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Sample records for francisella tularensis genes

  1. Identifying Francisella tularensis genes required for growth in host cells

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Technical Abstract: Francisella tularensis is a highly virulent Gram negative intracellular pathogen capable of infecting a vast diversity of hosts, ranging from amoebae to humans. A hallmark of F. tularensis virulence is its ability to quickly grow to high densities within a diverse set of host cel...

  2. Identifying Francisella tularensis Genes Required for Growth in Host Cells

    PubMed Central

    Brunton, J.; Steele, S.; Miller, C.; Lovullo, E.; Taft-Benz, S.

    2015-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a highly virulent Gram-negative intracellular pathogen capable of infecting a vast diversity of hosts, ranging from amoebae to humans. A hallmark of F. tularensis virulence is its ability to quickly grow to high densities within a diverse set of host cells, including, but not limited to, macrophages and epithelial cells. We developed a luminescence reporter system to facilitate a large-scale transposon mutagenesis screen to identify genes required for growth in macrophage and epithelial cell lines. We screened 7,454 individual mutants, 269 of which exhibited reduced intracellular growth. Transposon insertions in the 269 growth-defective strains mapped to 68 different genes. FTT_0924, a gene of unknown function but highly conserved among Francisella species, was identified in this screen to be defective for intracellular growth within both macrophage and epithelial cell lines. FTT_0924 was required for full Schu S4 virulence in a murine pulmonary infection model. The ΔFTT_0924 mutant bacterial membrane is permeable when replicating in hypotonic solution and within macrophages, resulting in strongly reduced viability. The permeability and reduced viability were rescued when the mutant was grown in a hypertonic solution, indicating that FTT_0924 is required for resisting osmotic stress. The ΔFTT_0924 mutant was also significantly more sensitive to β-lactam antibiotics than Schu S4. Taken together, the data strongly suggest that FTT_0924 is required for maintaining peptidoglycan integrity and virulence. PMID:25987704

  3. Natural Selection in Virulence Genes of Francisella tularensis.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  4. Regulation of Francisella Tularensis Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Shipan; Mohapatra, Nrusingh P.; Schlesinger, Larry S.; Gunn, John S.

    2011-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is one of the most virulent bacteria known and a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Category A select agent. It is able to infect a variety of animals and insects and can persist in the environment, thus Francisella spp. must be able to survive in diverse environmental niches. However, F. tularensis has a surprising dearth of sensory and regulatory factors. Recent advancements in the field have identified new functions of encoded transcription factors and greatly expanded our understanding of virulence gene regulation. Here we review the current knowledge of environmental adaptation by F. tularensis, its transcriptional regulators and their relationship to animal virulence. PMID:21687801

  5. Genetic manipulation of francisella tularensis.

    PubMed

    Zogaj, Xhavit; Klose, Karl E

    2010-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a facultative intracellular pathogen that causes the disease tularemia. F. tularensis subsp. tularensis causes the most severe disease in humans and has been classified as a Category A select agent and potential bioweapon. There is currently no vaccine approved for human use, making genetic manipulation of this organism critical to unraveling the genetic basis of pathogenesis and developing countermeasures against tularemia. The development of genetic techniques applicable to F. tularensis have lagged behind those routinely used for other bacteria, primarily due to lack of research and the restricted nature of the biocontainment required for studying this pathogen. However, in recent years, genetic techniques, such as transposon mutagenesis and targeted gene disruption, have been developed, that have had a dramatic impact on our understanding of the genetic basis of F. tularensis virulence. In this review, we describe some of the methods developed for genetic manipulation of F. tularensis. PMID:21607086

  6. Genetic Manipulation of Francisella Tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Zogaj, Xhavit; Klose, Karl E.

    2011-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a facultative intracellular pathogen that causes the disease tularemia. F. tularensis subsp. tularensis causes the most severe disease in humans and has been classified as a Category A select agent and potential bioweapon. There is currently no vaccine approved for human use, making genetic manipulation of this organism critical to unraveling the genetic basis of pathogenesis and developing countermeasures against tularemia. The development of genetic techniques applicable to F. tularensis have lagged behind those routinely used for other bacteria, primarily due to lack of research and the restricted nature of the biocontainment required for studying this pathogen. However, in recent years, genetic techniques, such as transposon mutagenesis and targeted gene disruption, have been developed, that have had a dramatic impact on our understanding of the genetic basis of F. tularensis virulence. In this review, we describe some of the methods developed for genetic manipulation of F. tularensis. PMID:21607086

  7. The Immunologically Distinct O Antigens from Francisella tularensis Subspecies tularensis and Francisella novicida Are both Virulence Determinants and Protective Antigens▿

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Rebecca M.; Titball, Richard W.; Oyston, Petra C. F.; Griffin, Kate; Waters, Emma; Hitchen, Paul G.; Michell, Stephen L.; Grice, I. Darren; Wilson, Jennifer C.; Prior, Joann L.

    2007-01-01

    We have determined the sequence of the gene cluster encoding the O antigen in Francisella novicida and compared it to the previously reported O-antigen cluster in Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis. Immunization with purified lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from F. tularensis subsp. tularensis or F. novicida protected against challenge with Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica and F. novicida, respectively. The LPS from F. tularensis subsp. tularensis did not confer protection against challenge with F. novicida, and the LPS from F. novicida did not confer protection against challenge with F. tularensis subsp. holarctica. Allelic replacement mutants of F. tularensis subsp. tularensis or F. novicida which failed to produce O antigen were attenuated, but exposure to these mutants did not induce a protective immune response. The O antigen of F. tularensis subsp. tularensis appeared to be important for intracellular survival whereas the O antigen of F. novicida appeared to be critical for serum resistance and less important for intracellular survival. PMID:17074846

  8. Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis Induces a Unique Pulmonary Inflammatory Response: Role of Bacterial Gene Expression in Temporal Regulation of Host Defense Responses

    PubMed Central

    Walters, Kathie-Anne; Olsufka, Rachael; Kuestner, Rolf E.; Cho, Ji Hoon; Li, Hong; Zornetzer, Gregory A.; Wang, Kai; Skerrett, Shawn J.; Ozinsky, Adrian

    2013-01-01

    Pulmonary exposure to Francisella tularensis is associated with severe lung pathology and a high mortality rate. The lack of induction of classical inflammatory mediators, including IL1-β and TNF-α, during early infection has led to the suggestion that F. tularensis evades detection by host innate immune surveillance and/or actively suppresses inflammation. To gain more insight into the host response to Francisella infection during the acute stage, transcriptomic analysis was performed on lung tissue from mice exposed to virulent (Francisella tularensis ssp tularensis SchuS4). Despite an extensive transcriptional response in the lungs of animals as early as 4 hrs post-exposure, Francisella tularensis was associated with an almost complete lack of induction of immune-related genes during the initial 24 hrs post-exposure. This broad subversion of innate immune responses was particularly evident when compared to the pulmonary inflammatory response induced by other lethal (Yersinia pestis) and non-lethal (Legionella pneumophila, Pseudomonas aeruginosa) pulmonary infections. However, the unique induction of a subset of inflammation-related genes suggests a role for dysregulation of lymphocyte function and anti-inflammatory pathways in the extreme virulence of Francisella. Subsequent activation of a classical inflammatory response 48 hrs post-exposure was associated with altered abundance of Francisella-specific transcripts, including those associated with bacterial surface components. In summary, virulent Francisella induces a unique pulmonary inflammatory response characterized by temporal regulation of innate immune pathways correlating with altered bacterial gene expression patterns. This study represents the first simultaneous measurement of both host and Francisella transcriptome changes that occur during in vivo infection and identifies potential bacterial virulence factors responsible for regulation of host inflammatory pathways. PMID:23690939

  9. Comparative Transcriptional Analyses of Francisella tularensis and Francisella novicida.

    PubMed

    Sarva, Siva T; Waldo, Robert H; Belland, Robert J; Klose, Karl E

    2016-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is composed of a number of subspecies with varied geographic distribution, host ranges, and virulence. In view of these marked differences, comparative functional genomics may elucidate some of the molecular mechanism(s) behind these differences. In this study a shared probe microarray was designed that could be used to compare the transcriptomes of Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis Schu S4 (Ftt), Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica OR960246 (Fth), Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica LVS (LVS), and Francisella novicida U112 (Fn). To gain insight into expression differences that may be related to the differences in virulence of these subspecies, transcriptomes were measured from each strain grown in vitro under identical conditions, utilizing a shared probe microarray. The human avirulent Fn strain exhibited high levels of transcription of genes involved in general metabolism, which are pseudogenes in the human virulent Ftt and Fth strains, consistent with the process of genome decay in the virulent strains. Genes encoding an efflux system (emrA2 cluster of genes), siderophore (fsl operon), acid phosphatase, LPS synthesis, polyamine synthesis, and citrulline ureidase were all highly expressed in Ftt when compared to Fn, suggesting that some of these may contribute to the relative high virulence of Ftt. Genes expressed at a higher level in Ftt when compared to the relatively less virulent Fth included genes encoding isochorismatases, cholylglycine hydrolase, polyamine synthesis, citrulline ureidase, Type IV pilus subunit, and the Francisella Pathogenicity Island protein PdpD. Fth and LVS had very few expression differences, consistent with the derivation of LVS from Fth. This study demonstrated that a shared probe microarray designed to detect transcripts in multiple species/subspecies of Francisella enabled comparative transcriptional analyses that may highlight critical differences that underlie the relative pathogenesis of

  10. Comparative Transcriptional Analyses of Francisella tularensis and Francisella novicida

    PubMed Central

    Waldo, Robert H.; Belland, Robert J.; Klose, Karl E.

    2016-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is composed of a number of subspecies with varied geographic distribution, host ranges, and virulence. In view of these marked differences, comparative functional genomics may elucidate some of the molecular mechanism(s) behind these differences. In this study a shared probe microarray was designed that could be used to compare the transcriptomes of Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis Schu S4 (Ftt), Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica OR960246 (Fth), Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica LVS (LVS), and Francisella novicida U112 (Fn). To gain insight into expression differences that may be related to the differences in virulence of these subspecies, transcriptomes were measured from each strain grown in vitro under identical conditions, utilizing a shared probe microarray. The human avirulent Fn strain exhibited high levels of transcription of genes involved in general metabolism, which are pseudogenes in the human virulent Ftt and Fth strains, consistent with the process of genome decay in the virulent strains. Genes encoding an efflux system (emrA2 cluster of genes), siderophore (fsl operon), acid phosphatase, LPS synthesis, polyamine synthesis, and citrulline ureidase were all highly expressed in Ftt when compared to Fn, suggesting that some of these may contribute to the relative high virulence of Ftt. Genes expressed at a higher level in Ftt when compared to the relatively less virulent Fth included genes encoding isochorismatases, cholylglycine hydrolase, polyamine synthesis, citrulline ureidase, Type IV pilus subunit, and the Francisella Pathogenicity Island protein PdpD. Fth and LVS had very few expression differences, consistent with the derivation of LVS from Fth. This study demonstrated that a shared probe microarray designed to detect transcripts in multiple species/subspecies of Francisella enabled comparative transcriptional analyses that may highlight critical differences that underlie the relative pathogenesis of

  11. Rapid High Resolution Genotyping of Francisella tularensis by Whole Genome Sequence Comparison of Annotated Genes (“MLST+”)

    PubMed Central

    Mellmann, Alexander; Höppner, Sebastian; Splettstoesser, Wolf D.; Harmsen, Dag

    2015-01-01

    The zoonotic disease tularemia is caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. This pathogen is considered as a category A select agent with potential to be misused in bioterrorism. Molecular typing based on DNA-sequence like canSNP-typing or MLVA has become the accepted standard for this organism. Due to the organism’s highly clonal nature, the current typing methods have reached their limit of discrimination for classifying closely related subpopulations within the subspecies F. tularensis ssp. holarctica. We introduce a new gene-by-gene approach, MLST+, based on whole genome data of 15 sequenced F. tularensis ssp. holarctica strains and apply this approach to investigate an epidemic of lethal tularemia among non-human primates in two animal facilities in Germany. Due to the high resolution of MLST+ we are able to demonstrate that three independent clones of this highly infectious pathogen were responsible for these spatially and temporally restricted outbreaks. PMID:25856198

  12. Generation and Characterization of an Attenuated Mutant in a Response Regulator Gene of Francisella tularensis Live Vaccine Strain (LVS)

    PubMed Central

    Sammons-Jackson, Wendy L.; McClelland, Karen; Manch-Citron, Jean N.; Metzger, Dennis W.; Bakshi, Chandra Shekhar; Garcia, Emilio; Rasley, Amy

    2008-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a zoonotic bacterium that must exist in diverse environments ranging from arthropod vectors to mammalian hosts. To better understand how virulence genes are regulated in these different environments, a transcriptional response regulator gene (genome locus FTL0552) was deleted in F. tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS). The FTL0552 deletion mutant exhibited slightly reduced rates of extracellular growth but was unable to replicate or survive in mouse macrophages and was avirulent in the mouse model using either BALB/c or C57BL/6 mice. Mice infected with the FTL0552 mutant produced reduced levels of inflammatory cytokines, exhibited reduced histopathology, and cleared the bacteria quicker than mice infected with LVS. Mice that survived infection with the FTL0552 mutant were afforded partial protection when challenged with a lethal dose of the virulent SchuS4 strain (4 of 10 survivors, day 21 postinfection) when compared to naive mice (0 of 10 survivors by day 7 postinfection). Microarray experiments indicate that 148 genes are regulated by FTL0552. Most of the genes are downregulated, indicating that FTL0552 controls transcription of genes in a positive manner. Genes regulated by FTL0552 include genes located within the Francisella pathogenicity island that are essential for intracellular survival and virulence of F. tularensis. Further, a mutant in FTL0552 or the comparable locus in SchuS4 (FTT1557c) may be an alternative candidate vaccine for tularemia. PMID:18613792

  13. [CONSTRUCTION AND PROPERTIES OF THE FRANCISELLA TULARENSIS VACCINE STRAIN WITHOUT ONE COPY OF THE IGLC GENE AND WITHOUT RECA GENE].

    PubMed

    Mokrievich, A N; Vakhrameeva, G M; Titareva, G M; Bakhteeva, I V; Mironova, R I; Kombarova, T I; Kravchenko, T B; Dyatlov, I A; Pavlov, V M

    2015-01-01

    The live vaccine based on the Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica vaccine strain 15 NIIEG line is used in Russia against tularemia. This vaccine is highly effective, but fairly unstable. Therefore, development of stable live tularemia vaccine with minimal side effect is rather urgent. The method of allel removal in the F. tularensis vaccine strain was used to remove one copy of the iglC gene, which is required to provide intracellular production of the vaccine strain, as well as removal of the recA gene. The latter is crucial for homological recombination. pGM5 suicide vector based on pHV33 bireplicon plasmid was constructed to provide replacement of intact F. tularensis chromosome segments by modified segments. Modified chromosome segments contain F. Tularensis DNA fragment without iglC structural gene segment 545 p. b. (in pGMΔiglC plasmid), as well as DNA fragment containing no recA structural gene segment 1060 p.b. (pGMΔrecA plasmid). The constructed 15/23-1ΔrecA mutant, in contrast to the vaccine strain 15, was capable of reproducing in the macrophage-like cells J774A.1 line, whereas the efficiency of the reproduction was 8-10 times less. BALB/c mouse responded to immunization by the 15/23-1ΔrecA strain by smaller weight decrease (-2%) as compared to the strain 15 (-14%). Bacteria of the 15/23-1ΔrecA strain were virtually incapable of germinating from the BALB/c murine spleen 14 days after invasion, whereas bacteria of the strain 15 were found in the murine organs even after 21 days. The F. tularensis 15/23-1ΔrecA strain having smaller reaction ability can be used as a basis for construction of stable live safe tularemia vaccine. PMID:26665740

  14. Glycosylation of DsbA in Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Rebecca M; Twine, Susan M; Fulton, Kelly M; Tessier, Luc; Kilmury, Sara L N; Ding, Wen; Harmer, Nicholas; Michell, Stephen L; Oyston, Petra C F; Titball, Richard W; Prior, Joann L

    2011-10-01

    In Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis, DsbA has been shown to be an essential virulence factor and has been observed to migrate to multiple protein spots on two-dimensional electrophoresis gels. In this work, we show that the protein is modified with a 1,156-Da glycan moiety in O-linkage. The results of mass spectrometry studies suggest that the glycan is a hexasaccharide, comprised of N-acetylhexosamines, hexoses, and an unknown monosaccharide. Disruption of two genes within the FTT0789-FTT0800 putative polysaccharide locus, including a galE homologue (FTT0791) and a putative glycosyltransferase (FTT0798), resulted in loss of glycan modification of DsbA. The F. tularensis subsp. tularensis ΔFTT0798 and ΔFTT0791::Cm mutants remained virulent in the murine model of subcutaneous tularemia. This indicates that glycosylation of DsbA does not play a major role in virulence under these conditions. This is the first report of the detailed characterization of the DsbA glycan and putative role of the FTT0789-FTT0800 gene cluster in glycan biosynthesis. PMID:21803994

  15. Identification of Genes Contributing to the Virulence of Francisella tularensis SCHU S4 in a Mouse Intradermal Infection Model

    PubMed Central

    Golovliov, Igor; Bolanowski, Mark; Shen, Hua; Conlan, Wayne; Sjöstedt, Anders

    2009-01-01

    Background Francisella tularensis is a highly virulent human pathogen. The most virulent strains belong to subspecies tularensis and these strains cause a sometimes fatal disease. Despite an intense recent research effort, there is very limited information available that explains the unique features of subspecies tularensis strains that distinguish them from other F. tularensis strains and that explain their high virulence. Here we report the use of targeted mutagenesis to investigate the roles of various genes or pathways for the virulence of strain SCHU S4, the type strain of subspecies tularensis. Methodology/Principal Findings The virulence of SCHU S4 mutants was assessed by following the outcome of infection after intradermal administration of graded doses of bacteria. By this route, the LD50 of the SCHU S4 strain is one CFU. The virulence of 20 in-frame deletion mutants and 37 transposon mutants was assessed. A majority of the mutants did not show increased prolonged time to death, among them notably ΔpyrB and ΔrecA. Of the remaining, mutations in six unique targets, tolC, rep, FTT0609, FTT1149c, ahpC, and hfq resulted in significantly prolonged time to death and mutations in nine targets, rplA, wbtI, iglB, iglD, purL, purF, ggt, kdtA, and glpX, led to marked attenuation with an LD50 of >103 CFU. In fact, the latter seven mutants showed very marked attenuation with an LD50 of ≥107 CFU. Conclusions/Significance The results demonstrate that the characterization of targeted mutants yielded important information about essential virulence determinants that will help to identify the so far little understood extreme virulence of F. tularensis subspecies tularensis. PMID:19424499

  16. Francisella tularensis subspecies holarctica, Tasmania, Australia, 2011.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Justin; McGregor, Alistair; Cooley, Louise; Ng, Jimmy; Brown, Mitchell; Ong, Chong Wei; Darcy, Catharine; Sintchenko, Vitali

    2012-09-01

    We report a case of ulceroglandular tularemia that developed in a woman after she was bitten by a ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus) in a forest in Tasmania, Australia. Francisella tularensis subspecies holarctica was identified. This case indicates the emergence of F. tularensis type B in the Southern Hemisphere. PMID:22931809

  17. Francisella tularensis Subspecies holarctica, Tasmania, Australia, 2011

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Justin; McGregor, Alistair; Cooley, Louise; Ng, Jimmy; Brown, Mitchell; Ong, Chong Wei; Darcy, Catharine

    2012-01-01

    We report a case of ulceroglandular tularemia that developed in a woman after she was bitten by a ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus) in a forest in Tasmania, Australia. Francisella tularensis subspecies holarctica was identified. This case indicates the emergence of F. tularensis type B in the Southern Hemisphere. PMID:22931809

  18. Comparative review of Francisella tularensis and Francisella novicida

    PubMed Central

    Kingry, Luke C.; Petersen, Jeannine M.

    2014-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is the causative agent of the acute disease tularemia. Due to its extreme infectivity and ability to cause disease upon inhalation, F. tularensis has been classified as a biothreat agent. Two subspecies of F. tularensis, tularensis and holarctica, are responsible for tularemia in humans. In comparison, the closely related species F. novicida very rarely causes human illness and cases that do occur are associated with patients who are immune compromised or have other underlying health problems. Virulence between F. tularensis and F. novicida also differs in laboratory animals. Despite this varying capacity to cause disease, the two species share ~97% nucleotide identity, with F. novicida commonly used as a laboratory surrogate for F. tularensis. As the F. novicida U112 strain is exempt from U.S. select agent regulations, research studies can be carried out in non-registered laboratories lacking specialized containment facilities required for work with virulent F. tularensis strains. This review is designed to highlight phenotypic (clinical, ecological, virulence, and pathogenic) and genomic differences between F. tularensis and F. novicida that warrant maintaining F. novicida and F. tularensis as separate species. Standardized nomenclature for F. novicida is critical for accurate interpretation of experimental results, limiting clinical confusion between F. novicida and F. tularensis and ensuring treatment efficacy studies utilize virulent F. tularensis strains. PMID:24660164

  19. Comparative review of Francisella tularensis and Francisella novicida.

    PubMed

    Kingry, Luke C; Petersen, Jeannine M

    2014-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is the causative agent of the acute disease tularemia. Due to its extreme infectivity and ability to cause disease upon inhalation, F. tularensis has been classified as a biothreat agent. Two subspecies of F. tularensis, tularensis and holarctica, are responsible for tularemia in humans. In comparison, the closely related species F. novicida very rarely causes human illness and cases that do occur are associated with patients who are immune compromised or have other underlying health problems. Virulence between F. tularensis and F. novicida also differs in laboratory animals. Despite this varying capacity to cause disease, the two species share ~97% nucleotide identity, with F. novicida commonly used as a laboratory surrogate for F. tularensis. As the F. novicida U112 strain is exempt from U.S. select agent regulations, research studies can be carried out in non-registered laboratories lacking specialized containment facilities required for work with virulent F. tularensis strains. This review is designed to highlight phenotypic (clinical, ecological, virulence, and pathogenic) and genomic differences between F. tularensis and F. novicida that warrant maintaining F. novicida and F. tularensis as separate species. Standardized nomenclature for F. novicida is critical for accurate interpretation of experimental results, limiting clinical confusion between F. novicida and F. tularensis and ensuring treatment efficacy studies utilize virulent F. tularensis strains. PMID:24660164

  20. Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis Group A.I, United States

    PubMed Central

    Birdsell, Dawn N.; Johansson, Anders; Öhrman, Caroline; Kaufman, Emily; Molins, Claudia; Pearson, Talima; Gyuranecz, Miklós; Naumann, Amber; Vogler, Amy J.; Myrtennäs, Kerstin; Larsson, Pär; Forsman, Mats; Sjödin, Andreas; Gillece, John D.; Schupp, James; Petersen, Jeannine M.; Keim, Paul

    2014-01-01

    We used whole-genome analysis and subsequent characterization of geographically diverse strains using new genetic signatures to identify distinct subgroups within Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis group A.I: A.I.3, A.I.8, and A.I.12. These subgroups exhibit complex phylogeographic patterns within North America. The widest distribution was observed for A.I.12, which suggests an adaptive advantage. PMID:24755401

  1. Molecular bases of proliferation of Francisella tularensis in Arthropod vectors

    PubMed Central

    Asare, Rexford; Akimana, Christine; Jones, Snake; Kwaik, Yousef Abu

    2010-01-01

    Summary Arthropod vectors are important vehicles for transmission of Francisella tularensis between mammals, but very little is known about the F. tularensis-arthropod vector interaction. Drosophila melanogaster has been recently developed as an arthropod vector model for F. tularensis. We have shown that intracellular trafficking of F. tularensis within human monocytes-derived macrophages and D. melanogaster-derived S2 cells is very similar. Within both evolutionarily distant host cells, the Francisella-containing phagosome matures to a late endosome-like phagosome with limited fusion to lysosomes followed by rapid bacterial escape into the cytosol where the bacterial proliferate. To decipher the molecular bases of intracellular proliferation of F. tularensis within arthropod-derived cells, we screened a comprehensive library of mutants of F. tularensis subsp novicida for their defect in intracellular proliferation within D. melanogaster-derived S2 cells. Our data show that 394 genes, representing 22% of the genome, are required for intracellular proliferation within D. melanogaster-derived S2 cells, including many of the Francisella Pathogenicity Island (FPI) genes that are also required for proliferation within mammalian macrophages. Functional gene classes that exhibit growth defect include metabolic (25%), FPI (2%), Type IV pili (1%), transport (16%) and DNA modification (5%). Among 168 most defective mutants in intracellular proliferation in S2 cells, 80 are defective in lethality and proliferation within adult D. melanogaster. The observation that only 135 of the 394 mutants that are defective in S2 cells are also defective in human macrophages indicates that F. tularensis utilize common as well as distinct mechanisms to proliferate within mammalian and arthropod cells. Our studies will facilitate deciphering the molecular aspects of F. tularensis-arthropod vector interaction and its patho-adaptation to infect mammals. PMID:20482589

  2. Detection of Francisella tularensis in voles in Finland.

    PubMed

    Rossow, Heidi; Sissonen, Susanna; Koskela, Katja A; Kinnunen, Paula M; Hemmilä, Heidi; Niemimaa, Jukka; Huitu, Otso; Kuusi, Markku; Vapalahti, Olli; Henttonen, Heikki; Nikkari, Simo

    2014-03-01

    Francisella tularensis is a highly virulent intracellular bacterium causing the zoonotic disease tularemia. It recurrently causes human and animal outbreaks in northern Europe, including Finland. Although F. tularensis infects several mammal species, only rodents and lagomorphs seem to have importance in its ecology. Peak densities of rodent populations may trigger tularemia outbreaks in humans; however, it is still unclear to which extent rodents or other small mammals maintain F. tularensis in nature. The main objective of this study was to obtain information about the occurrence of F. tularensis in small mammals in Finland. We snap-trapped 547 wild small mammals representing 11 species at 14 locations around Finland during 6 years and screened them for the presence of F. tularensis DNA using PCR analysis. High copy number of F. tularensis-specific DNA was detected in tissue samples of five field voles (Microtus agrestis) originating from one location and 2 years. According to DNA sequences of the bacterial 23S ribosomal RNA gene amplified from F. tularensis-infected voles, the infecting agent belongs to the subspecies holarctica. To find out the optimal tissue for tularemia screening in voles, we compared the amounts of F. tularensis DNA in lungs, liver, spleen, and kidney of the infected animals. F. tularensis DNA was detectable in high levels in all four organs except for one animal, whose kidney was F. tularensis DNA-negative. Thus, at least liver, lung, and spleen seem suitable for F. tularensis screening in voles. Thus, liver, lung, and spleen all seem suitable for F. tularensis screening in voles. In conclusion, field voles can be heavily infected with F. tularensis subsp. holarctica and thus potentially serve as the source of infection in humans and other mammals. PMID:24575824

  3. Francisella tularensis Peritonitis in Stomach Cancer Patient

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Linus X.; Safdar, Amar

    2004-01-01

    Tularemia with peritonitis developed in a 50-year-old man soon after diagnosis of stomach cancer with metastasis. The ascites grew Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica, which was identified by sequencing analysis of the 16S rDNA. The infection resolved with antimicrobial treatment. Antibodies detected 4 weeks after onset disappeared after chemotherapy-associated lymphopenia. PMID:15663872

  4. Detection of Francisella tularensis in Voles in Finland

    PubMed Central

    Sissonen, Susanna; Koskela, Katja A.; Kinnunen, Paula M.; Hemmilä, Heidi; Niemimaa, Jukka; Huitu, Otso; Kuusi, Markku; Vapalahti, Olli; Henttonen, Heikki; Nikkari, Simo

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Francisella tularensis is a highly virulent intracellular bacterium causing the zoonotic disease tularemia. It recurrently causes human and animal outbreaks in northern Europe, including Finland. Although F. tularensis infects several mammal species, only rodents and lagomorphs seem to have importance in its ecology. Peak densities of rodent populations may trigger tularemia outbreaks in humans; however, it is still unclear to which extent rodents or other small mammals maintain F. tularensis in nature. The main objective of this study was to obtain information about the occurrence of F. tularensis in small mammals in Finland. We snap-trapped 547 wild small mammals representing 11 species at 14 locations around Finland during 6 years and screened them for the presence of F. tularensis DNA using PCR analysis. High copy number of F. tularensis-specific DNA was detected in tissue samples of five field voles (Microtus agrestis) originating from one location and 2 years. According to DNA sequences of the bacterial 23S ribosomal RNA gene amplified from F. tularensis–infected voles, the infecting agent belongs to the subspecies holarctica. To find out the optimal tissue for tularemia screening in voles, we compared the amounts of F. tularensis DNA in lungs, liver, spleen, and kidney of the infected animals. F. tularensis DNA was detectable in high levels in all four organs except for one animal, whose kidney was F. tularensis DNA-negative. Thus, at least liver, lung, and spleen seem suitable for F. tularensis screening in voles. Thus, liver, lung, and spleen all seem suitable for F. tularensis screening in voles. In conclusion, field voles can be heavily infected with F. tularensis subsp. holarctica and thus potentially serve as the source of infection in humans and other mammals. PMID:24575824

  5. A Full-Genomic Sequence-Verified Protein-Coding Gene Collection for Francisella tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Murthy, Tal; Rolfs, Andreas; Hu, Yanhui; Shi, Zhenwei; Raphael, Jacob; Moreira, Donna; Kelley, Fontina; McCarron, Seamus; Jepson, Daniel; Taycher, Elena; Zuo, Dongmei; Mohr, Stephanie E.; Fernandez, Mauricio; Brizuela, Leonardo; LaBaer, Joshua

    2007-01-01

    The rapid development of new technologies for the high throughput (HT) study of proteins has increased the demand for comprehensive plasmid clone resources that support protein expression. These clones must be full-length, sequence-verified and in a flexible format. The generation of these resources requires automated pipelines supported by software management systems. Although the availability of clone resources is growing, current collections are either not complete or not fully sequence-verified. We report an automated pipeline, supported by several software applications that enabled the construction of the first comprehensive sequence-verified plasmid clone resource for more than 96% of protein coding sequences of the genome of F. tularensis, a highly virulent human pathogen and the causative agent of tularemia. This clone resource was applied to a HT protein purification pipeline successfully producing recombinant proteins for 72% of the genes. These methods and resources represent significant technological steps towards exploiting the genomic information of F. tularensis in discovery applications. PMID:17593976

  6. Nucleotide sequences specific to Francisella tularensis and methods for the detection of Francisella tularensis

    DOEpatents

    McCready, Paula M.; Radnedge, Lyndsay; Andersen, Gary L.; Ott, Linda L.; Slezak, Thomas R.; Kuczmarski, Thomas A.; Vitalis, Elizabeth A

    2007-02-06

    Described herein is the identification of nucleotide sequences specific to Francisella tularensis that serves as a marker or signature for identification of this bacterium. In addition, forward and reverse primers and hybridization probes derived from these nucleotide sequences that are used in nucleotide detection methods to detect the presence of the bacterium are disclosed.

  7. Nucleotide sequences specific to Francisella tularensis and methods for the detection of Francisella tularensis

    DOEpatents

    McCready, Paula M.; Radnedge, Lyndsay; Andersen, Gary L.; Ott, Linda L.; Slezak, Thomas R.; Kuczmarski, Thomas A.; Vitalis, Elizabeth A

    2009-02-24

    Described herein is the identification of nucleotide sequences specific to Francisella tularensis that serves as a marker or signature for identification of this bacterium. In addition, forward and reverse primers and hybridization probes derived from these nucleotide sequences that are used in nucleotide detection methods to detect the presence of the bacterium are disclosed.

  8. Construction of targeted insertion mutations in Francisella tularensis subsp. novicida.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jirong; Zogaj, Xhavit; Barker, Jeffrey R; Klose, Karl E

    2007-10-01

    Francisella tularensis is one of the most deadly bacterial agents, yet most of the genetic determinants of pathogenesis are still unknown. We have developed an efficient targeted mutagenesis strategy in the model organism F. tularensis subsp. novicida by utilizing universal priming of optimized antibiotic resistance cassettes and splicing by overlap extension (SOE). This process enables fast and efficient construction of targeted insertion mutations in F. tularensis subsp. novicida that have characteristics of nonpolar mutations; optimized targeted mutagenesis strategies will promote the study of this mysterious bacterium and facilitate vaccine development against tularemia. Moreover the general strategy of gene disruption by PCR-based antibiotic resistance cassette insertion is broadly applicable to many bacterial species. PMID:18019340

  9. Uncovering the components of the Francisella tularensis virulence stealth strategy

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Bradley D.; Faron, Matthew; Rasmussen, Jed A.; Fletcher, Joshua R.

    2014-01-01

    Over the last decade, studies on the virulence of the highly pathogenic intracellular bacterial pathogen Francisella tularensis have increased dramatically. The organism produces an inert LPS, a capsule, escapes the phagosome to grow in the cytosol (FPI genes mediate phagosomal escape) of a variety of host cell types that include epithelial, endothelial, dendritic, macrophage, and neutrophil. This review focuses on the work that has identified and characterized individual virulence factors of this organism and we hope to highlight how these factors collectively function to produce the pathogenic strategy of this pathogen. In addition, several recent studies have been published characterizing F. tularensis mutants that induce host immune responses not observed in wild type F. tularensis strains that can induce protection against challenge with virulent F. tularensis. As more detailed studies with attenuated strains are performed, it will be possible to see how host models develop acquired immunity to Francisella. Collectively, detailed insights into the mechanisms of virulence of this pathogen are emerging that will allow the design of anti-infective strategies. PMID:24639953

  10. Control of Francisella tularensis Intracellular Growth by Pulmonary Epithelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Maggio, Savannah; Takeda, Kazuyo; Stark, Felicity; Meierovics, Anda I.; Yabe, Idalia; Cowley, Siobhan C.

    2015-01-01

    The virulence of F. tularensis is often associated with its ability to grow in macrophages, although recent studies show that Francisella proliferates in multiple host cell types, including pulmonary epithelial cells. Thus far little is known about the requirements for killing of F. tularensis in the non-macrophage host cell types that support replication of this organism. Here we sought to address this question through the use of a murine lung epithelial cell line (TC-1 cells). Our data show that combinations of the cytokines IFN-γ, TNF, and IL-17A activated murine pulmonary epithelial cells to inhibit the intracellular growth of the F. tularensis Live Vaccine Strain (LVS) and the highly virulent F. tularensis Schu S4 strain. Although paired combinations of IFN-γ, TNF, and IL-17A all significantly controlled LVS growth, simultaneous treatment with all three cytokines had the greatest effect on LVS growth inhibition. In contrast, Schu S4 was more resistant to cytokine-induced growth effects, exhibiting significant growth inhibition only in response to all three cytokines. Since one of the main antimicrobial mechanisms of activated macrophages is the release of reactive nitrogen intermediates (RNI) via the activity of iNOS, we investigated the role of RNI and iNOS in Francisella growth control by pulmonary epithelial cells. NOS2 gene expression was significantly up-regulated in infected, cytokine-treated pulmonary epithelial cells in a manner that correlated with LVS and Schu S4 growth control. Treatment of LVS-infected cells with an iNOS inhibitor significantly reversed LVS killing in cytokine-treated cultures. Further, we found that mouse pulmonary epithelial cells produced iNOS during in vivo respiratory LVS infection. Overall, these data demonstrate that lung epithelial cells produce iNOS both in vitro and in vivo, and can inhibit Francisella intracellular growth via reactive nitrogen intermediates. PMID:26379269

  11. Characterization of the Francisella tularensis subsp. novicida type IV pilus.

    PubMed

    Zogaj, Xhavit; Chakraborty, Subhra; Liu, Jirong; Thanassi, David G; Klose, Karl E

    2008-07-01

    Francisella tularensis causes the disease tularaemia. Type IV pili (Tfp) genes are present in the genomes of all F. tularensis subspecies. We show that the wild-type F. tularensis subsp. novicida expresses pilus fibres on its surface, and mutations in the Tfp genes pilF and pilT disrupt pilus biogenesis. Mutations in other Tfp genes (pilQ and pilG) do not eliminate pilus expression. A mutation in pilE4 eliminates pilus expression, whereas mutations in the other pilin subunits pilE1-3 and pilE5 do not, suggesting that pilE4 is the major pilus structural subunit. The virulence regulator MglA is required for pilus expression, and it regulates the transcription of a putative Tfp glycosylation gene (FTN0431). However, MglA does not regulate transcription of pilF, pilT or pilE4, and a strain lacking FTN0431 still expresses pili; thus, it is unclear how MglA regulates pilus expression. Only pilF was also required for protein secretion, while pilE4 and pilT were not, indicating that there is very little overlap of the protein secretion/Tfp functions of the pil genes. The protein secretion component pilE1 was more important for in vitro intramacrophage growth and mouse virulence than the Tfp component pilE4. Our results provide the first genetic characterization of the novel Tfp system of F. tularensis. PMID:18599841

  12. Metapopulation structure for perpetuation of Francisella tularensis tularensis

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Outbreaks of Type A tularemia due to Francisella tularensis tularensis are typically sporadic and unstable, greatly hindering identification of the determinants of perpetuation and human risk. Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts has experienced an outbreak of Type A tularemia which has persisted for 9 years. This unique situation has allowed us to conduct long-term eco-epidemiologic studies there. Our hypothesis is that the agent of Type A tularemia is perpetuated as a metapopulation, with many small isolated natural foci of transmission. During times of increased transmission, the foci would merge and a larger scale epizootic would occur, with greater likelihood that humans become exposed. Methods We sampled questing dog ticks from two natural foci on the island and tested them for tularemia DNA. We determined whether the force of transmission differed between the two foci. In addition, we examined the population structure of F. tularensis from ticks by variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) analysis, which allowed estimates of diversity, linkage disequilibrium, and eBURST analysis. Results The prevalence of tularemia DNA in ticks from our two field sites was markedly different: one site was stable over the course of the study yielding as many as 5.6% positive ticks. In contrast, infected ticks from the comparison site markedly increased in prevalence, from 0.4% in 2003 to 3.9% in 2006. Using 4 VNTR loci, we documented 75 different haplotypes (diversity = 0.91). eBURST analysis indicates that the stable site was essentially clonal, but the comparison site contained multiple unrelated lineages. The general bacterial population is evolving clonally (multilocus disequilibrium) and the bacteria in the two sites are reproductively isolated. Conclusion Even within an isolated island, tularemia natural foci that are no more than 15 km apart are uniquely segregated. One of our sites has stable transmission and the other is emergent. The population structure at the

  13. Genetic identification of unique immunological responses in mice infected with virulent and attenuated Francisella tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Kingry, Luke C.; Troyer, Ryan M.; Marlenee, Nicole L.; Bielefeldt-Ohmann, Helle; Bowen, Richard A.; Schenkel, Alan R.; Dow, Steven W.; Slayden, Richard A.

    2010-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a category A select agent based on its infectivity and virulence but disease mechanisms in Francisella tularensis infection remain poorly understood. Murine pulmonary models of infection were therefore employed to assess and compare dissemination and pathology and to elucidate the host immune response to infection with the highly virulent Type A F. tularensis strain Schu4 versus the less virulent Type B live vaccine strain (LVS). We found that dissemination and pathology in the spleen was significantly greater in mice infected with F. tularensis Schu4 compared to mice infected with F. tularensis LVS. Using gene expression profiling to compare the response to infection with the two F. tularensis strains, we found that there were significant differences in the expression of genes involved in the apoptosis pathway, antigen processing and presentation pathways, and inflammatory response pathways in mice infected with Schu4 when compared to LVS. These transcriptional differences coincided with marked differences in dissemination and severity of organ lesions in mice infected with the Schu4 and LVS strains. Therefore, these findings indicate that altered apoptosis, antigen presentation and production of inflammatory mediators explain the differences in pathogenicity of F. tularensis Schu4 and LVS. PMID:21070859

  14. Molecular Investigation of Francisella-Like Endosymbiont in Ticks and Francisella tularensis in Ixodid Ticks and Mosquitoes in Turkey.

    PubMed

    Duzlu, Onder; Yildirim, Alparslan; Inci, Abdullah; Gumussoy, Kadir Semih; Ciloglu, Arif; Onder, Zuhal

    2016-01-01

    This study was carried out to investigate the molecular prevalence of Francisella-like endosymbionts (FLEs) and Francisella tularensis in ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) and mosquitoes in Turkey. Genomic DNA pools were constructed from a total of 1477 adult hard ticks of Rhipicephalus (Rh.) annulatus, Rh. turanicus, Rh. sanguineus, Rh. bursa, Haemaphysalis (Hae.) parva, Hae. sulcata, Hyalomma marginatum marginatum, H. anatolicum anatolicum, H. anatolicum excavatum, H. detritum detritum, H. dromedarii, Dermacentor marginatus, and Ixodes ricinus species, which were collected from several barns, cattle, and people. Genomic DNA was also extracted from pools consisting of 6203 adult female mosquito species belonging to Aedes vexans, Culex (Cx.) pipiens, Cx. hortensis, Cx. theileri, Culiseta annulata, and Anopheles maculipennis species. Conventional PCR and TaqMan probe-based real- time PCR targeting the 16S rRNA gene for FLEs and the lpnA gene for F. tularensis, respectively, were performed on the DNA isolates obtained. FLEs and F. tularensis were not found in any genomic DNA pools constructed from ixodid ticks and mosquitos. This study represents the first investigation of F. tularensis and FLEs in potential vector ticks and mosquitoes by molecular methods in Turkey. The present study provides useful insights into the molecular epidemiology of F. tularensis and FLEs. One of the major conclusions of the study is that tularemia outbreaks may be essentially due to direct transmission from the environment (especially from water) in Turkey and not to vector-borne transmission. PMID:26741324

  15. Preservation of viable Francisella tularensis for forensic analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Valentine, Nancy B.; Wunschel, Sharon C.; Valdez, Catherine O.; Kreuzer-Martin, Helen W.; Bartholomew, Rachel A.; Straub, Tim M.; Wahl, Karen L.

    2011-01-01

    As a preservation solution, (1%) ammonium chloride may be preferred over other conventionally used storage solutions because of its compatibility with analytical techniques such as Mass Spectrometry. In this study, ammonium chloride performed as well or better than phosphate buffered saline with Tween or Butterfields/Tween for preserving Francisella tularensis novicida.

  16. Water as Source of Francisella tularensis Infection in Humans, Turkey

    PubMed Central

    Kilic, Selcuk; Birdsell, Dawn N.; Karagöz, Alper; Çelebi, Bekir; Bakkaloglu, Zekiye; Arikan, Muzaffer; Sahl, Jason W.; Mitchell, Cedar; Rivera, Andrew; Maltinsky, Sara; Keim, Paul; Üstek, Duran; Durmaz, Rıza

    2015-01-01

    Francisella tularensis DNA extractions and isolates from the environment and humans were genetically characterized to elucidate environmental sources that cause human tularemia in Turkey. Extensive genetic diversity consistent with genotypes from human outbreaks was identified in environmental samples and confirmed water as a source of human tularemia in Turkey. PMID:26583383

  17. 21 CFR 866.3280 - Francisella tularensis serological reagents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Francisella tularensis serological reagents. 866.3280 Section 866.3280 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES IMMUNOLOGY AND MICROBIOLOGY DEVICES Serological Reagents §...

  18. 21 CFR 866.3280 - Francisella tularensis serological reagents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Francisella tularensis serological reagents. 866.3280 Section 866.3280 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES IMMUNOLOGY AND MICROBIOLOGY DEVICES Serological Reagents §...

  19. 21 CFR 866.3280 - Francisella tularensis serological reagents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Francisella tularensis serological reagents. 866.3280 Section 866.3280 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES IMMUNOLOGY AND MICROBIOLOGY DEVICES Serological Reagents §...

  20. 21 CFR 866.3280 - Francisella tularensis serological reagents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Francisella tularensis serological reagents. 866.3280 Section 866.3280 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES IMMUNOLOGY AND MICROBIOLOGY DEVICES Serological Reagents §...

  1. 21 CFR 866.3280 - Francisella tularensis serological reagents.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Francisella tularensis serological reagents. 866.3280 Section 866.3280 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES IMMUNOLOGY AND MICROBIOLOGY DEVICES Serological Reagents §...

  2. Comparative Genomic Characterization of Francisella tularensis Strains Belonging to Low and High Virulence Subspecies

    PubMed Central

    Nix, Eli B.; Nano, Francis E.; Keim, Paul; Kodira, Chinnappa D.; Borowsky, Mark; Young, Sarah; Koehrsen, Michael; Engels, Reinhard; Pearson, Matthew; Howarth, Clint; Larson, Lisa; White, Jared; Alvarado, Lucia; Forsman, Mats; Bearden, Scott W.; Sjöstedt, Anders; Titball, Richard; Michell, Stephen L.; Birren, Bruce; Galagan, James

    2009-01-01

    Tularemia is a geographically widespread, severely debilitating, and occasionally lethal disease in humans. It is caused by infection by a gram-negative bacterium, Francisella tularensis. In order to better understand its potency as an etiological agent as well as its potential as a biological weapon, we have completed draft assemblies and report the first complete genomic characterization of five strains belonging to the following different Francisella subspecies (subsp.): the F. tularensis subsp. tularensis FSC033, F. tularensis subsp. holarctica FSC257 and FSC022, and F. tularensis subsp. novicida GA99-3548 and GA99-3549 strains. Here, we report the sequencing of these strains and comparative genomic analysis with recently available public Francisella sequences, including the rare F. tularensis subsp. mediasiatica FSC147 strain isolate from the Central Asian Region. We report evidence for the occurrence of large-scale rearrangement events in strains of the holarctica subspecies, supporting previous proposals that further phylogenetic subdivisions of the Type B clade are likely. We also find a significant enrichment of disrupted or absent ORFs proximal to predicted breakpoints in the FSC022 strain, including a genetic component of the Type I restriction-modification defense system. Many of the pseudogenes identified are also disrupted in the closely related rarely human pathogenic F. tularensis subsp. mediasiatica FSC147 strain, including modulator of drug activity B (mdaB) (FTT0961), which encodes a known NADPH quinone reductase involved in oxidative stress resistance. We have also identified genes exhibiting sequence similarity to effectors of the Type III (T3SS) and components of the Type IV secretion systems (T4SS). One of the genes, msrA2 (FTT1797c), is disrupted in F. tularensis subsp. mediasiatica and has recently been shown to mediate bacterial pathogen survival in host organisms. Our findings suggest that in addition to the duplication of the Francisella

  3. Francisella tularensis as a potential agent of bioterrorism?

    PubMed

    Maurin, Max

    2015-02-01

    Francisella tularensis is a category A bioterrorism agent. It is the etiological agent of tularemia, a zoonotic disease found throughout the northern hemisphere. The intentional spread of F. tularensis aerosols would probably lead to severe and often fatal pneumonia cases, but also secondary cases from contaminated animals and environments. We are not ready to face such a situation. No vaccine is currently available. A few antibiotics are active against F. tularensis, but strains resistant to these antibiotics could be used in the context of bioterrorism. We need new therapeutic strategies to fight against category A bioterrorism agents, including development of new drugs inhibiting F. tularensis growth and/or virulence, or enhancing the host response to infection by this pathogen. PMID:25413334

  4. A novel nanoprobe for the sensitive detection of Francisella tularensis.

    PubMed

    Kim, Ji-eun; Seo, Youngmin; Jeong, Yoon; Hwang, Mintai P; Hwang, Jangsun; Choo, Jaebum; Hong, Jong Wook; Jeon, Jun Ho; Rhie, Gi-eun; Choi, Jonghoon

    2015-11-15

    Francisella tularensis is a human zoonotic pathogen and the causative agent of tularemia, a severe infectious disease. Given the extreme infectivity of F. tularensis and its potential to be used as a biological warfare agent, a fast and sensitive detection method is highly desirable. Herein, we construct a novel detection platform composed of two units: (1) Magnetic beads conjugated with multiple capturing antibodies against F. tularensis for its simple and rapid separation and (2) Genetically-engineered apoferritin protein constructs conjugated with multiple quantum dots and a detection antibody against F. tularensis for the amplification of signal. We demonstrate a 10-fold increase in the sensitivity relative to traditional lateral flow devices that utilize enzyme-based detection methods. We ultimately envision the use of our novel nanoprobe detection platform in future applications that require the highly-sensitive on-site detection of high-risk pathogens. PMID:26057442

  5. Deletion of the Bacillus anthracis capB homologue in Francisella tularensis subspecies tularensis generates an attenuated strain that protects mice against virulent tularaemia.

    PubMed

    Michell, Stephen L; Dean, Rachel E; Eyles, Jim E; Hartley, Margaret Gill; Waters, Emma; Prior, Joann L; Titball, Richard W; Oyston, Petra C F

    2010-11-01

    As there is currently no licensed vaccine against Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of tularaemia, the bacterium is an agent of concern as a potential bioweapon. Although F. tularensis has a low infectious dose and high associated mortality, it possesses few classical virulence factors. An analysis of the F. tularensis subspecies tularensis genome sequence has revealed the presence of a region containing genes with low sequence homology to part of the capBCADE operon of Bacillus anthracis. We have generated an isogenic capB mutant of F. tularensis subspecies tularensis SchuS4 and shown it to be attenuated. Furthermore, using BALB/c mice, we have demonstrated that this capB strain affords protection against significant homologous challenge with the wild-type strain. These data have important implications for the development of a defined and efficacious tularaemia vaccine. PMID:20651039

  6. Role of the wbt locus of Francisella tularensis in lipopolysaccharide O-antigen biogenesis and pathogenicity.

    PubMed

    Raynaud, Catherine; Meibom, Karin L; Lety, Marie-Annick; Dubail, Iharilalao; Candela, Thomas; Frapy, Eric; Charbit, Alain

    2007-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious bacterial pathogen, responsible for the zoonotic disease tularemia. We screened a bank of transposon insertion mutants of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica LVS for colony morphology alterations and selected a mutant with a transposon insertion in wbtA, the first gene of the predicted lipopolysaccharide O-antigen gene cluster. Inactivation of wbtA led to the complete loss of O antigen, conferred serum sensitivity, impaired intracellular replication, and severely attenuated virulence in the mouse model. Notably, this mutant afforded protection against a challenge against virulent LVS. PMID:17030571

  7. Intracellular biology and virulence determinants of Francisella tularensis revealed by transcriptional profiling inside macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Wehrly, Tara D.; Chong, Audrey; Virtaneva, Kimmo; Sturdevant, Dan E.; Child, Robert; Edwards, Jessica A.; Brouwer, Dedeke; Nair, Vinod; Fischer, Elizabeth R.; Wicke, Luke; Curda, Alissa J.; Kupko, John J.; Martens, Craig; Crane, Deborah D.; Bosio, Catharine M.; Porcella, Stephen F.; Celli, Jean

    2009-01-01

    Summary The highly infectious bacterium Francisella tularensis is a facultative intracellular pathogen, whose virulence requires proliferation inside host cells, including macrophages. Here we have performed a global transcriptional profiling of the highly virulent F. tularensis subsp. tularensis Schu S4 strain during its intracellular cycle within primary murine macrophages, to characterize its intracellular biology and identify pathogenic determinants based on their intracellular expression profiles. Phagocytosed bacteria rapidly responded to their intracellular environment and subsequently altered their transcriptional profile. Differential gene expression profiles were revealed that correlated with specific intracellular locale of the bacteria. Upregulation of general and oxidative stress response genes was a hallmark of the early phagosomal and late endosomal stages, while induction of transport and metabolic genes characterized the cytosolic replication stage. Expression of the Francisella Pathogenicity Island (FPI) genes, which are required for intracellular proliferation, increased during the intracellular cycle. Similarly, 27 chromosomal loci encoding putative hypothetical, secreted, outer membrane proteins or transcriptional regulators were identified as upregulated. Among these, deletion of FTT0383, FTT0369c or FTT1676 abolished the ability of Schu S4 to survive or proliferate intracellularly and cause lethality in mice, therefore identifying novel determinants of Francisella virulence from their intracellular expression profile. PMID:19388904

  8. Francisella tularensis replicates within alveolar type II epithelial cells in vitro and in vivo following inhalation.

    PubMed

    Hall, Joshua D; Craven, Robin R; Fuller, James R; Pickles, Raymond J; Kawula, Thomas H

    2007-02-01

    Francisella tularensis replicates in macrophages and dendritic cells, but interactions with other cell types have not been well described. F. tularensis LVS invaded and replicated within alveolar epithelial cell lines. Following intranasal inoculation of C57BL/6 mice, Francisella localized to the alveolus and replicated within alveolar type II epithelial cells. PMID:17088343

  9. A response regulator promotes Francisella tularensis intramacrophage growth by repressing an anti-virulence factor.

    PubMed

    Ramsey, Kathryn M; Dove, Simon L

    2016-08-01

    The orphan response regulator PmrA is essential for the intramacrophage growth and survival of Francisella tularensis. PmrA was thought to promote intramacrophage growth by binding directly to promoters on the Francisella Pathogenicity Island (FPI) and positively regulating the expression of FPI genes, which encode a Type VI secretion system required for intramacrophage growth. Using both ChIP-Seq and RNA-Seq we identify those regions of the F. tularensis chromosome occupied by PmrA and those genes that are regulated by PmrA. We find that PmrA associates with 252 distinct regions of the F. tularensis chromosome, but exerts regulatory effects at only a few of these locations. Rather than by functioning directly as an activator of FPI gene expression we present evidence that PmrA promotes intramacrophage growth by repressing the expression of a single target gene we refer to as priM (PmrA-repressed inhibitor of intramacrophage growth). Our findings thus indicate that the role of PmrA in facilitating intracellular growth is to repress a previously unknown anti-virulence factor. PriM is the first bacterially encoded factor to be described that can interfere with the intramacrophage growth and survival of F. tularensis. PMID:27169554

  10. Draft genome sequence of Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica BD11-00177

    PubMed Central

    Coolen, Jordy P. M.; Sjödin, Andreas; Maraha, Boulos; Hajer, Gerard F.; Forsman, Mats; Verspui, Ellen; Frenay, Hendrina M.E.; Notermans, Daan W.; de Vries, Maaike C.; Reubsaet, Frans A.G.; Paauw, Armand

    2013-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a facultative intracellular bacterium in the class Gammaproteobacteria. This strain is of interest because it is the etiologic agent of tularemia and a highly virulent category A biothreat agent. Here we describe the draft genome sequence and annotation of Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica BD11-00177, isolated from the first case of indigenous tularemia detected in The Netherlands since 1953. Whole genome DNA sequence analysis assigned this isolate to the genomic group B.FTNF002–00, which previously has been exclusively reported from Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland and Germany. Automatic annotation of the 1,813,372 bp draft genome revealed 2,103 protein-coding and 46 RNA genes. PMID:24501637

  11. Differential Mortality of Dog Tick Vectors Due to Infection by Diverse Francisella tularensis tularensis Genotypes

    PubMed Central

    Goethert, Heidi K.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The factors involved in the long-term perpetuation of Francisella tularensis tularensis in nature are poorly understood. Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, has become a site of sustained transmission of Type A tularemia, with nearly 100 human cases reported from 2000 to 2010. We have identified a stable focus of F. tularensis transmission there, where the annual prevalence in host-seeking Dermacentor variabilis is about 3%, suggesting that this tick perpetuates the agent. However, laboratory studies have shown that infection with F. tularensis has a profound negative effect on dog tick mortality, presenting a paradox: how can a vector perpetuate an agent that negatively affects its fitness? It may be that experimental infection does not mimic that of natural transmission. Accordingly, we examined the effects that F. tularensis has on the longevity of field-derived ticks. Of 63 PCR-positive ticks collected in early summer, 89% were dead by December compared to 48% of 214 uninfected ticks collected at the same time and site. However, the quantum of F. tularensis DNA within each tick was not correlated with increased mortality. Instead, ticks with an uncommon genotype were more likely to die early than those with the common genotype. We conclude that the interaction between F. tularensis and its vector is complex and certain bacterial genotypes appear to be better adapted to their arthropod host. PMID:21612530

  12. [Real time PCR hybridization for the rapid and specific identification of Francisella tularensis].

    PubMed

    Bielawska-Drózd, Agata; Niemcewicz, Marcin; Gaweł, Jerzy; Bartoszcze, Michał; Graniak, Grzegorz; Joniec, Justyna; Kołodziej, Marcin

    2010-01-01

    Tularemia is highly infectious and fatal zoonotic disease caused by Gram negative bacteria Francisella tularensis. The necessity to undergo medical treatment in early phase of illness in humans and possibility of making use of bacterial aerosol by terrorists in an attack create an urgent need to implement a rapid and effective method which enables to identify the agent. In our study two primers FopA F/R and hybridization probes FopA S1/S2 designed from fopA gene sequence, were tested for their potential applicability to identify F. tularensis. In this research 50 strains of F. tularensis were used and the test gave positive results. Reaction specificity was confirmed by using of non-Francisella tularensis bacterial species. The results obtained in the real-time PCR reaction with primers Tul4 F/R and hybridization probes Tul4 S1/S2, designed from tul4 gene, were comparable to the results from previous experiment with fopA - primers set. Investigation of fopA and tul4 primers and hybridization probes properties revealed characteristic Tm (melting temperature) value of the products--61 degrees C and 60 degrees C, respectively. Detection sensitivity was remarkably higher when fopA primers set was used 1 fg/microl, and for tul4 primers set, minimal detectable concentration is 10 fg/microl. PMID:21473100

  13. Characterization of Tetratricopeptide Repeat-Like Proteins in Francisella tularensis and Identification of a Novel Locus Required for Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Dankova, Vera; Balonova, Lucie; Straskova, Adela; Spidlova, Petra; Putzova, Daniela; Kijek, Todd; Bozue, Joel; Cote, Christopher; Mou, Sherry; Worsham, Patricia; Szotakova, Barbora; Stulik, Jiri

    2014-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious bacterium that causes the potentially lethal disease tularemia. This extremely virulent bacterium is able to replicate in the cytosolic compartments of infected macrophages. To invade macrophages and to cope with their intracellular environment, Francisella requires multiple virulence factors, which are still being identified. Proteins containing tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR)-like domains seem to be promising targets to investigate, since these proteins have been reported to be directly involved in virulence-associated functions of bacterial pathogens. Here, we studied the role of the FTS_0201, FTS_0778, and FTS_1680 genes, which encode putative TPR-like proteins in Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica FSC200. Mutants defective in protein expression were prepared by TargeTron insertion mutagenesis. We found that the locus FTS_1680 and its ortholog FTT_0166c in the highly virulent Francisella tularensis type A strain SchuS4 are required for proper intracellular replication, full virulence in mice, and heat stress tolerance. Additionally, the FTS_1680-encoded protein was identified as a membrane-associated protein required for full cytopathogenicity in macrophages. Our study thus identifies FTS_1680/FTT_0166c as a new virulence factor in Francisella tularensis. PMID:25245806

  14. Population Structure of Francisella tularensis†

    PubMed Central

    Nübel, Ulrich; Reissbrodt, Rolf; Weller, Annette; Grunow, Roland; Porsch-Özcürümez, Mustafa; Tomaso, Herbert; Hofer, Erwin; Splettstoesser, Wolf; Finke, Ernst-Jürgen; Tschäpe, Helmut; Witte, Wolfgang

    2006-01-01

    We have sequenced fragments of five metabolic housekeeping genes and two genes encoding outer membrane proteins from 81 isolates of Francisella tularensis, representing all four subspecies. Phylogenetic clustering of gene sequences from F. tularensis subsp. tularensis and F. tularensis subsp. holarctica aligned well with subspecies affiliations. In contrast, F. tularensis subsp. novicida and F. tularensis subsp. mediasiatica were indicated to be phylogenetically incoherent taxa. Incongruent gene trees and mosaic structures of housekeeping genes provided evidence for genetic recombination in F. tularensis. PMID:16816208

  15. Francisella tularensis Subtype A.II Genomic Plasticity in Comparison with Subtype A.I

    PubMed Central

    Larson, Marilynn A.; Nalbantoglu, Ufuk; Sayood, Khalid; Zentz, Emily B.; Bartling, Amanda M.; Francesconi, Stephen C.; Fey, Paul D.; Dempsey, Michael P.; Hinrichs, Steven H.

    2015-01-01

    Although Francisella tularensis is considered a monomorphic intracellular pathogen, molecular genotyping and virulence studies have demonstrated important differences within the tularensis subspecies (type A). To evaluate genetic variation within type A strains, sequencing and assembly of a new subtype A.II genome was achieved for comparison to other completed F. tularensis type A genomes. In contrast with the F. tularensis A.I strains (SCHU S4, FSC198, NE061598, and TI0902), substantial genomic variation was observed between the newly sequenced F. tularensis A.II strain (WY-00W4114) and the only other publically available A.II strain (WY96-3418). Genome differences between WY-00W4114 and WY96-3418 included three major chromosomal translocations, 1580 indels, and 286 nucleotide substitutions of which 159 were observed in predicted open reading frames and 127 were located in intergenic regions. The majority of WY-00W4114 nucleotide deletions occurred in intergenic regions, whereas most of the insertions and substitutions occurred in predicted genes. Of the nucleotide substitutions, 48 (30%) were synonymous and 111 (70%) were nonsynonymous. WY-00W4114 and WY96-3418 nucleotide polymorphisms were predominantly G/C to A/T allelic mutations, with WY-00W4114 having more A+T enrichment. In addition, the A.II genomes contained a considerably higher number of intact genes and longer repetitive sequences, including transposon remnants than the A.I genomes. Together these findings support the premise that F. tularensis A.II may have a fitness advantage compared to the A.I subtype due to the higher abundance of functional genes and repeated chromosomal sequences. A better understanding of the selective forces driving F. tularensis genetic diversity and plasticity is needed. PMID:25918839

  16. Case Report of Low Virulence Francisella tularensis Presented as Severe Bacteremic Pneumonia

    PubMed Central

    Su, Ting-Yi; Shie, Shian-Sen; Chia, Ju-Hsin; Huang, Ching-Tai

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Tularemia is a zoonotic infection seen primarily in the Northern Hemisphere. It is caused by the bacteria Francisella tularensis. Although the ulceroglandular form of the disease is the more common manifestation of infection, F tularensis is known to cause pneumonia. F tularensis has two predominant subspecies, namely subsp. tularensis (type A) and subsp. holarctica (type B). Type B tularemia is considered to be much less virulent than type A and barely caused lethal disease and pneumonia. We reported a case with a 68-year-old man immune-compromised patient diagnosed with bacteremic pneumonia engendered by type B tularemia with initial presentation of high fever, pneumonia with pleural effusion; the diagnosis was performed using 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. The patient's fever, pneumonia, and pleural effusion were resolved with appropriate antibiotics for tularemia. This case involving severe bacteremic pneumonia in an immune-compromised patient is rare. This case suggests that low virulence F tularensis should be included in the differential diagnoses of bacteremic pneumonia for endemic tularemia. PMID:27175638

  17. The Francisella Tularensis Proteome and its Recognition by Antibodies

    PubMed Central

    Kilmury, Sara L. N.; Twine, Susan M.

    2011-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is the causative agent of a spectrum of diseases collectively known as tularemia. The extreme virulence of the pathogen in humans, combined with the low infectious dose and the ease of dissemination by aerosol have led to concerns about its abuse as a bioweapon. Until recently, nothing was known about the virulence mechanisms and even now, there is still a relatively poor understanding of pathogen virulence. Completion of increasing numbers of Francisella genome sequences, combined with comparative genomics and proteomics studies, are contributing to the knowledge in this area. Tularemia may be treated with antibiotics, but there is currently no licensed vaccine. An attenuated strain, the Live Vaccine Strain (LVS) has been used to vaccinate military and at risk laboratory personnel, but safety concerns mean that it is unlikely to be licensed by the FDA for general use. Little is known about the protective immunity induced by vaccination with LVS, in humans or animal models. Immunoproteomics studies with sera from infected humans or vaccinated mouse strains, are being used in gel-based or proteome microarray approaches to give insight into the humoral immune response. In addition, these data have the potential to be exploited in the identification of new diagnostic or protective antigens, the design of next generation live vaccine strains, and the development of subunit vaccines. Herein, we briefly review the current knowledge from Francisella comparative proteomics studies and then focus upon the findings from immunoproteomics approaches. PMID:21687770

  18. The Protease Locus of Francisella tularensis LVS Is Required for Stress Tolerance and Infection in the Mammalian Host.

    PubMed

    He, Lihong; Nair, Manoj Kumar Mohan; Chen, Yuling; Liu, Xue; Zhang, Mengyun; Hazlett, Karsten R O; Deng, Haiteng; Zhang, Jing-Ren

    2016-05-01

    Francisella tularensis is the causative agent of tularemia and a category A potential agent of bioterrorism, but the pathogenic mechanisms of F. tularensis are largely unknown. Our previous transposon mutagenesis screen identified 95 lung infectivity-associated F. tularensis genes, including those encoding the Lon and ClpP proteases. The present study validates the importance of Lon and ClpP in intramacrophage growth and infection of the mammalian host by using unmarked deletion mutants of the F. tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS). Further experiments revealed that lon and clpP are also required for F. tularensis tolerance to stressful conditions. A quantitative proteomic comparison between heat-stressed LVS and the isogenic Lon-deficient mutant identified 29 putative Lon substrate proteins. The follow-up protein degradation experiments identified five substrates of the F. tularensis Lon protease (FTL578, FTL663, FTL1217, FTL1228, and FTL1957). FTL578 (ornithine cyclodeaminase), FTL663 (heat shock protein), and FTL1228 (iron-sulfur activator complex subunit SufD) have been previously described as virulence-associated factors in F. tularensis Identification of these Lon substrates has thus provided important clues for further understanding of the F. tularensis stress response and pathogenesis. The high-throughput approach developed in this study can be used for systematic identification of the Lon substrates in other prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. PMID:26902724

  19. Glycosylation of DsbA in Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis▿†

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Rebecca M.; Twine, Susan M.; Fulton, Kelly M.; Tessier, Luc; Kilmury, Sara L. N.; Ding, Wen; Harmer, Nicholas; Michell, Stephen L.; Oyston, Petra C. F.; Titball, Richard W.; Prior, Joann L.

    2011-01-01

    In Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis, DsbA has been shown to be an essential virulence factor and has been observed to migrate to multiple protein spots on two-dimensional electrophoresis gels. In this work, we show that the protein is modified with a 1,156-Da glycan moiety in O-linkage. The results of mass spectrometry studies suggest that the glycan is a hexasaccharide, comprised of N-acetylhexosamines, hexoses, and an unknown monosaccharide. Disruption of two genes within the FTT0789-FTT0800 putative polysaccharide locus, including a galE homologue (FTT0791) and a putative glycosyltransferase (FTT0798), resulted in loss of glycan modification of DsbA. The F. tularensis subsp. tularensis ΔFTT0798 and ΔFTT0791::Cm mutants remained virulent in the murine model of subcutaneous tularemia. This indicates that glycosylation of DsbA does not play a major role in virulence under these conditions. This is the first report of the detailed characterization of the DsbA glycan and putative role of the FTT0789-FTT0800 gene cluster in glycan biosynthesis. PMID:21803994

  20. The Francisella tularensis Pathogenicity Island Encodes a Secretion System that is required for Phagosome Escape and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Barker, Jeffrey R.; Chong, Audrey; Wehrly, Tara D.; Yu, Jieh-Juen; Rodriguez, Stephen A.; Liu, Jirong; Celli, Jean; Arulanandam, Bernard P.; Klose, Karl E.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Francisella tularensis causes the human disease tularemia. F. tularensis is able to survive and replicate within macrophages, a trait that has been correlated with its high virulence, but it is unclear the exact mechanism(s) this organism uses to escape killing within this hostile environment. F. tularensis virulence is dependent upon the Francisella Pathogenicity Island (FPI), a cluster of genes that we show here shares homology with Type VI secretion gene clusters in Vibrio cholerae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We demonstrate that two FPI proteins, VgrG and IglI, are secreted into the cytosol of infected macrophages. VgrG and IglI are required for F. tularensis phagosomal escape, intramacrophage growth, inflammasome activation, and virulence in mice. Interestingly, VgrG secretion does not require the other FPI genes. However, VgrG and other FPI genes, including PdpB (an IcmF homologue), are required for the secretion of IglI into the macrophage cytosol, suggesting VgrG and other FPI factors are components of a secretion system. This is the first report of F. tularensis FPI virulence proteins required for intramacrophage growth that are translocated into the macrophage. PMID:20054881

  1. UV-C Inactivation of Francisella tularensis Utah-112 on agar surfaces, stainless steel, and foods

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Francisella tularensis has been identified as a microorganism of concern in the field of food security. There is currently very little information on the ability to inactivate F. tularensis on foods using non-thermal processing technologies. The ability of ultraviolet light (UV-C) to inactivate F....

  2. MglA Regulates Francisella tularensis subsp. novicida (Francisella novicida) Response to Starvation and Oxidative Stress▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Guina, Tina; Radulovic, Dragan; Bahrami, Arya J.; Bolton, Diana L.; Rohmer, Laurence; Jones-Isaac, Kendan A.; Chen, Jinzy; Gallagher, Larry A.; Gallis, Byron; Ryu, Soyoung; Taylor, Greg K.; Brittnacher, Mitchell J.; Manoil, Colin; Goodlett, David R.

    2007-01-01

    MglA is a transcriptional regulator of genes that contribute to the virulence of Francisella tularensis, a highly infectious pathogen and the causative agent of tularemia. This study used a label-free shotgun proteomics method to determine the F. tularensis subsp. novicida (F. novicida) proteins that are regulated by MglA. The differences in relative protein amounts between wild-type F. novicida and the mglA mutant were derived directly from the average peptide precursor ion intensity values measured with the mass spectrometer by using a suite of mathematical algorithms. Among the proteins whose relative amounts changed in an F. novicida mglA mutant were homologs of oxidative and general stress response proteins. The F. novicida mglA mutant exhibited decreased survival during stationary-phase growth and increased susceptibility to killing by superoxide generated by the redox-cycling agent paraquat. The F. novicida mglA mutant also showed increased survival upon exposure to hydrogen peroxide, likely due to increased amounts of the catalase KatG. Our results suggested that MglA coordinates the stress response of F. tularensis and is likely essential for bacterial survival in harsh environments. PMID:17644593

  3. Contribution of Citrulline Ureidase to Francisella tularensis Strain Schu S4 Pathogenesis▿

    PubMed Central

    Mahawar, Manish; Kirimanjeswara, Girish S.; Metzger, Dennis W.; Bakshi, Chandra Shekhar

    2009-01-01

    The citrulline ureidase (CTU) activity has been shown to be associated with highly virulent Francisella tularensis strains, including Schu S4, while it is absent in avirulent or less virulent strains. A definitive role of the ctu gene in virulence and pathogenesis of F. tularensis Schu S4 has not been assessed; thus, an understanding of the significance of this phenotype is long overdue. CTU is a carbon-nitrogen hydrolase encoded by the citrulline ureidase (ctu) gene (FTT0435) on the F. tularensis Schu S4 genome. In the present study, we evaluated the contribution of the ctu gene in the virulence of category A agent F. tularensis Schu S4 by generating a nonpolar deletion mutant, the Δctu mutant. The deletion of the ctu gene resulted in loss of CTU activity, which was restored by transcomplementing the ctu gene. The Δctu mutant did not exhibit any growth defect under acellular growth conditions; however, it was impaired for intramacrophage growth in resting as well as gamma interferon-stimulated macrophages. The Δctu mutant was further tested for its virulence attributes in a mouse model of respiratory tularemia. Mice infected intranasally with the Δctu mutant showed significantly reduced bacterial burden in the lungs, liver, and spleen compared to wild-type (WT) Schu S4-infected mice. The reduced bacterial burden in mice infected with the Δctu mutant was also associated with significantly lower histopathological scores in the lungs. Mice infected with the Δctu mutant succumbed to infection, but they survived longer and showed significantly extended median time to death compared to that shown by WT Schu S4-infected mice. To conclude, this study demonstrates that ctu contributes to intracellular survival, in vivo growth, and pathogenesis. However, ctu is not an absolute requirement for the virulence of F. tularensis Schu S4 in mice. PMID:19502406

  4. Symbiosis with Francisella tularensis provides resistance to pathogens in the silkworm

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Jin; Uda, Akihiko; Watanabe, Kenta; Shimizu, Takashi; Watarai, Masahisa

    2016-01-01

    Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of tularemia, is a highly virulent facultative intracellular pathogen found in a wide range of animals, including arthropods, and environments. This bacterium has been known for over 100 years, but the lifestyle of F. tularensis in natural reservoirs remains largely unknown. Thus, we established a novel natural host model for F. tularensis using the silkworm (Bombyx mori), which is an insect model for infection by pathogens. F. tularensis established a symbiosis with silkworms, and bacteria were observed in the hemolymph. After infection with F. tularensis, the induction of melanization and nodulation, which are immune responses to bacterial infection, were inhibited in silkworms. Pre-inoculation of silkworms with F. tularensis enhanced the expression of antimicrobial peptides and resistance to infection by pathogenic bacteria. These results suggest that silkworms acquire host resistance via their symbiosis with F. tularensis, which may have important fitness benefits in natural reservoirs. PMID:27507264

  5. Symbiosis with Francisella tularensis provides resistance to pathogens in the silkworm.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Jin; Uda, Akihiko; Watanabe, Kenta; Shimizu, Takashi; Watarai, Masahisa

    2016-01-01

    Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of tularemia, is a highly virulent facultative intracellular pathogen found in a wide range of animals, including arthropods, and environments. This bacterium has been known for over 100 years, but the lifestyle of F. tularensis in natural reservoirs remains largely unknown. Thus, we established a novel natural host model for F. tularensis using the silkworm (Bombyx mori), which is an insect model for infection by pathogens. F. tularensis established a symbiosis with silkworms, and bacteria were observed in the hemolymph. After infection with F. tularensis, the induction of melanization and nodulation, which are immune responses to bacterial infection, were inhibited in silkworms. Pre-inoculation of silkworms with F. tularensis enhanced the expression of antimicrobial peptides and resistance to infection by pathogenic bacteria. These results suggest that silkworms acquire host resistance via their symbiosis with F. tularensis, which may have important fitness benefits in natural reservoirs. PMID:27507264

  6. Pullulanase Is Necessary for the Efficient Intracellular Growth of Francisella tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Takimoto, Kazuhiro; Deyu, Tian; Koyama, Yuuki; Park, Eun-sil; Fujita, Osamu; Hotta, Akitoyo; Morikawa, Shigeru

    2016-01-01

    Pullulanase, an enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of polysaccharides, has been identified in a broad range of organisms, including bacteria, yeasts, fungi, and animals. The pullulanase (pulB; FTT_0412c) of F. tularensis subspecies tularensis Schu S4 is considered to be a homologue of the type I pullulanase (pulA) of the other Francisella subspecies. The significance of Francisella pullulanase has been obscure until now. In the present study, we characterized a recombinant PulB of F. tularensis SCHU P9, which was expressed as a his-tagged protein in Escherichia coli. The recombinant PulB was confirmed to be a type I pullulanase by its enzymatic activity in vitro. A pulB gene knockout mutant of F. tularensis SCHU P9 (ΔpulB) was constructed using the TargeTron Knockout system and plasmid pKEK1140 to clarify the function of PulB during the growth of F. tularensis in macrophages. The intracellular growth of the ΔpulB mutant in murine macrophage J774.1 cells was significantly reduced compared with that of the parental strain SCHU P9. Expression of PulB in ΔpulB, using an expression plasmid, resulted in the complementation of the reduced growth in macrophages, suggesting that PulB is necessary for the efficient growth of F. tularensis in macrophages. To assess the role of PulB in virulence, the knockout and parent bacterial strains were used to infect C57BL/6J mice. Histopathological analyses showed that tissues from ΔpulB-infected mice showed milder lesions compared to those from SCHU P9-infected mice. However, all mice infected with SCHU P9 and ΔpulB showed the similar levels of bacterial loads in their tissues. The results suggest that PulB plays a significant role in bacterial growth within murine macrophage but does not contribute to bacterial virulence in vivo. PMID:27448164

  7. Pullulanase Is Necessary for the Efficient Intracellular Growth of Francisella tularensis.

    PubMed

    Uda, Akihiko; Sharma, Neekun; Takimoto, Kazuhiro; Deyu, Tian; Koyama, Yuuki; Park, Eun-Sil; Fujita, Osamu; Hotta, Akitoyo; Morikawa, Shigeru

    2016-01-01

    Pullulanase, an enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of polysaccharides, has been identified in a broad range of organisms, including bacteria, yeasts, fungi, and animals. The pullulanase (pulB; FTT_0412c) of F. tularensis subspecies tularensis Schu S4 is considered to be a homologue of the type I pullulanase (pulA) of the other Francisella subspecies. The significance of Francisella pullulanase has been obscure until now. In the present study, we characterized a recombinant PulB of F. tularensis SCHU P9, which was expressed as a his-tagged protein in Escherichia coli. The recombinant PulB was confirmed to be a type I pullulanase by its enzymatic activity in vitro. A pulB gene knockout mutant of F. tularensis SCHU P9 (ΔpulB) was constructed using the TargeTron Knockout system and plasmid pKEK1140 to clarify the function of PulB during the growth of F. tularensis in macrophages. The intracellular growth of the ΔpulB mutant in murine macrophage J774.1 cells was significantly reduced compared with that of the parental strain SCHU P9. Expression of PulB in ΔpulB, using an expression plasmid, resulted in the complementation of the reduced growth in macrophages, suggesting that PulB is necessary for the efficient growth of F. tularensis in macrophages. To assess the role of PulB in virulence, the knockout and parent bacterial strains were used to infect C57BL/6J mice. Histopathological analyses showed that tissues from ΔpulB-infected mice showed milder lesions compared to those from SCHU P9-infected mice. However, all mice infected with SCHU P9 and ΔpulB showed the similar levels of bacterial loads in their tissues. The results suggest that PulB plays a significant role in bacterial growth within murine macrophage but does not contribute to bacterial virulence in vivo. PMID:27448164

  8. The Early Phagosomal Stage of Francisella tularensis Determines Optimal Phagosomal Escape and Francisella Pathogenicity Island Protein Expression▿

    PubMed Central

    Chong, Audrey; Wehrly, Tara D.; Nair, Vinod; Fischer, Elizabeth R.; Barker, Jeffrey R.; Klose, Karl E.; Celli, Jean

    2008-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is an intracellular pathogen that can survive and replicate within macrophages. Following phagocytosis and transient interactions with the endocytic pathway, F. tularensis rapidly escapes from its original phagosome into the macrophage cytoplasm, where it eventually replicates. To examine the importance of the nascent phagosome for the Francisella intracellular cycle, we have characterized early trafficking events of the F. tularensis subsp. tularensis strain Schu S4 in a murine bone marrow-derived macrophage model. Here we show that early phagosomes containing Schu S4 transiently interact with early and late endosomes and become acidified before the onset of phagosomal disruption. Inhibition of endosomal acidification with the vacuolar ATPase inhibitor bafilomycin A1 or concanamycin A prior to infection significantly delayed but did not block phagosomal escape and cytosolic replication, indicating that maturation of the early Francisella-containing phagosome (FCP) is important for optimal phagosomal escape and subsequent intracellular growth. Further, Francisella pathogenicity island (FPI) protein expression was induced during early intracellular trafficking events. Although inhibition of endosomal acidification mimicked the early phagosomal escape defects caused by mutation of the FPI-encoded IglCD proteins, it did not inhibit the intracellular induction of FPI proteins, demonstrating that this response is independent of phagosomal pH. Altogether, these results demonstrate that early phagosomal maturation is required for optimal phagosomal escape and that the early FCP provides cues other than intravacuolar pH that determine intracellular induction of FPI proteins. PMID:18852245

  9. Gallium Potentiates the Antibacterial Effect of Gentamicin against Francisella tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Lindgren, Helena

    2015-01-01

    The reasons why aminoglycosides are bactericidal have not been not fully elucidated, and evidence indicates that the cidal effects are at least partly dependent on iron. We demonstrate that availability of iron markedly affects the susceptibility of the facultative intracellular bacterium Francisella tularensis strain SCHU S4 to the aminoglycoside gentamicin. Specifically, the intracellular depots of iron were inversely correlated to gentamicin susceptibility, whereas the extracellular iron concentrations were directly correlated to the susceptibility. Further proof of the intimate link between iron availability and antibiotic susceptibility were the findings that a ΔfslA mutant, which is defective for siderophore-dependent uptake of ferric iron, showed enhanced gentamicin susceptibility and that a ΔfeoB mutant, which is defective for uptake of ferrous iron, displayed complete growth arrest in the presence of gentamicin. Based on the aforementioned findings, it was hypothesized that gallium could potentiate the effect of gentamicin, since gallium is sequestered by iron uptake systems. The ferrozine assay demonstrated that the presence of gallium inhibited >70% of the iron uptake. Addition of gentamicin and/or gallium to infected bone marrow-derived macrophages showed that both 100 μM gallium and 10 μg/ml of gentamicin inhibited intracellular growth of SCHU S4 and that the combined treatment acted synergistically. Moreover, treatment of F. tularensis-infected mice with gentamicin and gallium showed an additive effect. Collectively, the data demonstrate that SCHU S4 is dependent on iron to minimize the effects of gentamicin and that gallium, by inhibiting the iron uptake, potentiates the bactericidal effect of gentamicin in vitro and in vivo. PMID:26503658

  10. Lipidation of the FPI protein IglE contributes to Francisella tularensis ssp. novicida intramacrophage replication and virulence.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Jesse Q; Gilley, Ryan P; Zogaj, Xhavit; Rodriguez, Stephen A; Klose, Karl E

    2014-10-01

    Francisella tularensis is a Gram-negative bacterium responsible for the human disease tularemia. The Francisella pathogenicity island (FPI) encodes a secretion system related to type VI secretion systems (T6SS) which allows F. tularensis to escape the phagosome and replicate within the cytosol of infected macrophages and ultimately cause disease. A lipoprotein is typically found encoded within T6SS gene clusters and is believed to anchor portions of the secretion apparatus to the outer membrane. We show that the FPI protein IglE is a lipoprotein that incorporates (3)H-palmitate and localizes to the outer membrane. A C22G IglE mutant failed to be lipidated and failed to localize to the outer membrane, consistent with C22 being the site of lipidation. Francisella tularensis ssp. novicida expressing IglE C22G is defective for replication in macrophages and unable to cause disease in mice. Bacterial two-hybrid analysis demonstrated that IglE interacts with the C-terminal portion of the FPI inner membrane protein PdpB, and PhoA fusion analysis indicated the PdpB C-terminus is located within the periplasm. We predict this interaction facilitates channel formation to allow secretion through this system. PMID:24616435

  11. Lipidation of the FPI protein IglE contributes to Francisella tularensis ssp. novicida intramacrophage replication and virulence

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Jesse Q.; Gilley, Ryan P.; Zogaj, Xhavit; Rodriguez, Stephen A.; Klose, Karl E.

    2014-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a Gram-negative bacterium responsible for the human disease tularemia. The Francisella pathogenicity island (FPI) encodes a secretion system related to type VI secretion systems (T6SS) which allows F. tularensis to escape the phagosome and replicate within the cytosol of infected macrophages and ultimately cause disease. A lipoprotein is typically found encoded within T6SS gene clusters and is believed to anchor portions of the secretion apparatus to the outer membrane. We show that the FPI protein IglE is a lipoprotein that incorporates 3H-palmitate and localizes to the outer membrane. A C22G IglE mutant failed to be lipidated and failed to localize to the outer membrane, consistent with C22 being the site of lipidation. Francisella tularensis ssp. novicida expressing IglE C22G is defective for replication in macrophages and unable to cause disease in mice. Bacterial two-hybrid analysis demonstrated that IglE interacts with the C-terminal portion of the FPI inner membrane protein PdpB, and PhoA fusion analysis indicated the PdpB C-terminus is located within the periplasm. We predict this interaction facilitates channel formation to allow secretion through this system. PMID:24616435

  12. Identification of immunoreactive antigens in membrane proteins enriched fraction from Francisella tularensis LVS.

    PubMed

    Janovská, Sylva; Pávková, Ivona; Hubálek, Martin; Lenco, Juraj; Macela, Ales; Stulík, Jirí

    2007-02-15

    Francisella tularensis is a Gram-negative, facultative intracellular bacterium causing disease in many mammalian species. The low infectious dose of F. tularensis and the ease of air-borne transmission are the main features responsible for the classification of this bacterium as a potential biological weapon. The live attenuated strain of F. tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS) is currently only effective vaccine against tularemia, however, this type of vaccine has not been approved for human use. In the presented study, sub-immunoproteome analysis was performed to search for new immunogenic proteins of Francisella tularensis LVS grown under different conditions. By this approach 35 immunoreactive antigens were identified, 19 of them showed to be novel immunogens. In conclusion, sub-immunoproteome analysis resulted in successful identification of novel immunoreactive proteins. PMID:17241671

  13. Rapid dissemination of Francisella tularensis and the effect of route of infection

    PubMed Central

    Ojeda, Sandra S; Wang, Zheng J; Mares, Chris A; Chang, Tingtung A; Li, Qun; Morris, Elizabeth G; Jerabek, Paul A; Teale, Judy M

    2008-01-01

    Background Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis is classified as a Category A bioweapon that is capable of establishing a lethal infection in humans upon inhalation of very few organisms. However, the virulence mechanisms of this organism are not well characterized. Francisella tularensis subsp. novicida, which is an equally virulent subspecies in mice, was used in concert with a microPET scanner to better understand its temporal dissemination in vivo upon intranasal infection and how such dissemination compares with other routes of infection. Adult mice were inoculated intranasally with F. tularensis subsp. novicida radiolabeled with 64Cu and imaged by microPET at 0.25, 2 and 20 hours post-infection. Results 64Cu labeled F. tularensis subsp. novicida administered intranasally or intratracheally were visualized in the respiratory tract and stomach at 0.25 hours post infection. By 20 hours, there was significant tropism to the lung compared with other tissues. In contrast, the images of radiolabeled F. tularensis subsp. novicida when administered intragastrically, intradermally, intraperitoneally and intravenouslly were more generally limited to the gastrointestinal system, site of inoculation, liver and spleen respectively. MicroPET images correlated with the biodistribution of isotope and bacterial burdens in analyzed tissues. Conclusion Our findings suggest that Francisella has a differential tissue tropism depending on the route of entry and that the virulence of Francisella by the pulmonary route is associated with a rapid bacteremia and an early preferential tropism to the lung. In addition, the use of the microPET device allowed us to identify the cecum as a novel site of colonization of Francisella tularensis subsp. novicida in mice. PMID:19068128

  14. Molecular Complexity Orchestrates Modulation of Phagosome Biogenesis and Escape to the Cytosol of macrophages by Francisella tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Asare, Rexford; Kwaik, Yousef Abu

    2010-01-01

    Upon entry of Francisella tularensis to macrophages, the Francisella-containing phagosome (FCP) is trafficked into an acidified late endosome-like phagosome with limited fusion to the lysosomes followed by rapid escape into the cytosol where the organism replicates. Although the Francisella Pathogenicity Island (FPI), which encodes a type VI-like secretion apparatus, is required for modulation of phagosome biogenesis and escape into the cytosol, the mechanisms involved are not known. To decipher the molecular bases of modulation of biogenesis of the FCP and bacterial escape into the macrophage cytosol, we have screened a comprehensive mutant library of F. tularensis subsp novicida for their defect in proliferation within human macrophages, followed by characterization of modulation of phagosome biogenesis and bacterial escape into the cytosol. Our data show that at least 202 genes are required for intracellular proliferation within macrophages. Among the 125 most defective mutants in intracellular proliferation, we show that the FCP of at least 91 mutants co-localize persistently with the late endosomal/lysosomal marker LAMP-1 and fail to escape into the cytosol, as determined by fluorescence-based phagosome integrity assays and transmission electron microscopy. At least 34 genes are required for proliferation within the cytosol but do not play a detectable role in modulation of phagosome biogenesis and bacterial escape into the cytosol. Our data indicate a tremendous adaptation and metabolic reprogramming by F. tularensis to adjust to the micro-environmental and nutritional cues within the FCP, and these adjustments play essential roles in modulation of phagosome biogenesis and escape into the cytosol of macrophages as well as proliferation in the cytosol. The plethora of the networks of genes that orchestrate F. tularensis-mediated modulation of phagosome biogenesis, phagosomal escape, and bacterial proliferation within the cytosol is novel, complex, and involves

  15. The use of resazurin as a novel antimicrobial agent against Francisella tularensis.

    PubMed

    Schmitt, Deanna M; O'Dee, Dawn M; Cowan, Brianna N; Birch, James W-M; Mazzella, Leanne K; Nau, Gerard J; Horzempa, Joseph

    2013-01-01

    The highly infectious and deadly pathogen, Francisella tularensis, is classified by the CDC as a Category A bioterrorism agent. Inhalation of a single bacterium results in an acute pneumonia with a 30-60% mortality rate without treatment. Due to the prevalence of antibiotic resistance, there is a strong need for new types of antibacterial drugs. Resazurin is commonly used to measure bacterial and eukaryotic cell viability through its reduction to the fluorescent product resorufin. When tested on various bacterial taxa at the recommended concentration of 44 μM, a potent bactericidal effect was observed against various Francisella and Neisseria species, including the human pathogens type A F. tularensis (Schu S4) and N. gonorrhoeae. As low as 4.4 μM resazurin was sufficient for a 10-fold reduction in F. tularensis growth. In broth culture, resazurin was reduced to resorufin by F. tularensis. Resorufin also suppressed the growth of F. tularensis suggesting that this compound is the biologically active form responsible for decreasing the viability of F. tularensis LVS bacteria. Replication of F. tularensis in primary human macrophages and non-phagocytic cells was abolished following treatment with 44 μM resazurin indicating this compound could be an effective therapy for tularemia in vivo. PMID:24367766

  16. Role of mTOR Downstream Effector Signaling Molecules in Francisella Tularensis Internalization by Murine Macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Michael W.; Aultman, James A.; Harber, Gregory; Bhatt, Jay M.; Sztul, Elizabeth; Xu, Qingan; Zhang, Ping; Michalek, Suzanne M.; Katz, Jannet

    2013-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is an infectious, gram-negative, intracellular microorganism, and the cause of tularemia. Invasion of host cells by intracellular pathogens like Francisella is initiated by their interaction with different host cell membrane receptors and the rapid phosphorylation of different downstream signaling molecules. PI3K and Syk have been shown to be involved in F. tularensis host cell entry, and both of these signaling molecules are associated with the master regulator serine/threonine kinase mTOR; yet the involvement of mTOR in F. tularensis invasion of host cells has not been assessed. Here, we report that infection of macrophages with F. tularensis triggers the phosphorylation of mTOR downstream effector molecules, and that signaling via TLR2 is necessary for these events. Inhibition of mTOR or of PI3K, ERK, or p38, but not Akt signaling, downregulates the levels of phosphorylation of mTOR downstream targets, and significantly reduces the number of F. tularensis cells invading macrophages. Moreover, while phosphorylation of mTOR downstream effectors occurs via the PI3K pathway, it also involves PLCγ1 and Ca2+ signaling. Furthermore, abrogation of PLC or Ca2+ signaling revealed their important role in the ability of F. tularensis to invade host cells. Together, these findings suggest that F. tularensis invasion of primary macrophages utilize a myriad of host signaling pathways to ensure effective cell entry. PMID:24312679

  17. Host–pathogen interactions and immune evasion strategies in Francisella tularensis pathogenicity

    PubMed Central

    Steiner, Don J; Furuya, Yoichi; Metzger, Dennis W

    2014-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is an intracellular Gram-negative bacterium that causes life-threatening tularemia. Although the prevalence of natural infection is low, F. tularensis remains a tier I priority pathogen due to its extreme virulence and ease of aerosol dissemination. F. tularensis can infect a host through multiple routes, including the intradermal and respiratory routes. Respiratory infection can result from a very small inoculum (ten organisms or fewer) and is the most lethal form of infection. Following infection, F. tularensis employs strategies for immune evasion that delay the immune response, permitting systemic distribution and induction of sepsis. In this review we summarize the current knowledge of F. tularensis in an immunological context, with emphasis on the host response and bacterial evasion of that response. PMID:25258544

  18. Biochemical and structural characterization of polyphosphate kinase 2 from the intracellular pathogen Francisella tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Batten, Laura E.; Parnell, Alice E.; Wells, Neil J.; Murch, Amber L.; Oyston, Petra C. F.; Roach, Peter L.

    2015-01-01

    The metabolism of polyphosphate is important for the virulence of a wide range of pathogenic bacteria and the enzymes of polyphosphate metabolism have been proposed as an anti-bacterial target. In the intracellular pathogen Francisella tularensis, the product of the gene FTT1564 has been identified as a polyphosphate kinase from the polyphosphate kinase 2 (PPK2) family. The isogenic deletion mutant was defective for intracellular growth in macrophages and was attenuated in mice, indicating an important role for polyphosphate in the virulence of Francisella. Herein, we report the biochemical and structural characterization of F. tularensis polyphosphate kinase (FtPPK2) with a view to characterizing the enzyme as a novel target for inhibitors. Using an HPLC-based activity assay, the substrate specificity of FtPPK2 was found to include purine but not pyrimidine nts. The activity was also measured using 31P-NMR. FtPPK2 has been crystallized and the structure determined to 2.23 Å (1 Å=0.1 nm) resolution. The structure consists of a six-stranded parallel β-sheet surrounded by 12 α-helices, with a high degree of similarity to other members of the PPK2 family and the thymidylate kinase superfamily. Residues proposed to be important for substrate binding and catalysis have been identified in the structure, including a lid-loop and the conserved Walker A and B motifs. The ΔFTT1564 strain showed significantly increased sensitivity to a range of antibiotics in a manner independent of the mode of action of the antibiotic. This combination of biochemical, structural and microbiological data provide a sound foundation for future studies targeting the development of PPK2 small molecule inhibitors. PMID:26582818

  19. Detection of Francisella tularensis within Infected Mouse Tissues by Using a Hand-Held PCR Thermocycler

    PubMed Central

    Emanuel, Peter A.; Bell, Ryan; Dang, Jessica L.; McClanahan, Rebecca; David, John C.; Burgess, Robert J.; Thompson, Joseph; Collins, Lisa; Hadfield, Ted

    2003-01-01

    The diagnosis of human cases of tularemia often relies upon the demonstration of an antibody response to Francisella tularensis or the direct culturing of the bacteria from the patient. Antibody response is not detectable until 2 weeks or more after infection, and culturing requires special media and suspicion of tularemia. In addition, handling live Francisella poses a risk to laboratory personnel due to the highly infectious nature of this pathogen. In an effort to develop a rapid diagnostic assay for tularemia, we investigated the use of TaqMan 5′ hydrolysis fluorogenic PCR to detect the organism in tissues of infected mice. Mice were infected to produce respiratory tularemia. The fopA and tul4 genes of F. tularensis were amplified from infected spleen, lung, liver, and kidney tissues sampled over a 5-day period. The samples were analyzed using the laboratory-based Applied Biosystems International 7900 and the Smiths Detection-Edgewood BioSeeq, a hand-held portable fluorescence thermocycler designed for use in the field. A comparison of culturing and PCR for detection of bacteria in infected tissues shows that culturing was more sensitive than PCR. However, the results for culture take 72 h, whereas PCR results were available within 4 h. PCR was able to detect infection in all the tissues tested. Lung tissue showed the earliest response at 2 days when tested with the ABI 7900 and in 3 days when tested with the BioSeeq. The results were in agreement between the ABI 7900 and the BioSeeq when presented with the same sample. Template preparation may account for the loss of sensitivity compared to culturing techniques. The hand-held BioSeeq thermocycler shows promise as an expedient means of forward diagnosis of infection in the field. PMID:12574268

  20. Biochemical and structural characterization of polyphosphate kinase 2 from the intracellular pathogen Francisella tularensis.

    PubMed

    Batten, Laura E; Parnell, Alice E; Wells, Neil J; Murch, Amber L; Oyston, Petra C F; Roach, Peter L

    2016-01-01

    The metabolism of polyphosphate is important for the virulence of a wide range of pathogenic bacteria and the enzymes of polyphosphate metabolism have been proposed as an anti-bacterial target. In the intracellular pathogen Francisella tularensis, the product of the gene FTT1564 has been identified as a polyphosphate kinase from the polyphosphate kinase 2 (PPK2) family. The isogenic deletion mutant was defective for intracellular growth in macrophages and was attenuated in mice, indicating an important role for polyphosphate in the virulence of Francisella. Herein, we report the biochemical and structural characterization of F. tularensis polyphosphate kinase (FtPPK2) with a view to characterizing the enzyme as a novel target for inhibitors. Using an HPLC-based activity assay, the substrate specificity of FtPPK2 was found to include purine but not pyrimidine nts. The activity was also measured using (31)P-NMR. FtPPK2 has been crystallized and the structure determined to 2.23 Å (1 Å=0.1 nm) resolution. The structure consists of a six-stranded parallel β-sheet surrounded by 12 α-helices, with a high degree of similarity to other members of the PPK2 family and the thymidylate kinase superfamily. Residues proposed to be important for substrate binding and catalysis have been identified in the structure, including a lid-loop and the conserved Walker A and B motifs. The ΔFTT1564 strain showed significantly increased sensitivity to a range of antibiotics in a manner independent of the mode of action of the antibiotic. This combination of biochemical, structural and microbiological data provide a sound foundation for future studies targeting the development of PPK2 small molecule inhibitors. PMID:26582818

  1. A Combined Enrichment and Aptamer Pulldown Assay for Francisella tularensis Detection in Food and Environmental Matrices

    PubMed Central

    Enomoto, Shinichiro; Borewicz, Klaudyna; Abdallah, Ahmed; Isaacson, Richard E.; Sreevatsan, Srinand

    2014-01-01

    Francisella tularensis, a Gram-negative bacterium and causative agent of tularemia, is categorized as a Class A select agent by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention due to its ease of dissemination and ability to cause disease. Oropharyngeal and gastrointestinal tularemia may occur due to ingestion of contaminated food and water. Despite the concern to public health, little research is focused on F. tularensis detection in food and environmental matrices. Current diagnostics rely on host responses and amplification of F. tularensis genetic elements via Polymerase Chain Reaction; however, both tools are limited by development of an antibody response and limit of detection, respectively. During our investigation to develop an improved culture medium to aid F. tularensis diagnostics, we found enhanced F. tularensis growth using the spent culture filtrate. Addition of the spent culture filtrate allowed for increased detection of F. tularensis in mixed cultures of food and environmental matrices. Ultraperformance liquid chromatography (UPLC)/MS analysis identified several unique chemicals within the spent culture supernatant of which carnosine had a matching m/z ratio. Addition of 0.625 mg/mL of carnosine to conventional F. tularensis medium increased the growth of F. tularensis at low inoculums. In order to further enrich F. tularensis cells, we developed a DNA aptamer cocktail to physically separate F. tularensis from other bacteria present in food and environmental matrices. The combined enrichment steps resulted in a detection range of 1–106 CFU/mL (starting inoculums) in both soil and lettuce backgrounds. We propose that the two-step enrichment process may be utilized for easy field diagnostics and subtyping of suspected F. tularensis contamination as well as a tool to aid in basic research of F. tularensis ecology. PMID:25536105

  2. Exploitation of Host Cell Biology and Evasion of Immunity by Francisella Tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Asare, Rexford; Kwaik, Yousef Abu

    2011-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is an intracellular bacterium that infects humans and many small mammals. During infection, F. tularensis replicates predominantly in macrophages but also proliferate in other cell types. Entry into host cells is mediate by various receptors. Complement-opsonized F. tularensis enters into macrophages by looping phagocytosis. Uptake is mediated in part by Syk, which may activate actin rearrangement in the phagocytic cup resulting in the engulfment of F. tularensis in a lipid raft rich phagosome. Inside the host cells, F. tularensis resides transiently in an acidified late endosome-like compartment before disruption of the phagosomal membrane and escape into the cytosol, where bacterial proliferation occurs. Modulation of phagosome biogenesis and escape into the cytosol is mediated by the Francisella pathogenicity island-encoded type VI-like secretion system. Whilst inside the phagosome, F. tularensis temporarily induce proinflammatory cytokines in PI3K/Akt-dependent manner, which is counteracted by the induction of SHIP that negatively regulates PI3K/Akt activation and promotes bacterial escape into the cytosol. Interestingly, F. tularensis subverts CD4 T cells-mediated killing by inhibiting antigen presentation by activated macrophages through ubiquitin-dependent degradation of MHC II molecules on activated macrophages. In the cytosol, F. tularensis is recognized by the host cell inflammasome, which is down-regulated by F. tularensis that also inhibits caspase-1 and ASC activity. During late stages of intracellular proliferation, caspase-3 is activated but apoptosis is delayed through activation of NF-κB and Ras, which ensures cell viability. PMID:21687747

  3. Disruption of Francisella tularensis Schu S4 iglI, iglJ, and pdpC Genes Results in Attenuation for Growth in Human Macrophages and In Vivo Virulence in Mice and Reveals a Unique Phenotype for pdpC

    PubMed Central

    Long, Matthew E.; Lindemann, Stephen R.; Rasmussen, Jed A.; Jones, Bradley D.

    2013-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a facultative intracellular bacterial pathogen and the causative agent of tularemia. After infection of macrophages, the organism escapes from its phagosome and replicates to high density in the cytosol, but the bacterial factors required for these aspects of virulence are incompletely defined. Here, we describe the isolation and characterization of Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis strain Schu S4 mutants that lack functional iglI, iglJ, or pdpC, three genes of the Francisella pathogenicity island. Our data demonstrate that these mutants were defective for replication in primary human monocyte-derived macrophages and murine J774 cells yet exhibited two distinct phenotypes. The iglI and iglJ mutants were similar to one another, exhibited profound defects in phagosome escape and intracellular growth, and appeared to be trapped in cathepsin D-positive phagolysosomes. Conversely, the pdpC mutant avoided trafficking to lysosomes, phagosome escape was diminished but not ablated, and these organisms replicated in a small subset of infected macrophages. The phenotype of each mutant strain was reversed by trans complementation. In vivo virulence was assessed by intranasal infection of BALB/c mice. The mutants appeared avirulent, as all mice survived infection with 108 CFU iglJ- or pdpC-deficient bacteria. Nevertheless, the pdpC mutant disseminated to the liver and spleen before being eliminated, whereas the iglJ mutant did not. Taken together, our data demonstrate that the pathogenicity island genes tested are essential for F. tularensis Schu S4 virulence and further suggest that pdpC may play a unique role in this process, as indicated by its distinct intermediate phenotype. PMID:23275090

  4. Disruption of Francisella tularensis Schu S4 iglI, iglJ, and pdpC genes results in attenuation for growth in human macrophages and in vivo virulence in mice and reveals a unique phenotype for pdpC.

    PubMed

    Long, Matthew E; Lindemann, Stephen R; Rasmussen, Jed A; Jones, Bradley D; Allen, Lee-Ann H

    2013-03-01

    Francisella tularensis is a facultative intracellular bacterial pathogen and the causative agent of tularemia. After infection of macrophages, the organism escapes from its phagosome and replicates to high density in the cytosol, but the bacterial factors required for these aspects of virulence are incompletely defined. Here, we describe the isolation and characterization of Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis strain Schu S4 mutants that lack functional iglI, iglJ, or pdpC, three genes of the Francisella pathogenicity island. Our data demonstrate that these mutants were defective for replication in primary human monocyte-derived macrophages and murine J774 cells yet exhibited two distinct phenotypes. The iglI and iglJ mutants were similar to one another, exhibited profound defects in phagosome escape and intracellular growth, and appeared to be trapped in cathepsin D-positive phagolysosomes. Conversely, the pdpC mutant avoided trafficking to lysosomes, phagosome escape was diminished but not ablated, and these organisms replicated in a small subset of infected macrophages. The phenotype of each mutant strain was reversed by trans complementation. In vivo virulence was assessed by intranasal infection of BALB/c mice. The mutants appeared avirulent, as all mice survived infection with 10(8) CFU iglJ- or pdpC-deficient bacteria. Nevertheless, the pdpC mutant disseminated to the liver and spleen before being eliminated, whereas the iglJ mutant did not. Taken together, our data demonstrate that the pathogenicity island genes tested are essential for F. tularensis Schu S4 virulence and further suggest that pdpC may play a unique role in this process, as indicated by its distinct intermediate phenotype. PMID:23275090

  5. Whole genome single nucleotide polymorphism based phylogeny of Francisella tularensis and its application to the development of a strain typing assay

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background A low genetic diversity in Francisella tularensis has been documented. Current DNA based genotyping methods for typing F. tularensis offer a limited and varying degree of subspecies, clade and strain level discrimination power. Whole genome sequencing is the most accurate and reliable method to identify, type and determine phylogenetic relationships among strains of a species. However, lower cost typing schemes are necessary in order to enable typing of hundreds or even thousands of isolates. Results We have generated a high-resolution phylogenetic tree from 40 Francisella isolates, including 13 F. tularensis subspecies holarctica (type B) strains, 26 F. tularensis subsp. tularensis (type A) strains and a single F. novicida strain. The tree was generated from global multi-strain single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data collected using a set of six Affymetrix GeneChip® resequencing arrays with the non-repetitive portion of LVS (type B) as the reference sequence complemented with unique sequences of SCHU S4 (type A). Global SNP based phylogenetic clustering was able to resolve all non-related strains. The phylogenetic tree was used to guide the selection of informative SNPs specific to major nodes in the tree for development of a genotyping assay for identification of F. tularensis subspecies and clades. We designed and validated an assay that uses these SNPs to accurately genotype 39 additional F. tularensis strains as type A (A1, A2, A1a or A1b) or type B (B1 or B2). Conclusion Whole-genome SNP based clustering was shown to accurately identify SNPs for differentiation of F. tularensis subspecies and clades, emphasizing the potential power and utility of this methodology for selecting SNPs for typing of F. tularensis to the strain level. Additionally, whole genome sequence based SNP information gained from a representative population of strains may be used to perform evolutionary or phylogenetic comparisons of strains, or selection of unique strains for

  6. The Genetic Diversity and Evolution of Francisella tularensis with Comments on Detection by PCR.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Francisella tularensis has been the focus of much research over the last two decades mainly because of its potential use as an agent of bioterrorism. F. tularensis is the causative agent of zoonotic tularemia and has a worldwide distribution. The different subspecies of F. tularensis vary in their biogeography and virulence, making early detection and diagnosis important in both the biodefense and public health sectors. Recent genome sequencing efforts reveal aspects of genetic diversity, evolution and phylogeography previously unknown for this relatively small organism, and highlight a role for detection by various PCR assays. This review explores the advances made in understanding the evolution and genetic diversity of F. tularensis and how these advances have led to better PCR assays for detection and identification of the subspecies. PMID:26336102

  7. Ubiquitous Promoter-Localization of Essential Virulence Regulators in Francisella tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Ramsey, Kathryn M.; Osborne, Melisa L.; Vvedenskaya, Irina O.; Su, Cathy; Nickels, Bryce E.; Dove, Simon L.

    2015-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a Gram-negative bacterium whose ability to replicate within macrophages and cause disease is strictly dependent upon the coordinate activities of three transcription regulators called MglA, SspA, and PigR. MglA and SspA form a complex that associates with RNA polymerase (RNAP), whereas PigR is a putative DNA-binding protein that functions by contacting the MglA-SspA complex. Most transcription activators that bind the DNA are thought to occupy only those promoters whose activities they regulate. Here we show using chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled with high-throughput DNA sequencing (ChIP-Seq) that PigR, MglA, and SspA are found at virtually all promoters in F. tularensis and not just those of regulated genes. Furthermore, we find that the ability of PigR to associate with promoters is dependent upon the presence of MglA, suggesting that interaction with the RNAP-associated MglA-SspA complex is what directs PigR to promoters in F. tularensis. Finally, we present evidence that the ability of PigR (and thus MglA and SspA) to positively control the expression of genes is dictated by a specific 7 base pair sequence element that is present in the promoters of regulated genes. The three principal regulators of virulence gene expression in F. tularensis therefore function in a non-classical manner with PigR interacting with the RNAP-associated MglA-SspA complex at the majority of promoters but only activating transcription from those that contain a specific sequence element. Our findings reveal how transcription factors can exert regulatory effects at a restricted set of promoters despite being associated with most or all. This distinction between occupancy and regulatory effect uncovered by our data may be relevant to the study of RNAP-associated transcription regulators in other pathogenic bacteria. PMID:25830507

  8. Metabolic Reprogramming of Host Cells by Virulent Francisella tularensis for Optimal Replication and Modulation of Inflammation.

    PubMed

    Wyatt, Elliott V; Diaz, Karina; Griffin, Amanda J; Rasmussen, Jed A; Crane, Deborah D; Jones, Bradley D; Bosio, Catharine M

    2016-05-15

    A shift in macrophage metabolism from oxidative phosphorylation to aerobic glycolysis is a requirement for activation to effectively combat invading pathogens. Francisella tularensis is a facultative intracellular bacterium that causes an acute, fatal disease called tularemia. Its primary mechanism of virulence is its ability to evade and suppress inflammatory responses while replicating in the cytosol of macrophages. The means by which F. tularensis modulates macrophage activation are not fully elucidated. In this study, we demonstrate that virulent F. tularensis impairs production of inflammatory cytokines in primary macrophages by preventing their shift to aerobic glycolysis, as evidenced by the downregulation of hypoxia inducible factor 1α and failure to upregulate pfkfb3 We also show that Francisella capsule is required for this process. In addition to modulating inflammatory responses, inhibition of glycolysis in host cells is also required for early replication of virulent Francisella Taken together, our data demonstrate that metabolic reprogramming of host cells by F. tularensis is a key component of both inhibition of host defense mechanisms and replication of the bacterium. PMID:27029588

  9. ECO-EPIZOOTIOLOGIC STUDY OF FRANCISELLA TULARENSIS, THE AGENT OF TULAREMIA, IN QUÉBEC WILDLIFE.

    PubMed

    Gabriele-Rivet, Vanessa; Ogden, Nicholas; Massé, Ariane; Antonation, Kym; Corbett, Cindi; Dibernardo, Antonia; Lindsay, L Robbin; Leighton, Patrick A; Arsenault, Julie

    2016-04-28

    In Canada, Francisella tularensis , the zoonotic bacterial agent of tularemia, affects mostly snowshoe hares ( Lepus americanus ), muskrats ( Ondatra zibethicus ), and beavers ( Castor canadensis ). Despite numerous studies, the ecologic cycle and natural reservoirs of F. tularensis are not clearly defined. We conducted a cross-sectional study to estimate the prevalence of F. tularensis in snowshoe hares, muskrats, and coyotes ( Canis latrans ) in four regions of Québec, Canada, and to describe the risk of infection in relation to host and environmental characteristics at three spatial scales. Between October 2012 and April 2013, trappers captured 345 snowshoe hares, 411 muskrats, and 385 coyotes. Blood samples were tested by microagglutination tests, and DNA extracts of liver, kidney, lung, and spleen of snowshoe hares and muskrats were tested by real-time PCR to detect past and active infection to F. tularensis , respectively. Individual host characteristics, including body condition, age, and sex, were evaluated as risk factors of infection, along with ecologic characteristics of the location of capture extracted from geographic databases. Prevalences of antibody to F. tularensis and 95% confidence intervals were 2.9% (1.4-5.1%) in coyotes, 0.6% (0.1-2.1%) in hares, and 0% (0.0-0.9%) in muskrats. Francisella tularensis DNA was not detected by real-time PCR in the pools of four organs from muskrats and hares, but F. tularensis type AI was detected during testing of the individual organs of two antibody-positive hares. Exact logistic regression analyses showed that age was a significant predictor of antibody detection in coyotes, as were the proportion of forest and the proportion of area considered as suitable habitat for hares in the environment around the location of capture of the coyotes. Our results suggest a terrestrial cycle of F. tularensis in the regions studied. PMID:26967133

  10. Proteomic analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid proteins from mice infected with Francisella tularensis ssp novicida

    SciTech Connect

    Varnum, Susan M.; Webb-Robertson, Bobbie-Jo M.; Pounds, Joel G.; Moore, Ronald J.; Smith, Richard D.; Frevert, Charles; Skerret, Shawn J.; Wunschel, David S.

    2012-07-06

    Francisella tularensis causes the zoonosis tularemia in humans and is one of the most virulent bacterial pathogens. We utilized a global proteomic approach to characterize protein changes in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from mice exposed to one of three organisms, F. tularensis ssp. novicida, an avirulent mutant of F. tularensis ssp. novicida (F.t. novicida-ΔmglA); and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The composition of BALF proteins was altered following infection, including proteins involved in neutrophil activation, oxidative stress and inflammatory responses. Components of the innate immune response were induced including the acute phase response and the complement system, however the timing of their induction varied. Francisella tularensis ssp. novicida infected mice do not appear to have an effective innate immune response in the first hours of infection, however within 24 hours they show an upregulation of innate immune response proteins. This delayed response is in contrast to P. aeruginosa infected animals which show an early innate immune response. Likewise, F.t. novicida-ΔmglA infection initiates an early innate immune response, however this response is dimished by 24 hours. Finally, this study identifies several candidate biomarkers, including Chitinase 3-like-1 (CHI3L1 or YKL-40) and peroxiredoxin 1, that are associated with F. tularensis ssp. novicida but not P. aeruginosa infection.

  11. Proteomic analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid proteins from mice infected with Francisella tularensis ssp novicida

    PubMed Central

    Varnum, Susan M.; Webb-Robertson, Bobbie-Jo M.; Pounds, Joel G.; Moore, Ronald J.; Smith, Richard D.; Frevert, Charles W.; Skerrett, Shawn J.; Wunschel, David

    2012-01-01

    Francisella tularensis causes the zoonosis tularemia in humans and is one of the most virulent bacterial pathogens. We utilized a global proteomic approach to characterize protein changes in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from mice exposed to one of three organisms, F. tularensis ssp. novicida, an avirulent mutant of F. tularensis ssp. novicida (F.t. novicida-ΔmglA); and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The composition of BALF proteins was altered following infection, including proteins involved in neutrophil activation, oxidative stress and inflammatory responses. Components of the innate immune response were induced including the acute phase response and the complement system, however the timing of their induction varied. Francisella tularensis ssp. novicida infected mice do not appear to have an effective innate immune response in the first hours of infection, however within 24 hours they show an upregulation of innate immune response proteins. This delayed response is in contrast to P. aeruginosa infected animals which show an early innate immune response. Likewise, F.t. novicida-ΔmglA infection initiates an early innate immune response, however this response is dimished by 24 hours. Finally, this study identifies several candidate biomarkers, including Chitinase 3-like-1 (CHI3L1 or YKL-40) and peroxiredoxin 1, that are associated with F. tularensis ssp. novicida but not P. aeruginosa infection. PMID:22663564

  12. Keep an Ear Out for Francisella tularensis: Otomastoiditis Cases after Canyoneering

    PubMed Central

    Guerpillon, Brice; Boibieux, Andre; Guenne, Clemence; Ploton, Christine; Ferry, Tristan; Maurin, Max; Forestier, Emmanuel; Dauwalder, Olivier; Manipoud, Patrick; Ltaïef-Boudrigua, Aicha; Gürkov, Robert; Vandenesch, Francois; Bouchiat, Coralie

    2016-01-01

    We report here three unusual cases of otomastoiditis due to Francisella tularensis, complicated by cervical abscesses and persistent hearing loss, plus facial paralysis for one patient. Intriguingly, the three patients had practiced canyoneering independently in the same French river, between 2009 and 2014, several days before clinical symptoms onset. The results point out that fresh water exposure may be a potential contamination route for tularemia. Besides, due to the frequent complications and sequelae, we believe that F. tularensis should be considered as a possible etiology in case of otitis media, failure of the conventional antibiotic treatment, and suspicious exposure of the bacteria. PMID:26973838

  13. Live Attenuated Francisella novicida Vaccine Protects against Francisella tularensis Pulmonary Challenge in Rats and Non-human Primates

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Ping; Cunningham, Aimee L.; Yu, Jieh-Juen; Nguyen, Jesse Q.; Barker, Jeffrey R.; Lyons, C. Rick; Wilder, Julie; Valderas, Michelle; Sherwood, Robert L.; Arulanandam, Bernard P.; Klose, Karl E.

    2014-01-01

    Francisella tularensis causes the disease tularemia. Human pulmonary exposure to the most virulent form, F. tularensis subsp. tularensis (Ftt), leads to high morbidity and mortality, resulting in this bacterium being classified as a potential biothreat agent. However, a closely-related species, F. novicida, is avirulent in healthy humans. No tularemia vaccine is currently approved for human use. We demonstrate that a single dose vaccine of a live attenuated F. novicida strain (Fn iglD) protects against subsequent pulmonary challenge with Ftt using two different animal models, Fischer 344 rats and cynomolgus macaques (NHP). The Fn iglD vaccine showed protective efficacy in rats, as did a Ftt iglD vaccine, suggesting no disadvantage to utilizing the low human virulent Francisella species to induce protective immunity. Comparison of specific antibody profiles in vaccinated rat and NHP sera by proteome array identified a core set of immunodominant antigens in vaccinated animals. This is the first report of a defined live attenuated vaccine that demonstrates efficacy against pulmonary tularemia in a NHP, and indicates that the low human virulence F. novicida functions as an effective tularemia vaccine platform. PMID:25340543

  14. Francisella tularensis Bacteria Associated with Feline Tularemia in the United States

    PubMed Central

    Fey, Paul D.; Hinrichs, Steven H.; Iwen, Peter C.

    2014-01-01

    Tularemia in the United States was examined by reviewing 106 Francisella tularensis isolates, mostly from Nebraska, collected during 1998–2012: 48% of Nebraska cases were cat-associated; 7/8 human cases were caused by subtype A.I. A vaccine is needed to reduce feline-associated tularemia, and cat owners should protect against bites/scratches and limit their pet’s outdoor access. PMID:25424732

  15. From the Outside-In: The Francisella tularensis Envelope and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Rowe, Hannah M.; Huntley, Jason F.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26779445

  16. Temperature-Dependent Gentamicin Resistance of Francisella tularensis is Mediated by Uptake Modulation.

    PubMed

    Loughman, Kathleen; Hall, Jesse; Knowlton, Samantha; Sindeldecker, Devin; Gilson, Tricia; Schmitt, Deanna M; Birch, James W-M; Gajtka, Tara; Kobe, Brianna N; Florjanczyk, Aleksandr; Ingram, Jenna; Bakshi, Chandra S; Horzempa, Joseph

    2016-01-01

    Gentamicin (Gm) is an aminoglycoside commonly used to treat bacterial infections such as tularemia - the disease caused by Francisella tularensis. In addition to being pathogenic, F. tularensis is found in environmental niches such as soil where this bacterium likely encounters Gm producers (Micromonospora sp.). Here we show that F. tularensis exhibits increased resistance to Gm at ambient temperature (26°C) compared to mammalian body temperature (37°C). To evaluate whether F. tularensis was less permeable to Gm at 26°C, a fluorescent marker [Texas Red (Tr)] was conjugated with Gm, yielding Tr-Gm. Bacteria incubated at 26°C showed reduced fluorescence compared to those at 37°C when exposed to Tr-Gm suggesting that uptake of Gm was reduced at 26°C. Unconjugated Gm competitively inhibited uptake of Tr-Gm, demonstrating that this fluorescent compound was taken up similarly to unconjugated Gm. Lysates of F. tularensis bacteria incubated with Gm at 37°C inhibited the growth of Escherichia coli significantly more than lysates from bacteria incubated at 26°C, further indicating reduced uptake at this lower temperature. Other facultative pathogens (Listeria monocytogenes and Klebsiella pneumoniae) exhibited increased resistance to Gm at 26°C suggesting that the results generated using F. tularensis may be generalizable to diverse bacteria. Regulation of the uptake of antibiotics provides a mechanism by which facultative pathogens survive alongside antibiotic-producing microbes in nature. PMID:26858709

  17. Role of primary human alveolar epithelial cells in host defense against Francisella tularensis infection.

    PubMed

    Gentry, Megan; Taormina, Joanna; Pyles, Richard B; Yeager, Linsey; Kirtley, Michelle; Popov, Vsevolod L; Klimpel, Gary; Eaves-Pyles, Tonyia

    2007-08-01

    Francisella tularensis, an intracellular pathogen, is highly virulent when inhaled. Alveolar epithelial type I (ATI) and type II (ATII) cells line the majority of the alveolar surface and respond to inhaled pathogenic bacteria via cytokine secretion. We hypothesized that these cells contribute to the lung innate immune response to F. tularensis. Results demonstrated that the live vaccine strain (LVS) contacted ATI and ATII cells by 2 h following intranasal inoculation of mice. In culture, primary human ATI or ATII cells, grown on transwell filters, were stimulated on the apical (AP) surface with virulent F. tularensis Schu 4 or LVS. Basolateral (BL) conditioned medium (CM), collected 6 and 24 h later, was added to the BL surfaces of transwell cultures of primary human pulmonary microvasculature endothelial cells (HPMEC) prior to the addition of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) or dendritic cells (DCs) to the AP surface. HPMEC responded to S4- or LVS-stimulated ATII, but not ATI, CM as evidenced by PMN and DC migration. Analysis of the AP and BL ATII CM revealed that both F. tularensis strains induced various levels of a variety of cytokines via NF-kappaB activation. ATII cells pretreated with an NF-kappaB inhibitor prior to F. tularensis stimulation substantially decreased interleukin-8 secretion, which did not occur through Toll-like receptor 2, 2/6, 4, or 5 stimulation. These data indicate a crucial role for ATII cells in the innate immune response to F. tularensis. PMID:17502386

  18. Role of Primary Human Alveolar Epithelial Cells in Host Defense against Francisella tularensis Infection▿

    PubMed Central

    Gentry, Megan; Taormina, Joanna; Pyles, Richard B.; Yeager, Linsey; Kirtley, Michelle; Popov, Vsevolod L.; Klimpel, Gary; Eaves-Pyles, Tonyia

    2007-01-01

    Francisella tularensis, an intracellular pathogen, is highly virulent when inhaled. Alveolar epithelial type I (ATI) and type II (ATII) cells line the majority of the alveolar surface and respond to inhaled pathogenic bacteria via cytokine secretion. We hypothesized that these cells contribute to the lung innate immune response to F. tularensis. Results demonstrated that the live vaccine strain (LVS) contacted ATI and ATII cells by 2 h following intranasal inoculation of mice. In culture, primary human ATI or ATII cells, grown on transwell filters, were stimulated on the apical (AP) surface with virulent F. tularensis Schu 4 or LVS. Basolateral (BL) conditioned medium (CM), collected 6 and 24 h later, was added to the BL surfaces of transwell cultures of primary human pulmonary microvasculature endothelial cells (HPMEC) prior to the addition of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) or dendritic cells (DCs) to the AP surface. HPMEC responded to S4- or LVS-stimulated ATII, but not ATI, CM as evidenced by PMN and DC migration. Analysis of the AP and BL ATII CM revealed that both F. tularensis strains induced various levels of a variety of cytokines via NF-κB activation. ATII cells pretreated with an NF-κB inhibitor prior to F. tularensis stimulation substantially decreased interleukin-8 secretion, which did not occur through Toll-like receptor 2, 2/6, 4, or 5 stimulation. These data indicate a crucial role for ATII cells in the innate immune response to F. tularensis. PMID:17502386

  19. Temperature-Dependent Gentamicin Resistance of Francisella tularensis is Mediated by Uptake Modulation

    PubMed Central

    Loughman, Kathleen; Hall, Jesse; Knowlton, Samantha; Sindeldecker, Devin; Gilson, Tricia; Schmitt, Deanna M.; Birch, James W.-M.; Gajtka, Tara; Kobe, Brianna N.; Florjanczyk, Aleksandr; Ingram, Jenna; Bakshi, Chandra S.; Horzempa, Joseph

    2016-01-01

    Gentamicin (Gm) is an aminoglycoside commonly used to treat bacterial infections such as tularemia – the disease caused by Francisella tularensis. In addition to being pathogenic, F. tularensis is found in environmental niches such as soil where this bacterium likely encounters Gm producers (Micromonospora sp.). Here we show that F. tularensis exhibits increased resistance to Gm at ambient temperature (26°C) compared to mammalian body temperature (37°C). To evaluate whether F. tularensis was less permeable to Gm at 26°C, a fluorescent marker [Texas Red (Tr)] was conjugated with Gm, yielding Tr-Gm. Bacteria incubated at 26°C showed reduced fluorescence compared to those at 37°C when exposed to Tr-Gm suggesting that uptake of Gm was reduced at 26°C. Unconjugated Gm competitively inhibited uptake of Tr-Gm, demonstrating that this fluorescent compound was taken up similarly to unconjugated Gm. Lysates of F. tularensis bacteria incubated with Gm at 37°C inhibited the growth of Escherichia coli significantly more than lysates from bacteria incubated at 26°C, further indicating reduced uptake at this lower temperature. Other facultative pathogens (Listeria monocytogenes and Klebsiella pneumoniae) exhibited increased resistance to Gm at 26°C suggesting that the results generated using F. tularensis may be generalizable to diverse bacteria. Regulation of the uptake of antibiotics provides a mechanism by which facultative pathogens survive alongside antibiotic-producing microbes in nature. PMID:26858709

  20. Structure and Function of REP34 Implicates Carboxypeptidase Activity in Francisella tularensis Host Cell Invasion*

    PubMed Central

    Feld, Geoffrey K.; El-Etr, Sahar; Corzett, Michele H.; Hunter, Mark S.; Belhocine, Kamila; Monack, Denise M.; Frank, Matthias; Segelke, Brent W.; Rasley, Amy

    2014-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is the etiological agent of tularemia, or rabbit fever. Although F. tularensis is a recognized biothreat agent with broad and expanding geographical range, its mechanism of infection and environmental persistence remain poorly understood. Previously, we identified seven F. tularensis proteins that induce a rapid encystment phenotype (REP) in the free-living amoeba, Acanthamoeba castellanii. Encystment is essential to the pathogen's long term intracellular survival in the amoeba. Here, we characterize the cellular and molecular function of REP34, a REP protein with a mass of 34 kDa. A REP34 knock-out strain of F. tularensis has a reduced ability to both induce encystment in A. castellanii and invade human macrophages. We determined the crystal structure of REP34 to 2.05-Å resolution and demonstrate robust carboxypeptidase B-like activity for the enzyme. REP34 is a zinc-containing monomeric protein with close structural homology to the metallocarboxypeptidase family of peptidases. REP34 possesses a novel topology and substrate binding pocket that deviates from the canonical funnelin structure of carboxypeptidases, putatively resulting in a catalytic role for a conserved tyrosine and distinct S1′ recognition site. Taken together, these results identify REP34 as an active carboxypeptidase, implicate the enzyme as a potential key F. tularensis effector protein, and may help elucidate a mechanistic understanding of F. tularensis infection of phagocytic cells. PMID:25231992

  1. A multimethodological approach to identification of glycoproteins from the proteome of Francisella tularensis, an intracellular microorganism

    PubMed Central

    Balonova, Lucie; Hernychova, Lenka; Mann, Benjamin F.; Link, Marek; Bilkova, Zuzana; Novotny, Milos V.; Stulik, Jiri

    2010-01-01

    It appears that most glycoproteins found in pathogenic bacteria are associated with virulence. Despite the recent identification of novel virulence factors, the mechanisms of virulence in Francisella tularensis are poorly understood. In spite of its importance, questions about glycosylation of proteins in this bacterium and its potential connection with bacterial virulence have not been answered yet. In the present study, several putative Francisella tularensis glycoproteins were characterized through the combination of carbohydrate-specific detection and lectin affinity with highly sensitive mass spectrometry utilizing the bottom-up proteomic approach. The protein PilA that was recently found as being possibly glycosylated, as well as other proteins with designation as novel factors of virulence, were among the proteins identified in this study. The reported data compile the list of potential glycoproteins that may serve as a take-off platform for a further definition of proteins modified by glycans, faciliting a better understanding of the function of protein glycosylation in pathogenicity of Francisella tularensis. PMID:20175567

  2. Experimental Infection of Voles with Francisella tularensis Indicates Their Amplification Role in Tularemia Outbreaks

    PubMed Central

    Rossow, Heidi; Forbes, Kristian M.; Tarkka, Eveliina; Kinnunen, Paula M.; Hemmilä, Heidi; Huitu, Otso; Nikkari, Simo; Henttonen, Heikki; Kipar, Anja; Vapalahti, Olli

    2014-01-01

    Tularemia outbreaks in humans have been linked to fluctuations in rodent population density, but the mode of bacterial maintenance in nature is unclear. Here we report on an experiment to investigate the pathogenesis of Francisella tularensis infection in wild rodents, and thereby assess their potential to spread the bacterium. We infected 20 field voles (Microtus agrestis) and 12 bank voles (Myodes glareolus) with a strain of F. tularensis ssp. holarctica isolated from a human patient. Upon euthanasia or death, voles were necropsied and specimens collected for histological assessment and identification of bacteria by immunohistology and PCR. Bacterial excretion and a rapid lethal clinical course with pathological changes consistent with bacteremia and tissue necrosis were observed in infected animals. The results support a role for voles as an amplification host of F. tularensis, as excreta and, in particular, carcasses with high bacterial burden could serve as a source for environmental contamination. PMID:25271640

  3. Experimental Infection of voles with Francisella tularensis indicates their amplification role in tularemia outbreaks.

    PubMed

    Rossow, Heidi; Forbes, Kristian M; Tarkka, Eveliina; Kinnunen, Paula M; Hemmilä, Heidi; Huitu, Otso; Nikkari, Simo; Henttonen, Heikki; Kipar, Anja; Vapalahti, Olli

    2014-01-01

    Tularemia outbreaks in humans have been linked to fluctuations in rodent population density, but the mode of bacterial maintenance in nature is unclear. Here we report on an experiment to investigate the pathogenesis of Francisella tularensis infection in wild rodents, and thereby assess their potential to spread the bacterium. We infected 20 field voles (Microtus agrestis) and 12 bank voles (Myodes glareolus) with a strain of F. tularensis ssp. holarctica isolated from a human patient. Upon euthanasia or death, voles were necropsied and specimens collected for histological assessment and identification of bacteria by immunohistology and PCR. Bacterial excretion and a rapid lethal clinical course with pathological changes consistent with bacteremia and tissue necrosis were observed in infected animals. The results support a role for voles as an amplification host of F. tularensis, as excreta and, in particular, carcasses with high bacterial burden could serve as a source for environmental contamination. PMID:25271640

  4. Mast cells inhibit intramacrophage Francisella tularensis replication via contact and secreted products including IL-4

    PubMed Central

    Ketavarapu, Jyothi M.; Rodriguez, Annette R.; Yu, Jieh-Juen; Cong, Yu; Murthy, Ashlesh K.; Forsthuber, Thomas G.; Guentzel, M. Neal; Klose, Karl E.; Berton, Michael T.; Arulanandam, Bernard P.

    2008-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is an intracellular, Gram-negative bacterium that is the causative agent of pulmonary tularemia. The pathogenesis and mechanisms related to innate resistance against F. tularensis are not completely understood. Mast cells are strategically positioned within mucosal tissues, the major interface with the external environment, to initiate innate responses at the site of infection. Mast cell numbers in the cervical lymph nodes and the lungs progressively increased as early as 48 h after intranasal F. tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS) challenge. We established a primary bone marrow-derived mast cell–macrophage coculture system and found that mast cells significantly inhibit F. tularensis LVS uptake and growth within macrophages. Importantly, mice deficient in either mast cells or IL-4 receptor displayed greater susceptibility to the infection when compared with corresponding wild-type animals. Contact-dependent events and secreted products including IL-4 from mast cells, and IL-4 production from other cellular sources, appear to mediate the observed protective effects. These results demonstrate a previously unrecognized role for mast cells and IL-4 and provide a new dimension to our understanding of the innate immune mechanisms involved in controlling intramacrophage Francisella replication. PMID:18591675

  5. Identification of a Small Molecule That Modifies MglA/SspA Interaction and Impairs Intramacrophage Survival of Francisella tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Wrench, Algevis P.; Gardner, Christopher L.; Gonzalez, Claudio F.; Lorca, Graciela L.

    2013-01-01

    The transcription factors MglA and SspA of Francisella tularensis form a heterodimer complex and interact with the RNA polymerase to regulate the expression of the Francisella pathogenicity island (FPI) genes. These genes are essential for this pathogen’s virulence and survival within host cells. In this study, we used a small molecule screening to identify quinacrine as a thermal stabilizing compound for F. tularensis SCHU S4 MglA and SspA. A bacterial two-hybrid system was used to analyze the in vivo effect of quinacrine on the heterodimer complex. The results show that quinacrine affects the interaction between MglA and SspA, indicated by decreased β-galactosidase activity. Further in vitro analyses, using size exclusion chromatography, indicated that quinacrine does not disrupt the heterodimer formation, however, changes in the alpha helix content were confirmed by circular dichroism. Structure-guided site-directed mutagenesis experiments indicated that quinacrine makes contact with amino acid residues Y63 in MglA, and K97 in SspA, both located in the “cleft” of the interacting surfaces. In F. tularensis subsp. novicida, quinacrine decreased the transcription of the FPI genes, iglA, iglD, pdpD and pdpA. As a consequence, the intramacrophage survival capabilities of the bacteria were affected. These results support use of the MglA/SspA interacting surface, and quinacrine’s chemical scaffold, for the design of high affinity molecules that will function as therapeutics for the treatment of Tularemia. PMID:23372736

  6. Antioxidant Defenses of Francisella tularensis Modulate Macrophage Function and Production of Proinflammatory Cytokines.

    PubMed

    Rabadi, Seham M; Sanchez, Belkys C; Varanat, Mrudula; Ma, Zhuo; Catlett, Sally V; Melendez, Juan Andres; Malik, Meenakshi; Bakshi, Chandra Shekhar

    2016-03-01

    Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of a fatal human disease known as tularemia, has been used in the bioweapon programs of several countries in the past, and now it is considered a potential bioterror agent. Extreme infectivity and virulence of F. tularensis is due to its ability to evade immune detection and to suppress the host's innate immune responses. However, Francisella-encoded factors and mechanisms responsible for causing immune suppression are not completely understood. Macrophages and neutrophils generate reactive oxygen species (ROS)/reactive nitrogen species as a defense mechanism for the clearance of phagocytosed microorganisms. ROS serve a dual role; at high concentrations they act as microbicidal effector molecules that destroy intracellular pathogens, and at low concentrations they serve as secondary signaling messengers that regulate the expression of various inflammatory mediators. We hypothesized that the antioxidant defenses of F. tularensis maintain redox homeostasis in infected macrophages to prevent activation of redox-sensitive signaling components that ultimately result in suppression of pro-inflammatory cytokine production and macrophage microbicidal activity. We demonstrate that antioxidant enzymes of F. tularensis prevent the activation of redox-sensitive MAPK signaling components, NF-κB signaling, and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines by inhibiting the accumulation of ROS in infected macrophages. We also report that F. tularensis inhibits ROS-dependent autophagy to promote its intramacrophage survival. Collectively, this study reveals novel pathogenic mechanisms adopted by F. tularensis to modulate macrophage innate immune functions to create an environment permissive for its intracellular survival and growth. PMID:26644475

  7. Identification of trkH, Encoding a Potassium Uptake Protein Required for Francisella tularensis Systemic Dissemination in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Alkhuder, Khaled; Meibom, Karin L.; Dubail, Iharilalao; Dupuis, Marion; Charbit, Alain

    2010-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious bacterium causing the zoonotic disease tularaemia. During its infectious cycle, F. tularensis is not only exposed to the intracellular environment of macrophages but also resides transiently in extracellular compartments, in particular during its systemic dissemination. The screening of a bank of F. tularensis LVS transposon insertion mutants on chemically defined medium (CDM) led us to identify a gene, designated trkH, encoding a homolog of the potassium uptake permease TrkH. Inactivation of trkH impaired bacterial growth in CDM. Normal growth of the mutant was only restored when CDM was supplemented with potassium at high concentration. Strikingly, although not required for intracellular survival in cell culture models, TrkH appeared to be essential for bacterial virulence in the mouse. In vivo kinetics of bacterial dissemination revealed a severe defect of multiplication of the trkH mutant in the blood of infected animals. The trkH mutant also showed impaired growth in blood ex vivo. Genome sequence analyses suggest that the Trk system constitutes the unique functional active potassium transporter in both tularensis and holarctica subspecies. Hence, the impaired survival of the trkH mutant in vivo is likely to be due to its inability to survive in the low potassium environment (1–5 mM range) of the blood. This work unravels thus the importance of potassium acquisition in the extracellular phase of the F. tularensis infectious cycle. More generally, potassium could constitute an important mineral nutrient involved in other diseases linked to systemic dissemination of bacterial pathogens. PMID:20126460

  8. FmvB: A Francisella tularensis Magnesium-Responsive Outer Membrane Protein that Plays a Role in Virulence.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xiaojun; Ren, Guoping; Gunning, William T; Weaver, David A; Kalinoski, Andrea L; Khuder, Sadik A; Huntley, Jason F

    2016-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is the causative agent of the lethal disease tularemia. Despite decades of research, little is understood about why F. tularensis is so virulent. Bacterial outer membrane proteins (OMPs) are involved in various virulence processes, including protein secretion, host cell attachment, and intracellular survival. Many pathogenic bacteria require metals for intracellular survival and OMPs often play important roles in metal uptake. Previous studies identified three F. tularensis OMPs that play roles in iron acquisition. In this study, we examined two previously uncharacterized proteins, FTT0267 (named fmvA, for Francisella metal and virulence) and FTT0602c (fmvB), which are homologs of the previously studied F. tularensis iron acquisition genes and are predicted OMPs. To study the potential roles of FmvA and FmvB in metal acquisition and virulence, we first examined fmvA and fmvB expression following pulmonary infection of mice, finding that fmvB was upregulated up to 5-fold during F. tularensis infection of mice. Despite sequence homology to previously-characterized iron-acquisition genes, FmvA and FmvB do not appear to be involved iron uptake, as neither fmvA nor fmvB were upregulated in iron-limiting media and neither ΔfmvA nor ΔfmvB exhibited growth defects in iron limitation. However, when other metals were examined in this study, magnesium-limitation significantly induced fmvB expression, ΔfmvB was found to express significantly higher levels of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in magnesium-limiting medium, and increased numbers of surface protrusions were observed on ΔfmvB in magnesium-limiting medium, compared to wild-type F. tularensis grown in magnesium-limiting medium. RNA sequencing analysis of ΔfmvB revealed the potential mechanism for increased LPS expression, as LPS synthesis genes kdtA and wbtA were significantly upregulated in ΔfmvB, compared with wild-type F. tularensis. To provide further evidence for the potential role of FmvB in

  9. FmvB: A Francisella tularensis Magnesium-Responsive Outer Membrane Protein that Plays a Role in Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xiaojun; Ren, Guoping; Gunning, William T.; Weaver, David A.; Kalinoski, Andrea L.; Khuder, Sadik A.; Huntley, Jason F.

    2016-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is the causative agent of the lethal disease tularemia. Despite decades of research, little is understood about why F. tularensis is so virulent. Bacterial outer membrane proteins (OMPs) are involved in various virulence processes, including protein secretion, host cell attachment, and intracellular survival. Many pathogenic bacteria require metals for intracellular survival and OMPs often play important roles in metal uptake. Previous studies identified three F. tularensis OMPs that play roles in iron acquisition. In this study, we examined two previously uncharacterized proteins, FTT0267 (named fmvA, for Francisella metal and virulence) and FTT0602c (fmvB), which are homologs of the previously studied F. tularensis iron acquisition genes and are predicted OMPs. To study the potential roles of FmvA and FmvB in metal acquisition and virulence, we first examined fmvA and fmvB expression following pulmonary infection of mice, finding that fmvB was upregulated up to 5-fold during F. tularensis infection of mice. Despite sequence homology to previously-characterized iron-acquisition genes, FmvA and FmvB do not appear to be involved iron uptake, as neither fmvA nor fmvB were upregulated in iron-limiting media and neither ΔfmvA nor ΔfmvB exhibited growth defects in iron limitation. However, when other metals were examined in this study, magnesium-limitation significantly induced fmvB expression, ΔfmvB was found to express significantly higher levels of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in magnesium-limiting medium, and increased numbers of surface protrusions were observed on ΔfmvB in magnesium-limiting medium, compared to wild-type F. tularensis grown in magnesium-limiting medium. RNA sequencing analysis of ΔfmvB revealed the potential mechanism for increased LPS expression, as LPS synthesis genes kdtA and wbtA were significantly upregulated in ΔfmvB, compared with wild-type F. tularensis. To provide further evidence for the potential role of FmvB in

  10. A new dye uptake assay to test the activity of antibiotics against intracellular Francisella tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Sutera, Vivien; Caspar, Yvan; Boisset, Sandrine; Maurin, Max

    2014-01-01

    Francisella tularensis, a facultative intracellular bacterium, is the aetiological agent of tularaemia. Antibiotic treatment of this zoonosis is based on the administration of a fluoroquinolone or a tetracycline for cases with mild to moderate severity, whereas an aminoglycoside (streptomycin or gentamicin) is advocated for severe cases. However, treatment failures and relapses remain frequent, especially in patients suffering from chronic lymph node suppuration. Therefore, new treatment alternatives are needed. We have developed a dye uptake assay for determination of minimal inhibitory extracellular concentrations (MIECs) of antibiotics against intracellular F. tularensis, and validated the method by comparing the results obtained using a CFU-enumerating method. We also compared MIECs with MICs of the same compounds determined using a CLSI broth microdilution method. We tested the activity of 11 antibiotics against two clinical strains of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica isolated in France. Both strains displayed low MICs (≤1 μg/mL) to fluoroquinolones (ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin and moxifloxacin), gentamicin, doxycycline and rifampicin. Higher MICs (≥8 μg/mL) were found for carbapenems (imipenem and meropenem), daptomycin and linezolid. Erythromycin MICs were 4.0 and 16.0 μg/mL, respectively, for the two clinical strains. MIECs were almost the same with the two methods used. They were concordant with MICs, except for erythromycin and linezolid (respectively, four and eight times more active against intracellular F. tularensis) and gentamicin (four to eight times less active against intracellular F. tularensis). This study validated the dye uptake assay as a new tool for determination of the activity of a large panel of antibiotics against intracellular F. tularensis. This test confirmed the intracellular activity of first-line antibiotics used for tularaemia treatment, but also revealed significant activity of linezolid against intracellular F. tularensis

  11. Biochemical studies on Francisella tularensis RelA in (p)ppGpp biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Rachael C; Batten, Laura E; Wells, Neil J; Oyston, Petra C F; Roach, Peter L

    2015-01-01

    The bacterial stringent response is induced by nutrient deprivation and is mediated by enzymes of the RSH (RelA/SpoT homologue; RelA, (p)ppGpp synthetase I; SpoT, (p)ppGpp synthetase II) superfamily that control concentrations of the 'alarmones' (p)ppGpp (guanosine penta- or tetra-phosphate). This regulatory pathway is present in the vast majority of pathogens and has been proposed as a potential anti-bacterial target. Current understanding of RelA-mediated responses is based on biochemical studies using Escherichia coli as a model. In comparison, the Francisella tularensis RelA sequence contains a truncated regulatory C-terminal region and an unusual synthetase motif (EXSD). Biochemical analysis of F. tularensis RelA showed the similarities and differences of this enzyme compared with the model RelA from Escherichia coli. Purification of the enzyme yielded a stable dimer capable of reaching concentrations of 10 mg/ml. In contrast with other enzymes from the RelA/SpoT homologue superfamily, activity assays with F. tularensis RelA demonstrate a high degree of specificity for GTP as a pyrophosphate acceptor, with no measurable turnover for GDP. Steady state kinetic analysis of F. tularensis RelA gave saturation activity curves that best fitted a sigmoidal function. This kinetic profile can result from allosteric regulation and further measurements with potential allosteric regulators demonstrated activation by ppGpp (5',3'-dibisphosphate guanosine) with an EC50 of 60±1.9 μM. Activation of F. tularensis RelA by stalled ribosomal complexes formed with ribosomes purified from E. coli MRE600 was observed, but interestingly, significantly weaker activation with ribosomes isolated from Francisella philomiragia. PMID:26450927

  12. Biochemical studies on Francisella tularensis RelA in (p)ppGpp biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Wilkinson, Rachael C.; Batten, Laura E.; Wells, Neil J.; Oyston, Petra C.F.; Roach, Peter L.

    2015-01-01

    The bacterial stringent response is induced by nutrient deprivation and is mediated by enzymes of the RSH (RelA/SpoT homologue; RelA, (p)ppGpp synthetase I; SpoT, (p)ppGpp synthetase II) superfamily that control concentrations of the ‘alarmones’ (p)ppGpp (guanosine penta- or tetra-phosphate). This regulatory pathway is present in the vast majority of pathogens and has been proposed as a potential anti-bacterial target. Current understanding of RelA-mediated responses is based on biochemical studies using Escherichia coli as a model. In comparison, the Francisella tularensis RelA sequence contains a truncated regulatory C-terminal region and an unusual synthetase motif (EXSD). Biochemical analysis of F. tularensis RelA showed the similarities and differences of this enzyme compared with the model RelA from Escherichia coli. Purification of the enzyme yielded a stable dimer capable of reaching concentrations of 10 mg/ml. In contrast with other enzymes from the RelA/SpoT homologue superfamily, activity assays with F. tularensis RelA demonstrate a high degree of specificity for GTP as a pyrophosphate acceptor, with no measurable turnover for GDP. Steady state kinetic analysis of F. tularensis RelA gave saturation activity curves that best fitted a sigmoidal function. This kinetic profile can result from allosteric regulation and further measurements with potential allosteric regulators demonstrated activation by ppGpp (5′,3′-dibisphosphate guanosine) with an EC50 of 60±1.9 μM. Activation of F. tularensis RelA by stalled ribosomal complexes formed with ribosomes purified from E. coli MRE600 was observed, but interestingly, significantly weaker activation with ribosomes isolated from Francisella philomiragia. PMID:26450927

  13. Francisella tularensis: No Evidence for Transovarial Transmission in the Tularemia Tick Vectors Dermacentor reticulatus and Ixodes ricinus

    PubMed Central

    Genchi, Marco; Prati, Paola; Vicari, Nadia; Manfredini, Andrea; Sacchi, Luciano; Clementi, Emanuela; Bandi, Claudio; Epis, Sara; Fabbi, Massimo

    2015-01-01

    Background Tularemia is a zoonosis caused by the Francisella tularensis, a highly infectious Gram-negative coccobacillus. Due to easy dissemination, multiple routes of infection, high environmental contamination and morbidity and mortality rates, Francisella is considered a potential bioterrorism threat and classified as a category A select agent by the CDC. Tick bites are among the most prevalent modes of transmission, and ticks have been indicated as a possible reservoir, although their reservoir competence has yet to be defined. Tick-borne transmission of F. tularensis was recognized in 1923, and transstadial transmission has been demonstrated in several tick species. Studies on transovarial transmission, however, have reported conflicting results. Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of ticks as reservoirs for Francisella, assessing the transovarial transmission of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica in ticks, using experimentally-infected females of Dermacentor reticulatus and Ixodes ricinus. Results Transmission electron microscopy and fluorescence in situ hybridization showed F. tularensis within oocytes. However, cultures and bioassays of eggs and larvae were negative; in addition, microscopy techniques revealed bacterial degeneration/death in the oocytes. Conclusions These results suggest that bacterial death might occur in oocytes, preventing the transovarial transmission of Francisella. We can speculate that Francisella does not have a defined reservoir, but that rather various biological niches (e.g. ticks, rodents), that allow the bacterium to persist in the environment. Our results, suggesting that ticks are not competent for the bacterium vertical transmission, are congruent with this view. PMID:26244842

  14. [Multilocus VNTR-typing of Francisella tularensis strains].

    PubMed

    Vodop'ianov, A S; Vodop'ianov, S O; Pavlovich, N V; Mishan'kin, B N

    2004-01-01

    In the analysis of F. tularensis genome with the use of the specially developed program "DNA" a great number of loci containing tandem repeats were found. For analysis, 3 of them were selected and designated as FtA, FtB, FtC. The study of DNA of 40 F. tularensis strains in the polymerase chain reaction with specific primers to these loci a great variability in the number of repeats was established, the presence of 17 alleles being found in locus FtA, 5 alleles in locus FtB and 5 alleles in locus FtC. The strains under study formed 24 variants of genotypes, whose occurrence varied from 0.025 to 0.125. Taking into account the variability of the detected loci and a great number of potential loci VNTR in the genome, further development of this method will facilitate the creation of local and general data bases of the strains, thus ensuring more effective genetic typing of F. tularensis. PMID:15188553

  15. Early Interactions of Murine Macrophages with Francisella tularensis Map to Mouse Chromosome 19

    PubMed Central

    Fink, Avner; Hassan, Musa A.; Okan, Nihal A.; Sheffer, Michal; Camejo, Ana; Saeij, Jeroen P. J.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Differences among individuals in susceptibility to infectious diseases can be modulated by host genetics. Much of the research in this field has aimed to identify loci within the host genome that are associated with these differences. In mice, A/J (AJ) and C57BL/6J (B6) mice show differential susceptibilities to various pathogens, including the intracellular pathogen Francisella tularensis. Because macrophages are the main initial target during F. tularensis infection, we explored early interactions of macrophages from these two mouse strains with F. tularensis as well as the genetic factors underlying these interactions. Our results indicate that bacterial interactions with bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) during early stages of infection are different in the AJ and B6 strains. During these early stages, bacteria are more numerous in B6 than in AJ macrophages and display differences in trafficking and early transcriptional response within these macrophages. To determine the genetic basis for these differences, we infected BMDMs isolated from recombinant inbred (RI) mice derived from reciprocal crosses between AJ and B6, and we followed early bacterial counts within these macrophages. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis revealed a locus on chromosome 19 that is associated with early differences in bacterial counts in AJ versus B6 macrophages. QTL analysis of published data that measured the differential susceptibilities of the same RI mice to an in vivo challenge with F. tularensis confirmed the F. tularensis susceptibility QTL on chromosome 19. Overall, our results show that early interactions of macrophages with F. tularensis are dependent on the macrophage genetic background. PMID:26980837

  16. Inhibitors of Ribosome Rescue Arrest Growth of Francisella tularensis at All Stages of Intracellular Replication.

    PubMed

    Goralski, Tyler D P; Dewan, Kalyan K; Alumasa, John N; Avanzato, Victoria; Place, David E; Markley, Rachel L; Katkere, Bhuvana; Rabadi, Seham M; Bakshi, Chandra Shekhar; Keiler, Kenneth C; Kirimanjeswara, Girish S

    2016-06-01

    Bacteria require at least one pathway to rescue ribosomes stalled at the ends of mRNAs. The primary pathway for ribosome rescue is trans-translation, which is conserved in >99% of sequenced bacterial genomes. Some species also have backup systems, such as ArfA or ArfB, which can rescue ribosomes in the absence of sufficient trans-translation activity. Small-molecule inhibitors of ribosome rescue have broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity against bacteria grown in liquid culture. These compounds were tested against the tier 1 select agent Francisella tularensis to determine if they can limit bacterial proliferation during infection of eukaryotic cells. The inhibitors KKL-10 and KKL-40 exhibited exceptional antimicrobial activity against both attenuated and fully virulent strains of F. tularensis in vitro and during ex vivo infection. Addition of KKL-10 or KKL-40 to macrophages or liver cells at any time after infection by F. tularensis prevented further bacterial proliferation. When macrophages were stimulated with the proinflammatory cytokine gamma interferon before being infected by F. tularensis, addition of KKL-10 or KKL-40 reduced intracellular bacteria by >99%, indicating that the combination of cytokine-induced stress and a nonfunctional ribosome rescue pathway is fatal to F. tularensis Neither KKL-10 nor KKL-40 was cytotoxic to eukaryotic cells in culture. These results demonstrate that ribosome rescue is required for F. tularensis growth at all stages of its infection cycle and suggest that KKL-10 and KKL-40 are good lead compounds for antibiotic development. PMID:26953190

  17. Multifaceted effects of Francisella tularensis on human neutrophil function and lifespan.

    PubMed

    Kinkead, Lauren C; Allen, Lee-Ann H

    2016-09-01

    Francisella tularensis in an intracellular bacterial pathogen that causes a potentially lethal disease called tularemia. Studies performed nearly 100 years ago revealed that neutrophil accumulation in infected tissues correlates directly with the extent of necrotic damage during F. tularensis infection. However, the dynamics and details of bacteria-neutrophil interactions have only recently been studied in detail. Herein, we review current understanding regarding the mechanisms that recruit neutrophils to F. tularensis-infected lungs, opsonization and phagocytosis, evasion and inhibition of neutrophil defense mechanisms, as well as the ability of F. tularensis to prolong neutrophil lifespan. In addition, we discuss distinctive features of the bacterium, including its ability to act at a distance to alter overall neutrophil responsiveness to exogenous stimuli, and the evidence which suggests that macrophages and neutrophils play distinct roles in tularemia pathogenesis, such that macrophages are major vehicles for intracellular growth and dissemination, whereas neutrophils drive tissue destruction by dysregulation of the inflammatory response. PMID:27558340

  18. Liposome Encapsulation of Ciprofloxacin Improves Protection against Highly Virulent Francisella tularensis Strain Schu S4

    PubMed Central

    Armstrong, Stuart J.; Barnes, Kay B.; Davies, Carwyn; Wong, Jonathan P.; Blanchard, James D.; Harding, Sarah V.; Simpson, Andrew J. H.; Atkins, Helen S.

    2014-01-01

    Liposome-encapsulated ciprofloxacin for inhalation (CFI) was investigated as a putative postexposure therapeutic for two strains of Francisella tularensis. The efficacies of oral ciprofloxacin and intranasally instilled CFI could not be distinguished in a mouse model of infection with the F. tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS), where a single dose of either formulation offered full protection against a lethal challenge. However, mouse studies with the more virulent Schu S4 strain of F. tularensis demonstrated that a higher level of protection against a lethal aerosol infection is provided by CFI than by oral ciprofloxacin. In addition, using this infection model, it was possible to discriminate the efficacy of intranasally instilled CFI from that of aerosolized CFI, with aerosolized CFI providing full protection after just a single dose. The improved efficacy of CFI compared to oral ciprofloxacin is likely due to the high sustained concentrations of ciprofloxacin in the lung. In summary, CFI may be a promising therapy, perhaps enabling the prophylactic regimen to be shortened, for use in the event of a deliberate release of F. tularensis. The prophylactic efficacy of CFI against other biological warfare (BW) threat agents also warrants investigation. PMID:24637682

  19. Phylogeographical pattern of Francisella tularensis in a nationwide outbreak of tularaemia in Norway, 2011.

    PubMed

    Afset, J E; Larssen, K W; Bergh, K; Larkeryd, A; Sjodin, A; Johansson, A; Forsman, M

    2015-01-01

    In 2011, a nationwide outbreak of tularaemia occurred in Norway with 180 recorded cases. It was associated with the largest peak in lemming density seen in 40 years. Francisella tularensis was isolated from 18 patients. To study the geographical distribution of F.tularensis genotypes in Norway and correlate genotype with epidemiology and clinical presentation,we performed whole genome sequencing of patient isolates. All 18 genomes from the outbreak carried genetic signatures of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica and were assigned to genetic clades using canonical single nucleotide polymorphisms. Ten isolates were assigned to major genetic clade B.6 (subclade B.7),seven to clade B.12, and one to clade B.4. The B.6 subclade B.7 was most common in southern and central Norway, while clade B.12 was evenly distributed between the southern, central and northern parts of the country. There was no association between genotype and clinical presentation of tularaemia, time of year or specimen type. We found extensive sequence similarity with F. tularensis subsp. holarctica genomes from high-endemic tularaemia areas in Sweden.Finding nearly identical genomes across large geographical distances in Norway and Sweden imply a life cycle of the bacterium without replication between the outbreaks and raise new questions about long-range migration mechanisms. PMID:25990357

  20. Roles of reactive oxygen species-degrading enzymes of Francisella tularensis SCHU S4.

    PubMed

    Binesse, Johan; Lindgren, Helena; Lindgren, Lena; Conlan, Wayne; Sjöstedt, Anders

    2015-06-01

    Francisella tularensis is a facultative intracellular bacterium utilizing macrophages as its primary intracellular habitat and is therefore highly capable of resisting the effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS), potent mediators of the bactericidal activity of macrophages. We investigated the roles of enzymes presumed to be important for protection against ROS. Four mutants of the highly virulent SCHU S4 strain with deletions of the genes encoding catalase (katG), glutathione peroxidase (gpx), a DyP-type peroxidase (FTT0086), or double deletion of FTT0086 and katG showed much increased susceptibility to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and slightly increased susceptibility to paraquat but not to peroxynitrite (ONOO(-)) and displayed intact intramacrophage replication. Nevertheless, mice infected with the double deletion mutant showed significantly longer survival than SCHU S4-infected mice. Unlike the aforementioned mutants, deletion of the gene coding for alkyl-hydroperoxide reductase subunit C (ahpC) generated a mutant much more susceptible to paraquat and ONOO(-) but not to H2O2. It showed intact replication in J774 cells but impaired replication in bone marrow-derived macrophages and in internal organs of mice. The live vaccine strain, LVS, is more susceptible than virulent strains to ROS-mediated killing and possesses a truncated form of FTT0086. Expression of the SCHU S4 FTT0086 gene rendered LVS more resistant to H2O2, which demonstrates that the SCHU S4 strain possesses additional detoxifying mechanisms. Collectively, the results demonstrate that SCHU S4 ROS-detoxifying enzymes have overlapping functions, and therefore, deletion of one or the other does not critically impair the intracellular replication or virulence, although AhpC appears to have a unique function. PMID:25802058

  1. Roles of Reactive Oxygen Species-Degrading Enzymes of Francisella tularensis SCHU S4

    PubMed Central

    Binesse, Johan; Lindgren, Helena; Lindgren, Lena; Conlan, Wayne

    2015-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a facultative intracellular bacterium utilizing macrophages as its primary intracellular habitat and is therefore highly capable of resisting the effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS), potent mediators of the bactericidal activity of macrophages. We investigated the roles of enzymes presumed to be important for protection against ROS. Four mutants of the highly virulent SCHU S4 strain with deletions of the genes encoding catalase (katG), glutathione peroxidase (gpx), a DyP-type peroxidase (FTT0086), or double deletion of FTT0086 and katG showed much increased susceptibility to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and slightly increased susceptibility to paraquat but not to peroxynitrite (ONOO−) and displayed intact intramacrophage replication. Nevertheless, mice infected with the double deletion mutant showed significantly longer survival than SCHU S4-infected mice. Unlike the aforementioned mutants, deletion of the gene coding for alkyl-hydroperoxide reductase subunit C (ahpC) generated a mutant much more susceptible to paraquat and ONOO− but not to H2O2. It showed intact replication in J774 cells but impaired replication in bone marrow-derived macrophages and in internal organs of mice. The live vaccine strain, LVS, is more susceptible than virulent strains to ROS-mediated killing and possesses a truncated form of FTT0086. Expression of the SCHU S4 FTT0086 gene rendered LVS more resistant to H2O2, which demonstrates that the SCHU S4 strain possesses additional detoxifying mechanisms. Collectively, the results demonstrate that SCHU S4 ROS-detoxifying enzymes have overlapping functions, and therefore, deletion of one or the other does not critically impair the intracellular replication or virulence, although AhpC appears to have a unique function. PMID:25802058

  2. Members of the Francisella tularensis Phagosomal Transporter Subfamily of Major Facilitator Superfamily Transporters Are Critical for Pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Marohn, Mark E.; Santiago, Araceli E.; Shirey, Kari Ann; Lipsky, Michael; Vogel, Stefanie N.

    2012-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is the causative agent of tularemia. Due to its aerosolizable nature and low infectious dose, F. tularensis is classified as a category A select agent and, therefore, is a priority for vaccine development. Survival and replication in macrophages and other cell types are critical to F. tularensis pathogenesis, and impaired intracellular survival has been linked to a reduction in virulence. The F. tularensis genome is predicted to encode 31 major facilitator superfamily (MFS) transporters, and the nine-member Francisella phagosomal transporter (Fpt) subfamily possesses homology with virulence factors in other intracellular pathogens. We hypothesized that these MFS transporters may play an important role in F. tularensis pathogenesis and serve as good targets for attenuation and vaccine development. Here we show altered intracellular replication kinetics and attenuation of virulence in mice infected with three of the nine Fpt mutant strains compared with wild-type (WT) F. tularensis LVS. The vaccination of mice with these mutant strains was protective against a lethal intraperitoneal challenge. Additionally, we observed pronounced differences in cytokine profiles in the livers of mutant-infected mice, suggesting that alterations in in vivo cytokine responses are a major contributor to the attenuation observed for these mutant strains. These results confirm that this subset of MFS transporters plays an important role in the pathogenesis of F. tularensis and suggest that a focus on the development of attenuated Fpt subfamily MFS transporter mutants is a viable strategy toward the development of an efficacious vaccine. PMID:22508856

  3. Type IV Pili in Francisella tularensis: Roles of pilF and pilT in Fiber Assembly, Host Cell Adherence, and Virulence ▿

    PubMed Central

    Chakraborty, Subhra; Monfett, Michael; Maier, Tamara M.; Benach, Jorge L.; Frank, Dara W.; Thanassi, David G.

    2008-01-01

    Francisella tularensis, a highly virulent facultative intracellular bacterium, is the causative agent of tularemia. Genome sequencing of all F. tularensis subspecies revealed the presence of genes that could encode type IV pili (Tfp). The live vaccine strain (LVS) expresses surface fibers resembling Tfp, but it was not established whether these fibers were indeed Tfp encoded by the pil genes. We show here that deletion of the pilF putative Tfp assembly ATPase in the LVS resulted in a complete loss of surface fibers. Disruption of the pilT putative disassembly ATPase also caused a complete loss of pili, indicating that pilT functions differently in F. tularensis than in model Tfp systems such as those found in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Neisseria spp. The LVS pilF and pilT mutants were attenuated for virulence in a mouse model of tularemia by the intradermal route. Furthermore, although absence of pili had no effect on the ability of the LVS to replicate intracellularly, the pilF and pilT mutants were defective for adherence to macrophages, pneumocytes, and hepatocytes. This work confirms that the surface fibers expressed by the LVS are encoded by the pil genes and provides evidence that the Francisella pili contribute to host cell adhesion and virulence. PMID:18426883

  4. Phylogeography of Francisella tularensis subspecies holarctica from the country of Georgia

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of tularemia, displays subspecies-specific differences in virulence, geographic distribution, and genetic diversity. F. tularensis subsp. holarctica is widely distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere. In Europe, F. tularensis subsp. holarctica isolates have largely been assigned to two phylogenetic groups that have specific geographic distributions. Most isolates from Western Europe are assigned to the B.Br.FTNF002-00 group, whereas most isolates from Eastern Europe are assigned to numerous lineages within the B.Br.013 group. The eastern geographic extent of the B.Br.013 group is currently unknown due to a lack of phylogenetic knowledge about populations at the European/Asian juncture and in Asia. In this study, we address this knowledge gap by describing the phylogenetic structure of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica isolates from the country of Georgia, and by placing these isolates into a global phylogeographic context. Results We identified a new genetic lineage of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica from Georgia that belongs to the B.Br.013 group. This new lineage is genetically and geographically distinct from lineages previously described from the B.Br.013 group from Central-Eastern Europe. Importantly, this new lineage is basal within the B.Br.013 group, indicating the Georgian lineage diverged before the diversification of the other known B.Br.013 lineages. Although two isolates from the Georgian lineage were collected nearby in the Ukrainian region of Crimea, all other global isolates assigned to this lineage were collected in Georgia. This restricted geographic distribution, as well as the high levels of genetic diversity within the lineage, is consistent with a relatively older origin and localized differentiation. Conclusions We identified a new lineage of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica from Georgia that appears to have an older origin than any other diversified lineages previously described from

  5. PATHOGENESIS AND IMMUNE RESPONSES OF FRANCISELLA TULARENSIS STRAINS IN WILD-CAUGHT COTTONTAIL RABBITS (SYLVILAGUS SPP.).

    PubMed

    Brown, Vienna R; Adney, Danielle R; Bielefeldt-Ohmann, Helle; Gordy, Paul W; Felix, Todd A; Olea-Popelka, Francisco J; Bowen, Richard A

    2015-07-01

    Francisella tularensis is a highly virulent, zoonotic bacterium that causes significant natural disease and is of concern as an organism for bioterrorism. Serologic testing of wildlife is frequently used to monitor spatial patterns of infection and to quantify exposure. Cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus spp.) are a natural reservoir for F. tularensis in the US, although very little work has been done experimentally to determine how these animals respond to infection; thus, information gathered from field samples can be difficult to interpret. We characterized clinical disease, bacteremia, pathology, and antibody kinetics of North American cottontail rabbits experimentally infected with five strains of F. tularensis. Rabbits were infected with four field strains, including MA00-2987 (type A1b), WY96-3418 (type A2), KY99-3387, and OR96-0246 (type B), and with SchuS4 (type A1a), a widely used, virulent laboratory strain. Infection with the different strains of the bacterium resulted in varied patterns of clinical disease, gross pathology, and histopathology. Each of the type A strains were highly virulent, with rabbits succumbing to infection 3-13 d after infection. At necropsy, numerous microabscesses were observed in the livers and spleens of most rabbits, associated with high bacterial organ burdens. In contrast, most rabbits infected with type B strains developed mild fever and became lethargic, but the disease was infrequently lethal. Those rabbits infected with type B strains that survived past 14 d developed a robust humoral immune response, and F. tularensis was not isolated from liver, spleen, or lung of those animals. Understanding F. tularensis infection in a natural reservoir species can guide serosurveillance and generate new insights into environmental maintenance of this pathogen. PMID:25984770

  6. Nucleolin, a Shuttle Protein Promoting Infection of Human Monocytes by Francisella tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Barel, Monique; Meibom, Karin; Charbit, Alain

    2010-01-01

    Background Francisella tularensis is a highly virulent facultative intracellular bacterium, disseminating in vivo mainly within host mononuclear phagocytes. After entry into macrophages, F. tularensis initially resides in a phagosomal compartment, whose maturation is then arrested. Bacteria escape rapidly into the cytoplasm, where they replicate freely. We recently demonstrated that nucleolin, an eukaryotic protein able to traffic from the nucleus to the cell surface, acted as a surface receptor for F. tularensis LVS on human monocyte-like THP-1 cells. Methodology/Principal Findings Here, we followed the fate of nucleolin once F. tularensis has been endocytosed. We first confirmed by siRNA silencing experiments that expression of nucleolin protein was essential for binding of LVS on human macrophage-type THP-1 cells. We then showed that nucleolin co-localized with intracellular bacteria in the phagosomal compartment. Strikingly, in that compartment, nucleolin also co-localized with LAMP-1, a late endosomal marker. Co-immunoprecipation assays further demonstrated an interaction of nucleolin with LAMP-1. Co-localization of nucleolin with LVS was no longer detectable at 24 h when bacteria were multiplying in the cytoplasm. In contrast, with an iglC mutant of LVS, which remains trapped into the phagosomal compartment, or with inert particles, nucleolin/bacteria co-localization remained almost constant. Conclusions/Significance We herein confirm the importance of nucleolin expression for LVS binding and its specificity as nucleolin is not involved in binding of another intracellular pathogen as L. monocytogenes or an inert particle. Association of nucleolin with F. tularensis during infection continues intracellularly after endocytosis of the bacteria. The present work therefore unravels for the first time the presence of nucleolin in the phagosomal compartment of macrophages. PMID:21152024

  7. Thermal resistance of Francisella tularensis in infant formula and fruit juices.

    PubMed

    Day, J B; Trujillo, S; Hao, Y Y D; Whiting, R C

    2008-11-01

    Francisella tularensis is a gram-negative bacterium that can cause gastrointestinal or oropharyngeal tularemia from ingestion of contaminated food or water. Despite the potential for accidental or intentional contamination of foods with F. tularensis, little information exists on the thermal stability of this organism in food matrices. In the present study, the thermal resistance of the live vaccine strain of F. tularensis in four food products (liquid infant formula, apple juice, mango juice, and orange juice) was investigated. D-values ranged from 12 s (57.5 degrees C) to 580 s (50 degrees C) in infant formula with a z-value of 4.37 degrees C. D-values in apple juice ranged from 8 s (57.5 degrees C) to 59 s (50 degrees C) with a z-value of 9.17 degrees C. The live vaccine strain did not survive at temperatures above 55 degrees C in mango juice and orange juice (>6-log inactivation). D-values at 55 to 47.5 degrees C were 15 to 59 s in mango juice and 16 to 105 s in orange juice with z-values of 9.28 and 12.30 degrees C, respectively. These results indicate that current pasteurization parameters used for destroying common foodborne bacterial pathogens are adequate for eliminating F. tularensis in the four foods tested. This study is the first to determine thermal inactivation of F. tularensis in specific foods and will permit comparisons with the thermal inactivation data of other more traditional foodborne pathogens. PMID:19044262

  8. Inactivation of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis 197 and Francisella tularensis LVS in beverages by high pressure processing.

    PubMed

    Schlesser, Joseph E; Parisi, Brian

    2009-01-01

    In 2003, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a new research program to develop technologies and strategies to prevent and minimize potential food safety and security threats. The threat of terrorist attacks against the nation's food supplies has created the need to study microorganisms not typically associated with foodborne illness. High-pressure processing has been proposed as a treatment to reduce Yersinia pestis and Francisella tularensis LVS levels in beverages. The objectives of this work were to determine the pressure resistance of Y. pseudotuberculosis 197 (surrogate for Y. pestis) and F. tularensis LVS (vaccine strain). For each bacterium, samples of ultrahigh-temperature pasteurized skim milk and pasteurized reduced-acid orange juice (pH ca. 4.2) were inoculated at a minimum level of 5 log CFU/ml. Ten-milliliter samples of the inoculated product were vacuum sealed in polyester pouches and subjected to pressures of 300 and 500 MPa for holding times ranging from 30 s to 6 min. One set of trials was performed at an initial temperature of 10 degrees C and another at 25 degrees C. Processed samples were immediately plated and enumerated. A pressure treatment of 300 MPa at 25 degrees C for less than 6 min was not sufficient to achieve a 5-log reduction of Y. pseudotuberculosis 197 or F. tularensis LVS in milk. However, a pressure treatment of 500 MPa was effective at hold times as low as 30 s. Overall, F. tularensis LVS demonstrated less pressure resistance than Y. pseudotuberculosis 197. Based on these findings, a high-pressure process designed to inactivate 5 log CFU of Y. pseudotuberculosis 197 per ml and F. tularensis LVS in orange juice or milk should be set at or above 500 MPa with a hold time of 2 min or greater. PMID:19205479

  9. Characterization of the O-antigen Polymerase (Wzy) of Francisella tularensis*

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Tae-Hyun; Sebastian, Shite; Pinkham, Jessica T.; Ross, Robin A.; Blalock, LeeAnn T.; Kasper, Dennis L.

    2010-01-01

    The O-antigen polymerase of Gram-negative bacteria has been difficult to characterize. Herein we report the biochemical and functional characterization of the protein product (Wzy) of the gene annotated as the putative O-antigen polymerase, which is located in the O-antigen biosynthetic locus of Francisella tularensis. In silico analysis (homology searching, hydropathy plotting, and codon usage assessment) strongly suggested that Wzy is an O-antigen polymerase whose function is to catalyze the addition of newly synthesized O-antigen repeating units to a glycolipid consisting of lipid A, inner core polysaccharide, and one repeating unit of the O-polysaccharide (O-PS). To characterize the function of the Wzy protein, a non-polar deletion mutant of wzy was generated by allelic replacement, and the banding pattern of O-PS was observed by immunoblot analysis of whole-cell lysates obtained by SDS-PAGE and stained with an O-PS-specific monoclonal antibody. These immunoblot analyses showed that O-PS of the wzy mutant expresses only one repeating unit of O-antigen. Further biochemical characterization of the subcellular fractions of the wzy mutant demonstrated that (as is characteristic of O-antigen polymerase mutants) the low molecular weight O-antigen accumulates in the periplasm of the mutant. Site-directed mutagenesis based on protein homology and topology, which was carried out to locate a catalytic residue of the protein, showed that modification of specific residues (Gly176, Asp177, Gly323, and Tyr324) leads to a loss of O-PS polymerization. Topology models indicate that these amino acids most likely lie in close proximity on the bacterial surface. PMID:20605777

  10. B-Cell Epitopes in GroEL of Francisella tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Zhaohua; Rynkiewicz, Michael J.; Madico, Guillermo; Li, Sheng; Yang, Chiou-Ying; Perkins, Hillary M.; Sompuram, Seshi R.; Kodela, Vani; Liu, Tong; Morris, Timothy; Wang, Daphne; Roche, Marly I.; Seaton, Barbara A.; Sharon, Jacqueline

    2014-01-01

    The chaperonin protein GroEL, also known as heat shock protein 60 (Hsp60), is a prominent antigen in the human and mouse antibody response to the facultative intracellular bacterium Francisella tularensis (Ft), the causative agent of tularemia. In addition to its presumed cytoplasmic location, FtGroEL has been reported to be a potential component of the bacterial surface and to be released from the bacteria. In the current study, 13 IgG2a and one IgG3 mouse monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) specific for FtGroEL were classified into eleven unique groups based on shared VH-VL germline genes, and seven crossblocking profiles revealing at least three non-overlapping epitope areas in competition ELISA. In a mouse model of respiratory tularemia with the highly pathogenic Ft type A strain SchuS4, the Ab64 and N200 IgG2a mAbs, which block each other’s binding to and are sensitive to the same two point mutations in FtGroEL, reduced bacterial burden indicating that they target protective GroEL B-cell epitopes. The Ab64 and N200 epitopes, as well as those of three other mAbs with different crossblocking profiles, Ab53, N3, and N30, were mapped by hydrogen/deuterium exchange–mass spectrometry (DXMS) and visualized on a homology model of FtGroEL. This model was further supported by its experimentally-validated computational docking to the X-ray crystal structures of Ab64 and Ab53 Fabs. The structural analysis and DXMS profiles of the Ab64 and N200 mAbs suggest that their protective effects may be due to induction or stabilization of a conformational change in FtGroEL. PMID:24968190

  11. Two parallel pathways for ferric and ferrous iron acquisition support growth and virulence of the intracellular pathogen Francisella tularensis Schu S4.

    PubMed

    Pérez, Natalie; Johnson, Richard; Sen, Bhaswati; Ramakrishnan, Girija

    2016-06-01

    Iron acquisition mechanisms in Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of tularemia, include the Francisella siderophore locus (fsl) siderophore operon and a ferrous iron-transport system comprising outer-membrane protein FupA and inner-membrane transporter FeoB. To characterize these mechanisms and to identify any additional iron uptake systems in the virulent subspecies tularensis, single and double deletions were generated in the fsl and feo iron acquisition systems of the strain Schu S4. Deletion of the entire fsl operon caused loss of siderophore production that could be restored by complementation with the biosynthetic genes fslA and fslC and Major Facilitator Superfamily (MFS) transporter gene fslB. (55) Fe-transport assays demonstrated that siderophore-iron uptake required the receptor FslE and MFS transporter FslD. A ΔfeoB' mutation resulted in loss of ability to transport ferrous iron ((55) Fe(2+) ). A ΔfeoB' ΔfslA mutant that required added exogenous siderophore for growth in vitro was unable to grow within tissue culture cells and was avirulent in mice, indicating that no compensatory cryptic iron uptake systems were induced in vivo. These studies demonstrate that the fsl and feo pathways function independently and operate in parallel to effectively support virulence of F. tularensis. PMID:26918301

  12. Temporal Transcriptional Response during Infection of Type II Alveolar Epithelial Cells with Francisella tularensis Live Vaccine Strain (LVS) Supports a General Host Suppression and Bacterial Uptake by Macropinocytosis*

    PubMed Central

    Bradburne, Christopher E.; Verhoeven, Anne B.; Manyam, Ganiraju C.; Chaudhry, Saira A.; Chang, Eddie L.; Thach, Dzung C.; Bailey, Charles L.; van Hoek, Monique L.

    2013-01-01

    Pneumonic tularemia is caused by inhalation of Francisella tularensis, one of the most infectious microbes known. We wanted to study the kinetics of the initial and early interactions between bacterium and host cells in the lung. To do this, we examined the infection of A549 airway epithelial cells with the live vaccine strain (LVS) of F. tularensis. A549 cells were infected and analyzed for global transcriptional response at multiple time points up to 16 h following infection. At 15 min and 2 h, a strong transcriptional response was observed including cytoskeletal rearrangement, intracellular transport, and interferon signaling. However, at later time points (6 and 16 h), very little differential gene expression was observed, indicating a general suppression of the host response consistent with other reported cell lines and murine tissues. Genes for macropinocytosis and actin/cytoskeleton rearrangement were highly up-regulated and common to the 15 min and 2 h time points, suggesting the use of this method for bacterial entry into cells. We demonstrate macropinocytosis through the uptake of FITC-dextran and amiloride inhibition of Francisella LVS uptake. Our results suggest that macropinocytosis is a potential mechanism of intracellular entry by LVS and that the host cell response is suppressed during the first 2–6 h of infection. These results suggest that the attenuated Francisella LVS induces significant host cell signaling at very early time points after the bacteria's interaction with the cell. PMID:23322778

  13. Control of Intracellular Francisella tularensis by Different Cell Types and the Role of Nitric Oxide

    PubMed Central

    Newstead, Sarah L.; Gates, Amanda J.; Hartley, M. Gillian; Rowland, Caroline A.; Williamson, E. Diane; Lukaszewski, Roman A.

    2014-01-01

    Reactive nitrogen is critical for the clearance of Francisella tularensis infections. Here we assess the role of nitric oxide in control of intracellular infections in two murine macrophage cell lines of different provenance: the alveolar macrophage cell line, MH-S, and the widely used peritoneal macrophage cell line, J774A.1. Cells were infected with the highly virulent Schu S4 strain or with the avirulent live vaccine strain (LVS) with and without stimuli. Compared to MH-S cells, J774A.1 cells were unresponsive to stimulation and were able to control the intracellular replication of LVS bacteria, but not of Schu S4. In MH-S cells, Schu S4 demonstrated control over cellular NO production. Despite this, MH-S cells stimulated with LPS or LPS and IFN-γ were able to control intracellular Schu S4 numbers. However, only stimulation with LPS induced significant cellular NO production. Combined stimulation with LPS and IFN-γ produced a significant reduction in intracellular bacteria that occurred whether high levels of NO were produced or not, indicating that NO secretion is not the only defensive cellular mechanism operating in virulent Francisella infections. Understanding how F. tularensis interacts with host macrophages will help in the rational design of new and effective therapies. PMID:25170518

  14. Autophagy-mediated reentry of Francisella tularensis into the endocytic compartment after cytoplasmic replication

    PubMed Central

    Checroun, Claire; Wehrly, Tara D.; Fischer, Elizabeth R.; Hayes, Stanley F.; Celli, Jean

    2006-01-01

    Intracellular bacterial pathogens evade the bactericidal functions of mammalian cells by physical escape from their phagosome and replication into the cytoplasm or through the modulation of phagosome maturation and biogenesis of a membrane-bound replicative organelle. Here, we detail in murine primary macrophages the intracellular life cycle of Francisella tularensis, a highly infectious bacterium that survives and replicates within mammalian cells. After transient interactions with the endocytic pathway, bacteria escaped from their phagosome by 1 h after infection and underwent replication in the cytoplasm from 4 to 20 h after infection. Unexpectedly, the majority of bacteria were subsequently found to be enclosed within large, juxtanuclear, LAMP-1-positive vacuoles called Francisella-containing vacuoles (FCVs). FCV formation required intracytoplasmic replication of bacteria. Using electron and fluorescence microscopy, we observed that the FCVs contained morphologically intact bacteria, despite fusing with lysosomes. FCVs are multimembranous structures that accumulate monodansylcadaverine and display the autophagy-specific protein LC3 on their membrane. Formation of FCVs was significantly inhibited by 3-methyladenine, confirming a role for the autophagic pathway in the biogenesis of these organelles. Taken together, our results demonstrate that, via autophagy, F. tularensis reenters the endocytic pathway after cytoplasmic replication, a process thus far undescribed for intracellular pathogens. PMID:16983090

  15. Microinjection of Francisella tularensis and Listeria monocytogenes reveals the importance of bacterial and host factors for successful replication.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Lena; Bröms, Jeanette E; Liu, Xijia; Rottenberg, Martin E; Sjöstedt, Anders

    2015-08-01

    Certain intracellular bacteria use the host cell cytosol as the replicative niche. Although it has been hypothesized that the successful exploitation of this compartment requires a unique metabolic adaptation, supportive evidence is lacking. For Francisella tularensis, many genes of the Francisella pathogenicity island (FPI) are essential for intracellular growth, and therefore, FPI mutants are useful tools for understanding the prerequisites of intracytosolic replication. We compared the growth of bacteria taken up by phagocytic or nonphagocytic cells with that of bacteria microinjected directly into the host cytosol, using the live vaccine strain (LVS) of F. tularensis; five selected FPI mutants thereof, i.e., ΔiglA, ΔiglÇ ΔiglG, ΔiglI, and ΔpdpE strains; and Listeria monocytogenes. After uptake in bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM), ASC(-/-) BMDM, MyD88(-/-) BMDM, J774 cells, or HeLa cells, LVS, ΔpdpE and ΔiglG mutants, and L. monocytogenes replicated efficiently in all five cell types, whereas the ΔiglA and ΔiglC mutants showed no replication. After microinjection, all 7 strains showed effective replication in J774 macrophages, ASC(-/-) BMDM, and HeLa cells. In contrast to the rapid replication in other cell types, L. monocytogenes showed no replication in MyD88(-/-) BMDM and LVS showed no replication in either BMDM or MyD88(-/-) BMDM after microinjection. Our data suggest that the mechanisms of bacterial uptake as well as the permissiveness of the cytosolic compartment per se are important factors for the intracytosolic replication. Notably, none of the investigated FPI proteins was found to be essential for intracytosolic replication after microinjection. PMID:26034213

  16. Microinjection of Francisella tularensis and Listeria monocytogenes Reveals the Importance of Bacterial and Host Factors for Successful Replication

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Lena; Bröms, Jeanette E.; Liu, Xijia; Rottenberg, Martin E.

    2015-01-01

    Certain intracellular bacteria use the host cell cytosol as the replicative niche. Although it has been hypothesized that the successful exploitation of this compartment requires a unique metabolic adaptation, supportive evidence is lacking. For Francisella tularensis, many genes of the Francisella pathogenicity island (FPI) are essential for intracellular growth, and therefore, FPI mutants are useful tools for understanding the prerequisites of intracytosolic replication. We compared the growth of bacteria taken up by phagocytic or nonphagocytic cells with that of bacteria microinjected directly into the host cytosol, using the live vaccine strain (LVS) of F. tularensis; five selected FPI mutants thereof, i.e., ΔiglA, ΔiglÇ ΔiglG, ΔiglI, and ΔpdpE strains; and Listeria monocytogenes. After uptake in bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM), ASC−/− BMDM, MyD88−/− BMDM, J774 cells, or HeLa cells, LVS, ΔpdpE and ΔiglG mutants, and L. monocytogenes replicated efficiently in all five cell types, whereas the ΔiglA and ΔiglC mutants showed no replication. After microinjection, all 7 strains showed effective replication in J774 macrophages, ASC−/− BMDM, and HeLa cells. In contrast to the rapid replication in other cell types, L. monocytogenes showed no replication in MyD88−/− BMDM and LVS showed no replication in either BMDM or MyD88−/− BMDM after microinjection. Our data suggest that the mechanisms of bacterial uptake as well as the permissiveness of the cytosolic compartment per se are important factors for the intracytosolic replication. Notably, none of the investigated FPI proteins was found to be essential for intracytosolic replication after microinjection. PMID:26034213

  17. A Conserved and Immunodominant Lipoprotein of Francisella tularensis is Proinflammatory but not Essential for Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Forestal, Colin A.; Gil, Horacio; Monfett, Michael; Noah, Courtney E.; Platz, Gabrielle J.; Thanassi, David G.; Benach, Jorge L.; Furie, Martha B.

    2008-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a highly virulent bacterium that causes tularemia, a disease that is often fatal if untreated. A live vaccine strain (LVS) of this bacterium is attenuated for virulence in humans but produces lethal disease in mice. F. tularensis has been classified as a Category A agent of bioterrorism. Despite this categorization, little is known about the components of the organism that are responsible for causing disease in its hosts. Here, we report the deletion of a well-characterized lipoprotein of F. tularensis, designated LpnA (also known as Tul4), in the LVS. An LpnA deletion mutant was comparable to the wild-type strain in its ability to grow intracellularly and cause lethal disease in mice. Additionally, mice inoculated with a sublethal dose of the mutant strain were afforded the same protection against a subsequent lethal challenge with the LVS as were mice initially administered a sublethal dose of the wild-type bacterium. The LpnA-deficient strain showed an equivalent ability to promote secretion of chemokines by human monocyte-derived macrophages as its wild-type counterpart. However, recombinant LpnA potently stimulated primary cultures of human macrophages in a Toll-like receptor 2-dependent manner. Although human endothelial cells also were activated by recombinant LpnA, their response was relatively modest. LpnA is clearly unnecessary for multiple functions of the LVS, but its inflammatory capacity implicates it and other Francisella lipoproteins as potentially important to the pathogenesis of tularemia. PMID:18304778

  18. Automated microfluidically controlled electrochemical biosensor for the rapid and highly sensitive detection of Francisella tularensis.

    PubMed

    Dulay, Samuel B; Gransee, Rainer; Julich, Sandra; Tomaso, Herbert; O'Sullivan, Ciara K

    2014-09-15

    Tularemia is a highly infectious zoonotic disease caused by a Gram-negative coccoid rod bacterium, Francisella tularensis. Tularemia is considered as a life-threatening potential biological warfare agent due to its high virulence, transmission, mortality and simplicity of cultivation. In the work reported here, different electrochemical immunosensor formats for the detection of whole F. tularensis bacteria were developed and their performance compared. An anti-Francisella antibody (FB11) was used for the detection that recognises the lipopolysaccharide found in the outer membrane of the bacteria. In the first approach, gold-supported self-assembled monolayers of a carboxyl terminated bipodal alkanethiol were used to covalently cross-link with the FB11 antibody. In an alternative second approach F(ab) fragments of the FB11 antibody were generated and directly chemisorbed onto the gold electrode surface. The second approach resulted in an increased capture efficiency and higher sensitivity. Detection limits of 4.5 ng/mL for the lipopolysaccharide antigen and 31 bacteria/mL for the F. tularensis bacteria were achieved. Having demonstrated the functionality of the immunosensor, an electrode array was functionalised with the antibody fragment and integrated with microfluidics and housed in a tester set-up that facilitated complete automation of the assay. The only end-user intervention is sample addition, requiring less than one-minute hands-on time. The use of the automated microfluidic set-up not only required much lower reagent volumes but also the required incubation time was considerably reduced and a notable increase of 3-fold in assay sensitivity was achieved with a total assay time from sample addition to read-out of less than 20 min. PMID:24747573

  19. Delineation of the Molecular Mechanisms of Francisella tularensis-Induced Apoptosis in Murine Macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Xin-He; Sjöstedt, Anders

    2003-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a facultative intracellular bacterium capable of inducing apoptosis in murine macrophages. Here we analyzed the pathway leading to apoptosis in the murine macrophage-like cell line J774A.1 after infection with F. tularensis strain LVS (named LVS for live vaccine strain). We obtained evidence that the infection affected the mitochondria of the macrophages, since it induced release of the mitochondrial molecule cytochrome c into the cytosol and changed the potential over the mitochondrial membrane. Moreover, activation of caspase 9 and the executioner caspase 3 was also observed in the LVS-infected J774A.1 macrophages. The activated caspase 3 degraded poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). All of these events were observed within 9 to 12 h after the initiation of infection, and maximum degradation of a synthetic caspase 3 substrate occurred at 18 h. The internucleosomal fragmentation and PARP degradation resulting from activation of this apoptotic pathway was prevented by the caspase 3 inhibitor Z-DEVD-fmk. No involvement of caspase 1, caspase 8, Bcl-2, or Bid was observed. Thus, the F. tularensis infection induces macrophage apoptosis through a pathway partly resembling the intrinsic apoptotic pathway. PMID:12874344

  20. Examination of in vitro epithelial cell lines as models for Francisella tularensis non-phagocytic infections.

    PubMed

    Lo, Karen Yi-Shyuan; Chua, Michael Dominic; Abdulla, Salima; Law, H T; Guttman, Julian Andrew

    2013-05-01

    Francisella tularensis (F. tularensis), the causative agent of tularemia, has long been known to invade and occupy non-phagocytic epithelial cells. Many epithelial cell infection models have been developed to study this process; however, due to the lack of consensus on infection methods and precise experimental procedures to evaluate invasion and replication, selection of appropriate models to use based on the literature is challenging. To evaluate in vitro non-phagocytic cell infection models, we chose 8 epithelial cultured cell lines from published models to infect with F. tularensis subspecies novicida (F. novicida) and compared the results to a recently developed model that used the mouse hepatocyte BNL CL.2 cell line. We utilized classical gentamicin-based invasion assays to determine total intracellular bacterial loads and employed microscopic examination with staining techniques that distinguished between intracellular and extracellular bacteria to provide an accurate assessment of the proportion of invaded host cells and the degree of bacterial replication. We found that COS-7 cells exhibited the greatest invasion rates; CMT-93 cells contained the largest intracellular bacterial loads; ad HEK-293s were capable of invasion and replication rates at high levels, but required shorter infection incubation times. Although COS-7, CMT-93 and HEK-293 cell lines may be suited to study certain aspects of invasion or replication, we found that BNL CL.2 cells appeared the most appropriate to study the overall pathogenesis of F. novicida when examined in toto. PMID:23523968

  1. FTT0831c/FTL_0325 Contributes to Francisella tularensis Cell Division, Maintenance of Cell Shape, and Structural Integrity

    PubMed Central

    Robertson, Gregory T.; Case, Elizabeth Di Russo; Dobbs, Nicole; Ingle, Christine; Balaban, Murat; Celli, Jean

    2014-01-01

    The Francisella FTT0831c/FTL_0325 gene encodes amino acid motifs to suggest it is a lipoprotein and that it may interact with the bacterial cell wall as a member of the OmpA-like protein family. Previous studies have suggested that FTT0831c is surface exposed and required for virulence of Francisella tularensis by subverting the host innate immune response (M. Mahawar et al., J. Biol. Chem. 287:25216–25229, 2012). We also found that FTT0831c is required for murine pathogenesis and intramacrophage growth of Schu S4, but we propose a different model to account for the proinflammatory nature of the resultant mutants. First, inactivation of FTL_0325 from live vaccine strain (LVS) or FTT0831c from Schu S4 resulted in temperature-dependent defects in cell viability and morphology. Loss of FTT0831c was also associated with an unusual defect in lipopolysaccharide O-antigen synthesis, but loss of FTL_0325 was not. Full restoration of these properties was observed in complemented strains expressing FTT0831c in trans, but not in strains lacking the OmpA motif, suggesting that cell wall contact is required. Finally, growth of the LVS FTL_0325 mutant in Mueller-Hinton broth at 37°C resulted in the appearance of membrane blebs at the poles and midpoint, prior to the formation of enlarged round cells that showed evidence of compromised cellular membranes. Taken together, these data are more consistent with the known structural role of OmpA-like proteins in linking the OM to the cell wall and, as such, maintenance of structural integrity preventing altered surface exposure or release of Toll-like receptor 2 agonists during rapid growth of Francisella in vitro and in vivo. PMID:24778115

  2. Francisella tularensis Catalase Restricts Immune Function by Impairing TRPM2 Channel Activity.

    PubMed

    Shakerley, Nicole L; Chandrasekaran, Akshaya; Trebak, Mohamed; Miller, Barbara A; Melendez, J Andrés

    2016-02-19

    As an innate defense mechanism, macrophages produce reactive oxygen species that weaken pathogens and serve as secondary messengers involved in immune function. The Gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis utilizes its antioxidant armature to limit the host immune response, but the mechanism behind this suppression is not defined. Here we establish that F. tularensis limits Ca(2+) entry in macrophages, thereby limiting actin reorganization and IL-6 production in a redox-dependent fashion. Wild type (live vaccine strain) or catalase-deficient F. tularensis (ΔkatG) show distinct profiles in their H2O2 scavenging rates, 1 and 0.015 pm/s, respectively. Murine alveolar macrophages infected with ΔkatG display abnormally high basal intracellular Ca(2+) concentration that did not increase further in response to H2O2. Additionally, ΔkatG-infected macrophages displayed limited Ca(2+) influx in response to ionomycin, as a result of ionophore H2O2 sensitivity. Exogenously added H2O2 or H2O2 generated by ΔkatG likely oxidizes ionomycin and alters its ability to transport Ca(2+). Basal increases in cytosolic Ca(2+) and insensitivity to H2O2-mediated Ca(2+) entry in ΔkatG-infected cells are reversed by the Ca(2+) channel inhibitors 2-aminoethyl diphenylborinate and SKF-96365. 2-Aminoethyl diphenylborinate but not SKF-96365 abrogated ΔkatG-dependent increases in macrophage actin remodeling and IL-6 secretion, suggesting a role for H2O2-mediated Ca(2+) entry through the transient receptor potential melastatin 2 (TRPM2) channel in macrophages. Indeed, increases in basal Ca(2+), actin polymerization, and IL-6 production are reversed in TRPM2-null macrophages infected with ΔkatG. Together, our findings provide compelling evidence that F. tularensis catalase restricts reactive oxygen species to temper macrophage TRPM2-mediated Ca(2+) signaling and limit host immune function. PMID:26679996

  3. Crystallization of a newly discovered histidine acid phosphatase from Francisella tularensis

    SciTech Connect

    Felts, Richard L.; Reilly, Thomas J.; Calcutt, Michael J.; Tanner, John J.

    2006-01-01

    A histidine acid phosphatase from the CDC Category A pathogen F. tularensis has been crystallized in space group P4{sub 1}2{sub 1}2, with unit-cell parameters a = 61.96, c = 210.78 Å. A 1.75 Å resolution data set was collected at Advanced Light Source beamline 4.2.2. Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious bacterial pathogen that is considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be a potential bioterrorism weapon. Here, the crystallization of a 37.2 kDa phosphatase encoded by the genome of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica live vaccine strain is reported. This enzyme shares 41% amino-acid sequence identity with Legionella pneumophila major acid phosphatase and contains the RHGXRXP motif that is characteristic of the histidine acid phosphatase family. Large diffraction-quality crystals were grown in the presence of Tacsimate, HEPES and PEG 3350. The crystals belong to space group P4{sub 1}2{sub 1}2, with unit-cell parameters a = 61.96, c = 210.78 Å. The asymmetric unit is predicted to contain one protein molecule, with a solvent content of 53%. A 1.75 Å resolution native data set was recorded at beamline 4.2.2 of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Advanced Light Source. Molecular-replacement trials using the human prostatic acid phosphatase structure as the search model (28% amino-acid sequence identity) did not produce a satisfactory solution. Therefore, the structure of F. tularensis histidine acid phosphatase will be determined by multiwavelength anomalous dispersion phasing using a selenomethionyl derivative.

  4. Use of Temperature for Standardizing the Progression of Francisella tularensis in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Molins, Claudia R.; Delorey, Mark J.; Young, John W.; Yockey, Brook M.; Belisle, John T.; Schriefer, Martin E.; Petersen, Jeannine M.

    2012-01-01

    The study of infectious agents, their pathogenesis, the host response and the evaluation of newly developed countermeasures often requires the use of a living system. Murine models are frequently used to undertake such investigations with the caveat that non-biased measurements to assess the progression of infection are underutilized. Instead, murine models predominantly rely on symptomology exhibited by the animal to evaluate the state of the animal's health and to determine when euthanasia should be performed. In this study, we used subcutaneous temperature as a non-subjective measurement to follow and compare infection in mice inoculated with Francisella tularensis, a Gram-negative pathogen that produces an acute and fatal illness in mice. A reproducible temperature pattern defined by three temperature phases (normal, febrile and hypothermic) was identified in all mice infected with F. tularensis, regardless of the infecting strain. More importantly and for the first time a non-subjective, ethical, and easily determined surrogate endpoint for death based on a temperature, termed drop point, was identified and validated with statistical models. In comparative survival curve analyses for F. tularensis strains with differing virulence, the drop point temperature yielded the same results as those obtained using observed time to death. Incorporation of temperature measurements to evaluate F. tularensis was standardized based on statistical models to provide a new level of robustness for comparative analyses in mice. These findings should be generally applicable to other pathogens that produce acute febrile disease in animal models and offers an important tool for understanding and following the infection process. PMID:23028924

  5. German Francisella tularensis isolates from European brown hares (Lepus europaeus) reveal genetic and phenotypic diversity

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Tularemia is a zoonotic disease caused by Francisella tularensis that has been found in many different vertebrates. In Germany most human infections are caused by contact with infected European brown hares (Lepus europaeus). The aim of this study was to elucidate the epidemiology of tularemia in hares using phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of F. tularensis. Results Cultivation of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica bacteria from organ material was successful in 31 of 52 hares that had a positive PCR result targeting the Ft-M19 locus. 17 isolates were sensitive to erythromycin and 14 were resistant. Analysis of VNTR loci (Ft-M3, Ft-M6 and Ft-M24), INDELs (Ftind33, Ftind38, Ftind49, RD23) and SNPs (B.17, B.18, B.19, and B.20) was shown to be useful to investigate the genetic relatedness of Francisella strains in this set of strains. The 14 erythromycin resistant isolates were assigned to clade B.I, and 16 erythromycin sensitive isolates to clade B.IV and one isolate was found to belong to clade B.II. MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry (MS) was useful to discriminate strains to the subspecies level. Conclusions F. tularensis seems to be a re-emerging pathogen in Germany. The pathogen can easily be identified using PCR assays. Isolates can also be identified within one hour using MALDI-TOF MS in laboratories where specific PCR assays are not established. Further analysis of strains requires genotyping tools. The results from this study indicate a geographical segregation of the phylogenetic clade B.I and B.IV, where B.I strains localize primarily within eastern Germany and B.IV strains within western Germany. This phylogeographical pattern coincides with the distribution of biovar I (erythromycin sensitive) and biovar II (erythromycin resistance) strains. When time and costs are limiting parameters small numbers of isolates can be analysed using PCR assays combined with DNA sequencing with a focus on genetic loci that are most likely discriminatory among

  6. The Class A β-Lactamase FTU-1 Is Native to Francisella tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Antunes, Nuno T.; Frase, Hilary; Toth, Marta

    2012-01-01

    The class A β-lactamase FTU-1 produces resistance to penicillins and ceftazidime but not to any other β-lactam antibiotics tested. FTU-1 hydrolyzes penicillin antibiotics with catalytic efficiencies of 105 to 106 M−1 s−1 and cephalosporins and carbapenems with catalytic efficiencies of 102 to 103 M−1 s−1, but the monobactam aztreonam and the cephamycin cefoxitin are not substrates for the enzyme. FTU-1 shares 21 to 34% amino acid sequence identity with other class A β-lactamases and harbors two cysteine residues conserved in all class A carbapenemases. FTU-1 is the first weak class A carbapenemase that is native to Francisella tularensis. PMID:22083489

  7. [Development of a novel Francisella tularensis antigen stained with tetrazolium-blue for tularemia microagglutination test].

    PubMed

    Celebi, Bekir; Kılıç, Selçuk

    2013-07-01

    The isolation of Francisella tularensis in cultures is the reference method for the laboratory diagnosis of tularemia. However, due to the limitations such as the low sensitivity and need for high safety level and equipped laboratories, serologic methods are frequently used as diagnostic tools. F.tularensis-specific antibodies may be demonstrated by several methods, however microagglutination test (MA) remains the most common method with its high sensitivity and specificity. The aim of this study was to develop a novel MA test antigen prepared from whole F.tularensis cells and stained with tetrazolium-blue for more clear and easier evaluation. F.tularensis NCTC 10857 strain was cultured on the cysteine heart agar supplemented with 9% sheep blood and bacterial cells were harvested by scraping, collected in physiological saline (PS) and centrifuged at 1500 rpm for 10 minutes. For preparing stock antigen suspension cell concentration was adjusted to OD600=1.5, spectrophotometrically. Tetrazolium-blue solution (BTC [3,3'-(3,3'-Dimethoxy[1,1'-biphenyl]-4,4'-diyl) bis [2,5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium dichloride], T4375 Sigma-Aldrich) at the final concentration of 1% was added to cell suspension and incubated at 37°C for 5 hours for absorption. Then, the living cells were chemically inactivated by formaldehyde. Repeating centrifugations were performed to discard excess dye and formaline, then 0.4% formaline saline was added on the sediment. Optimum concentration of this novel antigen (BTC-Ag) for MA test was determined by plate titration method by using standard serum sample with a known MA titer (1/128). The performance of BTC-Ag in MA test was evaluated by using 100 patient sera positive for F.tularensis antibodies, and 100 tularemia negative patient sera (of them 50 were seropositive for brucellosis). All of the results were compared with standard MA test in which safranin-O stained antigen (SO-Ag) was used. There was 100% agreement between the two tests performed with

  8. Francisella tularensis Vaccines Elicit Concurrent Protective T- and B-Cell Immune Responses in BALB/cByJ Mice

    PubMed Central

    De Pascalis, Roberto; Mittereder, Lara; Chou, Alicia Y.; Kennett, Nikki J.; Elkins, Karen L.

    2015-01-01

    In the last decade several new vaccines against Francisella tularensis, which causes tularemia, have been characterized in animal models. Whereas many of these vaccine candidates showed promise, it remains critical to bridge the preclinical studies to human subjects, ideally by taking advantage of correlates of protection. By combining in vitro intramacrophage LVS replication with gene expression data through multivariate analysis, we previously identified and quantified correlative T cell immune responses that discriminate vaccines of different efficacy. Further, using C57BL/6J mice, we demonstrated that the relative levels of gene expression vary according to vaccination route and between cell types from different organs. Here, we extended our studies to the analysis of T cell functions of BALB/cByJ mice to evaluate whether our approach to identify correlates of protection also applies to a Th2 dominant mouse strain. BALB/cByJ mice had higher survival rates than C57BL/6J mice when they were immunized with suboptimal vaccines and challenged. However, splenocytes derived from differentially vaccinated BALB/cByJ mice controlled LVS intramacrophage replication in vitro in a pattern that reflected the hierarchy of protection observed in C57BL/6J mice. In addition, gene expression of selected potential correlates revealed similar patterns in splenocytes of BALB/cByJ and C57BL/6J mice. The different survival patterns were related to B cell functions, not necessarily to specific antibody production, which played an important protective role in BALB/cByJ mice when vaccinated with suboptimal vaccines. Our studies therefore demonstrate the range of mechanisms that operate in the most common mouse strains used for characterization of vaccines against F. tularensis, and illustrate the complexity necessary to define a comprehensive set of correlates. PMID:25973794

  9. Humoral immune response of cottontail rabbits naturally infected with Francisella tularensis in southern Illinois.

    PubMed

    Shoemaker, D; Woolf, A; Kirkpatrick, R; Cooper, M

    1997-10-01

    Cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus) usually are thought to succumb to infection with Francisella tularensis. Reports of a rabbit population from southern Illinois (USA) with a high prevalence of F. tularensis antibodies suggested that some cottontails survived infection with this typically fatal bacterium. Our goal was to examine the humoral response of cottontails from a study area in southern Illinois for which multiple serum samples existed. Multiple sera were collected from 79 cottontails from 1986 to 1990 and 63% gained, lost, or maintained ELISA titers of IgM and IgG isotype antibodies. The typical pattern of antibody response appeared to be IgM isotype antibodies first, followed by IgG isotype antibodies, with both generally increasing to high titers. Negative culture attempts of liver tissue from 51 cottontails with varying antibody responses suggested that chronic infection did not occur in rabbits that developed antibody. The significance of the cottontail antibody response in resolution or prevention of tularemia infection remains unclear. PMID:9391956

  10. Immunodetection of inactivated Francisella tularensis bacteria by using a quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring.

    PubMed

    Kleo, K; Schäfer, D; Klar, S; Jacob, D; Grunow, R; Lisdat, F

    2012-08-01

    Francisella tularensis are very small, gram-negative bacteria which are capable of infecting a number of mammals. As a highly pathogenic species, it is a potential bioterrorism agent. In this work we demonstrate a fast immunological detection system for whole F. tularensis bacteria. The technique is based on a quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCMD), which uses sensor chips modified by a specific antibody. This antibody is useful as a capture molecule to capture the lipopolysaccharide structure on the surface of the bacterial cell wall. The QCMD technique is combined with a microfluidic system and allows the label-free online detection of the binding of whole bacteria to the sensor surface in a wide dynamic concentration range. A detection limit of about 4 × 10(3) colony-forming units per milliliter can be obtained. Furthermore, a rather short analysis time and a clear discrimination against other bacteria can be achieved. Additionally, we demonstrate two possibilities for specific and significant signal enhancement by using antibody-functionalized gold nanoparticles or an enzymatic precipitation reaction. These additional steps can be seen as further proof of the specificity and validity. PMID:22722745

  11. Typical Preparation of Francisella tularensis O-antigen Yields a Mixture of Three Types of Saccharides†

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Qi; Shi, Xiaofeng; Leymarie, Nancy; Madico, Guillermo; Sharon, Jacqueline; Costello, Catherine E.; Zaia, Joseph

    2011-01-01

    Tularemia is a severe infectious disease in humans caused by the gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis (Ft). Due to its low infectious dose, high mortality rate, and the threat of its large-scale dissemination in weaponized form, development of vaccines and immunotherapeutics against Ft is essential. Ft lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which contains the linear graded-length saccharide component O-antigen (OAg) attached to a core oligosaccharide, has been reported as a protective antigen. Purification of LPS saccharides of defined length and composition is necessary to reveal the epitopes targeted by protective antibodies. In this study, we purified saccharides from LPS preparations from both the Ft subspecies holarctica live vaccine strain (LVS) and the virulent Ft subspecies tularensis SchuS4 strain using liquid chromatography. We then characterized the fractions using high resolution mass spectrometry and tandem mass spectrometry. Three types of saccharides were observed in both the LVS and SchuS4 preparations: two consisting of OAg tetrasaccharide repeats attached to one of two core-oligosaccharide variants, and one consisting of tetrasaccharide repeats only (coreless). The coreless OAg oligosaccharides were shown to contain Qui4NFm (4,6-dideoxy-4-formamido-D-glucose) at the non-reducing end and QuiNAc (2-acetamido-2,6-dideoxy-O-D-glucose) at the reducing end. Purified homogeneous preparations of saccharides of each type will allow mapping of protective epitopes in Ft LPS. PMID:22091710

  12. Mouse Models of Aerosol-Acquired Tularemia Caused by Francisella tularensis Types A and B

    PubMed Central

    Fritz, David L; England, Marilyn J; Miller, Lynda; Waag, David M

    2014-01-01

    After preliminary assessment of virulence in AKR/J, DBA/1, BALB/c, and C57BL/6 mice, we investigated histopathologic changes in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice infected with type A (strain SCHU S4) or type B (strain 425) Francisella tularensis by aerosol exposure. In mice exposed to type A infection, changes in histologic presentation were not apparent until day 3 after infection, when pyogranulomatous inflammation was detected in spleens and livers of BALB/c mice, and in lungs and spleens of C57BL/6 mice. Histopathologic changes were most severe and widespread in both mouse strains on day 5 after infection and seemed to completely resolve within 22 d of challenge. BALB/c mice were more resistant than C57BL/6 mice in lethal-dose calculations, but C57BL/6 mice cleared the infection more rapidly. Mice similarly challenged with type B F. tularensis also developed histopathologic signs of infection beginning on day 3. The most severe changes were noted on day 8 and were characterized by granulomatous or pyogranulomatous infiltrations of the lungs. Unlike type A infection, lesions due to type B did not resolve over time and remained 3 wk after infection. In type B, but not type A, infection we noted extensive inflammation of the heart muscle. Although no microorganisms were found in tissues of type A survivors beyond 9 d after infection, mice surviving strain 425 infection had a low level of residual infection at 3 wk after challenge. The histopathologic presentation of tularemia caused by F. tularensis types A and B in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice bears distinct similarities to tularemia in humans. PMID:25402174

  13. Nonrandom Distribution of Vector Ticks (Dermacentor variabilis) Infected by Francisella tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Goethert, Heidi K.; Telford, Sam R.

    2009-01-01

    The island of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, is the site of a sustained outbreak of tularemia due to Francisella tularensis tularensis. Dog ticks, Dermacentor variabilis, appear to be critical in the perpetuation of the agent there. Tularemia has long been characterized as an agent of natural focality, stably persisting in characteristic sites of transmission, but this suggestion has never been rigorously tested. Accordingly, we sought to identify a natural focus of transmission of the agent of tularemia by mapping the distribution of PCR-positive ticks. From 2004 to 2007, questing D. variabilis were collected from 85 individual waypoints along a 1.5 km transect in a field site on Martha's Vineyard. The positions of PCR-positive ticks were then mapped using ArcGIS. Cluster analysis identified an area approximately 290 meters in diameter, 9 waypoints, that was significantly more likely to yield PCR-positive ticks (relative risk 3.3, P = 0.001) than the rest of the field site. Genotyping of F. tularensis using variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) analysis on PCR-positive ticks yielded 13 different haplotypes, the vast majority of which was one dominant haplotype. Positive ticks collected in the cluster were 3.4 times (relative risk = 3.4, P<0.0001) more likely to have an uncommon haplotype than those collected elsewhere from the transect. We conclude that we have identified a microfocus where the agent of tularemia stably perpetuates and that this area is where genetic diversity is generated. PMID:19247435

  14. Regulation of apoptosis and anti-apoptosis signalling by Francisella tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Santic, Marina; Pavokovic, Gordana; Jones, Snake; Asare, Rexford; Kwaik, Yousef Abu

    2009-01-01

    Francisella tularensis induces apoptosis within macrophages but the temporal and spatial modulation through activation of caspase-1, caspase-3, and the anti-apoptosis nuclear transcription factor B (NF-κB) is not known. Whether escape of the bacteria into the cytosol is sufficient and/or essential for activation of NF-κB is not known. Our results show that F. tularensis subsp. novicida induces sustained nuclear translocation of NF-κB at early time points after infection of human monocytes derived macrophages (hMDMs). The sustained nuclear translocation of NF-κB is defective in the iglC mutant that fails to escape into the cytosol of macrophages. Nuclear translocation of NF-κB by the wild type strain is abolished upon treatment with the NF-κB inhibitor caffein acid phenyl ester. While the wild type strain triggers caspase-3 and caspase-1 activation by 6 h post-infection the iglC mutant is defective in triggering both caspases. In hMDMs treated with the apoptosis-inducing agent, staurosporin, there is an induction of cell death in the iglC mutant-infected macrophages despite reduced frequency of caspase-1 and caspase-3 activity. The wt-infected macrophages are resistant to cell death-induced agent. We conclude that although caspase-1 and capsase-3 are triggered within F. tularensis-infected hMDMs during early stages of infection, cell death is delayed, which is correlated with simultaneous activation of NF-κB. PMID:19925880

  15. Regulation of apoptosis and anti-apoptosis signalling by Francisella tularensis.

    PubMed

    Santic, Marina; Pavokovic, Gordana; Jones, Snake; Asare, Rexford; Kwaik, Yousef Abu

    2010-02-01

    Francisella tularensis induces apoptosis within macrophages but the temporal and spatial modulation through activation of caspase-1, caspase-3, and the anti-apoptosis nuclear transcription factor B (NF-kappaB) is not known. Whether escape of the bacteria into the cytosol is sufficient and/or essential for activation of NF-kappaB is not known. Our results show that F. tularensis subsp. novicida induces sustained nuclear translocation of NF-kappaB at early time points after infection of human monocytes derived macrophages (hMDMs). The sustained nuclear translocation of NF-kappaB is defective in the iglC mutant that fails to escape into the cytosol of macrophages. Nuclear translocation of NF-kappaB by the wild type strain is abolished upon treatment with the NF-kappaB inhibitor caffein acid phenyl ester. While the wild type strain triggers caspase-3 and caspase-1 activation by 6 h post-infection the iglC mutant is defective in triggering both caspases. In hMDMs treated with the apoptosis-inducing agent, staurosporin, there is an induction of cell death in the iglC mutant-infected macrophages despite reduced frequency of caspase-1 and caspase-3 activity. The wt-infected macrophages are resistant to cell death-induced agent. We conclude that although caspase-1 and capsase-3 are triggered within F. tularensis-infected hMDMs during early stages of infection, cell death is delayed, which is correlated with simultaneous activation of NF-kappaB. PMID:19925880

  16. Nicotinamide mononucleotide synthetase is the key enzyme for an alternative route of NAD biosynthesis in Francisella tularensis.

    PubMed

    Sorci, Leonardo; Martynowski, Dariusz; Rodionov, Dmitry A; Eyobo, Yvonne; Zogaj, Xhavit; Klose, Karl E; Nikolaev, Evgeni V; Magni, Giulio; Zhang, Hong; Osterman, Andrei L

    2009-03-01

    Enzymes involved in the last 2 steps of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) cofactor biosynthesis, which catalyze the adenylylation of the nicotinic acid mononucleotide (NaMN) precursor to nicotinic acid dinucleotide (NaAD) followed by its amidation to NAD, constitute promising drug targets for the development of new antibiotics. These enzymes, NaMN adenylyltransferase (gene nadD) and NAD synthetase (gene nadE), respectively, are indispensable and conserved in nearly all bacterial pathogens. However, a comparative genome analysis of Francisella tularensis allowed us to predict the existence of an alternative route of NAD synthesis in this category A priority pathogen, the causative agent of tularaemia. In this route, the amidation of NaMN to nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) occurs before the adenylylation reaction, which converts this alternative intermediate to the NAD cofactor. The first step is catalyzed by NMN synthetase, which was identified and characterized in this study. A crystal structure of this enzyme, a divergent member of the NadE family, was solved at 1.9-A resolution in complex with reaction products, providing a rationale for its unusual substrate preference for NaMN over NaAD. The second step is performed by NMN adenylyltransferase of the NadM family. Here, we report validation of the predicted route (NaMN --> NMN --> NAD) in F. tularensis including mathematical modeling, in vitro reconstitution, and in vivo metabolite analysis in comparison with a canonical route (NaMN --> NaAD --> NAD) of NAD biosynthesis as represented by another deadly bacterial pathogen, Bacillus anthracis. PMID:19204287

  17. Nicotinamide mononucleotide synthetase is the key enzyme for an alternative route of NAD biosynthesis in Francisella tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Sorci, Leonardo; Martynowski, Dariusz; Rodionov, Dmitry A.; Eyobo, Yvonne; Zogaj, Xhavit; Klose, Karl E.; Nikolaev, Evgeni V.; Magni, Giulio; Zhang, Hong; Osterman, Andrei L.

    2009-01-01

    Enzymes involved in the last 2 steps of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) cofactor biosynthesis, which catalyze the adenylylation of the nicotinic acid mononucleotide (NaMN) precursor to nicotinic acid dinucleotide (NaAD) followed by its amidation to NAD, constitute promising drug targets for the development of new antibiotics. These enzymes, NaMN adenylyltransferase (gene nadD) and NAD synthetase (gene nadE), respectively, are indispensable and conserved in nearly all bacterial pathogens. However, a comparative genome analysis of Francisella tularensis allowed us to predict the existence of an alternative route of NAD synthesis in this category A priority pathogen, the causative agent of tularaemia. In this route, the amidation of NaMN to nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) occurs before the adenylylation reaction, which converts this alternative intermediate to the NAD cofactor. The first step is catalyzed by NMN synthetase, which was identified and characterized in this study. A crystal structure of this enzyme, a divergent member of the NadE family, was solved at 1.9-Å resolution in complex with reaction products, providing a rationale for its unusual substrate preference for NaMN over NaAD. The second step is performed by NMN adenylyltransferase of the NadM family. Here, we report validation of the predicted route (NaMN → NMN → NAD) in F. tularensis including mathematical modeling, in vitro reconstitution, and in vivo metabolite analysis in comparison with a canonical route (NaMN → NaAD → NAD) of NAD biosynthesis as represented by another deadly bacterial pathogen, Bacillus anthracis. PMID:19204287

  18. Re-emergence of tularemia in Germany: Presence of Francisella tularensis in different rodent species in endemic areas

    PubMed Central

    Kaysser, Philipp; Seibold, Erik; Mätz-Rensing, Kerstin; Pfeffer, Martin; Essbauer, Sandra; Splettstoesser, Wolf D

    2008-01-01

    Background Tularemia re-emerged in Germany starting in 2004 (with 39 human cases from 2004 to 2007) after over 40 years of only sporadic human infections. The reasons for this rise in case numbers are unknown as is the possible reservoir of the etiologic agent Francisella (F.) tularensis. No systematic study on the reservoir situation of F. tularensis has been published for Germany so far. Methods We investigated three areas six to ten months after the initial tularemia outbreaks for the presence of F. tularensis among small mammals, ticks/fleas and water. The investigations consisted of animal live-trapping, serologic testing, screening by real-time-PCR and cultivation. Results A total of 386 small mammals were trapped. F. tularensis was detected in five different rodent species with carrier rates of 2.04, 6.94 and 10.87% per trapping area. None of the ticks or fleas (n = 432) tested positive for F. tularensis. We were able to demonstrate F. tularensis-specific DNA in one of 28 water samples taken in one of the outbreak areas. Conclusion The findings of our study stress the need for long-term surveillance of natural foci in order to get a better understanding of the reasons for the temporal and spatial patterns of tularemia in Germany. PMID:19014635

  19. Protective B-cell epitopes of Francisella tularensis O-polysaccharide in a mouse model of respiratory tularaemia

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Zhaohua; Madico, Guillermo; Roche, Marly I; Wang, Qi; Hui, Julia H; Perkins, Hillary M; Zaia, Joseph; Costello, Catherine E; Sharon, Jacqueline

    2012-01-01

    Antibodies to the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of Francisella tularensis have been shown to be protective against respiratory tularaemia in mouse models, and we have previously described mouse monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to non-overlapping terminal and internal epitopes of the F. tularensis LPS O-polysaccharide (OAg). In the current study, we used F. tularensis LPS oligosaccharides of defined OAg repeat length as molecular rulers in competition ELISA to demonstrate that the epitope targeted by the terminal OAg-binding mAb FB11 is contained within one tetrasaccharide repeat whereas the epitope targeted by the internal OAg-binding mAb Ab52 spans two tetrasaccharide repeats. Both mAbs conferred survival to BALB/c mice infected intranasally with the F. tularensis type B live vaccine strain and prolonged survival of BALB/c mice infected intranasally with the highly virulent F. tularensis type A strain SchuS4. The protective effects correlated with reduced bacterial burden in mAb-treated infected mice. These results indicate that an oligosaccharide with two OAg tetrasaccharide repeats covers both terminal and internal protective OAg epitopes, which may inform the design of vaccines for tularaemia. Furthermore, the FB11 and Ab52 mAbs could serve as reporters to monitor the response of vaccine recipients to protective B-cell epitopes of F. tularensis OAg. PMID:22486311

  20. Exploitation of bacterial N-linked glycosylation to develop a novel recombinant glycoconjugate vaccine against Francisella tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Cuccui, Jon; Thomas, Rebecca M.; Moule, Madeleine G.; D'Elia, Riccardo V.; Laws, Thomas R.; Mills, Dominic C.; Williamson, Diane; Atkins, Timothy P.; Prior, Joann L.; Wren, Brendan W.

    2013-01-01

    Glycoconjugate-based vaccines have proved to be effective at producing long-lasting protection against numerous pathogens. Here, we describe the application of bacterial protein glycan coupling technology (PGCT) to generate a novel recombinant glycoconjugate vaccine. We demonstrate the conjugation of the Francisella tularensis O-antigen to the Pseudomonas aeruginosa carrier protein exotoxin A using the Campylobacter jejuni PglB oligosaccharyltransferase. The resultant recombinant F. tularensis glycoconjugate vaccine is expressed in Escherichia coli where yields of 3 mg l−1 of culture were routinely produced in a single-step purification process. Vaccination of BALB/c mice with the purified glycoconjugate boosted IgG levels and significantly increased the time to death upon subsequent challenge with F. tularensis subsp. holarctica. PGCT allows different polysaccharide and protein combinations to be produced recombinantly and could be easily applicable for the production of diverse glycoconjugate vaccines. PMID:23697804

  1. Exploitation of bacterial N-linked glycosylation to develop a novel recombinant glycoconjugate vaccine against Francisella tularensis.

    PubMed

    Cuccui, Jon; Thomas, Rebecca M; Moule, Madeleine G; D'Elia, Riccardo V; Laws, Thomas R; Mills, Dominic C; Williamson, Diane; Atkins, Timothy P; Prior, Joann L; Wren, Brendan W

    2013-05-01

    Glycoconjugate-based vaccines have proved to be effective at producing long-lasting protection against numerous pathogens. Here, we describe the application of bacterial protein glycan coupling technology (PGCT) to generate a novel recombinant glycoconjugate vaccine. We demonstrate the conjugation of the Francisella tularensis O-antigen to the Pseudomonas aeruginosa carrier protein exotoxin A using the Campylobacter jejuni PglB oligosaccharyltransferase. The resultant recombinant F. tularensis glycoconjugate vaccine is expressed in Escherichia coli where yields of 3 mg l(-1) of culture were routinely produced in a single-step purification process. Vaccination of BALB/c mice with the purified glycoconjugate boosted IgG levels and significantly increased the time to death upon subsequent challenge with F. tularensis subsp. holarctica. PGCT allows different polysaccharide and protein combinations to be produced recombinantly and could be easily applicable for the production of diverse glycoconjugate vaccines. PMID:23697804

  2. An approach to the identification of T cell epitopes in the genomic era: application to Francisella tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Valentino, Michael; Frelinger, John

    2016-01-01

    The identification and characterization of epitopes is essential for modern immunologic studies. Here we describe a novel methodology we have developed to identify T cell epitopes exploiting the phenomenon of cross presentation. Particulate antigens, in the form of beads, are very effective in delivering exogenous antigen to both the class I and class II pathways. We will review our efforts to screen entire genomes of pathogens for T cell epitopes taking advantage of the advances in genomics using Francisella tularensis as a model. By automating aspects of this technology we will be able to functionally screen the entire genome of F. tularensis for T cell epitopes. This technology should be applicable not only to F. tularensis, but also to many other pathogens as well. PMID:19212707

  3. Characterization of the Receptor-Ligand Pathways Important for Entry and Survival of Francisella tularensis in Human Macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Balagopal, Ashwin; MacFarlane, Amanda Shearer; Mohapatra, Nrusingh; Soni, Shilpa; Gunn, John S.; Schlesinger, Larry S.

    2006-01-01

    Inhalational pneumonic tularemia, caused by Francisella tularensis, is lethal in humans. F. tularensis is phagocytosed by macrophages followed by escape from phagosomes into the cytoplasm. Little is known of the phagocytic mechanisms for Francisella, particularly as they relate to the lung and alveolar macrophages. Here we examined receptors on primary human monocytes and macrophages which mediate the phagocytosis and intracellular survival of F. novicida. F. novicida association with monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) was greater than with monocytes. Bacteria were readily ingested, as shown by electron microscopy. Bacterial association was significantly increased in fresh serum and only partially decreased in heat-inactivated serum. A role for both complement receptor 3 (CR3) and Fcγ receptors in uptake was supported by studies using a CR3-expressing cell line and by down-modulation of Fcγ receptors on MDM, respectively. Consistent with Fcγ receptor involvement, antibody in nonimmune human serum was detected on the surface of Francisella. In the absence of serum opsonins, competitive inhibition of mannose receptor (MR) activity on MDM with mannan decreased the association of F. novicida and opsonization of F. novicida with lung collectin surfactant protein A (SP-A) increased bacterial association and intracellular survival. This study demonstrates that human macrophages phagocytose more Francisella than monocytes with contributions from CR3, Fcγ receptors, the MR, and SP-A present in lung alveoli. PMID:16926403

  4. Reproducible and Quantitative Model of Infection of Dermacentor variabilis with the Live Vaccine Strain of Francisella tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Coburn, Jenifer; Maier, Tamara; Casey, Monika; Padmore, Lavinia; Sato, Hiromi

    2014-01-01

    Pathogen life cycles in mammalian hosts have been studied extensively, but studies with arthropod vectors represent considerable challenges. In part this is due to the difficulty of delivering a reproducible dose of bacteria to follow arthropod-associated replication. We have established reproducible techniques to introduce known numbers of Francisella tularensis strain LVS from mice into Dermacentor variabilis nymphs. Using this model infection system, we performed dose-response infection experiments and followed bacterial replication through the molt to adults and at later time points. During development to adults, bacteria replicate to high numbers and can be found associated with the gut tissues, salivary glands, and hemolymph of adult ticks. Further, we can transmit a mutant of LVS (LVS ΔpurMCD) that cannot replicate in macrophages in vitro or in mice to nymphs. Our data show that the LVS ΔpurMCD mutant cannot be transstadially transmitted from nymphs to adult ticks. We then show that a plasmid-complemented strain of this mutant is recoverable in adult ticks and necessary for bacterial replication during the molt. In a mixed-infection assay (ΔpurMCD mutant versus ΔpurMCD complement), 98% of the recovered bacteria retained the plasmid marker. These data suggest that the ΔpurMCD mutation cannot be rescued by the presence a complemented strain in a mixed infection. Importantly, our infection model provides a platform to test specific mutants for their replication in ticks, perform competition studies, and use other genetic techniques to identify F. tularensis genes that are expressed or required in this unique environment. PMID:25362054

  5. [An oropharyngeal tularemia case diagnosed by the isolation of Francisella tularensis on human blood agar].

    PubMed

    Ozel, Gönül; Arslan, Ilker Burak; Yeşilyurt, Murat; Celebi, Bekir; Kılıç, Selçuk

    2010-10-01

    Tularemia which is a multisystem disease of humans and some animals, is endemic in North America, some parts of Europe and Asia. The causative agent, Francisella tularensis, is a fastidious gram-negative, intracellular bacterium which requires supplementation with sulphydryl compounds (cysteine, cystine, thiosulphate, isoVitaleX) for growth on common laboratory media. In this report, a case of oropharyngeal tularemia diagnosed by the isolation of the causative agent on non-selective-common microbiological agar, has been presented. The patient was from Yozgat located in central Anatolia where tularemia has not been reported so far. Forty-two years old male was admitted to the hospital with two weeks history of sudden onset fever, headache, generalized aches, sore throat, and cervical tender lump on the left. Physical examination revealed bilateral exudative tonsillitis and tender posterior cervical lymphadenopathy. He has been empirically treated with amoxicilin-clavulanic acid for 7 days with initial diagnosis of acute tonsillopharyngitis. However, he was admitted to the hospital since the symptoms persisted and swelling increased despite antibiotic therapy. Microscopical examination of the Gram and Ehrlich-Ziehl-Neelsen stained smears prepared from the surgically drained lymph node revealed PMNL, with no evidence of bacteria. Routine cultures of the lymph node material yielded growth of gram-negative coccobacilli only on human blood agar and the cultures were negative for pyogenic bacteria, acid-fast organisms and fungi. Pathologic examination of the drainage material revealed suppurative inflammation. Lymph node aspirate and serum samples of the patient together with the isolated strain were sent to reference laboratory for further investigation in accordance to the clinical and laboratory findings compatible with tularemia. The isolate was confirmed as F.tularensis by slide agglutination and direct immunofluorescence antibody tests, and identified as F.tularensis

  6. [Evaluation of a newly-developed ready-to-use commercial PCR kit for the molecular diagnosis of Francisella tularensis].

    PubMed

    Celebi, Bekir; Kılıç, Selçuk; Yeşilyurt, Murat; Acar, Bülent

    2014-01-01

    Tularemia is a rare zoonotic infection, however, considerations of tularemia as a biological weapon and several recent major epidemics have caused renewed interest in this disease. Laboratory diagnosis of tularemia is done in the presence of appropriate epidemiological data, by the demonstration of specific antibodies in the serum samples obtained with 1-2 week intervals following the development of symptoms. It is an a posteriori analysis with limited use for prompt diagnosis of the patient during the early symptomatic phase and deliberate release of biological agents. Limitations in both culture and serology have led to substantial research in the development of new diagnostic techniques. Several PCR methods for tularemia have been developed, both for conventional and real-time polymerase chain reaction (rtPCR). However, PCR methods are hard to be deployed in remote endemic areas that lack sufficient infrastructure. Recently a "Toolbox" which includes all instruments, equipments and solutions [DNA4U® Bacteria Genomic DNA Isolation Kit, CubeCycler® (Personal Thermal Cycler), PCR4U® Bioterrorism Agents Detection Kit, electrophoresis tank, power supply, ready-agarose gel and electrophoresis buffer] necessary for conventional PCR, was developed for the identification of bioterrorism agents in the field. In this study we aimed to evaluate the efficacy of a ready-to-use commercial PCR kit (Nanobiz, Ankara, Turkey) targeting the tul4 gene, for the diagnosis of tularemia and to compare the results with an in-house conventional PCR and a rtPCR test. We applied the assay to a collection of four F.tularensis standard strains, 15 field isolates (from humans, animals, water), 13 non-Francisella strains which are phylogenetically related to F.tularensis and a total of 60 lymph node aspirates obtained from suspected tularemia cases. Compared to the in-house PCR method used in our laboratory, the sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of Nanobiz PCR

  7. Detection of Francisella tularensis-specific antibodies in patients with tularemia by a novel competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Neekun; Hotta, Akitoyo; Yamamoto, Yoshie; Fujita, Osamu; Uda, Akihiko; Morikawa, Shigeru; Yamada, Akio; Tanabayashi, Kiyoshi

    2013-01-01

    A novel competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA) was developed and evaluated for detection of antibodies against Francisella tularensis in humans. The assay is based on the ability of serum antibodies to inhibit the binding of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) directed against F. tularensis lipopolysaccharide antigens. The assay was evaluated using serum samples of tularemia patients, inactivated F. tularensis-immunized rabbits, and F. tularensis-infected mice. Antibodies against F. tularensis were successfully detected in serum samples of tularemia patients as well as the immunized and infected animals. The cELISA method was compared to indirect ELISA (iELISA) and the commonly used microagglutination test (MA) using serum samples of 19 tularemia patients and 50 healthy individuals. The sensitivity and specificity of cELISA were 93.9 and 96.1%, respectively, in comparison to the iELISA. MA was less sensitive than cELISA with a sensitivity and specificity of only 81.8 and 98.0%, respectively. A high degree of correlation (R(2) = 0.8226) was observed between cELISA and iELISA results. The novel cELISA developed in this study appears to be highly sensitive and specific for serodiagnosis of human tularemia. The potential of the MAb-based cELISA to be used in both human and animal samples emphasizes its usefulness for serological survey of tularemia among multiple animal species. PMID:23114700

  8. Detection of Francisella tularensis-Specific Antibodies in Patients with Tularemia by a Novel Competitive Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Neekun; Hotta, Akitoyo; Yamamoto, Yoshie; Fujita, Osamu; Uda, Akihiko; Morikawa, Shigeru; Yamada, Akio

    2013-01-01

    A novel competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA) was developed and evaluated for detection of antibodies against Francisella tularensis in humans. The assay is based on the ability of serum antibodies to inhibit the binding of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) directed against F. tularensis lipopolysaccharide antigens. The assay was evaluated using serum samples of tularemia patients, inactivated F. tularensis-immunized rabbits, and F. tularensis-infected mice. Antibodies against F. tularensis were successfully detected in serum samples of tularemia patients as well as the immunized and infected animals. The cELISA method was compared to indirect ELISA (iELISA) and the commonly used microagglutination test (MA) using serum samples of 19 tularemia patients and 50 healthy individuals. The sensitivity and specificity of cELISA were 93.9 and 96.1%, respectively, in comparison to the iELISA. MA was less sensitive than cELISA with a sensitivity and specificity of only 81.8 and 98.0%, respectively. A high degree of correlation (R2 = 0.8226) was observed between cELISA and iELISA results. The novel cELISA developed in this study appears to be highly sensitive and specific for serodiagnosis of human tularemia. The potential of the MAb-based cELISA to be used in both human and animal samples emphasizes its usefulness for serological survey of tularemia among multiple animal species. PMID:23114700

  9. Growth conditions and environmental factors impact aerosolization but not virulence of Francisella tularensis infection in mice

    PubMed Central

    Faith, Seth A.; Smith, Le'Kneitah P.; Swatland, Angela S.; Reed, Douglas S.

    2012-01-01

    In refining methodology to develop a mouse model for inhalation of Francisella tularensis, it was noted that both relative humidity and growth media impacted the aerosol concentration of the live vaccine strain (LVS) of F. tularensis. A relative humidity of less than 55% had a negative impact on the spray factor, the ratio between the concentration of LVS in the aerosol and the nebulizer. The spray factor was significantly higher for LVS grown in brain heart infusion (BHI) broth than LVS grown in Mueller–Hinton broth (MHb) or Chamberlain's chemically defined medium (CCDM). The variability between aerosol exposures was also considerably less with BHI. LVS grown in BHI survived desiccation far longer than MHb-grown or CCDM-grown LVS (~70% at 20 min for BHI compared to <50% for MHb and CCDM). Removal of the capsule by hypertonic treatment impacted the spray factor for CCDM-grown LVS or MHb-grown LVS but not BHI-grown LVS, suggesting the choice of culture media altered the adherence of the capsule to the cell membrane. The choice of growth media did not impact the LD50 of LVS but the LD99 of BHI-grown LVS was 1 log lower than that for MHb-grown LVS or CCDM-grown LVS. Splenomegaly was prominent in mice that succumbed to MHb- and BHI-grown LVS but not CCDM-grown LVS. Environmental factors and growth conditions should be evaluated when developing new animal models for aerosol infection, particularly for vegetative bacterial pathogens. PMID:23087911

  10. Importance of PdpC, IglC, IglI, and IglG for modulation of a host cell death pathway induced by Francisella tularensis.

    PubMed

    Lindgren, Marie; Eneslätt, Kjell; Bröms, Jeanette E; Sjöstedt, Anders

    2013-06-01

    Modulation of host cell death pathways appears to be a prerequisite for the successful lifestyles of many intracellular pathogens. The facultative intracellular bacterium Francisella tularensis is highly pathogenic, and effective proliferation in the macrophage cytosol leading to host cell death is a requirement for its virulence. To better understand the prerequisites of this cell death, macrophages were infected with the F. tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS), and the effects were compared to those resulting from infections with deletion mutants lacking expression of either of the pdpC, iglC, iglG, or iglI genes, which encode components of the Francisella pathogenicity island (FPI), a type VI secretion system. Within 12 h, a majority of the J774 cells infected with the LVS strain showed production of mitochondrial superoxide and, after 24 h, marked signs of mitochondrial damage, caspase-9 and caspase-3 activation, phosphatidylserine expression, nucleosome formation, and membrane leakage. In contrast, neither of these events occurred after infection with the ΔiglI or ΔiglC mutants, although the former strain replicated. The ΔiglG mutant replicated effectively but induced only marginal cytopathogenic effects after 24 h and intermediate effects after 48 h. In contrast, the ΔpdpC mutant showed no replication but induced marked mitochondrial superoxide production and mitochondrial damage, caspase-3 activation, nucleosome formation, and phosphatidylserine expression, although the effects were delayed compared to those obtained with LVS. The unique phenotypes of the mutants provide insights regarding the roles of individual FPI components for the modulation of the cytopathogenic effects resulting from the F. tularensis infection. PMID:23529623

  11. Rapid diagnosis and quantification of Francisella tularensis in organs of naturally infected common squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus).

    PubMed

    Abril, Carlos; Nimmervoll, Helena; Pilo, Paola; Brodard, Isabelle; Korczak, Bozena; Markus, Seiler; Miserez, Raymond; Frey, Joachim

    2008-02-01

    Francisella tularensis, a small Gram-negative facultative intracellular bacterium, is the causative agent of tularaemia, a severe zoonotic disease transmitted to humans mostly by vectors such as ticks, flies and mosquitoes. The disease is endemic in many parts of the northern hemisphere. Among animals, the most affected species belong to rodents and lagomorphs, in particular hares. However, in the recent years, many cases of tularaemia among small monkeys in zoos were reported. We have developed a real-time PCR that allows to quantify F. tularensis in tissue samples. Using this method, we identified the spleen and the kidney as the most heavily infected organ containing up to 400 F. tularensis bacteria per simian host cell in two common squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) from a zoo that died of tularaemia. In other organs such as the brain, F. tularensis was detected at much lower titres. The strain that caused the infection was identified as F. tularensis subsp. holarctica biovar I, which is susceptible to erythromycin. The high number of F. tularensis present in soft organs such as spleen, liver and kidney represents a high risk for persons handling such carcasses and explains the transmission of the disease to a pathologist during post-mortem analysis. Herein, we show that real-time PCR allows a reliable and rapid diagnosis of F. tularensis directly from tissue samples of infected animals, which is crucial in order to attempt accurate prophylactic measures, especially in cases where humans or other animals have been exposed to this highly contagious pathogen. PMID:17875369

  12. Bioavailability and Efficacy of Levofloxacin against Francisella tularensis in the Common Marmoset (Callithrix jacchus)▿

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Michelle; Lever, Mark S.; Dean, Rachel E.; Pearce, Peter C.; Stevens, Daniel J.; Simpson, Andrew J. H.

    2010-01-01

    Pharmacokinetic and efficacy studies with levofloxacin were performed in the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) model of inhalational tularemia. Plasma levofloxacin pharmacokinetics were determined in six animals in separate single-dose and multidose studies. Plasma drug concentrations were analyzed using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry-electrospray ionization. On day 7 of a twice-daily dosing regimen of 40 mg/kg, the levofloxacin half-life, maximum concentration, and area under the curve in marmoset plasma were 2.3 h, 20.9 μg/ml, and 81.4 μg/liter/h, respectively. An efficacy study was undertaken using eight treated and two untreated control animals. Marmosets were challenged with a mean of 1.5 × 102 CFU of Francisella tularensis by the airborne route. Treated animals were administered 16.5 mg/kg levofloxacin by mouth twice daily, based on the pharmacokinetic parameters, beginning 24 h after challenge. Control animals had a raised core body temperature by 57 h postchallenge and died from infection by day 5. All of the other animals survived, remained afebrile, and lacked overt clinical signs. No bacteria were recovered from the organs of these animals at postmortem after culling at day 24 postchallenge. In conclusion, postexposure prophylaxis with orally administered levofloxacin was efficacious against acute inhalational tularemia in the common marmoset. The marmoset appears to be an appropriate animal model for the evaluation of postexposure therapies. PMID:20625157

  13. Establishment of lethal inhalational infection with Francisella tularensis (tularaemia) in the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus)

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Michelle; Lever, Mark S; Savage, Victoria L; Salguero, Francisco Javier; Pearce, Peter C; Stevens, Daniel J; Simpson, Andrew J H

    2009-01-01

    Susceptibility and lethality studies of inhalational tularaemia were undertaken using the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) to determine its suitability as a non-human primate model. Pairs of marmosets were exposed to varying challenge doses of Francisella tularensis by the airborne route and monitored for up to 14 days postchallenge (p.c.). Lethal infection was achieved following a retained dose of less than 10 bacterial colony-forming units (CFU). However, precise LD50 determination was not possible. The model was characterized using a target challenge dose of approximately 100 CFU. Increased core body temperature was the first indicator of disease, at approximately 2.5 days p.c. Overt clinical signs were first observed 12–18 h after the temperature increase. Significantly decreased activity was observed after approximately 3 days. All animals succumbed to infection between 4.5 and 7 days p.c. At postmortem examination, gross pathology was evident in the liver, spleen and lungs of all animals and high bacterial numbers were detected in all the organs assessed. Bacteraemia was demonstrated in all animals postmortem. Histopathological observations included severe suppurative bronchopneumonia, severe multifocal pyogranulomatous hepatitis, splenitis and lymphadenitis. Tularaemia disease progression in the common marmoset therefore appears to be consistent with the disease seen in humans and other animal models. The common marmoset may therefore be considered a suitable model for further studies of inhalational tularaemia. PMID:19335549

  14. Electrochemical detection of Francisella tularensis genomic DNA using solid-phase recombinase polymerase amplification.

    PubMed

    del Río, Jonathan Sabaté; Yehia Adly, Nouran; Acero-Sánchez, Josep Lluis; Henry, Olivier Y F; O'Sullivan, Ciara K

    2014-04-15

    Solid-phase isothermal DNA amplification was performed exploiting the homology protein recombinase A (recA). The system was primarily tested on maleimide activated microtitre plates as a proof-of-concept and later translated to an electrochemical platform. In both cases, forward primer for Francisella tularensis holarctica genomic DNA was surface immobilised via a thiol or an amino moiety and then elongated during the recA mediated amplification, carried out in the presence of specific target sequence and reverse primers. The formation of the subsequent surface tethered amplicons was either colorimetrically or electrochemically monitored using a horseradish peroxidase (HRP)-labelled DNA secondary probe complementary to the elongated strand. The amplification time was optimised to amplify even low amounts of DNA copies in less than an hour at a constant temperature of 37°C, achieving a limit of detection of 1.3×10(-13) M (4×10(6) copies in 50 μL) for the colorimetric assay and 3.3×10(-14) M (2×10(5) copies in 10 μL) for the chronoamperometric assay. The system was demonstrated to be highly specific with negligible cross-reactivity with non-complementary targets or primers. PMID:24334283

  15. IL-10 Restrains IL-17 to Limit Lung Pathology Characteristics following Pulmonary Infection with Francisella tularensis Live Vaccine Strain

    PubMed Central

    Slight, Samantha R.; Monin, Leticia; Gopal, Radha; Avery, Lyndsay; Davis, Marci; Cleveland, Hillary; Oury, Tim D.; Rangel-Moreno, Javier; Khader, Shabaana A.

    2014-01-01

    IL-10 production during intracellular bacterial infections is generally thought to be detrimental because of its role in suppressing protective T-helper cell 1 (Th1) responses. Francisella tularensis is a facultative intracellular bacterium that activates both Th1 and Th17 protective immune responses. Herein, we report that IL-10–deficient mice (Il10−/−), despite having increased Th1 and Th17 responses, exhibit increased mortality after pulmonary infection with F. tularensis live vaccine strain. We demonstrate that the increased mortality observed in Il10−/−-infected mice is due to exacerbated IL-17 production that causes increased neutrophil recruitment and associated lung pathology. Thus, although IL-17 is required for protective immunity against pulmonary infection with F. tularensis live vaccine strain, its production is tightly regulated by IL-10 to generate efficient induction of protective immunity without mediating pathology. These data suggest a critical role for IL-10 in maintaining the delicate balance between host immunity and pathology during pulmonary infection with F. tularensis live vaccine strain. PMID:24007881

  16. Novel engineered cationic antimicrobial peptides display broad-spectrum activity against Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis and Burkholderia pseudomallei.

    PubMed

    Abdelbaqi, Suha; Deslouches, Berthony; Steckbeck, Jonathan; Montelaro, Ronald; Reed, Douglas S

    2016-02-01

    Broad-spectrum antimicrobials are needed to effectively treat patients infected in the event of a pandemic or intentional release of a pathogen prior to confirmation of the pathogen's identity. Engineered cationic antimicrobial peptides (eCAPs) display activity against a number of bacterial pathogens including multi-drug-resistant strains. Two lead eCAPs, WLBU2 and WR12, were compared with human cathelicidin (LL-37) against three highly pathogenic bacteria: Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis and Burkholderia pseudomallei. Both WLBU2 and WR12 demonstrated bactericidal activity greater than that of LL-37, particularly against F. tularensis and Y. pestis. Only WLBU2 had bactericidal activity against B. pseudomallei. WLBU2, WR12 and LL-37 were all able to inhibit the growth of the three bacteria in vitro. Because these bacteria can be facultative intracellular pathogens, preferentially infecting macrophages and dendritic cells, we evaluated the activity of WLBU2 against F. tularensis in an ex vivo infection model with J774 cells, a mouse macrophage cell line. In that model WLBU2 was able to achieve greater than 50% killing of F. tularensis at a concentration of 12.5 μM. These data show the therapeutic potential of eCAPs, particularly WLBU2, as a broad-spectrum antimicrobial for treating highly pathogenic bacterial infections. PMID:26673248

  17. Francisella tularensis type A Strains Cause the Rapid Encystment of Acanthamoeba castellanii and Survive in Amoebal Cysts for Three Weeks post Infection

    SciTech Connect

    El-Etr, S H; Margolis, J; Monack, D; Robison, R; Cohen, M; Moore, E; Rasley, A

    2009-07-28

    Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of the zoonotic disease tularemia, has recently gained increased attention due to the emergence of tularemia in geographical areas where the disease has been previously unknown, and the organism's potential as a bioterrorism agent. Although F. tularensis has an extremely broad host range, the bacterial reservoir in nature has not been conclusively identified. In this study, the ability of virulent F. tularensis strains to survive and replicate in the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii was explored. We observe that A. castellanii trophozoites rapidly encyst in response to F. tularensis infection and that this rapid encystment phenotype (REP) is caused by factor(s) secreted by amoebae and/or F. tularensis into the co-culture media. Further, our results indicate that in contrast to LVS, virulent strains of F. tularensis can survive in A. castellanii cysts for at least 3 weeks post infection and that induction of rapid amoeba encystment is essential for survival. In addition, our data indicate that pathogenic F. tularensis strains block lysosomal fusion in A. castellanii. Taken together, these data suggest that the interactions between F. tularensis strains and amoeba may play a role in the environmental persistence of F. tularensis.

  18. T-bet regulates immunity to Francisella tularensis live vaccine strain infection, particularly in lungs.

    PubMed

    Melillo, Amanda A; Foreman, Oded; Bosio, Catharine M; Elkins, Karen L

    2014-04-01

    Upregulation of the transcription factor T-bet is correlated with the strength of protection against secondary challenge with the live vaccine strain (LVS) of Francisella tularensis. Thus, to determine if this mediator had direct consequences in immunity to LVS, we examined its role in infection. Despite substantial in vivo gamma interferon (IFN-γ) levels, T-bet-knockout (KO) mice infected intradermally (i.d.) or intranasally (i.n.) with LVS succumbed to infection with doses 2 log units less than those required for their wild-type (WT) counterparts, and exhibited significantly increased bacterial burdens in the lung and spleen. Lungs of LVS-infected T-bet-KO mice contained fewer lymphocytes and more neutrophils and interleukin-17 than WT mice. LVS-vaccinated T-bet-KO mice survived lethal LVS intraperitoneal secondary challenge but not high doses of LVS i.n. challenge, independently of the route of vaccination. Immune T lymphocytes from the spleens of i.d. LVS-vaccinated WT or KO mice controlled intracellular bacterial replication in an in vitro coculture system, but cultures with T-bet-KO splenocyte supernatants contained less IFN-γ and increased amounts of tumor necrosis factor alpha. In contrast, immune T-bet-KO lung lymphocytes were greatly impaired in controlling intramacrophage growth of LVS; this functional defect is the likely mechanism underpinning the lack of respiratory protection. Taken together, T-bet is important in host resistance to primary LVS infection and i.n. secondary challenge. Thus, T-bet represents a true, useful correlate for immunity to LVS. PMID:24421047

  19. Francisella tularensis novicida proteomic and transcriptomic data integration and annotation based on semantic web technologies

    PubMed Central

    Anwar, Nadia; Hunt, Ela

    2009-01-01

    Background This paper summarises the lessons and experiences gained from a case study of the application of semantic web technologies to the integration of data from the bacterial species Francisella tularensis novicida (Fn). Fn data sources are disparate and heterogeneous, as multiple laboratories across the world, using multiple technologies, perform experiments to understand the mechanism of virulence. It is hard to integrate these data sources in a flexible manner that allows new experimental data to be added and compared when required. Results Public domain data sources were combined in RDF. Using this connected graph of database cross references, we extended the annotations of an experimental data set by superimposing onto it the annotation graph. Identifiers used in the experimental data automatically resolved and the data acquired annotations in the rest of the RDF graph. This happened without the expensive manual annotation that would normally be required to produce these links. This graph of resolved identifiers was then used to combine two experimental data sets, a proteomics experiment and a transcriptomic experiment studying the mechanism of virulence through the comparison of wildtype Fn with an avirulent mutant strain. Conclusion We produced a graph of Fn cross references which enabled the combination of two experimental datasets. Through combination of these data we are able to perform queries that compare the results of the two experiments. We found that data are easily combined in RDF and that experimental results are easily compared when the data are integrated. We conclude that semantic data integration offers a convenient, simple and flexible solution to the integration of published and unpublished experimental data. PMID:19796400

  20. T-bet Regulates Immunity to Francisella tularensis Live Vaccine Strain Infection, Particularly in Lungs

    PubMed Central

    Melillo, Amanda A.; Foreman, Oded; Bosio, Catharine M.

    2014-01-01

    Upregulation of the transcription factor T-bet is correlated with the strength of protection against secondary challenge with the live vaccine strain (LVS) of Francisella tularensis. Thus, to determine if this mediator had direct consequences in immunity to LVS, we examined its role in infection. Despite substantial in vivo gamma interferon (IFN-γ) levels, T-bet-knockout (KO) mice infected intradermally (i.d.) or intranasally (i.n.) with LVS succumbed to infection with doses 2 log units less than those required for their wild-type (WT) counterparts, and exhibited significantly increased bacterial burdens in the lung and spleen. Lungs of LVS-infected T-bet-KO mice contained fewer lymphocytes and more neutrophils and interleukin-17 than WT mice. LVS-vaccinated T-bet-KO mice survived lethal LVS intraperitoneal secondary challenge but not high doses of LVS i.n. challenge, independently of the route of vaccination. Immune T lymphocytes from the spleens of i.d. LVS-vaccinated WT or KO mice controlled intracellular bacterial replication in an in vitro coculture system, but cultures with T-bet-KO splenocyte supernatants contained less IFN-γ and increased amounts of tumor necrosis factor alpha. In contrast, immune T-bet-KO lung lymphocytes were greatly impaired in controlling intramacrophage growth of LVS; this functional defect is the likely mechanism underpinning the lack of respiratory protection. Taken together, T-bet is important in host resistance to primary LVS infection and i.n. secondary challenge. Thus, T-bet represents a true, useful correlate for immunity to LVS. PMID:24421047

  1. Structural Analysis of a Protective Epitope of the Francisella tularensis O-Polysaccharide†

    PubMed Central

    Rynkiewicz, Michael J.; Lu, Zhaohua; Hui, Julia H.; Sharon, Jacqueline; Seaton, Barbara A.

    2012-01-01

    Francisella tularensis (Ft), the Gram negative facultative intracellular bacterium that causes tularemia, is considered a biothreat due to its high infectivity and the high mortality rate of respiratory disease. The Ft lipopolysaccharide (Ft LPS) is thought to be a main protective antigen in mice and humans, and we have previously demonstrated the protective effect of the Ft LPS-specific monoclonal antibody Ab52 in a mouse model of respiratory tularemia. Immunochemical characterization has shown that the epitope recognized by Ab52 is contained within two internal repeat units of the O-polysaccharide [O-antigen (OAg)] of Ft LPS. To further localize the Ab52 epitope and understand the molecular interactions between the antibody and the saccharide, we now solved the X-ray crystal structure of the Fab fragment of Ab52 and derived an antibody-antigen complex using molecular docking. The docked complex, refined through energy minimization, reveals an antigen binding site in the shape of a large canyon with a central pocket that accommodates a V-shaped epitope consisting of six sugar residues, α-D-GalpNAcAN(1→4)-α-D-GalpNAcAN(1→3)-β-D-QuipNAc(1→2)-β-D-Quip4NFm(1→4)-α-D-GalpNAcAN(1→4)-α-D-GalpNAcAN. These results inform the development of vaccines and immunotherapeutic/immunoprophylactic antibodies against Ft by suggesting a desired topology for antibody binding to internal epitopes of Ft LPS. This is the first report of an X-ray crystal structure of a monoclonal antibody that targets a protective Ft B cell epitope. PMID:22747335

  2. Serosurveillance for Francisella tularensis among wild animals in Japan using a newly developed competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Neekun; Hotta, Akitoyo; Yamamoto, Yoshie; Uda, Akihiko; Fujita, Osamu; Mizoguchi, Toshio; Shindo, Junji; Park, Chun-Ho; Kudo, Noboru; Hatai, Hitoshi; Oyamada, Toshifumi; Yamada, Akio; Morikawa, Shigeru; Tanabayashi, Kiyoshi

    2014-04-01

    Tularemia, a highly infectious zoonotic disease caused by Francisella tularensis, occurs sporadically in Japan. However, little is known about the prevalence of the disease in wild animals. A total of 632 samples obtained from 150 Japanese black bears, 142 Japanese hares, 120 small rodents, 97 rats, 53 raptors, 26 Japanese monkeys, 21 Japanese raccoon dogs, 20 masked palm civets, and three Japanese red foxes between 2002 and 2010 were investigated for the presence of antibodies to F. tularensis by competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA) and the commonly used microagglutination (MA) test. Seropositive cELISA and MA results were obtained in 23 and 18 Japanese black bears, three and two Japanese raccoon dogs, and two and one small rodents, respectively. All MA-positive samples (n=21) were also positive by cELISA. Six of seven samples that were only positive by cELISA were confirmed to be antibody-positive by western blot analysis. These findings suggest that cELISA is a highly sensitive and useful test for serosurveillance of tularemia among various species of wild animals. Because this is the first study to detect F. tularensis-seropositive Japanese raccoon dogs, these could join Japanese black bears as sentinel animals for tularemia in the wild in Japan. Further continuous serosurveillance for F. tularensis in various species of wild animals using appropriate methods such as cELISA is important to assess the risks of human exposure and to improve our understanding of the ecology of F. tularensis in the wild. PMID:24689989

  3. Kinetic Characterization and Phosphoregulation of the Francisella tularensis 1-Deoxy-D-Xylulose 5-Phosphate Reductoisomerase (MEP Synthase)

    PubMed Central

    Jawaid, Safdar; Seidle, Heather; Zhou, Weidong; Abdirahman, Hafsa; Abadeer, Maher; Hix, Joseph H.; van Hoek, Monique L.; Couch, Robin D.

    2009-01-01

    Deliberate and natural outbreaks of infectious disease underscore the necessity of effective vaccines and antimicrobial/antiviral therapeutics. The prevalence of antibiotic resistant strains and the ease by which antibiotic resistant bacteria can be intentionally engineered further highlights the need for continued development of novel antibiotics against new bacterial targets. Isoprenes are a class of molecules fundamentally involved in a variety of crucial biological functions. Mammalian cells utilize the mevalonic acid pathway for isoprene biosynthesis, whereas many bacteria utilize the methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway, making the latter an attractive target for antibiotic development. In this report we describe the cloning and characterization of Francisella tularensis MEP synthase, a MEP pathway enzyme and potential target for antibiotic development. In vitro growth-inhibition assays using fosmidomycin, an inhibitor of MEP synthase, illustrates the effectiveness of MEP pathway inhibition with F. tularensis. To facilitate drug development, F. tularensis MEP synthase was cloned, expressed, purified, and characterized. Enzyme assays produced apparent kinetic constants (KMDXP = 104 µM, KMNADPH = 13 µM, kcatDXP = 2 s−1, kcatNADPH = 1.3 s−1), an IC50 for fosmidomycin of 247 nM, and a Ki for fosmidomycin of 99 nM. The enzyme exhibits a preference for Mg+2 as a divalent cation. Titanium dioxide chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry identified Ser177 as a site of phosphorylation. S177D and S177E site-directed mutants are inactive, suggesting a mechanism for post-translational control of metabolic flux through the F. tularensis MEP pathway. Overall, our study suggests that MEP synthase is an excellent target for the development of novel antibiotics against F. tularensis. PMID:20011597

  4. Functional and Structural Characterization of Francisella tularensis O-Antigen Antibodies at the Low End of Antigen Reactivity

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Zhaohua; Rynkiewicz, Michael J.; Yang, Chiou-Ying; Madico, Guillermo; Perkins, Hillary M.; Roche, Marly I.; Seaton, Barbara A.

    2014-01-01

    The O-antigen (OAg) of the Gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis (Ft), which is both a capsular polysaccharide and a component of lipopolysaccharide, is comprised of tetrasaccharide repeats and induces antibodies mainly against repeating internal epitopes. We previously reported on several BALB/c mouse monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) that bind to internal Ft OAg epitopes and are protective in mouse models of respiratory tularemia. We now characterize three new internal Ft OAg IgG2a MAbs, N203, N77, and N24, with 10- to 100-fold lower binding potency than previously characterized internal-OAg IgG2a MAbs, despite sharing one or more variable region germline genes with some of them. In a mouse model of respiratory tularemia with the highly virulent Ft type A strain SchuS4, the three new MAbs reduced blood bacterial burden with potencies that mirror their antigen-binding strength; the best binder of the new MAbs, N203, prolonged survival in a dose-dependent manner, but was at least 10-fold less potent than the best previously characterized IgG2a MAb, Ab52. X-ray crystallographic studies of N203 Fab showed a flexible binding site in the form of a partitioned groove, which cannot provide as many contacts to OAg as does the Ab52 binding site. These results reveal structural features of antibodies at the low end of reactivity with multi-repeat microbial carbohydrates and demonstrate that such antibodies still have substantial protective effects against infection. PMID:25171003

  5. EmrA1 Membrane Fusion Protein of Francisella tularensis LVS is required for Resistance to Oxidative Stress, Intramacrophage Survival and Virulence in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Zhuo; Banik, Sukalyani; Rane, Harshita; Mora, Vanessa T.; Rabadi, Seham M.; Doyle, Christopher R.; Thanassi, David G.; Bakshi, Chandra Shekhar; Malik, Meenakshi

    2014-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a Category A Biodefense agent that causes a fatal human disease known as tularemia. The pathogenicity of F. tularensis depends on its ability to persist inside host immune cells primarily by resisting an attack from host-generated reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS). Based on the ability of F. tularensis to resist high ROS/RNS levels, we have hypothesized that additional unknown factors act in conjunction with known antioxidant defenses to render ROS resistance. By screening a transposon insertion library of F. tularensis LVS in the presence of hydrogen peroxide, we have identified an oxidant sensitive mutant in putative EmrA1 (FTL_0687) secretion protein. The results demonstrate that the emrA1 mutant is highly sensitive to oxidants and several antimicrobial agents, and exhibits diminished intramacrophage growth that can be restored to wild type F. tularensis LVS levels either by transcomplementation, inhibition of ROS generation, or infection in NADPH oxidase deficient (gp91Phox−/−) macrophages. The emrA1 mutant is attenuated for virulence, which is restored by infection in gp91Phox−/− mice. Further, EmrA1 contributes to oxidative stress resistance by affecting secretion of Francisella antioxidant enzymes SodB and KatG. This study exposes unique links between transporter activity and the antioxidant defense mechanisms of F. tularensis. PMID:24397487

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

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Vienna R.; Adney, Danielle R.; Olea-Popelka, Francisco; Bowen, Richard A.

    2015-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a highly virulent bacterium that is capable of causing severe disease (tularemia) in a wide range of species. This organism is characterized into two distinct subspecies: tularensis (type A) and holarctica (type B) which vary in several crucial ways, with some type A strains having been found to be considerably more virulent in humans and laboratory animals. Cottontail rabbits have been widely implicated as a reservoir species for this subspecies; however, experimental inoculation in our laboratory revealed type A organisms to be highly virulent, resulting in 100% mortality following challenge with 50–100 organisms. Inoculation of cottontail rabbits with the same number of organisms from type B strains of bacteria was found to be rarely lethal and to result in a robust humoral immune response. The objective of this study was to characterize the protection afforded by a prior challenge with type B strains against a later inoculation with a type A strain in North American cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus spp). Previous infection with a type B strain of organism was found to lengthen survival time and in some cases prevent death following inoculation with a type A2 strain of F. tularensis. In contrast, inoculation of a type A1b strain was uniformly lethal in cottontail rabbits irrespective of a prior type B inoculation. These findings provide important insight about the role cottontail rabbits may play in environmental maintenance and transmission of this organism. PMID:26474413

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

    In the event of suspected releases or natural outbreaks of contagious pathogens, rapid identification of the infectious agent is essential for appropriate medical intervention and disease containment. The purpose of this study was to compare the performance of a novel portable real-time PCR thermocycler, PikoReal™, to the standard real-time PCR thermocycler, Applied Biosystems® 7300 (ABI 7300), for the detection of three high-risk biothreat bacterial pathogens: Francisella tularensis, Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis. In addition, a novel confirmatory real-time PCR assay for the detection of F. tularensis is presented and validated. The results show that sensitivity of the assays, based on a dilution series, for the three infectious agents ranged from 1 to 100 fg of target DNA with both instruments. No cross-reactivity was revealed in specificity testing. Duration of the assays with the PikoReal and ABI 7300 systems were 50 and 100 min, respectively. In field testing for F. tularensis, results were obtained with the PikoReal system in 95 min, as the pre-PCR preparation, including DNA extraction, required an additional 45 min. We conclude that the PikoReal system enables highly sensitive and rapid on-site detection of biothreat agents under field conditions, and may be a more efficient alternative to conventional diagnostic methods. PMID:26043838

  8. The binding sites of monoclonal antibodies to the non-reducing end of Francisella tularensis O-antigen accommodate mainly the terminal saccharide

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Zhaohua; Rynkiewicz, Michael J; Yang, Chiou-Ying; Madico, Guillermo; Perkins, Hillary M; Wang, Qi; Costello, Catherine E; Zaia, Joseph; Seaton, Barbara A; Sharon, Jacqueline

    2013-01-01

    We have previously described two types of protective B-cell epitopes in the O-antigen (OAg) of the Gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis: repeating internal epitopes targeted by the vast majority of anti-OAg monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), and a non-overlapping epitope at the non-reducing end targeted by the previously unique IgG2a mAb FB11. We have now generated and characterized three mAbs specific for the non-reducing end of F. tularensis OAg, partially encoded by the same variable region germline genes, indicating that they target the same epitope. Like FB11, the new mAbs, Ab63 (IgG3), N213 (IgG3) and N62 (IgG2b), had higher antigen-binding bivalent avidity than internally binding anti-OAg mAbs, and an oligosaccharide containing a single OAg repeat was sufficient for optimal inhibition of their antigen-binding. The X-ray crystal structure of N62 Fab showed that the antigen-binding site is lined mainly by aromatic amino acids that form a small cavity, which can accommodate no more than one and a third sugar residues, indicating that N62 binds mainly to the terminal Qui4NFm residue at the nonreducing end of OAg. In efficacy studies with mice infected intranasally with the highly virulent F. tularensis strain SchuS4, N62, N213 and Ab63 prolonged survival and reduced blood bacterial burden. These results yield insights into how antibodies to non-reducing ends of microbial polysaccharides can contribute to immune protection despite the smaller size of their target epitopes compared with antibodies to internal polysaccharide regions. PMID:23844703

  9. The binding sites of monoclonal antibodies to the non-reducing end of Francisella tularensis O-antigen accommodate mainly the terminal saccharide.

    PubMed

    Lu, Zhaohua; Rynkiewicz, Michael J; Yang, Chiou-Ying; Madico, Guillermo; Perkins, Hillary M; Wang, Qi; Costello, Catherine E; Zaia, Joseph; Seaton, Barbara A; Sharon, Jacqueline

    2013-11-01

    We have previously described two types of protective B-cell epitopes in the O-antigen (OAg) of the Gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis: repeating internal epitopes targeted by the vast majority of anti-OAg monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), and a non-overlapping epitope at the non-reducing end targeted by the previously unique IgG2a mAb FB11. We have now generated and characterized three mAbs specific for the non-reducing end of F. tularensis OAg, partially encoded by the same variable region germline genes, indicating that they target the same epitope. Like FB11, the new mAbs, Ab63 (IgG3), N213 (IgG3) and N62 (IgG2b), had higher antigen-binding bivalent avidity than internally binding anti-OAg mAbs, and an oligosaccharide containing a single OAg repeat was sufficient for optimal inhibition of their antigen-binding. The X-ray crystal structure of N62 Fab showed that the antigen-binding site is lined mainly by aromatic amino acids that form a small cavity, which can accommodate no more than one and a third sugar residues, indicating that N62 binds mainly to the terminal Qui4NFm residue at the nonreducing end of OAg. In efficacy studies with mice infected intranasally with the highly virulent F. tularensis strain SchuS4, N62, N213 and Ab63 prolonged survival and reduced blood bacterial burden. These results yield insights into how antibodies to non-reducing ends of microbial polysaccharides can contribute to immune protection despite the smaller size of their target epitopes compared with antibodies to internal polysaccharide regions. PMID:23844703

  10. Cell-mediated and humoral immune responses induced by scarification vaccination of human volunteers with a new lot of the live vaccine strain of Francisella tularensis.

    PubMed Central

    Waag, D M; Galloway, A; Sandstrom, G; Bolt, C R; England, M J; Nelson, G O; Williams, J C

    1992-01-01

    Tularemia is a disease caused by the facultative intracellular bacterium Francisella tularensis. We evaluated a new lot of live F. tularensis vaccine for its immunogenicity in human volunteers. Scarification vaccination induced humoral and cell-mediated immune responses. Indications of a positive immune response after vaccination included an increase in specific antibody levels, which were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent and immunoblot assays, and the ability of peripheral blood lymphocytes to respond to whole F. tularensis bacteria as recall antigens. Vaccination caused a significant rise (P less than 0.05) in immunoglobulin A (IgA), IgG, and IgM titers. Lymphocyte stimulation indices were significantly increased (P less than 0.01) in vaccinees 14 days after vaccination. These data verify that this new lot of live F. tularensis vaccine is immunogenic. Images PMID:1400988

  11. Serosurveillance for Francisella tularensis Among Wild Animals in Japan Using a Newly Developed Competitive Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Neekun; Hotta, Akitoyo; Yamamoto, Yoshie; Uda, Akihiko; Fujita, Osamu; Mizoguchi, Toshio; Shindo, Junji; Park, Chun-Ho; Kudo, Noboru; Hatai, Hitoshi; Oyamada, Toshifumi; Yamada, Akio; Morikawa, Shigeru

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Tularemia, a highly infectious zoonotic disease caused by Francisella tularensis, occurs sporadically in Japan. However, little is known about the prevalence of the disease in wild animals. A total of 632 samples obtained from 150 Japanese black bears, 142 Japanese hares, 120 small rodents, 97 rats, 53 raptors, 26 Japanese monkeys, 21 Japanese raccoon dogs, 20 masked palm civets, and three Japanese red foxes between 2002 and 2010 were investigated for the presence of antibodies to F. tularensis by competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA) and the commonly used microagglutination (MA) test. Seropositive cELISA and MA results were obtained in 23 and 18 Japanese black bears, three and two Japanese raccoon dogs, and two and one small rodents, respectively. All MA-positive samples (n=21) were also positive by cELISA. Six of seven samples that were only positive by cELISA were confirmed to be antibody-positive by western blot analysis. These findings suggest that cELISA is a highly sensitive and useful test for serosurveillance of tularemia among various species of wild animals. Because this is the first study to detect F. tularensis–seropositive Japanese raccoon dogs, these could join Japanese black bears as sentinel animals for tularemia in the wild in Japan. Further continuous serosurveillance for F. tularensis in various species of wild animals using appropriate methods such as cELISA is important to assess the risks of human exposure and to improve our understanding of the ecology of F. tularensis in the wild. PMID:24689989

  12. TLR4-mediated activation of dendritic cells by the heat shock protein DnaK from Francisella tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Ashtekar, Amit R.; Zhang, Ping; Katz, Jannet; Deivanayagam, Champion C. S.; Rallabhandi, Prasad; Vogel, Stefanie N.; Michalek, Suzanne M.

    2008-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is the causative agent of tularemia, a severe, debilitating disease of humans and other mammals. As this microorganism is also classified as a “category-A pathogen” and a potential biowarfare agent, there is a need for an effective vaccine. Several antigens of F. tularensis, including the heat shock protein DnaK, have been proposed for use in a potential subunit vaccine. In this study, we characterized the innate immune response of murine bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (DC) to F. tularensis DnaK. Recombinant DnaK was produced using a bacterial expression system and purified using affinity, ion-exchange, and size-exclusion chromatography. DnaK induced the activation of MAPKs and NF-κB in DC and the production of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-6, TNF-α, and IL-12 p40, as well as low levels of IL-10. DnaK induced phenotypic maturation of DC, as demonstrated by an up-regulation of costimulatory molecules CD40, CD80, and CD86. DnaK stimulated DC through TLR4 and the adapters MyD88 and Toll/IL-1R domain-containing adaptor-inducing IFN-β (TRIF) that mediated differential responses. DnaK induced activation of MAPKs and NF-κB in a MyD88- or TRIF-dependent manner. However, the presence of MyD88- and TRIF-dependent signaling pathways was essential for an optimal, DnaK-induced cytokine response in DC. In contrast, DnaK induced DC maturation in a TRIF-dependent, MyD88-independent manner. These results provide insight about the molecular interactions between an immunodominant antigen of F. tularensis and host immune cells, which is crucial for the rational design and development of a safe and efficacious vaccine against tularemia. PMID:18708593

  13. Crystal Structures of the Histidine Acid Phosphatase from Francisella tularensis Provide Insight into Substrate Recognition

    SciTech Connect

    Singh, Harkewal; Felts, Richard L.; Schuermann, Jonathan P.; Reilly, Thomas J.; Tanner, John J.

    2009-12-01

    Histidine acid phosphatases catalyze the transfer of a phosphoryl group from phosphomonoesters to water at acidic pH using an active-site histidine. The histidine acid phosphatase from the category A pathogen Francisella tularensis (FtHAP) has been implicated in intramacrophage survival and virulence, motivating interest in understanding the structure and mechanism of this enzyme. Here, we report a structure-based study of ligand recognition by FtHAP. The 1.70-{angstrom}-resolution structure of FtHAP complexed with the competitive inhibitor L(+)-tartrate was solved using single-wavelength anomalous diffraction phasing. Structures of the ligand-free enzyme and the complex with inorganic phosphate were determined at resolutions of 1.85 and 1.70 {angstrom}, respectively. The structure of the Asp261Ala mutant enzyme complexed with the substrate 3'-AMP was determined at 1.50 {angstrom} resolution to gain insight into substrate recognition. FtHAP exhibits a two-domain fold similar to that of human prostatic acid phosphatase, consisting of an {alpha}/{beta} core domain and a smaller domain that caps the core domain. The structures show that the core domain supplies the phosphoryl binding site, catalytic histidine (His17), and an aspartic acid residue (Asp261) that protonates the leaving group, while the cap domain contributes residues that enforce substrate preference. FtHAP and human prostatic acid phosphatase differ in the orientation of the crucial first helix of the cap domain, implying differences in the substrate preferences of the two enzymes. 3'-AMP binds in one end of a 15-{angstrom}-long tunnel, with the adenine clamped between Phe23 and Tyr135, and the ribose 2'-hydroxyl interacting with Gln132. The importance of the clamp is confirmed with site-directed mutagenesis; mutation of Phe23 and Tyr135 individually to Ala increases K{sub m} by factors of 7 and 10, respectively. The structural data are consistent with a role for FtHAP in scavenging phosphate from small

  14. [Investigation of the presence of Francisella tularensis by culture, serology and molecular methods in mice of Thrace Region, Turkey].

    PubMed

    Unal Yilmaz, Gülizar; Gurcan, Saban; Ozkan, Beytullah; Karadenizli, Aynur

    2014-04-01

    Tularemia is a disease that has been reported in Turkey since 1936. Although mice are considered to have a role in the transmission of Francisella tularensis to man, this has not been exactly confirmed yet. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of F. tularensis in mice by using culture, serology and molecular methods. For this purpose, four villages (Edirne-Demirkoy, Kirklareli-Kaynarca, Tekirdag-Muzruplu, Tekirdag-Sinanli) were selected in Thrace Region of Turkey where tularemia cases had been reported previously. A total of 126 live-catch mouse traps were established in warehouses, barns, areas near wells, water tanks and creeks in the villages in December 2012. Traps were kept overnight and the next day the animals collected were identified at species-level. The live-captured mice were anesthetized and their heart blood samples were obtained. Subsequently, liver and spleen tissues were removed from every mouse under aseptic conditions in the class-2 safety cabinet. These tissues were cultivated in Francis medium containing 5% sheep blood, 0.1% cystein, 1% glucose and incubated for seven days in both normal atmosphere and 5% carbondioxide incubator at 37°C. Tularemia microagglutination test was performed by using the sera which were obtained from live-captured mice. Finally, DNAs were isolated from both liver and spleen tissues of mice, and real-time polymerase chain reaction (Tularemia RT-PCR; Public Health Agency of Turkey, Ankara) were performed. In our study, a total of 19 mice were captured and of these 11 were alive. Ten mice were identified as Apodemus flavicollis, seven were Mus macedonicus and two were Mus musculus. There were no Francisella tularensis isolation in the cultures of mice liver and spleen tissues. Serological tests yielded negative results for 10 mice whose serum samples could be obtained. In RT-PCR, positivity were detected in spleen tissues of two mice which were captured from Kaynarca where first tularemia cases in

  15. The use of Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry in the identification of Francisella tularensis.

    PubMed

    Karatuna, Onur; Celebi, Bekir; Can, Simge; Akyar, Isin; Kilic, Selcuk

    2016-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is the cause of the zoonotic disease tularemia and is classified among highly pathogenic bacteria (HPB) due to its low infection dose and potential for airborne transmission. In the case of HBP, there is a pressing need for rapid, accurate and reliable identification. Phenotypic identification of Francisella species is inappropriate for clinical microbiology laboratories because it is time-consuming, hazardous and subject to variable interpretation. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) was recently evaluated as a useful tool for the rapid identification of a variety of microorganisms. In this study, we evaluated the use of MALDI-TOF MS for the rapid identification of Francisella tularensis and differentiation of its subspecies. Using national collection of Francisella isolates from the National Tularemia Reference Laboratory (Public Health Institute of Turkey, Ankara), a total of 75 clinical isolates were investigated by species and subspecies-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and MALDI-TOF MS. All isolates were originally identified as F. tularensis subsp. holarctica due to RD1 subspecies-specific PCR result. For all isolates MALDI-TOF MS provided results in concordance with subspecies-specific PCR analysis. Although PCR-based methods are effective in identifying Francisella species, they are labor-intensive and take longer periods of time to obtain the results when compared with MALDI-TOF MS. MALDI-TOF MS appeared to be a rapid, reliable and cost-effective identification technique for Francisella spp. Shorter analysis time and low cost make this an appealing new option in microbiology laboratories. PMID:26773181

  16. The use of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry in the identification of Francisella tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Karatuna, Onur; Çelebi, Bekir; Can, Simge; Akyar, Işın; Kiliç, Selçuk

    2016-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is the cause of the zoonotic disease tularemia and is classified among highly pathogenic bacteria (HPB) due to its low infection dose and potential for airborne transmission. In the case of HBP, there is a pressing need for rapid, accurate and reliable identification. Phenotypic identification of Francisella species is inappropriate for clinical microbiology laboratories because it is time-consuming, hazardous and subject to variable interpretation. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) was recently evaluated as a useful tool for the rapid identification of a variety of microorganisms. In this study, we evaluated the use of MALDI-TOF MS for the rapid identification of Francisella tularensis and differentiation of its subspecies. Using national collection of Francisella isolates from the National Tularemia Reference Laboratory (Public Health Institution of Turkey, Ankara), a total of 75 clinical isolates were investigated by species and subspecies-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and MALDI-TOF MS. All isolates were originally identified as F. tularensis subsp. holarctica according to region of difference 1 (RD1) subspecies-specific PCR results. For all isolates MALDI-TOF MS provided results in concordance with subspecies-specific PCR analysis. Although PCR-based methods are effective in identifying Francisella species, they are labor-intensive and take longer periods of time to obtain the results when compared with MALDI-TOF MS. MALDI-TOF MS appeared to be a rapid, reliable and cost-effective identification technique for Francisella spp. Shorter analysis time and low cost make this an appealing new option in microbiology laboratories. PMID:26773181

  17. Cloning, expression, purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of macrophage growth locus A (MglA) protein from Francisella tularensis

    SciTech Connect

    Subburaman, P.; Austin, B.P.; Shaw, G.X.; Waugh, D.S.; Ji, X.

    2010-11-03

    Francisella tularensis, a potential bioweapon, causes a rare infectious disease called tularemia in humans and animals. The macrophage growth locus A (MglA) protein from F. tularensis associates with RNA polymerase to positively regulate the expression of multiple virulence factors that are required for its survival and replication within macrophages. The MglA protein was overproduced in Escherichia coli, purified and crystallized. The crystals diffracted to 7.5 {angstrom} resolution at the Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory and belonged to the hexagonal space group P6{sub 1} or P6{sub 5}, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 125, c = 54 {angstrom}.

  18. Evaluation of the FilmArray® system for detection of Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis

    SciTech Connect

    Seiner, Derrick R.; Colburn, Heather A.; Baird, Cheryl L.; Bartholomew, Rachel A.; Straub, Tim M.; Victry, Kristin D.; Hutchison, Janine R.; Valentine, Nancy B.; Bruckner-Lea, Cindy J.

    2013-04-29

    To evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of the Idaho Technologies FilmArray® Biothreat Panel for the detection of Bacillus anthracis (Ba), Francisella tularensis (Ft), and Yersinia pestis (Yp) DNA, and demonstrate the detection of Ba spores. Methods and Results: DNA samples from Ba, Ft and Yp strains and near-neighbors, and live Ba spores were analyzed using the Biothreat Panel, a multiplexed PCR-based assay for 17 pathogens and toxins. Sensitivity studies with DNA suggest a limit of detection of 250 genome equivalents (GEs) per sample. Furthermore, the correct call of Ft, Yp or Bacillus species was made in 63 of 72 samples tested at 25 GE or less. With samples containing 25 Ba Sterne spores, at least one of the two possible Ba markers were identified in all samples tested. We observed no cross-reactivity with near-neighbor DNAs.

  19. Rapid Focused Sequencing: A Multiplexed Assay for Simultaneous Detection and Strain Typing of Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Zolotova, Anna; Tan, Eugene; Selden, Richard F.

    2013-01-01

    Background The intentional release of Bacillus anthracis in the United States in 2001 has heightened concern about the use of pathogenic microorganisms in bioterrorism attacks. Many of the deadliest bacteria, including the Class A Select Agents Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis, are highly infectious via the pulmonary route when released in aerosolized form. Hence, rapid, sensitive, and reliable methods for detection of these biothreats and characterization of their potential impact on the exposed population are of critical importance to initiate and support rapid military, public health, and clinical responses. Methodology/Principal Findings We have developed microfluidic multiplexed PCR and sequencing assays based on the simultaneous interrogation of three pathogens per assay and ten loci per pathogen. Microfluidic separation of amplified fluorescently labeled fragments generated characteristic electrophoretic signatures for identification of each agent. The three sets of primers allowed significant strain typing and discrimination from non-pathogenic closely-related species and environmental background strains based on amplicon sizes alone. Furthermore, sequencing of the 10 amplicons per pathogen, termed “Rapid Focused Sequencing,” allowed an even greater degree of strain discrimination and, in some cases, can be used to determine virulence. Both amplification and sequencing assays were performed in microfluidic biochips developed for fast thermal cycling and requiring 7 µL per reaction. The 30-plex sequencing assay resulted in genotypic resolution of 84 representative strains belonging to each of the three biothreat species. Conclusions/Significance The microfluidic multiplexed assays allowed identification and strain differentiation of the biothreat agents Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis and clear discrimination from closely-related species and several environmental background strains. The

  20. Protection Afforded by Fluoroquinolones in Animal Models of Respiratory Infections with Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, and Francisella tularensis.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Johnny W; Moen, Scott T; Healy, Daniel; Pawlik, Jennifer E; Taormina, Joanna; Hardcastle, Jason; Thomas, John M; Lawrence, William S; Ponce, Cindy; Chatuev, Bagram M; Gnade, Bryan T; Foltz, Sheri M; Agar, Stacy L; Sha, Jian; Klimpel, Gary R; Kirtley, Michelle L; Eaves-Pyles, Tonyia; Chopra, Ashok K

    2010-01-01

    Successful treatment of inhalation anthrax, pneumonic plague and tularemia can be achieved with fluoroquinolone antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin, and initiation of treatment is most effective when administered as soon as possible following exposure. Bacillus anthracis Ames, Yersinia pestis CO92, and Francisella tularensis SCHU S4 have equivalent susceptibility in vitro to ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin (minimal inhibitory concentration is 0.03 μg/ml); however, limited information is available regarding in vivo susceptibility of these infectious agents to the fluoroquinolone antibiotics in small animal models. Mice, guinea pig, and rabbit models have been developed to evaluate the protective efficacy of antibiotic therapy against these life-threatening infections. Our results indicated that doses of ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin required to protect mice against inhalation anthrax were approximately 18-fold higher than the doses of levofloxacin required to protect against pneumonic plague and tularemia. Further, the critical period following aerosol exposure of mice to either B. anthracis spores or Y. pestis was 24 h, while mice challenged with F. tularensis could be effectively protected when treatment was delayed for as long as 72 h postchallenge. In addition, it was apparent that prolonged antibiotic treatment was important in the effective treatment of inhalation anthrax in mice, but short-term treatment of mice with pneumonic plague or tularemia infections were usually successful. These results provide effective antibiotic dosages in mice, guinea pigs, and rabbits and lay the foundation for the development and evaluation of combinational treatment modalities. PMID:21127743

  1. Protection Afforded by Fluoroquinolones in Animal Models of Respiratory Infections with Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, and Francisella tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, Johnny W; Moen, Scott T; Healy, Daniel; Pawlik, Jennifer E; Taormina, Joanna; Hardcastle, Jason; Thomas, John M; Lawrence, William S; Ponce, Cindy; Chatuev, Bagram M; Gnade, Bryan T; Foltz, Sheri M; Agar, Stacy L; Sha, Jian; Klimpel, Gary R; Kirtley, Michelle L; Eaves-Pyles, Tonyia; Chopra, Ashok K

    2010-01-01

    Successful treatment of inhalation anthrax, pneumonic plague and tularemia can be achieved with fluoroquinolone antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin, and initiation of treatment is most effective when administered as soon as possible following exposure. Bacillus anthracis Ames, Yersinia pestis CO92, and Francisella tularensis SCHU S4 have equivalent susceptibility in vitro to ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin (minimal inhibitory concentration is 0.03 μg/ml); however, limited information is available regarding in vivo susceptibility of these infectious agents to the fluoroquinolone antibiotics in small animal models. Mice, guinea pig, and rabbit models have been developed to evaluate the protective efficacy of antibiotic therapy against these life-threatening infections. Our results indicated that doses of ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin required to protect mice against inhalation anthrax were approximately 18-fold higher than the doses of levofloxacin required to protect against pneumonic plague and tularemia. Further, the critical period following aerosol exposure of mice to either B. anthracis spores or Y. pestis was 24 h, while mice challenged with F. tularensis could be effectively protected when treatment was delayed for as long as 72 h postchallenge. In addition, it was apparent that prolonged antibiotic treatment was important in the effective treatment of inhalation anthrax in mice, but short-term treatment of mice with pneumonic plague or tularemia infections were usually successful. These results provide effective antibiotic dosages in mice, guinea pigs, and rabbits and lay the foundation for the development and evaluation of combinational treatment modalities. PMID:21127743

  2. Environmental Monitoring and Surveillance of Rodents and Vectors for Francisella tularensis Following Outbreaks of Human Tularemia in Georgia

    PubMed Central

    Elashvili, Eka; Kracalik, Ian; Burjanadze, Irma; Datukishvili, Sophio; Chanturia, Gvantsa; Tsertsvadze, Nikoloz; Beridze, Levan; Shavishvili, Merab; Dzneladze, Archil; Grdzelidze, Marina; Imnadze, Paata; Pearson, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Tularemia is a re-emerging bacterial zoonosis, broadly distributed across the northern hemisphere. In Georgia, there is a history of human tularemia outbreaks dating back to the 1940s. In response to outbreaks, health officials initiated long-term field surveillance and environmental monitoring. The objective of our study was to obtain information from 57 years of field surveys to identify species that play a role in the occurrence Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica in the environment in Georgia. We collected historical data on human outbreaks, field collections, population dynamics of the common vole (Microtus arvalis), and conducted surveys on small mammals and vectors from five regions in Georgia during 1956–2012. Bacterial isolation was conducted using standard culturing techniques, and isolation rates for species were obtained for a subset of years. We used a Spearman rank correlation to test for associations between the density of the common vole and isolation rates. From 1956 through 2012, there were four recorded outbreaks of human tularemia (362 cases). A total of 465 bacterial isolates of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica were obtained from 27 species and environmental samples. The number of isolations was highest in the common vole (M. arvalis; 149 isolates; 32%) and Dermacentor marginatus ticks (132 isolates; 28%); isolation rates ranged between 0–0.91% and 0–0.47%, respectively. Population dynamics of the common vole were not correlated with the isolation rate. Given the history of tularemia re-emergence in Georgia, continued field surveys and environmental monitoring may provide an early indication of outbreak risk in humans. In conclusion, our findings provide evidence of long-standing foci of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica that are likely maintained by the common vole–tick cycle. PMID:26394283

  3. Live Attenuated Mutants of Francisella tularensis Protect Rabbits against Aerosol Challenge with a Virulent Type A Strain

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Le'Kneitah P.; Cole, Kelly Stefano; Santiago, Araceli E.; Mann, Barbara J.; Barry, Eileen M.

    2014-01-01

    Francisella tularensis, a Gram-negative bacterium, is the causative agent of tularemia. No licensed vaccine is currently available for protection against tularemia, although an attenuated strain, dubbed the live vaccine strain (LVS), is given to at-risk laboratory personnel as an investigational new drug (IND). In an effort to develop a vaccine that offers better protection, recombinant attenuated derivatives of a virulent type A strain, SCHU S4, were evaluated in New Zealand White (NZW) rabbits. Rabbits vaccinated via scarification with the three attenuated derivatives (SCHU S4 ΔguaBA, ΔaroD, and ΔfipB strains) or with LVS developed a mild fever, but no weight loss was detected. Twenty-one days after vaccination, all vaccinated rabbits were seropositive for IgG to F. tularensis lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Thirty days after vaccination, all rabbits were challenged with aerosolized SCHU S4 at doses ranging from 50 to 500 50% lethal doses (LD50). All rabbits developed fevers and weight loss after challenge, but the severity was greater for mock-vaccinated rabbits. The ΔguaBA and ΔaroD SCHU S4 derivatives provided partial protection against death (27 to 36%) and a prolonged time to death compared to results for the mock-vaccinated group. In contrast, LVS and the ΔfipB strain both prolonged the time to death, but there were no survivors from the challenge. This is the first demonstration of vaccine efficacy against aerosol challenge with virulent type A F. tularensis in a species other than a rodent since the original work with LVS in the 1960s. The ΔguaBA and ΔaroD SCHU S4 derivatives warrant further evaluation and consideration as potential vaccines for tularemia and for identification of immunological correlates of protection. PMID:24614653

  4. Environmental Monitoring and Surveillance of Rodents and Vectors for Francisella tularensis Following Outbreaks of Human Tularemia in Georgia.

    PubMed

    Elashvili, Eka; Kracalik, Ian; Burjanadze, Irma; Datukishvili, Sophio; Chanturia, Gvantsa; Tsertsvadze, Nikoloz; Beridze, Levan; Shavishvili, Merab; Dzneladze, Archil; Grdzelidze, Marina; Imnadze, Paata; Pearson, Andrew; Blackburn, Jason K

    2015-10-01

    Tularemia is a re-emerging bacterial zoonosis, broadly distributed across the northern hemisphere. In Georgia, there is a history of human tularemia outbreaks dating back to the 1940s. In response to outbreaks, health officials initiated long-term field surveillance and environmental monitoring. The objective of our study was to obtain information from 57 years of field surveys to identify species that play a role in the occurrence Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica in the environment in Georgia. We collected historical data on human outbreaks, field collections, population dynamics of the common vole (Microtus arvalis), and conducted surveys on small mammals and vectors from five regions in Georgia during 1956-2012. Bacterial isolation was conducted using standard culturing techniques, and isolation rates for species were obtained for a subset of years. We used a Spearman rank correlation to test for associations between the density of the common vole and isolation rates. From 1956 through 2012, there were four recorded outbreaks of human tularemia (362 cases). A total of 465 bacterial isolates of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica were obtained from 27 species and environmental samples. The number of isolations was highest in the common vole (M. arvalis; 149 isolates; 32%) and Dermacentor marginatus ticks (132 isolates; 28%); isolation rates ranged between 0-0.91% and 0-0.47%, respectively. Population dynamics of the common vole were not correlated with the isolation rate. Given the history of tularemia re-emergence in Georgia, continued field surveys and environmental monitoring may provide an early indication of outbreak risk in humans. In conclusion, our findings provide evidence of long-standing foci of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica that are likely maintained by the common vole-tick cycle. PMID:26394283

  5. Evidence Suggesting That Francisella tularensis O-Antigen Capsule Contains a Lipid A-Like Molecule That Is Structurally Distinct from the More Abundant Free Lipid A

    PubMed Central

    Barker, Jason H.; Kaufman, Justin W.; Apicella, Michael A.; Weiss, Jerrold P.

    2016-01-01

    Francisella tularensis, the Gram-negative bacterium that causes tularemia, produces a high molecular weight capsule that is immunologically distinct from Francisella lipopolysaccharide but contains the same O-antigen tetrasaccharide. To pursue the possibility that the capsule of Francisella live vaccine strain (LVS) has a structurally unique lipid anchor, we have metabolically labeled Francisella with [14C]acetate to facilitate highly sensitive compositional analysis of capsule-associated lipids. Capsule was purified by two independent methods and yielded similar results. Autoradiographic and immunologic analysis confirmed that this purified material was largely devoid of low molecular weight LPS and of the copious amounts of free lipid A that the Francisellae accumulate. Chemical hydrolysis yielded [14C]-labeled free fatty acids characteristic of Francisella lipid A but with a different molar ratio of 3-OH C18:0 to 3-OH C16:0 and different composition of non-hydroxylated fatty acids (mainly C14:0 rather than C16:0) than that of free Francisella lipid A. Mild acid hydrolysis to induce selective cleavage of KDO-lipid A linkage yielded a [14C]-labeled product that partitioned during Bligh/Dyer extraction and migrated during thin-layer chromatography like lipid A. These findings suggest that the O-antigen capsule of Francisella contains a covalently linked and structurally distinct lipid A species. The presence of a discrete lipid A-like molecule associated with capsule raises the possibility that Francisella selectively exploits lipid A structural heterogeneity to regulate synthesis, transport, and stable bacterial surface association of the O-antigen capsular layer. PMID:27326857

  6. Detoxified endotoxin vaccine (J5dLPS/OMP) protects mice against lethal respiratory challenge with Francisella tularensis SchuS4.

    PubMed

    Gregory, Stephen H; Chen, Wilbur H; Mott, Stephanie; Palardy, John E; Parejo, Nicholas A; Heninger, Sara; Anderson, Christine A; Artenstein, Andrew W; Opal, Steven M; Cross, Alan S

    2010-04-01

    Francisella tularensis is a category A select agent. J5dLPS/OMP is a novel vaccine construct consisting of detoxified, O-polysaccharide side chain-deficient, lipopolysaccharide non-covalently complexed with the outer membrane protein of N. meningitidis group B. Immunization elicits high-titer polyclonal antibodies specific for the highly-conserved epitopes expressed within the glycolipid core that constitutes gram-negative bacteria (e.g., F. tularensis). Mice immunized intranasally with J5dLPS/OMP exhibited protective immunity to intratracheal challenge with the live vaccine strain, as well as the highly-virulent SchuS4 strain, of F. tularensis. The efficacy of J5dLPS/OMP vaccine suggests its potential utility in immunizing the general population against several different gram-negative select agents concurrently. PMID:20170768

  7. A variety of novel lipid A structures obtained from Francisella tularensis live vaccine strain.

    PubMed

    Beasley, Ashley S; Cotter, Robert J; Vogel, Stefanie N; Inzana, Thomas J; Qureshi, Asaf A; Qureshi, Nilofer

    2012-04-01

    F. tularensis is a Gram-negative coccobacillus that causes tularemia. Its LPS has nominal biological activity. Currently, there is controversy regarding the structure of the lipid A obtained from F. tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS). Therefore, to resolve this controversy, the purification and structural identification of this LPS was crucial. To achieve this, LPS from F. tularensis LVS was acid hydrolyzed to obtain crude lipid A that was methylated and purified by HPLC and the fractions were analyzed by MALDI-TOF MS. The structure of the major lipid A species was composed of a glucosamine disaccharide backbone substituted with four fatty acyl groups and a phosphate (1-position) with a molecular mass of 1505. The major lipid A component contained 18:0[3-O(16:0)] in the distal subunit and two 18:0(3-OH) fatty acyl chains at the 2- or 3-positions of the reducing subunit. Additional variations in the lipid A species include: heterogeneity in fatty acyl groups, a phosphate or a phosphoryl galactosamine at the 1-position, and a hexose at the 4' or 6' position, some of which have not been previously described for F. tularensis LVS. This analysis revealed that lipid A from F. tularensis LVS is far more complex than originally believed. PMID:21709054

  8. Levofloxacin Rescues Mice from Lethal Intra-nasal Infections with Virulent Francisella tularensis and Induces Immunity and Production of Protective Antibody

    PubMed Central

    Klimpel, Gary R.; Eaves-Pyles, Tonyia; Moen, Scott T.; Taormina, Joanna; Peterson, Johnny W.; Chopra, Ashok K.; Niesel, David W.; Carness, Paige; Haithcoat, Judith L.; Kirtley, Michelle; Ben Nasr, Abdelhakim

    2009-01-01

    The ability to protect mice against respiratory infections with virulent Francisella tularensis has been problematic and the role of antibody-versus-cell-mediated immunity controversial. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that protective immunity can develop in mice that were given antibiotic therapy following infection via the respiratory tract with Francisella tularensis SCHU S4. We show that mice infected with a lethal dose of SCHU S4, via an intra-nasal challenge, could be protected with levofloxacin treatment. This protection was evident even when levofloxacin treatment was delayed 72 hours post-infection. At early time points after levofloxacin treatment, significant numbers of bacteria could be recovered from the lungs and spleens of mice, which was followed by a dramatic disappearance of bacteria from these tissues. Mice successfully treated with levofloxacin were later shown to be almost completely resistant to rechallenge with SCHU S4 by the intra-nasal route. Serum antibody appeared to play an important role in this immunity. Normal mice, when given sera from animals protected by levofloxacin treatment, were solidly protected from a lethal intra-nasal challenge with SCHU S4. The protective antiserum contained high titers of SCHU S4 specific IgG2a, indicating that a strong Th1 response was induced following levofloxacin treatment. Thus, this study describes a potentially valuable animal model for furthering our understanding of respiratory tularemia and provides suggestive evidence that antibody can protect against respiratory infections with virulent F. tularensis. PMID:18930100

  9. Hare-to-human transmission of Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica, Germany.

    PubMed

    Otto, Peter; Kohlmann, Rebekka; Müller, Wolfgang; Julich, Sandra; Geis, Gabriele; Gatermann, Sören G; Peters, Martin; Wolf, Peter Johannes; Karlsson, Edvin; Forsman, Mats; Myrtennäs, Kerstin; Tomaso, Herbert

    2015-01-01

    In November 2012, a group of 7 persons who participated in a hare hunt in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, acquired tularemia. Two F. tularensis subsp. holarctica isolates were cultivated from human and hare biopsy material. Both isolates belonged to the FTN002-00 genetic subclade (derived for single nucleotide polymorphisms B.10 and B.18), thus indicating likely hare-to-human transmission. PMID:25531286

  10. Cell-mediated and humoral immune responses after vaccination of human volunteers with the live vaccine strain of Francisella tularensis.

    PubMed

    Waag, D M; McKee, K T; Sandstrom, G; Pratt, L L; Bolt, C R; England, M J; Nelson, G O; Williams, J C

    1995-03-01

    The specific humoral and cell-mediated immune responses of human volunteers vaccinated with the Francisella tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS) were evaluated. In the search for an optimal antigen to measure the immunogenicity of the vaccine in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, we tested irradiation-killed LVS, an aqueous ether extract of the LVS (EEx), lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from LVS, and a virulent strain (SCHU4). Volunteers were immunized with LVS by scarification. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) responses to LVS and LPS gave the highest background titers when tested with sera from unimmunized volunteers, whereas IgA, IgG, and IgM background titers to EEx and SCHU4 were low. Vaccination caused a significant rise (P < 0.01) in IgA, IgG, and IgM titers to all antigens tested, except for the IgG response to LPS. Eighty percent of vaccinated volunteers developed a positive IgG response to EEx 14 days postvaccination, while 50% were positive to LVS. By day 14 after vaccination, 70% of immunized volunteers exhibited a positive response to EEx in an in vitro peripheral blood lymphocyte proliferation assay. EEx, a specific and sensitive antigen for evaluating immune responses of vaccinated volunteers, may be a superior antigen for the diagnosis of tularemia. PMID:7697521

  11. From microfluidic modules to an integrated Lab-on-a-chip system for the detection of Francisella tularensis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hlawatsch, Nadine; Krumbholz, Marco; Prüfer, Anna; Moche, Christian; Becker, Holger; Gärtner, Claudia

    2013-05-01

    Lab-on-a-chip (LoC) systems translating the whole process of pathogen analysis to an integrated, miniaturized, and automatically functioning microfluidic platform are generally expected to be very promising future diagnostic approaches. The development of such a LoC system for the detection of bacterial pathogens applied to the example pathogen Francisella tularensis is described in this report. To allow functional testing of the whole process cascade before final device integration, various bio-analytical steps such as cell lysis, DNA extraction and purification, continuous-flow PCR and analyte detection have been adapted to unique functional microfluidic modules. As a successive step, positively tested modules for pathogen detection have been successfully assembled to an integrated chip. Moreover, technical solutions for a smooth interaction between sample input from the outer world as well as microfluidic chip and chip driving instrument have been developed. In conclusion, a full repertoire of analytical tools have been developed and successfully tested in the concerted manner of a functionally integrated microfluidic device representing a tool for future diagnostic approaches.

  12. Aerosol delivery of liposome-encapsulated ciprofloxacin: aerosol characterization and efficacy against Francisella tularensis infection in mice.

    PubMed

    Conley, J; Yang, H; Wilson, T; Blasetti, K; Di Ninno, V; Schnell, G; Wong, J P

    1997-06-01

    The aerosol delivery of liposome-encapsulated ciprofloxacin by using 12 commercially available jet nebulizers was evaluated in this study. Aerosol particles containing liposome-encapsulated ciprofloxacin generated by the nebulizers were analyzed with a laser aerodynamic particle sizer. Mean mass aerodynamic diameters (MMADs) and geometric standard deviations (GSDs) were determined, and the drug contents of the sampling filters from each run onto which aerosolized liposome-encapsulated ciprofloxacin had been deposited were analyzed spectrophotometrically. The aerosol particles of liposome-encapsulated ciprofloxacin generated by these nebulizers ranged from 1.94 to 3.5 microm, with GSDs ranging from 1.51 to 1.84 microm. The drug contents of the sampling filters exposed for 1 min to aerosolized liposome-encapsulated ciprofloxacin range from 12.7 to 40.5 microg/ml (0.06 to 0.2 mg/filter). By using the nebulizer selected on the basis of most desirable MMADs, particle counts, and drug deposition, aerosolized liposome-encapsulated ciprofloxacin was used for the treatment of mice infected with 10 times the 50% lethal dose of Francisella tularensis. All mice treated with aerosolized liposome-encapsulated ciprofloxacin survived the infection, while all ciprofloxacin-treated or untreated control mice succumbed to the infection (P < 0.001). These results suggest that aerosol delivery of liposome-encapsulated ciprofloxacin to the lower respiratory tract is feasible and that it may provide an effective therapy for the treatment of respiratory tract infections. PMID:9174185

  13. Structural Heterogeneity and Environmentally Regulated Remodeling of Francisella tularensis subspecies novicida Lipid A Characterized by Tandem Mass Spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Shaffer, Scott A.; Harvey, Megan D.; Goodlett, David R.; Ernst, Robert K.

    2009-01-01

    The structural characterization of environmentally-regulated lipid A derived from Francisella tularensis subspecies novicida (Fn) U112 is described using negative electrospray ionization with a linear ion trap Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (IT-FT-ICR) hybrid mass spectrometer. The results indicate that a unique profile of lipid A molecular structures are synthesized in response to Fn growth at 25 °C versus 37 °C. Molecular species were found to be tetra-acylated, sharing a conserved glucosamine disaccharide backbone, a galactosamine-1-phosphate linked to the reducing glucosamine, and multiple O- and N-linked fatty acyl groups. Deprotonated molecules were interrogated by MSn scanning techniques at both high and nominal mass resolution and were found to be complex heterogeneous mixtures where structures differed based on the positions and identities of the O- and N-linked fatty acyl substituents. For the dominant ion series, which consisted of five peaks, 30 unique lipid A structures were identified. Estimates for the relative abundance of each structure were derived from MS relative abundance ratios and fragment ion ratios from comparable dissociation pathways from MS2 through MS4 experiments. The results suggest a remodeling pathway in which the amide linked fatty acid of the reducing glucosamine favors a 3-hydroxyhexadecanoic acid substituent for growth conditions at 25 °C versus a 3-hydroxyoctadecanoic acid substituent for growth conditions at 37 °C. PMID:17446084

  14. Slow-Onset Inhibition of the FabI Enoyl Reductase from Francisella tularensis: Residence Time and in Vivo Activity

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, H.; England, K; Ende, C; Truglio, J; Luckner, S; Reddy, B; Marlenee, N; Knudson, S; Knudson, D; et. al.

    2009-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a highly virulent and contagious Gram-negative intracellular bacterium that causes the disease tularemia in mammals. The high infectivity and the ability of the bacterium to survive for weeks in a cool, moist environment have raised the possibility that this organism could be exploited deliberately as a potential biological weapon. Fatty acid biosynthesis (FAS-II) is essential for bacterial viability and has been validated as a target for the discovery of novel antibacterials. The FAS-II enoyl reductase ftuFabI has been cloned and expressed, and a series of diphenyl ethers have been identified that are subnanomolar inhibitors of the enzyme with MIC90 values as low as 0.00018 ?g mL-1. The existence of a linear correlation between the Ki and MIC values strongly suggests that the antibacterial activity of the diphenyl ethers results from direct inhibition of ftuFabI within the cell. The compounds are slow-onset inhibitors of ftuFabI, and the residence time of the inhibitors on the enzyme correlates with their in vivo activity in a mouse model of tularemia infection. Significantly, the rate of breakdown of the enzyme-inhibitor complex is a better predictor of in vivo activity than the overall thermodynamic stability of the complex, a concept that has important implications for the discovery of novel chemotherapeutics that normally rely on equilibrium measurements of potency.

  15. Structural and Enzymatic Analyses Reveal the Binding Mode of a Novel Series of Francisella tularensis Enoyl Reductase (FabI) Inhibitors

    SciTech Connect

    Mehboob, Shahila; Hevener, Kirk E.; Truong, Kent; Boci, Teuta; Santarsiero, Bernard D.; Johnson, Michael E.

    2012-10-10

    Because of structural and mechanistic differences between eukaryotic and prokaryotic fatty acid synthesis enzymes, the bacterial pathway, FAS-II, is an attractive target for the design of antimicrobial agents. We have previously reported the identification of a novel series of benzimidazole compounds with particularly good antibacterial effect against Francisella tularensis, a Category A biowarfare pathogen. Herein we report the crystal structure of the F. tularensis FabI enzyme in complex with our most active benzimidazole compound bound with NADH. The structure reveals that the benzimidazole compounds bind to the substrate site in a unique conformation that is distinct from the binding motif of other known FabI inhibitors. Detailed inhibition kinetics have confirmed that the compounds possess a novel inhibitory mechanism that is unique among known FabI inhibitors. These studies could have a strong impact on future antimicrobial design efforts and may reveal new avenues for the design of FAS-II active antibacterial compounds.

  16. Francisella tularensis type B ΔdsbA mutant protects against type A strain and induces strong inflammatory cytokine and Th1-like antibody response in vivo.

    PubMed

    Straskova, Adela; Spidlova, Petra; Mou, Sherry; Worsham, Patricia; Putzova, Daniela; Pavkova, Ivona; Stulik, Jiri

    2015-11-01

    Francisella tularensis subspecies tularensis is a highly virulent intracellular bacterial pathogen, causing the disease tularemia. However, a safe and effective vaccine for routine application against F. tularensis has not yet been developed. We have recently constructed the deletion mutants for the DsbA homolog protein (ΔdsbA/FSC200) and a hypothetical protein IglH (ΔiglH/FSC200) in the type B F. tularensis subsp. holarctica FSC200 strain, which exerted different protection capacity against parental virulent strain. In this study, we further investigated the immunological correlates for these different levels of protection provided by ΔdsbA/FSC200 and ΔiglH/FSC200 mutants. Our results show that ΔdsbA/FSC200 mutant, but not ΔiglH/FSC200 mutant, induces an early innate inflammatory response leading to strong Th1-like antibody response. Furthermore, vaccination with ΔdsbA/FSC200 mutant, but not with ΔiglH/FSC200, elicited protection against the subsequent challenge with type A SCHU S4 strain in mice. An immunoproteomic approach was used to map a spectrum of antigens targeted by Th1-like specific antibodies, and more than 80 bacterial antigens, including novel ones, were identified. Comparison of tularemic antigens recognized by the ΔdsbA/FSC200 post-vaccination and the SCHU S4 post-challenge sera then revealed the existence of 22 novel SCHU S4 specific antibody clones. PMID:26253078

  17. A rapid real-time quantitative PCR assay to determine the minimal inhibitory extracellular concentration of antibiotics against an intracellular Francisella tularensis Live Vaccine Strain

    PubMed Central

    Aloni-Grinstein, Ronit; Shifman, Ohad; Lazar, Shlomi; Steinberger-Levy, Ida; Maoz, Sharon; Ber, Raphael

    2015-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a highly virulent facultative intracellular bacterium. The lack of a safe and efficient vaccine makes antibiotics the preferred treatment. F. tularensis antibiotic susceptibility tests are based on the in vitro standard CLSI-approved microdilution method for determining the MIC. However, limited data are available regarding the minimal inhibitory extracellular concentration (MIEC) needed to eradicate intracellular bacteria. Here, we evaluated the MIEC values of various WHO-recommended antibiotics and compared the MIEC values to the established MICs. We describe a rapid 3-h quantitative PCR (qPCR) intracellular antibiogram assay, which yields comparable MIEC values to those obtained by the classical 72-h cfu assay. This rapid qPCR assay is highly advantageous in light of the slow growth rates of F. tularensis. Our results showed that the MIECs obtained for doxycycline, chloramphenicol and ciprofloxacin were indicative of intracellular activity. Gentamicin was not effective against intracellular bacteria for at least 32 h post treatment, raising the question of whether slow-penetrating gentamicin should be used for certain stages of the disease. We suggest that the qPCR intracellular antibiogram assay may be used to screen for potentially active antibiotics against intracellular F. tularensis as well as to detect strains with acquired resistance to recommended antibiotics. PMID:26579112

  18. [A water-borne tularemia outbreak caused by Francisella tularensis subspecies holarctica in Central Anatolia region].

    PubMed

    Ulu Kılıç, Ayşegül; Kılıç, Selçuk; Sencan, Irfan; Ciçek Şentürk, Gönül; Gürbüz, Yunus; Tütüncü, Emin Ediz; Celebi, Bekir; Kıcıman, Özlem; Ergönül, Önder

    2011-04-01

    In this study, we investigated a waterborne tularemia outbreak occured in Kadiozu, a village of Cerkes county of Cankiri province (located in North-west part of central Anatolia, Turkey) between 18 November 2009-24 December 2009. Active surveillance was conducted to determine clinical characteristics and risk factors of cases after two patients from the same village had been diagnosed as oropharyngeal tularemia. All villagers were examined, and clinical specimens from cases and water samples which may be the source of outbreak in the field investigations were taken. Cases were in the form of oropharyngeal, glandular and pneumonic. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and cultures were conducted from lymph node aspirates, throat swabs taken from cases and samples from water sources of epidemic zone. All serum samples taken from the villagers were screened for F.tularensis antibodies with microagglutination test (MAT). Oropharyngeal tularemia was diagnosed in 11 patients, glandular form in 3 patients and pneumonic form in one patient according to clinical and laboratory results. Age of the patients ranged between 6-75 years old (mean age: 52.5 years) and thirty one of them (54.7%) were female. MAT titers ranged between 1/160 and 1/5120 in cases of tularemia. Causative agent was grown in the cultures of two patients (including a throat swab and a lymph node aspirate). F.tularensis DNA was shown by PCR in a throat swab and four lymph node aspirates. F.tularensis was also detected by PCR in the water sample obtained from one of the spring water commonly used by villagers. Only one of the lymph node samples obtained from two different patients, was positive by direct fluorescent antibody method. Causative agent was defined as F.tularensis subsp. holarctica by conventional and also molecular methods. Patients were treated with aminoglycoside (streptomycin, gentamicin, amikacin) or quinolone (ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin) antibiotics. Treatment failure was observed in five

  19. A Francisella tularensis Schu S4 Purine Auxotroph Is Highly Attenuated in Mice but Offers Limited Protection against Homologous Intranasal Challenge

    PubMed Central

    Pechous, Roger D.; McCarthy, Travis R.; Mohapatra, Nrusingh P.; Soni, Shilpa; Penoske, Renee M.; Salzman, Nita H.; Frank, Dara W.; Gunn, John S.; Zahrt, Thomas C.

    2008-01-01

    Background Francisella tularensis is a Gram-negative coccobacillus that causes the febrile illness tularemia. Subspecies that are pathogenic for humans include those comprising the type A (subspecies tularensis) or type B (subspecies holarctica) biovars. An attenuated live vaccine strain (LVS) developed from a type B isolate has previously been used to vaccinate at-risk individuals, but offers limited protection against high dose (>1000 CFUs) challenge with type A strains delivered by the respiratory route. Due to differences between type A and type B F. tularensis strains at the genetic level, it has been speculated that utilization of an attenuated type A strain as a live vaccine might offer better protection against homologous respiratory challenge compared with LVS. Here, we report the construction and characterization of an unmarked ΔpurMCD mutant in the highly virulent type A strain Schu S4. Methodology/Principal Findings Growth of Schu S4 ΔpurMCD was severely attenuated in primary human peripheral blood monocyte-derived macrophages and in the A549 human lung epithelial cell line. The Schu S4 ΔpurMCD mutant was also highly attenuated in mice when delivered via either the intranasal or intradermal infection route. Mice vaccinated intranasally with Schu S4 ΔpurMCD were well protected against high dose intradermal challenge with virulent type A or type B strains of F. tularensis. However, intranasal vaccination with Schu S4 ΔpurMCD induced tissue damage in the lungs, and conferred only limited protection against high dose Schu S4 challenge delivered by the same route. The level of protection observed was similar to that conferred following vaccination with wild-type LVS or the analogous LVS ΔpurMCD mutant. Conclusions/Significance Collectively, these results argue that development of the next generation live attenuated vaccine for Francisella should be based on use of the less pathogenic type B biovar rather than the more reactogenic type A biovar. PMID

  20. Recombinant Attenuated Listeria monocytogenes Vaccine Expressing Francisella tularensis IglC Induces Protection in Mice Against Aerosolized Type A F. tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Qingmei; Lee, Bai-Yu; Clemens, Daniel L.; Bowen, Richard A.; Horwitz, Marcus A.

    2009-01-01

    Fransicella tularensis, the causative agent of tularemia, is in the top category (Category A) of potential agents of bioterrorism. To develop a safer vaccine against aerosolized F. tularensis, we have employed an attenuated Listeria monocytogenes, which shares with F. tularensis an intracellular and extraphagosomal lifestyle, as a delivery vehicle for F. tularensis antigens. We constructed recombinant L. monocytogenes (rLm) vaccines stably expressing 7 F. tularensis proteins including IglC (rLm/iglC), and tested their immunogenicity and protective efficacy against lethal F. tularensis challenge in mice. Mice immunized intradermally with rLm/iglC developed significant cellular immune responses to F. tularensis IglC as evidenced by lymphocyte proliferation and CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell intracellular expression of interferon gamma. Moreover, mice immunized with rLm/iglC were protected against lethal challenge with F. tularensis LVS administered by the intranasal route, a route chosen to mimic airborne infection, and, most importantly, against aerosol challenge with the highly virulent Type A F. tularensis SchuS4 strain. PMID:19126421

  1. Identification of Genes Required for Secretion of the Francisella Oxidative Burst-Inhibiting Acid Phosphatase AcpA.

    PubMed

    Hoang, Ky Van; Chen, Carolyn G; Koopman, Jacob; Moshiri, Jasmine; Adcox, Haley E; Gunn, John S

    2016-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a Tier 1 bioterror threat and the intracellular pathogen responsible for tularemia in humans and animals. Upon entry into the host, Francisella uses multiple mechanisms to evade killing. Our previous studies have shown that after entering its primary cellular host, the macrophage, Francisella immediately suppresses the oxidative burst by secreting a series of acid phosphatases including AcpA-B-C and HapA, thereby evading the innate immune response of the macrophage and enhancing survival and further infection. However, the mechanism of acid phosphatase secretion by Francisella is still unknown. In this study, we screened for genes required for AcpA secretion in Francisella. We initially demonstrated that the known secretion systems, the putative Francisella-pathogenicity island (FPI)-encoded Type VI secretion system and the Type IV pili, do not secrete AcpA. Using random transposon mutagenesis in conjunction with ELISA, Western blotting and acid phosphatase enzymatic assays, a transposon library of 5450 mutants was screened for strains with a minimum 1.5-fold decrease in secreted (culture supernatant) AcpA, but no defect in cytosolic AcpA. Three mutants with decreased supernatant AcpA were identified. The transposon insertion sites of these mutants were revealed by direct genomic sequencing or inverse-PCR and sequencing. One of these mutants has a severe defect in AcpA secretion (at least 85% decrease) and is a predicted hypothetical inner membrane protein. Interestingly, this mutant also affected the secretion of the FPI-encoded protein, VgrG. Thus, this screen identified novel protein secretion factors involved in the subversion of host defenses. PMID:27199935

  2. Identification of Genes Required for Secretion of the Francisella Oxidative Burst-Inhibiting Acid Phosphatase AcpA

    PubMed Central

    Hoang, Ky Van; Chen, Carolyn G.; Koopman, Jacob; Moshiri, Jasmine; Adcox, Haley E.; Gunn, John S.

    2016-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a Tier 1 bioterror threat and the intracellular pathogen responsible for tularemia in humans and animals. Upon entry into the host, Francisella uses multiple mechanisms to evade killing. Our previous studies have shown that after entering its primary cellular host, the macrophage, Francisella immediately suppresses the oxidative burst by secreting a series of acid phosphatases including AcpA-B-C and HapA, thereby evading the innate immune response of the macrophage and enhancing survival and further infection. However, the mechanism of acid phosphatase secretion by Francisella is still unknown. In this study, we screened for genes required for AcpA secretion in Francisella. We initially demonstrated that the known secretion systems, the putative Francisella-pathogenicity island (FPI)-encoded Type VI secretion system and the Type IV pili, do not secrete AcpA. Using random transposon mutagenesis in conjunction with ELISA, Western blotting and acid phosphatase enzymatic assays, a transposon library of 5450 mutants was screened for strains with a minimum 1.5-fold decrease in secreted (culture supernatant) AcpA, but no defect in cytosolic AcpA. Three mutants with decreased supernatant AcpA were identified. The transposon insertion sites of these mutants were revealed by direct genomic sequencing or inverse-PCR and sequencing. One of these mutants has a severe defect in AcpA secretion (at least 85% decrease) and is a predicted hypothetical inner membrane protein. Interestingly, this mutant also affected the secretion of the FPI-encoded protein, VgrG. Thus, this screen identified novel protein secretion factors involved in the subversion of host defenses. PMID:27199935

  3. Antimicrobial activity of mosquito cecropin peptides against Francisella.

    PubMed

    Kaushal, Akanksha; Gupta, Kajal; Shah, Ruhee; van Hoek, Monique L

    2016-10-01

    Francisella tularensis is the cause of the zoonotic disease tularemia. In Sweden and Scandinavia, epidemiological studies have implicated mosquitoes as a vector. Prior research has demonstrated the presence of Francisella DNA in infected mosquitoes but has not shown definitive transmission of tularemia from a mosquito to a mammalian host. We hypothesized that antimicrobial peptides, an important component of the innate immune system of higher organisms, may play a role in mosquito host-defense to Francisella. We established that Francisella sp. are susceptible to two cecropin antimicrobial peptides derived from the mosquito Aedes albopictus as well as Culex pipiens. We also demonstrated induced expression of Aedes albopictus antimicrobial peptide genes by Francisella infection C6/36 mosquito cell line. We demonstrate that mosquito antimicrobial peptides act against Francisella by disrupting the cellular membrane of the bacteria. Thus, it is possible that antimicrobial peptides may play a role in the inability of mosquitoes to establish an effective natural transmission of tularemia. PMID:27235883

  4. Characterization of Francisella tularensis Schu S4 mutants identified from a transposon library screened for O-antigen and capsule deficiencies

    PubMed Central

    Rasmussen, Jed A.; Fletcher, Joshua R.; Long, Matthew E.; Allen, Lee-Ann H.; Jones, Bradley D.

    2015-01-01

    The lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and O-antigen polysaccharide capsule structures of Francisella tularensis play significant roles in helping these highly virulent bacteria avoid detection within a host. We previously created pools of F. tularensis mutants that we screened to identify strains that were not reactive to a monoclonal antibody to the O-antigen capsule. To follow up previously published work, we characterize further seven of the F. tularensis Schu S4 mutant strains identified by our screen. These F. tularensis strains carry the following transposon mutations: FTT0846::Tn5, hemH::Tn5, wbtA::Tn5, wzy::Tn5, FTT0673p/prsA::Tn5, manB::Tn5, or dnaJ::Tn5. Each of these strains displayed sensitivity to human serum, to varying degrees, when compared to wild-type F. tularensis Schu S4. By Western blot, only FTT0846::Tn5, wbtA::Tn5, wzy::Tn5, and manB::Tn5 strains did not react to the capsule and LPS O-antigen antibody 11B7, although the wzy::Tn5 strain did have a single O-antigen reactive band that was detected by the FB11 monoclonal antibody. Of these strains, manB::Tn5 and FTT0846 appear to have LPS core truncations, whereas wbtA::Tn5 and wzy::Tn5 had LPS core structures that are similar to the parent F. tularensis Schu S4. These strains were also shown to have poor growth within human monocyte derived macrophages (MDMs) and bone marrow derived macrophages (BMDMs). We examined the virulence of these strains in mice, following intranasal challenge, and found that each was attenuated compared to wild type Schu S4. Our results provide additional strong evidence that LPS and/or capsule are F. tularensis virulence factors that most likely function by providing a stealth shield that prevents the host immune system from detecting this potent pathogen. PMID:25999917

  5. Development and evaluation of an up-converting phosphor technology-based lateral flow assay for rapid detection of Francisella tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Hua, Fei; Zhang, Pingping; Zhang, Fuli; Zhao, Yong; Li, Chunfeng; Sun, Chongyun; Wang, Xiaochen; Yang, Ruifu; Wang, Chengbin; Yu, Ailian; Zhou, Lei

    2015-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a potential biowarfare/bioterrorism agent and zoonotic pathogen that causes tularemia; thus, surveillance of F. tularensis and first-level emergency response using point-of-care testing (POCT) are essential. The UPT-LF POCT assay was established to quantitatively detect F. tularensis within 15 min, and the sensitivity of the assay was 104 CFU · mL−1 (100 CFU/test). The linear quantitative range covered five orders of magnitude, and the coefficients of variation were less than 10%. Except Shigella dysenteriae, UPT-LF showed excellent specificity to four strains that are also potential biowarfare/bioterrorism agents and 13 food-borne pathogenic strains. Samples with pH 2–13, high ion strengths (≥2 mol · L−1 solution of KCl and NaCl), high viscosities (≤50 mg · mL−1 PEG20000 or ≥20% glycerol), and high concentrations of biomacromolecules (≥400 mg · mL−1 bovine serum albumin or ≥80 mg · mL−1 casein) showed little influence on the assay. For practical utilization, the tolerance limits for seven powders and eight viscera were determined, and operation errors of liquid measurement demonstrated a minor influence on the strip. Ftu-UPT-LF is a candidate POCT method because of its excellent sensitivity, specificity, and stability in complex samples, as well as low operation error. PMID:26608358

  6. Levofloxacin rescues mice from lethal intra-nasal infections with virulent Francisella tularensis and induces immunity and production of protective antibody.

    PubMed

    Klimpel, Gary R; Eaves-Pyles, Tonyia; Moen, Scott T; Taormina, Joanna; Peterson, Johnny W; Chopra, Ashok K; Niesel, David W; Carness, Paige; Haithcoat, Judith L; Kirtley, Michelle; Nasr, Abdelhakim Ben

    2008-12-01

    The ability to protect mice against respiratory infections with virulent Francisella tularensis has been problematic and the role of antibody-versus-cell-mediated immunity controversial. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that protective immunity can develop in mice that were given antibiotic therapy following infection via the respiratory tract with F. tularensis SCHU S4. We show that mice infected with a lethal dose of SCHU S4, via an intra-nasal challenge, could be protected with levofloxacin treatment. This protection was evident even when levofloxacin treatment was delayed 72h post-infection. At early time points after levofloxacin treatment, significant numbers of bacteria could be recovered from the lungs and spleens of mice, which was followed by a dramatic disappearance of bacteria from these tissues. Mice successfully treated with levofloxacin were later shown to be almost completely resistant to re-challenge with SCHU S4 by the intra-nasal route. Serum antibody appeared to play an important role in this immunity. Normal mice, when given sera from animals protected by levofloxacin treatment, were solidly protected from a lethal intra-nasal challenge with SCHU S4. The protective antiserum contained high titers of SCHU S4-specific IgG2a, indicating that a strong Th1 response was induced following levofloxacin treatment. Thus, this study describes a potentially valuable animal model for furthering our understanding of respiratory tularemia and provides suggestive evidence that antibody can protect against respiratory infections with virulent F. tularensis. PMID:18930100

  7. Development and evaluation of an up-converting phosphor technology-based lateral flow assay for rapid detection of Francisella tularensis.

    PubMed

    Hua, Fei; Zhang, Pingping; Zhang, Fuli; Zhao, Yong; Li, Chunfeng; Sun, Chongyun; Wang, Xiaochen; Yang, Ruifu; Wang, Chengbin; Yu, Ailian; Zhou, Lei

    2015-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a potential biowarfare/bioterrorism agent and zoonotic pathogen that causes tularemia; thus, surveillance of F. tularensis and first-level emergency response using point-of-care testing (POCT) are essential. The UPT-LF POCT assay was established to quantitatively detect F. tularensis within 15 min, and the sensitivity of the assay was 10(4) CFU · mL(-1) (100 CFU/test). The linear quantitative range covered five orders of magnitude, and the coefficients of variation were less than 10%. Except Shigella dysenteriae, UPT-LF showed excellent specificity to four strains that are also potential biowarfare/bioterrorism agents and 13 food-borne pathogenic strains. Samples with pH 2-13, high ion strengths (≥ 2 mol · L(-1) solution of KCl and NaCl), high viscosities (≤ 50 mg · mL(-1) PEG20000 or ≥ 20% glycerol), and high concentrations of biomacromolecules (≥ 400 mg · mL(-1) bovine serum albumin or ≥ 80 mg · mL(-1) casein) showed little influence on the assay. For practical utilization, the tolerance limits for seven powders and eight viscera were determined, and operation errors of liquid measurement demonstrated a minor influence on the strip. Ftu-UPT-LF is a candidate POCT method because of its excellent sensitivity, specificity, and stability in complex samples, as well as low operation error. PMID:26608358

  8. Francisella tularensis-induced in vitro gamma interferon, tumor necrosis factor alpha, and interleukin 2 responses appear within 2 weeks of tularemia vaccination in human beings.

    PubMed Central

    Karttunen, R; Surcel, H M; Andersson, G; Ekre, H P; Herva, E

    1991-01-01

    Cell-mediated immunity is essential for protection against the intracellular bacterium Francisella tularensis, which causes tularemia. Positive in vitro T-cell responses in the form of lymphocyte proliferation and lymphokine interleukin 2 (IL-2) and gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) secretion are found in memory immunity. Studies on the secretion of lymphokines with regard to the developing immunity to F. tularensis have not been published. Therefore, 14 subjects with no clinical history of tularemia were vaccinated with a live F. tularensis vaccine strain. The in vitro responses of five subjects (antigen-induced mononuclear cell and whole blood culture DNA synthesis and cytokine secretion) were measured twice a week throughout the period from 0 to 35 days after vaccination, and the peripheral blood lymphocyte subpopulations of nine subjects were determined between days 0 and 14. Positive reactions, i.e., responses exceeding those on day 0, were reached on day 10 with regard to the whole blood culture DNA synthesis response and IL-2 and IFN-gamma secretion and on day 14 with regard to the mononuclear cell DNA synthesis response and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) secretion. No measurable IL-4 was found in either the immune or nonimmune supernatants. Since the secretion of TNF-alpha was related to immunization, this points to the specificity of the phenomenon, even though the type of secreting cell is not yet known. If it is shown later that specific T cells produce it, the TNF-alpha response and the negative IL-4 finding may speak for the importance of the Th1-like pattern in immunity to F. tularensis. PMID:1909711

  9. Detection of Diverse New Francisella-Like Bacteria in Environmental Samples†

    PubMed Central

    Barns, Susan M.; Grow, Christy C.; Okinaka, Richard T.; Keim, Paul; Kuske, Cheryl R.

    2005-01-01

    Following detection of putative Francisella species in aerosol samples from Houston, Texas, we surveyed soil and water samples from the area for the agent of tularemia, Francisella tularensis, and related species. The initial survey used 16S rRNA gene primers to detect Francisella species and related organisms by PCR amplification of DNA extracts from environmental samples. This analysis indicated that sequences related to Francisella were present in one water and seven soil samples. This is the first report of the detection of Francisella-related species in soil samples by DNA-based methods. Cloning and sequencing of PCR products indicated the presence of a wide variety of Francisella-related species. Sequences from two soil samples were 99.9% similar to previously reported sequences from F. tularensis isolates and may represent new subspecies. Additional analyses with primer sets developed for detection and differentiation of F. tularensis subspecies support the finding of very close relatives to known F. tularensis strains in some samples. While the pathogenicity of these organisms is unknown, they have the potential to be detected in F. tularensis-specific assays. Similarly, a potential new subspecies of Francisella philomiragia was identified. The majority of sequences obtained, while more similar to those of Francisella than to any other genus, were phylogenetically distinct from known species and formed several new clades potentially representing new species or genera. The results of this study revise our understanding of the diversity and distribution of Francisella and have implications for tularemia epidemiology and our ability to detect bioterrorist activities. PMID:16151142

  10. Structure of the Francisella tularensis enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase (FabI) in complex with NAD[superscript +] and triclosan

    SciTech Connect

    Mehboob, Shahila; Truong, Kent; Santarsiero, Bernard D.; Johnson, Michael E.

    2010-11-19

    Enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase (FabI) catalyzes the last rate-limiting step in the elongation cycle of the fatty-acid biosynthesis pathway and has been validated as a potential antimicrobial drug target in Francisella tularensis. The development of new antibiotic therapies is important both to combat potential drug-resistant bioweapons and to address the broader societal problem of increasing antibiotic resistance among many pathogenic bacteria. The crystal structure of FabI from F. tularensis (FtuFabI) in complex with the inhibitor triclosan and the cofactor NAD{sup +} has been solved to a resolution of 2.1 {angstrom}. Triclosan is known to effectively inhibit FabI from different organisms. Precise characterization of the mode of triclosan binding is required to develop highly specific inhibitors. Comparison of our structure with the previously determined FtuFabI structure (PDB code 2jjy) which is bound to only NAD{sup +} reveals the conformation of the substrate-binding loop, electron density for which was missing in the earlier structure, and demonstrates a shift in the conformation of the NAD{sup +} cofactor. This shift in the position of the phosphate groups allows more room in the active site for substrate or inhibitor to bind and be better accommodated. This information will be crucial for virtual screening studies to identify novel scaffolds for development into new active inhibitors.

  11. Francisella tularensis IglG Belongs to a Novel Family of PAAR-Like T6SS Proteins and Harbors a Unique N-terminal Extension Required for Virulence.

    PubMed

    Rigard, Mélanie; Bröms, Jeanette E; Mosnier, Amandine; Hologne, Maggy; Martin, Amandine; Lindgren, Lena; Punginelli, Claire; Lays, Claire; Walker, Olivier; Charbit, Alain; Telouk, Philippe; Conlan, Wayne; Terradot, Laurent; Sjöstedt, Anders; Henry, Thomas

    2016-09-01

    The virulence of Francisella tularensis, the etiological agent of tularemia, relies on an atypical type VI secretion system (T6SS) encoded by a genomic island termed the Francisella Pathogenicity Island (FPI). While the importance of the FPI in F. tularensis virulence is clearly established, the precise role of most of the FPI-encoded proteins remains to be deciphered. In this study, using highly virulent F. tularensis strains and the closely related species F. novicida, IglG was characterized as a protein featuring a unique α-helical N-terminal extension and a domain of unknown function (DUF4280), present in more than 250 bacterial species. Three dimensional modeling of IglG and of the DUF4280 consensus protein sequence indicates that these proteins adopt a PAAR-like fold, suggesting they could cap the T6SS in a similar way as the recently described PAAR proteins. The newly identified PAAR-like motif is characterized by four conserved cysteine residues, also present in IglG, which may bind a metal atom. We demonstrate that IglG binds metal ions and that each individual cysteine is required for T6SS-dependent secretion of IglG and of the Hcp homologue, IglC and for the F. novicida intracellular life cycle. In contrast, the Francisella-specific N-terminal α-helical extension is not required for IglG secretion, but is critical for F. novicida virulence and for the interaction of IglG with another FPI-encoded protein, IglF. Altogether, our data suggest that IglG is a PAAR-like protein acting as a bi-modal protein that may connect the tip of the Francisella T6SS with a putative T6SS effector, IglF. PMID:27602570

  12. Evaluation of an immunochromatographic test for rapid and reliable serodiagnosis of human tularemia and detection of Francisella tularensis-specific antibodies in sera from different mammalian species.

    PubMed

    Splettstoesser, W; Guglielmo-Viret, V; Seibold, E; Thullier, P

    2010-05-01

    Tularemia is a highly contagious infectious zoonosis caused by the bacterial agent Francisella tularensis. Serology is still considered to be a cornerstone in tularemia diagnosis due to the low sensitivity of bacterial culture and the lack of standardization in PCR methodology for the direct identification of the pathogen. We developed a novel immunochromatographic test (ICT) to efficiently detect F. tularensis-specific antibodies in sera from humans and other mammalian species (nonhuman primate, pig, and rabbit). This new tool requires none or minimal laboratory equipment, and the results are obtained within 15 min. When compared to the method of microagglutination, which was shown to be more specific than the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, the ICT had a sensitivity of 98.3% (58 positive sera were tested) and a specificity of 96.5% (58 negative sera were tested) on human sera. On animal sera, the overall sensitivity was 100% (22 positive sera were tested) and specificity was also 100% (70 negative sera were tested). This rapid test preferentially detects IgG antibodies that may occur early in the course of human tularemia, but further evaluation with human sera is important to prove that the ICT can be a valuable field test to support a presumptive diagnosis of tularemia. The ICT can also be a useful tool to monitor successful vaccination with subunit vaccines or live vaccine strains containing lipopolysaccharide (e.g., LVS) and to detect seropositive individuals or animals in outbreak situations or in the context of epidemiologic surveillance programs in areas of endemicity as recently recommended by the World Health Organization. PMID:20220165

  13. β-Hydroxyacyl-acyl Carrier Protein Dehydratase (FabZ) from Francisella tularensis and Yersinia pestis: Structure Determination, Enzymatic Characterization, and Cross-Inhibition Studies.

    PubMed

    McGillick, Brian E; Kumaran, Desigan; Vieni, Casey; Swaminathan, Subramanyam

    2016-02-23

    The bacterial system for fatty acid biosynthesis (FAS) contains several enzymes whose sequence and structure are highly conserved across a vast array of pathogens. This, coupled with their low homology and difference in organization compared to the equivalent system in humans, makes the FAS pathway an excellent target for antimicrobial drug development. To this end, we have cloned, expressed, and purified the β-hydroxyacyl-acyl carrier protein dehydratase (FabZ) from both Francisella tularensis (FtFabZ) and Yersinia pestis (YpFabZ). We also solved the crystal structures and performed an enzymatic characterization of both enzymes and several mutant forms of YpFabZ. Additionally, we have discovered two novel inhibitors of FabZ, mangostin and stictic acid, which show similar potencies against both YpFabZ and FtFabZ. Lastly, we selected several compounds from the literature that have been shown to be active against single homologues of FabZ and tested them against both YpFabZ and FtFabZ. These results have revealed clues as to which scaffolds are likely to lead to broad-spectrum antimicrobials targeted against FabZ as well as modifications to existing FabZ inhibitors that may improve potency. PMID:26818694

  14. A dose and time response Markov model for the in-host dynamics of infection with intracellular bacteria following inhalation: with application to Francisella tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Wood, R. M.; Egan, J. R.; Hall, I. M.

    2014-01-01

    In a novel approach, the standard birth–death process is extended to incorporate a fundamental mechanism undergone by intracellular bacteria, phagocytosis. The model accounts for stochastic interaction between bacteria and cells of the immune system and heterogeneity in susceptibility to infection of individual hosts within a population. Model output is the dose–response relation and the dose-dependent distribution of time until response, where response is the onset of symptoms. The model is thereafter parametrized with respect to the highly virulent Schu S4 strain of Francisella tularensis, in the first such study to consider a biologically plausible mathematical model for early human infection with this bacterium. Results indicate a median infectious dose of about 23 organisms, which is higher than previously thought, and an average incubation period of between 3 and 7 days depending on dose. The distribution of incubation periods is right-skewed up to about 100 organisms and symmetric for larger doses. Moreover, there are some interesting parallels to the hypotheses of some of the classical dose–response models, such as independent action (single-hit model) and individual effective dose (probit model). The findings of this study support experimental evidence and postulations from other investigations that response is, in fact, influenced by both in-host and between-host variability. PMID:24671937

  15. M-Cells Contribute to the Entry of an Oral Vaccine but Are Not Essential for the Subsequent Induction of Protective Immunity against Francisella tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Cunningham, Aimee L.; Guentzel, M. Neal; Yu, Jieh-Juen; Hung, Chiung-Yu; Forsthuber, Thomas G.; Navara, Christopher S.; Yagita, Hideo; Williams, Ifor R.; Klose, Karl E.; Eaves-Pyles, Tonyia D.; Arulanandam, Bernard P.

    2016-01-01

    M-cells (microfold cells) are thought to be a primary conduit of intestinal antigen trafficking. Using an established neutralizing anti-RANKL (Receptor Activator of NF-κB Ligand) antibody treatment to transiently deplete M-cells in vivo, we sought to determine whether intestinal M-cells were required for the effective induction of protective immunity following oral vaccination with ΔiglB (a defined live attenuated Francisella novicida mutant). M-cell depleted, ΔiglB-vaccinated mice exhibited increased (but not significant) morbidity and mortality following a subsequent homotypic or heterotypic pulmonary F. tularensis challenge. No significant differences in splenic IFN-γ, IL-2, or IL-17 or serum antibody (IgG1, IgG2a, IgA) production were observed compared to non-depleted, ΔiglB-vaccinated animals suggesting complementary mechanisms for ΔiglB entry. Thus, we examined other possible routes of gastrointestinal antigen sampling following oral vaccination and found that ΔiglB co-localized to villus goblet cells and enterocytes. These results provide insight into the role of M-cells and complementary pathways in intestinal antigen trafficking that may be involved in the generation of optimal immunity following oral vaccination. PMID:27100824

  16. Downmodulation of vaccine-induced immunity and protection against the intracellular bacterium Francisella tularensis by the inhibitory receptor FcγRIIB.

    PubMed

    Franz, Brian J; Li, Ying; Bitsaktsis, Constantine; Iglesias, Bibiana V; Pham, Giang; Sunagar, Raju; Kumar, Sudeep; Gosselin, Edmund J

    2015-01-01

    Fc gamma receptor IIB (FcγRIIB) is the only Fc gamma receptor (FcγR) which negatively regulates the immune response, when engaged by antigen- (Ag-) antibody (Ab) complexes. Thus, the generation of Ag-specific IgG in response to infection or immunization has the potential to downmodulate immune protection against infection. Therefore, we sought to determine the impact of FcγRIIB on immune protection against Francisella tularensis (Ft), a Category A biothreat agent. We utilized inactivated Ft (iFt) as an immunogen. Naïve and iFt-immunized FcγRIIB knockout (KO) or wildtype (WT) mice were challenged with Ft-live vaccine strain (LVS). While no significant difference in survival between naïve FcγRIIB KO versus WT mice was observed, iFt-immunized FcγRIIB KO mice were significantly better protected than iFt-immunized WT mice. Ft-specific IgA in serum and bronchial alveolar lavage, as well as IFN-γ, IL-10, and TNF-α production by splenocytes harvested from iFt-immunized FcγRIIB KO, were also significantly elevated. In addition, iFt-immunized FcγRIIB KO mice exhibited a reduction in proinflammatory cytokine levels in vivo at 5 days after challenge, which correlates with increased survival following Ft-LVS challenge in published studies. Thus, these studies demonstrate for the first time the ability of FcγRIIB to regulate vaccine-induced IgA production and downmodulate immunity and protection. The immune mechanisms behind the above observations and their potential impact on vaccine development are discussed. PMID:25961064

  17. Mucosal Immunization with Live Attenuated Francisella novicida U112ΔiglB Protects against Pulmonary F. tularensis SCHU S4 in the Fischer 344 Rat Model

    PubMed Central

    Signarovitz, Aimee L.; Ray, Heather J.; Yu, Jieh-Juen; Guentzel, M. N.; Chambers, James P.; Klose, Karl E.; Arulanandam, Bernard P.

    2012-01-01

    The need for an efficacious vaccine against Francisella tularensis is a consequence of its low infectious dose and high mortality rate if left untreated. This study sought to characterize a live attenuated subspecies novicida-based vaccine strain (U112ΔiglB) in an established second rodent model of pulmonary tularemia, namely the Fischer 344 rat using two distinct routes of vaccination (intratracheal [i.t.] and oral). Attenuation was verified by comparing replication of U112ΔiglB with wild type parental strain U112 in F344 primary alveolar macrophages. U112ΔiglB exhibited an LD50>107 CFU compared to the wild type (LD50 = 5×106 CFU i.t.). Immunization with 107 CFU U112ΔiglB by i.t. and oral routes induced antigen-specific IFN-γ and potent humoral responses both systemically (IgG2a>IgG1 in serum) and at the site of mucosal vaccination (respiratory/intestinal compartment). Importantly, vaccination with U112ΔiglB by either i.t. or oral routes provided equivalent levels of protection (50% survival) in F344 rats against a subsequent pulmonary challenge with ∼25 LD50 (1.25×104 CFU) of the highly human virulent strain SCHU S4. Collectively, these results provide further evidence on the utility of a mucosal vaccination platform with a defined subsp. novicida U112ΔiglB vaccine strain in conferring protective immunity against pulmonary tularemia. PMID:23118885

  18. Downmodulation of Vaccine-Induced Immunity and Protection against the Intracellular Bacterium Francisella tularensis by the Inhibitory Receptor FcγRIIB

    PubMed Central

    Franz, Brian J.; Li, Ying; Bitsaktsis, Constantine; Iglesias, Bibiana V.; Pham, Giang; Sunagar, Raju; Kumar, Sudeep; Gosselin, Edmund J.

    2015-01-01

    Fc gamma receptor IIB (FcγRIIB) is the only Fc gamma receptor (FcγR) which negatively regulates the immune response, when engaged by antigen- (Ag-) antibody (Ab) complexes. Thus, the generation of Ag-specific IgG in response to infection or immunization has the potential to downmodulate immune protection against infection. Therefore, we sought to determine the impact of FcγRIIB on immune protection against Francisella tularensis (Ft), a Category A biothreat agent. We utilized inactivated Ft (iFt) as an immunogen. Naïve and iFt-immunized FcγRIIB knockout (KO) or wildtype (WT) mice were challenged with Ft-live vaccine strain (LVS). While no significant difference in survival between naïve FcγRIIB KO versus WT mice was observed, iFt-immunized FcγRIIB KO mice were significantly better protected than iFt-immunized WT mice. Ft-specific IgA in serum and bronchial alveolar lavage, as well as IFN-γ, IL-10, and TNF-α production by splenocytes harvested from iFt-immunized FcγRIIB KO, were also significantly elevated. In addition, iFt-immunized FcγRIIB KO mice exhibited a reduction in proinflammatory cytokine levels in vivo at 5 days after challenge, which correlates with increased survival following Ft-LVS challenge in published studies. Thus, these studies demonstrate for the first time the ability of FcγRIIB to regulate vaccine-induced IgA production and downmodulate immunity and protection. The immune mechanisms behind the above observations and their potential impact on vaccine development are discussed. PMID:25961064

  19. Targeting of a Fixed Bacterial Immunogen to Fc Receptors Reverses the Anti-Inflammatory Properties of the Gram-Negative Bacterium, Francisella tularensis, during the Early Stages of Infection.

    PubMed

    Babadjanova, Zulfia; Wiedinger, Kari; Gosselin, Edmund J; Bitsaktsis, Constantine

    2015-01-01

    Production of pro-inflammatory cytokines by innate immune cells at the early stages of bacterial infection is important for host protection against the pathogen. Many intracellular bacteria, including Francisella tularensis, the agent of tularemia, utilize the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10, to evade the host immune response. It is well established that IL-10 has the ability to inhibit robust antigen presentation by dendritic cells and macrophages, thus suppressing the generation of protective immunity. The pathogenesis of F. tularensis is not fully understood, and research has failed to develop an effective vaccine to this date. In the current study, we hypothesized that F. tularensis polarizes antigen presenting cells during the early stages of infection towards an anti-inflammatory status characterized by increased synthesis of IL-10 and decreased production of IL-12p70 and TNF-α in an IFN-ɣ-dependent fashion. In addition, F. tularensis drives an alternative activation of alveolar macrophages within the first 48 hours post-infection, thus allowing the bacterium to avoid protective immunity. Furthermore, we demonstrate that targeting inactivated F. tularensis (iFt) to Fcγ receptors (FcɣRs) via intranasal immunization with mAb-iFt complexes, a proven vaccine strategy in our laboratories, reverses the anti-inflammatory effects of the bacterium on macrophages by down-regulating production of IL-10. More specifically, we observed that targeting of iFt to FcγRs enhances the classical activation of macrophages not only within the respiratory mucosa, but also systemically, at the early stages of infection. These results provide important insight for further understanding the protective immune mechanisms generated when targeting immunogens to Fc receptors. PMID:26114641

  20. A 14.7 kDa Protein from Francisella tularensis subsp. novicida (Named FTN_1133), Involved in the Response to Oxidative Stress Induced by Organic Peroxides, Is Not Endowed with Thiol-Dependent Peroxidase Activity

    PubMed Central

    Meireles, Diogo de Abreu; Alegria, Thiago Geronimo Pires; Alves, Simone Vidigal; Arantes, Carla Rani Rocha; Netto, Luis Eduardo Soares

    2014-01-01

    Francisella genus comprises Gram-negative facultative intracellular bacteria that are among the most infectious human pathogens. A protein of 14.7 KDa named as FTN_1133 was previously described as a novel hydroperoxide resistance protein in F. tularensis subsp. novicida, implicated in organic peroxide detoxification and virulence. Here, we describe a structural and biochemical characterization of FTN_1133. Contrary to previous assumptions, multiple amino acid sequence alignment analyses revealed that FTN_1133 does not share significant similarity with proteins of the Ohr/OsmC family or any other Cys-based, thiol dependent peroxidase, including conserved motifs around reactive cysteine residues. Circular dichroism analyses were consistent with the in silico prediction of an all-α-helix secondary structure. The pKa of its single cysteine residue, determined by a monobromobimane alkylation method, was shown to be 8.0±0.1, value that is elevated when compared with other Cys-based peroxidases, such as peroxiredoxins and Ohr/OsmC proteins. Attempts to determine a thiol peroxidase activity for FTN_1133 failed, using both dithiols (DTT, thioredoxin and lipoamide) and monothiols (glutathione or 2-mercaptoethanol) as reducing agents. Heterologous expression of FTN_1133 gene in ahpC and oxyR mutants of E. coli showed no complementation. Furthermore, analysis of FTN_1133 protein by non-reducing SDS-PAGE showed that an inter-molecular disulfide bond (not detected in Ohr proteins) can be generated under hydroperoxide treatment, but the observed rates were not comparable to those observed for other thiol-dependent peroxidases. All the biochemical and structural data taken together indicated that FTN_1133 displayed distinct characteristics from other thiol dependent peroxidases and, therefore, suggested that FTN_1133 is not directly involved in hydroperoxide detoxification. PMID:24959833

  1. Importance of Branched-Chain Amino Acid Utilization in Francisella Intracellular Adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Gesbert, Gael; Ramond, Elodie; Tros, Fabiola; Dairou, Julien; Frapy, Eric; Barel, Monique

    2014-01-01

    Intracellular bacterial pathogens have adapted their metabolism to optimally utilize the nutrients available in infected host cells. We recently reported the identification of an asparagine transporter required specifically for cytosolic multiplication of Francisella. In the present work, we characterized a new member of the major super family (MSF) of transporters, involved in isoleucine uptake. We show that this transporter (here designated IleP) plays a critical role in intracellular metabolic adaptation of Francisella. Inactivation of IleP severely impaired intracellular F. tularensis subsp. novicida multiplication in all cell types tested and reduced bacterial virulence in the mouse model. To further establish the importance of the ileP gene in F. tularensis pathogenesis, we constructed a chromosomal deletion mutant of ileP (ΔFTL_1803) in the F. tularensis subsp. holarctica live vaccine strain (LVS). Inactivation of IleP in the F. tularensis LVS provoked comparable intracellular growth defects, confirming the critical role of this transporter in isoleucine uptake. The data presented establish, for the first time, the importance of isoleucine utilization for efficient phagosomal escape and cytosolic multiplication of Francisella and suggest that virulent F. tularensis subspecies have lost their branched-chain amino acid biosynthetic pathways and rely exclusively on dedicated uptake systems. This loss of function is likely to reflect an evolution toward a predominantly intracellular life style of the pathogen. Amino acid transporters should be thus considered major players in the adaptation of intracellular pathogens. PMID:25332124

  2. Whole-Genome Sequences of Nine Francisella Isolates

    PubMed Central

    Davenport, K. W.; Daligault, H. E.; Minogue, T. D.; Bishop-Lilly, K. A.; Broomall, S. M.; Bruce, D. C.; Chain, P. S.; Coyne, S. R.; Frey, K. G.; Gibbons, H. S.; Jaissle, J.; Koroleva, G. I.; Ladner, J. T.; Palacios, G. F.; Redden, C. L.; Rosenzweig, C. N.; Scholz, M. B.; Teshima, H.

    2014-01-01

    Primarily a zoonotic disease, Francisella tularensis is a fastidious intracellular pathogen and is listed as a CDC category A pathogen with notably high pathogenicity. Here we present the scaffolded genome assemblies of nine Francisella strains: eight F. tularensis and one F. philomiragia. PMID:25291764

  3. Enhancement of Vaccine Efficacy by Expression of a TLR5 Ligand in the Defined Live Attenuated Francisella tularensis subsp. novicida Strain U112▲iglB::fljB

    PubMed Central

    Cunningham, Aimee L.; Dang, Kim Minh; Yu, Jieh-Juen; Guentzel, M. Neal; Heidner, Hans; Klose, Karl E.; Arulanandam, Bernard P.

    2014-01-01

    Oral vaccination with the defined live attenuated Francisella novicida vaccine strain U112▲iglB has been demonstrated to induce protective immunity against pulmonary challenge with the highly human virulent F. tularensis strain SCHU S4. However, this vaccination regimen requires a booster dose in mice and exhibits 50% protective efficacy in the Fischer 344 rat model. To enhance the efficacy of this vaccine strain, we engineered U112▲iglB to express the Salmonella typhimurium FljB flagellin D1 domain, a TLR5 agonist. The U112▲iglB::fljB strain was highly attenuated for intracellular macrophage replication, and although the FljB protein was expressed within the cytosol, it exhibited TLR5 activation in a TLR5-expressing HEK cell line. Additionally, infection of splenocytes and lymphocytes with U112▲iglB::fljB induced significantly greater TNF-α production than infection with U112▲iglB. Oral vaccination with U112▲iglB::fljB also induced significantly greater protection than U112ΔiglB against pulmonary SCHU S4 challenge in rats. The enhanced protection was accompanied by higher IgG2a production and serum-mediated reduction of Francisella infectivity. Thus, the U112▲iglB::fljB strain may serve as a potential vaccine candidate against pneumonic tularemia. PMID:25050972

  4. Genome Sequencing of 18 Francisella Strains To Aid in Assay Development and Testing

    PubMed Central

    Daligault, Hajnalka E.; Davenport, Karen W.; Coyne, Susan R.; Frey, Kenneth G.; Koroleva, Galina I.; Broomall, Stacey M.; Bishop-Lilly, Kimberly A.; Bruce, David C.; Chertkov, Olga; Freitas, Tracey; Jaissle, James; Ladner, Jason T.; Rosenzweig, C. Nicole; Gibbons, Henry S.; Palacios, Gustavo F.; Redden, Cassie L.; Xu, Yan; Minogue, Timothy D.; Chain, Patrick S.

    2015-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious bacterium with the potential to cause high fatality rates if infections are untreated. To aid in the development of rapid and accurate detection assays, we have sequenced and annotated the genomes of 18 F. tularensis and Francisella philomiragia strains. PMID:25931589

  5. Genome sequencing of 18 francisella strains to aid in assay development and testing.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Shannon L; Daligault, Hajnalka E; Davenport, Karen W; Coyne, Susan R; Frey, Kenneth G; Koroleva, Galina I; Broomall, Stacey M; Bishop-Lilly, Kimberly A; Bruce, David C; Chertkov, Olga; Freitas, Tracey; Jaissle, James; Ladner, Jason T; Rosenzweig, C Nicole; Gibbons, Henry S; Palacios, Gustavo F; Redden, Cassie L; Xu, Yan; Minogue, Timothy D; Chain, Patrick S

    2015-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious bacterium with the potential to cause high fatality rates if infections are untreated. To aid in the development of rapid and accurate detection assays, we have sequenced and annotated the genomes of 18 F. tularensis and Francisella philomiragia strains. PMID:25931589

  6. Genome Sequencing of 18 Francisella Strains To Aid in Assay Development and Testing

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, Shannon L.; Daligault, Hajnalka E.; Davenport, Karen W.; Coyne, Susan R.; Frey, Kenneth G.; Koroleva, Galina I.; Broomall, Stacey M.; Bishop-Lilly, Kimberly A.; Bruce, David C.; Chertkov, Olga; Freitas, Tracey; Jaissle, James; Ladner, Jason T.; Rosenzweig, C. Nicole; Gibbons, Henry S.; Palacios, Gustavo F.; Redden, Cassie L.; Xu, Yan; Minogue, Timothy D.; Chain, Patrick S.

    2015-04-30

    Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious bacterium that has the potential of causing high fatality rates if infections are untreated. To aid in the development of rapid and accurate detection assays, we have sequenced and annotated the genomes of 18 F. tularensis and Francisella philomiragia strains.

  7. RipA, a cytoplasmic membrane protein conserved among Francisella species, is required for intracellular survival.

    PubMed

    Fuller, James R; Craven, Robin R; Hall, Joshua D; Kijek, Todd M; Taft-Benz, Sharon; Kawula, Thomas H

    2008-11-01

    Francisella tularensis is a highly virulent bacterial pathogen that invades and replicates within numerous host cell types, including macrophages and epithelial cells. In an effort to better understand this process, we screened a transposon insertion library of the F. tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS) for mutant strains that invaded but failed to replicate within alveolar epithelial cell lines. One such strain isolated from this screen contained an insertion in the gene FTL_1914, which is conserved among all sequenced Francisella species yet lacks significant homology to any gene with known function. A deletion strain lacking FTL_1914 was constructed. This strain did not replicate in either epithelial or macrophage-like cells, and intracellular replication was restored by the wild-type allele in trans. Based on the deletion mutant phenotype, FTL_1914 was termed ripA (required for intracellular proliferation, factor A). Following uptake by J774.A1 cells, F. tularensis LVS Delta ripA colocalized with LAMP-1 then escaped the phagosome at the same rate and frequency as wild-type LVS-infected cells. Electron micrographs of the F. tularensis LVS Delta ripA mutant demonstrated the reentry of the mutant bacteria into double membrane vacuoles characteristic of autophagosomes in a process that was not dependent on replication. The F. tularensis LVS Delta ripA mutant was significantly impaired in its ability to persist in the lung and in its capacity to disseminate and colonize the liver and spleen in a mouse model of pulmonary tularemia. The RipA protein was expressed during growth in laboratory media and localized to the cytoplasmic membrane. Thus, RipA is a cytoplasmic membrane protein conserved among Francisella species that is required for intracellular replication within the host cell cytoplasm as well as disease progression, dissemination, and virulence. PMID:18765722

  8. Evaluation of two multiplex real-time PCR screening capabilities for the detection of Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis and Yersinia pestis in blood samples generated from murine infection models.

    PubMed

    Weller, Simon A; Cox, Victoria; Essex-Lopresti, Angela; Hartley, Margaret G; Parsons, Tanya M; Rachwal, Phillip A; Stapleton, Helen L; Lukaszewski, Roman A

    2012-11-01

    Two multiplex PCR screening capabilities (TaqMan Array Cards and FilmArray) were evaluated for their ability to detect Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis and Yersinia pestis in blood samples obtained from respective murine infection models. Blood samples were obtained from infected mice at 24 h intervals after exposure. Multiplex PCR results were compared with standard blood culture and singleplex real-time PCR. Across all three models, 71 mice were tested in total, within which a subset of 43 samples was shown to contain an infecting agent by at least one of the detection technologies. Within this subset of positive samples, for each model studied, the detection rates of each technology were compared. The B. anthracis model blood culture (14 of 15 agent-containing samples tested) and FilmArray PCR (12 of 15) were shown to have equivalent detection rates, which were significantly higher (at the 95 % confidence level) than singleplex (five of 14) or Array Card (two of 14) PCRs. The F. tularensis model blood culture (12 of 12) was shown to have a significantly higher (at 95 % confidence level) detection rate than all PCR technologies, with FilmArray (seven of 11) and singleplex (seven of 12) PCRs shown to have significantly higher (at 95 % confidence level) detection rates than the Array Card PCR (two of 11). Within the Y. pestis model, there was no significant difference in detection rates between blood culture (10 of 16), singleplex PCR (14 of 16), Array Card PCR (10 of 16) and FilmArray PCR (10 of 13). PMID:22899777

  9. Serological Investigation of Wild Boars (Sus scrofa) and Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) As Indicator Animals for Circulation of Francisella tularensis in Germany

    PubMed Central

    Chaignat, Valerie; Klimpel, Diana; Diller, Roland; Melzer, Falk; Müller, Wolfgang; Tomaso, Herbert

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Tularemia outbreaks in humans have recently been reported in many European countries, but data on the occurrence in the animal population are scarce. In North America, seroconversion of omnivores and carnivores was used as indicator for the presence of tularemia, for the European fauna, however, data are barely available. Therefore, the suitability of wild boars (Sus scrofa) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) as indicators for the circulation of F. tularensis in Germany was evaluated. Serum samples from 566 wild boars and 457 red foxes were collected between 1995 and 2012 in three federal states in Central Germany (Hesse, Saxony-Anhalt, and Thuringia). The overall rate of seropositive animals was 1.1% in wild boars and 7.4% in red foxes. In conclusion, serological examination of red foxes is recommended, because they can be reliably used as indicator animals for the presence of F. tularensis in the environment. PMID:24359418

  10. Modulation of Human Airway Barrier Functions during Burkholderia thailandensis and Francisella tularensis Infection Running Title: Airway Barrier Functions during Bacterial Infections.

    PubMed

    Blume, Cornelia; David, Jonathan; Bell, Rachel E; Laver, Jay R; Read, Robert C; Clark, Graeme C; Davies, Donna E; Swindle, Emily J

    2016-01-01

    The bronchial epithelium provides protection against pathogens from the inhaled environment through the formation of a highly-regulated barrier. In order to understand the pulmonary diseases melioidosis and tularemia caused by Burkholderia thailandensis and Fransicella tularensis, respectively, the barrier function of the human bronchial epithelium were analysed. Polarised 16HBE14o- or differentiated primary human bronchial epithelial cells (BECs) were exposed to increasing multiplicities of infection (MOI) of B. thailandensis or F. tularensis Live Vaccine Strain and barrier responses monitored over 24-72 h. Challenge of polarized BECs with either bacterial species caused an MOI- and time-dependent increase in ionic permeability, disruption of tight junctions, and bacterial passage from the apical to the basolateral compartment. B. thailandensis was found to be more invasive than F. tularensis. Both bacterial species induced an MOI-dependent increase in TNF-α release. An increase in ionic permeability and TNF-α release was induced by B. thailandensis in differentiated BECs. Pretreatment of polarised BECs with the corticosteroid fluticasone propionate reduced bacterial-dependent increases in ionic permeability, bacterial passage, and TNF-α release. TNF blocking antibody Enbrel(®) reduced bacterial passage only. BEC barrier properties are disrupted during respiratory bacterial infections and targeting with corticosteroids or anti-TNF compounds may represent a therapeutic option. PMID:27527221

  11. Progress, challenges, and opportunities in Francisella vaccine development.

    PubMed

    Elkins, Karen L; Kurtz, Sherry L; De Pascalis, Roberto

    2016-09-01

    Renewed interest in Francisella tularensis has resulted in substantial new information about its pathogenesis and immunology, along with development of useful animal models. While understanding of protective immunity against Francisella remains incomplete, data in both animals and humans suggest that inducing T cell-mediated immunity is crucial for successful vaccination with current candidates such as the Live Vaccine Strain (LVS), with specific antibodies and immune B cells playing supporting roles. Consistent with this idea, recent results indicate that measurements of T cell functions and relative gene expression by immune T cells predict vaccine-induced protection in animal models. Because field trials of new vaccines will be difficult to design, using such measurements to derive potential correlates of protection may be important to bridge between animal efficacy studies and people. PMID:27010448

  12. Burkholderia Diffusible Signal Factor Signals to Francisella novicida To Disperse Biofilm and Increase Siderophore Production

    PubMed Central

    Dean, Scott N.; Chung, Myung-Chul

    2015-01-01

    In many bacteria, the ability to modulate biofilm production relies on specific signaling molecules that are either self-produced or made by neighboring microbes within the ecological niche. We analyzed the potential interspecies signaling effect of the Burkholderia diffusible signal factor (BDSF) on Francisella novicida, a model organism for Francisella tularensis, and demonstrated that BDSF both inhibits the formation and causes the dispersion of Francisella biofilm. Specificity was demonstrated for the cis versus the trans form of BDSF. Using transcriptome sequencing, quantitative reverse transcription-PCR, and activity assays, we found that BDSF altered the expression of many F. novicida genes, including genes involved in biofilm formation, such as chitinases. Using a chitinase inhibitor, the antibiofilm activity of BDSF was also shown to be chitinase dependent. In addition, BDSF caused an increase in RelA expression and increased levels of (p)ppGpp, leading to decreased biofilm production. These results support our observation that exposure of F. novicida to BDSF causes biofilm dispersal. Furthermore, BDSF upregulated the genes involved in iron acquisition (figABCD), increasing siderophore production. Thus, this study provides evidence for a potential role and mechanism of diffusible signal factor (DSF) signaling in the genus Francisella and suggests the possibility of interspecies signaling between Francisella and other bacteria. Overall, this study suggests that in response to the interspecies DSF signal, F. novicida can alter its gene expression and regulate its biofilm formation. PMID:26231649

  13. Serological survey of Bartonella spp., Borrelia burgdorferi, Brucella spp., Coxiella burnetii, Francisella tularensis, Leptospira spp., Echinococcus, Hanta-, TBE- and XMR-virus infection in employees of two forestry enterprises in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, 2011-2013.

    PubMed

    Jurke, Annette; Bannert, N; Brehm, K; Fingerle, V; Kempf, V A J; Kömpf, D; Lunemann, M; Mayer-Scholl, A; Niedrig, M; Nöckler, K; Scholz, H; Splettstoesser, W; Tappe, D; Fischer, Silke F

    2015-10-01

    We initiated a survey to collect basic data on the frequency and regional distribution of various zoonoses in 722 employees of forestry enterprises in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) from 2011 to 2013. Exposures associated with seropositivity were identified to give insight into the possible risk factors for infection with each pathogen. 41.2% of participants were found to be seropositive for anti-Bartonella IgG, 30.6% for anti-Borrelia burgdorferi IgG, 14.2% for anti-Leptospira IgG, 6.5% for anti-Coxiella burnetii IgG, 6.0% for anti-Hantavirus IgG, 4.0% for anti-Francisella tularensis IgG, 3.4% for anti-TBE-virus IgG, 1.7% for anti-Echinococcus IgG, 0.0% for anti-Brucella IgG and anti-XMRV IgG. Participants seropositive for B. burgdorferi were 3.96 times more likely to be professional forestry workers (univariable analysis: OR 3.96; 95% CI 2.60-6.04; p<0.001); and participants seropositive for Hantavirus 3.72 times more likely (univariable analysis: OR 3.72; 95% CI 1.44-9.57; p=0.007). This study found a surprisingly high percentage of participants seropositive for anti-B. henselae IgG and for anti-F. tularensis IgG. The relatively high seroprevalence for anti-Leptospira IgG seen in this study could be related to living conditions rather than to exposure at work. No specific risk for exposure to C. burnetii and Echinococcus was identified, indicating that neither forestry workers nor office workers represent a risk population and that NRW is not a typical endemic area. Forestry workers appear to have higher risk for contact with B. burgdorferi-infected ticks and a regionally diverse risk for acquiring Hantavirus-infection. The regional epidemiology of zoonoses is without question of great importance for public health. Knowledge of the regional risk factors facilitates the development of efficient prevention strategies and the implementation of such prevention measures in a sustainable manner. PMID:26422407

  14. Immunity to Francisella

    PubMed Central

    Cowley, Siobhán C.; Elkins, Karen L.

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, studies on the intracellular pathogen Francisella tularensis have greatly intensified, generating a wealth of new information on the interaction of this organism with the immune system. Here we review the basic elements of the innate and adaptive immune responses that contribute to protective immunity against Francisella species, with special emphasis on new data that has emerged in the last 5 years. Most studies have utilized the mouse model of infection, although there has been an expansion of work on human cells and other new animal models. In mice, basic immune parameters that operate in defense against other intracellular pathogen infections, such as interferon gamma, TNF-α, and reactive nitrogen intermediates, are central for control of Francisella infection. However, new important immune mediators have been revealed, including IL-17A, Toll-like receptor 2, and the inflammasome. Further, a variety of cell types in addition to macrophages are now recognized to support Francisella growth, including epithelial cells and dendritic cells. CD4+ and CD8+ T cells are clearly important for control of primary infection and vaccine-induced protection, but new T cell subpopulations and the mechanisms employed by T cells are only beginning to be defined. A significant role for B cells and specific antibodies has been established, although their contribution varies greatly between bacterial strains of lower and higher virulence. Overall, recent data profile a pathogen that is adept at subverting host immune responses, but susceptible to many elements of the immune system's antimicrobial arsenal. PMID:21687418

  15. Macrophage Replication Screen Identifies a Novel Francisella Hydroperoxide Resistance Protein Involved in Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Llewellyn, Anna C.; Bina, James E.; Weiss, David S.

    2011-01-01

    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 demonstrates that FTN_1133 is

  16. IglC and PdpA Are Important for Promoting Francisella Invasion and Intracellular Growth in Epithelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Law, H. T.; Nix, Eli B.; Nano, Francis E.; Guttman, Julian Andrew

    2014-01-01

    The highly infectious bacteria, Francisella tularensis, colonize a variety of organs and replicate within both phagocytic as well as non-phagocytic cells, to cause the disease tularemia. These microbes contain a conserved cluster of important virulence genes referred to as the Francisella Pathogenicity Island (FPI). Two of the most characterized FPI genes, iglC and pdpA, play a central role in bacterial survival and proliferation within phagocytes, but do not influence bacterial internalization. Yet, their involvement in non-phagocytic epithelial cell infections remains unexplored. To examine the functions of IglC and PdpA on bacterial invasion and replication during epithelial cell infections, we infected liver and lung epithelial cells with F. novicida and F. tularensis ‘Type B’ Live Vaccine Strain (LVS) deletion mutants (ΔiglC and ΔpdpA) as well as their respective gene complements. We found that deletion of either gene significantly reduced their ability to invade and replicate in epithelial cells. Gene complementation of iglC and pdpA partially rescued bacterial invasion and intracellular growth. Additionally, substantial LAMP1-association with both deletion mutants was observed up to 12 h suggesting that the absence of IglC and PdpA caused deficiencies in their ability to dissociate from LAMP1-positive Francisella Containing Vacuoles (FCVs). This work provides the first evidence that IglC and PdpA are important pathogenic factors for invasion and intracellular growth of Francisella in epithelial cells, and further highlights the discrete mechanisms involved in Francisella infections between phagocytic and non-phagocytic cells. PMID:25115488

  17. MiR-155 Induction by F. novicida but Not the Virulent F. tularensis Results in SHIP Down-Regulation and Enhanced Pro-Inflammatory Cytokine Response

    PubMed Central

    Cremer, Thomas J.; Ravneberg, David H.; Clay, Corey D.; Piper-Hunter, Melissa G.; Marsh, Clay B.; Elton, Terry S.; Gunn, John S.; Amer, Amal; Kanneganti, Thirumala-Devi; Schlesinger, Larry S.; Butchar, Jonathan P.; Tridandapani, Susheela

    2009-01-01

    The intracellular Gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis causes the disease tularemia and is known for its ability to subvert host immune responses. Previous work from our laboratory identified the PI3K/Akt pathway and SHIP as critical modulators of host resistance to Francisella. Here, we show that SHIP expression is strongly down-regulated in monocytes and macrophages following infection with F. tularensis novicida (F.n.). To account for this negative regulation we explored the possibility that microRNAs (miRs) that target SHIP may be induced during infection. There is one miR that is predicted to target SHIP, miR-155. We tested for induction and found that F.n. induced miR-155 both in primary monocytes/macrophages and in vivo. Using luciferase reporter assays we confirmed that miR-155 led to down-regulation of SHIP, showing that it specifically targets the SHIP 3′UTR. Further experiments showed that miR-155 and BIC, the gene that encodes miR-155, were induced as early as four hours post-infection in primary human monocytes. This expression was dependent on TLR2/MyD88 and did not require inflammasome activation. Importantly, miR-155 positively regulated pro-inflammatory cytokine release in human monocytes infected with Francisella. In sharp contrast, we found that the highly virulent type A SCHU S4 strain of Francisella tularensis (F.t.) led to a significantly lower miR-155 response than the less virulent F.n. Hence, F.n. induces miR-155 expression and leads to down-regulation of SHIP, resulting in enhanced pro-inflammatory responses. However, impaired miR-155 induction by SCHU S4 may help explain the lack of both SHIP down-regulation and pro-inflammatory response and may account for the virulence of Type A Francisella. PMID:20041145

  18. Long-Lasting Fever and Lymphadenitis: Think about F. tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Longo, Maria Vittoria; Jaton, Katia; Pilo, Paola; Chabanel, David; Erard, Véronique

    2015-01-01

    We report the case of glandular tularemia that developed in a man supposedly infected by a tick bite in Western Switzerland. Francisella tularensis (F. tularensis) was identified. In Europe tularemia most commonly manifests itself as ulcero-glandular or glandular disease; the diagnosis of tularemia may be delayed in glandular form where skin or mucous lesion is absent, particularly in areas which are assumed to have a low incidence of the disease. PMID:26612988

  19. Directed Screen of Francisella novicida Virulence Determinants Using Drosophila melanogaster▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Åhlund, Monika K.; Rydén, Patrik; Sjöstedt, Anders; Stöven, Svenja

    2010-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a highly virulent, facultative intracellular human pathogen whose virulence mechanisms are not well understood. Occasional outbreaks of tularemia and the potential use of F. tularensis as a bioterrorist agent warrant better knowledge about the pathogenicity of this bacterium. Thus far, genome-wide in vivo screens for virulence factors have been performed in mice, all however restricted by the necessity to apply competition-based, negative-selection assays. We wanted to individually evaluate putative virulence determinants suggested by such assays and performed directed screening of 249 F. novicida transposon insertion mutants by using survival of infected fruit flies as a measure of bacterial virulence. Some 20% of the genes tested were required for normal virulence in flies; most of these had not previously been investigated in detail in vitro or in vivo. We further characterized their involvement in bacterial proliferation and pathogenicity in flies and in mouse macrophages. Hierarchical cluster analysis of mutant phenotypes indicated a functional linkage between clustered genes. One cluster grouped all but four genes of the Francisella pathogenicity island and other loci required for intracellular survival. We also identified genes involved in adaptation to oxidative stress and genes which might induce host energy wasting. Several genes related to type IV pilus formation demonstrated hypervirulent mutant phenotypes. Collectively, the data demonstrate that the bacteria in part use similar virulence mechanisms in mammals as in Drosophila melanogaster but that a considerable proportion of the virulence factors active in mammals are dispensable for pathogenicity in the insect model. PMID:20479082

  20. A comprehensive transposon mutant library of Francisella novicida, a bioweapon surrogate

    PubMed Central

    Gallagher, Larry A.; Ramage, Elizabeth; Jacobs, Michael A.; Kaul, Rajinder; Brittnacher, Mitchell; Manoil, Colin

    2007-01-01

    Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of tularemia, is one of the most infectious bacterial pathogens known and is a category A select agent. We created a sequence-defined, near-saturation transposon mutant library of F. tularensis novicida, a subspecies that causes a tularemia-like disease in rodents. The library consists of 16,508 unique insertions, an average of >9 insertions per gene, which is a coverage nearly twice that of the greatest previously achieved for any bacterial species. Insertions were recovered in 84% (1,490) of the predicted genes. To achieve high coverage, it was necessary to construct transposons carrying an endogenous Francisella promoter to drive expression of antibiotic resistance. An analysis of genes lacking (or with few) insertions identified nearly 400 candidate essential genes, most of which are likely to be required for growth on rich medium and which represent potential therapeutic targets. To facilitate genome-scale screening using the mutant collection, we assembled a sublibrary made up of two purified mutants per gene. The library provides a resource for virtually complete identification of genes involved in virulence and other nonessential processes. PMID:17215359

  1. Cyclic di-GMP stimulates biofilm formation and inhibits virulence of Francisella novicida.

    PubMed

    Zogaj, Xhavit; Wyatt, Geoff C; Klose, Karl E

    2012-12-01

    Francisella tularensis is a gram-negative bacterium that is highly virulent in humans, causing the disease tularemia. F. novicida is closely related to F. tularensis and exhibits high virulence in mice, but it is avirulent in healthy humans. An F. novicida-specific gene cluster (FTN0451 to FTN0456) encodes two proteins with diguanylate cyclase (DGC) and phosphodiesterase (PDE) domains that modulate the synthesis and degradation of cyclic di-GMP (cdGMP). No DGC- or PDE-encoding protein genes are present in the F. tularensis genome. F. novicida strains lacking either the two DGC/PDE genes (cdgA and cdgB) or the entire gene cluster (strain KKF457) are defective for biofilm formation. In addition, expression of CdgB or a heterologous DGC in strain KKF457 stimulated F. novicida biofilms, even in a strain lacking the biofilm regulator QseB. Genetic evidence suggests that CdgA is predominantly a PDE, while CdgB is predominantly a DGC. The F. novicida qseB strain showed reduced cdgA and cdgB transcript levels, demonstrating an F. novicida biofilm signaling cascade that controls cdGMP levels. Interestingly, KKF457 with elevated cdGMP levels exhibited a decrease in intramacrophage replication and virulence in mice, as well as increased growth yields and biofilm formation in vitro. Microarray analyses revealed that cdGMP stimulated the transcription of a chitinase (ChiB) known to contribute to biofilm formation. Our results indicate that elevated cdGMP in F. novicida stimulates biofilm formation and inhibits virulence. We suggest that differences in human virulence between F. novicida and F. tularensis may be due in part to the absence of cdGMP signaling in F. tularensis. PMID:22988021

  2. Cyclic Di-GMP Stimulates Biofilm Formation and Inhibits Virulence of Francisella novicida

    PubMed Central

    Zogaj, Xhavit; Wyatt, Geoff C.

    2012-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a Gram-negative bacterium that is highly virulent in humans, causing the disease tularemia. F. novicida is closely related to F. tularensis and exhibits high virulence in mice, but it is avirulent in healthy humans. An F. novicida-specific gene cluster (FTN0451 to FTN0456) encodes two proteins with diguanylate cyclase (DGC) and phosphodiesterase (PDE) domains that modulate the synthesis and degradation of cyclic di-GMP (cdGMP). No DGC- or PDE-encoding protein genes are present in the F. tularensis genome. F. novicida strains lacking either the two DGC/PDE genes (cdgA and cdgB) or the entire gene cluster (strain KKF457) are defective for biofilm formation. In addition, expression of CdgB or a heterologous DGC in strain KKF457 stimulated F. novicida biofilms, even in a strain lacking the biofilm regulator QseB. Genetic evidence suggests that CdgA is predominantly a PDE, while CdgB is predominantly a DGC. The F. novicida qseB strain showed reduced cdgA and cdgB transcript levels, demonstrating an F. novicida biofilm signaling cascade that controls cdGMP levels. Interestingly, KKF457 with elevated cdGMP levels exhibited a decrease in intramacrophage replication and virulence in mice, as well as increased growth yields and biofilm formation in vitro. Microarray analyses revealed that cdGMP stimulated the transcription of a chitinase (ChiB) known to contribute to biofilm formation. Our results indicate that elevated cdGMP in F. novicida stimulates biofilm formation and inhibits virulence. We suggest that differences in human virulence between F. novicida and F. tularensis may be due in part to the absence of cdGMP signaling in F. tularensis. PMID:22988021

  3. Proteogenomic biomarkers for identification of Francisella species and subspecies by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Durighello, Emie; Bellanger, Laurent; Ezan, Eric; Armengaud, Jean

    2014-10-01

    Francisella tularensis is the causative agent of tularemia. Because some Francisella strains are very virulent, this species is considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be a potential category A bioweapon. A mass spectrometry method to quickly and robustly distinguish between virulent and nonvirulent Francisella strains is desirable. A combination of shotgun proteomics and whole-cell matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry on the Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica LVS defined three protein biomarkers that allow such discrimination: the histone-like protein HU form B, the 10 kDa chaperonin Cpn10, and the 50S ribosomal protein L24. We established that their combined detection by whole-cell MALDI-TOF spectrum could enable (i) the identification of Francisella species, and (ii) the prediction of their virulence level, i.e., gain of a taxonomical level with the identification of Francisella tularensis subspecies. The detection of these biomarkers by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry is straightforward because of their abundance and the absence of other abundant protein species closely related in terms of m/z. The predicted molecular weights for the three biomarkers and their presence as intense peaks were confirmed with MALDI-TOF/MS spectra acquired on Francisella philomiragia ATCC 25015 and on Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis CCUG 2112, the most virulent Francisella subspecies. PMID:25215633

  4. A Conserved α-Helix Essential for a Type VI Secretion-Like System of Francisella tularensis▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Bröms, Jeanette E.; Lavander, Moa; Sjöstedt, Anders

    2009-01-01

    Francisella tularensis harbors genes with similarity to genes encoding components of a type VI secretion system (T6SS) recently identified in several gram-negative bacteria. These genes include iglA and iglB encoding IglA and IglB, homologues of which are conserved in most T6SSs. We used a yeast two-hybrid system to study the interaction of the Igl proteins of F. tularensis LVS. We identified a region of IglA, encompassing residues 33 to 132, necessary for efficient binding to IglB, as well as for IglAB protein stability and intramacrophage growth. In particular, residues 103 to 122, overlapping a highly conserved α-helix, played an absolutely essential role. Point mutations within this domain caused modest defects in IglA-IglB binding in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae but markedly impaired intramacrophage replication and phagosomal escape, resulting in severe attenuation of LVS in mice. Thus, IglA-IglB complex formation is clearly crucial for Francisella pathogenicity. This interaction may be universal to type VI secretion, since IglAB homologues of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Vibrio cholerae, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, and Escherichia coli were also shown to interact in yeast, and the interaction was dependent on preservation of the same α-helix. Heterologous interactions between nonnative IglAB proteins further supported the notion of a conserved binding site. Thus, IglA-IglB complex formation is clearly crucial for Francisella pathogenicity, and the same interaction is conserved in other human pathogens. PMID:19201795

  5. FEASIBILITY OF THE AEROSOL-TO-LIQUID PARTICLE EXTRACTION SYSTEM (ALPES) FOR COLLECTION OF VIABLE FRANCISELLA SP.

    SciTech Connect

    Heitkamp, M

    2006-08-07

    Several Biowatch monitoring sites in the Houston area have tested positive for Francisella tularensis and there is a need to determine whether natural occurring Francisella-related microorganism(s) may be responsible for these observed positive reactions. The collection, culturing and characterization of Francisella-related natural microorganisms will provide the knowledge base to improve the future selectivity of Biowatch monitoring for Francisella. The aerosol-to-liquid particle extraction system (ALPES) is a high-efficiency, dual mechanism collection system that utilizes a liquid collection medium for capture of airborne microorganisms. Since the viability of microorganisms is preserved better in liquid medium than on air filters, this project was undertaken to determine whether Francisella philomiragia and Francisella tularensis LVS maintain acceptable viability in the continuous liquid recirculation, high direct current voltage and residual ozone concentrations which occur during ALPES operation. Throughout a series of preliminary trial runs with representative gram-negative and gram-positive microorganisms, several design modifications and improvements to the ALPES optimized liquid handling, electrical stability, sampling and overall performance for biological sampling. Initial testing with Francisella philomiragia showed viability was preserved better in PBS buffer than HBSS buffer. Trial runs at starting cell concentrations of 1.8 x 10{sup 6} and 2.5 x 10{sup 4} CFU/L showed less than a 1-log decrease in viability for F. philomiragia after 24 h in the ALPES. Francisella tularensis LVS (live vaccine strain) was used as a surrogate for virulent F. tularensis in ALPES trial runs conducted at starting cell concentrations of 10{sup 4}, 10{sup 5} and 10{sup 6} CFU/L. F. tularensis LVS was slow-growing and required highly selective growth media to prevent overgrowth by collected airborne microorganisms. In addition, one ALPES unit intake was HEPA filtered during

  6. Rapid Identification and Characterization of Francisella by Molecular Biology and Other Techniques

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Xin-He; Zhao, Long-Fei; Chen, Xiao-Ming; Ren, Yi

    2016-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is the causative pathogen of tularemia and a Tier 1 bioterror agent on the CDC list. Considering the fact that some subpopulation of the F. tularensis strains is more virulent, more significantly associated with mortality, and therefore poses more threat to humans, rapid identification and characterization of this subpopulation strains is of invaluable importance. This review summarizes the up-to-date developments of assays for mainly detecting and characterizing F. tularensis and a touch of caveats of some of the assays. PMID:27335619

  7. Inactivation of F.tularensis Utah-112 on food and food contact surfaces by ultraviolet light

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Francisella tularensis is the causative agent of tularemia, a plague-like illness that affects animals and humans, and has caused large illness pandemics in the last century. It has also been used as a biological warfare agent, and tularemia can be contracted through consumption of contaminated food...

  8. The complex amino acid diet of Francisella in infected macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Barel, Monique; Ramond, Elodie; Gesbert, Gael; Charbit, Alain

    2015-01-01

    Francisella tularensis, the agent of the zoonotic disease tularemia, is a highly infectious bacterium for a large number of animal species and can be transmitted to humans by various means. The bacterium is able to infect a variety of cell types but replicates in mammalian hosts mainly in the cytosol of infected macrophages. In order to resist the stressful and nutrient-restricted intracellular environments, it encounters during its systemic dissemination, Francisella has developed dedicated stress resistance mechanisms and adapted its metabolic and nutritional needs. Recent data form our laboratory and from several other groups have shown that Francisella simultaneously relies on multiple host amino acid sources during its intracellular life cycle. This review will summarize how intracellular Francisella use different amino acid sources, and their role in phagosomal escape and/or cytosolic multiplication and systemic dissemination. We will first summarize the data that we have obtained on two amino acid transporters involved in Francisella phagosomal escape and cytosolic multiplication i.e., the glutamate transporter GadC and the asparagine transporter AnsP, respectively. The specific contribution of glutamate and asparagine to the physiology of the bacterium will be evoked. Then, we will discuss how Francisella has adapted to obtain and utilize host amino acid resources, and notably the contribution of host transporters and autophagy process in the establishment of a nutrient-replete intracellular niche. PMID:25705612

  9. Francisella DnaK Inhibits Tissue-nonspecific Alkaline Phosphatase*

    PubMed Central

    Arulanandam, Bernard P.; Chetty, Senthilnath Lakshmana; Yu, Jieh-Juen; Leonard, Sean; Klose, Karl; Seshu, Janakiram; Cap, Andrew; Valdes, James J.; Chambers, James P.

    2012-01-01

    Following pulmonary infection with Francisella tularensis, we observed an unexpected but significant reduction of alkaline phosphatase, an enzyme normally up-regulated following inflammation. However, no reduction was observed in mice infected with a closely related Gram-negative pneumonic organism (Klebsiella pneumoniae) suggesting the inhibition may be Francisella-specific. In similar fashion to in vivo observations, addition of Francisella lysate to exogenous alkaline phosphatase (tissue-nonspecific isozyme) was inhibitory. Partial purification and subsequent proteomic analysis indicated the inhibitory factor to be the heat shock protein DnaK. Incubation with increasing amounts of anti-DnaK antibody reduced the inhibitory effect in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, DnaK contains an adenosine triphosphate binding domain at its N terminus, and addition of adenosine triphosphate enhances dissociation of DnaK with its target protein, e.g. alkaline phosphatase. Addition of adenosine triphosphate resulted in decreased DnaK co-immunoprecipitated with alkaline phosphatase as well as reduction of Francisella-mediated alkaline phosphatase inhibition further supporting the binding of Francisella DnaK to alkaline phosphatase. Release of DnaK via secretion and/or bacterial cell lysis into the extracellular milieu and inhibition of plasma alkaline phosphatase could promote an orchestrated, inflammatory response advantageous to Francisella. PMID:22923614

  10. Common ancestry and novel genetic traits of Francisella novicida-like isolates from North America and Australia as revealed by comparative genomic analyses.

    PubMed

    Siddaramappa, Shivakumara; Challacombe, Jean F; Petersen, Jeannine M; Pillai, Segaran; Hogg, Geoff; Kuske, Cheryl R

    2011-08-01

    Francisella novicida is a close relative of Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of tularemia. The genomes of F. novicida-like clinical isolates 3523 (Australian strain) and Fx1 (Texas strain) were sequenced and compared to F. novicida strain U112 and F. tularensis strain Schu S4. The strain 3523 chromosome is 1,945,310 bp and contains 1,854 protein-coding genes. The strain Fx1 chromosome is 1,913,619 bp and contains 1,819 protein-coding genes. NUCmer analyses revealed that the genomes of strains Fx1 and U112 are mostly colinear, whereas the genome of strain 3523 has gaps, translocations, and/or inversions compared to genomes of strains Fx1 and U112. Using the genome sequence data and comparative analyses with other members of the genus Francisella, several strain-specific genes that encode putative proteins involved in RTX toxin production, polysaccharide biosynthesis/modification, thiamine biosynthesis, glucuronate utilization, and polyamine biosynthesis were identified. The RTX toxin synthesis and secretion operon of strain 3523 contains four open reading frames (ORFs) and was named rtxCABD. Based on the alignment of conserved sequences upstream of operons involved in thiamine biosynthesis from various bacteria, a putative THI box was identified in strain 3523. The glucuronate catabolism loci of strains 3523 and Fx1 contain a cluster of nine ORFs oriented in the same direction that appear to constitute an operon. Strains U112 and Schu S4 appeared to have lost the loci for RTX toxin production, thiamine biosynthesis, and glucuronate utilization as a consequence of host adaptation and reductive evolution. In conclusion, comparative analyses provided insights into the common ancestry and novel genetic traits of these strains. PMID:21666011

  11. Increased knowledge of Francisella genus diversity highlights the benefits of optimised DNA-based assays

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Recent advances in sequencing technologies offer promising tools for generating large numbers of genomes, larger typing databases and improved mapping of environmental bacterial diversity. However, DNA-based methods for the detection of Francisella were developed with limited knowledge about genetic diversity. This, together with the high sequence identity between several Francisella species, means there is a high risk of false identification and detection of the highly virulent pathogen Francisella tularensis. Moreover, phylogenetic reconstructions using single or limited numbers of marker sequences often result in incorrect tree topologies and inferred evolutionary distances. The recent growth in publicly accessible whole-genome sequences now allows evaluation of published genetic markers to determine optimal combinations of markers that minimise both time and laboratory costs. Results In the present study, we evaluated 38 previously published DNA markers and the corresponding PCR primers against 42 genomes representing the currently known diversity of the genus Francisella. The results highlight that PCR assays for Francisella tularensis are often complicated by low specificity, resulting in a high probability of false positives. A method to select a set of one to seven markers for obtaining optimal phylogenetic resolution or diagnostic accuracy is presented. Conclusions Current multiple-locus sequence-typing systems and detection assays of Francisella, could be improved by redesigning some of the primers and reselecting typing markers. The use of only a few optimally selected sequence-typing markers allows construction of phylogenetic topologies with almost the same accuracy as topologies based on whole-genome sequences. PMID:23009728

  12. Morphological analysis of Francisella novicida epithelial cell infections in the absence of functional FipA.

    PubMed

    Lo, Karen Y; Visram, Shyanne; Vogl, A Wayne; Shen, Chiao Ling Jennifer; Guttman, Julian A

    2016-02-01

    Francisella novicida is a surrogate pathogen commonly used to study infections by the potential bioterrorism agent, Francisella tularensis. One of the primary sites of Francisella infections is the liver where >90% of infected cells are hepatocytes. It is known that once Francisella enter cells it occupies a membrane-bound compartment, the Francisella-containing vacuole (FCV), from which it rapidly escapes to replicate in the cytosol. Recent work examining the Francisella disulfide bond formation (Dsb) proteins, FipA and FipB, have demonstrated that these proteins are important during the Francisella infection process; however, details as to how the infections are altered in epithelial cells have remained elusive. To identify the stage of the infections where these Dsbs might act during epithelial infections, we exploited a hepatocyte F. novicida infection model that we recently developed. We found that F. novicida ΔfipA-infected hepatocytes contained bacteria clustered within lysosome-associated membrane protein 1-positive FCVs, suggesting that FipA is involved in the escape of F. novicida from its vacuole. Our morphological evidence provides a tangible link as to how Dsb FipA can influence Francisella infections. PMID:26239909

  13. Transcriptional profiling of recall responses to Francisella live vaccine strain.

    PubMed

    Paranavitana, Chrysanthi; DaSilva, Luis; Vladimirova, Antoaneta; Pittman, Phillip R; Velauthapillai, Mahendran; Nikolich, Mikeljon

    2014-03-01

    Global gene expression profile changes were monitored in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) after challenge with the live vaccine strain (LVS) of Francisella tularensis. Because these PBMCs were from individuals previously immunized with LVS, stimulating these cells with LVS should activate memory responses. The Ingenuity Pathway Analysis tool identified pathways, functions, and networks associated with this in vitro recall response, including novel pathways triggered by the memory response. Dendritic cell (DC) maturation was the most significant among the more than 25 relevant pathways discovered. Interleukin 15, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, and triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 1 signaling pathways were also significant. Pathway analysis indicated that Class 1 antigen presentation may not be optimal with LVS vaccination. The top three biological functions were antigen presentation, cell-mediated and humoral immune responses. Network analysis revealed that the top network associated with these functions had IFNγ and TNFα in central interactive positions. Our results suggest that DC maturation is a key factor in the recall responses and that more effective antigen processing and presentation is needed for cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses. Taken together, these considerations are critical for future tularemia vaccine development studies. PMID:24453125

  14. Comparative phosphoproteomics reveals components of host cell invasion and post-transcriptional regulation during Francisella infection

    SciTech Connect

    Nakayasu, Ernesto S.; Tempel, Rebecca; Cambronne, Xiaolu A.; Petyuk, Vladislav A.; Jones, Marcus B.; Gritsenko, Marina A.; Monroe, Matthew E.; Yang, Feng; Smith, Richard D.; Adkins, Joshua N.; Heffron, Fred

    2013-09-22

    Francisella tularensis is a facultative intracellular bacterium that causes the deadly disease tularemia. Most evidence suggests that Francisella is not well recognized by the innate immune system that normally leads to cytokine expression and cell death. In previous work, we identified new bacterial factors that were hyper-cytotoxic to macrophages. Four of the identified hyper-cytotoxic strains (lpcC, manB, manC and kdtA) had an impaired lipopolysaccharide (LPS) synthesis and produced an exposed lipid A lacking the O-antigen. These mutants were not only hyper-cytotoxic but also were phagocytosed at much higher rates compared to the wild type parent strain. To elucidate the cellular signaling underlying this enhanced phagocytosis and cell death, we performed a large-scale comparative phosphoproteomic analysis of cells infected with wild-type and delta-lpcC F. novicida. Our data suggest that not only actin but also intermediate filaments and microtubules are important for F. novicida entry into the host cells. In addition, we observed differential phosphorylation of tristetraprolin (TTP), a key component of the mRNA-degrading machinery that controls the expression of a variety of genes including many cytokines. Infection with the delta-lpcC mutant induced the hyper-phosphorylation and inhibition of TTP, leading to the production of cytokines such as IL-1beta and TNF-alpha which may kill the host cells by triggering apoptosis. Together, our data provide new insights for Francisella invasion and a post-transcriptional mechanism that prevents the expression of host immune response factors that controls infection by this pathogen.

  15. Francisella infections in farmed and wild aquatic organisms

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Over the last 10 years or so, infections caused by bacteria belonging to a particular branch of the genus Francisella have become increasingly recognised in farmed fish and molluscs worldwide. While the increasing incidence of diagnoses may in part be due to the development and widespread availability of molecular detection techniques, the domestication of new organisms has undoubtedly instigated emergence of clinical disease in some species. Francisellosis in fish develops in a similar fashion independent of host species and is commonly characterised by the presence of multi-organ granuloma and high morbidity, with varying associated mortality levels. A number of fish species are affected including Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua; tilapia, Oreochromis sp.; Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar; hybrid striped bass, Morone chrysops × M. saxatilis and three-lined grunt, Parapristipoma trilinineatum. The disease is highly infectious and often prevalent in affected stocks. Most, if not all strains isolated from teleost fish belong to either F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis in warm water fish species or Francisella noatunensis subsp. noatunensis in coldwater fish species. The disease is quite readily diagnosed following histological examination and identification of the aetiological bacterium by culture on cysteine rich media or PCR. The available evidence may indicate a degree of host specificity for the various Francisella strains, although this area requires further study. No effective vaccine is currently available. Investigation of the virulence mechanisms and host response shows similarity to those known from Francisella tularensis infection in mammals. However, no evidence exists for zoonotic potential amongst the fish pathogenic Francisella. PMID:21385413

  16. Association of Different Genetic Types of Francisella-Like Organisms with the Rocky Mountain Wood Tick (Dermacentor andersoni) and the American Dog Tick (Dermacentor variabilis) in Localities Near Their Northern Distributional Limits

    PubMed Central

    Chilton, Neil B.

    2012-01-01

    Dermacentor andersoni and Dermacentor variabilis from allopatric and sympatric populations near their northern distributional limits were examined for the presence of Francisella species using molecular techniques that targeted 373 bp of the 16S rRNA gene. Although there was no evidence for the presence of Francisella tularensis in any tick, Francisella-like endosymbionts (FLEs) were common in D. andersoni and D. variabilis adults and immatures. A significantly greater proportion of female ticks contained FLEs compared to male ticks. In addition, significantly more D. variabilis adult individuals contained multiple FLE sequence types than did D. andersoni adults. Ten different types of FLEs were identified based on the sequence data, which has implications for diagnostic tests and epidemiological studies of F. tularensis in tick populations in Canada. The three most prevalent types of FLEs have been detected previously in D. andersoni or D. variabilis from other parts of their distributional ranges, whereas the other seven FLE types have not been reported previously. A comparison of the FLEs from both allopatric and sympatric populations of these two tick species provided insight into the relative host-specificity and the modes of transmission of these tick-borne bacteria. In general, each FLE type was specific for one tick species, suggesting vertical transmission of each bacterium. However, there were a few instances of potential cross-transfer of two FLE types to the other tick species at locations where D. andersoni and D. variabilis occurred in sympatry, suggesting that there may be occasional horizontal transmission of some FLEs. PMID:22179251

  17. Tick-related facial cellulitis caused by Francisella tularensis.

    PubMed

    Arslan, Ferhat; Karagöz, Ergenekon; Zemheri, Ebru; Vahaboglu, Haluk; Mert, Ali

    2016-06-01

    Tick-borne illnesses have diverse biological and clinical features that make recognition and appropriate treatment challenging. Arthropod-transmitted (ticks, fleas and deer flies) tularaemia remains a concern worldwide. Generally, two kinds of tularaemia manifestations, namely ulceroglandular and glandular infections, can arise from the bite of an infected arthropod vector. If the ulceroglandular or glandular form is not treated, suppuration can arise from the gland. In addition, cellulitis is rarely observed around the ulcers. In our case, with the knowledge of tick exposure to the scalp, tularaemia was not initially considered for facial cellulitis without regional lymphadenopathy and also due to apparent failure to respond to doxycycline and gentamicin therapy. Serological confirmation in the late stages of the disease suggests the importance of clinical suspicion in such rare conditions. PMID:27367325

  18. Monocyte/macrophage inflammatory response pathways to combat Francisella infection: possible therapeutic targets?

    PubMed Central

    Gillette, Devyn D.; Tridandapani, Susheela; Butchar, Jonathan P.

    2014-01-01

    Francisella tularensis can bypass and suppress host immune responses, even to the point of manipulating immune cell phenotypes and intercellular inflammatory networks. Strengthening these responses such that immune cells more readily identify and destroy the bacteria is likely to become a viable (and perhaps necessary) strategy for combating infections with Francisella, especially given the likelihood of antibiotic resistance in the foreseeable future. Monocytes and macrophages offer a niche wherein Francisella can invade and replicate, resulting in substantially higher bacterial load that can overcome the host. As such, understanding their responses to Francisella may uncover potential avenues of therapy that could promote a lowering of bacterial burden and clearance of infection. These response pathways include Toll-like Receptor 2 (TLR2), the caspase-1 inflammasome, Interferons, NADPH oxidase, Phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), and the Ras pathway. In this review we summarize the literature pertaining to the roles of these pathways during Francisella infection, with an emphasis on monocyte/macrophage responses. The therapeutic targeting of one or more such pathways may ultimately become a valuable tool for the treatment of tularemia, and several possibilities are discussed. PMID:24600590

  19. Alpha-1 antitrypsin is markedly decreased following pulmonary F. tularensis challenge.

    PubMed

    Chambers, James P; Yu, Jieh-Juen; Jupelli, Madhulika; Weintraub, Susan T; Lopez-Ribot, Jose L; Valdes, James J; Arulanandam, Bernard P

    2011-01-01

    Neutrophils form the first line of defense during infection and are indispensable in this function. The neutrophil elastase is a key effector molecule of the innate immune system with potent antimicrobial activity against Gram-negative bacteria, spirochaetes, and fungi. However, the release of neutrophil elastase during bacterial infection must be checked otherwise its release in the extracellular milieu will result in damage to surrounding tissues. Alpha-1 antitrypsin is a small glycoprotein clade A serpine serine protease inhibitor and has been shown to increase in humans following bacterial and viral infection. Francisella tularensis is a Gram-negative facultative intracellular bacterium and the causative agent of tularemia. Type A strains are the most virulent with an infectious dose as low as 10 colony forming units and a mortality rate of 30-60% among untreated cases of pneumonic tularemia. We report here significant reduction of this major inhibitor of the neutrophil elastase in plasma of F. tularensis LVS and F. tularensis (type A) SCHU S4 infected animals following pulmonary challenge. Associated with an imbalance of protease-antiprotease function at the alveolar level in lungs of infected animals, increased elastase activity was observed in lung lavage fluids accompanied by decrease lung function, i.e., loss of lung elastance with concomitant increase of pulmonary hysteresivity. Consistent with a competent acute phase response following F. tularensis LVS and F. tularensis (type A) SCHU S4 pulmonary challenge and proposed up-regulation of plasma haptoglobin during the course of the acute phase reaction, haptoglobin was observed significantly increased. These data suggest that unchecked neutrophil serine protease activity may arise from F. tularensis targeted reduction of plasma α(1)-antitrysin promoting lung tissue damage facilitating increased dissemination of this bacterium in infected animals. PMID:22919586

  20. Characterization of Francisella species isolated from the cooling water of an air conditioning system.

    PubMed

    Gu, Quan; Li, Xunde; Qu, Pinghua; Hou, Shuiping; Li, Juntao; Atwill, Edward R; Chen, Shouyi

    2015-01-01

    Strains of Francisella spp. were isolated from cooling water from an air conditioning system in Guangzhou, China. These strains are Gram negative, coccobacilli, non-motile, oxidase negative, catalase negative, esterase and lipid esterase positive. In addition, these bacteria grow on cysteine-supplemented media at 20 °C to 40 °C with an optimal growth temperature of 30 °C. Analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that these strains belong to the genus Francisella. Biochemical tests and phylogenetic and BLAST analyses of 16S rRNA, rpoB and sdhA genes indicated that one strain was very similar to Francisella philomiragia and that the other strains were identical or highly similar to the Francisella guangzhouensis sp. nov. strain 08HL01032 we previously described. Biochemical and molecular characteristics of these strains demonstrated that multiple Francisella species exist in air conditioning systems. PMID:26413079

  1. Comparison of bacterial culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the detection of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica in wild animals.

    PubMed

    Sting, Reinhard; Runge, Martin; Eisenberg, Tobias; Braune, Silke; Müller, Wolfgang; Otto, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Detection of the zoonotic pathogen Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica (EF tularensis) in wild animals with culture techniques as well as polymerase chain reaction were compared and discussed on the basis of the investigation of 60 animals. The samples originated from 55 European brown hares (Lepus europaeus), two red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and one each from a wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), a European beaver (Castor fiber), and a lemur (Lemur catta). When comparing the growth of 28 F. tularensis isolates on the cysteine blood agar and the modified Martin-Lewis-agar used in this study, cultivation was successful for 26 isolates on both media, but for two isolates only on the cysteine blood agar. Out of 43 carcasses 19 tested positive in bacteriological culture and PCR. Two culture positive samples of tonsils originating from foxes could not be confirmed by PCR, although PCR was positive in 22 samples that missed growth of F. tularensis. Comparative studies on cultural detection of E. tularensis were performed on samples of 16 hares from lung, spleen, liver and gut and in one case with a peritoneal swab. In at least one of these localizations cultivation of the pathogen was successful. Detection rate was reduced to 94% (15 of 16 hares) considering only the results of the cultures of the lungs and spleens. For a sensitive and rapid detection of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica, the PCR is a suitable method thereby avoiding hazardous multiplying of the pathogen. However, cultivation of F. tularensis is often a prerequisite for further studies on antibiotic resistance patterns of the pathogen, molecular epidemiological and pathological analyses of tularaemia. PMID:23901583

  2. Cutaneous Infection Caused by a Novel Francisella sp.

    PubMed Central

    Respicio-Kingry, Laurel B.; Byrd, Lori; Allison, Ashley; Brett, Meghan; Scott-Waldron, Christine; Galliher, Karen; Hannah, Paul; Mead, Paul

    2013-01-01

    A 69-year-old patient presented with a tender, thickly crusted skin lesion of 1 week's duration. A bacterial culture swab taken from the underlying granular tissue yielded a pure isolate of a Gram-negative coccobacillus, presumptively identified as a novel Francisella species via 16S rRNA and multilocus gene sequence analysis. PMID:23903547

  3. Lipophilic prodrugs of FR900098 are antimicrobial against Francisella novicida in vivo and in vitro and show GlpT independent efficacy.

    PubMed

    McKenney, Elizabeth S; Sargent, Michelle; Khan, Hameed; Uh, Eugene; Jackson, Emily R; San Jose, Géraldine; Couch, Robin D; Dowd, Cynthia S; van Hoek, Monique L

    2012-01-01

    Bacteria, plants, and algae produce isoprenoids through the methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway, an attractive pathway for antimicrobial drug development as it is present in prokaryotes and some lower eukaryotes but absent from human cells. The first committed step of the MEP pathway is catalyzed by 1-deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate reductoisomerase (DXR/MEP synthase). MEP pathway genes have been identified in many biothreat agents, including Francisella, Brucella, Bacillus, Burkholderia, and Yersinia. The importance of the MEP pathway to Francisella is demonstrated by the fact that MEP pathway mutations are lethal. We have previously established that fosmidomycin inhibits purified MEP synthase (DXR) from F. tularensis LVS. FR900098, the acetyl derivative of fosmidomycin, was found to inhibit the activity of purified DXR from F. tularensis LVS (IC(50)=230 nM). Fosmidomycin and FR900098 are effective against purified DXR from Mycobacterium tuberculosis as well, but have no effect on whole cells because the compounds are too polar to penetrate the thick cell wall. Fosmidomycin requires the GlpT transporter to enter cells, and this is absent in some pathogens, including M. tuberculosis. In this study, we have identified the GlpT homologs in F. novicida and tested transposon insertion mutants of glpT. We showed that FR900098 also requires GlpT for full activity against F. novicida. Thus, we synthesized several FR900098 prodrugs that have lipophilic groups to facilitate their passage through the bacterial cell wall and bypass the requirement for the GlpT transporter. One compound, that we termed "compound 1," was found to have GlpT-independent antimicrobial activity. We tested the ability of this best performing prodrug to inhibit F. novicida intracellular infection of eukaryotic cell lines and the caterpillar Galleria mellonella as an in vivo infection model. As a lipophilic GlpT-independent DXR inhibitor, compound 1 has the potential to be a broad

  4. Glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK3β) inhibition suppresses the inflammatory response to Francisella infection and protects against tularemia in mice

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ping; Katz, Jenny; Michalek, Suzanne M.

    2011-01-01

    Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of tularemia, is currently considered a category A bioterrorism agent due to its high virulence. Infection with F. tularensis results in an inflammatory response that plays an important role in the pathogenesis of the disease; however, the cellular mechanisms regulating this response are poorly understood. Glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK3β) is a serine/threonine protein kinase that has recently emerged as a key regulatory switch in the modulation of the inflammatory response. In this study, we investigated the effect of GSK3β inhibition in regulating F. tularensis LVS-induced inflammatory responses. F. tularensis LVS infection of murine peritoneal macrophages induced a TLR2 dependent phosphorylation of GSK3β. Inhibition of GSK3β resulted in a significant decrease in the production of pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6, IL-12p40 and TNF-α, as well as a significant increase in the production of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. GSK3β regulated the F. tularensis LVS-induced cytokine response by differentially affecting the activation of transcription factors NF-κB and CREB. Inhibition of GSK3β by lithium in vivo suppressed the inflammatory response in mice infected with F. tularensis LVS and conferred a survival advantage. In addition, we show that the production of IFN-γ contributed to the development of tularemia and to the fatal outcome of the infected animals, depending on the timing and the relative level of the IFN-γ produced. IFN-γ potentiated F. tularensis LVS-induced cytokine production by increasing GSK3β activity and the nuclear translocation of NF-κB. Taken together, these results demonstrate a regulatory function of GSK3β in modulating inflammatory responses that can be detrimental to the host during an F. tularensis LVS infection, and suggest that inhibition of GSK3β may represent a novel therapeutic approach in the treatment of tularemia. PMID:18929413

  5. Evasion of IFN-γ Signaling by Francisella novicida Is Dependent upon Francisella Outer Membrane Protein C

    PubMed Central

    Nallaparaju, Kalyan C.; Yu, Jieh-Juen; Rodriguez, Stephen A.; Zogaj, Xhavit; Manam, Srikanth; Guentzel, M. Neal; Seshu, Janakiram; Murthy, Ashlesh K.; Chambers, James P.; Klose, Karl E.; Arulanandam, Bernard P.

    2011-01-01

    Background Francisella tularensis is a Gram-negative facultative intracellular bacterium and the causative agent of the lethal disease tularemia. An outer membrane protein (FTT0918) of F. tularensis subsp. tularensis has been identified as a virulence factor. We generated a F. novicida (F. tularensis subsp. novicida) FTN_0444 (homolog of FTT0918) fopC mutant to study the virulence-associated mechanism(s) of FTT0918. Methods and Findings The ΔfopC strain phenotype was characterized using immunological and biochemical assays. Attenuated virulence via the pulmonary route in wildtype C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice, as well as in knockout (KO) mice, including MHC I, MHC II, and µmT (B cell deficient), but not in IFN-γ or IFN-γR KO mice was observed. Primary bone marrow derived macrophages (BMDM) prepared from C57BL/6 mice treated with rIFN-γ exhibited greater inhibition of intracellular ΔfopC than wildtype U112 strain replication; whereas, IFN-γR KO macrophages showed no IFN-γ-dependent inhibition of ΔfopC replication. Moreover, phosphorylation of STAT1 was downregulated by the wildtype strain, but not the fopC mutant, in rIFN-γ treated macrophages. Addition of NG-monomethyl-L-arginine, an NOS inhibitor, led to an increase of ΔfopC replication to that seen in the BMDM unstimulated with rIFN-γ. Enzymatic screening of ΔfopC revealed aberrant acid phosphatase activity and localization. Furthermore, a greater abundance of different proteins in the culture supernatants of ΔfopC than that in the wildtype U112 strain was observed. Conclusions F. novicida FopC protein facilitates evasion of IFN-γ-mediated immune defense(s) by down-regulation of STAT1 phosphorylation and nitric oxide production, thereby promoting virulence. Additionally, the FopC protein also may play a role in maintaining outer membrane stability (integrity) facilitating the activity and localization of acid phosphatases and other F. novicida cell components. PMID:21483828

  6. Nanolipoprotein Particles (NLPs) as Versatile Vaccine Platforms for Co-delivery of Multiple Adjuvants with Subunit Antigens from Burkholderia spp. and F. tularensis - Technical Report

    SciTech Connect

    Fischer, N. O.

    2015-01-13

    The goal of this proposal is to demonstrate that colocalization of protein subunit antigens and adjuvants on nanolipoprotein particles (NLPs) can increase the protective efficacy of subunit antigens from Burkholderia spp. and Francisella tularensis against an aerosol challenge. In the third quarter of the third year, F344 rats vaccinated with adjuvanted NLP formulations were challenged with F. tularensis SCHU S4 at Battelle. Preliminary data indicate that up to 65% of females vaccinated intranasally with an NLP-based formulation survived this challenge, compared to only 20% survival of naïve animals. In addition, NLPs were successfully formulated with Burkholderia protein antigens. IACUC approval for immunological assessments in BALB/c mice was received and we anticipate that these assessments will begin by March 2015, pending ACURO approval.

  7. Nanolipoprotein Particles (NLPs) as Versatile Vaccine Platforms for Co-delivery of Multiple Adjuvants with Subunit Antigens from Burkholderia spp. and F. tularensis - Technical Report

    SciTech Connect

    Fischer, N. O.

    2015-01-06

    The goal of this proposal is to demonstrate that colocalization of protein subunit antigens and adjuvants on nanolipoprotein particles (NLPs) can increase the protective efficacy of subunit antigens from Burkholderia spp. and Francisella tularensis against an aerosol challenge. In the second quarter of the third year, LLNL finalized all immunological assessments of NLP vaccine formulations in the F344 model. Battelle has immunized rats with three unique NLP formulations by either intramuscular or intranasal administration. All inoculations have been completed, and protective efficacy against an aerosolized challenge will begin at the end of October, 2014.

  8. Francisella philomiragia Infection and Lethality in Mammalian Tissue Culture Cell Models, Galleria mellonella, and BALB/c Mice

    PubMed Central

    Propst, Crystal N.; Pylypko, Stephanie L.; Blower, Ryan J.; Ahmad, Saira; Mansoor, Mohammad; van Hoek, Monique L.

    2016-01-01

    Francisella (F.) philomiragia is a Gram-negative bacterium with a preference for brackish environments that has been implicated in causing bacterial infections in near-drowning victims. The purpose of this study was to characterize the ability of F. philomiragia to infect cultured mammalian cells, a commonly used invertebrate model, and, finally, to characterize the ability of F. philomiragia to infect BALB/c mice via the pulmonary (intranasal) route of infection. This study shows that F. philomiragia infects J774A.1 murine macrophage cells, HepG2 cells and A549 human Type II alveolar epithelial cells. However, replication rates vary depending on strain at 24 h. F. philomiragia infection after 24 h was found to be cytotoxic in human U937 macrophage-like cells and J774A.1 cells. This is in contrast to the findings that F. philomiragia was non-cytotoxic to human hepatocellular carcinoma cells, HepG2 cells and A549 cells. Differential cytotoxicity is a point for further study. Here, it was demonstrated that F. philomiragia grown in host-adapted conditions (BHI, pH 6.8) is sensitive to levofloxacin but shows increased resistance to the human cathelicidin LL-37 and murine cathelicidin mCRAMP when compared to related the Francisella species, F. tularensis subsp. novicida and F. tularensis subsp. LVS. Previous findings that LL-37 is strongly upregulated in A549 cells following F. tularensis subsp. novicida infection suggest that the level of antimicrobial peptide expression is not sufficient in cells to eradicate the intracellular bacteria. Finally, this study demonstrates that F. philomiragia is lethal in two in vivo models; Galleria mellonella via hemocoel injection, with a LD50 of 1.8 × 103, and BALB/c mice by intranasal infection, with a LD50 of 3.45 × 103. In conclusion, F. philomiragia may be a useful model organism to study the genus Francisella, particularly for those researchers with interest in studying microbial ecology or environmental strains of Francisella

  9. Francisella philomiragia Infection and Lethality in Mammalian Tissue Culture Cell Models, Galleria mellonella, and BALB/c Mice.

    PubMed

    Propst, Crystal N; Pylypko, Stephanie L; Blower, Ryan J; Ahmad, Saira; Mansoor, Mohammad; van Hoek, Monique L

    2016-01-01

    Francisella (F.) philomiragia is a Gram-negative bacterium with a preference for brackish environments that has been implicated in causing bacterial infections in near-drowning victims. The purpose of this study was to characterize the ability of F. philomiragia to infect cultured mammalian cells, a commonly used invertebrate model, and, finally, to characterize the ability of F. philomiragia to infect BALB/c mice via the pulmonary (intranasal) route of infection. This study shows that F. philomiragia infects J774A.1 murine macrophage cells, HepG2 cells and A549 human Type II alveolar epithelial cells. However, replication rates vary depending on strain at 24 h. F. philomiragia infection after 24 h was found to be cytotoxic in human U937 macrophage-like cells and J774A.1 cells. This is in contrast to the findings that F. philomiragia was non-cytotoxic to human hepatocellular carcinoma cells, HepG2 cells and A549 cells. Differential cytotoxicity is a point for further study. Here, it was demonstrated that F. philomiragia grown in host-adapted conditions (BHI, pH 6.8) is sensitive to levofloxacin but shows increased resistance to the human cathelicidin LL-37 and murine cathelicidin mCRAMP when compared to related the Francisella species, F. tularensis subsp. novicida and F. tularensis subsp. LVS. Previous findings that LL-37 is strongly upregulated in A549 cells following F. tularensis subsp. novicida infection suggest that the level of antimicrobial peptide expression is not sufficient in cells to eradicate the intracellular bacteria. Finally, this study demonstrates that F. philomiragia is lethal in two in vivo models; Galleria mellonella via hemocoel injection, with a LD50 of 1.8 × 10(3), and BALB/c mice by intranasal infection, with a LD50 of 3.45 × 10(3). In conclusion, F. philomiragia may be a useful model organism to study the genus Francisella, particularly for those researchers with interest in studying microbial ecology or environmental strains of

  10. Francisella novicida Pathogenicity Island Encoded Proteins Were Secreted during Infection of Macrophage-Like Cells

    PubMed Central

    Hare, Rebekah F.; Hueffer, Karsten

    2014-01-01

    Intracellular pathogens and other organisms have evolved mechanisms to exploit host cells for their life cycles. Virulence genes of some intracellular bacteria responsible for these mechanisms are located in pathogenicity islands, such as secretion systems that secrete effector proteins. The Francisella pathogenicity island is required for phagosomal escape, intracellular replication, evasion of host immune responses, virulence, and encodes a type 6 secretion system. We hypothesize that some Francisella novicida pathogenicity island proteins are secreted during infection of host cells. To test this hypothesis, expression plasmids for all Francisella novicida FPI-encoded proteins with C-terminal and N-terminal epitope FLAG tags were developed. These plasmids expressed their respective epitope FLAG-tagged proteins at their predicted molecular weights. J774 murine macrophage-like cells were infected with Francisella novicida containing these plasmids. The FPI proteins expressed from these plasmids successfully restored the intramacrophage growth phenotype in mutants of the respective genes that were deficient for intramacrophage growth. Using these expression plasmids, the localization of the Francisella pathogenicity island proteins were examined via immuno-fluorescence microscopy within infected macrophage-like cells. Several Francisella pathogenicity island encoded proteins (IglABCDEFGHIJ, PdpACE, DotU and VgrG) were detected extracellularly and they were co-localized with the bacteria, while PdpBD and Anmk were not detected and thus remained inside bacteria. Proteins that were co-localized with bacteria had different patterns of localization. The localization of IglC was dependent on the type 6 secretion system. This suggests that some Francisella pathogenicity island proteins were secreted while others remain within the bacterium during infection of host cells as structural components of the secretion system and were necessary for secretion. PMID:25158041

  11. Francisella novicida pathogenicity island encoded proteins were secreted during infection of macrophage-like cells.

    PubMed

    Hare, Rebekah F; Hueffer, Karsten

    2014-01-01

    Intracellular pathogens and other organisms have evolved mechanisms to exploit host cells for their life cycles. Virulence genes of some intracellular bacteria responsible for these mechanisms are located in pathogenicity islands, such as secretion systems that secrete effector proteins. The Francisella pathogenicity island is required for phagosomal escape, intracellular replication, evasion of host immune responses, virulence, and encodes a type 6 secretion system. We hypothesize that some Francisella novicida pathogenicity island proteins are secreted during infection of host cells. To test this hypothesis, expression plasmids for all Francisella novicida FPI-encoded proteins with C-terminal and N-terminal epitope FLAG tags were developed. These plasmids expressed their respective epitope FLAG-tagged proteins at their predicted molecular weights. J774 murine macrophage-like cells were infected with Francisella novicida containing these plasmids. The FPI proteins expressed from these plasmids successfully restored the intramacrophage growth phenotype in mutants of the respective genes that were deficient for intramacrophage growth. Using these expression plasmids, the localization of the Francisella pathogenicity island proteins were examined via immuno-fluorescence microscopy within infected macrophage-like cells. Several Francisella pathogenicity island encoded proteins (IglABCDEFGHIJ, PdpACE, DotU and VgrG) were detected extracellularly and they were co-localized with the bacteria, while PdpBD and Anmk were not detected and thus remained inside bacteria. Proteins that were co-localized with bacteria had different patterns of localization. The localization of IglC was dependent on the type 6 secretion system. This suggests that some Francisella pathogenicity island proteins were secreted while others remain within the bacterium during infection of host cells as structural components of the secretion system and were necessary for secretion. PMID:25158041

  12. Importance of Host Cell Arginine Uptake in Francisella Phagosomal Escape and Ribosomal Protein Amounts*

    PubMed Central

    Ramond, Elodie; Gesbert, Gael; Guerrera, Ida Chiara; Chhuon, Cerina; Dupuis, Marion; Rigard, Mélanie; Henry, Thomas; Barel, Monique; Charbit, Alain

    2015-01-01

    Upon entry into mammalian host cells, the pathogenic bacterium Francisella must import host cell arginine to multiply actively in the host cytoplasm. We identified and functionally characterized an arginine transporter (hereafter designated ArgP) whose inactivation considerably delayed bacterial phagosomal escape and intracellular multiplication. Intramacrophagic growth of the ΔargP mutant was fully restored upon supplementation of the growth medium with excess arginine, in both F. tularensis subsp. novicida and F. tularensis subsp. holarctica LVS, demonstrating the importance of arginine acquisition in these two subspecies. High-resolution mass spectrometry revealed that arginine limitation reduced the amount of most of the ribosomal proteins in the ΔargP mutant. In response to stresses such as nutritional limitation, repression of ribosomal protein synthesis has been observed in all kingdoms of life. Arginine availability may thus contribute to the sensing of the intracellular stage of the pathogen and to trigger phagosomal egress. All MS data have been deposited in the ProteomeXchange database with identifier PXD001584 (http://proteomecentral.proteomexchange.org/dataset/PXD001584). PMID:25616868

  13. Understanding Virulence in the Brucellae and Francisellae: Towards Efficacious Treatments for Two Potential Biothreat Agents

    SciTech Connect

    Rasley, A; Parsons, D A; El-Etr, S; Roux, C; Tsolis, R

    2009-12-30

    Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis and Brucellae species are highly infectious pathogens classified as select agents by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the potential for use in bioterrorism attacks. These organisms are known to be facultative intracellular pathogens that preferentially infect human monocytes. As such, understanding how the host responds to infection with these organisms is paramount in detecting and combating human disease. We have compared the ability of fully virulent strains of each pathogen and their non-pathogenic near neighbors to enter and survive inside the human monocytic cell line THP-1 and have quantified the cellular response to infection with the goal of identifying both unique and common host response patterns. We expanded the scope of these studies to include experiments with pathogenic and non-pathogenic strains of Y. pestis, the causative agent of plague. Nonpathogenic strains of each organism were impaired in their ability to survive intracellularly compared with their pathogenic counterparts. Furthermore, infection of THP-1 cells with pathogenic strains of Y. pestis and F. tularensis resulted in marked increases in the secretion of the inflammatory chemokines IL-8, RANTES, and MIP-1{beta}. In contrast, B. melitensis infection failed to elicit any significant increases in a panel of cytokines tested. These differences may underscore distinct strategies in pathogenic mechanisms employed by these pathogens.

  14. Nanolipoprotein Particles (NLPs) as Versatile Vaccine Platforms for Co-delivery of Multiple Adjuvants with Subunit Antigens from Burkholderia spp. and F. tularensis - Annual Technical Report

    SciTech Connect

    Fischer, N. O.

    2015-04-16

    The goal of this proposal is to demonstrate that co-localization of protein subunit antigens and adjuvants on nanolipoprotein particles (NLPs) can increase the protective efficacy of recombinant subunit antigens from Burkholderia spp. and Francisella tularensis against an aerosol challenge. NLPs are are biocompatible, high-density lipoprotein mimetics that are amenable to the incorporation of multiple, chemically-disparate adjuvant and antigen molecules. We hypothesize that the ability to co-localize optimized adjuvant formulations with subunit antigens within a single particle will enhance the stimulation and activation of key immune effector cells, increasing the protective efficacy of subunit antigen-based vaccines. While Burkholderia spp. and F. tularensis subunit antigens are the focus of this proposal, we anticipate that this approach is applicable to a wide range of DOD-relevant biothreat agents. The F344 rat aerosol challenge model for F. tularensis has been successfully established at Battelle under this contract, and Year 3 efficacy studies performed at Battelle demonstrated that an NLP vaccine formulation was able to enhance survival of female F344 rats relative to naïve animals. In addition, Year 3 focused on the incorporation of multiple Burkholderia antigens (both polysaccharides and proteins) onto adjuvanted NLPs, with immunological analysis poised to begin in the next quarter.

  15. Francisella Infection in Cultured Tilapia in Thailand and the Inflammatory Cytokine Response.

    PubMed

    Jantrakajorn, Sasibha; Wongtavatchai, Janenuj

    2016-06-01

    Francisella infections developed in freshwater Nile Tilapia Oreochromis niloticus and red tilapia Oreochromis spp. farms in Thailand during 2012-2014. The diseased fish were lethargic and pale in color and showed numerous white nodules in their enlarged spleens. Histopathological examination and electron microscopy suggested that the white nodules were multifocal granulomas consisting of coccobacilli within vacuolated cells. Isolation of Francisella-like bacteria was achieved from 42 of 100 samples, while polymerase chain reaction confirmed Francisella infections in all samples. Analysis of the 16S rRNA gene from samples obtained from three different geographical culture areas revealed more than 99% similarity with F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis. The influence of Francisella infection on inflammatory cytokines was determined on splenic cells of fish intraperitoneally injected with the bacteria (0.8 × 10(5) colony-forming units per fish). Infected tilapia showed significantly greater expression of the pro-inflammatory genes interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrotic factor-α (TNF-α) within 24 h postinjection (hpi) and for up to 96 hpi. However, down-regulation of an anti-inflammatory gene, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) was observed as early as 24 hpi. This investigation demonstrates that an imbalance between pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in response to the infection may account for the substantial number of granulomas in fish hematopoietic tissues that was found in the later stage of the disease. Received September 9, 2015; accepted December 13, 2015. PMID:27196982

  16. Characterization of fig operon mutants of Francisella novicida U112

    PubMed Central

    Kiss, Katalin; Liu, Wei; Huntley, Jason F.; Norgard, Michael V.; Hansen, Eric J.

    2009-01-01

    Francisella species secrete a polycarboxylate siderophore that resembles rhizoferrin to acquire ferric iron. Several of the Francisella siderophore synthesis genes are contained in a Fur-regulated operon (designated fig or fsl) comprised of at least seven open reading frames (ORFs) including fur. Reverse transcriptase-PCR showed transcriptional linkage between figD and figE and between figE and figF. Mutations were constructed in four of these ORFs (figB, figC, figD, and figE) in F. novicida U112. All four of these new mutants and a F. novicida figA mutant grew at rates comparable to that of wild-type under iron-replete conditions but growth of all five mutants was stunted in iron-limiting media. When ferric rhizoferrin was added to the iron-limited media, growth of the figA, figB, figC, and figD mutants was restored to levels similar to those obtained in iron-replete media. However, this exogenously added siderophore could not rescue the figE mutant. When Chrome Azurol S assays were used to measure siderophore production, the figA, figB, and figC mutants were markedly deficient in their ability to synthesize siderophore whereas the figD and figE mutants produced siderophore at levels equivalent to the wild-type parent strain. PMID:18564336

  17. Neither Neoplasia Nor Tuberculosis, but Francisella

    PubMed Central

    Mambie, Adeline; Wallet, Frédéric; Scherman, Laurine; Armand, Sylvie; Vervelle, Christine; Faure, Karine; Guery, Benoit; Titécat, Marie; Loïez, Caroline

    2016-01-01

    Tularaemia is an emerging anthropozoonosis transmitted by contact with infected animals and through arthropod bites, inhalation, or ingestion. We describe a pulmonary nodule suggesting cancer in a 70-year-old man. Histological analysis excluded neoplasia, and bacteriological culture excluded tuberculosis. Serological testing and PCR Francisella were positive for this hunter patient, then treated by ciprofloxacin with a favourable outcome. PMID:27419157

  18. Molecular detection of Rickettsia, Anaplasma, Coxiella and Francisella bacteria in ticks collected from Artiodactyla in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Sumrandee, Chalao; Baimai, Visut; Trinachartvanit, Wachareeporn; Ahantarig, Arunee

    2016-07-01

    A total of 79 ticks collected from Sambar deer (Cervus unicolor), Barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak) and Wild boar (Sus scrofa) were examined by PCR for the presence of Rickettsia, Anaplasma, Coxiella, and Francisella bacteria. Of the 79 ticks, 13% tested positive for Rickettsia, 15% tested positive for Anaplasma, 4% tested positive for Coxiella, and 3% tested positive for Francisella. Interestingly, triple infection with Anaplasma, Rickettsia and Francisella was determined in a Dermacentor auratus tick. Moreover, another triple infection with Rickettsia, Anaplasma, and Coxiella was found in a Haemaphysalis lagrangei tick. Double infection of Rickettsia with Coxiella was also detected in another H. lagrangei tick. From the phylogenetic analyses, we found a Rickettsia sp. with a close evolutionary relationship to Rickettsia bellii in the H. lagrangei tick. We also found the first evidence of a Rickettsia sp. that is closely related to Rickettsia tamurae in Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus ticks from Thailand. H. lagrangei and Haemaphysalis obesa ticks collected from Sambar deer tested positive for Anaplasma species form the same clade with Anaplasma bovis. In contrast, other H. lagrangei ticks collected from Sambar deer and D. auratus ticks collected from Wild boar were also reported for the first time to be infected with an Anaplasma species that is closely related to Anaplasma platys. The phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene of Coxiella bacteria revealed that Coxiella symbionts from H. lagrangei formed a distinctly different lineage from Coxiella burnetii (a human pathogen). Additionally, Francisella bacteria identified in D. auratus ticks were found to be distantly related to a group of pathogenic Francisella species. The identification of these bacteria in several feeding ticks suggests the risk of various emerging tick-borne diseases and endosymbionts in humans, wildlife, and domestic animals in Thailand. PMID:26934997

  19. Interaction of Francisella asiatica with Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) Innate Immunity ▿

    PubMed Central

    Soto, Esteban; Fernandez, Denise; Thune, Ronald; Hawke, John P.

    2010-01-01

    Members of the genus Francisella are facultative intracellular bacteria that cause important diseases in a wide variety of animals worldwide, including humans and fish. Several genes that are important for intramacrophage survival have been identified, including the iglC gene, which is found in the iglABCD operon in the Francisella sp. pathogenicity island (FPI). In the present study, we examined the interaction of wild-type Francisella asiatica and a ΔiglC mutant strain with fish serum and head kidney-derived macrophages (HKDM). Both the wild-type and the mutant strains were resistant to killing by normal and heat-inactivated sera. The wild-type F. asiatica is able to invade tilapia head kidney-derived macrophages and replicate vigorously within them, causing apoptosis and cytotoxicity in the macrophages at 24 and 36 h postinfection. The ΔiglC mutant, however, is defective for survival, replication, and the ability to cause cytotoxicity in HKDM, but the ability is restored when the mutant is complemented with the iglC gene. Uptake by the HKDM was mediated partially by complement and partially by macrophage mannose receptors, as demonstrated by in vitro assays. Light and electron microscopy analysis of the infected macrophages revealed intracellular bacteria present in a tight vacuole at 2 h postinoculation and the presence of numerous bacteria in spacious vacuoles at 12 h postinfection, with some bacteria free in the cytoplasm. PMID:20160018

  20. Dermacentor andersoni transmission of Francisella tularensis subsp. novicida reflects bacterial colonization, dissemination and replication coordinated with tick feeding.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ticks serve as biological vectors for a wide variety of bacterial pathogens which must be able to efficiently colonize specific tick tissues prior to transmission. The bacterial determinants of tick colonization are largely unknown, a knowledge gap attributed in large part to the paucity of tools t...

  1. DESTRUCTION OF FRANCISELLA TULARENSIS AND YERSINIA PESTIS PERSISTENCE OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS SPORES AND CLOSTRIDIUM BOTULINUM IN MUNICIPAL SOLID LANDFILL LEACHATES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Research and Development National Homeland Security Research Center (NHSRC) in collaboration with the Department of Defense Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) are evaluating the permanence of biological and chemi...

  2. Dissection of Francisella-Host Cell Interactions in Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Lampe, Elisabeth O.; Brenz, Yannick; Herrmann, Lydia; Repnik, Urska; Griffiths, Gareth; Zingmark, Carl; Sjöstedt, Anders; Winther-Larsen, Hanne C.

    2015-01-01

    Francisella bacteria cause severe disease in both vertebrates and invertebrates and include one of the most infectious human pathogens. Mammalian cell lines have mainly been used to study the mechanisms by which Francisella manipulates its host to replicate within a large variety of hosts and cell types, including macrophages. Here, we describe the establishment of a genetically and biochemically tractable infection model: the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum combined with the fish pathogen Francisella noatunensis subsp. noatunensis. Phagocytosed F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis interacts with the endosomal pathway and escapes further phagosomal maturation by translocating into the host cell cytosol. F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis lacking IglC, a known virulence determinant required for Francisella intracellular replication, follows the normal phagosomal maturation and does not grow in Dictyostelium. The attenuation of the F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis ΔiglC mutant was confirmed in a zebrafish embryo model, where growth of F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis ΔiglC was restricted. In Dictyostelium, F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis interacts with the autophagic machinery. The intracellular bacteria colocalize with autophagic markers, and when autophagy is impaired (Dictyostelium Δatg1), F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis accumulates within Dictyostelium cells. Altogether, the Dictyostelium-F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis infection model recapitulates the course of infection described in other host systems. The genetic and biochemical tractability of the system allows new approaches to elucidate the dynamic interactions between pathogenic Francisella and its host organism. PMID:26712555

  3. Dissection of Francisella-Host Cell Interactions in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Lampe, Elisabeth O; Brenz, Yannick; Herrmann, Lydia; Repnik, Urska; Griffiths, Gareth; Zingmark, Carl; Sjöstedt, Anders; Winther-Larsen, Hanne C; Hagedorn, Monica

    2016-03-01

    Francisella bacteria cause severe disease in both vertebrates and invertebrates and include one of the most infectious human pathogens. Mammalian cell lines have mainly been used to study the mechanisms by which Francisella manipulates its host to replicate within a large variety of hosts and cell types, including macrophages. Here, we describe the establishment of a genetically and biochemically tractable infection model: the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum combined with the fish pathogen Francisella noatunensis subsp. noatunensis. Phagocytosed F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis interacts with the endosomal pathway and escapes further phagosomal maturation by translocating into the host cell cytosol. F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis lacking IglC, a known virulence determinant required for Francisella intracellular replication, follows the normal phagosomal maturation and does not grow in Dictyostelium. The attenuation of the F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis ΔiglC mutant was confirmed in a zebrafish embryo model, where growth of F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis ΔiglC was restricted. In Dictyostelium, F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis interacts with the autophagic machinery. The intracellular bacteria colocalize with autophagic markers, and when autophagy is impaired (Dictyostelium Δatg1), F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis accumulates within Dictyostelium cells. Altogether, the Dictyostelium-F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis infection model recapitulates the course of infection described in other host systems. The genetic and biochemical tractability of the system allows new approaches to elucidate the dynamic interactions between pathogenic Francisella and its host organism. PMID:26712555

  4. FRANCISELLA-LIKE ENDOSYMBIONT IN A TICK COLLECTED FROM A CHICKEN IN SOUTHERN THAILAND.

    PubMed

    Rakthong, Pakavadee; Ruang-Areerate, Toon; Baimai, Visut; Trinachartvanit, Wachareeporn; Ahantarig, Arunee

    2016-03-01

    Francisella is a genus of bacterial pathogens potentially lethal to humans. We report here for the first time a novel Francisella-like endosymbiont discovered in a hard-tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus s.l.) obtained from a chicken (Gallus domesticus) in Thailand. The phylogenetic results indicate the 16S rDNA sequences of this Francisella bacterium form a unique clade with the Francisella-like endosymbiont of the tick species, Amblyomma varanense and Amblyomma helvolum, that have previously been found on snakes in Thailand. This species of Francisella is in a different group from the other Francisella-like endosymbionts previously reported from other countries. No Francisella was detected in Haemaphysalis wellingtoni ticks obtained from chickens in this study. PMID:27244963

  5. Biofilm formation of Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Soto, Esteban; Halliday-Wimmonds, Iona; Kearney, Michael T; Hansen, John D.

    2015-01-01

    Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis (Fno) is an emergent fish pathogen in both marine and fresh water environments. The bacterium is suspected to persist in the environment even without the presence of a suitable fish host. In the present study, the influence of different abiotic factors such as salinity and temperature were used to study the biofilm formation of different isolates of Fno including intracellular growth loci C (iglC)and pathogenicity determinant protein A (pdpA) knockout strains. Finally, we compared the susceptibility of planktonic and biofilm to three disinfectants used in the aquaculture and ornamental fish industry, namely Virkon®, bleach and hydrogen peroxide. The data indicates that Fno is capable of producing biofilms within 24 h where both salinity as well as temperature plays a role in the growth and biofilm formation of Fno. Mutations in theiglC or pdpA, both known virulence factors, do not appear to affect the capacity of Fno to produce biofilms, and the minimum inhibitory concentration, and minimum biocidal concentration for the three disinfectants were lower than the minimum biofilm eradication concentration values. This information needs to be taken into account if trying to eradicate the pathogen from aquaculture facilities or aquariums.

  6. Biofilm formation of Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis.

    PubMed

    Soto, Esteban; Halliday-Simmonds, Iona; Francis, Stewart; Kearney, Michael T; Hansen, John D

    2015-12-31

    Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis (Fno) is an emergent fish pathogen in both marine and fresh water environments. The bacterium is suspected to persist in the environment even without the presence of a suitable fish host. In the present study, the influence of different abiotic factors such as salinity and temperature were used to study the biofilm formation of different isolates of Fno including intracellular growth loci C (iglC) and pathogenicity determinant protein A (pdpA) knockout strains. Finally, we compared the susceptibility of planktonic and biofilm to three disinfectants used in the aquaculture and ornamental fish industry, namely Virkon(®), bleach and hydrogen peroxide. The data indicates that Fno is capable of producing biofilms within 24 h where both salinity as well as temperature plays a role in the growth and biofilm formation of Fno. Mutations in the iglC or pdpA, both known virulence factors, do not appear to affect the capacity of Fno to produce biofilms, and the minimum inhibitory concentration, and minimum biocidal concentration for the three disinfectants were lower than the minimum biofilm eradication concentration values. This information needs to be taken into account if trying to eradicate the pathogen from aquaculture facilities or aquariums. PMID:26507830

  7. New solid medium for enhanced growth of Pasteurella tularensis.

    PubMed

    GASPAR, A J; TRESSELT, H B; WARD, M K

    1961-10-01

    Gaspar, Andrew J. (Fort Detrick, Frederick, Md.), Hugh B. Tresselt, and Martha K. Ward. New solid medium for enhanced growth of Pasteurella tularensis. J. Bacteriol. 82:564-569. 1961.-The purpose of this work was to develop a solid medium for more rapid growth of Pasteurella tularensis, especially from small inocula comparable to those generally encountered in clinical materials. AFTER TITRATION OF VARIOUS INGREDIENTS, SEPARATELY AND IN COMBINATION, THE OPTIMAL BASE WAS FOUND TO BE: 2.6% tryptose broth (Difco) with thiamine, 0.5% cysteine-HCl, 0.2% sodium thioglycolate, 1.0% glucose, dissolved by mixing without heat, and adjusted to pH 7.2 +/- 0.03. To this base 1.0% agar (Difco) is added and dissolved by heating in flowing steam for about 5 min prior to autoclaving at 121 C for 20 min. After sterilization and cooling, 5.0% defibrinated rabbit blood is added aseptically. Plates of the completed medium are incubated at 37 C for 24 hr prior to use. Colonies of P. tularensis approximately 1.0 mm in diameter are obtained on this medium after 26 to 29 hr incubation if conditions of high relative humidity (90 to 100% saturation) are maintained.The mechanisms involved in the growth enhancement obtained on this medium are under study. The role of thioglycolate appears to be that of keeping in solution the relatively high concentration of cysteine-HCl required. The specific methods of preparation described, the incubation of plates prior to use, and final incubation under conditions of high humidity all are important for optimal results. This developmental work has employed only pure cultures. Attempts are being made to develop a selective medium, using this new preparation as base, for the direct isolation of P. tularensis from a variety of clinical materials. PMID:13897160

  8. Isolation and characterization of Francisella novicida mutants defective in lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Cowley, S C; Gray, C J; Nano, F E

    2000-01-01

    In order to identify genes involved in LPS biosynthesis we isolated random mutants generated by transposon insertion in Francisella novicida. The resulting mutant bank yielded mutants with three distinct LPS phenotypes, and three representative mutants were chosen for further study. One mutant that had short O-antigen chains was sensitive to serum; this mutant and one other were more sensitive to killing by deoxycholate than control strains. The third mutant was resistant to deoxycholate killing but slightly sensitive to serum. The three mutants varied in their ability to grow in macrophages. The DNA sequences interrupted by the transposon in two of the three mutants showed similarity to known LPS biosynthetic genes at the deduced amino acid level. PMID:10612732

  9. Transovarial transmission of Francisella-like endosymbionts and Anaplasma phagocytophilum variants in Dermacentor albipictus (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Baldridge, Gerald D; Scoles, Glen A; Burkhardt, Nicole Y; Schloeder, Brian; Kurtti, Timothy J; Munderloh, Ulrike G

    2009-05-01

    Dermacentor albipictus (Packard) is a North American tick that feeds on cervids and livestock. It is a suspected vector of anaplasmosis in cattle, but its microbial flora and vector potential remain underevaluated. We screened D. albipictus ticks collected from Minnesota white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) for bacteria of the genera Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Francisella, and Rickettsia using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) gene amplification and sequence analyses. We detected Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Francisella-like endosymbionts (FLEs) in nymphal and adult ticks of both sexes at 45 and 94% prevalences, respectively. The A. phagocytophilum and FLEs were transovarially transmitted to F1 larvae by individual ticks at efficiencies of 10-40 and 95-100%, respectively. The FLEs were transovarially transmitted to F2 larvae obtained as progeny of adults from F1 larval ticks reared to maturity on a calf, but A. phagocytophilum were not. Based on PCR and tissue culture inoculation assays, A. phagocytophilum and FLEs were not transmitted to the calf. The amplified FLE 16S rRNA gene sequences were identical to that of an FLE detected in a D. albipictus from Texas, whereas those of the A. phagocytophilum were nearly identical to those of probable human-nonpathogenic A. phagocytophilum WI-1 and WI-2 variants detected in white-tailed deer from central Wisconsin. However, the D. albipictus A. phagocytophilum sequences differed from that of the nonpathogenic A. phagocytophilum variant-1 associated with Ixodes scapularis ticks and white-tailed deer as well as that of the human-pathogenic A. phagocytophilum ha variant associated with I. scapularis and the white-footed mouse, Peromyscus leucopus. The transovarial transmission of A. phagocytophilum variants in Dermacentor ticks suggests that maintenance of A. phagocytophilum in nature may not be solely dependent on horizontal transmission. PMID:19496436

  10. Multiplexed Identification of Blood-Borne Bacterial Pathogens by Use of a Novel 16S rRNA Gene PCR-Ligase Detection Reaction-Capillary Electrophoresis Assay▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Pingle, Maneesh R.; Granger, Kathleen; Feinberg, Philip; Shatsky, Rebecca; Sterling, Bram; Rundell, Mark; Spitzer, Eric; Larone, Davise; Golightly, Linnie; Barany, Francis

    2007-01-01

    We have developed a novel high-throughput PCR-ligase detection reaction-capillary electrophoresis (PCR-LDR-CE) assay for the multiplexed identification of 20 blood-borne pathogens (Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, Enterococcus faecalis, Enterococcus faecium, Listeria monocytogenes, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus agalactiae, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii, Neisseria meningitidis, Bacteroides fragilis, Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Francisella tularensis, and Brucella abortus), the last four of which are biothreat agents. The method relies on the amplification of two regions within the bacterial 16S rRNA gene, using universal PCR primers and querying the identity of specific single-nucleotide polymorphisms within the amplified regions in a subsequent LDR. The ligation products vary in color and size and are separated by CE. Each organism generates a specific pattern of ligation products, which can be used to distinguish the pathogens using an automated software program we developed for that purpose. The assay has been verified on 315 clinical isolates and demonstrated a detection sensitivity of 98%. Additionally, 484 seeded blood cultures were tested, with a detection sensitivity of 97.7%. The ability to identify geographically variant strains of the organisms was determined by testing 132 isolates obtained from across the United States. In summary, the PCR-LDR-CE assay can successfully identify, in a multiplexed fashion, a panel of 20 blood-borne pathogens with high sensitivity and specificity. PMID:17428930

  11. Isolation and Characterization of a Novel Francisella sp. from Human Cerebrospinal Fluid and Blood▿

    PubMed Central

    Kugeler, Kiersten J.; Mead, Paul S.; McGowan, Karin L.; Burnham, Jon M.; Hogarty, Michael D.; Ruchelli, Eduardo; Pollard, Kerry; Husband, Brigitte; Conley, Caryn; Rivera, Tanya; Kelesidis, Theodoros; Lee, Walter M.; Mabey, Walburga; Winchell, Jonas M.; Stang, Heather L.; Staples, J. Erin; Chalcraft, Linda J.; Petersen, Jeannine M.

    2008-01-01

    We describe the isolation of a Francisella sp. from normally sterile sites in acutely ill patients in two different states within 2 years. Microbiologic and molecular analyses indicate that this organism represents a novel Francisella sp. Clinicians and microbiologists should be aware of this new potential pathogen, as infection may be more common than recognized. PMID:18495864

  12. First identification of Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis causing mortality in Mexican tilapia Oreochromis spp.

    PubMed

    Ortega, Cesar; Mancera, Gerardo; Enríquez, Ricardo; Vargas, Augusto; Martínez, Simón; Fajardo, Raúl; Avendaño-Herrera, Ruben; Navarrete, María José; Romero, Alex

    2016-08-01

    Francisellosis, an emerging disease in tilapia Oreochromis spp., is caused by the facultative, intracellular bacterium Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis, which is present in various countries where tilapia farming is commercially important. We confirmed the presence of francisellosis in Mexican tilapia cultures in association with an outbreak during the second semester of 2012. Broodstock fish presented a mortality rate of approximately 40%, and disease was characterized by histologically classified granulomas, or whitish nodules, in different organs, mainly the spleen and kidney. Through DNA obtained from infected tissue and pure cultures in a cysteine heart medium supplemented with hemoglobin, F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis was initially confirmed through the amplification and analysis of the 16S rRNA gene and the internal transcribed spacer region. Phylogenetic analysis of these genes demonstrated close similarity with previously reported F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis sequences obtained from infected tilapia from various countries. The identification of this subspecies as the causative agent of the outbreak was confirmed using the iglC gene as a target sequence, which showed 99.5% identity to 2 F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis strains (Ethime-1 and Toba04). These findings represent the first documented occurrence of francisellosis in Mexican tilapia cultures, which highlights the importance of establishing preventative measures to minimize the spread of this disease within the Mexican aquaculture industry. PMID:27503916

  13. Discovery of a novel and potent class of F. tularensis enoyl-reductase (FabI) inhibitors by molecular shape and electrostatic matching.

    PubMed

    Hevener, Kirk E; Mehboob, Shahila; Su, Pin-Chih; Truong, Kent; Boci, Teuta; Deng, Jiangping; Ghassemi, Mahmood; Cook, James L; Johnson, Michael E

    2012-01-12

    Enoyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) reductase, FabI, is a key enzyme in the bacterial fatty acid biosynthesis pathway (FAS II). FabI is an NADH-dependent oxidoreductase that acts to reduce enoyl-ACP substrates in a final step of the pathway. The absence of this enzyme in humans makes it an attractive target for the development of new antibacterial agents. FabI is known to be unresponsive to structure-based design efforts due to a high degree of induced fit and a mobile flexible loop encompassing the active site. Here we discuss the development, validation, and careful application of a ligand-based virtual screen used for the identification of novel inhibitors of the Francisella tularensis FabI target. In this study, four known classes of FabI inhibitors were used as templates for virtual screens that involved molecular shape and electrostatic matching. The program ROCS was used to search a high-throughput screening library for compounds that matched any of the four molecular shape queries. Matching compounds were further refined using the program EON, which compares and scores compounds by matching electrostatic properties. Using these techniques, 50 compounds were selected, ordered, and tested. The tested compounds possessed novel chemical scaffolds when compared to the input query compounds. Several hits with low micromolar activity were identified and follow-up scaffold-based searches resulted in the identification of a lead series with submicromolar enzyme inhibition, high ligand efficiency, and a novel scaffold. Additionally, one of the most active compounds showed promising whole-cell antibacterial activity against several Gram-positive and Gram-negative species, including the target pathogen. The results of a preliminary structure-activity relationship analysis are presented. PMID:22098466

  14. Aerosol survival of Pasteurella tularensis and the influence of relative humidity.

    PubMed

    Cox, C S; Goldberg, L J

    1972-01-01

    The aerosol survival in air was determined for Pasteurella tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS) as a function of relative humidity (RH). Three different preparations of bacteria were used: (i) liquid suspension of P. tularensis LVS in spent culture medium; (ii) powders of P. tularensis LVS freeze-dried in spent culture fluid; (iii) P. tularensis LVS freeze-dried in spent culture fluid and then reconstituted with distilled water and disseminated as a liquid suspension. Preparation (i) gave greatest survival at high RH and lowest survival at intermediate RH. Preparation (ii), in contrast, gave greatest survival at low RH and minimum survival at 81% RH. Preparation (iii) was the same as preparation (i), i.e., the process of freeze-drying and reconstituting with distilled water before aerosol formation had little or no effect upon aerosol survival as a function of RH. Hence, control of aerosol survival appears to be through the water content of P. tularensis LVS at the moment of aerosol generation rather than the water content of the bacteria in the aerosol phase. PMID:4551041

  15. Host immune response and acute disease in a zebrafish model of francisella pathogenesis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vojtech, L.N.; Sanders, G.E.; Conway, C.; Ostland, V.; Hansen, J.D.

    2009-01-01

    Members of the bacterial genus Francisella are highly virulent and infectious pathogens. New models to study Francisella pathogenesis in evolutionarily distinct species are needed to provide comparative insight, as the mechanisms of host resistance and pathogen virulence are not well understood. We took advantage of the recent discovery of a novel species of Francisella to establish a zebrafish/Francisella comparative model of pathogenesis and host immune response. Adult zebraflsh were susceptible to acute Francisella-induced disease and suffered mortality in a dose-dependent manner. Using immunohistochemical analysis, we localized bacterial antigens primarily to lymphoid tissues and livers of zebraflsh following infection by intraperitoneal injection, which corresponded to regions of local cellular necrosis. Francisella sp. bacteria replicated rapidly in these tissues beginning 12 h postinfection, and bacterial titers rose steadily, leveled off, and then decreased by 7 days postinfection. Zebraflsh mounted a significant tissue-specific proinflammatory response to infection as measured by the upregulation of interleukin-l?? (IL-1??), gamma interferon, and tumor necrosis factor alpha mRNA beginning by 6 h postinfection and persisting for up to 7 days postinfection. In addition, exposure of zebraflsh to heat-killed bacteria demonstrated that the significant induction of IL-?? was highly specific to live bacteria. Taken together, the pathology and immune response to acute Francisella infection in zebraflsh share many features with those in mammals, highlighting the usefulness of this new model system for addressing both general and specific questions about Francisella host-pathogen interactions via an evolutionary approach. Copyright ?? 2009, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  16. Duplex PCR assay and in situ hybridization for detection of Francisella spp. and Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis in red tilapia.

    PubMed

    Dong, Ha T; Gangnonngiw, Warachin; Phiwsaiya, Kornsunee; Charoensapsri, Walaiporn; Nguyen, Vuong V; Nilsen, Pål; Pradeep, Padmaja J; Withyachumnarnkul, Boonsirm; Senapin, Saengchan; Rodkhum, Channarong

    2016-06-15

    Conventional isolation and identification based on phenotypic characteristics is challenging with the highly fastidious, intracellular bacterium Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis (Fno). Here, we developed a duplex PCR method for simultaneous detection of the Francisella genus and Fno in one PCR reaction and an in situ hybridization method for paraffin section based diagnosis of Fno. The PCR results showed genus- and species-specific bands (1140 and 203 bp) from Fno but only one genus-specific band (1140 bp) from F. noatunensis subsp. noatunensis. Sensitivity of the duplex PCR assay revealed a detection limit of 20 to 200 fg genomic DNA (~10 to 100 genome equivalents) depending on DNA template extraction methods. The newly developed duplex PCR assay could be used to detect Fno from clinically sick fish exhibiting signs of visceral granulomas and would also be able to detect Fno infection in naturally diseased fish without symptoms of francisellosis, indicating potential application for diagnosis of field samples. The in situ hybridization assay using Fno species-specific probe revealed positive signals in multiple organs including the spleen, liver, kidney, gills and intestine of infected fish. PMID:27304869

  17. Guanylate-binding proteins promote AIM2 inflammasome activation during Francisella novicida infection by inducing cytosolic bacteriolysis and DNA release

    PubMed Central

    Dreier, Roland F.; Costanzo, Stéphanie; Anton, Leonie; Rühl, Sebastian; Dussurgey, Sébastien; Dick, Mathias S.; Kistner, Anne; Rigard, Mélanie; Degrandi, Daniel; Pfeffer, Klaus; Yamamoto, Masahiro; Henry, Thomas; Broz, Petr

    2015-01-01

    The AIM2 inflammasome detects double-stranded DNA in the cytosol and induces caspase-1-dependent pyroptosis as well as release of the inflammatory cytokines IL-1β and IL-18. AIM2 is critical for host defense against DNA viruses and bacteria that replicate in the cytosol, such as Francisella novicida. AIM2 activation by F. novicida requires bacteriolysis, yet whether this process is accidental or a host-driven immune mechanism remained unclear. Using siRNA screening for nearly 500 interferon-stimulated genes, we identified guanylate-binding proteins GBP2 and GBP5 as key AIM2 activators during F. novicida infection. Their prominent role was validated in vitro and in a mouse model of tularemia. Mechanistically, these two GBPs target cytosolic F. novicida and promote bacteriolysis. Thus, besides their role in host defense against vacuolar pathogens, GBPs also facilitate the presentation of ligands by directly attacking cytosolic bacteria. PMID:25774716

  18. A Francisella Virulence Factor Catalyzes an Essential Reaction of Biotin Synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Youjun; Napier, Brooke A.; Manandhar, Miglena; Henke, Sarah K; Weiss, David S.; Cronan, John E.

    2014-01-01

    Summary We recently identified a gene (FTN_0818) required for Francisella virulence that seemed likely involved in biotin metabolism. However, the molecular function of this virulence determinant was unclear. Here we show that this protein named BioJ is the enzyme of the biotin biosynthesis pathway that determines the chain length of the biotin valeryl side chain. Expression of bioJ allows growth of an E. coli bioH strain on biotin-free medium, indicating functional equivalence of BioJ to the paradigm pimeloyl-ACP methyl ester carboxyl-esterase, BioH. BioJ was purified to homogeneity, shown to be monomeric and capable of hydrolysis of its physiological substrate methyl pimeloyl-ACP to pimeloyl-ACP, the precursor required to begin formation of the fused heterocyclic rings of biotin. Phylogenetic analyses confirmed that distinct from BioH, BioJ represents a novel sub-clade of the α/β-hydrolase family. Structure-guided mapping combined with site-directed mutagenesis revealed that the BioJ catalytic triad consists of Ser151, Asp248 and His278, all of which are essential for activity and virulence. The biotin synthesis pathway was reconstituted in vitro and the physiological role of BioJ directly assayed. To the best of our knowledge, these data represent further evidence linking biotin synthesis to bacterial virulence. PMID:24313380

  19. Structure and Engineering of Francisella novicida Cas9

    PubMed Central

    Hirano, Hisato; Gootenberg, Jonathan S.; Horii, Takuro; Abudayyeh, Omar O.; Kimura, Mika; Hsu, Patrick D.; Nakane, Takanori; Ishitani, Ryuichiro; Hatada, Izuho; Zhang, Feng; Nishimasu, Hiroshi; Nureki, Osamu

    2016-01-01

    Summary The RNA-guided endonuclease Cas9 cleaves double-stranded DNA targets complementary to the guide RNA, and has been applied to programmable genome editing. Cas9-mediated cleavage requires a protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) juxtaposed with the DNA target sequence, thus constricting the range of targetable sites. Here, we report the 1.7 Å resolution crystal structures of Cas9 from Francisella novicida (FnCas9), one of the largest Cas9 orthologs, in complex with a guide RNA and its PAM-containing DNA targets. A structural comparison of FnCas9 with other Cas9 orthologs revealed striking conserved and divergent features among distantly related CRISPR-Cas9 systems. We found that FnCas9 recognizes the 5′-NGG-3′ PAM, and used the structural information to create a variant that can recognize the more relaxed 5′-YG-3′ PAM. Furthermore, we demonstrated that pre-assembled FnCas9 ribonucleoprotein complexes can be microinjected into mouse zygotes to edit endogenous sites with the 5′-YG-3′ PAMs, thus expanding the target space of the CRISPR-Cas9 toolbox. PMID:26875867

  20. Structure and Engineering of Francisella novicida Cas9.

    PubMed

    Hirano, Hisato; Gootenberg, Jonathan S; Horii, Takuro; Abudayyeh, Omar O; Kimura, Mika; Hsu, Patrick D; Nakane, Takanori; Ishitani, Ryuichiro; Hatada, Izuho; Zhang, Feng; Nishimasu, Hiroshi; Nureki, Osamu

    2016-02-25

    The RNA-guided endonuclease Cas9 cleaves double-stranded DNA targets complementary to the guide RNA and has been applied to programmable genome editing. Cas9-mediated cleavage requires a protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) juxtaposed with the DNA target sequence, thus constricting the range of targetable sites. Here, we report the 1.7 Å resolution crystal structures of Cas9 from Francisella novicida (FnCas9), one of the largest Cas9 orthologs, in complex with a guide RNA and its PAM-containing DNA targets. A structural comparison of FnCas9 with other Cas9 orthologs revealed striking conserved and divergent features among distantly related CRISPR-Cas9 systems. We found that FnCas9 recognizes the 5'-NGG-3' PAM, and used the structural information to create a variant that can recognize the more relaxed 5'-YG-3' PAM. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the FnCas9-ribonucleoprotein complex can be microinjected into mouse zygotes to edit endogenous sites with the 5'-YG-3' PAM, thus expanding the target space of the CRISPR-Cas9 toolbox. PMID:26875867

  1. Comparison of radii sets, entropy, QM methods, and sampling on MM-PBSA, MM-GBSA, and QM/MM-GBSA ligand binding energies of F. tularensis enoyl-ACP reductase (FabI).

    PubMed

    Su, Pin-Chih; Tsai, Cheng-Chieh; Mehboob, Shahila; Hevener, Kirk E; Johnson, Michael E

    2015-09-30

    To validate a method for predicting the binding affinities of FabI inhibitors, three implicit solvent methods, MM-PBSA, MM-GBSA, and QM/MM-GBSA were carefully compared using 16 benzimidazole inhibitors in complex with Francisella tularensis FabI. The data suggests that the prediction results are sensitive to radii sets, GB methods, QM Hamiltonians, sampling protocols, and simulation length, if only one simulation trajectory is used for each ligand. In this case, QM/MM-GBSA using 6 ns MD simulation trajectories together with GB(neck2) , PM3, and the mbondi2 radii set, generate the closest agreement with experimental values (r(2)  = 0.88). However, if the three implicit solvent methods are averaged from six 1 ns MD simulations for each ligand (called "multiple independent sampling"), the prediction results are relatively insensitive to all the tested parameters. Moreover, MM/GBSA together with GB(HCT) and mbondi, using 600 frames extracted evenly from six 0.25 ns MD simulations, can also provide accurate prediction to experimental values (r(2)  = 0.84). Therefore, the multiple independent sampling method can be more efficient than a single, long simulation method. Since future scaffold expansions may significantly change the benzimidazole's physiochemical properties (charges, etc.) and possibly binding modes, which may affect the sensitivities of various parameters, the relatively insensitive "multiple independent sampling method" may avoid the need of an entirely new validation study. Moreover, due to large fluctuating entropy values, (QM/)MM-P(G)BSA were limited to inhibitors' relative affinity prediction, but not the absolute affinity. The developed protocol will support an ongoing benzimidazole lead optimization program. PMID:26216222

  2. Finished genome assembly of warm spring isolate Francisella novicida DPG 3A-IS

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Johnson, Shannon L.; Minogue, Timothy D.; Daligault, Hajnalka E.; Wolcott, Mark J.; Teshima, Hazuki; Coyne, Susan R.; Davenport, Karen W.; Jaissle, James G.; Chain, Patrick S.

    2015-09-17

    We sequenced the complete genome of Francisella novicida DPG 3A-IS to closed and finished status. This is a warm spring isolate recovered from Hobo Warm Spring (Utah, USA). The last assembly is available in NCBI under accession number CP012037.

  3. An outbreak of granulomatous inflammation associated with Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis in farmed tilapia ( Oreochromis niloticus × O. aureus) in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Qiang; Li, Ningqiu; Fu, Xiaozhe; Hu, Qiandong; Chang, Ouqin; Liu, Lihui; Zhang, Defeng; Wang, Guangjun; San, Guibao; Wu, Shuqin

    2016-05-01

    In 2013, a novel disease was detected in tilapia ( Oreochromis niloticus × O. aureus) in Guangzhou, South China. To identify the causative pathogen, we conducted histological examination, bacteria isolation, and purification, and sequenced the 16S rRNA gene of isolates. Infected fish had a large number of white granulomas in the kidney, liver, heart, and spleen. The head kidney and spleen were markedly swollen. A bacterium strain designated as gz201301 was recovered from the spleen of infected tilapia. The 16S rRNA sequence of gz201301 revealed that it was highly similar to F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis. This is the first report of a Francisella-like infection in farmed tilapia in China.

  4. An outbreak of granulomatous inflammation associated with Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis in farmed tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus × O. aureus) in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Qiang; Li, Ningqiu; Fu, Xiaozhe; Hu, Qiandong; Chang, Ouqin; Liu, Lihui; Zhang, Defeng; Wang, Guangjun; San, Guibao; Wu, Shuqin

    2015-10-01

    In 2013, a novel disease was detected in tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus × O. aureus) in Guangzhou, South China. To identify the causative pathogen, we conducted histological examination, bacteria isolation, and purification, and sequenced the 16S rRNA gene of isolates. Infected fish had a large number of white granulomas in the kidney, liver, heart, and spleen. The head kidney and spleen were markedly swollen. A bacterium strain designated as gz201301 was recovered from the spleen of infected tilapia. The 16S rRNA sequence of gz201301 revealed that it was highly similar to F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis. This is the first report of a Francisella-like infection in farmed tilapia in China.

  5. TLR4-dependent activation of inflammatory cytokine response in macrophages by Francisella elongation factor Tu1

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Jyotika; Mishra, Bibhuti B.; Li, Qun; Teale, Judy M.

    2011-01-01

    The bacterial determinants of pulmonary Francisella induced inflammatory responses and their interaction with host components are not clearly defined. In this study, proteomic and immunoblot analyses showed presence of a cytoplasmic protein elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu) in the membrane fractions of virulent F. novicida, LVS and SchuS4, but not in an attenuated F. novicida mutant. EF-Tu was immunodominant in mice vaccinated and protected from virulent F. novicida. Moreover, recombinant EF-Tu induced macrophages to produce inflammatory cytokines in a TLR4 dependent manner. This study shows immune stimulatory properties of a cytoplasmic protein EF-Tu expressed on the membrane of virulent Francisella strains. PMID:21497800

  6. Antimicrobial and antibiofilm activity of cathelicidins and short, synthetic peptides against Francisella.

    PubMed

    Amer, Lilian S; Bishop, Barney M; van Hoek, Monique L

    2010-05-28

    Francisella infects the lungs causing pneumonic tularemia. Focusing on the lung's host defense, we have examined antimicrobial peptides as part of the innate immune response to Francisella infection. Interest in antimicrobial peptides, such as the cathelicidins, has grown due their potential therapeutic applications and the increasing problem of bacterial resistance to commonly used antibiotics. Only one human cathelicidin, LL-37, has been characterized. Helical cathelicidins have also been discovered in snakes including the Chinese King Cobra, Naja atra (NA-CATH). Four synthetic 11-residue peptides (ATRA-1, -2, -1A and -1P) containing variations of a repeated motif within NA-CATH were designed. We hypothesized that these smaller synthetic peptides could have excellent antimicrobial effectiveness with shorter length (and less cost), making them strong potential candidates for development into broad-spectrum antimicrobial compounds. We tested the susceptibility of F. novicida to four ATRA peptides, LL-37, and NA-CATH. Two of the ATRA peptides had high antimicrobial activity (microM), while the two proline-containing ATRA peptides had low activity. The ATRA peptides did not show significant hemolytic activity even at high peptide concentration, indicating low cytotoxicity against host cells. NA-CATH killed Francisella bacteria more quickly than LL-37. However, LL-37 was the most effective peptide against F. novicida (EC50=50 nM). LL-37 mRNA was induced in A549 cells by Francisella infection. We recently demonstrated that F. novicida forms in vitro biofilms. LL-37 inhibited F. novicida biofilm formation at sub-antimicrobial concentrations. Understanding the properties of these peptides, and their endogenous expression in the lung could lead to potential future therapeutic interventions for this lung infection. PMID:20399752

  7. Glutamate Utilization Couples Oxidative Stress Defense and the Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle in Francisella Phagosomal Escape

    PubMed Central

    Ramond, Elodie; Gesbert, Gael; Rigard, Mélanie; Dairou, Julien; Dupuis, Marion; Dubail, Iharilalao; Meibom, Karin; Henry, Thomas; Barel, Monique; Charbit, Alain

    2014-01-01

    Intracellular bacterial pathogens have developed a variety of strategies to avoid degradation by the host innate immune defense mechanisms triggered upon phagocytocis. Upon infection of mammalian host cells, the intracellular pathogen Francisella replicates exclusively in the cytosolic compartment. Hence, its ability to escape rapidly from the phagosomal compartment is critical for its pathogenicity. Here, we show for the first time that a glutamate transporter of Francisella (here designated GadC) is critical for oxidative stress defense in the phagosome, thus impairing intra-macrophage multiplication and virulence in the mouse model. The gadC mutant failed to efficiently neutralize the production of reactive oxygen species. Remarkably, virulence of the gadC mutant was partially restored in mice defective in NADPH oxidase activity. The data presented highlight links between glutamate uptake, oxidative stress defense, the tricarboxylic acid cycle and phagosomal escape. This is the first report establishing the role of an amino acid transporter in the early stage of the Francisella intracellular lifecycle. PMID:24453979

  8. 42 CFR 73.9 - Responsible Official.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... Clostridium, Burkholderia mallei, Burkholderia pseudomallei Francisella tularensis, Ebola viruses, , Marburg virus, Variola major virus (Smallpox virus), Variola minor (Alastrim), or Yersinia pestis. The...

  9. 42 CFR 73.9 - Responsible Official.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... Clostridium, Burkholderia mallei, Burkholderia pseudomallei, Francisella tularensis, Ebola viruses, Marburg virus, Variola major virus (Smallpox virus), Variola minor (Alastrim), or Yersinia pestis. The...

  10. Francisella philomiragia Bacteremia in a Patient with Acute Respiratory Insufficiency and Acute-on-Chronic Kidney Disease

    PubMed Central

    Humphries, Romney M.; Mattison, H. Reid; Miles, Jessica E.; Simpson, Edward R.; Corbett, Ian J.; Schmitt, Bryan H.; May, M.

    2015-01-01

    Francisella philomiragia is a very uncommon pathogen of humans. Diseases caused by it are protean and have been reported largely in near-drowning victims and those with chronic granulomatous disease. We present a case of F. philomiragia pneumonia with peripheral edema and bacteremia in a renal transplant patient and review the diverse reports of F. philomiragia infections. PMID:26400786

  11. Finished genome assembly of warm spring isolate Francisella novicida DPG 3A-IS

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, Shannon L.; Minogue, Timothy D.; Daligault, Hajnalka E.; Wolcott, Mark J.; Teshima, Hazuki; Coyne, Susan R.; Davenport, Karen W.; Jaissle, James G.; Chain, Patrick S.

    2015-09-17

    We sequenced the complete genome of Francisella novicida DPG 3A-IS to closed and finished status. This is a warm spring isolate recovered from Hobo Warm Spring (Utah, USA). The last assembly is available in NCBI under accession number CP012037.

  12. Efficacy of florfenicol for control of mortality with Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis in Nile tilapia, oreochromis niloticus (L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis (Fno) (syn. F. asiatica) is an emergent Gram-negative facultative intracellular bacterium. Although it is considered one of the most pathogenic bacteria in fish, there are no commercially available treatments of vaccines. The objective of this project was ...

  13. Novel genomic tools for specific and real-time detection of biothreat and frequently encountered foodborne pathogens.

    PubMed

    Woubit, Abdela; Yehualaeshet, Teshome; Habtemariam, Tsegaye; Samuel, Temesgen

    2012-04-01

    The bacterial genera Escherichia, Salmonella, Shigella, Vibrio, Yersinia, and Francisella include important food safety and biothreat agents. By extensive mining of the whole genome and protein databases of diverse, closely and distantly related bacterial species and strains, we have identified novel genome regions, which we utilized to develop a rapid detection platform for these pathogens. The specific genomic targets we have identified to design the primers in Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis, F. tularensis subsp. novicida, Shigella dysenteriae, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, Vibrio cholerae, Yersinia pestis, and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis contained either known genes or putative proteins. Primer sets were designed from the target regions for use in real-time PCR assays to detect specific biothreat pathogens at species or strain levels. The primer sets were first tested by in silico PCR against whole-genome sequences of different species, subspecies, or strains and then by in vitro PCR against genomic DNA preparations from 23 strains representing six biothreat agents (Escherichia coli O157:H7 strain EDL 933, Shigella dysenteriae, S. enterica serovar Typhi, F. tularensis subsp. tularensis, V. cholerae, and Y. pestis) and six foodborne pathogens (Salmonella Typhimurium, Salmonella Saintpaul, Shigella sonnei, F. tularensis subsp. novicida, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and Y. pseudotuberculosis). Each pathogen was specifically identifiable at the genus and species levels. Sensitivity assays performed with purified DNA showed the lowest detection limit of 128 fg of DNA/μl for F. tularensis subsp. tularensis. A preliminary test to detect Shigella organisms in a milk matrix also enabled the detection of 6 to 60 CFU/ml. These new tools could ultimately be used to develop platforms to simultaneously detect these pathogens. PMID:22488053

  14. Tularemia presenting with tonsillopharyngitis and cervical lymphadenitis: report of two cases.

    PubMed

    Kandemir, Bahar; Erayman, Ibrahim; Bitirgen, Mehmet; Aribas, Emel Turk; Guler, Selma

    2007-01-01

    Tularemia is a zoonotic disease caused by Francisella tularensis. Francisella tularensis is transmitted to humans by direct contact or ingestion of infected animal tissues, through the bite of infected arthropods, by consumption of contaminated food or water, or from inhalation of aerolized bacteria. In this report we describe 2 cases with oropharyngeal tularemia who presented with tonsillopharyngitis and cervical lymphadenitis. PMID:17577830

  15. Restriction of Francisella novicida Genetic Diversity during Infection of the Vector Midgut

    PubMed Central

    Reif, Kathryn E.; Palmer, Guy H.; Crowder, David W.; Ueti, Massaro W.; Noh, Susan M.

    2014-01-01

    The genetic diversity of pathogens, and interactions between genotypes, can strongly influence pathogen phenotypes such as transmissibility and virulence. For vector-borne pathogens, both mammalian hosts and arthropod vectors may limit pathogen genotypic diversity (number of unique genotypes circulating in an area) by preventing infection or transmission of particular genotypes. Mammalian hosts often act as “ecological filters” for pathogen diversity, where novel variants are frequently eliminated because of stochastic events or fitness costs. However, whether vectors can serve a similar role in limiting pathogen diversity is less clear. Here we show using Francisella novicida and a natural tick vector of Francisella spp. (Dermacentor andersoni), that the tick vector acted as a stronger ecological filter for pathogen diversity compared to the mammalian host. When both mice and ticks were exposed to mixtures of F. novicida genotypes, significantly fewer genotypes co-colonized ticks compared to mice. In both ticks and mice, increased genotypic diversity negatively affected the recovery of available genotypes. Competition among genotypes contributed to the reduction of diversity during infection of the tick midgut, as genotypes not recovered from tick midguts during mixed genotype infections were recovered from tick midguts during individual genotype infection. Mediated by stochastic and selective forces, pathogen genotype diversity was markedly reduced in the tick. We incorporated our experimental results into a model to demonstrate how vector population dynamics, especially vector-to-host ratio, strongly affected pathogen genotypic diversity in a population over time. Understanding pathogen genotypic population dynamics will aid in identification of the variables that most strongly affect pathogen transmission and disease ecology. PMID:25392914

  16. Serological prevalence of tularemia in cottontail rabbits of southern Illinois.

    PubMed

    Lepitzki, D A; Woolf, A; Cooper, M

    1990-04-01

    Sera of cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus) collected in southern Illinois in 1983 and 1984 were screened for the presence of antibodies against Francisella tularensis by rapid slide agglutination and enzyme linked immunosorbent assay techniques; 6% of 118 and 16% of 119 samples were positive by these methods, respectively. Rabbits gained, lost and maintained titers over at least an 8 mo period. Francisella tularensis tularensis was isolated from one serologically negative, clinically healthy rabbit. PMID:2338733

  17. Improved Broth Microdilution Method for Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing of Francisella Noatunensis Orientalis.

    PubMed

    Soto, Esteban; Halliday-Simmonds, Iona; Francis, Stewart; Fraites, Trellor; Martínez-López, Beatriz; Wiles, Judy; Hawke, John P; Endris, Richard D

    2016-09-01

    In this project we optimized a minimal inhibitory concentration testing protocol for Francisella noatunensis orientalis. Thirty-three F. noatunensis orientalis isolates recovered from different fish species and locations were tested, and Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 was used as a quality control reference strain. A modified cation-adjusted Mueller Hinton broth supplemented with 2% IsoVitalex and 0.1% glucose (MMH) was tested at a pH of 6.4 ± 0.1, 7.1 ± 0.1, and 7.3 ± 0.1. Growth curves generated for F. noatunensis orientalis indicated that MMH at a pH of 6.4 ± 0.1 provided optimal growth. There were no significant differences in the growth curves obtained from isolates recovered from different fish species or from fresh or marine water. The pH of 6.4 ± 0.1 in the MMH media interfered with the inhibitory properties of the potentiated sulfonamides (ormetoprim-sulfadimethoxine and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole) when using the E. coli ATCC reference strain. Minimal inhibitory concentrations of eight antimicrobials (gentamicin, enrofloxacin, ampicillin, oxytetracycline, erythromycin, florfenicol, flumequine, and oxolinic acid) were similar for all F. noatunensis orientalis isolates. The in vitro susceptibility data provided here can provide a baseline for monitoring the development of antimicrobial resistance among F. noatunensis orientalis isolates, as well as provide valuable data in the development of potential therapeutics. Received October 27, 2015; accepted April 13, 2016. PMID:27484609

  18. Roles of inflammatory caspases during processing of zebrafish interleukin-1β in Francisella noatunensis infection

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vojtech, Lucia N.; Scharping, Nichole; Woodson, James C.; Hansen, John D.

    2012-01-01

    The interleukin-1 family of cytokines are essential for the control of pathogenic microbes but are also responsible for devastating autoimmune pathologies. Consequently, tight regulation of inflammatory processes is essential for maintaining homeostasis. In mammals, interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) is primarily regulated at two levels, transcription and processing. The main pathway for processing IL-1β is the inflammasome, a multiprotein complex that forms in the cytosol and which results in the activation of inflammatory caspase (caspase 1) and the subsequent cleavage and secretion of active IL-1β. Although zebrafish encode orthologs of IL-1β and inflammatory caspases, the processing of IL-1β by activated caspase(s) has never been examined. Here, we demonstrate that in response to infection with the fish-specific bacterial pathogen Francisella noatunensis, primary leukocytes from adult zebrafish display caspase-1-like activity that results in IL-1β processing. Addition of caspase 1 or pancaspase inhibitors considerably abrogates IL-1β processing. As in mammals, this processing event is concurrent with the secretion of cleaved IL-1β into the culture medium. Furthermore, two putative zebrafish inflammatory caspase orthologs, caspase A and caspase B, are both able to cleave IL-1β, but with different specificities. These results represent the first demonstration of processing and secretion of zebrafish IL-1β in response to a pathogen, contributing to our understanding of the evolutionary processes governing the regulation of inflammation.                   

  19. The Atypical Occurrence of Two Biotin Protein Ligases in Francisella novicida Is Due to Distinct Roles in Virulence and Biotin Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Youjun; Chin, Chui-Yoke; Chakravartty, Vandana; Gao, Rongsui; Crispell, Emily K.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The physiological function of biotin requires biotin protein ligase activity in order to attach the coenzyme to its cognate proteins, which are enzymes involved in central metabolism. The model intracellular pathogen Francisella novicida is unusual in that it encodes two putative biotin protein ligases rather than the usual single enzyme. F. novicida BirA has a ligase domain as well as an N-terminal DNA-binding regulatory domain, similar to the prototypical BirA protein in E. coli. However, the second ligase, which we name BplA, lacks the N-terminal DNA binding motif. It has been unclear why a bacterium would encode these two disparate biotin protein ligases, since F. novicida contains only a single biotinylated protein. In vivo complementation and enzyme assays demonstrated that BirA and BplA are both functional biotin protein ligases, but BplA is a much more efficient enzyme. BirA, but not BplA, regulated transcription of the biotin synthetic operon. Expression of bplA (but not birA) increased significantly during F. novicida infection of macrophages. BplA (but not BirA) was required for bacterial replication within macrophages as well as in mice. These data demonstrate that F. novicida has evolved two distinct enzymes with specific roles; BplA possesses the major ligase activity, whereas BirA acts to regulate and thereby likely prevent wasteful synthesis of biotin. During infection BplA seems primarily employed to maximize the efficiency of biotin utilization without limiting the expression of biotin biosynthetic genes, representing a novel adaptation strategy that may also be used by other intracellular pathogens. PMID:26060274

  20. Efficacy of florfenicol for control of mortality associated with Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis in Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus (L.).

    PubMed

    Soto, E; Kidd, S; Gaunt, P S; Endris, R

    2013-04-01

    Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis (Fno) (syn. F. asiatica) is an emergent Gram-negative facultative intracellular bacterium. Although it is considered one of the most pathogenic bacteria in fish, there are no commercially available treatments or vaccines. The objective of this project was to determine the most efficacious concentration of florfenicol (FFC) [10, 15 or 20 mg FFC kg(-1) body weight (bw) per days for 10 days] administered in feed to control experimentally induced infections of Fno in Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus (L.), reared in a recirculating aquaculture system. The cumulative mortality of fish that received 0, 10, 15 or 20 mg FFC kg(-1)  bw per day was 60, 37, 14 and 16%, respectively. Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis genome equivalents were detected in water from all challenged groups with slight reduction in the concentration in the florfenicol-treated groups 4 days after treatment. The mean LOG of CFU Fno mg(-1) spleen was 3-5 and was present in all challenged groups at necropsy 11 days after treatment (21 days after challenge). Results show that florfenicol administered at doses of 15 and 20 mg FFC kg(-1)  bw per days for 10 days significantly reduced mortality associated with francisellosis in Nile tilapia. PMID:23134104

  1. Revisiting the Gram-Negative Lipoprotein Paradigm

    PubMed Central

    LoVullo, Eric D.; Wright, Lori F.; Isabella, Vincent; Huntley, Jason F.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The processing of lipoproteins (Lpps) in Gram-negative bacteria is generally considered an essential pathway. Mature lipoproteins in these bacteria are triacylated, with the final fatty acid addition performed by Lnt, an apolipoprotein N-acyltransferase. The mature lipoproteins are then sorted by the Lol system, with most Lpps inserted into the outer membrane (OM). We demonstrate here that the lnt gene is not essential to the Gram-negative pathogen Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis strain Schu or to the live vaccine strain LVS. An LVS Δlnt mutant has a small-colony phenotype on sucrose medium and increased susceptibility to globomycin and rifampin. We provide data indicating that the OM lipoprotein Tul4A (LpnA) is diacylated but that it, and its paralog Tul4B (LpnB), still sort to the OM in the Δlnt mutant. We present a model in which the Lol sorting pathway of Francisella has a modified ABC transporter system that is capable of recognizing and sorting both triacylated and diacylated lipoproteins, and we show that this modified system is present in many other Gram-negative bacteria. We examined this model using Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which has the same Lol architecture as that of Francisella, and found that the lnt gene is not essential in this organism. This work suggests that Gram-negative bacteria fall into two groups, one in which full lipoprotein processing is essential and one in which the final acylation step is not essential, potentially due to the ability of the Lol sorting pathway in these bacteria to sort immature apolipoproteins to the OM. IMPORTANCE This paper describes the novel finding that the final stage in lipoprotein processing (normally considered an essential process) is not required by Francisella tularensis or Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The paper provides a potential reason for this and shows that it may be widespread in other Gram-negative bacteria. PMID:25755189

  2. Screen of FDA-approved drug library identifies maprotiline, an antibiofilm and antivirulence compound with QseC sensor-kinase dependent activity in Francisella novicida

    PubMed Central

    Dean, Scott N; van Hoek, Monique L

    2015-01-01

    Development of new therapeutics against Select Agents such as Francisella is critical preparation in the event of bioterrorism. Testing FDA-approved drugs for this purpose may yield new activities unrelated to their intended purpose and may hasten the discovery of new therapeutics. A library of 420 FDA-approved drugs was screened for antibiofilm activity against a model organism for human tularemia, Francisella (F.) novicida, excluding drugs that significantly inhibited growth. The initial screen was based on the 2-component system (TCS) dependent biofilm effect, thus, the QseC dependence of maprotiline anti-biofilm action was demonstrated. By comparing their FDA-approved uses, chemical structures, and other properties of active drugs, toremifene and polycyclic antidepressants maprotiline and chlorpromazine were identified as being highly active against F. novicida biofilm formation. Further down-selection excluded toremifene for its membrane active activity and chlorpromazine for its high antimicrobial activity. The mode of action of maprotiline against F. novicida was sought. It was demonstrated that maprotiline was able to significantly down-regulate the expression of the virulence factor IglC, encoded on the Francisella Pathogenicity Island (FPI), suggesting that maprotiline is exerting an effect on bacterial virulence. Further studies showed that maprotiline significantly rescued F. novicida infected wax worm larvae. In vivo studies demonstrated that maprotiline treatment could prolong time to disease onset and survival in F. novicida infected mice. These results suggest that an FDA-approved drug such as maprotiline has the potential to combat Francisella infection as an antivirulence agent, and may have utility in combination with antibiotics. PMID:26155740

  3. Tularemia

    MedlinePlus

    Penn RL. Francisella tularensis (Tularemia). In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Disease . 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; ...

  4. Detection of Multiple Waterborne Pathogens Using Microsequencing Arrays

    EPA Science Inventory

    Aims: A microarray was developed to simultaneously detect Cryptosporidium parvum, Cryptosporidium hominis, Enterococcus faecium, Bacillus anthracis and Francisella tularensis in water. Methods and Results: A DNA microarray was designed to contain probes that specifically dete...

  5. CHLORINE INACTIVATION OF CATEGORY "A" BIO-TERRORISM AGENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    This poster presents information on the inactivation of select bioterrorist agents. Information will be presented on chlorine disinfection of vegetative cells of Brucella suis, Brucella melitensis, Burkholderia mallei, Burkholderia pseudomallei, Francisella tularensis and endos...

  6. Interacting Factors That Influence Long-term Storage of Live Pasteurella tularensis Vaccine and Rift Valley Fever Virus

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Frederick; Walker, Jerry S.; Mahlandt, Bill G.; Carter, Richard C.; Orlando, Michael D.; Weirether, Francis J.; Lincoln, Ralph E.

    1969-01-01

    Studies were conducted on the interaction of various parameters which affect the storage stability and growth potential of liquid cultures of Pasteurella tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS) and Rift Valley fever virus Van Wyk strain (RVFV). Storage variables studied with LVS included four storage temperatures (4, -20, -65, -175 C), single and multiple freeze-thaw cycles, two freezing and two thawing rates (slow and fast), various inoculum levels (1, 3, 5, and 10%) for the determination of growth potential, and the retention of immunizing potential (mice and guinea pig) after storage. Neither the freezing rate nor the number of freeze-thaw cycles seriously affected the growth of LVS after storage at -175C; however, the slow rate of thaw proved deleterious as were all temperatures of storage except -175 C after 1 year of storage, as shown by both criteria of evaluation. RVFV produced in two combinations of cell lines and media (LM cell line-199 peptone medium and LDR cell line-Eagle's minimum essential medium) was stored at three serum levels (10, 20, 40%), three pH values (6.2., 7.0, 7.8), and three temperatures (-20, -65, -175 C). These studies indicated: (i) virus produced in the LDR cell line and Eagle's medium was more stable than that produced in the LM cell line and 199 peptone medium for either short- or long-term storage; (ii) serum levels did not affect stability; and (iii) low pH resulted in losses during long-term storage under all conditions tested. Thus, cryogenic storage is advantageous for stock culture maintenance of bacteria and viruses and for other similar applications. PMID:5780399

  7. A bacterial two-hybrid system that utilizes Gateway cloning for rapid screening of protein-protein interactions.

    PubMed

    Karna, S L Rajasekhar; Zogaj, Xhavit; Barker, Jeffrey R; Seshu, Janakiram; Dove, Simon L; Klose, Karl E

    2010-11-01

    Comprehensive clone sets representing the entire genome now exist for a large number of organisms. The Gateway entry clone sets are a particularly useful means to study gene function, given the ease of introduction into any Gateway-suitable destination vector. We have adapted a bacterial two-hybrid system for use with Gateway entry clone sets, such that potential interactions between proteins encoded within these clone sets can be determined by new destination vectors. We show that utilizing the Gateway clone sets for Francisella tularensis and Vibrio cholerae, known interactions between F. tularensis IglA and IglB and V. cholerae VipA and VipB could be confirmed with these destination vectors. Moreover, the introduction of unique tags into each vector allowed for visualization of the expressed hybrid proteins via Western immunoblot. This Gateway-suitable bacterial two-hybrid system provides a new tool for rapid screening of protein-protein interactions. PMID:21091448

  8. First Reported Prairie Dog–to-Human Tularemia Transmission, Texas, 2002

    PubMed Central

    Petersen, Jeannine M.; Lindley, Connie M.; Schriefer, Martin E.; Gage, Kenneth L.; Cetron, Marty; DeMarcus, Thomas A.; Kim, David K.; Buck, Jan; Montenieri, John A.; Lowell, Jennifer L.; Antolin, Michael F.; Kosoy, Michael Y.; Carter, Leon G.; Chu, May C.; Hendricks, Katherine A.; Dennis, David T.; Kool, Jacob L.

    2004-01-01

    A tularemia outbreak, caused by Francisella tularensis type B, occurred among wild-caught, commercially traded prairie dogs. F. tularensis microagglutination titers in one exposed person indicated recent infection. These findings represent the first evidence for prairie-dog-to-human tularemia transmission and demonstrate potential human health risks of the exotic pet trade. PMID:15109417

  9. An unexpected cause for cavitary pneumonia and empyema.

    PubMed

    Bloch-Infanger, Constantine; Furrer, Katarzyna; Wiese, Mark; Hiebinger, Andreas; Bucher, Christoph M; Kopp, Sébastien; Hinić, Vladimira; Goldenberger, Daniel

    2016-08-01

    Tularemia is an emerging zoonotic disease mainly of the Northern Hemisphere caused by the Gram-negative coccobacillus Francisella tularensis. It is affecting a wide range of animals and causes human disease after insect and tick bites, skin contact, ingestion and inhalation. A 66-year-old man presented to our clinic with cavitary pneumonia and distinct pleural effusion. After failure of empiric antibiotic therapy, thoracoscopic assisted decortication and partial excision of the middle lobe were conducted. Conventional culture methods and broad-range bacterial PCR including RipSeqMixed analysis were performed from the excised biopsies. Culture results remained negative but broad-range PCR targeting the first half of the 16S rRNA gene revealed F. tularensis DNA. This result was confirmed by F. tularensis-specific PCR and by serology. The source of infection could not be explored. To conclude, we report the rare clinical picture of a community-acquired pneumonia followed by pleural effusion and empyema due to F. tularensis. Broad range bacterial PCR proved to be a powerful diagnostic tool to detect the etiologic organism. PMID:26621335

  10. Outbreaks and genetic diversity of Francisella noatunensis subsp orientalis isolated from farm-raised Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Leal, C A G; Tavares, G C; Figueiredo, H C P

    2014-01-01

    Francisella noatunensis subsp orientalis (FNO) is an emerging pathogen of warm water tilapia in a number of different countries. The disease caused by this bacterium in fish is characterized by a systemic granulomatous infection that causes high mortality rates during outbreaks. FNO has been previously described in Asia, Europe, and Central and North America. Its occurrence in South America has never been described. Since 2012, outbreaks of a granulomatous disease have been recorded in cage farms of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus L.) in Brazil. The current study aimed to identify the etiologic agent of recent francisellosis outbreaks at Brazilian tilapia farms, and to characterize the genetic diversity of the pathogen from farms with distinct geographic origins and without epidemiological connections. Bacteriological analysis of 44 diseased Nile tilapia collected from five cage farms in Brazil was performed during 2012 and 2013. The farms were in different locations and had no recent history of animal or biological material transport between each other. Sixty-two FNO isolates were identified on the basis of FNO-specific qPCR. The main predisposing factors for the occurrence of outbreaks on Brazilian farms were lower water temperature (<22°C) and life stage of fish, affecting mainly fry, fingerlings and young adults (live weight <100 g). The genetic diversity of the Brazilian FNO isolates was evaluated using repetitive extragenic palindromic-PCR. The isolates from different origins were shown to be clonally related. This is the first report of the occurrence and genetic diversity of FNO in South America. PMID:25117328

  11. In Vitro and In Vivo Efficacy of Florfenicol for Treatment of Francisella asiatica Infection in Tilapia ▿

    PubMed Central

    Soto, Esteban; Endris, Richard G.; Hawke, John P.

    2010-01-01

    Francisella asiatica is a recently described, Gram-negative, facultative intracellular fish pathogen, known to be the causative agent of francisellosis in warm-water fish. Francisellosis outbreaks have increased in frequency among commercial aquaculture operations and have caused severe economic losses in every case reported. The lack of effective treatments for piscine francisellosis led us to investigate the potential efficacy of florfenicol for inhibition of F. asiatica in vitro and as an oral therapeutic agent in vivo. The MIC of florfenicol for F. asiatica, as determined by the broth dilution method, was 2 μg/ml, which indicates its potential efficacy as a therapeutic agent for treatment of francisellosis. The intracellular susceptibility of the bacterium to florfenicol in tilapia head kidney-derived macrophages (THKDM) was also investigated. Addition of florfenicol to the medium at 10 μg/ml was sufficient to significantly reduce bacterial loads in the THKDM in vitro. Cytotoxicity assays done in infected THKDM also demonstrated drug efficacy in vivo, as determined by lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release. Levels of LDH released from infected THKDM were significantly lower in macrophages treated with florfenicol (P < 0.001) than in untreated cells. In medicated-feed trials, fish were fed 15 mg of florfenicol/kg of fish body weight for 10 days, and the feeding was initiated at either 1, 3, or 6 days postchallenge. Immersion challenges resulted in 30% mean percent survival in nontreated fish, and fish receiving medicated feed administered at 1 and 3 days postinfection showed higher mean percent survival (100% and 86.7%, respectively). A significant decrease (P < 0.001) in bacterial numbers (number of CFU/g of spleen tissue) was observed in treated groups compared to nontreated infected fish at both 1 and 3 days postchallenge. There were no differences in bacterial burden in the spleens between fish treated 6 days postchallenge and untreated controls. In

  12. A system to simultaneously detect tick-borne pathogens based on the variability of the 16S ribosomal genes

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background DNA microarrays can be used to quickly and sensitively identify several different pathogens in one step. Our previously developed DNA microarray, based on the detection of variable regions in the 16S rDNA gene (rrs), which are specific for each selected bacterial genus, allowed the concurrent detection of Borrelia spp., Anaplasma spp., Francisella spp., Rickettsia spp. and Coxiella spp. Methods In this study, we developed a comprehensive detection system consisting of a second generation DNA microarray and quantitative PCRs. New oligonucleotide capture probes specific for Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. genospecies and Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis were included. This new DNA microarray system required substantial changes in solution composition, hybridization conditions and post-hybridization washes. Results This second generation chip displayed high specificity and sensitivity. The specificity of the capture probes was tested by hybridizing the DNA microarrays with Cy5-labeled, PCR-generated amplicons encoding the rrs genes of both target and non-target bacteria. The detection limit was determined to be 103 genome copies, which corresponds to 1–2 pg of DNA. A given sample was evaluated as positive if its mean fluorescence was at least 10% of the mean fluorescence of a positive control. Those samples with fluorescence close to the threshold were further analyzed using quantitative PCRs, developed to identify Francisella spp., Rickettsia spp. and Coxiella spp. Like the DNA microarray, the qPCRs were based on the genus specific variable regions of the rrs gene. No unspecific cross-reactions were detected. The detection limit for Francisella spp. was determined to be only 1 genome copy, for Coxiella spp. 10 copies, and for Rickettsia spp., 100 copies. Conclusions Our detection system offers a rapid method for the comprehensive identification of tick-borne bacteria, which is applicable to clinical samples. It can also be used to identify both pathogenic

  13. Outer membrane vesicles displaying engineered glycotopes elicit protective antibodies.

    PubMed

    Chen, Linxiao; Valentine, Jenny L; Huang, Chung-Jr; Endicott, Christine E; Moeller, Tyler D; Rasmussen, Jed A; Fletcher, Joshua R; Boll, Joseph M; Rosenthal, Joseph A; Dobruchowska, Justyna; Wang, Zhirui; Heiss, Christian; Azadi, Parastoo; Putnam, David; Trent, M Stephen; Jones, Bradley D; DeLisa, Matthew P

    2016-06-28

    The O-antigen polysaccharide (O-PS) component of lipopolysaccharides on the surface of gram-negative bacteria is both a virulence factor and a B-cell antigen. Antibodies elicited by O-PS often confer protection against infection; therefore, O-PS glycoconjugate vaccines have proven useful against a number of different pathogenic bacteria. However, conventional methods for natural extraction or chemical synthesis of O-PS are technically demanding, inefficient, and expensive. Here, we describe an alternative methodology for producing glycoconjugate vaccines whereby recombinant O-PS biosynthesis is coordinated with vesiculation in laboratory strains of Escherichia coli to yield glycosylated outer membrane vesicles (glycOMVs) decorated with pathogen-mimetic glycotopes. Using this approach, glycOMVs corresponding to eight different pathogenic bacteria were generated. For example, expression of a 17-kb O-PS gene cluster from the highly virulent Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis (type A) strain Schu S4 in hypervesiculating E. coli cells yielded glycOMVs that displayed F. tularensis O-PS. Immunization of BALB/c mice with glycOMVs elicited significant titers of O-PS-specific serum IgG antibodies as well as vaginal and bronchoalveolar IgA antibodies. Importantly, glycOMVs significantly prolonged survival upon subsequent challenge with F. tularensis Schu S4 and provided complete protection against challenge with two different F. tularensis subsp. holarctica (type B) live vaccine strains, thereby demonstrating the vaccine potential of glycOMVs. Given the ease with which recombinant glycotopes can be expressed on OMVs, the strategy described here could be readily adapted for developing vaccines against many other bacterial pathogens. PMID:27274048

  14. Francisella–Arthropod Vector Interaction and its Role in Patho-Adaptation to Infect Mammals

    PubMed Central

    Akimana, Christine; Kwaik, Yousef Abu

    2011-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a Gram-negative, intracellular, zoonotic bacterium, and is the causative agent of tularemia with a broad host range. Arthropods such as ticks, mosquitoes, and flies maintain F. tularensis in nature by transmitting the bacteria among small mammals. While the tick is largely believed to be a biological vector of F. tularensis, transmission by mosquitoes and flies is largely believed to be mechanical on the mouthpart through interrupted feedings. However, the mechanism of infection of the vectors by F. tularensis is not well understood. Since F. tularensis has not been localized in the salivary gland of the primary human biting ticks, it is thought that bacterial transmission by ticks is through mechanical inoculation of tick feces containing F. tularensis into the skin wound. Drosophila melanogaster is an established good arthropod model for arthropod vectors of tularemia, where F. tularensis infects hemocytes, and is found in hemolymph, as seen in ticks. In addition, phagosome biogenesis and robust intracellular proliferation of F. tularensis in arthropod-derived cells are similar to that in mammalian macrophages. Furthermore, bacterial factors required for infectivity of mammals are often required for infectivity of the fly by F. tularensis. Several host factors that contribute to F. tularensis intracellular pathogenesis in D. melanogaster have been identified, and F. tularensis targets some of the evolutionarily conserved eukaryotic processes to enable intracellular survival and proliferation in evolutionarily distant hosts. PMID:21687425

  15. Toll-like receptor activation of XBP1 regulates innate immune responses in macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Martinon, Fabio; Chen, Xi; Lee, Ann-Hwee; Glimcher, Laurie H.

    2011-01-01

    Sensors of pathogens, such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs), detect microbes to activate transcriptional programs that orchestrate adaptive responses to specific insults. Here we report that TLR4 and TLR2 specifically activated the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-stress sensor kinase IRE1α and its downstream target, the transcription factor XBP1. Previously described XBP1 ER stress target genes were not induced by TLR signaling. Instead, TLR-activated XBP1 was required for optimal and sustained production of proinflammatory cytokines in macrophages. Consistent with this finding, IRE1α activation by ER-stress synergized with TLR activation for cytokine production. Moreover, XBP1 deficiency markedly increased bacterial burden in animals infected with the TLR2-activating human pathogen Francisella tularensis. Our findings uncover an unsuspected critical new function for the XBP1 transcription factor in mammalian host defenses. PMID:20351694

  16. A Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction Microarray Assay to Detect Bioterror Pathogens in Blood

    PubMed Central

    Tomioka, Keiko; Peredelchuk, Michael; Zhu, Xiangyang; Arena, Roberto; Volokhov, Dmitri; Selvapandiyan, Angamuthu; Stabler, Katie; Mellquist-Riemenschneider, Jenny; Chizhikov, Vladimir; Kaplan, Gerardo; Nakhasi, Hira; Duncan, Robert

    2005-01-01

    Heightened concern about the dangers of bioterrorism requires that measures be developed to ensure the safety of the blood supply. Multiplex detection of such agents using a blood-screening DNA microarray is a sensitive and specific method to screen simultaneously for a number of suspected agents. We have developed and optimized a multiplex polymerase chain reaction microarray assay to screen blood for three potential bioterror bacterial pathogens and a human ribosomal RNA gene internal control. The analytical sensitivity of the assay was demonstrated to be 50 colony-forming units/ml for Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis (surrogate for Yersinia pestis). The absence of any false-positives demonstrated high analytical specificity. Screening B. anthracis-infected mouse blood samples and uninfected controls demonstrated effectiveness and specificity in a preclinical application. This study represents proof of the concept of microarray technology to screen simultaneously for multiple bioterror pathogens in blood samples. PMID:16237218

  17. Genes and Gene Therapy

    MedlinePlus

    ... a child can have a genetic disorder. Gene therapy is an experimental technique that uses genes to ... prevent disease. The most common form of gene therapy involves inserting a normal gene to replace an ...

  18. Genes and Gene Therapy

    MedlinePlus

    ... correctly, a child can have a genetic disorder. Gene therapy is an experimental technique that uses genes to ... or prevent disease. The most common form of gene therapy involves inserting a normal gene to replace an ...

  19. Tularemia among Free-Ranging Mice without Infection of Exposed Humans, Switzerland, 2012

    PubMed Central

    Origgi, Francesco C.; König, Barbara; Lindholm, Anna K.; Mayor, Désirée

    2015-01-01

    The animals primarily infected by Francisella tularensis are rapidly consumed by scavengers, hindering ecologic investigation of the bacterium. We describe a 2012 natural tularemia epizootic among house mice in Switzerland and the assessment of infection of exposed humans. The humans were not infected, but the epizootic coincided with increased reports of human cases in the area. PMID:25531919

  20. 42 CFR 73.5 - Exemptions for HHS select agents and toxins.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ..., Botulinum neurotoxin producing species of Clostridium, Ebola viruses, Francisella tularensis, Marburg virus, Variola major virus (Smallpox virus), Variola minor (Alastrim), or Yersinia pestis. This report must be...), (3) The Act commonly known as the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act (21 U.S.C. 151-159), or (4) The...

  1. 42 CFR 73.5 - Exemptions for HHS select agents and toxins.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ..., Botulinum neurotoxin producing species of Clostridium, Ebola viruses, Francisella tularensis, Marburg virus, Variola major virus (Smallpox virus), Variola minor (Alastrim), or Yersinia pestis. This report must be...), (3) The Act commonly known as the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act (21 U.S.C. 151-159), or (4) The...

  2. Waterborne outbreak of tularemia associated with crayfish fishing.

    PubMed Central

    Anda, P.; Segura del Pozo, J.; Díaz García, J. M.; Escudero, R.; García Peña, F. J.; López Velasco, M. C.; Sellek, R. E.; Jiménez Chillarón, M. R.; Sánchez Serrano, L. P.; Martínez Navarro, J. F.

    2001-01-01

    In 1997, an outbreak of human tularemia associated with hare-hunting in central Spain affected 585 patients. We describe the identification of Francisella tularensis biovar palaearctica in a second outbreak of ulceroglandular tularemia associated with crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) fishing in a contaminated freshwater stream distant from the hare-associated outbreak. The second outbreak occurred 1 year after the first. PMID:11485678

  3. Detection of anthrax and other pathogens using a unique liquid array technology.

    PubMed

    Schweighardt, Andrew J; Battaglia, Amanda; Wallace, Margaret M

    2014-01-01

    A bead-based liquid hybridization assay, Luminex(®) 100™, was used to identify four pathogenic bacteria, Bacillus anthracis, Clostridium botulinum, Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis, and Yersinia pestis, and several close relatives. Hybridization between PCR-amplified target sequences and probe sequences (located within the 23S ribosomal RNA gene rrl and the genes related to the toxicity of each bacterium) was detected in single-probe or multiple-probe assays, depending on the organism. The lower limits of detection (LLDs) for the probes ranged from 0.1 to 10 ng. Sensitivity was improved using lambda exonuclease to digest the noncomplementary target strand. All contributors in 33 binary, ternary, and quaternary mixtures in which all components were present in a 1:1 ratio were identified with an 80% success rate. Twenty-eight binary mixtures in which the two components were combined in various ratios were further studied. All target sequences were detected, even when the minor component was overshadowed by a tenfold excess of the major component. PMID:24147813

  4. Identification of disulfide bond isomerase substrates reveals bacterial virulence factors

    PubMed Central

    Ren, Guoping; Champion, Matthew M.; Huntley, Jason F.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Bacterial pathogens are exposed to toxic molecules inside the host and require efficient systems to form and maintain correct disulfide bonds for protein stability and function. The intracellular pathogen Francisella tularensis encodes a disulfide bond formation protein ortholog, DsbA, which previously was reported to be required for infection of macrophages and mice. However, the molecular mechanisms by which F. tularensis DsbA contributes to virulence are unknown. Here, we demonstrate that F. tularensis DsbA is a bifunctional protein that oxidizes and, more importantly, isomerizes complex disulfide connectivity in substrates. A single amino acid in the conserved cis-proline loop of the DsbA thioredoxin domain was shown to modulate both isomerase activity and F. tularensis virulence. Trapping experiments in F. tularensis identified over 50 F. tularensis DsbA substrates, including outer membrane proteins, virulence factors, and many hypothetical proteins. Six of these hypothetical proteins were randomly selected and deleted, revealing two novel proteins, FTL_1548 and FTL_1709, which are required for F. tularensis virulence. We propose that the extreme virulence of F. tularensis is partially due to the bifunctional nature of DsbA, that many of the newly-identified substrates are required for virulence, and that the development of future DsbA inhibitors could have broad anti-bacterial implications. PMID:25257164

  5. [Two cases of tick-borne tularemia in Yozgat province, Turkey].

    PubMed

    Yeşilyurt, Murat; Kılıç, Selçuk; Cağaşar, Ozlem; Celebi, Bekir; Gül, Serdar

    2011-10-01

    Tularemia which has a worldwide distribution, is a zoonotic infection caused by Francisella tularensis. F.tularensis can infect a wide range of animals and can be transmitted to humans in a variety of ways, the most common being by the bite of an infected arthropod vector (usually tick) in the USA and Europe. The clinical presentations have been classically divided into ulceroglandular, glandular, oculoglandular, pharyngeal, respiratory, and typhoidal tularemia depending on the route of transmission. Arthropod-borne infection generally leads to the ulceroglandular form of tularemia. In Turkey, oropharyngeal form which is related to the consumption of contaminated water, is the most common presentation of tularemia. In this report, two cases of ulceroglandular tularemia which developed as a consequence of tick bite in Yozgat province have been presented. A 33-year-old female patient was admitted to the hospital with a tender lump on the right axilla. Empiric antibiotic treatment with amoxicillin clavulanate did not lead to an improvement in the painful axillary mass. She reported a tick bite on her right shoulder before development of fever, chills and regional tender lump. On physical examination, hyperemia was seen on the shoulder, with enlarged tender right axillary lymph node. The clinical diagnosis of suspected ulceroglandular tularemia was confirmed by the seroconversion (1/160 and 1/1280 titers in acute and convelescent sera, respectively) with microagglutination test (MAT) and F.tularensis DNA positivity in lymph node aspirate by polymerase chain reaction. The agent was identified as F.tularensis subsp. holarctica based on the results of amplification of target RD1 gene. Second case, a 18-year-old male, was admitted to our hospital with a-week history of sudden onset of fever, headache, generalized aches, vomiting, nause, and tender lump on the left axilla. On physical examination, an inflammatory eschar was seen on his scalp with enlarged cervical lymph

  6. Tularemia vaccines: recent developments and remaining hurdles.

    PubMed

    Conlan, J Wayne

    2011-04-01

    Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis is a facultative intracellular bacterial pathogen of humans and other mammals. Its inhaled infectious dose is very low and can result in very high mortality. Historically, subsp. tularensis was developed as a biological weapon and there are now concerns about its abuse as such by terrorists. A live attenuated vaccine developed pragmatically more than half a century ago from the less virulent holarctica subsp. is the sole prophylactic available, but it remains unlicensed. In recent years several other potential live, killed and subunit vaccine candidates have been developed and tested in mice for their efficacy against respiratory challenge with subsp. tularensis. This article will review these vaccine candidates and the development hurdles they face. PMID:21526941

  7. Genes and gene regulation

    SciTech Connect

    MacLean, N.

    1988-01-01

    Genetics has long been a central topic for biologists, and recent progress has captured the public imagination as well. This book addresses questions that are at the leading edge of this continually advancing discipline. In tune with the increasing emphasis on molecular biology and genetic engineering, this text emphasizes the molecular aspects of gene expression, and the evolution of gene sequence organization and control. It reviews the genetic material of viruses, bacteria, and of higher organisms. Cells and organisms are compared in terms of gene numbers, their arrangements within a cell, and the control mechanisms which regulate the activity of genes.

  8. Prevalence and distribution of soil-borne zoonotic pathogens in Lahore district of Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Shabbir, Muhammad Z; Jamil, Tariq; Ali, Asad A; Ahmad, Arfan; Naeem, Muhammad; Chaudhary, Muhammad H; Bilal, Muhammad; Ali, Muhammad A; Muhammad, Khushi; Yaqub, Tahir; Bano, Asghari; Mirza, Ali I; Shabbir, Muhammad A B; McVey, Walter R; Patel, Ketan; Francesconi, Stephen; Jayarao, Bhushan M; Rabbani, Masood

    2015-01-01

    A multidisciplinary, collaborative project was conducted to determine the prevalence and distribution of soil-borne zoonotic pathogens in Lahore district of Pakistan and ascertain its Public Health Significance. Using a grid-based sampling strategy, soil samples (n = 145) were collected from villages (n = 29, 5 samples/village) and examined for Bacillus anthracis, Burkholderia mallei/pseudomallei, Coxiella burnetii, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis using real time PCR assays. Chemical analysis of soil samples was also performed on these samples. The relationship between soil composition and absence or presence of the pathogen, and seven risk factors was evaluated. DNA of B. anthracis (CapB), B. mallei/pseudomallei (chromosomal gene), C. burnetii (IS1111, transposase gene), and F. tularensis (lipoprotein/outer membrane protein) was detected in 9.6, 1.4, 4.8, and 13.1% of soil samples, respectively. None of the samples were positive for protective antigen plasmid (PA) of B. anthracis and Y. pestis (plasminogen activating factor, pPla gene). The prevalence of B. anthracis (CapB) was found to be associated with organic matter, magnesium (Mg), copper (Cu), chromium (Cr), manganese (Mn), cobalt (Co), cadmium (Cd), sodium (Na), ferrous (Fe), calcium (Ca), and potassium (K). Phosphorous (P) was found to be associated with prevalence of F. tularensis while it were Mg, Co, Na, Fe, Ca, and K for C. burnetii. The odds of detecting DNA of F. tularensis were 2.7, 4.1, and 2.7 higher when soil sample sites were >1 km from animal markets, >500 m from vehicular traffic roads and animal density of < 1000 animals, respectively. While the odds of detecting DNA of C. burnetii was 32, 11.8, and 5.9 higher when soil sample sites were >500 m from vehicular traffic roads, presence of ground cover and animal density of < 1000 animals, respectively. In conclusion, the distribution pattern of the soil-borne pathogens in and around the areas of Lahore district puts both human and

  9. Prevalence and distribution of soil-borne zoonotic pathogens in Lahore district of Pakistan

    PubMed Central

    Shabbir, Muhammad Z.; Jamil, Tariq; Ali, Asad A.; Ahmad, Arfan; Naeem, Muhammad; Chaudhary, Muhammad H.; Bilal, Muhammad; Ali, Muhammad A.; Muhammad, Khushi; Yaqub, Tahir; Bano, Asghari; Mirza, Ali I.; Shabbir, Muhammad A. B.; McVey, Walter R.; Patel, Ketan; Francesconi, Stephen; Jayarao, Bhushan M.; Rabbani, Masood

    2015-01-01

    A multidisciplinary, collaborative project was conducted to determine the prevalence and distribution of soil-borne zoonotic pathogens in Lahore district of Pakistan and ascertain its Public Health Significance. Using a grid-based sampling strategy, soil samples (n = 145) were collected from villages (n = 29, 5 samples/village) and examined for Bacillus anthracis, Burkholderia mallei/pseudomallei, Coxiella burnetii, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis using real time PCR assays. Chemical analysis of soil samples was also performed on these samples. The relationship between soil composition and absence or presence of the pathogen, and seven risk factors was evaluated. DNA of B. anthracis (CapB), B. mallei/pseudomallei (chromosomal gene), C. burnetii (IS1111, transposase gene), and F. tularensis (lipoprotein/outer membrane protein) was detected in 9.6, 1.4, 4.8, and 13.1% of soil samples, respectively. None of the samples were positive for protective antigen plasmid (PA) of B. anthracis and Y. pestis (plasminogen activating factor, pPla gene). The prevalence of B. anthracis (CapB) was found to be associated with organic matter, magnesium (Mg), copper (Cu), chromium (Cr), manganese (Mn), cobalt (Co), cadmium (Cd), sodium (Na), ferrous (Fe), calcium (Ca), and potassium (K). Phosphorous (P) was found to be associated with prevalence of F. tularensis while it were Mg, Co, Na, Fe, Ca, and K for C. burnetii. The odds of detecting DNA of F. tularensis were 2.7, 4.1, and 2.7 higher when soil sample sites were >1 km from animal markets, >500 m from vehicular traffic roads and animal density of < 1000 animals, respectively. While the odds of detecting DNA of C. burnetii was 32, 11.8, and 5.9 higher when soil sample sites were >500 m from vehicular traffic roads, presence of ground cover and animal density of < 1000 animals, respectively. In conclusion, the distribution pattern of the soil-borne pathogens in and around the areas of Lahore district puts both human and

  10. Studying Genes

    MedlinePlus

    ... Area What are genes? Genes are sections of DNA that contain instructions for making the molecules—many ... material in an organism. This includes genes and DNA elements that control the activity of genes. Does ...

  11. CGUG: in silico proteome and genome parsing tool for the determination of "core" and unique genes in the analysis of genomes up to ca. 1.9 Mb

    PubMed Central

    Mahadevan, Padmanabhan; King, John F; Seto, Donald

    2009-01-01

    Background Viruses and small-genome bacteria (~2 megabases and smaller) comprise a considerable population in the biosphere and are of interest to many researchers. These genomes are now sequenced at an unprecedented rate and require complementary computational tools to analyze. "CoreGenesUniqueGenes" (CGUG) is an in silico genome data mining tool that determines a "core" set of genes from two to five organisms with genomes in this size range. Core and unique genes may reflect similar niches and needs, and may be used in classifying organisms. Findings CGUG is available at as a web-based on-the-fly tool that performs iterative BLASTP analyses using a reference genome and up to four query genomes to provide a table of genes common to these genomes. The result is an in silico display of genomes and their proteomes, allowing for further analysis. CGUG can be used for "genome annotation by homology", as demonstrated with Chlamydophila and Francisella genomes. Conclusion CGUG is used to reanalyze the ICTV-based classifications of bacteriophages, to reconfirm long-standing relationships and to explore new classifications. These genomes have been problematic in the past, due largely to horizontal gene transfers. CGUG is validated as a tool for reannotating small genome bacteria using more up-to-date annotations by similarity or homology. These serve as an entry point for wet-bench experiments to confirm the functions of these "hypothetical" and "unknown" proteins. PMID:19706165

  12. Toward an Understanding of the Perpetuation of the Agent of Tularemia

    PubMed Central

    Telford, Sam R.; Goethert, Heidi K.

    2011-01-01

    The epidemiology of tularemia has influenced, perhaps incorrectly skewed, our views on the ecology of the agent of tularemia. In particular, the central role of lagomorphs needs to be reexamined. Diverse observations, some incidental, and some that are more generally reproducible, have not been synthesized so that the critical elements of the perpetuation of Francisella tularensis can be identified. Developing a quantitative model of the basic reproduction number of F. tularensis may require separate treatments for Type A and Type B given the fundamental differences in their ecology. PMID:21687803

  13. [THE DEVELOPMENT OF IMMUNE ENZYME AND IMMUNE CHROMATOGRAPHIC MONOCLONAL TEST-SYSTEM FOR DETECTING TULAREMIA AGENT].

    PubMed

    Eremkin, A V; Elagin, G D; Petchenkin, D V; Fomenkov, O O; Bogatcheva, N V; Kitmanov, A A; Kuklina, G V; Tikhvinskaya, O V

    2016-03-01

    The immune enzyme and immunochromatographic test-systems for detecting tularemia agent were developed on the basis of selected set of monoclonal antibodies having immunochemical activity to antigens Francisella tularensis. The evaluation of sensitivity and specificity of developed test-systems demonstrated that samples provided detection of strains of F. tularensis in concentration from 5.0 x 105 mkxcm-3 to 1.0 x 106 mkxcm-3 and gave no false positive results in analysis of heterologous microorganisms in concentration of 1.0 x 108 mkxcm-3. PMID:27506111

  14. Deep mitochondrial DNA lineage divergences within Alberta populations of Dermacentor albipictus (Acari: Ixodidae) do not indicate distinct species.

    PubMed

    Leo, Sarah S T; Pybus, Margo J; Sperling, Felix A H

    2010-07-01

    The winter tick Dermacentor albipictus (Packard) has a single-host life cycle that allows it to reach severe infestation levels on ungulates, particularly moose. Genotypic variation within these and related ticks has been a source of taxonomic confusion, although the continuity in their morphology and life history has generally been interpreted as indicating the existence of a single species. To further investigate this variation, we sequenced regions of two mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genes (COI and 16S rDNA),two nuclear genes (lysozyme and ITS-2), and two bacterial markers from Francisella-like endosymbionts found in these ticks (eubacterial mtDNA 16S rRNA and a homolog of Francisella tularensis [Dorofe'ev] 17-kDa lipoprotein). We sampled 42 D. albipictus individuals from whitetail and mule deer culled from three populations in east-central Alberta, as well as four D. albipictus and two Dermacentor variabilis (Say) from other locations. We then compared DNA sequence variation between the genes and related this to variation in the morphology of spiracle plates. Both mtDNA regions indicated two deeply diverged lineages (mean difference of 7.1% for COI and 4.5% for 16S) that would normally be considered diagnostic of distinct species in DNA barcoding studies. However, very little divergence was revealed by nuclear gene sequences, bacterial endosymbionts, and morphometric analyses, and any variation that did occur in these markers was not congruent with mtDNA divergences. We conclude that the sampled populations in Alberta represent a single species, D. albipictus, and reiterate the importance of integrative approaches in species delimitation. PMID:20695271

  15. CRISPR-Cas systems: new players in gene regulation and bacterial physiology

    PubMed Central

    Sampson, Timothy R.; Weiss, David S.

    2014-01-01

    CRISPR-Cas systems are bacterial defenses against foreign nucleic acids derived from bacteriophages, plasmids or other sources. These systems are targeted in an RNA-dependent, sequence-specific manner, and are also adaptive, providing protection against previously encountered foreign elements. In addition to their canonical function in defense against foreign nucleic acid, their roles in various aspects of bacterial physiology are now being uncovered. We recently revealed a role for a Cas9-based Type II CRISPR-Cas system in the control of endogenous gene expression, a novel form of prokaryotic gene regulation. Cas9 functions in association with two small RNAs to target and alter the stability of an endogenous transcript encoding a bacterial lipoprotein (BLP). Since BLPs are recognized by the host innate immune protein Toll-like Receptor 2 (TLR2), CRISPR-Cas-mediated repression of BLP expression facilitates evasion of TLR2 by the intracellular bacterial pathogen Francisella novicida, and is essential for its virulence. Here we describe the Cas9 regulatory system in detail, as well as data on its role in controlling virulence traits of Neisseria meningitidis and Campylobacter jejuni. We also discuss potential roles of CRISPR-Cas systems in the response to envelope stress and other aspects of bacterial physiology. Since ~45% of bacteria and ~83% of Archaea encode these machineries, the newly appreciated regulatory functions of CRISPR-Cas systems are likely to play broad roles in controlling the pathogenesis and physiology of diverse prokaryotes. PMID:24772391

  16. An Outbreak of Tularemia in a Colony of Outdoor-Housed Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta)

    PubMed Central

    Ferrecchia, Christie E; Colgin, Lois MA; Andrews, Kirk R; Lewis, Anne D

    2012-01-01

    Since an epizootic and detection of clinical cases of tularemia (Francisella tularensis) in 1996 at the Oregon National Primate Research Center, only 8 cases were identified in the succeeding 13 y. However, within a period of 7 mo, primarily during Winter 2010, 6 rhesus macaques were confirmed positive for Francisella tularensis type B by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by culture and fluorescent antibody testing. All cases had similar gross pathologic findings, which included necrotizing splenitis and lymphadenitis. Recent colony management efforts have focused on minimizing nonhuman primate exposure to commonly observed reservoir species and controlling rodent access to corral-style housing. Strategies continue to evolve with regard to managing a large breeding colony of nonhuman primates in the presence of this threat. PMID:23043786

  17. Tularaemia in southwest Germany: Three cases of tick-borne transmission.

    PubMed

    Boone, I; Hassler, D; Nguyen, T; Splettstoesser, W D; Wagner-Wiening, C; Pfaff, G

    2015-07-01

    Tularaemia, caused by Francisella tularensis, is an endemic zoonosis frequently occurring in southwest Germany. Since 2005 there is an increase in the number of reported cases of tularaemia in Germany. We report on two cases of ulceroglandular tularaemia and one case of glandular tularaemia that occurred in the summer of 2012 and 2013 in two counties in the Federal State of Baden-Wuerttemberg. Bacteria were transmitted through tick bites, which to date has only rarely been reported in Germany. Inadequate treatment of the patients and an aggravation of clinical symptoms were caused by a delay between disease onset and the detection of the pathogen. Although contact to or consumption of infected hares are the most often reported transmission routes of tularaemia in Germany, tick-bites should also be taken into account. Health professionals should include Francisella tularensis in the differential diagnosis of patients with fever and/or ulcerative lymphadenopathy following a tick bite. PMID:26055233

  18. A more flexible lipoprotein sorting pathway.

    PubMed

    Chahales, Peter; Thanassi, David G

    2015-05-01

    Lipoprotein biogenesis in Gram-negative bacteria occurs by a conserved pathway, each step of which is considered essential. In contrast to this model, LoVullo and colleagues demonstrate that the N-acyl transferase Lnt is not required in Francisella tularensis or Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This suggests the existence of a more flexible lipoprotein pathway, likely due to a modified Lol transporter complex, and raises the possibility that pathogens may regulate lipoprotein processing to modulate interactions with the host. PMID:25755190

  19. A waterborne tularemia outbreak.

    PubMed

    Greco, D; Allegrini, G; Tizzi, T; Ninu, E; Lamanna, A; Luzi, S

    1987-03-01

    A waterborne tularemia outbreak is described. Forty nine cases were identified in Sansepolcro, a small Medioeval town in the province of Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy. All cases had laterocervical or sub-mandibular adenitis, and occurred within a period of three weeks during March and April 1982. The study showed association between cases and the consumption of water from an unchlorinated water system. Francisella tularensis type 1 was isolated from wild hares captured in the area. PMID:3582597

  20. Performance of seven serological assays for diagnosing tularemia

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Tularemia is a rare zoonotic disease caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis. Serology is frequently the preferred diagnostic approach, because the pathogen is highly infectious and difficult to cultivate. The aim of this retrospective study was to determine the diagnostic accuracy of tularemia specific tests. Methods The Serazym®Anti-Francisella tularensis ELISA, Serion ELISA classic Francisella tularensis IgG/IgM, an in-house ELISA, the VIRapid® Tularemia immunochromatographic test, an in-house antigen microarray, and a Western Blot (WB) assay were evaluated. The diagnosis tularemia was established using a standard micro-agglutination assay. In total, 135 sera from a series of 110 consecutive tularemia patients were tested. Results The diagnostic sensitivity and diagnostic specificity of the tests were VIRapid (97.0% and 84.0%), Serion IgG (96.3% and 96.8%), Serion IgM (94.8% and 96.8%), Serazym (97.0% and 91.5%), in-house ELISA (95.6% and 76.6%), WB (93.3% and 83.0%), microarray (91.1% and 97.9%). Conclusions The diagnostic value of the commercial assays was proven, because the diagnostic accuracy was >90%. The diagnostic sensitivity of the in-house ELISA and the WB were acceptable, but the diagnostic accuracy was <90%. Interestingly, the antigen microarray test was very specific and had a very good positive predictive value. PMID:24885274

  1. Septic tularemia in 2 cottontop tamarins(Sanguinus oedipus).

    PubMed

    Guthrie, Amanda L; Gailbreath, Katherine L; Cienava, Elizabeth A; Bradway, Daniel S; Munoz Gutierrez, Juan F

    2012-06-01

    Two captive cottontop tamarins (Sanguinus oedipus) died within 5 d of each other from systemic infection by Francisella tularensis (tularemia). One tamarin experienced mild clinical signs, including malaise, anorexia, and a mucoid nasal discharge for 4 d before death, whereas the other experienced a more rapid progression of disease that lasted less than 24 h. Differential diagnoses included gram-negative septicemia by an organism such as Escherichia coli, Salmonella, or Yersinia; protozoal infection such as Toxoplasma gondii or an acute viral infection such as lymphocytic choriomeningitis. F. tularensis infection was identified by F. tularensis-specific PCR in both primates. Possible sources of infection include aerosol, biting arthropod vectors, and transmission via a rodent reservoir. This case report highlights the importance of tularemia as a differential diagnosis in acute febrile illness in captive nonhuman primates. PMID:22776056

  2. PlasmID: a centralized repository for plasmid clone information and distribution

    PubMed Central

    Zuo, Dongmei; Mohr, Stephanie E.; Hu, Yanhui; Taycher, Elena; Rolfs, Andreas; Kramer, Jason; Williamson, Janice; LaBaer, Joshua

    2007-01-01

    The Plasmid Information Database (PlasmID; ) was developed as a community-based resource portal to facilitate search and request of plasmid clones shared with the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) DNA Resource Core. PlasmID serves as a central data repository and enables researchers to search the collection online using common gene names and identifiers, keywords, vector features, author names and PubMed IDs. As of October 2006, the repository contains >46 000 plasmids in 98 different vectors, including cloned cDNA and genomic fragments from 26 different species. Moreover, the clones include plasmid vectors useful for routine and cutting-edge techniques; functionally related sets of human cDNA clones; and genome-scale gene collections for Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Yersinia pestis, Francisella tularensis, Bacillus anthracis and Vibrio cholerae. Information about the plasmids has been fully annotated in adherence with a high-quality standard, and clone samples are stored as glycerol stocks in a state-of-the-art automated −80°C freezer storage system. Clone replication and distribution is highly automated to minimize human error. Infor-mation about vectors and plasmid clones, including downloadable maps and sequence data, is freely available online. Researchers interested in requesting clone samples or sharing their own plasmids with the repository can visit the PlasmID website for more information. PMID:17132831

  3. Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Baum, Bruce J

    2014-01-01

    Applications of gene therapy have been evaluated in virtually every oral tissue, and many of these have proved successful at least in animal models. While gene therapy will not be used routinely in the next decade, practitioners of oral medicine should be aware of the potential of this novel type of treatment that doubtless will benefit many patients with oral diseases. PMID:24372817

  4. Trichoderma genes

    DOEpatents

    Foreman, Pamela; Goedegebuur, Frits; Van Solingen, Pieter; Ward, Michael

    2012-06-19

    Described herein are novel gene sequences isolated from Trichoderma reesei. Two genes encoding proteins comprising a cellulose binding domain, one encoding an arabionfuranosidase and one encoding an acetylxylanesterase are described. The sequences, CIP1 and CIP2, contain a cellulose binding domain. These proteins are especially useful in the textile and detergent industry and in pulp and paper industry.

  5. [Language gene].

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Hiroshi

    2006-11-01

    The human capacity for acquiring speech and language must derive, at least in part, from the genome. Recent advance in the field of molecular genetics finally discovered 'Language Gene'. Disruption of FOXP2 gene, the firstly identified 'language gene' causes severe speech and language disorder. To elucidate the anatomical basis of language processing in the brain, we examined the expression pattern of FOXP2/Foxp2 genes in the monkey and rat brains through development. We found the preferential expression of FOXP2/Foxp2 in the striosomal compartment of the developing striatum. Thus, we suggest the striatum, particularly striosomal system may participate in neural information processing for language and speech. Our suggestion is consistent with the declarative/ procedural model of language proposed by Ullman (1997, 2001), which the procedural memory-dependent mental grammar is rooted in the basal ganglia and the frontal cortex, and the declarative memory-dependent mental lexicon is rooted in the temporal lobe. PMID:17432197

  6. Genes V.

    SciTech Connect

    Lewin, B.

    1994-12-31

    This fifth edition book encompasses a wide range of topics covering 1,272 pages. The book is arranged into nine parts with a total of 36 chapters. These nine parts include Introduction; DNA as a Store of Information; Translation; Constructing Cells; Control of Prokaryotypic Gene Expression; Perpetuation of DNA; Organization of the Eukaryotypic Genome; Eukaryotypic Transcription and RNA Processing; The Dynamic Genome; and Genes in Development.

  7. Comparison of experimental respiratory tularemia in three nonhuman primate species.

    PubMed

    Glynn, Audrey R; Alves, Derron A; Frick, Ondraya; Erwin-Cohen, Rebecca; Porter, Aimee; Norris, Sarah; Waag, David; Nalca, Aysegul

    2015-04-01

    Tularemia is a zoonotic disease caused by Francisella tularensis, which is transmitted to humans most commonly by contact with infected animals, tick bites, or inhalation of aerosolized bacteria. F. tularensis is highly infectious via the aerosol route; inhalation of as few as 10-50 organisms can cause pneumonic tularemia. Left untreated, the pneumonic form has more than >30% case-fatality rate but with early antibiotic intervention can be reduced to 3%. This study compared tularemia disease progression across three species of nonhuman primates [African green monkey (AGM), cynomolgus macaque (CM), and rhesus macaque (RM)] following aerosolized F. tularensis Schu S4 exposure. Groups of the animals exposed to various challenge doses were observed for clinical signs of infection and blood samples were analyzed to characterize the disease pathogenesis. Whereas the AGMs and CMs succumbed to disease following challenge doses of 40 and 32 colony forming units (CFU), respectively, the RM lethal dose was 276,667 CFU. Following all challenge doses that caused disease, the NHPs experienced weight loss, bacteremia, fever as early as 4 days post exposure, and tissue burden. Necrotizing-to-pyogranulomatous lesions were observed most commonly in the lung, lymph nodes, spleen, and bone marrow. Overall, the CM model consistently manifested pathological responses similar to those resulting from inhalation of F. tularensis in humans and thereby most closely emulates human tularemia disease. The RM model displayed a higher tolerance to infection and survived exposures of up to 15,593 CFU of aerosolized F. tularensis. PMID:25766142

  8. Current status of vaccine development for tularemia preparedness

    PubMed Central

    Hong, Kee-Jong; Park, Pil-Gu; Seo, Sang-Hwan; Rhie, Gi-eun

    2013-01-01

    Tularemia is a high-risk infectious disease caused by Gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis. Due to its high fatality at very low colony-forming units (less than 10), F. tularensis is considered as a powerful potential bioterrorism agent. Vaccine could be the most efficient way to prevent the citizen from infection of F. tularensis when the bioterrorism happens, but officially approved vaccine with both efficacy and safety is not developed yet. Research for the development of tularemia vaccine has been focusing on the live attenuated vaccine strain (LVS) for long history, still there are no LVS confirmed for the safety which should be an essential factor for general vaccination program. Furthermore the LVS did not show protection efficacy against high-risk subspecies tularensis (type A) as high as the level against subspecies holarctica (type B) in human. Though the subunit or recombinant vaccine candidates have been considered for better safety, any results did not show better prevention efficacy than the LVS candidate against F. tularensis infection. Currently there are some more trials to develop vaccine using mutant strains or nonpathogenic F. novicida strain, but it did not reveal effective candidates overwhelming the LVS either. Difference in the protection efficacy of LVS against type A strain in human and the low level protection of many subunit or recombinant vaccine candidates lead the scientists to consider the live vaccine development using type A strain could be ultimate answer for the tularemia vaccine development. PMID:23596588

  9. Large Scale Comparison of Innate Responses to Viral and Bacterial Pathogens in Mouse and Macaque

    PubMed Central

    Zinman, Guy; Brower-Sinning, Rachel; Emeche, Chineye H.; Ernst, Jason; Huang, Grace Tzu-Wei; Mahony, Shaun; Myers, Amy J.; O'Dee, Dawn M.; Flynn, JoAnne L.; Nau, Gerard J.; Ross, Ted M.; Salter, Russell D.; Benos, Panayiotis V.; Bar Joseph, Ziv; Morel, Penelope A.

    2011-01-01

    Viral and bacterial infections of the lower respiratory tract are major causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Alveolar macrophages line the alveolar spaces and are the first cells of the immune system to respond to invading pathogens. To determine the similarities and differences between the responses of mice and macaques to invading pathogens we profiled alveolar macrophages from these species following infection with two viral (PR8 and Fuj/02 influenza A) and two bacterial (Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Francisella tularensis Schu S4) pathogens. Cells were collected at 6 time points following each infection and expression profiles were compared across and between species. Our analyses identified a core set of genes, activated in both species and across all pathogens that were predominantly part of the interferon response pathway. In addition, we identified similarities across species in the way innate immune cells respond to lethal versus non-lethal pathogens. On the other hand we also found several species and pathogen specific response patterns. These results provide new insights into mechanisms by which the innate immune system responds to, and interacts with, invading pathogens. PMID:21789257

  10. Targeted next-generation sequencing for the detection of ciprofloxacin resistance markers using molecular inversion probes

    PubMed Central

    Stefan, Christopher P.; Koehler, Jeffrey W.; Minogue, Timothy D.

    2016-01-01

    Antibiotic resistance (AR) is an epidemic of increasing magnitude requiring rapid identification and profiling for appropriate and timely therapeutic measures and containment strategies. In this context, ciprofloxacin is part of the first-line of countermeasures against numerous high consequence bacteria. Significant resistance can occur via single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) and deletions within ciprofloxacin targeted genes. Ideally, use of ciprofloxacin would be prefaced with AR determination to avoid overuse or misuse of the antibiotic. Here, we describe the development and evaluation of a panel of 44 single-stranded molecular inversion probes (MIPs) coupled to next-generation sequencing (NGS) for the detection of genetic variants known to confer ciprofloxacin resistance in Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, and Francisella tularensis. Sequencing results demonstrate MIPs capture and amplify targeted regions of interest at significant levels of coverage. Depending on the genetic variant, limits of detection (LOD) for high-throughput pooled sequencing ranged from approximately 300–1800 input genome copies. LODs increased 10-fold in the presence of contaminating human genome DNA. In addition, we show that MIPs can be used as an enrichment step with high resolution melt (HRM) real-time PCR which is a sensitive assay with a rapid time-to-answer. Overall, this technology is a multiplexable upfront enrichment applicable with multiple downstream molecular assays for the detection of targeted genetic regions. PMID:27174456

  11. Targeted next-generation sequencing for the detection of ciprofloxacin resistance markers using molecular inversion probes.

    PubMed

    Stefan, Christopher P; Koehler, Jeffrey W; Minogue, Timothy D

    2016-01-01

    Antibiotic resistance (AR) is an epidemic of increasing magnitude requiring rapid identification and profiling for appropriate and timely therapeutic measures and containment strategies. In this context, ciprofloxacin is part of the first-line of countermeasures against numerous high consequence bacteria. Significant resistance can occur via single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) and deletions within ciprofloxacin targeted genes. Ideally, use of ciprofloxacin would be prefaced with AR determination to avoid overuse or misuse of the antibiotic. Here, we describe the development and evaluation of a panel of 44 single-stranded molecular inversion probes (MIPs) coupled to next-generation sequencing (NGS) for the detection of genetic variants known to confer ciprofloxacin resistance in Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, and Francisella tularensis. Sequencing results demonstrate MIPs capture and amplify targeted regions of interest at significant levels of coverage. Depending on the genetic variant, limits of detection (LOD) for high-throughput pooled sequencing ranged from approximately 300-1800 input genome copies. LODs increased 10-fold in the presence of contaminating human genome DNA. In addition, we show that MIPs can be used as an enrichment step with high resolution melt (HRM) real-time PCR which is a sensitive assay with a rapid time-to-answer. Overall, this technology is a multiplexable upfront enrichment applicable with multiple downstream molecular assays for the detection of targeted genetic regions. PMID:27174456

  12. Attention Genes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Posner, Michael I.; Rothbart, Mary K.; Sheese, Brad E.

    2007-01-01

    A major problem for developmental science is understanding how the cognitive and emotional networks important in carrying out mental processes can be related to individual differences. The last five years have seen major advances in establishing links between alleles of specific genes and the neural networks underlying aspects of attention. These…

  13. Designer Genes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Judith; Miller, Mark

    1983-01-01

    Genetic technologies may soon help fill some of the most important needs of humanity from food to energy to health care. The research of major designer genes companies and reasons why the initial mad rush for biotechnology has slowed are reviewed. (SR)

  14. Pneumonic Tularemia in Rabbits Resembles the Human Disease as Illustrated by Radiographic and Hematological Changes after Infection

    PubMed Central

    Reed, Douglas S.; Smith, Le'Kneitah; Dunsmore, Tammy; Trichel, Anita; Ortiz, Luis A.; Cole, Kelly Stefano; Barry, Eileen

    2011-01-01

    Background Pneumonic tularemia is caused by inhalation of the gram negative bacterium, Francisella tularensis. Because of concerns that tularemia could be used as a bioterrorism agent, vaccines and therapeutics are urgently needed. Animal models of pneumonic tularemia with a pathophysiology similar to the human disease are needed to evaluate the efficacy of these potential medical countermeasures. Principal Findings Rabbits exposed to aerosols containing Francisella tularensis strain SCHU S4 developed a rapidly progressive fatal pneumonic disease. Clinical signs became evident on the third day after exposure with development of a fever (>40.5°C) and a sharp decline in both food and water intake. Blood samples collected on day 4 found lymphopenia and a decrease in platelet counts coupled with elevations in erythrocyte sedimentation rate, alanine aminotransferase, cholesterol, granulocytes and monocytes. Radiographs demonstrated the development of pneumonia and abnormalities of intestinal gas consistent with ileus. On average, rabbits were moribund 5.1 days after exposure; no rabbits survived exposure at any dose (190–54,000 cfu). Gross evaluation of tissues taken at necropsy showed evidence of pathology in the lungs, spleen, liver, kidney and intestines. Bacterial counts confirmed bacterial dissemination from the lungs to the liver and spleen. Conclusions/Significance The pathophysiology of pneumonic tularemia in rabbits resembles what has been reported for humans. Rabbits therefore are a relevant model of the human disease caused by type A strains of F. tularensis. PMID:21931798

  15. Customizable PCR-microplate array for differential identification of multiple pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Woubit, Abdela; Yehualaeshet, Teshome; Roberts, Sherrelle; Graham, Martha; Kim, Moonil; Samuel, Temesgen

    2014-01-01

    Customizable PCR-microplate arrays were developed for the rapid identification of Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis, Salmonella Typhi, Shigella dysenteriae, Yersinia pestis, Vibrio cholerae Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella Typhimurium, Salmonella Saintpaul, Francisella tularensis subsp. novicida, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Previously, we identified highly specific primers targeting each of the pathogens above. Here, we report the development of customizable PCR-microplate arrays for simultaneous identification of the pathogens using the primers. A mixed aliquot of genomic DNA from 38 different strains was used to validate three PCR-microplate array formats. Identical PCR conditions were used to run all the samples on the three formats. Results show specific amplifications on all the three custom plates. In a preliminary test to evaluate the sensitivity of these assays in laboratory-inoculated samples, detection limits as low as 9 cfu/g/ml S. Typhimurium were obtained from beef hot dog, and 78 cfu/ml from milk. Such microplate arrays could serve as valuable tools for initial identification or secondary confirmation of these pathogens. PMID:24215700

  16. F. novicida-Infected A. castellanii Does Not Enhance Bacterial Virulence in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Ozanic, Mateja; Gobin, Ivana; Brezovec, Martin; Marecic, Valentina; Trobonjaca, Zlatko; Abu Kwaik, Yousef; Santic, Marina

    2016-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a facultative intracellular bacterium that causes tularemia in humans and animals. Epidemiology of tularemia worldwide is often associated with water-borne transmission, which includes mosquitoes and amoebae as the potential host reservoirs of the bacteria in water environment. In vitro studies showed intracellular replication of F. tularensis within Acanthamoeba castellanii and Hartmanella vermiformis cells. While infection of amoeba by Legionella pneumophila has been shown to enhance infectivity of L. pneumophila the role of F. tularensis-infected protozoa in the pathogenesis of tularemia is not known. We used 6 h coculture of A. castellanii and F. novicida for investigation of the effect of inhaled amoeba on the pathogenesis of tularemia on in vivo model. Balb/c mice were infected intratracheally with F. novicida or with F. novicida-infected A. castellanii. Surprisingly, infection with F. novicida-infected A. castellanii did not lead to bronchopneumonia in Balb/c mice, and Francisella did not disseminate into the liver and spleen. Upon inhalation, F. novicida infects a variety of host cells, though neutrophils are the predominant cells early during infection in the lung infiltrates of pulmonary tularemia. The numbers of neutrophils in the lungs of Balb/c mice were significantly lower in the infection of mice with F. novicida-infected A. castellanii in comparison to group of mice infected only with F. novicida. These results demonstrate that following inoculation of mice with F. novicida-infected A. castellanii, mice did not develop tularemia. PMID:27242974

  17. Live Attenuated Tularemia Vaccines: Recent Developments and Future Goals

    PubMed Central

    Marohn, Mark E.; Barry, Eileen M.

    2013-01-01

    In the aftermath of the 2001 anthrax attacks in the U.S., numerous efforts were made to increase the level of preparedness against a biological attack both in the US and worldwide. As a result, there has been an increase in research interest in the development of vaccines and other countermeasures against a number of agents with the potential to be used as biological weapons. One such agent, Francisella tularensis, has been the subject of a surge in the level of research being performed, leading to a substantial increase in knowledge of the pathogenic mechanisms of the organism and the induced immune responses. This information has facilitated the development of multiple new Francisella vaccine candidates. Herein we review the latest live attenuated F. tularensis vaccine efforts. Historically, live attenuated vaccines have demonstrated the greatest degree of success in protection against tularemia and the greatest promise in recent efforts to develop of a fully protective vaccine. This review summarizes recent live attenuated Francisella vaccine candidates and the lessons learned from those studies, with the goal of collating known characteristics associated with successful attenuation, immunogenicity, and protection. PMID:23764535

  18. Simultaneous, specific and real-time detection of biothreat and frequently encountered food-borne pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Woubit, Abdela Salah; Yehualaeshet, Teshome; Habtemariam, Tsegaye; Samuel, Temesgen

    2012-01-01

    The bacterial genera Escherichia, Salmonella, Shigella, Vibrio, Yersinia and Francisella include important food safety and biothreat agents causing food-related and other human illnesses worldwide. We aimed to develop rapid methods with the capability to simultaneously and differentially detect all six pathogens in one run. Our initial experiments to use previously reported sets of primers revealed non-specificity of some of the sequences when tested against a broader array of pathogens, or proved not optimal for simultaneous detection parameters. By extensive mining of the whole genome and protein databases of diverse closely and distantly related bacterial species and strains, we have identified unique genome regions, which we utilized to develop a detection platform. Twelve of the specific genomic targets we have identified to design the primers in F. tularensis ssp. tularensis, F. tularensis ssp. novicida, S. dysentriae, S. typhimurium, V. cholera, Y. pestis, and Y. pseudotuberculosis contained either hypothetical or putative proteins, the functions of which have not been clearly defined. Corresponding primer sets were designed from the target regions for use in real-time PCR assays to detect specific biothreat pathogens at species or strain levels. The primer sets were first tested by in-silico PCR against whole genome sequences of different species, sub-species, or strains and then by in vitro PCR against genomic DNA preparations from 23 strains representing six biothreat agents (E.coli O157:H7 strain EDL 933, Shigella dysentriae, Salmonella typhi, Francisella tularensis ssp. tularensis, Vibrio cholera, and Yersinia pestis) and six foodborne pathogens (Salmonella typhimurium, Salmonella saintpaul, Shigella sonnei, Francisella novicida, Vibrio parahemolytica and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis). Each pathogen was specifically identifiable at the genus and species levels. Sensitivity assays performed using purified DNA showed the lowest detection limit of 640 fg

  19. Genes and Hearing Loss

    MedlinePlus

    ... Meeting Calendar Find an ENT Doctor Near You Genes and Hearing Loss Genes and Hearing Loss Patient ... mutation may only have dystopia canthorum. How Do Genes Work? Genes are a road map for the ...

  20. Compare Gene Profiles

    SciTech Connect

    2014-05-31

    Compare Gene Profiles (CGP) performs pairwise gene content comparisons among a relatively large set of related bacterial genomes. CGP performs pairwise BLAST among gene calls from a set of input genome and associated annotation files, and combines the results to generate lists of common genes, unique genes, homologs, and genes from each genome that differ substantially in length from corresponding genes in the other genomes. CGP is implemented in Python and runs in a Linux environment in serial or parallel mode.

  1. Prevention and treatment of bacterial diseases caused by bacterial bioterrorism threat agents.

    PubMed

    Greenfield, Ronald A; Bronze, Michael S

    2003-10-01

    There is general consensus that the bacterial agents or products most likely to be used as weapons of mass destruction are Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Francisella tularensis and the neurotoxin of Clostridium botulinum. Modern supportive and antimicrobial therapy for inhalational anthrax is associated with a 45% mortality rate, reinforcing the need for better adjunctive therapy and prevention strategies. Pneumonic plague is highly contagious, difficult to recognize and is frequently fatal. Therefore, the development of vaccines against this agent is crucial. Although tularemia is associated with low mortality, the highly infectious nature of aerosolized F. tularensis poses a substantive threat that is best met by vaccine development. Safer antitoxins and a vaccine are required to meet the threat of the use of botulinum toxin as a weapon of mass destruction. In this article, the current status of research in these areas is reviewed. PMID:14554016

  2. Bacterial biofilms of importance to medicine and bioterrorism: proteomic techniques to identify novel vaccine components and drug targets.

    PubMed

    Hassett, Daniel J; Limbach, Patrick A; Hennigan, Robert F; Klose, Karl E; Hancock, Robert E W; Platt, Mark D; Hunt, Donald F

    2003-12-01

    Biofilms are highly ordered microbial communities enmeshed in a carefully sculpted matrix designed for survival of organisms either in multi- or mono-genus/species in a specific microniche. In human disease, biofilm infections are some of the most recalcitrant to treat. Even with rigorous antibiotic regimens, some biofilms, such as those within the thick airway mucus of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients, persist throughout the course of the disease process. In this editorial, discussion will cover the utility of using advanced proteomic techniques to help identify potential weaknesses in the already impressive defensive armamentarium of biofilm bacteria. Two biofilm systems will be discussed herein, one of which is that of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms within CF airway biofilms. The other is referred to as persistent 'bioterrorist agent biofilms' in which Francisella tularensis can grow on surfaces where environmental amoeba can phagocytose them, allowing for growth of F. tularensis within the amoebae. PMID:14640945

  3. The first pediatric case of tularemia in Korea: manifested with pneumonia and possible infective endocarditis

    PubMed Central

    Yeom, Jung Sook; Rhie, Kyuyol; Park, Ji Sook; Seo, Ji-Hyun; Park, Eun Sil; Lim, Jae-Young; Park, Chan-Hoo; Youn, Hee-Shang

    2015-01-01

    Tularemia is a potentially severe zoonotic disease caused by Francisella tularensis. A lack of awareness about tularemia can be embarrassing and could result in delayed treatment because of improper diagnosis. The diagnosis of tularemia is difficult, because the infections are rare and the clinical spectrum is broad. As only 1 adult case has been reported in Korea thus far, pediatricians in Korea may be unfamiliar with tularemia. We report our experience with a 14-year-old male adolescent with tularemia who presented with atypical pneumonia and possible infective endocarditis. Although the infectivity and mortality rates for tularemia are very high if left untreated, we did not suspect tularemia in this case until the incidental isolation of F. tularensis. The present case suggests that clinicians in Korea should be more aware of tularemia. This case also suggests that tularemia should be considered in undetermined cases of atypical pneumonia or acute febrile illness without local signs. PMID:26576185

  4. Serologic Survey of Snowshoe Hares (Lepus americanus) in the Greater Yellowstone Area for Brucellosis, Tularemia, and Snowshoe Hare Virus.

    PubMed

    Tyers, Dan; Zimmer, Jeremy; Lewandowski, Kristen; Hennager, Steve; Young, John; Pappert, Ryan; Panella, Amanda; Kosoy, Olga

    2015-07-01

    We examined sera from snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) livetrapped in the northern Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA), US, for antibodies to Brucella abortus, Francisella tularensis, and snowshoe hare virus (SSHV). Zero of 90, 0 of 67, and 40 of 100 samples were antibody positive for B. abortus, F. tularensis, and SSHV, respectively. Hares were trapped from 2009 to 2012, and of the six animals that were captured twice with at least 1 yr between captures, four developed antibody to SSHV, indicating active exposure to the agent. These findings suggest snowshoe hares in the GYA do not play a significant role as a reservoir of B. abortus, but do maintain the zoonotic, encephalitic SSHV in the population. PMID:26161724

  5. Tularemia in Alaska, 1938 - 2010

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Tularemia is a serious, potentially life threatening zoonotic disease. The causative agent, Francisella tularensis, is ubiquitous in the Northern hemisphere, including Alaska, where it was first isolated from a rabbit tick (Haemophysalis leporis-palustris) in 1938. Since then, F. tularensis has been isolated from wildlife and humans throughout the state. Serologic surveys have found measurable antibodies with prevalence ranging from < 1% to 50% and 4% to 18% for selected populations of wildlife species and humans, respectively. We reviewed and summarized known literature on tularemia surveillance in Alaska and summarized the epidemiological information on human cases reported to public health officials. Additionally, available F. tularensis isolates from Alaska were analyzed using canonical SNPs and a multi-locus variable-number tandem repeats (VNTR) analysis (MLVA) system. The results show that both F. t. tularensis and F. t. holarctica are present in Alaska and that subtype A.I, the most virulent type, is responsible for most recently reported human clinical cases in the state. PMID:22099502

  6. Tularemia in Alaska, 1938 - 2010.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Cristina M; Vogler, Amy J; Keim, Paul; Wagner, David M; Hueffer, Karsten

    2011-01-01

    Tularemia is a serious, potentially life threatening zoonotic disease. The causative agent, Francisella tularensis, is ubiquitous in the Northern hemisphere, including Alaska, where it was first isolated from a rabbit tick (Haemophysalis leporis-palustris) in 1938. Since then, F. tularensis has been isolated from wildlife and humans throughout the state. Serologic surveys have found measurable antibodies with prevalence ranging from < 1% to 50% and 4% to 18% for selected populations of wildlife species and humans, respectively. We reviewed and summarized known literature on tularemia surveillance in Alaska and summarized the epidemiological information on human cases reported to public health officials. Additionally, available F. tularensis isolates from Alaska were analyzed using canonical SNPs and a multi-locus variable-number tandem repeats (VNTR) analysis (MLVA) system. The results show that both F. t. tularensis and F. t. holarctica are present in Alaska and that subtype A.I, the most virulent type, is responsible for most recently reported human clinical cases in the state. PMID:22099502

  7. Gene gymnastics

    PubMed Central

    Vijayachandran, Lakshmi S; Thimiri Govinda Raj, Deepak B; Edelweiss, Evelina; Gupta, Kapil; Maier, Josef; Gordeliy, Valentin; Fitzgerald, Daniel J; Berger, Imre

    2013-01-01

    Most essential activities in eukaryotic cells are catalyzed by large multiprotein assemblies containing up to ten or more interlocking subunits. The vast majority of these protein complexes are not easily accessible for high resolution studies aimed at unlocking their mechanisms, due to their low cellular abundance and high heterogeneity. Recombinant overproduction can resolve this bottleneck and baculovirus expression vector systems (BEVS) have emerged as particularly powerful tools for the provision of eukaryotic multiprotein complexes in high quality and quantity. Recently, synthetic biology approaches have begun to make their mark in improving existing BEVS reagents by de novo design of streamlined transfer plasmids and by engineering the baculovirus genome. Here we present OmniBac, comprising new custom designed reagents that further facilitate the integration of heterologous genes into the baculovirus genome for multiprotein expression. Based on comparative genome analysis and data mining, we herein present a blueprint to custom design and engineer the entire baculovirus genome for optimized production properties using a bottom-up synthetic biology approach. PMID:23328086

  8. Quaternary Structure of Fur Proteins, a New Subfamily of Tetrameric Proteins.

    PubMed

    Pérard, Julien; Covès, Jacques; Castellan, Mathieu; Solard, Charles; Savard, Myriam; Miras, Roger; Galop, Sandra; Signor, Luca; Crouzy, Serge; Michaud-Soret, Isabelle; de Rosny, Eve

    2016-03-15

    The ferric uptake regulator (Fur) belongs to the family of the DNA-binding metal-responsive transcriptional regulators. Fur is a global regulator found in all proteobacteria. It controls the transcription of a wide variety of genes involved in iron metabolism but also in oxidative stress or virulence factor synthesis. When bound to ferrous iron, Fur can bind to specific DNA sequences, called Fur boxes. This binding triggers the repression or the activation of gene expression, depending on the regulated genes. As a general view, Fur proteins are considered to be dimeric proteins both in solution and when bound to DNA. In this study, we have purified Fur from four pathogenic strains (Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis, and Legionella pneumophila) and compared them to Fur from Escherichia coli (EcFur), the best characterized of this family. By using a series of "in solution" techniques, including multiangle laser light scattering and small-angle X-ray scattering, as well as cross-linking experiments, we have shown that the Fur proteins can be classified into two groups, according to their quaternary structure. The group of dimers is represented by EcFur and YpFur and the group of very stable tetramers by PaFur, FtFur, and LpFur. Using PaFur as a case study, we also showed that the dissociation of the tetramers into dimers is necessary for binding of Fur to DNA, and that this dissociation requires the combined effect of metal ion binding and DNA proximity. PMID:26886069

  9. Intracellular Delivery: Redox-Triggered Release of Moxifloxacin from Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles Functionalized with Disulfide Snap-Tops Enhances Efficacy Against Pneumonic Tularemia in Mice (Small 27/2016).

    PubMed

    Lee, Bai-Yu; Li, Zilu; Clemens, Daniel L; Dillon, Barbara Jane; Hwang, Angela A; Zink, Jeffrey I; Horwitz, Marcus A

    2016-07-01

    The drug trapping and intracellular release mechanism of redox-responsive disulfide snap-top mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSN-SS-MXF) is depicted by J. I. Zink, M. A. Horwitz and co-workers on page 3690. Mesoporous silica nanoparticles with antibiotic (cyan) trapped within their pores by disulfide snap-tops are avidly ingested by macrophages. The intracellular redox potential reduces the disulfide (yellow) in the stalk (green/blue), releases the caps (orange) and frees drug to kill Francisella tularensis (green). Artwork by Bastian Ruehle. PMID:27412305

  10. Detection of biological warfare agents using the polymerase chain reaction. Final report, June-August 1991

    SciTech Connect

    Mann, B.J.

    1992-09-01

    The detection of biological warfare agents is an important mission for the U.S. Army. This report explores the feasibility of using the polymerase chain reaction as a means of rapid detection of biological warfare agents. Two levels of detection are proposed. The first level is group specific detection, using primers derived from 16S rDNA sequences, to detect various groups of pathogenic bacteria. The second level is species-specific detection using primers derived from DNA sequences, unique to each pathogenic organism targeted for detection. Specific examples of Vibrio cholerae, Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Bacillus anthracis are described.

  11. DNA capture elements for rapid detection and identification of biological agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiel, Johnathan L.; Parker, Jill E.; Holwitt, Eric A.; Vivekananda, Jeeva

    2004-08-01

    DNA capture elements (DCEs; aptamers) are artificial DNA sequences, from a random pool of sequences, selected for their specific binding to potential biological warfare agents. These sequences were selected by an affinity method using filters to which the target agent was attached and the DNA isolated and amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in an iterative, increasingly stringent, process. Reporter molecules were attached to the finished sequences. To date, we have made DCEs to Bacillus anthracis spores, Shiga toxin, Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE) virus, and Francisella tularensis. These DCEs have demonstrated specificity and sensitivity equal to or better than antibody.

  12. Thiolactomycin-Based Inhibitors of Bacterial β-Ketoacyl-ACP Synthases with in Vivo Activity.

    PubMed

    Bommineni, Gopal R; Kapilashrami, Kanishk; Cummings, Jason E; Lu, Yang; Knudson, Susan E; Gu, Chendi; Walker, Stephen G; Slayden, Richard A; Tonge, Peter J

    2016-06-01

    β-Ketoacyl-ACP synthases (KAS) are key enzymes involved in the type II bacterial fatty acid biosynthesis (FASII) pathway and are putative targets for antibacterial discovery. Several natural product KAS inhibitors have previously been reported, including thiolactomycin (TLM), which is produced by Nocardia spp. Here we describe the synthesis and characterization of optically pure 5R-thiolactomycin (TLM) analogues that show improved whole cell activity against bacterial strains including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and priority pathogens such as Francisella tularensis and Burkholderia pseudomallei. In addition, we identify TLM analogues with in vivo efficacy against MRSA and Klebsiella pneumoniae in animal models of infection. PMID:27187871

  13. Computer simulation of the processes of inactivation of bacterial cells by dynamic low-coherent speckles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ulianova, Onega V.; Ulyanov, Sergey S.; Sazanova, Elena V.; Zhihong, Zhang; Sibo, Zhou; Luo, Qingming; Zudina, Irina; Bednov, Andrey

    2006-05-01

    Biochemical, biophysical and optical aspects of interaction of low-coherent light with bacterial cells have been discussed. Influence of low-coherent speckles on the colonies grows is investigated. It has been demonstrated that effects of light on the inhibition of cells (Francisella Tularensis) are connected with speckle dynamics. The regimes of illumination of cell suspension with purpose of devitalization of hazard bacteria, caused very dangerous infections, such as tularemia, are found. Mathematical model of interaction of low-coherent laser radiation with bacteria suspension has been proposed. Computer simulations of the processes of laser-cells interaction have been carried out.

  14. Parasites and selected diseases of collared peccaries (Tayassu tajacu) in the trans-pecos region of Texas.

    PubMed

    Gruver, K S; Guthrie, J W

    1996-07-01

    Fifty-five collared peccaries (Tayassu tajacu) were collected from October 1988 through April 1991 from five counties within the Trans-Pecos region of Texas (USA) to monitor for diseases and parasites. No endoparasites were recovered on gross examination. Antibody to Borrelia burgdorferi was documented in one (2%) of 55 specimens. Three (6%) of 54 collared peccaries were positive for Yersinia pestis antibodies. All collared peccaries were negative for antibodies against Brucella spp., Francisella tularensis, Rickettsia rickettsii, and Rickettsia typhi. This is the first report of Borrelia sp. and Yersinia sp. pathogens in collared peccaries from this region of Texas. PMID:8827690

  15. Transmission of tularemia from a water source by transstadial maintenance in a mosquito vector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bäckman, Stina; Näslund, Jonas; Forsman, Mats; Thelaus, Johanna

    2015-01-01

    Mosquitoes are thought to function as mechanical vectors of Francisella tularensis subspecies holarctica (F. t. holarctica) causing tularemia in humans. We investigated the clinical relevance of transstadially maintained F. t. holarctica in mosquitoes. Aedes egypti larvae exposed to a fully virulent F. t. holarctica strain for 24 hours, were allowed to develop into adults when they were individually homogenized. Approximately 24% of the homogenates tested positive for F. t. DNA in PCR. Mice injected with the mosquito homogenates acquired tularemia within 5 days. This novel finding demonstrates the possibility of transmission of bacteria by adult mosquitoes having acquired the pathogen from their aquatic larval habitats.

  16. Fast, sensitive point of care electrochemical molecular system for point mutation and select agent detection.

    PubMed

    MacLeod, J A; Nemeth, A C; Dicke, W C; Wang, D; Manalili Wheeler, S; Hannis, J C; Collier, G B; Drader, J J

    2016-07-01

    Point of care molecular diagnostics benefits from a portable battery-operated device capable of performing a fast turnaround using reliable inexpensive cartridges. We describe a prototype device for performing a molecular diagnostics test for clinical and biodefense samples in 16 minutes using a prototype capable of an 8 minute PCR reaction, followed by hybridization and detection on an electrochemical microarray based on the i-STAT® system. We used human buccal swabs for hemochromatosis testing including in-device DNA extraction. Additional clinical and biodefense samples included influenza A and bacterial select agents Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis and Francisella tularensis. PMID:27280174

  17. Transmission of tularemia from a water source by transstadial maintenance in a mosquito vector

    PubMed Central

    Bäckman, Stina; Näslund, Jonas; Forsman, Mats; Thelaus, Johanna

    2015-01-01

    Mosquitoes are thought to function as mechanical vectors of Francisella tularensis subspecies holarctica (F. t. holarctica) causing tularemia in humans. We investigated the clinical relevance of transstadially maintained F. t. holarctica in mosquitoes. Aedes egypti larvae exposed to a fully virulent F. t. holarctica strain for 24 hours, were allowed to develop into adults when they were individually homogenized. Approximately 24% of the homogenates tested positive for F. t. DNA in PCR. Mice injected with the mosquito homogenates acquired tularemia within 5 days. This novel finding demonstrates the possibility of transmission of bacteria by adult mosquitoes having acquired the pathogen from their aquatic larval habitats. PMID:25609657

  18. Leptospirosis and tularaemia in raccoons (Procyon lotor) of Larimer County, [corrected] Colorado.

    PubMed

    Duncan, C; Krafsur, G; Podell, B; Baeten, L A; LeVan, I; Charles, B; Ehrhart, E J

    2012-02-01

    Raccoons (Procyon lotor) are commonly implicated as carriers of many zoonotic pathogens. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to look for Leptospira interrogans and Francisella tularensis in opportunistically sampled, free-ranging raccoons of Larimer Country, Colorado, USA. Sixty-five animals were included in the study and testing consisted of gross post-mortem examination, histopathology, and both immunohistochemistry and PCR for L. interrogans and F. tularensis. No significant gross lesions were identified and the most common histological lesions were lymphoplasmacytic interstitial nephritis and pulmonary silicosis; rare periportal hepatitis, splenic lymphoid hyperplasia and small pulmonary granulomas were also identified. Of 65 animals, 20 (30%) were positive for Leptospira on IHC but only one by PCR. Animals with inflammation in their kidneys were seven times more likely to be positive for Leptospira than animals without inflammation. The severity of inflammation was variable but often mild with minimal associated renal pathology. One animal was positive for Francisella on both IHC and PCR; IHC staining was localized to histiocytic cells within a pulmonary granuloma. In Colorado the significance and epidemiology of Leptospira is poorly understood. The high prevalence of infection in raccoons in this study population suggests that this species may be important in the regional epidemiology or could be used to estimate risk to domestic animals and humans. Identification of a single Francisella positive animal is significant as this is an uncommon disease in terrestrial animals within the state; the apparently higher prevalence in this peridomestic species implies that raccoons may be good indicators of the pathogen in the region. The results of this study suggest that raccoons may serve as effective sentinels for both Leptospira and Francisella in the state of Colorado. Further studies are needed to better characterize the prevalence and epidemiology of

  19. Gene doping: gene delivery for olympic victory

    PubMed Central

    Gould, David

    2013-01-01

    With one recently recommended gene therapy in Europe and a number of other gene therapy treatments now proving effective in clinical trials it is feasible that the same technologies will soon be adopted in the world of sport by unscrupulous athletes and their trainers in so called ‘gene doping’. In this article an overview of the successful gene therapy clinical trials is provided and the potential targets for gene doping are highlighted. Depending on whether a doping gene product is secreted from the engineered cells or is retained locally to, or inside engineered cells will, to some extent, determine the likelihood of detection. It is clear that effective gene delivery technologies now exist and it is important that detection and prevention plans are in place. PMID:23082866

  20. Autism and Genes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Institutes of Health, 2005

    2005-01-01

    This document defines and discusses autism and how genes play a role in the condition. Answers to the following questions are covered: (1) What are genes? (2) What is autism? (3) What causes autism? (4) Why study genes to learn about autism? (5) How do researchers look for the genes involved in autism? (screen the whole genome; conduct cytogenetic…

  1. Compare Gene Profiles

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    2014-05-31

    Compare Gene Profiles (CGP) performs pairwise gene content comparisons among a relatively large set of related bacterial genomes. CGP performs pairwise BLAST among gene calls from a set of input genome and associated annotation files, and combines the results to generate lists of common genes, unique genes, homologs, and genes from each genome that differ substantially in length from corresponding genes in the other genomes. CGP is implemented in Python and runs in a Linuxmore » environment in serial or parallel mode.« less

  2. Evolution by gene loss.

    PubMed

    Albalat, Ricard; Cañestro, Cristian

    2016-07-01

    The recent increase in genomic data is revealing an unexpected perspective of gene loss as a pervasive source of genetic variation that can cause adaptive phenotypic diversity. This novel perspective of gene loss is raising new fundamental questions. How relevant has gene loss been in the divergence of phyla? How do genes change from being essential to dispensable and finally to being lost? Is gene loss mostly neutral, or can it be an effective way of adaptation? These questions are addressed, and insights are discussed from genomic studies of gene loss in populations and their relevance in evolutionary biology and biomedicine. PMID:27087500

  3. Human Gene Therapy: Genes without Frontiers?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simon, Eric J.

    2002-01-01

    Describes the latest advancements and setbacks in human gene therapy to provide reference material for biology teachers to use in their science classes. Focuses on basic concepts such as recombinant DNA technology, and provides examples of human gene therapy such as severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome, familial hypercholesterolemia, and…

  4. Evolution of gene expression after gene amplification.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Nelson; Zhang, Wei; Wu, Yongrui; Messing, Joachim

    2015-05-01

    We took a rather unique approach to investigate the conservation of gene expression of prolamin storage protein genes across two different subfamilies of the Poaceae. We took advantage of oat plants carrying single maize chromosomes in different cultivars, called oat-maize addition (OMA) lines, which permitted us to determine whether regulation of gene expression was conserved between the two species. We found that γ-zeins are expressed in OMA7.06, which carries maize chromosome 7 even in the absence of the trans-acting maize prolamin-box-binding factor (PBF), which regulates their expression. This is likely because oat PBF can substitute for the function of maize PBF as shown in our transient expression data, using a γ-zein promoter fused to green fluorescent protein (GFP). Despite this conservation, the younger, recently amplified prolamin genes in maize, absent in oat, are not expressed in the corresponding OMAs. However, maize can express the oldest prolamin gene, the wheat high-molecular weight glutenin Dx5 gene, even when maize Pbf is knocked down (through PbfRNAi), and/or another maize transcription factor, Opaque-2 (O2) is knocked out (in maize o2 mutant). Therefore, older genes are conserved in their regulation, whereas younger ones diverged during evolution and eventually acquired a new repertoire of suitable transcriptional activators. PMID:25912045

  5. Evolution of Gene Expression after Gene Amplification

    PubMed Central

    Garcia, Nelson; Zhang, Wei; Wu, Yongrui; Messing, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    We took a rather unique approach to investigate the conservation of gene expression of prolamin storage protein genes across two different subfamilies of the Poaceae. We took advantage of oat plants carrying single maize chromosomes in different cultivars, called oat–maize addition (OMA) lines, which permitted us to determine whether regulation of gene expression was conserved between the two species. We found that γ-zeins are expressed in OMA7.06, which carries maize chromosome 7 even in the absence of the trans-acting maize prolamin-box-binding factor (PBF), which regulates their expression. This is likely because oat PBF can substitute for the function of maize PBF as shown in our transient expression data, using a γ-zein promoter fused to green fluorescent protein (GFP). Despite this conservation, the younger, recently amplified prolamin genes in maize, absent in oat, are not expressed in the corresponding OMAs. However, maize can express the oldest prolamin gene, the wheat high-molecular weight glutenin Dx5 gene, even when maize Pbf is knocked down (through PbfRNAi), and/or another maize transcription factor, Opaque-2 (O2) is knocked out (in maize o2 mutant). Therefore, older genes are conserved in their regulation, whereas younger ones diverged during evolution and eventually acquired a new repertoire of suitable transcriptional activators. PMID:25912045

  6. Reading and Generalist Genes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haworth, Claire M. A.; Meaburn, Emma L.; Harlaar, Nicole; Plomin, Robert

    2007-01-01

    Twin-study research suggests that many (but not all) of the same genes contribute to genetic influence on diverse learning abilities and disabilities, a hypothesis called "generalist genes". This generalist genes hypothesis was tested using a set of 10 DNA markers (single nucleotide polymorphisms [SNPs]) found to be associated with early reading…

  7. Accepting Foreign Genes.

    PubMed

    Boto, Luis

    2016-05-01

    Three recent papers underline the importance of the host genomic background in allowing the stable maintenance of horizontally acquired genes. These studies suggest that post-transfer changes in both host genome and acquired genes contribute to the stable integration of foreign genes. PMID:27075565

  8. Tularaemia in Norwegian dogs.

    PubMed

    Nordstoga, Anne; Handeland, Kjell; Johansen, Tone Bjordal; Iversen, Lena; Gavier-Widén, Dolores; Mattsson, Roland; Wik-Larssen, Kjersti; Afset, Jan Egil; Næverdal, Rune; Lund, Arve

    2014-10-10

    We describe tularaemia in a Norwegian dog caused by Francisella tularensis subspecies holarctica. A Hamilton Hound and his owner developed tulaeremia after hunting an infected mountain hare (Lepus timidus). The dog showed signs of lethargy, anorexia and fever during a period two to four days after hunting and thereafter fully recovered. Its antibody titers increased 32-fold from one to three weeks post exposure. Thereafter, the titer declined and leveled off at moderate positive values up to one year after exposure (end of study). This is believed to be the first case report of clinical F. tularensis subspecies holarctica infection in a European dog. In 2011, enormous numbers of Norway lemmings (Lemmus lemmus) occurred in Finnmark, the northernmost county of Norway and many dogs caught and swallowed lemmings. Some of these dogs developed non-specific signs of disease and the owners consulted a veterinary surgeon, who suspected tularaemia. In order to investigate this hypothesis, serum samples from 33 dogs were examined for antibodies to F. tularensis. The dogs were allocated into three groups: Dogs from Finnmark that became sick (Group 1) or remained healthy following contact with lemmings (Group 2), and healthy control dogs from Oslo without known contact with lemmings (Group 3). All the serum samples were analyzed with a tube agglutination assay. Among dogs exposed to lemmings, 10/11 and 3/12 were antibody positive in Group 1 and Group 2, respectively, whereas none of the control dogs (n=10) were positive for antibodies against F. tularensis. These results strongly indicate that the non-specific disease seen in the dogs in Finnmark was linked to F. tularensis infection acquired through contact with lemmings. PMID:25150161

  9. Molecular epidemiological surveillance to assess emergence and re-emergence of tick-borne infections in tick samples from China evaluated by nested PCRs.

    PubMed

    Yu, Pei-Fa; Niu, Qing-Li; Liu, Zhi-Jie; Yang, Ji-Fei; Chen, Ze; Guan, Gui-Quan; Liu, Guang-Yuan; Luo, Jian-Xun; Yin, Hong

    2016-06-01

    An investigation was performed to detect eight pathogens in ticks collected from grass tips or animals in the southern, central and northeast regions of China. DNA samples extracted from ticks were collected from ten different locations in eight provinces of China and subjected to screening for tick-borne pathogens, including Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, Ehrlichia spp., Rickettsia spp., Babesia/Theileria spp., Ehrlichia ruminantium, Coxiella burnetii, and Francisella tularensis, using nested PCR assays and sequencing analysis. The results indicated that Borrelia spp., Rickettsia spp., and Babesia/Theileria spp. were detected in all of the investigated provinces. Ehrlichia spp. was also found in all of the surveyed areas, except Guangxi, Luobei and Tonghe counties in Heilongjiang province. The average prevalence of these pathogens was 18.4% (95% CI=12.8-42.5), 60.3% (95% CI=18.2-65.3), 26.0% (95% CI=25.8-65.1), and 28.7% (95% CI=5.6-35.2), respectively. A sequencing analysis of the pCS20 gene of E. ruminantium revealed an E. ruminantium-like organism (1/849, 0.1%, 95% CI=0-0.3) in one tick DNA sample extracted from Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus in Hunan. In addition, Borrelia americana in Ixodes persulcatus, Babesia occultans in Haemaphysalis qinghaiensis and both Rhipicephalus sanguineus and an Ehrlichia muris-like organism in R. (B.) microplus was detected, possibly for the first time in China. Four DNA sequences closely related to Borrelia carolinensis and/or Borrelia bissettii from Haemaphysalis longicornis, Candidatus Rickettsia principis from H. qinghaiensis, and I. persulcatus and Ehrlichia canis (named E. canis-like) from Haemaphysalis bispinosa were also detected in this work. PMID:26943995

  10. Rapid Polymerase Chain Reaction-based Screening Assay for Bacterial Biothreat Agents

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Samuel; Rothman, Richard E.; Hardick, Justin; Kuroki, Marcos; Hardick, Andrew; Doshi, Vishal; Ramachandran, Padmini; Gaydos, Charlotte A.

    2013-01-01

    Objectives To design and evaluate a rapid polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assay for detecting Eubacteria and performing early screening for selected Class A biothreat bacterial pathogens. Methods The authors designed a two-step PCR-based algorithm consisting of an initial broad-based universal detection step, followed by specific pathogen identification targeted for identification of the Class A bacterial biothreat agents. A region in the bacterial 16S rRNA gene containing a highly variable sequence flanked by clusters of conserved sequences was chosen as the target for the PCR assay design. A previously described highly conserved region located within the 16S rRNA amplicon was selected as the universal probe (UniProbe, Integrated DNA Technology, Coralville, IA). Pathogen-specific TaqMan probes were designed for Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, and Francisella tularensis. Performance of the assay was assessed using genomic DNA extracted from the aforementioned biothreat-related organisms (inactivated or surrogate) and other common bacteria. Results The UniProbe detected the presence of all tested Eubacteria (31 / 31) with high analytical sensitivity. The biothreat-specific probes accurately identified organisms down to the closely related species and genus level, but were unable to discriminate between very close surrogates, such as Yersinia philomiragia and Bacillus cereus. Conclusions A simple, two-step PCR-based assay proved capable of both universal bacterial detection and identification of select Class A bacterial biothreat and biothreat-related pathogens. Although this assay requires confirmatory testing for definitive species identification, the method has great potential for use in ED-based settings for rapid diagnosis in cases of suspected Category A bacterial biothreat agents. PMID:18370996

  11. G protein-coupled receptor160 regulates mycobacteria entry into macrophages by activating ERK.

    PubMed

    Yang, Hua; Liu, Haipeng; Chen, Hao; Mo, Haiping; Chen, Jianxia; Huang, Xiaocheng; Zheng, Ruijuan; Liu, Zhonghua; Feng, Yonghong; Liu, Feng; Ge, Baoxue

    2016-09-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the causative agent of tuberculosis, invades and replicates within susceptible hosts by disturbing host antimicrobial mechanisms. Although G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are involved in most physiological and pathological activities of mammalian cells, the roles of GPCRs in Mtb invasion into host cell remain elusive. Here, we report that GPR160 expression is elevated at both mRNA and protein level in macrophages in response to BCG infection. Both the PiggyBac (PB) transposon-mediated mutation of gpr160 gene in mouse primary macrophages and siRNA-mediated knockdown of GPR160 in the human macrophage cell line THP-1 markedly reduced the entry of green fluorescent protein (GFP) expressing BCG (BCG-GFP), also operative in vivo. BCG infection-induced phosphorylation of ERK1/2 was significantly reduced in gpr160 mutated (gpr160(-/-)) macrophages relative to levels observed in wild type macrophages, while inhibition of ERK by specific inhibitor or knockdown ERK1/2 by specific siRNA markedly reduced entry of BCG. Finally, lower bacteria burdens and attenuated pathological impairments were observed in the lungs of BCG-infected gpr160(-/-) mice. Furthermore, gpr160(-/-) macrophages also exhibits reduced uptake of Escherichia coli and Francisella tularensis. Taken together, these findings suggest an important role of GPR160 in regulating the entry of BCG into macrophages by targeting the ERK signaling pathway. As GPCRs have proven to be successful drug targets in pharmaceutical industry, it's tempting to speculate that compounds targeting GPR160, a G protein-coupled receptor, could intervene in Mtb infection. PMID:27259691

  12. Comparison of traditional and molecular analytical methods for detecting biological agents in raw and drinking water following ultrafiltration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Francy, D.S.; Bushon, R.N.; Brady, A.M.G.; Bertke, E.E.; Kephart, C.M.; Likirdopulos, C.A.; Mailot, B.E.; Schaefer, F. W., III; Lindquist, H.D. Alan

    2009-01-01

    Aims: To compare the performance of traditional methods to quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) for detecting five biological agents in large-volume drinking-water samples concentrated by ultrafiltration (UF). Methods and Results: Drinking-water samples (100 l) were seeded with Bacillus anthracis, Cryptospordium parvum, Francisella tularensis, Salmonella Typhi, and Vibrio cholerae and concentrated by UF. Recoveries by traditional methods were variable between samples and between some replicates; recoveries were not determined by qPCR. Francisella tularensis and V. cholerae were detected in all 14 samples after UF, B. anthracis was detected in 13, and C. parvum was detected in 9 out of 14 samples. Numbers found by qPCR after UF were significantly or nearly related to those found by traditional methods for all organisms except for C. parvum. A qPCR assay for S. Typhi was not available. Conclusions: qPCR can be used to rapidly detect biological agents after UF as well as traditional methods, but additional work is needed to improve qPCR assays for several biological agents, determine recoveries by qPCR, and expand the study to other areas. Significance and Impact of the Study: To our knowledge, this is the first study to compare the use of traditional and qPCR methods to detect biological agents in large-volume drinking-water samples. ?? 2009 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  13. Administration of a synthetic TLR4 agonist protects mice from pneumonic tularemia.

    PubMed

    Lembo, Annalisa; Pelletier, Mark; Iyer, Ravi; Timko, Michele; Dudda, Jan C; West, T Eoin; Wilson, Christopher B; Hajjar, Adeline M; Skerrett, Shawn J

    2008-06-01

    Francisella tularensis is a Gram-negative intracellular pathogen that causes the zoonosis tularemia. Because F. tularensis LPS causes weak TLR4 activation, we hypothesized that administration of a synthetic TLR4 agonist, aminoalkyl glucosaminide phosphate (AGP), would boost the innate immune system and compensate for reduced TLR4 stimulation. Intranasal administration of AGPs induced intrapulmonary production of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Mice treated with AGPs before and after inhalation of Francisella novicida exhibited augmented cytokine and inflammatory responses to infection; reduced bacterial replication in lung, liver, and spleen; and increased survival, whereas all PBS-treated control mice died within 4 days of infection, all AGP-treated mice showed prolonged time-to-death, and 30-60% of AGP-treated mice survived. The protective effect of AGP was lost in mice lacking IFN-gamma. Long-term survivors developed specific Th1 splenocyte responses and specific Abs dominated by IgG2 isotypes. Survivors were fully protected from rechallenge with aerosolized F. novicida. Thus, preventive administration of AGP successfully modulated innate immune responses to aerosolized F. novicida, leading to protective immunity to pneumonic tularemia. This is the first report of the protective effect of a TLR ligand on resistance to F. novicida-induced pneumonic tularemia. PMID:18490759

  14. [Incidence of zoonoses in petting zoos and evaluation of hygiene measures to prevent the transmission to humans].

    PubMed

    Bütikofer, B; Bissig-Choisat, B; Regula, G; Corboz, L; Wittwer, M; Danuser, J

    2005-12-01

    In summer 2003, a study was performed in thirty Swiss petting zoos with the objective to determine the prevalence of zoonotic agents, and to describe hygiene measures implemented to reduce the risk of human infection. Fecal samples from different animal species were collected from the floor of pens to determine the prevalence of Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp., verocytotoxin producing E. coli/ VTEC and Francisella tularensis. A questionnaire on hygiene measures, number of animals per species, housing system, care procedures and feeding was administered to every petting zoo to estimate exposure of visitors to zoonotic microorganisms. In total, 423 fecal samples were examined. Of these samples, 41 were positive for Campylobacter spp., which were mainly isolates from pigs and poultry (35% positive samples from each species). In pigs, 50% of the positive samples (6 samples) were typed as C. jejuni. The others were typed as C. coli (3) and C lan' (3), respectively. Five poultry isolates were typed as C. jejuni, and two as C. coli. Two samples were positive for Salmonella spp. Salmonella typhimurium was isolated from a goat, the other isolate could not be identified by serotyping. Neither Francisella tularensis nor verocytotoxin producing E. coli/ VTEC were found. The low prevalence of zoonotic microorganisms in Swiss petting zoos could be attributed to the cleanness of enclosures and animals, low stocking rates and good animal care. However, there is room for improvement concerning visitors' information on hygiene and hand washing. Furthermore, a strict separation between picnic - areas and animals should be enforced. PMID:16398191

  15. Prevalence of Rickettsia species in Dermacentor variabilis ticks from Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Wood, Heidi; Dillon, Liz; Patel, Samir N; Ralevski, Filip

    2016-07-01

    Relatively little is known about the prevalence of rickettsial species in Dermacentor ticks in eastern Canada. In this study, Dermacentor ticks from the province of Ontario, Canada, were tested for the presence of spotted fever group rickettsial (SFGR) species, Coxiella burnetii and Francisella tularensis. Rickettsia rickettsii was not detected in any ticks tested, but R. montanensis was detected at a prevalence of 2.2% in D. variabilis (17/778). Two other SFGR species, R. parkeri and Candidatus R. andeanae, were detected individually in 2 Amblyomma maculatum ticks. Rickettsia peacockii, a non-pathogenic endosymbiont, was detected in two D. andersonii ticks. Given the highly abundant nature of D. variabilis, surveillance for human pathogens in this species of tick has important public health implications, but the lack of detection of known human pathogens indicates a low risk of infection via this tick species in Ontario. However, the detection of R. parkeri in an adventive A. maculatum tick indicates that health care providers should be aware of the possibility of spotted fever rickettsioses in individuals with a history of travel outside of Ontario and symptoms compatible with a spotted fever rickettsiosis. Coxiella burnetii and Francisella tularensis, human pathogens also potentially transmitted by D. variabilis, were not detected in a subset of the ticks. PMID:27318438

  16. [Imprinted genes in plants].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Li-Geng; Yang, Ruo-Fei; Fu, Feng-Ling; Li, Wan-Chen

    2010-12-01

    The expression of imprinted genes is regulated by epigenetic mechanism. In plant endosperm, the allele of imprinted genes is expressed in a pattern of parent-of-origin-dependent. The expression of imprinted genes plays essential roles in the development of embryos and their annexe structures, as well as seed size, reproductive barriers and apomixis. Along with the progress of plant epigenetic research, the exploration of imprinted genes is becoming hotspot in epigenetic research. This review focused on the parental conflict theory about the origin of imprinted genes, and the latest research advances in expression regulation mechanism of plant imprinted genes, using the examples of the important imprinted genes MEA, FIS2, FWA, MPC, and PHE1 in Arabidopsis, and FIEI and FIE2 in maize. PMID:21513148

  17. Retrieval with gene queries

    PubMed Central

    Sehgal, Aditya K; Srinivasan, Padmini

    2006-01-01

    Background Accuracy of document retrieval from MEDLINE for gene queries is crucially important for many applications in bioinformatics. We explore five information retrieval-based methods to rank documents retrieved by PubMed gene queries for the human genome. The aim is to rank relevant documents higher in the retrieved list. We address the special challenges faced due to ambiguity in gene nomenclature: gene terms that refer to multiple genes, gene terms that are also English words, and gene terms that have other biological meanings. Results Our two baseline ranking strategies are quite similar in performance. Two of our three LocusLink-based strategies offer significant improvements. These methods work very well even when there is ambiguity in the gene terms. Our best ranking strategy offers significant improvements on three different kinds of ambiguities over our two baseline strategies (improvements range from 15.9% to 17.7% and 11.7% to 13.3% depending on the baseline). For most genes the best ranking query is one that is built from the LocusLink (now Entrez Gene) summary and product information along with the gene names and aliases. For others, the gene names and aliases suffice. We also present an approach that successfully predicts, for a given gene, which of these two ranking queries is more appropriate. Conclusion We explore the effect of different post-retrieval strategies on the ranking of documents returned by PubMed for human gene queries. We have successfully applied some of these strategies to improve the ranking of relevant documents in the retrieved sets. This holds true even when various kinds of ambiguity are encountered. We feel that it would be very useful to apply strategies like ours on PubMed search results as these are not ordered by relevance in any way. This is especially so for queries that retrieve a large number of documents. PMID:16630348

  18. Do Housekeeping Genes Exist?

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Bingyun

    2015-01-01

    The searching of human housekeeping (HK) genes has been a long quest since the emergence of transcriptomics, and is instrumental for us to understand the structure of genome and the fundamentals of biological processes. The resolved genes are frequently used in evolution studies and as normalization standards in quantitative gene-expression analysis. Within the past 20 years, more than a dozen HK-gene studies have been conducted, yet none of them sampled human tissues completely. We believe an integration of these results will help remove false positive genes owing to the inadequate sampling. Surprisingly, we only find one common gene across 15 examined HK-gene datasets comprising 187 different tissue and cell types. Our subsequent analyses suggest that it might not be appropriate to rigidly define HK genes as expressed in all tissue types that have diverse developmental, physiological, and pathological states. It might be beneficial to use more robustly identified HK functions for filtering criteria, in which the representing genes can be a subset of genome. These genes are not necessarily the same, and perhaps need not to be the same, everywhere in our body. PMID:25970694

  19. Do housekeeping genes exist?

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yijuan; Li, Ding; Sun, Bingyun

    2015-01-01

    The searching of human housekeeping (HK) genes has been a long quest since the emergence of transcriptomics, and is instrumental for us to understand the structure of genome and the fundamentals of biological processes. The resolved genes are frequently used in evolution studies and as normalization standards in quantitative gene-expression analysis. Within the past 20 years, more than a dozen HK-gene studies have been conducted, yet none of them sampled human tissues completely. We believe an integration of these results will help remove false positive genes owing to the inadequate sampling. Surprisingly, we only find one common gene across 15 examined HK-gene datasets comprising 187 different tissue and cell types. Our subsequent analyses suggest that it might not be appropriate to rigidly define HK genes as expressed in all tissue types that have diverse developmental, physiological, and pathological states. It might be beneficial to use more robustly identified HK functions for filtering criteria, in which the representing genes can be a subset of genome. These genes are not necessarily the same, and perhaps need not to be the same, everywhere in our body. PMID:25970694

  20. Towards Consensus Gene Ages.

    PubMed

    Liebeskind, Benjamin J; McWhite, Claire D; Marcotte, Edward M

    2016-01-01

    Correctly estimating the age of a gene or gene family is important for a variety of fields, including molecular evolution, comparative genomics, and phylogenetics, and increasingly for systems biology and disease genetics. However, most studies use only a point estimate of a gene's age, neglecting the substantial uncertainty involved in this estimation. Here, we characterize this uncertainty by investigating the effect of algorithm choice on gene-age inference and calculate consensus gene ages with attendant error distributions for a variety of model eukaryotes. We use 13 orthology inference algorithms to create gene-age datasets and then characterize the error around each age-call on a per-gene and per-algorithm basis. Systematic error was found to be a large factor in estimating gene age, suggesting that simple consensus algorithms are not enough to give a reliable point estimate. We also found that different sources of error can affect downstream analyses, such as gene ontology enrichment. Our consensus gene-age datasets, with associated error terms, are made fully available at so that researchers can propagate this uncertainty through their analyses (geneages.org). PMID:27259914

  1. The gap gene network

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Gap genes are involved in segment determination during the early development of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as well as in other insects. This review attempts to synthesize the current knowledge of the gap gene network through a comprehensive survey of the experimental literature. I focus on genetic and molecular evidence, which provides us with an almost-complete picture of the regulatory interactions responsible for trunk gap gene expression. I discuss the regulatory mechanisms involved, and highlight the remaining ambiguities and gaps in the evidence. This is followed by a brief discussion of molecular regulatory mechanisms for transcriptional regulation, as well as precision and size-regulation provided by the system. Finally, I discuss evidence on the evolution of gap gene expression from species other than Drosophila. My survey concludes that studies of the gap gene system continue to reveal interesting and important new insights into the role of gene regulatory networks in development and evolution. PMID:20927566

  2. Metastasis Suppressor Genes

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Jinchun; Yang, Qin; Huang, Qihong

    2014-01-01

    Metastasis is a major cause of cancer mortality. Metastasis is a complex process that requires the regulation of both metastasis-promoting and metastasis suppressor genes. The discovery of metastasis suppressor genes contributes significantly to our understanding of metastasis mechanisms and provides prognostic markers and therapeutic targets in clinical cancer management. In this review, we summarize the methods that have been used to identify metastasis suppressors and the potential clinical impact of these genes. PMID:23348381

  3. Towards Consensus Gene Ages

    PubMed Central

    Liebeskind, Benjamin J.; McWhite, Claire D.; Marcotte, Edward M.

    2016-01-01

    Correctly estimating the age of a gene or gene family is important for a variety of fields, including molecular evolution, comparative genomics, and phylogenetics, and increasingly for systems biology and disease genetics. However, most studies use only a point estimate of a gene’s age, neglecting the substantial uncertainty involved in this estimation. Here, we characterize this uncertainty by investigating the effect of algorithm choice on gene-age inference and calculate consensus gene ages with attendant error distributions for a variety of model eukaryotes. We use 13 orthology inference algorithms to create gene-age datasets and then characterize the error around each age-call on a per-gene and per-algorithm basis. Systematic error was found to be a large factor in estimating gene age, suggesting that simple consensus algorithms are not enough to give a reliable point estimate. We also found that different sources of error can affect downstream analyses, such as gene ontology enrichment. Our consensus gene-age datasets, with associated error terms, are made fully available at so that researchers can propagate this uncertainty through their analyses (geneages.org). PMID:27259914

  4. History of gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Wirth, Thomas; Parker, Nigel; Ylä-Herttuala, Seppo

    2013-08-10

    Two decades after the initial gene therapy trials and more than 1700 approved clinical trials worldwide we not only have gained much new information and knowledge regarding gene therapy in general, but also learned to understand the concern that has persisted in society. Despite the setbacks gene therapy has faced, success stories have increasingly emerged. Examples for these are the positive recommendation for a gene therapy product (Glybera) by the EMA for approval in the European Union and the positive trials for the treatment of ADA deficiency, SCID-X1 and adrenoleukodystrophy. Nevertheless, our knowledge continues to grow and during the course of time more safety data has become available that helps us to develop better gene therapy approaches. Also, with the increased understanding of molecular medicine, we have been able to develop more specific and efficient gene transfer vectors which are now producing clinical results. In this review, we will take a historical view and highlight some of the milestones that had an important impact on the development of gene therapy. We will also discuss briefly the safety and ethical aspects of gene therapy and address some concerns that have been connected with gene therapy as an important therapeutic modality. PMID:23618815

  5. [The gene or genes of allergic asthma?].

    PubMed

    Demoly, P; Bousquet, J; Godard, P; Michel, F B

    1993-05-15

    Asthma is a multifactorial disease in which the hereditary component has been demonstrated by familial and identical twin studies. Allergy is important in the aetiology of asthma and is characterized by a hyperreaction to allergens triggering predominantly the immunoglobulines E. The levels of these antibodies are found to be elevated even in non allergic asthmatics. The majority of genetic research in this area is focused on either the genes of the specific immune response or that of the non allergic response. These are the genes of the class II MHC, and the APY gene on chromosome 11q respectively. The modern techniques of molecular genetics and in particular those of inverse genetics have recently contributed to a more comprehensive understanding of this disease. PMID:8316547

  6. GENE EXPRESSION NETWORKS

    EPA Science Inventory

    "Gene expression network" is the term used to describe the interplay, simple or complex, between two or more gene products in performing a specific cellular function. Although the delineation of such networks is complicated by the existence of multiple and subtle types of intera...

  7. Your Genes, Your Choices

    MedlinePlus

    Table of Contents Your Genes, Your Choices describes the Human Genome Project, the science behind it, and the ethical, legal, and social issues that are ... Nothing could be further from the truth. Your Genes, Your Choices points out how the progress of ...

  8. What Is a Gene?

    MedlinePlus

    ... a new kind of medicine — so new that scientists are still doing experiments to see if it works. It uses the technology of genetic engineering to treat a disease caused by a gene that has changed in some way. One method being tested is replacing sick genes with healthy ...

  9. Redox-Triggered Release of Moxifloxacin from Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles Functionalized with Disulfide Snap-Tops Enhances Efficacy Against Pneumonic Tularemia in Mice.

    PubMed

    Lee, Bai-Yu; Li, Zilu; Clemens, Daniel L; Dillon, Barbara Jane; Hwang, Angela A; Zink, Jeffrey I; Horwitz, Marcus A

    2016-07-01

    Effective and rapid treatment of tularemia is needed to reduce morbidity and mortality of this potentially fatal infectious disease. The etiologic agent, Francisella tularensis, is a facultative intracellular bacterial pathogen which infects and multiplies to high numbers in macrophages. Nanotherapeutics are particularly promising for treatment of infectious diseases caused by intracellular pathogens, whose primary host cells are macrophages, because nanoparticles preferentially target and are avidly internalized by macrophages. A mesoporous silica nanoparticle (MSN) has been developed functionalized with disulfide snap-tops that has high drug loading and selectively releases drug intracellularly in response to the redox potential. These nanoparticles, when loaded with Hoechst fluorescent dye, release their cargo exclusively intracellularly and stain the nuclei of macrophages. The MSNs loaded with moxifloxacin kill F. tularensis in macrophages in a dose-dependent fashion. In a mouse model of lethal pneumonic tularemia, MSNs loaded with moxifloxacin prevent weight loss, illness, and death, markedly reduce the burden of F. tularensis in the lung, liver, and spleen, and are significantly more efficacious than an equivalent amount of free drug. An important proof-of-principle for the potential therapeutic use of a novel nanoparticle drug delivery platform for the treatment of infectious diseases is provided. PMID:27246117

  10. Dynamics of a Tularemia Outbreak in a Closely Monitored Free-Roaming Population of Wild House Mice

    PubMed Central

    Dobay, Akos; Pilo, Paola; Lindholm, Anna K.; Origgi, Francesco; Bagheri, Homayoun C.; König, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    Infectious disease outbreaks can be devastating because of their sudden occurrence, as well as the complexity of monitoring and controlling them. Outbreaks in wildlife are even more challenging to observe and describe, especially when small animals or secretive species are involved. Modeling such infectious disease events is relevant to investigating their dynamics and is critical for decision makers to accomplish outbreak management. Tularemia, caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis, is a potentially lethal zoonosis. Of the few animal outbreaks that have been reported in the literature, only those affecting zoo animals have been closely monitored. Here, we report the first estimation of the basic reproduction number R0 of an outbreak in wildlife caused by F. tularensis using quantitative modeling based on a susceptible-infected-recovered framework. We applied that model to data collected during an extensive investigation of an outbreak of tularemia caused by F. tularensis subsp. holarctica (also designated as type B) in a closely monitored, free-roaming house mouse (Mus musculus domesticus) population in Switzerland. Based on our model and assumptions, the best estimated basic reproduction number R0 of the current outbreak is 1.33. Our results suggest that tularemia can cause severe outbreaks in small rodents. We also concluded that the outbreak self-exhausted in approximately three months without administrating antibiotics. PMID:26536232

  11. Misassembly detection using paired-end sequence reads and optical mapping data

    PubMed Central

    Muggli, Martin D.; Puglisi, Simon J.; Ronen, Roy; Boucher, Christina

    2015-01-01

    Motivation: A crucial problem in genome assembly is the discovery and correction of misassembly errors in draft genomes. We develop a method called misSEQuel that enhances the quality of draft genomes by identifying misassembly errors and their breakpoints using paired-end sequence reads and optical mapping data. Our method also fulfills the critical need for open source computational methods for analyzing optical mapping data. We apply our method to various assemblies of the loblolly pine, Francisella tularensis, rice and budgerigar genomes. We generated and used stimulated optical mapping data for loblolly pine and F.tularensis and used real optical mapping data for rice and budgerigar. Results: Our results demonstrate that we detect more than 54% of extensively misassembled contigs and more than 60% of locally misassembled contigs in assemblies of F.tularensis and between 31% and 100% of extensively misassembled contigs and between 57% and 73% of locally misassembled contigs in assemblies of loblolly pine. Using the real optical mapping data, we correctly identified 75% of extensively misassembled contigs and 100% of locally misassembled contigs in rice, and 77% of extensively misassembled contigs and 80% of locally misassembled contigs in budgerigar. Availability and implementation: misSEQuel can be used as a post-processing step in combination with any genome assembler and is freely available at http://www.cs.colostate.edu/seq/. Contact: muggli@cs.colostate.edu Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:26072512

  12. The biblical plague of the Philistines now has a name, tularemia.

    PubMed

    Trevisanato, Siro Igino

    2007-01-01

    An epidemic thought to have been the first instance of bubonic plague in the Mediterranean reveals to have been an episode of tularemia. The deadly epidemic took place in the aftermath of the removal of a wooden box from an isolated Hebrew sanctuary. Death, tumors, and rodents thereafter plagued Philistine country. Unlike earlier explanations proposed, tularemia caused by Francisella tularensis exhaustively explains the outbreak. Tularemia fits all the requirements indicated in the biblical text: it is carried by animals, is transmitted to humans, results in the development of ulceroglandular formations, often misdiagnosed for bubonic plague, and is fatal. Moreover, there is the evidence from the box and rodents: mice, which are known carrier for F. tularensis and can communicate it to humans, were credited by the very Philistines to be linked to the outbreak, and are small enough to nest in the box. Mice also explain the otherwise odd statement in the biblical text of a small Philistine idol repeatedly falling on the floor at night in the building where the Philistines had stored the box as mice exiting the box would easily have tipped over the statuette. Tularemia scores yet another point: an episode of the disease is known to have originated in Canaan and spread to Egypt around 1715 BC, indicating recurrence for the disease, and suggesting Canaan was a reservoir for F. tularensis in the 2nd millennium BC. PMID:17467189

  13. Highly sensitive detection of a bio-threat pathogen by gold nanoparticle-based oligonucleotide-linked immunosorbent assay.

    PubMed

    Seo, Sang-Hwan; Lee, Young-Ran; Ho Jeon, Jun; Hwang, Yi-Rang; Park, Pil-Gu; Ahn, Dae-Ro; Han, Ki-Cheol; Rhie, Gi-Eun; Hong, Kee-Jong

    2015-02-15

    Francisella (F.) tularensis causes the zoonotic disease tularemia and categorized as one of the highest-priority biological agents. The sensing approaches utilized by conventional detection methods, including enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), are not sensitive enough to identify an infectious dose of this high-risk pathogen due to its low infective dose. As an attempt to detect F. tularensis with high sensitivity, we utilized the highly sensitive immunoassay system named gold nanoparticle-based oligonucleotide-linked immunosorbent assay (GNP-OLISA) which uses antibody-gold nanoparticles conjugated with DNA strands as a signal generator and RNA oligonucleotides appended with a fluorophore as a quencher for signal amplification. We modified the GNP-OLISA for the detection F. tularensis to utilize one antibody for both the capture of the target and for signal generation instead of using two different antibodies, which are usually employed to construct the antibody sandwich in the ELISA. The GNP-OLISA showed 37-fold higher sensitivity compared with ELISA and generated very consistent detection results in the sera. In addition, the detection specificity was not affected by the presence of non-target bacteria, suggesting that GNP-OLISA can be used as a sensitive detection platform for monitoring high-risk pathogens thereby overcoming the limit of the conventional assay system. PMID:25194798

  14. The potential of liposome-encapsulated ciprofloxacin as a tularemia therapy.

    PubMed

    Hamblin, Karleigh A; Wong, Jonathan P; Blanchard, James D; Atkins, Helen S

    2014-01-01

    Liposome-encapsulation has been suggested as method to improve the efficacy of ciprofloxacin against the intracellular pathogen, Francisella tularensis. Early work with a prototype formulation, evaluated for use against the F. tularensis live vaccine strain, showed that a single dose of liposomal ciprofloxacin given by the intranasal or inhalational route could provide protection in a mouse model of pneumonic tularemia. Liposomal ciprofloxacin offered better protection than ciprofloxacin given by the same routes. Liposomal ciprofloxacin has been further developed by Aradigm Corporation for Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections in patients with cystic fibrosis and non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis. This advanced development formulation is safe, effective and well tolerated in human clinical trials. Further evaluation of the advanced liposomal ciprofloxacin formulation against the highly virulent F. tularensis Schu S4 strain has shown that aerosolized CFI (Ciprofloxacin encapsulated in liposomes for inhalation) provides significantly better protection than oral ciprofloxacin. Thus, liposomal ciprofloxacin is a promising treatment for tularemia and further research with the aim of enabling licensure under the animal rule is warranted. PMID:24995163

  15. Gene expression networks.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Reuben; Portier, Christopher J

    2013-01-01

    With the advent of microarrays and next-generation biotechnologies, the use of gene expression data has become ubiquitous in biological research. One potential drawback of these data is that they are very rich in features or genes though cost considerations allow for the use of only relatively small sample sizes. A useful way of getting at biologically meaningful interpretations of the environmental or toxicological condition of interest would be to make inferences at the level of a priori defined biochemical pathways or networks of interacting genes or proteins that are known to perform certain biological functions. This chapter describes approaches taken in the literature to make such inferences at the biochemical pathway level. In addition this chapter describes approaches to create hypotheses on genes playing important roles in response to a treatment, using organism level gene coexpression or protein-protein interaction networks. Also, approaches to reverse engineer gene networks or methods that seek to identify novel interactions between genes are described. Given the relatively small sample numbers typically available, these reverse engineering approaches are generally useful in inferring interactions only among a relatively small or an order 10 number of genes. Finally, given the vast amounts of publicly available gene expression data from different sources, this chapter summarizes the important sources of these data and characteristics of these sources or databases. In line with the overall aims of this book of providing practical knowledge to a researcher interested in analyzing gene expression data from a network perspective, the chapter provides convenient publicly accessible tools for performing analyses described, and in addition describe three motivating examples taken from the published literature that illustrate some of the relevant analyses. PMID:23086841

  16. 4. AERIAL VIEW OF GENE WASH RESERVOIR AND GENE CAMP ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    4. AERIAL VIEW OF GENE WASH RESERVOIR AND GENE CAMP LOOKING SOUTHWEST. DAM AND SPILLWAY VISIBLE IN BOTTOM OF PHOTO. - Gene Wash Reservoir & Dam, 2 miles west of Parker Dam, Parker Dam, San Bernardino County, CA

  17. Genes and Social Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Gene E.; Fernald, Russell D.; Clayton, David F.

    2011-01-01

    What specific genes and regulatory sequences contribute to the organization and functioning of brain circuits that support social behavior? How does social experience interact with information in the genome to modulate these brain circuits? Here we address these questions by highlighting progress that has been made in identifying and understanding two key “vectors of influence” that link genes, brain, and social behavior: 1) social information alters gene readout in the brain to influence behavior; and 2) genetic variation influences brain function and social behavior. We also briefly discuss how evolutionary changes in genomic elements influence social behavior and outline prospects for a systems biology of social behavior. PMID:18988841

  18. GeneLab

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berrios, Daniel C.; Thompson, Terri G.

    2015-01-01

    NASA GeneLab is expected to capture and distribute omics data and experimental and process conditions most relevant to research community in their statistical and theoretical analysis of NASAs omics data.

  19. Terplex Gene Delivery System.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sung Wan

    2005-01-01

    Polymeric gene delivery systems have been developed to overcome problems caused by viral carriers. They are low cytotoxic, have no size limit, are convenient in handling, of low cost and reproducible. A Terplex gene delivery system consisting of plasmid DNA, low density lipoprotein and hydropholized poly-L-lysine was designed and characterized. The plasmid DNA, when formulated with stearyl PLL and LDL, forms a stable and hydrophobicity/charge-balanced Terplex system of optimal size for efficient cellular uptake. DNA is still intact after the Terplex formation. This information is expected to be utilized for the development of improved transfection vector for in vivo gene therapy. Terplex DNA complex showed significantly longer retention in the vascular space than naked DNA. This system was used in the augmentation of myocardial transfection at an infarction site with the VEGF gene. PMID:16243067

  20. Terplex gene delivery system.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sung Wan

    2005-01-01

    Polymeric gene delivery systems have been developed to overcome problems caused by viral carriers. They are low cytotoxic, have no size limit, are convenient in handling, of low cost and reproducible. A Terplex gene delivery system consisting of plasmid DNA, low density lipoprotein and hydropholized poly-L-lysine was designed and characterized. The plasmid DNA, when formulated with stearyl PLL and LDL, forms a stable and hydrophobicity/charge-balanced Terplex system of optimal size for efficient cellular uptake. DNA is still intact after the Terplex formation. This information is expected to be utilized for the development of improved transfection vector for in vivo gene therapy. Terplex DNA complex showed significantly longer retention in the vascular space than naked DNA. This system was used in the augmentation of myocardial transfection at an infarction site with the VEGF gene. PMID:16240997

  1. Vaginal gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Gascón, Alicia; Del Pozo-Rodríguez, Ana; Isla, Arantxazu; Solinís, María Angeles

    2015-09-15

    In the last years, vaginal gene therapy has gained increasing attention mainly for the treatment and control of sexually transmitted infections. DNA delivery has been also suggested to improve reproductive outcomes for women with deficiencies in the female reproductive tract. Although no product has reached clinical phase, preclinical investigations reveal the potential of the vaginal tract as an effective administration route for gene delivery. This review focuses on the main advantages and challenges of vaginal gene therapy, and on the most used nucleic acid delivery systems, including viral and non-viral vectors. Additionally, the advances in the application of vaginal gene therapy for the treatment and/or prevention of infectious diseases such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the human papillomavirus (HPV) or the herpes simplex virus (HSV) are presented. PMID:26189799

  2. "Bad genes" & criminal responsibility.

    PubMed

    González-Tapia, María Isabel; Obsuth, Ingrid

    2015-01-01

    The genetics of the accused is trying to break into the courts. To date several candidate genes have been put forward and their links to antisocial behavior have been examined and documented with some consistency. In this paper, we focus on the so called "warrior gene", or the low-activity allele of the MAOA gene, which has been most consistently related to human behavior and specifically to violence and antisocial behavior. In preparing this paper we had two objectives. First, to summarize and analyze the current scientific evidence, in order to gain an in depth understanding of the state of the issue and determine whether a dominant line of generally accepted scientific knowledge in this field can be asserted. Second, to derive conclusions and put forward recommendations related to the use of genetic information, specifically the presence of the low-activity genotype of the MAOA gene, in modulation of criminal responsibility in European and US courts. PMID:25708001

  3. Fibrinogen gene regulation.

    PubMed

    Fish, Richard J; Neerman-Arbez, Marguerite

    2012-09-01

    The Aα, Bβ and γ polypeptide chains of fibrinogen are encoded by a three gene cluster on human chromosome four. The fibrinogen genes (FGB-FGA-FGG) are expressed almost exclusively in hepatocytes where their output is coordinated to ensure a sufficient mRNA pool for each chain and maintain an abundant plasma fibrinogen protein level. Fibrinogen gene expression is controlled by the activity of proximal promoters which contain binding sites for hepatocyte transcription factors, including proteins which influence fibrinogen transcription in response to acute-phase inflammatory stimuli. The fibrinogen gene cluster also contains cis regulatory elements; enhancer sequences with liver activities identified by sequence conservation and functional genomics. While the transcriptional control of this gene cluster is fascinating biology, the medical impetus to understand fibrinogen gene regulation stems from the association of cardiovascular disease risk with high level circulating fibrinogen. In the general population this level varies from about 1.5 to 3.5 g/l. This variation between individuals is influenced by genotype, suggesting there are genetic variants contributing to fibrinogen levels which reside in fibrinogen regulatory loci. A complete picture of how fibrinogen genes are regulated will therefore point towards novel sources of regulatory variants. In this review we discuss regulation of the fibrinogen genes from proximal promoters and enhancers, the influence of acute-phase stimulation, post-transcriptional regulation by miRNAs and functional regulatory variants identified in genetic studies. Finally, we discuss the fibrinogen locus in light of recent advances in understanding chromosomal architecture and suggest future directions for researching the mechanisms that control fibrinogen expression. PMID:22836683

  4. Gene therapy in epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Riban, Véronique; Fitzsimons, Helen L.; During, Matthew J.

    2009-01-01

    SUMMARY Results from animal models suggest gene therapy is a promising new approach for the treatment of epilepsy. Several candidate genes such as neuropeptide Y and galanin have been demonstrated in preclinical studies to have a positive effect on seizure activity. For a successful gene therapy-based treatment, efficient delivery of a transgene to target neurons is also essential. To this end, advances have been made in the areas of cell transplantation and in the development of recombinant viral vectors for gene delivery. Recombinant adeno-associated viral (rAAV) vectors in particular show promise for gene therapy of neurological disorders due to their neuronal tropism, lack of toxicity, and stable persistence in neurons, which results in robust, long-term expression of the transgene. rAAV vectors have been recently used in phase I clinical trials of Parkinson’s disease with an excellent safety profile. Prior to commencement of phase I trials for gene therapy of epilepsy, further preclinical studies are ongoing including evaluation of the therapeutic benefit in chronicmodels of epileptogenesis, as well as assessment of safety intoxicological studies. PMID:18717707

  5. Evidence for homosexuality gene

    SciTech Connect

    Pool, R.

    1993-07-16

    A genetic analysis of 40 pairs of homosexual brothers has uncovered a region on the X chromosome that appears to contain a gene or genes for homosexuality. When analyzing the pedigrees of homosexual males, the researcheres found evidence that the trait has a higher likelihood of being passed through maternal genes. This led them to search the X chromosome for genes predisposing to homosexuality. The researchers examined the X chromosomes of pairs of homosexual brothers for regions of DNA that most or all had in common. Of the 40 sets of brothers, 33 shared a set of five markers in the q28 region of the long arm of the X chromosome. The linkage has a LOD score of 4.0, which translates into a 99.5% certainty that there is a gene or genes in this area that predispose males to homosexuality. The chief researcher warns, however, that this one site cannot explain all instances of homosexuality, since there were some cases where the trait seemed to be passed paternally. And even among those brothers where there was no evidence that the trait was passed paternally, seven sets of brothers did not share the Xq28 markers. It seems likely that homosexuality arises from a variety of causes.

  6. Identification of four soybean reference genes for gene expression normalization

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Gene expression analysis requires the use of reference genes stably expressed independently of specific tissues or environmental conditions. Housekeeping genes (e.g., actin, tubulin, ribosomal, polyubiquitin and elongation factor 1-alpha) are commonly used as reference genes with the assumption tha...

  7. 5. OVERHEAD VIEW OF GENE CAMP LOOKING SOUTH. GENE PUMP ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    5. OVERHEAD VIEW OF GENE CAMP LOOKING SOUTH. GENE PUMP PLANT IS AT CENTER WITH ADMINISTRATIVE COMPLEX IN FOREGROUND AND RESIDENTIAL AREA BEYOND PLANT. - Gene Pump Plant, South of Gene Wash Reservoir, 2 miles west of Whitsett Pump Plant, Parker Dam, San Bernardino County, CA

  8. Prospects for gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Ali, Robin R

    2004-01-01

    Inherited retinal disease, which includes conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP), affects about 1/3000 of the population in the Western world. It is characterized by gradual loss of vision and results from mutations in any one of 60 or so different genes. There are currently no effective treatments, but many of the genes have now been identified and their functions elucidated, providing a major impetus to develop gene-based treatments. Many of the disease genes are photoreceptor- or retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cell specific. Since adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors can be used for efficient gene transfer to these two cell types, we are developing AAV-mediated gene therapy approaches for inherited retinal degeneration using animal models that have defects in these cells. The retinal degeneration slow (rds or Prph2Rd2/Rd) mouse, a model of recessive RP, lacks a functional gene encoding peripherin 2, which is a photoreceptor-specific protein required for the formation of outer segment discs. We have previously demonstrated restoration of photoreceptor ultrastructure and function by AAV-mediated gene transfer of peripherin 2. We have now extended our assessment to central visual neuronal responses in order to show an improvement of central visual function. The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rat, provides another model of recessive RP. Here the defect is due to a defect in Mertk, a gene that is expressed in the RPE and encodes a receptor tyrosine kinase that is thought to be involved in the recognition and binding of outer segment debris. The gene defect results in the inability of the RPE to phagocytose the shed outer segments from photoreceptor cells. The resulting accumulation of debris between the RPE and the neuroretina leads to progressive loss of photoreceptor cells. AAV-mediated delivery of Mertk to the RPE results in reduction of debris indicating that the phagocytosing function of the RPE is restored and delays the degeneration of the

  9. Classification of genes based on gene expression analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Angelova, M.; Myers, C.; Faith, J.

    2008-05-01

    Systems biology and bioinformatics are now major fields for productive research. DNA microarrays and other array technologies and genome sequencing have advanced to the point that it is now possible to monitor gene expression on a genomic scale. Gene expression analysis is discussed and some important clustering techniques are considered. The patterns identified in the data suggest similarities in the gene behavior, which provides useful information for the gene functionalities. We discuss measures for investigating the homogeneity of gene expression data in order to optimize the clustering process. We contribute to the knowledge of functional roles and regulation of E. coli genes by proposing a classification of these genes based on consistently correlated genes in expression data and similarities of gene expression patterns. A new visualization tool for targeted projection pursuit and dimensionality reduction of gene expression data is demonstrated.

  10. Classification of genes based on gene expression analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Angelova, M. Myers, C. Faith, J.

    2008-05-15

    Systems biology and bioinformatics are now major fields for productive research. DNA microarrays and other array technologies and genome sequencing have advanced to the point that it is now possible to monitor gene expression on a genomic scale. Gene expression analysis is discussed and some important clustering techniques are considered. The patterns identified in the data suggest similarities in the gene behavior, which provides useful information for the gene functionalities. We discuss measures for investigating the homogeneity of gene expression data in order to optimize the clustering process. We contribute to the knowledge of functional roles and regulation of E. coli genes by proposing a classification of these genes based on consistently correlated genes in expression data and similarities of gene expression patterns. A new visualization tool for targeted projection pursuit and dimensionality reduction of gene expression data is demonstrated.

  11. GeneCards Version 3: the human gene integrator.

    PubMed

    Safran, Marilyn; Dalah, Irina; Alexander, Justin; Rosen, Naomi; Iny Stein, Tsippi; Shmoish, Michael; Nativ, Noam; Bahir, Iris; Doniger, Tirza; Krug, Hagit; Sirota-Madi, Alexandra; Olender, Tsviya; Golan, Yaron; Stelzer, Gil; Harel, Arye; Lancet, Doron

    2010-01-01

    GeneCards (www.genecards.org) is a comprehensive, authoritative compendium of annotative information about human genes, widely used for nearly 15 years. Its gene-centric content is automatically mined and integrated from over 80 digital sources, resulting in a web-based deep-linked card for each of >73,000 human gene entries, encompassing the following categories: protein coding, pseudogene, RNA gene, genetic locus, cluster and uncategorized. We now introduce GeneCards Version 3, featuring a speedy and sophisticated search engine and a revamped, technologically enabling infrastructure, catering to the expanding needs of biomedical researchers. A key focus is on gene-set analyses, which leverage GeneCards' unique wealth of combinatorial annotations. These include the GeneALaCart batch query facility, which tabulates user-selected annotations for multiple genes and GeneDecks, which identifies similar genes with shared annotations, and finds set-shared annotations by descriptor enrichment analysis. Such set-centric features address a host of applications, including microarray data analysis, cross-database annotation mapping and gene-disorder associations for drug targeting. We highlight the new Version 3 database architecture, its multi-faceted search engine, and its semi-automated quality assurance system. Data enhancements include an expanded visualization of gene expression patterns in normal and cancer tissues, an integrated alternative splicing pattern display, and augmented multi-source SNPs and pathways sections. GeneCards now provides direct links to gene-related research reagents such as antibodies, recombinant proteins, DNA clones and inhibitory RNAs and features gene-related drugs and compounds lists. We also portray the GeneCards Inferred Functionality Score annotation landscape tool for scoring a gene's functional information status. Finally, we delineate examples of applications and collaborations that have benefited from the GeneCards suite. Database

  12. How old is my gene?

    PubMed Central

    Capra, John A.; Stolzer, Maureen; Durand, Dannie; Pollard, Katherine S.

    2013-01-01

    Gene functions, interactions, disease associations, and ecological distributions are all correlated with gene age. However, it is challenging to estimate the intricate series of evolutionary events leading to a modern day gene and then reduce this history to a single age estimate. Focusing on eukaryotic gene families, we introduce a framework in which to compare current strategies for quantifying gene age, discuss key differences between these methods, and highlight several common problems. We argue that genes with complex evolutionary histories do not have a single well-defined age. As a result, care must be taken to articulate the goals and assumptions of any analysis that uses gene age estimates. Recent algorithmic advances offer the promise of gene age estimates that are fast, accurate, and consistent across gene families. This will enable a shift to integrated genome-wide analyses of all events in gene evolutionary histories in the near future. PMID:23915718

  13. Saporin suicide gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Zarovni, Natasa; Vago, Riccardo; Fabbrini, Maria Serena

    2009-01-01

    New genes useful in suicide gene therapy are those encoding toxins such as plant ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs), which can irreversibly block protein synthesis, triggering apoptotic cell death. Plasmids expressing a cytosolic saporin (SAP) gene from common soapwort (Saponaria officinalis) are generated by placing the region encoding the mature plant toxin under the control of strong viral promoters and may be placed under tumor-specific promoters. The ability of the resulting constructs to inhibit protein synthesis is tested in cultured tumor cells co-transfected with a luciferase reporter gene. SAP expression driven by the cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter (pCI-SAP) demonstrates that only 10 ng ofplasmid DNA per 1.6 x 10(4) B16 melanoma cells drastically reduces luciferase reporter activity to 18% of that in control cells (1). Direct intratumoral injections are performed in an aggressive melanoma model. B16 melanoma-bearing mice injected with pCI-SAP complexed with lipofectamine or N-(2,3-dioleoyloxy-1-propyl) trimethylammonium methyl sulfate (DOTAP) show a noteworthy attenuation in tumor growth, and this effect is significantly augmented by repeated administrations of the DNA complexes. Here, we describe in detail this cost-effective and safe suicide gene approach. PMID:19565907

  14. Hox genes and evolution

    PubMed Central

    Hrycaj, Steven M.; Wellik, Deneen M.

    2016-01-01

    Hox proteins are a deeply conserved group of transcription factors originally defined for their critical roles in governing segmental identity along the antero-posterior (AP) axis in Drosophila. Over the last 30 years, numerous data generated in evolutionarily diverse taxa have clearly shown that changes in the expression patterns of these genes are closely associated with the regionalization of the AP axis, suggesting that Hox genes have played a critical role in the evolution of novel body plans within Bilateria. Despite this deep functional conservation and the importance of these genes in AP patterning, key questions remain regarding many aspects of Hox biology. In this commentary, we highlight recent reports that have provided novel insight into the origins of the mammalian Hox cluster, the role of Hox genes in the generation of a limbless body plan, and a novel putative mechanism in which Hox genes may encode specificity along the AP axis. Although the data discussed here offer a fresh perspective, it is clear that there is still much to learn about Hox biology and the roles it has played in the evolution of the Bilaterian body plan. PMID:27239281

  15. LQTS gene LOVD database.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Tao; Moss, Arthur; Cong, Peikuan; Pan, Min; Chang, Bingxi; Zheng, Liangrong; Fang, Quan; Zareba, Wojciech; Robinson, Jennifer; Lin, Changsong; Li, Zhongxiang; Wei, Junfang; Zeng, Qiang; Qi, Ming

    2010-11-01

    The Long QT Syndrome (LQTS) is a group of genetically heterogeneous disorders that predisposes young individuals to ventricular arrhythmias and sudden death. LQTS is mainly caused by mutations in genes encoding subunits of cardiac ion channels (KCNQ1, KCNH2,SCN5A, KCNE1, and KCNE2). Many other genes involved in LQTS have been described recently(KCNJ2, AKAP9, ANK2, CACNA1C, SCNA4B, SNTA1, and CAV3). We created an online database(http://www.genomed.org/LOVD/introduction.html) that provides information on variants in LQTS-associated genes. As of February 2010, the database contains 1738 unique variants in 12 genes. A total of 950 variants are considered pathogenic, 265 are possible pathogenic, 131 are unknown/unclassified, and 292 have no known pathogenicity. In addition to these mutations collected from published literature, we also submitted information on gene variants, including one possible novel pathogenic mutation in the KCNH2 splice site found in ten Chinese families with documented arrhythmias. The remote user is able to search the data and is encouraged to submit new mutations into the database. The LQTS database will become a powerful tool for both researchers and clinicians. PMID:20809527

  16. Engineered Gene Circuits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hasty, Jeff

    2003-03-01

    Uncovering the structure and function of gene regulatory networks has become one of the central challenges of the post-genomic era. Theoretical models of protein-DNA feedback loops and gene regulatory networks have long been proposed, and recently, certain qualitative features of such models have been experimentally corroborated. This talk will focus on model and experimental results that demonstrate how a naturally occurring gene network can be used as a ``parts list'' for synthetic network design. The model formulation leads to computational and analytical approaches relevant to nonlinear dynamics and statistical physics, and the utility of such a formulation will be demonstrated through the consideration of specific design criteria for several novel genetic devices. Fluctuations originating from small molecule-number effects will be discussed in the context of model predictions, and the experimental validation of these stochastic effects underscores the importance of internal noise in gene expression. Potential biotech applications will be highlighted within the framework of cellular control schemes. Specifically, the coupling of an oscillating cellular process to a synthetic oscillator will be considered, and the resulting model behavior will be analyzed in the context of synchronization. The underlying methodology highlights the utility of engineering-based methods in the design of synthetic gene regulatory networks.

  17. FunGene: the functional gene pipeline and repository

    PubMed Central

    Fish, Jordan A.; Chai, Benli; Wang, Qiong; Sun, Yanni; Brown, C. Titus; Tiedje, James M.; Cole, James R.

    2013-01-01

    Ribosomal RNA genes have become the standard molecular markers for microbial community analysis for good reasons, including universal occurrence in cellular organisms, availability of large databases, and ease of rRNA gene region amplification and analysis. As markers, however, rRNA genes have some significant limitations. The rRNA genes are often present in multiple copies, unlike most protein-coding genes. The slow rate of change in rRNA genes means that multiple species sometimes share identical 16S rRNA gene sequences, while many more species share identical sequences in the short 16S rRNA regions commonly analyzed. In addition, the genes involved in many important processes are not distributed in a phylogenetically coherent manner, potentially due to gene loss or horizontal gene transfer. While rRNA genes remain the most commonly used markers, key genes in ecologically important pathways, e.g., those involved in carbon and nitrogen cycling, can provide important insights into community composition and function not obtainable through rRNA analysis. However, working with ecofunctional gene data requires some tools beyond those required for rRNA analysis. To address this, our Functional Gene Pipeline and Repository (FunGene; http://fungene.cme.msu.edu/) offers databases of many common ecofunctional genes and proteins, as well as integrated tools that allow researchers to browse these collections and choose subsets for further analysis, build phylogenetic trees, test primers and probes for coverage, and download aligned sequences. Additional FunGene tools are specialized to process coding gene amplicon data. For example, FrameBot produces frameshift-corrected protein and DNA sequences from raw reads while finding the most closely related protein reference sequence. These tools can help provide better insight into microbial communities by directly studying key genes involved in important ecological processes. PMID:24101916

  18. GeneCards Version 3: the human gene integrator

    PubMed Central

    Safran, Marilyn; Dalah, Irina; Alexander, Justin; Rosen, Naomi; Iny Stein, Tsippi; Shmoish, Michael; Nativ, Noam; Bahir, Iris; Doniger, Tirza; Krug, Hagit; Sirota-Madi, Alexandra; Olender, Tsviya; Golan, Yaron; Stelzer, Gil; Harel, Arye; Lancet, Doron

    2010-01-01