide. The disease continues to spread in new ecological niches and there is an urgent need to develop strategies for its control. The high osmolarity glycerol (HOG pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is well known to respond to changes in external osmolarity. HOG pathway activation leads to phosphorylation, activation and nuclear transduction of the HOG1 mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs. The activated HOG1 triggers several responses to osmotic stress, including up or down regulation of different genes, regulation of protein translation, adjustments to cell cycle progression and synthesis of osmolyte glycerol. This study investigated the role of the MAPK-encoding PfHog1 gene on osmotic stress adaptation and virulence of P. fijiensis. RNA interference-mediated gene silencing of PfHog1 significantly suppressed growth of P. fijiensis on potato dextrose agar media supplemented with 1 M NaCl, indicating that PfHog1 regulates osmotic stress. In addition, virulence of the PfHog1-silenced mutants of P. fijiensis on banana was significantly reduced, as observed from the low rates of necrosis and disease development on the infected leaves. Staining with lacto phenol cotton blue further confirmed the impaired mycelial growth of the PfHog1 in the infected leaf tissues, which was further confirmed with quantification of the fungal biomass using absolute- quantitative PCR. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that PfHog1 plays a critical role in osmotic stress regulation and virulence of P. fijiensis on its host banana. Thus, PfHog1 could be an interesting target for the control of black Sigatoka disease in banana.
Matthee, Marianne; Santana-Gallego, Maria
Background: The significance of the paper is twofold. Firstly, it adds to the small but growing body of literature focusing on the decomposition of South Africa’s export growth. Secondly, it identifies the determinants of the intensive and extensive margins of South Africa’s exports – a topic that (as far as the authors are concerned) has not been explored before. Aim: This paper aims to investigate a wide range of market access determinants that affect South Africa’s export growth along ...
Butter , Colin; Staines , Karen; Baaten , Bas; Smith , Lorraine; Davison , Fred
Abstract Susceptible (Line 7) and resistant (Line 6) white leghorn chickens were infected with a very virulent Marek?s Disease Virus, RB1B, by either the intra-abdominal or intra-tracheal routes. Birds infected by the intra-tracheal route had earlier, higher or more sustained blood, spleen and lung viral loads, than those infected by the intra-peritoneal route. Line 7 birds had higher viral loads than Line 6 birds infected by the same route. Clinical outcomes reflected these ...
Sifri, Costi D; Begun, Jakob; Ausubel, Frederick M
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.
Kennedy, David A.; Kurath, Gael; Brito, Ilana L.; Purcell, Maureen K.; Read, Andrew F.; Winton, James R.; Wargo, Andrew R.
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.
Jill E Callahan
Full Text Available Streptococcus sanguinis is an important component of dental plaque and a leading cause of infective endocarditis. Genetic competence in S. sanguinis requires a quorum sensing system encoded by the early comCDE genes, as well as late genes controlled by the alternative sigma factor, ComX. Previous studies of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Streptococcus mutans have identified functions for the >100-gene com regulon in addition to DNA uptake, including virulence. We investigated this possibility in S. sanguinis. Strains deleted for the comCDE or comX master regulatory genes were created. Using a rabbit endocarditis model in conjunction with a variety of virulence assays, we determined that both mutants possessed infectivity equivalent to that of a virulent control strain, and that measures of disease were similar in rabbits infected with each strain. These results suggest that the com regulon is not required for S. sanguinis infective endocarditis virulence in this model. We propose that the different roles of the S. sanguinis, S. pneumoniae, and S. mutans com regulons in virulence can be understood in relation to the pathogenic mechanisms employed by each species.
Callahan, Jill E; Munro, Cindy L; Kitten, Todd
Streptococcus sanguinis is an important component of dental plaque and a leading cause of infective endocarditis. Genetic competence in S. sanguinis requires a quorum sensing system encoded by the early comCDE genes, as well as late genes controlled by the alternative sigma factor, ComX. Previous studies of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Streptococcus mutans have identified functions for the >100-gene com regulon in addition to DNA uptake, including virulence. We investigated this possibility in S. sanguinis. Strains deleted for the comCDE or comX master regulatory genes were created. Using a rabbit endocarditis model in conjunction with a variety of virulence assays, we determined that both mutants possessed infectivity equivalent to that of a virulent control strain, and that measures of disease were similar in rabbits infected with each strain. These results suggest that the com regulon is not required for S. sanguinis infective endocarditis virulence in this model. We propose that the different roles of the S. sanguinis, S. pneumoniae, and S. mutans com regulons in virulence can be understood in relation to the pathogenic mechanisms employed by each species.
Fernández de Marco, María del Mar; Alejo, Alí; Hudson, Paul; Damon, Inger K.; Alcami, Antonio
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
Fabrizio, Cecilia S; van Liere, Marti; Pelto, Gretel
As stunting moves to the forefront of the global agenda, there is substantial evidence that behaviour change interventions (BCI) can improve infant feeding practices and growth. However, this evidence has not been translated into improved outcomes on a national level because we do not know enough about what makes these interventions work, for whom, when, why, at what cost and for how long. Our objective was to examine the design and implementation of complementary feeding BCI, from the peer-reviewed literature, to identify generalisable key determinants. We identified 29 studies that evaluated BCI efficacy or effectiveness, were conducted in developing countries, and reported outcomes on infant and young children aged 6–24 months. Two potential determinants emerged: (1) effective studies used formative research to identify cultural barriers and enablers to optimal feeding practices, to shape the intervention strategy, and to formulate appropriate messages and mediums for delivery; (2) effective studies delineated the programme impact pathway to the target behaviour change and assessed intermediary behaviour changes to learn what worked. We found that BCI that used these developmental and implementation processes could be effective despite heterogeneous approaches and design components. Our analysis was constrained, however, by the limited published data on how design and implementation were carried out, perhaps because of publishing space limits. Information on cost-effectiveness, sustainability and scalability was also very limited. We suggest a more comprehensive reporting process and a more strategic research agenda to enable generalisable evidence to accumulate. PMID:24798264
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.
Lence, Emilio; van der Kamp, Marc W; González-Bello, Concepción; Mulholland, Adrian J
Type II dehydroquinase enzymes (DHQ2), recognized targets for antibiotic drug discovery, show significantly different activities dependent on the species: DHQ2 from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MtDHQ2) and Helicobacter pylori (HpDHQ2) show a 50-fold difference in catalytic efficiency. Revealing the determinants of this activity difference is important for our understanding of biological catalysis and further offers the potential to contribute to tailoring specificity in drug design. Molecular dynamics simulations using a quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics potential, with correlated ab initio single point corrections, identify and quantify the subtle determinants of the experimentally observed difference in efficiency. The rate-determining step involves the formation of an enolate intermediate: more efficient stabilization of the enolate and transition state of the key step in MtDHQ2, mainly by the essential residues Tyr24 and Arg19, makes it more efficient than HpDHQ2. Further, a water molecule, which is absent in MtDHQ2 but involved in generation of the catalytic Tyr22 tyrosinate in HpDHQ2, was found to destabilize both the transition state and the enolate intermediate. The quantification of the contribution of key residues and water molecules in the rate-determining step of the mechanism also leads to improved understanding of higher potencies and specificity of known inhibitors, which should aid ongoing inhibitor design.
Trimpert, Jakob; Groenke, Nicole; Jenckel, Maria; He, Shulin; Kunec, Dusan; Szpara, Moriah L; Spatz, Stephen J; Osterrieder, Nikolaus; McMahon, Dino P
Virulence determines the impact a pathogen has on the fitness of its host, yet current understanding of the evolutionary origins and causes of virulence of many pathogens is surprisingly incomplete. Here, we explore the evolution of Marek's disease virus (MDV), a herpesvirus commonly afflicting chickens and rarely other avian species. The history of MDV in the 20th century represents an important case study in the evolution of virulence. The severity of MDV infection in chickens has been rising steadily since the adoption of intensive farming techniques and vaccination programs in the 1950s and 1970s, respectively. It has remained uncertain, however, which of these factors is causally more responsible for the observed increase in virulence of circulating viruses. We conducted a phylogenomic study to understand the evolution of MDV in the context of dramatic changes to poultry farming and disease control. Our analysis reveals evidence of geographical structuring of MDV strains, with reconstructions supporting the emergence of virulent viruses independently in North America and Eurasia. Of note, the emergence of virulent viruses appears to coincide approximately with the introduction of comprehensive vaccination on both continents. The time-dated phylogeny also indicated that MDV has a mean evolutionary rate of ~1.6 × 10 -5 substitutions per site per year. An examination of gene-linked mutations did not identify a strong association between mutational variation and virulence phenotypes, indicating that MDV may evolve readily and rapidly under strong selective pressures and that multiple genotypic pathways may underlie virulence adaptation in MDV.
Singer, Meromit; Engström, Alexander; Schönhuth, Alexander; Pachter, Lior
Recent experimental and computational work confirms that CpGs can be unmethylated inside coding exons, thereby showing that codons may be subjected to both genomic and epigenomic constraint. It is therefore of interest to identify coding CpG islands (CCGIs) that are regions inside exons enriched for CpGs. The difficulty in identifying such islands is that coding exons exhibit sequence biases determined by codon usage and constraints that must be taken into account. We present a method for finding CCGIs that showcases a novel approach we have developed for identifying regions of interest that are significant (with respect to a Markov chain) for the counts of any pattern. Our method begins with the exact computation of tail probabilities for the number of CpGs in all regions contained in coding exons, and then applies a greedy algorithm for selecting islands from among the regions. We show that the greedy algorithm provably optimizes a biologically motivated criterion for selecting islands while controlling the false discovery rate. We applied this approach to the human genome (hg18) and annotated CpG islands in coding exons. The statistical criterion we apply to evaluating islands reduces the number of false positives in existing annotations, while our approach to defining islands reveals significant numbers of undiscovered CCGIs in coding exons. Many of these appear to be examples of functional epigenetic specialization in coding exons.
J R Managbanag
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Identification of genes that modulate longevity is a major focus of aging-related research and an area of intense public interest. In addition to facilitating an improved understanding of the basic mechanisms of aging, such genes represent potential targets for therapeutic intervention in multiple age-associated diseases, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders. To date, however, targeted efforts at identifying longevity-associated genes have been limited by a lack of predictive power, and useful algorithms for candidate gene-identification have also been lacking. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We have utilized a shortest-path network analysis to identify novel genes that modulate longevity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Based on a set of previously reported genes associated with increased life span, we applied a shortest-path network algorithm to a pre-existing protein-protein interaction dataset in order to construct a shortest-path longevity network. To validate this network, the replicative aging potential of 88 single-gene deletion strains corresponding to predicted components of the shortest-path longevity network was determined. Here we report that the single-gene deletion strains identified by our shortest-path longevity analysis are significantly enriched for mutations conferring either increased or decreased replicative life span, relative to a randomly selected set of 564 single-gene deletion strains or to the current data set available for the entire haploid deletion collection. Further, we report the identification of previously unknown longevity genes, several of which function in a conserved longevity pathway believed to mediate life span extension in response to dietary restriction. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This work demonstrates that shortest-path network analysis is a useful approach toward identifying genetic determinants of longevity and represents the first application of
Ngbede, Emmanuel Ochefije; Raji, Mashood Abiola; Kwanashie, Clara Nna; Kwaga, Jacob Kwada Paghi
This study investigated the occurrence, antimicrobial resistance and virulence of Enterococcus from poultry and cattle farms. Three hundred and ninety samples: cloacal/rectal swabs (n = 260) and manure (n = 130] were processed for recovery of Enterococcus species. Standard bacteriological methods were used to isolate, identify and characterize Enterococcus species for antimicrobial susceptibility and expression of virulence traits. Detection of antibiotic resistance and virulence genes was carried out by polymerase chain reaction. Enterococcus was recovered from 167 (42.8%) of the 390 samples tested with a predominance of Enterococcus faecium (27.7%). Other species detected were Enterococcus gallinarum, Enterococcus faecalis, Enterococcus hirae, Enterococcus raffinosus, Enterococcus avium, Enterococcus casseliflavus, Enterococcus mundtii and Enterococcus durans. All the isolates tested were susceptible to vancomycin, but resistance to tetracycline, erythromycin, ampicillin and gentamicin was also observed among 61.0, 61.0, 45.1 and 32.7% of the isolates, respectively. Sixty (53.1%) of the isolates were multidrug resistant presenting as 24 different resistance patterns with resistance to gentamicin-erythromycin-streptomycin-tetracycline (CN-ERY-STR-TET) being the most common (n = 11) pattern. In addition to expression of virulence traits (haemolysin, gelatinase, biofilm production), antibiotic resistance (tetK, tetL, tetM, tetO and ermB) and virulence (asa1, gelE, cylA) genes were detected among the isolates. Also, in vitro transfer of resistance determinants was observed among 75% of the isolates tested. Our data revealed poultry, cattle and manure in this area are hosts to varying Enterococcus species harbouring virulence and resistance determinants that can be transferred to other organisms and also are important for causing nosocomial infection.
Carolina Baldisserotto Comerlato
Full Text Available Despite the increasing importance of Enterococcus as opportunistic pathogens, their virulence factors are still poorly understood. This study determines the frequency of virulence factors in clinical and commensal Enterococcus isolates from inpatients in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Fifty Enterococcus isolates were analysed and the presence of the gelE, asa1 and esp genes was determined. Gelatinase activity and biofilm formation were also tested. The clonal relationships among the isolates were evaluated using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. The asa1, gelE and esp genes were identified in 38%, 60% and 76% of all isolates, respectively. The first two genes were more prevalent in Enterococcus faecalis than in Enterococcus faecium, as was biofilm formation, which was associated with gelE and asa1 genes, but not with the esp gene. The presence of gelE and the activity of gelatinase were not fully concordant. No relationship was observed among any virulence factors and specific subclones of E. faecalis or E. faecium resistant to vancomycin. In conclusion, E. faecalis and E. faecium isolates showed significantly different patterns of virulence determinants. Neither the source of isolation nor the clonal relationship or vancomycin resistance influenced their distribution.
Gandomkar, Ziba; Brennan, Patrick C.; Mello-Thoms, Claudia
Mitotic count is helpful in determining the aggressiveness of breast cancer. In previous studies, it was shown that the agreement among pathologists for grading mitotic index is fairly modest, as mitoses have a large variety of appearances and they could be mistaken for other similar objects. In this study, we determined local and contextual features that differ significantly between easily identifiable mitoses and challenging ones. The images were obtained from the Mitosis-Atypia 2014 challenge. In total, the dataset contained 453 mitotic figures. Two pathologists annotated each mitotic figure. In case of disagreement, an opinion from a third pathologist was requested. The mitoses were grouped into three categories, those recognized as "a true mitosis" by both pathologists ,those labelled as "a true mitosis" by only one of the first two readers and also the third pathologist, and those annotated as "probably a mitosis" by all readers or the majority of them. After color unmixing, the mitoses were segmented from H channel. Shape-based features along with intensity-based and textural features were extracted from H-channel, blue ratio channel and five different color spaces. Holistic features describing each image were also considered. The Kruskal-Wallis H test was used to identify significantly different features. Multiple comparisons were done using the rank-based version of Tukey-Kramer test. The results indicated that there are local and global features which differ significantly among different groups. In addition, variations between mitoses in different groups were captured in the features from HSL and LCH color space more than other ones.
Bolker, Benjamin M; Nanda, Arjun; Shah, Dharmini
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.
Franic, Duska M; Haddock, Sarah M; Tucker, Leslie Tootle; Wooten, Nathan
To use the determinant attribute approach, a research method commonly used in marketing to identify the wants of various consumer groups, to evaluate consumer pharmacy choice when having a prescription order filled in different pharmacy settings. Cross sectional. Community independent, grocery store, community chain, and discount store pharmacies in Georgia between April 2005 and April 2006. Convenience sample of adult pharmacy consumers (n = 175). Survey measuring consumer preferences on 26 attributes encompassing general pharmacy site features (16 items), pharmacist characteristics (5 items), and pharmacy staff characteristics (5 items). 26 potential determinant attributes for pharmacy selection. 175 consumers were surveyed at community independent (n = 81), grocery store (n = 44), community chain (n = 27), or discount store (n = 23) pharmacy settings. The attributes of pharmacists and staff at all four pharmacy settings were shown to affect pharmacy patronage motives, although consumers frequenting non-community independent pharmacies were also motivated by secondary convenience factors, e.g., hours of operation, and prescription coverage. Most consumers do not perceive pharmacies as merely prescription-distribution centers that vary only by convenience. Prescriptions are not just another economic good. Pharmacy personnel influence pharmacy selection; therefore, optimal staff selection and training is likely the greatest asset and most important investment for ensuring pharmacy success.
Nasser, William; Reverchon, Sylvie; Vedel, Regine; Boccara, Martine
Erwinia chrysanthemi strain 3937 is a necrotrophic bacterial plant pathogen. Pectinolytic enzymes and, in particular, pectate lyases play a key role in soft rot symptoms; however, the efficient colonization of plants by E. chrysanthemi requires additional factors. These factors include HrpN (harpin), a heat-stable, glycine-rich hydrophilic protein, which is secreted by the type III secretion system. We investigated the expression of hrpN in E. chrysanthemi 3937 in various environmental conditions and different regulatory backgrounds. Using lacZ fusions, hrpN expression was markedly influenced by the carbon source, osmolarity, growth phase, and growth substrate. hrpN was repressed when pectinolysis started and negatively regulated by the repressors of pectate lyase synthesis, PecS and PecT. Primer extension data and in vitro DNA-protein interaction experiments support a model whereby PecS represses hrpN expression by binding to the hrpN regulatory region and inhibiting transcript elongation. The results suggest coordinated regulation of HrpN and pectate lyases by PecS and PecT. A putative model of the synthesis of these two virulence factors in E. chrysanthemi during pathogenesis is presented.
Das, Sankar; Kanamoto, Taisei; Ge, Xiuchun; Xu, Ping; Unoki, Takeshi; Munro, Cindy L; Kitten, Todd
Streptococcus sanguinis is an important cause of infective endocarditis. Previous studies have identified lipoproteins as virulence determinants in other streptococcal species. Using a bioinformatic approach, we identified 52 putative lipoprotein genes in S. sanguinis strain SK36 as well as genes encoding the lipoprotein-processing enzymes prolipoprotein diacylglyceryl transferase (lgt) and signal peptidase II (lspA). We employed a directed signature-tagged mutagenesis approach to systematically disrupt these genes and screen each mutant for the loss of virulence in an animal model of endocarditis. All mutants were viable. In competitive index assays, mutation of a putative phosphate transporter reduced in vivo competitiveness by 14-fold but also reduced in vitro viability by more than 20-fold. Mutations in lgt, lspA, or an uncharacterized lipoprotein gene reduced competitiveness by two- to threefold in the animal model and in broth culture. Mutation of ssaB, encoding a putative metal transporter, produced a similar effect in culture but reduced in vivo competiveness by >1,000-fold. [(3)H]palmitate labeling and Western blot analysis confirmed that the lgt mutant failed to acylate lipoproteins, that the lspA mutant had a general defect in lipoprotein cleavage, and that SsaB was processed differently in both mutants. These results indicate that the loss of a single lipoprotein, SsaB, dramatically reduces endocarditis virulence, whereas the loss of most other lipoproteins or of normal lipoprotein processing has no more than a minor effect on virulence.
Das, Sankar; Kanamoto, Taisei; Ge, Xiuchun; Xu, Ping; Unoki, Takeshi; Munro, Cindy L.; Kitten, Todd
Streptococcus sanguinis is an important cause of infective endocarditis. Previous studies have identified lipoproteins as virulence determinants in other streptococcal species. Using a bioinformatic approach, we identified 52 putative lipoprotein genes in S. sanguinis strain SK36 as well as genes encoding the lipoprotein-processing enzymes prolipoprotein diacylglyceryl transferase (lgt) and signal peptidase II (lspA). We employed a directed signature-tagged mutagenesis approach to systematically disrupt these genes and screen each mutant for the loss of virulence in an animal model of endocarditis. All mutants were viable. In competitive index assays, mutation of a putative phosphate transporter reduced in vivo competitiveness by 14-fold but also reduced in vitro viability by more than 20-fold. Mutations in lgt, lspA, or an uncharacterized lipoprotein gene reduced competitiveness by two- to threefold in the animal model and in broth culture. Mutation of ssaB, encoding a putative metal transporter, produced a similar effect in culture but reduced in vivo competiveness by >1,000-fold. [3H]palmitate labeling and Western blot analysis confirmed that the lgt mutant failed to acylate lipoproteins, that the lspA mutant had a general defect in lipoprotein cleavage, and that SsaB was processed differently in both mutants. These results indicate that the loss of a single lipoprotein, SsaB, dramatically reduces endocarditis virulence, whereas the loss of most other lipoproteins or of normal lipoprotein processing has no more than a minor effect on virulence. PMID:19395487
Olejnickova, Katerina; Hola, Veronika; Ruzicka, Filip
The nosocomial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa is equipped with a large arsenal of cell-associated and secreted virulence factors which enhance its invasive potential. The complex relationships among virulence determinants have hitherto not been fully elucidated. In the present study, 175 catheter-related isolates were observed for the presence of selected virulence factors, namely extracellular enzymes and siderophore production, biofilm formation, resistance to antibiotics, and motility. A high percentage of the strains produced most of the tested virulence factors. A positive correlation was identified between the production of several exoproducts, and also between the formation of both types of biofilm. An opposite trend was observed between the two types of biofilm and the production of siderophores. Whereas the relationship between the submerged biofilm production (i.e. the biofilm formed on the solid surface below the water level) and the siderophore secretion was negative, the production of air-liquid interface (A-L) biofilm (i.e. the biofilm floating on the surface of the cultivation medium) and the siderophore secretion were positively correlated. All correlations were statistically significant at the level P = 0.05 with the correlation coefficient γ ≥ 0.50. Our results suggest that: (1) the co-production of the lytic enzymes and siderophores can play an important role in the pathogenesis of the catheter-related infections and should be taken into account when the virulence potential is assessed; (2) biofilm-positive strains are capable of forming both submerged and non-attached A-L biofilms; and (3) the different micro-environment in the submerged biofilm and A-L biofilm layers have opposite consequences for the production of other virulence factors. © 2014 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.
Ronaldson, Sarah J; Dyson, Lisa; Clark, Laura; Hewitt, Catherine E; Torgerson, David J; Cooper, Brendan G; Kearney, Matt; Laughey, William; Raghunath, Raghu; Steele, Lisa; Rhodes, Rebecca; Adamson, Joy
Early identification of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) results in patients receiving appropriate management for their condition at an earlier stage in their disease. The determining the optimal approach to identifying individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (DOC) study was a case-finding study to enhance early identification of COPD in primary care, which evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of a series of simple lung function tests and symptom-based case-finding questionnaires. Current smokers aged 35 or more were invited to undertake a series of case-finding tools, which comprised lung function tests (specifically, spirometry, microspirometry, peak flow meter, and WheezoMeter) and several case-finding questionnaires. The effectiveness of these tests, individually or in combination, to identify small airways obstruction was evaluated against the gold standard of spirometry, with the quality of spirometry tests assessed by independent overreaders. The study was conducted with general practices in the Yorkshire and Humberside area, in the UK. Six hundred eighty-one individuals met the inclusion criteria, with 444 participants completing their study appointments. A total of 216 (49%) with good-quality spirometry readings were included in the analysis. The most effective case-finding tools were found to be the peak flow meter alone, the peak flow meter plus WheezoMeter, and microspirometry alone. In addition to the main analysis, where the severity of airflow obstruction was based on fixed ratios and percent of predicted values, sensitivity analyses were conducted by using lower limit of normal values. This research informs the choice of test for COPD identification; case-finding by use of the peak flow meter or microspirometer could be used routinely in primary care for suspected COPD patients. Only those testing positive to these tests would move on to full spirometry, thereby reducing unnecessary spirometric testing. © 2018 John Wiley
Zeng, Huihui; Liu, Jia; Ling, Junqi
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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
Park, Jinkyun; Jung, Wondea
Highlights: • Reliable estimation on the likelihood of human error is very critical. • Still there is no clear and objective criterion on a complicated task. • Subjective difficulty scores rated by 75 high speed train drivers are collected. • Collected difficulty scores are compared with the associated TACOM scores. • Criteria for task complexity level seem to be determined by the TACOM measure. - Abstract: A reliable estimation on the likelihood of human error is very critical for evaluating the safety of a large process control system such as NPPs (Nuclear Power Plants). In this regard, one of the determinants is to decide the level of an important PSF (Performance Shaping Factor) through a clear and objective manner along with the context of a given task. Unfortunately, it seems that there are no such decision criteria for certain PSFs including the complexity of a task. Therefore, the feasibility of the TACOM (Task Complexity) measure in providing objective criteria that are helpful for distinguishing the level of a task complexity is investigated in this study. To this end, subjective difficulty scores rated by 75 high-speed train drivers are collected for 38 tasks. After that, subjective difficulty scores are compared with the associated TACOM scores being quantified based on these tasks. As a result, it is observed that there is a significant correlation between subjective difficulty scores rated by high-speed train drivers and the associated TACOM scores. Accordingly, it is promising to expect that the TACOM measure can be used as an objective tool to identify the level of a task complexity in terms of an HRA (Human Reliability Analysis)
Patxi San Martin-Uriz
Full Text Available Acidiphilium spp. are conspicuous dwellers of acidic, metal-rich environments. Indeed, they are among the most metal-resistant organisms; yet little is known about the mechanisms behind the metal tolerance in this genus. Acidiphilium sp. PM is an environmental isolate from Rio Tinto, an acidic, metal-laden river located in southwestern Spain. The characterization of its metal resistance revealed a remarkable ability to tolerate high Ni concentrations. Here we report the screening of a genomic library of Acidiphilium sp. PM to identify genes involved in Ni resistance. This approach revealed seven different genes conferring Ni resistance to E. coli, two of which form an operon encoding the ATP-dependent protease HslVU (ClpQY. This protease was found to enhance resistance to both Ni and Co in E. coli, a function not previously reported. Other Ni-resistance determinants include genes involved in lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis and the synthesis of branched amino acids. The diversity of molecular functions of the genes recovered in the screening suggests that Ni resistance in Acidiphilium sp. PM probably relies on different molecular mechanisms.
Leon David A
Full Text Available Abstract Background It is thought that excessive alcohol consumption is related to the high mortality among working age men in Russia. Moreover it has been suggested that alcohol is a key proximate driver of the very sharp fluctuations in mortality seen in this group since the mid-1980s. Designing an individual-level study suitable to address the potential acute effects of alcohol consumption on mortality in Russia has posed a challenge to epidemiologists, especially because of the need to identify factors that could underlie the rapid changes up and down in mortality rates that have been such a distinctive feature of the Russian mortality crisis. In order to address this study question which focuses on exposures acting shortly before sudden death, a cohort would be unfeasibly large and would suffer from recruitment bias. Methods Although the situation in Russia is unusual, with a very high death rate characterised by many sudden and apparently unexpected deaths in young men, the methodological problem is common to research on any cause of death where many deaths are sudden. Results We describe the development of an innovative approach that has overcome some of these challenges: a case-control study employing proxy informants and external data sources to collect information about proximate determinants of mortality. Conclusion This offers a set of principles that can be adopted by epidemiologists studying sudden and unexpected deaths in other settings.
Judy Natalia Jiménez
Full Text Available Virulence and antibiotic resistance are significant determinants of the types of infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus and paediatric groups remain among the most commonly affected populations. The goal of this study was to characterise virulence genes of methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA strains isolated from a paediatric population of a Colombian University Hospital during 2009. Sixty MSSA and MRSA isolates were obtained from paediatric patients between zero-14 years. We identified the genes encoding virulence factors, which included Panton-Valentine leucocidine (PVL, staphylococcal enterotoxins A-E, exfoliative toxins A and B and toxic shock syndrome toxin 1. Typing of the staphylococcal chromosome cassette mec (SCCmec was performed in MRSA strains. The virulence genes were more diverse and frequent in MSSA than in MRSA isolates (83% vs. 73%. MRSA strains harboured SCCmec types IVc (60%, I (30%, IVa (7% and V (3%. SCCmec type IVc isolates frequently carried the PVL encoding genes and harboured virulence determinants resembling susceptible strains while SCCmec type I isolates were often negative. PVL was not exclusive to skin and soft tissue infections. As previously suggested, these differences in the distribution of virulence factor genes may be due to the fitness cost associated with methicillin resistance.
Jiménez, Judy Natalia; Ocampo, Ana María; Vanegas, Johanna Marcela; Rodríguez, Erika Andrea; Garcés, Carlos Guillermo; Patiño, Luz Adriana; Ospina, Sigifredo; Correa, Margarita María
Virulence and antibiotic resistance are significant determinants of the types of infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus and paediatric groups remain among the most commonly affected populations. The goal of this study was to characterise virulence genes of methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strains isolated from a paediatric population of a Colombian University Hospital during 2009. Sixty MSSA and MRSA isolates were obtained from paediatric patients between zero-14 years. We identified the genes encoding virulence factors, which included Panton-Valentine leucocidine (PVL), staphylococcal enterotoxins A-E, exfoliative toxins A and B and toxic shock syndrome toxin 1. Typing of the staphylococcal chromosome cassette mec (SCCmec) was performed in MRSA strains. The virulence genes were more diverse and frequent in MSSA than in MRSA isolates (83% vs. 73%). MRSA strains harboured SCCmec types IVc (60%), I (30%), IVa (7%) and V (3%). SCCmec type IVc isolates frequently carried the PVL encoding genes and harboured virulence determinants resembling susceptible strains while SCCmec type I isolates were often negative. PVL was not exclusive to skin and soft tissue infections. As previously suggested, these differences in the distribution of virulence factor genes may be due to the fitness cost associated with methicillin resistance.
Tönjes, Anke; Scholz, Markus; Krüger, Jacqueline; Krause, Kerstin; Schleinitz, Dorit; Kirsten, Holger; Gebhardt, Claudia; Marzi, Carola; Grallert, Harald; Ladenvall, Claes; Heyne, Henrike; Laurila, Esa; Kriebel, Jennifer; Meisinger, Christa; Rathmann, Wolfgang; Gieger, Christian; Groop, Leif; Prokopenko, Inga; Isomaa, Bo; Beutner, Frank; Kratzsch, Jürgen; Fischer-Rosinsky, Antje; Pfeiffer, Andreas; Krohn, Knut; Spranger, Joachim; Thiery, Joachim; Blüher, Matthias; Stumvoll, Michael; Kovacs, Peter
Progranulin is a secreted protein with important functions in processes including immune and inflammatory response, metabolism and embryonic development. The present study aimed at identification of genetic factors determining progranulin concentrations. We conducted a genome-wide association meta-analysis for serum progranulin in three independent cohorts from Europe: Sorbs (N = 848) and KORA (N = 1628) from Germany and PPP-Botnia (N = 335) from Finland (total N = 2811). Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with progranulin levels were replicated in two additional German cohorts: LIFE-Heart Study (Leipzig; N = 967) and Metabolic Syndrome Berlin Potsdam (Berlin cohort; N = 833). We measured mRNA expression of genes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) by micro-arrays and performed mRNA expression quantitative trait and expression-progranulin association studies to functionally substantiate identified loci. Finally, we conducted siRNA silencing experiments in vitro to validate potential candidate genes within the associated loci. Heritability of circulating progranulin levels was estimated at 31.8% and 26.1% in the Sorbs and LIFE-Heart cohort, respectively. SNPs at three loci reached study-wide significance (rs660240 in CELSR2-PSRC1-MYBPHL-SORT1, rs4747197 in CDH23-PSAP and rs5848 in GRN) explaining 19.4%/15.0% of the variance and 61%/57% of total heritability in the Sorbs/LIFE-Heart Study. The strongest evidence for association was at rs660240 (P = 5.75 × 10-50), which was also associated with mRNA expression of PSRC1 in PBMC (P = 1.51 × 10-21). Psrc1 knockdown in murine preadipocytes led to a consecutive 30% reduction in progranulin secretion. In conclusion, the present meta-GWAS combined with mRNA expression identified three loci associated with progranulin and supports the role of PSRC1 in the regulation of progranulin secretion. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights
Sahar Babaei Hessar
Full Text Available Introduction: Groundwater is the most important resource of providing sanitary water for potable and household consumption. So continuous monitoring of groundwater level will play an important role in water resource management. But because of the large amount of information, evaluation of water table is a costly and time consuming process. Therefore, in many studies, the data and information aren’t suitable and useful and so, must be neglected. The PCA technique is an optimized mathematical method that reserve data with the highest share in affirming variance with recognizing less important data and limits the original variables into to a few components. In this technique, variation factors called principle components are identified with considering data structures. Thus, variables those have the highest correlation coefficient with principal components are extracted as a result of identifying the components that create the greatest variance. Materials and Methods: The study region has an area of approximately 962 Km2 and area located between 37º 21´ N to 37º 49´ N and 44º 57´ E to 45º 16´ E in West Azerbaijan province of Iran. This area placed along the mountainous north-west of the country, which ends with the plane Urmia Lake and has vast groundwater resources. However, recently the water table has been reduced considerably because of the exceeded exploitation as a result of urbanization and increased agricultural and horticultural land uses. In the present study, the annual water table datasets in 51wells monitored by Ministry of Energy during statistical periods of 2002-2011 were used to data analysis. In order to identify the effective wells in determination of groundwater level, the PCA technique was used. In this research to compute the relative importance of each well, 10 wells were identified with the nearest neighbor for each one. The number of wells (p as a general rule must be less or equal to the maximum number of
Jennifer K Bender
Full Text Available The larvae of the wax moth, Galleria mellonella, have been used experimentally to host a range of bacterial and fungal pathogens. In this study we evaluated the suitability of G. mellonella as an alternative animal model of Salmonella infection. Using a range of inoculum doses we established that the LD₅₀ of SalmonellaTyphimurium strain NCTC 12023 was 3.6 × 10³ bacteria per larva. Further, a set of isogenic mutant strains depleted of known virulence factors was tested to identify determinants essential for S. Typhimurium pathogenesis. Mutants depleted of one or both of the type III secretion systems encoded by Salmonella Pathogenicity Islands 1 and 2 showed no virulence defect. In contrast, we observed reduced pathogenic potential of a phoQ mutant indicating an important role for the PhoPQ two-component signal transduction system. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS structure was also shown to influence Salmonella virulence in G. mellonella. A waaL(rfaL mutant, which lacks the entire O-antigen (OAg, was virtually avirulent, while a wzz(ST/wzz(fepE double mutant expressing only a very short OAg was highly attenuated for virulence. Furthermore, shortly after infection both LPS mutant strains showed decreased replication when compared to the wild type in a flow cytometry-based competitive index assay. In this study we successfully established a G. mellonella model of S. Typhimurium infection. By identifying PhoQ and LPS OAg length as key determinants of virulence in the wax moth larvae we proved that there is an overlap between this and other animal model systems, thus confirming that the G. mellonella infection model is suitable for assessing aspects of Salmonella virulence function.
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.
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
Lay, Khin Khin; Koowattananukul, Chailai; Chansong, Nisit; Chuanchuen, Rungtip
A total of 344 commensal Escherichia coli isolates from clinically healthy pigs were examined for antimicrobial resistance phenotypes, class 1 integrons, resistance genes, virulence gene profile, and phylogenetic groups. The majority of E. coli isolates were resistant to tetracycline (96.2%) and ampicillin (91.6%). Up to 98% were multidrug resistant. Seventy-three percent of the isolates carried class 1 integrons. Inserted-gene cassette arrays in variable regions included incomplete sat, aadA22, aadA1, dfrA12-aadA2, and sat-psp-aadA2, of which the aadA2 gene cassette was most prevalent (42.9%). Horizontal transfer was detected in eight E. coli isolates carrying class 1 integrons with dfrA12-aadA2 gene cassette array. Sixteen resistance genes were identified among the E. coli isolates with corresponding resistance phenotype. Ten virulence genes (including elt, estA, estB, astA, faeG, fasA, fedA, eaeA, paa, and sepA) were detected, of which fasA was most commonly found (98.3%). Most of the E. coli isolates belonged to phylogenetic group B1. Significantly positive associations were observed between some virulence genes and some resistance phenotypes and genotypes (p antimicrobial resistance-encoding genes and virulence determinants.
Ronneau, Severin; Moussa, Simon; Barbier, Thibault; Conde-Álvarez, Raquel; Zuniga-Ripa, Amaia; Moriyon, Ignacio; Letesson, Jean-Jacques
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.
Rathnayake, I U; Hargreaves, M; Huygens, F
This study compared virulence and antibiotic resistance traits in clinical and environmental Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium isolates. E. faecalis isolates harboured a broader spectrum of virulence determinants compared to E. faecium isolates. The virulence traits Cyl-A, Cyl-B, Cyl-M, gel-E, esp and acm were tested and environmental isolates predominantly harboured gel-E (80% of E. faecalis and 31.9% of E. faecium) whereas esp was more prevalent in clinical isolates (67.8% of E. faecalis and 70.4% of E. faecium). E. faecalis and E. faecium isolated from water had different antibiotic resistance patterns compared to those isolated from clinical samples. Linezolid resistance was not observed in any isolates tested and vancomycin resistance was observed only in clinical isolates. Resistance to other antibiotics (tetracycline, gentamicin, ciprofloxacin and ampicillin) was detected in both clinical and water isolates. Clinical isolates were more resistant to all the antibiotics tested compared to water isolates. Multi-drug resistance was more prevalent in clinical isolates (71.2% of E. faecalis and 70.3% of E. faecium) compared to water isolates (only 5.7% E. faecium). tet L and tet M genes were predominantly identified in tetracycline-resistant isolates. All water and clinical isolates resistant to ciprofloxacin and ampicillin contained mutations in the gyrA, parC and pbp5 genes. A significant correlation was found between the presence of virulence determinants and antibiotic resistance in all the isolates tested in this study (pantibiotic resistant enterococci, together with associated virulence traits, in surface recreational water could be a public health risk. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
Turner, Lauren Senty; Das, Sankar; Kanamoto, Taisei; Munro, Cindy L; Kitten, Todd
Completion of the genome sequence of Streptococcus sanguinis SK36 necessitates tools for further characterization of this species. It is often desirable to insert antibiotic resistance markers and other exogenous genes into the chromosome; therefore, we sought to identify a chromosomal site for ectopic expression of foreign genes, and to verify that insertion into this site did not affect important cellular phenotypes. We designed three plasmid constructs for insertion of erm, aad9 or tetM resistance determinants into a genomic region encoding only a small (65 aa) hypothetical protein. To determine whether this insertion affected important cellular properties, SK36 and its erythromycin-resistant derivative, JFP36, were compared for: (i) growth in vitro, (ii) genetic competence, (iii) biofilm formation and (iv) virulence for endocarditis in the rabbit model of infective endocarditis (IE). The spectinomycin-resistant strain, JFP56, and tetracycline-resistant strain, JFP76, were also tested for virulence in vivo. Insertion of erm did not affect growth, competence or biofilm development of JFP36. Recovery of bacteria from heart valves of co-inoculated rabbits was similar to wild-type for JFP36, JFP56 and JFP76, indicating that IE virulence was not significantly affected. The capacity for mutant complementation in vivo was explored in an avirulent ssaB mutant background. Expression of ssaB from its predicted promoter in the target region restored IE virulence. Thus, the chromosomal site utilized is a good candidate for further manipulations of S. sanguinis. In addition, the resistant strains developed may be further applied as controls to facilitate screening for virulence factors in vivo.
Ranjith, Konduri; Sontam, Bhavani; Sharma, Savitri; Joseph, Joveeta; Chathoth, Kanchana N; Sama, Kalyana C; Murthy, Somasheila I; Shivaji, Sisinthy
To determine the type of Candida species in ocular infections and to investigate the relationship of antifungal susceptibility profile to virulence factors. Fifty isolates of yeast-like fungi from patients with keratitis, endophthalmitis, and orbital cellulitis were identified by Vitek-2 compact system and DNA sequencing of ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 regions of the rRNA gene, followed by phylogenetic analysis for phenotypic and genotypic identification, respectively. Minimum inhibitory concentration of six antifungal drugs was determined by E test/microbroth dilution methods. Phenotypic and genotypic methods were used to determine the virulence factors. Phylogenetic analysis showed the clustering of all isolates into eight distinct groups with a major cluster formed Candida parapsilosis (n = 21), which was the most common species by both Vitek 2 and DNA sequencing. Using χ2 test no significant difference was noted between the techniques except that Vitek 2 did not identify C. viswanathii, C. orthopsilosis, and two non-Candida genera. Of 43 tested Candida isolates high susceptibility to amphotericin B (39/43, 90.6%) and natamycin (43/43, 100%) was noted. While none of the isolates produced coagulase, all produced esterase and catalase. The potential to form biofilm was detected in 23/43 (53.4%) isolates. Distribution of virulence factors by heat map analysis showed difference in metabolic activity of biofilm producers from nonbiofilm producers. Identified by Vitek 2 and DNA sequencing methods C. parapsilosis was the most common species associated with eye infections. Irrespective of the virulence factors elaborated, the Candida isolates were susceptible to commonly used antifungal drugs such as amphotericin B and natamycin.
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.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In a tri-coastal collaborative study, the population densities of vibrios are being determined in the Mississippi Sound, Puget Sound, Chesapeake Bay, and Timbalier...
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
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.
Aaron Mischa Nuss
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.
Sahukhal, Gyan S; Elasri, Mohamed O
Community-acquired, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains often cause localized infections in immunocompromised hosts, but some strains show enhanced virulence leading to severe infections even among healthy individuals with no predisposing risk factors. The genetic basis for this enhanced virulence has yet to be determined. S. aureus possesses a wide variety of virulence factors, the expression of which is carefully coordinated by a variety of regulators. Several virulence regulators have been well characterized, but others have yet to be thoroughly investigated. Previously, we identified the msa gene as a regulator of several virulence genes, biofilm development, and antibiotic resistance. We also found evidence of the involvement of upstream genes in msa function. To investigate the mechanism of regulation of the msa gene (renamed msaC), we examined the upstream genes whose expression was affected by its deletion. We showed that msaC is part of a newly defined four-gene operon (msaABCR), in which msaC is a non-protein-coding RNA that is essential for the function of the operon. Furthermore, we found that an antisense RNA (msaR) is complementary to the 5' end of the msaB gene and is expressed in a growth phase-dependent manner suggesting that it is involved in regulation of the operon. These findings allow us to define a new operon that regulates fundamental phenotypes in S. aureus such as biofilm development and virulence. Characterization of the msaABCR operon will allow us to investigate the mechanism of function of this operon and the role of the individual genes in regulation and interaction with its targets. This study identifies a new element in the complex regulatory circuits in S. aureus, and our findings may be therapeutically relevant.
determinants would be prioritized in order to avoid an eventual misallocation of scarce resources. The analysis of relevant data showed that frailty effects were significant in .... software, R Development Core Team(2009). Analytical ... mortality may change because of changes in background variables operating through ...
The key determinants would be prioritized in order to avoid an eventual misallocation of ... constraints of being a landlocked country, high transport costs, low natural resource base, limited .... intrinsically unobservable variables such as ability, common environmental exposures ..... eventual intervention outcomes. The study ...
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*
Bhattacharya, Sarbani; Liang, Zhong; Quek, Adam J.; Ploplis, Victoria A.; Law, Ruby; Castellino, Francis J.
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
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.
Bhattacharya, Sarbani; Liang, Zhong; Quek, Adam J; Ploplis, Victoria A; Law, Ruby; Castellino, Francis J
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.
Kaman, W.E.; Hawkey, S.; Kleij, D. van der; Broekhuijsen, M.P.; Silman, N.J.; Bikker, F.J.
We determined the role of Yersinia pestis virulence markers in an animal model of pneumonic plague. Eleven strains of Y. pestis were characterized using PCR assays to detect the presence of known virulence genes both encoded by the three plasmids as well as chromosomal markers. The virulence of all
Fris, Megan E; Murphy, Erin R
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.
Virulence Plasmid (pYV-Associated Expression of Phenotypic Virulent Determinants in Pathogenic Yersinia Species: A Convenient Method for Monitoring the Presence of pYV under Culture Conditions and Its Application for Isolation/Detection of Yersinia pestis in Food
Full Text Available In Yersinia pestis, Y. pseudotuberculosis, and Y. enterocolitica, phenotypic expression of virulence plasmid (pYV: 70-kb-associated genetic determinants may include low-calcium response (Lcr, pinpoint colony, size = 0.36 mm, colony morphology (size = 1.13 mm, crystal violet (CV binding (dark-violet colony, Congo Red (CR uptake (red pinpoint colony, size = 0.36 mm, autoagglutination (AA = cells agglutinate, and hydrophobicity (HP = clumping of cells. Y. pseudotuberculosis is chromosomally closely related to Y. pestis; whereas, Y. enterocolitica is chromosomally more distantly related to Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis. All three species demonstrate Lcr, CV binding, and CR uptake. The colony morphology/size, AA, and HP characteristics are expressed in both Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. enterocolitica but not in Y. pestis. Congo red uptake in Y. pestis was demonstrated only on calcium-deficient CR magnesium oxalate tryptic soy agar (CR-MOX, whereas this phenotype was expressed on both CR-MOX and low-calcium agarose media in Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. enterocolitica. These phenotypes were detectable at 37°C within 24 h in Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis but did not appear until 48 h in Y. pestis due to its slower growth rate at 37°C. The pYV is unstable (i.e., easily lost under a variety of culture conditions in all three species but is more unstable in Y. pestis. The specific CR uptake by Y. pestis in CR-MOX and the delayed time interval to express Lcr and CR uptake provide a means to differentiate Y. pestis from Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis. These differences in pYV expression in Y. pestis can be used for its isolation and detection in food.
Hankonen, Nelli; Absetz, Pilvikki; Kinnunen, Marja; Haukkala, Ari; Jallinoja, Piia
Measurement of social cognitive variables is often restricted to long-term and health-related outcomes. A more comprehensive measurement of cognitive determinants would enable evidence-based design of health behavior interventions with a focus on the most relevant targets. The purpose of this study was to examine the relative impact of different social cognitive determinants on fruit and vegetable (FV) and fast food consumption. Finnish male conscripts (N = 855, age M = 20) filled in questionnaires on social cognitive factors when entering the military service, and on food consumption frequency after two months. The data were analysed using structural equation modeling. Physical well-being expectation and bad taste expectation were most strongly related to both FV and fat avoidance intentions. Perceived weight gain risk predicted fat avoidance intention, whereas perceived risk for other health problems predicted FV intention. Social self-efficacy was associated with FV intention only. Consumption of both FV and fast food was predicted by action planning and intention. A more careful evaluation of subtypes of social cognitions sheds light on the specific content behind motivation. Such understanding might help in designing more effective intervention messages. © 2012 The Authors. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being © 2012 The International Association of Applied Psychology.
Lomholt, Hans Bredsted; Andersen, KE; Kilian, Mogens
A prospective cohort study was undertaken to determine the clonal dynamics of Staphylococcus aureus colonization and infection during 1 y in children with atopic dermatitis, and to correlate specific clones, accessory gene regulator (agr) groups, and production of virulence factors with eczema......, toxins, and were assigned to agr groups. S. aureus colonization patterns ranged from rare colonization over transient colonization to persistent colonization by a single clone or a dynamic exchange of up to five clones. Production of no single virulence factor including superantigens and toxins...... activity. Eleven children were examined every 6 wk with swaps taken from active eczema, anterior nose, axillae and perineum, and scoring of eczema activity by severity scoring of atopic dermatitis (SCORAD). Individual S. aureus clonal types were identified and examined for production of superantigens...
Till, Benedikt; Herberth, Arno; Sonneck, Gernot; Vitouch, Peter; Niederkrotenthaler, Thomas
Identification with a media character is an influential factor for the effects of a media product on the recipient, but still very little is known about this cognitive process. This study investigated to what extent identification of a recipient with the suicidal protagonist of a film drama is influenced by the similarity between them in terms of sex, age, and education as well as by the viewer's empathy and suicidality. Sixty adults were assigned randomly to one of two film groups. Both groups watched a drama that concluded with the tragic suicide of the protagonist. Identification, empathy, suicidality, as well as socio-demographic data were measured by questionnaires that were applied before and after the movie screening. Results indicated that identification was not associated with socio-demographic similarity or the viewer's suicidality. However, the greater the subjects' empathy was, the more they identified with the protagonist in one of the two films. This investigation provides evidence that challenges the common assumption that identification with a film character is automatically generated when viewer and protagonist are similar in terms of sex, age, education or attitude.
Fan, Jingyuan; Zhang, Yongshu; Chuang-Smith, Olivia N.; Frank, Kristi L.; Guenther, Brian D.; Kern, Marissa; Schlievert, Patrick M.; Herzberg, Mark C.
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, ...
Ben-Ami, Frida; Routtu, Jarkko
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.
Yoann Le Breton
Full Text Available The Group A Streptococcus remains a significant human pathogen causing a wide array of disease ranging from self-limiting to life-threatening invasive infections. Epithelium (skin or throat colonization with progression to the subepithelial tissues is the common step in all GAS infections. Here, we used transposon-sequencing (Tn-seq to define the GAS 5448 genetic requirements for in vivo fitness in subepithelial tissue. A near-saturation transposon library of the M1T1 GAS 5448 strain was injected subcutaneously into mice, producing suppurative inflammation at 24 h that progressed to prominent abscesses with tissue necrosis at 48 h. The library composition was monitored en masse by Tn-seq and ratios of mutant abundance comparing the output (12, 24 and 48 h versus input (T0 mutant pools were calculated for each gene. We identified a total of 273 subcutaneous fitness (scf genes with 147 genes (55 of unknown function critical for the M1T1 GAS 5448 fitness in vivo; and 126 genes (53 of unknown function potentially linked to in vivo fitness advantage. Selected scf genes were validated in competitive subcutaneous infection with parental 5448. Two uncharacterized genes, scfA and scfB, encoding putative membrane-associated proteins and conserved among Gram-positive pathogens, were further characterized. Defined scfAB mutants in GAS were outcompeted by wild type 5448 in vivo, attenuated for lesion formation in the soft tissue infection model and dissemination to the bloodstream. We hypothesize that scfAB play an integral role in enhancing adaptation and fitness of GAS during localized skin infection, and potentially in propagation to other deeper host environments.
Le Breton, Yoann; Belew, Ashton T; Freiberg, Jeffrey A; Sundar, Ganesh S; Islam, Emrul; Lieberman, Joshua; Shirtliff, Mark E; Tettelin, Hervé; El-Sayed, Najib M; McIver, Kevin S
The Group A Streptococcus remains a significant human pathogen causing a wide array of disease ranging from self-limiting to life-threatening invasive infections. Epithelium (skin or throat) colonization with progression to the subepithelial tissues is the common step in all GAS infections. Here, we used transposon-sequencing (Tn-seq) to define the GAS 5448 genetic requirements for in vivo fitness in subepithelial tissue. A near-saturation transposon library of the M1T1 GAS 5448 strain was injected subcutaneously into mice, producing suppurative inflammation at 24 h that progressed to prominent abscesses with tissue necrosis at 48 h. The library composition was monitored en masse by Tn-seq and ratios of mutant abundance comparing the output (12, 24 and 48 h) versus input (T0) mutant pools were calculated for each gene. We identified a total of 273 subcutaneous fitness (scf) genes with 147 genes (55 of unknown function) critical for the M1T1 GAS 5448 fitness in vivo; and 126 genes (53 of unknown function) potentially linked to in vivo fitness advantage. Selected scf genes were validated in competitive subcutaneous infection with parental 5448. Two uncharacterized genes, scfA and scfB, encoding putative membrane-associated proteins and conserved among Gram-positive pathogens, were further characterized. Defined scfAB mutants in GAS were outcompeted by wild type 5448 in vivo, attenuated for lesion formation in the soft tissue infection model and dissemination to the bloodstream. We hypothesize that scfAB play an integral role in enhancing adaptation and fitness of GAS during localized skin infection, and potentially in propagation to other deeper host environments.
Enzo R. Bracamonte
Full Text Available The Chloris genus is a C4 photosynthetic species mainly distributed in tropical and subtropical regions. Populations of three Chloris species occurring in citrus orchards from central Cuba, under long history glyphosate-based weed management, were studied for glyphosate-resistant status by characterizing their herbicide resistance/tolerance mechanisms. Morphological and molecular analyses allowed these species to be identified as C. ciliata Sw., Chloris elata Desv., and Chloris barbata Sw. Based on the glyphosate rate that causes 50% mortality of the treated plants, glyphosate resistance (R was confirmed only in C. elata, The R population was 6.1-fold more resistant compared to the susceptible (S population. In addition, R plants of C. elata accumulated 4.6-fold less shikimate after glyphosate application than S plants. Meanwhile, populations of C. barbata and C. ciliata with or without glyphosate application histories showed similar LD50 values and shikimic acid accumulation rates, demonstrating that resistance to glyphosate have not evolved in these species. Plants of R and S populations of C. elata differed in 14C-glyphosate absorption and translocation. The R population exhibited 27.3-fold greater 5-enolpyruvyl shikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS activity than the S population due to a target site mutation corresponding to a Pro-106-Ser substitution found in the EPSPS gene. These reports show the innate tolerance to glyphosate of C. barbata and C. ciliata, and confirm the resistance of C. elata to this herbicide, showing that both non-target site and target-site mechanisms are involved in its resistance to glyphosate. This is the first case of herbicide resistance in Cuba.
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
Kim, Sihyeon; Lee, Se Jin; Nai, Yu-Shin; Yu, Jeong Seon; Lee, Mi Rong; Yang, Yi-Ting; Kim, Jae Su
The bean bug, Riptortus pedestris, is a major agricultural pest that reduces crop quality and value. Chemical pesticides have contributed to pest management, but resistance to these chemicals has significantly limited their use. Alternative strategies with different modes of action, such as entomopathogenic fungi, are therefore of great interest. Herein, we explored how entomopathogenic fungi can potentially be used to control the bean bug and focused on identifying virulence-related genes. Beauveria bassiana (JEF isolates) were assayed against bean bugs under laboratory conditions. One isolate, JEF-007, showed >80 % virulence by both spray and contact exposure methods. Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation (AtMT) of JEF-007 generated 249 random transformants, two of which (B1-06 and C1-49) showed significantly reduced virulence against Tenebrio molitor and R. pedestris immatures. Both species were used for rapid screening of virulence-reduced mutants. The two transformants had different morphologies, conidial production, and thermotolerance than the wild type. To determine the localization of the randomly inserted T-DNA, thermal asymmetric interlaced (TAIL) PCR was conducted and analysis of the two clones found multiple T-DNA insertions (two in B1-06 and three in C1-49). Genes encoding complex I intermediate-associated protein 30 (CIA30) and the autophagy protein (Atg22) were possibly disrupted by the T-DNA insertion and might be involved in the virulence. This work provides a strong platform for future functional genetic studies of bean bug-pathogenic B. bassiana. The genes putatively involved in fungal virulence should be experimentally validated by knockdown in future studies.
Stam, B.; van Gemert, M.J.C.; van Leeuwen, T.G.; Aalders, M.C.G.
Simulating the spatial and temporal behavior of bruises may identify methods that allow accurate age determination of bruises to assess child abuse. We developed a numerical 3D model to simulate the spatial kinetics of hemoglobin and bilirubin during the formation and healing of bruises. Using this
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.
Liu, Guan; Chen, Su-Ting; Yu, Xia; Li, Yu-Xun; Ling, Ying; Dong, Ling-Ling; Zheng, Su-Hua; Huang, Hai-Rong
A clinical isolate from a patient was identified as Mycobacterium chimaera, a recently identified species of nontuberculous Mycobacteria. The biochemical and molecular identity, drug sensitivity and virulence of this isolated strain were investigated. 16S rRNA, the 16S-23S ITS, hsp65 and rpoB were amplified, and their sequence similarities with other mycobacteria were analyzed. The minimum inhibitory concentrations of 22 anti-microbial agents against this isolate were established, and the virulence of the isolate was evaluated by intravenous injection into C57BL/6 mice using Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv as a control strain. Growth and morphological characteristics and mycolic acid profile analysis revealed that this isolated strain was a member of the Mycobacterium avium complex. BLAST analysis of the amplified sequences showed that the isolated strain was closely related to M. chimaera. Susceptibility testing showed that the isolate was sensitive to rifabutin, rifapentine, clarithromycin, azithromycin, imipenem and cefoxitin. Bacterial load determination and tissue histopathology of the infected mice indicated that the isolate was highly virulent. The first case of M. chimaera infection in China was evaluated. The information derived from this case may offer valuable guidance for clinical diagnosis and treatment.
Li, H; Ji, H; Wu, S S; Hou, B X
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
Delannoy, C M J; Zadoks, R N; Crumlish, M; Rodgers, D; Lainson, F A; Ferguson, H W; Turnbull, J; Fontaine, M C
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.
Rodríguez, Javier M; Moreno, Leticia Tais; Alejo, Alí; Lacasta, Anna; Rodríguez, Fernando; Salas, María L
The strain BA71V has played a key role in African swine fever virus (ASFV) research. It was the first genome sequenced, and remains the only genome completely determined. A large part of the studies on the function of ASFV genes, viral transcription, replication, DNA repair and morphogenesis, has been performed using this model. This avirulent strain was obtained by adaptation to grow in Vero cells of the highly virulent BA71 strain. We report here the analysis of the genome sequence of BA71 in comparison with that of BA71V. They possess the smallest genomes for a virulent or an attenuated ASFV, and are essentially identical except for a relatively small number of changes. We discuss the possible contribution of these changes to virulence. Analysis of the BA71 sequence allowed us to identify new similarities among ASFV proteins, and with database proteins including two ASFV proteins that could function as a two-component signaling network.
Full Text Available This study evaluates the presence of virulence factors and antibiotic susceptibility among enterococcal isolates from oral mucosal and deep infections. Forty-three enterococcal strains from oral mucosal lesions and 18 from deep infections were isolated from 830 samples that were sent during 2 years to Oral Microbiology, University of Gothenburg, for analysis. The 61 strains were identified by 16S rDNA, and characterized by the presence of the virulence genes efa A (endocarditis gene, gel E (gelatinase gene, ace (collagen binding antigen gene, asa (aggregation substance gene, cyl A (cytolysin activator gene and esp (surface adhesin gene, tested for the production of bacteriocins and presence of plasmids. MIC determination was performed using the E-test method against the most commonly used antibiotics in dentistry, for example, penicillin V, amoxicillin and clindamycin. Vancomycin was included in order to detect vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE strains. Sixty strains were identified as Enterococcus faecalis and one as Enterococcus faecium. All the virulence genes were detected in more than 93.3% (efa A and esp of the E. faecalis strains, while the presence of phenotypic characteristics was much lower (gelatinase 10% and hemolysin 16.7%. Forty-six strains produced bacteriocins and one to six plasmids were detected in half of the isolates. Enterococcal strains from oral infections had a high virulence capacity, showed bacteriocin production and had numerous plasmids. They were generally susceptible to ampicillins but were resistant to clindamycin, commonly used in dentistry, and no VRE-strain was found.
Fu, Qiang; Su, Zhixin; Cheng, Yuqiang; Wang, Zhaofei; Li, Shiyu; Wang, Heng'an; Sun, Jianhe; Yan, Yaxian
In order to investigate the diverse characteristics of clustered, regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) arrays and the distribution of virulence factor genes in avian Escherichia coli, 80 E. coli isolates obtained from chickens with avian pathogenic E. coli (APEC) or avian fecal commensal E. coli (AFEC) were identified. Using the multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR), five genes were subjected to phylogenetic typing and examined for CRISPR arrays to study genetic relatedness among the strains. The strains were further analyzed for CRISPR loci and virulence factor genes to determine a possible association between their CRISPR elements and their potential virulence. The strains were divided into five phylogenetic groups: A, B1, B2, D and E. It was confirmed that two types of CRISPR arrays, CRISPR1 and CRISPR2, which contain up to 246 distinct spacers, were amplified in most of the strains. Further classification of the isolates was achieved by sorting them into nine CRISPR clusters based on their spacer profiles, which indicates a candidate typing method for E. coli. Several significant differences in invasion-associated gene distribution were found between the APEC isolates and the AFEC isolates. Our results identified the distribution of 11 virulence genes and CRISPR diversity in 80 strains. It was demonstrated that, with the exception of iucD and aslA, there was no sharp demarcation in the gene distribution between the pathogenic (APEC) and commensal (AFEC) strains, while the total number of indicated CRISPR spacers may have a positive correlation with the potential pathogenicity of the E. coli isolates. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.
Emelie eNäslund Salomonsson
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.
Hatice Türk Dağı
Full Text Available Background: Staphylococus aureus can be found as a commensal on skin and nasal flora or it may cause local and invasive infections. S. aureus has a large number of virulence factors. Aims: To investigate the methicillin resistance and frequency of various virulence factors in S. aureus nasal isolates. Study Design: Descriptive study. Methods: Nasal samples collected from university students were cultured in media. S. aureus was identified by conventional methods and the Staphyloslide latex test (Becton Dickinson, Sparks, USA. Antibiotic susceptibility tests were conducted, and the methicillin resistance was determined. The mecA, nuc, pvl and staphylococcal toxin genes were examined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR. Results: S. aureus was isolated in 104 of 600 (17.3% nasal samples. In total, 101 (97.1% S. aureus isolates were methicillin-sensitive and the remaining 3 (2.9% were methicillin-resistant. Furthermore, all but five isolates carried at least one staphylococcal enterotoxin gene, with seg being predominant. The tst and eta genes were determined in 29 (27.9%, and 3 (2.9% isolates, respectively. None of the S. aureus isolates harbored see, etb, and pvl genes. Conclusion: A moderate rate of S. aureus carriage and low frequency of MRSA were detected in healthy students. S. aureus isolates had a high prevalence of staphylococcal enterotoxin genes and the tst gene. In this study, a large number of virulence factors were examined in S. aureus nasal isolates, and the data obtained from this study can be used for monitoring the prevalence of virulence genes in S. aureus strains isolated from nasal carriers.
Dashper, Stuart G; Mitchell, Helen L; Seers, Christine A; Gladman, Simon L; Seemann, Torsten; Bulach, Dieter M; Chandry, P Scott; Cross, Keith J; Cleal, Steven M; Reynolds, Eric C
Porphyromonas gingivalis is a keystone pathogen of chronic periodontitis. The virulence of P. gingivalis is reported to be strain related and there are currently a number of strain typing schemes based on variation in capsular polysaccharide, the major and minor fimbriae and adhesin domains of Lys-gingipain (Kgp), amongst other surface proteins. P. gingivalis can exchange chromosomal DNA between strains by natural competence and conjugation. The aim of this study was to determine the genetic variability of P. gingivalis strains sourced from international locations over a 25-year period and to determine if variability in surface virulence factors has a phylogenetic basis. Whole genome sequencing was performed on 13 strains and comparison made to 10 previously sequenced strains. A single nucleotide polymorphism-based phylogenetic analysis demonstrated a shallow tri-lobed phylogeny. There was a high level of reticulation in the phylogenetic network, demonstrating extensive horizontal gene transfer between the strains. Two highly conserved variants of the catalytic domain of the major virulence factor the Kgp proteinase (Kgp cat I and Kgp cat II) were found. There were three variants of the fourth Kgp C-terminal cleaved adhesin domain. Specific variants of the cell surface proteins FimA, FimCDE, MfaI, RagAB, Tpr, and PrtT were also identified. The occurrence of all these variants in the P. gingivalis strains formed a mosaic that was not related to the SNP-based phylogeny. In conclusion P. gingivalis uses domain rearrangements and genetic exchange to generate diversity in specific surface virulence factors.
Yoon, Hyunjin; Ansong, Charles; Adkins, Joshua N.; Heffron, Fred
We have previously shown that the regulators SpvR, FruR, IHF, PhoP/PhoQ, SsrA/SsrB, SlyA, Hnr, RpoE, SmpB, CsrA, RpoS, Crp, OmpR/EnvZ, and Hfq are essential for Salmonella Typhimurium virulence in mice. Here we use quantitative LC-MS-based proteomics profiling of in-frame deletion mutants of these 14 regulators to identify proteins that are coordinately regulated by these virulence regulators and are thus presumably novel factors contributing to Salmonella pathogenesis. Putative candidate proteins from proteomics analysis were determined, which exhibited similar abundance profiles to those of Salmonella pathogenicity island (SPI)-2 type III secretion system (TTSS) proteins. A subset of 5 proteins including STM0082, STM1548, PdgL, STM1633, and STM3595 was selected for further analysis. All 5 proteins were expressed inside macrophage cells and STM0082 (SrfN) was secreted into host cytoplasm. Furthermore, deletion of STM0082 attenuated virulence in mice when administered intraperitoneally as determined by competitive index. srfN transcription was positively regulated by SsrAB, however, secretion was independent of SPI-2 TTSS as well as SPI-1 TTSS and flagella. Proteins including PagK and STM2585A, which are positively regulated by PhoP/PhoQ, have sec signal peptides as predicted for SrfN and were secreted into macrophage cytoplasm regardless of SPI-2 TTSS. Isolation of outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) revealed the presence of SrfN, PagK, and STM2585A inside vesicle compartments. This result is the first case showing delivery of virulence effectors via OMVs in S. Typhimurium. Moreover, Hfq regulation of SrfN translation suggests that small non-coding RNAs may be responsible for regulating effector protein expression.
Full Text Available Abstract Background In this study, we evaluated the prevalence of primary resistance of Brazilian H. pylori isolates to metronidazole, clarithromycin, amoxicillin, tetracycline, and furazolidone. In addition, the vacA, iceA, cagA and cagE genotypes of strains isolated from Brazilian patients were determined and associated with clinical data in an effort to correlate these four virulence markers and antibiotic resistance. Methods H. pylori was cultured in 155 H. pylori-positive patients and MICs for metronidazole, clarithromycin, amoxicillin, tetracycline, and furazolidone were determined by the agar dilution method. Genomic DNA was extracted, and allelic variants of vacA, iceA, cagA and cagE were identified by the polymerase chain reaction. Results There was a strong association between the vacA s1/cagA -positive genotype and peptic ulcer disease (OR = 5.42, 95% CI 2.6–11.3, p = 0.0006. Additionally, infection by more virulent strains may protect against GERD, since logistic regression showed a negative association between the more virulent strain, vacA s1/cagA-positive genotype and GERD (OR = 0.26, 95% CI 0.08–0.8, p = 0.03. Resistance to metronidazole was detected in 75 patients (55%, to amoxicillin in 54 individuals (38%, to clarithromycin in 23 patients (16%, to tetracycline in 13 patients (9%, and to furazolidone in 19 individuals (13%. No significant correlation between pathogenicity and resistance or susceptibility was detected when MIC values for each antibiotic were compared with different vacA, iceA, cagA and cagE genotypes. Conclusion The analysis of virulence genes revealed a specific association between H. pylori strains and clinical outcome, furthermore, no significant association was detected among pathogenicity and resistance or susceptibility.
Toro, Magaly; Cao, Guojie; Ju, Wenting; Allard, Marc; Barrangou, Rodolphe; Zhao, Shaohua; Brown, Eric; Meng, Jianghong
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains (n = 194) representing 43 serotypes and E. coli K-12 were examined for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) arrays to study genetic relatedness among STEC serotypes. A subset of the strains (n = 81) was further analyzed for subtype I-E cas and virulence genes to determine a possible association of CRISPR elements with potential virulence. Four types of CRISPR arrays were identified. CRISPR1 and CRISPR2 were present in all strains tested; 1 strain also had both CRISPR3 and CRISPR4, whereas 193 strains displayed a short, combined array, CRISPR3-4. A total of 3,353 spacers were identified, representing 528 distinct spacers. The average length of a spacer was 32 bp. Approximately one-half of the spacers (54%) were unique and found mostly in strains of less common serotypes. Overall, CRISPR spacer contents correlated well with STEC serotypes, and identical arrays were shared between strains with the same H type (O26:H11, O103:H11, and O111:H11). There was no association identified between the presence of subtype I-E cas and virulence genes, but the total number of spacers had a negative correlation with potential pathogenicity (P CRISPR-cas system and potential virulence needs to be determined on a broader scale, and the biological link will need to be established.
Race-specific resistance genes protect much of the global wheat crop from stem rust disease caused by Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici (Pgt), but often break down due to evolution of new virulent pathogen races. To understand the molecular mechanisms of virulence evolution in Pgt we identified the p...
Jonah Piovia-Scott; Karen Pope; S. Joy Worth; Erica Bree Rosenblum; Dean Simon; Gordon Warburton; Louise A. Rollins-Smith; Laura K. Reinert; Heather L. Wells; Dan Rejmanek; Sharon Lawler; Janet Foley
The fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has caused declines and extinctions in amphibians worldwide, and there is increasing evidence that some strains of this pathogen are more virulent than others. While a number of putative virulence factors have been identified, few studies link these factors to specific epizootic events. We...
Presseau, Justin; Schwalm, J D; Grimshaw, Jeremy M; Witteman, Holly O; Natarajan, Madhu K; Linklater, Stefanie; Sullivan, Katrina; Ivers, Noah M
Despite evidence-based recommendations, adherence with secondary prevention medications post-myocardial infarction (MI) remains low. Taking medication requires behaviour change, and using behavioural theories to identify what factors determine adherence could help to develop novel adherence interventions. Compare the utility of different behaviour theory-based approaches for identifying modifiable determinants of medication adherence post-MI that could be targeted by interventions. Two studies were conducted with patients 0-2, 3-12, 13-24 or 25-36 weeks post-MI. Study 1: 24 patients were interviewed about barriers and facilitators to medication adherence. Interviews were conducted and coded using the Theoretical Domains Framework. Study 2: 201 patients answered a telephone questionnaire assessing Health Action Process Approach constructs to predict intention and medication adherence (MMAS-8). Study 1: domains identified: Beliefs about Consequences, Memory/Attention/Decision Processes, Behavioural Regulation, Social Influences and Social Identity. Study 2: 64, 59, 42 and 58% reported high adherence at 0-2, 3-12, 13-24 and 25-36 weeks. Social Support and Action Planning predicted adherence at all time points, though the relationship between Action Planning and adherence decreased over time. Using two behaviour theory-based approaches provided complimentary findings and identified modifiable factors that could be targeted to help translate Intention into action to improve medication adherence post-MI.
David Viana Martín
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.
Sanz-Martín, José M; Pacheco-Arjona, José Ramón; Bello-Rico, Víctor; Vargas, Walter A; Monod, Michel; Díaz-Mínguez, José M; Thon, Michael R; Sukno, Serenella A
Colletotrichum graminicola causes maize anthracnose, an agronomically important disease with a worldwide distribution. We have identified a fungalysin metalloprotease (Cgfl) with a role in virulence. Transcriptional profiling experiments and live cell imaging show that Cgfl is specifically expressed during the biotrophic stage of infection. To determine whether Cgfl has a role in virulence, we obtained null mutants lacking Cgfl and performed pathogenicity and live microscopy assays. The appressorium morphology of the null mutants is normal, but they exhibit delayed development during the infection process on maize leaves and roots, showing that Cgfl has a role in virulence. In vitro chitinase activity assays of leaves infected with wild-type and null mutant strains show that, in the absence of Cgfl, maize leaves exhibit increased chitinase activity. Phylogenetic analyses show that Cgfl is highly conserved in fungi. Similarity searches, phylogenetic analysis and transcriptional profiling show that C. graminicola encodes two LysM domain-containing homologues of Ecp6, suggesting that this fungus employs both Cgfl-mediated and LysM protein-mediated strategies to control chitin signalling. © 2015 BSPP and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Lorraine P. Smith
Full Text Available Bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC vectors containing the full-length genomes of several herpesviruses have been used widely as tools to enable functional studies of viral genes. Marek's disease viruses (MDVs are highly oncogenic alphaherpesviruses that induce rapid-onset T-cell lymphomas in chickens. Oncogenic strains of MDV reconstituted from BAC clones have been used to examine the role of viral genes in inducing tumours. Past studies have demonstrated continuous increase in virulence of MDV strains. We have previously reported on the UK isolate C12/130 that showed increased virulence features including lymphoid organ atrophy and enhanced tropism for the central nervous system. Here we report the construction of the BAC clones (pC12/130 of this strain. Chickens were infected with viruses reconstituted from the pC12/130 clones along with the wild-type virus for the comparison of the pathogenic properties. Our studies show that BAC-derived viruses induced disease similar to the wild-type virus, though there were differences in the levels of pathogenicity between individual viruses. Generation of BAC clones that differ in the potential to induce cytolytic disease provide the opportunity to identify the molecular determinants of increased virulence by direct sequence analysis as well as by using reverse genetics approaches on the infectious BAC clones.
Full Text Available Helicobacter pylori pathogenesis and disease outcomes are mediated by a complex interplay between bacterial virulence factors, host, and environmental factors. After H. pylori enters the host stomach, four steps are critical for bacteria to establish successful colonization, persistent infection, and disease pathogenesis: (1 Survival in the acidic stomach; (2 movement toward epithelium cells by flagella-mediated motility; (3 attachment to host cells by adhesins/receptors interaction; (4 causing tissue damage by toxin release. Over the past 20 years, the understanding of H. pylori pathogenesis has been improved by studies focusing on the host and bacterial factors through epidemiology researches and molecular mechanism investigations. These include studies identifying the roles of novel virulence factors and their association with different disease outcomes, especially the bacterial adhesins, cag pathogenicity island, and vacuolating cytotoxin. Recently, the development of large-scale screening methods, including proteomic, and transcriptomic tools, has been used to determine the complex gene regulatory networks in H. pylori. In addition, a more available complete genomic database of H. pylori strains isolated from patients with different gastrointestinal diseases worldwide is helpful to characterize this bacterium. This review highlights the key findings of H. pylori virulence factors reported over the past 20 years.
Li, Charles H; Cervantes, Maria; Springer, Deborah J; Boekhout, Teun; Ruiz-Vazquez, Rosa M; Torres-Martinez, Santiago R; Heitman, Joseph; Lee, Soo Chan
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
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
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.
Lewis, Joy H; Whelihan, Kate; Navarro, Isaac; Boyle, Kimberly R
The social determinants of health (SDH) are conditions that shape the overall health of an individual on a continuous basis. As momentum for addressing social factors in primary care settings grows, provider ability to identify, treat and assess these factors remains unknown. Community health centers care for over 20-million of America's highest risk populations. This study at three centers evaluates provider ability to identify, treat and code for the SDH. Investigators utilized a pre-study survey and a card study design to obtain evidence from the point of care. The survey assessed providers' perceptions of the SDH and their ability to address them. Then providers filled out one anonymous card per patient on four assigned days over a 4-week period, documenting social factors observed during encounters. The cards allowed providers to indicate if they were able to: provide counseling or other interventions, enter a diagnosis code and enter a billing code for identified factors. The results of the survey indicate providers were familiar with the SDH and were comfortable identifying social factors at the point of care. A total of 747 cards were completed. 1584 factors were identified and 31 % were reported as having a service provided. However, only 1.2 % of factors were associated with a billing code and 6.8 % received a diagnosis code. An obvious discrepancy exists between the number of identifiable social factors, provider ability to address them and documentation with billing and diagnosis codes. This disparity could be related to provider inability to code for social factors and bill for related time and services. Health care organizations should seek to implement procedures to document and monitor social factors and actions taken to address them. Results of this study suggest simple methods of identification may be sufficient. The addition of searchable codes and reimbursements may improve the way social factors are addressed for individuals and populations.
Kröger, Carsten; Kary, Stefani C.; Schauer, Kristina; Cameron, Andrew D. S.
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
Talebi Bezmin Abadi, Amin; Perez-Perez, Guillermo
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.
Ruocco, Michelina; Baroncelli, Riccardo; Cacciola, Santa Olga; Pane, Catello; Monti, Maurilia Maria; Firrao, Giuseppe; Vergara, Mariarosaria; Magnano di San Lio, Gaetano; Vannacci, Giovanni; Scala, Felice
The early phases of Diaporthe helianthi pathogenesis on sunflower are characterized by the production of phytotoxins that may play a role in host colonisation. In previous studies, phytotoxins of a polyketidic nature were isolated and purified from culture filtrates of virulent strains of D. helianthi isolated from sunflower. A highly aggressive isolate (7/96) from France contained a gene fragment of a putative nonaketide synthase (lovB) which was conserved in a virulent D. helianthi population. In order to investigate the role of polyketide synthases in D. helianthi 7/96, a draft genome of this isolate was examined. We were able to find and phylogenetically analyse 40 genes putatively coding for polyketide synthases (PKSs). Analysis of their domains revealed that most PKS genes of D. helianthi are reducing PKSs, whereas only eight lacked reducing domains. Most of the identified PKSs have orthologs shown to be virulence factors or genetic determinants for toxin production in other pathogenic fungi. One of the genes (DhPKS1) corresponded to the previously cloned D. helianthi lovB gene fragment and clustered with a nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) -PKS hybrid/lovastatin nonaketide like A. nidulans LovB. We used DhPKS1 as a case study and carried out its disruption through Agrobacterium-mediated transformation in the isolate 7/96. D. helianthi DhPKS1 deleted mutants were less virulent to sunflower compared to the wild type, indicating a role for this gene in the pathogenesis of the fungus. The PKS sequences analysed and reported here constitute a new genomic resource that will be useful for further research on the biology, ecology and evolution of D. helianthi and generally of fungal plant pathogens.
Rivière-Cinnamond, Ana; Santandreu, Alain; Luján, Anita; Mertens, Frederic; Espinoza, John Omar; Carpio, Yesenia; Bravo, Johnny; Gabastou, Jean-Marc
Plague remains a public health problem in specific areas located in Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru. Its prevention and control encompasses adequate clinical management and timely laboratory diagnosis. However, understanding communities' interaction with its surrounding ecosystem as well as the differences between community members and institutional stakeholders regarding the root causes of plague might contribute to understand its endemicity. We aim at bridging the traditionally separate biological and social sciences by elucidating communities' risk perception and identifying knowledge gaps between communities and stakeholders. This approach has been used in other areas but never in understanding plague endemicity, nor applied in the Latin American plague context. The objectives were to identify (i) plague risk perception at community level, (ii) perceived social and environmental determinants of plague endemicity, and (iii) institutions that need to be involved and actions needed to be taken as proposed by stakeholders and community members. The study was performed in 2015 and took place in Ascope rural province, La Libertad Region, in Peru, where the study areas are surrounded by intensive private sugarcane production. We propose using a multi-level discourse analysis. Community households were randomly selected (n = 68). Structured and semi-structured questionnaires were applied. A stakeholder analysis was used to identify policy makers (n = 34). In-depth interviews were performed, recorded and transcribed. Descriptive variables were analyzed with SPSS®. Answers were coded following variables adapted from the Commission on Social Determinants of Health and analyzed with the assistance of ATLAS.ti®. Results showed that risk perception was low within the community. Policy-makers identified agriculture and sugarcane production as the root cause while community answers ranked the hygiene situation as the main cause. Stakeholders first ranked
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.
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.
Chattaway, Marie Anne; Day, Michaela; Mtwale, Julia
Purpose. This study investigates the virulence and antimicrobial resistance in association with common clonal complexes (CCs) of enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) isolated from Bangladesh. The aim was to determine whether specific CCs were more likely to be associated with putative...... virulence genes and/or antimicrobial resistance.Methodology. The presence of 15 virulence genes (by PCR) and susceptibility to 18 antibiotics were determined for 151 EAEC isolated from cases and controls during an intestinal infectious disease study carried out between 2007-2011 in the rural setting...... between the presence of virulence or antimicrobial resistance genes in isolates of EAEC from cases versus controls. However, when stratified by clonal complex (CC) one CC associated with cases harboured more virulence factors (CC40) and one CC harboured more resistance genes (CC38) than the average...
Full Text Available Background : A number of studies have shown a clear relationship between diet and component of metabolic syndrome. Based on the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA, attitude and subjective norm are factors affecting behavioral intention and subsequently behavior. The aim of the present study is to design a valid questionnaire identifying factors affecting nutritional behavior among patients with metabolic syndrome. Materials and Methods: Via literature review, six focus group discussion and interview with nutrition specialists were performed to develop an instrument based on the theory of reasoned action. To determine validity of the instrument, content and face validity analyses with 15 expert panels conducted and also to determine reliability, Cronbach’s Alpha coefficient performed. Results: A draft of 100 items questionnaire was developed and after evaluation of validity and reliability, final questionnaire included 46 items: 17 items for attitude, 13 items for subjective norms and 16 items for behavioral intention. For the final questionnaire average of content validity index was 0/92 and Cronbach’s Alpha coefficient was 0/85. Conclusion: Based on the results of the current study the developed questionnaire is a valid and reliable instrument and it can be used to identify factors affecting nutritional behavior among people with metabolic syndrome based on the theory of reasoned action.
Gonzalez-Carrillo, Carolina; Millan-Sauceda, Cassandra; Lozano-Garza, Hector Gerardo; Ortiz-Lopez, Rocio; Elizondo-Gonzalez, Ramiro; Welsh, Oliverio; Ocampo-Candiani, Jorge; Vera-Cabrera, Lucio
Nocardia species, particularly Nocardia brasiliensis, are etiologic agents of mycetoma, a chronic subcutaneous infection. Until now, little has been known about the pathogenic mechanisms involved in nocardial infection. Traditionally, subculture in rich media has been a simple way to induce attenuation. In this work, we report the changes in virulence toward mice and in genomic constitution of N. brasiliensis produced after 200 continuous subcultures in brain heart infusion (BHI) medium (P-200 strain). The ability of the N. brasiliensis P-200 strain to produce experimental infection was tested using BALB/c mice. P-200 was also used to immunize mice to determine whether it could induce resistance against a challenge with a nonsubcultured isolate (P-0). Comparative proteomic analysis between N. brasiliensis P-0 and P-200 was performed by two-dimensional (2-D) electrophoresis, and the genome sequence was obtained through Roche 454 sequence analysis. Virulence in BALB/c mice was completely lost, and BALB/c mice immunized with P-200 bacterial cells were resistant to mycetoma production by the nonsubcultured strain. Whole-genome sequence analysis revealed that P-200 lost a total of 262,913 bp distributed in 19 deleted regions, involving a total of 213 open reading frames (ORFs). The deleted genes included those encoding bacterial virulence factors, e.g., catalase, nitrate reductase enzymes, and a group of mammalian cell entry (MCE) family proteins, which may explain the loss of virulence of the isolate. Thus, completely attenuated N. brasiliensis was obtained after 200 passages in BHI medium, and putative Nocardia virulence genes were identified for the first time. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Wang, Dong; Zhang, Limei; Zhou, Xuezhang; He, Yulong; Yong, Changfu; Shen, Mingliang; Szenci, Otto; Han, Bo
Staphylococcus aureusis the leading pathogen involved inbovine mastitis, but knowledgeabout antimicrobial resistance, virulence factors, and genotypes of Staphylococcus aureus resulting in bovine mastitis in Ningxia, China, is limited. Therefore, antimicrobial susceptibility, virulence gene, and randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analyses of Staph. aureus were carried out. A total of 327 milk samples from cows with clinical and subclinical mastitis in 4 regions of Ningxia were used for the isolation and identification of pathogens according to phenotypic and molecular characteristics. Antimicrobial susceptibility against 22 antimicrobial agents was determined by disk diffusion. The presence of 8 virulence genes in Staph. aureus isolates was tested by PCR. Genotypes of isolates were investigated based on RAPD. Results showed that 35 isolates obtained from mastitis milk samples were identified as Staph. aureus. The isolates were resistant to sulfamethoxazole (100%), penicillin G (94.3%), ampicillin (94.3%), erythromycin (68.6%), azithromycin (68.6%), clindamycin (25.7%), amoxicillin (11.4%), and tetracycline (5.7%). All of the isolates contained one or more virulence genes with average (standard deviation) of 6.6±1.6. The most prevalent virulence genes were hlb (97.1%), followed by fnbpA, hla, coa (94.3% each), nuc (85.7%), fnbpB (80%), clfA (77.1%), and tsst-1 (40%). Nine different gene patterns were found and 3 of them were the dominant gene combinations (77.1%). Staphylococcus aureus isolates (n=35) were divided into 6 genotypes by RAPD tying, the genotypes III and VI were the most prevalent genotypes. There was greatvariation in genotypes of Staph. aureus isolates, not only among different farms, but also within the same herd in Ningxia province. The study showed a high incidence of Staph. aureus with genomic variation of resistance genes, which is matter of great concern in public and animal health in Ningxia province of China. Copyright © 2016 American
Zhao, Zheng; Martin, Che; Fan, Raymond; Bourne, Philip E; Xie, Lei
The recent outbreak of Ebola has been cited as the largest in history. Despite this global health crisis, few drugs are available to efficiently treat Ebola infections. Drug repurposing provides a potentially efficient solution to accelerating the development of therapeutic approaches in response to Ebola outbreak. To identify such candidates, we use an integrated structural systems pharmacology pipeline which combines proteome-scale ligand binding site comparison, protein-ligand docking, and Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulation. One thousand seven hundred and sixty-six FDA-approved drugs and 259 experimental drugs were screened to identify those with the potential to inhibit the replication and virulence of Ebola, and to determine the binding modes with their respective targets. Initial screening has identified a number of promising hits. Notably, Indinavir; an HIV protease inhibitor, may be effective in reducing the virulence of Ebola. Additionally, an antifungal (Sinefungin) and several anti-viral drugs (e.g. Maraviroc, Abacavir, Telbivudine, and Cidofovir) may inhibit Ebola RNA-directed RNA polymerase through targeting the MTase domain. Identification of safe drug candidates is a crucial first step toward the determination of timely and effective therapeutic approaches to address and mitigate the impact of the Ebola global crisis and future outbreaks of pathogenic diseases. Further in vitro and in vivo testing to evaluate the anti-Ebola activity of these drugs is warranted.
Heijink, Anne Margriet; Blomen, Vincent A; Bisteau, Xavier; Degener, Fabian; Matsushita, Felipe Yu; Kaldis, Philipp; Foijer, Floris; van Vugt, Marcel A T M
The Wee1 cell cycle checkpoint kinase prevents premature mitotic entry by inhibiting cyclin-dependent kinases. Chemical inhibitors of Wee1 are currently being tested clinically as targeted anticancer drugs. Wee1 inhibition is thought to be preferentially cytotoxic in p53-defective cancer cells. However, TP53 mutant cancers do not respond consistently to Wee1 inhibitor treatment, indicating the existence of genetic determinants of Wee1 inhibitor sensitivity other than TP53 status. To optimally facilitate patient selection for Wee1 inhibition and uncover potential resistance mechanisms, identification of these currently unknown genes is necessary. The aim of this study was therefore to identify gene mutations that determine Wee1 inhibitor sensitivity. We performed a genome-wide unbiased functional genetic screen in TP53 mutant near-haploid KBM-7 cells using gene-trap insertional mutagenesis. Insertion site mapping of cells that survived long-term Wee1 inhibition revealed enrichment of G1/S regulatory genes, including SKP2, CUL1, and CDK2. Stable depletion of SKP2, CUL1, or CDK2 or chemical Cdk2 inhibition rescued the γ-H2AX induction and abrogation of G2 phase as induced by Wee1 inhibition in breast and ovarian cancer cell lines. Remarkably, live cell imaging showed that depletion of SKP2, CUL1, or CDK2 did not rescue the Wee1 inhibition-induced karyokinesis and cytokinesis defects. These data indicate that the activity of the DNA replication machinery, beyond TP53 mutation status, determines Wee1 inhibitor sensitivity, and could serve as a selection criterion for Wee1-inhibitor eligible patients. Conversely, loss of the identified S-phase genes could serve as a mechanism of acquired resistance, which goes along with development of severe genomic instability.
Weerdenburg, Eveline M.
The interaction of environmental bacteria with unicellular eukaryotes is generally considered a major driving force for the evolution of intracellular pathogens, allowing them to survive and replicate in phagocytic cells of vertebrate hosts. To test this hypothesis on a genome-wide level, we determined for the intracellular pathogen Mycobacterium marinum whether it uses conserved strategies to exploit host cells from both protozoan and vertebrate origin. Using transposon-directed insertion site sequencing (TraDIS), we determined differences in genetic requirements for survival and replication in phagocytic cells of organisms from different kingdoms. In line with the general hypothesis, we identified a number of general virulence mechanisms, including the type VII protein secretion system ESX-1, biosynthesis of polyketide lipids, and utilization of sterols. However, we were also able to show that M. marinum contains an even larger set of host-specific virulence determinants, including proteins involved in the modification of surface glycolipids and, surprisingly, the auxiliary proteins of the ESX-1 system. Several of these factors were in fact counterproductive in other hosts. Therefore, M. marinum contains different sets of virulence factors that are tailored for specific hosts. Our data imply that although amoebae could function as a training ground for intracellular pathogens, they do not fully prepare pathogens for crossing species barriers.
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.
Lother, Sylvain A; Demczuk, Walter; Martin, Irene; Mulvey, Michael; Dufault, Brenden; Lagacé-Wiens, Philippe; Keynan, Yoav
The incidence of group C and G Streptococcus (GCGS) bacteremia, which is associated with severe disease and death, is increasing. We characterized clinical features, outcomes, and genetic determinants of GCGS bacteremia for 89 patients in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, who had GCGS bacteremia during 2012-2014. Of the 89 patients, 51% had bacteremia from skin and soft tissue, 70% had severe disease features, and 20% died. Whole-genome sequencing analysis was performed on isolates derived from 89 blood samples and 33 respiratory sample controls: 5 closely related genetic lineages were identified as being more likely to cause invasive disease than non-clade isolates (83% vs. 57%, p = 0.002). Virulence factors cbp, fbp, speG, sicG, gfbA, and bca clustered clonally into these clades. A clonal distribution of virulence factors may account for severe and fatal cases of bacteremia caused by invasive GCGS.
Chattaway, Marie Anne; Day, Michaela; Mtwale, Julia; White, Emma; Rogers, James; Day, Martin; Powell, David; Ahmad, Marwa; Harris, Ross; Talukder, Kaisar Ali; Wain, John; Jenkins, Claire; Cravioto, Alejandro
This study investigates the virulence and antimicrobial resistance in association with common clonal complexes (CCs) of enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) isolated from Bangladesh. The aim was to determine whether specific CCs were more likely to be associated with putative virulence genes and/or antimicrobial resistance. The presence of 15 virulence genes (by PCR) and susceptibility to 18 antibiotics were determined for 151 EAEC isolated from cases and controls during an intestinal infectious disease study carried out between 2007-2011 in the rural setting of Mirzapur, Bangladesh (Kotloff KL, Blackwelder WC, Nasrin D, Nataro JP, Farag TH et al.Clin Infect Dis 2012;55:S232-S245). These data were then analysed in the context of previously determined serotypes and clonal complexes defined by multi-locus sequence typing. Overall there was no association between the presence of virulence or antimicrobial resistance genes in isolates of EAEC from cases versus controls. However, when stratified by clonal complex (CC) one CC associated with cases harboured more virulence factors (CC40) and one CC harboured more resistance genes (CC38) than the average. There was no direct link between the virulence gene content and antibiotic resistance. Strains within a single CC had variable virulence and resistance gene content indicating independent and multiple gene acquisitions over time. In Bangladesh, there are multiple clonal complexes of EAEC harbouring a variety of virulence and resistance genes. The emergence of two of the most successful clones appeared to be linked to either increased virulence (CC40) or antimicrobial resistance (CC38), but increased resistance and virulence were not found in the same clonal complexes.
Full Text Available Aims: Basal stem rot (BSR disease caused by Ganoderma pathogenic fungi, especially Ganoderma boninense is thriving rapidly in both areas with coastal and inland soils. The objectives of this study were to isolate and characterize Ganoderma isolates collected from various locations in Peninsular Malaysia through the comparison of their growth rate in vitroly on conventional and novel palm extract media, and to determine the degree of virulence caused by the isolatesin oil palm seedlings. Methodology and results: In this study, 12 Ganoderma isolates were collected from infected oil palm trees, fromvarious locations – Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Perak, Pahang, and Kelantan, in Malaysia in year 2011. Twelve Ganoderma isolates were identified using molecular method with primer set that targeted at small-subunit 18S rDNA fragment, and characterized by determining the in vitro growth rate, and degree of virulence in 2-month-old oil palmseedlings in the nursery using both disease incidence (DI and disease severity index (DSI as the measurements to quantify the infection. All the Ganoderma isolates were identified as G. boninense and sequences of the respective isolates were deposited in GenBank. In general, all the isolates proliferated faster on oil palm extract medium (OPEM compared to malt extract agar (MEA. Twelve G. boninense isolates were observed to illustrate different degree of virulence ranging from highly pathogenic to least pathogenic. Conclusion, significance and impact of study: Cultures of 12 G. boninense isolates were observed to show faster growth rate (P < 0.014 on OPEM under in vitro conditions compared to conventional MEA medium, except Bt Lintang G10 and GBA G12 isolates. OPEM medium could provide a better alternative for maintaining and culturing Ganoderma strains. In the current study, both DI and DSI were highly correlated. However, there were low linear relationships (R2 < 0.423 between mycelia growth rate (on MEA and OPEM
Gunnell, Mark K; Robison, Richard A; Adams, Byron J
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
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.
Moore, David J; Keogh, Edmund; Eccleston, Christopher
To review published studies of the effects that pain and common psychopharmacological substances have on the attentional performance of healthy adults. To identify which attentional tasks have the greatest potential to investigate the effect of pain on attention and provide recommendations for future research. A search was conducted for reports of experimental studies of attention in the context of pain. This was supplemented with studies on attention and caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. Studies were included if they used a healthy adult sample, used experimental or quasi-experimental methods, were relevant to the study of attention or interruption of pain and/or examined the acute effects of a substance on attention. Thirty-two papers, with 49 different experimental studies were identified (12 pain, 21 nicotine, 7 caffeine, 9 alcohol). Fourteen different tasks were reviewed across six domains of attention. The most promising measures of attention were the continuous performance task, flanker task, endogenous pre-cuing task, n-back task, inhibition task and dual task. There are reliable tasks that could be used to determine the effects of pain on attention. Future research is required that develops the utility of these tasks to improve our understanding of the effects pain and analgesia have on attentional performance. Copyright (c) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
J H Duncan Bassett
Full Text Available Osteoporosis is a common polygenic disease and global healthcare priority but its genetic basis remains largely unknown. We report a high-throughput multi-parameter phenotype screen to identify functionally significant skeletal phenotypes in mice generated by the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Mouse Genetics Project and discover novel genes that may be involved in the pathogenesis of osteoporosis. The integrated use of primary phenotype data with quantitative x-ray microradiography, micro-computed tomography, statistical approaches and biomechanical testing in 100 unselected knockout mouse strains identified nine new genetic determinants of bone mass and strength. These nine new genes include five whose deletion results in low bone mass and four whose deletion results in high bone mass. None of the nine genes have been implicated previously in skeletal disorders and detailed analysis of the biomechanical consequences of their deletion revealed a novel functional classification of bone structure and strength. The organ-specific and disease-focused strategy described in this study can be applied to any biological system or tractable polygenic disease, thus providing a general basis to define gene function in a system-specific manner. Application of the approach to diseases affecting other physiological systems will help to realize the full potential of the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium.
Chung, Philip; Currie, Brian; Guo, Yi; Talansky, Moshe; Brown, Shakara; Ostrowsky, Belinda
Antimicrobial exposure remains an important risk factor for developing Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). Efficient method to identify antibiotics associated with CDI is important for formulating strategies to curtail their use. As a prelude to a more extensive Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality-funded project (Evaluation & Research on Antimicrobial Stewardship's Effect on Clostridium difficile), we undertook an exploratory evaluation to determine a resource-efficient method for identifying antibiotic targets for antimicrobial stewardship interventions. The study compared a series of 6 focused case-control studies. Cases consisted of patients with laboratory-confirmed CDI admitted from July-October 2009. Controls were selected from patients without CDI hospitalized during the same period. Five groups of controls were matched to cases (2:1 ratio) using group-specific matching criteria, including admission date, age, type of admission, length of stay (LOS) to discharge, and/or LOS to CDI diagnosis. The final control group was selected from patients who received antibiotics during hospitalization. Data, including demographics and antibiotic usage, were compared between case and control groups. A total of 126 cases were matched to 6 groups of 252 controls. For control groups 1-5, the use of piperacillin and tazobactam, ceftriaxone or cefepime, ciprofloxacin or moxifloxacin, intravenous vancomycin, azithromycin, and antibiotics of last resort were significantly more frequent in case than control patients. For the final control group, the associations between ceftriaxone or cefepime, and ciprofloxacin or moxifloxacin use and CDI no longer persisted. This could in part be explained by differences in comorbidities between case and control patients even with stringent matching criteria. Use of a simple matching strategy to conduct case-control studies is an efficient and feasible compromise strategy, especially in resource-limited settings, to identify high
Sun, Xiangjie; Belser, Jessica A.; Tumpey, Terrence M., E-mail: email@example.com
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.
Sun, Xiangjie; Belser, Jessica A.; Tumpey, Terrence M.
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.
Yue, Chenyang; Li, Qi; Yu, Hong
The Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas is a commercially important bivalve in aquaculture worldwide. C. gigas has a fascinating sexual reproduction system consisting of dioecism, sex change, and occasional hermaphroditism, while knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of sex determination and differentiation is still limited. In this study, the transcriptomes of male and female gonads at different gametogenesis stages were characterized by RNA-seq. Hierarchical clustering based on genes differentially expressed revealed that 1269 genes were expressed specifically in female gonads and 817 genes were expressed increasingly over the course of spermatogenesis. Besides, we identified two and one gene modules related to female and male gonad development, respectively, using weighted gene correlation network analysis (WGCNA). Interestingly, GO and KEGG enrichment analysis showed that neurotransmitter-related terms were significantly enriched in genes related to ovary development, suggesting that the neurotransmitters were likely to regulate female sex differentiation. In addition, two hub genes related to testis development, lncRNA LOC105321313 and Cg-Sh3kbp1, and one hub gene related to ovary development, Cg-Malrd1-like, were firstly investigated. This study points out the role of neurotransmitter and non-coding RNA regulation during gonad development and produces lists of novel relevant candidate genes for further studies. All of these provided valuable information to understand the molecular mechanisms of C. gigas sex determination and differentiation.
Steven C Munger
Full Text Available In vertebrates, primary sex determination refers to the decision within a bipotential organ precursor to differentiate as a testis or ovary. Bifurcation of organ fate begins between embryonic day (E 11.0-E12.0 in mice and likely involves a dynamic transcription network that is poorly understood. To elucidate the first steps of sexual fate specification, we profiled the XX and XY gonad transcriptomes at fine granularity during this period and resolved cascades of gene activation and repression. C57BL/6J (B6 XY gonads showed a consistent ~5-hour delay in the activation of most male pathway genes and repression of female pathway genes relative to 129S1/SvImJ, which likely explains the sensitivity of the B6 strain to male-to-female sex reversal. Using this fine time course data, we predicted novel regulatory genes underlying expression QTLs (eQTLs mapped in a previous study. To test predictions, we developed an in vitro gonad primary cell assay and optimized a lentivirus-based shRNA delivery method to silence candidate genes and quantify effects on putative targets. We provide strong evidence that Lmo4 (Lim-domain only 4 is a novel regulator of sex determination upstream of SF1 (Nr5a1, Sox9, Fgf9, and Col9a3. This approach can be readily applied to identify regulatory interactions in other systems.
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.
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
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.
Heffron, Fred; Niemann, George; Yoon, Hyunjin; Kidwai, Afshan S.; Brown, Roslyn N.; McDermott, Jason E.; Smith, Richard D.; Adkins, Joshua N.
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.
Stobart, Christopher C; Sexton, Nicole R; Munjal, Havisha; Lu, Xiaotao; Molland, Katrina L; Tomar, Sakshi; Mesecar, Andrew D; Denison, Mark R
Human coronaviruses (CoVs) such as severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome CoV (MERS-CoV) cause epidemics of severe human respiratory disease. A conserved step of CoV replication is the translation and processing of replicase polyproteins containing 16 nonstructural protein domains (nsp's 1 to 16). The CoV nsp5 protease (3CLpro; Mpro) processes nsp's at 11 cleavage sites and is essential for virus replication. CoV nsp5 has a conserved 3-domain structure and catalytic residues. However, the intra- and intermolecular determinants of nsp5 activity and their conservation across divergent CoVs are unknown, in part due to challenges in cultivating many human and zoonotic CoVs. To test for conservation of nsp5 structure-function determinants, we engineered chimeric betacoronavirus murine hepatitis virus (MHV) genomes encoding nsp5 proteases of human and bat alphacoronaviruses and betacoronaviruses. Exchange of nsp5 proteases from HCoV-HKU1 and HCoV-OC43, which share the same genogroup, genogroup 2a, with MHV, allowed for immediate viral recovery with efficient replication albeit with impaired fitness in direct competition with wild-type MHV. Introduction of MHV nsp5 temperature-sensitive mutations into chimeric HKU1 and OC43 nsp5 proteases resulted in clear differences in viability and temperature-sensitive phenotypes compared with MHV nsp5. These data indicate tight genetic linkage and coevolution between nsp5 protease and the genomic background and identify differences in intramolecular networks regulating nsp5 function. Our results also provide evidence that chimeric viruses within coronavirus genogroups can be used to test nsp5 determinants of function and inhibition in common isogenic backgrounds and cell types.
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
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.
Andrivon, D.; Avendaño-Córcoles, J.; Cameron, A.M.; Raaij, van H.M.G.
Determining virulence towards race-specific resistance genes is a prerequisite to understanding the response of pathogen populations to resistant cultivars, and therefore to assess the durability of these resistance genes and the performance of resistance management strategies. In Phytophthora
Moy Richard L
Full Text Available Abstract Background Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of plague and a potential agent of bioterrorism and biowarfare. The plague biothreat and the emergence of multidrug-resistant plague underscore the need to increase our understanding of the intrinsic potential of Y. pestis for developing antimicrobial resistance and to anticipate the mechanisms of resistance that may emerge in Y. pestis. Identification of Y. pestis genes that, when overexpressed, are capable of reducing antibiotic susceptibility is a useful strategy to expose genes that this pathogen may rely upon to evolve antibiotic resistance via a vertical modality. In this study, we explored the use of a multicopy suppressor, Escherichia coli host-based screening approach as a means to expose antibiotic resistance determinant candidates in Y. pestis. Results We constructed a multicopy plasmid-based, Y. pestis genome-wide expression library of nearly 16,000 clones in E. coli and screened the library for suppressors of the antimicrobial activity of ofloxacin, a fluoroquinolone antibiotic. The screen permitted the identification of a transcriptional regulator-encoding gene (robAYp that increased the MIC99 of ofloxacin by 23-fold when overexpressed from a multicopy plasmid in Y. pestis. Additionally, we found that robAYp overexpression in Y. pestis conferred low-level resistance to many other antibiotics and increased organic solvent tolerance. Overexpression of robAYp also upregulated the expression of several efflux pumps in Y. pestis. Conclusion Our study provides proof of principle for the use of multicopy suppressor screening based on the tractable and easy-to-manipulate E. coli host as a means to identify antibiotic resistance determinant candidates of Y. pestis.
Yamaoka, Yoshio; Graham, David Y
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.
Hawes Alicia C
Full Text Available Abstract Background Community acquired (CA methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA increasingly causes disease worldwide. USA300 has emerged as the predominant clone causing superficial and invasive infections in children and adults in the USA. Epidemiological studies suggest that USA300 is more virulent than other CA-MRSA. The genetic determinants that render virulence and dominance to USA300 remain unclear. Results We sequenced the genomes of two pediatric USA300 isolates: one CA-MRSA and one CA-methicillin susceptible (MSSA, isolated at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. DNA sequencing was performed by Sanger dideoxy whole genome shotgun (WGS and 454 Life Sciences pyrosequencing strategies. The sequence of the USA300 MRSA strain was rigorously annotated. In USA300-MRSA 2658 chromosomal open reading frames were predicted and 3.1 and 27 kilobase (kb plasmids were identified. USA300-MSSA contained a 20 kb plasmid with some homology to the 27 kb plasmid found in USA300-MRSA. Two regions found in US300-MRSA were absent in USA300-MSSA. One of these carried the arginine deiminase operon that appears to have been acquired from S. epidermidis. The USA300 sequence was aligned with other sequenced S. aureus genomes and regions unique to USA300 MRSA were identified. Conclusion USA300-MRSA is highly similar to other MRSA strains based on whole genome alignments and gene content, indicating that the differences in pathogenesis are due to subtle changes rather than to large-scale acquisition of virulence factor genes. The USA300 Houston isolate differs from another sequenced USA300 strain isolate, derived from a patient in San Francisco, in plasmid content and a number of sequence polymorphisms. Such differences will provide new insights into the evolution of pathogens.
Makarova, M A; Kaftyreva, L A; Grigor'eva, N S; Kicha, E V; Lipatova, L A
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.
Full Text Available Background: The significance of the paper is twofold. Firstly, it adds to the small but growing body of literature focusing on the decomposition of South Africa’s export growth. Secondly, it identifies the determinants of the intensive and extensive margins of South Africa’s exports – a topic that (as far as the authors are concerned has not been explored before. Aim: This paper aims to investigate a wide range of market access determinants that affect South Africa’s export growth along the intensive and extensive margins. Setting: Export diversification has been identified as one of the critical pillars of South Africa’s much-hoped-for economic revival. Although recent years have seen the country’s export product mix evolving, there is still insufficient diversification into new markets with high value-added products. This is putting a damper on export performance as a whole and, in turn, hindering South Africa’s economic growth. Methods: A Heckman selection gravity model is applied using highly disaggregated data. The first stage of the process revealed the factors affecting the probability of South Africa exporting to a particular destination (extensive margin. The second stage, which modelled trade flows, revealed the variables that affect export volumes (intensive margin. Results: The results showed that South Africa’s export product mix is relatively varied, but the number of export markets is limited. In terms of the extensive margin (or the probability of exporting, economic variables such as the importing country’s GDP and population have a positive impact on firms’ decision to export. Other factors affecting the extensive margin are distance to the market (negative impact, cultural or language fit (positive impact, presence of a South African embassy abroad (positive impact, existing free trade agreement with Southern African Development Community (positive impact and trade regulations and costs (negative
Full Text Available Fusarium verticillioides (formerly F. moniliforme is suggested as one of the causal agents of Pokkah Boeng, a serious disease of sugarcane worldwide. Currently, detailed molecular and physiological mechanism of pathogenesis is unknown. In this study, we focused on cell wall integrity MAPK pathway as one of the potential signaling mechanisms associated with Pokkah Boeng pathogenesis. We identified FvBCK1 gene that encodes a MAP kinase kinase kinase homolog and determined that it is not only required for growth, micro- and macro-conidia production, and cell wall integrity but also for response to osmotic and oxidative stresses. The deletion of FvBCK1 caused a significant reduction in virulence and FB1 production, a carcinogenic mycotoxin produced by the fungus. Moreover, we found the expression levels of three genes, which are known to be involved in superoxide scavenging, were down regulated in the mutant. We hypothesized that the loss of superoxide scavenging capacity was one of the reasons for reduced virulence, but overexpression of catalase or peroxidase gene failed to restore the virulence defect in the deletion mutant. When we introduced Magnaporthe oryzae MCK1 into the FvBck1 deletion mutant, while certain phenotypes were restored, the complemented strain failed to gain full virulence. In summary, FvBck1 plays a diverse role in F. verticillioides, and detailed investigation of downstream signaling pathways will lead to a better understanding of how this MAPK pathway regulates Pokkah Boeng on sugarcane.
Yang, Ji; Hart, Emily; Tauschek, Marija; Price, G Dean; Hartland, Elizabeth L; Strugnell, Richard A; Robins-Browne, Roy M
Regulation of virulence gene expression plays a central role in the pathogenesis of enteric bacteria as they encounter diverse environmental conditions in the gastrointestinal tract of their hosts. In this study, we investigated environmental regulation of two putative virulence determinants adcA and kfc by RegA, an AraC/XylS-like regulator, from Citrobacter rodentium, and identified bicarbonate as the environmental signal which induced transcription of adcA and kfc through RegA. Primer extension experiments showed that adcA and kfc were divergently transcribed from sigma(70) promoters. In vivo and in vitro experiments demonstrated that bicarbonate facilitated and stabilized the binding of RegA to an operator located between the two promoters. The interaction of RegA with its DNA target resulted in the formation of a nucleosome-like structure, which evidently displaced the histone-like proteins, H-NS and StpA, from the adcA and kfc promoter regions, leading to transcriptional derepression. In addition, our results indicated that RegA also behaved as a Class I activator by directly stimulating transcription initiation by RNA polymerase. This is the first report to describe the molecular mechanism by which an environmental chemical stimulates transcription of virulence-associated genes of an enteric pathogen through an AraC/XlyS-like activator.
Potrykus, Marta; Golanowska, Małgorzata; Hugouvieux-Cotte-Pattat, Nicole; Lojkowska, Ewa
Bacteria from the genus Dickeya (formerly Erwinia chrysanthemi) are plant pathogens causing severe diseases in many economically important crops. A majority of the strains responsible for potato disease in Europe belong to a newly identified Dickeya solani species. Although some ecological and epidemiological studies have been carried out, little is known about the regulation of D. solani virulence. The characterization of four D. solani strains indicates significant differences in their virulence on potato although they are genetically similar based on genomic fingerprinting profiles. A phenotypic examination included an analysis of virulence on potato, growth rate in culture, motility, Fe 3+ chelation, and pectate lyase, cellulase, protease, biosurfactant and blue pigment production. Mutants of four D. solani strains were constructed by inactivating the genes coding either for one of the main negative regulators of D. dadantii virulence (kdgR, pecS and pecT) or for the synthesis and perception of signaling molecules (expI and expR). Analysis of these mutants indicated that PecS, PecT and KdgR play a similar role in both species, repressing to different degrees the synthesis of virulence factors. The thermoregulator PecT seems to be a major regulator of D. solani virulence. This work also reveals the role of quorum sensing mediated by ExpI and ExpR in D. solani virulence on potato.
Wedley, Amy L; Dawson, Susan; Maddox, Thomas W; Coyne, Karen P; Pinchbeck, Gina L; Clegg, Peter; Jamrozy, Dorota; Fielder, Mark D; Donovan, David; Nuttall, Tim; Williams, Nicola J
This study investigated the prevalence of nasal carriage of staphylococci in dogs and determined the characteristics of the isolates. A total of 724 dogs from 87 veterinary practices across the mainland UK were screened for carriage of Staphylococcus spp. All isolates were examined for meticillin resistance (MR) and the presence of the mecA gene investigated in those isolates showing resistance. All coagulase-positive staphylococci and MR coagulase-negative staphylococci (MRCoNS) were subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Spa typing and DNA microarray analysis of resistance and virulence genes was carried out on all MR S. aureus (MRSA) and a subset of meticillin susceptible S. aureus (MSSA). Staphylococci were isolated from 399 (55.1%) of the dogs; only seven (1%) carried MRSA, all of which were identified as the dominant UK healthcare-associated strain (EMRSA-15, ST22). MSSA was identified in 47 (6.5%) dogs, the sequence types of which have been suggested as precursors to successful MRSA clones. Forty (5.5%) dogs carried MRCoNS, while no dogs carried MR S. pseudintermedius, although this is increasingly reported in mainland Europe. Resistance to antimicrobials among the isolates varied between species, with multidrug resistance (MDR) in 87.5% of MRCoNS and 21.8% of coagulase positive staphylococci. Microarray analysis of MRSA and a subset of MSSA isolates identified numerous virulence genes associated with pathogenesis, which are commonly identified in isolates of human origin. However, no isolates carried Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) genes. This study suggests that MRSA carriage is low in the vet visiting dog population, but there is a diverse range of virulence and resistance determinants in canine S. aureus and MRCoNS isolates. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
W.E. Kaman (Wendy); S. Hawkey; D. van der Kleij (Desiree); M.P. Broekhuijsen; N.J. Silman; F.J. Bikker (Floris)
textabstractWe determined the role of Yersinia pestis virulence markers in an animal model of pneumonic plague. Eleven strains of Y. pestis were characterized using PCR assays to detect the presence of known virulence genes both encoded by the three plasmids as well as chromosomal markers. The
Virulence determines the impact a pathogen has on the fitness of its host, yet current understanding of the evolutionary origins and causes of virulence of many pathogens is surprisingly incomplete. Here, we explore the evolution of Marek’s disease virus (MDV), a herpesvirus commonly afflicting chic...
Kapoor, Sarika; Singh, R D; Sharma, P C
, 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...
Kurath, Gael; Wargo, Andrew R.
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.
Dr DADIE Thomas
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.
Full Text Available Bacterial pathogenicity and antibiotic resistance are of concern for environmental safety and public health. Accumulating evidence suggests that wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs are as an important sink and source of pathogens and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs. Virulence genes (encoding virulence factors are good indicators for bacterial pathogenic potentials. To achieve a comprehensive understanding of bacterial pathogenic potentials and antibiotic resistance in WWTPs, bacterial virulence genes and ARGs in 19 WWTPs covering a majority of latitudinal zones of China were surveyed by using GeoChip 4.2. A total of 1610 genes covering 13 virulence factors and 1903 genes belonging to 11 ARG families were detected respectively. The bacterial virulence genes exhibited significant spatial distribution patterns of a latitudinal biodiversity gradient and a distance-decay relationship across China. Moreover, virulence genes tended to coexist with ARGs as shown by their strongly positive associations. In addition, key environmental factors shaping the overall virulence gene structure were identified. This study profiles the occurrence, composition and distribution of virulence genes and ARGs in current WWTPs in China, and uncovers spatial patterns and important environmental variables shaping their structure, which may provide the basis for further studies of bacterial virulence factors and antibiotic resistance in WWTPs.
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
Chu, Chishih; Wei, Yajiun; Chuang, Shih-Te; Yu, Changyou; Changchien, Chih-Hsuan; Su, Yaochi
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.
Lee, I. Russel; Chow, Eve W. L.; Morrow, Carl A.; Djordjevic, Julianne T.; Fraser, James A.
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
Yu, Fangwei; Gu, Qin; Yun, Yingzi; Yin, Yanni; Xu, Jin-Rong; Shim, Won-Bo; Ma, Zhonghua
The target of rapamycin (TOR) signaling pathway plays critical roles in controlling cell growth in a variety of eukaryotes. However, the contribution of this pathway in regulating virulence of plant pathogenic fungi is unknown. We identified and characterized nine genes encoding components of the TOR pathway in Fusarium graminearum. Biological, genetic and biochemical functions of each component were investigated. The FgFkbp12-rapamycin complex binds to the FgTor kinase. The type 2A phosphatases FgPp2A, FgSit4 and FgPpg1 were found to interact with FgTap42, a downstream component of FgTor. Among these, we determined that FgPp2A is likely to be essential for F. graminearum survival, and FgSit4 and FgPpg1 play important roles in cell wall integrity by positively regulating the phosphorylation of FgMgv1, a key MAP kinase in the cell wall integrity pathway. In addition, the FgPpg1 interacting protein, FgTip41, is involved in regulating mycelial growth and virulence. Notably, FgTip41 does not interact with FgTap42 but with FgPpg1, suggesting the existence of FgTap42:FgPpg1:FgTip41 heterotrimer in F. graminearum, a complex not observed in the yeast model. Collectively, we defined a genetic regulatory framework that elucidates how the TOR pathway regulates virulence and vegetative development in F. graminearum. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.
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
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.
Rato, Márcia G.; Nerlich, Andreas; Bergmann, René; Bexiga, Ricardo; Nunes, Sandro F.; Vilela, Cristina L.; Santos-Sanches, Ilda; Chhatwal, Gursharan S.
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
Full Text Available Objective. To investigate the effect of negative pressure conditions induced by NPWT on P. aeruginosa. Methods. P. aeruginosa was cultured in a Luria–Bertani medium at negative pressure of −125 mmHg for 24 h in the experimental group and at atmospheric pressure in the control group. The diameters of the colonies of P. aeruginosa were measured after 24 h. ELISA kit, orcinol method, and elastin-Congo red assay were used to quantify the virulence factors. Biofilm formation was observed by staining with Alexa Fluor® 647 conjugate of concanavalin A (Con A. Virulence-regulated genes were determined by quantitative RT-PCR. Results. As compared with the control group, growth of P. aeruginosa was inhibited by negative pressure. The colony size under negative pressure was significantly smaller in the experimental group than that in the controls (p<0.01. Besides, reductions in the total amount of virulence factors were observed in the negative pressure group, including exotoxin A, rhamnolipid, and elastase. RT-PCR results revealed a significant inhibition in the expression level of virulence-regulated genes. Conclusion. Negative pressure could significantly inhibit the growth of P. aeruginosa. It led to a decrease in the virulence factor secretion, biofilm formation, and a reduction in the expression level of virulence-regulated genes.
Rodr?guez-Rojas, Alexandro; Rodr?guez-Beltr?n, Jer?nimo; Valverde, Jos? Ram?n; Bl?zquez, Jes?s
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...
Morace, G.; Borghi, E.
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...
Ahmad, Abdelmonim Ali; Stulberg, Michael J; Huang, Qi
We previously characterized a filamentous lysogenic bacteriophage, ϕRs551, isolated directly from the race 3 biovar 2 phylotype IIB sequevar 1 strain UW551 of Ralstonia solanacearum grown under normal culture conditions. The genome of ϕRs551 was identified with 100% identity in the deposited genomes of 11 race 3 biovar 2 phylotype IIB sequevar 1 strains of R. solanacearum , indicating evolutionary and biological importance, and ORF14 of ϕRs551 was annotated as a putative type-2 repressor. In this study, we determined the effect of the prophage and its ORF14 on the virulence and competitive fitness of its carrier strain UW551 by deleting the orf14 gene only (the UW551 orf14 mutant), and nine of the prophage's 14 genes including orf14 and six out of seven structural genes (the UW551 prophage mutant), respectively, from the genome of UW551. The two mutants were increased in extracellular polysaccharide production, twitching motility, expression of targeted virulence and virulence regulatory genes ( pilT, egl, pehC, hrPB, and phcA ), and virulence, suggesting that the virulence of UW551 was negatively regulated by ϕRs551, at least partially through ORF14. Interestingly, we found that the wt ϕRs551-carrying strain UW551 of R. solanacearum significantly outcompeted the wt strain RUN302 which lacks the prophage in tomato plants co-inoculated with the two strains. When each of the two mutant strains was co-inoculated with RUN302, however, the mutants were significantly out-competed by RUN302 for the same colonization site. Our results suggest that ecologically, ϕRs551 may play an important role by regulating the virulence of and offering a competitive fitness advantage to its carrier bacterial strain for persistence of the bacterium in the environment, which in turn prolongs the symbiotic relationship between the phage ϕRs551 and the R. solanacearum strain UW551. Our study is the first toward a better understanding of the co-existence between a lysogenic phage and
Abdelmonim Ali Ahmad
Full Text Available We previously characterized a filamentous lysogenic bacteriophage, ϕRs551, isolated directly from the race 3 biovar 2 phylotype IIB sequevar 1 strain UW551 of Ralstonia solanacearum grown under normal culture conditions. The genome of ϕRs551 was identified with 100% identity in the deposited genomes of 11 race 3 biovar 2 phylotype IIB sequevar 1 strains of R. solanacearum, indicating evolutionary and biological importance, and ORF14 of ϕRs551 was annotated as a putative type-2 repressor. In this study, we determined the effect of the prophage and its ORF14 on the virulence and competitive fitness of its carrier strain UW551 by deleting the orf14 gene only (the UW551 orf14 mutant, and nine of the prophage’s 14 genes including orf14 and six out of seven structural genes (the UW551 prophage mutant, respectively, from the genome of UW551. The two mutants were increased in extracellular polysaccharide production, twitching motility, expression of targeted virulence and virulence regulatory genes (pilT, egl, pehC, hrPB, and phcA, and virulence, suggesting that the virulence of UW551 was negatively regulated by ϕRs551, at least partially through ORF14. Interestingly, we found that the wt ϕRs551-carrying strain UW551 of R. solanacearum significantly outcompeted the wt strain RUN302 which lacks the prophage in tomato plants co-inoculated with the two strains. When each of the two mutant strains was co-inoculated with RUN302, however, the mutants were significantly out-competed by RUN302 for the same colonization site. Our results suggest that ecologically, ϕRs551 may play an important role by regulating the virulence of and offering a competitive fitness advantage to its carrier bacterial strain for persistence of the bacterium in the environment, which in turn prolongs the symbiotic relationship between the phage ϕRs551 and the R. solanacearum strain UW551. Our study is the first toward a better understanding of the co-existence between a
Ahmad, Abdelmonim Ali; Stulberg, Michael J.; Huang, Qi
We previously characterized a filamentous lysogenic bacteriophage, ϕRs551, isolated directly from the race 3 biovar 2 phylotype IIB sequevar 1 strain UW551 of Ralstonia solanacearum grown under normal culture conditions. The genome of ϕRs551 was identified with 100% identity in the deposited genomes of 11 race 3 biovar 2 phylotype IIB sequevar 1 strains of R. solanacearum, indicating evolutionary and biological importance, and ORF14 of ϕRs551 was annotated as a putative type-2 repressor. In this study, we determined the effect of the prophage and its ORF14 on the virulence and competitive fitness of its carrier strain UW551 by deleting the orf14 gene only (the UW551 orf14 mutant), and nine of the prophage’s 14 genes including orf14 and six out of seven structural genes (the UW551 prophage mutant), respectively, from the genome of UW551. The two mutants were increased in extracellular polysaccharide production, twitching motility, expression of targeted virulence and virulence regulatory genes (pilT, egl, pehC, hrPB, and phcA), and virulence, suggesting that the virulence of UW551 was negatively regulated by ϕRs551, at least partially through ORF14. Interestingly, we found that the wt ϕRs551-carrying strain UW551 of R. solanacearum significantly outcompeted the wt strain RUN302 which lacks the prophage in tomato plants co-inoculated with the two strains. When each of the two mutant strains was co-inoculated with RUN302, however, the mutants were significantly out-competed by RUN302 for the same colonization site. Our results suggest that ecologically, ϕRs551 may play an important role by regulating the virulence of and offering a competitive fitness advantage to its carrier bacterial strain for persistence of the bacterium in the environment, which in turn prolongs the symbiotic relationship between the phage ϕRs551 and the R. solanacearum strain UW551. Our study is the first toward a better understanding of the co-existence between a lysogenic phage and
Milus, Eugene A; Moon, David E; Lee, Kevin D; Mason, R Esten
Stripe rust, caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici, is an important disease of wheat in the Great Plains and southeastern United States. Growing resistant cultivars is the preferred means for managing stripe rust, but new virulence in the pathogen population overcomes some of the resistance. The objectives of this study were to characterize the stripe rust resistance in contemporary soft and hard red winter wheat cultivars, to characterize the virulence of P. striiformis f. sp. tritici isolates based on the resistances found in the cultivars, and to determine wheat breeders' perceptions on the importance and methods for achieving stripe rust resistance. Seedlings of cultivars were susceptible to recent isolates, indicating they lacked effective all-stage resistance. However, adult-plants were resistant or susceptible depending on the isolate, indicating they had race-specific adult-plant resistance. Using isolates collected from 1990 to 2013, six major virulence patterns were identified on adult plants of twelve cultivars that were selected as adult-plant differentials. Race-specific adult-plant resistance appears to be the only effective type of resistance protecting wheat from stripe rust in eastern United States. Among wheat breeders, the importance of incorporating stripe rust resistance into cultivars ranged from high to low depending on the frequency of epidemics in their region, and most sources of stripe rust resistance were either unknown or already overcome by virulence in the pathogen population. Breeders with a high priority for stripe rust resistance made most of their selections based on adult-plant reactions in the field, whereas breeders with a low priority for resistance based selections on molecular markers for major all-stage resistance genes.
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.
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.
de Rochefort Anna
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.
Carrera, Mónica; Böhme, Karola; Gallardo, José M.; Barros-Velázquez, Jorge; Cañas, Benito; Calo-Mata, Pilar
In the present work, we applied a shotgun proteomics approach for the fast and easy characterization of 20 different foodborne strains of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), one of the most recognized foodborne pathogenic bacteria. A total of 644 non-redundant proteins were identified and analyzed via an easy and rapid protein sample preparation procedure. The results allowed the differentiation of several proteome datasets from the different strains (common, accessory, and unique datasets), which were used to determine relevant functional pathways and differentiate the strains into different Euclidean hierarchical clusters. Moreover, a predicted protein-protein interaction network of the foodborne S. aureus strains was created. The whole confidence network contains 77 nodes and 769 interactions. Most of the identified proteins were surface-associated proteins that were related to pathways and networks of energy, lipid metabolism and virulence. Twenty-seven virulence factors were identified, and most of them corresponded to autolysins, N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidases, phenol-soluble modulins, extracellular fibrinogen-binding proteins and virulence factor EsxA. Potential species-specific peptide biomarkers were screened. Twenty-one species-specific peptide biomarkers, belonging to eight different proteins (nickel-ABC transporter, N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidase, autolysin, clumping factor A, gram-positive signal peptide YSIRK, cysteine protease/staphopain, transcriptional regulator MarR, and transcriptional regulator Sar-A), were proposed to identify S. aureus. These results constitute the first major dataset of peptides and proteins of foodborne S. aureus strains. This repository may be useful for further studies, for the development of new therapeutic treatments for S. aureus food intoxications and for microbial source-tracking in foodstuffs. PMID:29312172
Douidah, Laid; de Zutter, Lieven; Baré, Julie; De Vos, Paul; Vandamme, Peter; Vandenberg, Olivier; Van den Abeele, Anne-Marie
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
McDermott, Jason E.; Taylor, Ronald C.; Yoon, Hyunjin; Heffron, Fred
Recent advances in experimental methods have provided sufficient data to consider systems as large networks of interconnected components. High-throughput determination of protein-protein interaction networks has led to the observation that topological bottlenecks, that is proteins defined by high centrality in the network, are enriched in proteins with systems-level phenotypes such as essentiality. Global transcriptional profiling by microarray analysis has been used extensively to characterize systems, for example, cellular response to environmental conditions and genetic mutations. These transcriptomic datasets have been used to infer regulatory and functional relationship networks based on co-regulation. We use the context likelihood of relatedness (CLR) method to infer networks from two datasets gathered from the pathogen Salmonella typhimurium; one under a range of environmental culture conditions and the other from deletions of 15 regulators found to be essential in virulence. Bottleneck nodes were identified from these inferred networks and we show that these nodes are significantly more likely to be essential for virulence than their non-bottleneck counterparts. A network generated using Pearson correlation did not display this behavior. Overall this study demonstrates that topology of networks inferred from global transcriptional profiles provides information about the systems-level roles of bottleneck genes. Analysis of the differences between the two CLR-derived networks suggests that the bottleneck nodes are either mediators of transitions between system states or sentinels that reflect the dynamics of these transitions.
Friedman, Sivan; Linsky, Marika; Lobel, Lior; Rabinovich, Lev; Sigal, Nadejda; Herskovits, Anat A
Listeria monocytogenes is an environmental saprophyte and intracellular bacterial pathogen. Upon invading mammalian cells, the bacterium senses abrupt changes in its metabolic environment, which are rapidly transduced to regulation of virulence gene expression. To explore the relationship between L. monocytogenes metabolism and virulence, we monitored virulence gene expression dynamics across a library of genetic mutants grown under two metabolic conditions known to activate the virulent state: charcoal-treated rich medium containing glucose-1-phosphate and minimal defined medium containing limiting concentrations of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). We identified over 100 distinct mutants that exhibit aberrant virulence gene expression profiles, the majority of which mapped to nonessential metabolic genes. Mutants displayed enhanced, decreased, and early and late virulence gene expression profiles, as well as persistent levels, demonstrating a high plasticity in virulence gene regulation. Among the mutants, one was noteworthy for its particularly low virulence gene expression level and mapped to an X-prolyl aminopeptidase (PepP). We show that this peptidase plays a role in posttranslational activation of the major virulence regulator, PrfA. Specifically, PepP mediates recruitment of PrfA to the cytoplasmic membrane, a step identified as critical for PrfA protein activation. This study establishes a novel step in the complex mechanism of PrfA activation and further highlights the cross regulation of metabolism and virulence. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.
Full Text Available Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC is the most common bacterial cause of diarrhea in children in developing countries, as well as in travelers to these countries. To cause disease, ETEC needs to produce a series of virulence proteins including enterotoxins, colonization factors and secretion pathways, which enable this pathogen to colonize the human small intestine and deliver enterotoxins to epithelial cells. Previously, a number of studies have demonstrated that CfaD, an AraC-like transcriptional regulator, plays a key role in virulence gene expression by ETEC. In this study, we carried out a transcriptomic analysis of ETEC strain, H10407, grown under different conditions, and determined the complete set of genes that are regulated by CfaD. In this way, we identified a number of new target genes, including rnr-1, rnr-2, etpBAC, agn43, flu, traM and ETEC_3214, whose expression is strongly activated by CfaD. Using promoter-lacZ reporters, primer extension and electrophoretic mobility shift assays, we characterized the CfaD-mediated activation of several selected target promoters. We also showed that the gut-associated environmental signal, sodium bicarbonate, stimulates CfaD-mediated upregulation of its virulence target operons. Finally, we screened a commercial small molecule library and identified a compound (CH-1 that specifically inhibited the regulatory function of CfaD, and by 2-D analoging, we identified a second inhibitor (CH-2 with greater potency.
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
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.
Soheili, Sara; Ghafourian, Sobhan; Sekawi, Zamberi; Neela, Vasanthakumari; Sadeghifard, Nourkhoda; Ramli, Ramliza; Hamat, Rukman Awang
Enterococcus, a Gram-positive facultative anaerobic cocci belonging to the lactic acid bacteria of the phylum Firmicutes, is known to be able to resist a wide range of hostile conditions such as different pH levels, high concentration of NaCl (6.5%), and the extended temperatures between 5(°)C and 65(°)C. Despite being the third most common nosocomial pathogen, our understanding on its virulence factors is still poorly understood. The current study was aimed to determine the prevalence of different virulence genes in Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium. For this purpose, 79 clinical isolates of Malaysian enterococci were evaluated for the presence of virulence genes. pilB, fms8, efaAfm, and sgrA genes are prevalent in all clinical isolates. In conclusion, the pathogenicity of E. faecalis and E. faecium could be associated with different virulence factors and these genes are widely distributed among the enterococcal species.
Morace, Giulia; Borghi, Elisa
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.
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.
Secretome Characterization and Correlation Analysis Reveal Putative Pathogenicity Mechanisms and Identify Candidate Avirulence Genes in the Wheat Stripe Rust Fungus Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici.
Xia, Chongjing; Wang, Meinan; Cornejo, Omar E; Jiwan, Derick A; See, Deven R; Chen, Xianming
Stripe (yellow) rust, caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici ( Pst ), is one of the most destructive diseases of wheat worldwide. Planting resistant cultivars is an effective way to control this disease, but race-specific resistance can be overcome quickly due to the rapid evolving Pst population. Studying the pathogenicity mechanisms is critical for understanding how Pst virulence changes and how to develop wheat cultivars with durable resistance to stripe rust. We re-sequenced 7 Pst isolates and included additional 7 previously sequenced isolates to represent balanced virulence/avirulence profiles for several avirulence loci in seretome analyses. We observed an uneven distribution of heterozygosity among the isolates. Secretome comparison of Pst with other rust fungi identified a large portion of species-specific secreted proteins, suggesting that they may have specific roles when interacting with the wheat host. Thirty-two effectors of Pst were identified from its secretome. We identified candidates for Avr genes corresponding to six Yr genes by correlating polymorphisms for effector genes to the virulence/avirulence profiles of the 14 Pst isolates. The putative AvYr76 was present in the avirulent isolates, but absent in the virulent isolates, suggesting that deleting the coding region of the candidate avirulence gene has produced races virulent to resistance gene Yr76 . We conclude that incorporating avirulence/virulence phenotypes into correlation analysis with variations in genomic structure and secretome, particularly presence/absence polymorphisms of effectors, is an efficient way to identify candidate Avr genes in Pst . The candidate effector genes provide a rich resource for further studies to determine the evolutionary history of Pst populations and the co-evolutionary arms race between Pst and wheat. The Avr candidates identified in this study will lead to cloning avirulence genes in Pst , which will enable us to understand molecular mechanisms
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
Evenhuis, Jason P; LaFrentz, Benjamin R
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.
Pragman, Alexa A; Schlievert, Patrick M
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.
Macarena A. Varas
Full Text Available Inorganic polyphosphate (polyP deficiency in enteric bacterial pathogens reduces their ability to invade and establish systemic infections in different hosts. For instance, inactivation of the polyP kinase gene (ppk encoding the enzyme responsible for polyP biosynthesis reduces invasiveness and intracellular survival of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium in epithelial cells and macrophages in vitro. In addition, the virulence in vivo of a S. Typhimurium Δppk mutant is significantly reduced in a murine infection model. In spite of these observations, the role played by polyP during the Salmonella-host interaction is not well understood. The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum has proven to be a useful model for studying relevant aspects of the host-pathogen interaction. In fact, many intracellular pathogens can survive within D. discoideum cells using molecular mechanisms also required to survive within macrophages. Recently, we established that S. Typhimurium is able to survive intracellularly in D. discoideum and identified relevant genes linked to virulence that are crucial for this process. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of a polyP deficiency in S. Typhimurium during its interaction with D. discoideum. To do this, we evaluated the intracellular survival of wild-type and Δppk strains of S. Typhimurium in D. discoideum and the ability of these strains to delay the social development of the amoeba. In contrast to the wild-type strain, the Δppk mutant was unable to survive intracellularly in D. discoideum and enabled the social development of the amoeba. Both phenotypes were complemented using a plasmid carrying a copy of the ppk gene. Next, we simultaneously evaluated the proteomic response of both S. Typhimurium and D. discoideum during host-pathogen interaction via global proteomic profiling. The analysis of our results allowed the identification of novel molecular signatures that give insight into
Ye, Fuzhou [Nanyang Technological University, 60 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637551 (Singapore); Wang, Chao [Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, 61 Biopolis Drive, Singapore 138673 (Singapore); National Cancer Centre Singapore, 11 Hospital Drive, Singapore 169610 (Singapore); Fu, Qinqin [Nanyang Technological University, 60 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637551 (Singapore); Zhang, Lian-hui [Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, 61 Biopolis Drive, Singapore 138673 (Singapore); Gao, Yong-gui, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [Nanyang Technological University, 60 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637551 (Singapore); Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, 61 Biopolis Drive, Singapore 138673 (Singapore)
The crystallization of the novel virulence factors SghA and SghR is reported. Two proteins, SghA and SghR, which were recently identified and characterized as novel bacterial virulence factors regulating the infection of plant hosts by Agrobacterium, were cloned, overexpressed and purified with high yield. Both SghA and SghR form dimers in solution. The purified SghA and SghR were crystallized and the crystals diffracted to 1.9 and 2.1 Å resolution, respectively. Data were collected and processed, and the crystallographic parameters were within acceptable ranges. These results will help in the determination of their structures in order to uncover the molecular mechanism of how these two proteins together control the release of plant defence signals against agrobacteria during pathogen–host interaction.
Yan, Shao Fei; Wang, Wei; Bai, Li; Hu, Yu Jie; Dong, Yin Ping; Xu, Jin; Li, Feng Qin
We aimed to investigate the potential pathogenic profile and antibiotic resistance of Listeria monocytogenes isolated from ready-to-eat food in China. Antimicrobial resistance was determined by broth microdilution following the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute protocol. Molecular serotyping, virulence, and resistance genes were identified using PCR. Multi-locus sequence typing was performed on resistant strains. A total of 11.53% (113/980) isolates were resistant, from which 82.3% (93/113) harbored all the virulence genes tested. The resistant strains were subtyped into 18 sequence types (STs), from which ST2, ST5, ST8, and ST9 were involved in listeriosis. This study indicated that several L. monocytogenes isolates from ready-to-eat foods in China have pathogenic potential and are resistant to antibiotics, including antibiotics used as medicines by humans for listeriosis treatment. Copyright © 2016 The Editorial Board of Biomedical and Environmental Sciences. Published by China CDC. All rights reserved.
Ye, Fuzhou; Wang, Chao; Fu, Qinqin; Zhang, Lian-hui; Gao, Yong-gui
The crystallization of the novel virulence factors SghA and SghR is reported. Two proteins, SghA and SghR, which were recently identified and characterized as novel bacterial virulence factors regulating the infection of plant hosts by Agrobacterium, were cloned, overexpressed and purified with high yield. Both SghA and SghR form dimers in solution. The purified SghA and SghR were crystallized and the crystals diffracted to 1.9 and 2.1 Å resolution, respectively. Data were collected and processed, and the crystallographic parameters were within acceptable ranges. These results will help in the determination of their structures in order to uncover the molecular mechanism of how these two proteins together control the release of plant defence signals against agrobacteria during pathogen–host interaction
Full Text Available Dengue virus (DENV is the most common mosquito-transmitted virus infecting ~390 million people worldwide. In spite of this high medical relevance, neither a vaccine nor antiviral therapy is currently available. DENV elicits a strong interferon (IFN response in infected cells, but at the same time actively counteracts IFN production and signaling. Although the kinetics of activation of this innate antiviral defense and the timing of viral counteraction critically determine the magnitude of infection and thus disease, quantitative and kinetic analyses are lacking and it remains poorly understood how DENV spreads in IFN-competent cell systems. To dissect the dynamics of replication versus antiviral defense at the single cell level, we generated a fully viable reporter DENV and host cells with authentic reporters for IFN-stimulated antiviral genes. We find that IFN controls DENV infection in a kinetically determined manner that at the single cell level is highly heterogeneous and stochastic. Even at high-dose, IFN does not fully protect all cells in the culture and, therefore, viral spread occurs even in the face of antiviral protection of naïve cells by IFN. By contrast, a vaccine candidate DENV mutant, which lacks 2'-O-methylation of viral RNA is profoundly attenuated in IFN-competent cells. Through mathematical modeling of time-resolved data and validation experiments we show that the primary determinant for attenuation is the accelerated kinetics of IFN production. This rapid induction triggered by mutant DENV precedes establishment of IFN-resistance in infected cells, thus causing a massive reduction of virus production rate. In contrast, accelerated protection of naïve cells by paracrine IFN action has negligible impact. In conclusion, these results show that attenuation of the 2'-O-methylation DENV mutant is primarily determined by kinetics of autocrine IFN action on infected cells.
István A Kovács
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Network communities help the functional organization and evolution of complex networks. However, the development of a method, which is both fast and accurate, provides modular overlaps and partitions of a heterogeneous network, has proven to be rather difficult. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we introduce the novel concept of ModuLand, an integrative method family determining overlapping network modules as hills of an influence function-based, centrality-type community landscape, and including several widely used modularization methods as special cases. As various adaptations of the method family, we developed several algorithms, which provide an efficient analysis of weighted and directed networks, and (1 determine persvasively overlapping modules with high resolution; (2 uncover a detailed hierarchical network structure allowing an efficient, zoom-in analysis of large networks; (3 allow the determination of key network nodes and (4 help to predict network dynamics. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The concept opens a wide range of possibilities to develop new approaches and applications including network routing, classification, comparison and prediction.
Frackelton Edward C
Full Text Available Abstract Background Human height is considered highly heritable and correlated with certain disorders, such as type 2 diabetes and cancer. Despite environmental influences, genetic factors are known to play an important role in stature determination. A number of genetic determinants of adult height have already been established through genome wide association studies. Methods To examine 51 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs corresponding to the 46 previously reported genomic loci for height in 8,184 European American children with height measurements. We leveraged genotyping data from our ongoing GWA study of height variation in children in order to query the 51 SNPs in this pediatric cohort. Results Sixteen of these SNPs yielded at least nominally significant association to height, representing fifteen different loci including EFEMP1-PNPT1, GPR126, C6orf173, SPAG17, Histone class 1, HLA class III and GDF5-UQCC. Other loci revealed no evidence for association, including HMGA1 and HMGA2. For the 16 associated variants, the genotype score explained 1.64% of the total variation for height z-score. Conclusion Among 46 loci that have been reported to associate with adult height to date, at least 15 also contribute to the determination of height in childhood.
Evaluating virulence of waterborne and clinical Aeromonas isolates using gene expression and mortality in neonatal mice followed by assessing cell culture’s ability to predict virulence based on transcriptional response
Hayes, S L; Rodgers, M R; Lye, D J; Stelma, G N; McKinstry, Craig A.; Malard, Joel M.; Vesper, Sephen J.
Aims: To assess the virulence of Aeromonas spp. using two models, a neonatal mouse assay and a mouse intestinal cell culture. Methods and Results: After artificial infection with a variety of Aeromonas spp., mRNA extracts from the two models were processed and hydridized to murine microarrays to determine host gene response. Definition of virulence was determined based on host mRNA production in murine neonatal intestinal tissue and mortality of infected animals. Infections of mouse intestinal cell cultures were then performed to determine whether this simpler model system’s mRNA responses correlated to neonatal results and therefore be predictive of virulence of Aeromonas spp. Virulent aeromonads up-regulated transcripts in both models including multiple host defense gene products (chemokines, regulation of transcription and apoptosis and cell signalling). Avirulent species exhibited little or no host response in neonates. Mortality results correlated well with both bacterial dose and average fold change of up-regulated transcripts in the neonatal mice. Conclusions: Cell culture results were less discriminating but showed promise as potentially being able to be predictive of virulence. Jun oncogene up-regulation in murine cell culture is potentially predictive of Aeromonas virulence. Significance and Impact of the Study: Having the ability to determine virulence of waterborne pathogens quickly would potentially assist public health officials to rapidly assess exposure risks.
Full Text Available Caenorhabditis elegans is commonly used as an infection model for pathogenesis studies in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The standard virulence assays rely on the slow and fast killing or paralysis of nematodes but here we developed a behaviour assay to monitor the preferred bacterial food sources of C. elegans. We monitored the food preferences of nematodes fed the wild type PAO1 and mutants in the type III secretion (T3S system, which is a conserved mechanism to inject secreted effectors into the host cell cytosol. A ΔexsEΔpscD mutant defective for type III secretion served as a preferred food source, while an ΔexsE mutant that overexpresses the T3S effectors was avoided. Both food sources were ingested and observed in the gastrointestinal tract. Using the slow killing assay, we showed that the ΔexsEΔpscD had reduced virulence and thus confirmed that preferred food sources are less virulent than the wild type. Next we developed a high throughput feeding behaviour assay with 48 possible food colonies in order to screen a transposon mutant library and identify potential virulence genes. C. elegans identified and consumed preferred food colonies from a grid of 48 choices. The mutants identified as preferred food sources included known virulence genes, as well as novel genes not identified in previous C. elegans infection studies. Slow killing assays were performed and confirmed that several preferred food sources also showed reduced virulence. We propose that C. elegans feeding behaviour can be used as a sensitive indicator of virulence for P. aeruginosa PAO1.
Joly-Guillou, M L
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.
KUROKAWA Cilmery Suemi
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.
Jensen, Betina Hebbelstrup; Poulsen, Anja; Rasmussen, Stig Hebbelstrup Rye
Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) is frequently found in diarrheal stools worldwide. It has been associated with persistent diarrhea, weight loss, and failure to thrive in children living in developing countries. A number of important EAEC virulence genes are identified; however...
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
Carolinie Batista Nobre da Cruz
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.
Papageorgiou, Ioannis; Freytsis, Marina; Court, Michael H
Acetaminophen is the leading cause of acute liver failure (ALF) in many countries including the United States. Hepatic glucuronidation by UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) 1A subfamily enzymes is the major route of acetaminophen elimination. Reduced glucuronidation may predispose some individuals to acetaminophen-induced ALF, but mechanisms underlying reduced glucuronidation are poorly understood. We hypothesized that specific microRNAs (miRNAs) may reduce UGT1A activity by direct effects on the UGT1A 3'-UTR shared by all UGT1A enzyme transcripts, or by indirect effects on transcription factors regulating UGT1A expression. We performed an unbiased miRNA whole transcriptome association analysis using a bank of human livers with known acetaminophen glucuronidation activities. Of 754 miRNAs evaluated, 9 miRNAs were identified that were significantly overexpressed (p2-fold) in livers with low acetaminophen glucuronidation activities compared with those with high activities. miR-375 showed the highest difference (>10-fold), and was chosen for further mechanistic validation. We demonstrated using in silico analysis and luciferase reporter assays that miR-375 has a unique functional binding site in the 3'-UTR of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) gene. Furthermore overexpression of miR-375 in LS180 cells demonstrated significant repression of endogenous AhR protein (by 40%) and mRNA (by 10%), as well as enzyme activity and/or mRNA of AhR regulated enzymes including UGT1A1, UGT1A6, and CYP1A2, without affecting UGT2B7, which is not regulated by AhR. Thus miR-375 is identified as a novel repressor of UGT1A-mediated hepatic acetaminophen glucuronidation through reduced AhR expression, which could predispose some individuals to increased risk for acetaminophen-induced ALF. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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.
Emaneini, Mohammad; Khoramian, Babak; Jabalameli, Fereshteh; Abani, Samira; Dabiri, Hossein; Beigverdi, Reza
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.
Azara, E; Longheu, C; Sanna, G; Tola, S
To perform a phenotypic and genotypic characterization of 258 Staphylococcus aureus isolates from clinical ovine mastitis and used for the preparation of inactivated autogenous vaccines. The potential for biofilm production was determined by phenotypic test of Congo Red Agar (CRA) and by PCR for the detection of icaA/D genes. Isolates were also screened by PCR for the presence of enterotoxins (sea, seb, sec, sed and see), toxic shock syndrome toxin (tsst), leukotoxins (lukD-E, lukM and lukPV83), haemolysins (hly-β and hly-γ), autolysin (atlA) genes and encoding microbial surface components recognizing adhesive matrix molecules (MSCRAMMs: clfA, clfB, fnbA, fnbB, bbp, cna, eno, fib, epbs, sdrC, sdrD and SdrE). None of the 258 isolates showed biofilm-forming ability on CRA and harboured icaA/D genes. The most frequent pyrogenic toxin superantigen genes amplified were sec plus tsst-1, which were found strictly in combination with 71·3% of the Staph. aureus isolates tested. None of the isolates harboured the genes encoding sea and see. Of the 258 isolates tested, 159 (61·6%) possessed all lukD-E/lukM/lukPV83 genes, 123 (47·7%) harboured both hly-β/hly-γ genes, whereas almost all (97·3%) were PCR positive for atlA gene. With respect to adhesion determinants, 179 (69·4%) isolates presented simultaneously four genes (fnbA, fib, clfA and clfB) for fibronectin- and fibrinogen-binding proteins. In this search, several putative virulence determinants have been identified in ovine Staph. aureus isolates collected in Sardinia. Some of the putative virulence determinants could be considered as components of a vaccine because of their role in ovine mastitis pathogenesis. © 2017 The Society for Applied Microbiology.
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.
Robertson, Colin D.; Hazen, Tracy H.; Kaper, James B.
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
Colin D. Robertson
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.
McCullough, Michael J.; Clemons, Karl V.; McCusker, John H.; Stevens, David A.
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
Betina Hebbelstrup Jensen; Anja Poulsen; Stig Hebbelstrup Rye Rasmussen; Carsten Struve; Jørgen H. Engberg; Alice Friis-Møller; Nadia Boisen; Rie Jønsson; Randi F. Petersen; Andreas M. Petersen; Andreas M. Petersen; Andreas M. Petersen; Karen A. Krogfelt
Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) is frequently found in diarrheal stools worldwide. It has been associated with persistent diarrhea, weight loss, and failure to thrive in children living in developing countries. A number of important EAEC virulence genes are identified; however, their roles in acute and persistent diarrhea have not been previously investigated. The aim of this study was to identify specific EAEC virulence genes associated with duration and type of diarrhea in Danish ...
Brown, Paul A; Lupini, Caterina; Catelli, Elena; Clubbe, Jayne; Ricchizzi, Enrico; Naylor, Clive J
Previously, a virulent avian metapneumovirus, farm isolate Italy 309/04, was shown to have been derived from a live vaccine. Virulence due to the five nucleotide mutations associated with the reversion to virulence was investigated by their addition to the genome of the vaccine strain using reverse genetics. Virulence of these recombinant viruses was determined by infection of 1-day-old turkeys. Disease levels resulting from the combined two matrix mutations was indistinguishable from that produced by the recombinant vaccine, whereas the combined three L gene mutations increased disease to a level (P<0.0001) that was indistinguishable from that caused by the revertant Italy 309/04 virus. Testing of the L mutations individually showed that two mutations did not increase virulence, while the third mutation, corresponding to an asparagine to aspartic acid substitution, produced virulence indistinguishable from that caused by Italy 309/04. In contrast to the vaccine, the virulent mutant also showed increased viability at temperatures typical of turkey core tissues. The notion that increased viral virulence resulted from enhanced ability to replicate in tissues away from the cool respiratory tract, cannot be discounted.
Seimetz, Elisabeth; Slekiene, Jurgita; Friedrich, Max N D; Mosler, Hans-Joachim
This article presents the development of a school handwashing programme in two different sub-Saharan countries that applies the RANAS (risk, attitudes, norms, ability, and self-regulation) systematic approach to behaviour change. Interviews were conducted with 669 children enrolled in 20 primary schools in Burundi and 524 children in 20 primary schools in Zimbabwe. Regression analyses were used to assess the influence of the RANAS behavioural determinants on reported handwashing frequencies. The results revealed that, in both countries, a programme targeting social norms and self-efficacy would be most effective. In Burundi, raising the children's perceived severity of the consequences of contracting diarrhoea, and in Zimbabwe, increasing the children's health knowledge should be part of the programme. The school handwashing programme should create awareness of the benefits of handwashing through educational activities, raise the children's ability and confidence in washing hands at school through infrastructural improvements, and highlight the normality of washing hands at school through events and poster creation.
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.
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.
Full Text Available The aim of this study was to reveal the molecular mechanism involved in multidrug resistance and virulence of Campylobacter jejuni isolated from broiler chickens. The virulence of six multidrug resistant C. jejuni was determined by in vitro and in vivo methods. The de novo whole genome sequencing technology and molecular biology methods were used to analyze the genomic features associated with the multidrug resistance and virulence of a selected isolate (C. jejuni 1655. The comparative genomic analyses revealed a large number of single nucleotide polymorphisms, deletions, rearrangements, and inversions in C. jejuni 1655 compared to reference C. jejuni genomes. The co-emergence of Thr-86-Ile mutation in gyrA gene, A2075G mutation in 23S rRNA gene, tetO, aphA and aadE genes and pTet plasmid in C. jejuni 1655 contributed its multidrug resistance to fluoroquinolones, macrolides, tetracycline and aminoglycosides. The combination of multiple virulence genes may work together to confer the relative higher virulence in C. jejuni 1655. The co-existence of mobile gene elements (e.g. pTet and CRISPR-Cas system in C. jejuni 1655 may play an important role in the gene transfer and immune defense. The present study provides basic information of phenotypic and genomic features of C. jejuni 1655, a strain recently isolated from a chicken displaying multidrug resistance and relatively high level of virulence.
Chang Da Wan; Benedict Weerasena
This paper examines the determinants of spending and the amount of time attending private supplementary tutoring, or commonly known as private tuition, in Malaysia. Based on 343 self-reported questionnaires with upper secondary students across three states in Malaysia and using multiple regression analysis, we identified ethnicity, father’s level of education and past academic performance as significant determinants of spending and amount of time attending private tuition. However, interestin...
Carlos C Goller
Full Text Available Rising antibiotic resistance among Escherichia coli, the leading cause of urinary tract infections (UTIs, has placed a new focus on molecular pathogenesis studies, aiming to identify new therapeutic targets. Anti-virulence agents are attractive as chemotherapeutics to attenuate an organism during disease but not necessarily during benign commensalism, thus decreasing the stress on beneficial microbial communities and lessening the emergence of resistance. We and others have demonstrated that the K antigen capsule of E. coli is a preeminent virulence determinant during UTI and more invasive diseases. Components of assembly and export are highly conserved among the major K antigen capsular types associated with UTI-causing E. coli and are distinct from the capsule biogenesis machinery of many commensal E. coli, making these attractive therapeutic targets. We conducted a screen for anti-capsular small molecules and identified an agent designated "C7" that blocks the production of K1 and K5 capsules, unrelated polysaccharide types among the Group 2-3 capsules. Herein lies proof-of-concept that this screen may be implemented with larger chemical libraries to identify second-generation small-molecule inhibitors of capsule biogenesis. These inhibitors will lead to a better understanding of capsule biogenesis and may represent a new class of therapeutics.
Full Text Available Haptoglobin is an acute phase inflammatory marker. Its main function is to bind hemoglobin released from erythrocytes to aid its elimination, and thereby haptoglobin prevents the generation of reactive oxygen species in the blood. Haptoglobin levels have been repeatedly associated with a variety of inflammation-linked infectious and non-infectious diseases, including malaria, tuberculosis, human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis C, diabetes, carotid atherosclerosis, and acute myocardial infarction. However, a comprehensive genetic assessment of the inter-individual variability of circulating haptoglobin levels has not been conducted so far.We used a genome-wide association study initially conducted in 631 French children followed by a replication in three additional European sample sets and we identified a common single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP, rs2000999 located in the Haptoglobin gene (HP as a strong genetic predictor of circulating Haptoglobin levels (P(overall = 8.1 × 10(-59, explaining 45.4% of its genetic variability (11.8% of Hp global variance. The functional relevance of rs2000999 was further demonstrated by its specific association with HP mRNA levels (β = 0.23 ± 0.08, P = 0.007. Finally, SNP rs2000999 was associated with decreased total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in 8,789 European children (P(total cholesterol = 0.002 and P(LDL = 0.0008.Given the central position of haptoglobin in many inflammation-related metabolic pathways, the relevance of rs2000999 genotyping when evaluating haptoglobin concentration should be further investigated in order to improve its diagnostic/therapeutic and/or prevention impact.
Weerdenburg, Eveline M.; Abdallah, Abdallah; Rangkuti, Farania; Abd El Ghany, Moataz; Otto, Thomas D.; Adroub, Sabir; Molenaar, Douwe; Ummels, Roy; ter Veen, Kars; van Stempvoort, Gunny; van der Sar, Astrid M.; Ali, Shahjahan; Langridge, Gemma C.; Thomson, Nicholas R.; Pain, Arnab; Bitter, Wilbert
the type VII protein secretion system ESX-1, biosynthesis of polyketide lipids, and utilization of sterols. However, we were also able to show that M. marinum contains an even larger set of host-specific virulence determinants, including proteins involved
Suat Moi Puah
Full Text Available Staphylococcus aureus is one of the leading causes of food poisoning. Its pathogenicity results from the possession of virulence genes that produce different toxins which result in self-limiting to severe illness often requiring hospitalization. In this study of 200 sushi and sashimi samples, S. aureus contamination was confirmed in 26% of the food samples. The S. aureus isolates were further characterized for virulence genes and antibiotic susceptibility. A high incidence of virulence genes was identified in 96.2% of the isolates and 20 different virulence gene profiles were confirmed. DNA amplification showed that 30.8% (16/52 of the S. aureus carried at least one SE gene which causes staphylococcal food poisoning. The most common enterotoxin gene was seg (11.5% and the egc cluster was detected in 5.8% of the isolates. A combination of hla and hld was the most prevalent coexistence virulence genes and accounted for 59.6% of all isolates. Antibiotic resistance studies showed tetracycline resistance to be the most common at 28.8% while multi-drug resistance was found to be low at 3.8%. In conclusion, the high rate of S. aureus in the sampled sushi and sashimi indicates the need for food safety guidelines.
Xie, Xin; Wu, Qunhong; Hao, Yanhua; Yin, Hui; Fu, Wenqi; Ning, Ning; Xu, Ling; Liu, Chaojie; Li, Ye; Kang, Zheng; He, Changzhi; Liu, Guoxiang
People with chronic non-communicable diseases (NCD) are particularly vulnerable to socioeconomic inequality due to their long-term expensive health needs. This study aimed to assess socioeconomic-related inequality in health service utilization among NCD patients in China and to analyze factors associated with this disparity. Data were taken from the 2008 Chinese National Health Survey, in which a multiple stage stratified random sampling method was employed to survey 56,456 households. We analyzed the distribution of actual use, need-expected use, and need-standardized usage of outpatient services (over a two-week period) and inpatient services (over one-year) across different income groups in 27,233 adult respondents who reported as having a NCD. We used a concentration index to measure inequality in the distribution of health services, which was expressed as HI (Horizontal Inequity Index) for need-standardized use of services. A non-linear probit regression model was employed to detect inequality across socio-economic groups. Pro-rich inequity in health services among NCD patients was more substantial than the average population. A higher degree of pro-rich inequity (HI = 0.253) was found in inpatient services compared to outpatient services (HI = 0.089). Despite a greater need for health services amongst those of lower socio-economic status, their actual use is much less than their more affluent counterparts. Health service underuse by the poor and overuse by the affluent are evident. Household income disparity was the greatest inequality factor in NCD service use for both outpatients (71.3%) and inpatients (108%), more so than health insurance policies. Some medical insurance schemes, such as the MIUE, actually made a pro-rich contribution to health service inequality (16.1% for outpatient and 12.1% for inpatient). Inequality in health services amongst NCD patients in China remains largely determined by patient financial capability. The current
determined by patient financial capability. The current insurance schemes are insufficient to address this inequity. A comprehensive social policy that encompasses a more progressive taxation package and redistribution of social capital as well as pro-poor welfare is needed.
Subramanian, Devika; Natarajan, Jeyakumar
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.
Fang, Xiangling; Barbetti, Martin J
This study was conducted to define differences in Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. fragariae (Fof) isolates with different virulence efficiency to strawberry at the proteome level, in combination with their differences in mycelial growth, conidial production and germination. Comparative proteome analyses revealed substantial differences in mycelial proteomes between Fof isolates, where the 54 differentially accumulated protein spots were consistently over-accumulated or exclusively in the highly virulent isolate. These protein spots were identified through MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry analyses, and the identified proteins were mainly related to primary and protein metabolism, antioxidation, electron transport, cell cycle and transcription based on their putative functions. Proteins of great potential as Fof virulence factors were those involved in ubiquitin/proteasome-mediated protein degradation and reactive oxygen species detoxification; the hydrolysis-related protein haloacid dehalogenase superfamily hydrolase; 3,4-dihydroxy-2-butanone 4-phosphate synthase associated with riboflavin biosynthesis; and those exclusive to the highly virulent isolate. In addition, post-translational modifications may also make an important contribution to Fof virulence. F. oxysporum f. sp. fragariae (Fof), the causal agent of Fusarium wilt in strawberry, is a serious threat to commercial strawberry production worldwide. However, factors and mechanisms contributing to Fof virulence remained unknown. This study provides knowledge of the molecular basis for the differential expression of virulence in Fof, allowing new possibilities towards developing alternative and more effective strategies to manage Fusarium wilt. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Chang Da Wan
Full Text Available This paper examines the determinants of spending and the amount of time attending private supplementary tutoring, or commonly known as private tuition, in Malaysia. Based on 343 self-reported questionnaires with upper secondary students across three states in Malaysia and using multiple regression analysis, we identified ethnicity, father’s level of education and past academic performance as significant determinants of spending and amount of time attending private tuition. However, interestingly, we found that while geographical location and participation in internal tuition in schools were also determinants of spending, these two were not significant in determining the amount of time attending private supplementary tutoring. The identification of determinants of spending and amount of time, and in addition, the differences between these two illustrates the economic and educational dimensions of shadow education. More importantly, the insight also contributes to the formulation of possible interventions that can improve quality and reduce inequality in the mainstream education system.
Nielsen, Lene Nørby; Luijkx, Thomas A.; Vegge, Christina Skovgaard
With the aim of identifying proteins important for host interaction and virulence, we have screened an expression library of NCTC 11168 Campylobacter jejuni genes for highly immunogenic proteins. A commercial C. jejuni open reading frame (ORF) library consisting of more than 1,600 genes was trans......With the aim of identifying proteins important for host interaction and virulence, we have screened an expression library of NCTC 11168 Campylobacter jejuni genes for highly immunogenic proteins. A commercial C. jejuni open reading frame (ORF) library consisting of more than 1,600 genes...
Grim, Christopher J; Kozlova, Elena V; Ponnusamy, Duraisamy; Fitts, Eric C; Sha, Jian; Kirtley, Michelle L; van Lier, Christina J; Tiner, Bethany L; Erova, Tatiana E; Joseph, Sandeep J; Read, Timothy D; Shak, Joshua R; Joseph, Sam W; Singletary, Ed; Felland, Tracy; Baze, Wallace B; Horneman, Amy J; Chopra, Ashok K
The genomes of 10 Aeromonas isolates identified and designated Aeromonas hydrophila WI, Riv3, and NF1 to NF4; A. dhakensis SSU; A. jandaei Riv2; and A. caviae NM22 and NM33 were sequenced and annotated. Isolates NF1 to NF4 were from a patient with necrotizing fasciitis (NF). Two environmental isolates (Riv2 and -3) were from the river water from which the NF patient acquired the infection. While isolates NF2 to NF4 were clonal, NF1 was genetically distinct. Outside the conserved core genomes of these 10 isolates, several unique genomic features were identified. The most virulent strains possessed one of the following four virulence factors or a combination of them: cytotoxic enterotoxin, exotoxin A, and type 3 and 6 secretion system effectors AexU and Hcp. In a septicemic-mouse model, SSU, NF1, and Riv2 were the most virulent, while NF2 was moderately virulent. These data correlated with high motility and biofilm formation by the former three isolates. Conversely, in a mouse model of intramuscular infection, NF2 was much more virulent than NF1. Isolates NF2, SSU, and Riv2 disseminated in high numbers from the muscular tissue to the visceral organs of mice, while NF1 reached the liver and spleen in relatively lower numbers on the basis of colony counting and tracking of bioluminescent strains in real time by in vivo imaging. Histopathologically, degeneration of myofibers with significant infiltration of polymorphonuclear cells due to the highly virulent strains was noted. Functional genomic analysis provided data that allowed us to correlate the highly infectious nature of Aeromonas pathotypes belonging to several different species with virulence signatures and their potential ability to cause NF. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Learmonth, Yvonne C; Motl, Robert W
This systematic review was conducted to provide rich and deep evidence of the perceived determinants and consequences of physical activity and exercise based on qualitative research in multiple sclerosis (MS). Electronic databases and article reference lists were searched to identify qualitative studies of physical activity and exercise in MS. Studies were included if they were written in English and examined consequences/determinants of physical activity in persons with MS. Content analysis of perceived determinants and consequences of physical activity and exercise was undertaken using an inductive analysis guided by the Physical Activity for people with Disabilities framework and Social Cognitive Theory, respectively. Nineteen articles were reviewed. The most commonly identified perceived barriers of physical activity and exercise were related to the environmental (i.e. minimal or no disabled facilities, and minimal or conflicting advice from healthcare professionals) and related to personal barriers (i.e. fatigue, and fear and apprehension). The most commonly identified perceived facilitators of physical activity were related to the environment (i.e. the type of exercise modality and peer support) and related to personal facilitators (i.e. appropriate exercise and feelings of accomplishment). The most commonly identified perceived beneficial consequences of physical activity and exercise were maintaining physical functions, increased social participation and feelings of self-management and control. The most commonly identified perceived adverse consequences were increased fatigue and feelings of frustration and lost control. Results will inform future research on the perceived determinants and consequences of physical activity and exercise in those with MS and can be adopted for developing professional education and interventions for physical activity and exercise in MS. Physical activity and exercise behaviour in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) is subject
Full Text Available Haemophilus parasuis can be either a commensal bacterium of the porcine respiratory tract or an opportunistic pathogen causing Glässer's disease, a severe systemic disease that has led to significant economical losses in the pig industry worldwide. We determined the complete genomic sequence of H. parasuis SH0165, a highly virulent strain of serovar 5, which was isolated from a hog pen in North China. The single circular chromosome was 2,269,156 base pairs in length and contained 2,031 protein-coding genes. Together with the full spectrum of genes detected by the analysis of metabolic pathways, we confirmed that H. parasuis generates ATP via both fermentation and respiration, and possesses an intact TCA cycle for anabolism. In addition to possessing the complete pathway essential for the biosynthesis of heme, this pathogen was also found to be well-equipped with different iron acquisition systems, such as the TonB system and ABC-type transport complexes, to overcome iron limitation during infection and persistence. We identified a number of genes encoding potential virulence factors, such as type IV fimbriae and surface polysaccharides. Analysis of the genome confirmed that H. parasuis is naturally competent, as genes related to DNA uptake are present. A nine-mer DNA uptake signal sequence (ACAAGCGGT, identical to that found in Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae and Mannheimia haemolytica, followed by similar downstream motifs, was identified in the SH0165 genome. Genomic and phylogenetic comparisons with other Pasteurellaceae species further indicated that H. parasuis was closely related to another swine pathogenic bacteria A. pleuropneumoniae. The comprehensive genetic analysis presented here provides a foundation for future research on the metabolism, natural competence and virulence of H. parasuis.
Åvall-Jääskeläinen, Silja; Paulin, Lars; Blom, Jochen
Non-aureus staphylococci (NAS) are most commonly isolated from subclinical mastitis. Different NAS species may, however, have diverse effects on the inflammatory response in the udder. We determined the genome sequences of 20 staphylococcal isolates from clinical or subclinical bovine mastitis, belonging to the NAS species Staphylococcus agnetis, S. chromogenes, and S. simulans, and focused on the putative virulence factor genes present in the genomes. For comparison we used our previously published genome sequences of four S. aureus isolates from bovine mastitis. The pan-genome and core genomes of the non-aureus isolates were characterized. After that, putative virulence factor orthologues were searched in silico. We compared the presence of putative virulence factors in the NAS species and S. aureus and evaluated the potential association between bacterial genotype and type of mastitis (clinical vs. subclinical). The NAS isolates had much less virulence gene orthologues than the S. aureus isolates. One third of the virulence genes were detected only in S. aureus. About 100 virulence genes were present in all S. aureus isolates, compared to about 40 to 50 in each NAS isolate. S. simulans differed the most. Several of the virulence genes detected among NAS were harbored only by S. simulans, but it also lacked a number of genes present both in S. agnetis and S. chromogenes. The type of mastitis was not associated with any specific virulence gene profile. It seems that the virulence gene profiles or cumulative number of different virulence genes are not directly associated with the type of mastitis (clinical or subclinical), indicating that host derived factors such as the immune status play a pivotal role in the manifestation of mastitis. PMID:29610707
Full Text Available Non-aureus staphylococci (NAS are most commonly isolated from subclinical mastitis. Different NAS species may, however, have diverse effects on the inflammatory response in the udder. We determined the genome sequences of 20 staphylococcal isolates from clinical or subclinical bovine mastitis, belonging to the NAS species Staphylococcus agnetis, S. chromogenes, and S. simulans, and focused on the putative virulence factor genes present in the genomes. For comparison we used our previously published genome sequences of four S. aureus isolates from bovine mastitis. The pan-genome and core genomes of the non-aureus isolates were characterized. After that, putative virulence factor orthologues were searched in silico. We compared the presence of putative virulence factors in the NAS species and S. aureus and evaluated the potential association between bacterial genotype and type of mastitis (clinical vs. subclinical. The NAS isolates had much less virulence gene orthologues than the S. aureus isolates. One third of the virulence genes were detected only in S. aureus. About 100 virulence genes were present in all S. aureus isolates, compared to about 40 to 50 in each NAS isolate. S. simulans differed the most. Several of the virulence genes detected among NAS were harbored only by S. simulans, but it also lacked a number of genes present both in S. agnetis and S. chromogenes. The type of mastitis was not associated with any specific virulence gene profile. It seems that the virulence gene profiles or cumulative number of different virulence genes are not directly associated with the type of mastitis (clinical or subclinical, indicating that host derived factors such as the immune status play a pivotal role in the manifestation of mastitis.
Freitas, Dayvison F S; Santos, Suelen S; Almeida-Paes, Rodrigo; de Oliveira, Manoel M E; do Valle, Antonio C F; Gutierrez-Galhardo, Maria Clara; Zancopé-Oliveira, Rosely M; Nosanchuk, Joshua D
The metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro is hyperendemic for cat-associated sporotrichosis. This study aimed to assess the virulence of serial Sporothrix isolates from a 61-year-old male patient with chronic, destructive disseminated sporotrichosis. Five Sporothrix isolates were cultured from skin exudates and bone samples over a 5-year period, and all were molecularly identified as Sporothrix brasiliensis. The final isolate was significantly more virulent in Galleria mellonella larvae compared to earlier isolates. We conclude that S. brasiliensis has the capacity to increase in virulence in vivo. This finding is significant to clinicians caring for individuals with S. brasiliensis disease and it suggests that further studies are needed to identify the mechanisms underlying pathogenicity enhancement during chronic disease.
Hentzer, Morten; Wu, H.; Andersen, Jens Bo
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...
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
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
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
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.
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.
Full Text Available Phytoparasitic nematodes that are able to infect and reproduce on plants that are considered resistant are referred to as virulent. The mechanism(s that virulent nematodes employ to evade or suppress host plant defenses are not well understood. Here we report the use of a genetic strategy (allelic imbalance analysis to associate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs with nematode virulence genes in Heterodera glycines, the soybean cyst nematode (SCN. To accomplish this analysis, a custom SCN SNP array was developed and used to genotype SCN F3-derived populations grown on resistant and susceptible soybean plants. Three SNPs reproducibly showed allele imbalances between nematodes grown on resistant and susceptible plants. Two candidate SCN virulence genes that were tightly linked to the SNPs were identified. One SCN gene encoded biotin synthase (HgBioB, and the other encoded a bacterial-like protein containing a putative SNARE domain (HgSLP-1. The two genes mapped to two different linkage groups. HgBioB contained sequence polymorphisms between avirulent and virulent nematodes. However, the gene encoding HgSLP-1 had reduced copy number in virulent nematode populations and appears to produce multiple forms of the protein via intron retention and alternative splicing. We show that HgSLP-1 is an esophageal-gland protein that is secreted by the nematode during plant parasitism. Furthermore, in bacterial co-expression experiments, HgSLP-1 co-purified with the SCN resistance protein Rhg1 α-SNAP, suggesting that these two proteins physically interact. Collectively our data suggest that multiple SCN genes are involved in SCN virulence, and that HgSLP-1 may function as an avirulence protein and when absent it helps SCN evade host defenses.
Hale, T L; Oaks, E V; Formal, S B
Seven plasmid-coded polypeptides, designated a through g, were identified by two-dimensional nonequilibrium pH gradient electrophoresis of radiolabeled extracts from minicells of virulent Shigella flexneri serotypes 2a and 5 and enteroinvasive Escherichia coli O143. These polypeptides were deemed to be products of 140-megadalton (MDa) virulence-associated plasmids because they were not synthesized in minicells which were not harboring a 140-MDa plasmid or in minicells which were carrying an F...
Full Text Available Colibacillosis, a disease caused by avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC, is one of the main causes of economic losses in the poultry industry worldwide. This study was carried out in order to determine the APEC-associated virulence genes contained by E. coli isolates causing colibacillosis in chickens. A total of 45 E. coli isolates were obtained from the diagnostics and research branch of the Central Veterinary Laboratories, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. These isolates were obtained from chickens with confirmed cases of colibacillosis after postmortem examination. The presence of the iutA, hlyF, ompT, frz, sitD, fimH, kpsM, sitA, sopB, uvrY, pstB and vat genes were investigated by multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR assay. Of the 45 isolates, 93% were positive for the presence of at least one virulence gene. The three most prevalent virulence genes were iutA (80%, fimH (33.3% and hlyF (24.4%. The kpsM, pstB and ompT genes had the lowest prevalence, having been detected in only 2.2% of the isolates. All 12 virulence genes studied were detected in the 45 APEC isolates. Virulence gene profiles were constructed for each APEC isolate from the multiplex data. The APEC isolates were profiled as 62.2% fitting profile A, 31.1% profile B and 6.7% profile C. None of the isolates had more than seven virulence genes. Virulence profiles of Zimbabwean APEC isolates are different from those previously reported. Zimbabwean APEC isolates appear to be less pathogenic and may rely on environmental factors and stress in hosts to establish infection.
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.
Full Text Available Tan spot, caused by Pyrenophora tritici-repentis, is a foliar disease of wheat, responsible for high economic losses in several wheat growing areas in the world. There are eight known races of P. tritici-repentis based on ability to induce necrosis and/or chlorosis on a set of differential cultivars. Fifty five isolates of P. tritici-repentis originating from diverse wheat growing regions in Algeria were studied to determine which races are present and to identify new races. Races 1, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 were found and a new virulence pattern was identified. Isolates with this pattern induced necrosis in durum wheat but failed to induce any disease in the common wheat genotypes in the differential set.
Caswell, Clayton C.; Elhassanny, Ahmed E. M.; Planchin, Emilie E.; Roux, Christelle M.; Weeks-Gorospe, Jenni N.; Ficht, Thomas A.; Dunman, Paul M.
The Ros-type regulator MucR is one of the few transcriptional regulators that have been linked to virulence in Brucella. Here, we show that a Brucella abortus in-frame mucR deletion strain exhibits a pronounced growth defect during in vitro cultivation and, more importantly, that the mucR mutant is attenuated in cultured macrophages and in mice. The genetic basis for the attenuation of Brucella mucR mutants has not been defined previously, but in the present study the genes regulated by MucR in B. abortus have been elucidated using microarray analysis and real-time reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR). In B. abortus 2308, MucR regulates a wide variety of genes whose products may function in establishing and maintaining cell envelope integrity, polysaccharide biosynthesis, iron homeostasis, genome plasticity, and transcriptional regulation. Particularly notable among the MucR-regulated genes identified is arsR6 (nolR), which encodes a transcriptional regulator previously linked to virulence in Brucella melitensis 16 M. Importantly, electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs) determined that a recombinant MucR protein binds directly to the promoter regions of several genes repressed by MucR (including arsR6 [nolR]), and in Brucella, as in other alphaproteobacteria, MucR binds to its own promoter to repress expression of the gene that encodes it. Overall, these studies have uncovered the diverse genetic regulon of MucR in Brucella, and in doing so this work has begun to define the MucR-controlled genetic circuitry whose misregulation contributes to the virulence defect of Brucella mucR mutants. PMID:23319565
Zhou, Kaixin; Xie, Lianyan; Han, Lizhong; Guo, Xiaokui; Wang, Yong; Sun, Jingyong
ICE Sag37 , a novel integrative and conjugative element carrying multidrug resistance and potential virulence factors, was characterized in a clinical isolate of Streptococcus agalactiae . Two clinical strains of S. agalactiae , Sag37 and Sag158, were isolated from blood samples of new-borns with bacteremia. Sag37 was highly resistant to erythromycin and tetracycline, and susceptible to levofloxacin and penicillin, while Sag158 was resistant to tetracycline and levofloxacin, and susceptible to erythromycin. Transfer experiments were performed and selection was carried out with suitable antibiotic concentrations. Through mating experiments, the erythromycin resistance gene was found to be transferable from Sag37 to Sag158. Sma I-PFGE revealed a new Sma I fragment, confirming the transfer of the fragment containing the erythromycin resistance gene. Whole genome sequencing and sequence analysis revealed a mobile element, ICE Sag37 , which was characterized using several molecular methods and in silico analyses. ICE Sag37 was excised to generate a covalent circular intermediate, which was transferable to S. agalactiae . Inverse PCR was performed to detect the circular form. A serine family integrase mediated its chromosomal integration into rumA , which is a known hotspot for the integration of streptococcal ICEs. The integration site was confirmed using PCR. ICE Sag37 carried genes for resistance to multiple antibiotics, including erythromycin [ erm(B) ], tetracycline [ tet(O) ], and aminoglycosides [ aadE, aphA , and ant(6) ]. Potential virulence factors, including a two-component signal transduction system ( nisK/nisR ), were also observed in ICE Sag37 . S1-PFGE analysis ruled out the existence of plasmids. ICE Sag37 is the first ICE Sa2603 family-like element identified in S. agalactiae carrying both resistance and potential virulence determinants. It might act as a vehicle for the dissemination of multidrug resistance and pathogenicity among S. agalactiae .
Full Text Available Virulent and resistant strains Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa is one of the most important cause of UTIs in pediatrics. The present study was carried to investigate the frequency of virulence factors in the multi-drug resistant strains of P. aeruginosa isolated from pediatrics hospitalized due to the UTIs. One - hundred and forty three urine samples were collected from pediatric patients suffered from UTIs. Samples were cultured and those that were P. aeruginosa positive were analyzed for the presence of putative virulence genes. Seventy one out of 143 samples (49.65% were positive for P. aeruginosa. Monthly, sex and age-dependent prevalence were seen for P. aeruginosa. Bacterial strains had the highest levels of resistance against ampicillin (95.77%, gentamicin (92.95% and ciprofloxacin (81.69%. Of 71 P. aeruginosa isolates, 12 strains were resistant to more than 9 antibiotics (16.90%. The most commonly detected virulence factors in the cases of urethral infections were exoU and plcH while those of pyelonephritis and cystitis were were exoS and lasB. Our findings should raise awareness about antibiotic resistance in hospitalized pediatrics with UTIs in Iran. Clinicians should exercise caution in prescribing antibiotics, especially in cases of UTIs. Such information can help in identifying these virulence genes as useful diagnostic markers for clinical P. aeruginosa strains isolated from UTIs.
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.
M. Pogány Simonová
Full Text Available Information concerning the virulence factor genes and antibiotic resistance of rabbit enterococci is limited, so in this study we tested the virulence factor genes in Enterococcus faecalis strains from rabbits. Moreover, their resistance/sensitivity to antibiotics and sensitivity to enterocins was also tested, with the aim of contributing to our enterocin spectra study and to indicate the possibility of enterocin application in prevention or contaminant elimination in rabbit husbandry. A total of 144 rabbit samples were treated using a standard microbiological method. Thirty-one pure colonies of the species Enterococcus faecalis were identified, using the MALDI-TOF identification system and confirmed using phenotyping, among which 15 strains were virulence factor gene absent. The gelE gene was the most detected (42%; however, the expression of gelatinase phenotype did not always correlate with the detection of gelE. Strains did not show ß-haemolysis and were mostly resistant to tested antibiotics, but sensitive to enterocins (Ent, mainly to Ents EK13=A (P, 2019 and Ent M. Rabbit E. faecalis strains displayed antibiotic resistant traits and the presence of expressed and silent virulence genes, but they showed high levels of sensitivity to natural antimicrobials-enterocins, which indicates the possible prevention of multidrug and virulent enterococcal contaminants by enterocins.
Fan, Jingyuan; Zhang, Yongshu; Chuang-Smith, Olivia N; Frank, Kristi L; Guenther, Brian D; Kern, Marissa; Schlievert, Patrick M; Herzberg, Mark C
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, a nt5e deletion mutant showed significantly shorter lag time (PS. sanguinis caused IE (4 d) in a rabbit model with significantly decreased mass of vegetations (PS. sanguinis in vivo. As a virulence factor, Nt5e may function by (i) hydrolyzing ATP, a pro-inflammatory molecule, and generating adenosine, an immunosuppressive molecule to inhibit phagocytic monocytes/macrophages associated with valvular vegetations. (ii) Nt5e-mediated inhibition of platelet aggregation could also delay presentation of platelet microbicidal proteins to infecting bacteria on heart valves. Both plausible Nt5e-dependent mechanisms would promote survival of infecting S. sanguinis. In conclusion, we now show for the first time that streptococcal Nt5e modulates S. sanguinis-induced platelet aggregation and may contribute to the virulence of streptococci in experimental IE.
Fan, Jingyuan; Zhang, Yongshu; Chuang-Smith, Olivia N.; Frank, Kristi L.; Guenther, Brian D.; Kern, Marissa; Schlievert, Patrick M.; Herzberg, Mark C.
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, a nt5e deletion mutant showed significantly shorter lag time (PS. sanguinis caused IE (4 d) in a rabbit model with significantly decreased mass of vegetations (PS. sanguinis in vivo. As a virulence factor, Nt5e may function by (i) hydrolyzing ATP, a pro-inflammatory molecule, and generating adenosine, an immunosuppressive molecule to inhibit phagocytic monocytes/macrophages associated with valvular vegetations. (ii) Nt5e-mediated inhibition of platelet aggregation could also delay presentation of platelet microbicidal proteins to infecting bacteria on heart valves. Both plausible Nt5e-dependent mechanisms would promote survival of infecting S. sanguinis. In conclusion, we now show for the first time that streptococcal Nt5e modulates S. sanguinis-induced platelet aggregation and may contribute to the virulence of streptococci in experimental IE. PMID:22685551
McDermott, Jason E.; Yoon, Hyunjin; Nakayasu, Ernesto S.; Metz, Thomas O.; Hyduke, Daniel R.; Kidwai, Afshan S.; Palsson, Bernhard O.; Adkins, Joshua N.; Heffron, Fred
Salmonella is a primary cause of enteric diseases in a variety of animals. During its evolution into a pathogenic bacterium, Salmonella acquired an elaborate regulatory network that responds to multiple environmental stimuli within host animals and integrates them resulting in fine regulation of the virulence program. The coordinated action by this regulatory network involves numerous virulence regulators, necessitating genome-wide profiling analysis to assess and combine efforts from multiple regulons. In this review we discuss recent high-throughput analytic approaches to understand the regulatory network of Salmonella that controls virulence processes. Application of high-throughput analyses have generated a large amount of data and driven development of computational approaches required for data integration. Therefore, we also cover computer-aided network analyses to infer regulatory networks, and demonstrate how genome-scale data can be used to construct regulatory and metabolic systems models of Salmonella pathogenesis. Genes that are coordinately controlled by multiple virulence regulators under infectious conditions are more likely to be important for pathogenesis. Thus, reconstructing the global regulatory network during infection or, at the very least, under conditions that mimic the host cellular environment not only provides a bird’s eye view of Salmonella survival strategy in response to hostile host environments but also serves as an efficient means to identify novel virulence factors that are essential for Salmonella to accomplish systemic infection in the host.
van Steenbergen, T J; van Winkelhoff, A J; van der Velden, U; de Graaff, J
Black-pigmented Bacteroides species are recognized as suspected pathogens of oral infections. Developments in the taxonomy of this group include description of a new asaccharolytic species, Bacteroides salivosus, and proposal for the reclassification of the asaccharolytic species into a separate genus, Porphyromonas. Studies on the pathogenicity and virulence of black-pigmented Bacteroides species have identified Bacteroides gingivalis as the most virulent species. B. gingivalis and Bacteroides intermedius have been associated with periodontal diseases; Bacteroides endodontalis is isolated specifically from infections in the oral cavity, and other black-pigmented Bacteroides species are recovered from oral mucous sites. DNA restriction endonuclease analysis was adapted for typing of B. gingivalis and B. intermedius.
Saunders Nigel J
Full Text Available Abstract Background Neisseria meningitidis causes the life-threatening diseases meningococcal meningitis and meningococcal septicemia. Neisseria gonorrhoeae is closely related to the meningococcus, but is the cause of the very different infection, gonorrhea. A number of genes have been implicated in the virulence of these related yet distinct pathogens, but the genes that define and differentiate the species and their behaviours have not been established. Further, a related species, Neisseria lactamica is not associated with either type of infection in normally healthy people, and lives as a harmless commensal. We have determined which of the genes so far identified in the genome sequences of the pathogens are also present in this non-pathogenic related species. Results Thirteen unrelated strains of N. lactamica were investigated using comparative genome hybridization to the pan-Neisseria microarray-v2, which contains 2845 unique gene probes. The presence of 127 'virulence genes' was specifically addressed; of these 85 are present in N. lactamica. Of the remaining 42 'virulence genes' only 11 are present in all four of the sequenced pathogenic Neisseria. Conclusion Assessment of the complete dataset revealed that the vast majority of genes present in the pathogens are also present in N. lactamica. Of the 1,473 probes to genes shared by all four pathogenic genome sequences, 1,373 hybridize to N. lactamica. These shared genes cannot include genes that are necessary and sufficient for the virulence of the pathogens, since N. lactamica does not share this behaviour. This provides an essential context for the interpretation of gene complement studies of the pathogens.
Wolinsky, Murray A
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...
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...
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.
German, N.; Lüthje, Freja Lea; Hao, X.
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...
Hermans, Peter Wilhelmus Maria; Bootsma, Jeanette Hester; Burghout, Pieter Jan; Kuipers, Oscar; Bijlsma, Johanna Jacoba Elisabeth; Kloosterman, Tomas Gerrit; Andersen, Christian O.
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
Hille, Jacques; Kan, Jan van; Schilperoort, Rob
All Ti plasmid-encoded virulence functions that were studied act in trans. An octopine Ti plasmid-specific vir operon, called vir-O, located on an EcoRI restriction fragment has been characterized. Sequences with promoter activity in Escherichia coli were identified for a second vir operon, called
Subtyping Salmonella enterica serovar enteritidis isolates from different sources by using sequence typing based on virulence genes and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs).
Liu, Fenyun; Kariyawasam, Subhashinie; Jayarao, Bhushan M; Barrangou, Rodolphe; Gerner-Smidt, Peter; Ribot, Efrain M; Knabel, Stephen J; Dudley, Edward G
Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Enteritidis is a major cause of food-borne salmonellosis in the United States. Two major food vehicles for S. Enteritidis are contaminated eggs and chicken meat. Improved subtyping methods are needed to accurately track specific strains of S. Enteritidis related to human salmonellosis throughout the chicken and egg food system. A sequence typing scheme based on virulence genes (fimH and sseL) and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs)-CRISPR-including multi-virulence-locus sequence typing (designated CRISPR-MVLST)-was used to characterize 35 human clinical isolates, 46 chicken isolates, 24 egg isolates, and 63 hen house environment isolates of S. Enteritidis. A total of 27 sequence types (STs) were identified among the 167 isolates. CRISPR-MVLST identified three persistent and predominate STs circulating among U.S. human clinical isolates and chicken, egg, and hen house environmental isolates in Pennsylvania, and an ST that was found only in eggs and humans. It also identified a potential environment-specific sequence type. Moreover, cluster analysis based on fimH and sseL identified a number of clusters, of which several were found in more than one outbreak, as well as 11 singletons. Further research is needed to determine if CRISPR-MVLST might help identify the ecological origins of S. Enteritidis strains that contaminate chickens and eggs.
Zhang, Zhenying; Liu, Xiaoming; Lv, Xuelian; Lin, Jingrong
Sporotrichosis is usually a localized, lymphocutaneous disease, but its disseminated type was rarely reported. The main objective of this study was to identify specific DNA sequence variation and virulence of a strain of Sporothrix schenckii isolated from the lesion of disseminated cutaneous sporotrichosis. We confirmed this strain to be S. schenckii by(®) tubulin and chitin synthase gene sequence analysis in addition to the routine mycological and partial ITS and NTS sequencing. We found a 10-bp deletion in the ribosomal NTS region of this strain, in reference to the sequence of control strains isolated from fixed cutaneous sporotrichosis. After inoculated into immunosuppressed mice, this strain caused more extensive system involvement and showed stronger virulence than the control strain isolated from a fixed cutaneous sporotrichosis. Our study thus suggests that different clinical manifestation of sporotrichosis may be associated with variation in genotype and virulence of the strain, independent of effects due to the immune status of the host.
Weynberg, Karen D.
Disease is an increasing threat to reef-building corals. One of the few identified pathogens of coral disease is the bacterium Vibrio coralliilyticus. In Vibrio cholerae, infection by a bacterial virus (bacteriophage) results in the conversion of non-pathogenic strains to pathogenic strains and this can lead to cholera pandemics. Pathogenicity islands encoded in the V. cholerae genome play an important role in pathogenesis. Here we analyse five whole genome sequences of V. coralliilyticus to examine whether virulence is similarly driven by horizontally acquired elements. We demonstrate that bacteriophage genomes encoding toxin genes with homology to those found in pathogenic V. cholerae are integrated in V. coralliilyticus genomes. Virulence factors located on chromosomal pathogenicity islands also exist in some strains of V. coralliilyticus. The presence of these genetic signatures indicates virulence in V. coralliilyticus is driven by prophages and other horizontally acquired elements. Screening for pathogens of coral disease should target conserved regions in these elements.
Weynberg, Karen D.; Voolstra, Christian R.; Neave, Matthew J.; Buerger, Patrick; van Oppen, Madeleine J. H.
Disease is an increasing threat to reef-building corals. One of the few identified pathogens of coral disease is the bacterium Vibrio coralliilyticus. In Vibrio cholerae, infection by a bacterial virus (bacteriophage) results in the conversion of non-pathogenic strains to pathogenic strains and this can lead to cholera pandemics. Pathogenicity islands encoded in the V. cholerae genome play an important role in pathogenesis. Here we analyse five whole genome sequences of V. coralliilyticus to examine whether virulence is similarly driven by horizontally acquired elements. We demonstrate that bacteriophage genomes encoding toxin genes with homology to those found in pathogenic V. cholerae are integrated in V. coralliilyticus genomes. Virulence factors located on chromosomal pathogenicity islands also exist in some strains of V. coralliilyticus. The presence of these genetic signatures indicates virulence in V. coralliilyticus is driven by prophages and other horizontally acquired elements. Screening for pathogens of coral disease should target conserved regions in these elements.
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.
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
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
Vanessa A. Barcellos
Full Text Available The Cryptococcus gattii species complex harbors the main etiological agents of cryptococcosis in immunocompetent patients. C. gattii molecular type VGII predominates in the north and northeastern regions of Brazil, leading to high morbidity and mortality rates. C. gattii VGII isolates have a strong clinical relevance and phenotypic variations. These phenotypic variations among C. gattii species complex isolates suggest that some strains are more virulent than others, but little information is available related to the pathogenic properties of those strains. In this study, we analyzed some virulence determinants of C. gattii VGII strains (CG01, CG02, and CG03 isolated from patients in the state of Piauí, Brazil. The C. gattii R265 VGIIa strain, which was isolated from the Vancouver outbreak, differed from C. gattii CG01, CG02 and CG03 isolates (also classified as VGII when analyzed the capsular dimensions, melanin production, urease activity, as well as the glucuronoxylomannan (GXM secretion. Those differences directly reflected in their virulence potential. In addition, CG02 displayed higher virulence compared to R265 (VGIIa strain in a cryptococcal murine model of infection. Lastly, we examined the genotypic diversity of these strains through Multilocus Sequence Type (MLST and one new subtype was described for the CG02 isolate. This study confirms the presence and the phenotypic and genotypic diversity of highly virulent strains in the Northeast region of Brazil.
Siu, Leung-Kei Kristopher; Huang, David B; Chiang, Tom
KPC-producing carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (CRKP) infections are associated with high mortality; however, their virulence determinants are not well defined. We investigated the virulence and plasmid transferability among KPC-containing K. pneumoniae isolates. KPC-2 and -3 were successfully conjugated and retained by a virulent K2 K. pneumoniae recipient isolate. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing showed KPC-2 and -3 donor strains were resistant to more than four classes of antibiotics while the K2 isolate was only initially resistant to ampicillin. After conjugation of KPC-2 and -3, the K2 K. pneumoniae transconjugants became resistant to all beta-lactams. Additionally, the KPC K2 K. pneumoniae transconjugants continued to retain its high serum resistance and murine lethality. Conjugation and retainment of KPC by virulent K2 K. pneumoniae and the ability of the tranconjugants to maintain its high serum resistance and murine lethality after conjugation was demonstrated in this study. These findings are concerning for the potential of KPC-like genes to disseminate among virulent K. pneumoniae isolates.
Full Text Available We aimed to evaluate the antimicrobial resistance patterns and the prevalence of certain virulence genes in uropathogenic E. coli isolated from pediatric and adult patients with uncomplicated urinary tract infection.We examined nonduplicate 83 uropathogenic E. coli isolated from mid-stream clean-catch urine samples of the pediatric and adult outpatients with the diagnosis of acute uncomplicated urinary tract infection. VITEK® 2 automated system (bioMerieux, Marcy l’Etoile, France was used for identification and determination of antimicrobial resistance. We examined the isolates in respect to their antimicrobial resistance patterns and the presence of virulence genes (pap, aer, sfa, hly and cnf-1. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing results of the E. coli isolates revealed that commonly used empiric antimicrobials (ciprofloxacin, trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole, gentamicin, ampicillin and cephalothin for urinary tract infections were less effective than others. Most frequently detected virulence genes were pap and aer in both age groups. Sfa and hly genes were the least frequently detected genes in the pediatric age group; hly gene was the also the least common in the adult age group. There was no association with virulence factors and antimicrobial resistance patterns of the uropathogenic E. coli isolates in contrary to literature. More comprehensive studies with larger sample groups are needed to demonstrate the relation between virulence factors with antimicrobial drugs in different age groups.
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.
Singh, A.; McFeters, G.A.
The effect of gastric pH on the viability and virulence of Yersinia enterocolitica 0:8 after exposure to sublethal concentrations of copper and chlorine was determined in mice. Viability and injury were assessed with a nonselective TLY agar and two selective media, TLYD agar and CIN agar. Both copper and chlorine caused injury which was manifested by the inability of the cells to grow on selective media. CIN agar was more restrictive to the growth of injured cells than TLYD agar. Injury of the exposed cells was further enhanced in the gastric environment of mice. Besides injury, the low gastric pH caused extensive loss of viability in copper-exposed cells. Lethality in the chlorine-exposed cells was less extensive, and a portion of the inoculum reached the small intestine 5 min postinoculation. No adverse effect on the injured cells was apparent in the small intestine, and a substantial revival of the injury occurred in 3 to 4 h after intraluminal inoculation. The virulence of chlorine-stressed Y. enterocolitica in orally inoculated mice was similar to that of the control culture, but copper-stressed cells showed reduced virulence. Virulence was partly restored by oral administration of sodium bicarbonate before the inoculation of copper-exposed cells. Neutralization of gastric acidity had no effect on the virulence of the control of chlorine-stressed cells.
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
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.
Kastbjerg, Vicky Gaedt; Larsen, M. H.; Gram, Lone
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...
Ashraf M. Abd-El-Malek
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.
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
Lomholt, Hans; Andersen, Klaus Ejner; Kilian, Mogens
A prospective cohort study was undertaken to determine the clonal dynamics of Staphylococcus aureus colonization and infection during 1 y in children with atopic dermatitis, and to correlate specific clones, accessory gene regulator (agr) groups, and production of virulence factors with eczema activity. Eleven children were examined every 6 wk with swaps taken from active eczema, anterior nose, axillae and perineum, and scoring of eczema activity by severity scoring of atopic dermatitis (SCORAD). Individual S. aureus clonal types were identified and examined for production of superantigens, toxins, and were assigned to agr groups. S. aureus colonization patterns ranged from rare colonization over transient colonization to persistent colonization by a single clone or a dynamic exchange of up to five clones. Production of no single virulence factor including superantigens and toxins was significantly associated with exacerbation of eczema. In four children there was a shift between visits in agr group of colonizing clones. These shifts were associated with an increased SCORAD value of 19 (SE = 7, p = 0.009). Change of clones belonging to the same agr group was not associated with a higher SCORAD value. In 11 of 12 cases with two different clones co-colonizing a child the clones belonged to the same agr group. In conclusion, this limited group of children with atopic dermatitis showed highly variable colonization patterns of S. aureus, and communication between strains by use of agr encoded octa peptides appeared to be active in vivo. Increased severity of eczema was related to a change in agr group and may have been because of inflammation triggered by the takeover of an antigenically different clone, as agr groups represent ancient phylogenetic lineages.
Ibberson, Carolyn B; Jones, Crystal L; Singh, Shweta; Wise, Matthew C; Hart, Mark E; Zurawski, Daniel V; Horswill, Alexander R
Staphylococcus aureus is a Gram-positive pathogen that causes a diverse range of bacterial infections. Invasive S. aureus strains secrete an extensive arsenal of hemolysins, immunomodulators, and exoenzymes to cause disease. Our studies have focused on the secreted enzyme hyaluronidase (HysA), which cleaves the hyaluronic acid polymer at the β-1,4 glycosidic bond. In the study described in this report, we have investigated the regulation and contribution of this enzyme to S. aureus pathogenesis. Using the Nebraska Transposon Mutant Library (NTML), we identified eight insertions that modulate extracellular levels of HysA activity. Insertions in the sigB operon, as well as in genes encoding the global regulators SarA and CodY, significantly increased HysA protein levels and activity. By altering the availability of branched-chain amino acids, we further demonstrated CodY-dependent repression of HysA activity. Additionally, through mutation of the CodY binding box upstream of hysA, the repression of HysA production was lost, suggesting that CodY is a direct repressor of hysA expression. To determine whether HysA is a virulence factor, a ΔhysA mutant of a community-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus (CA-MRSA) USA300 strain was constructed and found to be attenuated in a neutropenic, murine model of pulmonary infection. Mice infected with this mutant strain exhibited a 4-log-unit reduction in bacterial burden in their lungs, as well as reduced lung pathology and increased levels of pulmonary hyaluronic acid, compared to mice infected with the wild-type, parent strain. Taken together, these results indicate that S. aureus hyaluronidase is a CodY-regulated virulence factor. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Bagger-Skjøt, Line; Sandvang, Dorthe; Frimodt-Møller, Niels
Escherichia coli isolates obtained from faeces (n = 85) and blood (n = 123) were susceptibility tested against 17 antimicrobial agents and the presence of 9 virulence genes was determined by PCR. Positive associations between several antimicrobial resistances and 2 VF genes (iutA and traT) were...
Cucurbit powdery mildew (CPM) is caused by two obligate ectoparasites, Golovinomyces orontii s.l. (Go) and Podosphaera xanthii (Px), that are highly variable in virulence. Various systems of CPM race determination and denomination were used (Lebeda et al. 2011). We developed new tools to enhance res...
Knappe-Poindecker, Maren; Gilhuus, Marianne; Jensen, Tim Kåre
the footrot scores recorded. On each farm, the same ten ewes and ten cows were chosen for bacterial analyses. Swabs were analysed for D. nodosus by PCR and culturing. D. nodosus isolates were virulence-tested and assigned to serogroups by fimA variant determination. Biopsies were evaluated histopathologically...
Turner, Arthur K.; Lovell, Margaret A.; Hulme, Scott D.; Zhang-Barber, Li; Barrow, Paul A.
From a collection of 2,800 Tn5-TC1 transposon mutants of Salmonella typhimurium F98, 18 that showed reduced intestinal colonization of 3-week-old chicks were identified. The sites of transposon insertion were determined for most of the mutants and included insertions in the lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis genes rfaK, rfaY, rfbK, and rfbB and the genes dksA, clpB, hupA, and sipC. In addition, identification was made of an insertion into a novel gene that encodes a protein showing similarity to the IIC component of the mannose class of phosphoenolpyruvate-carbohydrate phosphotransferase systems, which we putatively called ptsC. Transduction of most of the transposon mutations to a fresh S. typhimurium F98 genetic background and construction of defined mutations in the rfbK, dksA, hupA, sipC, and ptsC genes of S. typhimurium F98 supported the role in colonization of all but the pts locus. The virulence of the rfbK, dksA, hupA, sipC, and ptsC defined mutants and clpB and rfaY transductants in 1-day-old chicks was tested. All but the ptsC and rfaY mutants were attenuated for virulence. A number of other phenotypes associated with some of the mutations are described. PMID:9573095
Ren, Jun; Prescott, John F
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.
Georgana, Iliana; Sumner, Rebecca P; Towers, Greg J; Maluquer de Motes, Carlos
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
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
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
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.
Ognibene, Ted J. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Young, N. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Holtz-Morris, A. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Daley, P. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Quorum sensing is a mode of intercellular communication between bacteria that allows them to collectively regulate behavior such as virulence, sporulation, motility and biofilm formation. It is mediated by bacterially synthesized, diffusible, signaling molecules (autoinducers) that increase in concentration as a bacterial population expands until a critical threshold concentration is reached. However, in most bacterial species that produce autoinducer molecules, the physiologic concentration of these molecules is unknown. Moreover, many bacterial species, including Y. pestis, produce an array of quorum sensing molecules and the physiologic concentration of each individual type of autoinducer molecule is not known. There is a need to accurately and precisely quantitate these molecules, as it may be that different types of autoinducer molecules have different effects on virulence in the bacterium. We focused our efforts on the construction of a platform to identify and quantitate autoinducer molecules using FTICR, 14C isotope labeling and accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). Specifically, we focused on autoinducer-1 type molecules, acylhomoserine lactone (HSL), derived from S-adenosylmethionine (SAM).
Full Text Available 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, a nt5e deletion mutant showed significantly shorter lag time (P<0.05 to onset of platelet aggregation than the wild-type strain, without affecting platelet-bacterial adhesion in vitro (P=0.98. In the absence of nt5e, S. sanguinis caused IE (4 d in a rabbit model with significantly decreased mass of vegetations (P<0.01 and recovered bacterial loads (log(10CFU, P=0.01, suggesting that Nt5e contributes to the virulence of S. sanguinis in vivo. As a virulence factor, Nt5e may function by (i hydrolyzing ATP, a pro-inflammatory molecule, and generating adenosine, an immunosuppressive molecule to inhibit phagocytic monocytes/macrophages associated with valvular vegetations. (ii Nt5e-mediated inhibition of platelet aggregation could also delay presentation of platelet microbicidal proteins to infecting bacteria on heart valves. Both plausible Nt5e-dependent mechanisms would promote survival of infecting S. sanguinis. In conclusion, we now show for the first time that streptococcal Nt5e modulates S. sanguinis-induced platelet aggregation and may contribute to the virulence of streptococci in experimental IE.
Tamègnon Victorien DOUGNON
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
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.
Riley, R.L.; Knight, M.; Middlebrook, G.
To test the effectiveness of irradiating the upper air of a room with ultraviolet light at reducing the concentration of airborne tubercle bacilli, the susceptibility to the germicidal effects of ultraviolet light, Z, was determined for various mycobacteria. Virulent tubercle bacilli and bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) were susceptible to ultraviolet radiation, whereas Mycobacterium phlei had 10 times their resistance (Z, approximately one-tenth that for M. tuberculosis). The effectiveness against BCG of upper air ultraviolet irradiation in a room was tested directly by nebulizing BCG into the air of the room and monitoring its rate of disappearance. With one 17-watt fixture operating, the rate of disappearance increased 6-fold; with 2 fixtures operating (46 watts total), the rate of disappearance increased 9-fold. This implies that under steady-state conditions, the concentrations of airborne organisms with ultraviolet light(s) on would have been one-sixth and one-ninth, respectively. The increase in rate of decay of the airborne organism using 1 fixture was equivalent to 10 air changes per hour, whereas that using 2 fixtures was approximately 25 air changes per hour (range: 18 to 33 air changes per hour). These increments are less than those reported previously for Serratia marcescens, because the Z value for BCG is approximately one-seventh that for serratia. These findings with BCG are believed to be directly applicable to virulent tubercle bacilli
Ladomersky, Erik; Petris, Michael J.
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
Prachi Ravikant Naik
Full Text Available Recognition of importance of human teeth in personal identification has been recognized from time immemorial. In any natural calamity or man-made catastrophe identification of an individual is of paramount importance. Here tooth plays an important role as it is the last one to get affected in a disaster due to its durable nature and good survival rate. This information comes under the aegis of forensic odontology and is of paramount importance from legal and social viewpoints. This analysis uses highly informative genetic markers and can be carried out easily in a typical forensic lab oratory. The SRY gene marker (sex determining region Y is a sex-determining gene on the Y chromosome in the therians (placental mammals and marsupials and this gene marker is considered as a signature gene to differentiate the male from female sex chromosome. The detection of SRY gene in the DNA from a forensic sample can be confirmatory to type the gender as male. This study was taken up to identify the viability of human tooth pulp by identification of SRY gene in gender determination.
Paul J Converse
Full Text Available It has been hypothesized that the virulence of lab-passaged Mycobacterium tuberculosis and recombinant M. tuberculosis mutants might be reduced due to multiple in vitro passages, and that virulence might be augmented by passage of these strains through mice before quantitative virulence testing in the mouse or guinea pig aerosol models.By testing three M. tuberculosis H37Rv samples, one deletion mutant, and one recent clinical isolate for survival by the quantitative organ CFU counting method in mouse or guinea pig aerosol or intravenous infection models, we could discern no increase in bacterial fitness as a result of passaging of M. tuberculosis strains in mice prior to quantitative virulence testing in two animal models. Surface lipid expression as assessed by neutral red staining and thin-layer chromatography for PDIM analysis also failed to identify virulence correlates.These results indicate that animal passaging of M. tuberculosis strains prior to quantitative virulence testing in mouse or guinea pig models does not enhance or restore potency to strains that may have lost virulence due to in vitro passaging. It is critical to verify virulence of parental strains before genetic manipulations are undertaken and comparisons are made.
Demir, Feyza; Kuştimur, Semra
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
Bouchard, M J; Lam, D H; Racaniello, V R
To identify determinants of attenuation in the poliovirus type 1 Sabin vaccine strain, a series of recombinant viruses were constructed by using infectious cDNA clones of the virulent type 1 poliovirus P1/Mahoney and the attenuated type 1 vaccine strain P1/Sabin. Intracerebral inoculation of these viruses into transgenic mice which express the human receptor for poliovirus identified regions of the genome that conferred reduced neurovirulence. Exchange of smaller restriction fragments and sit...
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.
Salimzadeh, Loghman; Bagheri, Nader; Zamanzad, Behnam; Azadegan-Dehkordi, Fatemeh; Rahimian, Ghorbanali; Hashemzadeh-Chaleshtori, Morteza; Rafieian-Kopaei, Mahmoud; Sanei, Mohammad Hossein; Shirzad, Hedayatollah
The outcome of Helicobacter pylori infection has been related to specific virulence-associated bacterial genotypes. The vacuolating cytotoxin (vacA), cagA gene, oipA and babA2 gene are important virulence factor involving gastric diseases. The objective of this study was to assess the relationship between virulence factors of H. pylori and histopathological findings. Gastroduodenoscopy was performed in 436 dyspeptic patients. Antrum biopsy was obtained for detection of H. pylori, virulence factors and for histopathological assessment. The polymerase chain reaction was used to detect virulence factors of H. pylori using specific primers. vacA genotypes in patients infected with H. pylori were associated with cagA, iceA1 and iceA2. In the patients with H. pylori infection there was a significant relationship between cagA positivity and neutrophil activity (P = 0.004) and chronic inflammation (P = 0.013) and with H. pylori density (P = 0.034). Neutrophil infiltration was found to be more severe in the s1 group than in the s2 group (P = 0.042). Also was a significant relationship between oipA positivity and neutrophil activity (P = 0.004) and with H. pylori density (P = 0.018). No significant relationships were observed between other vacA genotypes and histopathological parameters. H. pylori strains showing cagA, vacA s1 and oipA positivity are associated with more severe gastritis in some histological features but virulence factors of H. pylori do not appear to determine the overall pattern of gastritis. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Rakic Martinez, Mira; Wiedmann, Martin; Ferguson, Martine; Datta, Atin R
Several animal models have been used to understand the molecular basis of the pathogenicity, infectious dose and strain to strain variation of Listeria monocytogenes. The greater wax worm Galleria mellonella, as an alternative model, provides some useful advantages not available with other models and has already been described as suitable for the virulence assessment of various pathogens including L. monocytogenes. The objectives of this study are: 1) confirming the usefulness of this model with a wide panel of Listeria spp. including non-pathogenic L. innocua, L. seeligeri, L. welshimeri and animal pathogen L. ivanovii; 2) assessment of virulence of several isogenic in-frame deletion mutants in virulence and stress related genes of L. monocytogenes and 3) virulence assessment of paired food and clinical isolates of L. monocytogenes from 14 major listeriosis outbreaks occurred worldwide between 1980 and 2015. Larvae injected with different concentrations of Listeria were incubated at 37°C and monitored over seven days for time needed to kill 50% of larvae (LT50) and to determine change of bacterial population in G. mellonella, 2 and 24 hours post-inoculation. Non-pathogenic members of Listeria and L. ivanovii showed significantly (P monocytogenes strains. Isogenic mutants of L. monocytogenes with the deletions in prfA, plcA, hly, actA and virR genes, also showed significantly (P monocytogenes strains related to non-invasive (gastroenteritis) outbreaks of listeriosis showed significantly (P < 0.05) lower virulence than isolates of the same serotype obtained from outbreaks with invasive symptoms. The difference, however, was dose and strain- dependent. No significant differences in virulence were observed among the serotype tested in this study.
Li, Na; Xiao, Lihua; Cama, Vitaliano A; Ortega, Ynes; Gilman, Robert H; Guo, Meijin; Feng, Yaoyu
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.
García Fernández, Lucía; DelVecchio, Vito G.; Briones, Gabriel
Brucella is an intracellular bacterial pathogen that causes the worldwide zoonotic disease brucellosis. Brucella virulence relies on its ability to transition to an intracellular lifestyle within host cells. Thus, this pathogen must sense its intracellular localization and then reprogram gene expression for survival within the host cell. A comparative proteomic investigation was performed to identify differentially expressed proteins potentially relevant for Brucella intracellular adaptation. Two proteins identified as cyclophilins (CypA and CypB) were overexpressed in the intracellular environment of the host cell in comparison to laboratory-grown Brucella. To define the potential role of cyclophilins in Brucella virulence, a double-deletion mutant was constructed and its resulting phenotype was characterized. The Brucella abortus ΔcypAB mutant displayed increased sensitivity to environmental stressors, such as oxidative stress, pH, and detergents. In addition, the B. abortus ΔcypAB mutant strain had a reduced growth rate at lower temperature, a phenotype associated with defective expression of cyclophilins in other microorganisms. The B. abortus ΔcypAB mutant also displays reduced virulence in BALB/c mice and defective intracellular survival in HeLa cells. These findings suggest that cyclophilins are important for Brucella virulence and survival in the host cells. PMID:23230297
Henrique Bunselmeyer Ferreira
Full Text Available Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae is the etiological agent of porcine enzootic pneumonia (PEP, a major problem for the pig industry. The mechanisms of M. hyopneumoniae pathogenicity allow to predict the existence of several classes of virulence factors, whose study has been essentially restricted to the characterization of adhesion-related and major antigenic proteins. The now available complete sequences of the genomes of two pathogenic and one non-pathogenic strain of M. hyopneumoniae allowed to use a comparative genomics approach to putatively identify virulence genes. In this preliminary survey, we were able to identify 118 CDSs encoding putative virulence factors, based on specific criteria ranging from predicted cell surface location or variation between strains to previous functional studies showing antigenicity or involvement in host-pathogen interaction. This survey is expected to serve as a first step towards the functional characterization of new virulence genes/proteins that will be important not only for a better comprehension of M. hyopneumoniae biology, but also for the development of new and improved protocols for PEP vaccination, diagnosis and treatment.
Parsons, Cameron; Lee, Sangmi; Jayeola, Victor; Kathariou, Sophia
Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen that can cause severe disease (listeriosis) in susceptible individuals. It is ubiquitous in the environment and often exhibits resistance to heavy metals. One of the determinants that enables Listeria to tolerate exposure to cadmium is the cadAC efflux system, with CadA being a P-type ATPase. Three different cadA genes (designated cadA1 to cadA3 ) were previously characterized in L. monocytogenes A novel putative cadmium resistance gene ( cadA4 ) was recently identified through whole-genome sequencing, but experimental confirmation for its involvement in cadmium resistance is lacking. In this study, we characterized cadA4 in L. monocytogenes strain F8027, a cadmium-resistant strain of serotype 4b. By screening a mariner-based transposon library of this strain, we identified a mutant with reduced tolerance to cadmium and that harbored a single transposon insertion in cadA4 The tolerance to cadmium was restored by genetic complementation with the cadmium resistance cassette ( cadA4C ), and enhanced cadmium tolerance was conferred to two unrelated cadmium-sensitive strains via heterologous complementation with cadA4C Cadmium exposure induced cadA4 expression, even at noninhibitory levels. Virulence assessments in the Galleria mellonella model suggested that a functional cadA4 suppressed virulence, potentially promoting commensal colonization of the insect larvae. Biofilm assays suggested that cadA4 inactivation reduced biofilm formation. These data not only confirm cadA4 as a novel cadmium resistance determinant in L. monocytogenes but also provide evidence for roles in virulence and biofilm formation. IMPORTANCE Listeria monocytogenes is an intracellular foodborne pathogen causing the disease listeriosis, which is responsible for numerous hospitalizations and deaths every year. Among the adaptations that enable the survival of Listeria in the environment are the abilities to persist in biofilms, grow in the cold, and
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The brown planthopper (BPH, Nilaparvata lugens (Stål, a destructive rice pest in Asia, can quickly overcome rice resistance by evolving new virulent populations. Herbivore saliva plays an important role in plant-herbivore interactions, including in plant defense and herbivore virulence. However, thus far little is known about BPH saliva at the molecular level, especially its role in virulence and BPH-rice interaction. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using cDNA amplification in combination with Illumina short-read sequencing technology, we sequenced the salivary-gland transcriptomes of two BPH populations with different virulence; the populations were derived from rice variety TN1 (TN1 population and Mudgo (M population. In total, 37,666 and 38,451 unigenes were generated from the salivary glands of these populations, respectively. When combined, a total of 43,312 unigenes were obtained, about 18 times more than the number of expressed sequence tags previously identified from these glands. Gene ontology annotations and KEGG orthology classifications indicated that genes related to metabolism, binding and transport were significantly active in the salivary glands. A total of 352 genes were predicted to encode secretory proteins, and some might play important roles in BPH feeding and BPH-rice interactions. Comparative analysis of the transcriptomes of the two populations revealed that the genes related to 'metabolism,' 'digestion and absorption,' and 'salivary secretion' might be associated with virulence. Moreover, 67 genes encoding putative secreted proteins were differentially expressed between the two populations, suggesting these genes may contribute to the change in virulence. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This study was the first to compare the salivary-gland transcriptomes of two BPH populations having different virulence traits and to find genes that may be related to this difference. Our data provide a rich molecular resource for
Ji, Rui; Yu, Haixin; Fu, Qiang; Chen, Hongdan; Ye, Wenfeng; Li, Shaohui; Lou, Yonggen
The brown planthopper (BPH), Nilaparvata lugens (Stål), a destructive rice pest in Asia, can quickly overcome rice resistance by evolving new virulent populations. Herbivore saliva plays an important role in plant-herbivore interactions, including in plant defense and herbivore virulence. However, thus far little is known about BPH saliva at the molecular level, especially its role in virulence and BPH-rice interaction. Using cDNA amplification in combination with Illumina short-read sequencing technology, we sequenced the salivary-gland transcriptomes of two BPH populations with different virulence; the populations were derived from rice variety TN1 (TN1 population) and Mudgo (M population). In total, 37,666 and 38,451 unigenes were generated from the salivary glands of these populations, respectively. When combined, a total of 43,312 unigenes were obtained, about 18 times more than the number of expressed sequence tags previously identified from these glands. Gene ontology annotations and KEGG orthology classifications indicated that genes related to metabolism, binding and transport were significantly active in the salivary glands. A total of 352 genes were predicted to encode secretory proteins, and some might play important roles in BPH feeding and BPH-rice interactions. Comparative analysis of the transcriptomes of the two populations revealed that the genes related to 'metabolism,' 'digestion and absorption,' and 'salivary secretion' might be associated with virulence. Moreover, 67 genes encoding putative secreted proteins were differentially expressed between the two populations, suggesting these genes may contribute to the change in virulence. This study was the first to compare the salivary-gland transcriptomes of two BPH populations having different virulence traits and to find genes that may be related to this difference. Our data provide a rich molecular resource for future functional studies on salivary glands and will be useful for elucidating the
Salaun, A.; Hubert, A.; Pointurier, F.; Aupiais, J.; Pili, E.; Richon, P.; Fauré, A.; Diallo, S.
First events of illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological materials occurred 50 years ago. Nuclear forensics expertise are aiming at determining the use of seized material, its industrial history and provenance (geographical area, place of production or processing), at assisting in the identification and dismantling of illicit trafficking networks. This information is also valuable in the context of inspections of declared facilities to verify the consistency of operator's declaration. Several characteristics can be used to determine the origin of uranium ore concentrates such as trace elemental impurity patterns (Keegan et al., 2008 ; Varga et al., 2010a, 2010b) or uranium, oxygen and lead isotopic compositions (Tamborini et al., 2002a, 2002b ; Wallenius et al., 2006; Varga et al., 2009). We developed analytical procedures for measuring the isotopic compositions of uranium (234U/238U and 235U/238U) and oxygen (18O/16O) and levels of elemental impurities (e.g. REE, Th) from very small amounts of uranium ore concentrates (or yellow cakes). Micrometer particles and few milligrams of material are used for oxygen isotope measurements and REE determination, respectively. Reference materials were analyzed by mass spectrometry (TIMS, SF-ICP-MS and SIMS) to validate testing protocols. Finally, materials of unknown origin were analyzed to highlight significant differences and determine whether these differences allow identifying the origin of these ore concentrates. References: Keegan, E., et al. (2008). Applied Geochemistry 23, 765-777. Tamborini, G., et al. (2002a). Analytical Chemistry 74, 6098-6101. Tamborini, G., et al. (2002b). Microchimica Acta 139, 185-188. Varga, Z., et al. (2009). Analytical Chemistry 81, 8327-8334. Varga, Z., et al. (2010a). Talanta 80, 1744-1749. Varga, Z., et al. (2010b). Radiochimica Acta 98, 771-778 Wallenius, M., et al. (2006). Forensic Science International 156, 55-62.
Wargo, Andrew R.; Kurath, Gael
The relationship between pathogen fitness and virulence is typically examined by quantifying only one or two pathogen fitness traits. More specifically, it is regularly assumed that within-host replication, as a precursor to transmission, is the driving force behind virulence. In reality, many traits contribute to pathogen fitness, and each trait could drive the evolution of virulence in different ways. Here, we independently quantified four viral infection cycle traits, namely, host entry, within-host replication, within-host coinfection fitness, and shedding, in vivo, in the vertebrate virus Infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV). We examined how each of these stages of the viral infection cycle contributes to the fitness of IHNV genotypes that differ in virulence in rainbow trout. This enabled us to determine how infection cycle fitness traits are independently associated with virulence. We found that viral fitness was independently regulated by each of the traits examined, with the largest impact on fitness being provided by within-host replication. Furthermore, the more virulent of the two genotypes of IHNV we used had advantages in all of the traits quantified. Our results are thus congruent with the assumption that virulence and within-host replication are correlated but suggest that infection cycle fitness is complex and that replication is not the only trait associated with virulence.
Full Text Available The intriguing sit-and-wait hypothesis predicts that bacterial durability in the external environment is positively correlated with their virulence. Since its first proposal in 1987, the hypothesis has been spurring debates in terms of its validity in the field of bacterial virulence. As a special case of the vector-borne transmission versus virulence tradeoff, where vector is now replaced by environmental longevity, there are only sporadic studies over the last three decades showing that environmental durability is possibly linked with virulence. However, no systematic study of these works is currently available and epidemiological analysis has not been updated for the sit-and-wait hypothesis since the publication of Walther and Ewald’s (2004 review. In this article, we put experimental evidence, epidemiological data and theoretical analysis together to support the sit-and-wait hypothesis. According to the epidemiological data in terms of gain and loss of virulence (+/- and durability (+/- phenotypes, we classify bacteria into four groups, which are: sit-and-wait pathogens (++, vector-borne pathogens (+-, obligate-intracellular bacteria (--, and free-living bacteria (-+. After that, we dive into the abundant bacterial proteomic data with the assistance of bioinformatics techniques in order to investigate the two factors at molecular level thanks to the fast development of high-throughput sequencing technology. Sequences of durability-related genes sourced from Gene Ontology and UniProt databases and virulence factors collected from Virulence Factor Database are used to search 20 corresponding bacterial proteomes in batch mode for homologous sequences via the HMMER software package. Statistical analysis only identified a modest, and not statistically significant correlation between mortality and survival time for eight non-vector-borne bacteria with sit-and-wait potentials. Meanwhile, through between-group comparisons, bacteria with higher
Athmanya K Eshwar
Full Text Available Bacteria belonging to the genus Cronobacter have been recognized as causative agents of life-threatening systemic infections primarily in premature, low-birth weight and immune-compromised neonates. Apparently not all Cronobacter species are linked to infantile infections and it has been proposed that virulence varies among strains. Whole genome comparisons and in silico analysis have proven to be powerful tools in elucidating potential virulence determinants, the presence/absence of which may explain the differential virulence behaviour of strains. However, validation of these factors has in the past been hampered by the availability of a suitable neonatal animal model. In the present study we have used zebrafish embryos to model Cronobacter infections in vivo using wild type and genetically engineered strains. Our experiments confirmed the role of the RepF1B-like plasmids as "virulence plasmids" in Cronobacter and underpinned the importantce of two putative virulence factors-cpa and zpx-in in vivo pathogenesis. We propose that by using this model in vivo infection studies are now possible on a large scale level which will boost the understanding on the virulence strategies employed by these pathogens.
Adib, N; Ghanbarpour, R; Solatzadeh, H; Alizade, H
Escherichia coli (E. coli) strains are the major cause of urinary tract infections (UTI) and belong to the large group of extra-intestinal pathogenic E. coli. The purposes of this study were to determine the antibiotic resistance profile, virulence genes and phylogenetic background of E. coli isolates from UTI cases. A total of 137 E. coli isolates were obtained from UTI samples. The antimicrobial susceptibility of confirmed isolates was determined by disk diffusion method against eight antibiotics. The isolates were examined to determine the presence and prevalence of selected virulence genes including iucD, sfa/focDE, papEF and hly. ECOR phylo-groups of isolates were determined by detection of yjaA and chuA genes and fragment TspE4.C2. The antibiogram results showed that 71% of the isolates were resistant to cefazolin, 60.42% to co-trimoxazole, 54.16% to nalidixic acid, 36.45% to gentamicin, 29.18% to ciprofloxacin, 14.58% to cefepime, 6.25% to nitrofurantoin and 0.00% to imipenem. Twenty-two antibiotic resistance patterns were observed among the isolates. Virulence genotyping of isolates revealed that 58.39% isolates had at least one of the four virulence genes. The iucD gene was the most prevalent gene (43.06%). The other genes including sfa/focDE, papEF and hly genes were detected in 35.76%, 18.97% and 2.18% isolates, respectively. Nine combination patterns of the virulence genes were detected in isolates. Phylotyping of 137 isolates revealed that the isolates fell into A (45.99%), B1 (13.14%), B2 (19.71%) and D (21.16%) groups. Phylotyping of multidrug resistant isolates indicated that these isolates are mostly in A (60.34%) and D (20.38%) groups. In conclusion, the isolates that possessed the iucD, sfa/focDE, papEF and hly virulence genes mostly belonged to A and B2 groups, whereas antibiotic resistant isolates were in groups A and D. Escherichia coli strains carrying virulence factors and antibiotic resistance are distributed in specific phylogenetic
Koo, H.; Falsetta, M.L.; Klein, M.I.
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 exoenzy...
Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most successful pathogens on earth, capable of infecting mammals and birds. Numerous papers and reports are published on isolation of T .gondii from various natural sources worldwide. The house mouse (Mus musculus) has been used as the laboratory animal model to deter...
Sarah, S A; Faradalila, W N; Salwani, M S; Amin, I; Karsani, S A; Sazili, A Q
The purpose of this study was to identify porcine-specific peptide markers from thermally processed meat that could differentiate pork from beef, chevon and chicken meat. In the initial stage, markers from tryptic digested protein of chilled, boiled and autoclaved pork were identified using LC-QTOF-MS. An MRM method was then established for verification. A thorough investigation of LC-QTOF-MS data showed that only seven porcine-specific peptides were consistently detected. Among these peptides, two were derived from lactate dehydrogenase, one from creatine kinase, and four from serum albumin protein. However, MRM could only detect four peptides (EVTEFAK, LVVITAGAR, FVIER and TVLGNFAAFVQK) that were consistently present in pork samples. In conclusion, meat species determination through a tandem mass spectrometry platform shows high potential in providing scientifically valid and reliable results even at peptide level. Besides, the specificity and selectivity offered by the proteomics approach also provide a robust platform for Halal authentication. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Bekhouche, Mourad; Leduc, Cedric; Dupont, Laura; Janssen, Lauriane; Delolme, Frederic; Vadon-Le Goff, Sandrine; Smargiasso, Nicolas; Baiwir, Dominique; Mazzucchelli, Gabriel; Zanella-Cleon, Isabelle; Dubail, Johanne; De Pauw, Edwin; Nusgens, Betty; Hulmes, David J S; Moali, Catherine; Colige, Alain
A disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin type I motif (ADAMTS)2, 3, and 14 are collectively named procollagen N-proteinases (pNPs) because of their specific ability to cleave the aminopropeptide of fibrillar procollagens. Several reports also indicate that they could be involved in other biological processes, such as blood coagulation, development, and male fertility, but the potential substrates associated with these activities remain unknown. Using the recently described N-terminal amine isotopic labeling of substrate approach, we analyzed the secretomes of human fibroblasts and identified 8, 17, and 22 candidate substrates for ADAMTS2, 3, and 14, respectively. Among these newly identified substrates, many are components of the extracellular matrix and/or proteins related to cell signaling such as latent TGF-β binding protein 1, TGF-β RIII, and dickkopf-related protein 3. Candidate substrates for the 3 ADAMTS have been biochemically validated in different contexts, and the implication of ADAMTS2 in the control of TGF-β activity has been further demonstrated in human fibroblasts. Finally, the cleavage site specificity was assessed showing a clear and unique preference for nonpolar or slightly hydrophobic amino acids. This work shows that the activities of the pNPs extend far beyond the classically reported processing of the aminopropeptide of fibrillar collagens and that they should now be considered as multilevel regulators of matrix deposition and remodeling.-Bekhouche, M., Leduc, C., Dupont, L., Janssen, L., Delolme, F., Vadon-Le Goff, S., Smargiasso, N., Baiwir, D., Mazzucchelli, G., Zanella-Cleon, I., Dubail, J., De Pauw, E., Nusgens, B., Hulmes, D. J. S., Moali, C., Colige, A. Determination of the substrate repertoire of ADAMTS2, 3, and 14 significantly broadens their functions and identifies extracellular matrix organization and TGF-β signaling as primary targets. © FASEB.
Identification of Escherichia coli causing porcine postweaning diarrhoea (PWD) or edema disease (ED) requires knowledge regarding the prevalent pathotypes within a given region. This study was undertaken to determine the present distribution of serogroups. hemolytic activity and virulence factor...
Mira Rakic Martinez
Full Text Available Several animal models have been used to understand the molecular basis of the pathogenicity, infectious dose and strain to strain variation of Listeria monocytogenes. The greater wax worm Galleria mellonella, as an alternative model, provides some useful advantages not available with other models and has already been described as suitable for the virulence assessment of various pathogens including L. monocytogenes. The objectives of this study are: 1 confirming the usefulness of this model with a wide panel of Listeria spp. including non-pathogenic L. innocua, L. seeligeri, L. welshimeri and animal pathogen L. ivanovii; 2 assessment of virulence of several isogenic in-frame deletion mutants in virulence and stress related genes of L. monocytogenes and 3 virulence assessment of paired food and clinical isolates of L. monocytogenes from 14 major listeriosis outbreaks occurred worldwide between 1980 and 2015. Larvae injected with different concentrations of Listeria were incubated at 37°C and monitored over seven days for time needed to kill 50% of larvae (LT50 and to determine change of bacterial population in G. mellonella, 2 and 24 hours post-inoculation. Non-pathogenic members of Listeria and L. ivanovii showed significantly (P < 0.05 higher LT50 (lower virulence than the wild type L. monocytogenes strains. Isogenic mutants of L. monocytogenes with the deletions in prfA, plcA, hly, actA and virR genes, also showed significantly (P < 0.05 higher LT50 than the wild type strain at the inoculum of 106CFU/larva. Food isolates had significantly (P < 0.05 lower virulence than the paired clinical isolates, at all three inoculum concentrations. L. monocytogenes strains related to non-invasive (gastroenteritis outbreaks of listeriosis showed significantly (P < 0.05 lower virulence than isolates of the same serotype obtained from outbreaks with invasive symptoms. The difference, however, was dose and strain- dependent. No significant differences in
Amalia Ioana BOT
Full Text Available Organic and inorganic forms of nitrogen and carbon were measured in order to determine soil fertility. The amount of total nitrogen ranged between 0.849 g/kg and 1.755 g/kg in the samples gathered from soil in modified state and between 0.961 k/kg and 2.427 g/kg in the samples collected from the soil in natural state. Based on these results it could be concluded that in comparing with the previous year, plants used the soil nutrients for their development. The activities of different enzymes were measured as well. Nitrate reductase activity was also higher in samples collected from soil in modified state (from bilon than in the samples collected near plantations (control samples and the values ranged between 0.055 ± 0.012 μmol⋅h-1⋅g-1 and 1.018 ± 0.117 μmol⋅h-1⋅g-1 in samples from soil in natural state and between 0.013 ± 0.002 μmol⋅h-1⋅g-1 and 0.447 ± 0.083 μmol⋅h-1⋅g-1 in bilons. Using GIS techniques of spatial analysis to determine the exact type of soil from each studied blueberry plantation from the Northwest Region of Development and also based on the soil bio-chemical analyses, it was possible to achieve a qualitative characterization of the territory, taking into account the requirements of blueberries for cultivation and to achieve a land suitability for blueberry crop. Combining laboratory approach, consisting from soil bio-chemical and physico-chemical analyses and chemical analyses of blueberry fruits, with the techniques used in order to determine the soil type and land suitability, the study conducted in the Northwest Region of Development identified the best conditions for blueberry crop, based on the qualitative characterization of land.
Soto-Rodriguez, S A; Roque, A; Lizarraga-Partida, M L; Guerra-Flores, A L; Gomez-Gill, B
From healthy and diseased penaeid shrimp from Asia and the Americas, 25 luminous and 2 non-luminous bacterial strains were isolated, and 14 were phenotypically identified as Vibrio harveyi; 9 isolates produced significant mortalities (45 to 80%) in Artemia franciscana nauplii at inoculation densities of 10(5) to 10(6) CFU ml(-1) compared to the controls (unchallenged nauplii). The maximum number of bacteria ingested (bioencapsulated) by the Artemia nauplii varied from less than 10 to 10(3) CFU nauplius(-1) and no significant relationship was observed between the density of bacteria inoculated, the amount of bacteria ingested, and naupliar mortality. Significant correlations were obtained between naupliar mortality and production of proteases, phospholipases or siderophores, but not between mortality and lipase production, gelatinase production, hydrophobicity or hemolytic activity. The results suggest that virulence of the strains tested was more related to the production of particular exoenzymes than to the measured colonization factors.
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.
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.
Mohamad, Khalil Yousef; Kaltenboeck, Bernhard; Rahman, Kh Shamsur; Magnino, Simone; Sachse, Konrad; Rodolakis, Annie
Chlamydia (C.) pecorum, an obligate intracellular bacterium, may cause severe diseases in ruminants, swine and koalas, although asymptomatic infections are the norm. Recently, we identified genetic polymorphisms in the ompA, incA and ORF663 genes that potentially differentiate between high-virulence C. pecorum isolates from diseased animals and low-virulence isolates from asymptomatic animals. Here, we expand these findings by including additional ruminant, swine, and koala strains. Coding tandem repeats (CTRs) at the incA locus encoded a variable number of repeats of APA or AGA amino acid motifs. Addition of any non-APA/AGA repeat motif, such as APEVPA, APAVPA, APE, or APAPE, associated with low virulence (PincA CTRs (P = 0.0028). In ORF663, high numbers of 15-mer CTRs correlated with low virulence (P = 0.0001). Correction for ompA phylogram position in ORF663 and incA abolished the correlation between genetic changes and virulence, demonstrating co-evolution of ompA, incA, and ORF663 towards low virulence. Pairwise divergence of ompA, incA, and ORF663 among isolates from healthy animals was significantly higher than among strains isolated from diseased animals (P≤10-5), confirming the longer evolutionary path traversed by low-virulence strains. All three markers combined identified 43 unique strains and 4 pairs of identical strains among all 57 isolates tested, demonstrating the suitability of these markers for epidemiological investigations.
Saranathan, Rajagopalan; Pagal, Sudhakar; Sawant, Ajit R; Tomar, Archana; Madhangi, M; Sah, Suresh; Satti, Annapurna; Arunkumar, K P; Prashanth, K
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.
Hart, Emily; Yang, Ji; Tauschek, Marija; Kelly, Michelle; Wakefield, Matthew J.; Frankel, Gad; Hartland, Elizabeth L.; Robins-Browne, Roy M.
Citrobacter rodentium is an attaching and effacing pathogen which causes transmissible colonic hyperplasia in mice. Infection with C. rodentium serves as a model for infection of humans with enteropathogenic and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli. To identify novel colonization factors of C. rodentium, we screened a signature-tagged mutant library of C. rodentium in mice. One noncolonizing mutant had a single transposon insertion in an open reading frame (ORF) which we designated regA because of its homology to genes encoding members of the AraC family of transcriptional regulators. Deletion of regA in C. rodentium resulted in markedly reduced colonization of the mouse intestine. Examination of lacZ transcriptional fusions using promoter regions of known and putative virulence-associated genes of C. rodentium revealed that RegA strongly stimulated transcription of two newly identified genes located close to regA, which we designated adcA and kfcC. The cloned adcA gene conferred autoaggregation and adherence to mammalian cells to E. coli strain DH5α, and a kfc mutation led to a reduction in the duration of intestinal colonization, but the kfc mutant was far less attenuated than the regA mutant. These results indicated that other genes of C. rodentium whose expression required activation by RegA were required for colonization. Microarray analysis revealed a number of RegA-regulated ORFs encoding proteins homologous to known colonization factors. Transcription of these putative virulence determinants was activated by RegA only in the presence of sodium bicarbonate. Taken together, these results show that RegA is a global regulator of virulence in C. rodentium which activates factors that are required for intestinal colonization. PMID:18765720
Hart, Emily; Yang, Ji; Tauschek, Marija; Kelly, Michelle; Wakefield, Matthew J; Frankel, Gad; Hartland, Elizabeth L; Robins-Browne, Roy M
Citrobacter rodentium is an attaching and effacing pathogen which causes transmissible colonic hyperplasia in mice. Infection with C. rodentium serves as a model for infection of humans with enteropathogenic and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli. To identify novel colonization factors of C. rodentium, we screened a signature-tagged mutant library of C. rodentium in mice. One noncolonizing mutant had a single transposon insertion in an open reading frame (ORF) which we designated regA because of its homology to genes encoding members of the AraC family of transcriptional regulators. Deletion of regA in C. rodentium resulted in markedly reduced colonization of the mouse intestine. Examination of lacZ transcriptional fusions using promoter regions of known and putative virulence-associated genes of C. rodentium revealed that RegA strongly stimulated transcription of two newly identified genes located close to regA, which we designated adcA and kfcC. The cloned adcA gene conferred autoaggregation and adherence to mammalian cells to E. coli strain DH5alpha, and a kfc mutation led to a reduction in the duration of intestinal colonization, but the kfc mutant was far less attenuated than the regA mutant. These results indicated that other genes of C. rodentium whose expression required activation by RegA were required for colonization. Microarray analysis revealed a number of RegA-regulated ORFs encoding proteins homologous to known colonization factors. Transcription of these putative virulence determinants was activated by RegA only in the presence of sodium bicarbonate. Taken together, these results show that RegA is a global regulator of virulence in C. rodentium which activates factors that are required for intestinal colonization.
Shang Hongsheng; Jing Jinxue; Li Zhenqi
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
Shapiro-Ilan, David; Raymond, Ben
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.
Fernanda Morcatti Coura
Full Text Available ABSTRACT: This study identified the virulence genes, pathovars, and phylogenetic groups of Escherichia coli strains obtained from the feces of dogs with and without diarrhea. Virulence genes and phylogenetic group identification were studied using polymerase chain reaction. Thirty-seven E. coli isolates were positive for at least one virulence factor gene. Twenty-one (57.8% of the positive isolates were isolated from diarrheal feces and sixteen (43.2% were from the feces of non-diarrheic dogs. Enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC were the most frequently (62.2% detected pathovar in dog feces and were mainly from phylogroup B1 and E. Necrotoxigenic E. coli were detected in 16.2% of the virulence-positive isolates and these contained the cytotoxic necrotizing factor 1 (cnf1 gene and were classified into phylogroups B2 and D. All E. coli strains were negative for the presence of enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC enterotoxin genes, but four strains were positive for ETEC-related fimbriae 987P and F18. Two isolates were Shiga toxin-producing E. coli strains and contained the toxin genesStx2 or Stx2e, both from phylogroup B1. Our data showed that EPEC was the most frequent pathovar and B1 and E were the most common phylogroups detected in E. coli isolated from the feces of diarrheic and non-diarrheic dogs.
Hannah M. Rowe
Full Text Available Francisella tularensis is a highly-infectious bacterium that causes the rapid, and often lethal disease, tularemia. Many studies have been performed to identify and characterize the virulence factors that F. tularensis uses to infect a wide variety of hosts and host cell types, evade immune defenses, and induce severe disease and death. This review focuses on the virulence factors that are present in the F. tularensis envelope, including capsule, LPS, outer membrane, periplasm, inner membrane, secretion systems, and various molecules in each of aforementioned sub-compartments. Whereas no single bacterial molecule or molecular complex single-handedly controls F. tularensis virulence, we review here how diverse bacterial systems work in conjunction to subvert the immune system, attach to and invade host cells, alter phagosome/lysosome maturation pathways, replicate in host cells without being detected, inhibit apoptosis, and induce host cell death for bacterial release and infection of adjacent cells. Given that the F. tularensis envelope is the outermost layer of the bacterium, we highlight herein how many of these molecules directly interact with the host to promote infection and disease. These and future envelope studies are important to advance our collective understanding of F. tularensis virulence mechanisms and offer targets for future vaccine development efforts.
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
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.
Howery, Kristen E; Clemmer, Katy M; Rather, Philip N
The overall role of the Rcs phosphorelay in Proteus mirabilis is largely unknown. Previous work had demonstrated that the Rcs phosphorelay represses the flhDC operon and activates the minCDE cell division inhibition system. To identify additional cellular functions regulated by the Rcs phosphorelay, an analysis of RNA-seq data was undertaken. In this report, the results of the RNA-sequencing are discussed with an emphasis on the predicted roles of the Rcs phosphorelay in swarmer cell differentiation, motility, biofilm formation, and virulence. RcsB is shown to activate genes important for differentiation and fimbriae formation, while repressing the expression of genes important for motility and virulence. Additionally, to follow up on the RNA-Seq data, we demonstrate that an rcsB mutant is deficient in its ability to form biofilm and exhibits enhanced virulence in a Galleria mellonella waxworm model. Overall, these results indicate the Rcs regulon in P. mirabilis extends beyond flagellar genes to include those involved in biofilm formation and virulence. Furthermore, the information presented in this study may provide clues to additional roles of the Rcs phosphorelay in other members of the Enterobacteriaceae.
Kapp, Carole; Perlini, Thomas; Jeanneret, Tiffanie; Stéphan, Philippe; Rojas-Urrego, Alejandro; Macias, Manuel; Halfon, Olivier; Holzer, Laurent; Urben, Sébastien
This cross-sectional survey adopting a multiple-informant perspective explores the factors that influence perceived quality (i.e., therapeutic alliance and satisfaction) in an outpatient setting within child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). A total of 1433 participants (parents, n = 770, and patients, n = 663) attending or having attended (drop-out) outpatient units participated in the study. The outcome measures were satisfaction (Client Satisfaction Questionnaire) and the therapeutic alliance (Helping Alliance Questionnaire). The determinants of these quality indicators were socio-demographic variables (e.g., age, gender, and mother's socio-economic status), factors related to the extent of difficulties (number of reasons for the consultation, number of people who referred the child to the CAMHS), the approach to treatment at outset (agreeing to the consultation, feeling reassured at the first appointment), the organizational friendliness (secretary, waiting room, waiting time for the first appointment) and the organization of the therapy (frequency of sessions, time for questions, change of therapist). The approach to treatment at outset, accessibility by phone, satisfaction with the frequency of the sessions and having enough time for questions were the factors that consistently explain the quality indicators from both perspectives (patients and parents). In contrast, the socio-demographic variables as well as the extent of difficulties and factors related to the organizational friendliness and the organization of the therapy (frequency of sessions, change of therapist) were not related to the quality indicators. This study identifies key determinants of the quality indicators from the perspective of patients and parents that should be considered to improve CAMHS care quality. First appointments should be carefully prepared, and clinicians should centre care on the needs and expectations of patients and parents.
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.
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
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: email@example.com [University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD (United Kingdom)
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.
Yang, Ruifu; Du, Zongmin; Han, Yanping; Zhou, Lei; Song, Yajun; Zhou, Dongsheng; Cui, Yujun
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
Roop, R. Martin
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
Mattinen, Laura; Tshuikina, Marina; Mäe, Andres; Pirhonen, Minna
Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora is a gram-negative bacterium that causes soft rot disease of many cultivated crops. When a collection of E. carotovora subsp. carotovora isolates was analyzed on a Southern blot using the harpin-encoding gene hrpN as probe, several harpinless isolates were found. Regulation of virulence determinants in one of these, strain SCC3193, has been characterized extensively. It is fully virulent on potato and in Arabidopsis thaliana. An RpoS (SigmaS) mutant of SCC3193, producing elevated levels of secreted proteins, was found to cause lesions resembling the hypersensitive response when infiltrated into tobacco leaf tissue. This phenotype was evident only when bacterial cells had been cultivated on solid minimal medium at low pH and temperature. The protein causing'the cell death was purified and sequenced, and the corresponding gene was cloned. The deduced sequence of the necrosis-inducing protein (Nip) showed homology to necrosis- and ethylene-inducing elicitors of fungi and oomycetes. A mutant strain of E. carotovora subsp. carotovora lacking the nip gene showed reduced virulence in potato tuber assay but was unaffected in virulence in potato stem or on other tested host plants.
Sugimoto, Mitsushige; Yamaoka, Yoshio
The cure rates of Helicobacter pylori infection by using a combination of a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) and antimicrobial agents are mainly influenced by bacterial susceptibility to antimicrobial agents and the magnitude of acid inhibition during the treatment. Currently used empirical triple therapies do not reliably produce a > or =80% cure rate on an intention-to-treat basis. Therefore, tailored regimens based on relevant microbiological findings and pharmacogenomics are recommended for attaining an acceptable > or =95% cure rate. Recently, virulence factors of H. pylori, such as cagA and vacA, are reported to be major factors determining the cure rates. Individuals infected with strains with cagA-negative and vacA s2 genotypes have significantly increased risk of eradication failure of H. pylori infection. These virulence factors enhance gastric mucosal inflammation and are associated with the development of peptic ulcer and gastric cancer. H. pylori virulence factors induce proinflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-1, IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)- which influence mucosal inflammation and/or gastric acid secretion. When physicians select an H. pylori eradication regimen with an acceptable cure rate, they might need to consider H. pylori virulence factors, especially cagA and vacA.
Full Text Available Background and Study Aims. The association between Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori and chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU remains controversial. This study explored the role of H. pylori in CSU among different virulent genotypes patients. Patients and Methods. Patients infected by H. pylori were sorted into two groups as group A (with CSU and group B (without CSU. The tissue materials were taken via endoscopy for polymerase chain reaction study to determine virulence factors. After H. pylori eradication therapy, the eradication rate and response of urticaria were evaluated by using C13-UBT and a three-point scale (complete remission, partial remission, or no improvement. Results. The results were comparable between patients of groups A and B in terms of H. pylori infection rates and eradication rate. Longitudinal follow-up of 23.5 months showed complete remission of urticaria in 63.6% but no improvement in 36.4% of the patients after H. pylori eradication. H. pylori infected patients with different virulence factors such as cytotoxin-associated gene A, vacuolating cytotoxin gene A signal region and middle region have similar remission rates for CSU. Conclusions. Current study suggests that H. pylori may play a role in the development and disease course of CSU but may be irrelevant to different virulent genotypes.
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.
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.
Full Text Available Enterococcus, a Gram-positive facultative anaerobic cocci belonging to the lactic acid bacteria of the phylum Firmicutes, is known to be able to resist a wide range of hostile conditions such as different pH levels, high concentration of NaCl (6.5%, and the extended temperatures between 5°C and 65°C. Despite being the third most common nosocomial pathogen, our understanding on its virulence factors is still poorly understood. The current study was aimed to determine the prevalence of different virulence genes in Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium. For this purpose, 79 clinical isolates of Malaysian enterococci were evaluated for the presence of virulence genes. pilB, fms8, efaAfm, and sgrA genes are prevalent in all clinical isolates. In conclusion, the pathogenicity of E. faecalis and E. faecium could be associated with different virulence factors and these genes are widely distributed among the enterococcal species.
Li, Guanghui; Qiao, Mingyu; Guo, Yan; Wang, Xin; Xu, Yunfeng; Xia, Xiaodong
Chlorogenic acid (CA) has been reported to inhibit several pathogens, but the influence of subinhibitory concentrations of CA on virulence expression of pathogens has not been fully elucidated. The aim of this study was to explore the effect of CA on the virulence factor production of Staphylococcus aureus. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of CA against S. aureus was determined using a broth microdilution method. Hemolysin assays, coagulase titer assays, adherence to solid-phase fibrinogen assays, Western blot, and real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction were performed to evaluate the effect of subinhibitory concentrations of CA on the virulence factors of S. aureus. MIC of CA against S. aureus ATCC29213 was found to be 2.56 mg/mL. At subinhibitory concentrations, CA significantly inhibited the hemolysis and dose-dependently decreased coagulase titer. Reduced binding to fibrinogen and decreased production of SEA were observed with treatment of CA at concentrations ranging from 1/16MIC to 1/2MIC. CA markedly inhibited the expression of hla, sea, and agr genes in S. aureus. These data demonstrate that the virulence expression of S. aureus could be reduced by CA and suggest that CA could be potentially developed as a supplemental strategy to control S. aureus infection and to prevent staphylococcal food poisoning.
Eriksson, A R; Andersson, R A; Pirhonen, M; Palva, E T
Production of extracellular, plant cell wall degrading enzymes, the main virulence determinants of the plant pathogen Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora, is coordinately controlled by a complex regulatory network. Insertion mutants in the exp (extracellular enzyme production) loci exhibit pleiotropic defects in virulence and the growth-phase-dependent transcriptional activation of genes encoding extracellular enzymes. Two new exp mutations, designated expA and expS, were characterized. Introduction of the corresponding wild-type alleles to the mutants complemented both the lack of virulence and the impaired production of plant cell wall degrading enzymes. The expA gene was shown to encode a 24-kDa polypeptide that is structurally and functionally related to the uvrY gene product of Escherichia coli and the GacA response regulator of Pseudomonas fluorescens. Functional similarity of expA and uvrY was demonstrated by genetic complementation. The expA gene is organized in an operon together with a uvrC-like gene, identical to the organization of uvrY and uvrC in E. coli. The unlinked expS gene encodes a putative sensor kinase that shows 92% identity to the recently described rpfA gene product from another E. carotovora subsp. carotovora strain. Our data suggest that ExpS and ExpA are members of two-component sensor kinase and response regulator families, respectively. These two proteins might interact in controlling virulence gene expression in E. carotovora subsp. carotovora.
Goerke, Christiane; Köller, Johanna; Wolz, Christiane
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
Iara Rossi Gonçalves
Full Text Available Abstract Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that causes frequently nosocomial infections, currently becoming more difficult to treat due to the various resistance mechanisms and different virulence factors. The purpose of this study was to determine the risk factors independently associated with the development of bacteremia by carbapenem-resistant P. aeruginosa, the frequency of virulence genes in metallo-β-lactamases producers and to evaluate their ability to produce biofilm. We conducted a case–control study in the Uberlândia Federal University – Hospital Clinic, Brazil. Polymerase Chain Reaction was performed for metallo-β-lactamases and virulence genes. Adhesion and biofilm assays were done by quantitative tests. Among the 157 strains analyzed, 73.9% were multidrug-resistant, 43.9% were resistant to carbapenems, 16.1% were phenotypically positive for metallo-β-lactamases, and of these, 10.7% were positive for blaSPM gene and 5.3% positive for blaVIM. The multivariable analysis showed that mechanical ventilation, enteral/nasogastric tubes, primary bacteremia with unknown focus, and inappropriate therapy were independent risk factors associated with bacteremia. All tested strains were characterized as strongly biofilm producers. A higher mortality was found among patients with bacteremia by carbapenem-resistant P. aeruginosa strains, associated independently with extrinsic risk factors, however it was not evident the association with the presence of virulence and metallo-β-lactamases genes.
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.
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.
Klinger, Ellen G; Vojvodic, Svjetlana; DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Welker, Dennis L; James, Rosalind R
Dynamics of host-pathogen interactions are complex, often influencing the ecology, evolution and behavior of both the host and pathogen. In the natural world, infections with multiple pathogens are common, yet due to their complexity, interactions can be difficult to predict and study. Mathematical models help facilitate our understanding of these evolutionary processes, but empirical data are needed to test model assumptions and predictions. We used two common theoretical models regarding mixed infections (superinfection and co-infection) to determine which model assumptions best described a group of fungal pathogens closely associated with bees. We tested three fungal species, Ascosphaera apis, Ascosphaera aggregata and Ascosphaera larvis, in two bee hosts (Apis mellifera and Megachile rotundata). Bee survival was not significantly different in mixed infections vs. solo infections with the most virulent pathogen for either host, but fungal growth within the host was significantly altered by mixed infections. In the host A. mellifera, only the most virulent pathogen was present in the host post-infection (indicating superinfective properties). In M. rotundata, the most virulent pathogen co-existed with the lesser-virulent one (indicating co-infective properties). We demonstrated that the competitive outcomes of mixed infections were host-specific, indicating strong host specificity among these fungal bee pathogens. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Markussen, Turhan; Jonassen, Christine Monceyron; Numanovic, Sanela; Braaen, Stine; Hjortaas, Monika; Nilsen, Hanne; Mjaaland, Siri
Infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISAV) is an orthomyxovirus causing a multisystemic, emerging disease in Atlantic salmon. Here we present, for the first time, detailed sequence analyses of the full-genome sequence of a presumed avirulent isolate displaying a full-length hemagglutinin-esterase (HE) gene (HPR0), and compare this with full-genome sequences of 11 Norwegian ISAV isolates from clinically diseased fish. These analyses revealed the presence of a virulence marker right upstream of the putative cleavage site R 267 in the fusion (F) protein, suggesting a Q 266 → L 266 substitution to be a prerequisite for virulence. To gain virulence in isolates lacking this substitution, a sequence insertion near the cleavage site seems to be required. This strongly suggests the involvement of a protease recognition pattern at the cleavage site of the fusion protein as a determinant of virulence, as seen in highly pathogenic influenza A virus H5 or H7 and the paramyxovirus Newcastle disease virus
Mohamed I. Azzam
Full Text Available This study aims to determine the impact of five main drains as sources of antibiotics resistant bacteria in River Nile at Rosetta branch, and to generate a baseline data on their virulence ability. Out of 212 bacterial isolates, 39.2% and 60.8% were recovered from drains and Rosetta branch, respectively. Susceptibility of bacteria to different antibiotics showed multiple antibiotics resistances (MAR for the majority of isolates. Meanwhile, sensitivity was mostly directed to ofloxacin and norfloxacin antibiotics. Calculated MAR index values (>0.25 classified area of study as potentially health risk environment. Testing virulence ability of bacteria from drains showed positive results (65%. Contrastively, virulent strains in Rosetta branch were mostly lacking in this study. Concluding remarks justify the strong correlation (r = +0.82 between MAR and virulence of bacteria in polluted aquatic ecosystems, and highlight the potential of drains as reactors for their amplification and dissemination. The study suggests regular monitoring for antibiotics resistance in native bacteria of River Nile, prohibition of unregulated use of antibiotics, and proper management for wastes disposal.
Jones, Jessica L; Lüdeke, Catharina H M; Bowers, John C; DePaola, Angelo
Vibrio vulnificus is the leading cause of seafood associated mortality in the United States and is generally associated with consumption of raw oysters. Two genetic markers have emerged as indicators of strain virulence, 16S rDNA type B (rrnB) and virulence correlated gene type C (vcgC). While much is known about the distribution of V. vulnificus in oysters, a limited number of studies have addressed the more virulent subtypes. Therefore, the goals of this study were to (1) determine the suitability of media for recovery of total and virulent genotypes of V. vulnificus and (2) evaluate the geographical and seasonal distribution of these genotypes. Market oysters from across the United States and the strains isolated from them during a year-long study in 2007 were used. For media evaluation, VVA and CPC+ were compared using direct plating of oyster tissues while mCPC and CPC+ were compared for isolation following MPN enrichment. Representative isolates from each media/method were tested for rrn and vcg types to determine their seasonal and geographical distribution. No statistically significant difference was observed between VVA/CPC+ or mCPC/CPC+ for isolation of total or virulent (rrnB/vcgC) genotypes of V. vulnificus. Overall, 32% of recovered isolates possessed the virulent genotype. The prevalence of these genotypes was highest in oysters from the Gulf Coast during Oct-Dec, and demonstrated a statistically significant geographical and seasonal pattern. This is the first report on the distribution of virulent V. vulnificus genotypes across the United States, which provides novel insight into the occurrence of this pathogen. © 2013.
Background The Streptococcus Anginosus Group (SAG) represents three closely related species of the viridans group streptococci recognized as commensal bacteria of the oral, gastrointestinal and urogenital tracts. The SAG also cause severe invasive infections, and are pathogens during cystic fibrosis (CF) pulmonary exacerbation. Little genomic information or description of virulence mechanisms is currently available for SAG. We conducted intra and inter species whole-genome comparative analyses with 59 publically available Streptococcus genomes and seven in-house closed high quality finished SAG genomes; S. constellatus (3), S. intermedius (2), and S. anginosus (2). For each SAG species, we sequenced at least one numerically dominant strain from CF airways recovered during acute exacerbation and an invasive, non-lung isolate. We also evaluated microevolution that occurred within two isolates that were cultured from one individual one year apart. Results The SAG genomes were most closely related to S. gordonii and S. sanguinis, based on shared orthologs and harbor a similar number of proteins within each COG category as other Streptococcus species. Numerous characterized streptococcus virulence factor homologs were identified within the SAG genomes including; adherence, invasion, spreading factors, LPxTG cell wall proteins, and two component histidine kinases known to be involved in virulence gene regulation. Mobile elements, primarily integrative conjugative elements and bacteriophage, account for greater than 10% of the SAG genomes. S. anginosus was the most variable species sequenced in this study, yielding both the smallest and the largest SAG genomes containing multiple genomic rearrangements, insertions and deletions. In contrast, within the S. constellatus and S. intermedius species, there was extensive continuous synteny, with only slight differences in genome size between strains. Within S. constellatus we were able to determine important SNPs and changes in
Jensen, Anne; Thomsen, L.E.; Jørgensen, R.L.
cell line, Caco-2; time to death in a nematode model, Caenorhabditis elegans and in a fruit fly model, Drosophila melanogaster and fecal shedding in a guinea pig model. All strains adhered to and grew in Caco-2 cells in similar levels. When exposed to 10(6) CFU/ml, two strains representing......% killed C elegans worms was longer (110 h) for the RAPD type 9 strains than for the other four strains (80 h). The Scott A strain and one RAPD type 9 strain were suspended in whipping cream before being fed to guinea pigs and the persistent RAPD type 9 strain was isolated from feces in a lower level...... to contaminate food products, and it is important to determine their virulence potential to evaluate risk to consumers. We compared the behaviour of food processing persistent and clinical L. monocytogenes strains in four virulence models: Adhesion, invasion and intracellular growth was studied in an epithelial...