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Sample records for additional virulence factors

  1. Bioinformatics annotation of the hypothetical proteins found by omics techniques can help to disclose additional virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Hernández, Sergio; Gómez, Antonio; Cedano, Juan; Querol, Enrique

    2009-10-01

    The advent of genomics should have facilitated the identification of microbial virulence factors, a key objective for vaccine design. When the bacterial pathogen infects the host it expresses a set of genes, a number of them being virulence factors. Among the genes identified by techniques as microarrays, in vivo expression technology, signature-tagged mutagenesis and differential fluorescence induction there are many related to cellular stress, basal metabolism, etc., which cannot be directly involved in virulence, or at least cannot be considered useful candidates to be deleted for designing a live attenuated vaccine. Among the genes disclosed by these methodologies there are a number of hypothetical or unknown proteins. As they can hide some true virulence factors, we have reannotated all of these hypothetical proteins from several respiratory pathogens by a careful and in-depth analysis of each one. Although some of the re-annotations match with functions that can be related to microbial virulence, the identification of virulence factors remains difficult.

  2. Campylobacter virulence and survival factors.

    PubMed

    Bolton, Declan J

    2015-06-01

    Despite over 30 years of research, campylobacteriosis is the most prevalent foodborne bacterial infection in many countries including in the European Union and the United States of America. However, relatively little is known about the virulence factors in Campylobacter or how an apparently fragile organism can survive in the food chain, often with enhanced pathogenicity. This review collates information on the virulence and survival determinants including motility, chemotaxis, adhesion, invasion, multidrug resistance, bile resistance and stress response factors. It discusses their function in transition through the food processing environment and human infection. In doing so it provides a fundamental understanding of Campylobacter, critical for improved diagnosis, surveillance and control.

  3. Salmonella-secreted Virulence Factors

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-05-01

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

  4. Virulence factors of medically important fungi.

    PubMed Central

    Hogan, L H; Klein, B S; Levitz, S M

    1996-01-01

    Human fungal pathogens have become an increasingly important medical problem with the explosion in the number of immunocompromised patients as a result of cancer, steroid therapy, chemotherapy, and AIDS. Additionally, the globalization of travel and expansion of humankind into previously undisturbed habitats have led to the reemergence of old fungi and new exposure to previously undescribed fungi. Until recently, relatively little was known about virulence factors for the medically important fungi. With the advent of molecular genetics, rapid progress has now been made in understanding the basis of pathogenicity for organisms such as Aspergillus species and Cryptococcus neoformans. The twin technologies of genetic transformation and "knockout" deletion construction allowed for genetic tests of virulence factors in these organisms. Such knowledge will prove invaluable for the rational design of antifungal therapies. Putative virulence factors and attributes are reviewed for Aspergillus species, C. neoformans, the dimorphic fungal pathogens, and others, with a focus upon a molecular genetic approach. Candida species are excluded from coverage, having been the subject of numerous recent reviews. This growing body of knowledge about fungal pathogens and their virulence factors will significantly aid efforts to treat the serious diseases they cause. PMID:8894347

  5. Virulence factors of the family Legionellaceae.

    PubMed Central

    Dowling, J N; Saha, A K; Glew, R H

    1992-01-01

    Whereas bacteria in the genus Legionella have emerged as relatively frequent causes of pneumonia, the mechanisms underlying their pathogenicity are obscure. The legionellae are facultative intracellular pathogens which multiply within the phagosome of mononuclear phagocytes and are not killed efficiently by polymorphonuclear leukocytes. The functional defects that might permit the intracellular survival of the legionellae have remained an enigma until recently. Phagosome-lysosome fusion is inhibited by a single strain (Philadelphia 1) of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1, but not by other strains of L. pneumophila or other species. It has been found that following the ingestion of Legionella organisms, the subsequent activation of neutrophils and monocytes in response to both soluble and particulate stimuli is profoundly impaired and the bactericidal activity of these cells is attenuated, suggesting that Legionella bacterial cell-associated factors have an inhibitory effect on phagocyte activation. Two factors elaborated by the legionellae which inhibit phagocyte activation have been described. First, the Legionella (cyto)toxin blocks neutrophil oxidative metabolism in response to various agonists by an unknown mechanism. Second, L. micdadei bacterial cells contain a phosphatase which blocks superoxide anion production by stimulated neutrophils. The Legionella phosphatase disrupts the formation of critical intracellular second messengers in neutrophils. In addition to the toxin and phosphatase, several other moieties that may serve as virulence factors by promoting cell invasion or intracellular survival and multiplication are elaborated by the legionellae. Molecular biological studies show that a cell surface protein named Mip is necessary for the efficient invasion of monocytes. A possible role for a Legionella phospholipase C as a virulence factor is still largely theoretical. L. micdadei contains an unusual protein kinase which catalyzes the phosphorylation of

  6. Regulation and secretion of Xanthomonas virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Büttner, Daniela; Bonas, Ulla

    2010-03-01

    Plant pathogenic bacteria of the genus Xanthomonas cause a variety of diseases in economically important monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous crop plants worldwide. Successful infection and bacterial multiplication in the host tissue often depend on the virulence factors secreted including adhesins, polysaccharides, LPS and degradative enzymes. One of the key pathogenicity factors is the type III secretion system, which injects effector proteins into the host cell cytosol to manipulate plant cellular processes such as basal defense to the benefit of the pathogen. The coordinated expression of bacterial virulence factors is orchestrated by quorum-sensing pathways, multiple two-component systems and transcriptional regulators such as Clp, Zur, FhrR, HrpX and HpaR. Furthermore, virulence gene expression is post-transcriptionally controlled by the RNA-binding protein RsmA. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the infection strategies and regulatory networks controlling secreted virulence factors from Xanthomonas species.

  7. [Proteus bacilli: features and virulence factors].

    PubMed

    Rózalski, Antoni; Kwil, Iwona; Torzewska, Agnieszka; Baranowska, Magdalena; Staczek, Paweł

    2007-01-01

    In this article, different aspects of virulence factors of Proteus bacilii (P. mirabilis, P. vulgaris, P. penneri i P. hauseri) are presented. These are opportunistic pathogens that cause different kinds of infections, most frequently of the urinary tract. These bacteria have developed several virulence factors, such as adherence due to the presence of fimbriae or afimbrial adhesins, invasiveness, swarming phenomenon, hemolytic activity, urea hydrolysis, proteolysis, and endotoxicity. Below we focus on data concerning the molecular basis of the pathogenicity of Proteus bacilli.

  8. INHIBITION OF VIRULENCE FACTORS OF PSEUDOMONAS AERUGINOSA BY DICLOFENAC SODIUM.

    PubMed

    Abbas, Hisham A

    2015-01-01

    Resistance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to antibiotics is a major problem. Targeting virulence factors is an alternative option to avoid the emergence of resistance to antibiotics. The effect of sub-inhibitory concentration of diclofenac sodium on the production of virulence factors of P. aeruginosa was investigated. The virulence factors included protease, haemolysin, pyocyanin and pyoverdin, in addition to pathogenic behaviors such as swimming and twitching motilities and biofilm formation. Diclofenac sodium showed significant inhibition of virulence factors as compared to the control. Diclofenac sodium decreased twitching and swimming motilities by 29.27% and 45.36%, respectively. The percentage of inhibition of pyocyanin by diclofenac sodium was 42.32%. On the other hand, pyoverdin was inhibited to a lesser extent (36.72%). Diclofenac sodium reduced protease by 52.58% and biofilm formation by 58.37%. Moreover, haemolytic activity in the presence of diclofenac sodium was 15.64% as compared to the control (100% haemolytic activity). The inhibitory activities may be due to inhibition of quorum sensing that regulates the expression of virulence factors. This study suggests the potential for the use of diclofenac sodium as an anti-virulence agent in the treatment of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections.

  9. Virulence factors of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Identification of secreted virulence factors of Chromobacterium violaceum.

    PubMed

    Castro-Gomes, Thiago; Cardoso, Mariana S; DaRocha, Wanderson D; Laibida, Letícia A; Nascimento, Andréa M A; Zuccherato, Luciana W; Horta, Maria Fátima; Bemquerer, Marcelo P; Teixeira, Santuza M R

    2014-04-01

    Chromobacterium violaceum, a component of tropical soil microbiota, is an opportunistic pathogenic bacterium that can infect humans and other animals. In addition to identifying a large number of genes that demonstrate the vast biotechnological potential of this bacterium, genome sequencing revealed several virulence factors, including different cytolysins, which can be related to its pathogenicity. Here we confirmed these predictions from genomic analyses by identifying, through mass spectrometry, proteins present in the culture supernatant of C. violaceum that may constitute secreted virulence factors. Among them, we identified a secreted collagenase and the product of a gene with sequence similarity to previously characterized bacterial porins.

  11. Virulence Factors of Erwinia amylovora: A Review.

    PubMed

    Piqué, Núria; Miñana-Galbis, David; Merino, Susana; Tomás, Juan M

    2015-06-05

    Erwinia amylovora, a Gram negative bacteria of the Enterobacteriaceae family, is the causal agent of fire blight, a devastating plant disease affecting a wide range of host species within Rosaceae and a major global threat to commercial apple and pear production. Among the limited number of control options currently available, prophylactic application of antibiotics during the bloom period appears the most effective. Pathogen cells enter plants through the nectarthodes of flowers and other natural openings, such as wounds, and are capable of rapid movement within plants and the establishment of systemic infections. Many virulence determinants of E. amylovora have been characterized, including the Type III secretion system (T3SS), the exopolysaccharide (EPS) amylovoran, biofilm formation, and motility. To successfully establish an infection, E. amylovora uses a complex regulatory network to sense the relevant environmental signals and coordinate the expression of early and late stage virulence factors involving two component signal transduction systems, bis-(3'-5')-cyclic di-GMP (c-di-GMP) and quorum sensing. The LPS biosynthetic gene cluster is one of the relatively few genetic differences observed between Rubus- and Spiraeoideae-infecting genotypes of E. amylovora. Other differential factors, such as the presence and composition of an integrative conjugative element associated with the Hrp T3SS (hrp genes encoding the T3SS apparatus), have been recently described. In the present review, we present the recent findings on virulence factors research, focusing on their role in bacterial pathogenesis and indicating other virulence factors that deserve future research to characterize them.

  12. Gallium induces the production of virulence factors in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    García-Contreras, Rodolfo; Pérez-Eretza, Berenice; Lira-Silva, Elizabeth; Jasso-Chávez, Ricardo; Coria-Jiménez, Rafael; Rangel-Vega, Adrián; Maeda, Toshinari; Wood, Thomas K

    2014-02-01

    The novel antimicrobial gallium is a nonredox iron III analogue with bacteriostatic and bactericidal properties, effective for the treatment of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in vitro and in vivo in mouse and rabbit infection models. It interferes with iron metabolism, transport, and presumably its homeostasis. As gallium exerts its antimicrobial effects by competing with iron, we hypothesized that it ultimately will lead cells to an iron deficiency status. As iron deficiency promotes the expression of virulence factors in vitro and promotes the pathogenicity of P. aeruginosa in animal models, it is anticipated that treatment with gallium will also promote the production of virulence factors. To test this hypothesis, the reference strain PA14 and two clinical isolates from patients with cystic fibrosis were exposed to gallium, and their production of pyocyanin, rhamnolipids, elastase, alkaline protease, alginate, pyoverdine, and biofilm was determined. Gallium treatment induced the production of all the virulence factors tested in the three strains except for pyoverdine. In addition, as the Ga-induced virulence factors are quorum sensing controlled, co-administration of Ga and the quorum quencher brominated furanone C-30 was assayed, and it was found that C-30 alleviated growth inhibition from gallium. Hence, adding both C-30 and gallium may be more effective in the treatment of P. aeruginosa infections.

  13. Genotyping and virulence factors assessment of bovine mastitis Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Blum, Shlomo E; Leitner, Gabriel

    2013-05-03

    Escherichia coli is a major agent of bovine mastitis worldwide. However, specific E. coli virulence factors associated to pathogenicity during intra-mammary infections are yet unknown and this pathotype remains uncharacterized. The objectives of the present work were to assess the presence of a wide range of known virulence factors in a large set of E. coli strains isolated from bovine mastitis (mastitis set) and to study the genotypic distribution of strains in the mastitis set in comparison to a set of strains isolated from cows' environment in dairy farms (environmental set). Virulence factors were assessed by DNA hybridization microarray. The three most prevalent virulence factors found in the mastitis set were lpfA (long polar fimbriae), iss (increased serum resistance) and astA (enteroaggregative E. coli heat-stable enterotoxin 1). None, however, characterized the majority of these strains. Genotyping was assessed by ECOR phylogenetic grouping, multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Strains in the mastitis and environmental sets were differentially distributed into ECOR phylogenetic groups; groups A and B1 being the most prevalent ones. Multiple MLST strain types were found in the two sets of strains, but only a few were common to both, and diversity was higher in the environmental set. A variety of PFGE patterns were found in the mastitis and environmental sets. Two clusters comprising mostly highly similar mastitis strains were identified. The results confirm that mastitis E. coli strains mostly lack known E. coli virulence factors. In addition, it is shown that the genotypic diversity of mastitis strains does not reflect the diversity found in the environmental E. coli population.

  14. Virulence factor activity relationships (VFARs): a bioinformatics perspective.

    PubMed

    Waseem, Hassan; Williams, Maggie R; Stedtfeld, Tiffany; Chai, Benli; Stedtfeld, Robert D; Cole, James R; Tiedje, James M; Hashsham, Syed A

    2017-03-06

    Virulence factor activity relationships (VFARs) - a concept loosely based on quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs) for chemicals was proposed as a predictive tool for ranking risks due to microorganisms relevant to water safety. A rapid increase in sequencing capabilities and bioinformatics tools has significantly increased the potential for VFAR-based analyses. This review summarizes more than 20 bioinformatics databases and tools, developed over the last decade, along with their virulence and antimicrobial resistance prediction capabilities. With the number of bacterial whole genome sequences exceeding 241 000 and metagenomic analysis projects exceeding 13 000 and the ability to add additional genome sequences for few hundred dollars, it is evident that further development of VFARs is not limited by the availability of information at least at the genomic level. However, additional information related to co-occurrence, treatment response, modulation of virulence due to environmental and other factors, and economic impact must be gathered and incorporated in a manner that also addresses the associated uncertainties. Of the bioinformatics tools, a majority are either designed exclusively for virulence/resistance determination or equipped with a dedicated module. The remaining have the potential to be employed for evaluating virulence. This review focusing broadly on omics technologies and tools supports the notion that these tools are now sufficiently developed to allow the application of VFAR approaches combined with additional engineering and economic analyses to rank and prioritize organisms important to a given niche. Knowledge gaps do exist but can be filled with focused experimental and theoretical analyses that were unimaginable a decade ago. Further developments should consider the integration of the measurement of activity, risk, and uncertainty to improve the current capabilities.

  15. Brucella spp. Virulence Factors and Immunity.

    PubMed

    Byndloss, Mariana X; Tsolis, Renee M

    2016-01-01

    Brucellosis, caused by bacteria of the genus Brucella, is an important zoonotic infection that causes reproductive disease in domestic animals and chronic debilitating disease in humans. An intriguing aspect of Brucella infection is the ability of these bacteria to evade the host immune response, leading to pathogen persistence. Conversely, in the reproductive tract of infected animals, this stealthy pathogen is able to cause an acute severe inflammatory response. In this review, we discuss the different mechanisms used by Brucella to cause disease, with emphasis on its virulence factors and the dichotomy between chronic persistence and reproductive disease.

  16. Trichomonas vaginalis virulence factors: an integrative overview

    PubMed Central

    Hirt, Robert P

    2013-01-01

    The elusive nature of Trichomonas vaginalis, the most common, non-viral, sexually transmitted pathogen has hampered our knowledge of its significance for human health for over 150 years. The combination of epidemiology, molecular cell biology, immunology and more recently genomics and other allied omics data, are all contributing at shedding new light onto what is increasingly recognised as a significant human pathogen leading to important health sequelae due to multifaceted interactions with its human host, the human microbiota, bacterial pathogens and viruses. The integrations of these various data are contributing in important ways to refining our understanding of the parasite pathobiology and virulent factors. Indeed, it is increasingly recognised that to rationalise the development of effective prophylactic and therapeutic treatments for human pathogens it is important to integrate the broadest possible spectrum of human-microbial-parasite-virus interactions in relation to qualitative and quantitative variations in the human innate and adaptive defence responses. This short review aims at providing an integrative overview of T vaginalis virulent factors by taking into account the importance of the human-microbiota-parasite-virus interplay in human health. It also highlights selected cellular characteristics of the parasite often overlooked in the biological and medical literature. PMID:23694938

  17. FACTORS RELATING TO THE VIRULENCE OF STAPHYLOCOCCI

    PubMed Central

    Koenig, M. Glenn; Melly, Marian Ann; Rogers, David E.

    1962-01-01

    Four clumping factor-negative strains of Staphylococcus aureus were found to closely resemble the diffuse colonial variant of the Smith strain. All produced fatal intraperitoneal infections in mice, all grew in diffuse, streaming colonies in plasma or serum soft agar, and all behaved like encapsulated microorganisms in in vitro opsonic systems. These staphylococci were resistant to phagocytosis in the peritoneal cavities of normal mice. When mice were immunized with heat-killed vaccines prepared from the Smith diffuse variant these strains were rapidly ingested by peritoneal leukocytes and the animals survived. This observation suggests that these strains share the same or a similar phagocytosis-retarding antigen. While most pathogenic staphylococci isolated from human material do not behave like these unusual mouse-virulent strains, indirect evidence is cited to support the suggestion that other staphylococci may acquire similar phagocytosis-resisting characteristics during in vivo multiplication. Studies to support or refute this thesis are in progress. PMID:14034137

  18. Virulence factors in Escherichia coli urinary tract infection.

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, J R

    1991-01-01

    Uropathogenic strains of Escherichia coli are characterized by the expression of distinctive bacterial properties, products, or structures referred to as virulence factors because they help the organism overcome host defenses and colonize or invade the urinary tract. Virulence factors of recognized importance in the pathogenesis of urinary tract infection (UTI) include adhesins (P fimbriae, certain other mannose-resistant adhesins, and type 1 fimbriae), the aerobactin system, hemolysin, K capsule, and resistance to serum killing. This review summarizes the virtual explosion of information regarding the epidemiology, biochemistry, mechanisms of action, and genetic basis of these urovirulence factors that has occurred in the past decade and identifies areas in need of further study. Virulence factor expression is more common among certain genetically related groups of E. coli which constitute virulent clones within the larger E. coli population. In general, the more virulence factors a strain expresses, the more severe an infection it is able to cause. Certain virulence factors specifically favor the development of pyelonephritis, others favor cystitis, and others favor asymptomatic bacteriuria. The currently defined virulence factors clearly contribute to the virulence of wild-type strains but are usually insufficient in themselves to transform an avirulent organism into a pathogen, demonstrating that other as-yet-undefined virulence properties await discovery. Virulence factor testing is a useful epidemiological and research tool but as yet has no defined clinical role. Immunological and biochemical anti-virulence factor interventions are effective in animal models of UTI and hold promise for the prevention of UTI in humans. Images PMID:1672263

  19. Virulence factors in clinical and food isolates of Aeromonas species.

    PubMed

    Pin, C; Marín, M L; Selgas, M D; García, M L; Tormo, J; Casas, C

    1994-01-01

    Virulence factors were compared in 15 Aeromonas spp. isolated from faeces of patients with Aeromonas-associated gastroenteritis and in 81 strains isolated from food. Strains from food did not show differences in the distribution of virulence factors when compared with strains isolated from faeces. However, 88.8% of Aeromonas strains isolated from food were capable of producing possible virulence factors. Characterization of 28 autoagglutinating (AA+) Aeromonas spp. indicated that the human strains differed from the food strains in hemagglutinating and hemolytic capacities. These results suggest that autoagglutination associated with hemagglutinating and hemolytic capacities in food strains may be a helpful indicator of potential pathogenicity.

  20. Virulence factors and bacteriocins in faecal enterococci of wild boars.

    PubMed

    Poeta, Patricia; Igrejas, Gilberto; Costa, Daniela; Sargo, Roberto; Rodrigues, Jorge; Torres, Carmen

    2008-10-01

    The production of antimicrobial, haemolytic and gelatinase activities was tested in 67 enterococci (39 E. faecium, 24 E. hirae, 2 E. faecalis, and 2 Enterococcus spp.), recovered from faecal samples of wild boars. In addition, the presence of genes encoding bacteriocin and virulence factors was also analysed by PCR and sequencing. Production of antimicrobial activity was checked in all enterococci against 9 indicator bacteria and it was detected in 11 E. faecium isolates (16.5%); eight and two of them harboured the genes encoding enterocin A + enterocin B and enterocin L50A/B, respectively. Sixty-seven per cent of our enterococci harboured different combinations of genes of the cyl operon, but none of them contained the complete cyl L(L)L(S)ABM operon, necessary for cytolysin expression. The presence of gel E gene, associated with the fsr ABC locus, was identified in 4 E. faecium and two E. faecalis isolates, exhibiting all of them gelatinase activity. beta -hemolytic activity was not found in our isolates. Both cpd and ace genes, encoding respectively the accessory colonisation factor and pheromone, were detected in two E. faecalis isolates, and the hyl gene, encoding hyalorunidase, in two E. faecium isolates, one of them gelatinase-positive. Genes encoding bacteriocins and virulence factors are widely disseminated among faecal enterococci of wild boars and more studies should be carried out to know the global distribution of these determinants in enterococci of different ecosystems.

  1. [Main virulence factors of Listeria monocytogenes and its regulation].

    PubMed

    Vera, Alejandra; González, Gerardo; Domínguez, Mariana; Bello, Helia

    2013-08-01

    Listeria monocytogenesis a facultative intracellular pathogen, ubiquitous and aetiological agent of listeriosis. The main way of acquisition is the consumption of contaminated food and can cause serious medical conditions such as septicemia, meningitis and gastroenteritis, especially in children, immunocompromised individuals and seniors and abortions in pregnant women. An increase in cases of listeriosis worldwide has been reported and it is estimated that its prevalence in developed countries is in the range of 2 to 15 cases per one million population. This microorganism is characterized for the transition from the environment into the eukaryotic cell. Several virulence factors have been involved in the intracellular cycle that are regulated, primarily, by the PrfA protein, which in turn is regulated by different mechanisms operating at the transcriptional, translational and post-translational levels. Additionally, other regulatory mechanisms have been described as sigma factor, system VirR/S and antisense RNA, but PrfA is the most important control mechanism and is required for the expression of essential virulence factors for the intracellular cycle.

  2. Thermal control of virulence factors in bacteria: A hot topic

    PubMed Central

    Lam, Oliver; Wheeler, Jun; Tang, Christoph M

    2014-01-01

    Pathogenic bacteria sense environmental cues, including the local temperature, to control the production of key virulence factors. Thermal regulation can be achieved at the level of DNA, RNA or protein and although many virulence factors are subject to thermal regulation, the exact mechanisms of control are yet to be elucidated in many instances. Understanding how virulence factors are regulated by temperature presents a significant challenge, as gene expression and protein production are often influenced by complex regulatory networks involving multiple transcription factors in bacteria. Here we highlight some recent insights into thermal regulation of virulence in pathogenic bacteria. We focus on bacteria which cause disease in mammalian hosts, which are at a significantly higher temperature than the outside environment. We outline the mechanisms of thermal regulation and how understanding this fundamental aspect of the biology of bacteria has implications for pathogenesis and human health. PMID:25494856

  3. Entamoeba histolytica. Phagocytosis as a virulence factor

    PubMed Central

    1983-01-01

    In this paper, we attempted to define the role of phagocytosis in the virulence of Entamoeba histolytica. We have isolated, from a highly phagocytic and virulent strain, a clone deficient in phagocytosis. Trophozoites of wild-type strain HM1:IMSS were fed with Escherichia coli strain CR34-Thy- grown on 5-bromo,2'-deoxyuridine. The trophozoites that had incorporated the base analog through phagocytosis of the bacteria were killed by irradiation with 310 nm light. The survivors, presumably trophozoites defective in phagocytosis, were grown until log phase and submitted two more times to the selection procedure. Clone L-6, isolated from a subpopulation resulting from this selection procedure, showed 75-85% less erythrophagocytic activity than the wild-type strain. The virulence of clone L-6 and strain HM1:IMSS was measured. The inoculum required to induce liver abscesses in 50% of the newborn hamsters inoculated (AD50) of HM1:IMSS was 1.5 X 10(4) trophozoites. Clone L-6 trophozoites failed to induce liver abscesses in newborn hamsters even with inocula of 5 X 10(5) trophozoites. Virulence revertants were obtained by successive passage of L-6 trophozoites through the liver of young hamsters. The trophozoites that recovered the ability to produce liver abscesses simultaneously recuperate high erythrophagocytic rates. These results show that phagocytosis is involved in the aggressive mechanisms of E. histolytica. PMID:6313842

  4. Rapid Identification of Bacterial Virulence Factors

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-04-15

    important to glutamate metabolism, which may be a crucial determinant of M tuberculosis survival and growth within infected cells. M tuberculosis GDH...never be expressed in laboratory-grown cultures or identified in host infected tissue investigations would be available for investigation. The... infected tissue investigations would be available for investigation. The ultimate objective of this project is to identify potential virulence

  5. Virulence Factor-activity Relationships: Workshop Summary

    EPA Science Inventory

    The concept or notion of virulence factor–activity relationships (VFAR) is an approach for identifying an analogous process to the use of qualitative structure–activity relationships (QSAR) for identifying new microbial contaminants. In QSAR, it is hypothesized that, for new chem...

  6. Proteinases as virulence factors in Leishmania spp. infection in mammals

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Leishmania parasites cause human tegumentary and visceral infections that are commonly referred to as leishmaniasis. Despite the high incidence and prevalence of cases, leishmaniasis has been a neglected disease because it mainly affects developing countries. The data obtained from the analysis of patients’ biological samples and from assays with animal models confirm the involvement of an array of the parasite’s components in its survival inside the mammalian host. These components are classified as virulence factors. In this review, we focus on studies that have explored the role of proteinases as virulence factors that promote parasite survival and immune modulation in the mammalian host. Additionally, the direct involvement of proteinases from the host in lesion evolution is analyzed. The gathered data shows that both parasite and host proteinases are involved in the clinical manifestation of leishmaniasis. It is interesting to note that although the majority of the classes of proteinases are present in Leishmania spp., only cysteine-proteinases, metalloproteinases and, to a lesser scale, serine-proteinases have been adequately studied. Members from these classes have been implicated in tissue invasion, survival in macrophages and immune modulation by parasites. This review reinforces the importance of the parasite proteinases, which are interesting candidates for new chemo or immunotherapies, in the clinical manifestations of leishmaniasis. PMID:22871236

  7. Biofilm, adherence, and hydrophobicity as virulence factors in Malassezia furfur.

    PubMed

    Angiolella, Letizia; Leone, Claudia; Rojas, Florencia; Mussin, Javier; de Los Angeles Sosa, María; Giusiano, Gustavo

    2017-03-09

    Malassezia species are natural inhabitants of the healthy skin. However, under certain conditions, they may cause or exacerbate several skin diseases. The ability of this fungus to colonize or infect is determined by complex interactions between the fungal cell and its virulence factors. This study aims to evaluate "in vitro" the hydrophobicity levels, the adherence on a plastic surface and the biofilm formation of 16 clinical isolates of Malassezia furfur. Cellular surface hydrophobicity (CSH) levels were determined by two-phase system. The biofilm formation was determined by tetrazolium salt (XTT) reduction assay and by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Results showed many isolates were hydrophobic, adherent, and producers of biofilm on abiotic surfaces with different capacity. SEM observations confirmed an abundant extracellular matrix after 48 h of biofilm formation. About 63% of strains with high production of biofilm showed medium to high percentage of hydrophobicity and/or adherence. In addition, it has been demonstrated a correlation between hydrophobicity, adherence, and biofilm formation in about 60% of strains examined. These important virulence factors could be responsible of this yeast changing from a commensal to a pathogenic status.

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

    PubMed Central

    Ray, Ann; Kinch, Lisa N.; de Souza Santos, Marcela; Grishin, Nick V.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Members of the genus Vibrio include many pathogens of humans and marine animals that share genetic information via horizontal gene transfer. Hence, the Vibrio pan-genome carries the potential to establish new pathogenic strains by sharing virulence determinants, many of which have yet to be characterized. Here, we investigated the virulence properties of Vibrio proteolyticus, a Gram-negative marine bacterium previously identified as part of the Vibrio consortium isolated from diseased corals. We found that V. proteolyticus causes actin cytoskeleton rearrangements followed by cell lysis in HeLa cells in a contact-independent manner. In search of the responsible virulence factor involved, we determined the V. proteolyticus secretome. This proteomics approach revealed various putative virulence factors, including active type VI secretion systems and effectors with virulence toxin domains; however, these type VI secretion systems were not responsible for the observed cytotoxic effects. Further examination of the V. proteolyticus secretome led us to hypothesize and subsequently demonstrate that a secreted hemolysin, belonging to a previously uncharacterized clan of the leukocidin superfamily, was the toxin responsible for the V. proteolyticus-mediated cytotoxicity in both HeLa cells and macrophages. Clearly, there remains an armory of yet-to-be-discovered virulence factors in the Vibrio pan-genome that will undoubtedly provide a wealth of knowledge on how a pathogen can manipulate host cells. PMID:27460800

  9. Type IV pili mechanochemically regulate virulence factors in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    Persat, Alexandre; Inclan, Yuki F.; Engel, Joanne N.; Stone, Howard A.; Gitai, Zemer

    2015-01-01

    Bacteria have evolved a wide range of sensing systems to appropriately respond to environmental signals. Here we demonstrate that the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa detects contact with surfaces on short timescales using the mechanical activity of its type IV pili, a major surface adhesin. This signal transduction mechanism requires attachment of type IV pili to a solid surface, followed by pilus retraction and signal transduction through the Chp chemosensory system, a chemotaxis-like sensory system that regulates cAMP production and transcription of hundreds of genes, including key virulence factors. Like other chemotaxis pathways, pili-mediated surface sensing results in a transient response amplified by a positive feedback that increases type IV pili activity, thereby promoting long-term surface attachment that can stimulate additional virulence and biofilm-inducing pathways. The methyl-accepting chemotaxis protein-like chemosensor PilJ directly interacts with the major pilin subunit PilA. Our results thus support a mechanochemical model where a chemosensory system measures the mechanically induced conformational changes in stretched type IV pili. These findings demonstrate that P. aeruginosa not only uses type IV pili for surface-specific twitching motility, but also as a sensor regulating surface-induced gene expression and pathogenicity. PMID:26041805

  10. [Virulence factors and pathophysiology of extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli].

    PubMed

    Bidet, P; Bonarcorsi, S; Bingen, E

    2012-11-01

    Extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) causing urinary tract infections, bacteraemia or meningitis are characterized by a particular genetic background (phylogenetic group B2 and D) and the presence, within genetic pathogenicity islands (PAI) or plasmids, of genes encoding virulence factors involved in adhesion to epithelia, crossing of the body barriers (digestive, kidney, bloodbrain), iron uptake and resistance to the immune system. Among the many virulence factors described, two are particularly linked with a pathophysiological process: type P pili PapGII adhesin is linked with acute pyelonephritis, in the absence of abnormal flow of urine, and the K1 capsule is linked with neonatal meningitis. However, if the adhesin PapGII appears as the key factor of pyelonephritis, such that its absence in strain causing the infection is predictive of malformation or a vesico-ureteral reflux, the meningeal virulence of E. coli can not be reduced to a single virulence factor, but results from a combination of factors unique to each clone, and an imbalance between the immune defenses of the host and bacterial virulence.

  11. Bacterial Sphingomyelinases and Phospholipases as Virulence Factors.

    PubMed

    Flores-Díaz, Marietta; Monturiol-Gross, Laura; Naylor, Claire; Alape-Girón, Alberto; Flieger, Antje

    2016-09-01

    Bacterial sphingomyelinases and phospholipases are a heterogeneous group of esterases which are usually surface associated or secreted by a wide variety of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. These enzymes hydrolyze sphingomyelin and glycerophospholipids, respectively, generating products identical to the ones produced by eukaryotic enzymes which play crucial roles in distinct physiological processes, including membrane dynamics, cellular signaling, migration, growth, and death. Several bacterial sphingomyelinases and phospholipases are essential for virulence of extracellular, facultative, or obligate intracellular pathogens, as these enzymes contribute to phagosomal escape or phagosomal maturation avoidance, favoring tissue colonization, infection establishment and progression, or immune response evasion. This work presents a classification proposal for bacterial sphingomyelinases and phospholipases that considers not only their enzymatic activities but also their structural aspects. An overview of the main physiopathological activities is provided for each enzyme type, as are examples in which inactivation of a sphingomyelinase- or a phospholipase-encoding gene impairs the virulence of a pathogen. The identification of sphingomyelinases and phospholipases important for bacterial pathogenesis and the development of inhibitors for these enzymes could generate candidate vaccines and therapeutic agents, which will diminish the impacts of the associated human and animal diseases.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-15

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

  13. Photodynamic inactivation of virulence factors of Candida strains isolated from patients with denture stomatitis.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Cristiane Aparecida; Domingues, Nádia; Silva, Michelle Peneluppi; Costa, Anna Carolina Borges Pereira; Junqueira, Juliana Campos; Jorge, Antonio Olavo Cardoso

    2015-12-01

    Candida species are major microorganisms isolated in denture stomatitis (DS), an inflammatory process of the mucosa underlying removable dental prostheses, and express a variety of virulence factors that can increase their pathogenicity. The potential of Photodynamic inactivation (PDI) in planktonic culture, biofilms and virulence factors of Candida strains was evaluated. A total of 48 clinical Candida isolates from individuals wearing removable maxillary prostheses with DS were included in the study. The effects of erythrosine (ER, 200 μM) and a green LED (λ 532 ± 10 nm, 237 mW/cm(2) and 42.63 J/cm(2)) in a planktonic culture were evaluated. The effect of the addition of ER at a concentration of 400 μM together with a green LED was evaluated in biofilms. The virulence factors of all of the Candida strains were evaluated before and after the PDI process in cells derived from biofilm and planktonic assays. All of the Candida species were susceptible to ER and green LED. However, the biofilm structures were more resistant to PDI than the planktonic cultures. PDI also promoted slight reductions in most of the virulence factors of C. albicans and some of the Candida tropicalis strains. These results suggest that the addition of PDI is effective for reducing yeasts and may also reduce the virulence of certain Candida species and decrease their pathogenicity.

  14. The Composition and Spatial Patterns of Bacterial Virulence Factors and Antibiotic Resistance Genes in 19 Wastewater Treatment Plants

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Bing; Xia, Yu; Wen, Xianghua; Wang, Xiaohui; Yang, Yunfeng; Zhou, Jizhong; Zhang, Yu

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial pathogenicity and antibiotic resistance are of concern for environmental safety and public health. Accumulating evidence suggests that wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are as an important sink and source of pathogens and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). Virulence genes (encoding virulence factors) are good indicators for bacterial pathogenic potentials. To achieve a comprehensive understanding of bacterial pathogenic potentials and antibiotic resistance in WWTPs, bacterial virulence genes and ARGs in 19 WWTPs covering a majority of latitudinal zones of China were surveyed by using GeoChip 4.2. A total of 1610 genes covering 13 virulence factors and 1903 genes belonging to 11 ARG families were detected respectively. The bacterial virulence genes exhibited significant spatial distribution patterns of a latitudinal biodiversity gradient and a distance-decay relationship across China. Moreover, virulence genes tended to coexist with ARGs as shown by their strongly positive associations. In addition, key environmental factors shaping the overall virulence gene structure were identified. This study profiles the occurrence, composition and distribution of virulence genes and ARGs in current WWTPs in China, and uncovers spatial patterns and important environmental variables shaping their structure, which may provide the basis for further studies of bacterial virulence factors and antibiotic resistance in WWTPs. PMID:27907117

  15. The Composition and Spatial Patterns of Bacterial Virulence Factors and Antibiotic Resistance Genes in 19 Wastewater Treatment Plants.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Bing; Xia, Yu; Wen, Xianghua; Wang, Xiaohui; Yang, Yunfeng; Zhou, Jizhong; Zhang, Yu

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial pathogenicity and antibiotic resistance are of concern for environmental safety and public health. Accumulating evidence suggests that wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are as an important sink and source of pathogens and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). Virulence genes (encoding virulence factors) are good indicators for bacterial pathogenic potentials. To achieve a comprehensive understanding of bacterial pathogenic potentials and antibiotic resistance in WWTPs, bacterial virulence genes and ARGs in 19 WWTPs covering a majority of latitudinal zones of China were surveyed by using GeoChip 4.2. A total of 1610 genes covering 13 virulence factors and 1903 genes belonging to 11 ARG families were detected respectively. The bacterial virulence genes exhibited significant spatial distribution patterns of a latitudinal biodiversity gradient and a distance-decay relationship across China. Moreover, virulence genes tended to coexist with ARGs as shown by their strongly positive associations. In addition, key environmental factors shaping the overall virulence gene structure were identified. This study profiles the occurrence, composition and distribution of virulence genes and ARGs in current WWTPs in China, and uncovers spatial patterns and important environmental variables shaping their structure, which may provide the basis for further studies of bacterial virulence factors and antibiotic resistance in WWTPs.

  16. Identification of novel secreted virulence factors from Xylella fastidiosa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Xylella fastidiosa is a bacterium that causes Pierce’s disease (PD) of grapevine and other leaf scorch diseases of agriculturally important crops. Little is known about virulence factors that are necessary for X. fastidiosa to grow and cause disease in the xylem vessels of a plant host. Any protein ...

  17. A strong case for viral genetic factors in HIV virulence.

    PubMed

    Müller, Viktor; Fraser, Christophe; Herbeck, Joshua T

    2011-03-01

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

  18. Virulence factors of Trypanosoma cruzi: who is who?

    PubMed

    Osorio, Luis; Ríos, Isabel; Gutiérrez, Bessy; González, Jorge

    2012-12-01

    The aim of this review is to gather the current knowledge of Trypanosoma cruzi's virulence factors described to date in an integrative way, relating these with the parasite's life cycle and trying to elucidate their importance in each process. Several aspects relevant for the parasite's survival, such as invasion, resistance to oxidative damage, escape from the phagolysosomal vacuole and differentiation, among others, will be discussed. However, there is still a lot to learn about what virulence really means in T. cruzi and which parasite molecules are absolutely required to make T. cruzi one of the most successful pathogens to invade, survive and persist in a mammalian host.

  19. How Do the Virulence Factors of Shigella Work Together to Cause Disease?

    PubMed Central

    Mattock, Emily; Blocker, Ariel J.

    2017-01-01

    Shigella is the major cause of bacillary dysentery world-wide. It is divided into four species, named S. flexneri, S. sonnei, S. dysenteriae, and S. boydii, which are distinct genomically and in their ability to cause disease. Shigellosis, the clinical presentation of Shigella infection, is characterized by watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever. Shigella's ability to cause disease has been attributed to virulence factors, which are encoded on chromosomal pathogenicity islands and the virulence plasmid. However, information on these virulence factors is not often brought together to create a detailed picture of infection, and how this translates into shigellosis symptoms. Firstly, Shigella secretes virulence factors that induce severe inflammation and mediate enterotoxic effects on the colon, producing the classic watery diarrhea seen early in infection. Secondly, Shigella injects virulence effectors into epithelial cells via its Type III Secretion System to subvert the host cell structure and function. This allows invasion of epithelial cells, establishing a replicative niche, and causes erratic destruction of the colonic epithelium. Thirdly, Shigella produces effectors to down-regulate inflammation and the innate immune response. This promotes infection and limits the adaptive immune response, causing the host to remain partially susceptible to re-infection. Combinations of these virulence factors may contribute to the different symptoms and infection capabilities of the diverse Shigella species, in addition to distinct transmission patterns. Further investigation of the dominant species causing disease, using whole-genome sequencing and genotyping, will allow comparison and identification of crucial virulence factors and may contribute to the production of a pan-Shigella vaccine. PMID:28393050

  20. Pathogen virulence factors as molecular probes of basic plant cellular functions

    PubMed Central

    Speth, Elena Bray; Lee, Young Nam; He, Sheng Yang

    2007-01-01

    Summary To successfully colonize plants, pathogens have evolved a myriad of virulence factors that allow them to manipulate host cellular pathways in order to gain entry into, multiply and move within, and eventually exit the host for a new infection cycle. In the past few years, substantial progress has been made in characterizing the host targets of viral and bacterial virulence factors, providing unique insights into basic plant cellular processes such as gene silencing, vesicle trafficking, hormone signaling, and innate immunity. Identification of the host targets of additional pathogen virulence factors promises to continue shedding light on fundamental cellular mechanisms in plants, thus enhancing our understanding of plant signaling, metabolism and cell biology. PMID:17884715

  1. Virulence Factors of Aeromonas hydrophila: In the Wake of Reclassification

    PubMed Central

    Rasmussen-Ivey, Cody R.; Figueras, Maria J.; McGarey, Donald; Liles, Mark R.

    2016-01-01

    The ubiquitous “jack-of-all-trades,” Aeromonas hydrophila, is a freshwater, Gram-negative bacterial pathogen under revision in regard to its phylogenetic and functional affiliation with other aeromonads. While virulence factors are expectedly diverse across A. hydrophila strains and closely related species, our mechanistic knowledge of the vast majority of these factors is based on the molecular characterization of the strains A. hydrophila AH-3 and SSU, which were reclassified as A. piscicola AH-3 in 2009 and A. dhakensis SSU in 2013. Individually, these reclassifications raise important questions involving the applicability of previous research on A. hydrophila virulence mechanisms; however, this issue is exacerbated by a lack of genomic data on other research strains. Collectively, these changes represent a fundamental gap in the literature on A. hydrophila and confirm the necessity of biochemical, molecular, and morphological techniques in the classification of research strains that are used as a foundation for future research. This review revisits what is known about virulence in A. hydrophila and the feasibility of using comparative genomics in light of this phylogenetic revision. Conflicting data between virulence factors, secretion systems, quorum sensing, and their effect on A. hydrophila pathogenicity appears to be an artifact of inappropriate taxonomic comparisons and/or be due to the fact that these properties are strain-specific. This review audits emerging data on dominant virulence factors that are present in both A. dhakensis and A. hydrophila in order to synthesize existing data with the aim of locating where future research is needed. PMID:27610107

  2. Potential virulence factors of Proteus bacilli.

    PubMed Central

    Rózalski, A; Sidorczyk, Z; Kotełko, K

    1997-01-01

    The object of this review is the genus Proteus, which contains bacteria considered now to belong to the opportunistic pathogens. Widely distributed in nature (in soil, water, and sewage), Proteus species play a significant ecological role. When present in the niches of higher macroorganisms, these species are able to evoke pathological events in different regions of the human body. The invaders (Proteus mirabilis, P. vulgaris, and P. penneri) have numerous factors including fimbriae, flagella, outer membrane proteins, lipopolysaccharide, capsule antigen, urease, immunoglobulin A proteases, hemolysins, amino acid deaminases, and, finally, the most characteristic attribute of Proteus, swarming growth, enabling them to colonize and survive in higher organisms. All these features and factors are described and commented on in detail. The questions important for future investigation of these facultatively pathogenic microorganisms are also discussed. PMID:9106365

  3. Structural Genomics of Bacterial Virulence Factors

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-05-01

    drug design . In this first year of funding we have focused our attention on plasmid annotation, target selection, protein expression, purification and crystallization of proteins encoded by the Bacillus anthracis pXOl plasmid. We have cloned and expressed a total of 35 new proteins, and structural analysis of several of these is underway. Currently, 3 new crystal structures are essentially complete, and 6 crystal structures of anthrax Lethal Factor in complex with small molecule inhibitors provided by our collaborators have been determined, and lodged in the public data

  4. Structural Genomics of Bacterial Virulence Factors

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-05-01

    monitors changes in light, redox potential, and small ligands, which can further cause protein - protein interaction , DNA- binding and function to activate...BXA0206 (pXOl-137) and BXA0207 (pXOl-138) which encode an RNA- binding Hfq (Host Factor I) protein and the transcription regulator from the ArsR family...A motif responsible for ATP binding , which is well conserved in BXA0107 (200-207 fragment: GISGSGKS). The BXA0108 protein has at least 7 predicted N

  5. Virulence factors genes in enterococci isolated from beavers (Castor fiber).

    PubMed

    Lauková, Andrea; Strompfová, Viola; Kandričáková, Anna; Ščerbová, Jana; Semedo-Lemsaddek, Teresa; Miltko, Renata; Belzecki, Grzegorz

    2015-03-01

    Only limited information exists concerning the microbiota in beaver (Castor fiber). This study has been focused on the virulence factors genes detection in enterococci from beavers. In general, animals are not affected by enterococcal infections, but they can be a reservoir of, e.g. pathogenic strains. Moreover, detection of virulence factors genes in enterococci from beavers was never tested before. Free-living beavers (12), male and female (age 4-5 years) were caught in the north-east part of Poland. Sampling of lower gut and faeces was provided according to all ethical rules for animal handling. Samples were treated using a standard microbiological method. Pure bacterial colonies were identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) identification system. Virulence factors genes-gelE (gelatinase), agg (aggregation), cylA (cytolysin A), efaAfs (adhesin Enterococcus faecalis), efaAfm (adhesin Enterococcus faecium) and esp (surface protein) were tested by PCR. Moreover, gelatinase and antibiotic phenotypes were tested. Species detected were Enterococcus thailandicus, E. faecium, E. faecalis and Enterococcus durans. In literature, enterococcal species distribution was never reported yet up to now. Strains were mostly sensitive to antibiotics. Vancomycin-resistant E. faecalis EE9Tr1 possess cylA, efaAfs, esp and gelE genes. Strains were aggregation substance genes absent. Adhesin E. faecium (efaAfm) gene was detected in two of three E. faecium strains, but it was present also in E. thailandicus. Esp gene was present in EE9Tr1 and E. durans EDTr92. The most detected were gelE, efaAfm genes; in EF 4Hc1 also gelatinase phenotype was found. Strains with virulence factors genes will be tested for their sensitivity to antimicrobial enterocins.

  6. Role of enteroaggregative Escherichia coli virulence factors in uropathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Boll, Erik J; Struve, Carsten; Boisen, Nadia; Olesen, Bente; Stahlhut, Steen G; Krogfelt, Karen A

    2013-04-01

    A multiresistant clonal Escherichia coli O78:H10 strain qualifying molecularly as enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) was recently shown to be the cause of a community-acquired outbreak of urinary tract infection (UTI) in greater Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1991. This marks the first time EAEC has been associated with an extraintestinal disease outbreak. Importantly, the outbreak isolates were recovered from the urine of patients with symptomatic UTI, strongly implying urovirulence. Here, we sought to determine the uropathogenic properties of the Copenhagen outbreak strain and whether these properties are conferred by the EAEC-specific virulence factors. We demonstrated that through expression of aggregative adherence fimbriae, the principal adhesins of EAEC, the outbreak strain exhibited pronouncedly increased adherence to human bladder epithelial cells compared to prototype uropathogenic strains. Moreover, the strain was able to produce distinct biofilms on abiotic surfaces, including urethral catheters. These findings suggest that EAEC-specific virulence factors increase uropathogenicity and may have played a significant role in the ability of the strain to cause a community-acquired outbreak of UTI. Thus, inclusion of EAEC-specific virulence factors is warranted in future detection and characterization of uropathogenic E. coli.

  7. The Animal Model Determines the Results of Aeromonas Virulence Factors

    PubMed Central

    Romero, Alejandro; Saraceni, Paolo R.; Merino, Susana; Figueras, Antonio; Tomás, Juan M.; Novoa, Beatriz

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Transcriptomic and virulence factors analyses of Cryptococcus neoformans hypoxia response.

    PubMed

    Kong, Qingtao; Yang, Rui; Wang, Zhen; Zhou, Wenquan; Du, Xue; Huang, Suyang; Jiang, Yuan; Liu, Weida; Sang, Hong

    2017-03-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans is an environmental pathogen requiring atmospheric levels of oxygen for optimal growth. Upon inhalation, C. neoformans disseminates to the brain and causes meningoencephalitis. However, the mechanisms by which the pathogen adapts to the low-oxygen environment in the brain have not been investigated. We isolated a C. neoformans strain with a small capsule from a host tissue, although this strain produces large capsules in normoxic conditions. We hypothesize that this difference in capsule size is attributed to hypoxia caused by chronic inflammatory response. This study investigated the effect of hypoxia on virulence factors (including capsule, melanin, urease, and phospholipase) of C. neoformans and conducted transcriptomic analyses of the virulence-associated genes. We found that C. neoformans grew under hypoxic condition, albeit slowly, and that hypoxia may have inhibited the capsule size, melanin production, and phospholipase and urease activities in C. neoformans.

  9. Inhibition of Cronobacter sakazakii Virulence Factors by Citral

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Chao; Sun, Yi; Liu, Zhiyuan; Guo, Du; Sun, Huihui; Sun, Zheng; Chen, Shan; Zhang, Wenting; Wen, Qiwu; Peng, Xiaoli; Xia, Xiaodong

    2017-01-01

    Cronobacter sakazakii is a foodborne pathogen associated with fatal forms of necrotizing enterocolitis, meningitis and sepsis in neonates and infants. The aim of this study was to determine whether citral, a major component of lemongrass oil, could suppress putative virulence factors of C. sakazakii that contribute to infection. Sub-inhibitory concentrations of citral significantly decreased motility, quorum sensing, biofilm formation and endotoxin production. Citral substantially reduced the adhesion and invasion of C. sakazakii to Caco-2 cells and decreased bacterial survival and replication within the RAW 264.7 macrophage cells. Citral also repressed the expression of eighteen genes involved in the virulence. These findings suggest that citral has potential to be developed as an alternative or supplemental agent to mitigate the infections caused by C. sakazakii. PMID:28233814

  10. Alcaligenes faecalis ZD02, a Novel Nematicidal Bacterium with an Extracellular Serine Protease Virulence Factor.

    PubMed

    Ju, Shouyong; Lin, Jian; Zheng, Jinshui; Wang, Shaoying; Zhou, Hongying; Sun, Ming

    2016-01-29

    Root knot nematodes (RKNs) are the world's most damaging plant-parasitic nematodes (PPNs), and they can infect almost all crops. At present, harmful chemical nematicides are applied to control RKNs. Using microbial nematicides has been proposed as a better management strategy than chemical control. In this study, we describe a novel nematicidal bacterium named Alcaligenes faecalis ZD02. A. faecalis ZD02 was isolated from Caenorhabditis elegans cadavers and has nematostatic and nematicidal activity, as confirmed by C. elegans growth assay and life span assay. In addition, A. faecalis ZD02 fermentation broth showed toxicity against C. elegans and Meloidogyne incognita. To identify the nematicidal virulence factor, the genome of strain ZD02 was sequenced. By comparing all of the predicted proteins of strain ZD02 to reported nematicidal virulence factors, we determined that an extracellular serine protease (Esp) has potential to be a nematicidal virulence factor, which was confirmed by bioassay on C. elegans and M. incognita. Using C. elegans as the target model, we found that both A. faecalis ZD02 and the virulence factor Esp can damage the intestines of C. elegans. The discovery that A. faecalis ZD02 has nematicidal activity provides a novel bacterial resource for the control of RKNs.

  11. Alcaligenes faecalis ZD02, a Novel Nematicidal Bacterium with an Extracellular Serine Protease Virulence Factor

    PubMed Central

    Ju, Shouyong; Lin, Jian; Zheng, Jinshui; Wang, Shaoying; Zhou, Hongying

    2016-01-01

    Root knot nematodes (RKNs) are the world's most damaging plant-parasitic nematodes (PPNs), and they can infect almost all crops. At present, harmful chemical nematicides are applied to control RKNs. Using microbial nematicides has been proposed as a better management strategy than chemical control. In this study, we describe a novel nematicidal bacterium named Alcaligenes faecalis ZD02. A. faecalis ZD02 was isolated from Caenorhabditis elegans cadavers and has nematostatic and nematicidal activity, as confirmed by C. elegans growth assay and life span assay. In addition, A. faecalis ZD02 fermentation broth showed toxicity against C. elegans and Meloidogyne incognita. To identify the nematicidal virulence factor, the genome of strain ZD02 was sequenced. By comparing all of the predicted proteins of strain ZD02 to reported nematicidal virulence factors, we determined that an extracellular serine protease (Esp) has potential to be a nematicidal virulence factor, which was confirmed by bioassay on C. elegans and M. incognita. Using C. elegans as the target model, we found that both A. faecalis ZD02 and the virulence factor Esp can damage the intestines of C. elegans. The discovery that A. faecalis ZD02 has nematicidal activity provides a novel bacterial resource for the control of RKNs. PMID:26826227

  12. [Factors of Salmonella typhi virulence in relation to the development of new vaccines].

    PubMed

    García, J A; Paniagua, J; Pelayo, R; Isibasi, A; Kumate, J

    1992-01-01

    Although many vaccines against typhoid fever have been developed, none have been adapted for their further application on developing countries. In order to get better vaccines, the virulence factors of both S. typhi and S. typhimurium have been studied. Thus, some protection assays have been made using surface antigens involved on virulence or using live attenuated vaccines of bacteria mutated on virulence genes. Here we present a brief review about virulence factors studied so far for the development of new vaccines.

  13. Curation, integration and visualization of bacterial virulence factors in PATRIC

    PubMed Central

    Mao, Chunhong; Abraham, David; Wattam, Alice R.; Wilson, Meredith J.C.; Shukla, Maulik; Yoo, Hyun Seung; Sobral, Bruno W.

    2015-01-01

    Motivation: We’ve developed a highly curated bacterial virulence factor (VF) library in PATRIC (Pathosystems Resource Integration Center, www.patricbrc.org) to support infectious disease research. Although several VF databases are available, there is still a need to incorporate new knowledge found in published experimental evidence and integrate these data with other information known for these specific VF genes, including genomic and other omics data. This integration supports the identification of VFs, comparative studies and hypothesis generation, which facilitates the understanding of virulence and pathogenicity. Results: We have manually curated VFs from six prioritized NIAID (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) category A–C bacterial pathogen genera, Mycobacterium, Salmonella, Escherichia, Shigella, Listeria and Bartonella, using published literature. This curated information on virulence has been integrated with data from genomic functional annotations, trancriptomic experiments, protein–protein interactions and disease information already present in PATRIC. Such integration gives researchers access to a broad array of information about these individual genes, and also to a suite of tools to perform comparative genomic and transcriptomics analysis that are available at PATRIC. Availability and implementation: All tools and data are freely available at PATRIC (http://patricbrc.org). Contact: cmao@vbi.vt.edu. Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:25273106

  14. Frameshift Mutation Confers Function as Virulence Factor to Leucine-Rich Repeat Protein from Acidovorax avenae

    PubMed Central

    Kondo, Machiko; Hirai, Hiroyuki; Furukawa, Takehito; Yoshida, Yuki; Suzuki, Aika; Kawaguchi, Takemasa; Che, Fang-Sik

    2017-01-01

    Many plant pathogens inject type III (T3SS) effectors into host cells to suppress host immunity and promote successful infection. The bacterial pathogen Acidovorax avenae causes brown stripe symptom in many species of monocotyledonous plants; however, individual strains of each pathogen infect only one host species. T3SS-deleted mutants of A. avenae K1 (virulent to rice) or N1141 (virulent to finger millet) caused no symptom in each host plant, suggesting that T3SS effectors are involved in the symptom formation. To identify T3SS effectors as virulence factors, we performed whole-genome and predictive analyses. Although the nucleotide sequence of the novel leucine-rich repeat protein (Lrp) gene of N1141 had high sequence identity with K1 Lrp, the amino acid sequences of the encoded proteins were quite different due to a 1-bp insertion within the K1 Lrp gene. An Lrp-deleted K1 strain (KΔLrp) did not cause brown stripe symptom in rice (host plant for K1); by contrast, the analogous mutation in N1141 (NΔLrp) did not interfere with infection of finger millet. In addition, NΔLrp retained the ability to induce effector-triggered immunity (ETI), including hypersensitive response cell death and expression of ETI-related genes. These data indicated that K1 Lrp functions as a virulence factor in rice, whereas N1141 Lrp does not play a similar role in finger millet. Yeast two-hybrid screening revealed that K1 Lrp interacts with oryzain α, a pathogenesis-related protein of the cysteine protease family, whereas N1141 Lrp, which contains LRR domains, does not. This specific interaction between K1 Lrp and oryzain α was confirmed by Bimolecular fluorescence complementation assay in rice cells. Thus, K1 Lrp protein may have acquired its function as virulence factor in rice due to a frameshift mutation. PMID:28101092

  15. Epidemiology, virulence factors and management of the pneumococcus

    PubMed Central

    Feldman, Charles; Anderson, Ronald

    2016-01-01

    Pneumococcal infections continue to cause significant morbidity and mortality in patients throughout the world. This microorganism remains the most common bacterial cause of community-acquired pneumonia and is associated with a considerable burden of disease and health-care costs in both developed and developing countries. Emerging antibiotic resistance has been a concern because of its potential negative impact on the outcome of patients who receive standard antibiotic therapy. However, there have been substantial changes in the epidemiology of this pathogen in recent years, not least of which has been due to the use of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines in children, with subsequent herd protection in unvaccinated adults and children. Furthermore, much recent research has led to a better understanding of the virulence factors of this pathogen and their role in the pathogenesis of severe pneumococcal disease, including the cardiac complications, as well as the potential role of adjunctive therapy in the management of severely ill cases. This review will describe recent advances in our understanding of the epidemiology, virulence factors, and management of pneumococcal community-acquired pneumonia. PMID:27703671

  16. Hookworm virulence factors: making the most of the host.

    PubMed

    Periago, Maria V; Bethony, Jeffrey M

    2012-12-01

    Hookworm disease from Necator americanus and Ancylostoma duodenale affects approximately 700 million people, with N. americanus being the predominant species. Unlike other pathogens (e.g., bacterial infections), where "virulence" is described in regards to acute pathogenesis and case-fatality, hookworms are well-evolved, multicellular parasites that establish long-term infections in their human hosts with a subtle and chronic, but insidious, pathogenesis, usually in the form of iron deficiency anemia from parasite blood feeding that, over time, has devastating effects on the human host especially when it involves children or women of child bearing years. As such, many of the typical terms for "virulence factors" used in other reviews in this special edition cannot be applied to hookworm (e.g., "colonization", "invasion", "or "toxicity"); rather the virulence of hookworm infection comes in terms of their ability to maintain a chronic blood-feeding infection in the lumen of relatively healthy human hosts, an infection that is usually measured in years but can sometimes be measured in decades. In the current manuscript, we describe the routes of invasion hookworms take into their human hosts and the means by which they modulate the human immune system to maintain this long-term parasitism. Little data on hookworm infection comes from actual human infections; instead, much of the data is derived from observations of laboratory animal models, in which hookworms fail to establish this distinctive "chronic infection," either due to physiological or immunological responses of these animal models. Hence, the mode and effects of chronic immunity must be extrapolated from this very different sort of infection to humans. Herein, we aim to synthesize immunological information from both types of models in the context of immune regulation and protection in order to identify future research focuses for the development of new treatment alternatives (i.e. drugs and vaccines).

  17. Bacillus thuringiensis Metalloproteinase Bmp1 Functions as a Nematicidal Virulence Factor

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Xiaoxia; Chen, Ling; Huang, Qiong; Zheng, Jinshui; Zhou, Wei; Peng, Donghai; Ruan, Lifang

    2013-01-01

    Some Bacillus thuringiensis strains have high toxicity to nematodes. Nematicidal activity has been found in several families of crystal proteins, such as Cry5, Cry6, and Cry55. The B. thuringiensis strain YBT-1518 has three cry genes that have high nematicidal activity. The whole genome sequence of this strain contains multiple potential virulence factors. To evaluate the pathogenic potential of virulence factors, we focused on a metalloproteinase called Bmp1. It encompasses a consecutive N-terminal signal peptide, an FTP superfamily domain, an M4 neutral protease GluZincin superfamily, two Big-3 superfamily motifs, and a Gram-positive anchor superfamily motif as a C-terminal domain. Here, we showed that purified Bmp1 protein showed metalloproteinase activity and toxicity against Caenorhabditis elegans (the 50% lethal concentration is 610 ± 9.37 μg/ml). In addition, mixing Cry5Ba with Bmp1 protein enhanced the toxicity 7.9-fold (the expected toxicity of the two proteins calculated from their separate toxicities) against C. elegans. Confocal microscopic observation revealed that Bmp1 protein was detected from around the mouth and esophagus to the intestine. Striking microscopic images revealed that Bmp1 degrades intestine tissues, and the Cry5Ba causes intestinal shrinkage from the body wall. Thus, the B. thuringiensis Bmp1 metalloproteinase is a nematicidal virulence factor. These findings give a new insight into the relationship between B. thuringiensis and its host nematodes. PMID:23124228

  18. Inhibition of Candida albicans virulence factors by novel levofloxacin derivatives.

    PubMed

    Shafreen, Raja Mohamed Beema; Raja Mohamed, Beema Shafreen; Muthamil, Subramanian; Subramanian, Muthamil; Pandian, Shunmugiah Karutha; Shunmugiah, Karutha Pandian

    2014-08-01

    Candida albicans is an important opportunistic fungal pathogen, responsible for biofilm associated infections in immunocompromised patients. The aim of the present study was to investigate the antibiofilm properties of novel levofloxacin derivatives on C. albicans biofilms. The levofloxacin derivatives at their Biofilm Inhibitory Concentrations (BIC) were able to inhibit the biofilms of C. albicans, the yeast-to-hyphal transition and were also able to disrupt their mature biofilms. Furthermore, Real-time PCR analysis showed that the expression of ergosterol biosynthesis pathway gene (ERG11) and the efflux pump-encoding genes (CDR1 and MDR1) was decreased upon treatment with the levofloxacin derivatives. The total ergosterol content quantified using UV spectrophotomer showed decrease in ergosterol in the presence of levofloxacin derivatives. Overall, levofloxacin derivatives (6a, 6c and 7d) are capable of inhibiting C. albicans virulence factors. Therefore, these compounds with potential therapeutic implications can be used as new strategy to treat biofilm-related candidal infections.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-06-28

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

  20. Common and pathogen-specific virulence factors are different in function and structure

    PubMed Central

    Niu, Chao; Yu, Dong; Wang, Yuelan; Ren, Hongguang; Jin, Yuan; Zhou, Wei; Li, Beiping; Cheng, Yiyong; Yue, Junjie; Gao, Zhixian; Liang, Long

    2013-01-01

    In the process of host–pathogen interactions, bacterial pathogens always employ some special genes, e.g., virulence factors (VFs) to interact with host and cause damage or diseases to host. A number of VFs have been identified in bacterial pathogens that confer upon bacterial pathogens the ability to cause various types of damage or diseases. However, it has been clarified that some of the identified VFs are also encoded in the genomes of nonpathogenic bacteria, and this finding gives rise to considerable controversy about the definition of virulence factor. Here 1988 virulence factors of 51 sequenced pathogenic bacterial genomes from the virulence factor database (VFDB) were collected, and an orthologous comparison to a non-pathogenic bacteria protein database was conducted using the reciprocal-best-BLAST-hits approach. Six hundred and twenty pathogen-specific VFs and 1368 common VFs (present in both pathogens and nonpathogens) were identified, which account for 31.19% and 68.81% of the total VFs, respectively. The distribution of pathogen-specific VFs and common VFs in pathogenicity islands (PAIs) was systematically investigated, and pathogen-specific VFs were more likely to be located in PAIs than common VFs. The function of the two classes of VFs were also analyzed and compared in depth. Our results indicated that most but not all T3SS proteins are pathogen-specific. T3SS effector proteins tended to be distributed in pathogen-specific VFs, whereas T3SS translocation proteins, apparatus proteins, and chaperones were inclined to be distributed in common VFs. We also observed that exotoxins were located in both pathogen-specific and common VFs. In addition, the architecture of the two classes of VFs was compared, and the results indicated that common VFs had a higher domain number and lower domain coverage value, revealed that common VFs tend to be more complex and less compact proteins. PMID:23863604

  1. Distribution and dynamics of epidemic and pandemic Vibrio parahaemolyticus virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Ceccarelli, Daniela; Hasan, Nur A; Huq, Anwar; Colwell, Rita R

    2013-01-01

    Vibrio parahaemolyticus, autochthonous to estuarine, marine, and coastal environments throughout the world, is the causative agent of food-borne gastroenteritis. More than 80 serotypes have been described worldwide, based on antigenic properties of the somatic (O) and capsular (K) antigens. Serovar O3:K6 emerged in India in 1996 and subsequently was isolated worldwide, leading to the conclusion that the first V. parahaemolyticus pandemic had taken place. Most strains of V. parahaemolyticus isolated from the environment or seafood, in contrast to clinical strains, do not produce a thermostable direct hemolysin (TDH) and/or a TDH-related hemolysin (TRH). Type 3 secretion systems (T3SSs), needle-like apparatuses able to deliver bacterial effectors into host cytoplasm, were identified as triggering cytotoxicity and enterotoxicity. Type 6 secretion systems (T6SS) predicted to be involved in intracellular trafficking and vesicular transport appear to play a role in V. parahaemolyticus virulence. Recent advances in V. parahaemolyticus genomics identified several pathogenicity islands (VpaIs) located on either chromosome in both epidemic and pandemic strains and comprising additional colonization factors, such as restriction-modification complexes, chemotaxis proteins, classical bacterial surface virulence factors, and putative colicins. Furthermore, studies indicate strains lacking toxins and genomic regions associated with pathogenicity may also be pathogenic, suggesting other important virulence factors remain to be identified. The unique repertoire of virulence factors identified to date, their occurrence and distribution in both epidemic and pandemic strains worldwide are described, with the aim of highlighting the complexity of V. parahaemolyticus pathogenicity as well as its dynamic genome.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-01-01

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

  3. Additional factors in chronic bronchitis.

    PubMed

    Cullen, K J; Elder, J; Adams, A R; Stenhouse, N S

    1970-02-14

    A review of persons with chronic bronchitis and controls without bronchitis showed several irritants around the home that aggravated cough, such as house dust, flowers and grasses, smoke, strong fumes, hair spray, insecticide, and soap powders. Most subjects with bronchitis were affected by exposure to one or more of these irritants for at least once a day for three months of the year or more. Out of 163 subjects with chronic bronchitis only six non-smokers were free of factors associated with pulmonary irritation. This evidence from non-smokers not exposed to air pollution adds further strength to the hypothesis that daily phlegm is caused by persistent inhalation of irritants.

  4. Proteases from Entamoeba spp. and Pathogenic Free-Living Amoebae as Virulence Factors

    PubMed Central

    Serrano-Luna, Jesús; Piña-Vázquez, Carolina; Reyes-López, Magda; Ortiz-Estrada, Guillermo

    2013-01-01

    The standard reference for pathogenic and nonpathogenic amoebae is the human parasite Entamoeba histolytica; a direct correlation between virulence and protease expression has been demonstrated for this amoeba. Traditionally, proteases are considered virulence factors, including those that produce cytopathic effects in the host or that have been implicated in manipulating the immune response. Here, we expand the scope to other amoebae, including less-pathogenic Entamoeba species and highly pathogenic free-living amoebae. In this paper, proteases that affect mucin, extracellular matrix, immune system components, and diverse tissues and cells are included, based on studies in amoebic cultures and animal models. We also include proteases used by amoebae to degrade iron-containing proteins because iron scavenger capacity is currently considered a virulence factor for pathogens. In addition, proteases that have a role in adhesion and encystation, which are essential for establishing and transmitting infection, are discussed. The study of proteases and their specific inhibitors is relevant to the search for new therapeutic targets and to increase the power of drugs used to treat the diseases caused by these complex microorganisms. PMID:23476670

  5. Virulence factor-activity relationships (VFAR) with specific emphasis on Aeromonas species (spp.).

    PubMed

    Chopra, Ashok K; Graf, Joerg; Horneman, Amy J; Johnson, Judith A

    2009-01-01

    The human population most commonly inflicted with Aeromonas infection includes young children, the elderly and immunocompromised individuals. Importantly, the isolation rate of Aeromonas species from children suffering from diarrhea is similar in developing and developed countries. It is becoming clear that only a small subset of Aeromonas species belonging to a particular hybridization group causes disease in humans. Human infections with this pathogen occur by consuming contaminated food and water. Aeromonas species were isolated from wounds of patients during the tsunami in southern Thailand. Further, increased numbers of this pathogen were recovered from floodwater samples during Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Among various species of Aeromonas, A. hydrophila, A. caviae and A. veronii biovar sobria are mainly responsible for causing disease in humans. Our laboratory has isolated various virulence factors from a diarrheal isolate SSU of A. hydrophila and molecularly characterized them. In addition to various virulence factors produced by Aeromonas species, the status of the immune system plays an important role in inducing disease by this pathogen in the host. Taken together, we have made significant advances in better understanding the pathogenesis of Aeromonas infections, which will help in differentiating pathogenic from non-pathogenic aeromonads. This review covers virulence aspects of a clinical isolate of A. hydrophila.

  6. Differential regulation of Bvg-activated virulence factors plays a role in Bordetella pertussis pathogenicity.

    PubMed

    Kinnear, S M; Marques, R R; Carbonetti, N H

    2001-04-01

    Bordetella pertussis, the causative agent of whooping cough, regulates expression of many virulence factors via a two-component signal transduction system encoded by the bvgAS regulatory locus. It has been shown by transcription activation kinetics that several of the virulence factors are differentially regulated. fha is transcribed within 10 min following a bvgAS-inducing signal, while prn is transcribed after 1 h and ptx is not transcribed until 2 to 4 h after induction. These genes therefore represent early, intermediate, and late classes of bvg-activated promoters, respectively. Although there have been many insightful studies into the mechanisms of BvgAS-mediated regulation, the role that differential regulation of virulence genes plays in B. pertussis pathogenicity has not been characterized. We provide evidence that alterations to the promoter regions of bvg-activated genes can alter the kinetic pattern of expression of these genes without changing steady-state transcription levels. In addition, B. pertussis strains containing these promoter alterations that express either ptx at an early time or fha at a late time demonstrate a significant reduction in their ability to colonize respiratory tracts in an intranasal mouse model of infection. These data suggest a role for differential regulation of bvg-activated genes, and therefore for the BvgAS regulatory system, in the pathogenicity of B. pertussis.

  7. Differential Regulation of Bvg-Activated Virulence Factors Plays a Role in Bordetella pertussis Pathogenicity

    PubMed Central

    Kinnear, Susan M.; Marques, Ryan R.; Carbonetti, Nicholas H.

    2001-01-01

    Bordetella pertussis, the causative agent of whooping cough, regulates expression of many virulence factors via a two-component signal transduction system encoded by the bvgAS regulatory locus. It has been shown by transcription activation kinetics that several of the virulence factors are differentially regulated. fha is transcribed within 10 min following a bvgAS-inducing signal, while prn is transcribed after 1 h and ptx is not transcribed until 2 to 4 h after induction. These genes therefore represent early, intermediate, and late classes of bvg-activated promoters, respectively. Although there have been many insightful studies into the mechanisms of BvgAS-mediated regulation, the role that differential regulation of virulence genes plays in B. pertussis pathogenicity has not been characterized. We provide evidence that alterations to the promoter regions of bvg-activated genes can alter the kinetic pattern of expression of these genes without changing steady-state transcription levels. In addition, B. pertussis strains containing these promoter alterations that express either ptx at an early time or fha at a late time demonstrate a significant reduction in their ability to colonize respiratory tracts in an intranasal mouse model of infection. These data suggest a role for differential regulation of bvg-activated genes, and therefore for the BvgAS regulatory system, in the pathogenicity of B. pertussis. PMID:11254549

  8. Novel inhibitors of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence factor LasB: a potential therapeutic approach for the attenuation of virulence mechanisms in pseudomonal infection.

    PubMed

    Cathcart, George R A; Quinn, Derek; Greer, Brett; Harriott, Pat; Lynas, John F; Gilmore, Brendan F; Walker, Brian

    2011-06-01

    Pseudomonas elastase (LasB), a metalloprotease virulence factor, is known to play a pivotal role in pseudomonal infection. LasB is secreted at the site of infection, where it exerts a proteolytic action that spans from broad tissue destruction to subtle action on components of the host immune system. The former enhances invasiveness by liberating nutrients for continued growth, while the latter exerts an immunomodulatory effect, manipulating the normal immune response. In addition to the extracellular effects of secreted LasB, it also acts within the bacterial cell to trigger the intracellular pathway that initiates growth as a bacterial biofilm. The key role of LasB in pseudomonal virulence makes it a potential target for the development of an inhibitor as an antimicrobial agent. The concept of inhibition of virulence is a recently established antimicrobial strategy, and such agents have been termed "second-generation" antibiotics. This approach holds promise in that it seeks to attenuate virulence processes without bactericidal action and, hence, without selection pressure for the emergence of resistant strains. A potent inhibitor of LasB, N-mercaptoacetyl-Phe-Tyr-amide (K(i) = 41 nM) has been developed, and its ability to block these virulence processes has been assessed. It has been demonstrated that thes compound can completely block the action of LasB on protein targets that are instrumental in biofilm formation and immunomodulation. The novel LasB inhibitor has also been employed in bacterial-cell-based assays, to reduce the growth of pseudomonal biofilms, and to eradicate biofilm completely when used in combination with conventional antibiotics.

  9. Clostridial pore-forming toxins: powerful virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Popoff, Michel R

    2014-12-01

    Pore formation is a common mechanism of action for many bacterial toxins. More than one third of clostridial toxins are pore-forming toxins (PFTs) belonging to the β-PFT class. They are secreted as soluble monomers rich in β-strands, which recognize a specific receptor on target cells and assemble in oligomers. Then, they undergo a conformational change leading to the formation of a β-barrel, which inserts into the lipid bilayer forming functional pore. According to their structure, clostridial β-PFTs are divided into several families. Clostridial cholesterol-dependent cytolysins form large pores, which disrupt the plasma membrane integrity. They are potent virulence factors mainly involved in myonecrosis. Clostridial heptameric β-PFTs (aerolysin family and staphylococcal α-hemolysin family) induce small pores which trigger signaling cascades leading to different cell responses according to the cell types and toxins. They are mainly responsible for intestinal diseases, like necrotic enteritis, or systemic diseases/toxic shock from intestinal origin. Clostridial intracellularly active toxins exploit pore formation through the endosomal membrane to translocate the enzymatic component or domain into the cytosol. Single chain protein toxins, like botulinum and tetanus neurotoxins, use hydrophobic α-helices to form pores, whereas clostridial binary toxins encompass binding components, which are structurally and functionally related to β-PFTs, but which have acquired the specific activity to internalize their corresponding enzymatic components. Structural analysis suggests that β-PFTs and binding components share a common evolutionary origin.

  10. Helicobacter pylori virulence factors as tools to study human migrations.

    PubMed

    Queiroz, Dulciene Maria de Magalhães; Cunha, Roberto Penna de Almeida; Saraiva, Ivan Euclides Borges; Rocha, Andreia Maria Camargos

    2010-12-15

    Helicobacter pylori is one of the most common infections worldwide. In most individuals it consists in a lifelong host-pathogen relationship without consequences, but in some subjects it is associated with peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer. Polymorphism in genes that code bacterial virulence factors, cagA and vacA, are independently associated with the infection severe outcomes and are geographically diverse. In the last decade, accumulated knowledge allowed to characterize typical H. pylori strain patterns for all the major human populations; patterns that can be used to study the origin of specific human groups. Thus, the presence or absence of cagA, cagA EPIYA genotypes, and vacA subtypes can be used as tools to study not only the geographic origin of specific human populations, but also to identify markers of historical contact between different ethnicities. We report here a study including a set of native Amazon Amerindians that had supposedly been some, but little, contact with European Brazilian colonizer and/or African slaves. They harbor H. pylori strains in a mixed pattern with Asian and Iberian Peninsula characteristics. It is possible that this finding represents H. pylori recombination upon short contact between human groups. Alternatively, it could be due to a founder effect from a small cluster of Asian origin native Americans.

  11. ANALYSIS OF AEROMONAS BY MASS SPECTROMETRY: SPECIATION AND VIRULENCE FACTORS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Introduction:

    A number of bacteria, including Aeromonas hydrophila, are listed on the Environmental Protection Agency's 1998 Contaminant Candidate List (CCL) as research needs. One research priority designated by the CCL is the identification of virulence activity facto...

  12. Modulation of virulence factors in Francisella tularensis determines human macrophage responses

    PubMed Central

    Carlson, Paul E.; Carroll, James A.; O’Dee, Dawn M.; Nau, Gerard J.

    2009-01-01

    Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of tularemia and Category A biodefense agent, is known to replicate within host macrophages, though the pathogenesis of this organism is incompletely understood. We have isolated a variant of F. tularensis Live Vaccine Strain (LVS) based on colony morphology and its effect on macrophages. Human monocyte-derived macrophages produced more tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and IL-12 p40 following exposure to the variant, designated the activating variant (ACV). The immunoreactivity of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from both LVS and ACV was comparable to the previously described blue variant and was distinct from the gray variant of LVS. We found, however, the soluble protein fractions of LVS and ACV differed. Further investigation using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis demonstrated higher levels of several proteins in the parental LVS isolate. The differentially-expressed proteins featured several associated with virulence in F. tularensis and other pathogens, including intracellular growth locus C (IglC), a σ54 modulation protein family member (YhbH), and aconitase. ACV reverted to the LVS phenotype, indicated by low cytokine induction and high IglC expression, after growth in a chemically-defined media. These data provide evidence that the levels of virulence factors in F. tularensis are modulated based on culture conditions and that this modulation impacts host responses. This work provides a basis for investigation of Francisella virulence factor regulation and the identification of additional factors, co-regulated with IglC, that affect macrophage responses. PMID:17369012

  13. Biotypes and virulence factors of Gardnerella vaginalis isolated from cases of bacterial vaginosis.

    PubMed

    Udayalaxmi, J; Bhat, G K; Kotigadde, S

    2011-01-01

    The present study was conducted to correlate the biotypes of Gardnerella vaginalis strains isolated from cases of bacterial vaginosis and their virulence factors. Thirty-two strains of G. vaginalis isolated from cases of bacterial vaginosis were biotyped. Adherence to vaginal epithelial cells, biofilm production, surface hydrophobicity, phospholipase C and protease activity were tested on these isolates. Biotype 1 was the most prevalent (8; 25%), followed by biotype 2 (7; 21.9%) and biotypes 5 and 8 (5; 15.6%). We did not find any statistical correlation between G. vaginalis biotypes and its virulence factors. Virulence factors expressed by G. vaginalis were not associated with a single biotype.

  14. Glycerol monolaurate inhibits virulence factor production in Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Vetter, Sara M; Schlievert, Patrick M

    2005-04-01

    Anthrax, caused by Bacillus anthracis, has been brought to the public's attention because of the 2001 bioterrorism attacks. However, anthrax is a disease that poses agricultural threats in the United States as well as human populations in Europe, China, Africa, and Australia. Glycerol monolaurate (GML) is a compound that has been shown to inhibit exotoxin production by Staphylococcus aureus and other gram-positive bacteria. Here, we study the effects of GML on growth and toxin production in B. anthracis. The Sterne strain of B. anthracis was grown to post-exponential phase with 0-, 10-, 15-, or 20-microg/ml concentrations of GML and then assayed quantitatively for protective antigen (PA) and lethal factor (LF). After 8 h, GML at concentrations greater than 20 microg/ml was bacteriostatic to growth of the organism. However, a 10-microg/ml concentration of GML was not growth inhibitory, but amounts of PA and LF made were greatly reduced. This effect was not global for all proteins when total secreted protein from culture fluids was examined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Through quantitative reverse transcription-PCR assays, this toxin-inhibitory effect was shown to occur at the transcriptional level, since amounts of mRNA for pagA (PA), lef (LF), and cya (edema factor) were reduced. Surprisingly, mRNA levels of atxA, a regulator of exotoxin gene expression, rose in the presence of GML. These data will be useful in developing therapeutic tools to treat anthrax disease, whether in animals or humans. These results also suggest that mechanisms of virulence regulation exist independent of atxA.

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

    PubMed Central

    Bartell, Jennifer A.; Blazier, Anna S.; Yen, Phillip; Thøgersen, Juliane C.; Jelsbak, Lars; Goldberg, Joanna B.; Papin, Jason A.

    2017-01-01

    Virulence-linked pathways in opportunistic pathogens are putative therapeutic targets that may be associated with less potential for resistance than targets in growth-essential pathways. However, efficacy of virulence-linked targets may be affected by the contribution of virulence-related genes to metabolism. We evaluate the complex interrelationships between growth and virulence-linked pathways using a genome-scale metabolic network reconstruction of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PA14 and an updated, expanded reconstruction of P. aeruginosa strain PAO1. The PA14 reconstruction accounts for the activity of 112 virulence-linked genes and virulence factor synthesis pathways that produce 17 unique compounds. We integrate eight published genome-scale mutant screens to validate gene essentiality predictions in rich media, contextualize intra-screen discrepancies and evaluate virulence-linked gene distribution across essentiality datasets. Computational screening further elucidates interconnectivity between inhibition of virulence factor synthesis and growth. Successful validation of selected gene perturbations using PA14 transposon mutants demonstrates the utility of model-driven screening of therapeutic targets. PMID:28266498

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartell, Jennifer A.; Blazier, Anna S.; Yen, Phillip; Thøgersen, Juliane C.; Jelsbak, Lars; Goldberg, Joanna B.; Papin, Jason A.

    2017-03-01

    Virulence-linked pathways in opportunistic pathogens are putative therapeutic targets that may be associated with less potential for resistance than targets in growth-essential pathways. However, efficacy of virulence-linked targets may be affected by the contribution of virulence-related genes to metabolism. We evaluate the complex interrelationships between growth and virulence-linked pathways using a genome-scale metabolic network reconstruction of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PA14 and an updated, expanded reconstruction of P. aeruginosa strain PAO1. The PA14 reconstruction accounts for the activity of 112 virulence-linked genes and virulence factor synthesis pathways that produce 17 unique compounds. We integrate eight published genome-scale mutant screens to validate gene essentiality predictions in rich media, contextualize intra-screen discrepancies and evaluate virulence-linked gene distribution across essentiality datasets. Computational screening further elucidates interconnectivity between inhibition of virulence factor synthesis and growth. Successful validation of selected gene perturbations using PA14 transposon mutants demonstrates the utility of model-driven screening of therapeutic targets.

  17. Global analysis of the impact of linezolid onto virulence factor production in S. aureus USA300.

    PubMed

    Bonn, Florian; Pané-Farré, Jan; Schlüter, Rabea; Schaffer, Marc; Fuchs, Stephan; Bernhardt, Jörg; Riedel, Katharina; Otto, Andreas; Völker, Uwe; van Dijl, Jan Maarten; Hecker, Michael; Mäder, Ulrike; Becher, Dörte

    2016-05-01

    The translation inhibitor linezolid is an antibiotic of last resort against Gram-positive pathogens including methicillin resistant strains of the nosocomial pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. Linezolid is reported to inhibit production of extracellular virulence factors, but the molecular cause is unknown. To elucidate the physiological response of S. aureus to linezolid in general and the inhibition of virulence factor synthesis in particular a holistic study was performed. Linezolid was added to exponentially growing S. aureus cells and the linezolid stress response was analyzed with transcriptomics and quantitative proteomics methods. In addition, scanning and transmission electron microscopy experiments as well as fluorescence microscopy analyses of the cellular DNA and membrane were performed. As previously observed in studies on other translation inhibitors, S. aureus adapts its protein biosynthesis machinery to the reduced translation efficiency. For example the synthesis of ribosomal proteins was induced. Also unexpected results like a decline in the amount of extracellular and membrane proteins were obtained. In addition, cell shape and size changed after linezolid stress and cell division was diminished. Finally, the chromosome was condensed after linezolid stress and lost contact to the membrane. These morphological changes cannot be explained by established theories. A new hypothesis is discussed, which suggests that the reduced amount of membrane and extracellular proteins and observed defects in cell division are due to the disintegration of transertion complexes by linezolid.

  18. Random T-DNA mutagenesis identifies a Cu-Zn-superoxide dismutase gene as a virulence factor of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agrobacterium-mediated transformation (AMT) was used to identify potential virulence factors in Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Screening AMT transformants identified two mutants showing significantly reduced virulence. The mutants showed similar growth rate, colony morphology, and sclerotial and oxalate ...

  19. Deciphering the virulence factors of the opportunistic pathogen Mycobacterium colombiense.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Perez, M N; Murcia, M I; Parra-Lopez, C; Blom, J; Tauch, A

    2016-11-01

    Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) contains clinically important nontuberculous mycobacteria worldwide and is the second largest medical complex in the Mycobacterium genus after the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. MAC comprises several species that are closely phylogenetically related but diverse regarding their host preference, course of disease, virulence and immune response. In this study we provided immunologic and virulence-related insights into the M. colombiense genome as a model of an opportunistic pathogen in the MAC. By using bioinformatic tools we found that M. colombiense has deletions in the genes involved in p-HBA/PDIM/PGL, PLC, SL-1 and HspX production, and loss of the ESX-1 locus. This information not only sheds light on our understanding the virulence mechanisms used by opportunistic MAC pathogens but also has great potential for the designing of species-specific diagnostic tools.

  20. Production of virulence factors in Candida strains isolated from patients with denture stomatitis and control individuals.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Cristiane Aparecida; Domingues, Nádia; Araújo, Maria Izabel Daniel Santos Alves; Junqueira, Juliana Campos; Back-Brito, Graziella Nuernberg; Jorge, Antonio Olavo Cardoso

    2016-05-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the production of virulence factors in Candida isolates from the oral cavities of 50 patients with different degrees of denture stomatitis (DS, type I, II and III) and 50 individuals without signs of DS. We evaluated the enzymatic and hemolytic activities, the biofilm formation, and the cell surface hydrophobicity (CSH) in all isolates. Germ tube (GT) production was also evaluated in Candida albicans and Candida dubliniensis isolates. In C. albicans and C. dubliniensis the secretion of hemolysin and GT production was significantly different between isolates from patients with DS and individuals without DS. No significant difference was observed in the production of virulence factors by Candida glabrata isolates. Candida isolates expressed a wide range of virulence factors. However, in the majority of isolates from the type III lesions, the production of the virulence factors was higher than for the other groups.

  1. iTRAQ-based quantitative proteomic analysis reveals potential virulence factors of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ya; Li, Jingtao; Zhang, Anding; Zhu, Weifeng; Zhang, Qiang; Xu, Zhongmin; Yan, Shuxian; Sun, Xiaomei; Chen, Huanchun; Jin, Meilin

    2017-03-08

    Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae is a ubiquitous pathogen that has caused considerable economic losses to pig farmers. However, the mechanisms of E. rhusiopathiae pathogenesis remain unclear. To identify new virulence-associated factors, the differentially abundant cell wall-associated proteins (CWPs) between high- and low-virulence strains were investigated through isobaric Tags for Relative and Absolute Quantitation (iTRAQ) combined with liquid chromatography-quadrupole mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). In total, 100 CWPs showed significant differences in abundance. Selected differences were verified by western blotting to support the iTRAQ data. Among the differential proteins, the proteins with higher abundance in the high-virulence strain were mostly ABC transporter proteins and adhesion proteins, and the proteins with lower abundance in the high-virulence strain were mainly stress-response proteins. The more abundant proteins in the high-virulence strain may be related to bacterial virulence. The iTRAQ results showed that the abundance of the sugar ABC transporter substrate-binding protein Sbp (No. 5) was higher by 1.73-fold. We further constructed an sbp-deletion mutant. Experiments in animal models showed that the sbp-deletion mutant caused decreased mortality. Together, our data indicated that transporter proteins and adhesion proteins may play important roles in E. rhusiopathiae virulence and confirmed that sbp contributed to the virulence of E. rhusiopathiae.

  2. Long-Distance Delivery of Bacterial Virulence Factors by Pseudomonas aeruginosa Outer Membrane Vesicles

    PubMed Central

    Bomberger, Jennifer M.; MacEachran, Daniel P.; Coutermarsh, Bonita A.; Ye, Siying; O'Toole, George A.; Stanton, Bruce A.

    2009-01-01

    Bacteria use a variety of secreted virulence factors to manipulate host cells, thereby causing significant morbidity and mortality. We report a mechanism for the long-distance delivery of multiple bacterial virulence factors, simultaneously and directly into the host cell cytoplasm, thus obviating the need for direct interaction of the pathogen with the host cell to cause cytotoxicity. We show that outer membrane–derived vesicles (OMV) secreted by the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa deliver multiple virulence factors, including β-lactamase, alkaline phosphatase, hemolytic phospholipase C, and Cif, directly into the host cytoplasm via fusion of OMV with lipid rafts in the host plasma membrane. These virulence factors enter the cytoplasm of the host cell via N-WASP–mediated actin trafficking, where they rapidly distribute to specific subcellular locations to affect host cell biology. We propose that secreted virulence factors are not released individually as naked proteins into the surrounding milieu where they may randomly contact the surface of the host cell, but instead bacterial derived OMV deliver multiple virulence factors simultaneously and directly into the host cell cytoplasm in a coordinated manner. PMID:19360133

  3. Inhibition of quorum sensing-controlled virulence factors in Pseudomonas aeruginosa by human serum paraoxonase.

    PubMed

    Aybey, Aynur; Demirkan, Elif

    2016-02-01

    The role of quorum sensing (QS) in the regulation of virulence factor production in Pseudomonas aeruginosa is well established. Increased antibiotic resistance in this bacterium has led to the search for new treatment options, and inhibition of the QS system has been explored for potential therapeutic benefits. If the use of QS inhibitory agents were to lead to a reduction in bacterial virulence, new approaches in the treatment of P. aeruginosa infections could be further developed. Accordingly, we examined whether human serum paraoxonase 1 (hPON1), which uses lactonase activity to hydrolyse N-acyl homoserine lactones, could cleave P. aeruginosa-derived signalling molecules. hPON1 was purified using ammonium sulfate precipitation and hydrophobic interaction chromatography (Sepharose 4B-L-tyrosine-1-naphthylamine). Different concentrations of hPON1 were found to reduce various virulence factors including pyocyanin, rhamnolipid, elastase, staphylolytic LasA protease and alkaline protease. Although treatment with 0.1-10 mg hPON1 ml(-1) did not show a highly inhibitory effect on elastase and staphylolytic LasA protease production, it resulted in good inhibitory effects on alkaline protease production at concentrations as low as 0.1 mg ml(-1). hPON1 also reduced the production of pyocyanin and rhamnolipid at a concentration of 1.25 mg ml(-1 )(within a range of 0.312-5 mg ml(-1)). In addition, rhamnolipid, an effective biosurfactant reported to stimulate the biodegradation of hydrocarbons, was able to degrade oil only in the absence of hPON1.

  4. A novel metalloproteinase virulence factor is involved in Bacillus thuringiensis pathogenesis in nematodes and insects.

    PubMed

    Peng, Donghai; Lin, Jian; Huang, Qiong; Zheng, Wen; Liu, Guoqiang; Zheng, Jinshui; Zhu, Lei; Sun, Ming

    2016-03-01

    The Gram-positive soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis has been developed as the leading microbial insecticide for years. The pathogenesis of B. thuringiensis requires common extracellular factors that depend on the PlcR regulon, which regulates a large number of virulence factors; however, the precise role of many of these proteins is not known. In this study, we describe the complete lifecycle of a nematicidal B. thuringiensis strain in the free living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans using in vitro and in vivo molecular techniques to follow host and bacterial effectors during the infection process. We then focus on the metalloproteinase ColB, a collagenase, which was found highly important for destruction of the intestine thereby facilitates the adaptation and colonization of B. thuringiensis in C. elegans. In vivo green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter-gene studies showed that ColB expression is highly induced and regulated by the global activator PlcR. Finally, we demonstrated that ColB also takes part in B. thuringiensis virulence in an insect model following injection and oral infection. Indeed, addition of purified ColB accelerates the action of Cry toxin proteins in insects, too. These results give novel insights into host adaptation for B. thuringiensis and other B. cereus group bacteria and highlight the role of collagenase metalloproteases to synergize infection process.

  5. Molecular characterization of the putative transcription factor SebA involved in virulence in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Dinamarco, Taísa Magnani; Almeida, Ricardo S; de Castro, Patrícia Alves; Brown, Neil Andrew; dos Reis, Thaila Fernanda; Ramalho, Leandra Naira Zambelli; Savoldi, Marcela; Goldman, Maria Helena S; Goldman, Gustavo Henrique

    2012-04-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a major opportunistic pathogen and allergen of mammals. Nutrient sensing and acquisition mechanisms, as well as the capability to cope with different stressing conditions, are essential for A. fumigatus virulence and survival in the mammalian host. This study characterized the A. fumigatus SebA transcription factor, which is the putative homologue of the factor encoded by Trichoderma atroviride seb1. The ΔsebA mutant demonstrated reduced growth in the presence of paraquat, hydrogen peroxide, CaCl2, and poor nutritional conditions, while viability associated with sebA was also affected by heat shock exposure. Accordingly, SebA::GFP (SebA::green fluorescent protein) was shown to accumulate in the nucleus upon exposure to oxidative stress and heat shock conditions. In addition, genes involved in either the oxidative stress or heat shock response had reduced transcription in the ΔsebA mutant. The A. fumigatus ΔsebA strain was attenuated in virulence in a murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Furthermore, killing of the ΔsebA mutant by murine alveolar macrophages was increased compared to killing of the wild-type strain. A. fumigatus SebA plays a complex role, contributing to several stress tolerance pathways and growth under poor nutritional conditions, and seems to be integrated into different stress responses.

  6. Molecular Characterization of the Putative Transcription Factor SebA Involved in Virulence in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Dinamarco, Taísa Magnani; Almeida, Ricardo S.; Alves de Castro, Patrícia; Brown, Neil Andrew; dos Reis, Thaila Fernanda; Zambelli Ramalho, Leandra Naira; Savoldi, Marcela; Goldman, Maria Helena S.

    2012-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a major opportunistic pathogen and allergen of mammals. Nutrient sensing and acquisition mechanisms, as well as the capability to cope with different stressing conditions, are essential for A. fumigatus virulence and survival in the mammalian host. This study characterized the A. fumigatus SebA transcription factor, which is the putative homologue of the factor encoded by Trichoderma atroviride seb1. The ΔsebA mutant demonstrated reduced growth in the presence of paraquat, hydrogen peroxide, CaCl2, and poor nutritional conditions, while viability associated with sebA was also affected by heat shock exposure. Accordingly, SebA::GFP (SebA::green fluorescent protein) was shown to accumulate in the nucleus upon exposure to oxidative stress and heat shock conditions. In addition, genes involved in either the oxidative stress or heat shock response had reduced transcription in the ΔsebA mutant. The A. fumigatus ΔsebA strain was attenuated in virulence in a murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Furthermore, killing of the ΔsebA mutant by murine alveolar macrophages was increased compared to killing of the wild-type strain. A. fumigatus SebA plays a complex role, contributing to several stress tolerance pathways and growth under poor nutritional conditions, and seems to be integrated into different stress responses. PMID:22345349

  7. Comprehensive identification of virulence factors required for respiratory melioidosis using Tn-seq mutagenesis.

    PubMed

    Gutierrez, Maria G; Yoder-Himes, Deborah R; Warawa, Jonathan M

    2015-01-01

    Respiratory melioidosis is a disease presentation of the biodefense pathogen, Burkholderia pseudomallei, which is frequently associated with a lethal septicemic spread of the bacteria. We have recently developed an improved respiratory melioidosis model to study the pathogenesis of Burkholderia pseudomallei in the lung (intubation-mediated intratracheal [IMIT] inoculation), which more closely models descriptions of human melioidosis, including prominent septicemic spread from the lung and reduced involvement of the upper respiratory tract. We previously demonstrated that the Type 3 Secretion System cluster 3 (T3SS3) is a critical virulence determinant for B. pseudomallei when delivered directly into the lung. We decided to comprehensively identify all virulence determinants required for respiratory melioidosis using the Tn-seq phenotypic screen, as well as to investigate which virulence determinants are required for dissemination to the liver and spleen. While previous studies have used Tn-seq to identify essential genes for in vitro cultured B. pseudomallei, this represents the first study to use Tn-seq to identify genes required for in vivo fitness. Consistent with our previous findings, we identified T3SS3 as the largest genetic cluster required for fitness in the lung. Furthermore, we identified capsular polysaccharide and Type 6 Secretion System cluster 5 (T6SS5) as the two additional major genetic clusters facilitating respiratory melioidosis. Importantly, Tn-seq did not identify additional, novel large genetic systems supporting respiratory melioidosis, although these studies identified additional small gene clusters that may also play crucial roles in lung fitness. Interestingly, other previously identified virulence determinants do not appear to be required for lung fitness, such as lipopolysaccharide. The role of T3SS3, capsule, and T6SS5 in lung fitness was validated by competition studies, but only T3SS3 was found to be important for respiratory

  8. Analysis of Newcastle disease virus quasispecies and factors affecting the emergence of virulent virus.

    PubMed

    Kattenbelt, Jacqueline A; Stevens, Matthew P; Selleck, Paul W; Gould, Allan R

    2010-10-01

    Genome sequence analysis of a number of avirulent field isolates of Newcastle disease virus revealed the presence of viruses (within their quasispecies) that contained virulent F0 sequences. Detection of these virulent sequences below the ~1% level, using standard cloning and sequence analysis, proved difficult, and thus a more sensitive reverse-transcription real-time PCR procedure was developed to detect both virulent and avirulent NDV F0 sequences. Reverse-transcription real-time PCR analysis of the quasispecies of a number of Newcastle disease virus field isolates, revealed variable ratios (approximately 1:4-1:4,000) of virulent to avirulent viral F0 sequences. Since the ratios of these sequences generally remained constant in the quasispecies population during replication, factors that could affect the balance of virulent to avirulent sequences during viral infection of birds were investigated. It was shown both in vitro and in vivo that virulent virus present in the quasispecies did not emerge from the "avirulent background" unless a direct selection pressure was placed on the quasispecies, either by growth conditions or by transient immunosuppression. The effect of a prior infection of the host by infectious bronchitis virus or infectious bursal disease virus on the subsequent emergence of virulent Newcastle disease virus was examined.

  9. Effects of the ERES pathogenicity region regulator Ralp3 on Streptococcus pyogenes serotype M49 virulence factor expression.

    PubMed

    Siemens, Nikolai; Fiedler, Tomas; Normann, Jana; Klein, Johannes; Münch, Richard; Patenge, Nadja; Kreikemeyer, Bernd

    2012-07-01

    Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococcus [GAS]) is a highly virulent Gram-positive bacterium. For successful infection, GAS expresses many virulence factors, which are clustered together with transcriptional regulators in distinct genomic regions. Ralp3 is a central regulator of the ERES region. In this study, we investigated the role of Ralp3 in GAS M49 pathogenesis. The inactivation of Ralp3 resulted in reduced attachment to and internalization into human keratinocytes. The Δralp3 mutant failed to survive in human blood and serum, and the hyaluronic acid capsule was slightly decreased. In addition, the mutant showed a lower binding capacity to human plasminogen, and the SpeB activity was significantly decreased. Complementation of the Δralp3 mutant restored the wild-type phenotype. The transcriptome and quantitative reverse transcription-PCR analysis of the serotype M49 GAS strain and its isogenic Δralp3 mutant identified 16 genes as upregulated, and 43 genes were found to be downregulated. Among the downregulated genes, there were open reading frames encoding proteins involved in metabolism (e.g., both lac operons and the fru operon), genes encoding lantibiotics (e.g., the putative salivaricin operon), and ORFs encoding virulence factors (such as the whole Mga core regulon and further genes under Mga control). In summary, the ERES region regulator Ralp3 is an important serotype-specific transcriptional regulator for virulence and metabolic control.

  10. The serine protease Pic as a virulence factor of atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Abreu, Afonso G; Abe, Cecilia M; Nunes, Kamila O; Moraes, Claudia T P; Chavez-Dueñas, Lucia; Navarro-Garcia, Fernando; Barbosa, Angela S; Piazza, Roxane M F; Elias, Waldir P

    2016-01-01

    Autotransporter proteins (AT) are associated with bacterial virulence attributes. Originally identified in enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC), Shigella flexneri 2a and uropathogenic E. coli, the serine protease Pic is one of these AT. We have previously detected one atypical enteropathogenic E. coli strain (BA589) carrying the pic gene. In the present study, we characterized the biological activities of Pic produced by BA589 both in vitro and in vivo. Contrarily to other Pic-producers bacteria, pic in BA589 is located on a high molecular weight plasmid. PicBA589 was able to agglutinate rabbit erythrocytes, cleave mucin and degrade complement system molecules. BA589 was able to colonize mice intestines, and an intense mucus production was observed. The BA589Δpic mutant lost the capacity to colonize as well as the above-mentioned in vitro activities. Thus, Pic represents an additional virulence factor in aEPEC strain BA589, associated with adherence, colonization and evasion from the innate immune system.

  11. MarA, SoxS and Rob function as virulence factors in an Escherichia coli murine model of ascending pyelonephritis.

    PubMed

    Casaz, Paul; Garrity-Ryan, Lynne K; McKenney, David; Jackson, Caroline; Levy, Stuart B; Tanaka, S Ken; Alekshun, Michael N

    2006-12-01

    MarA, SoxS and Rob are transcription factors belonging to the AraC family. While these proteins have been associated historically with control of multiple antibiotic resistance, and tolerance to oxidative stress agents and organic solvents, only a paucity of experimental data support a role in regulating virulence. Clinical Escherichia coli isolates, and isogenic strains lacking marA, soxS and rob, were studied in a murine model of ascending pyelonephritis, which is a clinically relevant model of urinary tract infection. Organisms lacking all three transcription factors (triple knockouts) were significantly less virulent than parental strains, and complementation studies demonstrated that the addition of marA, soxS and rob individually restored wild-type virulence in the triple-knockout strain. Deletion of soxS or rob alone was more detrimental than the removal of marA. Thus, all three proteins contribute to virulence in vivo.

  12. Detection of virulence factors and molecular typing of pathogenic Leptospira from capybara (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris).

    PubMed

    Jorge, Sérgio; Monte, Leonardo G; Coimbra, Marco Antonio; Albano, Ana Paula; Hartwig, Daiane D; Lucas, Caroline; Seixas, Fabiana K; Dellagostin, Odir A; Hartleben, Cláudia P

    2012-10-01

    Leptospirosis is a globally prevalent zoonosis caused by pathogenic Leptospira spp.; several serologic variants have reservoirs in synanthropic rodents. The capybara is the largest living rodent in the world, and it has a wide geographical distribution in Central and South America. This rodent is a significant source of Leptospira since the agent is shed via urine into the environment and is a potential public health threat. In this study, we isolated and identified by molecular techniques a pathogenic Leptospira from capybara in southern Brazil. The isolated strain was characterized by partial rpoB gene sequencing and variable-number tandem-repeats analysis as L. interrogans, serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae. In addition, to confirm the expression of virulence factors, the bacterial immunoglobulin-like proteins A and B expression was detected by indirect immunofluorescence using leptospiral specific monoclonal antibodies. This report identifies capybaras as an important source of infection and provides insight into the epidemiology of leptospirosis.

  13. Common Virulence Factors and Tissue Targets of Entomopathogenic Bacteria for Biological Control of Lepidopteran Pests

    PubMed Central

    Castagnola, Anaïs; Stock, S. Patricia

    2014-01-01

    This review focuses on common insecticidal virulence factors from entomopathogenic bacteria with special emphasis on two insect pathogenic bacteria Photorhabdus (Proteobacteria: Enterobacteriaceae) and Bacillus (Firmicutes: Bacillaceae). Insect pathogenic bacteria of diverse taxonomic groups and phylogenetic origin have been shown to have striking similarities in the virulence factors they produce. It has been suggested that the detection of phage elements surrounding toxin genes, horizontal and lateral gene transfer events, and plasmid shuffling occurrences may be some of the reasons that virulence factor genes have so many analogs throughout the bacterial kingdom. Comparison of virulence factors of Photorhabdus, and Bacillus, two bacteria with dissimilar life styles opens the possibility of re-examining newly discovered toxins for novel tissue targets. For example, nematodes residing in the hemolymph may release bacteria with virulence factors targeting neurons or neuromuscular junctions. The first section of this review focuses on toxins and their context in agriculture. The second describes the mode of action of toxins from common entomopathogens and the third draws comparisons between Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria. The fourth section reviews the implications of the nervous system in biocontrol. PMID:24634779

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Staphylococcus pseudintermedius is a common commensal bacterium colonizing the skin and mucosal surfaces of household animals. However, it has recently emerged as a dangerous opportunistic pathogen, comparable to S. aureus for humans. The epidemiological situation is further complicated by the increasing number of methicillin-resistant S. pseudintermedius infections and evidence of gene transmission driving antibiotic resistance between staphylococci colonizing human and zoonotic hosts. In the present study, we describe a unique peptide, BacSp222, that possesses features characteristic of both bacteriocins and virulence factors. BacSp222 is secreted in high quantities by S. pseudintermedius strain 222 isolated from dog skin lesions. This linear, fifty-amino-acid highly cationic peptide is plasmid-encoded and does not exhibit significant sequence similarities to any other known peptides or proteins. BacSp222 kills gram-positive bacteria (at doses ranging from 0.1 to several micromol/l) but also demonstrates significant cytotoxic activities towards eukaryotic cells at slightly higher concentrations. Moreover, at nanomolar concentrations, the peptide also possesses modulatory properties, efficiently enhancing interferon gamma-induced nitric oxide release in murine macrophage-like cell lines. BacSp222 appears to be one of the first examples of multifunctional peptides that breaks the convention of splitting bacteriocins and virulence factors into two unrelated groups. PMID:26411997

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-28

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

  16. Contribution of Salmonella typhimurium Virulence Factors to Diarrheal Disease in Calves

    PubMed Central

    Tsolis, Renée M.; Adams, L. Garry; Ficht, Thomas A.; Bäumler, Andreas J.

    1999-01-01

    Limited knowledge is available about the virulence mechanisms responsible for diarrheal disease caused by Salmonella typhimurium. To assess the contribution to diarrheal disease of virulence determinants identified in models of infection, we tested a collection of S. typhimurium mutants for their ability to cause enteritis in calves. S. typhimurium strains carrying mutations in the virulence plasmid (spvR), Salmonella pathogenicity island 2 (SPI-2) (spiB), or SPI-5 (sopB) caused mortality and acute diarrhea in calves. An S. typhimurium rfaJ mutant, which is defective for lipopolysaccharide outer core biosynthesis, was of intermediate virulence. Mutations in SPI-1 (hilA and prgH) or aroA markedly reduced virulence and the severity of diarrhea. Furthermore, histopathological examination of calves infected with SPI-1 or aroA mutants revealed a marked reduction or absence of intestinal lesions. These data suggest that virulence factors, such as SPI-1, which are required during intestinal colonization are more important for pathogenicity in calves than are genes required during the systemic phase of S. typhimurium infection, including SPI-2 or the spv operon. This is in contrast to the degree of attenuation caused by these mutations in the mouse. PMID:10456944

  17. Stationary Phase-Specific Virulence Factor Overproduction by a lasR Mutant of Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    Cabeen, Matthew T.

    2014-01-01

    Secreted virulence factors of the human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa are often under quorum sensing control. Cells lacking the quorum-sensing regulator LasR show reduced virulence factor production under typical laboratory conditions and are hypo-virulent in short-term animal infection models, yet lasR mutants are frequently associated with long-term infection in cystic fibrosis patients. Here, I show that in stationary-phase or slow-growth conditions, lasR cells continuously and strongly produce the important virulence factor pyocyanin while wild-type cells do not. Pyocyanin overproduction by lasR cells is permitted by loss of repression by RsaL, a LasR-dependent negative regulator. lasR cells also contribute pyocyanin in mixed cultures, even under “cheating” conditions where they depend on their wild-type neighbors for nutrients. Finally, some clinical P. aeruginosa isolates with lasR mutations can overproduce pyocyanin in the laboratory. These results imply that slow-growing clinical populations of lasR cells in chronic infections may contribute to virulence by producing pyocyanin under conditions where lasR+ cells do not. PMID:24533146

  18. Differences in production of several extracellular virulence factors in clinical and food Aeromonas spp. strains.

    PubMed

    Pin, C; Marín, M L; Selgas, D; García, M L; Tormo, J; Casas, C

    1995-02-01

    Production of several extracellular virulence factors (lipase, protease and haemolysin) was compared in 15 Aeromonas spp. isolated from faeces of patients with Aeromonas-associated gastroenteritis and 81 strains isolated from food. Strains from food did not show differences in production of these factors when compared with strains isolated from faeces. However, if strains were considered in relation to autoagglutination (AA) character, the AA+ differed from AA- strains in lipase and protease production. Supernatant fluids of AA+ food and human strains showed 2.5-fold more protease production than that observed in AA- strains. These two characteristics of certain Aeromonas strains could be related with the more virulent capacity.

  19. Effect of Negative Pressure on Proliferation, Virulence Factor Secretion, Biofilm Formation, and Virulence-Regulated Gene Expression of Pseudomonas aeruginosa In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Guo-Qi; Li, Tong-Tong; Li, Zhi-Rui; Zhang, Li-Cheng

    2016-01-01

    Objective. To investigate the effect of negative pressure conditions induced by NPWT on P. aeruginosa. Methods. P. aeruginosa was cultured in a Luria–Bertani medium at negative pressure of −125 mmHg for 24 h in the experimental group and at atmospheric pressure in the control group. The diameters of the colonies of P. aeruginosa were measured after 24 h. ELISA kit, orcinol method, and elastin-Congo red assay were used to quantify the virulence factors. Biofilm formation was observed by staining with Alexa Fluor® 647 conjugate of concanavalin A (Con A). Virulence-regulated genes were determined by quantitative RT-PCR. Results. As compared with the control group, growth of P. aeruginosa was inhibited by negative pressure. The colony size under negative pressure was significantly smaller in the experimental group than that in the controls (p < 0.01). Besides, reductions in the total amount of virulence factors were observed in the negative pressure group, including exotoxin A, rhamnolipid, and elastase. RT-PCR results revealed a significant inhibition in the expression level of virulence-regulated genes. Conclusion. Negative pressure could significantly inhibit the growth of P. aeruginosa. It led to a decrease in the virulence factor secretion, biofilm formation, and a reduction in the expression level of virulence-regulated genes. PMID:28074188

  20. Comparative secretomics reveals novel virulence-associated factors of Vibrio parahaemolyticus

    PubMed Central

    He, Yu; Wang, Hua; Chen, Lanming

    2015-01-01

    Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a causative agent of serious human seafood-borne gastroenteritis disease and even death. In this study, for the first time, we obtained the secretomic profiles of seven V. parahaemolyticus strains of clinical and food origins. The strains exhibited various toxic genotypes and phenotypes of antimicrobial susceptibility and heavy metal resistance, five of which were isolated from aquatic products in Shanghai, China. Fourteen common extracellular proteins were identified from the distinct secretomic profiles using the two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) techniques. Of these, half were involved in protein synthesis and sugar transport of V. parahaemolyticus. Strikingly, six identified proteins were virulence-associated factors involved in the pathogenicity of some other pathogenic bacteria, including the translation elongation factor EF-Tu, pyridoxine 5′-phosphate synthase, σ54 modulation protein, dihydrolipoyl dehydrogenase, transaldolase and phosphoglycerate kinase. In addition, comparative secretomics also revealed several extracellular proteins that have not been described in any bacteria, such as the ribosome-recycling factor, translation elongation factor EF-Ts, phosphocarrier protein HPr and maltose-binding protein MalE. The results in this study will facilitate the better understanding of the pathogenesis of V. parahaemolyticus and provide data in support of novel vaccine candidates against the leading seafood-borne pathogen worldwide. PMID:26236293

  1. Streptolysin S-like virulence factors: the continuing sagA

    PubMed Central

    Molloy, Evelyn M.; Cotter, Paul D.; Hill, Colin; Mitchell, Douglas A.; Ross, R. Paul

    2014-01-01

    Streptolysin S (SLS) is a potent cytolytic toxin and virulence factor produced by nearly all Streptococcus pyogenes strains. Despite a 100-year history of research on this toxin, it has only recently been established that SLS represents the archetypal example of an extended family of post-translationally modified virulence factors also produced by some other streptococci and Gram-positive pathogens, such as Listeria monocytogenes and Clostridium botulinum. In this Review we describe the identification, genetics, biochemistry and various functions of SLS. We also discuss the shared features of the virulence-associated SLS-like peptides, as well as their place within the rapidly expanding family of thiazole/oxazole-modified microcins (TOMMs). PMID:21822292

  2. Crystal Structure of the Protease-Resistant Core Domain of Yersinia Pestis Virulence Factor Yopr

    SciTech Connect

    Schubot,F.; Cherry, S.; Austin, B.; Tropea, J.; Waugh, D.

    2005-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of the plague, employs a type III secretion system (T3SS) to secrete and translocate virulence factors into the cytoplasm of mammalian host cells. One of the secreted virulence factors is YopR. Little is known about the function of YopR other than that it is secreted into the extracellular milieu during the early stages of infection and that it contributes to virulence. Hoping to gain some insight into the function of YopR, we determined the crystal structure of its protease-resistant core domain, which consists of residues 38--149 out of 165 amino acids. The core domain is composed of five {alpha}-helices that display unexpected structural similarity with one domain of YopN, a central regulator of type III secretion in Y. pestis. This finding raises the possibility that YopR may play a role in the regulation of type III secretion.

  3. Relevance of the transcription factor PdSte12 in Penicillium digitatum conidiation and virulence during citrus fruit infection.

    PubMed

    Vilanova, Laura; Teixidó, Neus; Torres, Rosario; Usall, Josep; Viñas, Inmaculada; Sánchez-Torres, Paloma

    2016-10-17

    Green mould, resulting from Penicillium digitatum, is the most important postharvest disease of citrus. In a previous study, the PdSte12 transcription factor gene was identified, and disruption mutants were obtained. In the present study, the ΔPdSte12 mutants generated through gene replacement showed significantly reduced virulence during citrus fruit infection. Virulence was affected not only in mature fruit but also in immature fruit, and disease severity was markedly reduced when the oranges were stored at 20 or 4°C. In addition, the ΔPdSte12 mutants were defective in asexual reproduction, producing few conidia. The conidiophores of these mutants had longer metulae with fewer branches at the tip of the hyphae. Gene expression analysis revealed that PdSte12 might act as a negative regulator of several transporter-encoding genes and a positive regulator of two sterol demethylases, all of which are involved in fungicide resistance and fungal virulence. Moreover, PdSte12 exhibited the negative regulation of another transcription factor PdMut3, putatively involved in fungal pathogenesis but with no effect on the MAPK SLT2 P. digitatum orthologue belonging to different transcription pathways relevant to cell integrity. These results indicate the PdSte12 transcription factor is functionally conserved in P. digitatum for infection and asexual reproduction, similar to other Ste12 fungal plant pathogens.

  4. Virulence factors in vancomycin-resistant and vancomycin- susceptible Enterococcus faecalis from Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Camargo, I. L. B. C.; Zanella, R. C.; Gilmore, M. S.; Darini, A. L. C.

    2008-01-01

    Enterococci are members of commensal flora of animals and insects, but are also important opportunistic pathogens. Our objective was to observe if there was any difference of virulence in several groups of E. faecalis, mainly between vancomycin-resistant E. faecalis (VREFS) of colonization and infection. VREFS and vancomycin-sensitive E. faecalis from Brazil were screened for the presence of virulence factor genes. Phenotypic assays were used to assess in vitro expression, to understand the pathogenic potential of these isolates and to determine whether a correlation exists between virulence and antibiotic resistance. Different virulence profiles were found suggesting that the disseminating clone may have generated several variations. However, our study showed that one constellation of traits appeared most commonly: gelatinase, aggregation substance and esp (GEA). These factors are important because they have been implicated in cell aggregation and biofilm formation. Biofilm formation may promote the conjugation of plasmids harboring resistance and virulence genes, enhancing the probability of entry of new resistance genes into species. Curiously, the profile GEA was not exclusive to VREFS, it was the second most observed in VSEFS isolates from colonization and infection in hospitalized patients and also from rectal swabs of healthy volunteers. Such strains appear to represent the entry gateway to new resistance genes into E. faecalis and may contribute to the spreading of E. faecalis mainly in hospitals. PMID:24031215

  5. Catheter-related infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa: virulence factors involved and their relationships.

    PubMed

    Olejnickova, Katerina; Hola, Veronika; Ruzicka, Filip

    2014-11-01

    The nosocomial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa is equipped with a large arsenal of cell-associated and secreted virulence factors which enhance its invasive potential. The complex relationships among virulence determinants have hitherto not been fully elucidated. In the present study, 175 catheter-related isolates were observed for the presence of selected virulence factors, namely extracellular enzymes and siderophore production, biofilm formation, resistance to antibiotics, and motility. A high percentage of the strains produced most of the tested virulence factors. A positive correlation was identified between the production of several exoproducts, and also between the formation of both types of biofilm. An opposite trend was observed between the two types of biofilm and the production of siderophores. Whereas the relationship between the submerged biofilm production (i.e. the biofilm formed on the solid surface below the water level) and the siderophore secretion was negative, the production of air-liquid interface (A-L) biofilm (i.e. the biofilm floating on the surface of the cultivation medium) and the siderophore secretion were positively correlated. All correlations were statistically significant at the level P = 0.05 with the correlation coefficient γ ≥ 0.50. Our results suggest that: (1) the co-production of the lytic enzymes and siderophores can play an important role in the pathogenesis of the catheter-related infections and should be taken into account when the virulence potential is assessed; (2) biofilm-positive strains are capable of forming both submerged and non-attached A-L biofilms; and (3) the different micro-environment in the submerged biofilm and A-L biofilm layers have opposite consequences for the production of other virulence factors.

  6. High Incidence of Virulence Factors Among Clinical Enterococcus faecalis Isolates in Southwestern Iran

    PubMed Central

    Heidari, Hamid; Hasanpour, Somayeh; Ebrahim-Saraie, Hadi Sedigh

    2017-01-01

    Background Over the past two decades, enterococci have emerged as an important agent responsible for hospital acquired infection. Several virulence factors contribute to the adherence, colonization, evasion of the host immune response, and pathogenicity and severity of the infection. Enterococcus faecalis is the most common and virulent species causing infections in hospitalized patients. The aim of the present study was to examine the prevalence of genes encoding virulence factors and antimicrobial resistance patterns of E. faecalis strains isolated from hospitalized patients in Shiraz, south west of Iran. Materials and Methods A total of 51 E. faecalis isolates from the urine, blood, pleural fluid, peritoneal fluid, eye discharge, endotracheal tube (ETT) and transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) specimens of patients were identified by phenotypic and genotypic methods. Antimicrobial sensitivity tests and detection of virulence factors were performed using standard methods. Results The efa and asa1 were the most frequently detected gene (100%) among the isolates, followed by esp (94.1%), ace (90.2%), gelE (80.4%), cylA (64.7%), and hyl (51%). More than half of the isolates (52.9%) were high level gentamicin resistant (HLGR). Vancomycin resistance was observed among 23 (45.1%) isolates. The lowest antimicrobial activity was related to erythromycin (3.9%), tetracycline (5.9%) and ciprofloxacin (9.8%). No isolate was found resistant to fosfomycin and linezolid. Conclusion Our data indicated a high incidence of virulence factors among E. faecalis strains isolated from clinical samples. Colonization of drug resistant virulent isolates in hospital environment may lead to life threatening infection in hospitalized patients. Therefore, infection control procedures should be performed. PMID:28332345

  7. High frequency of virulence factor genes tdh, trh, and tlh in Vibrio parahaemolyticus strains isolated from a pristine estuary.

    PubMed

    Gutierrez West, Casandra K; Klein, Savannah L; Lovell, Charles R

    2013-04-01

    Virulence factor genes encoding the thermostable direct hemolysin (tdh) and the thermostable direct hemolysin-related hemolysin (trh) are strongly correlated with virulence of the emergent human pathogen Vibrio parahaemolyticus. The gene encoding the thermolabile hemolysin (tlh) is also considered a signature molecular marker for the species. These genes are typically reported in very low percentages (1 to 2%) of nonclinical strains. V. parahaemolyticus strains were isolated from various niches within a pristine estuary (North Inlet, SC) and were screened for these genes using both newly designed PCR primers and more commonly used primers. DNA sequences of tdh and trh were recovered from 48% and 8.3%, respectively, of these North Inlet strains. The recovery of pathogenic V. parahaemolyticus strains in such high proportions from an estuarine ecosystem that is virtually free of anthropogenic influences indicates the potential for additional, perhaps environmental roles of the tdh and trh genes.

  8. Synergistic and Additive Effects of Chromosomal and Plasmid-Encoded Hemolysins Contribute to Hemolysis and Virulence in Photobacterium damselae subsp. damselae

    PubMed Central

    Rivas, Amable J.; Balado, Miguel; Lemos, Manuel L.

    2013-01-01

    Photobacterium damselae subsp. damselae causes infections and fatal disease in marine animals and in humans. Highly hemolytic strains produce damselysin (Dly) and plasmid-encoded HlyA (HlyApl). These hemolysins are encoded by plasmid pPHDD1 and contribute to hemolysis and virulence for fish and mice. In this study, we report that all the hemolytic strains produce a hitherto uncharacterized chromosome-encoded HlyA (HlyAch). Hemolysis was completely abolished in a single hlyAch mutant of a plasmidless strain and in a dly hlyApl hlyAch triple mutant. We found that Dly, HlyApl, and HlyAch are needed for full hemolytic values in strains harboring pPHDD1, and these values are the result of the additive effects between HlyApl and HlyAch, on the one hand, and of the synergistic effect of Dly with HlyApl and HlyAch, on the other hand. Interestingly, Dly-producing strains produced synergistic effects with strains lacking Dly production but secreting HlyA, constituting a case of the CAMP (Christie, Atkins, and Munch-Petersen) reaction. Environmental factors such as iron starvation and salt concentration were found to regulate the expression of the three hemolysins. We found that the contributions, in terms of the individual and combined effects, of the three hemolysins to hemolysis and virulence varied depending on the animal species tested. While Dly and HlyApl were found to be main contributors in the virulence for mice, we observed that the contribution of hemolysins to virulence for fish was mainly based on the synergistic effects between Dly and either of the two HlyA hemolysins rather than on their individual effects. PMID:23798530

  9. Functional Genomic Characterization of Virulence Factors from Necrotizing Fasciitis-Causing Strains of Aeromonas hydrophila

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    The genomes of 10 Aeromonas isolates identified and designated Aeromonas hydrophila WI, Riv3, and NF1 to NF4; A. dhakensis SSU; A. jandaei Riv2; and A. caviae NM22 and NM33 were sequenced and annotated. Isolates NF1 to NF4 were from a patient with necrotizing fasciitis (NF). Two environmental isolates (Riv2 and -3) were from the river water from which the NF patient acquired the infection. While isolates NF2 to NF4 were clonal, NF1 was genetically distinct. Outside the conserved core genomes of these 10 isolates, several unique genomic features were identified. The most virulent strains possessed one of the following four virulence factors or a combination of them: cytotoxic enterotoxin, exotoxin A, and type 3 and 6 secretion system effectors AexU and Hcp. In a septicemic-mouse model, SSU, NF1, and Riv2 were the most virulent, while NF2 was moderately virulent. These data correlated with high motility and biofilm formation by the former three isolates. Conversely, in a mouse model of intramuscular infection, NF2 was much more virulent than NF1. Isolates NF2, SSU, and Riv2 disseminated in high numbers from the muscular tissue to the visceral organs of mice, while NF1 reached the liver and spleen in relatively lower numbers on the basis of colony counting and tracking of bioluminescent strains in real time by in vivo imaging. Histopathologically, degeneration of myofibers with significant infiltration of polymorphonuclear cells due to the highly virulent strains was noted. Functional genomic analysis provided data that allowed us to correlate the highly infectious nature of Aeromonas pathotypes belonging to several different species with virulence signatures and their potential ability to cause NF. PMID:24795370

  10. Examining the virulence of Candida albicans transcription factor mutants using Galleria mellonella and mouse infection models.

    PubMed

    Amorim-Vaz, Sara; Delarze, Eric; Ischer, Françoise; Sanglard, Dominique; Coste, Alix T

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to identify Candida albicans transcription factors (TFs) involved in virulence. Although mice are considered the gold-standard model to study fungal virulence, mini-host infection models have been increasingly used. Here, barcoded TF mutants were first screened in mice by pools of strains and fungal burdens (FBs) quantified in kidneys. Mutants of unannotated genes which generated a kidney FB significantly different from that of wild-type were selected and individually examined in Galleria mellonella. In addition, mutants that could not be detected in mice were also tested in G. mellonella. Only 25% of these mutants displayed matching phenotypes in both hosts, highlighting a significant discrepancy between the two models. To address the basis of this difference (pool or host effects), a set of 19 mutants tested in G. mellonella were also injected individually into mice. Matching FB phenotypes were observed in 50% of the cases, highlighting the bias due to host effects. In contrast, 33.4% concordance was observed between pool and single strain infections in mice, thereby highlighting the bias introduced by the "pool effect." After filtering the results obtained from the two infection models, mutants for MBF1 and ZCF6 were selected. Independent marker-free mutants were subsequently tested in both hosts to validate previous results. The MBF1 mutant showed impaired infection in both models, while the ZCF6 mutant was only significant in mice infections. The two mutants showed no obvious in vitro phenotypes compared with the wild-type, indicating that these genes might be specifically involved in in vivo adapt.

  11. Examining the virulence of Candida albicans transcription factor mutants using Galleria mellonella and mouse infection models

    PubMed Central

    Amorim-Vaz, Sara; Delarze, Eric; Ischer, Françoise; Sanglard, Dominique; Coste, Alix T

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to identify Candida albicans transcription factors (TFs) involved in virulence. Although mice are considered the gold-standard model to study fungal virulence, mini-host infection models have been increasingly used. Here, barcoded TF mutants were first screened in mice by pools of strains and fungal burdens (FBs) quantified in kidneys. Mutants of unannotated genes which generated a kidney FB significantly different from that of wild-type were selected and individually examined in Galleria mellonella. In addition, mutants that could not be detected in mice were also tested in G. mellonella. Only 25% of these mutants displayed matching phenotypes in both hosts, highlighting a significant discrepancy between the two models. To address the basis of this difference (pool or host effects), a set of 19 mutants tested in G. mellonella were also injected individually into mice. Matching FB phenotypes were observed in 50% of the cases, highlighting the bias due to host effects. In contrast, 33.4% concordance was observed between pool and single strain infections in mice, thereby highlighting the bias introduced by the “pool effect.” After filtering the results obtained from the two infection models, mutants for MBF1 and ZCF6 were selected. Independent marker-free mutants were subsequently tested in both hosts to validate previous results. The MBF1 mutant showed impaired infection in both models, while the ZCF6 mutant was only significant in mice infections. The two mutants showed no obvious in vitro phenotypes compared with the wild-type, indicating that these genes might be specifically involved in in vivo adapt PMID:25999923

  12. Identification of novel secreted virulence factors from Xylella fastidiosa using a TRV expression system

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Xylella fastidiosa is a bacterium that causes leaf scorch diseases of agriculturally important crops including grapevines and almonds. Little is known about virulence factors that are necessary for X. fastidiosa to grow and cause disease in the xylem vessels of a plant host. Any protein secreted by ...

  13. Dynamics of E.coli virulence factors in dairy cow herds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background. Dairy farms are known reservoirs of entero-pathogenic E. coli (EPEC). EPEC, or the virulence factors associated with pathogenicity, have been detected in manure, milk, and the farm environment. However, it is unclear which farm compartments are reservoirs contributing to EPEC persistence...

  14. Virulence factors-pathogenicity relationships for Aeromonas species from clinical and food isolates.

    PubMed

    Pin, C; Morales, P; Marín, M L; Selgas, M D; García, M L; Casas, C

    1997-01-01

    The presence of virulence factors in 96 Aeromonas strains isolated from food and clinical samples was studied. Neither cytotoxic activity and hydrophobicity, not the presence of pili or an extra surface layer made it possible to establish differences between food and clinical strains. Statistical studies showed that cytotoxin production was associated with a positive Voges-Proskauer reaction, inability to ferment arabinose and a positive lysine decarboxylation. Therefore, when comparing cytotoxic clinical and food strains with lysine decarboxylation phenotype, there was a significant difference (p < 0.05) between the two groups. The association of a cytotoxin production and lysine decarboxylation character should thus be considered as a possible virulence marker.

  15. Systematic annotation and analysis of “virmugens” - virulence factors whose mutants can be used as live attenuated vaccines

    PubMed Central

    Racz, Rebecca; Chung, Monica; Xiang, Zuoshuang; He, Yongqun

    2012-01-01

    Live attenuated vaccines are usually generated by mutation of genes encoding virulence factors. “Virmugen” is coined here to represent a gene that encodes for a virulent factor of a pathogen and has been proven feasible in animal models to make a live attenuated vaccine by knocking out this gene. Not all virulence factors are virmugens. VirmugenDB is a web-based virmugen database (http://www.violinet.org/virmugendb). Currently, VirmugenDB includes 225 virmugens that have been verified to be valuable for vaccine development against 57 bacterial, viral, and protozoan pathogens. Bioinformatics analysis has revealed significant patterns in virmugens. For example, 10 Gram-negative and one Gram-positive bacterial aroA genes are virmugens. A sequence analysis has revealed at least 50% of identities in the protein sequences of the 10 Gram-negative bacterial aroA virmugens. As a pathogen case study, Brucella virmugens were analyzed. Out of 15 verified Brucella virmugens, six are related to carbohydrate or nucleotide transport and metabolism, and two involving cell membrane biogenesis. In addition, 54 virmugens from 24 viruses and 12 virmugens from 4 parasites are also stored in VirmugenDB. Virmugens tend to involve metabolism of nutrients (e.g., amino acids, carbohydrates, and nucleotides) and cell membrane formation. Host genes whose expressions were regulated by virmugen mutation vaccines or wild type virulent pathogens have also been annotated and systematically compared. The bioinformatics annotation and analysis of virmugens helps elucidate enriched virmugen profiles and the mechanisms of protective immunity, and further supports rational vaccine design. PMID:23219434

  16. Identification of two substrates of FTS_1067 protein - An essential virulence factor of Francisella tularensis.

    PubMed

    Spidlova, Petra; Senitkova, Iva; Link, Marek; Stulik, Jiri

    2016-11-15

    Francisella tularensis is a highly virulent intracellular pathogen with the capacity to infect a variety of hosts including humans. One of the most important proteins involved in F. tularensis virulence and pathogenesis is the protein DsbA. This protein is annotated as a lipoprotein with disulfide oxidoreductase/isomerase activity. Therefore, its interactions with different substrates, including probable virulence factors, to assist in their proper folding are anticipated. We aimed to use the immunopurification approach to find DsbA (gene locus FTS_1067) interacting partners in F. tularensis subsp. holarctica strain FSC200 and compare the identified substrates with proteins which were found in our previous comparative proteome analysis. As a result of our work two FTS_1067 substrates, D-alanyl-D-alanine carboxypeptidase family protein and HlyD family secretion protein, were identified. Bacterial two-hybrid systems were further used to test their relevance in confirming FTS_1067 protein interactions.

  17. Staphylococcus aureus RNAIII coordinately represses the synthesis of virulence factors and the transcription regulator Rot by an antisense mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Boisset, Sandrine; Geissmann, Thomas; Huntzinger, Eric; Fechter, Pierre; Bendridi, Nadia; Possedko, Maria; Chevalier, Clément; Helfer, Anne Catherine; Benito, Yvonne; Jacquier, Alain; Gaspin, Christine; Vandenesch, François; Romby, Pascale

    2007-01-01

    RNAIII is the intracellular effector of the quorum-sensing system in Staphylococcus aureus. It is one of the largest regulatory RNAs (514 nucleotides long) that are known to control the expression of a large number of virulence genes. Here, we show that the 3′ domain of RNAIII coordinately represses at the post-transcriptional level, the expression of mRNAs that encode a class of virulence factors that act early in the infection process. We demonstrate that the 3′ domain acts primarily as an antisense RNA and rapidly anneals to these mRNAs, forming long RNA duplexes. The interaction between RNAIII and the mRNAs results in repression of translation initiation and triggers endoribonuclease III hydrolysis. These processes are followed by rapid depletion of the mRNA pool. In addition, we show that RNAIII and its 3′ domain mediate translational repression of rot mRNA through a limited number of base pairings involving two loop–loop interactions. Since Rot is a transcriptional regulatory protein, we proposed that RNAIII indirectly acts on many downstream genes, resulting in the activation of the synthesis of several exoproteins. These data emphasize the multitude of regulatory steps affected by RNAIII and its 3′ domain in establishing a network of S. aureus virulence factors. PMID:17545468

  18. Helicobacter pylori virulence genes and host genetic polymorphisms as risk factors for peptic ulcer disease

    PubMed Central

    Yamaoka, Yoshio; Miftahussurur, Muhammad

    2017-01-01

    Helicobacter pylori infection plays an important role in the pathogenesis of peptic ulcer disease (PUD). Several factors have been proposed as possible H. pylori virulence determinants; for example, bacterial adhesins and gastric inflammation factors are associated with an increased risk of PUD. However, differences in bacterial virulence factors alone cannot explain the opposite ends of the PUD disease spectrum, i.e., duodenal and gastric ulcers; presumably, both bacterial and host factors contribute to the differential response. Carriers of the high-producer alleles of the pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1B, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and tumor necrosis factor-α who also carry low-producer allele carriers of anti-inflammatory cytokines have severe gastric mucosal inflammation, whereas carriers of the alternative alleles have mild inflammation. Recent reports have suggested that the PSCA and CYP2C19 ultra-rapid metabolizer genotypes are also associated with PUD. PMID:26470920

  19. Novel Burkholderia mallei Virulence Factors Linked to Specific Host-Pathogen Protein Interactions*

    PubMed Central

    Memišević, Vesna; Zavaljevski, Nela; Pieper, Rembert; Rajagopala, Seesandra V.; Kwon, Keehwan; Townsend, Katherine; Yu, Chenggang; Yu, Xueping; DeShazer, David; Reifman, Jaques; Wallqvist, Anders

    2013-01-01

    Burkholderia mallei is an infectious intracellular pathogen whose virulence and resistance to antibiotics makes it a potential bioterrorism agent. Given its genetic origin as a commensal soil organism, it is equipped with an extensive and varied set of adapted mechanisms to cope with and modulate host-cell environments. One essential virulence mechanism constitutes the specialized secretion systems that are designed to penetrate host-cell membranes and insert pathogen proteins directly into the host cell's cytosol. However, the secretion systems' proteins and, in particular, their host targets are largely uncharacterized. Here, we used a combined in silico, in vitro, and in vivo approach to identify B. mallei proteins required for pathogenicity. We used bioinformatics tools, including orthology detection and ab initio predictions of secretion system proteins, as well as published experimental Burkholderia data to initially select a small number of proteins as putative virulence factors. We then used yeast two-hybrid assays against normalized whole human and whole murine proteome libraries to detect and identify interactions among each of these bacterial proteins and host proteins. Analysis of such interactions provided both verification of known virulence factors and identification of three new putative virulence proteins. We successfully created insertion mutants for each of these three proteins using the virulent B. mallei ATCC 23344 strain. We exposed BALB/c mice to mutant strains and the wild-type strain in an aerosol challenge model using lethal B. mallei doses. In each set of experiments, mice exposed to mutant strains survived for the 21-day duration of the experiment, whereas mice exposed to the wild-type strain rapidly died. Given their in vivo role in pathogenicity, and based on the yeast two-hybrid interaction data, these results point to the importance of these pathogen proteins in modulating host ubiquitination pathways, phagosomal escape, and actin

  20. Presence of virulence factors in Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium susceptible and resistant to vancomycin

    PubMed Central

    Comerlato, Carolina Baldisserotto; de Resende, Mariah Costa Carvalho; Caierão, Juliana; d'Azevedo, Pedro Alves

    2013-01-01

    Despite the increasing importance of Enterococcus as opportunistic pathogens, their virulence factors are still poorly understood. This study determines the frequency of virulence factors in clinical and commensal Enterococcus isolates from inpatients in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Fifty Enterococcus isolates were analysed and the presence of the gelE, asa1 and esp genes was determined. Gelatinase activity and biofilm formation were also tested. The clonal relationships among the isolates were evaluated using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. The asa1, gelE and esp genes were identified in 38%, 60% and 76% of all isolates, respectively. The first two genes were more prevalent in Enterococcus faecalis than in Enterococcus faecium, as was biofilm formation, which was associated with gelE and asa1 genes, but not with the esp gene. The presence of gelE and the activity of gelatinase were not fully concordant. No relationship was observed among any virulence factors and specific subclones of E. faecalis or E. faecium resistant to vancomycin. In conclusion, E. faecalis and E. faecium isolates showed significantly different patterns of virulence determinants. Neither the source of isolation nor the clonal relationship or vancomycin resistance influenced their distribution. PMID:23903974

  1. Effect of Photodynamic Therapy on the Virulence Factors of Staphylococcus aureus

    PubMed Central

    Bartolomeu, Maria; Rocha, Sónia; Cunha, Ângela; Neves, M. G. P. M. S.; Faustino, Maria A. F.; Almeida, Adelaide

    2016-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a Gram-positive bacterium that is present in the human microbiota. Nevertheless, these bacteria can be pathogenic to the humans. Due to the increasing occurrence of antibiotic-resistant S. aureus strains, new approaches to control this pathogen are necessary. The antimicrobial photodynamic inactivation (PDI) process is based in the combined use of light, oxygen, and an intermediary agent (a photosensitizer). These three components interact to generate cytotoxic reactive oxygen species that irreversibly damage vital constituents of the microbial cells and ultimately lead to cell death. Although PDI is being shown to be a promising alternative to the antibiotic approach for the inactivation of pathogenic microorganisms, information on effects of photosensitization on particular virulence factors is strikingly scarce. The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of PDI on virulence factors of S. aureus and to assess the potential development of resistance of this bacterium as well as the recovery of the expression of the virulence factors after successive PDI cycles. For this, the photosensitizer 5,10,15,20-tetrakis(1-methylpyridinium-4-yl)porphyrin tetra-iodide (Tetra-Py+-Me) and six strains of S. aureus [one reference strain, one strain with one enterotoxin, two strains with three enterotoxins and two methicillin resistant strains (MRSA) – one with five enterotoxins and the other without enterotoxins] were used. The effect of photosensitization on catalase activity, beta hemolysis, lipases, thermonuclease, enterotoxins, coagulase production, and resistance/susceptibility to methicillin was tested. To assess the development of resistance after successive cycles of treatment, three strains of S. aureus (ATCC 6538, 2065 MA, and SA 3 MRSA) were used. The surviving colonies of a first cycle of PDI were collected from the solid medium and subjected to further nine consecutive cycles of PDI. The results indicate that the expression of

  2. Rational Design of Potent and Selective Inhibitors of an Epoxide Hydrolase Virulence Factor from Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Kitamura, Seiya; Hvorecny, Kelli L; Niu, Jun; Hammock, Bruce D; Madden, Dean R; Morisseau, Christophe

    2016-05-26

    The virulence factor cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) inhibitory factor (Cif) is secreted by Pseudomonas aeruginosa and is the founding member of a distinct class of epoxide hydrolases (EHs) that triggers the catalysis-dependent degradation of the CFTR. We describe here the development of a series of potent and selective Cif inhibitors by structure-based drug design. Initial screening revealed 1a (KB2115), a thyroid hormone analog, as a lead compound with low micromolar potency. Structural requirements for potency were systematically probed, and interactions between Cif and 1a were characterized by X-ray crystallography. On the basis of these data, new compounds were designed to yield additional hydrogen bonding with residues of the Cif active site. From this effort, three compounds were identified that are 10-fold more potent toward Cif than our first-generation inhibitors and have no detectable thyroid hormone-like activity. These inhibitors will be useful tools to study the pathological role of Cif and have the potential for clinical application.

  3. Helicobacter pylori virulence genes and host genetic polymorphisms as risk factors for peptic ulcer disease.

    PubMed

    Miftahussurur, Muhammad; Yamaoka, Yoshio

    2015-01-01

    Helicobacter pylori infection plays an important role in the pathogenesis of peptic ulcer disease (PUD). Several factors have been proposed as possible H. pylori virulence determinants; for example, bacterial adhesins and gastric inflammation factors are associated with an increased risk of PUD. However, differences in bacterial virulence factors alone cannot explain the opposite ends of the PUD disease spectrum, that is duodenal and gastric ulcers; presumably, both bacterial and host factors contribute to the differential response. Carriers of the high-producer alleles of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1B, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and TNF-α who also carry low-producer allele of anti-inflammatory cytokines have severe gastric mucosal inflammation, whereas carriers of the alternative alleles have mild inflammation. Recent reports have suggested that the PSCA and CYP2C19 ultra-rapid metabolizer genotypes are also associated with PUD.

  4. Staphylococcus aureus hijacks a skin commensal to intensify its virulence: immunization targeting β-hemolysin and CAMP factor.

    PubMed

    Lo, Chih-Wei; Lai, Yiu-Kay; Liu, Yu-Tsueng; Gallo, Richard L; Huang, Chun-Ming

    2011-02-01

    The need for a new anti-Staphylococcus aureus therapy that can effectively cripple bacterial infection, neutralize secretory virulence factors, and lower the risk of creating bacterial resistance is undisputed. Here, we propose what is, to our knowledge, a previously unreported infectious mechanism by which S. aureus may commandeer Propionibacterium acnes, a key member of the human skin microbiome, to spread its invasion and highlight two secretory virulence factors (S. aureus β-hemolysin and P. acnes CAMP (Christie, Atkins, Munch-Peterson) factor) as potential molecular targets for immunotherapy against S. aureus infection. Our data demonstrate that the hemolysis and cytolysis by S. aureus were noticeably augmented when S. aureus was grown with P. acnes. The augmentation was significantly abrogated when the P. acnes CAMP factor was neutralized or β-hemolysin of S. aureus was mutated. In addition, the hemolysis and cytolysis of recombinant β-hemolysin were markedly enhanced by recombinant CAMP factor. Furthermore, P. acnes exacerbated S. aureus-induced skin lesions in vivo. The combination of CAMP factor neutralization and β-hemolysin immunization cooperatively suppressed the skin lesions caused by coinfection of P. acnes and S. aureus. These observations suggest a previously unreported immunotherapy targeting the interaction of S. aureus with a skin commensal.

  5. The Transcription Factor BcLTF1 Regulates Virulence and Light Responses in the Necrotrophic Plant Pathogen Botrytis cinerea

    PubMed Central

    Schumacher, Julia; Simon, Adeline; Cohrs, Kim Christopher; Viaud, Muriel; Tudzynski, Paul

    2014-01-01

    Botrytis cinerea is the causal agent of gray mold diseases in a range of dicotyledonous plant species. The fungus can reproduce asexually by forming macroconidia for dispersal and sclerotia for survival; the latter also participate in sexual reproduction by bearing the apothecia after fertilization by microconidia. Light induces the differentiation of conidia and apothecia, while sclerotia are exclusively formed in the absence of light. The relevance of light for virulence of the fungus is not obvious, but infections are observed under natural illumination as well as in constant darkness. By a random mutagenesis approach, we identified a novel virulence-related gene encoding a GATA transcription factor (BcLTF1 for light-responsive TF1) with characterized homologues in Aspergillus nidulans (NsdD) and Neurospora crassa (SUB-1). By deletion and over-expression of bcltf1, we confirmed the predicted role of the transcription factor in virulence, and discovered furthermore its functions in regulation of light-dependent differentiation, the equilibrium between production and scavenging of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and secondary metabolism. Microarray analyses revealed 293 light-responsive genes, and that the expression levels of the majority of these genes (66%) are modulated by BcLTF1. In addition, the deletion of bcltf1 affects the expression of 1,539 genes irrespective of the light conditions, including the overexpression of known and so far uncharacterized secondary metabolism-related genes. Increased expression of genes encoding alternative respiration enzymes, such as the alternative oxidase (AOX), suggest a mitochondrial dysfunction in the absence of bcltf1. The hypersensitivity of Δbctlf1 mutants to exogenously applied oxidative stress - even in the absence of light - and the restoration of virulence and growth rates in continuous light by antioxidants, indicate that BcLTF1 is required to cope with oxidative stress that is caused either by exposure to light

  6. The transcription factor BcLTF1 regulates virulence and light responses in the necrotrophic plant pathogen Botrytis cinerea.

    PubMed

    Schumacher, Julia; Simon, Adeline; Cohrs, Kim Christopher; Viaud, Muriel; Tudzynski, Paul

    2014-01-01

    Botrytis cinerea is the causal agent of gray mold diseases in a range of dicotyledonous plant species. The fungus can reproduce asexually by forming macroconidia for dispersal and sclerotia for survival; the latter also participate in sexual reproduction by bearing the apothecia after fertilization by microconidia. Light induces the differentiation of conidia and apothecia, while sclerotia are exclusively formed in the absence of light. The relevance of light for virulence of the fungus is not obvious, but infections are observed under natural illumination as well as in constant darkness. By a random mutagenesis approach, we identified a novel virulence-related gene encoding a GATA transcription factor (BcLTF1 for light-responsive TF1) with characterized homologues in Aspergillus nidulans (NsdD) and Neurospora crassa (SUB-1). By deletion and over-expression of bcltf1, we confirmed the predicted role of the transcription factor in virulence, and discovered furthermore its functions in regulation of light-dependent differentiation, the equilibrium between production and scavenging of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and secondary metabolism. Microarray analyses revealed 293 light-responsive genes, and that the expression levels of the majority of these genes (66%) are modulated by BcLTF1. In addition, the deletion of bcltf1 affects the expression of 1,539 genes irrespective of the light conditions, including the overexpression of known and so far uncharacterized secondary metabolism-related genes. Increased expression of genes encoding alternative respiration enzymes, such as the alternative oxidase (AOX), suggest a mitochondrial dysfunction in the absence of bcltf1. The hypersensitivity of Δbctlf1 mutants to exogenously applied oxidative stress--even in the absence of light--and the restoration of virulence and growth rates in continuous light by antioxidants, indicate that BcLTF1 is required to cope with oxidative stress that is caused either by exposure to light or

  7. Identification of Lipoprotein MslA as a Neoteric Virulence Factor of Mycoplasma gallisepticum▿

    PubMed Central

    Szczepanek, S. M.; Frasca, S.; Schumacher, V. L.; Liao, X.; Padula, M.; Djordjevic, S. P.; Geary, S. J.

    2010-01-01

    Many lipoproteins are expressed on the surfaces of mycoplasmas, and some have been implicated as playing roles in pathogenesis. Family 2 lipoproteins of Mycoplasma pneumoniae have a conserved “mycoplasma lipoprotein X” central domain and a “mycoplasma lipoprotein 10” C-terminal domain and are differentially expressed in response to environmental conditions. Homologues of family 2 lipoproteins are Mycoplasma specific and include the lipoprotein of Mycoplasma gallisepticum, encoded by the MGA0674 gene. Comparative transcriptomic analysis of the M. gallisepticum live attenuated vaccine strain F and the virulent strain Rlow, reported in this study, indicated that MGA0674 is one of several differentially expressed genes. The MGA0674-encoded lipoprotein is a proteolytically processed, immunogenic, TX-114 detergent-phase protein which appears to have antigenic divergence between field strains Rlow and S6. We examined the virulence of an Rlow ΔMGA0674 mutant (P1H9) in vivo and observed reduced recovery and attenuated virulence in the tracheas of experimentally infected chickens. The virulence of two additional Rlow ΔMGA0674 mutants, 2162 and 2204, was assessed in a second in vivo virulence experiment. These mutants exhibited partial to complete attenuation in vivo, but recovery was observed more frequently. Since only Mycoplasma species harbor homologues of MGA0674, the gene product has been renamed “Mycoplasma-specific lipoprotein A” (MslA). Collectively, these data indicate that MslA is an immunogenic lipoprotein exhibiting reduced expression in an attenuated strain and plays a role in M. gallisepticum virulence. PMID:20515935

  8. Chemical Inhibition of Kynureninase Reduces Pseudomonas aeruginosa Quorum Sensing and Virulence Factor Expression.

    PubMed

    Kasper, Stephen H; Bonocora, Richard P; Wade, Joseph T; Musah, Rabi Ann; Cady, Nathaniel C

    2016-04-15

    The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa utilizes multiple quorum sensing (QS) pathways to coordinate an arsenal of virulence factors. We previously identified several cysteine-based compounds inspired by natural products from the plant Petiveria alliacea which are capable of antagonizing multiple QS circuits as well as reducing P. aeruginosa biofilm formation. To understand the global effects of such compounds on virulence factor production and elucidate their mechanism of action, RNA-seq transcriptomic analysis was performed on P. aeruginosa PAO1 exposed to S-phenyl-l-cysteine sulfoxide, the most potent inhibitor from the prior study. Exposure to this inhibitor down-regulated expression of several QS-regulated virulence operons (e.g., phenazine biosynthesis, type VI secretion systems). Interestingly, many genes that were differentially regulated pertain to the related metabolic pathways that yield precursors of pyochelin, tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates, phenazines, and Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS). Activation of the MexT-regulon was also indicated, including the multidrug efflux pump encoded by mexEF-oprN, which has previously been shown to inhibit QS and pathogenicity. Deeper investigation of the metabolites involved in these systems revealed that S-phenyl-l-cysteine sulfoxide has structural similarity to kynurenine, a precursor of anthranilate, which is critical for P. aeruginosa virulence. By supplementing exogenous anthranilate, the QS-inhibitory effect was reversed. Finally, it was shown that S-phenyl-l-cysteine sulfoxide competitively inhibits P. aeruginosa kynureninase (KynU) activity in vitro and reduces PQS production in vivo. The kynurenine pathway has been implicated in P. aeruginosa QS and virulence factor expression; however, this is the first study to show that targeted inhibition of KynU affects P. aeruginosa gene expression and QS, suggesting a potential antivirulence strategy.

  9. Regulation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence factors by two novel RNA thermometers

    PubMed Central

    Grosso-Becerra, María Victoria; Croda-García, Gerardo; Merino, Enrique; Servín-González, Luis; Mojica-Espinosa, Raúl; Soberón-Chávez, Gloria

    2014-01-01

    In a number of bacterial pathogens, the production of virulence factors is induced at 37 °C; this effect is often regulated by mRNA structures formed in the 5′ untranslated region (UTR) that block translation initiation of genes at environmental temperatures. At 37 °C, the RNA structures become unstable and ribosomes gain access to their binding sites in the mRNAs. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an important opportunistic pathogen and the expression of many of its virulence-associated traits is regulated by the quorum-sensing (QS) response, but the effect of temperature on virulence-factor expression is not well-understood. The aim of this work is the characterization of the molecular mechanism involved in thermoregulation of QS-dependent virulence-factor production. We demonstrate that traits that are dependent on the QS transcriptional regulator RhlR have a higher expression at 37 °C, correlating with a higher RhlR concentration as measured by Western blot. We also determined, using gene fusions and point mutations, that RhlR thermoregulation is a posttranscriptional effect dependent on an RNA thermometer of the ROSE (Repression Of heat-Shock gene Expression) family. This RNA element regulates the expression of the rhlAB operon, involved in rhamnolipid production, and of the downstream rhlR gene. We also identified a second functional thermometer in the 5′ UTR of the lasI gene. We confirmed that these RNA thermometers are the main mechanism of thermoregulation of QS-dependent gene expression in P. aeruginosa using quantitative real-time PCR. This is the first description, to our knowledge, of a ROSE element regulating the expression of virulence traits and of an RNA thermometer controlling multiple genes in an operon through a polar effect. PMID:25313031

  10. A Novel Extracytoplasmic Function (ECF) Sigma Factor Regulates Virulence in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    Llamas, María A.; van der Sar, Astrid; Chu, Byron C. H.; Sparrius, Marion; Vogel, Hans J.; Bitter, Wilbert

    2009-01-01

    Next to the two-component and quorum sensing systems, cell-surface signaling (CSS) has been recently identified as an important regulatory system in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. CSS systems sense signals from outside the cell and transmit them into the cytoplasm. They generally consist of a TonB-dependent outer membrane receptor, a sigma factor regulator (or anti-sigma factor) in the cytoplasmic membrane, and an extracytoplasmic function (ECF) sigma factor. Upon perception of the extracellular signal by the receptor the ECF sigma factor is activated and promotes the transcription of a specific set of gene(s). Although most P. aeruginosa CSS systems are involved in the regulation of iron uptake, we have identified a novel system involved in the regulation of virulence. This CSS system, which has been designated PUMA3, has a number of unusual characteristics. The most obvious difference is the receptor component which is considerably smaller than that of other CSS outer membrane receptors and lacks a β-barrel domain. Homology modeling of PA0674 shows that this receptor is predicted to be a bilobal protein, with an N-terminal domain that resembles the N-terminal periplasmic signaling domain of CSS receptors, and a C-terminal domain that resembles the periplasmic C-terminal domains of the TolA/TonB proteins. Furthermore, the sigma factor regulator both inhibits the function of the ECF sigma factor and is required for its activity. By microarray analysis we show that PUMA3 regulates the expression of a number of genes encoding potential virulence factors, including a two-partner secretion (TPS) system. Using zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos as a host we have demonstrated that the P. aeruginosa PUMA3-induced strain is more virulent than the wild-type. PUMA3 represents the first CSS system dedicated to the transcriptional activation of virulence functions in a human pathogen. PMID:19730690

  11. Diverse mechanisms shape the evolution of virulence factors in the potato late blight pathogen Phytophthora infestans sampled from China

    PubMed Central

    Wu, E-Jiao; Yang, Li-Na; Zhu, Wen; Chen, Xiao-Mei; Shang, Li-Ping; Zhan, Jiasui

    2016-01-01

    Evolution of virulence in plant pathogens is still poorly understood but the knowledge is important for the effective use of plant resistance and sustainable disease management. Spatial population dynamics of virulence, race and SSR markers in 140 genotypes sampled from seven geographic locations in China were compared to infer the mechanisms driving the evolution of virulence in Phytophthora infestans (P. infestans). All virulence types and a full spectrum of race complexity, ranging from the race able to infect the universally susceptible cultivar only to all differentials, were detected. Eight and two virulence factors were under diversifying and constraining selection respectively while no natural selection was detected in one of the virulence types. Further analyses revealed excesses in simple and complex races but deficiency in intermediate race and negative associations of annual mean temperature at the site from which pathogen isolates were collected with frequency of virulence to differentials and race complexity in the pathogen populations. These results suggest that host selection may interact with other factors such as climatic conditions in determining the evolutionary trajectory of virulence and race structure in P. infestans and global warming may slow down the emergence of new virulence in the pathogen. PMID:27193142

  12. Aminopeptidase T of M29 Family Acts as A Novel Intracellular Virulence Factor for Listeria monocytogenes Infection

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Changyong; Wang, Xiaowen; Dong, Zhimei; Shao, Chunyan; Yang, Yongchun; Fang, Weihuan; Fang, Chun; Wang, Hang; Yang, Menghua; Jiang, Lingli; Zhou, Xiangyang; Song, Houhui

    2015-01-01

    The foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes employs a number of virulence determinants including metalloproteases to infect hosts. Here for the first time, we identified an M29 family aminopeptidase T (encoded by lmo1603) from L. monocytogenes that possesses a typical feature to catalyze the cleavage of amino acids from peptide substrates, with a preference for arginine. The purified recombinant Lmo1603 was activated by Fe3+, Zn2+ and Mn2+, but strongly stimulated by Co2+, indicating that Lmo1603 is a cobalt-dependent aminopeptidase. Single mutation at any of the Glu216, Glu281, His308, Tyr315, His327, and Asp329 completely abolished the enzymatic activity of Lmo1603. More importantly, we showed that Lmo1603 was mainly involved in Listeria infection, but not required for growth in rich laboratory medium and minimal defined medium. Disruption of Lmo1603 resulted in almost complete attenuation of Listeria virulence in a mouse infection model. In addition, we demonstrated that Lmo1603 was mainly localized in the bacterial cytosol and required for invasion and survival inside human epithelial cells and murine macrophages. We conclude that Lmo1603 encodes a functional aminopeptidase T of M29 family, which acts as a novel intracellular virulence factor essential in the successful establishment of L. monocytogenes infections in a mouse model. PMID:26610705

  13. The Riemerella anatipestifer AS87_01735 Gene Encodes Nicotinamidase PncA, an Important Virulence Factor

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaolan; Liu, Beibei; Dou, Yafeng; Fan, Hongjie; Wang, Shaohui; Li, Tao; Ding, Chan

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Riemerella anatipestifer is a major bacterial pathogen that causes septicemic and exudative diseases in domestic ducks. In our previous study, we found that deletion of the AS87_01735 gene significantly decreased the bacterial virulence of R. anatipestifer strain Yb2 (mutant RA625). The AS87_01735 gene was predicted to encode a nicotinamidase (PncA), a key enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of nicotinamide to nicotinic acid, which is an important reaction in the NAD+ salvage pathway. In this study, the AS87_01735 gene was expressed and identified as the PncA-encoding gene, using an enzymatic assay. Western blot analysis demonstrated that R. anatipestifer PncA was localized to the cytoplasm. The mutant strain RA625 (named Yb2ΔpncA in this study) showed a similar growth rate but decreased NAD+ quantities in both the exponential and stationary phases in tryptic soy broth culture, compared with the wild-type strain Yb2. In addition, Yb2ΔpncA-infected ducks showed much lower bacterial loads in their blood, and no visible histological changes were observed in the heart, liver, and spleen. Furthermore, Yb2ΔpncA immunization of ducks conferred effective protection against challenge with the virulent wild-type strain Yb2. Our results suggest that the R. anatipestifer AS87_01735 gene encodes PncA, which is an important virulence factor, and that the Yb2ΔpncA mutant can be used as a novel live vaccine candidate. IMPORTANCE Riemerella anatipestifer is reported worldwide as a cause of septicemic and exudative diseases of domestic ducks. The pncA gene encodes a nicotinamidase (PncA), a key enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of nicotinamide to nicotinic acid, which is an important reaction in the NAD+ salvage pathway. In this study, we identified and characterized the pncA-homologous gene AS87_01735 in R. anatipestifer strain Yb2. R. anatipestifer PncA is a cytoplasmic protein that possesses similar PncA activity, compared with other organisms. Generation of the

  14. The Aspergillus fumigatus Transcription Factor Ace2 Governs Pigment Production, Conidiation and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Ejzykowicz, Daniele E.; Cunha, Marcel M.; Rozental, Sonia; Solis, Norma V.; Gravelat, Fabrice N.; Sheppard, Donald C.; Filler, Scott G.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Aspergillus fumigatus causes serious and frequently fatal infections in immunocompromised patients. To investigate the regulation of virulence of this fungus, we constructed and analyzed an A. fumigatus mutant that lacked the transcription factor Ace2, which influences virulence in other fungi. The Δace2 mutant had dysmorphic conidiophores, reduced conidia production, and abnormal conidial cell wall architecture. This mutant produced an orange pigment when grown on solid media, although its conidia had normal pigmentation. Conidia of the Δace2 mutant were larger and had accelerated germination. The resulting germlings were resistant to hydrogen peroxide, but not other stressors. Non-neutropenic mice that were immunosuppressed with cortisone acetate and infected with the Δace2 mutant had accelerated mortality, greater pulmonary fungal burden, and increased pulmonary inflammatory responses compared to mice infected with the wild-type or Δace2∷ace2 complemented strains. The Δace2 mutant had reduced ppoC, ecm33, and ags3 mRNA expression. It is known that A. fumigatus mutants with absent or reduced expression of these genes have increased virulence in mice, as well as other phenotypic similarities to the Δace2 mutant. Therefore, reduced expression of these genes likely contributes to the increased virulence of the Δace2 mutant. PMID:19220748

  15. Does the possession of virulence factor genes mean that those genes will be active?

    PubMed

    Edberg, Stephen C

    2009-01-01

    There are a number of relationships the host can establish with the microbes we ingest. For the vast majority of microbes, they have a short-lived liaison with the human host. Either they are destroyed by the stomach acid or bile, or can not establish even a temporary residency in the gastrointestinal tract. Early in life the mucosal surfaces of the body establishes a resident, and generally stable, normal flora. These normal flora microbes, the majority of which are bacteria, have specific receptors for specific areas of the alimentary tract. If the foreign microbe can establish residency, it then may transiently or permanently become part of the normal flora. However, in order to produce disease, it must possess an additional set of virulence factors. While some of these are known, many are not. Those that are known include enzymes, such as protease, lipase, and esterase. Accordingly, VFAR may not be associated with human disease and its presence or absence has no public health meaning.

  16. Exosomes as nanocarriers for systemic delivery of the Helicobacter pylori virulence factor CagA

    PubMed Central

    Shimoda, Asako; Ueda, Koji; Nishiumi, Shin; Murata-Kamiya, Naoko; Mukai, Sada-atsu; Sawada, Shin-ichi; Azuma, Takeshi; Hatakeyama, Masanori; Akiyoshi, Kazunari

    2016-01-01

    CagA, encoded by cytotoxin-associated gene A (cagA), is a major virulence factor of Helicobacter pylori, a gastric pathogen involved in the development of upper gastrointestinal diseases. Infection with cagA-positive H. pylori may also be associated with diseases outside the stomach, although the mechanisms through which H. pylori infection promotes extragastric diseases remain unknown. Here, we report that CagA is present in serum-derived extracellular vesicles, known as exosomes, in patients infected with cagA-positive H. pylori (n = 4). We also found that gastric epithelial cells inducibly expressing CagA secrete exosomes containing CagA. Addition of purified CagA-containing exosomes to gastric epithelial cells induced an elongated cell shape, indicating that the exosomes deliver functional CagA into cells. These findings indicated that exosomes secreted from CagA-expressing gastric epithelial cells may enter into circulation, delivering CagA to distant organs and tissues. Thus, CagA-containing exosomes may be involved in the development of extragastric disorders associated with cagA-positive H. pylori infection. PMID:26739388

  17. Prevalence of Virulence Factors and Drug Resistance in Clinical Isolates of Enterococci: A Study from North India

    PubMed Central

    Banerjee, Tuhina; Anupurba, Shampa

    2015-01-01

    Along with emergence of multidrug resistance, presence of several virulence factors in enterococci is an emerging concept. This study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of various virulence factors phenotypically and genotypically in enterococci and study their association with multidrug resistance. A total of 310 enterococcal isolates were studied, comprising 155 E. faecium and 155 E. faecalis. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was done by disc diffusion and agar dilution method. Hemolysin, gelatinase, biofilm production, and haemagglutination were detected phenotypically and presence of virulence genes, namely, asa1, gelE, cylA, esp, and hyl, was detected by multiplex PCR. Of the total, 47.41% isolates were high level gentamicin resistant (HLGRE) and 7.09% were vancomycin resistant (VRE). All the virulence traits studied were found in varying proportions, with majority in E. faecalis (p > 0.05). Strong biofilm producers possessed either asa1 or gelE gene. gelE silent gene was detected in 41.37% (12/29). However, increase in resistance was associated with significant decrease in expression or acquisition of virulence genes. Further, acquisition of vancomycin resistance was the significant factor responsible for the loss of virulence traits. Though it is presumed that increased drug resistance correlates with increased virulence, acquisition of vancomycin resistance might be responsible for reduced expression of virulence traits to meet the “biological cost” relating to VRE. PMID:26366302

  18. Bacterial toxins: an overview on bacterial proteases and their action as virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Lebrun, I; Marques-Porto, R; Pereira, A S; Pereira, A; Perpetuo, E A

    2009-06-01

    Bacterial pathogenicity is a result of a combination of factors, including resistance to environmental threats and to the host's defenses, growth capability, localization in the host, tissue specificity, resource obtaining mechanisms and the bacterium's own defenses to aggression. A variety of bacterial components, often specific to each strain, are involved in the microorganism's survival, adhesion and growth in the host. Many of them are harmful and, therefore, are called virulence factors. The effects caused by the virulence factors determine the degree of aggressivity of the strain. In many cases the virulence factors are secreted proteins or enzymes, sometimes performing very specific functions. The enzymatic activity is directed to specific proteins from cell membranes, synaptic vesicle fusion proteins, among other important targets. One of the most toxic bacterial proteins is secreted by Clostridium botulinum, targeted to synaptic vesicle fusion proteins, cleaving them with a zinc-metalloprotease activity, which results in severe neurotoxic effects with a lethal dose as low as eight nanograms per kilogram of body weight. The tetanus neurotoxin acts in a similar way but is less active and Bacillus anthracis also presents a potent metalloprotease activity. In this work we describe a selection of these specially interesting and important bacterial proteins and proteases, stressing their relevance in the pathological process and in medical studies.

  19. Helicobacter pylori and Its Virulence Factors' Effect on Serum Oxidative DNA Damages in Adults With Dyspepsia.

    PubMed

    Shahi, Heshmat; Bahreiny, Rasoul; Reiisi, Somayeh

    2016-11-01

    Helicobacter Pylori infection is a common gastrointestinal infection that can cause pathological effects, increase oxidative stress and induce an inflammatory response in gastric mucosa. Inflammatory aspects may prompt the production of radical oxygen substance (ROS) which may damage cells and release 8-hydroxydyoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) to serum. In this study, we evaluate the prevalence of H. pylori virulence factors and the association between serum level of 8-OHdG, H. pylori infection, and its various virulence factors. The presence of H. pylori and prevalence of cagA, babA and oipA genes in samples were determined by rapid urease test (RUT), histopathological exam (HE) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and oxidative DNA damage situation were assessed by using serum level of 8-OHdG. There was not any direct relation between H. pylori negative and H. pylori oipA+specimens by 8-OHdG serum level (P>0.05). In all clinical observations, the presence of cagA and oipA genes was common. There was a statistical relationship between the presence of cagA, babA factors, and high serum level of 8-OHdG (P<0.05). The presence of cagA and babA virulence factors may be associated with increased serum 8-OHdG in dyspeptic patients and may induce the damage to gastric cells.

  20. Outer membrane vesicles of Pasteurella multocida contain virulence factors

    PubMed Central

    Fernández-Rojas, Miguel A; Vaca, Sergio; Reyes-López, Magda; de la Garza, Mireya; Aguilar-Romero, Francisco; Zenteno, Edgar; Soriano-Vargas, Edgardo; Negrete-Abascal, Erasmo

    2014-01-01

    Pasteurella multocida (Pm) is a gram-negative bacterium able to infect different animal species, including human beings. This bacterium causes economic losses to the livestock industry because of its high morbidity and mortality in animals. In this work, we report the characterization of outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) released into the culture medium by different Pm serogroups. Purified OMVs in the range of 50–300 nm were observed by electron microscopy. Serum obtained from chickens infected with Pm recognized several proteins from Pm OMVs. Additionally, rabbit antiserum directed against a secreted protease from Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae recognized a similar protein in the Pm OVMs, suggesting that OMVs from these bacterial species contain common immunogenic proteins. OmpA, a multifunctional protein, was identified in OMVs from different Pm serogroups, and its concentration was twofold higher in OMVs from Pm serogroups B and D than in OMVs from other serogroups. Three outer membrane proteins were also identified: OmpH, OmpW, and transferrin-binding protein. Three bands of 65, 110, and 250 kDa with proteolytic activity were detected in Pm OMVs of serogroups A and E. Additionally, β-lactamase activity was detected only in OMVs from Pm 12945 Ampr (serogroup A). Pm OMVs may be involved in different aspects of disease pathogenesis. PMID:25065983

  1. Bacteriophage-encoded bacterial virulence factors and phage-pathogenicity island interactions.

    PubMed

    Boyd, E Fidelma

    2012-01-01

    The role of bacteriophages as natural vectors for some of the most potent bacterial toxins is well recognized and includes classical type I membrane-acting superantigens, type II pore-forming lysins, and type III exotoxins, such as diphtheria and botulinum toxins. Among Gram-negative pathogens, a novel class of bacterial virulence factors called effector proteins (EPs) are phage encoded among pathovars of Escherichia coli, Shigella spp., and Salmonella enterica. This chapter gives an overview of the different types of virulence factors encoded within phage genomes based on their role in bacterial pathogenesis. It also discusses phage-pathogenicity island interactions uncovered from studies of phage-encoded EPs. A detailed examination of the filamentous phage CTXφ that encodes cholera toxin is given as the sole example to date of a single-stranded DNA phage that encodes a bacterial toxin.

  2. Prevalence of virulence factors in Escherichia coli isolated from healthy animals and water sources in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Carlos, Camila; Alexandrino, Fabiana; Vieira, Monica A M; Stoppe, Nancy C; Sato, Maria Inês Z; Gomes, Tânia A T; Ottoboni, Laura M M

    2011-03-01

    The aim of this work was to verify the presence of seven virulence factors (ST, LT, eae, stx(1), stx(2), INV and EAEC) among Escherichia coli strains isolated from healthy humans, bovines, chickens, sheep, pigs and goats, from two sewage treatment plants and from the Tietê River. We have found a high prevalence of eae, stx(1) and stx(2) in ruminants. The EAEC gene was only found in humans and sewage. No strains presented ST, LT or INV. BOX-PCR fingerprints revealed a high diversity among the strains analysed and a non-clonal origin of strains that presented the same virulence factors. Therefore, we concluded that ruminants may constitute an important reservoir of most diarrheagenic E. coli in Brazil, except for EAEC strains. These results emphasize the importance of the identification of the animal source of fecal contamination for the correct water risk assessment.

  3. Functional Metagenomics of Spacecraft Assembly Cleanrooms: Presence of Virulence Factors Associated with Human Pathogens.

    PubMed

    Bashir, Mina; Ahmed, Mahjabeen; Weinmaier, Thomas; Ciobanu, Doina; Ivanova, Natalia; Pieber, Thomas R; Vaishampayan, Parag A

    2016-01-01

    Strict planetary protection practices are implemented during spacecraft assembly to prevent inadvertent transfer of earth microorganisms to other planetary bodies. Therefore, spacecraft are assembled in cleanrooms, which undergo strict cleaning and decontamination procedures to reduce total microbial bioburden. We wanted to evaluate if these practices selectively favor survival and growth of hardy microorganisms, such as pathogens. Three geographically distinct cleanrooms were sampled during the assembly of three NASA spacecraft: The Lockheed Martin Aeronautics' Multiple Testing Facility during DAWN, the Kennedy Space Center's Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility (KSC-PHSF) during Phoenix, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Spacecraft Assembly Facility during Mars Science Laboratory. Sample sets were collected from the KSC-PHSF cleanroom at three time points: before arrival of the Phoenix spacecraft, during the assembly and testing of the Phoenix spacecraft, and after removal of the spacecraft from the KSC-PHSF facility. All samples were subjected to metagenomic shotgun sequencing on an Illumina HiSeq 2500 platform. Strict decontamination procedures had a greater impact on microbial communities than sampling location Samples collected during spacecraft assembly were dominated by Acinetobacter spp. We found pathogens and potential virulence factors, which determine pathogenicity in all the samples tested during this study. Though the relative abundance of pathogens was lowest during the Phoenix assembly, potential virulence factors were higher during assembly compared to before and after assembly, indicating a survival advantage. Decreased phylogenetic and pathogenic diversity indicates that decontamination and preventative measures were effective against the majority of microorganisms and well implemented, however, pathogen abundance still increased over time. Four potential pathogens, Acinetobacter baumannii, Acinetobacter lwoffii, Escherichia coli and Legionella

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

    PubMed Central

    Ziuzina, Dana; Boehm, Daniela; Patil, Sonal; Cullen, P. J.; Bourke, Paula

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Genetic relatedness and virulence factors of bovine Staphylococcus aureus isolated from teat skin and milk.

    PubMed

    da Costa, L B; Rajala-Schultz, P J; Hoet, A; Seo, K S; Fogt, K; Moon, B S

    2014-11-01

    The objective of this study was to assess the role of teat skin colonization in Staphylococcus aureus intramammary infections (IMI) by evaluating genetic relatedness of Staph. aureus isolates from milk and teat skin of dairy cows using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and characterizing the isolates based on the carriage of virulence genes. Cows in 4 known Staph. aureus-positive herds were sampled and Staph. aureus was detected in 43 quarters of 20 cows, with 10 quarters positive in both milk and skin (20 isolates), 18 positive only in milk, and 15 only on teat skin. Quarters with teat skin colonized with Staph. aureus were 4.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with Staph. aureus IMI than quarters not colonized on teat skin. Three main clusters were identified by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis using a cutoff of 80% similarity. All 3 clusters included both milk and skin isolates. The majority of isolates (72%) belonged to one predominant cluster (B), with 60% of isolates in the cluster originating from milk and 40% from teat skin. Genotypic variability was observed within 10 pairs (formed by isolates originating from milk and teat skin of the same quarter), where isolates in 5 out of the 10 pairs belonged to the same cluster. Forty-two virulence factors were screened using PCR. Some virulence factors were carried more frequently by teat skin isolates than by milk isolates or isolates from quarters with high somatic cell counts. Isolates in the predominant cluster B carried virulence factors clfA and clfB significantly more often than isolates in the minor clusters, which may have assisted them in becoming predominant in the herds. The present findings suggest that teat skin colonization with Staph. aureus can be an important factor involved in Staph. aureus IMI.

  6. Virulence factors in Proteus bacteria from biofilm communities of catheter-associated urinary tract infections.

    PubMed

    Hola, Veronika; Peroutkova, Tereza; Ruzicka, Filip

    2012-07-01

    More than 40% of nosocomial infections are those of the urinary tract, most of these occurring in catheterized patients. Bacterial colonization of the urinary tract and catheters results not only in infection, but also various complications, such as blockage of catheters with crystalline deposits of bacterial origin, generation of gravels and pyelonephritis. The diversity of the biofilm microbial community increases with duration of catheter emplacement. One of the most important pathogens in this regard is Proteus mirabilis. The aims of this study were to identify and assess particular virulence factors present in catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) isolates, their correlation and linkages: three types of motility (swarming, swimming and twitching), the ability to swarm over urinary catheters, biofilm production in two types of media, urease production and adherence of bacterial cells to various types of urinary tract catheters. We examined 102 CAUTI isolates and 50 isolates taken from stool samples of healthy people. Among the microorganisms isolated from urinary catheters, significant differences were found in biofilm-forming ability and the swarming motility. In comparison with the control group, the microorganisms isolated from urinary catheters showed a wider spectrum of virulence factors. The virulence factors (twitching motility, swimming motility, swarming over various types of catheters and biofilm formation) were also more intensively expressed.

  7. Relationship between Helicobacter pylori virulence factors and regulatory cytokines as predictors of clinical outcome

    PubMed Central

    Serrano, Carolina; Diaz, Maria Ines; Valdivia, Alejandra; Godoy, Alex; Peña, Alfredo; Rollan, Antonio; Kirberg, Arturo; Hebel, Eduardo; Fierro, Jaqueline; Klapp, Gerardo; Venegas, Alejandro; Harris, Paul R.

    2013-01-01

    H. pylori infection is highly prevalent in Chile (73%). Usually a minority of infected patients develops complications such as ulcers and gastric cancer that have been associated with the presence of virulence factors (cagA, vacA) and host T helper response (Th1/Th2). Our aim was to evaluate the relationship between strain virulence and host immune response, using a multiple regression approach for the development of a model based on data collected from H. pylori infected patients in Chile. We analyzed levels of selected cytokines determined by ELISA (IL-12, IL-10, IFN-γ and IL-4) and the presence of cagA and vacA alleles polymorphisms determined by PCR in antral biopsies of 41 patients referred to endoscopy. By multiple regression analysis we established a correlation between bacterial and host factors using clinical outcome (gastritis and duodenal ulcer) as dependent variables. The selected model was described by: clinical outcome = 0.867491 (cagA) + 0.0131847 (IL-12/IL-10) + 0.0103503 (IFN-γ/IL-4) and it was able to explain over 90% of clinical outcomes observations (R2=96.4). This model considers that clinical outcomes are better explained by the interaction of host immune factors and strain virulence as a complex and interdependent mechanism. PMID:17336120

  8. Induction of virulence factors in Giardia duodenalis independent of host attachment

    PubMed Central

    Emery, Samantha J.; Mirzaei, Mehdi; Vuong, Daniel; Pascovici, Dana; Chick, Joel M.; Lacey, Ernest; Haynes, Paul A.

    2016-01-01

    Giardia duodenalis is responsible for the majority of parasitic gastroenteritis in humans worldwide. Host-parasite interaction models in vitro provide insights into disease and virulence and help us to understand pathogenesis. Using HT-29 intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) as a model we have demonstrated that initial sensitisation by host secretions reduces proclivity for trophozoite attachment, while inducing virulence factors. Host soluble factors triggered up-regulation of membrane and secreted proteins, including Tenascins, Cathepsin-B precursor, cystatin, and numerous Variant-specific Surface Proteins (VSPs). By comparison, host-cell attached trophozoites up-regulated intracellular pathways for ubiquitination, reactive oxygen species (ROS) detoxification and production of pyridoxal phosphate (PLP). We reason that these results demonstrate early pathogenesis in Giardia involves two independent host-parasite interactions. Motile trophozoites respond to soluble secreted signals, which deter attachment and induce expression of virulence factors. Trophozoites attached to host cells, in contrast, respond by up-regulating intracellular pathways involved in clearance of ROS, thus anticipating the host defence response. PMID:26867958

  9. Nematicidal spore-forming Bacilli share similar virulence factors and mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Ziqiang; Zheng, Jinshui; Zhang, Zhengming; Peng, Donghai; Sun, Ming

    2016-01-01

    In the soil environment, Bacilli can affect nematode development, fecundity and survival. However, although many Bacillus species can kill nematodes, the virulence mechanisms Bacilli utilize remain unknown. In this study, we collected 120 strains comprising 30 species across the Bacillaceae and Paenibacillaceae families of the Bacillales order and measured their nematicidal activities in vitro. Comparison of these strains’ nematicidal capacities revealed that nine species, including Bacillus thuringiensis, B. cereus, B. subtilis, B. pumilus, B. firmus, B. toyonensis, Lysinibacillus sphaericus, Brevibacillus laterosporus and B. brevis, were highly nematicidal, the first of which showed the highest activity. Genome sequencing and analysis identified many potential virulence factors, which grouped into five types. At least four possible mechanisms were deduced on the basis of the combination of these factors and the bacterial nematicidal activity, including a pore-forming mechanism of crystal proteins, an inhibition-like mechanism of thuringiensin and a degradation mechanism of proteases and/or chitinases. Our results demonstrate that 120 spore-forming Bacilli across different families share virulence factors that may contribute to their nematicidal capacity. PMID:27539267

  10. Nematicidal spore-forming Bacilli share similar virulence factors and mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Ziqiang; Zheng, Jinshui; Zhang, Zhengming; Peng, Donghai; Sun, Ming

    2016-08-19

    In the soil environment, Bacilli can affect nematode development, fecundity and survival. However, although many Bacillus species can kill nematodes, the virulence mechanisms Bacilli utilize remain unknown. In this study, we collected 120 strains comprising 30 species across the Bacillaceae and Paenibacillaceae families of the Bacillales order and measured their nematicidal activities in vitro. Comparison of these strains' nematicidal capacities revealed that nine species, including Bacillus thuringiensis, B. cereus, B. subtilis, B. pumilus, B. firmus, B. toyonensis, Lysinibacillus sphaericus, Brevibacillus laterosporus and B. brevis, were highly nematicidal, the first of which showed the highest activity. Genome sequencing and analysis identified many potential virulence factors, which grouped into five types. At least four possible mechanisms were deduced on the basis of the combination of these factors and the bacterial nematicidal activity, including a pore-forming mechanism of crystal proteins, an inhibition-like mechanism of thuringiensin and a degradation mechanism of proteases and/or chitinases. Our results demonstrate that 120 spore-forming Bacilli across different families share virulence factors that may contribute to their nematicidal capacity.

  11. Capsules, Toxins and AtxA as Virulence Factors of Emerging Bacillus cereus Biovar anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Corre, Jean-Philippe; Lander, Angelika; Franz, Tatjana; Monot, Marc; Couture-Tosi, Evelyne; Jouvion, Gregory; Leendertz, Fabian H.; Grunow, Roland; Mock, Michèle E.; Klee, Silke R.; Goossens, Pierre L.

    2015-01-01

    Emerging B. cereus strains that cause anthrax-like disease have been isolated in Cameroon (CA strain) and Côte d’Ivoire (CI strain). These strains are unusual, because their genomic characterisation shows that they belong to the B. cereus species, although they harbour two plasmids, pBCXO1 and pBCXO2, that are highly similar to the pXO1 and pXO2 plasmids of B. anthracis that encode the toxins and the polyglutamate capsule respectively. The virulence factors implicated in the pathogenicity of these B. cereus bv anthracis strains remain to be characterised. We tested their virulence by cutaneous and intranasal delivery in mice and guinea pigs; they were as virulent as wild-type B. anthracis. Unlike as described for pXO2-cured B. anthracis, the CA strain cured of the pBCXO2 plasmid was still highly virulent, showing the existence of other virulence factors. Indeed, these strains concomitantly expressed a hyaluronic acid (HA) capsule and the B. anthracis polyglutamate (PDGA) capsule. The HA capsule was encoded by the hasACB operon on pBCXO1, and its expression was regulated by the global transcription regulator AtxA, which controls anthrax toxins and PDGA capsule in B. anthracis. Thus, the HA and PDGA capsules and toxins were co-regulated by AtxA. We explored the respective effect of the virulence factors on colonisation and dissemination of CA within its host by constructing bioluminescent mutants. Expression of the HA capsule by itself led to local multiplication and, during intranasal infection, to local dissemination to the adjacent brain tissue. Co-expression of either toxins or PDGA capsule with HA capsule enabled systemic dissemination, thus providing a clear evolutionary advantage. Protection against infection by B. cereus bv anthracis required the same vaccination formulation as that used against B. anthracis. Thus, these strains, at the frontier between B. anthracis and B. cereus, provide insight into how the monomorphic B. anthracis may have emerged. PMID

  12. Capsules, toxins and AtxA as virulence factors of emerging Bacillus cereus biovar anthracis.

    PubMed

    Brézillon, Christophe; Haustant, Michel; Dupke, Susann; Corre, Jean-Philippe; Lander, Angelika; Franz, Tatjana; Monot, Marc; Couture-Tosi, Evelyne; Jouvion, Gregory; Leendertz, Fabian H; Grunow, Roland; Mock, Michèle E; Klee, Silke R; Goossens, Pierre L

    2015-04-01

    Emerging B. cereus strains that cause anthrax-like disease have been isolated in Cameroon (CA strain) and Côte d'Ivoire (CI strain). These strains are unusual, because their genomic characterisation shows that they belong to the B. cereus species, although they harbour two plasmids, pBCXO1 and pBCXO2, that are highly similar to the pXO1 and pXO2 plasmids of B. anthracis that encode the toxins and the polyglutamate capsule respectively. The virulence factors implicated in the pathogenicity of these B. cereus bv anthracis strains remain to be characterised. We tested their virulence by cutaneous and intranasal delivery in mice and guinea pigs; they were as virulent as wild-type B. anthracis. Unlike as described for pXO2-cured B. anthracis, the CA strain cured of the pBCXO2 plasmid was still highly virulent, showing the existence of other virulence factors. Indeed, these strains concomitantly expressed a hyaluronic acid (HA) capsule and the B. anthracis polyglutamate (PDGA) capsule. The HA capsule was encoded by the hasACB operon on pBCXO1, and its expression was regulated by the global transcription regulator AtxA, which controls anthrax toxins and PDGA capsule in B. anthracis. Thus, the HA and PDGA capsules and toxins were co-regulated by AtxA. We explored the respective effect of the virulence factors on colonisation and dissemination of CA within its host by constructing bioluminescent mutants. Expression of the HA capsule by itself led to local multiplication and, during intranasal infection, to local dissemination to the adjacent brain tissue. Co-expression of either toxins or PDGA capsule with HA capsule enabled systemic dissemination, thus providing a clear evolutionary advantage. Protection against infection by B. cereus bv anthracis required the same vaccination formulation as that used against B. anthracis. Thus, these strains, at the frontier between B. anthracis and B. cereus, provide insight into how the monomorphic B. anthracis may have emerged.

  13. Rapid Virulence Annotation (RVA): identification of virulence factors using a bacterial genome library and multiple invertebrate hosts.

    PubMed

    Waterfield, Nicholas R; Sanchez-Contreras, Maria; Eleftherianos, Ioannis; Dowling, Andrea; Yang, Guowei; Wilkinson, Paul; Parkhill, Julian; Thomson, Nicholas; Reynolds, Stuart E; Bode, Helge B; Dorus, Steven; Ffrench-Constant, Richard H

    2008-10-14

    Current sequence databases now contain numerous whole genome sequences of pathogenic bacteria. However, many of the predicted genes lack any functional annotation. We describe an assumption-free approach, Rapid Virulence Annotation (RVA), for the high-throughput parallel screening of genomic libraries against four different taxa: insects, nematodes, amoeba, and mammalian macrophages. These hosts represent different aspects of both the vertebrate and invertebrate immune system. Here, we apply RVA to the emerging human pathogen Photorhabdus asymbiotica using "gain of toxicity" assays of recombinant Escherichia coli clones. We describe a wealth of potential virulence loci and attribute biological function to several putative genomic islands, which may then be further characterized using conventional molecular techniques. The application of RVA to other pathogen genomes promises to ascribe biological function to otherwise uncharacterized virulence genes.

  14. Comparison of virulence factors of oral Candida dubliniensis and Candida albicans isolates in healthy people and patients with chronic candidosis.

    PubMed

    Hannula, J; Saarela, M; Dogan, B; Paatsama, J; Koukila-Kähkölä, P; Pirinen, S; Alakomi, H L; Perheentupa, J; Asikainen, S

    2000-08-01

    We determined differences in the expression of certain virulence factors between oral Candida dubliniensis and Candida albicans species. In addition, clonal differences were sought among C. albicans isolates recovered from patients with and without compromised immune system. The material comprised 93 clinical yeast isolates originated in 40 subjects (1-5 isolates per subject). All 26 C. dubliniensis isolates and 46 C. albicans isolates originated from healthy routine dental clinic patients. Additionally, 21 C. albicans isolates were collected from patients with autoimmune polyendocrinopathy-candidosis-ectodermal dystrophy (APECED), who have chronic candidosis as one manifestation of their immunocompromising disease. Polymerase chain reaction amplification using the random sequence primer OPE-03 enabled grouping of the C. dubliniensis isolates in 2 genotypes (I and II) and C. albicans isolates in 15 genotypes (I-XV). No significant difference was found in the distribution of genotypes between the patients with APECED and the healthy subjects. C. dubliniensis isolates exhibited high-frequency phenotypic switching significantly more frequently than did C. albicans isolates, and vice versa regarding phospholipase and proteinase production. Proteinase production was significantly more frequent among C. albicans genotype V than genotype IX isolates. No significant difference was found in expression of virulence factors of C. albicans isolates between the patients with APECED and the healthy subjects.

  15. Virulence factors of Enterococcus strains isolated from patients with inflammatory bowel disease

    PubMed Central

    Golińska, Edyta; Tomusiak, Anna; Gosiewski, Tomasz; Więcek, Grażyna; Machul, Agnieszka; Mikołajczyk, Diana; Bulanda, Małgorzata; Heczko, Piotr B; Strus, Magdalena

    2013-01-01

    AIM: To determine the features of Enterococcus that contribute to the development and maintenance of the inflammatory process in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). METHODS: Multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was applied to assess the presence of genes that encode virulence factors [surface aggregating protein (asa1), gelatinase (gelE), cytolysin (cylA), extracellular surface protein (esp) and hyaluronidase (hyl)] in the genomic DNA of 28 strains of Enterococcus isolated from the intestinal tissues of children with IBD (n = 16) and of children without IBD (controls; n = 12). Additionally, strains with confirmed presence of the gelE gene were tested by PCR for the presence of quorum sensing genes (fsrA, fsrB, fsrC) that control the gelatinase production. Gelatinase activity was tested on agar plates containing 1.6% gelatin. We also analysed the ability of Enterococcus strains to release and decompose hydrogen peroxide (using Analytical Merckoquant peroxide test strips) and tested their ability to adhere to Caco-2 human gut epithelium cells and form biofilms in vitro. RESULTS: A comparison of the genomes of Enterococcus strains isolated from the inflamed mucosa of patients with IBD with those of the control group showed statistically significant differences in the frequency of the asa1 gene and the gelE gene. Furthermore, the cumulative occurrence of different virulence genes in the genome of a single strain of Enterococcus isolated from the IBD patient group is greater than in a strain from the control group, although no significant difference was found. Statistically significant differences in the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide and adherence to the Caco-2 epithelial cell line between the strains from the patient group and control group were demonstrated. The results also showed that profuse biofilm production was more frequent among Enterococcus strains isolated from children with IBD than in control strains. CONCLUSION: Enterococcus strains

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

    Porphyromonas gingivalis is a keystone pathogen of chronic periodontitis. The virulence of P. gingivalis is reported to be strain related and there are currently a number of strain typing schemes based on variation in capsular polysaccharide, the major and minor fimbriae and adhesin domains of Lys-gingipain (Kgp), amongst other surface proteins. P. gingivalis can exchange chromosomal DNA between strains by natural competence and conjugation. The aim of this study was to determine the genetic variability of P. gingivalis strains sourced from international locations over a 25-year period and to determine if variability in surface virulence factors has a phylogenetic basis. Whole genome sequencing was performed on 13 strains and comparison made to 10 previously sequenced strains. A single nucleotide polymorphism-based phylogenetic analysis demonstrated a shallow tri-lobed phylogeny. There was a high level of reticulation in the phylogenetic network, demonstrating extensive horizontal gene transfer between the strains. Two highly conserved variants of the catalytic domain of the major virulence factor the Kgp proteinase (KgpcatI and KgpcatII) were found. There were three variants of the fourth Kgp C-terminal cleaved adhesin domain. Specific variants of the cell surface proteins FimA, FimCDE, MfaI, RagAB, Tpr, and PrtT were also identified. The occurrence of all these variants in the P. gingivalis strains formed a mosaic that was not related to the SNP-based phylogeny. In conclusion P. gingivalis uses domain rearrangements and genetic exchange to generate diversity in specific surface virulence factors. PMID:28184216

  17. Detection of Methicillin Resistance and Various Virulence Factors in Staphylococcus aureus Strains Isolated from Nasal Carriers

    PubMed Central

    Dağı, Hatice Türk; Fındık, Duygu; Demirel, Gamze; Arslan, Uğur

    2015-01-01

    Background: Staphylococus aureus can be found as a commensal on skin and nasal flora or it may cause local and invasive infections. S. aureus has a large number of virulence factors. Aims: To investigate the methicillin resistance and frequency of various virulence factors in S. aureus nasal isolates. Study Design: Descriptive study. Methods: Nasal samples collected from university students were cultured in media. S. aureus was identified by conventional methods and the Staphyloslide latex test (Becton Dickinson, Sparks, USA). Antibiotic susceptibility tests were conducted, and the methicillin resistance was determined. The mecA, nuc, pvl and staphylococcal toxin genes were examined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Results: S. aureus was isolated in 104 of 600 (17.3%) nasal samples. In total, 101 (97.1%) S. aureus isolates were methicillin-sensitive and the remaining 3 (2.9%) were methicillin-resistant. Furthermore, all but five isolates carried at least one staphylococcal enterotoxin gene, with seg being predominant. The tst and eta genes were determined in 29 (27.9%), and 3 (2.9%) isolates, respectively. None of the S. aureus isolates harbored see, etb, and pvl genes. Conclusion: A moderate rate of S. aureus carriage and low frequency of MRSA were detected in healthy students. S. aureus isolates had a high prevalence of staphylococcal enterotoxin genes and the tst gene. In this study, a large number of virulence factors were examined in S. aureus nasal isolates, and the data obtained from this study can be used for monitoring the prevalence of virulence genes in S. aureus strains isolated from nasal carriers. PMID:26167341

  18. An in silico chimeric multi subunit vaccine targeting virulence factors of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) with its bacterial inbuilt adjuvant.

    PubMed

    Nazarian, Shahram; Mousavi Gargari, Seyed Latif; Rasooli, Iraj; Amani, Jafar; Bagheri, Samane; Alerasool, Masoome

    2012-07-01

    Enteric infections resulting in diarrheal diseases remain as major global health problems. Among bacteria, enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) causes the largest number of diarrheal cases. There is a great interest in developing an effective ETEC vaccine. An ETEC vaccine could focus on virulence factors present in ETEC pathogens and nontoxic Heat-labile B subunit (LTB). Chimeric proteins carrying epitopes, or adjuvant sequences increase the possibility of eliciting a broad cellular or humoral immune response. In-silico tools are highly suited to study, design and evaluate vaccine strategies. Colonization factors are among the virulence factor studied in the present work employing bioinformatic tools. A synthetic chimeric gene, encoding CfaB, CstH, CotA, and LTB was designed. Modeling was done to predict the 3D structure of protein. This model was validated using Ramachandran plot statistics. The predicted B-cell epitopes were mapped on the surface of the model. Validation result showed that 97.2% residues lie in favored or additional allowed region of Ramachandran plot. VaxiJen analysis of the protein showed high antigenicity. Linear and conformational B-cell epitopes were identified. The identified T-cell epitopes are apt to bind MHC molecules. The epitopes in the chimeric protein are likely to induce both the B-cell and T-cell mediated immune responses.

  19. Assessment of virulence factors, antibiotic resistance and amino-decarboxylase activity in Enterococcus faecium MXVK29 isolated from Mexican chorizo.

    PubMed

    Alvarez-Cisneros, Y M; Fernández, F J; Sainz-Espuñez, T; Ponce-Alquicira, E

    2017-02-01

    Enterococcus faecium MXVK29 has the ability to produce an antimicrobial compound that belongs to Class IIa of the Klaenhammer classification, and could be used as part of a biopreservation technology through direct inoculation of the strain as a starter or protective culture. However, Enterococcus is considered as an opportunistic pathogen, hence, the purpose of this work was to study the food safety determinants of E. faecium MXVK29. The strain was sensitive to all of the antibiotics tested (penicillin, tetracycline, vancomycin, erythromycin, chloramphenicol, gentamicin, neomycin, kanamycin and netilmicin) and did not demonstrate histamine, cadaverine or putrescine formation. Furthermore, tyrosine-decarboxylase activity was detected by qualitative assays and PCR. Among the virulence factors analysed for the strain, only the genes encoding the sexual pheromone cCF10 precursor lipoprotein (ccf) and cell-wall adhesion (efaAfm ) were amplified. The presence of these genes has low impact on pathogenesis, as there are no other genes encoding for virulence factors, such as aggregation proteins. Therefore, Enterococcus faecium could be employed as part of a bioconservation method, because it does not produce risk factors for consumer's health; in addition, it could be used as part of the hurdle technology in foods.

  20. Epoxide-mediated differential packaging of Cif and other virulence factors into outer membrane vesicles.

    PubMed

    Ballok, Alicia E; Filkins, Laura M; Bomberger, Jennifer M; Stanton, Bruce A; O'Toole, George A

    2014-10-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa produces outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) that contain a number of secreted bacterial proteins, including phospholipases, alkaline phosphatase, and the CFTR inhibitory factor (Cif). Previously, Cif, an epoxide hydrolase, was shown to be regulated at the transcriptional level by epoxides, which serve as ligands of the repressor, CifR. Here, we tested whether epoxides have an effect on Cif levels in OMVs. We showed that growth of P. aeruginosa in the presence of specific epoxides but not a hydrolysis product increased Cif packaging into OMVs in a CifR-independent fashion. The outer membrane protein, OprF, was also increased under these conditions, but alkaline phosphatase activity was not significantly altered. Additionally, we demonstrated that OMV shape and density were affected by epoxide treatment, with two distinct vesicle fractions present when cells were treated with epibromohydrin (EBH), a model epoxide. Vesicles isolated from the two density fractions exhibited different protein profiles in Western blotting and silver staining. We have shown that a variety of clinically or host-relevant treatments, including antibiotics, also alter the proteins packaged in OMVs. Proteomic analysis of purified OMVs followed by an analysis of transposon mutant OMVs yielded mutants with altered vesicle packaging. Finally, epithelial cell cytotoxicity was reduced in the vesicles formed in the presence of EBH, suggesting that this epoxide alters the function of the OMVs. Our data support a model whereby clinically or host-relevant signals mediate differential packaging of virulence factors in OMVs, which results in functional consequences for host-pathogen interactions.

  1. Temporal and Racial Differences Associated with Atopic Dermatitis Staphylococcus aureus and Encoded Virulence Factors

    PubMed Central

    Merriman, Joseph A.; Mueller, Elizabeth A.; Cahill, Michael P.; Beck, Lisa A.; Paller, Amy S.; Hanifin, Jon M.; Ong, Peck Y.; Schneider, Lynda; Babineau, Denise C.; David, Gloria; Lockhart, Alexandre; Artis, Keli; Leung, Donald Y. M.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Atopic dermatitis (AD) is an inflammatory skin condition strongly associated with Staphylococcus aureus colonization and infection. S. aureus strains shift in populations in ~10-year intervals depending on virulence factors. Shifts in S. aureus virulence factors may in part explain the racial differences observed in the levels of prevalence and severity of AD. AD S. aureus isolates collected from 2011 to 2014 (103 isolates) and in 2008 (100 isolates) were examined for the prevalence of genes encoding superantigens (SAgs). The strains from 2011 to 2014 were obtained from AD patients as a part of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Atopic Dermatitis Research Network (ADRN). The prevalence of SAg genes was investigated temporally and racially. The enterotoxin gene cluster (EGC) was more prevalent in the 2011–2014 AD isolates than in the 2008 AD isolates. The prevalences of virulence factor genes were similar in European American (EA) and Mexican American (MA) patients but differed in 6 of 22 SAg genes between EA and African American (AA) or MA and AA isolates; notably, AA isolates lacked tstH, the gene encoding toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1). The presence of tstH and sel-p (enterotoxin-like P) was associated with decreased clinical severity and increased blood eosinophils, respectively. The EGC is becoming more prevalent, consistent with the previously observed 10 years of cycling of S. aureus strains. Race-specific S. aureus selection may account for differences in virulence factor profiles. The lack of TSST-1-positive (TSST-1+) AD S. aureus in AA is consistent with the lack of AAs acquiring TSST-1-associated menstrual toxic shock syndrome (TSS). IMPORTANCE Monitoring pathogen emergence provides insight into how pathogens adapt in the human population. Secreted virulence factors, important contributors to infections, may differ in a manner dependent on the strain and host. Temporal changes of Staphylococcus

  2. Drosophila Host Model Reveals New Enterococcus faecalis Quorum-Sensing Associated Virulence Factors

    PubMed Central

    Teixeira, Neuza; Varahan, Sriram; Gorman, Matthew J.; Palmer, Kelli L.; Zaidman-Remy, Anna; Yokohata, Ryoji; Nakayama, Jiro; Hancock, Lynn E.; Jacinto, António; Gilmore, Michael S.; de Fátima Silva Lopes, Maria

    2013-01-01

    Enterococcus faecalis V583 is a vancomycin-resistant clinical isolate which belongs to the hospital-adapted clade, CC2. This strain harbours several factors that have been associated with virulence, including the fsr quorum-sensing regulatory system that is known to control the expression of GelE and SprE proteases. To discriminate between genes directly regulated by Fsr, and those indirectly regulated as the result of protease expression or activity, we compared gene expression in isogenic mutants of V583 variously defective in either Fsr quorum sensing or protease expression. Quorum sensing was artificially induced by addition of the quorum signal, GBAP, exogenously in a controlled manner. The Fsr regulon was found to be restricted to five genes, gelE, sprE, ef1097, ef1351 and ef1352. Twelve additional genes were found to be dependent on the presence of GBAP-induced proteases. Induction of GelE and SprE by GBAP via Fsr resulted in accumulation of mRNA encoding lrgAB, and this induction was found to be lytRS dependent. Drosophila infection was used to discern varying levels of toxicity stemming from mutations in the fsr quorum regulatory system and the genes that it regulates, highlighting the contribution of LrgAB and bacteriocin EF1097 to infection toxicity. A contribution of SprE to infection toxicity was also detected. This work brought to light new players in E. faecalis success as a pathogen and paves the way for future studies on host tolerance mechanisms to infections caused by this important nosocomial pathogen. PMID:23734216

  3. Virulence Factors Contributing to Pathogenicity of Candida tropicalis and Its Antifungal Susceptibility Profile

    PubMed Central

    Deorukhkar, Sachin C.; Saini, Santosh

    2014-01-01

    The incidence of invasive candidiasis has increased over the past few decades. Although Candida albicans remains by far the most common species encountered, in recent years shift towards non-albicans Candida species like Candida tropicalis is noted. Here in this study we determined the virulence factors and antifungal susceptibility profile of 125 C. tropicalis isolated from various clinical specimens. Biofilm formation was seen in 53 (42.4%) isolates. Coagulase production was noted in 18 (14.4%) isolates. Phospholipase enzyme was the major virulent factor produced by C. tropicalis isolates. A total of 39 biofilm forming isolates showed phospholipase activity. Proteinase activity was demonstrated by 65 (52%) isolates. A total of 38 (30.4%) isolates showed haemolytic activity. Maximum isolates demonstrated resistance to fluconazole. Fluconazole resistance was more common in C. tropicalis isolated from blood cultures. Antifungal resistance was more in isolates possessing the ability to produce phospholipase and biofilm. C. tropicalis exhibit a great degree of variation not only in their pathogenicity but also in their antifungal susceptibility profile. The identification of virulence attributes specific for each species and their correlation with each other will aid in the understanding of the pathogenesis of infection. PMID:24803934

  4. Functional association between the Helicobacter pylori virulence factors VacA and CagA.

    PubMed

    Argent, Richard H; Thomas, Rachael J; Letley, Darren P; Rittig, Michael G; Hardie, Kim R; Atherton, John C

    2008-02-01

    The Helicobacter pylori virulence factors CagA and VacA are implicated in the development of gastroduodenal diseases. Most strains possessing CagA also possess the more virulent vacuolating form of VacA. This study assessed the significance of possession of both virulence factors in terms of their effect on gastric epithelial cells, using a set of minimally passaged, isogenic VacA, CagA and CagE mutants in H. pylori strains 60190 and 84-183. The cagA and cagE mutants were found to significantly increase VacA-induced vacuolation of epithelial cells, and the vacA mutants significantly increased CagA-induced cellular elongations, compared with wild-type strains, indicating that CagA reduces vacuolation and VacA reduces hummingbird formation. Although epithelial cells incubated with the wild-type H. pylori strains may display both vacuolation and hummingbird formation, it was found that (i) hummingbird length was significantly reduced in vacuolated cells compared with those without vacuolation; (ii) the number of vacuoles was significantly reduced in vacuolated cells with hummingbird formation compared with those without hummingbirds; and (iii) cells displaying extensive vacuolation did not subsequently form hummingbirds and vice versa. VacA did not affect the phosphorylation of CagA. These data show that VacA and CagA downregulate each other's effects on epithelial cells, potentially allowing H. pylori interaction with cells whilst avoiding excessive cellular damage.

  5. Extracellular vesicles from Trypanosoma brucei mediate virulence factor transfer and cause host anemia

    PubMed Central

    Szempruch, Anthony J.; Sykes, Steven E.; Kieft, Rudo; Denison, Lauren; Becker, Allison C.; Gartrell, Anzio; Martin, William J.; Nakayasu, Ernesto S.; Almeida, Igor C.; Hajduk, Stephen L.; Harrington, John M.

    2015-01-01

    Intercellular communication between parasites and with host cells provides mechanisms for parasite development, immune evasion and disease pathology. Bloodstream African trypanosomes produce membranous nanotubes that originate from the flagellar membrane and disassociate into free extracellular vesicles (EVs). Trypanosome EVs contain several flagellar proteins that contribute to virulence and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense EVs contain the serum resistance-associated protein (SRA) necessary for human infectivity. T. b. rhodesiense EVs transfer SRA to non-human infectious trypanosomes allowing evasion of human innate immunity. Trypanosome EVs can also fuse with mammalian erythrocytes resulting in rapid erythrocyte clearance and anemia. These data indicate that trypanosome EVs are organelles mediating non-hereditary virulence factor transfer and causing host erythrocyte remodeling inducing anemia. PMID:26771494

  6. Structure of the catalytic domain of the Salmonella virulence factor SseI

    PubMed Central

    Bhaskaran, Shyam S.; Stebbins, C. Erec

    2012-01-01

    SseI is secreted into host cells by Salmonella and contributes to the establishment of systemic infections. The crystal structure of the C-terminal domain of SseI has been solved to 1.70 Å resolution, revealing it to be a member of the cysteine protease superfamily with a catalytic triad consisting of Cys178, His216 and Asp231 that is critical to its virulence activities. Structure-based analysis revealed that SseI is likely to possess either acyl hydrolase or acyltransferase activity, placing this virulence factor in the rapidly growing class of enzymes of this family utilized by bacterial pathogens inside eukaryotic cells. PMID:23151626

  7. A novel adhesive factor contributing to the virulence of Vibrio parahaemolyticus

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Ming; Chen, Sheng

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial adhesins play a pivotal role in the tight bacteria-host cells attachment to initiate the downstream processes and bacterial infection of hosts. In this study, we identified a novel adhesin, VpadF in V. parahaemolyticus. Deletion of VpadF in V. parahaemolyticus markedly impaired its attachment and cytotoxicity to epithelial cells, as well as attenuated the virulence in murine model. Biochemical studies revealed that VpadF recognized both fibronectin and fibrinogen. The binding of VpadF to these two host receptors was mainly dependent on the its fifth bacterial immunoglobulin-like group domain and its C-terminal tail. Our finding suggested that VpadF is a major virulence factor of V. parahaemolyticus and a potential good candidate for V. parahaemolyticus infection control for both vaccine development and drug target. PMID:26399174

  8. Virulence factors and antimicrobial susceptibility profile of extraintestinal Escherichia coli isolated from an avian colisepticemia outbreak.

    PubMed

    Maciel, Jonas Fernandes; Matter, Letícia Beatriz; Trindade, Michele Martins; Camillo, Giovana; Lovato, Maristela; de Ávila Botton, Sônia; Castagna de Vargas, Agueda

    2017-02-01

    In this study an avian colisepticemia outbreak was investigated. Two isolates from a chicken with colisepticemia were characterized for antimicrobial susceptibility and virulence factors profile. For this purpose 7 antimicrobial and 29 genes (fimH, hrlA/hek, iha, papC, sfa/focCD, tsh, mat, tia, gimB, ibeA, chuA, fyuA, ireA, iroN, irp2, iucD, sitD. chr., sitD. ep., iss, neuC, ompA, traT, astA, hlyA, sat, vat, pic, malX, cvi/cva) were tested. The outbreak happened in a hick chicken breeding located in the northwestern region of Rio Grande do Sul state in South of Brazil and caused 28.3% (102 deads of a total of 360 chickens) of mortality rate. Escherichia coli isolates obtained from the avian spleen and liver belong to the same phylogenetic group A and present resistance to all antimicrobials tested (ampicillin, tetracycline, gentamicin, neomycin, sulfa + trimethoprim, enrofloxacin, and norfloxacin). Both isolates harbor virulence factors related to adhesion (fimH, papC, mat), invasion (tia), iron acquisition system (iroN) and serum resistance (iss, ompA, traT), showing that these groups are important for Avian Pathogenic E. coli (APEC). However, they present different virulence profiles for some genes, whereas liver-isolate carries more hrlA/hek (adhesin), gimB (invasin), sitD ep. (iron acquisition system), sat (toxin) and hylA (toxin) genes, the spleen-isolate harbors fyuA (iron acquisition system) gene. Here, we highlight a coinfection by different strains of APEC in the same animal with colisepticemia, the great antimicrobial resistance of these bacterial isolates and the genetic traits that modulate the virulence for high mortality rate of chickens for human consumption.

  9. Clustered, regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) diversity and virulence factor distribution in avian Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Fu, Qiang; Su, Zhixin; Cheng, Yuqiang; Wang, Zhaofei; Li, Shiyu; Wang, Heng'an; Sun, Jianhe; Yan, Yaxian

    In order to investigate the diverse characteristics of clustered, regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) arrays and the distribution of virulence factor genes in avian Escherichia coli, 80 E. coli isolates obtained from chickens with avian pathogenic E. coli (APEC) or avian fecal commensal E. coli (AFEC) were identified. Using the multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR), five genes were subjected to phylogenetic typing and examined for CRISPR arrays to study genetic relatedness among the strains. The strains were further analyzed for CRISPR loci and virulence factor genes to determine a possible association between their CRISPR elements and their potential virulence. The strains were divided into five phylogenetic groups: A, B1, B2, D and E. It was confirmed that two types of CRISPR arrays, CRISPR1 and CRISPR2, which contain up to 246 distinct spacers, were amplified in most of the strains. Further classification of the isolates was achieved by sorting them into nine CRISPR clusters based on their spacer profiles, which indicates a candidate typing method for E. coli. Several significant differences in invasion-associated gene distribution were found between the APEC isolates and the AFEC isolates. Our results identified the distribution of 11 virulence genes and CRISPR diversity in 80 strains. It was demonstrated that, with the exception of iucD and aslA, there was no sharp demarcation in the gene distribution between the pathogenic (APEC) and commensal (AFEC) strains, while the total number of indicated CRISPR spacers may have a positive correlation with the potential pathogenicity of the E. coli isolates.

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

    PubMed

    Felsheim, Roderick F; Kurtti, Timothy J; Munderloh, Ulrike G

    2009-12-21

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

  11. A multi-host approach for the systematic analysis of virulence factors in Cryptococcus neoformans.

    PubMed

    Desalermos, Athanasios; Tan, Xiaojiang; Rajamuthiah, Rajmohan; Arvanitis, Marios; Wang, Yan; Li, Dedong; Kourkoumpetis, Themistoklis K; Fuchs, Beth Burgwyn; Mylonakis, Eleftherios

    2015-01-15

    A multi-host approach was followed to screen a library of 1201 signature-tagged deletion strains of Cryptococcus neoformans mutants to identify previously unknown virulence factors. The primary screen was performed using a Caenorhabditis elegans-C. neoformans infection assay. The hits among these strains were reconfirmed as less virulent than the wild type in the insect Galleria mellonella-C. neoformans infection assay. After this 2-stage screen, and to prioritize hits, we performed serial evaluations of the selected strains, using the C. elegans model. All hit strains identified through these studies were validated in a murine model of systemic cryptococcosis. Twelve strains were identified through a stepwise screening assay. Among them, 4 (CSN1201, SRE1, RDI1, and YLR243W) were previously discovered, providing proof of principle for this approach, while the role of the remaining 8 genes (CKS101, CNC5600, YOL003C, CND1850, MLH3, HAP502, MSL5, and CNA2580) were not previously described in cryptococcal virulence. The multi-host approach is an efficient method of studying the pathogenesis of C. neoformans. We used diverse model hosts, C. elegans, G. mellonella, and mice, with physiological differences and identified 12 genes associated with mammalian infection. Our approach may be suitable for large pathogenesis screens.

  12. Loss of Lipid Virulence Factors Reduces the Efficacy of the BCG Vaccine.

    PubMed

    Tran, Vanessa; Ahn, Sang Kyun; Ng, Mark; Li, Ming; Liu, Jun

    2016-06-30

    Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG), an attenuated strain of Mycobacterium bovis, is the only vaccine available for tuberculosis (TB) control. BCG comprises a number of substrains that exhibit genetic and biochemical differences. Whether and how these differences affect BCG efficacy remain unknown. Compared to other BCG strains, BCG-Japan, -Moreau, and -Glaxo are defective in the production of phthiocerol dimycocerosates (PDIMs) and phenolic glycolipids (PGLs), two lipid virulence factors. To determine if the loss of PDIMs/PGLs affects BCG efficacy, we constructed a PDIM/PGL-deficient strain of BCG-Pasteur by deleting fadD28, and compared virulence, immunogenicity, and protective efficacy in animal models. SCID mouse infection experiments showed that ∆fadD28 was more attenuated than wild type (WT). The ∆fadD28 and WT strains induced equivalent levels of antigen specific IFN-γ by CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells; however, ∆fadD28 was less effective against Mycobacterium tuberculosis challenge in both BALB/c mice and guinea pigs. These results indicate that the loss of PIDMs/PGLs reduces the virulence and protective efficacy of BCG. Since the loss of PDIMs/PGLs occurs naturally in a subset of BCG strains, it also suggests that these strains may have been over-attenuated, which compromises their effectiveness. Our finding has important implications for current BCG programs and future vaccine development.

  13. An ent-kaurene-derived diterpenoid virulence factor from Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xuan; Hershey, David M; Wang, Li; Bogdanove, Adam J; Peters, Reuben J

    2015-04-01

    Both plants and fungi produce ent-kaurene as a precursor to the gibberellin plant hormones. A number of rhizobia contain functionally conserved, sequentially acting ent-copalyl diphosphate and ent-kaurene synthases (CPS and KS, respectively), which are found within a well-conserved operon that may lead to the production of gibberellins. Intriguingly, the rice bacterial leaf streak pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola (Xoc) contains a homologous operon. Here, we report biochemical characterization of the encoded CPS and KS, and the impact of insertional mutagenesis on virulence and the plant defense response for these genes, as well as that for one of the cytochromes P450 (CYP112) found in the operon. Activity of the CPS and KS found in this phytopathogen was verified - that is, Xoc is capable of producing ent-kaurene. Moreover, knocking out CPS, KS or CYP112 led to mutant Xoc that exhibited reduced virulence. Investigation of the effect on marker gene transcript levels suggests that the Xoc diterpenoid affects the plant defense response, most directly that mediated by jasmonic acid (JA). Xoc produces an ent-kaurene-derived diterpenoid as a virulence factor, potentially a gibberellin phytohormone, which is antagonistic to JA, consistent with the recent recognition of opposing effects for these phytohormones on the microbial defense response.

  14. Discovery of Salmonella Virulence Factors Translocated via Outer Membrane Vesicles to Murine Macrophages.

    SciTech Connect

    Yoon, Hyunjin; Ansong, Charles; Adkins, Joshua N.; Heffron, Fred

    2011-06-01

    We have previously shown that the regulators SpvR, FruR, IHF, PhoP/PhoQ, SsrA/SsrB, SlyA, Hnr, RpoE, SmpB, CsrA, RpoS, Crp, OmpR/EnvZ, and Hfq are essential for Salmonella Typhimurium virulence in mice. Here we use quantitative LC-MS-based proteomics profiling of in-frame deletion mutants of these 14 regulators to identify proteins that are coordinately regulated by these virulence regulators and are thus presumably novel factors contributing to Salmonella pathogenesis. Putative candidate proteins from proteomics analysis were determined, which exhibited similar abundance profiles to those of Salmonella pathogenicity island (SPI)-2 type III secretion system (TTSS) proteins. A subset of 5 proteins including STM0082, STM1548, PdgL, STM1633, and STM3595 was selected for further analysis. All 5 proteins were expressed inside macrophage cells and STM0082 (SrfN) was secreted into host cytoplasm. Furthermore, deletion of STM0082 attenuated virulence in mice when administered intraperitoneally as determined by competitive index. srfN transcription was positively regulated by SsrAB, however, secretion was independent of SPI-2 TTSS as well as SPI-1 TTSS and flagella. Proteins including PagK and STM2585A, which are positively regulated by PhoP/PhoQ, have sec signal peptides as predicted for SrfN and were secreted into macrophage cytoplasm regardless of SPI-2 TTSS. Isolation of outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) revealed the presence of SrfN, PagK, and STM2585A inside vesicle compartments. This result is the first case showing delivery of virulence effectors via OMVs in S. Typhimurium. Moreover, Hfq regulation of SrfN translation suggests that small non-coding RNAs may be responsible for regulating effector protein expression.

  15. Virulence factors of Candida species isolated from patients with urinary tract infection and obstructive uropathy

    PubMed Central

    Alenzi, Faris Q.B.

    2016-01-01

    Objective: Fungal urinary tract infections due to Candida have increased significantly in recent years. Our research objective was to study Candida species in urine samples of patients with urinary tract infections (UTIs) associated with obstructive uropathy and to investigate the virulence factors of the isolated Candida. Methods: Patients were divided into two groups: Group I (cases): 50 patients with UTIs and obstructive uropathy. Group II (control): 50 patients with UTIs but with no functional or anatomical obstruction of their urinary tract. Clinical histories and physical examinations, together with laboratory investigations of urine samples were carried out in all patients in this study. Mid stream urine samples were examined microscopically and by fungal cell culture. The isolated Candida species were identified by analytical profile index (API). Candida Virulence factors were determined for the isolated Candida. The susceptibility to fluconazole was evaluated. Results: This study revealed an overall isolation rate of 27% of Candida species among all patient groups. The rate was 36% in cases, and 18% in controls, a difference found to be statistically significant (P<0.05). By API, C.albicans was detected in 44% of Candida species in cases, and in 33% in controls. While C.glabrata was detected in 28% of Candida species in cases, and in 22% in controls. C.tropicalis was detected in 17% of Candida species in cases, and in 22% in controls. Both C.krusei and C.kyfr were detected in 5.5% of Candida species in cases, and in 11% in controls. In terms of virulence factors the study showed that 11 out of 27 (40.5%) of Candida isolates were biofilm positive by tube adherence. Phospholipase activity was demonstrated in 12 out of 27 (44.5%) of Candida isolates. Secretory aspartic proteinase activity was demonstrated in 13 out of 27 (48%) of the Candida isolates. Conclusion: Candida is an important cause of UTIs and obstructive uropathy is a major predisposing factor

  16. Association Between Helicobacter pylori cagA, babA2 Virulence Factors and Gastric Mucosal Interleukin-33 mRNA Expression and Clinical Outcomes in Dyspeptic Patients.

    PubMed

    Shahi, Heshmat; Reiisi, Somayeh; Bahreini, Rasol; Bagheri, Nader; Salimzadeh, Loghman; Shirzad, Hedayatollah

    2015-01-01

    Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection has been reported in more than half of the world human population. It is associated with gastric inflammation and noticeable infiltration of the immune cells to the stomach mucosa by several cytokines secretion. IL-1β, IL-18 have been shown to contribute to H. pylori induced gastritis, but the details of inflammation and association of virulence factors remain unclear. IL-1 cytokine family has a new additional cytokine, Interleukin-33 (IL-33), which is contemplated to have an important role for host defense against microorganisms. H. pylori virulence factors important in gastritis risk are the cag pathogenicity island (cag-PAI) and babA. This study evaluated IL-33 mucosal mRNA expression levels in infected and uninfected patients and its relationship with bacterial virulence factors cagA, babA2 and type of gastritis. Total RNA was extracted from gastric biopsies of 79 H. pylori-infected patients and 51 H. pylori-negative patients. Mucosal IL-33 mRNA expression levels in gastric biopsies were assessed using real-time PCR. Existence of virulence factors were detected by PCR. IL-33 mRNA expression was significantly higher in biopsies of H. pylori-infected patients compared to H. pylori-uninfected patients (P<0.0001). Also there was a direct relationship between virulence factor bab-A2 and enhancement in IL-33 mRNA expression. Furthermore, IL-33 mRNA expression level was significantly lower in chronic gastritis patients compared with patients with active gastritis (P<0.001). IL-33 may play a crucial role in the inflammatory response and induction of the chronic gastritis and severity of inflammatory changes in the gastric mucosa.

  17. Association Between Helicobacter pylori cagA, babA2 Virulence Factors and Gastric Mucosal Interleukin-33 mRNA Expression and Clinical Outcomes in Dyspeptic Patients

    PubMed Central

    Shahi, Heshmat; Reiisi, Somayeh; Bahreini, Rasol; Bagheri, Nader; Salimzadeh, Loghman; Shirzad, Hedayatollah

    2015-01-01

    Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection has been reported in more than half of the world human population. It is associated with gastric inflammation and noticeable infiltration of the immune cells to the stomach mucosa by several cytokines secretion. IL-1β, IL-18 have been shown to contribute to H. pylori induced gastritis, but the details of inflammation and association of virulence factors remain unclear. IL-1 cytokine family has a new additional cytokine, Interleukin-33 (IL-33), which is contemplated to have an important role for host defense against microorganisms. H. pylori virulence factors important in gastritis risk are the cag pathogenicity island (cag-PAI) and babA. This study evaluated IL-33 mucosal mRNA expression levels in infected and uninfected patients and its relationship with bacterial virulence factors cagA, babA2 and type of gastritis. Total RNA was extracted from gastric biopsies of 79 H. pylori-infected patients and 51 H. pylori-negative patients. Mucosal IL-33 mRNA expression levels in gastric biopsies were assessed using real-time PCR. Existence of virulence factors were detected by PCR. IL-33 mRNA expression was significantly higher in biopsies of H. pylori-infected patients compared to H. pylori-uninfected patients (P<0.0001). Also there was a direct relationship between virulence factor bab-A2 and enhancement in IL-33 mRNA expression. Furthermore, IL-33 mRNA expression level was significantly lower in chronic gastritis patients compared with patients with active gastritis (P<0.001). IL-33 may play a crucial role in the inflammatory response and induction of the chronic gastritis and severity of inflammatory changes in the gastric mucosa. PMID:27014647

  18. Low-Molecular-Weight Metabolites Secreted by Paenibacillus larvae as Potential Virulence Factors of American Foulbrood

    PubMed Central

    Schild, Hedwig-Annabell; Fuchs, Sebastian W.

    2014-01-01

    The spore-forming bacterium Paenibacillus larvae causes a severe and highly infective bee disease, American foulbrood (AFB). Despite the large economic losses induced by AFB, the virulence factors produced by P. larvae are as yet unknown. To identify such virulence factors, we experimentally infected young, susceptible larvae of the honeybee, Apis mellifera carnica, with different P. larvae isolates. Honeybee larvae were reared in vitro in 24-well plates in the laboratory after isolation from the brood comb. We identified genotype-specific differences in the etiopathology of AFB between the tested isolates of P. larvae, which were revealed by differences in the median lethal times. Furthermore, we confirmed that extracts of P. larvae cultures contain low-molecular-weight compounds, which are toxic to honeybee larvae. Our data indicate that P. larvae secretes metabolites into the medium with a potent honeybee toxic activity pointing to a novel pathogenic factor(s) of P. larvae. Genome mining of P. larvae subsp. larvae BRL-230010 led to the identification of several biosynthesis gene clusters putatively involved in natural product biosynthesis, highlighting the potential of P. larvae to produce such compounds. PMID:24509920

  19. Cnm is a major virulence factor of invasive Streptococcus mutans and part of a conserved three-gene locus.

    PubMed

    Avilés-Reyes, A; Miller, J H; Simpson-Haidaris, P J; Lemos, J A; Abranches, J

    2014-02-01

    Cnm, a collagen- and laminin-binding protein present in a subset of Streptococcus mutans strains, mediates binding to extracellular matrices (ECM), intracellular invasion and virulence in the Galleria mellonella model. Antibodies raised against Cnm were used to confirm expression and the cell surface localization of Cnm in the highly invasive OMZ175 strain. Sequence analysis identified two additional genes (cnaB and cbpA) encoding putative surface proteins immediately upstream of cnm. Inactivation of cnaB and cbpA in OMZ175, individually or in combination, did not decrease the ability of this highly invasive and virulent strain to bind to different ECM proteins, invade human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAEC), or kill G. mellonella. Similarly, expression of cnaB and cbpA in the cnm(-) strain UA159 revealed that these genes did not enhance Cnm-related phenotypes. However, integration of cnm in the chromosome of UA159 significantly increased its ability to bind to collagen and laminin, invade HCAEC, and kill G. mellonella. Moreover, the presence of antibodies against Cnm nearly abolished the ability of OMZ175 to bind to collagen and laminin and invade HCAEC, and significantly protected G. mellonella against OMZ175 infection. We concluded that neither CnaB nor CbpA is necessary for the expression of Cnm-related traits. We also provided definitive evidence that Cnm is an important virulence factor and a suitable target for the development of novel preventive and therapeutic strategies to combat invasive S. mutans strains.

  20. [Capsular types, virulence factors and DNA types of Klebsiella oxytoca strains isolated from blood and bile].

    PubMed

    Ishihara, Yuka; Yagi, Tetsuya; Mochizuki, Mariko; Ohta, Michio

    2012-03-01

    Klebsiella oxytoca is an opportunistic pathogen and is isolated at the second highest frequency among genus Klebsiella from hospitalized patients. According to previous reports, the major virulence factors of K. pneumoniae include capsules and several kinds of pill, whereas the virulence factors of K. oxytoca have not been well investigated. We noticed an increased frequency of K. oxytoca isolates from patients who had undergone a biliary tract operation in a general hospital from May through November, 2009. We then performed a PCR analysis of the virulence factors and an epidemiological analysis with capsular typing (serotyping) and pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) for K. oxytoca of 11 blood isolates and 10 bile isolates. As a result, serotypes of K9, K15, K26, K31, K43, K47, K55, K70, and K79 were identified in these strains, and K1 and K2 which are frequent serotypes in K. pneumoniae strains were not observed. Two blood isolates of the K55 serotype showed almost the same PFGE pattern, suggesting that these isolates were very closely related and caused cross-infection in a hospital ward. Strains of the K43 serotype were three blood isolates and 1 bile isolate, all of which showed different PFGE patterns. There were no common isolates among the blood and bile isolates. A PCR search revealed that fimH and mrkD genes which are relevant to type 1 and type 2 pili, respectively, were present in all strains, whereas kfuBC, an iron uptake gene, and cf29a were detected in only a few strains. Neither of the mucoid phenotype-related genes magA and rmpA was present in any strains. These results strongly suggest that type 1 and/or type 3 pili would have important roles in the pathogenesis of blood infection and bile infection caused by K. oxytoca.

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

    PubMed

    Lihoradova, Olga; Ikegami, Tetsuro

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Porphyromonas gingivalis virulence factors involved in subversion of leukocytes and microbial dysbiosis.

    PubMed

    Zenobia, Camille; Hajishengallis, George

    2015-01-01

    The oral bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis has special nutrient requirements due to its asaccharolytic nature subsisting on small peptides cleaved from host proteins. Using proteases and other virulence factors, P. gingivalis thrives as a component of a polymicrobial community in nutritionally favorable inflammatory environments. In this regard, P. gingivalis has a number of strategies that subvert the host immune response in ways that promote its colonization and facilitate the outgrowth of the surrounding microbial community. The focus of this review is to discuss at the molecular level how P. gingivalis subverts leukocytes to create a favorable environment for a select community of bacteria that, in turn, adversely affects the periodontal tissues.

  3. [Helicobacter pylori: focus on CagA and VacA major virulence factors].

    PubMed

    Castillo-Rojas, Gonzalo; Mazarí-Hiriart, Marisa; López-Vidal, Yolanda

    2004-01-01

    After colonizing the human gastric mucosa, Helicobacter pylori can remain within the host for years and even decades, and is associated with several, highly significant gastric pathologies. In Mexico, the seroprevalence at 1 year of age is 20% and the estimated increment in seropositivity per year is 5% for children aged 1-10 years. More than 80% of adults are infected by the time they are 18-20 years old. Bacterial virulence factors have been proposed for H. pylori, such as urease, flagella, heat-shock protein, lipopolysaccharide, adhesions, vacuolating cytotoxin, cag pathogenicity island and the cytotoxin-associated protein, the latter being the most studied mechanism to date.

  4. Functional Metagenomics of Spacecraft Assembly Cleanrooms: Presence of Virulence Factors Associated with Human Pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Bashir, Mina; Ahmed, Mahjabeen; Weinmaier, Thomas; Ciobanu, Doina; Ivanova, Natalia; Pieber, Thomas R.; Vaishampayan, Parag A.

    2016-01-01

    Strict planetary protection practices are implemented during spacecraft assembly to prevent inadvertent transfer of earth microorganisms to other planetary bodies. Therefore, spacecraft are assembled in cleanrooms, which undergo strict cleaning and decontamination procedures to reduce total microbial bioburden. We wanted to evaluate if these practices selectively favor survival and growth of hardy microorganisms, such as pathogens. Three geographically distinct cleanrooms were sampled during the assembly of three NASA spacecraft: The Lockheed Martin Aeronautics' Multiple Testing Facility during DAWN, the Kennedy Space Center's Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility (KSC-PHSF) during Phoenix, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Spacecraft Assembly Facility during Mars Science Laboratory. Sample sets were collected from the KSC-PHSF cleanroom at three time points: before arrival of the Phoenix spacecraft, during the assembly and testing of the Phoenix spacecraft, and after removal of the spacecraft from the KSC-PHSF facility. All samples were subjected to metagenomic shotgun sequencing on an Illumina HiSeq 2500 platform. Strict decontamination procedures had a greater impact on microbial communities than sampling location Samples collected during spacecraft assembly were dominated by Acinetobacter spp. We found pathogens and potential virulence factors, which determine pathogenicity in all the samples tested during this study. Though the relative abundance of pathogens was lowest during the Phoenix assembly, potential virulence factors were higher during assembly compared to before and after assembly, indicating a survival advantage. Decreased phylogenetic and pathogenic diversity indicates that decontamination and preventative measures were effective against the majority of microorganisms and well implemented, however, pathogen abundance still increased over time. Four potential pathogens, Acinetobacter baumannii, Acinetobacter lwoffii, Escherichia coli and Legionella

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

    PubMed Central

    Lihoradova, Olga; Ikegami, Tetsuro

    2014-01-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne zoonotic disease characterized by a high rate of abortion in ruminants, and febrile illness, hemorrhagic fever, retinitis and encephalitis in humans. RVF is caused by the RVF virus (RVFV), belonging to the genus Phlebovirus of the family Bunyaviridae. RVFV encodes a major virulence factor, NSs, which is dispensable for viral replication, yet required for evasion of host innate immune responses. RVFV NSs inhibits host gene upregulation at the transcriptional level, while promoting viral translation in the cytoplasm. In this article, we summarize the virology and pathology of RVF, and countermeasure development for RVF, with emphasis on NSs function and applications. PMID:24910709

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

    PubMed

    Jung, Won Hee; Sham, Anita; White, Rick; Kronstad, James W

    2006-11-01

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

  7. The alternative sigma factor B modulates virulence gene expression in a murine Staphylococcus aureus infection model but does not influence kidney gene expression pattern of the host.

    PubMed

    Depke, Maren; Burian, Marc; Schäfer, Tina; Bröker, Barbara M; Ohlsen, Knut; Völker, Uwe

    2012-01-01

    Infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus are associated with significant morbidity and mortality and are an increasing threat not only in hospital settings. The expression of the staphylococcal virulence factor repertoire is known to be affected by the alternative sigma factor B (SigB). However, its impact during infection still is a matter of debate. Kidney tissues of controls or mice infected with S. aureus HG001 or its isogenic sigB mutant were analyzed by transcriptome profiling to monitor the host response, and additionally expression of selected S. aureus genes was monitored by RT-qPCR. Direct transcript analysis by RT-qPCR revealed significant SigB activity in all mice infected with the wild-type strain, but not in its isogenic sigB mutant (p<0.0001). Despite a clear-cut difference in the SigB-dependent transcription pattern of virulence genes (clfA, aur, and hla), the host reaction to infection (either wild type or sigB mutant) was almost identical. Despite its significant activity in vivo, loss of SigB did neither have an effect on the outcome of infection nor on murine kidney gene expression pattern. Thus, these data support the role of SigB as virulence modulator rather than being a virulence determinant by itself.

  8. Discovery of Novel Secreted Virulence Factors from Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium by Proteomic Analysis of Culture Supernatants

    SciTech Connect

    Niemann, George; Brown, Roslyn N.; Gustin, Jean K.; Stufkens, Afke; Shaikh-Kidwai, Afshan S.; Li, Jie; McDermott, Jason E.; Brewer, Heather M.; Schepmoes, Athena A.; Smith, Richard D.; Adkins, Joshua N.; Heffron, Fred

    2011-01-01

    The intracellular pathogen Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is a leading cause of acute gastroenteritis in the world. This pathogen has two type-III secretion systems (TTSS) necessary for virulence that are encoded in Salmonella pathogenicity islands 1 and 2 (SPI-1 and SPI-2) and are expressed during extracellular or intracellular infectious states, respectively, to deliver virulence factors (effectors) to the host cell cytoplasm. While many have been identified and at least partially characterized, the full repertoire of effectors has not been catalogued. In this mass spectrometry-based proteomics study, we identified effector proteins secreted under minimal acidic medium growth conditions that induced the SPI-2 TTSS and its effectors, and compared the secretome from the parent strain to the secretome from strains missing either essential (SsaK) or regulatory components (SsaL) of the SPI-2 secretion apparatus. We identified 75% of the known TTSS effector repertoire. Excluding translocon components, 95% of the known effectors were biased for identification in the ssaL mutant background, which demonstrated that SsaL regulates SPI-2 type III secretion. To confirm secretion to animal cells, we made translational fusions of several of the best candidates to the calmodulin-dependent adenylate cyclase of Bordetella pertussis and assayed cAMP levels of infected J774 macrophage-like cells. From these infected cells we identified six new TTSS effectors and two others that are secreted independent of TTSS. Our results substantiate reports of additional secretion systems encoded by Salmonella other than TTSS.

  9. Evaluate the frequency distribution of nonadhesive virulence factors in carbapenemase-producing Acinetobacter baumannii isolated from clinical samples in Kermanshah

    PubMed Central

    Mohajeri, Parviz; Sharbati, Saba; Farahani, Abbas; Rezaei, Zhaleh

    2016-01-01

    Background: Acinetobacter baumannii which is a Gram-negative bacterium can cause several different infections. The appearance of carbapenemase-producing A. baumannii in recent years has made the treatment process more difficult. The identification of virulence factors (VFs), such as nonadhesives in A. baumannii, helps to fight against related infections. Materials and Methods: A total of 104 samples from teaching hospitals in Kermanshah, Iran, were collected during a 24 months period (2011-2013). Sample identification was first carried out by biochemical tests, and then their susceptibility to carbapenems was determined using the Kirby–Bauer method. For confirmation of carbapenemase-producing A. baumannii, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was done for carbapenemase-encoding genes. In addition, the frequency of nonadhesive VFs in carbapenemase-producing isolates was determined by PCR. Results: There were 50 isolates that were identified as carbapenemase-producing A. baumannii. The PCR results showed; 40 isolates (80%) for traT, 17 isolates (34%) for cvaC, and 8 isolates (16%) for iutA, and these encode serum resistance, colicin V and aerobactin, respectively. No significant correlation was observed between these three genes. Conclusions: The mechanism of A. baumannii virulence has always been in question. The role of VFs has also been recognized in other Gram-negative bacteria. According to the prevalence of traT, cvaC and iutA, as nonadhesive VFs, we can suggest that they could be the main mechanism of carbapenemase-producing A. baumannii pathogenesis. PMID:27003971

  10. The Extra-Cytoplasmic Function Sigma Factor SigX Modulates Biofilm and Virulence-Related Properties in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    Gicquel, Gwendoline; Bouffartigues, Emeline; Bains, Manjeet; Oxaran, Virginie; Rosay, Thibaut; Lesouhaitier, Olivier; Connil, Nathalie; Bazire, Alexis; Maillot, Olivier; Bénard, Magalie; Cornelis, Pierre; Hancock, Robert E. W.; Dufour, Alain; Feuilloley, Marc G. J.; Orange, Nicole; Déziel, Eric; Chevalier, Sylvie

    2013-01-01

    SigX, one of the 19 extra-cytoplasmic function sigma factors of P. aeruginosa, was only known to be involved in transcription of the gene encoding the major outer membrane protein OprF. We conducted a comparative transcriptomic study between the wildtype H103 strain and its sigX mutant PAOSX, which revealed a total of 307 differentially expressed genes that differed by more than 2 fold. Most dysregulated genes belonged to six functional classes, including the “chaperones and heat shock proteins”, “antibiotic resistance and susceptibility”, “energy metabolism”, “protein secretion/export apparatus”, and “secreted factors”, and “motility and attachment” classes. In this latter class, the large majority of the affected genes were down-regulated in the sigX mutant. In agreement with the array data, the sigX mutant was shown to demonstrate substantially reduced motility, attachment to biotic and abiotic surfaces, and biofilm formation. In addition, virulence towards the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans was reduced in the sigX mutant, suggesting that SigX is involved in virulence-related phenotypes. PMID:24260387

  11. Regulation of virulence factors, carbon utilization and virulence by SNF1 in Cryptococcus neoformans JEC21 and divergent actions of SNF1 between cryptococcal strains.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jiao; Li, Dong; Liu, Xiaoguang; Pan, Jiao; Yan, Bing; Zhu, Xudong

    2010-12-01

    We describe here the functions of a Snf1/AMPK homolog in the human pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus neoformans, strain JEC21. We found that JEC21 SNF1 is a key regulator for the biosynthesis of the major virulence factors, stress resistance and alternative carbon source utilization. Disruption of JEC21 SNF1 results in defects of laccase activity and capsule production, sensitivity to cation stress. Especially, we found that JEC21 SNF1 is essential for growth at elevated temperature and for thermotolerance. To our knowledge, a role for Snf1 proteins in thermotolerance has not been reported. Furthermore, we observed a functional divergence between JEC21 SNF1 and its equivalent from serotype A strain H99. A high temperature is needed for H99 SNF1 to function in stress response and carbon source preference, but not for the JEC21 SNF1. Our results confirmed a critical role of JEC21 SNF1 in regulation of stress response and virulence. Revelation of divergent actions of SNF1 may help to understand the evolution of cryptococcal pathogenesis and provides insights into the strain-associated biosynthesis of virulence factors.

  12. Identification and Characterization of msf, a Novel Virulence Factor in Haemophilus influenzae

    PubMed Central

    Kress-Bennett, Jennifer M.; Hiller, N. Luisa; Eutsey, Rory A.; Powell, Evan; Longwell, Mark J.; Hillman, Todd; Blackwell, Tenisha; Byers, Barbara; Mell, Joshua C.; Post, J. Christopher; Hu, Fen Z.; Ehrlich, Garth D.; Janto, Benjamin A.

    2016-01-01

    Haemophilus influenzae is an opportunistic pathogen. The emergence of virulent, non-typeable strains (NTHi) emphasizes the importance of developing new interventional targets. We screened the NTHi supragenome for genes encoding surface-exposed proteins suggestive of immune evasion, identifying a large family containing Sel1-like repeats (SLRs). Clustering identified ten SLR-containing gene subfamilies, each with various numbers of SLRs per gene. Individual strains also had varying numbers of SLR-containing genes from one or more of the subfamilies. Statistical genetic analyses of gene possession among 210 NTHi strains typed as either disease or carriage found a significant association between possession of the SlrVA subfamily (which we have termed, macrophage survival factor, msf) and the disease isolates. The PittII strain contains four chromosomally contiguous msf genes. Deleting all four of these genes (msfA1-4) (KO) resulted in a highly significant decrease in phagocytosis and survival in macrophages; which was fully complemented by a single copy of the msfA1 gene. Using the chinchilla model of otitis media and invasive disease, the KO strain displayed a significant decrease in fitness compared to the WT in co-infections; and in single infections, the KO lost its ability to invade the brain. The singly complemented strain showed only a partial ability to compete with the WT suggesting gene dosage is important in vivo. The transcriptional profiles of the KO and WT in planktonic growth were compared using the NTHi supragenome array, which revealed highly significant changes in the expression of operons involved in virulence and anaerobiosis. These findings demonstrate that the msfA1-4 genes are virulence factors for phagocytosis, persistence, and trafficking to non-mucosal sites. PMID:26977929

  13. Identification and characterization of msa (SA1233), a gene involved in expression of SarA and several virulence factors in Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Sambanthamoorthy, Karthik; Smeltzer, Mark S; Elasri, Mohamed O

    2006-09-01

    The staphylococcal accessory regulator (sarA) plays a central role in the regulation of virulence in Staphylococcus aureus. To date, studies involving sarA have focused on its activity as a global regulator that modulates transcription of a wide variety of genes (>100) and its role in virulence. However, there is also evidence to suggest the existence of accessory elements that modulate SarA production and/or function. A reporter system was developed to identify such elements, and a new gene, msa (SA1233), mutation of which results in reduced expression of SarA, was identified and characterized. Additionally, it was shown that mutation of msa resulted in altered transcription of the accessory gene regulator (agr) and the genes encoding several virulence factors including alpha toxin (hla) and protein A (spa). However, the impact of mutating msa was different in the laboratory strain RN6390 and the clinical isolate UAMS-1. For instance, mutation of msa caused a decrease in spa and hla transcription in RN6390 but had a different effect in UAMS-1. The strain-dependent effects of the msa mutation were similar to those observed previously, which suggests that msa may modulate the production of specific virulence factors through its impact on sarA. Interestingly, sequence analysis of Msa suggests that it is a putative membrane protein with three membrane-spanning regions, indicating that Msa might interact with the environment. The findings show that msa is involved in the expression of SarA and several virulence factors.

  14. 14 CFR 1203.406 - Additional classification factors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 5 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Additional classification factors. 1203.406... PROGRAM Guides for Original Classification § 1203.406 Additional classification factors. In determining the appropriate classification category, the following additional factors should be considered:...

  15. Staphylococcus aureus Formyl-Methionyl Transferase Mutants Demonstrate Reduced Virulence Factor Production and Pathogenicity

    PubMed Central

    Lewandowski, Thomas; Huang, Jianzhong; Fan, Frank; Rogers, Shannon; Gentry, Daniel; Holland, Reannon; DeMarsh, Peter; Zalacain, Magdalena

    2013-01-01

    Inhibitors of peptide deformylase (PDF) represent a new class of antibacterial agents with a novel mechanism of action. Mutations that inactivate formyl methionyl transferase (FMT), the enzyme that formylates initiator methionyl-tRNA, lead to an alternative initiation of protein synthesis that does not require deformylation and are the predominant cause of resistance to PDF inhibitors in Staphylococcus aureus. Here, we report that loss-of-function mutations in FMT impart pleiotropic effects that include a reduced growth rate, a nonhemolytic phenotype, and a drastic reduction in production of multiple extracellular proteins, including key virulence factors, such as α-hemolysin and Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), that have been associated with S. aureus pathogenicity. Consequently, S. aureus FMT mutants are greatly attenuated in neutropenic and nonneutropenic murine pyelonephritis infection models and show very high survival rates compared with wild-type S. aureus. These newly discovered effects on extracellular virulence factor production demonstrate that FMT-null mutants have a more severe fitness cost than previously anticipated, leading to a substantial loss of pathogenicity and a restricted ability to produce an invasive infection. PMID:23571548

  16. Characterization of DIP0733, a multi-functional virulence factor of Corynebacterium diphtheriae.

    PubMed

    Antunes, Camila Azevedo; Sanches dos Santos, Louisy; Hacker, Elena; Köhler, Stefanie; Bösl, Korbinian; Ott, Lisa; de Luna, Maria das Graças; Hirata, Raphael; Azevedo, Vasco Ariston de Carvalho; Mattos-Guaraldi, Ana-Luíza; Burkovski, Andreas

    2015-03-01

    Corynebacterium diphtheriae is typically recognized as an extracellular pathogen. However, a number of studies revealed its ability to invade epithelial cells, indicating a more complex pathogen-host interaction. The molecular mechanisms controlling and facilitating internalization of Cor. diphtheriae are poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the role of DIP0733 as virulence factor to elucidate how it contributes to the process of pathogen-host cell interaction. Based on in vitro experiments, it was suggested recently that the DIP0733 protein might be involved in adhesion, invasion of epithelial cells and induction of apoptosis. A corresponding Cor. diphtheriae mutant strain generated in this study was attenuated in its ability to colonize and kill the host in a Caenorhabditis elegans infection model system. Furthermore, the mutant showed an altered adhesion pattern and a drastically reduced ability to adhere and invade epithelial cells. Subsequent experiments showed an influence of DIP0733 on binding of Cor. diphtheriae to extracellular matrix proteins such as collagen and fibronectin. Furthermore, based on its fibrinogen-binding activity, DIP0733 may play a role in avoiding recognition of Cor. diphtheriae by the immune system. In summary, our findings support the idea that DIP0733 is a multi-functional virulence factor of Cor. diphtheriae.

  17. Crataeva nurvala nanoparticles inhibit virulence factors and biofilm formation in clinical isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Ali, Syed Ghazanfar; Ansari, Mohammad Azam; Khan, Haris M; Jalal, Mohammad; Mahdi, Abbas Ali; Cameotra, Swaranjit Singh

    2017-03-01

    Green synthesized nanoparticles have gained great attention due to their non-toxic and non-hazardous nature. In the present study, bark extract of the medicinal plant in Ayurveda Crataeva nurvala (Buch-Ham) (CN) was chosen for the biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs). These NPs were characterized by Ultra violet visible spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infra Red, Atomic Force Microscopy, and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). The average particle size of green synthesized CN-AgNPs was 15.2 ± 1.01 nm. Gas chromatography- mass spectrometry analysis of methanolic bark extract involved in the formation of CN-AgNPs revealed lupeol as a major active component. In this study, CN-AgNPs (15 μg ml(-1) ) efficiently suppressed the production of quorum sensing mediated virulence factors viz. pyocyanin, protease, hemolysin, and biofilm formation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The pyocyanin production was strongly inhibited (74.64%) followed by proteolysis (47.3%) and hemolysin production (47.7%). However, the biofilm forming ability was maximally reduced up to 79.70%. Moreover, the Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopic Analysis showed that CN-AgNPs inhibit colonization of P. aeruginosa on to the surface. Furthermore, TEM analysis revealed internalization of CN-AgNPs inside the bacterial cell. It is concluded that green synthesized AgNPs have great potential to inhibit virulence factors and biofilm forming ability of drug-resistant clinical isolates of P. aeruginosa.

  18. Virulence factors genes of Staphylococcus spp. isolated from caprine subclinical mastitis.

    PubMed

    Salaberry, Sandra Renata Sampaio; Saidenberg, André Becker Simões; Zuniga, Eveline; Melville, Priscilla Anne; Santos, Franklin Gerônimo Bispo; Guimarães, Ednaldo Carvalho; Gregori, Fábio; Benites, Nilson Roberti

    2015-08-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate genes involved in adhesion expression, biofilm formation, and enterotoxin production in isolates of Staphylococcus spp. from goats with subclinical mastitis and associate these results with the staphylococcal species. One hundred and twenty-four isolates were identified and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed to detect the following genes: cna, ebpS, eno, fib, fnbA, fnbB, bap, sea, seb, sec, sed and see. The most commonly Staphylococcus species included S. epidermidis, S. lugdunensis, S. chromogenes, S. capitis ss capitis and S. intermedius. With the exception of fnbB, the genes were detected in different frequencies of occurrence in 86.3% of the Staphylococcus spp. isolates. Eno (73.2%) and bap (94.8%) were more frequently detected in coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS); ebpS (76%), fib (90.9%) and fnbA (87%) were the most frequent genes in coagulase-positive staphylococci (CPS). Regarding enterotoxins, genes sed (28.2%) and see (24.2%) had a higher frequency of occurrence; sec gene was more frequently detected in CPS (58.8%). There was no association between the presence of the genes and the Staphylococcus species. Different virulence factors genes can be detected in caprine subclinical mastitis caused by CNS and CPS. The knowledge of the occurrence of these virulence factors is important for the development of effective control and prevention measures of subclinical mastitis caused by CNS and CPS in goats.

  19. Virulence factors of Candida albicans isolates from the oral cavities of HIV-1-positive patients.

    PubMed

    Menezes, Tatiany O A; Gillet, Luciana C S; Menezes, Sílvio A F; Feitosa, Rosimar N M; Ishak, Marluísa O G; Ishak, Ricardo; Marques-da-Silva, Sílvia H; Vallinoto, Antonio C R

    2013-06-01

    The present study assessed the phenotypic aspects of oral-cavity Candida albicans isolates from 300 HIV-1- positive patients, relating the most commonly investigated virulence factors (enzyme typing and germ-tube formation) to the most common morphotypes. The samples were seeded into specific media for isolation and subsequent identification using the automated Vitek 2 system. The following assays were performed for phenotypic characterization: morphotyping, germ-tube formation and enzyme typing. Out of 300 collected samples, 144 tested positive for yeasts of the Candida genus, 98 (32.7 %) of which were identified as C. albicans. The latter samples were attributed to seven different morphotypes; the three most common morphotypes were 7208 (49 %), 7308 (14.3 %) and 3208 (13.3 %). All of the C. albicans isolate samples formed germ tubes and produced the enzymes proteinase and phospholipase, with an activity classified as intermediate to high. Due to the identification of virulence factors among the analyzed samples, monitoring of HIV-1-positive patients colonized by different morphotypes must be established because these morphotypes are extremely pathogenic and can trigger severe fungal infections.

  20. Various Enterotoxin and Other Virulence Factor Genes Widespread Among Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis Strains.

    PubMed

    Kim, Min-Ju; Han, Jae-Kwang; Park, Jong-Su; Lee, Jin-Sung; Lee, Soon-Ho; Cho, Joon-Il; Kim, Keun-Sung

    2015-06-01

    Many strains of Bacillus cereus cause gastrointestinal diseases, and the closely related insect pathogen Bacillus thuringiensis has also been involved in outbreaks of diarrhea. The diarrheal diseases are attributed to enterotoxins. Sixteen reference strains of B. cereus and nine commercial and 12 reference strains of B. thuringiensis were screened by PCR for the presence of 10 enterotoxigenic genes (hblA, hblC, hblD, nheA, nheB, nheC, cytK, bceT, entFM, and entS), one emetogenic gene (ces), seven hemolytic genes (hlyA, hlyII, hlyIII, plcA, cerA, cerB, and cerO), and a pleiotropic transcriptional activator gene (plcR). These genes encode various enterotoxins and other virulence factors thought to play a role in infections of mammals. Amplicons were successfully generated from the strains of B. cereus and B. thuringiensis for each of these sequences, except the ces gene. Intriguingly, the majority of these B. cereus enterotoxin genes and other virulence factor genes appeared to be widespread among B. thuringiensis strains as well as B. cereus strains.

  1. Challenge of investigating biologically relevant functions of virulence factors in bacterial pathogens.

    PubMed Central

    Moxon, R; Tang, C

    2000-01-01

    Recent innovations have increased enormously the opportunities for investigating the molecular basis of bacterial pathogenicity, including the availability of whole-genome sequences, techniques for identifying key virulence genes, and the use of microarrays and proteomics. These methods should provide powerful tools for analysing the patterns of gene expression and function required for investigating host-microbe interactions in vivo. But, the challenge is exacting. Pathogenicity is a complex phenotype and the reductionist approach does not adequately address the eclectic and variable outcomes of host-microbe interactions, including evolutionary dynamics and ecological factors. There are difficulties in distinguishing bacterial 'virulence' factors from the many determinants that are permissive for pathogenicity, for example those promoting general fitness. A further practical problem for some of the major bacterial pathogens is that there are no satisfactory animal models or experimental assays that adequately reflect the infection under investigation. In this review, we give a personal perspective on the challenge of characterizing how bacterial pathogens behave in vivo and discuss some of the methods that might be most relevant for understanding the molecular basis of the diseases for which they are responsible. Despite the powerful genomic, molecular, cellular and structural technologies available to us, we are still struggling to come to grips with the question of 'What is a pathogen?' PMID:10874737

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

    PubMed Central

    Bien, Justyna; Sokolova, Olga; Bozko, Przemyslaw

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Bacillus cereus from blood cultures: virulence genes, antimicrobial susceptibility and risk factors for blood stream infection.

    PubMed

    Horii, Toshinobu; Notake, Shigeyuki; Tamai, Kiyoko; Yanagisawa, Hideji

    2011-11-01

    We characterized the profiles of virulence genes and antimicrobial susceptibility of Bacillus cereus isolates from blood cultures as well as the risk factors for blood stream infections (BSIs). The diversity of virulence gene patterns was found to be wide among 15 B. cereus isolates from BSIs and also among 11 isolates from contaminated blood cultures. The MicroScan broth microdilution method yielded results corresponding with those of the agar dilution (reference) method for levofloxacin, linezolid, and vancomycin, while the Etest results were consistent with the reference results for clindamycin, gentamicin, imipenem, levofloxacin, and linezolid. Compared with the reference values, however, some isolates showed marked differences of the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) for ampicillin and clindamycin when determined using the MicroScan method, or the MICs for ampicillin, meropenem, and vancomycin when determined using the Etest method. Significantly more patients were treated with antimicrobials for more than 3 days during the 3-month period before isolation in the BSI group. Prior antimicrobial therapy may be a risk factor for BSIs due to B. cereus.

  4. Mp1p Is a Virulence Factor in Talaromyces (Penicillium) marneffei

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Hongmin; Lo, Raymond K. C.; Cai, Jian-Pao; Au-Yeung, Rex K. H.; Ng, Wing-Fung; Tse, Herman; Wong, Samson S. Y.; Xu, Simin; Lam, Wai Hei; Tse, Man-Kit; Sze, Kong Hung; Kao, Richard Y.; Reiner, Neil E.; Hao, Quan; Yuen, Kwok-Yung

    2016-01-01

    Background Talaromyces marneffei is an opportunistic dimorphic fungus prevalent in Southeast Asia. We previously demonstrated that Mp1p is an immunogenic surface and secretory mannoprotein of T. marneffei. Since Mp1p is a surface protein that can generate protective immunity, we hypothesized that Mp1p and/or its homologs are virulence factors. Methodology/Principal Findings We examined the pathogenic roles of Mp1p and its homologs in a mouse model. All mice died 21 and 30 days after challenge with wild-type T. marneffei PM1 and MP1 complemented mutant respectively. None of the mice died 60 days after challenge with MP1 knockout mutant (P<0.0001). Seventy percent of mice died 60 days after challenge with MP1 knockdown mutant (P<0.0001). All mice died after challenge with MPLP1 to MPLP13 knockdown mutants, suggesting that only Mp1p plays a significant role in virulence. The mean fungal loads of PM1 and MP1 complemented mutant in the liver, lung, kidney and spleen were significantly higher than those of the MP1 knockout mutant. Similarly, the mean load of PM1 in the liver, lung and spleen were significantly higher than that of the MP1 knockdown mutant. Histopathological studies showed an abundance of yeast in the kidney, spleen, liver and lung with more marked hepatic and splenic necrosis in mice challenged with PM1 compared to MP1 knockout and MP1 knockdown mutants. Likewise, a higher abundance of yeast was observed in the liver and spleen of mice challenged with MP1 complemented mutant compared to MP1 knockout mutant. PM1 and MP1 complemented mutant survived significantly better than MP1 knockout mutant in macrophages at 48 hours (P<0.01) post-infection. The mean fungal counts of Pichia pastoris GS115-MP1 in the liver (P<0.001) and spleen (P<0.05) of mice were significantly higher than those of GS115 at 24 hours post-challenge. Conclusions/Significance Mp1p is a key virulence factor of T. marneffei. Mp1p mediates virulence by improving the survival of T. marneffei

  5. Rhoptry protein 5 (ROP5) Is a Key Virulence Factor in Neospora caninum

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Lei; Liu, Jing; Li, Muzi; Fu, Yong; Zhang, Xiao; Liu, Qun

    2017-01-01

    Neospora caninum, of the Apicomplexa phylum, is a common cause of abortions in cattle and nervous system dysfunction in dogs. Rhoptry proteins of Apicomplexa play an important role in virulence. The objectives of this study were to study functions of NcROP5 in N. caninum by deleting the NcROP5 gene from the wild Nc-1 strain. We selected NcROP5 in ToxoDB and successfully constructed an NcROP5 gene-deleted vector, pTCR-NcROP5-CD KO. Then we screened the NcROP5 knockout strains (ΔNcROP5) at the gene, protein and transcription levels. Plaque assay, host cell invasion assay and intracellular proliferation test showed that the ΔNcROP5 strain had less plaque space, weakened invasion capacity and slower intracellular growth. Animal testing showed significantly lower cerebral load of ΔNcROP5 than the load of the Nc-1 strain, as well as a loss of virulence for the ΔNcROP5 strains. Phenotypic analyses using the label-free LC-MS/MS assay-based proteomic method and KEGG pathway enrichment analysis showed a reduction of NcGRA7 transcription and altered expression of multiple proteins including the apicomplexan family of binding proteins. The present study indicated that ROP5 is a key virulence factor in N. caninum in mice. The proteomic profiling of Nc-1 and ΔNcROP5 provided some data on differential proteins. These data provide a foundation for future research of protein functions in N. caninum. PMID:28326073

  6. Staphylococcal Panton-Valentine leucocidin as a major virulence factor associated to furuncles.

    PubMed

    Baba-Moussa, Lamine; Sina, Haziz; Scheftel, Jean-Michel; Moreau, Brigitte; Sainte-Marie, Dominique; Kotchoni, Simeon O; Prévost, Gilles; Couppié, Pierre

    2011-01-01

    Panton-Valentine Leucocidin (PVL), one of the β-barrel pore-forming staphylococcal leucotoxins, is known to be associated to furuncles and some severe community pneumonia. However, it is still uncertain how many other virulence factors are also associated to furuncles and what the risk factors of furuncles are in immuno-compromised status of patients, especially the HIV (+) patients. In this paper, we use antigen immunoprecipitation and multiplex PCR approach to determine the presence of 19 toxins, 8 adhesion factors and the PFGE profiles associated to furuncles in three independent patient study groups of S. aureus (SA) isolates collected from the Cayenne General Hospital (French Guiana). The patient groups were made of: 16 isolates from HIV (-) patients, 9 from HIV (+) patients suffering from furuncles, and 30 control isolates from patients with diverse secondary infected dermatitis. Our data reveals that the majority (96%) of SA strains isolated from HIV patient-derived furuncles significantly produced PVL (p<10(-7)), whereas only 10% of SA strains produced this toxin in secondary infected dermatosis. A high prevalence of LukE-LukD-producing isolates (56 to 78%) was recorded in patient groups. Genes encoding clumping factor B, collagen- and laminin-binding proteins (clfB, cna, lbp, respectively) were markedly frequent (30 to 55%), without being associated to a specific group. Pulse field gel electrophoresis evidenced 24 overall pulsotypes, whereas the 25 PVL-producing isolates were distributed into 15 non clonal fingerprints. These pulsotypes were not specific PVL-producing isolates. PVL appears to be the major virulence factor associated to furuncles in Europe and in South America regardless of the immune status of the HIV patients.

  7. Comparative Prevalence of Virulence Factors in Escherichia coli Causing Urinary Tract Infection in Male Infants with and without Bacteremia

    PubMed Central

    Bonacorsi, Stéphane; Houdouin, Véronique; Mariani-Kurkdjian, Patricia; Mahjoub-Messai, Farah; Bingen, Edouard

    2006-01-01

    Escherichia coli isolates causing urinary tract infection in 83 male infants younger than 90 days with and without bacteremia were compared for phylogenetic groups and the presence of 10 virulence factors. Our result suggest that the absence of both hemolysin and antigen K1 may be used as a negative predictive factor for bacteremia. PMID:16517919

  8. Acceleration of epithelial cell syndecan-1 shedding by anthrax hemolytic virulence factors

    PubMed Central

    Popova, Taissia G; Millis, Bryan; Bradburne, Chris; Nazarenko, Svetlana; Bailey, Charles; Chandhoke, Vikas; Popov, Serguei G

    2006-01-01

    Background It has been recently reported that major pathogens Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa accelerate a normal process of cell surface syndecan-1 (Synd1) ectodomain shedding as a mechanism of host damage due to the production of shedding-inducing virulence factors. We tested if acceleration of Synd1 shedding takes place in vitro upon treatment of epithelial cells with B. anthracis hemolysins, as well as in vivo during anthrax infection in mice. Results The isolated anthrax hemolytic proteins AnlB (sphingomyelinase) and AnlO (cholesterol-binding pore-forming factor), as well as ClnA (B. cereus homolog of B. anthracis phosphatidyl choline-preferring phospholipase C) cause accelerated shedding of Synd1 and E-cadherin from epithelial cells and compromise epithelial barrier integrity within a few hours. In comparison with hemolysins in a similar range of concentrations, anthrax lethal toxin (LT) also accelerates shedding albeit at slower rate. Individual components of LT, lethal factor and protective antigen are inactive with regard to shedding. Inhibition experiments favor a hypothesis that activities of tested bacterial shedding inducers converge on the stimulation of cytoplasmic tyrosine kinases of the Syk family, ultimately leading to activation of cellular sheddase. Both LT and AnlO modulate ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK signaling pathways, while JNK pathway seems to be irrelevant to accelerated shedding. Accelerated shedding of Synd1 also takes place in DBA/2 mice challenged with Bacillus anthracis (Sterne) spores. Elevated levels of shed ectodomain are readily detectable in circulation after 24 h. Conclusion The concerted acceleration of shedding by several virulence factors could represent a new pathogenic mechanism contributing to disruption of epithelial or endothelial integrity, hemorrhage, edema and abnormal cell signaling during anthrax infection. PMID:16464252

  9. KLIKK proteases of Tannerella forsythia: putative virulence factors with a unique domain structure.

    PubMed

    Ksiazek, Miroslaw; Mizgalska, Danuta; Eick, Sigrum; Thøgersen, Ida B; Enghild, Jan J; Potempa, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Comparative genomics of virulent Tannerella forsythia ATCC 43037 and a close health-associated relative, Tannerella BU063, revealed, in the latter, the absence of an entire array of genes encoding putative secretory proteases that possess a nearly identical C-terminal domain (CTD) that ends with a -Lys-Leu-Ile-Lys-Lys motif. This observation suggests that these proteins, referred to as KLIKK proteases, may function as virulence factors. Re-sequencing of the loci of the KLIKK proteases found only six genes grouped in two clusters. All six genes were expressed by T. forsythia in routine culture conditions, although at different levels. More importantly, a transcript of each gene was detected in gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) from periodontitis sites infected with T. forsythia indicating that the proteases are expressed in vivo. In each protein, a protease domain was flanked by a unique N-terminal profragment and a C-terminal extension ending with the CTD. Partially purified recombinant proteases showed variable levels of proteolytic activity in zymography gels and toward protein substrates, including collagen, gelatin, elastin, and casein. Taken together, these results indicate that the pathogenic strain of T. forsythia secretes active proteases capable of degrading an array of host proteins, which likely represents an important pathogenic feature of this bacterium.

  10. Virulence factors, antimicrobial susceptibility and molecular characterization of Streptococcus agalactiae isolated from pregnant women.

    PubMed

    Beigverdi, Reza; Jabalameli, Fereshteh; Mirsalehian, Akbar; Hantoushzadeh, Sedigheh; Boroumandi, Shahram; Taherikalani, Morovat; Emaneini, Mohammad

    2014-12-01

    Forty-one Streptococcus agalactiae isolates collected from pregnant women at 35-37 weeks of gestation were analysed for their capsular types, antimicrobial resistance determinants, distribution of virulence factors and genetic relatedness using PCR and multiplex PCR. Capsular type III was predominant (65.8%), followed by capsular type II (14.6%), Ib (7.3%), and V(4.9%). All isolates were susceptible to penicillin, vancomycin, linezolid and quinupristin-dalfopristin. Resistance to tetracycline, erythromycin and clindamycin were found in 97.6%, 24.4%, and 14.6% of isolates, respectively. The most common antimicrobial resistance gene was tetM found in 97.6% of the isolates followed by ermTR and ermB found in 12% and 7.3% of isolates, respectively. The most common virulence gene was hly (100%), followed by scpB (97.6%), bca (97.6%), rib (53.65%) and bac (4.9%). The insertion sequence IS1548 was found in 63.4% of isolates. By multi locus variable number of tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) typing, 30 different allelic profiles or MLVA types (MTs) were identified. The most frequent was the MT1 (5/41, 12.2%) and followed by MT2 (4/41, 9.75%). Our data revealed that population structure of these isolates is highly diverse and indicates different MLVA types.

  11. Trypanosoma brucei metacaspase 4 is a pseudopeptidase and a virulence factor.

    PubMed

    Proto, William R; Castanys-Munoz, Esther; Black, Alana; Tetley, Laurence; Moss, Catherine X; Juliano, Luiz; Coombs, Graham H; Mottram, Jeremy C

    2011-11-18

    Metacaspases are caspase family cysteine peptidases found in plants, fungi, and protozoa but not mammals. Trypanosoma brucei is unusual in having five metacaspases (MCA1-MCA5), of which MCA1 and MCA4 have active site substitutions, making them possible non-enzymatic homologues. Here we demonstrate that recombinant MCA4 lacks detectable peptidase activity despite maintaining a functional peptidase structure. MCA4 is expressed primarily in the bloodstream form of the parasite and associates with the flagellar membrane via dual myristoylation/palmitoylation. Loss of function phenotyping revealed critical roles for MCA4; rapid depletion by RNAi caused lethal disruption to the parasite's cell cycle, yet the generation of MCA4 null mutant parasites (Δmca4) was possible. Δmca4 had normal growth in axenic culture but markedly reduced virulence in mice. Further analysis revealed that MCA4 is released from the parasite and is specifically processed by MCA3, the only metacaspase that is both palmitoylated and enzymatically active. Accordingly, we have identified that the multiple metacaspases in T. brucei form a membrane-associated proteolytic cascade to generate a pseudopeptidase virulence factor.

  12. Tissue tropisms in group A Streptococcus: what virulence factors distinguish pharyngitis from impetigo strains?

    PubMed Central

    Bessen, Debra E.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose of review Group A streptococci (GAS) are a common cause of pharyngitis and impetigo, and distinct throat strains and skin strains have been long recognized. This review aims to describe recent advances in molecular differences between throat and skin strains, and the pathogenic mechanisms used by virulence factors that may distinguish between these two groups. Recent findings Recent findings include a new typing scheme for GAS strains based on sequence clusters of genes encoding the entire surface-exposed portion of M protein; correlations between emm-based typing schemes, clinical disease and surface adhesins; covalent bond formation mediated by GAS pili and other adhesins in binding to host ligands; a key role for superantigens in oropharyngeal infection via binding major histocompatibility complex class II antigen; and migration of GAS-specific Th17 cells from the upper respiratory tract to the brain, which may be relevant to autoimmune sequelae. Summary The gap between molecular markers of disease (correlation) and virulence mechanisms (causation) in the establishment of tissue tropisms for GAS infection currently remains wide, but the gap also continues to narrow. Whole genome sequencing combined with mutant construction and improvements in animal models for oropharyngeal infection by GAS may help pave the way for new discoveries. PMID:26895573

  13. KLIKK proteases of Tannerella forsythia: putative virulence factors with a unique domain structure

    PubMed Central

    Ksiazek, Miroslaw; Mizgalska, Danuta; Eick, Sigrum; Thøgersen, Ida B.; Enghild, Jan J.; Potempa, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Comparative genomics of virulent Tannerella forsythia ATCC 43037 and a close health-associated relative, Tannerella BU063, revealed, in the latter, the absence of an entire array of genes encoding putative secretory proteases that possess a nearly identical C-terminal domain (CTD) that ends with a -Lys-Leu-Ile-Lys-Lys motif. This observation suggests that these proteins, referred to as KLIKK proteases, may function as virulence factors. Re-sequencing of the loci of the KLIKK proteases found only six genes grouped in two clusters. All six genes were expressed by T. forsythia in routine culture conditions, although at different levels. More importantly, a transcript of each gene was detected in gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) from periodontitis sites infected with T. forsythia indicating that the proteases are expressed in vivo. In each protein, a protease domain was flanked by a unique N-terminal profragment and a C-terminal extension ending with the CTD. Partially purified recombinant proteases showed variable levels of proteolytic activity in zymography gels and toward protein substrates, including collagen, gelatin, elastin, and casein. Taken together, these results indicate that the pathogenic strain of T. forsythia secretes active proteases capable of degrading an array of host proteins, which likely represents an important pathogenic feature of this bacterium. PMID:25954253

  14. RpoN Regulates Virulence Factors of Pseudomonas aeruginosa via Modulating the PqsR Quorum Sensing Regulator

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Zhao; Liu, Yang; Chen, Yicai; Yam, Joey Kuok Hoong; Chew, Su Chuen; Chua, Song Lin; Wang, Ke; Givskov, Michael; Yang, Liang

    2015-01-01

    The alternative sigma factor RpoN regulates many cell functions, such as motility, quorum sensing, and virulence in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa). P. aeruginosa often evolves rpoN-negative variants during the chronic infection in cystic fibrosis patients. It is unclear how RpoN interacts with other regulatory mechanisms to control virulence of P. aeruginosa. In this study, we show that RpoN modulates the function of PqsR, a quorum sensing receptor regulating production of virulence factors including the phenazine pyocyanin. The ∆rpoN mutant is able to synthesize 4-quinolone signal molecule HHQ but unable to activate PqsR and Pseudomonas quinolone signal (pqs) quorum sensing. The ∆rpoN mutant produces minimal level of pyocyanin and is unable to produce the anti-staphylococcal agents. Providing pqsR in trans in the ∆rpoN mutant restores its pqs quorum sensing and virulence factor production to the wild-type level. Our study provides evidence that RpoN has a regulatory effect on P. aeruginosa virulence through modulating the function of the PqsR quorum sensing regulator. PMID:26633362

  15. RpoN Regulates Virulence Factors of Pseudomonas aeruginosa via Modulating the PqsR Quorum Sensing Regulator.

    PubMed

    Cai, Zhao; Liu, Yang; Chen, Yicai; Yam, Joey Kuok Hoong; Chew, Su Chuen; Chua, Song Lin; Wang, Ke; Givskov, Michael; Yang, Liang

    2015-11-30

    The alternative sigma factor RpoN regulates many cell functions, such as motility, quorum sensing, and virulence in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa). P. aeruginosa often evolves rpoN-negative variants during the chronic infection in cystic fibrosis patients. It is unclear how RpoN interacts with other regulatory mechanisms to control virulence of P. aeruginosa. In this study, we show that RpoN modulates the function of PqsR, a quorum sensing receptor regulating production of virulence factors including the phenazine pyocyanin. The ∆rpoN mutant is able to synthesize 4-quinolone signal molecule HHQ but unable to activate PqsR and Pseudomonas quinolone signal (pqs) quorum sensing. The ∆rpoN mutant produces minimal level of pyocyanin and is unable to produce the anti-staphylococcal agents. Providing pqsR in trans in the ∆rpoN mutant restores its pqs quorum sensing and virulence factor production to the wild-type level. Our study provides evidence that RpoN has a regulatory effect on P. aeruginosa virulence through modulating the function of the PqsR quorum sensing regulator.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a versatile pathogen of medical significance, using multiple virulence factors to cause disease. A prophylactic S. aureus 4-antigen (SA4Ag) vaccine comprising capsular polysaccharide (types 5 and 8) conjugates, clumping factor A (ClfA) and manganese transporter C (MntC) is under development. This study was designed to characterize S. aureus isolates recovered from infected patients and also to investigate approaches for examining expression of S. aureus vaccine candidates and the host response during human infection. Confirmation of antigen expression in different disease states is important to support the inclusion of these antigens in a prophylactic vaccine. Hospitalized patients with diagnosed S. aureus wound (27) or bloodstream (24) infections were enrolled. Invasive and nasal carriage S. aureus isolates were recovered and characterized for genotypic diversity. S. aureus antigen expression was evaluated directly by real-time, quantitative, reverse-transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis and indirectly by serology using a competitive Luminex immunoassay. Study isolates were genotypically diverse and all had the genes encoding the antigens present in the SA4Ag vaccine. S. aureus nasal carriage was detected in 55% of patients, and in those subjects 64% of the carriage isolates matched the invasive strain. In swab samples with detectable S. aureus triosephosphate isomerase housekeeping gene expression, RNA transcripts encoding the S. aureus virulence factors ClfA, MntC, and capsule polysaccharide were detected by qRT-PCR. Antigen expression was indirectly confirmed by increases in antibody titer during the course of infection from acute to convalescent phase. Demonstration of bacterial transcript expression together with immunological response to the SA4Ag antigens in a clinically relevant patient population provides support for inclusion of these antigens in a prophylactic vaccine. PMID:25719409

  17. Transcriptome Analysis of the Entomopathogenic Oomycete Lagenidium giganteum Reveals Putative Virulence Factors

    PubMed Central

    Quiroz Velasquez, Paula F.; Abiff, Sumayyah K.; Fins, Katrina C.; Conway, Quincy B.; Salazar, Norma C.; Delgado, Ana Paula; Dawes, Jhanelle K.; Douma, Lauren G.

    2014-01-01

    A combination of 454 pyrosequencing and Sanger sequencing was used to sample and characterize the transcriptome of the entomopathogenic oomycete Lagenidium giganteum. More than 50,000 high-throughput reads were annotated through homology searches. Several selected reads served as seeds for the amplification and sequencing of full-length transcripts. Phylogenetic analyses inferred from full-length cellulose synthase alignments revealed that L giganteum is nested within the peronosporalean galaxy and as such appears to have evolved from a phytopathogenic ancestor. In agreement with the phylogeny reconstructions, full-length L. giganteum oomycete effector orthologs, corresponding to the cellulose-binding elicitor lectin (CBEL), crinkler (CRN), and elicitin proteins, were characterized by domain organizations similar to those of pathogenicity factors of plant-pathogenic oomycetes. Importantly, the L. giganteum effectors provide a basis for detailing the roles of canonical CRN, CBEL, and elicitin proteins in the infectious process of an oomycete known principally as an animal pathogen. Finally, phylogenetic analyses and genome mining identified members of glycoside hydrolase family 5 subfamily 27 (GH5_27) as putative virulence factors active on the host insect cuticle, based in part on the fact that GH5_27 genes are shared by entomopathogenic oomycetes and fungi but are underrepresented in nonentomopathogenic genomes. The genomic resources gathered from the L. giganteum transcriptome analysis strongly suggest that filamentous entomopathogens (oomycetes and fungi) exhibit convergent evolution: they have evolved independently from plant-associated microbes, have retained genes indicative of plant associations, and may share similar cores of virulence factors, such as GH5_27 enzymes, that are absent from the genomes of their plant-pathogenic relatives. PMID:25107973

  18. A Virulence Factor Encoded by a Polydnavirus Confers Tolerance to Transgenic Tobacco Plants against Lepidopteran Larvae, by Impairing Nutrient Absorption

    PubMed Central

    Coppola, Mariangela; Buonanno, Martina; Di Prisco, Gennaro; Varricchio, Paola; Franzetti, Eleonora; Corrado, Giandomenico; Monti, Simona M.; Rao, Rosa; Casartelli, Morena; Pennacchio, Francesco

    2014-01-01

    The biological control of insect pests is based on the use of natural enemies. However, the growing information on the molecular mechanisms underpinning the interactions between insects and their natural antagonists can be exploited to develop “bio-inspired” pest control strategies, mimicking suppression mechanisms shaped by long co-evolutionary processes. Here we focus on a virulence factor encoded by the polydnavirus associated with the braconid wasp Toxoneuron nigriceps (TnBV), an endophagous parasitoid of noctuid moth larvae. This virulence factor (TnBVANK1) is a member of the viral ankyrin (ANK) protein family, and appears to be involved both in immunosuppression and endocrine alterations of the host. Transgenic tobacco plants expressing TnBVANK1 showed insecticide activity and caused developmental delay in Spodoptera littoralis larvae feeding on them. This effect was more evident in a transgenic line showing a higher number of transcripts of the viral gene. However, this effect was not associated with evidence of translocation into the haemocoel of the entire protein, where the receptors of TnBVANK1 are putatively located. Indeed, immunolocalization experiments evidenced the accumulation of this viral protein in the midgut, where it formed a thick layer coating the brush border of epithelial cells. In vitro transport experiments demonstrated that the presence of recombinant TnBVANK1 exerted a dose-dependent negative impact on amino acid transport. These results open new perspectives for insect control and stimulate additional research efforts to pursue the development of novel bioinsecticides, encoded by parasitoid-derived genes. However, future work will have to carefully evaluate any effect that these molecules may have on beneficial insects and on non-target organisms. PMID:25438149

  19. Crystal Structure of Leishmania major Oligopeptidase B Gives Insight into the Enzymatic Properties of a Trypanosomatid Virulence Factor*

    PubMed Central

    McLuskey, Karen; Paterson, Neil G.; Bland, Nicholas D.; Isaacs, Neil W.; Mottram, Jeremy C.

    2010-01-01

    Oligopeptidase B (OPB) is a serine peptidase with dibasic substrate specificity. It is found in bacteria, plants, and trypanosomatid pathogens, where it has been identified as a virulence factor and potential drug target. In this study we expressed active recombinant Leishmania major OPB and provide the first structure of an oligopeptidase B at high resolution. The crystallographic study reveals that OPB comprises two domains, a catalytic and a propeller domain, linked together by a hinge region. The structure has been determined in complex with the oligopeptide, protease-inhibitor antipain, giving detailed information on the enzyme active site and extended substrate binding pockets. It shows that Glu-621 plays a critical role in the S1 binding pocket and, along with Phe-603, is largely responsible for the enzyme substrate specificity in P1. In the S2 binding pocket, Tyr-499 was shown to be important for substrate stability. The structure also allowed an investigation into the function of residues highlighted in other studies including Glu-623, which was predicted to be involved in the S1 binding pocket but is found forming an inter-domain hydrogen bond. Additional important salt bridges/hydrogen bonds between the two domains were observed, highlighting the significance of the domain interface in OPB. This work provides a foundation for the study of the role of OPBs as virulence factors in trypanosomatids. It could facilitate the development of specific OPB inhibitors with therapeutic potential by exploiting its unique substrate recognition properties as well as providing a model for OPBs in general. PMID:20926390

  20. Occurrence, Virulence Factors, Antimicrobial Resistance, and Genotyping of Staphylococcus aureus Strains Isolated from Chicken Products and Humans.

    PubMed

    El Bayomi, Rasha M; Ahmed, Heba A; Awadallah, Maysa A I; Mohsen, Rasha A; Abd El-Ghafar, Abeer E; Abdelrahman, Mahmoud A

    2016-03-01

    Staphylococcus aureus in food is a consequence of inadequate hygienic handling and processing, posing a potential risk to public health. The current study aimed to characterize virulence factors, as well as antimicrobial resistance of Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) isolated from retail chicken products and hand swabs from vendors in Egypt. In addition, genetic relatedness of the isolates from chicken and humans was evaluated by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) using protein A as a target. A total of 110 samples were collected from chicken products (n = 80) and vendors (n = 30). Overall, 30 (37.5%) chicken products samples were positive for S. aureus, whereas hand swabs from meat handlers revealed that 18 (60%) were positive. Ten MRSA strains were characterized by the presence of the mecA gene, comprising seven isolates from chicken and three from humans. Virulence-associated factors were evaluated by PCR, revealing that 31.3% of S. aureus isolates harbored the Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) gene, whereas 10.4% were positive for the sea and sed genes each, and only two isolates were positive for γ-hemolysin-associated gene. Genotyping using spa PCR-RFLP showed identical restriction banding patterns of MRSA isolates of human and chicken meat origin, indicating the genetic relatedness of the isolates. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to characterize PVL-positive MRSA from chicken products and to utilize spa-RFLP for evaluating the genetic relatedness between MRSA of human and chicken origin in Egypt.

  1. A Common Structural Motif in the Binding of Virulence Factors to Bacterial Secretion Chaperones

    SciTech Connect

    Lilic,M.; Vujanac, M.; Stebbins, C.

    2006-01-01

    Salmonella invasion protein A (SipA) is translocated into host cells by a type III secretion system (T3SS) and comprises two regions: one domain binds its cognate type III secretion chaperone, InvB, in the bacterium to facilitate translocation, while a second domain functions in the host cell, contributing to bacterial uptake by polymerizing actin. We present here the crystal structures of the SipA chaperone binding domain (CBD) alone and in complex with InvB. The SipA CBD is found to consist of a nonglobular polypeptide as well as a large globular domain, both of which are necessary for binding to InvB. We also identify a structural motif that may direct virulence factors to their cognate chaperones in a diverse range of pathogenic bacteria. Disruption of this structural motif leads to a destabilization of several chaperone-substrate complexes from different species, as well as an impairment of secretion in Salmonella.

  2. Contact-dependent regulation of a Tannerella forsythia virulence factor, BspA, in biofilms.

    PubMed

    Inagaki, Satoru; Kuramitsu, Howard K; Sharma, Ashu

    2005-08-15

    Tannerella forsythia is one of the periodontal organisms implicated in the development of periodontal diseases. The surface associated and secreted protein, BspA (encoded by the bspA gene), of this bacterium is an important virulence factor. The present study was carried out to examine the regulation of the bspA gene during biofilm growth and contact stimuli encountered in interbacterial interactions. The expression levels of the bspA transcript were determined by real-time RT-PCR approach. The levels of bspA transcript were found to be significantly reduced as a result of contact stimulus and in biofilm cells relative to planktonic cells. The results of our study suggest that the likely downregulation of the BspA protein in biofilms and following contact may have implications in pathogenesis as a plausible mechanism of evasion of host immune responses.

  3. Prediction of a caspase-like fold in Tannerella forsythia virulence factor PrtH.

    PubMed

    Pei, Jimin; Grishin, Nick V

    2009-05-01

    Tannerella forsythia is a bacterial pathogen involved in periodontal disease. A cysteine protease PrtH has been characterized in this bacterium as a virulence factor. PrtH has the activity of detaching adherent cells from substratum, and the level of PrtH is associated with periodontal attachment loss. No reports exist on the structure, active site, and catalytic mechanism of PrtH. Using comparative sequence and structural analyses, we have identified homologs of PrtH in a number of bacterial and archaeal species. PrtH was found to be remotely related to caspases and other proteases with a caspase-like fold, such as gingipains from another periodontal pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis. Our results offer structural and mechanistic insights into PrtH and its homologs, and help classification of this protease family.

  4. Cellular Effects of Pyocyanin, a Secreted Virulence Factor of Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    Hall, Susan; McDermott, Catherine; Anoopkumar-Dukie, Shailendra; McFarland, Amelia J.; Forbes, Amanda; Perkins, Anthony V.; Davey, Andrew K.; Chess-Williams, Russ; Kiefel, Milton J.; Arora, Devinder; Grant, Gary D.

    2016-01-01

    Pyocyanin has recently emerged as an important virulence factor produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The redox-active tricyclic zwitterion has been shown to have a number of potential effects on various organ systems in vitro, including the respiratory, cardiovascular, urological, and central nervous systems. It has been shown that a large number of the effects to these systems are via the formation of reactive oxygen species. The limitations of studies are, to date, focused on the localized effect of the release of pyocyanin (PCN). It has been postulated that, given its chemical properties, PCN is able to readily cross biological membranes, however studies have yet to be undertaken to evaluate this effect. This review highlights the possible manifestations of PCN exposure; however, most studies to date are in vitro. Further high quality in vivo studies are needed to fully assess the physiological manifestations of PCN exposure on the various body systems. PMID:27517959

  5. Inhibiting an Epoxide Hydrolase Virulence Factor from Pseudomonas aeruginosa Protects CFTR.

    PubMed

    Bahl, Christopher D; Hvorecny, Kelli L; Bomberger, Jennifer M; Stanton, Bruce A; Hammock, Bruce D; Morisseau, Christophe; Madden, Dean R

    2015-08-17

    Opportunistic pathogens exploit diverse strategies to sabotage host defenses. Pseudomonas aeruginosa secretes the CFTR inhibitory factor Cif and thus triggers loss of CFTR, an ion channel required for airway mucociliary defense. However, the mechanism of action of Cif has remained unclear. It catalyzes epoxide hydrolysis, but there is no known role for natural epoxides in CFTR regulation. It was demonstrated that the hydrolase activity of Cif is strictly required for its effects on CFTR. A small-molecule inhibitor that protects this key component of the mucociliary defense system was also uncovered. These results provide a basis for targeting the distinctive virulence chemistry of Cif and suggest an unanticipated role of physiological epoxides in intracellular protein trafficking.

  6. Phenazine virulence factor binding to extracellular DNA is important for Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm formation

    PubMed Central

    Das, Theerthankar; Kutty, Samuel K.; Tavallaie, Roya; Ibugo, Amaye I.; Panchompoo, Janjira; Sehar, Shama; Aldous, Leigh; Yeung, Amanda W. S.; Thomas, Shane R.; Kumar, Naresh; Gooding, J. Justin; Manefield, Mike

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial resistance to conventional antibiotics necessitates the identification of novel leads for infection control. Interference with extracellular phenomena, such as quorum sensing, extracellular DNA integrity and redox active metabolite release, represents a new frontier to control human pathogens such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and hence reduce mortality. Here we reveal that the extracellular redox active virulence factor pyocyanin produced by P. aeruginosa binds directly to the deoxyribose-phosphate backbone of DNA and intercalates with DNA nitrogenous base pair regions. Binding results in local perturbations of the DNA double helix structure and enhanced electron transfer along the nucleic acid polymer. Pyocyanin binding to DNA also increases DNA solution viscosity. In contrast, antioxidants interacting with DNA and pyocyanin decrease DNA solution viscosity. Biofilms deficient in pyocyanin production and biofilms lacking extracellular DNA show similar architecture indicating the interaction is important in P. aeruginosa biofilm formation. PMID:25669133

  7. Dynamics of Escherichia coli Virulence Factors in Dairy Herds and Farm Environments in a Longitudinal Study in the United States

    PubMed Central

    Lambertini, Elisabetta; Karns, Jeffrey S.; Van Kessel, Jo Ann S.; Cao, Huilin; Schukken, Ynte H.; Wolfgang, David R.; Smith, Julia M.

    2015-01-01

    Pathogenic Escherichia coli or its associated virulence factors have been frequently detected in dairy cow manure, milk, and dairy farm environments. However, it is unclear what the long-term dynamics of E. coli virulence factors are and which farm compartments act as reservoirs. This study assessed the occurrence and dynamics of four E. coli virulence factors (eae, stx1, stx2, and the gamma allele of the tir gene [γ-tir]) on three U.S. dairy farms. Fecal, manure, water, feed, milk, and milk filter samples were collected from 2004 to 2012. Virulence factors were measured by postenrichment quantitative PCR (qPCR). All factors were detected in most compartments on all farms. Fecal and manure samples showed the highest prevalence, up to 53% for stx and 21% for γ-tir in fecal samples and up to 84% for stx and 44% for γ-tir in manure. Prevalence was low in milk (up to 1.9% for stx and 0.7% for γ-tir). However, 35% of milk filters were positive for stx and 20% were positive for γ-tir. All factors were detected in feed and water. Factor prevalence and levels, expressed as qPCR cycle threshold categories, fluctuated significantly over time, with no clear seasonal signal independent from year-to-year variability. Levels were correlated between fecal and manure samples, and in some cases autocorrelated, but not between manure and milk filters. Shiga toxins were nearly ubiquitous, and 10 to 18% of the lactating cows were potential shedders of E. coli O157 at least once during their time in the herds. E. coli virulence factors appear to persist in many areas of the farms and therefore contribute to transmission dynamics. PMID:25911478

  8. [The comparison of selected virulence factors in Pseudomonas aeruginosa catheter isolates].

    PubMed

    Olejnízková, Katerina; Holá, Veronika

    2012-05-01

    Healthcare quality improvement brings about an increasing number of invasive diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and thus also an increasing number of high-risk patients prone to hospital infections. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one of the most commonly isolated nosocomial species and the treatment of the infection is often long and problematic, with frequent recurrences. The pathogenesis of Pseudomonas infection is associated with a range of virulence factors. In the present study, 93 catheter isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa were screened for the biofilm formation, motility and secretion of selected extracellular products. A high rate of the strains tested were producers of hemolysins, LasB elastase, and pyoverdines (> 70%). The biofilm formation was detected in 80% of isolates and formation of aerated biofilm was present in 90% of isolates with a positive correlation found between the two types of biofilm formation (p = 0.00583; gamma = 0.551). All strains showed swarming motility, 95% of strains showed swimming motility, and 75% of strains showed twitching motility. Among the virulence factors studied, only pyocyanin and pyochelin were produced by a lower proportion of isolates (< 25%). A positive correlation was seen between the production of some extracellular molecules (pyochelin and pyocyanin, pyocyanin and LasB elastase, and LasB elastase and haemolysins), between biofilm formation and formation of aerated biofilm, and between formation of aerated biofilm and pigments (pyoverdine and pyocyanin) production. On the other hand, a negative correlation was found between biofilm production and LasB elastase production and between the production of biofilm under immersion and pigments (pyoverdine and pyocyanin) production. All correlations are significant at the level p = 0.05, with the correlation coefficient gamma > 0.50.

  9. Contribution of Vibrio parahaemolyticus virulence factors to cytotoxicity, enterotoxicity, and lethality in mice.

    PubMed

    Hiyoshi, Hirotaka; Kodama, Toshio; Iida, Tetsuya; Honda, Takeshi

    2010-04-01

    Vibrio parahaemolyticus, one of the human-pathogenic vibrios, causes three major types of clinical illness: gastroenteritis, wound infections, and septicemia. Thermostable direct hemolysin (TDH) secreted by this bacterium has been considered a major virulence factor of gastroenteritis because it has biological activities, including cytotoxic and enterotoxic activities. Previous reports revealed that V. parahaemolyticus strain RIMD2210633, which contains tdh, has two sets of type III secretion system (T3SS) genes on chromosomes 1 and 2 (T3SS1 and T3SS2, respectively) and that T3SS1 is responsible for cytotoxicity and T3SS2 is involved in enterotoxicity, as well as in cytotoxic activity. However, the relative importance and contributions of TDH and the two T3SSs to V. parahaemolyticus pathogenicity are not well understood. In this study, we constructed mutant strains with nonfunctional T3SSs from the V. parahaemolyticus strain containing tdh, and then the pathogenicities of the wild-type and mutant strains were evaluated by assessing their cytotoxic activities against HeLa, Caco-2, and RAW 264 cells, their enterotoxic activities in rabbit ileal loops, and their lethality in a murine infection model. We demonstrated that T3SS1 was involved in cytotoxic activities against all cell lines used in this study, while T3SS2 and TDH had cytotoxic effects on a limited number of cell lines. T3SS2 was the major contributor to V. parahaemolyticus-induced enterotoxicity. Interestingly, we found that both T3SS1 and TDH played a significant role in lethal activity in a murine infection model. Our findings provide new indications that these virulence factors contribute to and orchestrate each distinct aspect of the pathogenicity of V. parahaemolyticus.

  10. Subinhibitory Concentrations of Perilla Oil Affect the Expression of Secreted Virulence Factor Genes in Staphylococcus aureus

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Mingjing; Li, Hongen; Dong, Jing; Wang, Jianfeng; Leng, Bingfeng; Wang, Xiaoliang; Feng, Haihua; Ren, Wenzhi; Deng, Xuming

    2011-01-01

    Background The pathogenicity of staphylococcus aureus is dependent largely upon its ability to secrete a number of virulence factors, therefore, anti-virulence strategy to combat S. aureus-mediated infections is now gaining great interest. It is widely recognized that some plant essential oils could affect the production of staphylococcal exotoxins when used at subinhibitory concentrations. Perilla [Perilla frutescens (L.) Britton], a natural medicine found in eastern Asia, is primarily used as both a medicinal and culinary herb. Its essential oil (perilla oil) has been previously demonstrated to be active against S. aureus. However, there are no data on the influence of perilla oil on the production of S. aureus exotoxins. Methodology/Principal Findings A broth microdilution method was used to determine the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of perilla oil against S. aureus strains. Hemolysis, tumour necrosis factor (TNF) release, Western blot, and real-time RT-PCR assays were performed to evaluate the effects of subinhibitory concentrations of perilla oil on exotoxins production in S. aureus. The data presented here show that perilla oil dose-dependently decreased the production of α-toxin, enterotoxins A and B (the major staphylococcal enterotoxins), and toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1) in both methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). Conclusions/Significance The production of α-toxin, SEA, SEB, and TSST-1 in S. aureus was decreased by perilla oil. These data suggest that perilla oil may be useful for the treatment of S. aureus infections when used in combination with β-lactam antibiotics, which can increase exotoxins production by S. aureus at subinhibitory concentrations. Furthermore, perilla oil could be rationally applied in food systems as a novel food preservative both to inhibit the growth of S. aureus and to repress the production of exotoxins, particularly staphylococcal enterotoxins. PMID:21283822

  11. Molecular epidemiology and virulence factors of pyogenic liver abscess causing Klebsiella pneumoniae in China.

    PubMed

    Luo, Y; Wang, Y; Ye, L; Yang, J

    2014-11-01

    The molecular epidemiology and prevalence of virulence factors of isolates from patients with Klebsiella pneumoniae liver abscess (KLA) in mainland China are unknown. Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates were obtained from drainage samples aseptically collected from patients with pyogenic liver abscess (PLA). The genetic similarity of KLA isolates was analyzed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. The hypermucoviscosity (HV) phenotype was identified by a positive string test. The K1 and K2 genotypes, the pLVPK-derived genetic loci, aerobactin gene, kfu and alls were detected by PCR amplification. The sequence types (STs) were identified by multilocus sequence typing. Among the 51 non-repetitive KLA isolates, 49 PFGE types have been identified. In total, 19 (37.2%) and 14 (27.4%) of the 51 KLA isolates belonged to clonal complex (CC) 23 and CC65, respectively, while the other 18 isolates (35.3%) were defined as other STs. CC23 consisted of only K1 strains, while CC65 included only K2 strains. All non-K1/K2 strains were classified as STs other than CC23 and CC65. Approximately 70.6% (36/51) of KLA isolates exhibited an HV phenotype. Both K1 and K2 isolates presented significantly higher prevalence of the pLVPK-derived loci than non-K1/K2 isolates. The K1 isolates had a significantly higher prevalence of the kfu and allS genes than K2 and non-K1/K2 isolates, while the K2 isolates exhibited higher repA prevalence than K1 and non-K1/K2 isolates. The majority of KLA isolates belonged to CC23K1 and CC65K2, while other STs with non-K1/K2 capsular types have also been identified. The virulent factors exhibited diverse distribution among the different clones of KLA isolates.

  12. Novel Host-Related Virulence Factors Are Encoded by Squirrelpox Virus, the Main Causative Agent of Epidemic Disease in Red Squirrels in the UK

    PubMed Central

    Kjær, Karina Hansen; Wood, Ann R.; Hughes, Margaret; Martensen, Pia Møller; Radford, Alan D.; Hall, Neil; Chantrey, Julian

    2014-01-01

    Squirrelpox virus (SQPV) shows little evidence for morbidity or mortality in North American grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis), in which the virus is endemic. However, more recently the virus has emerged to cause epidemics with high mortality in Eurasian red squirrels (S. vulgaris) in Great Britain, which are now threatened. Here we report the genome sequence of SQPV. Comparison with other Poxviridae revealed a core set of poxvirus genes, the phylogeny of which showed SQPV to be in a new Chordopoxvirus subfamily between the Molluscipoxviruses and Parapoxviruses. A number of SQPV genes were related to virulence, including three major histocomaptibility class I homologs, and one CD47 homolog. In addition, a novel potential virulence factor showing homology to mammalian oligoadenylate synthetase (OAS) was identified. This family of proteins normally causes activation of an endoribonuclease (RNaseL) within infected cells. The putative function of this novel SQPV protein was predicted in silico. PMID:24983354

  13. Phenotypic, antimicrobial susceptibility profile and virulence factors of Klebsiella pneumoniae isolated from buffalo and cow mastitic milk

    PubMed Central

    Osman, Kamelia M; Hassan, Hany M; Orabi, Ahmed; Abdelhafez, Ahmed S T

    2014-01-01

    Studies on the prevalence and virulence genes of Klebsiella mastitis pathogens in a buffalo population are undocumented. Also, the association of rmpA kfu, uge, magA, Aerobactin, K1 and K2 virulent factors with K. pneumoniae buffalo, and cow mastitis is unreported. The virulence of K. pneumoniae was evaluated through both phenotypic and molecular assays. In vivo virulence was assessed by the Vero cell cytotoxicity, suckling mouse assay and mice lethality test. Antimicrobial susceptibility was tested by disk diffusion method. The 45 K. pneumoniae isolates from buffalo (n = 10/232) and cow (n = 35/293) milk were isolated (45/525; 8.6%) and screened via PCR for seven virulence genes encoding uridine diphosphate galactose 4 epimerase encoding gene responsible for capsule and smooth lipopolysaccharide synthesis (uge), siderophores (kfu and aerobactin), protectines or invasins (rmpA and magA), and the capsule and hypermucoviscosity (K1 and K2). The most common virulence genes were rmpA, kfu, uge, and magA (77.8% each). Aerobactin and K1 genes were found at medium rates of 66.7% each and K2 (55.6%). The Vero cell cytotoxicity and LD (50) in mice were found in 100% of isolates. A multidrug resistance pattern was observed for 40% of the antimicrobials. The distribution of virulence profiles indicate a role of rmpA, kfu, uge, magA, Aerobactin, and K1 and K2 in pathogenicity of K. pneumoniae in udder infections and invasiveness, and constitutes a threat for vulnerable animals, even more if they are in combination with antibiotic resistance. PMID:24915048

  14. Differential compartmentalization of Streptococcus pyogenes virulence factors and host protein binding properties as a mechanism for host adaptation.

    PubMed

    Kilsgård, Ola; Karlsson, Christofer; Malmström, Erik; Malmström, Johan

    2016-11-01

    Streptococcus pyogenes is an important human pathogen responsible for substantial morbidity and mortality worldwide. Although S. pyogenes is a strictly human pathogen with no other known animal reservoir, several murine infection models exist to explore different aspects of the bacterial pathogenesis. Inoculating mice with wild-type S. pyogenes strains can result in the generation of new bacterial phenotypes that are hypervirulent compared to the original inoculum. In this study, we used a serial mass spectrometry based proteomics strategy to investigate if these hypervirulent strains have an altered distribution of virulence proteins across the intracellular, surface associated and secreted bacterial compartments and if any change in compartmentalization can alter the protein-protein interaction network between bacteria and host proteins. Quantitative analysis of the S. pyogenes surface and secreted proteomes revealed that animal passaged strains are associated with significantly higher amount of virulence factors on the bacterial surface and in the media. This altered virulence factor compartmentalization results in increased binding of several mouse plasma proteins to the bacterial surface, a trend that was consistent for mouse plasma from several different mouse strains. In general, both the wild-type strain and animal passaged strain were capable of binding high amounts of human plasma proteins. However, compared to the non-passaged strains, the animal passaged strains displayed an increased ability to bind mouse plasma proteins, in particular for M protein binders, indicating that the increased affinity for mouse blood plasma proteins is a consequence of host adaptation of this pathogen to a new host. In conclusion, plotting the total amount of virulence factors against the total amount of plasma proteins associated to the bacterial surface could clearly separate out animal passaged strains from wild type strains indicating a virulence model that could

  15. Effect of a Salmonella Group H1 R Factor on Virulence and Response of Infections to Antimicrobial Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Butler, Thomas; Shuster, C. W.; Franco, Amalia

    1979-01-01

    A group H1 R factor encoding resistance to chloramphenicol, streptomycin, sulfonamide, and tetracycline was transferred into Salmonella typhimurium LT-2. The virulence of LT-2 for mice, as assessed by intraperitoneal 50% lethal dose and the number of organisms in the spleen, was not affected by the R factor. On the other hand, the R factor conferred resistance in mouse infections to therapy with chloramphenicol and trimethoprim plus sulfamethoxazole. PMID:380460

  16. Iron concentration limits growth rate and the expression of virulence factors in hrp-inducing minimal medium with Pseudomonas syringae

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although chemically-defined media have been developed and widely used to study the expression of virulence factors in the model plant pathogen, Pseudomonas syringae, it has been difficult to link specific medium components to the induction response. Using a chemostat system, we found that iron is th...

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

    PubMed

    Koga, Vanessa L; Scandorieiro, Sara; Vespero, Eliana C; Oba, Alexandre; de Brito, Benito G; de Brito, Kelly C T; Nakazato, Gerson; Kobayashi, Renata K T

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Koga, Vanessa L.; Scandorieiro, Sara; Vespero, Eliana C.; Oba, Alexandre; de Brito, Benito G.; de Brito, Kelly C. T.; Nakazato, Gerson; Kobayashi, Renata K. T.

    2015-01-01

    Microbiological contamination in commercial poultry production has caused concerns for human health because of both the presence of pathogenic microorganisms and the increase in antimicrobial resistance in bacterial strains that can cause treatment failure of human infections. The aim of our study was to analyze the profile of antimicrobial resistance and virulence factors of E. coli isolates from chicken carcasses obtained from different farming systems (conventional and free-range poultry). A total of 156 E. coli strains were isolated and characterized for genes encoding virulence factors described in extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC). Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed for 15 antimicrobials, and strains were confirmed as extended spectrum of β-lactamases- (ESBLs-) producing E. coli by phenotypic and genotypic tests. The results indicated that strains from free-range poultry have fewer virulence factors than strains from conventional poultry. Strains from conventionally raised chickens had a higher frequency of antimicrobial resistance for all antibiotics tested and also exhibited genes encoding ESBL and AmpC, unlike free-range poultry isolates, which did not. Group 2 CTX-M and CIT were the most prevalent ESBL and AmpC genes, respectively. The farming systems of poultries can be related with the frequency of virulence factors and resistance to antimicrobials in bacteria. PMID:26579536

  19. Dynamics of Escherichia coli virulence factors in dairy herds and farm environments in a longitudinal study in the United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Dairy farms are known reservoirs of enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC). EPEC, or the virulence factors associated with pathogenicity, have been detected in manure, milk, and the farm environment. It is unclear which farm compartments are reservoirs for EPEC and their long-term dynamics are not describe...

  20. The RNA-binding protein CsrA plays a central role in positively regulating virulence factors in Erwinia amylovora.

    PubMed

    Ancona, Veronica; Lee, Jae Hoon; Zhao, Youfu

    2016-11-15

    The GacS/GacA two-component system (also called GrrS/GrrA) is a global regulatory system which is highly conserved among gamma-proteobacteria. This system positively regulates non-coding small regulatory RNA csrB, which in turn binds to the RNA-binding protein CsrA. However, how GacS/GacA-Csr system regulates virulence traits in E. amylovora remains unknown. Results from mutant characterization showed that the csrB mutant was hypermotile, produced higher amount of exopolysaccharide amylovoran, and had increased expression of type III secretion (T3SS) genes in vitro. In contrast, the csrA mutant exhibited complete opposite phenotypes, including non-motile, reduced amylovoran production and expression of T3SS genes. Furthermore, the csrA mutant did not induce hypersensitive response on tobacco or cause disease on immature pear fruits, indicating that CsrA is a positive regulator of virulence factors. These findings demonstrated that CsrA plays a critical role in E. amylovora virulence and suggested that negative regulation of virulence by GacS/GacA acts through csrB sRNA, which binds to CsrA and neutralizes its positive effect on T3SS gene expression, flagellar formation and amylovoran production. Future research will be focused on determining the molecular mechanism underlying the positive regulation of virulence traits by CsrA.

  1. The RNA-binding protein CsrA plays a central role in positively regulating virulence factors in Erwinia amylovora

    PubMed Central

    Ancona, Veronica; Lee, Jae Hoon; Zhao, Youfu

    2016-01-01

    The GacS/GacA two-component system (also called GrrS/GrrA) is a global regulatory system which is highly conserved among gamma-proteobacteria. This system positively regulates non-coding small regulatory RNA csrB, which in turn binds to the RNA-binding protein CsrA. However, how GacS/GacA-Csr system regulates virulence traits in E. amylovora remains unknown. Results from mutant characterization showed that the csrB mutant was hypermotile, produced higher amount of exopolysaccharide amylovoran, and had increased expression of type III secretion (T3SS) genes in vitro. In contrast, the csrA mutant exhibited complete opposite phenotypes, including non-motile, reduced amylovoran production and expression of T3SS genes. Furthermore, the csrA mutant did not induce hypersensitive response on tobacco or cause disease on immature pear fruits, indicating that CsrA is a positive regulator of virulence factors. These findings demonstrated that CsrA plays a critical role in E. amylovora virulence and suggested that negative regulation of virulence by GacS/GacA acts through csrB sRNA, which binds to CsrA and neutralizes its positive effect on T3SS gene expression, flagellar formation and amylovoran production. Future research will be focused on determining the molecular mechanism underlying the positive regulation of virulence traits by CsrA. PMID:27845410

  2. The RNA Chaperone Hfq Impacts Growth, Metabolism and Production of Virulence Factors in Yersinia enterocolitica

    PubMed Central

    Kakoschke, Tamara; Kakoschke, Sara; Magistro, Giuseppe; Schubert, Sören; Borath, Marc; Heesemann, Jürgen; Rossier, Ombeline

    2014-01-01

    To adapt to changes in environmental conditions, bacteria regulate their gene expression at the transcriptional but also at the post-transcriptional level, e.g. by small RNAs (sRNAs) which modulate mRNA stability and translation. The conserved RNA chaperone Hfq mediates the interaction of many sRNAs with their target mRNAs, thereby playing a global role in fine-tuning protein production. In this study, we investigated the significance of Hfq for the enteropathogen Yersina enterocolitica serotype O:8. Hfq facilitated optimal growth in complex and minimal media. Our comparative protein analysis of parental and hfq-negative strains suggested that Hfq promotes lipid metabolism and transport, cell redox homeostasis, mRNA translation and ATP synthesis, and negatively affects carbon and nitrogen metabolism, transport of siderophore and peptides and tRNA synthesis. Accordingly, biochemical tests indicated that Hfq represses ornithine decarboxylase activity, indole production and utilization of glucose, mannitol, inositol and 1,2-propanediol. Moreover, Hfq repressed production of the siderophore yersiniabactin and its outer membrane receptor FyuA. In contrast, hfq mutants exhibited reduced urease production. Finally, strains lacking hfq were more susceptible to acidic pH and oxidative stress. Unlike previous reports in other Gram-negative bacteria, Hfq was dispensable for type III secretion encoded by the virulence plasmid. Using a chromosomally encoded FLAG-tagged Hfq, we observed increased production of Hfq-FLAG in late exponential and stationary phases. Overall, Hfq has a profound effect on metabolism, resistance to stress and modulates the production of two virulence factors in Y. enterocolitica, namely urease and yersiniabactin. PMID:24454955

  3. Listeria monocytogenes virulence factor secretion: don't leave the cell without a chaperone

    PubMed Central

    Cahoon, Laty A.; Freitag, Nancy E.

    2014-01-01

    In Gram-positive bacteria, the secretion of proteins requires translocation of polypeptides across the bacterial membrane into the highly charged environment of the membrane-cell wall interface. Here, proteins must be folded and often further delivered across the matrix of the cell wall. While many aspects of protein secretion have been well studied in Gram-negative bacteria which possess both an inner and outer membrane, generally less attention has been given to the mechanics of protein secretion across the single cell membrane of Gram-positive bacteria. In this review, we focus on the role of a post-translocation secretion chaperone in Listeria monocytogenes known as PrsA2, and compare what is known regarding PrsA2 with PrsA homologs in other Gram-positive bacteria. PrsA2 is a member of a family of membrane-associated lipoproteins that contribute to the folding and stability of secreted proteins as they cross the bacterial membrane. PrsA2 contributes to the integrity of the L. monocytogenes cell wall as well as swimming motility and bacterial resistance to osmotic stress; however its most critical role may be its requirement for L. monocytogenes virulence and viability within host cells. A better understanding of the role of PrsA2 and PrsA-like homologs will provide insight into the dynamics of protein folding and stability in Gram-positive bacteria and may result in new strategies for optimizing protein secretion as well as inhibiting the production of virulence factors. PMID:24575392

  4. In Vivo Expression Technology Identifies a Novel Virulence Factor Critical for Borrelia burgdorferi Persistence in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Ellis, Tisha Choudhury; Jain, Sunny; Linowski, Angelika K.; Rike, Kelli; Bestor, Aaron; Rosa, Patricia A.; Halpern, Micah; Kurhanewicz, Stephanie; Jewett, Mollie W.

    2013-01-01

    Analysis of the transcriptome of Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, during infection has proven difficult due to the low spirochete loads in the mammalian tissues. To overcome this challenge, we have developed an In Vivo Expression Technology (IVET) system for identification of B. burgdorferi genes expressed during an active murine infection. Spirochetes lacking linear plasmid (lp) 25 are non-infectious yet highly transformable. Mouse infection can be restored to these spirochetes by expression of the essential lp25-encoded pncA gene alone. Therefore, this IVET-based approach selects for in vivo-expressed promoters that drive expression of pncA resulting in the recovery of infectious spirochetes lacking lp25 following a three week infection in mice. Screening of approximately 15,000 clones in mice identified 289 unique in vivo-expressed DNA fragments from across all 22 replicons of the B. burgdorferi B31 genome. The in vivo-expressed candidate genes putatively encode proteins in various functional categories including antigenicity, metabolism, motility, nutrient transport and unknown functions. Candidate gene bbk46 on essential virulence plasmid lp36 was found to be highly induced in vivo and to be RpoS-independent. Immunocompetent mice inoculated with spirochetes lacking bbk46 seroconverted but no spirochetes were recovered from mouse tissues three weeks post inoculation. However, the bbk46 gene was not required for B. burgdorferi infection of immunodeficient mice. Therefore, through an initial IVET screen in B. burgdorferi we have identified a novel in vivo-induced virulence factor critical for the ability of the spirochete to evade the humoral immune response and persistently infect mice. PMID:24009501

  5. Legionella pneumophila Effector LpdA Is a Palmitoylated Phospholipase D Virulence Factor.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, Gunnar N; Aurass, Philipp; Oates, Clare V; Tate, Edward W; Hartland, Elizabeth L; Flieger, Antje; Frankel, Gad

    2015-10-01

    Legionella pneumophila is a bacterial pathogen that thrives in alveolar macrophages, causing a severe pneumonia. The virulence of L. pneumophila depends on its Dot/Icm type IV secretion system (T4SS), which delivers more than 300 effector proteins into the host, where they rewire cellular signaling to establish a replication-permissive niche, the Legionella-containing vacuole (LCV). Biogenesis of the LCV requires substantial redirection of vesicle trafficking and remodeling of intracellular membranes. In order to achieve this, several T4SS effectors target regulators of membrane trafficking, while others resemble lipases. Here, we characterized LpdA, a phospholipase D effector, which was previously proposed to modulate the lipid composition of the LCV. We found that ectopically expressed LpdA was targeted to the plasma membrane and Rab4- and Rab14-containing vesicles. Subcellular targeting of LpdA required a C-terminal motif, which is posttranslationally modified by S-palmitoylation. Substrate specificity assays showed that LpdA hydrolyzed phosphatidylinositol, -inositol-3- and -4-phosphate, and phosphatidylglycerol to phosphatidic acid (PA) in vitro. In HeLa cells, LpdA generated PA at vesicles and the plasma membrane. Imaging of different phosphatidylinositol phosphate (PIP) and organelle markers revealed that while LpdA did not impact on membrane association of various PIP probes, it triggered fragmentation of the Golgi apparatus. Importantly, although LpdA is translocated inefficiently into cultured cells, an L. pneumophila ΔlpdA mutant displayed reduced replication in murine lungs, suggesting that it is a virulence factor contributing to L. pneumophila infection in vivo.

  6. Virulence factors and mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance in Shigella strains from periurban areas of Lima (Peru).

    PubMed

    Lluque, Angela; Mosquito, Susan; Gomes, Cláudia; Riveros, Maribel; Durand, David; Tilley, Drake H; Bernal, María; Prada, Ana; Ochoa, Theresa J; Ruiz, Joaquim

    2015-01-01

    The study was aimed to describe the serotype, mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance, and virulence determinants in Shigella spp. isolated from Peruvian children. Eighty three Shigella spp. were serogrouped and serotyped being established the antibiotic susceptibility. The presence of 12 virulence factors (VF) and integrase 1 and 2, along with commonly found antibiotic resistance genes was established by PCR. S. flexneri was the most relevant serogroup (55 isolates, 66%), with serotype 2a most frequently detected (27 of 55, 49%), followed by S. boydii and S. sonnei at 12 isolates each (14%) and S. dysenteriae (four isolates, 5%). Fifty isolates (60%) were multi-drug resistant (MDR) including 100% of S. sonnei and 64% of S. flexneri. Resistance levels were high to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (86%), tetracycline (74%), ampicillin (67%), and chloramphenicol (65%). Six isolates showed decreased azithromycin susceptibility. No isolate was resistant to nalidixic acid, ciprofloxacin, nitrofurantoin, or ceftriaxone. The most frequent resistance genes were sul2 (95%), tet(B) (92%), cat (80%), dfrA1 (47%), blaOXA-1like (40%), with intl1 and intl2 detected in 51 and 52% of the isolates, respectively. Thirty-one different VF profiles were observed, being the ipaH (100%), sen (77%), virA and icsA (75%) genes the most frequently found. Differences in the prevalence of VF were observed between species with S. flexneri isolates, particularly serotype 2a, possessing high numbers of VF. In conclusion, this study highlights the high heterogeneity of Shigella VF and resistance genes, and prevalence of MDR organisms within this geographic region.

  7. Virulence factors and mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance in Shigella strains from periurban areas of Lima (Peru)

    PubMed Central

    Lluque, Angela; Mosquito, Susan; Gomes, Cláudia; Riveros, Maribel; Durand, David; Tilley, Drake H.; Bernal, María; Prada, Ana; Ochoa, Theresa J.; Ruiz, Joaquim

    2015-01-01

    The study was aimed to describe the serotype, mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance, and virulence determinants in Shigella spp. isolated from Peruvian children. Eighty three Shigella spp. were serogrouped and serotyped being established the antibiotic susceptibility. The presence of 12 virulence factors (VF) and integrase 1 and 2, along with commonly found antibiotic resistance genes was established by PCR. S. flexneri was the most relevant serogroup (55 isolates, 66%), with serotype 2a most frequently detected (27 of 55, 49%), followed by S. boydii and S. sonnei at 12 isolates each (14%) and S. dysenteriae (4 isolates, 5%). Fifty isolates (60%) were multi-drug resistant (MDR) including 100% of S. sonnei and 64% of S. flexneri. Resistance levels were high to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (86%), tetracycline (74%), ampicillin (67%), and chloramphenicol (65%). Six isolates showed decreased azithromycin susceptibility. No isolate was resistant to nalidixic acid, ciprofloxacin, nitrofurantoin, or ceftriaxone. The most frequent resistance genes were sul2 (95%), tet(B) (92%), cat (80%), dfrA1 (47%), blaOXA-1 like (40%), with intl1 and intl2 detected in 51 and 52% of the isolates, respectively. Thirty-one different VF profiles were observed, being the ipaH (100%), sen (77%), virA and icsA (75%) genes the most frequently found. Differences in the prevalence of VF were observed between species with S. flexneri isolates, particularly serotype 2a, possessing high numbers of VF. In conclusion, this study highlights the high heterogeneity of Shigella VF and resistance genes, and prevalence of MDR organisms within this geographic region. PMID:25998616

  8. Biofilm Formation and Virulence Factors Among Pseudomonas aeruginosa Isolated From Burn Patients

    PubMed Central

    Ghanbarzadeh Corehtash, Zahra; Khorshidi, Ahmad; Firoozeh, Farzaneh; Akbari, Hosein; Mahmoudi Aznaveh, Azam

    2015-01-01

    Background: Pseudomonas aeruginosa possesses a variety of virulence factors and infections caused by multidrug-resistant P. aeruginosa (MDRPA) in burn patients are a public health problem. Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the antibiotic resistance pattern, the biofilm formation, the prevalence of MDRPA and two virulence genes (nan1 and exoA) among P. aeruginosa isolated from burn patients. Patients and Methods: A total of 144 isolates of P. aeruginosa were collected from burn patient at the Burn Centre of Tehran, Iran, between March 2013 and July 2013. Antibiotic susceptibility test was performed via agar disk diffusion method. The ability of producing biofilm was examined by crystal violet microtiter plate assay and the prevalence of the exoA and nan1 genes among the isolates was determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Results: A high rate of resistance was seen against ciprofloxacin (93.7%), aztreonam (86.8%), piperacillin (85.4%), ceftazidime (82.6%), amikacin (82%) and imipenem (79.2%). In total, 93.1% of the isolates were characterized as MDRPA. Biofilm formation was seen in 92.4% of the isolates. The prevalence of the exoA and nan1 genes were 75% and 11.8% among the isolates, respectively. Conclusions: The high rate of MDRPA and its ability to produce biofilm is an alarm for public health. The statistical analysis showed that biofilm production in the MDRPA isolates was significantly higher than that in the non–MDRPA isolates (P < 0.001). PMID:26587205

  9. Complete genome sequence of hypervirulent and outbreak-associated Acinetobacter baumannii strain LAC-4: epidemiology, resistance genetic determinants and potential virulence factors

    PubMed Central

    Ou, Hong-Yu; Kuang, Shan N.; He, Xinyi; Molgora, Brenda M.; Ewing, Peter J.; Deng, Zixin; Osby, Melanie; Chen, Wangxue; Xu, H. Howard

    2015-01-01

    Acinetobacter baumannii is an important human pathogen due to its multi-drug resistance. In this study, the genome of an ST10 outbreak A. baumannii isolate LAC-4 was completely sequenced to better understand its epidemiology, antibiotic resistance genetic determinants and potential virulence factors. Compared with 20 other complete genomes of A. baumannii, LAC-4 genome harbors at least 12 copies of five distinct insertion sequences. It contains 12 and 14 copies of two novel IS elements, ISAba25 and ISAba26, respectively. Additionally, three novel composite transposons were identified: Tn6250, Tn6251 and Tn6252, two of which contain resistance genes. The antibiotic resistance genetic determinants on the LAC-4 genome correlate well with observed antimicrobial susceptibility patterns. Moreover, twelve genomic islands (GI) were identified in LAC-4 genome. Among them, the 33.4-kb GI12 contains a large number of genes which constitute the K (capsule) locus. LAC-4 harbors several unique putative virulence factor loci. Furthermore, LAC-4 and all 19 other outbreak isolates were found to harbor a heme oxygenase gene (hemO)-containing gene cluster. The sequencing of the first complete genome of an ST10 A. baumannii clinical strain should accelerate our understanding of the epidemiology, mechanisms of resistance and virulence of A. baumannii. PMID:25728466

  10. Characterization of virulence factor regulation by SrrAB, a two-component system in Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Pragman, Alexa A; Yarwood, Jeremy M; Tripp, Timothy J; Schlievert, Patrick M

    2004-04-01

    Workers in our laboratory have previously identified the staphylococcal respiratory response AB (SrrAB), a Staphylococcus aureus two-component system that acts in the global regulation of virulence factors. This system down-regulates production of agr RNAIII, protein A, and toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1), particularly under low-oxygen conditions. In this study we investigated the localization and membrane orientation of SrrA and SrrB, transcription of the srrAB operon, the DNA-binding properties of SrrA, and the effect of SrrAB expression on S. aureus virulence. We found that SrrA is localized to the S. aureus cytoplasm, while SrrB is localized to the membrane and is properly oriented to function as a histidine kinase. srrAB has one transcriptional start site which results in either an srrA transcript or a full-length srrAB transcript; srrB must be cotranscribed with srrA. Gel shift assays of the agr P2, agr P3, protein A (spa), TSST-1 (tst), and srr promoters revealed SrrA binding at each of these promoters. Analysis of SrrAB-overexpressing strains by using the rabbit model of bacterial endocarditis demonstrated that overexpression of SrrAB decreased the virulence of the organisms compared to the virulence of isogenic strains that do not overexpress SrrAB. We concluded that SrrAB is properly localized and oriented to function as a two-component system. Overexpression of SrrAB, which represses agr RNAIII, TSST-1, and protein A in vitro, decreases virulence in the rabbit endocarditis model. Repression of these virulence factors is likely due to a direct interaction between SrrA and the agr, tst, and spa promoters.

  11. A novel specificity protein 1 (SP1)-like gene regulating protein kinase C-1 (Pkc1)-dependent cell wall integrity and virulence factors in Cryptococcus neoformans.

    PubMed

    Adler, Amos; Park, Yoon-Dong; Larsen, Peter; Nagarajan, Vijayaraj; Wollenberg, Kurt; Qiu, Jin; Myers, Timothy G; Williamson, Peter R

    2011-06-10

    Eukaryotic cells utilize complex signaling systems to detect their environments, responding and adapting as new conditions arise during evolution. The basidiomycete fungus Cryptococcus neoformans is a leading cause of AIDS-related death worldwide and utilizes the calcineurin and protein kinase C-1 (Pkc1) signaling pathways for host adaptation and expression of virulence. In the present studies, a C-terminal zinc finger transcription factor, homologous both to the calcineurin-responsive zinc fingers (Crz1) of ascomycetes and to the Pkc1-dependent specificity protein-1 (Sp1) transcription factors of metazoans, was identified and named SP1 because of its greater similarity to the metazoan factors. Structurally, the Cryptococcus neoformans Sp1 (Cn Sp1) protein was found to have acquired an additional zinc finger motif from that of Crz1 and showed Pkc1-dependent phosphorylation, nuclear localization, and whole genome epistatic associations under starvation conditions. Transcriptional targets of Cn Sp1 shared functional similarities with Crz1 factors, such as cell wall synthesis, but gained the regulation of processes involved in carbohydrate metabolism, including trehalose metabolism, and lost others, such as the induction of autophagy. In addition, overexpression of Cn Sp1 in a pkc1Δ mutant showed restoration of altered phenotypes involved in virulence, including cell wall stability, nitrosative stress, and extracellular capsule production. Cn Sp1 was also found to be important for virulence of the fungus using a mouse model. In summary, these data suggest an evolutionary shift in C-terminal zinc finger proteins during fungal evolution, transforming them from calcineurin-dependent to PKC1-dependent transcription factors, helping to shape the role of fungal pathogenesis of C. neoformans.

  12. Transcriptome Analysis of Neisseria meningitidis in Human Whole Blood and Mutagenesis Studies Identify Virulence Factors Involved in Blood Survival

    PubMed Central

    Del Tordello, Elena; Seib, Kate L.; Francois, Patrice; Rappuoli, Rino; Pizza, Mariagrazia; Serruto, Davide

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Real-Time Characterization of Virulence Factor Expression in Yersinia pestis Using a Green Fluorescent Protein Reporter System

    SciTech Connect

    Forde, C; Rocco, J; Fitch, J P; McCutchen-Maloney, S

    2004-06-09

    A real-time reporter system was developed to monitor the thermal induction of virulence factors in Yersinia pestis. The reporter system consists of a plasmid in Y. pestis in which the expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP) is under the control of the promoters for six virulence factors, yopE, sycE, yopK, yopT, yscN, and lcrE/yopN, which are all components of the Type III secretion virulence mechanism of Y. pestis. Induction of the expression of these genes in vivo was determined by the increase in fluorescence intensity of GFP in real time. Basal expression levels observed for the Y. pestis promoters, expressed as percentages of the positive control with GFP under the control of the lac promoter, were: yopE (15%), sycE (15%), yopK (13%), yopT (4%), lcrE (3.3%) and yscN (0.8%). The yopE reporter showed the strongest gene induction following temperature transition from 26 C to 37 C. The induction levels of the other virulence factors, expressed as percentages of yopE induction, were: yopK (57%), sycE (9%), yscN (3%), lcrE (3%), and yopT (2%). The thermal induction of each of these promoter fusions was repressed by calcium, and the ratios of the initial rates of thermal induction without calcium supplementation compared to the rate with calcium supplementation were: yopE (11 fold), yscN (7 fold), yopK (6 fold), lcrE (3 fold), yopT (2 fold), and sycE (2 fold). This work demonstrates a novel approach to quantify gene induction and provides a method to rapidly determine the effects of external stimuli on expression of Y. pestis virulence factors in real time, in living cells.

  14. Inhibition of Staphyloxanthin Virulence Factor Biosynthesis in Staphylococcus aureus: In Vitro, in Vivo, and Crystallographic Results†

    PubMed Central

    Song, Yongcheng; Liu, Chia-I; Lin, Fu-Yang; No, Joo Hwan; Hensler, Mary; Liu, Yi-Liang; Jeng, Wen-Yih; Low, Jennifer; Liu, George Y.; Nizet, Victor; Wang, Andrew H.-J.; Oldfield, Eric

    2009-01-01

    The gold color of Staphylococcus aureus is derived from the carotenoid staphyloxanthin, a virulence factor for the organism. Here, we report the synthesis and activity of a broad variety of staphyloxanthin biosynthesis inhibitors that inhibit the first committed step in its biosynthesis, condensation of two farnesyl diphosphate (FPP) molecules to dehydrosqualene, catalyzed by the enzyme dehydrosqualene synthase (CrtM). The most active compounds are phosphonoacetamides that have low nanomolar Ki values for CrtM inhibition and are active in whole bacterial cells and in mice, where they inhibit S. aureus disease progression. We also report the X-ray crystallographic structure of the most active compound, N-3-(3-phenoxyphenyl)propylphosphonoacetamide (IC50 = 8 nM, in cells), bound to CrtM. The structure exhibits a complex network of hydrogen bonds between the polar headgroup and the protein, while the 3-phenoxyphenyl side chain is located in a hydrophobic pocket previously reported to bind farnesyl thiodiphosphate (FsPP), as well as biphenyl phosphonosulfonate inhibitors. Given the good enzymatic, whole cell, and in vivo pharmacologic activities, these results should help guide the further development of novel antivirulence factor-based therapies for S. aureus infections. PMID:19456099

  15. Approaching the Functional Annotation of Fungal Virulence Factors Using Cross-Species Genetic Interaction Profiling

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Jessica C. S.; Madhani, Hiten D.

    2012-01-01

    In many human fungal pathogens, genes required for disease remain largely unannotated, limiting the impact of virulence gene discovery efforts. We tested the utility of a cross-species genetic interaction profiling approach to obtain clues to the molecular function of unannotated pathogenicity factors in the human pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans. This approach involves expression of C. neoformans genes of interest in each member of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae gene deletion library, quantification of their impact on growth, and calculation of the cross-species genetic interaction profiles. To develop functional predictions, we computed and analyzed the correlations of these profiles with existing genetic interaction profiles of S. cerevisiae deletion mutants. For C. neoformans LIV7, which has no S. cerevisiae ortholog, this profiling approach predicted an unanticipated role in the Golgi apparatus. Validation studies in C. neoformans demonstrated that Liv7 is a functional Golgi factor where it promotes the suppression of the exposure of a specific immunostimulatory molecule, mannose, on the cell surface, thereby inhibiting phagocytosis. The genetic interaction profile of another pathogenicity gene that lacks an S. cerevisiae ortholog, LIV6, strongly predicted a role in endosome function. This prediction was also supported by studies of the corresponding C. neoformans null mutant. Our results demonstrate the utility of quantitative cross-species genetic interaction profiling for the functional annotation of fungal pathogenicity proteins of unknown function including, surprisingly, those that are not conserved in sequence across fungi. PMID:23300468

  16. Approaching the functional annotation of fungal virulence factors using cross-species genetic interaction profiling.

    PubMed

    Brown, Jessica C S; Madhani, Hiten D

    2012-01-01

    In many human fungal pathogens, genes required for disease remain largely unannotated, limiting the impact of virulence gene discovery efforts. We tested the utility of a cross-species genetic interaction profiling approach to obtain clues to the molecular function of unannotated pathogenicity factors in the human pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans. This approach involves expression of C. neoformans genes of interest in each member of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae gene deletion library, quantification of their impact on growth, and calculation of the cross-species genetic interaction profiles. To develop functional predictions, we computed and analyzed the correlations of these profiles with existing genetic interaction profiles of S. cerevisiae deletion mutants. For C. neoformans LIV7, which has no S. cerevisiae ortholog, this profiling approach predicted an unanticipated role in the Golgi apparatus. Validation studies in C. neoformans demonstrated that Liv7 is a functional Golgi factor where it promotes the suppression of the exposure of a specific immunostimulatory molecule, mannose, on the cell surface, thereby inhibiting phagocytosis. The genetic interaction profile of another pathogenicity gene that lacks an S. cerevisiae ortholog, LIV6, strongly predicted a role in endosome function. This prediction was also supported by studies of the corresponding C. neoformans null mutant. Our results demonstrate the utility of quantitative cross-species genetic interaction profiling for the functional annotation of fungal pathogenicity proteins of unknown function including, surprisingly, those that are not conserved in sequence across fungi.

  17. Functional and Structural Properties of a Novel Protein and Virulence Factor (Protein sHIP) in Streptococcus pyogenes *

    PubMed Central

    Wisniewska, Magdalena; Happonen, Lotta; Kahn, Fredrik; Varjosalo, Markku; Malmström, Lars; Rosenberger, George; Karlsson, Christofer; Cazzamali, Giuseppe; Pozdnyakova, Irina; Frick, Inga-Maria; Björck, Lars; Streicher, Werner; Malmström, Johan; Wikström, Mats

    2014-01-01

    Streptococcus pyogenes is a significant bacterial pathogen in the human population. The importance of virulence factors for the survival and colonization of S. pyogenes is well established, and many of these factors are exposed to the extracellular environment, enabling bacterial interactions with the host. In the present study, we quantitatively analyzed and compared S. pyogenes proteins in the growth medium of a strain that is virulent to mice with a non-virulent strain. Particularly, one of these proteins was present at significantly higher levels in stationary growth medium from the virulent strain. We determined the three-dimensional structure of the protein that showed a unique tetrameric organization composed of four helix-loop-helix motifs. Affinity pull-down mass spectrometry analysis in human plasma demonstrated that the protein interacts with histidine-rich glycoprotein (HRG), and the name sHIP (streptococcal histidine-rich glycoprotein-interacting protein) is therefore proposed. HRG has antibacterial activity, and when challenged by HRG, sHIP was found to rescue S. pyogenes bacteria. This and the finding that patients with invasive S. pyogenes infection respond with antibody production against sHIP suggest a role for the protein in S. pyogenes pathogenesis. PMID:24825900

  18. Identification, antimicrobial susceptibility, and virulence factors of Enterococcus spp. strains isolated from Camels in Canary Islands, Spain.

    PubMed

    Tejedor Junco, María Teresa; Gonzalez-Martin, Margarita; Rodriguez Gonzalez, Noe Francisco; Gutierrez, Carlos

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated the presence of Enterococcus spp. strains in camel faeces, their virulence factors, and resistance to the antibiotics commonly used as therapy of enterococcal infections. One hundred and seventy three Enterococcus strains were isolated and identified to species level using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Susceptibility to 11 antimicrobials was determined by disk diffusion method. Minimal Inhibitory Concentrations (MIC) of penicillin, ampicillin, vancomycin, teicoplanin, gentamicin, and streptomycin were all determined. Genes encoding resistance to vancomycin, tetracycline, and erythromycin as well as genes encoding some virulence factors were identified by PCR. Enterococcus hirae (54.3%) and Enterococcus faecium (25.4%) were the species most frequently isolated. None of the strains were resistant to vancomycin, teicoplanin, ampicillin or showed high level aminoglycoside resistance (HLAR). Strains resistant to rifampicin (42.42%) were those most commonly found followed those resistant to trimethoprim - sulfamethoxazole (33.33%). The genes tetM, tetL, vanC1, and vanC2-C3 were detected in some strains. Virulence genes were not detected. Monitoring the presence of resistant strains of faecal enterococci in animal used with recreational purposes is important to prevent transmission of those strains to humans and to detect resistance or virulence genes that could be transferred to other clinically important bacteria.

  19. The rsmA-like gene rsmA(Xoo) of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae regulates bacterial virulence and production of diffusible signal factor.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Pei-Liang; Zhao, Shuai; Tang, Ji-Liang; Feng, Jia-Xun

    2011-04-01

    The plant-pathogenic prokaryote Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) causes bacterial leaf blight, one of the most destructive diseases of rice. A nonpolar mutant of the rsmA-like gene rsmA(Xoo) of the Xoo Chinese strain 13751 was constructed by homologous integration with a suicide plasmid. Virulence tests on a host plant, namely the hybrid rice cultivar Teyou 63, showed that the mutant had lost its virulence almost completely, whereas tests on a nonhost, namely castor-oil plant (Ricinus communis), showed that the mutant had also lost the ability to induce a hypersensitive response in the nonhost. In addition, the rsmA(Xoo) mutant produced significantly smaller amounts of the diffusible signal factor, extracellular endoglucanase, amylase and extracellular polysaccharide, but showed significantly higher glycogen accumulation, bacterial aggregation and cell adhesion. The expression of most hrp genes, genes encoding AvrBs3/PthA family members, rpfB, xrvA, glgA, eglXoB and XOO0175 (encoding an α-amylase) was down-regulated in the rsmA(Xoo) mutant. All phenotypes and expression levels of the tested genes in the rsmA(Xoo) mutant were restored to their levels in the wild-type by the presence of rsmA(Xoo) in trans. These results indicate that rsmA(Xoo) is essential for the virulence of Xoo.

  20. Occurrence of subtilase cytotoxin and relation with other virulence factors in verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli isolated from food and cattle in Argentina

    PubMed Central

    Velandia, Claudia V. Granobles; Mariel Sanso, A.; Krüger, Alejandra; Suárez, Lorena V.; Lucchesi, Paula M. A.; Parma, Alberto E.

    2011-01-01

    We investigated the presence of the gene of subtilase cytotoxin (SubAB), described in certain highly virulent verocytotoxigenic E. coli strains, in isolates from Argentina and its relation with other virulence factors. The gene subA was present in eae-negative strains mostly associated with saa, vt2 and ehxA genes. PMID:24031684

  1. Transcription Factor Amr1 Induces Melanin Biosynthesis and Suppresses Virulence in Alternaria brassicicola

    SciTech Connect

    Cho, Yangrae; Srivastava, Akhil; Ohm, Robin A.; Lawrence, Christopher B.; Wang, Koon-Hui; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Marahatta, Sharadchandra P.

    2012-05-01

    Alternaria brassicicola is a successful saprophyte and necrotrophic plant pathogen. Several A. brassicicola genes have been characterized as affecting pathogenesis of Brassica species. To study regulatory mechanisms of pathogenesis, we mined 421 genes in silico encoding putative transcription factors in a machine-annotated, draft genome sequence of A. brassicicola. In this study, targeted gene disruption mutants for 117 of the transcription factor genes were produced and screened. Three of these genes were associated with pathogenesis. Disruption mutants of one gene (AbPacC) were nonpathogenic and another gene (AbVf8) caused lesions less than half the diameter of wild-type lesions. Unexpectedly, mutants of the third gene, Amr1, caused lesions with a two-fold larger diameter than the wild type and complementation mutants. Amr1 is a homolog of Cmr1, a transcription factor that regulates melanin biosynthesis in several fungi. We created gene deletion mutants of ?amr1 and characterized their phenotypes. The ?amr1 mutants used pectin as a carbon source more efficiently than the wild type, were melanin-deficient, and more sensitive to UV light and glucanase digestion. The AMR1 protein was localized in the nuclei of hyphae and in highly melanized conidia during the late stage of plant pathogenesis. RNA-seq analysis revealed that three genes in the melanin biosynthesis pathway, along with the deleted Amr1 gene, were expressed at low levels in the mutants. In contrast, many hydrolytic enzyme-coding genes were expressed at higher levels in the mutants than in the wild type during pathogenesis. The results of this study suggested that a gene important for survival in nature negatively affected virulence, probably by a less efficient use of plant cell-wall materials. We speculate that the functions of the Amr1 gene are important to the success of A. brassicicola as a competitive saprophyte and plant parasite.

  2. Transcription Factor Amr1 Induces Melanin Biosynthesis and Suppresses Virulence in Alternaria brassicicola

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Yangrae; Srivastava, Akhil; Ohm, Robin A.; Lawrence, Christopher B.; Wang, Koon-Hui; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Marahatta, Sharadchandra P.

    2012-01-01

    Alternaria brassicicola is a successful saprophyte and necrotrophic plant pathogen. Several A. brassicicola genes have been characterized as affecting pathogenesis of Brassica species. To study regulatory mechanisms of pathogenesis, we mined 421 genes in silico encoding putative transcription factors in a machine-annotated, draft genome sequence of A. brassicicola. In this study, targeted gene disruption mutants for 117 of the transcription factor genes were produced and screened. Three of these genes were associated with pathogenesis. Disruption mutants of one gene (AbPacC) were nonpathogenic and another gene (AbVf8) caused lesions less than half the diameter of wild-type lesions. Unexpectedly, mutants of the third gene, Amr1, caused lesions with a two-fold larger diameter than the wild type and complementation mutants. Amr1 is a homolog of Cmr1, a transcription factor that regulates melanin biosynthesis in several fungi. We created gene deletion mutants of Δamr1 and characterized their phenotypes. The Δamr1 mutants used pectin as a carbon source more efficiently than the wild type, were melanin-deficient, and more sensitive to UV light and glucanase digestion. The AMR1 protein was localized in the nuclei of hyphae and in highly melanized conidia during the late stage of plant pathogenesis. RNA-seq analysis revealed that three genes in the melanin biosynthesis pathway, along with the deleted Amr1 gene, were expressed at low levels in the mutants. In contrast, many hydrolytic enzyme-coding genes were expressed at higher levels in the mutants than in the wild type during pathogenesis. The results of this study suggested that a gene important for survival in nature negatively affected virulence, probably by a less efficient use of plant cell-wall materials. We speculate that the functions of the Amr1 gene are important to the success of A. brassicicola as a competitive saprophyte and plant parasite. PMID:23133370

  3. Productive steps toward an antimicrobial targeting virulence

    PubMed Central

    Barczak, Amy K.; Hung, Deborah T.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Targeting virulence factors has gained increasing attention as a potential approach to new antibiotics. Small molecule inhibitors of virulence have been shown to change the course of disease in whole organism infection models. Recently, key advances in the field include the identification of novel targets within cell signaling pathways, a new class of anti-virulence compounds that target bacterial defenses against host immunity, and a growing body of in vivo data to support the general approach of anti-virulence therapies. Additionally, there has been a distinct trend toward developing broader spectrum anti-virulence compounds, in particular agents with activity against diverse Gram-negative organisms. Herein we provide an update on the status of the field with a focus on recent advancements. PMID:19631578

  4. Antibody responses to defined regions of the Bordetella pertussis virulence factor pertactin.

    PubMed

    Hijnen, Marcel; He, Qiushui; Schepp, Rutger; Van Gageldonk, Pieter; Mertsola, Jussi; Mooi, Frits R; Berbers, Guy A M

    2008-01-01

    Although vaccines against Bordetella pertussis, the causative agent of whooping cough, have been in use for over 50 y, the disease has remained endemic and is still a public health problem in many countries. It has been shown that antibody titres against pertactin, which is 1 of the exposed virulence factors of pertussis, correlate with protection and pertactin is now 1 of the components of most acellular pertussis vaccines. However, little is known about the structure and location of protective epitopes on pertactin. Here we set out to investigate the antibody response using naturally occurring pertactin variants and deletion derivates. We found the N-terminus of pertactin to be immunodominant in both rabbits and humans. In contrast to vaccinated rabbits, we could not detect pertactin type-specific antibodies in human sera. In conclusion, these results show for the first time to which defined regions of the pertactin molecule antibody responses are induced. It also suggests that the amount of pertactin type-specific antibodies will not be very large and that the variation in pertactin probably will not constitute a problem in highly immune individuals.

  5. The trans-sialidase, the major Trypanosoma cruzi virulence factor: Three decades of studies.

    PubMed

    Freire-de-Lima, L; Fonseca, L M; Oeltmann, T; Mendonça-Previato, L; Previato, J O

    2015-11-01

    Chagas' disease is a potentially life-threatening disease caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. Since the description of Chagas'disease in 1909 extensive research has identified important events in the disease in order to understand the biochemical mechanism that modulates T. cruzi-host cell interactions and the ability of the parasite to ensure its survival in the infected host. Exactly 30 years ago, we presented evidence for the first time of a trans-sialidase activity in T. cruzi (T. cruzi-TS). This enzyme transfers sialic acid from the host glycoconjugates to the terminal β-galactopyranosyl residues of mucin-like molecules on the parasite's cell surface. Thenceforth, many articles have provided convincing data showing that T. cruzi-TS is able to govern relevant mechanisms involved in the parasite's survival in the mammalian host, such as invasion, escape from the phagolysosomal vacuole, differentiation, down-modulation of host immune responses, among others. The aim of this review is to cover the history of the discovery of T. cruzi-TS, as well as some well-documented biological effects encompassed by this parasite's virulence factor, an enzyme with potential attributes to become a drug target against Chagas disease.

  6. A Survey for Escherichia coli Virulence Factors in Asymptomatic Free-Ranging Parrots.

    PubMed

    Becker Saidenberg, André; Robaldo Guedes, Neiva Maria; Fernandes Seixas, Gláucia Helena; da Costa Allgayer, Mariangela; Pacífico de Assis, Erica; Fabio Silveira, Luis; Anne Melville, Priscilla; Benites, Nilson Roberti

    2012-01-01

    Parrots in captivity are frequently affected by Escherichia coli (E. coli) infections. The objective of this study was to collect information on the carrier state for E. coli pathotypes in asymptomatic free-ranging parrots. Cloacal swabs were collected from nestlings of Hyacinth, Lear's macaws and Blue-fronted Amazon parrots and tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for virulence factors commonly found in enteropathogenic, avian pathogenic, and uropathogenic E. coli strains. In total, 44 samples were cultured and E. coli isolates were yielded, from which DNA was extracted and processed by PCR. Genes commonly found in APEC isolates from Blue-fronted Amazon parrots and Hyacinth macaws were expressed in 14 of these 44 samples. One atypical EPEC isolate was obtained from a sample from Lear's macaw. The most commonly found gene was the increased serum survival (iss) gene. This is the first report, that describes such pathotypes in asymptomatic free-living parrots. The findings of this study suggest the presence of a stable host/parasite relationship at the time of the sampling brings a new understanding to the role that E. coli plays in captive and wild parrots. Such information can be used to improve husbandry protocols as well as help conservation efforts of free-living populations.

  7. Immunochemical properties of Proteus penneri lipopolysaccharides--one of the major Proteus sp. virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Palusiak, Agata

    2013-10-18

    Proteus penneri, like the other seven species from the genus, are Gram-negative, peritrichously flagellated rods capable of swarming growth on humid solid media. These bacteria are human opportunistic pathogens involved in many infections but they mainly affect the urinary tract of hospitalized, long-term catheterized patients. P. penneri rods produce a lot of virulence factors, among which the lipopolysaccharide seems to be the most interesting due to its structural and serological diversity. From the three LPS regions of P. penneri strains only the core region and O-specific polysaccharide (OPS) were structurally and serologically examined. P. penneri LPS core region is characterized by a common inner part representing the III glycoform and a diverse distal part (12 different structures). The P. penneri O-antigens contain sugar and non-sugar compounds and some of them rarely occur in nature. In both P. penneri LPS regions putative epitopes have been pointed out. Serospecificity of OPS allowed classifying many P. penneri isolates to different Proteus sp. O-serogroups, among which 12 contain P. penneri strains only.

  8. Lipopolysaccharide a virulence factor of Helicobacter pylori: effect of antiulcer agents.

    PubMed

    Piotrowski, J

    1998-03-01

    Helicobacter pylori plays a major role in the pathogenesis of gastric disease. The gastric epithelial integrity is compromised by the H. pylori cell wall lipopolysaccharide untoward effect on the gastric epithelial cell receptors interaction with proteins of extracellular matrix, glycoproteins of mucus coat, and bioactive peptides. These interactions cause the weakening of the mucus coat rendering the underying epithelium vulnerable to noxious luminal contents and disrupting the regulatory feedback of somatostatin and gastrin. Moreover, H. pylori lipopolysaccharide induces histologic lesions typical of acute gastritis and these changes are reflected in the increased epithelial cell apoptosis. These findings thus identify cell wall lipopolysaccharide as a virulent factor responsible for the H. pylori effect on gastric epithelium. The effect of antiulcer agents on the interference of lipopolysaccharide with the laminin receptor was found to be most efficiently countered by ebrotidine, sulglycotide and sucralfate, whereas sulglycotide is the most potent in the reversal of the inhibitory effect of the lipopolysaccharide on mucin receptor binding. In the case of somatostatin-receptor binding, sulglycotide followed by sucralfate and ebrotidine showed the most potency in of reversing the effect of H. pylori lipopolysaccharide. Thus these antiulcer agents have a great promise in the treatment gastric diseases associated with H. pylori infection.

  9. A Survey for Escherichia coli Virulence Factors in Asymptomatic Free-Ranging Parrots

    PubMed Central

    Becker Saidenberg, André; Robaldo Guedes, Neiva Maria; Fernandes Seixas, Gláucia Helena; da Costa Allgayer, Mariangela; Pacífico de Assis, Erica; Fabio Silveira, Luis; Anne Melville, Priscilla; Benites, Nilson Roberti

    2012-01-01

    Parrots in captivity are frequently affected by Escherichia coli (E. coli) infections. The objective of this study was to collect information on the carrier state for E. coli pathotypes in asymptomatic free-ranging parrots. Cloacal swabs were collected from nestlings of Hyacinth, Lear's macaws and Blue-fronted Amazon parrots and tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for virulence factors commonly found in enteropathogenic, avian pathogenic, and uropathogenic E. coli strains. In total, 44 samples were cultured and E. coli isolates were yielded, from which DNA was extracted and processed by PCR. Genes commonly found in APEC isolates from Blue-fronted Amazon parrots and Hyacinth macaws were expressed in 14 of these 44 samples. One atypical EPEC isolate was obtained from a sample from Lear's macaw. The most commonly found gene was the increased serum survival (iss) gene. This is the first report, that describes such pathotypes in asymptomatic free-living parrots. The findings of this study suggest the presence of a stable host/parasite relationship at the time of the sampling brings a new understanding to the role that E. coli plays in captive and wild parrots. Such information can be used to improve husbandry protocols as well as help conservation efforts of free-living populations. PMID:23738135

  10. Leishmania exosomes and other virulence factors: Impact on innate immune response and macrophage functions.

    PubMed

    Atayde, Vanessa Diniz; Hassani, Kasra; da Silva Lira Filho, Alonso; Borges, Andrezza Raposo; Adhikari, Anupam; Martel, Caroline; Olivier, Martin

    2016-11-01

    Leishmania parasites are the causative agents of the leishmaniases, a collection of vector-borne diseases that range from simple cutaneous to fatal visceral forms. Employing potent immune modulation mechanisms, Leishmania is able to render the host macrophage inactive and persist inside its phagolysosome. In the last few years, the role of exosomes in Leishmania-host interactions has been increasingly investigated. For instance, it was reported that Leishmania exosome release is augmented following temperature shift, a condition mimicking parasite's entry into its mammalian host. Leishmania exosomes were found to strongly affect macrophage cell signaling and functions, similarly to whole parasites. Importantly, these vesicles were shown to be pro-inflammatory, capable to recruit neutrophils at their inoculation site exacerbating the pathology. In this review, we provide the most recent insights on the role of exosomes and other virulence factors, especially the surface protease GP63, in Leishmania-host interactions, deepening our knowledge on leishmaniasis and paving the way for the development of new therapeutics.

  11. Yersinia virulence factors - a sophisticated arsenal for combating host defences

    PubMed Central

    Atkinson, Steve; Williams, Paul

    2016-01-01

    The human pathogens Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Yersinia enterocolitica cause enterocolitis, while Yersinia pestis is responsible for pneumonic, bubonic, and septicaemic plague. All three share an infection strategy that relies on a virulence factor arsenal to enable them to enter, adhere to, and colonise the host while evading host defences to avoid untimely clearance. Their arsenal includes a number of adhesins that allow the invading pathogens to establish a foothold in the host and to adhere to specific tissues later during infection. When the host innate immune system has been activated, all three pathogens produce a structure analogous to a hypodermic needle. In conjunction with the translocon, which forms a pore in the host membrane, the channel that is formed enables the transfer of six ‘effector’ proteins into the host cell cytoplasm. These proteins mimic host cell proteins but are more efficient than their native counterparts at modifying the host cell cytoskeleton, triggering the host cell suicide response. Such a sophisticated arsenal ensures that yersiniae maintain the upper hand despite the best efforts of the host to counteract the infecting pathogen. PMID:27347390

  12. Evolution of CDC42, a putative virulence factor triggering meristematic growth in black yeasts

    PubMed Central

    Deng, S.; van den Ende, A.H.G. Gerrits; Ram, A.F.J.; Arentshorst, M.; Gräser, Y.; Hu, H.; de Hoog, G.S.

    2008-01-01

    The cell division cycle gene (CDC42) controlling cellular polarization was studied in members of Chaetothyriales. Based on ribosomal genes, ancestral members of the order exhibit meristematic growth in view of their colonization of inert surfaces such as rock, whereas in derived members of the order the gene is a putative virulence factor involved in expression of the muriform cell, the invasive phase in human chromoblastomycosis. Specific primers were developed to amplify a portion of the gene of 32 members of the order with known position according to ribosomal phylogeny. Phylogeny of CDC42 proved to be very different. In all members of Chaetohyriales the protein sequence is highly conserved. In most species, distributed all over the phylogenetic tree, introns and 3rd codon positions are also invariant. However, a number of species had paralogues with considerable deviation in non-coding exon positions, and synchronous variation in introns, although non-synonomous variation had remained very limited. In some strains both orthologues and paralogues were present. It is concluded that CDC42 does not show any orthologous evolution, and that its paralogues haves the same function but are structurally relaxed. The variation or absence thereof could not be linked to ecological changes, from rock-inhabiting to pathogenic life style. It is concluded that eventual pathogenicity in Chaetothyriales is not expressed at the DNA level in CDC42 evolution. PMID:19287534

  13. The effect of Zuccagnia punctata, an Argentine medicinal plant, on virulence factors from candida species.

    PubMed

    Gabriela, Nuño; Rosa, Alberto María; Catiana, Zampini Iris; Soledad, Cuello; Mabel, Ordoñez Roxana; Esteban, Sayago Jorge; Veronica, Baroni; Daniel, Wunderlin; Ines, Isla María

    2014-07-01

    Zuccagnia punctata Cav. has been used as a traditional medicine in Argentina for the treatment of bacterial and fungal infections. In this study, we evaluated the ability of Z. punctata extract (ZpE) and compounds isolated from it to inhibit the growth and virulence factors of Candida species. ZpE showed inhibitory activity against planktonic cells of all assayed Candida species with MIC values of 400 microg/mL and with MFC values between 400 and 1,200 microg/mL. The principal identified compounds by HPLC-MS/MS and UV-VIS were chalcones (2',4'-dihydroxy-3'-methoxychalcone, 2',4'- dihydroxychalcone), flavones (galangin, 3,7-dihydroxyflavone and chrysin) and flavanones (naringenin, 7-hydroxyflavanone and pinocembrine). These compounds were more effective as inhibitors than the extracts upon biofilm formation as well as on preformed Candida biofilm and yeast germ tube formation. Furthermore, ZpE and chalcones are able to inhibit exoenzymes, which are responsible for the invasion mechanisms of the pathogens. All these effects could moderate colonization, thereby suppressing the pathogen invasive potential. Our results indicate that ZpE and chalcones could be used in antifungal therapy.

  14. Posttranslational hypusination of the eukaryotic translation initiation factor-5A regulates Fusarium graminearum virulence

    PubMed Central

    Martinez-Rocha, Ana Lilia; Woriedh, Mayada; Chemnitz, Jan; Willingmann, Peter; Kröger, Cathrin; Hadeler, Birgit; Hauber, Joachim; Schäfer, Wilhelm

    2016-01-01

    Activation of eukaryotic translation initiation factor eIF5A requires a posttranslational modification, forming the unique amino acid hypusine. This activation is mediated by two enzymes, deoxyhypusine synthase, DHS, and deoxyhypusine hydroxylase, DOHH. The impact of this enzymatic complex on the life cycle of a fungal pathogen is unknown. Plant pathogenic ascomycetes possess a single copy of the eIF5A activated by hypusination. We evaluated the importance of imbalances in eIF5A hypusination in Fusarium graminearum, a devastating fungal pathogen of cereals. Overexpression of DHS leads to increased virulence in wheat, elevated production of the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol, more infection structures, faster wheat tissue invasion in plants and increases vegetatively produced conidia. In contrast, overexpression of DOHH completely prevents infection structure formation, pathogenicity in wheat and maize, leads to overproduction of ROS, reduced DON production and increased sexual reproduction. Simultaneous overexpression of both genes restores wild type-like phenotypes. Analysis of eIF5A posttranslational modification displayed strongly increased hypusinated eIF5A in DOHH overexpression mutant in comparison to wild type, and the DHS overexpression mutants. These are the first results pointing to different functions of differently modified eIF5A. PMID:27098988

  15. Yersinia virulence factors - a sophisticated arsenal for combating host defences.

    PubMed

    Atkinson, Steve; Williams, Paul

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Morphological and Molecular Characterization of Pomegranate Fruit Rot Pathogen, Chaetomella raphigera, and its Virulence Factors.

    PubMed

    Gajbhiye, Milind; Sathe, Shivaji; Shinde, Vikas; Kapadnis, Balu

    2016-03-01

    A new fungal pathogen was isolated from rotten pomegranates collected from the orchards of different parts of Maharashtra. The pathogen was morphologically identified as Chaetomella raphigera followed by sequencing of ITS and D1/D2 hypervariable region of LSU (28S) of rRNA gene. The pathogen produced pectinase, cellulase, xylanase and protease in liquid medium at a concentration of 71, 13.8, 54.3 and 7 U/ml respectively. Enzyme activity was also determined during pathogenesis in the tissues artificially infected by C. raphigera. Xylanase activity was maximum (25.1 U/g) followed by pectinase (19.2 U/g) and cellulase (1.5 U/g), whereas, protease activity was unnoticed. There was significant correlation (P < 0.05) between disease rating scale and pectinase, xylanase and cellulase activity in infected tissues. This indicates the simultaneous production of hydrolytic enzymes that aids in necrosis of fruit tissues. The elevated levels of these enzymes in infected tissues as compared with control suggest their possible role in pathogenesis. Thus, pectinase, cellulase and xylanase produced by C. raphigera acts as major virulence factors in the development of fruit rot in pomegranates. This is a first report of fungal fruit rot caused by C. raphigera in pomegranate.

  17. Effect of virulence factors on the photodynamic inactivation of Cryptococcus neoformans.

    PubMed

    Prates, Renato A; Fuchs, Beth Burgwyn; Mizuno, Kazue; Naqvi, Qurat; Kato, Ilka T; Ribeiro, Martha S; Mylonakis, Eleftherios; Tegos, George P; Hamblin, Michael R

    2013-01-01

    Opportunistic fungal pathogens may cause an array of superficial infections or serious invasive infections, especially in immunocompromised patients. Cryptococcus neoformans is a pathogen causing cryptococcosis in HIV/AIDS patients, but treatment is limited due to the relative lack of potent antifungal agents. Photodynamic inactivation (PDI) uses the combination of non-toxic dyes called photosensitizers and harmless visible light, which produces singlet oxygen and other reactive oxygen species that produce cell inactivation and death. We report the use of five structurally unrelated photosensitizers (methylene blue, Rose Bengal, selenium derivative of a Nile blue dye, a cationic fullerene and a conjugate between poly-L-lysine and chlorin(e6)) combined with appropriate wavelengths of light to inactivate C. neoformans. Mutants lacking capsule and laccase, and culture conditions that favoured melanin production were used to probe the mechanisms of PDI and the effect of virulence factors. The presence of cell wall, laccase and melanin tended to protect against PDI, but the choice of the appropriate photosensitizers and dosimetry was able to overcome this resistance.

  18. GRA25 Is a Novel Virulence Factor of Toxoplasma gondii and Influences the Host Immune Response

    PubMed Central

    Shastri, Anjali J.; Marino, Nicole D.; Franco, Magdalena; Lodoen, Melissa B.

    2014-01-01

    The obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii is able to infect a broad range of hosts and cell types due, in part, to the diverse arsenal of effectors it secretes into the host cell. Here, using genetic crosses between type II and type III Toxoplasma strains and quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping of the changes they induce in macrophage gene expression, we identify a novel dense granule protein, GRA25. Encoded on chromosome IX, GRA25 is a phosphoprotein that is secreted outside the parasites and is found within the parasitophorous vacuole. In vitro experiments with a type II Δgra25 strain showed that macrophages infected with this strain secrete lower levels of CCL2 and CXCL1 than those infected with the wild-type or complemented control parasites. In vivo experiments showed that mice infected with a type II Δgra25 strain are able to survive an otherwise lethal dose of Toxoplasma tachyzoites and that complementation of the mutant with an ectopic copy of GRA25 largely rescues this phenotype. Interestingly, the type II and type III versions of GRA25 differ in endogenous expression levels; however, both are able to promote parasite expansion in vivo when expressed in a type II Δgra25 strain. These data establish GRA25 as a novel virulence factor and immune modulator. PMID:24711568

  19. Effect of Virulence Factors on the Photodynamic Inactivation of Cryptococcus neoformans

    PubMed Central

    Prates, Renato A.; Fuchs, Beth Burgwyn; Mizuno, Kazue; Naqvi, Qurat; Kato, Ilka T.; Ribeiro, Martha S.; Mylonakis, Eleftherios; Tegos, George P.; Hamblin, Michael R.

    2013-01-01

    Opportunistic fungal pathogens may cause an array of superficial infections or serious invasive infections, especially in immunocompromised patients. Cryptococcus neoformans is a pathogen causing cryptococcosis in HIV/AIDS patients, but treatment is limited due to the relative lack of potent antifungal agents. Photodynamic inactivation (PDI) uses the combination of non-toxic dyes called photosensitizers and harmless visible light, which produces singlet oxygen and other reactive oxygen species that produce cell inactivation and death. We report the use of five structurally unrelated photosensitizers (methylene blue, Rose Bengal, selenium derivative of a Nile blue dye, a cationic fullerene and a conjugate between poly-L-lysine and chlorin(e6)) combined with appropriate wavelengths of light to inactivate C. neoformans. Mutants lacking capsule and laccase, and culture conditions that favoured melanin production were used to probe the mechanisms of PDI and the effect of virulence factors. The presence of cell wall, laccase and melanin tended to protect against PDI, but the choice of the appropriate photosensitizers and dosimetry was able to overcome this resistance. PMID:23349872

  20. Distribution of genes encoding virulence factors and molecular analysis of Shigella spp. isolated from patients with diarrhea in Kerman, Iran.

    PubMed

    Hosseini Nave, Hossein; Mansouri, Shahla; Emaneini, Mohammad; Moradi, Mohammad

    2016-03-01

    Shigella is one of the important causes of diarrhea worldwide. Shigella has several virulence factors contributing in colonization and invasion of epithelial cells and eventually death of host cells. The present study was performed in order to investigate the distribution of virulence factors genes in Shigella spp. isolated from patients with acute diarrhea in Kerman, Iran as well as the genetic relationship of these isolates. A total of 56 isolates including 31 S. flexneri, 18 S. sonnei and 7 S. boydii were evaluated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the presence of 11 virulence genes (ipaH, ial, set1A, set1B, sen, virF, invE, sat, sigA, pic and sepA). Then, the clonal relationship of these strains was analyzed by multilocus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) method. All isolates were positive for ipaH gene. The other genes include ial, invE and virF were found in 80.4%, 60.7% and 67.9% of the isolates, respectively. Both set1A and set1B were detected in 32.3% of S. flexneri isolates, whereas 66.1% of the isolates belonging to different serogroup carried sen gene. The sat gene was present in all S. flexneri isolates, but not in the S. sonnei and S. boydii isolates. The result showed, 30.4% of isolates were simultaneously positive and the rest of the isolates were negative for sepA and pic genes. The Shigella isolates were divided into 29 MLVA types. This study, for the first time, investigated distribution of 11 virulence genes in Shigella spp. Our results revealed heterogeneity of virulence genes in different Shigella serogroups. Furthermore, the strains belonging to the same species had little diversity.

  1. Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) Regulator Cib1 Controls Expression of Genes Encoding Secreted Virulence Factors in Ustilago maydis

    PubMed Central

    Hampel, Martin; Jakobi, Mareike; Schmitz, Lara; Meyer, Ute; Finkernagel, Florian; Doehlemann, Gunther; Heimel, Kai

    2016-01-01

    The unfolded protein response (UPR), a conserved eukaryotic signaling pathway to ensure protein homeostasis in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), coordinates biotrophic development in the corn smut fungus Ustilago maydis. Exact timing of UPR activation is required for virulence and presumably connected to the elevated expression of secreted effector proteins during infection of the host plant Zea mays. In the baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, expression of UPR target genes is induced upon binding of the central regulator Hac1 to unfolded protein response elements (UPREs) in their promoters. While a role of the UPR in effector secretion has been described previously, we investigated a potential UPR-dependent regulation of genes encoding secreted effector proteins. In silico prediction of UPREs in promoter regions identified the previously characterized effector genes pit2 and tin1-1, as bona fide UPR target genes. Furthermore, direct binding of the Hac1-homolog Cib1 to the UPRE containing promoter fragments of both genes was confirmed by quantitative chromatin immunoprecipitation (qChIP) analysis. Targeted deletion of the UPRE abolished Cib1-dependent expression of pit2 and significantly affected virulence. Furthermore, ER stress strongly increased Pit2 expression and secretion. This study expands the role of the UPR as a signal hub in fungal virulence and illustrates, how biotrophic fungi can coordinate cellular physiology, development and regulation of secreted virulence factors. PMID:27093436

  2. The ABC transporter BcatrB from Botrytis cinerea exports camalexin and is a virulence factor on Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Stefanato, Francesca L; Abou-Mansour, Eliane; Buchala, Antony; Kretschmer, Matthias; Mosbach, Andreas; Hahn, Matthias; Bochet, Christian G; Métraux, Jean-Pierre; Schoonbeek, Henk-jan

    2009-05-01

    Arabidopsis thaliana is known to produce the phytoalexin camalexin in response to abiotic and biotic stress. Here we studied the mechanisms of tolerance to camalexin in the fungus Botrytis cinerea, a necrotrophic pathogen of A. thaliana. Exposure of B. cinerea to camalexin induces expression of BcatrB, an ABC transporter that functions in the efflux of fungitoxic compounds. B. cinerea inoculated on wild-type A. thaliana plants yields smaller lesions than on camalexin-deficient A. thaliana mutants. A B. cinerea strain lacking functional BcatrB is more sensitive to camalexin in vitro and less virulent on wild-type plants, but is still fully virulent on camalexin-deficient mutants. Pre-treatment of A. thaliana with UV-C leads to increased camalexin accumulation and substantial resistance to B. cinerea. UV-C-induced resistance was not seen in the camalexin-deficient mutants cyp79B2/B3, cyp71A13, pad3 or pad2, and was strongly reduced in ups1. Here we demonstrate that an ABC transporter is a virulence factor that increases tolerance of the pathogen towards a phytoalexin, and the complete restoration of virulence on host plants lacking this phytoalexin.

  3. TeA is a key virulence factor for Alternaria alternata (Fr.) Keissler infection of its host.

    PubMed

    Kang, Ye; Feng, Hongwei; Zhang, Jingxu; Chen, Shiguo; Valverde, Bernal E; Qiang, Sheng

    2017-03-04

    A toxin-deficient mutant strain, HP001 mutant of Alternaria alternata, whose mycelium is unable to infect its host, produces little tenuazonic acid (TeA) toxin. How TeA plays a role in initiating host infection by A. alternata remains unclear. In this research we use Imaging-PAM based on chlorophyll fluorescence parameters and transmission electron microscopy to explore the role of TeA toxin during the infection process of A. alternata. Photosystem II damage began even before wild type mycelium infected the leaves of its host, croftonweed (Ageratina adenophora). Compared with the wild type, HP001 mutant produces morphologically different colonies, hyphae with thinner cell walls, has higher reactive oxygen species (ROS) content and lower peroxidase activity, and fails to form appressoria on the host surface. Adding TeA toxin allows the mutant to partially recover these characters and more closely resemble the wild type. Additionally, we found that the mutant is able to elicit disease symptoms when its mycelium is placed on leaves whose epidermis has been manually removed, which indicates that TeA may be determinant in the fungus recognition of its plant host. Lack of TeA toxin appears responsible for the loss of pathogenicity of the HP001 mutant. As a key virulence factor, TeA toxin not only damages the host plant but also is involved in maintaining ROS content, host recognition, inducing appressoria to infect the host and for allowing completion of the infection process.

  4. The Fish Pathogen Vibrio vulnificus Biotype 2: Epidemiology, Phylogeny, and Virulence Factors Involved in Warm-Water Vibriosis.

    PubMed

    Amaro, Carmen; Sanjuán, Eva; Fouz, Belén; Pajuelo, David; Lee, Chung-Te; Hor, Lien-I; Barrera, Rodolfo

    2015-06-01

    Vibrio vulnificus biotype 2 is the etiological agent of warm-water vibriosis, a disease that affects eels and other teleosts, especially in fish farms. Biotype 2 is polyphyletic and probably emerged from aquatic bacteria by acquisition of a transferable virulence plasmid that encodes resistance to innate immunity of eels and other teleosts. Interestingly, biotype 2 comprises a zoonotic clonal complex designated as serovar E that has extended worldwide. One of the most interesting virulence factors produced by serovar E is RtxA13, a multifunctional protein that acts as a lethal factor for fish, an invasion factor for mice, and a survival factor outside the host. Two practically identical copies of rtxA13 are present in all biotype 2 strains regardless of the serovar, one in the virulence plasmid and the other in chromosome II. The plasmid also contains other genes involved in survival and growth in eel blood: vep07, a gene for an outer membrane (OM) lipoprotein involved in resistance to eel serum and vep20, a gene for an OM receptor specific for eel-transferrin and, probably, other related fish transferrins. All the three genes are highly conserved within biotype 2, which suggests that they are under a strong selective pressure. Interestingly, the three genes are related with transferable plasmids, which emphasizes the role of horizontal gene transfer in the evolution of V. vulnificus in nutrient-enriched aquatic environments, such as fish farms.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. The Bacterial Virulence Factor Lymphostatin Compromises Intestinal Epithelial Barrier Function by Modulating Rho GTPases

    PubMed Central

    Babbin, Brian A.; Sasaki, Maiko; Gerner-Schmidt, Kirsten W.; Nusrat, Asma; Klapproth, Jan-Michael A.

    2009-01-01

    Lymphocyte inhibitory factor A (lifA) in Citrobacter rodentium encodes the large toxin lymphostatin, which contains two enzymatic motifs associated with bacterial pathogenesis, a glucosyltransferase and a protease. Our aim was to determine the effects of each lymphostatin motif on intestinal epithelial-barrier function. In-frame mutations of C. rodentium lifA glucosyltransferase (CrGlM21) and protease (CrPrM5) were generated by homologous recombination. Infection of both model intestinal epithelial monolayers and mice with C. rodentium wild type resulted in compromised epithelial barrier function and mislocalization of key intercellular junction proteins in the tight junction and adherens junction. In contrast, CrGlM21 was impaired in its ability to reduce barrier function and influenced the tight junction proteins ZO-1 and occludin. CrPrM5 demonstrated decreased effects on the adherens junction proteins β-catenin and E-cadherin. Analysis of the mechanisms revealed that C. rodentium wild type differentially influenced Rho GTPase activation, suppressed Cdc42 activation, and induced Rho GTPase activation. CrGlM21 lost its suppressive effects on Cdc42 activation, whereas CrPrM5 was unable to activate Rho signaling. Rescue experiments using constitutively active Cdc42 or C3 exotoxin to inhibit Rho GTPase supported a role of Rho GTPases in the epithelial barrier compromise induced by C. rodentium. Taken together, our results suggest that lymphostatin is a bacterial virulence factor that contributes to the disruption of intestinal epithelial-barrier function via the modulation of Rho GTPase activities. PMID:19286565

  7. Expressed sequence tags reveal genetic diversity and putative virulence factors of the pathogenic oomycete Pythium insidiosum.

    PubMed

    Krajaejun, Theerapong; Khositnithikul, Rommanee; Lerksuthirat, Tassanee; Lowhnoo, Tassanee; Rujirawat, Thidarat; Petchthong, Thanom; Yingyong, Wanta; Suriyaphol, Prapat; Smittipat, Nat; Juthayothin, Tada; Phuntumart, Vipaporn; Sullivan, Thomas D

    2011-07-01

    Oomycetes are unique eukaryotic microorganisms that share a mycelial morphology with fungi. Many oomycetes are pathogenic to plants, and a more limited number are pathogenic to animals. Pythium insidiosum is the only oomycete that is capable of infecting both humans and animals, and causes a life-threatening infectious disease, called "pythiosis". In the majority of pythiosis patients life-long handicaps result from the inevitable radical excision of infected organs, and many die from advanced infection. Better understanding P. insidiosum pathogenesis at molecular levels could lead to new forms of treatment. Genetic and genomic information is lacking for P. insidiosum, so we have undertaken an expressed sequence tag (EST) study, and report on the first dataset of 486 ESTs, assembled into 217 unigenes. Of these, 144 had significant sequence similarity with known genes, including 47 with ribosomal protein homology. Potential virulence factors included genes involved in antioxidation, thermal adaptation, immunomodulation, and iron and sterol binding. Effectors resembling pathogenicity factors of plant-pathogenic oomycetes were also discovered, such as, a CBEL-like protein (possible involvement in host cell adhesion and hemagglutination), a putative RXLR effector (possibly involved in host cell modulation) and elicitin-like (ELL) proteins. Phylogenetic analysis mapped P. insidiosum ELLs to several novel clades of oomycete elicitins (ELIs), and homology modeling predicted that P. insidiosum ELLs should bind sterols. Most of the P. insidiosum ESTs showed homology to sequences in the genome or EST databases of other oomycetes, but one putative gene, with unknown function, was found to be unique to P. insidiosum. The EST dataset reported here represents the first steps in identifying genes of P. insidiosum and beginning transcriptome analysis. This genetic information will facilitate understanding of pathogenic mechanisms of this devastating pathogen.

  8. Helicobacter pylori virulence factors affecting gastric proton pump expression and acid secretion.

    PubMed

    Hammond, Charles E; Beeson, Craig; Suarez, Giovanni; Peek, Richard M; Backert, Steffen; Smolka, Adam J

    2015-08-01

    Acute Helicobacter pylori infection of gastric epithelial cells and human gastric biopsies represses H,K-ATPase α subunit (HKα) gene expression and inhibits acid secretion, causing transient hypochlorhydria and supporting gastric H. pylori colonization. Infection by H. pylori strains deficient in the cag pathogenicity island (cag PAI) genes cagL, cagE, or cagM, which do not transfer CagA into host cells or induce interleukin-8 secretion, does not inhibit HKα expression, nor does a cagA-deficient strain that induces IL-8. To test the hypothesis that virulence factors other than those mediating CagA translocation or IL-8 induction participate in HKα repression by activating NF-κB, AGS cells transfected with HKα promoter-Luc reporter constructs containing an intact or mutated NF-κB binding site were infected with wild-type H. pylori strain 7.13, isogenic mutants lacking cag PAI genes responsible for CagA translocation and/or IL-8 induction (cagA, cagζ, cagε, cagZ, and cagβ), or deficient in genes encoding two peptidoglycan hydrolases (slt and cagγ). H. pylori-induced AGS cell HKα promoter activities, translocated CagA, and IL-8 secretion were measured by luminometry, immunoblotting, and ELISA, respectively. Human gastric biopsy acid secretion was measured by microphysiometry. Taken together, the data showed that HKα repression is independent of IL-8 expression, and that CagA translocation together with H. pylori transglycosylases encoded by slt and cagγ participate in NF-κB-dependent HKα repression and acid inhibition. The findings are significant because H. pylori factors other than CagA and IL-8 secretion are now implicated in transient hypochlorhydria which facilitates gastric colonization and potential triggering of epithelial progression to neoplasia.

  9. The TatD-like DNase of Plasmodium is a virulence factor and a potential malaria vaccine candidate

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Zhiguang; Jiang, Ning; Zhang, Yuanyuan; Lu, Huijun; Yin, Jigang; Wahlgren, Mats; Cheng, Xunjia; Cao, Yaming; Chen, Qijun

    2016-01-01

    Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), composed primarily of DNA and proteases, are released from activated neutrophils and contribute to the innate immune response by capturing pathogens. Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of severe malaria, thrives in its host by counteracting immune elimination. Here, we report the discovery of a novel virulence factor of P. falciparum, a TatD-like DNase (PfTatD) that is expressed primarily in the asexual blood stage and is likely utilized by the parasite to counteract NETs. PfTatD exhibits typical deoxyribonuclease activity, and its expression is higher in virulent parasites than in avirulent parasites. A P. berghei TatD-knockout parasite displays reduced pathogenicity in mice. Mice immunized with recombinant TatD exhibit increased immunity against lethal challenge. Our results suggest that the TatD-like DNase is an essential factor for the survival of malarial parasites in the host and is a potential malaria vaccine candidate. PMID:27151551

  10. Dual detection of fungal infections in Drosophila through recognition of microbial structures and sensing of virulence factors

    PubMed Central

    Gottar, Marie; Gobert, Vanessa; Matskevich, Alexey A.; Reichhart, Jean-Marc; Wang, Chengshu; Butt, Tariq M.; Belvin, Marcia; Hoffmann, Jules A.; Ferrandon, Dominique

    2007-01-01

    The Drosophila immune system discriminates between various types of infections and activates appropriate signal transduction pathways to combat the invading microorganisms. The Toll pathway is required for the host response against fungal and most Gram-positive bacterial infections. The sensing of Gram-positive bacteria is mediated by the Pattern Recognition Receptors PGRP-SA and GNBP1 that cooperate to detect the presence of infections in the host. Here, we report that GNBP3 is a novel Pattern Recognition Receptor that is required for the detection of fungal cell wall components. Strikingly, we find that there is a second, parallel, pathway acting jointly with GNBP3. The Drosophila Persephone protease activates the Toll pathway when proteolytically matured by the secreted fungal virulence factor PR1. Thus, the detection of fungal infections in Drosophila relies both on the recognition of invariant microbial patterns and on monitoring the effects of virulence factors on the host. PMID:17190605

  11. The phytoplasmal virulence factor TENGU causes plant sterility by downregulating of the jasmonic acid and auxin pathways

    PubMed Central

    Minato, Nami; Himeno, Misako; Hoshi, Ayaka; Maejima, Kensaku; Komatsu, Ken; Takebayashi, Yumiko; Kasahara, Hiroyuki; Yusa, Akira; Yamaji, Yasuyuki; Oshima, Kenro; Kamiya, Yuji; Namba, Shigetou

    2014-01-01

    Despite plants infected by pathogens are often unable to produce offspring, it remains unclear how sterility is induced in host plants. In this study, we demonstrate that TENGU, a phytoplasmal virulence peptide known as a dwarfism inducer, acts as an inducer of sterility. Transgenic expression of TENGU induced both male and female sterility in Arabidopsis thaliana flowers similar to those observed in double knockout mutants of auxin response factor 6 (ARF6) and ARF8, which are known to regulate floral development in a jasmonic acid (JA)-dependent manner. Transcripts of ARF6 and ARF8 were significantly decreased in both tengu-transgenic and phytoplasma-infected plants. Furthermore, JA and auxin levels were actually decreased in tengu-transgenic buds, suggesting that TENGU reduces the endogenous levels of phytohormones by repressing ARF6 and ARF8, resulting in impaired flower maturation. TENGU is the first virulence factor with the effects on plant reproduction by perturbation of phytohormone signaling. PMID:25492247

  12. Evaluation of Virulence Factors In vitro, Resistance to Osmotic Stress and Antifungal Susceptibility of Candida tropicalis Isolated from the Coastal Environment of Northeast Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Zuza-Alves, Diana L.; de Medeiros, Sayama S. T. Q.; de Souza, Luanda B. F. C.; Silva-Rocha, Walicyranison P.; Francisco, Elaine C.; de Araújo, Maria C. B.; Lima-Neto, Reginaldo G.; Neves, Rejane P.; Melo, Analy S. de Azevedo; Chaves, Guilherme M.

    2016-01-01

    Several studies have been developed regarding human health risks associated with the recreational use of beaches contaminated with domestic sewage. These wastes contain various micro-organisms, including Candida tropicalis. In this context, the objective of this study was to characterize C. tropicalis isolates from the sandy beach of Ponta Negra, Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil, regarding the expression of in vitro virulence factors, adaptation to osmotic stress and susceptibility to antifungal drugs. We analyzed 62 environmental isolates and observed a great variation among them for the various virulence factors evaluated. In general, environmental isolates were more adherent to human buccal epithelial cells (HBEC) than C. tropicalis ATCC13803 reference strain, and they also showed increased biofilm production. Most of the isolates presented wrinkled phenotypes on Spider medium (34 isolates, 54.8%). The majority of the isolates also showed higher proteinase production than control strains, but low phospholipase activity. In addition, 35 isolates (56.4%) had high hemolytic activity (hemolysis index > 0.55). With regard to C. tropicalis resistance to osmotic stress, 85.4% of the isolates were able to grow in a liquid medium containing 15% sodium chloride. The strains were highly resistant to the azoles tested (fluconazole, voriconazole and itraconazole). Fifteen strains were resistant to the three azoles tested (24.2%). Some strains were also resistant to amphotericin B (14 isolates; 22.6%), while all of them were susceptible for the echinocandins tested, except for a single strain of intermediate susceptibility to micafungin. Our results demonstrate that C. tropicalis isolated from the sand can fully express virulence attributes and showed a high persistence capacity on the coastal environment; in addition of showing high minimal inhibitory concentrations to several antifungal drugs used in current clinical practice, demonstrating that environmental isolates may

  13. Secretion Chaperones PrsA2 and HtrA Are Required for Listeria monocytogenes Replication following Intracellular Induction of Virulence Factor Secretion

    PubMed Central

    Ahmed, Jana K.

    2016-01-01

    The Gram-positive bacterium Listeria monocytogenes transitions from an environmental organism to an intracellular pathogen following its ingestion by susceptible mammalian hosts. Bacterial replication within the cytosol of infected cells requires activation of the central virulence regulator PrfA followed by a PrfA-dependent induction of secreted virulence factors. The PrfA-induced secreted chaperone PrsA2 and the chaperone/protease HtrA contribute to the folding and stability of select proteins translocated across the bacterial membrane. L. monocytogenes strains that lack both prsA2 and htrA exhibit near-normal patterns of growth in broth culture but are severely attenuated in vivo. We hypothesized that, in the absence of PrsA2 and HtrA, the increase in PrfA-dependent protein secretion that occurs following bacterial entry into the cytosol results in misfolded proteins accumulating at the bacterial membrane with a subsequent reduction in intracellular bacterial viability. Consistent with this hypothesis, the introduction of a constitutively activated allele of prfA (prfA*) into ΔprsA2 ΔhtrA strains was found to essentially inhibit bacterial growth at 37°C in broth culture. ΔprsA2 ΔhtrA strains were additionally found to be defective for cell invasion and vacuole escape in selected cell types, steps that precede full PrfA activation. These data establish the essential requirement for PrsA2 and HtrA in maintaining bacterial growth under conditions of PrfA activation. In addition, chaperone function is required for efficient bacterial invasion and rapid vacuole lysis within select host cell types, indicating roles for PrsA2/HtrA prior to cytosolic PrfA activation and the subsequent induction of virulence factor secretion. PMID:27481256

  14. Relationship between fluoride concentration and activity against virulence factors and viability of a cariogenic biofilm: in vitro study.

    PubMed

    Pandit, S; Kim, H-J; Song, K-Y; Jeon, J-G

    2013-01-01

    Despite widespread use of various concentrations of fluoride for the prevention of dental caries, the relationship between fluoride concentration and activity against cariogenic biofilms has not been much studied. Herein we investigated the relationship between fluoride concentration and activity against virulence factors and viability of Streptococcus mutans biofilms. S. mutans biofilms were formed on saliva-coated hydroxyapatite discs. The 70-hour-old biofilms were exposed to 0, 1, 3, 10, 30, 100, 300, 1,000 or 2,000 ppm F(-). The changes of virulence factors and viability of the biofilms were analyzed using biochemical methods and laser scanning confocal fluorescence microscopy. At 1-2,000 ppm F(-), the activity of fluoride against acid production, acid tolerance, and extracellular polysaccharide formation of S. mutans biofilms accurately followed a sigmoidal pattern of concentration dependence (R(2) = 0.94-0.99), with EC50 values ranging from 3.07 to 24.7 ppm F(-). Generally, the activity of fluoride against the virulence factors was concentration-dependently augmented in 10-100 ppm F(-) and did not increase further at concentrations higher than 100 ppm F(-). However, fluoride did not alter glucosyltransferase activity and viability of S. mutans biofilm cells in all concentrations tested. These results can provide a basis for the selection of appropriate fluoride concentrations that reduce the physiological ability of cariogenic biofilms.

  15. Virulence factors and antimicrobial resistance of escherichia coli isolated from urinary tract of swine in southern of Brazil

    PubMed Central

    da Costa, Mateus Matiuzzi; Drescher, Guilherme; Maboni, Franciele; Weber, Shana; de Avila Botton, Sônia; Vainstein, Marilene Henning; Schrank, Irene Silveira; de Vargas, Agueda Castagna

    2008-01-01

    The present study determined the molecular and resistance patterns of E. coli isolates from urinary tract of swine in Southern of Brazil. Molecular characterization of urinary vesicle samples was performed by PCR detection of virulence factors from ETEC, STEC and UPEC. From a total of 82 E. coli isolates, 34 (38.63%) harbored one or more virulence factors. The frequency of virulence factors genes detected by PCR were: pap (10.97%), hlyA (10.97%), iha (9.75%), lt (8.53%), sta (7.31%) sfa (6.09%), f4 (4.87%), f5 (4.87%), stb (4.87%), f6 (1.21%) and f41 (1.21%). Isolates were resistant to penicillin (95.12%), lincomycin (93.9%), erythromycin (92.68%), tetracycline (90.24%), amoxicillin (82.92%), ampicillin (74.39%), josamycin (79.26%), norfloxacin (58.53%), enrofloxacin (57.31%), gentamicin (39.02%), neomycin (37.8%), apramycin (30.48%), colistine (30.48%) and cefalexin (6.09%). A number of 32 (39.02%) E. coli isolates harbored plasmids. PMID:24031300

  16. Bacterial modulins: a novel class of virulence factors which cause host tissue pathology by inducing cytokine synthesis.

    PubMed Central

    Henderson, B; Poole, S; Wilson, M

    1996-01-01

    Cytokines are a diverse group of proteins and glycoproteins which have potent and wide-ranging effects on eukaryotic cell function and are now recognized as important mediators of tissue pathology in infectious diseases. It is increasingly recognized that for many bacterial species, cytokine induction is a major virulence mechanism. Until recent years, the only bacterial component known to stimulate cytokine synthesis was lipopolysaccharide (LPS). It is only within the past decade that it has been clearly shown that many components associated with the bacterial cell wall, including proteins, glycoproteins, lipoproteins, carbohydrates, and lipids, have the capacity to stimulate mammalian cells to produce a diverse array of cytokines. It has been established that many of these cytokine-inducing molecules act by mechanisms distinct from that of LPS, and thus their activities are not due to LPS contamination. Bacteria produce a wide range of virulence factors which cause host tissue pathology, and these diverse factors have been grouped into four families: adhesins, aggressins, impedins, and invasins. We suggest that the array of bacterial cytokine-inducing molecules represents a new class of bacterial virulence factor, and, by analogy with the known virulence families, we suggest the term "modulin" to describe these molecules, because the action of cytokines is to modulate eukaryotic cell behavior. This review summarizes our current understanding of cytokine biology in relation to tissue homeostasis and disease and concisely reviews the current literature on the cytokine-inducing molecules produced by gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, with an emphasis on the cellular mechanisms responsible for cytokine induction. We propose that modulins, by controlling the host immune and inflammatory responses, maintain the large commensal flora that all multicellular organisms support. PMID:8801436

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

    PubMed Central

    Habibi, Asghar; Honarmand, Ramin

    2015-01-01

    Background: Putative virulence factors are responsible for the pathogenicity of UTIs caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa). Resistance of P. aeruginosa to commonly used antibiotics is caused by the extreme overprescription of those antibiotics. Objectives: The goal of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of virulence factors and the antibiotic resistance patterns of P. aeruginosa isolates in UTI cases in Iran. Patients and Methods: Two hundred and fifty urine samples were collected from patients who suffered from UTIs. Samples were cultured immediately, and those that were P. aeruginosa-positive were analyzed for the presence of virulence genes using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) was performed using the disk diffusion method. Results: Of the 250 urine samples analyzed, 8 samples (3.2%) were positive for P. aeruginosa. The prevalence of P. aeruginosa in male and female patients was 2.7% and 3.5%, respectively, (P = 0.035). In patients less than 10 years old, it was 4.2%, and in patients more than 55 years old, it was 4.2%. These were the most commonly infected groups. The highest levels of resistance were seen against ampicillin (87.5%), norfloxacin (62.5%), gentamycin (62.5%), amikacin (62.5%), and aztreonam (62.5%), while the lowest were seen for meropenem (0%), imipenem (12.5%), and polymyxin B (12.5%). LasB (87.5%), pclH (75%), pilB (75%), and exoS (75%) were the most commonly detected virulence factors in the P. aeruginosa isolates. Conclusions: It is logical to first prescribe meropenem, imipenem, and polymyxin B in cases of UTIs caused by P. aeruginosa. Medical practitioners should be aware of the presence of levels of antibiotic resistance in hospitalized UTI patients in Iran. PMID:26756017

  18. Factor H specifically capture novel Factor H-binding proteins of Streptococcus suis and contribute to the virulence of the bacteria.

    PubMed

    Li, Quan; Ma, Caifeng; Fu, Yang; He, Yanan; Yu, Yanfei; Du, Dechao; Yao, Huochun; Lu, Chengping; Zhang, Wei

    2017-03-01

    Factor H (FH), a regulatory protein of the complement system, can bind specifically to factor H-binding proteins (FHBPs) of Streptococcus suis serotype 2 (SS2), which contribute to evasion of host innate immune defenses. In the present study, we aimed to identify novel FHBPs and characterize the biological functions of FH in SS2 pathogenesis. Here, a method that combined proteomics and Far-western blotting was developed to identify the surface FHBPs of SS2. With this method, fourteen potential novel FHBPs were identified among SS2 surface proteins. We selected eight newly identified proteins and further confirmed their binding activity to FH. The binding of SS2 to immobilized FH decreased dramatically after pre-incubation with anti-FHBPs polyclonal antibodies. We showed for the first time that SS2 also interact specifically with mouse FH. Furthermore, we found that FH play an important role in adherence and invasion of SS2 to HEp-2 cells. Additionally, using a mouse model of intraperitoneal challenge, we confirmed that SS2 pre-incubated with FH enhanced bacteremia and brain invasion, compared with SS2 not pretreated with FH. Taken together, this study provides a useful method to characterize the host-bacteria interactions. These results first indicated that binding of FH to the cell surface improved the adherence and invasion of SS2 to HEp-2 cells, promoting SS2 to resist killing and leading to enhance virulence.

  19. Antifungal susceptibility and virulence factors of clinically isolated dermatophytes in Tehran, Iran

    PubMed Central

    Afshari, Mohammad Ali; Shams-Ghahfarokhi, Masoomeh; Razzaghi-Abyaneh, Mehdi

    2016-01-01

    Background and Objectives: Dermatophytes possess a wide array of virulence factors and various antifungal susceptibility patterns which influence their pathogenesis in humans and animals. The aim of this study was to evaluate antifungal susceptibility and keratinase and proteinase activity of 49 dermatophyte strains from the genera Microsporum, Trichophyton and Epidermophyton which were isolated from human cases of dermatophytosis. Materials and Methods: Forty-nine dermatophyte strains isolated from clinical samples were cultured on general and specific culture media. Keratinase and proteinase activity was screened on solid mineral media and confirmed in liquid cultures. Drug susceptibility toward azoles (fluconazole, ketoconazole and itraconazole), griseofulvin and terbinafine was evaluated using disk diffusion method on Mueller-Hinton agar and minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were determined using microbroth dilution assay according to the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) guidelines. Results: Our results indicated that clinically isolated dermatophytes from 7 major species produced keratinase and proteinase at different extents. The mean keratinase and proteinase activity was reported as 6.69 ± 0.31 (U/ml) and 2.10 ± 0.22 (U/ml) respectively. Disk diffusion and microbroth dilution (MIC) results of antifungal susceptibility testing showed that ketoconazole was the most effective drug against Epidermophyton floccosum and Trichophyton mentagrophytes, itraconazole against T. rubrum and E. floccosum, and griseofulvin and terbinafine against Trichophyton verrucosum. Our results showed that all dermatophyte isolates were resistant to fluconazole. Overall, ketoconazole and itraconazole were the most effective drugs for all dermatophyte species tested. Conclusion: Our results showed that antifungal susceptibility testing is an urgent need to select drugs of choice for treatment of different types of dermatophytosis and further indicated the

  20. Association between Helicobacter pylori Virulence Factors and Gastroduodenal Diseases in Okinawa, Japan

    PubMed Central

    Matsunari, Osamu; Shiota, Seiji; Suzuki, Rumiko; Watada, Masahide; Kinjo, Nagisa; Murakami, Kazunari; Fujioka, Toshio; Kinjo, Fukunori

    2012-01-01

    The incidence of gastric cancer in Okinawa is lowest in Japan. Some previous reports using small number of strains suggested that the high prevalence of Helicobacter pylori with Western-type cagA in Okinawa compared to other areas in Japan might contribute to the low incidence of gastric cancer. It has still not been confirmed why the prevalence of Western-type cagA strains is high in Okinawa. We examined the association between the virulence factors of H. pylori and gastroduodenal diseases in Okinawa. The genotypes of cagA and vacA of 337 H. pylori strains were determined by PCR and gene sequencing. The genealogy of these Western-type cagA strains in Okinawa was analyzed by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Overall, 86.4% of the strains possessed cagA: 70.3% were East-Asian type and 16.0% were Western type. After adjustment by age and sex, the presence of East-Asian-type cagA/vacA s1m1 genotypes was significantly associated with gastric cancer compared to gastritis (odds ratio = 6.68, 95% confidence interval = 1.73 to 25.8). The structure of Western-type CagA in Okinawa was different from that of typical Western-type CagA found in Western countries. Intriguingly, MLST analysis revealed that the majority of Western-type cagA strains formed individual clusters but not hpEurope. Overall, low prevalence of gastric cancer in Okinawa may result from the high prevalence of non-East-Asian-type cagA strains. The origin of Western-type cagA strains in Okinawa may be different from those of Western countries. PMID:22189111

  1. Rhodococcus erythropolis BG43 Genes Mediating Pseudomonas aeruginosa Quinolone Signal Degradation and Virulence Factor Attenuation.

    PubMed

    Müller, Christine; Birmes, Franziska S; Rückert, Christian; Kalinowski, Jörn; Fetzner, Susanne

    2015-11-01

    Rhodococcus erythropolis BG43 is able to degrade the Pseudomonas aeruginosa quorum sensing signal molecules PQS (Pseudomonas quinolone signal) [2-heptyl-3-hydroxy-4(1H)-quinolone] and HHQ [2-heptyl-4(1H)-quinolone] to anthranilic acid. Based on the hypothesis that degradation of HHQ might involve hydroxylation to PQS followed by dioxygenolytic cleavage of the heterocyclic ring and hydrolysis of the resulting N-octanoylanthranilate, the genome was searched for corresponding candidate genes. Two gene clusters, aqdA1B1C1 and aqdA2B2C2, each predicted to code for a hydrolase, a flavin monooxygenase, and a dioxygenase related to 1H-3-hydroxy-4-oxoquinaldine 2,4-dioxygenase, were identified on circular plasmid pRLCBG43 of strain BG43. Transcription of all genes was upregulated by PQS, suggesting that both gene clusters code for alkylquinolone-specific catabolic enzymes. An aqdR gene encoding a putative transcriptional regulator, which was also inducible by PQS, is located adjacent to the aqdA2B2C2 cluster. Expression of aqdA2B2C2 in Escherichia coli conferred the ability to degrade HHQ and PQS to anthranilic acid; however, for E. coli transformed with aqdA1B1C1, only PQS degradation was observed. Purification of the recombinant AqdC1 protein verified that it catalyzes the cleavage of PQS to form N-octanoylanthranilic acid and carbon monoxide and revealed apparent Km and kcat values for PQS of ∼27 μM and 21 s(-1), respectively. Heterologous expression of the PQS dioxygenase gene aqdC1 or aqdC2 in P. aeruginosa PAO1 quenched the production of the virulence factors pyocyanin and rhamnolipid and reduced the synthesis of the siderophore pyoverdine. Thus, the toolbox of quorum-quenching enzymes is expanded by new PQS dioxygenases.

  2. Rhodococcus erythropolis BG43 Genes Mediating Pseudomonas aeruginosa Quinolone Signal Degradation and Virulence Factor Attenuation

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Christine; Birmes, Franziska S.; Rückert, Christian; Kalinowski, Jörn

    2015-01-01

    Rhodococcus erythropolis BG43 is able to degrade the Pseudomonas aeruginosa quorum sensing signal molecules PQS (Pseudomonas quinolone signal) [2-heptyl-3-hydroxy-4(1H)-quinolone] and HHQ [2-heptyl-4(1H)-quinolone] to anthranilic acid. Based on the hypothesis that degradation of HHQ might involve hydroxylation to PQS followed by dioxygenolytic cleavage of the heterocyclic ring and hydrolysis of the resulting N-octanoylanthranilate, the genome was searched for corresponding candidate genes. Two gene clusters, aqdA1B1C1 and aqdA2B2C2, each predicted to code for a hydrolase, a flavin monooxygenase, and a dioxygenase related to 1H-3-hydroxy-4-oxoquinaldine 2,4-dioxygenase, were identified on circular plasmid pRLCBG43 of strain BG43. Transcription of all genes was upregulated by PQS, suggesting that both gene clusters code for alkylquinolone-specific catabolic enzymes. An aqdR gene encoding a putative transcriptional regulator, which was also inducible by PQS, is located adjacent to the aqdA2B2C2 cluster. Expression of aqdA2B2C2 in Escherichia coli conferred the ability to degrade HHQ and PQS to anthranilic acid; however, for E. coli transformed with aqdA1B1C1, only PQS degradation was observed. Purification of the recombinant AqdC1 protein verified that it catalyzes the cleavage of PQS to form N-octanoylanthranilic acid and carbon monoxide and revealed apparent Km and kcat values for PQS of ∼27 μM and 21 s−1, respectively. Heterologous expression of the PQS dioxygenase gene aqdC1 or aqdC2 in P. aeruginosa PAO1 quenched the production of the virulence factors pyocyanin and rhamnolipid and reduced the synthesis of the siderophore pyoverdine. Thus, the toolbox of quorum-quenching enzymes is expanded by new PQS dioxygenases. PMID:26319870

  3. Medicinal plants extracts affect virulence factors expression and biofilm formation by the uropathogenic Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Wojnicz, Dorota; Kucharska, Alicja Z; Sokół-Łętowska, Anna; Kicia, Marta; Tichaczek-Goska, Dorota

    2012-12-01

    Medicinal plants are an important source for the therapeutic remedies of various diseases including urinary tract infections. This prompted us to perform research in this area. We decided to focus on medicinal plants species used in urinary tract infections prevention. The aim of our study was to determine the influence of Betula pendula, Equisetum arvense, Herniaria glabra, Galium odoratum, Urtica dioica, and Vaccinium vitis-idaea extracts on bacterial survival and virulence factors involved in tissue colonization and biofilm formation of the uropathogenic Escherichia coli rods. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of plant extracts were performed. Antimicrobial assay relied on the estimation of the colony forming unit number. Hydrophobicity of cells was established by salt aggregation test. Using motility agar, the ability of bacteria to move was examined. The erythrocyte hemagglutination test was used for fimbriae P screening. Curli expression was determined using YESCA agar supplemented with congo red. Quantification of biofilm formation was carried out using a microtiter plate assay and a spectrophotometric method. The results of the study indicate significant differences between investigated extracts in their antimicrobial activities. The extracts of H. glabra and V. vitis-idaea showed the highest growth-inhibitory effects (p < 0.05). Surface hydrophobicity of autoaggregating E. coli strain changed after exposure to all plant extracts, except V. vitis-idaea (p > 0.05). The B. pendula and U. dioica extracts significantly reduced the motility of the E. coli rods (p < 0.05). All the extracts exhibited the anti-biofilm activity.

  4. Association between Helicobacter pylori virulence factors and gastroduodenal diseases in Okinawa, Japan.

    PubMed

    Matsunari, Osamu; Shiota, Seiji; Suzuki, Rumiko; Watada, Masahide; Kinjo, Nagisa; Murakami, Kazunari; Fujioka, Toshio; Kinjo, Fukunori; Yamaoka, Yoshio

    2012-03-01

    The incidence of gastric cancer in Okinawa is lowest in Japan. Some previous reports using small number of strains suggested that the high prevalence of Helicobacter pylori with Western-type cagA in Okinawa compared to other areas in Japan might contribute to the low incidence of gastric cancer. It has still not been confirmed why the prevalence of Western-type cagA strains is high in Okinawa. We examined the association between the virulence factors of H. pylori and gastroduodenal diseases in Okinawa. The genotypes of cagA and vacA of 337 H. pylori strains were determined by PCR and gene sequencing. The genealogy of these Western-type cagA strains in Okinawa was analyzed by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Overall, 86.4% of the strains possessed cagA: 70.3% were East-Asian type and 16.0% were Western type. After adjustment by age and sex, the presence of East-Asian-type cagA/vacA s1m1 genotypes was significantly associated with gastric cancer compared to gastritis (odds ratio = 6.68, 95% confidence interval = 1.73 to 25.8). The structure of Western-type CagA in Okinawa was different from that of typical Western-type CagA found in Western countries. Intriguingly, MLST analysis revealed that the majority of Western-type cagA strains formed individual clusters but not hpEurope. Overall, low prevalence of gastric cancer in Okinawa may result from the high prevalence of non-East-Asian-type cagA strains. The origin of Western-type cagA strains in Okinawa may be different from those of Western countries.

  5. Virulence factors of lactose-negative Escherichia coli strains isolated from children with diarrhea in Somalia.

    PubMed Central

    Nicoletti, M; Superti, F; Conti, C; Calconi, A; Zagaglia, C

    1988-01-01

    Lactose-negative Escherichia coli strains were isolated at high frequency from children with diarrhea in Somalia during a 2-year study on diarrheal diseases. Sixty-four of these strains, considered to be a representative sample, were characterized for virulence factors, plasmid profiles, and antibiotic resistance. Of these strains, 5 were recognized as enteroinvasive E. coli (they were serotyped as O135:K-:H-), 6 belonged to classical enteropathogenic E. coli serotypes, 9 were able to adhere to tissue culture cells (of these, 4 showed a pattern of localized adherence and 1 was an enteropathogenic strain), 18 were both adherent and hemolytic, and 8 were simply hemolytic. None hybridized with 32P-labeled heat-labile or heat-stable (a and b) enterotoxin gene probes or produced moderate or high-level cytotoxic effects on HeLa cells. Of the 64 strains examined, 24 produced mannose-resistant hemagglutination with human, chicken, and monkey erythrocytes. One of these was serotyped as O4:K-:H8, and a rabbit O antiserum raised against this strain allowed us to establish that 23 strains had the same O antigen. The 23 O4 strains were hemolytic and were not enterotoxic for rabbit ileal loops, and intact bacteria were able to destroy tissue culture cell monolayers very rapidly. The uniformity of the antibiotic resistance pattern and of the plasmid DNA content, together with the fact that they were isolated in different years and in different children, suggests that the O4 strains must be epidemiologically relevant in Somalia. A possible diarrheagenic role for the adherent-hemolytic E. coli strains is also discussed. Images PMID:3281977

  6. [Susceptibility of 36 Helicobacter pylori clinical isolates to four first-line antibiotics and virulence factors].

    PubMed

    Díaz-Reganon, J; Alarcón, T; Domingo, D; López-Brea, M

    2006-03-01

    Helicobacter pylori possess various virulence factors, including cagA and vacA genes, that are associated with more aggressive symptoms such as bleed-ing ulcer and gastric cancer. Although there are different treatment regimens, there is still a failure rate of up to 20% due to antibiotic resistance, among other causes. In our country resistance to metronidazole and clarithromycin is increasing, especially in children, although they are still susceptible to amoxicillin and tetracycline. In order to determine the susceptibility pattern to these antibiotics 36 H. pylori clinical isolates were studied. MIC was determined by agar diffusion and agar dilution, and vacA and cagA genes were detected by conventional PCR. All isolates were susceptible to amoxicillin and tetracycline. Resistance to metronidazole by diffusion or dilution tests was 35.7% and 36.1%, respectively, and to clarithromycin, 21.4% and 22.3%, respectively. There was one strain that showed intermediate resistance to clarithromycin (MIC 0.38 mg/l), using agar diffusion, and that was included among the resistant strains. Three discrepancies were observed between the diffusion and dilution methods. The vacA s1 allele was detected in 17.2% of the strains, and vacA s2 in 82.8%; 51.7% of the total were cagA+. In conclusion, all strains tested in our study were susceptible to amoxicillin and tetracycline, allowing them to be considered as first-line antibiotics, while clarithromycin and metronidazole maintain a slight increase in their resistance level. The cagA+ strains were detected in expected quantities, while the s1 allele of the vacA gene was detected in lower quantities.

  7. Genetic characterization of the HrpL regulon of the fire blight pathogen Erwinia amylovora reveals novel virulence factors.

    PubMed

    McNally, R Ryan; Toth, Ian K; Cock, Peter J A; Pritchard, Leighton; Hedley, Pete E; Morris, Jenny A; Zhao, Youfu; Sundin, George W

    2012-02-01

    The bacterial pathogen Erwinia amylovora is the causal agent of fire blight, an economically significant disease of apple and pear. Disease initiation by E. amylovora requires the translocation of effector proteins into host cells via the hypersensitive response and pathogenicity (hrp) type III secretion system (T3SS). The alternative sigma factor HrpL positively regulates the transcription of structural and translocated components of the T3SS via hrp promoter elements. To characterize genome-wide HrpL-dependent gene expression in E. amylovora Ea1189, wild-type and Ea1189ΔhrpL strains were cultured in hrp-inducing minimal medium, and total RNA was compared using a custom microarray designed to represent the annotated genes of E. amylovora ATCC 49946. The results revealed 24 genes differentially regulated in Ea1189ΔhrpL relative to Ea1189 with fold-change expression ratios greater than 1.5; of these, 19 genes exhibited decreased transcript abundance and five genes showed increased transcript abundance relative to Ea1189. To expand our understanding of the HrpL regulon and to elucidate direct versus indirect HrpL-mediated effects on gene expression, the genome of E. amylovora ATCC 49946 was examined in silico using a hidden Markov model assembled from known Erwinia spp. hrp promoters. This technique identified 15 putative type III novel hrp promoters, seven of which were validated with quantitative polymerase chain reaction based on expression analyses. It was found that HrpL-regulated genes encode all known components of the hrp T3SS, as well as five putative type III effectors. Eight genes displayed apparent indirect HrpL regulation, suggesting that the HrpL regulon is connected to downstream signalling networks. The construction of deletion mutants of three novel HrpL-regulated genes resulted in the identification of additional virulence factors as well as mutants displaying abnormal motility and biofilm phenotypes.

  8. Outer membrane vesicles are vehicles for the delivery of Vibrio tasmaniensis virulence factors to oyster immune cells.

    PubMed

    Vanhove, Audrey Sophie; Duperthuy, Marylise; Charrière, Guillaume M; Le Roux, Frédérique; Goudenège, David; Gourbal, Benjamin; Kieffer-Jaquinod, Sylvie; Couté, Yohann; Wai, Sun Nyunt; Destoumieux-Garzón, Delphine

    2015-04-01

    Vibrio tasmaniensis LGP32, a facultative intracellular pathogen of oyster haemocytes, was shown here to release outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) both in the extracellular milieu and inside haemocytes. Intracellular release of OMVs occurred inside phagosomes of intact haemocytes having phagocytosed few vibrios as well as in damaged haemocytes containing large vacuoles heavily loaded with LGP32. The OMV proteome of LGP32 was shown to be rich in hydrolases (25%) including potential virulence factors such as proteases, lipases, phospholipases, haemolysins and nucleases. One major caseinase/gelatinase named Vsp for vesicular serine protease was found to be specifically secreted through OMVs in which it is enclosed. Vsp was shown to participate in the virulence phenotype of LGP32 in oyster experimental infections. Finally, OMVs were highly protective against antimicrobial peptides, increasing the minimal inhibitory concentration of polymyxin B by 16-fold. Protection was conferred by OMV titration of polymyxin B but did not depend on the activity of Vsp or another OMV-associated protease. Altogether, our results show that OMVs contribute to the pathogenesis of LGP32, being able to deliver virulence factors to host immune cells and conferring protection against antimicrobial peptides.

  9. Species distribution and virulence factors of Candida spp. isolated from the oral cavity of kidney transplant recipients in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Chaves, Guilherme Maranhão; Diniz, Mariana Guimarães; da Silva-Rocha, Walicyranison Plinio; de Souza, Luanda Bárbara Ferreira Canário; Gondim, Libia Augusta Maciel; Ferreira, Maria Angela Fernandes; Svidzinski, Terezinha Inez Estivalet; Milan, Eveline Pipolo

    2013-04-01

    Although yeasts belonging to the genus Candida are frequently seen as commensals in the oral cavity, they possess virulence attributes that contribute for pathogenicity. The aims of the present study were to study the prevalence of Candida spp. isolated from the oral cavity of renal transplant recipients and to analyze strains virulence factors. We isolated a total of 70 Candida strains from 111 transplant recipients, and Candida albicans was the most prevalent species (82.86 %). Oral candidiasis was diagnosed in 14.4 % kidney transplant patients, while 11 isolates (15.7 %) corresponded to non-Candida albicans Candida (NCAC) species. C. albicans adhered to a higher extension than NCAC strains. Some isolates of Candida tropicalis were markedly adherent to human buccal epithelial cells and highly biofilm-forming strains. Regarding proteinase activity, Candida orthopsilosis was more proteolytic than Candida metapsilosis. Candida glabrata and Candida dubliniensis showed very low ability to form biofilm on polystyrene microtiter plates. We have demonstrated here diverse peculiarities of different Candida species regarding the ability to express virulence factors. This study will contribute for the understanding of the natural history and pathogenesis of yeasts belonging to the genus Candida in the oral cavity of patients who were submitted to kidney transplant and are under immunosuppressive therapies.

  10. 14 CFR § 1203.406 - Additional classification factors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... INFORMATION SECURITY PROGRAM Guides for Original Classification § 1203.406 Additional classification factors... Services will coordinate with the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) Committee and the National... information must be reasonably uniform within the Government. (b) Applicability of classification...

  11. An Intracellular Peptidyl-Prolyl cis/trans Isomerase Is Required for Folding and Activity of the Staphylococcus aureus Secreted Virulence Factor Nuclease.

    PubMed

    Wiemels, Richard E; Cech, Stephanie M; Meyer, Nikki M; Burke, Caleb A; Weiss, Andy; Parks, Anastacia R; Shaw, Lindsey N; Carroll, Ronan K

    2017-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is an important human pathogen that relies on a large repertoire of secreted and cell wall-associated proteins for pathogenesis. Consequently, the ability of the organism to cause disease is absolutely dependent on its ability to synthesize and successfully secrete these proteins. In this study, we investigate the role of peptidyl-prolyl cis/trans isomerases (PPIases) on the activity of the S. aureus secreted virulence factor nuclease (Nuc). We identify a staphylococcal cyclophilin-type PPIase (PpiB) that is required for optimal activity of Nuc. Disruption of ppiB results in decreased nuclease activity in culture supernatants; however, the levels of Nuc protein are not altered, suggesting that the decrease in activity results from misfolding of Nuc in the absence of PpiB. We go on to demonstrate that PpiB exhibits PPIase activity in vitro, is localized to the bacterial cytosol, and directly interacts with Nuc in vitro to accelerate the rate of Nuc refolding. Finally, we demonstrate an additional role for PpiB in S. aureus hemolysis and demonstrate that the S. aureus parvulin-type PPIase PrsA also plays a role in the activity of secreted virulence factors. The deletion of prsA leads to a decrease in secreted protease and phospholipase activity, similar to that observed in other Gram-positive pathogens. Together, these results demonstrate, for the first time to our knowledge, that PPIases play an important role in the secretion of virulence factors in S. aureus IMPORTANCE: Staphylococcus aureus is a highly dangerous bacterial pathogen capable of causing a variety of infections throughout the human body. The ability of S. aureus to cause disease is largely due to an extensive repertoire of secreted and cell wall-associated proteins, including adhesins, toxins, exoenzymes, and superantigens. These virulence factors, once produced, are typically transported across the cell membrane by the secretory (Sec) system in a denatured state. Consequently

  12. Listeriolysin S Is a Streptolysin S-Like Virulence Factor That Targets Exclusively Prokaryotic Cells In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Quereda, Juan J.; Nahori, Marie A.; Meza-Torres, Jazmín; Sachse, Martin; Titos-Jiménez, Patricia; Gomez-Laguna, Jaime; Dussurget, Olivier; Cossart, Pascale

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Streptolysin S (SLS)-like virulence factors from clinically relevant Gram-positive pathogens have been proposed to behave as potent cytotoxins, playing key roles in tissue infection. Listeriolysin S (LLS) is an SLS-like hemolysin/bacteriocin present among Listeria monocytogenes strains responsible for human listeriosis outbreaks. As LLS cytotoxic activity has been associated with virulence, we investigated the LLS-specific contribution to host tissue infection. Surprisingly, we first show that LLS causes only weak red blood cell (RBC) hemolysis in vitro and neither confers resistance to phagocytic killing nor favors survival of L. monocytogenes within the blood cells or in the extracellular space (in the plasma). We reveal that LLS does not elicit specific immune responses, is not cytotoxic for eukaryotic cells, and does not impact cell infection by L. monocytogenes. Using in vitro cell infection systems and a murine intravenous infection model, we actually demonstrate that LLS expression is undetectable during infection of cells and murine inner organs. Importantly, upon intravenous animal inoculation, L. monocytogenes is found in the gastrointestinal system, and only in this environment LLS expression is detected in vivo. Finally, we confirm that LLS production is associated with destruction of target bacteria. Our results demonstrate therefore that LLS does not contribute to L. monocytogenes tissue injury and virulence in inner host organs as previously reported. Moreover, we describe that LlsB, a putative posttranslational modification enzyme encoded in the LLS operon, is necessary for murine inner organ colonization. Overall, we demonstrate that LLS is the first SLS-like virulence factor targeting exclusively prokaryotic cells during in vivo infections. PMID:28377528

  13. Unravelling potential virulence factor candidates in Xanthomonas citri. subsp. citri by secretome analysis

    PubMed Central

    Ferro, Jesus A.; Soares, Marcia R.R.; Laia, Marcelo L.; de Oliveira, Julio C.F.; Ferro, Maria Ines T.

    2016-01-01

    Citrus canker is a major disease affecting citrus production in Brazil. It’s mainly caused by Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri strain 306 pathotype A (Xac). We analysed the differential expression of proteins secreted by wild type Xac and an asymptomatic mutant for hrpB4 (ΔhrpB4) grown in Nutrient Broth (NB) and a medium mimicking growth conditions in the plant (XAM1). This allowed the identification of 55 secreted proteins, of which 37 were secreted by both strains when cultured in XAM1. In this secreted protein repertoire, the following stand out: Virk, Polyphosphate-selective porin, Cellulase, Endoglucanase, Histone-like protein, Ribosomal proteins, five hypothetical proteins expressed only in the wild type strain, Lytic murein transglycosylase, Lipoprotein, Leucyl-tRNA synthetase, Co-chaperonin, Toluene tolerance, C-type cytochrome biogenesis membrane protein, Aminopeptidase and two hypothetical proteins expressed only in the ΔhrpB4 mutant. Furthermore, Peptidoglycan-associated outer membrane protein, Regulator of pathogenicity factor, Outer membrane proteins, Endopolygalacturonase, Chorismate mutase, Peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase and seven hypothetical proteins were detected in both strains, suggesting that there was no relationship with the secretion mediated by the type III secretory system, which is not functional in the mutant strain. Also worth mentioning is the Elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu), expressed only the wild type strain, and Type IV pilus assembly protein, Flagellin (FliC) and Flagellar hook-associated protein, identified in the wild-type strain secretome when grown only in NB. Noteworthy, that FliC, EF-Tu are classically characterized as PAMPs (Pathogen-associated molecular patterns), responsible for a PAMP-triggered immunity response. Therefore, our results highlight proteins potentially involved with the virulence. Overall, we conclude that the use of secretome data is a valuable approach that may bring more knowledge of the biology of

  14. Spectrum, antibiotic susceptibility and virulence factors of bacterial infections complicating severe acute pancreatitis.

    PubMed

    Israil, A M; Palade, R; Chifiriuc, M C; Vasile, D; Grigoriu, M; Voiculescu, D; Popa, D

    2011-01-01

    Secondary infection of pancreatic necrotic tissue and peripancreatic fluid is a serious complication of acute pancreatitis resulting in significant morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to find out the spectrum of bacterial infections, their antibiotic susceptibility patterns and virulence features in patients with severe acute pancreatitis (SAP). A total of 19 patients with acute pancreatitis were consecutively selected from 153 clinical cases of septic abdominal surgical emergencies (age 29-80, 12 males, 7 females) admitted during 2009-2011, in the First Surgical Clinic of the University Emergency Hospital of Bucharest. All 19 SAP cases were submitted to pre-operatory antibiotic empiric treatment. Ten cases were culture negative, in spite of the positive microscopy registered in eight of them. The rest of nine cases were culture positive, 17 different bacterial strains being isolated and identified as belonging to eight aerobic and four anaerobic species. Polymicrobial infection was seen in six patients and the etiology was dominated by Gram-negative bacilli, followed by gut anaerobic bacteria, attesting their colonic origin. The susceptibility testing of the isolated strains confirmed in vitro in all cases the efficiency of the antibiotics that had been used in the empiric pre-operatory treatment. Out of 19 cases submitted to pre-operatory empiric treatment, 14 proved a favorable evolution and five a lethal outcome. The host depending factors (sepsis and other co-morbidities), as well as the aggressivity of the isolated microbial strains (mediated by the presence of different factors implicated in adherence, toxicity and invasion) were found to contribute to the unfavorable, even lethal clinical outcome of SAP cases. In spite of all theoretical controversies, the antibiotic therapy remains at present a very important therapeutic mean for the SAP treatment; although it cannot solve the septic necrotizing pancreatitis in 100% of cases, however

  15. Distribution of Virulence Factors and Molecular Fingerprinting of Aeromonas Species Isolates from Water and Clinical Samples: Suggestive Evidence of Water-to-Human Transmission ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Khajanchi, Bijay K.; Fadl, Amin A.; Borchardt, Mark A.; Berg, Richard L.; Horneman, Amy J.; Stemper, Mary E.; Joseph, Sam W.; Moyer, Nelson P.; Sha, Jian; Chopra, Ashok K.

    2010-01-01

    A total of 227 isolates of Aeromonas obtained from different geographical locations in the United States and different parts of the world, including 28 reference strains, were analyzed to determine the presence of various virulence factors. These isolates were also fingerprinted using biochemical identification and pulse-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Of these 227 isolates, 199 that were collected from water and clinical samples belonged to three major groups or complexes, namely, the A. hydrophila group, the A. caviae-A. media group, and the A. veronii-A. sobria group, based on biochemical profiles, and they had various pulsotypes. When virulence factor activities were examined, Aeromonas isolates obtained from clinical sources had higher cytotoxic activities than isolates obtained from water sources for all three Aeromonas species groups. Likewise, the production of quorum-sensing signaling molecules, such as N-acyl homoserine lactone, was greater in clinical isolates than in isolates from water for the A. caviae-A. media and A. hydrophila groups. Based on colony blot DNA hybridization, the heat-labile cytotonic enterotoxin gene and the DNA adenosine methyltransferase gene were more prevalent in clinical isolates than in water isolates for all three Aeromonas groups. Using colony blot DNA hybridization and PFGE, we obtained three sets of water and clinical isolates that had the same virulence signature and had indistinguishable PFGE patterns. In addition, all of these isolates belonged to the A. caviae-A. media group. The findings of the present study provide the first suggestive evidence of successful colonization and infection by particular strains of certain Aeromonas species after transmission from water to humans. PMID:20154106

  16. A Francisella virulence factor catalyses an essential reaction of biotin synthesis.

    PubMed

    Feng, Youjun; Napier, Brooke A; Manandhar, Miglena; Henke, Sarah K; Weiss, David S; Cronan, John E

    2014-01-01

    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 Escherichia 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 subclade 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 reaction 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.

  17. Novel Burkholderia mallei Virulence Factors Linked to Specific Host-Pathogen Protein Interactions

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-06-23

    Wallqvist‡ Burkholderia mallei is an infectious intracellular pathogen whose virulence and resistance to antibiotics makes it a potential bioterrorism agent ...causative agent of glan- ders, a disease primarily affecting horses but transmittable to humans; and Burkholderia pseudomallei, which is responsible for...ingestion, inhalation , or skin abrasion. Given their considerable antibiotic resistance, ability to infect via aerosol, and absence of vaccines, these

  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. Microbial Peptidyl-Prolyl cis/trans Isomerases (PPIases): Virulence Factors and Potential Alternative Drug Targets

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Initially discovered in the context of immunomodulation, peptidyl-prolyl cis/trans isomerases (PPIases) were soon identified as enzymes catalyzing the rate-limiting protein folding step at peptidyl bonds preceding proline residues. Intense searches revealed that PPIases are a superfamily of proteins consisting of three structurally distinguishable families with representatives in every described species of prokaryote and eukaryote and, recently, even in some giant viruses. Despite the clear-cut enzymatic activity and ubiquitous distribution of PPIases, reports on solely PPIase-dependent biological roles remain scarce. Nevertheless, they have been found to be involved in a plethora of biological processes, such as gene expression, signal transduction, protein secretion, development, and tissue regeneration, underscoring their general importance. Hence, it is not surprising that PPIases have also been identified as virulence-associated proteins. The extent of contribution to virulence is highly variable and dependent on the pleiotropic roles of a single PPIase in the respective pathogen. The main objective of this review is to discuss this variety in virulence-related bacterial and protozoan PPIases as well as the involvement of host PPIases in infectious processes. Moreover, a special focus is given to Legionella pneumophila macrophage infectivity potentiator (Mip) and Mip-like PPIases of other pathogens, as the best-characterized virulence-related representatives of this family. Finally, the potential of PPIases as alternative drug targets and first tangible results are highlighted. PMID:25184565

  20. Iron- and Quorum-sensing Signals Converge on Small Quorum-regulatory RNAs for Coordinated Regulation of Virulence Factors in Vibrio vulnificus.

    PubMed

    Wen, Yancheng; Kim, In Hwang; Kim, Kun-Soo

    2016-07-01

    Vibrio vulnificus is a marine bacterium that causes human infections resulting in high mortality. This pathogen harbors five quorum-regulatory RNAs (Qrr1-5) that affect the expression of pathogenicity genes by modulating the expression of the master regulator SmcR. The qrr genes are activated by phosphorylated LuxO to different degrees; qrr2 is strongly activated; qrr3 and qrr5 are moderately activated, and qrr1 and qrr4 are marginally activated and are the only two that do not respond to cell density-dependent regulation. Qrrs function redundantly to inhibit SmcR at low cell density and fully repress when all five are activated. In this study, we found that iron inhibits qrr expression in three distinct ways. First, the iron-ferric uptake regulator (Fur) complex directly binds to qrr promoter regions, inhibiting LuxO activation by competing with LuxO for cis-acting DNA elements. Second, qrr transcription is repressed by iron independently of Fur. Third, LuxO expression is repressed by iron independently of Fur. We also found that, under iron-limiting conditions, the five Qrrs functioned additively, not redundantly, to repress SmcR, suggesting that cells lacking iron enter a high cell density mode earlier and could thereby modulate expression of virulence factors sooner. This study suggests that iron and quorum sensing, along with their cognate regulatory circuits, are linked together in the coordinated expression of virulence factors.

  1. Aspergillus fumigatus MADS-Box Transcription Factor rlmA Is Required for Regulation of the Cell Wall Integrity and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Rocha, Marina Campos; Fabri, João Henrique Tadini Marilhano; Franco de Godoy, Krissia; Alves de Castro, Patrícia; Hori, Juliana Issa; Ferreira da Cunha, Anderson; Arentshorst, Mark; Ram, Arthur F. J.; van den Hondel, Cees A. M. J. J.; Goldman, Gustavo Henrique; Malavazi, Iran

    2016-01-01

    The Cell Wall Integrity (CWI) pathway is the primary signaling cascade that controls the de novo synthesis of the fungal cell wall, and in Saccharomyces cerevisiae this event is highly dependent on the RLM1 transcription factor. Here, we investigated the function of RlmA in the fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. We show that the ΔrlmA strain exhibits an altered cell wall organization in addition to defects related to vegetative growth and tolerance to cell wall-perturbing agents. A genetic analysis indicated that rlmA is positioned downstream of the pkcA and mpkA genes in the CWI pathway. As a consequence, rlmA loss-of-function leads to the altered expression of genes encoding cell wall-related proteins. RlmA positively regulates the phosphorylation of MpkA and is induced at both protein and transcriptional levels during cell wall stress. The rlmA was also involved in tolerance to oxidative damage and transcriptional regulation of genes related to oxidative stress adaptation. Moreover, the ΔrlmA strain had attenuated virulence in a neutropenic murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Our results suggest that RlmA functions as a transcription factor in the A. fumigatus CWI pathway, acting downstream of PkcA-MpkA signaling and contributing to the virulence of this fungus. PMID:27473315

  2. Structure-Function Analysis of DipA, a Francisella tularensis Virulence Factor Required for Intracellular Replication

    PubMed Central

    Chong, Audrey; Child, Robert; Wehrly, Tara D.; Rockx-Brouwer, Dedeke; Qin, Aiping; Mann, Barbara J.; Celli, Jean

    2013-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious bacterium whose virulence relies on its ability to rapidly reach the macrophage cytosol and extensively replicate in this compartment. We previously identified a novel Francisella virulence factor, DipA (FTT0369c), which is required for intramacrophage proliferation and survival, and virulence in mice. DipA is a 353 amino acid protein with a Sec-dependent signal peptide, four Sel1-like repeats (SLR), and a C-terminal coiled-coil (CC) domain. Here, we determined through biochemical and localization studies that DipA is a membrane-associated protein exposed on the surface of the prototypical F. tularensis subsp. tularensis strain SchuS4 during macrophage infection. Deletion and substitution mutagenesis showed that the CC domain, but not the SLR motifs, of DipA is required for surface exposure on SchuS4. Complementation of the dipA mutant with either DipA CC or SLR domain mutants did not restore intracellular growth of Francisella, indicating that proper localization and the SLR domains are required for DipA function. Co-immunoprecipitation studies revealed interactions with the Francisella outer membrane protein FopA, suggesting that DipA is part of a membrane-associated complex. Altogether, our findings indicate that DipA is positioned at the host–pathogen interface to influence the intracellular fate of this pathogen. PMID:23840797

  3. Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli Isolated from Bovine Mastitic Milk: Serogroups, Virulence Factors, and Antibiotic Resistance Properties

    PubMed Central

    Momtaz, Hassan; Safarpoor Dehkordi, Farhad; Taktaz, Taghi; Rezvani, Amir; Yarali, Sajad

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to detect the virulence factors, serogroups, and antibiotic resistance properties of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, by using 268 bovine mastitic milk samples which were diagnosed using California Mastitis Test. After E. coli identification, PCR assays were developed for detection of different virulence genes, serogroups, and antibiotic resistance genes of Escherichia coli. The antibiotic resistance pattern was studied using disk diffusion method. Out of 268 samples, 73 (27.23%) were positive for Escherichia coli, and, out of 73 positive samples, 15 (20.54%) were O26 and 11 (15.06%) were O157 so they were the highest while O111 was not detected in any sample so it was the lowest serogroup. Out of 73 STEC strains, 11 (15.06%) and 36 (49.31%) were EHEC and AEEC, respectively. All of the EHEC strains had stx1, eaeA, and ehly, virulence genes, while in AEEC strains stx1 had the highest prevalence (77.77%), followed by eaeA (55.55%). Totally, aadA1 (65.95%) had the highest while blaSHV (6.38%) had the lowest prevalence of antibiotic resistance genes. The disk diffusion method showed that the STEC strains had the highest resistance to penicillin (100%), followed by tetracycline (57.44%), while resistance to cephalothin (6.38%) was the lowest. PMID:23213293

  4. HlyF Produced by Extraintestinal Pathogenic Escherichia coli Is a Virulence Factor That Regulates Outer Membrane Vesicle Biogenesis.

    PubMed

    Murase, Kazunori; Martin, Patricia; Porcheron, Gaëlle; Houle, Sébastien; Helloin, Emmanuelle; Pénary, Marie; Nougayrède, Jean-Philippe; Dozois, Charles M; Hayashi, Tetsuya; Oswald, Eric

    2016-03-01

    Escherichia coli can cause extraintestinal infections in humans and animals. The hlyF gene is epidemiologically associated with virulent strains of avian pathogenic E. coli and human neonatal meningitis-associated E. coli. We demonstrated that culture supernatants of E. coli expressing HlyF induced autophagy in eukaryotic cells. This phenotype coincided with an enhanced production of outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) by bacteria expressing HlyF. The HlyF protein displays a predicted catalytic domain of the short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase superfamily. This conserved domain was involved the ability of HlyF to promote the production of OMVs. The increased production of OMVs was associated with the release of toxins. hlyF was shown to be expressed during extraintestinal infection and to play a role in the virulence of extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli in a chicken model of colibacillosis. This is the first evidence that pathogenic bacteria produce a virulence factor directly involved in the production of OMVs.

  5. Genomic Features of Environmental and Clinical Vibrio parahaemolyticus Isolates Lacking Recognized Virulence Factors Are Dissimilar.

    PubMed

    Ronholm, J; Petronella, N; Chew Leung, C; Pightling, A W; Banerjee, S K

    2015-12-04

    Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a bacterial pathogen that can cause illness after the consumption or handling of contaminated seafood. The primary virulence factors associated with V. parahaemolyticus illness are thermostable direct hemolysin (TDH) and Tdh-related hemolysin (TRH). However, clinical strains lacking tdh and trh have recently been isolated, and these clinical isolates are poorly understood. To help understand the emergence of clinical tdh- and trh-negative isolates, a genomic approach was used to comprehensively compare 4 clinical tdh- and trh-negative isolates with 16 environmental tdh- and trh-negative isolates and 34 clinical isolates positive for tdh or trh, or both, with the objective of identifying genomic features that are unique to clinical tdh- and trh-negative isolates. The prevalence of pathogenicity islands (PAIs) common to clinical isolates was thoroughly examined in each of the clinical tdh- and trh-negative isolates. The tdh PAI was not present in any clinical or environmental tdh- and trh-negative isolates. The trh PAI was not present in any environmental isolates; however, in clinical tdh- and trh-negative isolate 10-4238, the majority of the trh PAI including a partial trh1 gene was present, which resulted in reclassification of this isolate as a tdh-negative and trh-positive isolate. In the other clinical tdh- and trh-negative isolates, neither the trh gene nor the trh PAI was present. We identified 862 genes in clinical tdh- and trh-negative isolates but not in environmental tdh- and trh-negative isolates. Many of these genes are highly homologous to genes found in common enteric bacteria and included genes encoding a number of chemotaxis proteins and a novel putative type VI secretion system (T6SS) effector and immunity protein (T6SS1). The availability of genome sequences from clinical V. parahaemolyticus tdh- and trh-negative isolates and the comparative analysis may help provide an understanding of how this pathotype is able to

  6. Relationship between Escherichia coli virulence factors and postpartum metritis in dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Kassé, F N; Fairbrother, J M; Dubuc, J

    2016-06-01

    The objectives of this study were to report the prevalence of Escherichia coli and Trueperella pyogenes in the uterus of postpartum dairy cows before the onset of postpartum metritis (PPM) and to quantify their association with subsequent occurrence of PPM, to quantify the association between the presence of genes encoding E. coli virulence factors (VF) and PPM, and to determine the accuracy of using early postpartum uterine bacteriology results (bacteria and VF) to identify cows at risk of PPM. A prospective cohort study was conducted on 3 commercial dairy farms. Uterine swabs were collected from 371 Holstein dairy cows (3 commercial herds) at 1 to 7d in milk and submitted to the laboratory for identification of E. coli, T. pyogenes, and E. coli VF. A total of 40 VF were tested using the radioactive probe hybridization method. Postpartum metritis was defined as the presence of a fetid watery red-brown uterine discharge, associated with fever (rectal temperature >39.5°C), and systemic signs of illness (dullness, reduced appetite, and milk production). Surveillance of PPM was done by trained farmers blinded to laboratory results and cows were followed until 21d in milk. Statistical analyses were conducted using 2×2 tables and mixed logistical regression models. Prevalences of E. coli, T. pyogenes, and PPM were 42, 34, and 15%, respectively. A total of 32 VF were found in E. coli isolates. Most prevalent VF were extraintestinal pathogenic genes such as fimH (89%), hlyE (87%), and iss (70%). Cows positive for intrauterine E. coli were 3.2 times more likely to have subsequent PPM compared with bacteriologically negative cows. Cows with VF hra1 in their uterus were 2.7 times more likely to have PPM than cows positive for E. coli and negative for hra1 and 5.9 times more likely than bacteriologically negative cows. Cows with VF kpsMTII in their uterus were 3.2 times more likely to have PPM than cows positive for E. coli and negative for kpsMTII and 6.2 times more likely

  7. Genomic Features of Environmental and Clinical Vibrio parahaemolyticus Isolates Lacking Recognized Virulence Factors Are Dissimilar

    PubMed Central

    Petronella, N.; Chew Leung, C.; Pightling, A. W.; Banerjee, S. K.

    2015-01-01

    Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a bacterial pathogen that can cause illness after the consumption or handling of contaminated seafood. The primary virulence factors associated with V. parahaemolyticus illness are thermostable direct hemolysin (TDH) and Tdh-related hemolysin (TRH). However, clinical strains lacking tdh and trh have recently been isolated, and these clinical isolates are poorly understood. To help understand the emergence of clinical tdh- and trh-negative isolates, a genomic approach was used to comprehensively compare 4 clinical tdh- and trh-negative isolates with 16 environmental tdh- and trh-negative isolates and 34 clinical isolates positive for tdh or trh, or both, with the objective of identifying genomic features that are unique to clinical tdh- and trh-negative isolates. The prevalence of pathogenicity islands (PAIs) common to clinical isolates was thoroughly examined in each of the clinical tdh- and trh-negative isolates. The tdh PAI was not present in any clinical or environmental tdh- and trh-negative isolates. The trh PAI was not present in any environmental isolates; however, in clinical tdh- and trh-negative isolate 10-4238, the majority of the trh PAI including a partial trh1 gene was present, which resulted in reclassification of this isolate as a tdh-negative and trh-positive isolate. In the other clinical tdh- and trh-negative isolates, neither the trh gene nor the trh PAI was present. We identified 862 genes in clinical tdh- and trh-negative isolates but not in environmental tdh- and trh-negative isolates. Many of these genes are highly homologous to genes found in common enteric bacteria and included genes encoding a number of chemotaxis proteins and a novel putative type VI secretion system (T6SS) effector and immunity protein (T6SS1). The availability of genome sequences from clinical V. parahaemolyticus tdh- and trh-negative isolates and the comparative analysis may help provide an understanding of how this pathotype is able to

  8. Improvement of modal scaling factors using mass additive technique

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhang, Qiang; Allemang, Randall J.; Wei, Max L.; Brown, David L.

    1987-01-01

    A general investigation into the improvement of modal scaling factors of an experimental modal model using additive technique is discussed. Data base required by the proposed method consists of an experimental modal model (a set of complex eigenvalues and eigenvectors) of the original structure and a corresponding set of complex eigenvalues of the mass-added structure. Three analytical methods,i.e., first order and second order perturbation methods, and local eigenvalue modification technique, are proposed to predict the improved modal scaling factors. Difficulties encountered in scaling closely spaced modes are discussed. Methods to compute the necessary rotational modal vectors at the mass additive points are also proposed to increase the accuracy of the analytical prediction.

  9. Listeriolysin S Is a Streptolysin S-Like Virulence Factor That Targets Exclusively Prokaryotic Cells In Vivo.

    PubMed

    Quereda, Juan J; Nahori, Marie A; Meza-Torres, Jazmín; Sachse, Martin; Titos-Jiménez, Patricia; Gomez-Laguna, Jaime; Dussurget, Olivier; Cossart, Pascale; Pizarro-Cerdá, Javier

    2017-04-04

    Streptolysin S (SLS)-like virulence factors from clinically relevant Gram-positive pathogens have been proposed to behave as potent cytotoxins, playing key roles in tissue infection. Listeriolysin S (LLS) is an SLS-like hemolysin/bacteriocin present among Listeria monocytogenes strains responsible for human listeriosis outbreaks. As LLS cytotoxic activity has been associated with virulence, we investigated the LLS-specific contribution to host tissue infection. Surprisingly, we first show that LLS causes only weak red blood cell (RBC) hemolysis in vitro and neither confers resistance to phagocytic killing nor favors survival of L. monocytogenes within the blood cells or in the extracellular space (in the plasma). We reveal that LLS does not elicit specific immune responses, is not cytotoxic for eukaryotic cells, and does not impact cell infection by L. monocytogenes Using in vitro cell infection systems and a murine intravenous infection model, we actually demonstrate that LLS expression is undetectable during infection of cells and murine inner organs. Importantly, upon intravenous animal inoculation, L. monocytogenes is found in the gastrointestinal system, and only in this environment LLS expression is detected in vivo Finally, we confirm that LLS production is associated with destruction of target bacteria. Our results demonstrate therefore that LLS does not contribute to L. monocytogenes tissue injury and virulence in inner host organs as previously reported. Moreover, we describe that LlsB, a putative posttranslational modification enzyme encoded in the LLS operon, is necessary for murine inner organ colonization. Overall, we demonstrate that LLS is the first SLS-like virulence factor targeting exclusively prokaryotic cells during in vivo infections.IMPORTANCE The most severe human listeriosis outbreaks are caused by L. monocytogenes strains harboring listeriolysin S (LLS), previously described as a cytotoxin that plays a critical role in host inner

  10. [Factors associated with the addition of salt to prepared food].

    PubMed

    de Castro, Raquel da Silva Assunção; Giatti, Luana; Barreto, Sandhi Maria

    2014-05-01

    The scope of this research was to investigate the potential differences between men and women in the addition of salt to prepared food. The study included 47,557 individuals aged 18 to 64 participating in the Risk and Protection Factors for Chronic Disease Surveillance System by Telephone Interview carried out in 26 Brazilian state capitals and the Federal District in 2006. Differences between men and women were tested by the chi-square test and the association magnitudes between the dependent and independent variables were estimated by the Odds Ratio obtained by Multiple Logistic Regression analysis. The prevalence of the addition of salt to prepared food was 8.3%, being higher among men (9,8% vs 6,9%, p < 0.01). After adjustment, the addition of salt to prepared food was higher in individuals with self-rated fair to poor health, reporting cardiovascular disease and living in the North of Brazil. Hypertensive individuals reported addition of less salt to prepared food. Educational level was not associated with salt usage. Men add more salt than women. Public health policies aimed at reducing salt intake by the population should take into account the gender differences in salt intake and the factors that contribute to such differences.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-07-20

    thesis manuscript ent itled: ~Export of Virulence Faclors from Shigella f/exneri and characterization of the mxi loci. ~ beyond brief excerpts is...education at USUHS. Tony is a true mentor in every sense of the word. Special thanks also goes to my thesis advisory committee chairperson, Dr. Alison...mono layers in culture has allowed investigators to simulate these early events in vitro (Labrec, et aI., 1964). In fact. by centrifuging bacterial

  12. A Conserved Peptide Pattern from a Widespread Microbial Virulence Factor Triggers Pattern-Induced Immunity in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Oome, Stan; Raaymakers, Tom M.; Van den Ackerveken, Guido; Nürnberger, Thorsten

    2014-01-01

    Microbe- or host damage-derived patterns mediate activation of pattern-triggered immunity (PTI) in plants. Microbial virulence factor (effector)-triggered immunity (ETI) constitutes a second layer of plant protection against microbial attack. Various necrosis and ethylene-inducing peptide 1 (Nep1)-like proteins (NLPs) produced by bacterial, oomycete and fungal microbes are phytotoxic virulence factors that exert immunogenic activities through phytotoxin-induced host cell damage. We here show that multiple cytotoxic NLPs also carry a pattern of 20 amino acid residues (nlp20) that triggers immunity-associated plant defenses and immunity to microbial infection in Arabidopsis thaliana and related plant species with similar characteristics as the prototype pattern, bacterial flagellin. Characteristic differences in flagellin and nlp20 plant responses exist however, as nlp20s fail to trigger extracellular alkalinization in Arabidopsis cell suspensions and seedling growth inhibition. Immunogenic nlp20 peptide motifs are frequently found in bacterial, oomycete and fungal NLPs. Such an unusually broad taxonomic distribution within three phylogenetic kingdoms is unprecedented among microbe-derived triggers of immune responses in either metazoans or plants. Our findings suggest that cytotoxic NLPs carrying immunogenic nlp20 motifs trigger PTI in two ways as typical patterns and by inflicting host cell damage. We further propose that conserved structures within a microbial virulence factor might have driven the emergence of a plant pattern recognition system mediating PTI. As this is reminiscent of the evolution of immune receptors mediating ETI, our findings support the idea that there is a continuum between PTI and ETI. PMID:25375108

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. A DNA pooling based system to detect Escherichia coli virulence factors in fecal and wastewater samples.

    PubMed

    Luz María Chacón, J; Lizeth Taylor, C; Carmen Valiente, A; Irene Alvarado, P; Ximena Cortés, B

    2012-10-01

    The availability of a useful tool for simple and timely detection of the most important virulent varieties of Escherichia coli is indispensable. To this end, bacterial DNA pools which had previously been categorized were obtained from isolated colonies as well as selected in terms of utilized phenotype; the pools were assessed by two PCR Multiplex for the detection of virulent E. coli eaeA, bfpA, stx1, stx2, ipaH, ST, LT, and aatA genes, with the 16S gene used as DNA control. The system was validated with 66 fecal samples and 44 wastewater samples. At least one positive isolate was detected by a virulent gene among the 20 that were screened. The analysis of fecal samples from children younger than 6 years of age detected frequencies of 25% LT positive strains, 8.3% eae, 8.3% bfpA, 16.7% ipaH, as well as 12.5 % aatA and ST. On the other hand, wastewater samples revealed frequencies of 25.7% eaeA positive, 30.3% stx1, 15.1% LT and 19.7% aatA. This study is an initial step toward carrying out epidemiological field research that will reveal the presence of these bacterial varieties.

  15. A DNA pooling based system to detect Escherichia coli virulence factors in fecal and wastewater samples

    PubMed Central

    Luz María Chacón, J; Lizeth Taylor, C; Carmen Valiente, A; Irene Alvarado, P; Ximena Cortés, B

    2012-01-01

    The availability of a useful tool for simple and timely detection of the most important virulent varieties of Escherichia coli is indispensable. To this end, bacterial DNA pools which had previously been categorized were obtained from isolated colonies as well as selected in terms of utilized phenotype; the pools were assessed by two PCR Multiplex for the detection of virulent E. coli eaeA, bfpA, stx1, stx2, ipaH, ST, LT, and aatA genes, with the 16S gene used as DNA control. The system was validated with 66 fecal samples and 44 wastewater samples. At least one positive isolate was detected by a virulent gene among the 20 that were screened. The analysis of fecal samples from children younger than 6 years of age detected frequencies of 25% LT positive strains, 8.3% eae, 8.3% bfpA, 16.7% ipaH, as well as 12.5 % aatA and ST. On the other hand, wastewater samples revealed frequencies of 25.7% eaeA positive, 30.3% stx1, 15.1% LT and 19.7% aatA. This study is an initial step toward carrying out epidemiological field research that will reveal the presence of these bacterial varieties. PMID:24031959

  16. Cinnamaldehyde Inhibits Staphylococcus aureus Virulence Factors and Protects against Infection in a Galleria mellonella Model

    PubMed Central

    Ferro, Thiago A. F.; Araújo, Jéssica M. M.; dos Santos Pinto, Bruna L.; dos Santos, Jéssica S.; Souza, Eliene B.; da Silva, Bruna L. R.; Colares, Valderlane L. P.; Novais, Tânia M. G.; Filho, Clovis M. B.; Struve, Carsten; Calixto, João B.; Monteiro-Neto, Valério; da Silva, Luís C. N.; Fernandes, Elizabeth S.

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial resistance to the available marketed drugs has prompted the search of novel therapies; especially in regards of anti-virulence strategies that aim to make bacteria less pathogenic and/or decrease their probability to become resistant to therapy. Cinnamaldehyde is widely known for its antibacterial properties through mechanisms that include the interaction of this compound with bacterial cell walls. However, only a handful of studies have addressed its effects on bacterial virulence, especially when tested at sub-inhibitory concentrations. Herein, we show for the first time that cinnamaldehyde is bactericidal against Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecalis multidrug resistant strains and does not promote bacterial tolerance. Cinnamaldehyde actions were stronger on S. aureus as it was able to inhibit its hemolytic activity on human erythrocytes and reduce its adherence to latex. Furthermore, cinnamaldehyde enhanced the serum-dependent lysis of S. aureus. In vivo testing of cinnamaldehyde in Galleria mellonella larvae infected with S. aureus, showed this compound improves larvae survival whilst diminishing bacterial load in their hemolymph. We suggest that cinnamaldehyde may represent an alternative therapy to control S. aureus-induced bacterial infections as it presents the ability to reduce bacterial virulence/survival without promoting an adaptive phenotype. PMID:28066373

  17. Cinnamaldehyde Inhibits Staphylococcus aureus Virulence Factors and Protects against Infection in a Galleria mellonella Model.

    PubMed

    Ferro, Thiago A F; Araújo, Jéssica M M; Dos Santos Pinto, Bruna L; Dos Santos, Jéssica S; Souza, Eliene B; da Silva, Bruna L R; Colares, Valderlane L P; Novais, Tânia M G; Filho, Clovis M B; Struve, Carsten; Calixto, João B; Monteiro-Neto, Valério; da Silva, Luís C N; Fernandes, Elizabeth S

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial resistance to the available marketed drugs has prompted the search of novel therapies; especially in regards of anti-virulence strategies that aim to make bacteria less pathogenic and/or decrease their probability to become resistant to therapy. Cinnamaldehyde is widely known for its antibacterial properties through mechanisms that include the interaction of this compound with bacterial cell walls. However, only a handful of studies have addressed its effects on bacterial virulence, especially when tested at sub-inhibitory concentrations. Herein, we show for the first time that cinnamaldehyde is bactericidal against Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecalis multidrug resistant strains and does not promote bacterial tolerance. Cinnamaldehyde actions were stronger on S. aureus as it was able to inhibit its hemolytic activity on human erythrocytes and reduce its adherence to latex. Furthermore, cinnamaldehyde enhanced the serum-dependent lysis of S. aureus. In vivo testing of cinnamaldehyde in Galleria mellonella larvae infected with S. aureus, showed this compound improves larvae survival whilst diminishing bacterial load in their hemolymph. We suggest that cinnamaldehyde may represent an alternative therapy to control S. aureus-induced bacterial infections as it presents the ability to reduce bacterial virulence/survival without promoting an adaptive phenotype.

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

    PubMed

    Puah, Suat Moi; Chua, Kek Heng; Tan, Jin Ai Mary Anne

    2016-02-05

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

  19. The pesticin receptor of Yersinia enterocolitica: a novel virulence factor with dual function.

    PubMed

    Rakin, A; Saken, E; Harmsen, D; Heesemann, J

    1994-07-01

    The iron-repressible outer membrane protein FyuA of Yersinia enterocolitica operates as a receptor with dual function: (i) as a receptor for the Y. pestis bacteriocin pesticin, and (ii) as a receptor for yersiniabactin, a siderophore that is produced by mouse-virulent Y. enterocolitica strains of biogroup IB. Cloning of the FyuA-encoding gene was achieved by mobilization of a genomic cosmid library of the pesticin-sensitive and mouse-virulent Y. enterocolitica O:8 strain WA into the pesticin-resistant WA fyuA mutant and subsequent in vivo selection of transconjugants for the ability to survive and multiply in mice (phenotype mouse virulence). The reisolated transconjugants which survived in mice for 3 d harboured a unique cosmid and phenotypically were pesticin sensitive. From this cosmid a 2650 bp SalI-PstI fragment conferring pesticin sensitivity was subcloned. Sequencing of this DNA fragment revealed a single open reading frame of 2022 bp, which encodes a deduced polypeptide of 673 amino acids with a predicted molecular mass of 73,677 Da. Cleavage of a putative signal sequence composed of 22 amino acids should lead to a mature protein of 651 amino acids with a molecular mass of 71,368 Da. The open reading frame is preceded by a sequence which shares homology with the postulated consensus Fur iron-repressor protein-binding site. FyuA shows homology to other iron-regulated TonB-dependent outer membrane proteins with receptor functions (e.g. BtuB, CirA, FepA, IutA, FhuA, FoxA, FcuA). On the basis of multiple alignment of amino acid sequences of FyuA and other TonB-dependent receptors, a phylogenetic tree was constructed, demonstrating that FyuA probably belongs to the citrate subfamily or represents a new subfamily of TonB-dependent receptors. Moreover, by complementation of the WA fyuA mutant by the cloned fyuA gene, yersiniabactin uptake and mouse virulence were restored. These studies demonstrate that the cloned pesticin/yersiniabactin receptor FyuA of Y

  20. Following in real time the impact of pneumococcal virulence factors in an acute mouse pneumonia model using bioluminescent bacteria.

    PubMed

    Saleh, Malek; Abdullah, Mohammed R; Schulz, Christian; Kohler, Thomas; Pribyl, Thomas; Jensch, Inga; Hammerschmidt, Sven

    2014-02-23

    Pneumonia is one of the major health care problems in developing and industrialized countries and is associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. Despite advances in knowledge of this illness, the availability of intensive care units (ICU), and the use of potent antimicrobial agents and effective vaccines, the mortality rates remain high(1). Streptococcus pneumoniae is the leading pathogen of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and one of the most common causes of bacteremia in humans. This pathogen is equipped with an armamentarium of surface-exposed adhesins and virulence factors contributing to pneumonia and invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD). The assessment of the in vivo role of bacterial fitness or virulence factors is of utmost importance to unravel S. pneumoniae pathogenicity mechanisms. Murine models of pneumonia, bacteremia, and meningitis are being used to determine the impact of pneumococcal factors at different stages of the infection. Here we describe a protocol to monitor in real-time pneumococcal dissemination in mice after intranasal or intraperitoneal infections with bioluminescent bacteria. The results show the multiplication and dissemination of pneumococci in the lower respiratory tract and blood, which can be visualized and evaluated using an imaging system and the accompanying analysis software.

  1. Genotypic Characterization of Virulence Factors in Escherichia coli Isolated from Patients with Acute Cystitis, Pyelonephritis and Asymptomatic Bacteriuria

    PubMed Central

    Tabasi, Mohsen; Karam, Mohammad Reza Asadi; Habibi, Mehri; Mostafavi, Ehsan

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) caused by Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) are among the most common infections worldwide. It is well-documented that the pathogenesis of UPEC is mediated by the production of a wide variety of Virulence Factors (VFs). Thus, detection of these VFs and evaluation of their association with different clinical types of UTIs could help to understand the role of these factors in pathogenesis of UPEC isolates. Aim To investigate the genotypic characteristics of UPEC isolates and to examine the relationship between VFs and different clinical symptoms of UTI. Materials and Methods In this cross-sectional study conducted at Pasteur Institute of Iran, a total of 156 UPEC isolated from outpatients and inpatients (symptomatic and asymptomatic UTI patients) visiting general and private hospitals in Tehran, Iran between March 2014 and February 2015 were included. Among them, 49 patients experienced at least one episode of recurrent UTI. A Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) assay was developed to detect the presence of different VFs in the isolates. Moreover, Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) was used to characterize clonal relationships among UPEC isolates. Results The prevalence of virulence genes ranged from 0% for cdtB to 100% for fimH. The papEF, hlyA and aer genes were found to be significantly more frequent in UPEC isolated from patients with pyelonephritis, while the afa gene, the only indicator of recurrent UTIs, was more prevalent in UPEC isolated from patients with cystitis. In the present study, 34 PFGE clonal groups were found in the UPEC genome. Conclusion Our findings showed that from outpatients and patients with pyelonephritis, isolates were more virulent than those isolated from inpatients and cystitis patients, respectively. PFGE displayed a large diversity in the UPEC isolates that could be considered as an evolutionary strategy in the survival of the bacteria. PMID:28208853

  2. Evolution of the cutinase gene family: evidence for lateral gene transfer of a candidate Phytophthora virulence factor.

    PubMed

    Belbahri, Lassaad; Calmin, Gautier; Mauch, Felix; Andersson, Jan O

    2008-01-31

    Lateral gene transfer (LGT) can facilitate the acquisition of new functions in recipient lineages, which may enable them to colonize new environments. Several recent publications have shown that gene transfer between prokaryotes and eukaryotes occurs with appreciable frequency. Here we present a study of interdomain gene transfer of cutinases -- well documented virulence factors in fungi -- between eukaryotic plant pathogens Phytophthora species and prokaryotic bacterial lineages. Two putative cutinase genes were cloned from Phytophthora brassicae and Northern blotting experiments showed that these genes are expressed early during the infection of the host Arabidopsis thaliana and induced during cyst germination of the pathogen. Analysis of the gene organisation of this gene family in Phytophthora ramorum and P. sojae showed three and ten copies in tight succession within a region of 5 and 25 kb, respectively, probably indicating a recent expansion in Phytophthora lineages by gene duplications. Bioinformatic analyses identified orthologues only in three genera of Actinobacteria, and in two distantly related eukaryotic groups: oomycetes and fungi. Together with phylogenetic analyses this limited distribution of the gene in the tree of life strongly support a scenario where cutinase genes originated after the origin of land plants in a microbial lineage living in proximity of plants and subsequently were transferred between distantly related plant-degrading microbes. More precisely, a cutinase gene was likely acquired by an ancestor of P. brassicae, P. sojae, P. infestans and P. ramorum, possibly from an actinobacterial source, suggesting that gene transfer might be an important mechanism in the evolution of their virulence. These findings could indeed provide an interesting model system to study acquisition of virulence factors in these important plant pathogens.

  3. N1L is an ectromelia virus virulence factor and essential for in vivo spread upon respiratory infection.

    PubMed

    Gratz, Meike S; Suezer, Yasemin; Kremer, Melanie; Volz, Asisa; Majzoub, Monir; Hanschmann, Kay-Martin; Kalinke, Ulrich; Schwantes, Astrid; Sutter, Gerd

    2011-04-01

    The emergence of zoonotic orthopoxvirus infections and the threat of possible intentional release of pathogenic orthopoxviruses have stimulated renewed interest in understanding orthopoxvirus infections and the resulting diseases. Ectromelia virus (ECTV), the causative agent of mousepox, offers an excellent model system to study an orthopoxvirus infection in its natural host. Here, we investigated the role of the vaccinia virus ortholog N1L in ECTV infection. Respiratory infection of mice with an N1L deletion mutant virus (ECTVΔN1L) demonstrated profound attenuation of the mutant virus, confirming N1 as an orthopoxvirus virulence factor. Upon analysis of virus dissemination in vivo, we observed a striking deficiency of ECTVΔN1L spreading from the lungs to the livers or spleens of infected mice. Investigating the immunological mechanism controlling ECTVΔN1L infection, we found the attenuated phenotype to be unaltered in mice deficient in Toll-like receptor (TLR) or RIG-I-like RNA helicase (RLH) signaling as well as in those missing the type I interferon receptor or lacking B cells. However, in RAG-1(-/-) mice lacking mature B and T cells, ECTVΔN1L regained virulence, as shown by increasing morbidity and virus spread to the liver and spleen. Moreover, T cell depletion experiments revealed that ECTVΔN1L attenuation was reversed only by removing both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells, so the presence of either cell subset was still sufficient to control the infection. Thus, the orthopoxvirus virulence factor N1 may allow efficient ECTV infection in mice by interfering with host T cell function.

  4. Melanin as a virulence factor of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis and other dimorphic pathogenic fungi

    PubMed Central

    Taborda, Carlos P.; da Silva, Marcelo B.; Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Travassos, Luiz R.

    2008-01-01

    Melanin pigments are substances produced by a broad variety of pathogenic microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, and helminths. Microbes predominantly produce melanin pigment via tyrosinases, laccases, catecholases, and the polyketide synthase pathway. In fungi, melanin is deposited in the cell wall and cytoplasm, and melanin particles (“ghosts”) can be isolated from these fungi that have the same size and shape of the original cells. Melanin has been reported in several human pathogenic dimorphic fungi including Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, Sporothrix schenckii, Histoplasma capsulatum, Blastomyces dermatitidis, and Coccidioides posadasii. Melanization appears to contribute to virulence by reducing the susceptibility of melanized fungi to host defense mechanisms and antifungal drugs. PMID:18777637

  5. Enterococcus Species in the Oral Cavity: Prevalence, Virulence Factors and Antimicrobial Susceptibility

    PubMed Central

    Komiyama, Edson Yukio; Samaranayake, Lakshman P.; Parahitiyawa, Nipuna B.; Balducci, Ivan

    2016-01-01

    Enterococci are considered as transient constituent components of the oral microbiome that may cause a variety of oral and systemic infections. As there is sparse data on the oral enterococcal prevalence, we evaluated the Enterococcus spp. and their virulence attributes including antimicrobial resistance in a healthy Brazilian cohort. A total of 240 individuals in different age groups were studied (children 4–11 yrs, adolescents 12–17 yrs, young adults 18–29 yrs, adults 30–59 yrs, elderly over 60 yrs). Oral rinses were collected and isolates were identified by API 20 Strep and confirmed by 16S rDNA sequencing. E. faecalis isolates, in particular, were evaluated for virulence attributes such as their biofilm formation potential, and susceptibility to antimicrobials and an antiseptic, chlorhexidine gluconate. A total of 40 individuals (16.6%) and 10% children, 4% adolescents, 14% young adults, 30% adults, and 25% elderly carried oral enterococci. The oral enterococcal burden in adolescents was significantly lower than in the adults (p = 0.000) and elderly (p = 0.004). The proportion of carriers was higher among females (p = 0.001). E. faecalis was the most frequent isolate in all the age groups (p = 0.000), followed by E. durans and E. faecium. Whilst all the clinical isolates were able to form biofilms, only a proportion of them were able to produce lipase (92%), hemolysin (38%), and gelatinase (39%). Of all the isolates 53.8% were resistant to tetracycline, 12.3% to amoxicillin, 16.0% to ampicillin, 20.8% to chloramphenicol and 43.4% to erythromycin. None of the isolates were resistant to vancomycin. Our data suggest that in this Brazilian cohort the oral cavity may act as a significant reservoir of rather virulent and antibiotic resistant enterococci, with an increasing degree of carriage in the adults and elderly. Hence clinicians should be cognizant of this silent reservoir of virulent enterococci that may pose a particular threat of nosocomial infection

  6. Variety of Antimicrobial Resistances and Virulence Factors in Staphylococcus aureus Isolates from Meat Products Legally and Illegally Introduced to Germany

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Anja; Seinige, Diana; Jansen, Wiebke; Klein, Günter; Ehricht, Ralf; Monecke, Stefan; Kehrenberg, Corinna

    2016-01-01

    Food products of animal origin can serve as a vehicle for Staphylococcus (S.) aureus, a facultative pathogen involved in a variety of diseases. As a result, international trade and illegal transportation of foodstuffs can facilitate the distribution of S. aureus over long distances. In this study, we investigated S. aureus isolates recovered from meat products confiscated from passengers returning from non-EU countries at two German airports and from samples of legally imported meats from non-EU countries. The aim was to characterize isolates in regard to their genetic relatedness as well as their antimicrobial resistance profiles and major virulence factors in order to assess potential risks associated with these products. The isolates were characterized by spa typing, MLST, macrorestriction analysis, microarray analysis and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. MRSA isolates were further characterized by dru typing. The characteristics of the majority of the isolates indicated a human origin, rather than an association with livestock. The results further revealed a considerable heterogeneity among the MRSA isolates, despite their common origin. Overall, a plenitude of major virulence factors and antimicrobial resistances was detected among the isolates, highlighting the potential risks associated with contaminated meat products and the transportation of such products among different countries. PMID:27936152

  7. Effect of Cinnamon Oil on Quorum Sensing-Controlled Virulence Factors and Biofilm Formation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Kalia, Manmohit; Yadav, Vivek Kumar; Singh, Pradeep Kumar; Sharma, Deepmala; Pandey, Himanshu; Narvi, Shahid Suhail; Agarwal, Vishnu

    2015-01-01

    Quorum sensing (QS) is a system of stimuli and responses in bacterial cells governed by their population density, through which they regulate genes that control virulence factors and biofilm formation. Despite considerable research on QS and the discovery of new antibiotics, QS-controlled biofilm formation by microorganisms in clinical settings has remained a problem because of nascent drug resistance, which requires screening of diverse compounds for anti-QS activities. Cinnamon is a dietary phytochemical that is traditionally used to remedy digestive problems and assorted contagions, which suggests that cinnamon might contain chemicals that can hinder the QS process. To test this hypothesis, the anti-QS activity of cinnamon oil against P. aeruginosa was tested, measured by the inhibition of biofilm formation and other QS-associated phenomena, including virulence factors such as pyocyanin, rhamnolipid, protease, alginate production, and swarming activity. To this end, multiple microscopy analyses, including light, scanning electron and confocal microscopy, revealed the ability of cinnamon oil to inhibit P. aeruginosa PAO1 biofilms and their accompanying extracellular polymeric substances. This work is the first to demonstrate that cinnamon oil can influence various QS-based phenomena in P. aeruginosa PAO1, including biofilm formation.

  8. The Prevalence of Helicobacter pylori Virulence Factors in Bhutan, Vietnam, and Myanmar Is Related to Gastric Cancer Incidence.

    PubMed

    Trang, Tran Thi Huyen; Shiota, Seiji; Matsuda, Miyuki; Binh, Tran Thanh; Suzuki, Rumiko; Vilaichone, Ratha-korn; Mahachai, Varocha; Tshering, Lotay; Dung, Ho D Q; Uchida, Tomohisa; Matsunari, Osamu; Myint, Thein; Khien, Vu Van; Yamaoka, Yoshio

    2015-01-01

    Gastric cancer is a significant health problem in Asia. Although the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection is similar in Bhutan, Vietnam, and Myanmar, the incidence of gastric cancer is highest in Bhutan, followed by Vietnam and Myanmar. We hypothesized that H. pylori virulence factors contribute to the differences. The status of cagA, vacA, jhp0562, and β-(1,3)galT(jhp0563) was examined in 371 H. pylori-infected patients from Bhutan, Vietnam, and Myanmar. Each virulence factor could not explain the difference of the incidence of gastric cancer. However, the prevalence of quadruple-positive for cagA, vacA s1, vacA m1, and jhp0562-positive/β-(1,3)galT-negative was significantly higher in Bhutan than in Vietnam and Myanmar and correlated with gastric cancer incidence. Moreover, gastritis-staging scores measured by histology of gastric mucosa were significantly higher in quadruple-positive strains. We suggest that the cagA, vacA s1, vacA m1, and jhp0562-positive/β-(1,3)galT-negative genotype may play a role in the development of gastric cancer.

  9. Variety of Antimicrobial Resistances and Virulence Factors in Staphylococcus aureus Isolates from Meat Products Legally and Illegally Introduced to Germany.

    PubMed

    Müller, Anja; Seinige, Diana; Jansen, Wiebke; Klein, Günter; Ehricht, Ralf; Monecke, Stefan; Kehrenberg, Corinna

    2016-01-01

    Food products of animal origin can serve as a vehicle for Staphylococcus (S.) aureus, a facultative pathogen involved in a variety of diseases. As a result, international trade and illegal transportation of foodstuffs can facilitate the distribution of S. aureus over long distances. In this study, we investigated S. aureus isolates recovered from meat products confiscated from passengers returning from non-EU countries at two German airports and from samples of legally imported meats from non-EU countries. The aim was to characterize isolates in regard to their genetic relatedness as well as their antimicrobial resistance profiles and major virulence factors in order to assess potential risks associated with these products. The isolates were characterized by spa typing, MLST, macrorestriction analysis, microarray analysis and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. MRSA isolates were further characterized by dru typing. The characteristics of the majority of the isolates indicated a human origin, rather than an association with livestock. The results further revealed a considerable heterogeneity among the MRSA isolates, despite their common origin. Overall, a plenitude of major virulence factors and antimicrobial resistances was detected among the isolates, highlighting the potential risks associated with contaminated meat products and the transportation of such products among different countries.

  10. The Forgotten Virulence Factor: The 'non-conventional' Hemolysin TlyA And Its Role in Helicobacter pylori Infection.

    PubMed

    Javadi, Mohammad Bagher; Katzenmeier, Gerd

    2016-12-01

    Helicobacter pylori is a human-specific Gram-negative pathogenic bacterium which colonizes the gastric mucosal layer in the stomach causing diseases such as peptic ulcer, adenocarcinoma, and gastric lymphoma. It is estimated that approximately half of the world's population is infected with H. pylori making it the most intensively characterized microbial pathogen up to now. Hemolysis has been suggested to significantly contribute to colonization of the stomach and disease progression by H. pylori. In a number of earlier studies, TlyA was characterized as a putative pore-forming cytolysin. Although a few observations in the literature suggest a role for TlyA as significant virulence factor of H. pylori, the molecular and structural characterization of this protein is much curtailed at present. Given the intensive characterization of numerous H. pylori virulence factors over the past decade, surprisingly little information exists for the TlyA toxin and its significance for pathogenesis. This review provides a brief overview on microbial hemolysis and its role for pathogenesis and discusses recent research efforts aimed at an improved understanding of the role of the 'non-conventional' hemolysin and its associated RNA methyltransferase TlyA from H. pylori.

  11. Effect of Cinnamon Oil on Quorum Sensing-Controlled Virulence Factors and Biofilm Formation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    Kalia, Manmohit; Yadav, Vivek Kumar; Singh, Pradeep Kumar; Sharma, Deepmala; Pandey, Himanshu; Narvi, Shahid Suhail; Agarwal, Vishnu

    2015-01-01

    Quorum sensing (QS) is a system of stimuli and responses in bacterial cells governed by their population density, through which they regulate genes that control virulence factors and biofilm formation. Despite considerable research on QS and the discovery of new antibiotics, QS-controlled biofilm formation by microorganisms in clinical settings has remained a problem because of nascent drug resistance, which requires screening of diverse compounds for anti-QS activities. Cinnamon is a dietary phytochemical that is traditionally used to remedy digestive problems and assorted contagions, which suggests that cinnamon might contain chemicals that can hinder the QS process. To test this hypothesis, the anti-QS activity of cinnamon oil against P. aeruginosa was tested, measured by the inhibition of biofilm formation and other QS-associated phenomena, including virulence factors such as pyocyanin, rhamnolipid, protease, alginate production, and swarming activity. To this end, multiple microscopy analyses, including light, scanning electron and confocal microscopy, revealed the ability of cinnamon oil to inhibit P. aeruginosa PAO1 biofilms and their accompanying extracellular polymeric substances. This work is the first to demonstrate that cinnamon oil can influence various QS-based phenomena in P. aeruginosa PAO1, including biofilm formation. PMID:26263486

  12. Coordination of Metabolism and Virulence Factors Expression of Extraintestinal Pathogenic Escherichia coli Purified from Blood Cultures of Patients with Sepsis *

    PubMed Central

    Pettersen, Veronika Kuchařová; Mosevoll, Knut Anders; Lindemann, Paul Christoffer; Wiker, Harald G.

    2016-01-01

    extraintestinal virulence factors and overall cellular metabolism closely reflects specific growth conditions. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD002912. PMID:27364158

  13. Genetic characterization of antibiotic resistance and virulence factors in Enterococcus spp. from Japanese retail ready-to-eat raw fish.

    PubMed

    Hammad, Ahmed M; Shimamoto, Toshi; Shimamoto, Tadashi

    2014-04-01

    Little information is available on the diversity and distribution of resistance and virulence factors in enterococci isolated from retail fish. In this study, 200 samples of retail ready-to-eat raw fish (sashimi) collected from the Japanese prefecture of Hiroshima were analyzed for incidence of Enterococcus spp. We recovered 96 enterococcal isolates from 90 (45%, 90/200) samples. Fifty-six strains were identified at the species level: E. faecalis (n = 31), E. faecium (n = 7), E. casseliflavus (n = 7), E. gallinarum (n = 3), E. phoeniculicola (n = 4), E. raffinosus (n = 2), E. saccharolyticus (n = 1), and E. gilvus (n = 1). Twenty-five (26%, 25/96) strains carried antibiotic resistance genes. These included the tet(M), tet(L), tet(K), erm(B), msr(A/B), aph(3'), and blaZ genes, which were detected in 12.5%, 9.3%, 2%, 14.5%, 1%, 1%, and 2% of isolates, respectively. The virulence genes gelE and asa1 were detected in 31 and 24 E. faecalis strains, respectively. Both genes were detected in one E. faecium strain. In conclusion, this is the first study to underscore the importance of sashimi as not only a reservoir of Enterococcus spp. carrying resistance and virulence genes, but also a reservoir for unusual Enterococcus spp.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Spencer, James; Murphy, Loretta M.; Conners, Rebecca; Sessions, Richard B.; Gamblin, Steven J.

    2010-09-21

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

  15. Elevated prevalence of Helicobacter species and virulence factors in opisthorchiasis and associated hepatobiliary disease

    PubMed Central

    Deenonpoe, Raksawan; Mairiang, Eimorn; Mairiang, Pisaln; Pairojkul, Chawalit; Chamgramol, Yaovalux; Rinaldi, Gabriel; Loukas, Alex; Brindley, Paul J.; Sripa, Banchob

    2017-01-01

    Recent reports suggest that Opisthorchis viverrini serves as a reservoir of Helicobacter and implicate Helicobacter in pathogenesis of opisthorchiasis-associated cholangiocarcinoma (CCA). Here, 553 age-sex matched cases and controls, 293 and 260 positive and negative for liver fluke O. viverrini eggs, of residents in Northeastern Thailand were investigated for associations among infection with liver fluke, Helicobacter and hepatobiliary fibrosis. The prevalence of H. pylori infection was higher in O. viverrini-infected than uninfected participants. H. pylori bacterial load correlated positively with intensity of O. viverrini infection, and participants with opisthorchiasis exhibited higher frequency of virulent cagA-positive H. pylori than those free of fluke infection. Genotyping of cagA from feces of both infected and uninfected participants revealed that the AB genotype accounted for 78% and Western type 22%. Participants infected with O. viverrini exhibited higher prevalence of typical Western type (EPIYA ABC) and variant AB’C type (EPIYT B) CagA. Multivariate analyses among H. pylori virulence genes and severity of hepatobiliary disease revealed positive correlations between biliary periductal fibrosis during opisthorchiasis and CagA and CagA with CagA multimerization (CM) sequence-positive H. pylori. These findings support the hypothesis that H. pylori contributes to the pathogenesis of chronic opisthorchiasis and specifically to opisthorchiasis-associated CCA. PMID:28198451

  16. Polygalacturonase gene pgxB in Aspergillus niger is a virulence factor in apple fruit

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ying; Yang, Feng; Li, Yan-Hong; Liu, He-Ping; Chen, Xiao-Yan

    2017-01-01

    Aspergillus niger, a saprophytic fungus, is widely distributed in soil, air and cereals, and can cause postharvest diseases in fruit. Polygalacturonase (PG) is one of the main enzymes in fungal pathogens to degrade plant cell wall. To evaluate whether the deletion of an exo-polygalacturonase gene pgxB would influence fungal pathogenicity to fruit, pgxB gene was deleted in Aspergillus niger MA 70.15 (wild type) via homologous recombination. The ΔpgxB mutant showed similar growth behavior compared with the wild type. Pectin medium induced significant higher expression of all pectinase genes in both wild type and ΔpgxB in comparison to potato dextrose agar medium. However, the ΔpgxB mutant was less virulent on apple fruits as the necrosis diameter caused by ΔpgxB mutant was significantly smaller than that of wild type. Results of quantitive-PCR showed that, in the process of infection in apple fruit, gene expressions of polygalacturonase genes pgaI, pgaII, pgaA, pgaC, pgaD and pgaE were enhanced in ΔpgxB mutant in comparison to wild type. These results prove that, despite the increased gene expression of other polygalacturonase genes in ΔpgxB mutant, the lack of pgxB gene significantly reduced the virulence of A. niger on apple fruit, suggesting that pgxB plays an important role in the infection process on the apple fruit. PMID:28257463

  17. Identification of a Transcription Factor That Regulates Host Cell Exit and Virulence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    Srinivasan, Lalitha; Gurses, Serdar A.; Hurley, Benjamin E.; Miller, Jessica L.; Karakousis, Petros C.; Briken, Volker

    2016-01-01

    The interaction of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) with host cell death signaling pathways is characterized by an initial anti-apoptotic phase followed by a pro-necrotic phase to allow for host cell exit of the bacteria. The bacterial modulators regulating necrosis induction are poorly understood. Here we describe the identification of a transcriptional repressor, Rv3167c responsible for regulating the escape of Mtb from the phagosome. Increased cytosolic localization of MtbΔRv3167c was accompanied by elevated levels of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species and reduced activation of the protein kinase Akt, and these events were critical for the induction of host cell necrosis and macroautophagy. The increase in necrosis led to an increase in bacterial virulence as reflected in higher bacterial burden and reduced survival of mice infected with MtbΔRv3167c. The regulon of Rv3167c thus contains the bacterial mediators involved in escape from the phagosome and host cell necrosis induction, both of which are crucial steps in the intracellular lifecycle and virulence of Mtb. PMID:27191591

  18. Emodin affects biofilm formation and expression of virulence factors in Streptococcus suis ATCC700794.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yan-Bei; Wang, Shuai; Wang, Chang; Huang, Quan-Yong; Bai, Jing-Wen; Chen, Jian-Qing; Chen, Xue-Ying; Li, Yan-Hua

    2015-12-01

    Streptococcus suis (S. suis) is a swine pathogen and also a zoonotic agent. In this study, the effects of subinhibitory concentrations (sub-MICs) of emodin on biofilm formation by S. suis ATCC700794 were evaluated. As quantified by crystal violet staining, biofilm formation by S. suis ATCC700794 was dose-dependently decreased after growth with 1/2 MIC, 1/4 MIC, or 1/8 MIC of emodin. By scanning electron microscopy, the structural architecture of the S. suis ATCC700794 biofilms was examined following growth in culture medium supplemented with 1/2 MIC, 1/4 MIC, 1/8 MIC, or 1/16 MIC of emodin. Scanning electron microscopy analysis revealed the potential effect of emodin on biofilm formation by S. suis ATCC700794. The expression of luxS gene and virulence genes in S. suis ATCC700794 was investigated by quantitative RT-PCR. It was found that sub-MICs of emodin significantly decreased the expression of gapdh, sly, fbps, ef, and luxS. However, it was found that sub-MICs of emodin significantly increased the expression of cps2J, mrp, and gdh. These findings showed that sub-MICs of emodin could cause the difference in the expression level of the virulence genes.

  19. Alternative sigma factor RpoN and its modulation protein YhbH are indispensable for Erwinia amylovora virulence.

    PubMed

    Ancona, Veronica; Li, Wenting; Zhao, Youfu

    2014-01-01

    In Erwinia amylovora, ECF (extracytoplasmic functions) alternative sigma factor HrpL regulates the transcription of hrp (hypersensitive response and pathogenicity)-type III secretion system (T3SS) genes by binding to a consensus sequence known as the hrp box in hrp gene promoters. In turn, the expression of hrpL has been proposed to be positively controlled by alternative sigma factor 54 (σ(54)) (RpoN) and HrpS, a member of the σ(54) enhancer-binding proteins (EBPs). However, the function of RpoN has not been characterized genetically in E. amylovora. In this study, we investigated the role of RpoN, a nitrogen limitation sigma factor, and its modulation protein YhbH, a novel ribosome-associated protein, in E. amylovora virulence. Our results showed that mutations in hrpS, hrpL, rpoN and yhbH, but not yfiA and rmf3, resulted in a nonpathogenic phenotype on immature pear fruits and apple shoots. Consistently, the expression of T3SS genes, including hrpL, dspE, hrpN and hrpA, was barely detected in hrpS, hrpL, rpoN and yhbH mutants. These mutants were also not capable of eliciting a hypersensitive response (HR) on tobacco; however, the overexpression of hrpL using an inducible promoter rescued the HR-eliciting abilities of these mutants. These results suggest that a sigma factor cascade exists in the regulatory networks of E. amylovora and regulates important virulence factors. On the basis of this study and previously reported data, a model is proposed for the regulation of T3SS in E. amylovora.

  20. Identification of Virulence Factors Genes in Escherichia coli Isolates from Women with Urinary Tract Infection in Mexico

    PubMed Central

    López-Banda, Daniela A.; Carrillo-Casas, Erika M.; Orozco-Hoyuela, Gabriel; Manjarrez-Hernández, Ángel H.; Arroyo-Escalante, Sara; Moncada-Barrón, David; Villanueva-Recillas, Silvia; Xicohtencatl-Cortes, Juan; Hernández-Castro, Rigoberto

    2014-01-01

    E coli isolates (108) from Mexican women, clinically diagnosed with urinary tract infection, were screened to identify virulence genes, phylogenetic groups, and antibiotic resistance. Isolates were identified by MicroScan4 system; additionally, the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was assessed. The phylogenetic groups and 16 virulence genes encoding adhesins, toxins, siderophores, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and invasins were identified by PCR. Phylogenetic groups distribution was as follows: B1 9.3%, A 30.6%, B2 55.6%, and D 4.6%. Virulence genes prevalence was ecp 98.1%, fimH 86.1%, traT 77.8%, sfa/focDE 74.1%, papC 62%, iutA 48.1%, fyuA 44.4%, focG 2.8%, sfaS 1.9%, hlyA 7.4%, cnf-1 6.5%, cdt-B 0.9%, cvaC 2.8%, ibeA 2.8%, and rfc 0.9%. Regarding antimicrobial resistance it was above 50% to ampicillin/sulbactam, ampicillin, piperacillin, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, ciprofloxacin, and levofloxacin. Uropathogenic E. coli clustered mainly in the pathogenic phylogenetic group B2. The isolates showed a high presence of siderophores and adhesion genes and a low presence of genes encoding toxins. The high frequency of papC gene suggests that these isolates have the ability to colonize the kidneys. High resistance to drugs considered as first choice treatment such as trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole and fluoroquinolones was consistently observed. PMID:24895634

  1. Characterization and functional analysis of AatB, a novel autotransporter adhesin and virulence factor of avian pathogenic Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Zhuge, Xiangkai; Wang, Shaohui; Fan, Hongjie; Pan, Zihao; Ren, Jianluan; Yi, Li; Meng, Qingmei; Yang, Xuqiu; Lu, Chengping; Dai, Jianjun

    2013-07-01

    Autotransporter (AT) proteins constitute a large family of extracellular proteins that contribute to bacterial virulence. A novel AT adhesin gene, aatB, was identified in avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) DE205B via genomic analyses. The open reading frame of aatB was 1,017 bp, encoding a putative 36.3-kDa protein which contained structural motifs characteristic for AT proteins: a signal peptide, a passenger domain, and a translocator domain. The predicted three-dimensional structure of AatB consisted of two distinct domains, the C-terminal β-barrel translocator domain and an N-terminal passenger domain. The prevalence analyses of aatB in APEC indicated that aatB was detected in 26.4% (72/273) of APEC strains and was strongly associated with phylogenetic groups D and B2. Quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR analyses revealed that AatB expression was increased during infection in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, AatB could elicit antibodies in infected ducks, suggesting that AatB is involved in APEC pathogenicity. Thus, APEC DE205B strains with a mutated aatB gene and mutated strains complemented with the aatB gene were constructed. Inactivation of aatB resulted in a reduced capacity to adhere to DF-1 cells, defective virulence capacity in vivo, and decreased colonization capacity in lung during systemic infection compared with the capacities of the wild-type strain. Furthermore, these capacities were restored in the complementation strains. These results indicated that AatB makes a significant contribution to APEC virulence through bacterial adherence to host tissues in vivo and in vitro. In addition, biofilm formation assays with strain AAEC189 expressing AatB indicated that AatB mediates biofilm formation.

  2. Characterization and Functional Analysis of AatB, a Novel Autotransporter Adhesin and Virulence Factor of Avian Pathogenic Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    ZhuGe, Xiangkai; Wang, Shaohui; Fan, Hongjie; Pan, Zihao; Ren, Jianluan; Yi, Li; Meng, Qingmei; Yang, Xuqiu; Lu, Chengping

    2013-01-01

    Autotransporter (AT) proteins constitute a large family of extracellular proteins that contribute to bacterial virulence. A novel AT adhesin gene, aatB, was identified in avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) DE205B via genomic analyses. The open reading frame of aatB was 1,017 bp, encoding a putative 36.3-kDa protein which contained structural motifs characteristic for AT proteins: a signal peptide, a passenger domain, and a translocator domain. The predicted three-dimensional structure of AatB consisted of two distinct domains, the C-terminal β-barrel translocator domain and an N-terminal passenger domain. The prevalence analyses of aatB in APEC indicated that aatB was detected in 26.4% (72/273) of APEC strains and was strongly associated with phylogenetic groups D and B2. Quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR analyses revealed that AatB expression was increased during infection in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, AatB could elicit antibodies in infected ducks, suggesting that AatB is involved in APEC pathogenicity. Thus, APEC DE205B strains with a mutated aatB gene and mutated strains complemented with the aatB gene were constructed. Inactivation of aatB resulted in a reduced capacity to adhere to DF-1 cells, defective virulence capacity in vivo, and decreased colonization capacity in lung during systemic infection compared with the capacities of the wild-type strain. Furthermore, these capacities were restored in the complementation strains. These results indicated that AatB makes a significant contribution to APEC virulence through bacterial adherence to host tissues in vivo and in vitro. In addition, biofilm formation assays with strain AAEC189 expressing AatB indicated that AatB mediates biofilm formation. PMID:23630958

  3. Rhoptry Proteins ROP5 and ROP18 Are Major Murine Virulence Factors in Genetically Divergent South American Strains of Toxoplasma gondii

    PubMed Central

    Lauron, Elvin J.; Jimah, John R.; Wang, Qiuling; Tolia, Niraj H.; Sibley, L. David

    2015-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii has evolved a number of strategies to evade immune responses in its many hosts. Previous genetic mapping of crosses between clonal type 1, 2, and 3 strains of T. gondii, which are prevalent in Europe and North America, identified two rhoptry proteins, ROP5 and ROP18, that function together to block innate immune mechanisms activated by interferon gamma (IFNg) in murine hosts. However, the contribution of these and other virulence factors in more genetically divergent South American strains is unknown. Here we utilized a cross between the intermediately virulent North American type 2 ME49 strain and the highly virulent South American type 10 VAND strain to map the genetic basis for differences in virulence in the mouse. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis of this new cross identified one peak that spanned the ROP5 locus on chromosome XII. CRISPR-Cas9 mediated deletion of all copies of ROP5 in the VAND strain rendered it avirulent and complementation confirmed that ROP5 is the major virulence factor accounting for differences between type 2 and type 10 strains. To extend these observations to other virulent South American strains representing distinct genetic populations, we knocked out ROP5 in type 8 TgCtBr5 and type 4 TgCtBr18 strains, resulting in complete loss of virulence in both backgrounds. Consistent with this, polymorphisms that show strong signatures of positive selection in ROP5 were shown to correspond to regions known to interface with host immunity factors. Because ROP5 and ROP18 function together to resist innate immune mechanisms, and a significant interaction between them was identified in a two-locus scan, we also assessed the role of ROP18 in the virulence of South American strains. Deletion of ROP18 in South American type 4, 8, and 10 strains resulted in complete attenuation in contrast to a partial loss of virulence seen for ROP18 knockouts in previously described type 1 parasites. These data show that ROP5 and ROP18 are

  4. Distribution of virulence factors and association with emm polymorphism or isolation site among beta-hemolytic group G Streptococcus dysgalactiae subspecies equisimilis.

    PubMed

    Lo, Hsueh-Hsia; Cheng, Wei-Shan

    2015-01-01

    Distribution of virulence factors and association with emm polymorphism or isolation site among beta-hemolytic group G Streptococcus dysgalactiae subspecies equisimilis. Streptococcus dysgalactiae subspecies equisimilis (SDSE), the dominant human pathogenic species among group G streptococci, is the causative agent of several invasive and non-invasive diseases worldwide. However, limited information is available about the distribution of virulence factors among SDSE isolates, or their association with emm types and the isolation sites. In this study, 246 beta-hemolytic group G SDSE isolates collected in central Taiwan between February 2007 and August 2011 were under investigation. Of these, 66 isolates were obtained from normally sterile sites and 180 from non-sterile sites. emm typing revealed 32 types, with the most prevalent one being stG10.0 (39.8%), followed by stG245.0 (15.4%), stG840.0 (12.2%), stG6.1 (7.7%), and stG652.0 (4.1%). The virulence genes lmb (encoding laminin-binding protein), gapC (glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase), sagA (streptolysin S), and hylB (hyaluronidase) existed in all isolates. Also, 99.2% of the isolates possessed slo (streptolysin O) and scpA (C5a peptidase) genes. In addition, 72.8%, 14.6%, 9.4%, and 2.4% of the isolates possessed the genes ska (streptokinase), cbp (putative collagen-binding protein, SDEG_1781), fbp (putative fibronectin-binding protein, SDEG_0161), and sicG (streptococcal inhibitor of complement), respectively. The only superantigen gene detected was spegg (streptococcus pyrogenic exotoxin G(dys) ), which was possessed by 74.4% of the isolates; these isolates correlated with non-sterile sites. Positive correlations were observed between the following emm types and virulence genes: stG10.0 and stG840.0 with spegg, stG6.1 and stG652.0 with ska, and stG840.0 with cbp. On the other hand, negative correlations were observed between the following: stG245.0, stG6.1, and stG652.0 types with spegg, stG10.0 with ska

  5. Purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of Cif, a virulence factor secreted by Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Bahl, Christopher D; MacEachran, Daniel P; O'Toole, George A; Madden, Dean R

    2010-01-01

    The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa secretes a protein that triggers the accelerated degradation of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) in airway epithelial cells. This protein, which is known as the CFTR inhibitory factor (Cif), acts as a virulence factor and may facilitate airway colonization by P. aeruginosa. Based on sequence similarity Cif appears to be an epoxide hydrolase (EH), but it lacks several of the conserved features found in the active sites of canonical members of the EH family. Here, the crystallization of purified recombinant Cif by vapor diffusion is reported. The crystals formed in space group C2, with unit-cell parameters a = 167.4, b = 83.6, c = 88.3 A, beta = 100.6 degrees . The crystals diffracted to 2.39 A resolution on a rotating-anode source. Based on the calculated Matthews coefficient (2.2 A(3) Da(-1)), it appears that the asymmetric unit contains four molecules.

  6. The genomes, proteomes, and structures of three novel phages that infect the Bacillus cereus group and carry putative virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Grose, Julianne H; Belnap, David M; Jensen, Jordan D; Mathis, Andrew D; Prince, John T; Merrill, Bryan D; Burnett, Sandra H; Breakwell, Donald P

    2014-10-01

    This article reports the results of studying three novel bacteriophages, JL, Shanette, and Basilisk, which infect the pathogen Bacillus cereus and carry genes that may contribute to its pathogenesis. We analyzed host range and superinfection ability, mapped their genomes, and characterized phage structure by mass spectrometry and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The JL and Shanette genomes were 96% similar and contained 217 open reading frames (ORFs) and 220 ORFs, respectively, while Basilisk has an unrelated genome containing 138 ORFs. Mass spectrometry revealed 23 phage particle proteins for JL and 15 for Basilisk, while only 11 and 4, respectively, were predicted to be present by sequence analysis. Structural protein homology to well-characterized phages suggested that JL and Shanette were members of the family Myoviridae, which was confirmed by TEM. The third phage, Basilisk, was similar only to uncharacterized phages and is an unrelated siphovirus. Cryogenic electron microscopy of this novel phage revealed a T=9 icosahedral capsid structure with the major capsid protein (MCP) likely having the same fold as bacteriophage HK97 MCP despite the lack of sequence similarity. Several putative virulence factors were encoded by these phage genomes, including TerC and TerD involved in tellurium resistance. Host range analysis of all three phages supports genetic transfer of such factors within the B. cereus group, including B. cereus, B. anthracis, and B. thuringiensis. This study provides a basis for understanding these three phages and other related phages as well as their contributions to the pathogenicity of B. cereus group bacteria. Importance: The Bacillus cereus group of bacteria contains several human and plant pathogens, including B. cereus, B. anthracis, and B. thuringiensis. Phages are intimately linked to the evolution of their bacterial hosts and often provide virulence factors, making the study of B. cereus phages important to understanding the

  7. The Genomes, Proteomes, and Structures of Three Novel Phages That Infect the Bacillus cereus Group and Carry Putative Virulence Factors

    PubMed Central

    Belnap, David M.; Jensen, Jordan D.; Mathis, Andrew D.; Prince, John T.; Merrill, Bryan D.; Burnett, Sandra H.; Breakwell, Donald P.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT This article reports the results of studying three novel bacteriophages, JL, Shanette, and Basilisk, which infect the pathogen Bacillus cereus and carry genes that may contribute to its pathogenesis. We analyzed host range and superinfection ability, mapped their genomes, and characterized phage structure by mass spectrometry and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The JL and Shanette genomes were 96% similar and contained 217 open reading frames (ORFs) and 220 ORFs, respectively, while Basilisk has an unrelated genome containing 138 ORFs. Mass spectrometry revealed 23 phage particle proteins for JL and 15 for Basilisk, while only 11 and 4, respectively, were predicted to be present by sequence analysis. Structural protein homology to well-characterized phages suggested that JL and Shanette were members of the family Myoviridae, which was confirmed by TEM. The third phage, Basilisk, was similar only to uncharacterized phages and is an unrelated siphovirus. Cryogenic electron microscopy of this novel phage revealed a T=9 icosahedral capsid structure with the major capsid protein (MCP) likely having the same fold as bacteriophage HK97 MCP despite the lack of sequence similarity. Several putative virulence factors were encoded by these phage genomes, including TerC and TerD involved in tellurium resistance. Host range analysis of all three phages supports genetic transfer of such factors within the B. cereus group, including B. cereus, B. anthracis, and B. thuringiensis. This study provides a basis for understanding these three phages and other related phages as well as their contributions to the pathogenicity of B. cereus group bacteria. IMPORTANCE The Bacillus cereus group of bacteria contains several human and plant pathogens, including B. cereus, B. anthracis, and B. thuringiensis. Phages are intimately linked to the evolution of their bacterial hosts and often provide virulence factors, making the study of B. cereus phages important to understanding

  8. Clonal spread in Eastern Asia of ciprofloxacin-resistant Escherichia coli serogroup O25 strains, and associated virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Uchida, Yujiro; Mochimaru, Tomomi; Morokuma, Yuiko; Kiyosuke, Makiko; Fujise, Masako; Eto, Fujiko; Eriguchi, Yoshihiro; Nagasaki, Yoji; Shimono, Nobuyuki; Kang, Dongchon

    2010-05-01

    A significant problem in the field of infectious diseases is the increase in fluoroquinolone (FQ)-resistant Escherichia coli. Although mutation of strains and clonal dissemination are supposed to be the cause of this increase, little is known about the prevalence of this organism. We investigated 219 FQ-resistant E. coli strains in Japan and nine Asian countries by serotyping and genotyping. Seventy-one strains (32.4%) were serogroup O25, which was prevalent in South Korea, China and Japan, especially in the southwest part of Japan. Aerobactin, a virulence factor in uropathogenic and avian pathogenic E. coli, was associated with the presence of FQ-resistant O25 strains of E. coli. Seven of the seventy-one FQ-resistant E. coli O25 had extended-spectrum beta-lactamase genes (six CTX-M-14 and one SHV-12), however, we were unable to find any E. coli O25-ST131 clone that produced CTX-M-15, which was previously reported to have emerged across continents. These data demonstrate that a clonal group of FQ-resistant and virulent E. coli recently became prevalent at least in East Asia and suggest that this might become a public health problem because the strains may acquire resistance to other antimicrobial agents.

  9. Characterization of ApB73, a virulence factor important for colonization of Zea mays by the smut Ustilago maydis

    PubMed Central

    Stirnberg, Alexandra

    2016-01-01

    Summary The biotrophic fungus Ustilago maydis, the causal agent of corn smut disease, uses numerous small secreted effector proteins to suppress plant defence responses and reshape the host metabolism. However, the role of specific effectors remains poorly understood. Here, we describe the identification of ApB73 (Apathogenic in B73), an as yet uncharacterized protein essential for the successful colonization of maize by U. maydis. We show that apB73 is transcriptionally induced during the biotrophic stages of the fungal life cycle. The deletion of the apB73 gene results in cultivar‐specific loss of gall formation in the host. The ApB73 protein is conserved among closely related smut fungi. However, using virulence assays, we show that only the orthologue of the maize‐infecting head smut Sporisorium reilianum can complement the mutant phenotype of U. maydis. Although microscopy shows that ApB73 is secreted into the biotrophic interface, it seems to remain associated with fungal cell wall components or the fungal plasma membrane. Taken together, the results show that ApB73 is a conserved and important virulence factor of U. maydis that localizes to the interface between the pathogen and its host Zea mays. PMID:27279632

  10. A Family of Salmonella Virulence Factors Functions as a Distinct Class of Autoregulated E3 Ubiquitin Ligases

    SciTech Connect

    Quezada, C.; Hicks, S; Galan, J; Stebbins, C

    2009-01-01

    Processes as diverse as receptor binding and signaling, cytoskeletal dynamics, and programmed cell death are manipulated by mimics of host proteins encoded by pathogenic bacteria. We show here that the Salmonella virulence factor SspH2 belongs to a growing class of bacterial effector proteins that harness and subvert the eukaryotic ubiquitination pathway. This virulence protein possesses ubiquitination activity that depends on a conserved cysteine residue. A crystal structure of SspH2 reveals a canonical leucine-rich repeat (LRR) domain that interacts with a unique E{sub 3} ligase [which we have termed NEL for Novel E{sub 3} Ligase] C-terminal fold unrelated to previously observed HECT or RING-finger E{sub 3} ligases. Moreover, the LRR domain sequesters the catalytic cysteine residue contained in the NEL domain, and we suggest a mechanism for activation of the ligase requiring a substantial conformational change to release the catalytic domain for function. We also show that the N-terminal domain targets SspH2 to the apical plasma membrane of polarized epithelial cells and propose a model whereby binding of the LRR to proteins at the target site releases the ligase domain for site-specific function.

  11. Characterization of ApB73, a virulence factor important for colonization of Zea mays by the smut Ustilago maydis.

    PubMed

    Stirnberg, Alexandra; Djamei, Armin

    2016-12-01

    The biotrophic fungus Ustilago maydis, the causal agent of corn smut disease, uses numerous small secreted effector proteins to suppress plant defence responses and reshape the host metabolism. However, the role of specific effectors remains poorly understood. Here, we describe the identification of ApB73 (Apathogenic in B73), an as yet uncharacterized protein essential for the successful colonization of maize by U. maydis. We show that apB73 is transcriptionally induced during the biotrophic stages of the fungal life cycle. The deletion of the apB73 gene results in cultivar-specific loss of gall formation in the host. The ApB73 protein is conserved among closely related smut fungi. However, using virulence assays, we show that only the orthologue of the maize-infecting head smut Sporisorium reilianum can complement the mutant phenotype of U. maydis. Although microscopy shows that ApB73 is secreted into the biotrophic interface, it seems to remain associated with fungal cell wall components or the fungal plasma membrane. Taken together, the results show that ApB73 is a conserved and important virulence factor of U. maydis that localizes to the interface between the pathogen and its host Zea mays.

  12. Assessment of the bacterial diversity of human colostrum and screening of staphylococcal and enterococcal populations for potential virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Jiménez, Esther; Delgado, Susana; Fernández, Leonides; García, Natalia; Albújar, Mar; Gómez, Adolfo; Rodríguez, Juan M

    2008-01-01

    In contrast to breast milk, little is known about the bacterial composition of human colostrum. The objective of this work was to analyze the bacterial diversity of colostrum obtained from healthy women and to characterize the dominant bacterial species for the presence of possible virulence factors. Samples of colostrum obtained from 36 healthy women were inoculated into different culture media. Several isolates from each medium were selected and identified. Staphylococcal and enterococcal isolates were submitted to genetic profiling. One representative of each profile was included in a genetic and phenotypic characterization scheme, including detection of potential virulence traits/genes and sensitivity to antibiotics. Staphylococcus epidermidis and Enterococcus faecalis were the dominant species, followed by Streptococcus mitis, Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus lugdunensis. Among the 48 S. epidermidis isolates selected on the basis of their genetic profiles, the biofilm-related icaD gene and the mecA gene were detected in only 11 and six isolates, respectively. In parallel, 10 enterococcal isolates were also characterized and none of them contained the cylA, vanA, vanB, vanD, vanE and vanG genes. All of them were sensitive to vancomycin. There were no indications that the colostrum samples contained harmful bacteria.

  13. Maternal/fetal mortality and fetal growth restriction: Role of nitric oxide and virulence factors in intrauterine infection in rats

    PubMed Central

    Wroblewska-Seniuk, Katarzyna; Nowicki, Stella; Lebouguénec, Chantal; Nowicki, Bogdan; Yallampalli, Chandra

    2011-01-01

    Objective The mechanism of infection-related mortality of pregnant rats and the intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) are not understood. We assessed if nitric oxide (NO) has differential effects on infection with E. coli Dr/Afa mutants lacking either AfaE or AfaD invasins. Material and Methods Sprague-Dawley rats were intrauterinally infected with the clinical strain of E. coli AfaE+D+ or one of its isogenic mutants in the presence or absence of the NO synthesis inhibitor NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME). Maternal/fetal mortality, feto-placental weight, and the infection rate were evaluated. Results Maternal and/or fetal mortality was associated with the presence of at least one virulence factor (AfaE+D+>AfaE+D−>AfaE-D+) and was increased by L-NAME treatment. The fetal and placental weights were lower than controls and they were further reduced by L-NAME treatment. Conclusions These results demonstrate that NO enhanced AfaE and AfaD mediated virulence and play an important role in Dr/Afa+ E. coli gestational tropism. PMID:21481839

  14. The role of quorum sensing in Escherichia coli (ETEC) virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Sturbelle, Régis Tuchtenhagen; de Avila, Luciana Farias da Costa; Roos, Talita Bandeira; Borchardt, Jéssica Lopes; da Conceição, Rita de Cássia dos Santos; Dellagostin, Odir Antonio; Leite, Fábio Pereira Leivas

    2015-11-18

    Quorum sensing (QS) is a signaling system among bacteria mediated by auto-inducer substances (AI). Whenever the concentration of these molecules reaches a threshold corresponding to a high cell density or quorum, the whole population starts a coordinated expression of specific genes. Studies have shown that epinephrine is also responsible for activating specific bacterial genes. This work aimed to investigate the role of conditioned medium (containing AI), epinephrine and their association on growth, motility, F4 fimbriae and heat-labile toxin (LT) expression on enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC, E68). A significant increase in motility, F4 and LT expression, was observed in the ETEC culture supplemented with conditioned medium and epinephrine. These findings suggest that ETEC uses some components of conditioned medium (e.g., AI molecules), host molecules (epinephrine), and their association to modulate the expression of important virulence genes.

  15. Biosynthesis of the cyclooligomer depsipeptide beauvericin, a virulence factor of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yuquan; Orozco, Rousel; Wijeratne, E M Kithsiri; Gunatilaka, A A Leslie; Stock, S Patricia; Molnár, István

    2008-09-22

    Beauvericin, a cyclohexadepsipeptide ionophore from the entomopathogen Beauveria bassiana, shows antibiotic, antifungal, insecticidal, and cancer cell antiproliferative and antihaptotactic (cell motility inhibitory) activity in vitro. The bbBeas gene encoding the BbBEAS nonribosomal peptide synthetase was isolated from B. bassiana and confirmed to be responsible for beauvericin biosynthesis by targeted disruption. BbBEAS utilizes D-2-hydroxyisovalerate (D-Hiv) and L-phenylalanine (Phe) for the iterative synthesis of a predicted N-methyl-dipeptidol intermediate, and forms the cyclic trimeric ester beauvericin from this intermediate in an unusual recursive process. Heterologous expression of the bbBeas gene in Escherichia coli to produce the 3189 amino acid, 351.9 kDa BbBEAS enzyme provided a strain proficient in beauvericin biosynthesis. Comparative infection assays with a BbBEAS knockout B. bassiana strain against three insect hosts revealed that beauvericin plays a highly significant but not indispensable role in virulence.

  16. Identification of a new quorum-sensing-controlled virulence factor in Erwinia carotovora subsp. atroseptica secreted via the type II targeting pathway.

    PubMed

    Corbett, Mark; Virtue, Sam; Bell, Kenneth; Birch, Paul; Burr, Tom; Hyman, Lysbeth; Lilley, Kathryn; Poock, Susannah; Toth, Ian; Salmond, George

    2005-04-01

    Two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of the secreted proteins of Erwinia carotovora subsp. atroseptica revealed a low-abundance protein that was identified by mass spectrometry as a homologue of a Xanthomonas campestris avirulence protein with unknown function. The predicted Svx protein has an N-terminal signal sequence and zinc binding-region signature, and the mature protein is post-translationally modified. A 2D difference gel electrophoresis (DIGE) showed that the protein is secreted by the type II (out) secretion apparatus, which is also responsible for the secretion of the major known virulence factors, PelC and CelV. Transcription of the svx gene is under N-acyl-homoserine lactone-mediated quorum-sensing control. The svx gene was inactivated by transposon insertion. The mutant showed a decrease in virulence in potato plant assays, demonstrating a role for Svx in the pathogenicity of E. carotovora subsp. atroseptica. These results show that Svx is a previously unidentified virulence determinant which is secreted by the out machinery and is regulated by quorum sensing, two systems employed by several other virulence factors. Thus, the type II secretory machine is a conduit for virulence factors other than the main pectinnases and cellulase in E. carotovora subsp. atroseptica.

  17. Pyocycanin, a Contributory Factor in Haem Acquisition and Virulence Enhancement of Porphyromonas gingivalis in the Lung

    PubMed Central

    Benedyk, Malgorzata; Byrne, Dominic P.; Glowczyk, Izabela; Potempa, Jan; Olczak, Mariusz; Olczak, Teresa; Smalley, John W.

    2015-01-01

    Several recent studies show that the lungs infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa are often co-colonised by oral bacteria including black-pigmenting anaerobic (BPA) Porphyromonas species. The BPAs have an absolute haem requirement and their presence in the infected lung indicates that sufficient haem, a virulence up-regulator in BPAs, must be present to support growth. Haemoglobin from micro-bleeds occurring during infection is the most likely source of haem in the lung. Porphyromonas gingivalis displays a novel haem acquisition paradigm whereby haemoglobin must be firstly oxidised to methaemoglobin, facilitating haem release, either by gingipain proteolysis or capture via the haem-binding haemophore HmuY. P. aeruginosa produces the blue phenazine redox compound, pyocyanin. Since phenazines can oxidise haemoglobin, it follows that pyocyanin may also facilitate haem acquisition by promoting methaemoglobin production. Here we show that pyocyanin at concentrations found in the CF lung during P. aeruginosa infections rapidly oxidises oxyhaemoglobin in a dose-dependent manner. We demonstrate that methaemoglobin formed by pyocyanin is also susceptible to proteolysis by P. gingivalis Kgp gingipain and neutrophil elastase, thus releasing haem. Importantly, co-incubation of oxyhaemoglobin with pyocyanin facilitates haem pickup from the resulting methemoglobin by the P. gingivalis HmuY haemophore. Mice intra-tracheally challenged with viable P. gingivalis cells plus pyocyanin displayed increased mortality compared to those administered P. gingivalis alone. Pyocyanin significantly elevated both methaemoglobin and total haem levels in homogenates of mouse lungs and increased the level of arginine-specific gingipain activity from mice inoculated with viable P. gingivalis cells plus pyocyanin compared with mice inoculated with P. gingivalis only. These findings indicate that pyocyanin, by promoting haem availability through methaemoglobin formation and stimulating of gingipain

  18. Comparative Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Cool Virulence Factors of Ralstonia solanacearum Race 3 Biovar 2.

    PubMed

    Meng, Fanhong; Babujee, Lavanya; Jacobs, Jonathan M; Allen, Caitilyn

    2015-01-01

    While most strains of the plant pathogenic bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum are tropical, the race 3 biovar 2 (R3bv2) subgroup attacks plants in cooler climates. To identify mechanisms underlying this trait, we compared the transcriptional profiles of R. solanacearum R3bv2 strain UW551 and tropical strain GMI1000 at 20°C and 28°C, both in culture and during tomato pathogenesis. 4.2% of the ORFs in the UW551 genome and 7.9% of the GMI1000 ORFs were differentially expressed by temperature in planta. The two strains had distinct transcriptional responses to temperature change. GMI1000 up-regulated several stress response genes at 20°C, apparently struggling to cope with plant defenses. At the cooler temperature, R3bv2 strain UW551 up-regulated a cluster encoding a mannose-fucose binding lectin, LecM; a quorum sensing-dependent protein, AidA; and a related hypothetical protein, AidC. The last two genes are absent from the GMI1000 genome. In UW551, all three genes were positively regulated by the adjacent SolI/R quorum sensing system. These temperature-responsive genes were required for full virulence in R3bv2. Mutants lacking lecM, aidA, or aidC were each significantly more reduced in virulence on tomato at 20°C than at 28°C in both a naturalistic soil soak inoculation assay and when they were inoculated directly into tomato stems. The lecM and aidC mutants also survived poorly in potato tubers at the seed tuber storage temperature of 4°C, and the lecM mutant was defective in biofilm formation in vitro. Together, these results suggest novel mechanisms, including a lectin, are involved in the unique temperate epidemiology of R3bv2.

  19. Comparative Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Cool Virulence Factors of Ralstonia solanacearum Race 3 Biovar 2

    PubMed Central

    Meng, Fanhong; Babujee, Lavanya; Jacobs, Jonathan M.; Allen, Caitilyn

    2015-01-01

    While most strains of the plant pathogenic bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum are tropical, the race 3 biovar 2 (R3bv2) subgroup attacks plants in cooler climates. To identify mechanisms underlying this trait, we compared the transcriptional profiles of R. solanacearum R3bv2 strain UW551 and tropical strain GMI1000 at 20°C and 28°C, both in culture and during tomato pathogenesis. 4.2% of the ORFs in the UW551 genome and 7.9% of the GMI1000 ORFs were differentially expressed by temperature in planta. The two strains had distinct transcriptional responses to temperature change. GMI1000 up-regulated several stress response genes at 20°C, apparently struggling to cope with plant defenses. At the cooler temperature, R3bv2 strain UW551 up-regulated a cluster encoding a mannose-fucose binding lectin, LecM; a quorum sensing-dependent protein, AidA; and a related hypothetical protein, AidC. The last two genes are absent from the GMI1000 genome. In UW551, all three genes were positively regulated by the adjacent SolI/R quorum sensing system. These temperature-responsive genes were required for full virulence in R3bv2. Mutants lacking lecM, aidA, or aidC were each significantly more reduced in virulence on tomato at 20°C than at 28°C in both a naturalistic soil soak inoculation assay and when they were inoculated directly into tomato stems. The lecM and aidC mutants also survived poorly in potato tubers at the seed tuber storage temperature of 4°C, and the lecM mutant was defective in biofilm formation in vitro. Together, these results suggest novel mechanisms, including a lectin, are involved in the unique temperate epidemiology of R3bv2. PMID:26445498

  20. Occurrence of motile Aeromonas in municipal drinking water and distribution of genes encoding virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Pablos, Manuel; Rodríguez-Calleja, Jose M; Santos, Jesús A; Otero, Andrés; García-López, María-Luisa

    2009-10-31

    Aeromonas-associated cases of gastroenteritis are generally considered waterborne. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the potential microbiological risk associated with the presence of these bacteria in public drinking water. Over a period of one year, 132 drinking-water samples were monitored in León (NW of Spain, 137,000 inhabitants) for mandatory drinking-water standards and the occurrence of Aeromonas spp. Samples were taken at the municipal water treatment plant, one storage facility, and two public artesian drinking-water fountains. Because of low numbers of coliforms or Clostridium perfringens, the non-compliance rate with microbial standards was 3.8% whereas the percentage of positive samples for motile mesophilic Aeromonas was 26.5%. For all but two samples, Aeromonas was recovered between October and early March when the temperature was below 14 degrees C and the residual chlorine ranged from 0.21 to 0.72 mg/l. An apparent relationship was observed between rainfall and the incidence of Aeromonas. The 35 selected Aeromonas isolates were identified as A. caviae and A. media. The alt and laf genes were present in all isolates, the aerA gene was present in six isolates, and the four remaining genes investigated (hlyA, ast, stx1 and stx2) were absent. The combinations of putative virulence genes were: aerA(-)/hlyA(-)/alt(+)/ast(-)/laf(+)/stx1(-)/stx2(-) (82.9%) and aerA(+)/hlyA(-)/alt(+)/ast(-)/laf(+)/stx1(-)/stx2(-) (17.1%). None of the isolates bore plasmids. As Aeromonas strains harbouring two or more virulence-associated genes have the potential to cause disease by direct transmission via drinking water or by water use in food preparation, it would be advisable to control excessive numbers of these bacteria in drinking-water supplies.

  1. Characterization of the Operon Encoding the Alternative ςB Factor from Bacillus anthracis and Its Role in Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Fouet, Agnès; Namy, Olivier; Lambert, Guillaume

    2000-01-01

    The operon encoding the general stress transcription factor ςB and two proteins of its regulatory network, RsbV and RsbW, was cloned from the gram-positive bacterium Bacillus anthracis by PCR amplification of chromosomal DNA with degenerate primers, by inverse PCR, and by direct cloning. The gene cluster was very similar to the Bacillus subtilis sigB operon both in the primary sequences of the gene products and in the order of its three genes. However, the deduced products of sequences upstream and downstream from this operon showed no similarity to other proteins encoded by the B. subtilis sigB operon. Therefore, the B. anthracis sigB operon contains three genes rather than eight as in B. subtilis. The B. anthracis operon is preceded by a ςB-like promoter sequence, the expression of which depends on an intact ςB transcription factor in B. subtilis. It is followed by another open reading frame that is also preceded by a promoter sequence similarly dependent on B. subtilis ςB. We found that in B. anthracis, both these promoters were induced during the stationary phase and induction required an intact sigB gene. The sigB operon was induced by heat shock. Mutants from which sigB was deleted were constructed in a toxinogenic and a plasmidless strain. These mutants differed from the parental strains in terms of morphology. The toxinogenic sigB mutant strain was also less virulent than the parental strain in the mouse model. B. anthracis ςB may therefore be a minor virulence factor. PMID:10960085

  2. M148R and M149R are two virulence factors for myxoma virus pathogenesis in the European rabbit.

    PubMed

    Blanié, Sophie; Mortier, Jérémy; Delverdier, Maxence; Bertagnoli, Stéphane; Camus-Bouclainville, Christelle

    2009-01-01

    Myxoma virus (MYXV), a member of the Poxviridae family, is the agent responsible for myxomatosis, a fatal disease in the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). MYXV has a linear double-stranded DNA genome that encodes several factors important for evasion from the host immune system. Among them, four ankyrin (ANK) repeat proteins were identified: M148R, M149R, M150R and M-T5. To date, only M150R and M-T5 were studied and characterized as critical virulence factors. This article presents the first characterization of M148R and M149R. Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) fusions allowed us to localize them in a viral context. Whereas M149R is only cytoplasmic, interestingly, M148R is in part located in the nucleolus, a unique feature for an ANK repeat poxviral protein. In order to evaluate their implication in viral pathogenicity, targeted M148R, M149R, or both deletions were constructed in the wild type T1 strain of myxoma virus. In vitro infection of rabbit and primate cultured cells as well as primary rabbit cells allowed us to conclude that M148R and M149R are not likely to be implicated in cell tropism or host range functions. However, in vivo experiments revealed that they are virulence factors since after infection of European rabbits with mutant viruses, a delay in the onset of clinical signs, an increase of survival time and a dramatic decrease in mortality rate were observed. Moreover, histological analysis suggests that M148R plays a role in the subversion of host inflammatory response by MYXV.

  3. Additives

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smalheer, C. V.

    1973-01-01

    The chemistry of lubricant additives is discussed to show what the additives are chemically and what functions they perform in the lubrication of various kinds of equipment. Current theories regarding the mode of action of lubricant additives are presented. The additive groups discussed include the following: (1) detergents and dispersants, (2) corrosion inhibitors, (3) antioxidants, (4) viscosity index improvers, (5) pour point depressants, and (6) antifouling agents.

  4. Structural, functional and immunogenic insights on Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase pathogenic virulence factors from Neisseria meningitidis and Brucella abortus

    DOE PAGES

    Pratt, Ashley J.; DiDonato, Michael; Shin, David S.; ...

    2015-10-12

    Bacterial pathogens Neisseria meningitidis and Brucella abortus pose threats to human and animal health worldwide, causing meningococcal disease and brucellosis, respectively. Mortality from acute N. meningitidis infections remains high despite antibiotics, and brucellosis presents alimentary and health consequences. Superoxide dismutases are master regulators of reactive oxygen, general pathogenicity factors and therefore therapeutic targets. Cu,Zn superoxide dismutases (SODs) localized to the periplasm promote survival by detoxifying superoxide radicals generated by major host antimicrobial immune responses. We discovered that passive immunization with an antibody directed at N. meningitidis SOD (NmSOD) was protective in a mouse infection model. To define the relevant atomicmore » details and solution assembly states of this important virulence factor, we report high-resolution and X-ray scattering analyses of NmSOD and SOD from B. abortus (BaSOD). The NmSOD structures revealed an auxiliary tetrahedral Cu-binding site bridging the dimer interface; mutational analyses suggested that this metal site contributes to protein stability, with implications for bacterial defense mechanisms. Biochemical and structural analyses informed us about electrostatic substrate guidance, dimer assembly and an exposed C-terminal epitope in the NmSOD dimer. In contrast, the monomeric BaSOD structure provided insights for extending immunogenic peptide epitopes derived from the protein. These collective results reveal unique contributions of SOD to pathogenic virulence, refine predictive motifs for distinguishing SOD classes and suggest general targets for anti-bacterial immune responses. The identified functional contributions, motifs, and targets distinguishing bacterial and eukaryotic SOD assemblies presented here provide a foundation for efforts to develop SOD-specific inhibitors or vaccines against these harmful pathogens. IMPORTANCE By protecting microbes against reactive oxygen

  5. Structural, Functional, and Immunogenic Insights on Cu,Zn Superoxide Dismutase Pathogenic Virulence Factors from Neisseria meningitidis and Brucella abortus

    PubMed Central

    Pratt, Ashley J.; DiDonato, Michael; Shin, David S.; Cabelli, Diane E.; Bruns, Cami K.; Belzer, Carol A.; Gorringe, Andrew R.; Langford, Paul R.; Tabatabai, Louisa B.; Kroll, J. Simon; Tainer, John A.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bacterial pathogens Neisseria meningitidis and Brucella abortus pose threats to human and animal health worldwide, causing meningococcal disease and brucellosis, respectively. Mortality from acute N. meningitidis infections remains high despite antibiotics, and brucellosis presents alimentary and health consequences. Superoxide dismutases are master regulators of reactive oxygen and general pathogenicity factors and are therefore therapeutic targets. Cu,Zn superoxide dismutases (SODs) localized to the periplasm promote survival by detoxifying superoxide radicals generated by major host antimicrobial immune responses. We discovered that passive immunization with an antibody directed at N. meningitidis SOD (NmSOD) was protective in a mouse infection model. To define the relevant atomic details and solution assembly states of this important virulence factor, we report high-resolution and X-ray scattering analyses of NmSOD and of SOD from B. abortus (BaSOD). The NmSOD structures revealed an auxiliary tetrahedral Cu-binding site bridging the dimer interface; mutational analyses suggested that this metal site contributes to protein stability, with implications for bacterial defense mechanisms. Biochemical and structural analyses informed us about electrostatic substrate guidance, dimer assembly, and an exposed C-terminal epitope in the NmSOD dimer. In contrast, the monomeric BaSOD structure provided insights for extending immunogenic peptide epitopes derived from the protein. These collective results reveal unique contributions of SOD to pathogenic virulence, refine predictive motifs for distinguishing SOD classes, and suggest general targets for antibacterial immune responses. The identified functional contributions, motifs, and targets distinguishing bacterial and eukaryotic SOD assemblies presented here provide a foundation for efforts to develop SOD-specific inhibitors of or vaccines against these harmful pathogens. IMPORTANCE By protecting microbes against

  6. Virulence Factors and Stability of Coliphages Specific to Escherichia coli O157:H7 and to Various E. coli Infection.

    PubMed

    Kim, Eun-Jin; Chang, Hyun-Joo; Kwak, Soojin; Park, Jong-Hyun

    2016-12-28

    Characteristics of E. coli O157:H7-specific infection bacteriophages (O157 coliphages) and broad-host-range bacteriophages for other E. coli serotypes (broad-host coliphages) were compared. The burst sizes of the two groups ranged from 40 to 176 PFU/infected cell. Distributions of the virulence factors stx1, stx2, ehxA, and saa between the two groups were not differentiated. Broad-host-range coliphages showed lower stability at 70°C, in relation to O157 coliphages. However, O157 coliphages showed high acid and ethanol tolerance by reduction of only 22% and 11% phages, respectively, under pH 3 and 70% ethanol for 1 h exposure. Therefore, these results revealed that the O157 coliphages might be more stable under harsh environments, which might explain their effective infection of the acid-tolerant E. coli O157:H7.

  7. MvirDB: Microbial Database of Protein Toxins, Virulence Factors and Antibiotic Resistance Genes for Bio-Defense Applications

    DOE Data Explorer

    Zhou, C. E.; Smith, J.; Lam, M.; Zemla, M. D.; Slezak, T.

    MvirDB is a cenntralized resource (data warehouse) comprising all publicly accessible, organized sequence data for protein toxins, virulence factors, and antibiotic resistance genes. Protein entries in MvirDB are annotated using a high-throughput, fully automated computational annotation system; annotations are updated periodically to ensure that results are derived using current public database and open-source tool releases. Tools provided for using MvirDB include a web-based browser tool and BLAST interfaces. MvirDB serves researchers in the bio-defense and medical fields. (taken from page 3 of PI's paper of same title published in Nucleic Acids Research, 2007, Vol.35, Database Issue (Open Source)

  8. Fibrinogen Binding Sites P336 and Y338 of Clumping Factor A Are Crucial for Staphylococcus aureus Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Josefsson, Elisabet; Higgins, Judy; Foster, Timothy J.; Tarkowski, Andrej

    2008-01-01

    We have earlier shown that clumping factor A (ClfA), a fibrinogen binding surface protein of Staphylococcus aureus, is an important virulence factor in septic arthritis. When two amino acids in the ClfA molecule, P336 and Y338, were changed to serine and alanine, respectively, the fibrinogen binding property was lost. ClfAP336Y338 mutants have been constructed in two virulent S. aureus strains Newman and LS-1. The aim of this study was to analyze if these two amino acids which are vital for the fibrinogen binding of ClfA are of importance for the ability of S. aureus to generate disease. Septic arthritis or sepsis were induced in mice by intravenous inoculation of bacteria. The clfAP336Y338 mutant induced significantly less arthritis than the wild type strain, both with respect to severity and frequency. The mutant infected mice developed also a much milder systemic inflammation, measured as lower mortality, weight loss, bacterial growth in kidneys and lower IL-6 levels. The data were verified with a second mutant where clfAP336 and Y338 were changed to alanine and serine respectively. When sepsis was induced by a larger bacterial inoculum, the clfAP336Y338 mutants induced significantly less septic death. Importantly, immunization with the recombinant A domain of ClfAP336SY338A mutant but not with recombinant ClfA, protected against septic death. Our data strongly suggest that the fibrinogen binding activity of ClfA is crucial for the ability of S. aureus to provoke disease manifestations, and that the vaccine potential of recombinant ClfA is improved by removing its ability to bind fibrinogen. PMID:18493318

  9. Plasmid-Encoded Pgp3 Is a Major Virulence Factor for Chlamydia muridarum To Induce Hydrosalpinx in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yuanjun; Huang, Yumeng; Yang, Zhangsheng; Sun, Yina; Gong, Siqi; Hou, Shuping; Chen, Chaoqun; Li, Zhongyu; Liu, Quanzhong; Wu, Yimou; Baseman, Joel

    2014-01-01

    Hydrosalpinx induction in mice by Chlamydia muridarum infection, a model that has been used to study C. trachomatis pathogenesis in women, is known to depend on the cryptic plasmid that encodes eight genes designated pgp1 to pgp8. To identify the plasmid-encoded pathogenic determinants, we evaluated C. muridarum transformants deficient in the plasmid-borne gene pgp3, -4, or -7 for induction of hydrosalpinx. C. muridarum transformants with an in-frame deletion of either pgp3 or -4 but not -7 failed to induce hydrosalpinx. The deletion mutant phenotype was reproduced by using transformants with premature termination codon insertions in the corresponding pgp genes (to minimize polar effects inherent in the deletion mutants). Pgp4 is known to regulate pgp3 expression, while lack of Pgp3 does not significantly affect Pgp4 function. Thus, we conclude that Pgp3 is an effector virulence factor and that lack of Pgp3 may be responsible for the attenuation in C. muridarum pathogenicity described above. This attenuated pathogenicity was further correlated with a rapid decrease in chlamydial survival in the lower genital tract and reduced ascension to the upper genital tract in mice infected with C. muridarum deficient in Pgp3 but not Pgp7. The Pgp3-deficient C. muridarum organisms were also less invasive when delivered directly to the oviduct on day 7 after inoculation. These observations demonstrate that plasmid-encoded Pgp3 is required for C. muridarum survival in the mouse genital tract and represents a major virulence factor in C. muridarum pathogenesis in mice. PMID:25287930

  10. Molecular evolution of the substrate utilization strategies and putative virulence factors in mosquito-associated Spiroplasma species.

    PubMed

    Chang, Tean-Hsu; Lo, Wen-Sui; Ku, Chuan; Chen, Ling-Ling; Kuo, Chih-Horng

    2014-03-01

    Comparative genomics provides a powerful tool to characterize the genetic differences among species that may be linked to their phenotypic variations. In the case of mosquito-associated Spiroplasma species, such approach is useful for the investigation of their differentiations in substrate utilization strategies and putative virulence factors. Among the four species that have been assessed for pathogenicity by artificial infection experiments, Spiroplasma culicicola and S. taiwanense were found to be pathogenic, whereas S. diminutum and S. sabaudiense were not. Intriguingly, based on the species phylogeny, the association with mosquito hosts and the gain or loss of pathogenicity in these species appears to have evolved independently. Through comparison of their complete genome sequences, we identified the genes and pathways that are shared by all or specific to one of these four species. Notably, we found that a glycerol-3-phosphate oxidase gene (glpO) is present in S. culicicola and S. taiwanense but not in S. diminutum or S. sabaudiense. Because this gene is involved in the production of reactive oxygen species and has been demonstrated as a major virulence factor in Mycoplasma, this distribution pattern suggests that it may be linked to the observed differences in pathogenicity among these species as well. Moreover, through comparative analysis with other Spiroplasma, Mycoplasma, and Mesoplasma species, we found that the absence of glpO in S. diminutum and S. sabaudiense is best explained by independent losses. Finally, our phylogenetic analyses revealed possible recombination of glpO between distantly related lineages and local rearrangements of adjacent genes.

  11. Genome-wide sequencing data reveals virulence factors implicated in banana Xanthomonas wilt.

    PubMed

    Studholme, David J; Kemen, Eric; MacLean, Daniel; Schornack, Sebastian; Aritua, Valente; Thwaites, Richard; Grant, Murray; Smith, Julian; Jones, Jonathan D G

    2010-09-01

    Banana Xanthomonas wilt is a newly emerging disease that is currently threatening the livelihoods of millions of farmers in East Africa. The causative agent is Xanthomonas campestris pathovar musacearum (Xcm), but previous work suggests that this pathogen is much more closely related to species Xanthomonas vasicola than to X. campestris. We have generated draft genome sequences for a banana-pathogenic strain of Xcm isolated in Uganda and for a very closely related strain of X. vasicola pathovar vasculorum, originally isolated from sugarcane, that is nonpathogenic on banana. The draft sequences revealed overlapping but distinct repertoires of candidate virulence effectors in the two strains. Both strains encode homologues of the Pseudomonas syringae effectors HopW, HopAF1 and RipT from Ralstonia solanacearum. The banana-pathogenic and non-banana-pathogenic strains also differed with respect to lipopolysaccharide synthesis and type-IV pili, and in at least several thousand single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the core conserved genome. We found evidence of horizontal transfer between X. vasicola and very distantly related bacteria, including members of other divisions of the Proteobacteria. The availability of these draft genomes will be an invaluable tool for further studies aimed at understanding and combating this important disease.

  12. Differential host susceptibility and bacterial virulence factors driving Klebsiella liver abscess in an ethnically diverse population

    PubMed Central

    Lee, I. Russel; Molton, James S.; Wyres, Kelly L.; Gorrie, Claire; Wong, Jocelyn; Hoh, Chu Han; Teo, Jeanette; Kalimuddin, Shirin; Lye, David C.; Archuleta, Sophia; Holt, Kathryn E.; Gan, Yunn-Hwen

    2016-01-01

    Hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae is an emerging cause of community-acquired pyogenic liver abscess. First described in Asia, it is now increasingly recognized in Western countries, commonly afflicting those with Asian descent. This raises the question of genetic predisposition versus geospecific strain acquisition. We leveraged on the Antibiotics for Klebsiella Liver Abscess Syndrome Study (A-KLASS) clinical trial ongoing in ethnically diverse Singapore, to prospectively examine the profiles of 70 patients together with their isolates’ genotypic and phenotypic characteristics. The majority of isolates belonged to capsule type K1, a genetically homogenous group corresponding to sequence-type 23. The remaining K2, K5, K16, K28, K57 and K63 isolates as well as two novel cps isolates were genetically heterogeneous. K1 isolates carried higher frequencies of virulence-associated genes including rmpA (regulator of mucoid phenotype A), kfu (Klebsiella ferric uptake transporter), iuc (aerobactin), iro (salmochelin) and irp (yersiniabactin) than non-K1 isolates. The Chinese in our patient cohort, mostly non-diabetic, had higher prevalence of K1 infection than the predominantly diabetic non-Chinese (Malays, Indian and Caucasian). This differential susceptibility to different capsule types among the various ethnic groups suggests patterns of transmission (e.g. environmental source, familial transmission) and/or genetic predisposition unique to each race despite being in the same geographical location. PMID:27406977

  13. The Role of Staphylococcus aureus Virulence Factors in Skin Infection and Their Potential as Vaccine Antigens

    PubMed Central

    Lacey, Keenan A.; Geoghegan, Joan A.; McLoughlin, Rachel M.

    2016-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) causes the vast majority of skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) in humans. S. aureus has become increasingly resistant to antibiotics and there is an urgent need for new strategies to tackle S. aureus infections. Vaccines offer a potential solution to this epidemic of antimicrobial resistance. However, the development of next generation efficacious anti-S. aureus vaccines necessitates a greater understanding of the protective immune response against S. aureus infection. In particular, it will be important to ascertain if distinct immune mechanisms are required to confer protection at distinct anatomical sites. Recent discoveries have highlighted that interleukin-17-producing T cells play a particularly important role in the immune response to S. aureus skin infection and suggest that vaccine strategies to specifically target these types of T cells may be beneficial in the treatment of S. aureus SSTIs. S. aureus expresses a large number of cell wall-anchored (CWA) proteins, which are covalently attached to the cell wall peptidoglycan. The virulence potential of many CWA proteins has been demonstrated in infection models; however, there is a paucity of information regarding their roles during SSTIs. In this review, we highlight potential candidate antigens for vaccines targeted at protection against SSTIs. PMID:26901227

  14. Manganese regulation of virulence factors and oxidative stress resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Hsing-Ju; Seib, Kate L.; Srikhanta, Yogitha N.; Edwards, Jennifer; Kidd, Stephen P.; Maguire, Tina L .; Hamilton, Amanda; Pan, Kuan-Tin; Hsiao, He-Hsuan; Yao, Chen-Wen; Grimmond, Sean M.; Apicella, Michael A.; McEwan, Alastair G.; Wang, Andrew H-J.; Jennings, Michael P.

    2014-01-01

    Neisseria gonorrhoeae has evolved a complex and novel network of oxidative stress responses, including defense mechanisms that are dependent on manganese (Mn). We performed systematic analyses at the transcriptomic and proteomic (1D SDS-PAGE and Isotope-Coded Affinity Tag [ICAT]) levels to investigate the global expression changes that take place in a high Mn environment, which results in a Mn-dependent oxidative stress resistance phenotype. These studies revealed that 97 proteins are regulated at the post-transcriptional level under conditions of increased Mn concentration, including proteins involved in virulence (eg. Pilin, a key adhesin), oxidative stress defence (eg. superoxide dismutase), cellular metabolism, protein synthesis, RNA processing and cell division. Mn regulation of inorganic pyrophosphatase (Ppa) indicated the potential involvement of phosphate metabolism in the Mn-dependent oxidative stress defense. A detailed analysis of the role of Ppa and polyphosphate kinase (Ppk) in the gonococcal oxidative stress response revealed that ppk and ppa mutant strains showed increased resistance to oxidative stress. Investigation of these mutants grown with high Mn suggests that phosphate and pyrophosphate are involved in Mn-dependent oxidative stress resistance. PMID:20004262

  15. Virulence factors profiles and ESBL production in Escherichia coli causing bacteremia in Peruvian children.

    PubMed

    Palma, Noemí; Gomes, Cláudia; Riveros, Maribel; García, Wilfredo; Martínez-Puchol, Sandra; Ruiz-Roldán, Lidia; Mateu, Judit; García, Coralith; Jacobs, Jan; Ochoa, Theresa J; Ruiz, Joaquim

    2016-09-01

    The presence of 25 virulence genes (VGs), genetic phylogroups, quinolone-resistance and Extended Spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-production was assessed in 65 Escherichia coli isolates from blood cultures in children <5 years in Peru. The most frequent VGs were fimA (89.2%), iutA (83.1%), agn43 (72.3%), iucA (67.7%), and fyuA (49.2%). The isolates belonged to D (47.7%), A (26.1%), B1 (21.5%), and B2 (4.6%) phylogroups. D + B2 isolates presented a high number of fimA, hly, papC, sat, and fyuA genes. Quinolone-susceptible (22 isolates - 33.8%) and ESBL-negative (31 isolates - 47.7%) isolates carried more VGs that their respective counterparts (5.7 vs. 4.7 and 5.3 vs. 4.4 respectively); the frequency of the fyuA, aat, aap, and hly genes significantly differed between quinolone-resistant and quinolone-susceptible isolates. Neonatal sepsis isolates tended to be more quinolone-resistant (P = 0.0697) and ESBL-producers (P = 0.0776). Early-onset neonatal sepsis isolates possessed a high number of VGs (5.2 VGs), especially in neonates of ≤1 day (5.9 VGs).

  16. Artemisia princeps Inhibits Biofilm Formation and Virulence-Factor Expression of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Na-Young; Kang, Sun-Young; Kim, Kang-Ju

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we used ethanol extract of A. princeps and investigated its antibacterial effects against MRSA. Ethanol extract of A. princeps significantly inhibited MRSA growth and organic acid production during glucose metabolism at concentrations greater than 1 mg/mL (P < 0.05). MRSA biofilm formation was observed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and safranin staining. A. princeps extract was found to inhibit MRSA biofilm formation at concentrations higher than 2 mg/mL significantly (P < 0.05). Bactericidal effects of the A. princeps were observed using confocal laser microscopy, which showed that A. princeps was bactericidal in a dose-dependent manner. Using real-time PCR, expression of mecA, an antibiotic-resistance gene of MRSA, was observed, along with that of sea, agrA, and sarA. A. princeps significantly inhibited mecA, sea, agrA, and sarA, mRNA expression at the concentrations greater than 1 mg/mL (P < 0.05). The phytochemical analysis of A. princeps showed a relatively high content of organic acids and glycosides. The results of this study suggest that the ethanol extract of A. princeps may inhibit proliferation, acid production, biofilm formation, and virulence gene expressions of MRSA, which may be related to organic acids and glycosides, the major components in the extract. PMID:26247012

  17. Ofloxacin-like antibiotics inhibit pneumococcal cell wall-degrading virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Tornero, Carlos; García, Ernesto; de Pascual-Teresa, Beatriz; López, Rubens; Giménez-Gallego, Guillermo; Romero, Antonio

    2005-05-20

    The search for new drugs against Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) is driven by the 1.5 million deaths it causes annually. Choline-binding proteins attach to the pneumococcal cell wall through domains that recognize choline moieties, and their involvement in pneumococcal virulence makes them potential targets for drug development. We have defined chemical criteria involved in the docking of small molecules from a three-dimensional structural library to the major pneumococcal autolysin (LytA) choline binding domain. These criteria were used to identify compounds that could interfere with the attachment of this protein to the cell wall, and several quinolones that fit this framework were found to inhibit the cell wall-degrading activity of LytA. Furthermore, these compounds produced similar effects on other enzymes with different catalytic activities but that contained a similar choline binding domain; that is, autolysin (LytC) and the phage lytic enzyme (Cpl-1). Finally, we resolved the crystal structure of the complex between the choline binding domain of LytA and ofloxacin at a resolution of 2.6 Angstroms. These data constitute an important launch pad from which effective drugs to combat pneumococcal infections can be developed.

  18. Co-regulation of Iron Metabolism and Virulence Associated Functions by Iron and XibR, a Novel Iron Binding Transcription Factor, in the Plant Pathogen Xanthomonas.

    PubMed

    Pandey, Sheo Shankar; Patnana, Pradeep Kumar; Lomada, Santosh Kumar; Tomar, Archana; Chatterjee, Subhadeep

    2016-11-01

    Abilities of bacterial pathogens to adapt to the iron limitation present in hosts is critical to their virulence. Bacterial pathogens have evolved diverse strategies to coordinately regulate iron metabolism and virulence associated functions to maintain iron homeostasis in response to changing iron availability in the environment. In many bacteria the ferric uptake regulator (Fur) functions as transcription factor that utilize ferrous form of iron as cofactor to regulate transcription of iron metabolism and many cellular functions. However, mechanisms of fine-tuning and coordinated regulation of virulence associated function beyond iron and Fur-Fe2+ remain undefined. In this study, we show that a novel transcriptional regulator XibR (named Xanthomonas iron binding regulator) of the NtrC family, is required for fine-tuning and co-coordinately regulating the expression of several iron regulated genes and virulence associated functions in phytopathogen Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc). Genome wide expression analysis of iron-starvation stimulon and XibR regulon, GUS assays, genetic and functional studies of xibR mutant revealed that XibR positively regulates functions involved in iron storage and uptake, chemotaxis, motility and negatively regulates siderophore production, in response to iron. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by quantitative real-time PCR indicated that iron promoted binding of the XibR to the upstream regulatory sequence of operon's involved in chemotaxis and motility. Circular dichroism spectroscopy showed that purified XibR bound ferric form of iron. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay revealed that iron positively affected the binding of XibR to the upstream regulatory sequences of the target virulence genes, an effect that was reversed by ferric iron chelator deferoxamine. Taken together, these data revealed that how XibR coordinately regulates virulence associated and iron metabolism functions in Xanthomonads in

  19. A ToxA-like protein from Cochliobolus heterostrophus induces light-dependent leaf necrosis and acts as a virulence factor with host selectivity on maize.

    PubMed

    Lu, Shunwen; Gillian Turgeon, B; Edwards, Michael C

    2015-08-01

    ToxA, the first discovered fungal proteinaceous host-selective toxin (HST), was originally identified in 1989 from the tan spot fungus Pyrenophora tritici-repentis (Ptr). About 25years later, a homolog was identified in the leaf/glume blotch fungus Stagonospora nodorum (Parastagonospora nodorum), also a pathogen of wheat. Here we report the identification and function of a ToxA-like protein from the maize pathogen Cochliobolus heterostrophus (Ch) that possesses necrosis-inducing activity specifically against maize. ChToxA is encoded by a 535-bp open reading frame featuring a ToxA-specific intron with unusual splicing sites (5'-ATAAGT…TAC-3') at conserved positions relative to PtrToxA. The protein shows 64% similarity to PtrToxA and is predicted to adopt a similar three-dimensional structure, although lacking the arginyl-glycyl-aspartic acid (RGD) motif reported to be required for internalization into sensitive wheat mesophyll cells. Reverse-transcriptase PCR revealed that the ChTOXA gene expression is up-regulated in planta, relative to axenic culture. Plant assays indicated that the recombinant ChToxA protein induces light-dependent leaf necrosis in a host-selective manner on maize inbred lines. Gene deletion experiments confirmed that ChtoxA mutants are reduced in virulence on specific ChToxA-sensitive maize lines, relative to virulence caused by wild-type strains. Database searches identified potential ChToxA homologues in other plant-pathogenic ascomycetes. Sequence and phylogenetic analyses revealed that the corresponding ToxA-like proteins include one member recently shown to be associated with formation of penetration hypha. These results provide the first evidence that C. heterostrophus is capable of producing proteinaceous HSTs as virulence factors in addition to well-known secondary metabolite-type toxins produced biosynthetically by polyketide synthase megaenzymes. Further studies on ChToxA may provide new insights into effector evolution in host

  20. Phenotypic characterization of xpr, a global regulator of extracellular virulence factors in Staphylococcus aureus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smeltzer, M. S.; Hart, M. E.; Iandolo, J. J.; Spooner, B. S. (Principal Investigator)

    1993-01-01

    We recently described a Tn551 insertion in the chromosome of Staphylococcus aureus S6C that resulted in drastically reduced expression of extracellular lipase (M. S. Smeltzer, S. R. Gill, and J. J. Iandolo, J. Bacteriol. 174:4000-4006, 1992). The insertion was localized to a chromosomal site (designated omega 1058) distinct from the lipase structural gene (geh) and the accessory gene regulator (agr), both of which were structurally intact in the lipase-negative (Lip-) mutants. In this report, we describe a phenotypic comparison between strains S6C, a hyperproducer of enterotoxin B; KSI9051, a derivative of S6C carrying the Tn551 insertion at omega 1058; ISP546, an 8325-4 strain that carries a Tn551 insertion in the agr locus; and ISP479C, the parent strain of ISP546 cured of the Tn551 delivery plasmid pI258repA36. Compared with their respective parent strains, ISP546 and KSI9051 produced greatly reduced amounts of lipase, alpha-toxin, delta-toxin, protease, and nuclease. KSI9051 also produced reduced amounts of staphylococcal enterotoxin B. Coagulase production was increased in ISP546 but not in KSI9051. Using a mouse model, we also demonstrated that ISP546 and KSI9051 were far less virulent than ISP479C and S6C. We have designated the genetic element defined by the Tn551 insertion at omega 1058 xpr to denote its role as a regulator of extracellular protein synthesis. We conclude that xpr and agr are similar and possibly interactive regulatory genes that play an important role in pathogenesis of staphylococcal disease.

  1. Escherichia coli strains from pregnant women and neonates: intraspecies genetic distribution and prevalence of virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Watt, Stéphane; Lanotte, Philippe; Mereghetti, Laurent; Moulin-Schouleur, Maryvonne; Picard, Bertrand; Quentin, Roland

    2003-05-01

    To determine the extent to which the vagina, endocervix, and amniotic fluid screen the Escherichia coli strains responsible for neonatal infections, we studied the genetic relationships among 105 E. coli strains isolated from all of the ecosystems involved in this infectious process. Twenty-four strains were isolated from the intestinal flora, and 25 strains were isolated from the vaginas of pregnant women. Twenty-seven strains were isolated from the amniotic fluid, blood, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of infected neonates. The intraspecies genetic characteristics of all of the isolates were determined by random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis, PCR ECOR (E. coli reference) grouping, and PCR virulence genotyping. A correlation was found between the intraspecies distributions of the strains in the A, B1, B2, and D ECOR groups and in the two major RAPD groups (I and II). Nevertheless, the distribution of the E. coli strains in the RAPD groups according to their anatomical origins was more significant than their distribution in the ECOR groups. This may be explained by the existence of an E. coli subpopulation, defined by the RAPD I group, within the ECOR B2 group. This RAPD I group presents a major risk for neonates: 75% of the strains isolated from patients with meningitis and 100% of the strains isolated from patients with bacteremia were in this group. The vagina and the amniotic fluid are two barriers that favor colonization by highly infectious strains. Indeed, only 17% of fecal strains belonged to the RAPD I group, whereas 52% of vaginal strains and 67% of amniotic fluid strains belonged to this subpopulation. The ibeA and iucC genes were significantly associated with CSF strains, whereas the hly and sfa/foc genes were more frequent in blood strains. These findings could serve as a basis for developing tools to recognize vaginal strains, which present a high risk for neonates, for use in prophylaxis programs.

  2. Structure of Oxalacetate Acetylhydrolase, a Virulence Factor of the Chestnut Blight Fungus

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Chen; Sun, Qihong; Narayanan, Buvaneswari; Nuss, Donald L.; Herzberg, Osnat

    2010-11-15

    Oxalacetate acetylhydrolase (OAH), a member of the phosphoenolpyruvate mutase/isocitrate lyase superfamily, catalyzes the hydrolysis of oxalacetate to oxalic acid and acetate. This study shows that knock-out of the oah gene in Cryphonectria parasitica, the chestnut blight fungus, reduces the ability of the fungus to form cankers on chestnut trees, suggesting that OAH plays a key role in virulence. OAH was produced in Escherichia coli and purified, and its catalytic rates were determined. Oxalacetate is the main OAH substrate, but the enzyme also acts as a lyase of (2R,3S)-dimethyl malate with {approx}1000-fold lower efficacy. The crystal structure of OAH was determined alone, in complex with a mechanism-based inhibitor, 3,3-difluorooxalacetate (DFOA), and in complex with the reaction product, oxalate, to a resolution limit of 1.30, 1.55, and 1.65 {angstrom}, respectively. OAH assembles into a dimer of dimers with each subunit exhibiting an ({alpha}/{beta})8 barrel fold and each pair swapping the 8th {alpha}-helix. An active site 'gating loop' exhibits conformational disorder in the ligand-free structure. To obtain the structures of the OAH {center_dot} ligand complexes, the ligand-free OAH crystals were soaked briefly with DFOA or oxalacetate. DFOA binding leads to ordering of the gating loop in a conformation that sequesters the ligand from the solvent. DFOA binds in a gem-diol form analogous to the oxalacetate intermediate/transition state. Oxalate binds in a planar conformation, but the gating loop is largely disordered. Comparison between the OAH structure and that of the closely related enzyme, 2,3-dimethylmalate lyase, suggests potential determinants of substrate preference.

  3. Detection of virulence factors of Escherichia coli focused on prevalence of EAST1 toxin in stool of diarrheic and non-diarrheic piglets and presence of adhesion involving virulence factors in astA positive strains.

    PubMed

    Zajacova, Zuzana Sramkova; Konstantinova, Lucie; Alexa, Pavel

    2012-01-27

    Between 2005 and 2009, a total of 800 Escherichia coli strains isolated from piglets with diarrhea were tested for the presence of enteroaggregative heat-stable enterotoxin EAST1, heat-labile (LT) and heat-stable enterotoxins (STa) and shigatoxin (Stx2e) by PCR with the purpose of investigating the present distribution of virulence factors on swine farms in the Czech Republic. The isolates were analyzed for their O-serogroup, fimbrial (K88, K99, 987P, F41, F18) and nonfimbrial adhesins (adhesin involved in diffuse adherence AIDA and porcine attaching and effacing-associated factor PAA). The detection rates of ETEC and STEC isolates were 36.5% and 7.75%, respectively, which implies that ETEC play the major role in E. coli infections in Czech herds. Generally, the most common serotype was O149:K88 which possessed genetic determinants for LT and EAST1. None of the tested E. coli isolates was positive for genes K99, 987P and F41. It was shown that out of 800 E. coli strains isolated from pigs, 277 were EAST1 positive and 74% from the latter were identified as ETEC. Of the fimbrial adhesins, K88 and F18 were commonly detected. Over 80% of K88/EAST1 positive strains possessed the gene for paa. We detected no EAE isolate positive for fimbrial adhesins or PAA and AIDA. The AIDA was more often associated with F18 than with K88. The gene astA was also identified among E. coli isolates of non-diarrheic piglets. We tested rectal swab samples collected from apparently healthy piglets on three farms. On all farms, E. coli astA positive strains (26.66%, 90.00% and 46.66% astA positive animals) were isolated. Our results showed a significantly higher prevalence of astA positive E. coli isolates among apparently healthy piglets in comparison with diarrheic piglets. The question remains as to what is the role of the astA gene in the pathogenesis of porcine colibacillosis and as a virulence factor.

  4. The K1 Capsular Polysaccharide of Acinetobacter baumannii Strain 307-0294 Is a Major Virulence Factor

    PubMed Central

    Russo, Thomas A.; Luke, Nicole R.; Beanan, Janet M.; Olson, Ruth; Sauberan, Shauna L.; MacDonald, Ulrike; Schultz, L. Wayne; Umland, Timothy C.; Campagnari, Anthony A.

    2010-01-01

    Acinetobacter baumannii is a pathogen of increasing medical importance with a propensity to be multidrug resistant, thereby making treatment challenging. Little is known of virulence traits in A. baumannii. To identify virulence factors and potential drug targets, random transposon (Tn) mutants derived from the A. baumannii strain AB307-0294 were screened to identify genes essential for growth in human ascites fluid in vitro, an inflammatory exudative fluid. These studies led to the identification of two genes that were predicted to be required for capsule polymerization and assembly. The first, ptk, encodes a putative protein tyrosine kinase (PTK), and the second, epsA, encodes a putative polysaccharide export outer membrane protein (EpsA). Monoclonal antibodies used in flow cytometric and Western analyses confirmed that these genes are required for a capsule-positive phenotype. A capsule-positive phenotype significantly optimized growth in human ascites fluid, survival in human serum, and survival in a rat soft tissue infection model. Importantly, the clearance of the capsule-minus mutants AB307.30 (ptk mutant, capsule minus) and AB307.45 (epsA mutant, capsule minus) was complete and durable. These data demonstrated that the K1 capsule from AB307-0294 was an important protectin. Further, these data suggested that conserved proteins, which contribute to the capsule-positive phenotype, are potential antivirulence drug targets. Therefore, the results from this study have important biologic and translational implications and, to the best of our knowledge, are the first to address the role of capsule in the pathogenesis of A. baumannii infection. PMID:20643860

  5. Influence of tigecycline on expression of virulence factors in biofilm-associated cells of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Smith, Karen; Gould, Katherine A; Ramage, Gordon; Gemmell, Curtis G; Hinds, Jason; Lang, Sue

    2010-01-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are complicated by the ability of the organism to grow in surface-adhered biofilms on a multitude of abiotic and biological surfaces. These multicellular communities are notoriously difficult to eradicate with antimicrobial therapy. Cells within the biofilm may be exposed to a sublethal concentration of the antimicrobial due to the metabolic and phenotypic diversity of the biofilm-associated cells or the protection offered by the biofilm structure. In the present study, the influence of a sublethal concentration of tigecycline on biofilms formed by an epidemic MRSA-16 isolate was investigated by transcriptome analysis. In the presence of the drug, 309 genes were upregulated and 213 genes were downregulated by more than twofold in comparison to the levels of gene regulation detected for the controls not grown in the presence of the drug. Microarray data were validated by real-time reverse transcription-PCR and phenotypic assays. Tigecycline altered the expression of a number of genes encoding proteins considered to be crucial for the virulence of S. aureus. These included the reduced expression of icaC, which is involved in polysaccharide intercellular adhesin production and biofilm development; the upregulation of fnbA, clfB, and cna, which encode adhesins which attach to human proteins; and the downregulation of the cap genes, which mediate the synthesis of the capsule polysaccharide. The expression of tst, which encodes toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1), was also significantly reduced; and an assay performed to quantify TSST-1 showed that the level of toxin production by cells treated with tigecycline decreased by 10-fold (P < 0.001) compared to the level of production by untreated control cells. This study suggests that tigecycline may reduce the expression of important virulence factors in S. aureus and supports further investigation to determine whether it could be a useful adjunct to therapy

  6. Enhanced extracellular production of aspartyl proteinase, a virulence factor, by Candida albicans isolates following growth in subinhibitory concentrations of fluconazole.

    PubMed

    Wu, T; Wright, K; Hurst, S F; Morrison, C J

    2000-05-01

    We examined the production of secreted aspartyl proteinase (Sap), a putative virulence factor of Candida albicans, by a series of 17 isolates representing a single strain obtained from the oral cavity of an AIDS patient before and after the development of clinical and in vitro resistance to fluconazole. Isolates were grown in Sap-inducing yeast carbon base-bovine serum albumin medium containing 0, 0.25, 0.5, or 1 MIC of fluconazole, and cultures were sampled daily for 14 days to determine extracellular Sap activity by enzymatic degradation of bovine serum albumin. Extracellular Sap activity was significantly decreased in a dose-dependent manner for the most fluconazole-susceptible isolate (MIC, 1.0 microg/ml) and significantly increased in a dose-dependent manner for the most fluconazole-resistant isolate (MIC, >64 microg/ml). Enhanced extracellular Sap production could not be attributed to cell death or nonspecific release of Sap, because there was no reduction in the number of CFU and no significant release of enolase, a constitutive enzyme of the glycolytic pathway. Conversely, intracellular Sap concentrations were significantly increased in a dose-dependent manner in the most fluconazole-susceptible isolate and decreased in the most fluconazole-resistant isolate. Enhanced Sap production correlated with the overexpression of a gene encoding a multidrug resistance (MDR1) efflux pump occurring in these isolates. These data indicate that exposure to subinhibitory concentrations of fluconazole can result in enhanced extracellular production of Sap by isolates with the capacity to overexpress MDR1 and imply that patients infected with these isolates and subsequently treated with suboptimal doses of fluconazole may experience enhanced C. albicans virulence in vivo.

  7. Listeria monocytogenes PrsA2 Is Required for Virulence Factor Secretion and Bacterial Viability within the Host Cell Cytosol▿

    PubMed Central

    Alonzo, Francis; Freitag, Nancy E.

    2010-01-01

    In the course of establishing its replication niche within the cytosol of infected host cells, the facultative intracellular bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes must efficiently regulate the secretion and activity of multiple virulence factors. L. monocytogenes encodes two predicted posttranslocation secretion chaperones, PrsA1 and PrsA2, and evidence suggests that PrsA2 has been specifically adapted for bacterial pathogenesis. PrsA-like chaperones have been identified in a number of Gram-positive bacteria, where they are reported to function at the bacterial membrane-cell wall interface to assist in the folding of proteins translocated across the membrane; in some cases, these proteins have been found to be essential for bacterial viability. In this study, the contributions of PrsA2 and PrsA1 to L. monocytogenes growth and protein secretion were investigated in vitro and in vivo. Neither PrsA2 nor PrsA1 was found to be essential for L. monocytogenes growth in broth culture; however, optimal bacterial viability was found to be dependent upon PrsA2 for L. monocytogenes located within the cytosol of host cells. Proteomic analyses of prsA2 mutant strains in the presence of a mutationally activated allele of the virulence regulator PrfA revealed a critical requirement for PrsA2 activity under conditions of PrfA activation, an event which normally takes place within the host cell cytosol. Despite a high degree of amino acid similarity, no detectable degree of functional overlap was observed between PrsA2 and PrsA1. Our results indicate a critical requirement for PrsA2 under conditions relevant to host cell infection. PMID:20823208

  8. Candida species from oral cavity of HIV-infected children exhibit reduced virulence factors in the HAART era.

    PubMed

    Portela, Maristela Barbosa; Lima de Amorim, Elaine; Santos, Adrielle Mangabeira; Alexandre da Rocha Curvelo, José; de Oliveira Martins, Karol; Capillé, Cauli Lima; Maria de Araújo Soares, Rosangela; Barbosa de Araújo Castro, Gloria Fernanda

    2017-01-01

    This study aimed to assess, in vitro, the biofilm viability and the phospholipase and protease production of Candida spp. from the saliva of HIV infected children and healthy controls, and to correlate the results with the use of medical data. A total of 79 isolates were analyzed: 48 Candida albicans isolates (33/15) and 20 Candida parapsilosis sensu lato complex isolates (12/8) (from HIV/control patients, respectively), and 8 Candida krusei, 1 Candida tropicalis, 1 Candida dubliniensis and 1 Candida guilliermondii from HIV patients. The XTT (2, 3-bis (2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium-5-Carboxanilide) reduction assay analyzed the biofilm viability. Phospholipase and protease assays were performed using the egg yolk and Bovine Serum Albumin agar plate methods, respectively. All isolates were able to form biofilm with cell viability. Quantitatively, Candida isolates from both groups presented a similar ability to form biofilm (p > 0.05). The biofilm viability activity was higher in C. albicans isolates than in non-albicans Candida isolates (p < 0.05) for both groups. Phospholipase activity was detected in 32 isolates (40.5%) and it was significantly higher in the HIV group (p = 0.006). Protease activity was detected in 66 isolates (84.8%) and most of them were relatively/very strong producers. No statistical association with medical data was found in the HIV group. Although Candida spp. isolates from HIV-positive children presented higher phospholipase production, in vitro they exhibited reduced virulence factors compared to isolates from healthy individuals. This finding may enlighten the role played by immunosuppression in the modulation of Candida virulence attributes.

  9. Influence of Tigecycline on Expression of Virulence Factors in Biofilm-Associated Cells of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus▿

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Karen; Gould, Katherine A.; Ramage, Gordon; Gemmell, Curtis G.; Hinds, Jason; Lang, Sue

    2010-01-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are complicated by the ability of the organism to grow in surface-adhered biofilms on a multitude of abiotic and biological surfaces. These multicellular communities are notoriously difficult to eradicate with antimicrobial therapy. Cells within the biofilm may be exposed to a sublethal concentration of the antimicrobial due to the metabolic and phenotypic diversity of the biofilm-associated cells or the protection offered by the biofilm structure. In the present study, the influence of a sublethal concentration of tigecycline on biofilms formed by an epidemic MRSA-16 isolate was investigated by transcriptome analysis. In the presence of the drug, 309 genes were upregulated and 213 genes were downregulated by more than twofold in comparison to the levels of gene regulation detected for the controls not grown in the presence of the drug. Microarray data were validated by real-time reverse transcription-PCR and phenotypic assays. Tigecycline altered the expression of a number of genes encoding proteins considered to be crucial for the virulence of S. aureus. These included the reduced expression of icaC, which is involved in polysaccharide intercellular adhesin production and biofilm development; the upregulation of fnbA, clfB, and cna, which encode adhesins which attach to human proteins; and the downregulation of the cap genes, which mediate the synthesis of the capsule polysaccharide. The expression of tst, which encodes toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1), was also significantly reduced; and an assay performed to quantify TSST-1 showed that the level of toxin production by cells treated with tigecycline decreased by 10-fold (P < 0.001) compared to the level of production by untreated control cells. This study suggests that tigecycline may reduce the expression of important virulence factors in S. aureus and supports further investigation to determine whether it could be a useful adjunct to therapy

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  11. Molecular architecture of the regulatory Locus sae of Staphylococcus aureus and its impact on expression of virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Steinhuber, Andrea; Goerke, Christiane; Bayer, Manfred G; Döring, Gerd; Wolz, Christiane

    2003-11-01

    We characterized the sae operon, a global regulator for virulence gene expression in Staphylococcus aureus. A Tn917 sae mutant was obtained by screening a Tn917 library of the agr mutant ISP479Mu for clones with altered hemolytic activity. Sequence analysis of the sae operon revealed two additional open reading frames (ORFs) (ORF3 and ORF4) upstream of the two-component regulatory genes saeR and saeS. Four overlapping sae-specific transcripts (T1 to T4) were detected by Northern blot analysis, and the transcriptional initiation points were mapped by primer extension analysis. The T1, T2, and T3 mRNAs are probably terminated at the same stem-loop sequence downstream of saeS. The T1 message (3.1 kb) initiates upstream of ORF4, T2 (2.4 kb) initiates upstream of ORF3, and T3 (2.0 kb) initiates in front of saeR. T4 (0.7 kb) represents a monocistronic mRNA encompassing ORF4 only. sae-specific transcripts were detectable in all of the 40 different clinical S. aureus isolates investigated. Transcript levels were at maximum during the post-exponential growth phase. The sae mutant showed a significantly reduced rate of invasion of human endothelial cells, consistent with diminished transcription and expression of fnbA. The expression of type 5 capsular polysaccharide is activated in the sae mutant of strain Newman, as shown by immunofluorescence and promoter-reporter fusion experiments. In summary, the sae operon constitutes a four-component regulator system which acts on virulence gene expression in S. aureus.

  12. Evaluation of the experimental inoculation of Cryptococcus albidus and Cryptococcus laurentii in normal mice: virulence factors and molecular profile before and after animal passage.

    PubMed

    Pedroso, Reginaldo dos Santos; Ferreira, Joseane Cristina; Lavrador, Marco Aurélio Sicchiroli; Maffei, Claudia Maria Leite; Candido, Regina Celia

    2009-08-01

    The genus Cryptococcus includes free-developing species, a few of which are of medical importance. Some, such as C. neoformans and C. gattii, cause infections in man frequently and C. albidus and C. laurentii cause less so. The aims of this study were to evaluate organ colonization after inoculation of C. albidus and C. laurentii isolates in normal BALB/c mice, the virulence factors (growth at 37 degrees C, capsule, melanin, proteinase, and phospholipase production) and the molecular profile (PCR-fingerprinting) of the yeasts before and after infection. The importance of different profiles (virulence and molecular) was considered in relation to the distribution in different organs and to the time intervals of isolation from organs. C. albidus was isolated from animal organs 2 to 10 days after inoculation and C. laurentii from 2 to 120 days. Most isolates of the two species kept the virulence factors showed before inoculation. The high homogeneity of the molecular profile of C. albidus and the high heterogeneity of C. laurentii were kept through the passages in animals. It is concluded that most isolates of both species were recovered from the animal organs after 5 or more days, and phenotypes were not altered by inoculation. No molecular alteration was detected and the virulence factors were not related to the time intervals before isolation from organs.

  13. Comparative Transcriptomic Analysis of Virulence Factors in Leptosphaeria maculans during Compatible and Incompatible Interactions with Canola

    PubMed Central

    Sonah, Humira; Zhang, Xuehua; Deshmukh, Rupesh K.; Borhan, M. Hossein; Fernando, W. G. Dilantha; Bélanger, Richard R.

    2016-01-01

    Leptosphaeria maculans is a hemibiotrophic fungus that causes blackleg of canola (Brassica napus), one of the most devastating diseases of this crop. In the present study, transcriptome profiling of L. maculans was performed in an effort to understand and define the pathogenicity genes that govern both the biotrophic and the necrotrophic phase of the fungus, as well as those that separate a compatible from an incompatible interaction. For this purpose, comparative RNA-seq analyses were performed on L. maculans isolate D5 at four different time points following inoculation on susceptible cultivar Topas-DH16516 or resistant introgression line Topas-Rlm2. Analysis of 1.6 billion Illumina reads readily identified differentially expressed genes that were over represented by candidate secretory effector proteins, CAZymes, and other pathogenicity genes. Comparisons between the compatible and incompatible interactions led to the identification of 28 effector proteins whose chronology and level of expression suggested a role in the establishment and maintenance of biotrophy with the plant. These included all known Avr genes of isolate D5 along with eight newly characterized effectors. In addition, another 15 effector proteins were found to be exclusively expressed during the necrotrophic phase of the fungus, which supports the concept that L. maculans has a separate and distinct arsenal contributing to each phase. As for CAZymes, they were often highly expressed at 3 dpi but with no difference in expression between the compatible and incompatible interactions, indicating that other factors were necessary to determine the outcome of the interaction. However, their significantly higher expression at 11 dpi in the compatible interaction confirmed that they contributed to the necrotrophic phase of the fungus. A notable exception was LysM genes whose high expression was singularly observed on the susceptible host at 7 dpi. In the case of TFs, their higher expression at 7 and 11

  14. Resistance to amoxicillin-clavulanate and its relation to virulence-related factors in Yersinia enterocolitica biovar 1A.

    PubMed

    Singhal, N; Kumar, M; Virdi, J S

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies have reported that the virulence factors (VFs) were detected more frequently in amoxicillin-clavulanate (AMC) susceptible clinical isolates of Escherichia coli. Here, we have evaluated the relationship between VFs and AMC-resistance phenotype in clinical isolates of Y. enterocolitica biovar 1A. The presence/absence of VFs was compared with their minimum inhibitory concentrations for AMC in strains of two serovars. We observed that the strains of the serovar O: 6, 30-6, 31 showed a similar relationship between the number of VFs and resistance to clavulanic acid as in E. coli but not of serovar O: 6, 30. Variations in the promoters/complete coding sequences (CCDSs) of β-lactamase gene (bla A) or the serological characteristics could not account for unusual susceptibility to AMC displayed by the strains of the serovar O: 6, 30. Therefore, we speculate that since the clinical strains of serovar O: 6, 30-6, 31 originated from the environment they were less exposed to antibiotics compared to clinical strains of serovar O: 6, 30. Thus, AMC susceptibility seems to be influenced by factors other than serotypes or promoters/CCDS of β-lactamase genes.

  15. Purification, Crystallization and Preliminary X-ray Diffraction Analysis of Cif, a Virulence Factor Secreted by Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    SciTech Connect

    Bahl, C.; MacEachran, D; O' Toole, G; Madden, D

    2010-01-01

    The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa secretes a protein that triggers the accelerated degradation of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) in airway epithelial cells. This protein, which is known as the CFTR inhibitory factor (Cif), acts as a virulence factor and may facilitate airway colonization by P. aeruginosa. Based on sequence similarity Cif appears to be an epoxide hydrolase (EH), but it lacks several of the conserved features found in the active sites of canonical members of the EH family. Here, the crystallization of purified recombinant Cif by vapor diffusion is reported. The crystals formed in space group C2, with unit-cell parameters a = 167.4, b = 83.6, c = 88.3 {angstrom}, {beta} = 100.6{sup o}. The crystals diffracted to 2.39 {angstrom} resolution on a rotating-anode source. Based on the calculated Matthews coefficient (2.2 {angstrom}{sup 3} Da{sup -1}), it appears that the asymmetric unit contains four molecules.

  16. Cryptosporidium Pathogenicity and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Bouzid, Maha; Chalmers, Rachel M.; Tyler, Kevin M.

    2013-01-01

    Cryptosporidium is a protozoan parasite of medical and veterinary importance that causes gastroenteritis in a variety of vertebrate hosts. Several studies have reported different degrees of pathogenicity and virulence among Cryptosporidium species and isolates of the same species as well as evidence of variation in host susceptibility to infection. The identification and validation of Cryptosporidium virulence factors have been hindered by the renowned difficulties pertaining to the in vitro culture and genetic manipulation of this parasite. Nevertheless, substantial progress has been made in identifying putative virulence factors for Cryptosporidium. This progress has been accelerated since the publication of the Cryptosporidium parvum and C. hominis genomes, with the characterization of over 25 putative virulence factors identified by using a variety of immunological and molecular techniques and which are proposed to be involved in aspects of host-pathogen interactions from adhesion and locomotion to invasion and proliferation. Progress has also been made in the contribution of host factors that are associated with variations in both the severity and risk of infection. Here we provide a review comprised of the current state of knowledge on Cryptosporidium infectivity, pathogenesis, and transmissibility in light of our contemporary understanding of microbial virulence. PMID:23297262

  17. Klebsiella pneumoniae Asparagine tDNAs Are Integration Hotspots for Different Genomic Islands Encoding Microcin E492 Production Determinants and Other Putative Virulence Factors Present in Hypervirulent Strains.

    PubMed

    Marcoleta, Andrés E; Berríos-Pastén, Camilo; Nuñez, Gonzalo; Monasterio, Octavio; Lagos, Rosalba

    2016-01-01

    Due to the developing of multi-resistant and invasive hypervirulent strains, Klebsiella pneumoniae has become one of the most urgent bacterial pathogen threats in the last years. Genomic comparison of a growing number of sequenced isolates has allowed the identification of putative virulence factors, proposed to be acquirable mainly through horizontal gene transfer. In particular, those related with synthesizing the antibacterial peptide microcin E492 (MccE492) and salmochelin siderophores were found to be highly prevalent among hypervirulent strains. The determinants for the production of both molecules were first reported as part of a 13-kbp segment of K. pneumoniae RYC492 chromosome, and were cloned and characterized in E. coli. However, the genomic context of this segment in K. pneumoniae remained uncharacterized. In this work, we provided experimental and bioinformatics evidence indicating that the MccE492 cluster is part of a highly conserved 23-kbp genomic island (GI) named GIE492, that was integrated in a specific asparagine-tRNA gene (asn-tDNA) and was found in a high proportion of isolates from liver abscesses sampled around the world. This element resulted to be unstable and its excision frequency increased after treating bacteria with mitomycin C and upon the overexpression of the island-encoded integrase. Besides the MccE492 genetic cluster, it invariably included an integrase-coding gene, at least seven protein-coding genes of unknown function, and a putative transfer origin that possibly allows this GI to be mobilized through conjugation. In addition, we analyzed the asn-tDNA loci of all the available K. pneumoniae assembled chromosomes to evaluate them as GI-integration sites. Remarkably, 73% of the strains harbored at least one GI integrated in one of the four asn-tDNA present in this species, confirming them as integration hotspots. Each of these tDNAs was occupied with different frequencies, although they were 100% identical. Also, we identified

  18. Klebsiella pneumoniae Asparagine tDNAs Are Integration Hotspots for Different Genomic Islands Encoding Microcin E492 Production Determinants and Other Putative Virulence Factors Present in Hypervirulent Strains

    PubMed Central

    Marcoleta, Andrés E.; Berríos-Pastén, Camilo; Nuñez, Gonzalo; Monasterio, Octavio; Lagos, Rosalba

    2016-01-01

    Due to the developing of multi-resistant and invasive hypervirulent strains, Klebsiella pneumoniae has become one of the most urgent bacterial pathogen threats in the last years. Genomic comparison of a growing number of sequenced isolates has allowed the identification of putative virulence factors, proposed to be acquirable mainly through horizontal gene transfer. In particular, those related with synthesizing the antibacterial peptide microcin E492 (MccE492) and salmochelin siderophores were found to be highly prevalent among hypervirulent strains. The determinants for the production of both molecules were first reported as part of a 13-kbp segment of K. pneumoniae RYC492 chromosome, and were cloned and characterized in E. coli. However, the genomic context of this segment in K. pneumoniae remained uncharacterized. In this work, we provided experimental and bioinformatics evidence indicating that the MccE492 cluster is part of a highly conserved 23-kbp genomic island (GI) named GIE492, that was integrated in a specific asparagine-tRNA gene (asn-tDNA) and was found in a high proportion of isolates from liver abscesses sampled around the world. This element resulted to be unstable and its excision frequency increased after treating bacteria with mitomycin C and upon the overexpression of the island-encoded integrase. Besides the MccE492 genetic cluster, it invariably included an integrase-coding gene, at least seven protein-coding genes of unknown function, and a putative transfer origin that possibly allows this GI to be mobilized through conjugation. In addition, we analyzed the asn-tDNA loci of all the available K. pneumoniae assembled chromosomes to evaluate them as GI-integration sites. Remarkably, 73% of the strains harbored at least one GI integrated in one of the four asn-tDNA present in this species, confirming them as integration hotspots. Each of these tDNAs was occupied with different frequencies, although they were 100% identical. Also, we identified

  19. Insights into Entamoeba histolytica virulence modulation.

    PubMed

    Padilla-Vaca, F; Anaya-Velázquez, F

    2010-08-01

    Entamoeba histolytica is able to invade human tissues by means of several molecules and biological properties related to the virulence. Pathogenic amebas use three major virulence factors, Gal/GalNAc lectin, amebapore and proteases, for lyse, phagocytose, kill and destroy a variety of cells and tissues in the host. Responses of the parasite to host components such as mucins and bacterial flora influence the behavior of pathogenic amebas altering their expression of virulence factors. The relative virulence of different strains of E. histolytica has been shown to vary as a consequence of changes in conditions of in vitro cultivation which implies substantial changes in basic metabolic aspects and factors directly and indirectly related to amebic virulence. Comparison of E. histolytica strains with different virulence phenotypes and under different conditions of growth will help to identify new virulence factor candidates and define the interplay between virulence factors and invasive phenotype. Virulence attenuate mutants of E. histolytica are useful also to uncover novel virulence determinants. The comparison of biological properties and virulence factors between E. histolytica and E. dispar, a non-pathogenic species, has been a useful approach to investigate the key factors involved in the experimental presentation of amebiasis and its complex regulation. The molecular mechanisms that regulate these variations in virulence are not yet known. Their elucidation will help us to better understand the gene expression plasticity that enables the effective adaptation of the ameba to changes in growth culture conditions and host factors.

  20. Virulence Determination

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This chapter reviews the in vitro and in vivo assays that are available for determination of pathogenic potential of Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, highlighting the value of using multiplex PCR for rapid and accurate assessment of listerial virulence....

  1. Transforming Growth Factor β2 Promotes Transcription of COX2 and EP4, Leading to a Prostaglandin E2-Driven Autostimulatory Loop That Enhances Virulence of Theileria annulata-Transformed Macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Echebli, Nadia; Ding, Ying; Kamau, Everlyn

    2015-01-01

    Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) is a pleiotropic cytokine known to regulate cell growth, differentiation, and motility and is a potent modulator of immune function. TGF-β consequently plays a central role in carcinogenesis, and a dampened TGF-β2 response by Theileria annulata-infected monocytes/macrophages underpins disease resistance to tropical theileriosis. Here, we show that concomitant with the loss of TGF-β2 production, there is ablated expression of COX2 and EP4, which leads to a drop in cyclic AMP (cAMP) levels and, consequently, reduced activation of protein kinase A (PKA) and EPAC. This ablated phenotype can be rescued in attenuated macrophages by the addition of exogenous TGF-β2, which reactivates the expression of COX2 and EP4 while repressing that of protein kinase inhibitor gamma (PKIG) to the levels in virulent macrophages. TGF-β2 therefore promotes the adhesion and invasiveness of virulent macrophages by modulating COX2, EP4, and PKIG transcription to initiate a prostaglandin E2 (PGE2)-driven autostimulatory loop that augments PKA and EPAC activities. A virulence phenotype stemming from the double activation of PKA and EPAC is the induction of a CREB-mediated transcriptional program and the upregulation of JAM-L- and integrin 4αβ1-mediated adhesion of Theileria-infected macrophages. PMID:25690101

  2. Virulence factor regulation and regulatory networks in Streptococcus pyogenes and their impact on pathogen-host interactions.

    PubMed

    Kreikemeyer, Bernd; McIver, Kevin S; Podbielski, Andreas

    2003-05-01

    Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococcus, GAS) is a very important human pathogen with remarkable adaptation capabilities. Survival within the harsh host surroundings requires sensing potential on the bacterial side, which leads in particular to coordinately regulated virulence factor expression. GAS 'stand-alone' response regulators (RRs) and two-component signal transduction systems (TCSs) link the signals from the host environment with adaptive responses of the bacterial cell. Numerous putative regulatory systems emerged from GAS genome sequences. Only three RRs [Mga, RofA-like protein (RALP) and Rgg/RopB] and three TCSs (CsrRS/CovRS, FasBCAX and Ihk/Irr) have been studied in some detail with respect to their growth-phase-dependent activity and their influence on GAS-host cell interaction. In particular, the Mga-, RALP- and Rgg/RopB-regulated pathways display interconnected activities that appear to influence GAS colonization, persistence and spreading mechanisms, in a growth-phase-related fashion. Here, we have summarized our current knowledge about these RRs and TCSs to highlight the questions that should be addressed in future research on GAS pathogenicity.

  3. The zoonotic potential of Lactococcus garvieae: An overview on microbiology, epidemiology, virulence factors and relationship with its presence in foods.

    PubMed

    Gibello, Alicia; Galán-Sánchez, Fátima; Blanco, M Mar; Rodríguez-Iglesias, Manuel; Domínguez, Lucas; Fernández-Garayzábal, José F

    2016-12-01

    Lactococcus garvieae is a relevant worldwide fish pathogen affecting various farmed and wild marine and freshwater species. It has also been isolated from other animals, such as ruminants with subclinical mastitis and pigs with pneumonia. From the early 90s, L. garvieae has been associated with different human infections, mainly endocarditis. During the last five years, human infections by this bacterium appear to be increasing, likely due to the improvement in microbiological methods for bacterial identification and the alertness of this bacterium by physicians. Human L. garvieae infections have been associated with the consumption or the handling of contaminated raw fish or seafood, and recently, a genetic study showed that meat, raw milk and dairy products may also be food sources of human L. garvieae infections. However, the status of L. garvieae as a potential zoonotic bacterium is still controversial to date. In this work, we describe four new human infections by L. garvieae in elderly and inmunocompromised patients, and we show an overview on L. garvieae microbiology, epidemiology, virulence factors and relationship with its presence in foods.

  4. S. aureus blocks efferocytosis of neutrophils by macrophages through the activity of its virulence factor alpha toxin

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Taylor S.; Jones-Nelson, Omari; Hotz, Meghan; Cheng, Lily; Miller, Lloyd S.; Suzich, JoAnn; Stover, C. Kendall; Sellman, Bret R.

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial pneumonia, such as those caused by Staphylococcus aureus, is associated with an influx of inflammatory neutrophils into the lung tissue and airways. Regulation and clearance of recruited neutrophils is essential for preventing tissue damage by “friendly fire”, a responsibility of macrophages in a process called efferocytosis. We hypothesized that S. aureus impairs efferocytosis by alveolar macrophages (AMs) through the activity of the secreted virulence factor alpha toxin (AT), which has been implicated in altering the antimicrobial function of AMs. Infection of mice lacking AMs resulted in significantly increased numbers of neutrophils in the lung, while clearance of neutrophils delivered intranasally into uninfected mice was reduced in AM depleted animals. In vitro, sublytic levels of AT impaired uptake of apoptotic neutrophils by purified AMs. In vivo, the presence of AT reduced uptake of neutrophils by AMs. Differential uptake of neutrophils was not due to changes in either the CD47/CD172 axis or CD36 levels. AT significantly reduced lung expression of CCN1 and altered AM surface localization of DD1α, two proteins known to influence efferocytosis. We conclude that AT may contribute to tissue damage during S. aureus pneumonia by inhibiting the ability of AM to clear neutrophils at the site of infection. PMID:27739519

  5. Cinnamide Derivatives of d‐Mannose as Inhibitors of the Bacterial Virulence Factor LecB from Pseudomonas aeruginosa †

    PubMed Central

    Sommer, Roman; Hauck, Dirk; Varrot, Annabelle; Wagner, Stefanie; Audfray, Aymeric; Prestel, Andreas; Möller, Heiko M.; Imberty, Anne

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic Gram‐negative pathogen with high antibiotic resistance. Its lectin LecB was identified as a virulence factor and is relevant in bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation. Inhibition of LecB with carbohydrate‐based ligands results in a decrease in toxicity and biofilm formation. We recently discovered two classes of potent drug‐like glycomimetic inhibitors, that is, sulfonamides and cinnamides of d‐mannose. Here, we describe the chemical synthesis and biochemical evaluation of more than 20 derivatives with increased potency compared to the unsubstituted cinnamide. The structure–activity relationship (SAR) obtained and the extended biophysical characterization allowed the experimental determination of the binding mode of these cinnamides with LecB. The established surface binding mode now allows future rational structure‐based drug design. Importantly, all glycomimetics tested showed extended receptor residence times with half‐lives in the 5–20 min range, a prerequisite for therapeutic application. Thus, the glycomimetics described here provide an excellent basis for future development of anti‐infectives against this multidrug‐resistant pathogen. PMID:27308201

  6. Proteomic regulation during Legionella pneumophila biofilm development: decrease of virulence factors and enhancement of response to oxidative stress.

    PubMed

    Khemiri, Arbia; Lecheheb, Sandra Ahmed; Chi Song, Philippe Chan; Jouenne, Thierry; Cosette, Pascal

    2014-06-01

    Legionella pneumophila (L. pneumophila) is a Gram-negative bacterium, which can be found worldwide in aquatic environments. It tends to persist because it is often protected within biofilms or amoebae. L. pneumophila biofilms have a major impact on water systems, making the understanding of the bacterial physiological adaptation in biofilms a fundamental step towards their eradication. In this study, we report for the first time the influence of the biofilm mode of growth on the proteome of L. pneumophila. We compared the protein patterns of microorganisms grown as suspensions, cultured as colonies on agar plates or recovered with biofilms formed on stainless steel coupons. Statistical analyses of the protein expression data set confirmed the biofilm phenotype specificity which had been previously observed. It also identified dozens of proteins whose abundance was modified in biofilms. Proteins corresponding to virulence factors (macrophage infectivity potentiator protein, secreted proteases) were largely repressed in adherent cells. In contrast, a peptidoglycan-associated lipoprotein (Lpg2043) and a peroxynitrite reductase (Lpg2965) were accumulated by biofilm cells. Remarkably, hypothetical proteins, that appear to be unique to the Legionella genus (Lpg0563, Lpg1111 and Lpg1809), were over-expressed by sessile bacteria.

  7. The Transcription Factor Con7-1 Is a Master Regulator of Morphogenesis and Virulence in Fusarium oxysporum.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Roldán, Carmen; Pareja-Jaime, Yolanda; González-Reyes, José Antonio; Roncero, M Isabel G

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated the essential role of morphogenetic regulation in Fusarium oxysporum pathogenesis, including processes such as cell-wall biogenesis, cell division, and differentiation of infection-like structures. We identified three F. oxysporum genes encoding predicted transcription factors showing significant identities to Magnaporthe oryzae Con7p, Con7-1, plus two identical copies of Con7-2. Targeted deletion of con7-1 produced nonpathogenic mutants with altered morphogenesis, including defects in cell wall structure, polar growth, hyphal branching, and conidiation. By contrast, simultaneous inactivation of both con7-2 copies caused no detectable defects in the resulting mutants. Comparative microarray-based gene expression analysis indicated that Con7-1 modulates the expression of a large number of genes involved in different biological functions, including host-pathogen interactions, morphogenesis and development, signal perception and transduction, transcriptional regulation, and primary and secondary metabolism. Taken together, our results point to Con7-1 as general regulator of morphogenesis and virulence in F. oxysporum.

  8. A Staphylococcus aureus TIR domain protein virulence factor blocks TLR2-mediated NF-κB signaling.

    PubMed

    Askarian, Fatemeh; van Sorge, Nina M; Sangvik, Maria; Beasley, Federico C; Henriksen, Jørn R; Sollid, Johanna U E; van Strijp, Jos A G; Nizet, Victor; Johannessen, Mona

    2014-01-01

    Signaling through Toll-like receptors (TLRs), crucial molecules in the induction of host defense responses, requires adaptor proteins that contain a Toll/interleukin-1 receptor (TIR) domain. The pathogen Staphylococcus aureus produces several innate immune-evasion molecules that interfere with the host's innate immune response. A database search analysis suggested the presence of a gene encoding a homologue of the human TIR domain in S. aureus MSSA476 which was named staphylococcal TIR domain protein (TirS). Ectopic expression of TirS in human embryonic kidney, macrophage and keratinocyte cell lines interfered with signaling through TLR2, including MyD88 and TIRAP, NF-κB and/or mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways. Moreover, the presence of TirS reduced the levels of cytokines MCP-1 and G-CSF secreted in response to S. aureus. The effects on NF-κB pathway were confirmed using S. aureus MSSA476 wild type, an isogenic mutant MSSA476ΔtirS, and complemented MSSA476ΔtirS +pTirS in a Transwell system where bacteria and host cells were physically separated. Finally, in a systematic mouse infection model, TirS promoted bacterial accumulation in several organs 4 days postinfection. The results of this study reveal a new S. aureus virulence factor that can interfere with PAMP-induced innate immune signaling in vitro and bacterial survival in vivo.

  9. Mechanistic insights into elastin degradation by pseudolysin, the major virulence factor of the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jie; Zhao, Hui-Lin; Ran, Li-Yuan; Li, Chun-Yang; Zhang, Xi-Ying; Su, Hai-Nan; Shi, Mei; Zhou, Bai-Cheng; Chen, Xiu-Lan; Zhang, Yu-Zhong

    2015-04-23

    Pseudolysin is the most abundant protease secreted by Pseudomonas aeruginosa and is the major extracellular virulence factor of this opportunistic human pathogen. Pseudolysin destroys human tissues by solubilizing elastin. However, the mechanisms by which pseudolysin binds to and degrades elastin remain elusive. In this study, we investigated the mechanism of action of pseudolysin on elastin binding and degradation by biochemical assay, microscopy and site-directed mutagenesis. Pseudolysin bound to bovine elastin fibers and preferred to attack peptide bonds with hydrophobic residues at the P1 and P1' positions in the hydrophobic domains of elastin. The time-course degradation processes of both bovine elastin fibers and cross-linked human tropoelastin by pseudolysin were further investigated by microscopy. Altogether, the results indicate that elastin degradation by pseudolysin began with the hydrophobic domains on the fiber surface, followed by the progressive disassembly of macroscopic elastin fibers into primary structural elements. Moreover, our site-directed mutational results indicate that five hydrophobic residues in the S1-S1' sub-sites played key roles in the binding of pseudolysin to elastin. This study sheds lights on the pathogenesis of P. aeruginosa infection.

  10. Secretome analysis identifies potential virulence factors of Diplodia corticola, a fungal pathogen involved in cork oak (Quercus suber) decline.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, Isabel; Alves, Artur; Correia, António; Devreese, Bart; Esteves, Ana Cristina

    2014-01-01

    The characterisation of the secretome of phytopathogenic fungi may contribute to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis. This is particularly relevant for Diplodia corticola, a fungal plant pathogen belonging to the family Botryosphaeriaceae, whose genome remains unsequenced. This phytopathogenic fungus is recognised as one of the most important pathogens of cork oak, being related to the decline of cork oak forests in the Iberian Peninsula. Unfortunately, secretome analysis of filamentous fungi is limited by the low protein concentration and by the presence of many interfering substances, such as polysaccharides, which affect the separation and analysis by 1D and 2D gel electrophoresis. We compared six protein extraction protocols concerning their suitability for further application with proteomic workflows. The protocols involving protein precipitation were the most efficient, with emphasis on TCA-acetone protocol, allowing us to identify the most abundant proteins on the secretome of this plant pathogen. Approximately 60% of the spots detected were identified, all corresponding to extracellular proteins. Most proteins identified were carbohydrate degrading enzymes and proteases that may be related to D. corticola pathogenicity. Although the secretome was assessed in a noninfection environment, potential virulence factors such as the putative glucan-β-glucosidase, neuraminidase, and the putative ferulic acid esterase were identified. The data obtained forms a useful basis for a deeper understanding of the pathogenicity and infection biology of D. corticola. Moreover, it will contribute to the development of proteomics studies on other members of the Botryosphaeriaceae.

  11. Pseudomonas fluorescens Filamentous Hemagglutinin, an Iron-Regulated Protein, Is an Important Virulence Factor that Modulates Bacterial Pathogenicity

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Yuan-Yuan; Chi, Heng; Sun, Li

    2016-01-01

    Pseudomonas fluorescens is a common bacterial pathogen to a wide range of aquaculture animals including various species of fish. In this study, we employed proteomic analysis and identified filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA) as an iron-responsive protein secreted by TSS, a pathogenic P. fluorescens isolate. In vitro study showed that compared to the wild type, the fha mutant TSSfha (i) exhibited a largely similar vegetative growth profile but significantly retarded in the ability of biofilm growth and producing extracellular matrix, (ii) displayed no apparent flagella and motility, (iii) was defective in the attachment to host cells and unable to form self-aggregation, (iv) displayed markedly reduced capacity of hemagglutination and surviving in host serum. In vivo infection analysis revealed that TSSfha was significantly attenuated in the ability of dissemination in fish tissues and inducing host mortality, and that antibody blocking of the natural FHA produced by the wild type TSS impaired the infectivity of the pathogen. Furthermore, when introduced into turbot as a subunit vaccine, recombinant FHA elicited a significant protection against lethal TSS challenge. Taken together, these results indicate for the first time that P. fluorescens FHA is a key virulence factor essential to multiple biological processes associated with pathogenicity. PMID:27602029

  12. Production of diarrheal enterotoxins and other potential virulence factors by veterinary isolates of bacillus species associated with nongastrointestinal infections.

    PubMed

    Rowan, Neil J; Caldow, George; Gemmell, Curtis G; Hunter, Iain S

    2003-04-01

    With the exceptions of Bacillus cereus and Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus species are generally perceived to be inconsequential. However, the relevance of other Bacillus species as food poisoning organisms and etiological agents in nongastrointestinal infections is being increasingly recognized. Eleven Bacillus species isolated from veterinary samples associated with severe nongastrointestinal infections were assessed for the presence and expression of diarrheagenic enterotoxins and other potential virulence factors. PCR studies revealed the presence of DNA sequences encoding hemolysin BL (HBL) enterotoxin complex and B. cereus enterotoxin T (BceT) in five B. cereus strains and in Bacillus coagulans NB11. Enterotoxin HBL was also harbored by Bacillus polymyxa NB6. After 18 h of growth in brain heart infusion broth, all seven Bacillus isolates carrying genes encoding enterotoxin HBL produced this toxin. Cell-free supernatant fluids from all 11 Bacillus isolates demonstrated cytotoxicity toward human HEp-2 cells; only one Bacillus licheniformis strain adhered to this test cell line, and none of the Bacillus isolates were invasive. This study constitutes the first demonstration that Bacillus spp. associated with serious nongastrointestinal infections in animals may harbor and express diarrheagenic enterotoxins traditionally linked to toxigenic B. cereus.

  13. Macrophage cell death and transcriptional response are actively triggered by the fungal virulence factor Cbp1 during H. capsulatum infection

    PubMed Central

    English, Bevin C.; Murray, Davina Hocking; Lee, Young Nam; Coady, Alison; Sil, Anita

    2016-01-01

    Summary Microbial pathogens induce or inhibit death of host cells during infection, with significant consequences for virulence and disease progression. Death of an infected host cell can either facilitate release and dissemination of intracellular pathogens or promote pathogen clearance. Histoplasma capsulatum is an intracellular fungal pathogen that replicates robustly within macrophages and triggers macrophage lysis by unknown means. To identify H. capsulatum effectors of macrophage lysis, we performed a genetic screen and discovered three mutants that grew to wild-type levels within macrophages but failed to elicit host-cell death. Each mutant was defective in production of the previously identified secreted protein Cbp1 (calcium-binding protein 1), whose role in intracellular growth had not been fully investigated. We found that Cbp1 was dispensable for high levels of intracellular growth, but required to elicit a unique transcriptional signature in macrophages, including genes whose induction was previously associated with endoplasmic reticulum stress and host-cell death. Additionally Cbp1 was required for activation of cell-death caspases-3/7, and macrophage death during H. capsulatum infection was dependent on the pro-apoptotic proteins Bax and Bak. Taken together, these findings strongly suggest that the ability of Cbp1 to actively program host-cell death is an essential step in H. capsulatum pathogenesis. PMID:26288377

  14. A Temperature-Independent Cold-Shock Protein Homolog Acts as a Virulence Factor in Xylella fastidiosa.

    PubMed

    Burbank, Lindsey P; Stenger, Drake C

    2016-05-01

    Xylella fastidiosa, causal agent of Pierce's disease (PD) of grapevine, is a fastidious organism that requires very specific conditions for replication and plant colonization. Cold temperatures reduce growth and survival of X. fastidiosa both in vitro and in planta. However, little is known regarding physiological responses of X. fastidiosa to temperature changes. Cold-shock proteins (CSP), a family of nucleic acid-binding proteins, act as chaperones facilitating translation at low temperatures. Bacterial genomes often encode multiple CSP, some of which are strongly induced following exposure to cold. Additionally, CSP contribute to the general stress response through mRNA stabilization and posttranscriptional regulation. A putative CSP homolog (Csp1) with RNA-binding activity was identified in X. fastidiosa Stag's Leap. The csp1 gene lacked the long 5' untranslated region characteristic of cold-inducible genes and was expressed in a temperature-independent manner. As compared with the wild type, a deletion mutant of csp1 (∆csp1) had decreased survival rates following cold exposure and salt stress in vitro. The deletion mutant also was significantly less virulent in grapevine, as compared with the wild type, in the absence of cold stress. These results suggest an important function of X. fastidiosa Csp1 in response to cellular stress and during plant colonization.

  15. Macrophage cell death and transcriptional response are actively triggered by the fungal virulence factor Cbp1 during H. capsulatum infection.

    PubMed

    Isaac, Dervla T; Berkes, Charlotte A; English, Bevin C; Hocking Murray, Davina; Lee, Young Nam; Coady, Alison; Sil, Anita

    2015-12-01

    Microbial pathogens induce or inhibit death of host cells during infection, with significant consequences for virulence and disease progression. Death of an infected host cell can either facilitate release and dissemination of intracellular pathogens or promote pathogen clearance. Histoplasma capsulatum is an intracellular fungal pathogen that replicates robustly within macrophages and triggers macrophage lysis by unknown means. To identify H. capsulatum effectors of macrophage lysis, we performed a genetic screen and discovered three mutants that grew to wild-type levels within macrophages but failed to elicit host-cell death. Each mutant was defective in production of the previously identified secreted protein Cbp1 (calcium-binding protein 1), whose role in intracellular growth had not been fully investigated. We found that Cbp1 was dispensable for high levels of intracellular growth but required to elicit a unique transcriptional signature in macrophages, including genes whose induction was previously associated with endoplasmic reticulum stress and host-cell death. Additionally, Cbp1 was required for activation of cell-death caspases-3/7, and macrophage death during H. capsulatum infection was dependent on the pro-apoptotic proteins Bax and Bak. Taken together, these findings strongly suggest that the ability of Cbp1 to actively program host-cell death is an essential step in H. capsulatum pathogenesis.

  16. NSs Virulence Factor of Rift Valley Fever Virus Engages the F-Box Proteins FBXW11 and β-TRCP1 To Degrade the Antiviral Protein Kinase PKR

    PubMed Central

    Kainulainen, Markus; Lau, Simone; Samuel, Charles E.; Hornung, Veit

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV, family Bunyaviridae, genus Phlebovirus) is a relevant pathogen of both humans and livestock in Africa. The nonstructural protein NSs is a major virulence factor known to suppress the type I interferon (IFN) response by inhibiting host cell transcription and by proteasomal degradation of a major antiviral IFN effector, the translation-inhibiting protein kinase PKR. Here, we identified components of the modular SCF (Skp1, Cul1, F-box protein)-type E3 ubiquitin ligases as mediators of PKR destruction by NSs. Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) against the conserved SCF subunit Skp1 protected PKR from NSs-mediated degradation. Consequently, RVFV replication was severely reduced in Skp1-depleted cells when PKR was present. SCF complexes have a variable F-box protein subunit that determines substrate specificity for ubiquitination. We performed an siRNA screen for all (about 70) human F-box proteins and found FBXW11 to be involved in PKR degradation. The partial stabilization of PKR by FBXW11 depletion upregulated PKR autophosphorylation and phosphorylation of the PKR substrate eIF2α and caused a shutoff of host cell protein synthesis in RVFV-infected cells. To maximally protect PKR from the action of NSs, knockdown of structurally and functionally related FBXW1 (also known as β-TRCP1), in addition to FBXW11 deletion, was necessary. Consequently, NSs was found to interact with both FBXW11 and β-TRCP1. Thus, NSs eliminates the antiviral kinase PKR by recruitment of SCF-type E3 ubiquitin ligases containing FBXW11 and β-TRCP1 as substrate recognition subunits. This antagonism of PKR by NSs is essential for efficient RVFV replication in mammalian cells. IMPORTANCE Rift Valley fever virus is a pathogen of humans and animals that has the potential to spread from Africa and the Arabian Peninsula to other regions. A major virulence mechanism is the proteasomal degradation of the antiviral kinase PKR by the viral protein NSs. Here, we

  17. Characterization of DNase activity and gene in Streptococcus suis and evidence for a role as virulence factor

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The Gram-positive bacterium Streptococcus suis serotype 2 is an important swine pathogen and emerging zoonotic agent. Multilocus sequence typing allowed dividing S. suis serotype 2 into sequence types (STs). The three major STs of S. suis serotype 2 from North America are 1 (most virulent), 25 (intermediate virulence) and 28 (less virulent). Although the presence of DNase activity in S. suis has been previously reported, little data is available. The aim of this study was to investigate DNase activity in S. suis according to STs, to characterize the activity and gene, and to provide evidence for a potential role in virulence. Results We showed that ST1 and ST28 strains exhibited DNase activity that was absent in ST25 strains. The lack of activity in ST25 isolates was associated with a 14-bp deletion resulting in a shifted reading frame and a premature stop codon. The DNase of S. suis P1/7 (ST1) was cell-associated and active on linear DNA. A DNase-deficient mutant of S. suis P1/7 was found to be less virulent in an amoeba model. Stimulation of macrophages with the DNase mutant showed a decreased secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and matrix metalloproteinase-9 compared to the parental strain. Conclusions This study further expands our knowledge of S. suis DNase and its potential role in virulence. PMID:24996230

  18. Does Virulence Assessment of Vibrio anguillarum Using Sea Bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) Larvae Correspond with Genotypic and Phenotypic Characterization?

    PubMed Central

    Frans, Ingeborg; Dierckens, Kristof; Crauwels, Sam; Van Assche, Ado; Leisner, Jørgen; Larsen, Marianne H.; Michiels, Chris W.; Willems, Kris A.; Lievens, Bart

    2013-01-01

    Background Vibriosis is one of the most ubiquitous fish diseases caused by bacteria belonging to the genus Vibrio such as Vibrio (Listonella) anguillarum. Despite a lot of research efforts, the virulence factors and mechanism of V. anguillarum are still insufficiently known, in part because of the lack of standardized virulence