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Sample records for additional virulence factors

  1. Sugar metabolism, an additional virulence factor in enterobacteria.

    PubMed

    Le Bouguénec, Chantal; Schouler, Catherine

    2011-01-01

    Enterobacteria display a high level of flexibility in their fermentative metabolism. Biotyping assays have thus been developed to discriminate between clinical isolates. Each biotype uses one or more sugars more efficiently than the others. Recent studies show links between sugar metabolism and virulence in enterobacteria. In particular, mechanisms of carbohydrate utilization differ substantially between pathogenic and commensal E. coli strains. We are now starting to gain insight into the importance of this variability in metabolic function. Studies using various animal models of intestinal colonization showed that the presence of the fos and deoK loci involved in the metabolism of short-chain fructoligosaccharides and deoxyribose, respectively, help avian and human pathogenic E. coli to outcompete with the normal flora and colonize the intestine. Both PTS and non-PTS sugar transporters have been found to modulate virulence of extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli strains. The vpe, GimA, and aec35-37 loci contribute to bacterial virulence in vivo during experimental septicemia and urinary tract infection, meningitis, and colibacillosis, respectively. However, in most cases, the sugars metabolized, and the precise role of their utilization in the expression of bacterial virulence is still unknown. The massive development of powerful analytical methods over recent years will allow establishing the knowledge of the metabolic basis of bacterial pathogenesis that appears to be the next challenge in the field of infectious diseases.

  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. Plant Natural Products Targeting Bacterial Virulence Factors.

    PubMed

    Silva, Laura Nunes; Zimmer, Karine Rigon; Macedo, Alexandre José; Trentin, Danielle Silva

    2016-08-24

    Decreased antimicrobial efficiency has become a global public health issue. The paucity of new antibacterial drugs is evident, and the arsenal against infectious diseases needs to be improved urgently. The selection of plants as a source of prototype compounds is appropriate, since plant species naturally produce a wide range of secondary metabolites that act as a chemical line of defense against microorganisms in the environment. Although traditional approaches to combat microbial infections remain effective, targeting microbial virulence rather than survival seems to be an exciting strategy, since the modulation of virulence factors might lead to a milder evolutionary pressure for the development of resistance. Additionally, anti-infective chemotherapies may be successfully achieved by combining antivirulence and conventional antimicrobials, extending the lifespan of these drugs. This review presents an updated discussion of natural compounds isolated from plants with chemically characterized structures and activity against the major bacterial virulence factors: quorum sensing, bacterial biofilms, bacterial motility, bacterial toxins, bacterial pigments, bacterial enzymes, and bacterial surfactants. Moreover, a critical analysis of the most promising virulence factors is presented, highlighting their potential as targets to attenuate bacterial virulence. The ongoing progress in the field of antivirulence therapy may therefore help to translate this promising concept into real intervention strategies in clinical areas. PMID:27437994

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  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. 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. PMID:27328521

  10. 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

  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. Virulence Factors of Erwinia amylovora: A Review

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26057748

  13. 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.

  14. Klebsiella pneumoniae: characteristics of carbapenem resistance and virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Candan, Esra Deniz; Aksöz, Nilüfer

    2015-01-01

    Klebsiella pneumoniae, known as a major threat to public health, is the most common factor of nosocomial and community acquired infections. In this study, 50 K. pneumoniae clinical specimens isolated from bronchial, urea, blood, catheter, rectal, bile, tracheal and wound cultures were collected. These isolates were identified and carbapenem resistance was determined via an automated system, CHROMagar Orientation and CHROMagar KPC. The carbapenemase gene regions (blaIMP, blaVIM, blaOXA, blaNDM and blaKPC) and presence of virulence factors (magA, k2A, rmpA, wabG, uge, allS, entB, ycfM, kpn, wcaG, fimH, mrkD, iutA, iroN, hly ve cnf-1) of these isolates were determined by using Multiplex-PCR. The OXA-48 carbapenemase gene regions were determined in 33 of 50 K. pneumoniae strains. In addition, NDM-1 resistance in one, OXA-48 and NDM-1 resistance in four unusual K. pneumoniae isolates were detected. Virulence gene regions that were encountered among K. pneumoniae isolates were 88% wabG, 86% uge, 80% ycfM and 72% entB, related with capsule, capsule lipoprotein and external membrane protein, responsible for enterobactin production, respectively. Even though there was no significant difference between resistant and sensitive strains due to the virulence gene regions (P≥0.05), virulence factors in carbapenem resistant isolates were found to be more diverse. This study is important for both, to prevent the spread of carbapenem resistant infections and to plan for developing effective treatments. Moreover, this study is the first detailed study of the carbapenem resistance and virulence factors in K. pneumoniae strains.

  15. 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

  16. Virulence Factors of Helicobacter pylori: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Roesler, Bruna M.; Rabelo-Gonçalves, Elizabeth M.A.; Zeitune, José M.R.

    2014-01-01

    Helicobacter pylori is a spiral-shaped Gram-negative bacterium that colonizes the human stomach and can establish a long-term infection of the gastric mucosa, a condition that affects the relative risk of developing various clinical disorders of the upper gastrointestinal tract, such as chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma, and gastric adenocarcinoma. H. pylori presents a high-level of genetic diversity, which can be an important factor in its adaptation to the host stomach and also for the clinical outcome of infection. There are important H. pylori virulence factors that, along with host characteristics and the external environment, have been associated with the different occurrences of diseases. This review is aimed to analyzing and summarizing the main of them and possible associations with the clinical outcome. PMID:24833944

  17. Streptococcus pneumoniae: virulence factors, pathogenesis, and vaccines.

    PubMed Central

    AlonsoDeVelasco, E; Verheul, A F; Verhoef, J; Snippe, H

    1995-01-01

    Although pneumococcal conjugate vaccines are close to being licensed, a more profound knowledge of the virulence factors responsible for the morbidity and mortality caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae is necessary. This review deals with the major structures of pneumococci involved in the pathogenesis of pneumococcal disease and their interference with the defense mechanisms of the host. It is well known that protection against S. pneumoniae is the result of phagocytosis of invading pathogens. For this process, complement and anticapsular polysaccharide antibodies are required. Besides, relatively recent experimental data suggest that protection is also mediated by the removal of disintegrating pneumococci and their degradation products (cell wall, pneumolysin). These structures seem to be major contributors to illness and death caused by pneumococci. An effective conjugate vaccine should therefore preferably include the capsular polysaccharide and at least one of these inflammatory factors. PMID:8531887

  18. Re-sequencing of a virulent strain of Campylobacter jejuni NCTC11168 reveals potential virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Kerry K; Cooper, Margarethe A; Zuccolo, Andrea; Joens, Lynn A

    2013-01-01

    In vitro passage of Campylobacter jejuni strains results in phenotypic changes and a general loss of virulence, as is the case with the genome-sequenced strain C. jejuni NCTC11168. Re-sequencing of a virulent strain of NCTC11168 identified 41 SNPs or indels involving 20 genes, four intergenic regions and three pseudogenes. The genes include six motility genes, two chemotaxis genes, three hypothetical genes and a capsule biosynthesis gene, which might have a critical role in C. jejuni virulence. Additionally, we found an insertion in both Cj0676 and Cj1470c, pseudogenes in avirulent NCTC11168, but functional proteins in virulent NCTC11168.

  19. 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

  20. Crystal Structure of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa Virulence Factor Regulator

    SciTech Connect

    Cordes, Timothy J.; Worzalla, Gregory A.; Ginster, Aaron M.; Forest, Katrina T.

    2012-09-07

    Virulence factor regulator (Vfr) enhances Pseudomonas aeruginosa pathogenicity through its role as a global transcriptional regulator. The crystal structure of Vfr shows that it is a winged-helix DNA-binding protein like its homologue cyclic AMP receptor protein (CRP). In addition to an expected primary cyclic AMP-binding site, a second ligand-binding site is nestled between the N-terminal domain and the C-terminal helix-turn-helix domain. Unlike CRP, Vfr is a symmetric dimer in the absence of DNA. Removal of seven disordered N-terminal residues of Vfr prvents the growth of P. aeruginosa.

  1. 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

  2. Computationally identifying virulence factors based on KEGG pathways.

    PubMed

    Cui, Weiren; Chen, Lei; Huang, Tao; Gao, Qian; Jiang, Min; Zhang, Ning; Zheng, Lulu; Feng, Kaiyan; Cai, Yudong; Wang, Hongwei

    2013-06-01

    Virulence factors are molecules that play very important roles in enhancing the pathogen's capability in causing diseases. Many efforts were made to investigate the mechanism of virulence factors using in silico methods. In this study, we present a novel computational method to predict virulence factors by integrating protein-protein interactions in a STRING database and biological pathways in the KEGG. Three specific species were studied according to their records in the VFDB. They are Campylobacter jejuni NCTC 11168, Escherichia coli O6 : K15 : H31 536 (UPEC) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. The prediction accuracies reached were 0.9467, 0.9575 and 0.9180, respectively. Metabolism pathways, flagellar assembly and chemotaxis may be of importance for virulence based on the analysis of the optimal feature sets we obtained. We hope this can provide some insight and guidance for related research.

  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. 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...

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-16

    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.

  7. 'Ready made' virulence and 'dual use' virulence factors in pathogenic environmental fungi--the Cryptococcus neoformans paradigm.

    PubMed

    Casadevall, Arturo; Steenbergen, Judith N; Nosanchuk, Joshua D

    2003-08-01

    Environmental pathogenic fungi present a paradox in that they are virulent in animals without requiring animal hosts for replication or survival, a phenomenon we call 'ready-made' virulence. In the human pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans, the capacity for virulence in animals may originate from environmental selective pressures imposed by such organisms as amoeboid and nematode predators. Many C. neoformans virulence factors appear to have 'dual use' capabilities that confer survival advantages in both animal hosts and in the environment. The findings with C. neoformans may provide a paradigm for understanding the origin and maintenance of virulence in other pathogenic environmental fungi.

  8. 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. PMID:27307578

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  11. Insights into virulence factors determining the pathogenicity of Cronobacter sakazakii.

    PubMed

    Singh, Niharika; Goel, Gunjan; Raghav, Mamta

    2015-01-01

    Cronobacter sakazakii is an opportunistic pathogen associated with outbreaks of life-threatening necrotizing enterocolitis, meningitis and sepsis in neonates and infants. The pathogen possesses an array of virulence factors which aid in tissue adhesion, invasion and host cell injury. Although the identification and validation of C. sakazakii virulence factors has been hindered by availability of suitable neonatal animal model, various studies has reported outer membrane protein A (ompA) as a potential virulence marker. Various other plasmid associated genes such as filamentous hemagglutinin (fhaBC), Cronobacter plasminogen activator (cpa) and genes responsible for iron acquisition (eitCBAD and iucABD/iutA) have been reported in different strains of C. sakazakii. Besides these proposed virulence factors, several biophysical growth factors such as formation of biofilms and resistance to various environmental stresses also contributes to the pathogenic potential of this pathogen. This review provides an update on virulence determinants associated with the pathogenesis of C. sakazakii. The potential reservoirs of the pathogen, mode of transmission and epidemiology are also discussed. PMID:25950947

  12. Identification of disulfide bond isomerase substrates reveals bacterial virulence factors

    PubMed Central

    Ren, Guoping; Champion, Matthew M.; Huntley, Jason F.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Bacterial pathogens are exposed to toxic molecules inside the host and require efficient systems to form and maintain correct disulfide bonds for protein stability and function. The intracellular pathogen Francisella tularensis encodes a disulfide bond formation protein ortholog, DsbA, which previously was reported to be required for infection of macrophages and mice. However, the molecular mechanisms by which F. tularensis DsbA contributes to virulence are unknown. Here, we demonstrate that F. tularensis DsbA is a bifunctional protein that oxidizes and, more importantly, isomerizes complex disulfide connectivity in substrates. A single amino acid in the conserved cis-proline loop of the DsbA thioredoxin domain was shown to modulate both isomerase activity and F. tularensis virulence. Trapping experiments in F. tularensis identified over 50 F. tularensis DsbA substrates, including outer membrane proteins, virulence factors, and many hypothetical proteins. Six of these hypothetical proteins were randomly selected and deleted, revealing two novel proteins, FTL_1548 and FTL_1709, which are required for F. tularensis virulence. We propose that the extreme virulence of F. tularensis is partially due to the bifunctional nature of DsbA, that many of the newly-identified substrates are required for virulence, and that the development of future DsbA inhibitors could have broad anti-bacterial implications. PMID:25257164

  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. 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 ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-12-01

    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

  16. 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

  17. [Virulence factors in Pseudomonas aeruginosa: mechanisms and modes of regulation].

    PubMed

    Ben Haj Khalifa, Anis; Moissenet, Didier; Vu Thien, Hoang; Khedher, Mohamed

    2011-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a bacterium responsible for severe nosocomial infections, life-threatening infections in immunocompromised persons, and chronic infections in cystic fibrosis patients. The bacterium's virulence depends on a large number of cell-associated and extracellular factors. The virulence factors play an important pathological role in the colonization, the survival of the bacteria and the invasion of tissues. There are two types of virulence factors: (1) factors involved in the acute infection: these factors are either on the surface of P. aeruginosa, either secreted. The pili allow adherence to the epithelium. The exoenzyme S and other adhesins reinforce the adherence to epithelial cells. The exotoxin A is responsible of tissue necrosis. Phospholipase C is a thermolabile haemolysin. The pathogenic role of exoenzyme S is attributable to the disruption of normal cytoskeletal organization, the destruction of immunoglobulin G and A, leads to depolymerization of actin filaments and contributes to the resistance to macrophages. P. aeruginosa produces at least four proteases causing bleeding and tissue necrosis; (2) factors involved in the chronic infection: siderophores (pyoverdin and pyochelin), allow the bacteria to multiply in the absence of ferrous ions. The strains isolated from patients with cystic fibrosis have a pseudocapsule of alginate that protects the bacterium from phagocytosis, dehydration and antibiotics. Moreover, it improves adherence to epithelial cells forming a biofilm. Two different types of regulation systems control the expression of the majority of these virulence factors: the two-component transcriptional regulatory system and the quorum sensing system. These two mechanisms are necessary to the survival and the proliferation of this microorganism in the host. PMID:21896403

  18. 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

  19. Understanding the regulation of Group B Streptococcal virulence factors

    PubMed Central

    Rajagopal, Lakshmi

    2009-01-01

    Bacterial infections remain a significant threat to the health of newborns and adults. Group B Streptococci (GBS) are Gram-positive bacteria that are common asymptomatic colonizers of healthy adults. However, this opportunistic organism can also subvert suboptimal host defenses to cause severe invasive disease and tissue damage. The increasing emergence of antibiotic-resistant GBS raises more concerns for sustained measures in treatment of the disease. A number of factors that are important for virulence of GBS have been identified. This review summarizes the functions of some well-characterized virulence factors, with an emphasis on how GBS regulates their expression. Regulatory and signaling molecules are attractive drug targets in the treatment of bacterial infections. Consequently, understanding signaling responses of GBS is essential for elucidation of pathogenesis of GBS infection and for the identification of novel therapeutic agents. PMID:19257847

  20. Review of virulence factors of enterococcus: an emerging nosocomial pathogen.

    PubMed

    Giridhara Upadhyaya, P M; Ravikumar, K L; Umapathy, B L

    2009-01-01

    Enterococcus, considered a normal commensal of intestinal tract, is fast emerging as a pathogen causing serious and life threatening hospital borne infections. This is attributed to acquisition of multi drug resistance and virulence factors of the organisms. The sequencing of Enterococcus faecalis has given a lot of insight into its genetic makeup. The E. faecalis strain V583, which has been sequenced, contains a total of 3182 open reading frames (ORFs) with 1760 of these showing similarity to known proteins and 221 of unknown functions. Strikingly unique to this genome is the fact that over 25% of the genome is made up of mobile and exogenously acquired DNA which includes a number of conjugative and composite transposons, a pathogenicity island, integrated plasmid genes and phage regions, and a high number of insertion sequence (IS) elements. This review addresses the genomic arrangement and the study of virulence factors that have occurred since the sequencing of the genome. PMID:19736397

  1. Flagella of Salmonella typhimurium are a virulence factor in infected C57BL/6J mice.

    PubMed Central

    Carsiotis, M; Weinstein, D L; Karch, H; Holder, I A; O'Brien, A D

    1984-01-01

    To determine whether flagella, chemotaxis, and motility of Salmonella typhimurium are virulence factors in infected C57BL/6J mice, we constructed isogenic pairs of derivatives of the nonfimbriated virulent strain SL3201. Of each pair, one member contained a mutation in a single gene that is required for expression of normal chemotactically directed motility, whereas the other member contained the wild-type form of the gene. No additional differences between the members of a pair were evident. The phenotypic parameters examined for all derivatives included in vitro growth rate, sensitivity to P22 phage, amino acid auxotrophy, and biotype. For a flagellated and nonflagellated pair, the electron microscopic appearance of each member was examined as well as its lipopolysaccharide and outer membrane profiles by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The virulence of the various derivatives was then assessed in mice challenged orally, intraperitoneally, or intravenously. The results established that flagella, whether functional or nonfunctional as organelles of motility, were S. typhimurium virulence factors and that neither chemotaxis nor motility was required for virulence. Images PMID:6389363

  2. 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.

  3. Role of Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli Virulence Factors in Uropathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Boll, Erik J.; Struve, Carsten; Boisen, Nadia; Olesen, Bente; Stahlhut, Steen G.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23357383

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Virulence Factors of the Oral Spirochete Treponema denticola

    PubMed Central

    Dashper, S.G.; Seers, C.A.; Tan, K.H.; Reynolds, E.C.

    2011-01-01

    There is compelling evidence that treponemes are involved in the etiology of several chronic diseases, including chronic periodontitis as well as other forms of periodontal disease. There are interesting parallels with other chronic diseases caused by treponemes that may indicate similar virulence characteristics. Chronic periodontitis is a polymicrobial disease, and recent animal studies indicate that co-infection of Treponema denticola with other periodontal pathogens can enhance alveolar bone resorption. The bacterium has a suite of molecular determinants that could enable it to cause tissue damage and subvert the host immune response. In addition to this, it has several non-classic virulence determinants that enable it to interact with other pathogenic bacteria and the host in ways that are likely to promote disease progression. Recent advances, especially in molecular-based methodologies, have greatly improved our knowledge of this bacterium and its role in disease. PMID:20940357

  7. Molecular detection of virulence factors among food and clinical Enterococcus faecalis strains in South Brazil.

    PubMed

    Medeiros, A W; Pereira, R I; Oliveira, D V; Martins, P D; d'Azevedo, P A; Van der Sand, S; Frazzon, J; Frazzon, A P G

    2014-01-01

    The present report aimed to perform a molecular epidemiological survey by investigating the presence of virulence factors in E. faecalis isolated from different human clinical (n = 57) and food samples (n = 55) in Porto Alegre, Brazil, collected from 2006 to 2009. In addition, the ability to form biofilm in vitro on polystyrene and the β-haemolytic and gelatinase activities were determined. Clinical strains presented a higher prevalence of aggregation substance (agg), enterococcal surface protein (esp) and cytolysin (cylA) genes when compared with food isolates. The esp gene was found only in clinical strains. On the other hand, the gelatinase (gelE) and adherence factor (ace) genes had similar prevalence among the strains, showing the widespread occurrence of these virulence factors among food and clinical E. faecalis strains in South Brazil. More than three virulence factor genes were detected in 77.2% and 18.2% of clinical and food strains, respectively. Gelatinase and β-haemolysin activities were not associated with the presence of gelE and cylA genes. The ability to produce biofilm was detected in 100% of clinical and 94.6% of food isolates, and clinical strains were more able to form biofilm than the food isolates (Student's t-test, p < 0.01). Results from the statistical analysis showed significant associations between strong biofilm formation and ace (p = 0.015) and gelE (p = 0.007) genes in clinical strains. In conclusion, our data indicate that E. faecalis strains isolated from clinical and food samples possess distinctive patterns of virulence factors, with a larger number of genes that encode virulence factors detected in clinical strains.

  8. 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

  9. Elongation Factor P and Modifying Enzyme PoxA Are Necessary for Virulence of Shigella flexneri

    PubMed Central

    Marman, Hannah E.; Mey, Alexandra R.

    2014-01-01

    Elongation factor P (EF-P) is a universally conserved bacterial translation factor. In many bacteria, EF-P is posttranslationally modified by PoxA, which covalently attaches a β-lysine to a conserved lysine residue of EF-P. Here we show that both EF-P and PoxA are necessary for virulence of the human diarrheal pathogen Shigella flexneri. Loss of either EF-P or PoxA leads to an impaired ability of S. flexneri to invade epithelial cells and form plaques in an epithelial cell monolayer. Proteomic analysis of efp and poxA deletion mutants revealed decreased levels of several virulence effector proteins, including IpaA, -B, and -C and IcsA. Additionally, mRNA levels of virB and virF, which encode master virulence regulators, were decreased in the efp mutant. The reduction in virF transcription was at least partially due to decreased levels of CpxA, which activates virF through the response regulator CpxR. The role of CpxAR in reduced synthesis of VirF and its downstream effectors was indicated by restoration of invasion when a mutation resulting in constitutively activated CpxR was introduced into the efp mutant. Thus, modified EF-P is required for appropriate synthesis of proteins involved in the virulence of this bacterial pathogen. PMID:24935977

  10. 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

  11. An Agrobacterium catalase is a virulence factor involved in tumorigenesis.

    PubMed

    Xu, X Q; Pan, S Q

    2000-01-01

    Most plant pathogenic bacteria adopt the type III secretion systems to secrete virulence factors and/or avirulence gene products, which trigger the plant hypersensitive response (HR) and the oxidative burst with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as the main component. However, the soil-borne plant pathogen Agrobacterium tumefaciens uses the type IV secretion pathway to deliver its oncogenic T-DNA that causes crown gall tumours on many plant species. A. tumefaciens does not elicit a typical HR on those plants. Here, we report that inactivation of one of A. tumefaciens catalases (which converts H2O2 to H2O and O2) by a transposon insertion highly attenuated the bacterial ability to cause tumours on plants and to tolerate H2O2 toxicity, but not the bacterial viability in the absence of exogenous H2O2. This provides the first genetic evidence that the Agrobacterium-plant interaction involves a plant defence response, such as H2O2 production, and that catalase is a virulence factor for a plant pathogen. PMID:10652101

  12. 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.

  13. Helicobacter pylori infection: An overview of bacterial virulence factors and pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Kao, Cheng-Yen; Sheu, Bor-Shyang; Wu, Jiunn-Jong

    2016-02-01

    Helicobacter pylori pathogenesis and disease outcomes are mediated by a complex interplay between bacterial virulence factors, host, and environmental factors. After H. pylori enters the host stomach, four steps are critical for bacteria to establish successful colonization, persistent infection, and disease pathogenesis: (1) Survival in the acidic stomach; (2) movement toward epithelium cells by flagella-mediated motility; (3) attachment to host cells by adhesins/receptors interaction; (4) causing tissue damage by toxin release. Over the past 20 years, the understanding of H. pylori pathogenesis has been improved by studies focusing on the host and bacterial factors through epidemiology researches and molecular mechanism investigations. These include studies identifying the roles of novel virulence factors and their association with different disease outcomes, especially the bacterial adhesins, cag pathogenicity island, and vacuolating cytotoxin. Recently, the development of large-scale screening methods, including proteomic, and transcriptomic tools, has been used to determine the complex gene regulatory networks in H. pylori. In addition, a more available complete genomic database of H. pylori strains isolated from patients with different gastrointestinal diseases worldwide is helpful to characterize this bacterium. This review highlights the key findings of H. pylori virulence factors reported over the past 20 years. PMID:27105595

  14. 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).

  15. Virulence Attributes of Low-Virulence Organisms

    PubMed Central

    1994-01-01

    The vast majority of infections involving female pelvic structures arise from organisms that are members of the normal flora. In addition, exogenous organisms that invade through the lower genital tract must interact with organisms that are part of the host's flora. In contrast to the concept that the normal flora is entirely innocuous, recent research has begun to identify what appear to be virulence attributes among these ordinarily low-virulence organisms. Most of our understanding of virulence has been derived from highly virulent organisms, of which Neisseria gonorrhoeae provides an example of relevance to the female genital tract. A review of the virulence factors of the gonococcus is presented to serve as an example of the variety of virulence properties associated with pathogenic bacteria. Molecular biology has begun to clarify one of the important paradigms of pathogenic bacteriology—that bacteria change their expression of virulence properties in response to their location within a host or to the stage of infection. Thus, infection involves not only the possession of virulence factors, but also the carefully controlled use of those factors. Virulence is often controlled by the coordinate expression of many virulence-associated genes in response to one environmental signal. With regard to low- virulence organisms present in the female lower genital tract, we are beginning to identify some of their virulence attributes. Examples from the work of our laboratory include the hemolysin of Gardnerella vaginalis and an immunosuppressive mycotoxin produced by Candida albicans. Demonstrating the coordinate expression (or other control mechanisms) of virulence factors in these sometimes innocuous and sometimes inimical organisms represents the next frontier in the study of normal vaginal microbiology. PMID:18475373

  16. 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.

  17. Bacillus thuringiensis metalloproteinase Bmp1 functions as a nematicidal virulence factor.

    PubMed

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

    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.

  18. Novel microbial virulence factor triggers murine lyme arthritis.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiuli; Qin, Jinhong; Promnares, Kamoltip; Kariu, Toru; Anderson, John F; Pal, Utpal

    2013-03-15

    Borrelia burgdorferi bba57 is a conserved gene encoding a potential lipoprotein of unknown function. Here we show that bba57 is up-regulated in vivo and is required for early murine infection and potential spirochete transmission process. Although BBA57 is dispensable for late murine infection, the mutants were unable to induce disease. We show that BBA57, an outer membrane and surface-exposed antigen, is a major trigger of murine Lyme arthritis; even in cases of larger challenge inocula, which allow their persistence in joints at a level similar to wild-type spirochetes, bba57 mutants are unable to induce joint inflammation. We further showed that BBA57 deficiency reduces the expression of selected "neutrophil-recruiting" chemokines and associated receptors, causing significant impairment of neutrophil chemotaxis. New approaches to combat Lyme disease may include strategies to interfere with BBA57, a novel virulence factor and a trigger of murine Lyme arthritis.

  19. Liposomes as novel anti-infectives targeting bacterial virulence factors?

    PubMed

    Azeredo da Silveira, Samareh; Perez, Antonio

    2015-05-01

    A recent report commissioned by Prime Minister David Cameron and chaired by former Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O'Neill warns that the emergence, persistence and spread of antimicrobial resistance could lead to 10 million deaths per year and cause an economic burden as much as US$100 trillion by 2050. In the midst of this global crisis, unprecedented paths are being explored to combat bacterial infection. Virulence factors, and more particularly pore-forming toxins, play a key role in increasing morbidity and mortality caused by drug-resistant bacterial infections. Novel anti-infective liposomes specifically targeting and neutralizing these cytotoxic toxins are potential game-changers in the fight against deadly infections. PMID:25850805

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Serrano-Luna, Jesús; Piña-Vázquez, Carolina; Reyes-López, Magda; Ortiz-Estrada, Guillermo; de la Garza, Mireya

    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.

  3. Staphylococcus aureus nuclease is an SaeRS-dependent virulence factor.

    PubMed

    Olson, Michael E; Nygaard, Tyler K; Ackermann, Laynez; Watkins, Robert L; Zurek, Oliwia W; Pallister, Kyler B; Griffith, Shannon; Kiedrowski, Megan R; Flack, Caralyn E; Kavanaugh, Jeffrey S; Kreiswirth, Barry N; Horswill, Alexander R; Voyich, Jovanka M

    2013-04-01

    Several prominent bacterial pathogens secrete nuclease (Nuc) enzymes that have an important role in combating the host immune response. Early studies of Staphylococcus aureus Nuc attributed its regulation to the agr quorum-sensing system. However, recent microarray data have indicated that nuc is under the control of the SaeRS two-component system, which is a major regulator of S. aureus virulence determinants. Here we report that the nuc gene is directly controlled by the SaeRS two-component system through reporter fusion, immunoblotting, Nuc activity measurements, promoter mapping, and binding studies, and additionally, we were unable identify a notable regulatory link to the agr system. The observed SaeRS-dependent regulation was conserved across a wide spectrum of representative S. aureus isolates. Moreover, with community-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus (CA MRSA) in a mouse model of peritonitis, we observed in vivo expression of Nuc activity in an SaeRS-dependent manner and determined that Nuc is a virulence factor that is important for in vivo survival, confirming the enzyme's role as a contributor to invasive disease. Finally, natural polymorphisms were identified in the SaeRS proteins, one of which was linked to Nuc regulation in a CA MRSA USA300 endocarditis isolate. Altogether, our findings demonstrate that Nuc is an important S. aureus virulence factor and part of the SaeRS regulon.

  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 Factors and O-Serogroups Profiles of Uropathogenic Escherichia Coli Isolated from Iranian Pediatric Patients

    PubMed Central

    Dormanesh, Banafshe; Safarpoor Dehkordi, Farhad; Hosseini, Sahar; Momtaz, Hassan; Mirnejad, Reza; Hoseini, Mohammad Javad; Yahaghi, Emad; Tarhriz, Vahideh; Khodaverdi Darian, Ebrahim

    2014-01-01

    Background: Uropathogenic Escherichia coli O- Serogroups with their virulence factors are the most prevalent causes of UTIs. Objectives: The present investigation was performed to study the virulence factors and O-Serogroups profiles of UPEC isolated from Iranian pediatric patients. Patients and Methods: This cross sectional investigation was performed on 100 urine samples collected from hospitalized pediatrics of Baqiyatallah Hospital, Tehran, Iran. Midstream urine was collected to decrease potential bacterial, cellular and artifactual contamination. All samples were cultured and those with positive results were subjected to polymerase chain reactions to detect pap, cnf1, afa, sfa and hlyA genes and various O- Serogroups. Results: We found that 37.5% of boys and 75% of girls had positive results for Escherichia coli. We also found that O1 (19.33%), O2 (13.33%), O6 (13.33%), O4 (11.66%), and O18 (11.66 %) were the most commonly detected Serogroups. Totally, the serogroup of 5% of all strains were not detected. In addition, all of these O- Serogroups were pap+, cnf1+, hlyA+, and afa+. Totally, pap (70 %), cnf1 (56.66 %), and hlyA (43.33 %) were the most commonly detected virulence genes in the both studied groups of children. The sfa (30 %) and afa (26.66 %) genes had the lowest incidence rates. Conclusions: Special health care should be performed on UTIs management in Iranian pediatric patients. Extended researches should be performed to evaluate relation between other O-Serogroups and virulent genes. PMID:24719745

  6. The NS1 protein: a multitasking virulence factor.

    PubMed

    Ayllon, Juan; García-Sastre, Adolfo

    2015-01-01

    The non-structural protein 1 of influenza virus (NS1) is a relatively small polypeptide with an outstanding number of ascribed functions. NS1 is the main viral antagonist of the innate immune response during influenza virus infection, chiefly by inhibiting the type I interferon system at multiple steps. As such, its role is critical to overcome the first barrier the host presents to halt the viral infection. However, the pro-viral activities of this well-studied protein go far beyond and include regulation of viral RNA and protein synthesis, and disruption of the host cell homeostasis by dramatically affecting general gene expression while tweaking the PI3K signaling network. Because of all of this, NS1 is a key virulence factor that impacts influenza pathogenesis, and adaptation to new hosts, making it an attractive target for control strategies. Here, we will overview the many roles that have been ascribed to the NS1 protein, and give insights into the sequence features and structural properties that make them possible, highlighting the need to understand how NS1 can actually perform all of these functions during viral infection. PMID:25007846

  7. Fusobacterium necrophorum infections: virulence factors, pathogenic mechanism and control measures.

    PubMed

    Tan, Z L; Nagaraja, T G; Chengappa, M M

    1996-01-01

    Fusobacterium necrophorum, a Gram-negative, non-spore-forming anaerobe, is a normal inhabitant of the alimentary tract of animals and humans. Two types of F. necrophorum, subspecies necrophorum (biotype A) and funduliforme (biotype B), have been recognized, which differ morphologically, biochemically, and biologically. The organism is an opportunistic pathogen that causes numerous necrotic conditions (necrobacillosis) such as bovine hepatic abscesses, ruminant foot abscesses and human oral infections. The pathogenic mechanism of F. necrophorum is complex and not well defined. Several toxins, such as leukotoxin, endotoxin, haemolysin, haemagglutinin and adhesin, have been implicated as virulence factors. Among these, leukotoxin and endotoxin are believed to be more important than other toxins in overcoming the host's defence mechanisms to establish the infection. F. necrophorum is encountered frequently in mixed infections and, therefore, synergisms between F. necrophorum and other pathogens may play an important role in infection. Several investigators have attempted to induce protective immunity against F. necrophorum using bacterins, toxoids, and other cytoplasmic components. Generally, none of the immunogens has afforded satisfactory protection against Fusobacterium infections. Because of the unavailability of suitable immunoprophylaxis, the control of F. necrophorum infection has depended mainly on the use of antimicrobial compounds.

  8. The NS1 protein: a multitasking virulence factor.

    PubMed

    Ayllon, Juan; García-Sastre, Adolfo

    2015-01-01

    The non-structural protein 1 of influenza virus (NS1) is a relatively small polypeptide with an outstanding number of ascribed functions. NS1 is the main viral antagonist of the innate immune response during influenza virus infection, chiefly by inhibiting the type I interferon system at multiple steps. As such, its role is critical to overcome the first barrier the host presents to halt the viral infection. However, the pro-viral activities of this well-studied protein go far beyond and include regulation of viral RNA and protein synthesis, and disruption of the host cell homeostasis by dramatically affecting general gene expression while tweaking the PI3K signaling network. Because of all of this, NS1 is a key virulence factor that impacts influenza pathogenesis, and adaptation to new hosts, making it an attractive target for control strategies. Here, we will overview the many roles that have been ascribed to the NS1 protein, and give insights into the sequence features and structural properties that make them possible, highlighting the need to understand how NS1 can actually perform all of these functions during viral infection.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. The Global Transcription Factor Lrp Controls Virulence Modulation in Xenorhabdus nematophila

    PubMed Central

    Hussa, Elizabeth A.; Casanova-Torres, Ángel M.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The bacterium Xenorhabdus nematophila engages in phenotypic variation with respect to pathogenicity against insect larvae, yielding both virulent and attenuated subpopulations of cells from an isogenic culture. The global regulatory protein Lrp is necessary for X. nematophila virulence and immunosuppression in insects, as well as colonization of the mutualistic host nematode Steinernema carpocapsae, and mediates expression of numerous genes implicated in each of these phenotypes. Given the central role of Lrp in X. nematophila host associations, as well as its involvement in regulating phenotypic variation pathways in other bacteria, we assessed its function in virulence modulation. We discovered that expression of lrp varies within an isogenic population, in a manner that correlates with modulation of virulence. Unexpectedly, although Lrp is necessary for optimal virulence and immunosuppression, cells expressing high levels of lrp were attenuated in these processes relative to those with low to intermediate lrp expression. Furthermore, fixed expression of lrp at high and low levels resulted in attenuated and normal virulence and immunosuppression, respectively, and eliminated population variability of these phenotypes. These data suggest that fluctuating lrp expression levels are sufficient to drive phenotypic variation in X. nematophila. IMPORTANCE Many bacteria use cell-to-cell phenotypic variation, characterized by distinct phenotypic subpopulations within an isogenic population, to cope with environmental change. Pathogenic bacteria utilize this strategy to vary antigen or virulence factor expression. Our work establishes that the global transcription factor Lrp regulates phenotypic variation in the insect pathogen Xenorhabdus nematophila, leading to attenuation of virulence and immunosuppression in insect hosts. Unexpectedly, we found an inverse correlation between Lrp expression levels and virulence: high levels of expression of Lrp

  12. Lipase, protease, and biofilm as the major virulence factors in staphylococci isolated from acne lesions.

    PubMed

    Saising, Jongkon; Singdam, Sudarat; Ongsakul, Metta; Voravuthikunchai, Supayang Piyawan

    2012-08-01

    Staphylococci involve infections in association with a number of bacterial virulence factors. Extracellular enzymes play an important role in staphylococcal pathogenesis. In addition, biofilm is known to be associated with their virulence. In this study, 149 staphylococcal isolates from acne lesions were investigated for their virulence factors including lipase, protease, and biofilm formation. Coagulase-negative staphylococci were demonstrated to present lipase and protease activities more often than coagulase-positive staphylococci. A microtiter plate method (quantitative method) and a Congo red agar method (qualitative method) were comparatively employed to assess biofilm formation. In addition, biofilm forming ability was commonly detected in a coagulase-negative group (97.7%, microtiter plate method and 84.7%, Congo red agar method) more frequently than in coagulase-positive organisms (68.8%, microtiter plate method and 62.5%, Congo red agar method). This study clearly confirms an important role for biofilm in coagulasenegative staphylococci which is of serious concern as a considerable infectious agent in patients with acnes and implanted medical devices. The Congo red agar method proved to be an easy method to quickly detect biofilm producers. Sensitivity of the Congo red agar method was 85.54% and 68.18% and accuracy was 84.7% and 62.5% in coagulase-negative and coagulase-positive staphylococci, respectively, while specificity was 50% in both groups. The results clearly demonstrated that a higher percentage of coagulasenegative staphylococci isolated from acne lesions exhibited lipase and protease activities, as well as biofilm formation, than coagulase-positive staphylococci.

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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.

  15. Structure and function of pectic enzymes: Virulence factors of plant pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Herron, Steven R.; Benen, Jacques A. E.; Scavetta, Robert D.; Visser, Jaap; Jurnak, Frances

    2000-01-01

    The structure and function of Erwinia chrysanthemi pectate lysase C, a plant virulence factor, is reviewed to illustrate one mechanism of pathogenesis at the molecular level. Current investigative topics are discussed in this paper. PMID:10922032

  16. Inactivation of staphylococcal virulence factors using a light-activated antimicrobial agent

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background One of the limitations of antibiotic therapy is that even after successful killing of the infecting microorganism, virulence factors may still be present and cause significant damage to the host. Light-activated antimicrobials show potential for the treatment of topical infections; therefore if these agents can also inactivate microbial virulence factors, this would represent an advantage over conventional antibiotic therapy. Staphylococcus aureus produces a wide range of virulence factors that contribute to its success as a pathogen by facilitating colonisation and destruction of host tissues. Results In this study, the ability of the light-activated antimicrobial agent methylene blue in combination with laser light of 665 nm to inactivate staphylococcal virulence factors was assessed. A number of proteinaceous virulence factors were exposed to laser light in the presence of methylene blue and their biological activities re-determined. The activities of V8 protease, α-haemolysin and sphingomyelinase were shown to be inhibited in a dose-dependent manner by exposure to laser light in the presence of methylene blue. Conclusion These results suggest that photodynamic therapy could reduce the harmful impact of preformed virulence factors on the host. PMID:19804627

  17. Virulence factors of Clostridium difficile and their role during infection.

    PubMed

    Janoir, Claire

    2016-02-01

    Clostridium difficile is the prominent etiological agent of healthcare-associated diarrhea. The disease symptoms range from mild diarrhea to life-threatening pseudomembranous colitis. The main risk factor for developing an infection after contamination by the resistant spores is the disruption of the gut microbiota, allowing the spores to germinate. The colonization of the gut is likely to be governed by the bacterial resistance to the host response and the bacterial adhesion to the mucosa. To date, several putative adhesins have been identified, most of them displaying MSCRAMM function, and studies of adhesin mutants have clearly underlined the multi-factorial feature of C. difficile adhesion to the host. Flagella have also been involved in the colonisation process, but their role depends on the tested strains. The clinical signs are mainly due to two large glucosylating toxins, TcdA and TcdB, which are essential for the disease manifestations. The importance of each toxin differs according to strains and experimental conditions, but TcdB seems to be the prominent one, as showed by mutant studies and the natural occurrence of pathogenic strains that do not produce TcdA. The role of the ADP ribosylating binary toxin expressed by some strains, including epidemic lineages, is not clearly established, although it has been related to higher morbidity and mortality. Production of low level of the glucosylating toxins and of the binary toxin seems to promote adhesion to host cells. Expression of the tcdA and tcdB genes is under the control of the second messenger c-di-GMP. This is also the case for other virulence factors, in particular for flagellar, pili type IV and some adhesin genes. Indeed, several studies using knock-out mutants suggest that C. difficile may undergo a switch between the adhesion phenotype and the motility phenotype during the course of infection, regulated by the c-di-GMP intracellular level. In vivo, this could result in biofilm formation that

  18. 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.

  19. New biological potential of abietane diterpenoids isolated from Salvia austriaca against microbial virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Sadowska, Beata; Kuźma, Łukasz; Micota, Bartłomiej; Budzyńska, Aleksandra; Wysokińska, Halina; Kłys, Arkadiusz; Więckowska-Szakiel, Marzena; Różalska, Barbara

    2016-09-01

    The increasing importance of multi-resistant strains and microbial biofilms in the development of chronic infections has driven the search for more effective alternative therapy including plant-origin preparations. The present study evaluates the broadly-defined antimicrobial activity of two abietane diterpenoids isolated from Salvia austriaca transformed roots: taxodone and 15-deoxy-fuerstione. The direct biostatic/biocidal effect of these phytocompounds and their influence on Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans virulence factors/mechanisms (adhesion, biofilm formation, agglutination in human plasma, survival in the blood, germ tube and mycelium formation) were tested using in vitro assays. Both phytocompounds significantly inhibited microbial adhesion and biofilm formation when used at ½ and ¼ MIC. Additionally, taxodone was able to limit staphylococcal survival in human blood, as well as C. albicans germ tube formation and hyphal growth. The tested diterpenoids express significant anti-biofilm activity against both staphylococci and yeast, and adversely affect their virulence factors/mechanisms, which are relevant in the course of the infection in vivo. Therefore, they demonstrate considerable biomedical potential as complements for classic therapy with antibiotics. PMID:27417191

  20. 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. PMID:26995589

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  2. 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

  3. Diversity of Virulence Factors Associated with West Australian Methicillin-Sensitive Staphylococcus aureus Isolates of Human Origin

    PubMed Central

    Waryah, Charlene Babra; Gogoi-Tiwari, Jully; Wells, Kelsi; Eto, Karina Yui; Masoumi, Elnaz; Costantino, Paul; Kotiw, Michael; Mukkur, Trilochan

    2016-01-01

    An extensive array of virulence factors associated with S. aureus has contributed significantly to its success as a major nosocomial pathogen in hospitals and community causing variety of infections in affected patients. Virulence factors include immune evading capsular polysaccharides, poly-N-acetyl glucosamine, and teichoic acid in addition to damaging toxins including hemolytic toxins, enterotoxins, cytotoxins, exfoliative toxin, and microbial surface components recognizing adhesive matrix molecules (MSCRAMM). In this investigation, 31 West Australian S. aureus isolates of human origin and 6 controls were analyzed for relative distribution of virulence-associated genes using PCR and/or an immunoassay kit and MSCRAMM by PCR-based typing. Genes encoding MSCRAMM, namely, Spa, ClfA, ClfB, SdrE, SdrD, IsdA, and IsdB, were detected in >90% of isolates. Gene encoding α-toxin was detected in >90% of isolates whereas genes encoding β-toxin and SEG were detectable in 50–60% of isolates. Genes encoding toxin proteins, namely, SEA, SEB, SEC, SED, SEE, SEH, SEI, SEJ, TSST, PVL, ETA, and ETB, were detectable in >50% of isolates. Use of RAPD-PCR for determining the virulence factor-based genetic relatedness among the isolates revealed five cluster groups confirming genetic diversity among the MSSA isolates, with the greatest majority of the clinical S. aureus (84%) isolates clustering in group IIIa. PMID:27247944

  4. The Fimbrial Protein is a Virulence Factor and Potential Vaccine Antigen of Avibacterium paragallinarum.

    PubMed

    Liu, C-C; Ou, S-C; Tan, D-H; Hsieh, M-K; Shien, J-H; Chang, P-C

    2016-09-01

    Fimbriae are recognized as virulence factors and potential vaccine antigens of several pathogenic bacteria, but the function of the fimbriae from Avibacterium paragallinarum is not well known. In this study, a gene encoding the fimbrial protein FlfA was identified in A. paragallinarum . Sequencing analysis of the putative promoter region of flfA suggests that flfA expression in A. paragallinarum might be controlled by phase variation. The flfA gene from A. paragallinarum was expressed as a recombinant protein (r-FlfA) in Escherichia coli . Immunization with r-FlfA conferred chickens protection against challenge infection with A. paragallinarum . Virulence assays showed that the flfA-deficient mutants of A. paragallinarum were less virulent than their parental wild-type strains. These results indicated that the fimbrial protein FlfA is a virulence factor and potential vaccine antigen from A. paragallinarum . PMID:27610725

  5. Virulence Factors Associated with Pediatric Shigellosis in Brazilian Amazon

    PubMed Central

    da Cruz, Carolinie Batista Nobre; de Souza, Maria Carolina Scheffer; Serra, Paula Taquita; Santos, Ivanildes; Balieiro, Antonio; Pieri, Fabio Alessandro; Nogueira, Paulo Afonso; Orlandi, Patrícia Puccinelli

    2014-01-01

    Shigellosis is a global human health problem and the incidence is highest among children. In the present work, main Shigella virulence genes was examined by PCR and compared to symptoms of pediatric shigellosis. Thirty Shigella isolates were identified from an etiologic study at which 1,339 children ranging 0–10 years old were enrolled. S. flexneri was the most frequent species reaching 60.0% of isolates, 22.2% were S. sonnei, and 6.6% were both S. dysenteriae and S. boydii. All Shigella infected children had diarrhea, but not all were accompanied by others symptoms of bacillary dysentery. Among major virulence genes, the PCR typing revealed ipaBCD was present in all isolates, followed by IpaH7.8, set-1A, set-1B, sen/ospD3, virF, and invE. The pathogenic potential of the ShET-1B subunit was observed in relation to dehydration (P < 0.001) and ShET-2 related to the intestinal injury (P = 0.033) evidenced by the presence of bloody diarrhea. Our results show associations among symptoms of shigellosis and virulence genes of clinical isolates of Shigella spp. PMID:24877110

  6. 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.

  7. FipB, an Essential Virulence Factor of Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis, Has Dual Roles in Disulfide Bond Formation

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Aiping; Zhang, Yan; Clark, Melinda E.; Rabideau, Meaghan M.; Millan Barea, Luis R.

    2014-01-01

    FipB, an essential virulence factor of Francisella tularensis, is a lipoprotein with two conserved domains that have similarity to disulfide bond formation A (DsbA) proteins and the amino-terminal dimerization domain of macrophage infectivity potentiator (Mip) proteins, which are proteins with peptidyl-prolyl cis/trans isomerase activity. This combination of conserved domains is unusual, so we further characterized the enzymatic activity and the importance of the Mip domain and lipid modification in virulence. Unlike typical DsbA proteins, which are oxidases, FipB exhibited both oxidase and isomerase activities. FipA, which also shares similarity with Mip proteins, potentiated the isomerase activity of FipB in an in vitro assay and within the bacteria, as measured by increased copper sensitivity. To determine the importance of the Mip domain and lipid modification of FipB, mutants producing FipB proteins that lacked either the Mip domain or the critical cysteine necessary for lipid modification were constructed. Both strains replicated within host cells and retained virulence in mice, though there was some attenuation. FipB formed surface-exposed dimers that were sensitive to dithiothreitol (DTT), dependent on the Mip domain and on at least one cysteine in the active site of the DsbA-like domain. However, these dimers were not essential for virulence, because the Mip deletion mutant, which failed to form dimers, was still able to replicate intracellularly and retained virulence in mice. Thus, the Mip domains of FipB and FipA impart additional isomerase functionality to FipB, but only the DsbA-like domain and oxidase activity are essential for its critical virulence functions. PMID:25092026

  8. 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.

  9. Genotypic diversity and virulent factors of Staphylococcus epidermidis isolated from human breast milk.

    PubMed

    Begović, Jelena; Jovčić, Branko; Papić-Obradović, Milena; Veljović, Katarina; Lukić, Jovanka; Kojić, Milan; Topisirović, Ljubiša

    2013-02-22

    Staphylococcus epidermidis strains were isolated from the expressed human breast milk (EHM) of 14 healthy donor mothers. Genetic diversity was evaluated using RAPD-PCR REP-PCR and pulse-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). PFGE allowed the best discrimination of the isolates, since it provided for the greatest diversity of the analyzed genomes. Among the S. epidermidis strains, resistance to gentamicin, tetracycline, erythromycin, clindamycin or vancomycin was detected, whilst four isolates were multiresistant. The results from our study demonstrate that staphylococci from EHM could be reservoirs of resistance genes, since we showed that tetK could be transferred from EHM staphylococci to Gram-negative Escherichia coli. Most of the staphylococcal strains displayed excellent proteolytic and lipolytic activities. Additionally, the presence of ica genes, which was related to their ability to form a biofilm on tissue culture plates, and the presence of virulence factors including autolysin/adhesin AtLE, point to their pathogenic potential.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

    2015-01-01

    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

  14. Insights from the predicted epitope similarity between Mycobacterium tuberculosis virulent factors and its human homologs

    PubMed Central

    Gutlapalli, Venkata Ravi; Sykam, Aparna; Nayarisseri, Anuraj; Suneetha, Sujai; Suneetha, Lavanya M

    2015-01-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis is known to be associated with several autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematous, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. This is attributed to sequence similarity between virulent factors and human proteins. Therefore, it is of interest to identify such regions in the virulent factors to assess potential autoimmune related information. M. tb specific virulent factors were downloaded from the VFDB database and its human homologs were identified using the sequence comparison search tool BLASTP. Both virulent proteins and their corresponding human homologs were further scanned for epitopes (B cell and HLA class I and II allele specific) using prediction programs (BCPRED and NETMHC). Data shows the presence of matching 22 B-cell, 79 HLA class II and 16 HLA class I specific predicted epitopes in these virulent factors having human homologs. A known peptide (HAFYLQYKNVKVDFA) associated with autoimmune atopic dermatitis is shown in the superoxide dismutase homolog structures of the bacterium (PDB ID: 1IDS) and human (PDB ID: 2QKC). This data provides insight into the understanding of infection-associated auto-immunity PMID:26770024

  15. RNA Helicase Important for Listeria monocytogenes Hemolytic Activity and Virulence Factor Expression

    PubMed Central

    Netterling, Sakura; Bäreclev, Caroline; Vaitkevicius, Karolis

    2015-01-01

    RNA helicases have been shown to be important for the function of RNA molecules at several levels, although their putative involvement in microbial pathogenesis has remained elusive. We have previously shown that Listeria monocytogenes DExD-box RNA helicases are important for bacterial growth, motility, ribosomal maturation, and rRNA processing. We assessed the importance of the RNA helicase Lmo0866 (here named CshA) for expression of virulence traits. We observed a reduction in hemolytic activity in a strain lacking CshA compared to the wild type. This phenomenon was less evident in strains lacking other RNA helicases. The reduced hemolysis was accompanied by lower expression of major listerial virulence factors in the ΔcshA strain, mainly listeriolysin O, but also to some degree the actin polymerizing factor ActA. Reduced expression of these virulence factors in the strain lacking CshA did not, however, correlate with a decreased level of the virulence regulator PrfA. When combining the ΔcshA knockout with a mutation creating a constitutively active PrfA protein (PrfA*), the effect of the ΔcshA knockout on LLO expression was negated. These data suggest a role for the RNA helicase CshA in posttranslational activation of PrfA. Surprisingly, although the expression of several virulence factors was reduced, the ΔcshA strain did not demonstrate any reduced ability to infect nonphagocytic cells compared to the wild-type strain. PMID:26483402

  16. Comparative analysis of Klebsiella pneumoniae genomes identifies a phospholipase D family protein as a novel virulence factor

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Klebsiella pneumoniae strains are pathogenic to animals and humans, in which they are both a frequent cause of nosocomial infections and a re-emerging cause of severe community-acquired infections. K. pneumoniae isolates of the capsular serotype K2 are among the most virulent. In order to identify novel putative virulence factors that may account for the severity of K2 infections, the genome sequence of the K2 reference strain Kp52.145 was determined and compared to two K1 and K2 strains of low virulence and to the reference strains MGH 78578 and NTUH-K2044. Results In addition to diverse functions related to host colonization and virulence encoded in genomic regions common to the four strains, four genomic islands specific for Kp52.145 were identified. These regions encoded genes for the synthesis of colibactin toxin, a putative cytotoxin outer membrane protein, secretion systems, nucleases and eukaryotic-like proteins. In addition, an insertion within a type VI secretion system locus included sel1 domain containing proteins and a phospholipase D family protein (PLD1). The pld1 mutant was avirulent in a pneumonia model in mouse. The pld1 mRNA was expressed in vivo and the pld1 gene was associated with K. pneumoniae isolates from severe infections. Analysis of lipid composition of a defective E. coli strain complemented with pld1 suggests an involvement of PLD1 in cardiolipin metabolism. Conclusions Determination of the complete genome of the K2 reference strain identified several genomic islands comprising putative elements of pathogenicity. The role of PLD1 in pathogenesis was demonstrated for the first time and suggests that lipid metabolism is a novel virulence mechanism of K. pneumoniae. PMID:24885329

  17. Color me bad: microbial pigments as virulence factors

    PubMed Central

    Liu, George Y.; Nizet, Victor

    2009-01-01

    A hallmark feature of several pathogenic microbes is the distinctive color of their colonies when propagated in the clinical laboratory. Such pigmentation comes in a variety of hues, and has often proven useful in presumptive clinical diagnosis. Recent advances in microbial pigment biochemistry and the genetic basis of pigment production has sometimes revealed a more sinister aspect to these curious materials that change the color of reflected light by selective light absorbance. In many cases, the microbial pigment contributes to disease pathogenesis by interfering with host immune clearance mechanisms or by exhibiting pro-inflammatory or cytotoxic properties. Here, we review several examples of pigments that promote microbial virulence, including the golden staphyloxanthin of Staphylococcus aureus, the blue-green pyocyanin of Pseudomonas spp., and the dark brown or black melanin pigments of Cryptococcus neoformans and Aspergillus spp. Targeted pigment neutralization may represent a viable concept to enhance treatment of certain difficult infectious disease conditions. PMID:19726196

  18. The red pigment prodigiosin is not an essential virulence factor in entomopathogenic Serratia marcescens.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Wei; Li, JingHua; Chen, Jie; Liu, XiaoYuan; Xiang, TingTing; Zhang, Lin; Wan, YongJi

    2016-05-01

    Although pigments produced by pathogenic microbes are generally hypothesized as essential virulence factors, the role of red pigment prodigiosin in the pathogenesis of entomopathogenic Serratia marcescens is not clear. In this study, we analyzed the pathogenicity of different pigmented S. marcescens strains and their non-pigmented mutants in silkworms. Each pigmented strain and the corresponding non-pigmented mutants showed very similar LD50 value (statistically no difference), but caused very different symptom (color of the dead larva). Our results clearly indicated that the red pigment prodigiosin is not an essential virulence factor in entomopathogenic S. marcescens.

  19. [Phenotypic characteristics and virulence factors in Aeromonas strains isolated from patients with diarrheic disease in Cuba].

    PubMed

    Bravo, Laura; Fernández, Anabel; Ledo, Judith; Ramírez, Margarita; Aguila, Adalberto; Núñez, Fidel A; Cabrera, Luis E; Cruz, Yanaika

    2011-04-01

    Fifty four strains of Aeromonas spp were isolated from patients with acute diarrheic episodes by using Aerokey II and Aeroesquema methods. In vitro antimicrobial susceptibility and virulence factors were analyzed. The most frequently isolated specie was Aeromonas caviae. Over 75% of strains exhibited resistance to penicillins and ce-phalosporins; for the other antibiotic groups resistance was under 20%. Twenty six strains (48.1 %) were multiresist-ant. At least one virulence factor among those evaluated in the study was present in 53 (98.1%) of the 54 strains. PMID:21720696

  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. 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.

  2. 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

  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. 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. PMID:27479695

  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. Discovery of novel secreted virulence factors from Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium by proteomic analysis of culture supernatants.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

    Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is a leading cause of acute gastroenteritis throughout the world. This pathogen has two type III secretion systems (TTSS) encoded in Salmonella pathogenicity islands 1 and 2 (SPI-1 and SPI-2) that deliver virulence factors (effectors) to the host cell cytoplasm and are required for virulence. While many effectors have been identified and at least partially characterized, the full repertoire of effectors has not been catalogued. In this proteomic study, we identified effector proteins secreted into defined minimal medium designed to induce expression of the SPI-2 TTSS and its effectors. We compared the secretomes of the parent strain to those of strains missing essential (ssaK::cat) or regulatory (ΔssaL) components of the SPI-2 TTSS. We identified 20 known SPI-2 effectors. Excluding the translocon components SseBCD, all SPI-2 effectors were biased for identification in the ΔssaL mutant, substantiating the regulatory role of SsaL in TTS. To identify novel effector proteins, we coupled our secretome data with a machine learning algorithm (SIEVE, SVM-based identification and evaluation of virulence effectors) and selected 12 candidate proteins for further characterization. Using CyaA' reporter fusions, we identified six novel type III effectors and two additional proteins that were secreted into J774 macrophages independently of a TTSS. To assess their roles in virulence, we constructed nonpolar deletions and performed a competitive index analysis from intraperitoneally infected 129/SvJ mice. Six mutants were significantly attenuated for spleen colonization. Our results also suggest that non-type III secretion mechanisms are required for full Salmonella virulence.

  7. Functional genomic characterization of virulence factors from necrotizing fasciitis-causing strains of Aeromonas hydrophila.

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

    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.

  8. 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

  9. Discovery of Salmonella virulence factors translocated via outer membrane vesicles to murine macrophages.

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-01

    Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, an intracellular pathogen and leading cause of food-borne illness, encodes a plethora of virulence effectors. Salmonella virulence factors are translocated into host cells and manipulate host cellular activities, providing a more hospitable environment for bacterial proliferation. In this study, we report a new set of virulence factors that is translocated into the host cytoplasm via bacterial outer membrane vesicles (OMV). PagK (or PagK1), PagJ, and STM2585A (or PagK2) are small proteins composed of ∼70 amino acids and have high sequence homology to each other (>85% identity). Salmonella lacking all three homologues was attenuated for virulence in a mouse infection model, suggesting at least partial functional redundancy among the homologues. While each homologue was translocated into the macrophage cytoplasm, their translocation was independent of all three Salmonella gene-encoded type III secretion systems (T3SSs)-Salmonella pathogenicity island 1 (SPI-1) T3SS, SPI-2 T3SS, and the flagellar system. Selected methods, including direct microscopy, demonstrated that the PagK-homologous proteins were secreted through OMV, which were enriched with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and outer membrane proteins. Vesicles produced by intracellular bacteria also contained lysosome-associated membrane protein 1 (LAMP1), suggesting the possibility of OMV convergence with host cellular components during intracellular trafficking. This study identified novel Salmonella virulence factors secreted via OMV and demonstrated that OMV can function as a vehicle to transfer virulence determinants to the cytoplasm of the infected host cell.

  10. Identification of Novel Listeria monocytogenes Secreted Virulence Factors following Mutational Activation of the Central Virulence Regulator, PrfA▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Port, Gary C.; Freitag, Nancy E.

    2007-01-01

    Upon bacterial entry into the cytosol of infected mammalian host cells, the central virulence regulator PrfA of Listeria monocytogenes becomes activated and induces the expression of numerous factors which contribute to bacterial pathogenesis. The mechanism or signal by which PrfA becomes activated during the course of infection has not yet been determined; however, several amino acid substitutions within PrfA (known as PrfA* mutations) that appear to lock the protein into a constitutively activated state have been identified. In this study, the PrfA activation statuses of several L. monocytogenes mutant strains were subjected to direct isogenic comparison and the mutant with the highest activity, the prfA(L140F) mutant, was identified. The prfA(L140F) strain was subsequently used as a tool to identify gene products secreted as a result of PrfA activation. By use of two-dimensional gel electrophoresis followed by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectroscopy analyses, 15 proteins were identified as up-regulated in the prfA(L140F) secretome, while the secretion of two proteins was found to be reduced. Although some of the proteins identified were known to be subject to direct regulation by PrfA, the majority have not previously been associated with PrfA regulation and their expression or secretion may be influenced indirectly by a PrfA-dependent regulatory pathway. Plasmid insertion inactivation of the genes encoding four novel secreted products indicated that three of the four have significant roles in L. monocytogenes virulence. The use of mutationally activated prfA alleles therefore provides a useful approach towards identifying gene products that contribute to L. monocytogenes pathogenesis. PMID:17938228

  11. An in-house multiplex pcr method to detect of putative virulence factors in aeromonas species

    PubMed Central

    Aguilera-Arreola, Ma. Guadalupe; Martínez, Alma Aidee Carmona; Castro-Escarpulli, Graciela

    2011-01-01

    A pentaplex PCR was developed and optimised to detect the genes that encode the five most important putative virulence factors in Aeromonas isolates. It seems to be more efficient than previously reported techniques and promises to be a powerful tool for more accurate risk assessments and for monitoring pathogenic strains. PMID:24031758

  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. Electrical protein array chips for the detection of staphylococcal virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Quiel, Annett; Jürgen, Britta; Piechotta, Gundula; Le Foll, Anne-Pascale; Ziebandt, Anne-Kathrin; Kohler, Christian; Köster, Daniela; Engelmann, Susanne; Erck, Christian; Hintsche, Rainer; Wehland, Jürgen; Hecker, Michael; Schweder, Thomas

    2010-02-01

    A new approach for the detection of virulence factors of Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis using an electrical protein array chip technology is presented. The procedure is based on an enzyme-linked sandwich immunoassay, which includes recognition and binding of virulence factors by specific capture and detection antibodies. Detection of antibody-bound virulence factors is achieved by measuring the electrical current generated by redox recycling of an enzymatically released substance. The current (measured in nanoampere) corresponds to the amount of the target molecule in the analyzed sample. The electrical protein chip allows for a fast detection of Staphylococcus enterotoxin B (SEB) of S. aureus and immunodominant antigen A homologue (IsaA homologue) of S. epidermidis in different liquid matrices. The S. aureus SEB virulence factor could be detected in minimal medium, milk, and urine in a concentration of 1 ng/ml within less than 23 min. Furthermore, a simultaneous detection of SEB of S. aureus and IsaA homologue of S. epidermidis in a single assay could be demonstrated.

  14. Phenol-soluble modulins, hellhounds from the staphylococcal virulence-factor pandemonium.

    PubMed

    Tsompanidou, Eleni; Denham, Emma L; van Dijl, Jan Maarten

    2013-07-01

    Phenol-soluble modulins are secreted peptides with multiple functions in Staphylococcus aureus pathogenesis and spreading. Recent studies by Otto and coworkers show that these hellhounds of the staphylococcal virulence-factor pandemonium are unleashed through an essential ABC transporter, which represents an exciting new target for stopping the spread of this important pathogen.

  15. Production of N-acyl Homoserine Lactones and Virulence Factors of Waterborne Aeromonas hydrophila.

    PubMed

    Chu, Weihua; Liu, Yongwang; Jiang, Yan; Zhu, Wei; Zhuang, Xiyi

    2013-09-01

    Aeromonads are inhabitants of aquatic ecosystems and are described as being involved in intestinal disturbances and other infections. The purpose of this study was to investigate the production of N-acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) signal molecules and some virulence factors, including hemolysins, proteases, extracellular nucleases production and cytotoxicity by waterborne Aeromonas hydrophila. A total of 24 strains isolated from fresh-water or diseased fish were used in the study. The majority A.hydrophila strains produce two AHL molecules (21/24), one is N-butanoyl homoserine lactone (BHL), and the other is N-hexanoyl homoserine lactone (HHL) according to thin-layer chromatography analysis. Among the virulence factors tested, more than 83 % of the isolates produced β haemolysin when inoculated on sheep blood agar, only 50 % of the isolates displayed DNase activity, 75 % of the isolates shown proteolytic activity on skimmed milk plate, and cytotoxic activity was detected in 20 of 24 of the isolates. The strains producing AHLs possessed one or more virulence factors. In conclusion, the production of quorum sensing signal molecules is common among the strains that we examined, and there seems to some relationships between quorum sensing signal production and virulence factors in A. hydrophila.

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

    PubMed

    Bhaskaran, Shyam S; Stebbins, C Erec

    2012-12-01

    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.

  17. Systematic annotation and analysis of "virmugens"-virulence factors whose mutants can be used as live attenuated vaccines.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-21

    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 1 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, 6 are related to carbohydrate or nucleotide transport and metabolism, and 2 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 to elucidate enriched virmugen profiles and the mechanisms of protective immunity, and further supports rational vaccine design.

  18. Common virulence factors for Pseudomonas tolaasii pathogenesis in Agaricus and Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Chung, In-Young; Kim, Young-Kee; Cho, You-Hee

    2014-01-01

    Brown blotch of cultivatable mushrooms is a disease caused by the small peptide toxin (tolaasin) secreted by Pseudomonas tolaasii. Here we found that the wild type tolassin-producing P. tolaasii stain 6264 was capable of infection in Arabidopsis thaliana cotyledons, causing chlorotic symptoms and growth arrest as a result of bacterial proliferation. Seven virulence-attenuated mutants of P. tolaasii were isolated from the Agaricus bisporus screen using 2512 mariner-based transposon insertion mutants, and all of them displayed reduced virulence and bacterial proliferation in Arabidopsis infection as well. The transposon was inserted within the genes for tolassin biosynthesis and amino acid biosynthesis, and within an intergenic region between the genes of unknown function. The finding that some virulence factors are commonly required for both Agaricus and Arabidopsis infections suggests that Arabidopsis could be exploited to study the host-pathogen interaction involving P. tolaasii.

  19. 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

  20. Evaluation of Virulence Factors and Antibiotic Sensitivity Pattern of Escherichia Coli Isolated from Extraintestinal Infections

    PubMed Central

    Vaish, Ritu; Pradeep, MSS; Setty, CR

    2016-01-01

    Introduction  Identification of virulence determinants among the clinically isolated microorganisms assumes greater significance in the patient management perspective. Among the hospitalized patients, extremes of age groups (neonatal and geriatric age patients), patients who are debilitated due to other associated medical conditions, patients taking immunosuppressive therapy, and patients undergoing major surgeries are prone to infections with previously nonpathogenic or opportunistic pathogens. Screening of the pathogenic potential of such bacteria and identifying their virulence factors and antimicrobial susceptibility patterns could be instrumental in better patient care and management. Materials & methods  In this study, we evaluated the virulence determinants and antimicrobial susceptibility patterns of 100 clinical isolates of E. coli collected from extraintestinal infections and 50 control strains of E. coli. Hemolysin production, serum resistance, cell surface hydrophobicity, and gelatinase production were tested using standard laboratory procedures. Results  Results showed that E. colistrains have a variable pattern of virulence markers that included hemolysin production (9%), cell surface hydrophobicity (9%), serum resistance (93%), and gelatinase production (2%). Antimicrobial susceptibility testing revealed a higher rate of resistance against cephalothin (84%) and ampicillin (98%). Susceptibility to amikacin (80%) and co-trimoxazole (47%) was variable and none of the test strains revealed resistance to imipenem. The control strains in contrast exhibited fewer virulence factors and the least resistance to antibiotics. Conclusion  In conclusion, the study results revealed that E. coli isolated from extraintestinal infections had demonstrated greater virulence and higher resistance to antibiotics as compared to the E. coli strains isolated from healthy individuals. PMID:27330872

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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. PMID:27120257

  4. Distribution of uropathogenic virulence factors among Escherichia coli strains isolated from dogs and cats.

    PubMed

    Yuri, K; Nakata, K; Katae, H; Yamamoto, S; Hasegawa, A

    1998-03-01

    A variety of virulence factors (VFs) such as type 1 fimbriae, pilus associated with pyelonephritis, S fimbriae, afimbrial adhesin, alpha-hemolysin, aerobactin and cytotoxic necrotizing factor 1 are associated with uropathogenic Escherichia coli. In this study, 80 uropathogenic E. coli strains in 50 dogs and 30 cats suffering from UTI. In addition, 60 E. coli strains were isolated from fecal samples from 30 each of healthy dogs and cats. The distribution of VFs of uropathogenic E. coli strains isolated from dogs and cats suffering from urinary tract infections (UTI) were examined by the colony hybridization test with seven DNA probes specific for VFs, and the results were compared with those obtained in the studies on strains from humans with UTI. In uropathogenic E. coli strains isolated from dogs and cats suffering from UTI, VFs were detected as frequently as in the strains isolated from humans with UTI. Although less frequently, genes encoding these VFs especially pap, sfa, hly, and cnf 1 genes were also associated with E. coli strains isolated from feces of healthy cats, in contrast to the distribution pattern of uropathogenic E. coli observed in humans. Furthermore, all VFs except pil were significantly more frequently detected in strains isolated from urine of animals with cystitis than in those isolated from feces of healthy humans. These results indicate that VFs of E. coli contribute to the pathogenesis of UTI in dogs and cats.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:26470920

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

    PubMed Central

    Naqvi, Ahmad Abu Turab; Anjum, Farah; Khan, Faez Iqbal; Islam, Asimul; Ahmad, Faizan

    2016-01-01

    Helicobacter pylori is a Gram-negative bacteria that is responsible for gastritis in human. Its spiral flagellated body helps in locomotion and colonization in the host environment. It is capable of living in the highly acidic environment of the stomach with the help of acid adaptive genes. The genome of H. pylori 26695 strain contains 1,555 coding genes that encode 1,445 proteins. Out of these, 340 proteins are characterized as hypothetical proteins (HP). This study involves extensive analysis of the HPs using an established pipeline which comprises various bioinformatics tools and databases to find out probable functions of the HPs and identification of virulence factors. After extensive analysis of all the 340 HPs, we found that 104 HPs are showing characteristic similarities with the proteins with known functions. Thus, on the basis of such similarities, we assigned probable functions to 104 HPs with high confidence and precision. All the predicted HPs contain representative members of diverse functional classes of proteins such as enzymes, transporters, binding proteins, regulatory proteins, proteins involved in cellular processes and other proteins with miscellaneous functions. Therefore, we classified 104 HPs into aforementioned functional groups. During the virulence factors analysis of the HPs, we found 11 HPs are showing significant virulence. The identification of virulence proteins with the help their predicted functions may pave the way for drug target estimation and development of effective drug to counter the activity of that protein. PMID:27729842

  8. Identification of lipoprotein MslA as a neoteric virulence factor of Mycoplasma gallisepticum.

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-01

    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 R(low), 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 R(low) and S6. We examined the virulence of an R(low) Delta MGA0674 mutant (P1H9) in vivo and observed reduced recovery and attenuated virulence in the tracheas of experimentally infected chickens. The virulence of two additional R(low) Delta MGA0674 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-28

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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. PMID:26785289

  13. [Investigation of the virulence factors of multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii isolates].

    PubMed

    Eraç, Bayrı; Yılmaz, Fethiye Ferda; Hoşgör Limoncu, Mine; Oztürk, Ismail; Aydemir, Söhret

    2014-01-01

    Acinetobacter baumannii is an opportunistic human pathogen which causes life-threatening nosocomial infections such as ventilator-associated pneumonia, bacteremia, meningitis, urinary tract and wound infections. Treatment options are very limited for infections caused by multi-drug resistant (MDR) A.baumannii strains. Until recently, the majority of studies related to A.baumannii have focused on antibiotic resistance, treatment protocols and epidemiological data, however, there have been few studies addressing the virulence factors of this organism. The features such as biofilm formation, serum resistance, motility, efflux pumps and iron acquisition mechanisms help the bacterium to survive in adverse environmental conditions and facilitate the development of an infection. The aim of the present study was to investigate the basic characteristics that contribute to the virulence of clinically important MDR A.baumannii isolates. Sixty-five ciprofloxacin-imipenem-trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole-resistant A.baumannii strains isolated from various clinical specimens between December 2011 and March 2012 at Ege University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Microbiology were included in the study. The clonal relationship of the isolates was analyzed by PCR using Enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus (ERIC)-2 primer. Biofilm formation, serum resistance, twitching and swarming motility, efflux pump and siderophore production were sought in representatives of each clone. Investigated MDR A.baumannii isolates were classified into seven main clusters, and the largest cluster included 86% of the strains. The virulence-associated features were investigated in 16 representative strains, including sub-groups. Twelve, three and one of the examined strains were determined to be strong, intermediate and weak biofilm producers, respectively. Siderophore production was not encountered in any of the isolates. Of the sixteen strains, two, one and thirteen isolates were

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-27

    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 Fe(3+), Zn(2+) and Mn(2+), but strongly stimulated by Co(2+), 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.

  18. Genome-sequence analysis of Acinetobacter johnsonii MB44 reveals potential nematode-virulent factors.

    PubMed

    Tian, Shijing; Ali, Muhammad; Xie, Li; Li, Lin

    2016-01-01

    Acinetobacter johnsonii is generally recognized as a nonpathogenic bacterium although it is often found in hospital environments. However, a newly identified isolate of this species from a frost-plant-tissue sample, namely, A. johnsonii MB44, showed significant nematicidal activity against the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. To expand our understanding of this bacterial species, we generated a draft genome sequence of MB44 and analyzed its genomic features related to nematicidal attributes. The 3.36 Mb long genome contains 3636 predicted protein-coding genes and 95 RNA genes (including 14 rRNA genes), with a G + C content of 41.37 %. Genomic analysis of the prediction of nematicidal proteins using the software MP3 revealed a total of 108 potential virulence proteins. Some of these proteins were homologous to the known virulent proteins identified from Acinetobacter baumannii, a pathogenic species of the genus Acinetobacter. These virulent proteins included the outer membrane protein A, the phospholipase D, and penicillin-binding protein 7/8. Moreover, one siderophore biosynthesis gene cluster and one capsular polysaccharide gene cluster, which were predicted to be important virulence factors for C. elegans, were identified in the MB44 genome. The current study demonstrated that A. johnsonii MB44, with its nematicidal activity, could be an opportunistic pathogen to animals. PMID:27429894

  19. Postgenomic analysis of bacterial pathogens repertoire reveals genome reduction rather than virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Merhej, Vicky; Georgiades, Kalliopi; Raoult, Didier

    2013-07-01

    In the pregenomic era, the acquisition of pathogenicity islands via horizontal transfer was proposed as a major mechanism in pathogen evolution. Much effort has been expended to look for the contiguous blocks of virulence genes that are present in pathogenic bacteria, but absent in closely related species that are nonpathogenic. However, some of these virulence factors were found in nonpathogenic bacteria. Moreover, and contrary to expectation, pathogenic bacteria were found to lack genes (antivirulence genes) that are characteristic of nonpathogenic bacteria. The availability of complete genome sequences has led to a new era of pathogen research. Comparisons of genomes have shown that the most pathogenic bacteria have reduced genomes, with less ribosomal RNA and unorganized operons; they lack transcriptional regulators but have more genes that encode protein toxins, toxin-antitoxin (TA) modules, and proteins for DNA replication and repair, when compared with less pathogenic close relatives. These findings questioned the paradigm of virulence by gene acquisition and put forward the notion of genomic repertoire of virulence.

  20. 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

  1. ZnO nanoparticles inhibit Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm formation and virulence factor production.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jin-Hyung; Kim, Yong-Guy; Cho, Moo Hwan; Lee, Jintae

    2014-12-01

    The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa produces a variety of virulence factors, and biofilms of this bacterium are much more resistant to antibiotics than planktonic cells. Thirty-six metal ions have been investigated to identify antivirulence and antibiofilm metal ions. Zinc ions and ZnO nanoparticles were found to markedly inhibit biofilm formation and the production of pyocyanin, Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS), pyochelin, and hemolytic activity of P. aeruginosa without affecting the growth of planktonic cells. Transcriptome analyses showed that ZnO nanoparticles induce the zinc cation efflux pump czc operon and several important transcriptional regulators (porin gene opdT and type III repressor ptrA), but repress the pyocyanin-related phz operon, which explains observed phenotypic changes. A mutant study showed that the effects of ZnO nanoparticles on the control of pyocyanin production and biofilm formation require the czc regulator CzcR. In addition, ZnO nanoparticles markedly increased the cellular hydrophilicity of P. aeruginosa cells. Our results support that ZnO nanoparticles are potential antivirulence materials against recalcitrant P. aeruginosa infections and possibly other important pathogens. PMID:24958247

  2. Evaluation of Virulence Factors and Antifungal Susceptibility in Yeast Isolates from Postmortem Specimens.

    PubMed

    Yagmur, Gulhan; Sav, Hafize; Ziyade, Nihan; Elgormus, Neval; Sen, Sumeyye; Akkoyun Bilgi, Esma; Atan, Yusuf; Buyuk, Yalcin; Kiraz, Nuri

    2016-07-01

    Invasive fungal infections are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients, especially in cases requiring a prolonged stay in the intensive care unit. A total of 99 yeast strains were isolated from 42 postmortem cases. In this study, virulence factors and antifungal susceptibility of these species were evaluated. The isolates were identified as Candida albicans (54), C. tropicalis (15), C. glabrata (12), C. parapsilosis (6), C. lipolytica (3), C. utilis (3), C. krusei (2), C. kefyr (1), and Cryptococcus neoformans (3). The most commonly isolated species was C. albicans, and no resistant species were determined. Despite the equal number of specimens, no secretion of significant virulence factors was associated with the postmortem specimen in the Candida species. Postmortem fungal investigations in forensic autopsies are useful in explaining cause of death in such cases, also may lead to protocols for the treatment of fungal infections and contribute to fungal pathogenesis and epidemiological data. PMID:27364280

  3. 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

  4. Kinetoplastid Membrane Protein-11 as a Vaccine Candidate and a Virulence Factor in Leishmania

    PubMed Central

    de Mendonça, Sergio Coutinho Furtado; Cysne-Finkelstein, Léa; Matos, Denise Cristina de Souza

    2015-01-01

    Kinetoplastid membrane protein-11 (KMP-11), a protein present in all kinetoplastid protozoa, is considered a potential candidate for a leishmaniasis vaccine. In Leishmania amazonensis, KMP-11 is expressed in promastigotes and amastigotes. In both stages, the protein was found in association with membrane structures at the cell surface, flagellar pocket, and intracellular vesicles. More importantly, its surface expression is higher in amastigotes than in promastigotes and increases during metacyclogenesis. The increased expression of KMP-11 in metacyclic promastigotes, and especially in amastigotes, indicates a role for this molecule in the parasite relationship with the mammalian host. In this connection, we have shown that addition of KMP-11 exacerbates L. amazonensis infection in peritoneal macrophages from BALB/c mice by increasing interleukin (IL)-10 secretion and arginase activity while reducing nitric oxide production. The doses of KMP-11, the IL-10 levels, and the intracellular amastigote loads were strongly, positively, and significantly correlated. The increase in parasite load induced by KMP-11 was inhibited by anti-KMP-11 or anti-IL-10-neutralizing antibodies, but not by isotype controls. The neutralizing antibodies, but not the isotype controls, were also able to significantly decrease the parasite load in macrophages cultured without the addition of KMP-11, demonstrating that KMP-11-induced exacerbation of the infection is not dependent on the addition of exogenous KMP-11 and that the protein naturally expressed by the parasite is able to promote it. All these data indicate that KMP-11 acts as a virulence factor in L. amazonensis infection. PMID:26528287

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. The effects of environmental factors on the virulence of Trichomonas vaginalis.

    PubMed

    Figueroa-Angulo, Elisa E; Rendón-Gandarilla, Francisco J; Puente-Rivera, Jonathan; Calla-Choque, Jaeson S; Cárdenas-Guerra, Rosa E; Ortega-López, Jaime; Quintas-Granados, Laura I; Alvarez-Sánchez, M Elizbeth; Arroyo, Rossana

    2012-12-01

    This review focused on potential regulatory mechanisms of Trichomonas vaginalis virulence properties, cytoadherence, cytotoxicity, phagocytosis, hemolysis, induction of apoptosis, and immune evasion in response to environmental factors of the human urogenital tract, iron, zinc, and polyamines. Understanding the multifactorial nature of trichomonal pathogenesis and its regulation may help to unravel the survival strategies of trichomonads and to implement prevention policies, opportune diagnosis, and alternative treatments for control of trichomoniasis.

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

    PubMed

    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 inhibition

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    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 inhibition

  11. [Quorum sensing mechanism as a factor regulating virulence of Gram-negative bacteria].

    PubMed

    Myszka, Kamila; Czaczyk, Katarzyna

    2010-11-25

    The metabolism of a high density population of bacteria is regulated by a quorum sensing mechanism. Cell-to-cell communication of microorganisms regulates the process of production of pathogenicity factors including formation and differentiation of bacterial biofilms. The role of the quorum sensing system in the expression of virulence features is described in this paper. The possibility of application of the quorum sensing mechanism in medicine is also discussed.

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

    PubMed

    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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. A Brucella Virulence Factor Targets Macrophages to Trigger B-cell Proliferation*

    PubMed Central

    Spera, Juan M.; Herrmann, Claudia K.; Roset, Mara S.; Comerci, Diego J.; Ugalde, Juan E.

    2013-01-01

    Brucella spp. and Trypanosoma cruzi are two intracellular pathogens that have no evolutionary common origins but share a similar lifestyle as they establish chronic infections for which they have to circumvent the host immune response. Both pathogens have a virulence factor (prpA in Brucella and tcPrac in T. cruzi) that induces B-cell proliferation and promotes the establishment of the chronic phase of the infectious process. We show here that, even though PrpA promotes B-cell proliferation, it targets macrophages in vitro and is translocated to the cytoplasm during the intracellular replication phase. We observed that PrpA-treated macrophages induce the secretion of a soluble factor responsible for B-cell proliferation and identified nonmuscular myosin IIA (NMM-IIA) as a receptor required for binding and function of this virulence factor. Finally, we show that the Trypanosoma cruzi homologue of PrpA also targets macrophages to induce B-cell proliferation through the same receptor, indicating that this virulence strategy is conserved between a bacterial and a protozoan pathogen. PMID:23720774

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Yeast vaginitis during pregnancy: susceptibility testing of 13 antifungal drugs and boric acid and the detection of four virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Kalkanci, Ayşe; Güzel, Ahmet Bariş; Khalil, Israa Ibrahim Jabban; Aydin, Merve; Ilkit, Macit; Kuştimur, Semra

    2012-08-01

    A higher prevalence of vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) is seen in pregnant women compared with those who are not pregnant. Recurrence is also more common in pregnant women, and therapeutic responses are reduced. In this investigation, 207 vaginal yeast isolates recovered from pregnant women were tested for susceptibility to 13 antifungal drugs and boric acid and through these studies four virulence factors were also determined. The isolates were recovered from vaginal samples of patients with acute VVC [AVVC, (n = 73)], symptomatic recurrent VVC [RVVC, (n = 89)], asymptomatic RVVC (n = 27), and those without signs and symptoms (n = 18). Candida albicans was the most common species found (59.9%), followed by C. glabrata (19.8%), other Candida spp., (19.8%), and Saccharomyces cerevisiae (0.5%). Antifungal susceptibility testing was performed as described in CLSI document M27-A3. Additionally, we examined phospholipase and proteinase production, adhesion to vaginal epithelial cells and hemolytic activity. Notably, the MIC values of Candida spp. isolates derived from patients with VVC were no different from those of the controls (P > 0.05). In addition, Candida isolates derived from patients with AVVC or RVVC produced significantly higher amounts of phospholipase and proteinase compared with the controls (P < 0.05). Antifungal testing and the determination of virulence factors may lead to the effective and prompt treatment of VVC, particularly in pregnant women.

  1. Assessment of Adhesins as an Indicator of Pathovar-Associated Virulence Factors in Bovine Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Valat, Charlotte; Forest, Karine; Auvray, Frédéric; Métayer, Véronique; Méheut, Thomas; Polizzi, Charlène; Gay, Emilie; Haenni, Marisa; Oswald, Eric; Madec, Jean-Yves

    2014-12-01

    The CS31A, F17, and F5 adhesins are usually targeted by serology-based methods to detect pathogenic Escherichia coli associated with calf enteritis. However, the virulence traits of the selected isolates are still poorly described. Here, from a set of 349 diarrheagenic E. coli isolates from cattle, we demonstrated a 70.8% concordance rate (Cohen's kappa, 0.599) between serology- and PCR-based approaches for the detection of adhesins under field conditions. A 79% to 82.4% correspondence between the two methods was found for fimbrial adhesins, whereas major discrepancies (33%) were observed for CS31A-type antigens. Various F17A variants were found, such as F17Ac (20K) (50%), F17Aa (FY) (18.9%), F17Ab (8.1%), and F17Ad (111K) (5.4%), including a high proportion (17.6%) of new F17A internal combinations (F17Aab, F17Aac, and F17Abc) or untypeable variants. In addition, the highest proportion of pathovar-associated virulence factor (VF) genes was observed among E. coli isolates that produced F5/F41 adhesins. A specific link between the heat-stable toxins related to the enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) pathovar and adhesins was identified. STa was significantly linked to F5/F41 and EAST1 to CS31A adhesins (P < 0.001), respectively, whereas NTEC was associated with F17 adhesin (P = 0.001). Clustering between phylogroups according to the adhesin types was also observed. Also, few Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) or enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) pathovars were identified. Finally, no statistically significant difference was observed in the occurrence of extended-spectrum beta lactamase (ESBL) production according to the adhesins expressed by the isolates (P = 0.09). Altogether, this study gives new insights into the relationship between adhesins, VF, and antimicrobial resistance in calf enteritis and supports the need for further standardization of methodologies for such approaches. PMID:25217019

  2. Differential secretomics of Streptococcus pyogenes reveals a novel peroxide regulator (PerR)-regulated extracellular virulence factor mitogen factor 3 (MF3).

    PubMed

    Wen, Yao-Tseng; Tsou, Chih-Cheng; Kuo, Hsin-Tzu; Wang, Jie-Siou; Wu, Jiunn-Jong; Liao, Pao-Chi

    2011-09-01

    Streptococcus pyogenes is a human pathogen that causes various diseases. Numerous virulence factors secreted by S. pyogenes are involved in pathogenesis. The peroxide regulator (PerR) is associated with the peroxide resistance response and pathogenesis, but little is known about the regulation of the secretome involved in virulence. To investigate how PerR regulates the expression of the S. pyogenes secretome involved in virulence, a perR deficient mutant was used for comparative secretomic analysis with a wild-type strain. The conditioned medium containing secreted proteins of a wild-type strain and a perR deficient mutant at the stationary phase were collected for two-dimensional gel electrophoresis analysis, where protease inhibitors were applied to avoid the degradation of extracellular proteins. Differentially expressed protein spots were identified by liquid chromatography electrospray ionization tandem MS. More than 330 protein spots were detected on each gel. We identified 25 unique up-regulated proteins and 13 unique down-regulated proteins that were directly or indirectly controlled by the PerR regulator. Among these identified proteins, mitogen factor 3 (MF3), was selected to verify virulence and the expression of gene products. The data showed that MF3 protein levels in conditioned medium, as measured by immunoblot analysis, correlated well with protein levels determined by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis analysis. We also demonstrated that PerR bound to the promoter region of the mf3 gene. The result of an infection model showed that virulence was attenuated in the mf3 deficient mutant. Additional growth data of the wild-type strain and the mf3 deficient mutant suggested that MF3 played a role in digestion of exogenous DNA for promoting growth. To summarize, we conclude that PerR can positively regulate the expression of the secreted protein MF3 that contributes to the virulence in S. pyogenes. The analysis of the PerR-regulated secretome provided

  3. 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

  4. Epoxide-Mediated Differential Packaging of Cif and Other Virulence Factors into Outer Membrane Vesicles

    PubMed Central

    Ballok, Alicia E.; Filkins, Laura M.; Bomberger, Jennifer M.; Stanton, Bruce A.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25112474

  5. Drosophila host model reveals new enterococcus faecalis quorum-sensing associated virulence factors.

    PubMed

    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.

  6. Regulation of Virulence of Entamoeba histolytica by the URE3-BP Transcription Factor.

    PubMed

    Gilchrist, Carol A; Moore, Ellyn S; Zhang, Yan; Bousquet, Christina B; Lannigan, Joanne A; Mann, Barbara J; Petri, William A

    2010-05-18

    It is not understood why only some infections with Entamoeba histolytica result in disease. The calcium-regulated transcription factor upstream regulatory element 3-binding protein (URE3-BP) was initially identified by virtue of its role in regulating the expression of two amebic virulence genes, the Gal/GalNac lectin and ferredoxin. Here we tested whether this transcription factor has a broader role in regulating virulence. A comparison of in vivo to in vitro parasite gene expression demonstrated that 39% of in vivo regulated transcripts contained the URE3 motif recognized by URE3-BP, compared to 23% of all promoters (P < 0.0001). Amebae induced to express a dominant positive mutant form of URE3-BP had an increase in an elongated morphology (30% +/- 6% versus 14% +/- 5%; P = 0.001), a 2-fold competitive advantage at invading the intestinal epithelium (P = 0.017), and a 3-fold increase in liver abscess size (0.1 +/- 0.1 g versus 0.036 +/- 0.1 g; P = 0.03). These results support a role for URE3-BP in virulence regulation.

  7. Caenorhabditis elegans-based screen identifies Salmonella virulence factors required for conserved host-pathogen interactions.

    PubMed

    Tenor, Jennifer L; McCormick, Beth A; Ausubel, Frederick M; Aballay, Alejandro

    2004-06-01

    A Caenorhabditis elegans-Salmonella enterica host-pathogen model was used to identify both novel and previously known S. enterica virulence factors (HilA, HilD, InvH, SptP, RhuM, Spi4-F, PipA, VsdA, RepC, Sb25, RfaL, GmhA, LeuO, CstA, and RecC), including several related to the type III secretion system (TTSS) encoded in Salmonella pathogenicity island 1 (SPI-1). Mutants corresponding to presumptive novel virulence-related genes exhibited diminished ability to invade epithelial cells and/or to induce polymorphonuclear leukocyte migration in a tissue culture model of mammalian enteropathogenesis. When expressed in C. elegans intestinal cells, the S. enterica TTSS-exported effector protein SptP inhibited a conserved p38 MAPK signaling pathway and suppressed the diminished pathogenicity phenotype of an S. enterica sptP mutant. These results show that C. elegans is an attractive model to study the interaction between Salmonella effector proteins and components of the innate immune response, in part because there is a remarkable overlap between Salmonella virulence factors required for human and nematode pathogenesis.

  8. Src and PI3 K inhibitors affect the virulence factors of Entamoeba histolytica.

    PubMed

    López-Contreras, L; Hernández-Ramírez, V I; Flores-García, Y; Chávez-Munguía, B; Talamás-Rohana, P

    2013-02-01

    Protein kinases (PKs) of parasitic protozoa are being evaluated as drug targets. A large number of protein kinases within the protein kinome of Entamoeba histolytica strongly suggest that protein phosphorylation is a key component of pathogenesis regulation by this parasite. PI3 K and Src are kinases previously described in this parasite, but their role is poorly understood. Here, the effect of Src-1-inhibitor and PI3 K inhibitor (Wortmannin) on the virulence factors of E. histolytica was evaluated. Results show that both inhibitors affect the actin cytoskeleton and the amoebic movement. Also, the proteolytic activity is diminished by Wortmannin, but not by Src-inhibitor-1; however, the phagocytic capacity is diminished by Wortmannin and Src-1-inhibitor. Finally, we found that the virulence in vivo of E. histolytica is affected by Wortmannin but not by Src-1-inhibitor. This study opens the way for the design of anti-amoebic drugs based on kinase inhibition.

  9. Extracellular Vesicles from Trypanosoma brucei Mediate Virulence Factor Transfer and Cause Host Anemia.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-14

    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

  10. 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

  11. Candida bracarensis: Evaluation of Virulence Factors and its Tolerance to Amphotericin B and Fluconazole.

    PubMed

    Moreira, André; Silva, Sónia; Botelho, Cláudia; Sampaio, Paula; Pais, Célia; Henriques, Mariana

    2015-12-01

    Candida bracarensis is an uncommon Candida species found during an epidemiological study of candidiasis performed in Braga, Portugal. Initially, it was identified as C. glabrata, but recently detailed analyses pointed out their differences. So, little information is still available about C. bracarensis virulence factors and antifungal susceptibilities. Therefore, the main goal of this work is to evaluate the ability of C. bracarensis to form biofilms, to produce hydrolytic enzymes (proteases, phospholipases and hemolysins), as well as its susceptibility to amphotericin B and fluconazole. It was shown, for the first time, that all C. bracarensis strains were able to form biofilms and display proteinase and hemolytic activities. Moreover, although planktonic cells presented antifungal susceptibility, amphotericin B and fluconazole were unable to inhibit biofilm formation and eradicate pre-formed biofilms. Due to the propensity of C. bracarensis to display antifungal resistance and virulence attributes, the control of these emerging pathogens is recommended. PMID:26179982

  12. Candida bracarensis: Evaluation of Virulence Factors and its Tolerance to Amphotericin B and Fluconazole.

    PubMed

    Moreira, André; Silva, Sónia; Botelho, Cláudia; Sampaio, Paula; Pais, Célia; Henriques, Mariana

    2015-12-01

    Candida bracarensis is an uncommon Candida species found during an epidemiological study of candidiasis performed in Braga, Portugal. Initially, it was identified as C. glabrata, but recently detailed analyses pointed out their differences. So, little information is still available about C. bracarensis virulence factors and antifungal susceptibilities. Therefore, the main goal of this work is to evaluate the ability of C. bracarensis to form biofilms, to produce hydrolytic enzymes (proteases, phospholipases and hemolysins), as well as its susceptibility to amphotericin B and fluconazole. It was shown, for the first time, that all C. bracarensis strains were able to form biofilms and display proteinase and hemolytic activities. Moreover, although planktonic cells presented antifungal susceptibility, amphotericin B and fluconazole were unable to inhibit biofilm formation and eradicate pre-formed biofilms. Due to the propensity of C. bracarensis to display antifungal resistance and virulence attributes, the control of these emerging pathogens is recommended.

  13. Genome Sequence of the Endosymbiont Rickettsia peacockii and Comparison with Virulent Rickettsia rickettsii: Identification of Virulence Factors

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    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. PMID:20027221

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27357109

  16. The conformation and function of a multimodular glycogen-degrading pneumococcal virulence factor.

    PubMed

    Lammerts van Bueren, Alicia; Ficko-Blean, Elizabeth; Pluvinage, Benjamin; Hehemann, Jan-Hendrik; Higgins, Melanie A; Deng, Lehua; Ogunniyi, A David; Stroeher, Uwe H; El Warry, Nahida; Burke, Robert D; Czjzek, Mirjam; Paton, James C; Vocadlo, David J; Boraston, Alisdair B

    2011-05-11

    SpuA is a large multimodular cell wall-attached enzyme involved in the degradation of glycogen by the pathogenic bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae. The deletion of the gene encoding SpuA from the bacterium resulted in a strain with reduced competitiveness in a mouse model of virulence relative to the parent strain, linking the degradation of host-glycogen to the virulence of the bacterium. Through the combined use of X-ray crystallography, small-angle X-ray scattering, and inhibitor binding, the molecular features involved in substrate recognition by this complex protein are revealed. This uniquely illustrates the complexity of the active site, the conformational changes incurred during carbohydrate binding by this protein, and the interaction and cooperation of its composite modules during this process. New insight into the function of this particular pneumococcal virulence factor is provided along with substantial contributions to the nascent framework for understanding the structural and functional interplay between modules in multimodular carbohydrate-active enzymes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27357109

  18. Virulence factors produced by strains of Staphylococcus aureus isolated from urinary tract infections.

    PubMed

    Baba-Moussa, L; Anani, L; Scheftel, J M; Couturier, M; Riegel, P; Haïkou, N; Hounsou, F; Monteil, H; Sanni, A; Prévost, G

    2008-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus infections are widely prevalent in West Africa and are often associated with urinary tract infections (UTIs). Virulence factors from S. aureus have rarely been described for such infections. The purpose of the current study was to determine the prevalence of toxins and adhesion factors obtained from S. aureus isolated from presumed primary UTIs at the Cotonou University Hospital (CUH) in Benin as compared with the Strasbourg University Hospital (SUH) in France. Both ambulatory and hospitalised patients were included in the study. Sixty-five independent strains of S. aureus from CUH and 35 strains from SUH were obtained over a four-month period. Virulence factors were characterised by immunodetection or multiplex polymerase chain reaction, and meticillin susceptibility was recorded. Approximately 50% of all isolates produced at least one enterotoxin. No isolate from SUH produced Panton-Valentine leucocidin (PVL), whereas 21.5% of the S. aureus isolates from CUH produced PVL (P<0.01). Six of 14 (43%) PVL-positive isolates were meticillin-resistant. At SUH, the incidence of MRSA (57%) was significantly higher (P<0.01) than at CUH (14%). Genes encoding clumping factor B, and elastin and laminin binding proteins were detected in almost all isolates (80%), irrespective of the geographical origin. The results for elastin binding protein differed significantly from published data regarding isolates from other clinical origins. Staphylococcal toxins and adhesion factors may be important in the physiopathology of UTI.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Accumulation of Pyrimidine Intermediate Orotate Decreases Virulence Factor Production in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Niazy, Abdurahman; Hughes, Lee E

    2015-08-01

    The impact of orotate accumulation in the medically important bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa was studied by deleting pyrE, the gene encoding orotate phosphoribosyltransferase and responsible for converting orotate into orotate monophosphate within the de novo pyrimidine synthesis pathway. The pyrE mutant accumulated orotate and exhibited decreased production of hemolysin, casein protease, and elastase. Feeding orotate at a concentration of 51.25 μM to the wild type, PAO1, likewise decreased production of these factors except for hemolysin, which was not affected. A significant increase in the pigments pyocyanin and pyoverdin was also observed. Pyocyanin increase in the pyrE mutant was heightened when the mutant was supplemented with orotate. Although pyoverdin production in the wild-type PAO1 was unaffected by orotate supplementation, a decrease in the mutant's production was observed when supplemented with orotate. These results indicate a significant reduction in virulence factor production in the pyrE mutant and reduction in some virulence factors in the wild type when supplemented with orotate. PMID:25917504

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  8. 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

  9. The incidence of virulence factors in mesophilic Aeromonas species isolated from farm animals and their environment.

    PubMed Central

    Gray, S. J.; Stickler, D. J.; Bryant, T. N.

    1990-01-01

    Sixty-one isolates of Aeromonas spp. from the faeces of pigs, cows and a variety of associated environmental sources were examined for the characteristics that are reputed to have roles in pathogenicity. Most isolates of Aeromonas hydrophila were cytotoxic (96.4%) and were capable of producing cell elongation factor (75%) and haemagglutinins (67.9%). In contrast few of the Aeromonas caviae isolates produced these three markers (13.6%, 27.3% and 36.4% respectively). In general, Aeromonas sobria occupied an intermediate position (36.4%, 27.3% and 54.5%), but they did produce the highest mean invasion index for HEp-2 cells. Statistical analysis revealed significant associations between the carriage of these factors and it was clear that many isolates of aeromonads from water and animals possessed the full battery of putative virulence factors. PMID:2209733

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. PA-X is a virulence factor in avian H9N2 influenza virus.

    PubMed

    Gao, Huijie; Xu, Guanlong; Sun, Yipeng; Qi, Lu; Wang, Jinliang; Kong, Weili; Sun, Honglei; Pu, Juan; Chang, Kin-Chow; Liu, Jinhua

    2015-09-01

    H9N2 influenza viruses have been circulating worldwide in multiple avian species, and regularly infect pigs and humans. Recently, a novel protein, PA-X, produced from the PA gene by ribosomal frameshifting, was demonstrated to be an antivirulence factor in pandemic 2009 H1N1, highly pathogenic avian H5N1 and 1918 H1N1 viruses. However, a similar role of PA-X in the prevalent H9N2 avian influenza viruses has not been established. In this study, we compared the virulence and cytopathogenicity of H9N2 WT virus and H9N2 PA-X-deficient virus. Loss of PA-X in H9N2 virus reduced apoptosis and had a marginal effect on progeny virus output in human pulmonary adenocarcinoma (A549) cells. Without PA-X, PA was less able to suppress co-expressed GFP in human embryonic kidney 293T cells. Furthermore, absence of PA-X in H9N2 virus attenuated viral pathogenicity in mice, which showed no mortality, reduced progeny virus production, mild-to-normal lung histopathology, and dampened proinflammatory cytokine and chemokine response. Therefore, unlike previously reported H1N1 and H5N1 viruses, we show that PA-X protein in H9N2 virus is a pro-virulence factor in facilitating viral pathogenicity and that the pro- or antivirulence role of PA-X in influenza viruses is virus strain-dependent.

  14. 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.

  15. Phosphatidylserine externalization and procoagulant activation of erythrocytes induced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence factor pyocyanin.

    PubMed

    Qadri, Syed M; Donkor, David A; Bhakta, Varsha; Eltringham-Smith, Louise J; Dwivedi, Dhruva J; Moore, Jane C; Pepler, Laura; Ivetic, Nikola; Nazi, Ishac; Fox-Robichaud, Alison E; Liaw, Patricia C; Sheffield, William P

    2016-04-01

    The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa causes a wide range of infections in multiple hosts by releasing an arsenal of virulence factors such as pyocyanin. Despite numerous reports on the pleiotropic cellular targets of pyocyanin toxicity in vivo, its impact on erythrocytes remains elusive. Erythrocytes undergo an apoptosis-like cell death called eryptosis which is characterized by cell shrinkage and phosphatidylserine (PS) externalization; this process confers a procoagulant phenotype on erythrocytes as well as fosters their phagocytosis and subsequent clearance from the circulation. Herein, we demonstrate that P. aeruginosa pyocyanin-elicited PS exposure and cell shrinkage in erythrocyte while preserving the membrane integrity. Mechanistically, exposure of erythrocytes to pyocyanin showed increased cytosolic Ca(2+) activity as well as Ca(2+) -dependent proteolytic processing of μ-calpain. Pyocyanin further up-regulated erythrocyte ceramide abundance and triggered the production of reactive oxygen species. Pyocyanin-induced increased PS externalization in erythrocytes translated into enhanced prothrombin activation and fibrin generation in plasma. As judged by carboxyfluorescein succinimidyl-ester labelling, pyocyanin-treated erythrocytes were cleared faster from the murine circulation as compared to untreated erythrocytes. Furthermore, erythrocytes incubated in plasma from patients with P. aeruginosa sepsis showed increased PS exposure as compared to erythrocytes incubated in plasma from healthy donors. In conclusion, the present study discloses the eryptosis-inducing effect of the virulence factor pyocyanin, thereby shedding light on a potentially important mechanism in the systemic complications of P. aeruginosa infection. PMID:26781477

  16. Staphylococcus aureus formyl-methionyl transferase mutants demonstrate reduced virulence factor production and pathogenicity.

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

    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.

  17. Virulence factors and strategies of Leptopilina spp.: selective responses in Drosophila hosts.

    PubMed

    Lee, Mark J; Kalamarz, Marta E; Paddibhatla, Indira; Small, Chiyedza; Rajwani, Roma; Govind, Shubha

    2009-01-01

    To ensure survival, parasitic wasps of Drosophila have evolved strategies to optimize host development to their advantage. They also produce virulence factors that allow them to overcome or evade host defense. Wasp infection provokes cellular and humoral defense reactions, resulting in alteration in gene expression of the host. The activation of these reactions is controlled by conserved mechanisms shared by other invertebrate and vertebrate animals. Application of genomics and bioinformatics approaches is beginning to reveal comparative host gene expression changes after infection by different parasitic wasps. We analyze this comparison in the context of host physiology and immune cells, as well as the biology of the venom factors that wasps introduce into their hosts during oviposition. We compare virulence strategies of Leptopilina boulardi and L. heterotoma, in relation to genome-wide changes in gene expression in the fly hosts after infection. This analysis highlights fundamental differences in the changes that the host undergoes in its immune and general physiology in response to the two parasitic wasps. Such a comparative approach has the potential of revealing mechanisms governing the evolution of pathogenicity and how it impacts host range. PMID:19773069

  18. Virulence Factors and Strategies of Leptopilina spp.: Selective Responses in Drosophila Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Mark J.; Kalamarz, Marta E.; Paddibhatla, Indira; Small, Chiyedza; Rajwani, Roma; Govind, Shubha

    2010-01-01

    To ensure survival, parasitic wasps of Drosophila have evolved strategies to optimize host development to their advantage. They also produce virulence factors that allow them to overcome or evade host defense. Wasp infection provokes cellular and humoral defense reactions, resulting in alteration in gene expression of the host. The activation of these reactions is controlled by conserved mechanisms shared by other invertebrate and vertebrate animals. Application of genomics and bioinformatics approaches is beginning to reveal comparative host gene expression changes after infection by different parasitic wasps. We analyze this comparison in the context of host physiology and immune cells, as well as the biology of the venom factors that wasps introduce into their hosts during oviposition. We compare virulence strategies of Leptopilina boulardi and L. heterotoma, in relation to genome-wide changes in gene expression in the fly hosts after infection. This analysis highlights fundamental differences in the changes that the host undergoes in its immune and general physiology in response to the two parasitic wasps. Such a comparative approach has the potential of revealing mechanisms governing the evolution of pathogenicity and how it impacts host range. PMID:19773069

  19. 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. PMID:26026835

  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. 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

  2. 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:...

  3. A Shigella flexneri virulence plasmid encoded factor controls production of outer membrane vesicles.

    PubMed

    Sidik, Saima; Kottwitz, Haila; Benjamin, Jeremy; Ryu, Julie; Jarrar, Ameer; Garduno, Rafael; Rohde, John R

    2014-12-01

    Shigella spp. use a repertoire of virulence plasmid-encoded factors to cause shigellosis. These include components of a Type III Secretion Apparatus (T3SA) that is required for invasion of epithelial cells and many genes of unknown function. We constructed an array of 99 deletion mutants comprising all genes encoded by the virulence plasmid (excluding those known to be required for plasmid maintenance) of Shigella flexneri. We screened these mutants for their ability to bind the dye Congo red: an indicator of T3SA function. This screen focused our attention on an operon encoding genes that modify the cell envelope including virK, a gene of partially characterized function. We discovered that virK is required for controlled release of proteins to the culture supernatant. Mutations in virK result in a temperature-dependent overproduction of outer membrane vesicles (OMVs). The periplasmic chaperone/protease DegP, a known regulator of OMV production in Escherichia coli (encoded by a chromosomal gene), was found to similarly control OMV production in S. flexneri. Both virK and degP show genetic interactions with mxiD, a structural component of the T3SA. Our results are consistent with a model in which VirK and DegP relieve the periplasmic stress that accompanies assembly of the T3SA. PMID:25378474

  4. A Shigella flexneri Virulence Plasmid Encoded Factor Controls Production of Outer Membrane Vesicles

    PubMed Central

    Sidik, Saima; Kottwitz, Haila; Benjamin, Jeremy; Ryu, Julie; Jarrar, Ameer; Garduno, Rafael; Rohde, John R.

    2014-01-01

    Shigella spp. use a repertoire of virulence plasmid-encoded factors to cause shigellosis. These include components of a Type III Secretion Apparatus (T3SA) that is required for invasion of epithelial cells and many genes of unknown function. We constructed an array of 99 deletion mutants comprising all genes encoded by the virulence plasmid (excluding those known to be required for plasmid maintenance) of Shigella flexneri. We screened these mutants for their ability to bind the dye Congo red: an indicator of T3SA function. This screen focused our attention on an operon encoding genes that modify the cell envelope including virK, a gene of partially characterized function. We discovered that virK is required for controlled release of proteins to the culture supernatant. Mutations in virK result in a temperature-dependent overproduction of outer membrane vesicles (OMVs). The periplasmic chaperone/protease DegP, a known regulator of OMV production in Escherichia coli (encoded by a chromosomal gene), was found to similarly control OMV production in S. flexneri. Both virK and degP show genetic interactions with mxiD, a structural component of the T3SA. Our results are consistent with a model in which VirK and DegP relieve the periplasmic stress that accompanies assembly of the T3SA. PMID:25378474

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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. PMID:26136396

  8. Organized spirochetal behavior in human subgingival plaques - A virulence factor in periodontal infections?

    PubMed Central

    Keyes, Paul H.; Rams, Thomas E.

    2015-01-01

    The organization and behavior of spirochetes in human subgingival plaques was studied with phase-contrast microscopy. Wet-mounts of non-dispersed subgingival microbial specimens from deep pockets of 10 persons with untreated adult periodontitis revealed “brush formations” with outer coatings of closely-massed spirochetes exhibiting synchronized motility. Monolayers of closely-packed spirochetes co-aggregated with “brush formation” monofilaments were obtained by using mineral oil as a mounting medium for wet-mount preparations. Spirochetes were observed to produce collectively coordinated metachronal wave patterns with their cell movements along the outer surfaces of the “brush formation” monofilaments, rather than flexing independently and at random. Organized spirochetal activity in subgingival plaques may serve as a virulence factor contributing to the periodontopathic potential of spirochetes and/or other microbial species. PMID:26336331

  9. 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

  10. Role of virulence factors on host inflammatory response induced by diarrheagenic Escherichia coli pathotypes.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Villamil, Javier; Navarro-Garcia, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Pathogens are able to breach the intestinal barrier, and different bacterial species can display different abilities to colonize hosts and induce inflammation. Inflammatory response studies induced by enteropathogens as Escherichia coli are interesting since it has acquired diverse genetic mobile elements, leading to different E. coli pathotypes. Diarrheagenic E. coli secrete toxins, effectors and virulence factors that exploit the host cell functions to facilitate the bacterial colonization. Many bacterial proteins are delivered to the host cell for subverting the inflammatory response. Hereby, we have highlighted the specific processes used by E. coli pathotypes, by that subvert the inflammatory pathways. These mechanisms include an arrangement of pro- and anti-inflammatory responses to favor the appropriate environmental niche for the bacterial survival and growth. PMID:26059623

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Impact of glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase on virulence factor production by Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Daniels, Jonathan B; Scoffield, Jessica; Woolnough, Jessica L; Silo-Suh, Laura

    2014-12-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa establishes life-long chronic infections in the cystic fibrosis (CF) lung by utilizing various adaptation strategies. Some of these strategies include altering metabolic pathways to utilize readily available nutrients present in the host environment. The airway sputum contains various host-derived nutrients that can be utilized by P. aeruginosa, including phosphatidylcholine, a major component of lung surfactant. Pseudomonas aeruginosa can degrade phosphatidylcholine to glycerol and fatty acids to increase the availability of usable carbon sources in the CF lung. In this study, we show that some CF-adapted P. aeruginosa isolates utilize glycerol more efficiently as a carbon source than nonadapted isolates. Furthermore, a mutation in a gene required for glycerol utilization impacts the production of several virulence factors in both acute and chronic isolates of P. aeruginosa. Taken together, the results suggest that interference with this metabolic pathway may have potential therapeutic benefits. PMID:25409940

  14. Efficacy and safety of liposomal clarithromycin and its effect on Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Alhajlan, Mai; Alhariri, Moayad; Omri, Abdelwahab

    2013-06-01

    We investigated the efficacy and safety of liposomal clarithromycin formulations with different surface charges against clinical isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa from the lungs of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. The liposomal clarithromycin formulations were prepared by the dehydration-rehydration method, and their sizes were measured using the dynamic-light-scattering technique. Encapsulation efficiency was determined by microbiological assay, and the stabilities of the formulations in biological fluid were evaluated for a period of 48 h. The MICs and minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBCs) of free and liposomal formulations were determined with P. aeruginosa strains isolated from CF patients. Liposomal clarithromycin activity against biofilm-forming P. aeruginosa was compared to that of free antibiotic using the Calgary Biofilm Device (CBD). The effects of subinhibitory concentrations of free and liposomal clarithromycin on bacterial virulence factors and motility on agar were investigated on clinical isolates of P. aeruginosa. The cytotoxicities of the liposome preparations and free drug were evaluated on a pulmonary epithelial cell line (A549). The average diameter of the formulations was >222 nm, with encapsulation efficiencies ranging from 5.7% to 30.4%. The liposomes retained more than 70% of their drug content during the 48-h time period. The highly resistant strains of P. aeruginosa became susceptible to liposome-encapsulated clarithromycin (MIC, 256 mg/liter versus 8 mg/liter; P < 0.001). Liposomal clarithromycin reduced the bacterial growth within the biofilm by 3 to 4 log units (P < 0.001), significantly attenuated virulence factor production, and reduced bacterial twitching, swarming, and swimming motilities. The clarithromycin-entrapped liposomes were less cytotoxic than the free drug (P < 0.001). These data indicate that our novel formulations could be a useful strategy to enhance the efficacy of clarithromycin against resistant P. aeruginosa

  15. Identification of the Staphylococcus aureus vfrAB Operon, a Novel Virulence Factor Regulatory Locus

    PubMed Central

    Daly, Seth M.; Hall, Pamela R.; Bayles, Kenneth W.

    2014-01-01

    During a screen of the Nebraska Transposon Mutant Library, we identified 71 mutations in the Staphylococcus aureus genome that altered hemolysis on blood agar medium. Although many of these mutations disrupted genes known to affect the production of alpha-hemolysin, two of them were associated with an apparent operon, designated vfrAB, that had not been characterized previously. Interestingly, a ΔvfrB mutant exhibited only minor effects on the transcription of the hla gene, encoding alpha-hemolysin, when grown in broth, as well as on RNAIII, a posttranscriptional regulatory RNA important for alpha-hemolysin translation, suggesting that VfrB may function at the posttranscriptional level. Indeed, a ΔvfrB mutant had increased aur and sspAB protease expression under these conditions. However, disruption of the known secreted proteases in the ΔvfrB mutant did not restore hemolytic activity in the ΔvfrB mutant on blood agar. Further analysis revealed that, in contrast to the minor effects of VfrB on hla transcription when strains were cultured in liquid media, the level of hla transcription was decreased 50-fold in the absence of VfrB on solid media. These results demonstrate that while VfrB represses protease expression when strains are grown in broth, hla regulation is highly responsive to factors associated with growth on solid media. Intriguingly, the ΔvfrB mutant displayed increased pathogenesis in a model of S. aureus dermonecrosis, further highlighting the complexity of VfrB-dependent virulence regulation. The results of this study describe a phenotype associated with a class of highly conserved yet uncharacterized proteins found in Gram-positive bacteria, and they shed new light on the regulation of virulence factors necessary for S. aureus pathogenesis. PMID:24549328

  16. Identification of the Staphylococcus aureus vfrAB operon, a novel virulence factor regulatory locus.

    PubMed

    Bose, Jeffrey L; Daly, Seth M; Hall, Pamela R; Bayles, Kenneth W

    2014-05-01

    During a screen of the Nebraska Transposon Mutant Library, we identified 71 mutations in the Staphylococcus aureus genome that altered hemolysis on blood agar medium. Although many of these mutations disrupted genes known to affect the production of alpha-hemolysin, two of them were associated with an apparent operon, designated vfrAB, that had not been characterized previously. Interestingly, a ΔvfrB mutant exhibited only minor effects on the transcription of the hla gene, encoding alpha-hemolysin, when grown in broth, as well as on RNAIII, a posttranscriptional regulatory RNA important for alpha-hemolysin translation, suggesting that VfrB may function at the posttranscriptional level. Indeed, a ΔvfrB mutant had increased aur and sspAB protease expression under these conditions. However, disruption of the known secreted proteases in the ΔvfrB mutant did not restore hemolytic activity in the ΔvfrB mutant on blood agar. Further analysis revealed that, in contrast to the minor effects of VfrB on hla transcription when strains were cultured in liquid media, the level of hla transcription was decreased 50-fold in the absence of VfrB on solid media. These results demonstrate that while VfrB represses protease expression when strains are grown in broth, hla regulation is highly responsive to factors associated with growth on solid media. Intriguingly, the ΔvfrB mutant displayed increased pathogenesis in a model of S. aureus dermonecrosis, further highlighting the complexity of VfrB-dependent virulence regulation. The results of this study describe a phenotype associated with a class of highly conserved yet uncharacterized proteins found in Gram-positive bacteria, and they shed new light on the regulation of virulence factors necessary for S. aureus pathogenesis. PMID:24549328

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

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

  18. [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.

  19. Phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C, a possible virulence factor of Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed Central

    Marques, M B; Weller, P F; Parsonnet, J; Ransil, B J; Nicholson-Weller, A

    1989-01-01

    Phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C (PIPLC), an enzyme that can specifically release phosphatidylinositol-linked proteins from host cells, is one of the extracellular enzymes produced by Staphylococcus aureus. To investigate whether PIPLC might be a virulence factor, we assessed PIPLC production by S. aureus strains that had been isolated from healthy carriers and from infected patients with or without toxic shock syndrome. Although none of five vaginal isolates from healthy women was a PIPLC producer, only 10 of 32 selected pathogenic strains that caused significant infections or toxic shock syndrome elaborated PIPLC enzyme activity. Seven of 24 toxic-shock-associated strains, compared with 3 of 8 non-toxic-shock-associated strains, were positive for PIPLC. The majority of strains that produced PIPLC were negative for toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (P less than 0.05); this association between PIPLC production and strains negative for toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 was even stronger among strains isolated only from patients with toxic shock syndrome (P less than 0.01). Among all 32 pathogenic isolates, PIPLC-producing S. aureus strains were isolated from four of four patients developing adult respiratory distress syndrome and four of five patients with disseminated intravascular coagulation, suggesting a significant association between PIPLC production and adult respiratory distress syndrome and/or disseminated intravascular coagulation (P less than 0.002). On the basis of these results, we propose that PIPLC is a virulence factor of S. aureus and is implicated in the development of adult respiratory distress syndrome and disseminated intravascular coagulation. PMID:2808668

  20. [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. PMID:22880261

  1. Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in Regulator-Encoding Genes Have an Additive Effect on Virulence Gene Expression in a Vibrio cholerae Clinical Isolate.

    PubMed

    Carignan, Bailey M; Brumfield, Kyle D; Son, Mike S

    2016-01-01

    Vibrio cholerae is the etiological agent of the infectious disease cholera, which is characterized by vomiting and severe watery diarrhea. Recently, V. cholerae clinical isolates have demonstrated increased virulence capabilities, causing more severe symptoms with a much higher rate of disease progression than previously observed. We have identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in four virulence-regulatory genes (hapR, hns, luxO, and vieA) of a hypervirulent V. cholerae clinical isolate, MQ1795. Herein, all SNPs and SNP combinations of interest were introduced into the prototypical El Tor reference strain N16961, and the effects on the production of numerous virulence-related factors, including cholera toxin (CT), the toxin-coregulated pilus (TCP), and ToxT, were analyzed. Our data show that triple-SNP (hapR hns luxO and hns luxO vieA) and quadruple-SNP combinations produced the greatest increases in CT, TCP, and ToxT production. The hns and hns luxO SNP combinations were sufficient for increased TCP and ToxT production. Notably, the hns luxO vieA triple-SNP combination strain produced TCP and ToxT levels similar to those of MQ1795. Certain SNP combinations (hapR and hapR vieA) had the opposite effect on CT, TCP, and ToxT expression. Interestingly, the hns vieA double-SNP combination strain increased TCP production while decreasing CT production. Our findings suggest that SNPs identified in the four regulatory genes, in various combinations, are associated with increased virulence capabilities observed in V. cholerae clinical isolates. These studies provide insight into the evolution of highly virulent strains. IMPORTANCE Cholera, an infectious disease of the small intestine caused by the aquatic bacterium Vibrio cholerae, often results in vomiting and acute watery diarrhea. If left untreated or if the response is too slow, the symptoms can quickly lead to extreme dehydration and ultimately death of the patient. Recent anecdotal evidence of cholera

  2. Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in Regulator-Encoding Genes Have an Additive Effect on Virulence Gene Expression in a Vibrio cholerae Clinical Isolate

    PubMed Central

    Carignan, Bailey M.; Brumfield, Kyle D.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Vibrio cholerae is the etiological agent of the infectious disease cholera, which is characterized by vomiting and severe watery diarrhea. Recently, V. cholerae clinical isolates have demonstrated increased virulence capabilities, causing more severe symptoms with a much higher rate of disease progression than previously observed. We have identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in four virulence-regulatory genes (hapR, hns, luxO, and vieA) of a hypervirulent V. cholerae clinical isolate, MQ1795. Herein, all SNPs and SNP combinations of interest were introduced into the prototypical El Tor reference strain N16961, and the effects on the production of numerous virulence-related factors, including cholera toxin (CT), the toxin-coregulated pilus (TCP), and ToxT, were analyzed. Our data show that triple-SNP (hapR hns luxO and hns luxO vieA) and quadruple-SNP combinations produced the greatest increases in CT, TCP, and ToxT production. The hns and hns luxO SNP combinations were sufficient for increased TCP and ToxT production. Notably, the hns luxO vieA triple-SNP combination strain produced TCP and ToxT levels similar to those of MQ1795. Certain SNP combinations (hapR and hapR vieA) had the opposite effect on CT, TCP, and ToxT expression. Interestingly, the hns vieA double-SNP combination strain increased TCP production while decreasing CT production. Our findings suggest that SNPs identified in the four regulatory genes, in various combinations, are associated with increased virulence capabilities observed in V. cholerae clinical isolates. These studies provide insight into the evolution of highly virulent strains. IMPORTANCE Cholera, an infectious disease of the small intestine caused by the aquatic bacterium Vibrio cholerae, often results in vomiting and acute watery diarrhea. If left untreated or if the response is too slow, the symptoms can quickly lead to extreme dehydration and ultimately death of the patient. Recent anecdotal evidence of

  3. Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in Regulator-Encoding Genes Have an Additive Effect on Virulence Gene Expression in a Vibrio cholerae Clinical Isolate

    PubMed Central

    Carignan, Bailey M.; Brumfield, Kyle D.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Vibrio cholerae is the etiological agent of the infectious disease cholera, which is characterized by vomiting and severe watery diarrhea. Recently, V. cholerae clinical isolates have demonstrated increased virulence capabilities, causing more severe symptoms with a much higher rate of disease progression than previously observed. We have identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in four virulence-regulatory genes (hapR, hns, luxO, and vieA) of a hypervirulent V. cholerae clinical isolate, MQ1795. Herein, all SNPs and SNP combinations of interest were introduced into the prototypical El Tor reference strain N16961, and the effects on the production of numerous virulence-related factors, including cholera toxin (CT), the toxin-coregulated pilus (TCP), and ToxT, were analyzed. Our data show that triple-SNP (hapR hns luxO and hns luxO vieA) and quadruple-SNP combinations produced the greatest increases in CT, TCP, and ToxT production. The hns and hns luxO SNP combinations were sufficient for increased TCP and ToxT production. Notably, the hns luxO vieA triple-SNP combination strain produced TCP and ToxT levels similar to those of MQ1795. Certain SNP combinations (hapR and hapR vieA) had the opposite effect on CT, TCP, and ToxT expression. Interestingly, the hns vieA double-SNP combination strain increased TCP production while decreasing CT production. Our findings suggest that SNPs identified in the four regulatory genes, in various combinations, are associated with increased virulence capabilities observed in V. cholerae clinical isolates. These studies provide insight into the evolution of highly virulent strains. IMPORTANCE Cholera, an infectious disease of the small intestine caused by the aquatic bacterium Vibrio cholerae, often results in vomiting and acute watery diarrhea. If left untreated or if the response is too slow, the symptoms can quickly lead to extreme dehydration and ultimately death of the patient. Recent anecdotal evidence of

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. Identification and characterization of a novel bacterial virulence factor that shares homology with mammalian Toll/interleukin-1 receptor family proteins.

    PubMed

    Newman, Ruchi M; Salunkhe, Prabhakar; Godzik, Adam; Reed, John C

    2006-01-01

    Many important bacterial virulence factors act as mimics of mammalian proteins to subvert normal host cell processes. To identify bacterial protein mimics of components of the innate immune signaling pathway, we searched the bacterial genome database for proteins with homology to the Toll/interleukin-1 receptor (TIR) domain of the mammalian Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and their adaptor proteins. A previously uncharacterized gene, which we have named tlpA (for TIR-like protein A), was identified in the Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis genome that is predicted to encode a protein resembling mammalian TIR domains, We show that overexpression of TlpA in mammalian cells suppresses the ability of mammalian TIR-containing proteins TLR4, IL-1 receptor, and MyD88 to induce the transactivation and DNA-binding activities of NF-kappaB, a downstream target of the TIR signaling pathway. In addition, TlpA mimics the previously characterized Salmonella virulence factor SipB in its ability to induce activation of caspase-1 in a mammalian cell transfection model. Disruption of the chromosomal tlpA gene rendered a virulent serovar Enteritidis strain defective in intracellular survival and IL-1beta secretion in a cell culture infection model using human THP1 macrophages. Bacteria with disrupted tlpA also displayed reduced lethality in mice, further confirming an important role for this factor in pathogenesis. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that the bacterial TIR-like protein TlpA is a novel prokaryotic modulator of NF-kappaB activity and IL-1beta secretion that contributes to serovar Enteritidis virulence.

  11. Enterococcus faecalis from Food, Clinical Specimens, and Oral Sites: Prevalence of Virulence Factors in Association with Biofilm Formation

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Annette C.; Jonas, Daniel; Huber, Ingrid; Karygianni, Lamprini; Wölber, Johan; Hellwig, Elmar; Arweiler, Nicole; Vach, Kirstin; Wittmer, Annette; Al-Ahmad, Ali

    2016-01-01

    Enterococci have gained significance as the cause of nosocomial infections; they occur as food contaminants and have also been linked to dental diseases. E. faecalis has a great potential to spread virulence as well as antibiotic resistance genes via horizontal gene transfer. The integration of food-borne enterococci into the oral biofilm in-vivo has been observed. Therefore, we investigated the virulence determinants and antibiotic resistance of 97 E. faecalis isolates from the oral cavity, food, and clinical specimens. In addition, phenotypic expression of gelatinase and cytolysin were tested, in-vitro biofilm formation was quantified and isolates were compared for strain relatedness via pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Each isolate was found to possess two or more virulence genes, most frequently gelE, efaA, and asa1. Notably, plaque/saliva isolates possessed the highest abundance of virulence genes, the highest levels of phenotypic gelatinase and hemolysin activity and concurrently a high ability to form biofilm. The presence of asa1 was associated with biofilm formation. The biofilm formation capacity of clinical and plaque/saliva isolates was considerably higher than that of food isolates and they also showed similar antibiotic resistance patterns. These results indicate that the oral cavity can constitute a reservoir for virulent E. faecalis strains possessing antibiotic resistance traits and at the same time distinct biofilm formation capabilities facilitating exchange of genetic material. PMID:26793174

  12. Enterococcus faecalis from Food, Clinical Specimens, and Oral Sites: Prevalence of Virulence Factors in Association with Biofilm Formation.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Annette C; Jonas, Daniel; Huber, Ingrid; Karygianni, Lamprini; Wölber, Johan; Hellwig, Elmar; Arweiler, Nicole; Vach, Kirstin; Wittmer, Annette; Al-Ahmad, Ali

    2015-01-01

    Enterococci have gained significance as the cause of nosocomial infections; they occur as food contaminants and have also been linked to dental diseases. E. faecalis has a great potential to spread virulence as well as antibiotic resistance genes via horizontal gene transfer. The integration of food-borne enterococci into the oral biofilm in-vivo has been observed. Therefore, we investigated the virulence determinants and antibiotic resistance of 97 E. faecalis isolates from the oral cavity, food, and clinical specimens. In addition, phenotypic expression of gelatinase and cytolysin were tested, in-vitro biofilm formation was quantified and isolates were compared for strain relatedness via pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Each isolate was found to possess two or more virulence genes, most frequently gelE, efaA, and asa1. Notably, plaque/saliva isolates possessed the highest abundance of virulence genes, the highest levels of phenotypic gelatinase and hemolysin activity and concurrently a high ability to form biofilm. The presence of asa1 was associated with biofilm formation. The biofilm formation capacity of clinical and plaque/saliva isolates was considerably higher than that of food isolates and they also showed similar antibiotic resistance patterns. These results indicate that the oral cavity can constitute a reservoir for virulent E. faecalis strains possessing antibiotic resistance traits and at the same time distinct biofilm formation capabilities facilitating exchange of genetic material.

  13. Pseudomonas aeruginosa lipopolysaccharide: a major virulence factor, initiator of inflammation and target for effective immunity

    PubMed Central

    Pier, Gerald B.

    2007-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one of the most important bacterial pathogens encountered by immunocompromised hosts and patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), and the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) elaborated by this organism is a key factor in virulence and both innate and acquired host responses to infection. The molecule has a fair degree of heterogeneity in its lipid A and O-antigen structure, and elaborates 2 different outer-core glycoforms, of which only one binds O-antigen. A close relatedness between the chemical structures and genes encoding biosynthetic enzymes has been established, with 11 major O-antigen groups identified. The lipid A can be variably penta-, hexa- or hepta-acylated, and these isoforms have differing potencies when activating host innate immunity via binding to Toll-like receptor 4. The O-antigen is a major target for protective immunity as evidenced by numerous animal studies, but attempts, to date, to produce a human vaccine targeting these epitopes have not been successful Newer strategies employing live attenuated P. aeruginosa, or heterologous attenuated bacteria expressing P. aeruginosa O-antigens are potential means to solve some of the existing problems related to making a P. aeruginosa LPS-specific vaccine. Overall, there is now a large amount of information available about the genes and enzymes needed to produce the P. aeruginosa LPS, detailed chemical structures have been determined for the major O-antigens, and significant biologic and immunologic studies have been conducted to define the role of this molecule in virulence and immunity to P. aeruginosa infection. PMID:17466590

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. RNA thermometer controls temperature-dependent virulence factor expression in Vibrio cholerae.

    PubMed

    Weber, Gregor G; Kortmann, Jens; Narberhaus, Franz; Klose, Karl E

    2014-09-30

    Vibrio cholerae is the bacterium that causes the diarrheal disease cholera. The bacteria experience a temperature shift as V. cholerae transition from contaminated water at lower temperatures into the 37 °C human intestine. Within the intestine, V. cholerae express cholera toxin (CT) and toxin-coregulated pilus (TCP), two main virulence factors required for disease. CT and TCP expression is controlled by the transcriptional activator protein ToxT. We identified an RNA thermometer motif in the 5' UTR of toxT, with a fourU anti-Shine-Dalgarno (SD) element that base pairs with the SD sequence to regulate ribosome access to the mRNA. RNA probing experiments demonstrated that the fourU element allowed access to the SD sequence at 37 °C but not at 20 °C. Moreover, mutations within the fourU element (U5C, U7C) that strengthened base-pairing between the anti-SD and SD sequences prevented access to the SD sequence even at 37 °C. Translation of ToxT-FLAG from the native toxT UTR was enhanced at 37 °C, compared with 25 °C in both Escherichia coli and V. cholerae. In contrast, the U5C, U7C UTR prevented translation of ToxT-FLAG even at 37 °C. V. cholerae mutants containing the U5C, U7C UTR variant were unable to colonize the infant mouse small intestine. Our results reveal a previously unknown regulatory mechanism consisting of an RNA thermometer that controls temperature-dependent translation of toxT, facilitating V. cholerae virulence at a relevant environmental condition found in the human intestine.

  18. Positive regulation of Shigella flexneri virulence genes by integration host factor.

    PubMed Central

    Porter, M E; Dorman, C J

    1997-01-01

    In Shigella flexneri, expression of the plasmid-encoded virulence genes is regulated via a complex cascade involving DNA topology, specific transactivators, and the nucleoid-associated protein H-NS, which represses transcription under inappropriate environmental conditions. We have investigated the involvement of a second nucleoid-associated protein, integration host factor (IHF), in virulence gene expression. We found that transcription of the invasion-specific genes is repressed in a strain harboring an ihfA mutation, particularly on entry into the stationary phase. Expression of the virB gene, whose product is required for the activation of these structural genes, is also enhanced by IHF in the stationary phase. In contrast, the virF gene, which encodes an activator of virB, is stimulated by IHF in both the logarithmic and early stationary phases of growth, as is another virF-regulated gene, icsA. We have identified regions of the virF, virB, and icsA promoters which form IHF-dependent protein-DNA complexes in vitro and have located sequences within these regions with similarity to the consensus IHF binding site. Moreover, results from experiments in which the virF or virB gene was expressed constitutively confirm that IHF has a direct input at the level of both virF and virB transcription. Finally, we provide evidence that at the latter promoter, the primary role of IHF may be to overcome repression by the H-NS protein. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a role for IHF in controlling gene expression in S. flexneri. PMID:9352898

  19. The RNA chaperone Hfq impacts growth, metabolism and production of virulence factors in Yersinia enterocolitica.

    PubMed

    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.

  20. Growth of Acinetobacter baumannii in Pellicle Enhanced the Expression of Potential Virulence Factors

    PubMed Central

    Alexandre, Stéphane; Coquet, Laurent; Vila, Jordi; Jouenne, Thierry; Dé, Emmanuelle

    2011-01-01

    Background Interestingly, Acinetobacter baumannii presents an enhanced capacity to form biofilms (also named pellicles) at the air-liquid interface as compared to the other Acinetobacter species. This characteristic questions the contribution of this phenotype to an increased risk of clinical infections by this pathogen. Methodology/Principal Findings By a proteomic approach using 2-D gel electrophoresis-LC-MS/MS mass spectrometry, we compared the membrane protein patterns of A. baumannii 77, a pellicle-forming clinical isolate, grown in planktonic and in sessile modes. We identified 52 proteins with a differential expression, including 32 up-regulated and 20 down-regulated in the pellicle state. Several proteins, differentially expressed during pellicle development, were of particular interest. We determined the over-expression of four siderophore iron uptake systems including the acinetobactin and enterobactin receptors and confirmed that the development of this type of biofilm is promoted by ferric ions. Two over-expressed proteins, CarO and an OprD-homologue, putative carbapenem-resistance associated porins, would be involved in the transport of specific compounds, like ornithine, a biosynthesis precursor of a siderophore from the hydroxamate family. We evidenced the overexpression of a lipase and a transporter of LCFA that may be involved in the recycling of lipids inside the pellicle matrix. Finally, we demonstrated both by proteomic and by AFM studies that this particular type of biofilm required multiple pili systems to maintain this cohesive structure at the air-liquid interface; two of these systems have never been described in A. baumannii. Conclusions/Significance Our study demonstrated that several proteins, overexpressed at a late state of pellicle development, could be potentially involved in virulence processes. Therefore, regarding the number of potential virulence factors that are over-expressed in this growth mode, the pellicle-forming clinical

  1. Molecular epidemiology of adhesin and hemolysin virulence factors among uropathogenic Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Arthur, M; Johnson, C E; Rubin, R H; Arbeit, R D; Campanelli, C; Kim, C; Steinbach, S; Agarwal, M; Wilkinson, R; Goldstein, R

    1989-02-01

    The pap, prs, pil, and hly operons of the pyelonephritic Escherichia coli isolate J96 code for the expression of P, F, and type 1 adhesins and the production of hemolysin, respectively; the afaI operon of the pyelonephritic E. coli KS52 encodes an X adhesin. Using different segments of these operons as probes, colony hybridizations were performed on 97 E. coli urinary tract and 40 fecal clinical isolates to determine (i) the presence in the infecting bacteria of nucleotide sequences related to virulence operons, and (ii) the phenotypic properties associated with such sequences. Coexpression of P and F adhesins encoded by pap-related sequences was detected more frequently among isolates from patients with pyelonephritis (32 of 49, 65%) than among those with cystitis (11 of 48, 23%; P less than 0.0001) or from fecal specimens (6 of 40, 15%; P less than 0.0001). Therefore, the expression of both adhesins appears to be critical in the colonization of the upper urinary tract. In contrast, afaI-related sequences were detected significantly more frequently among isolates from patients with cystitis, suggesting that this class of X adhesin may have a role in lower urinary tract infections. Urinary tract isolates differed from fecal isolates by a low incidence of type 1 adhesin expression among pil probe-positive isolates. hly-related sequences were only detected in pap probe-positive isolates. The frequency of hemolysin production among pap probe-positive isolates was not associated with a particular pattern of infection. The distribution of these virulence factors was similar in the presence or absence of reflux, indicating that structural abnormalities of the urinary tract did not facilitate colonization by adhesin-negative isolates.

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

    PubMed Central

    Aurass, Philipp; Oates, Clare V.; Tate, Edward W.; Hartland, Elizabeth L.; Flieger, Antje

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26216420

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Characterization of betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase (BetB) as an essential virulence factor of Brucella abortus.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jin Ju; Kim, Jae Hong; Kim, Dae Geun; Kim, Dong Hyeok; Simborio, Hannah Leah; Min, Won Gi; Rhee, Man Hee; Lim, Jong Hwan; Chang, Hong Hee; Kim, Suk

    2014-01-10

    The pathogenic mechanisms of Brucellosis used to adapt to the harsh intracellular environment of the host cell are not fully understood. The present study investigated the in vitro and in vivo characteristics of B. abortus betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase (BetB) (Gene Bank ID: 006932) using a betB deletion mutant constructed from virulent B. abortus 544. In test under stress conditions, including osmotic- and acid stress-resistance, the betB mutant had a lower osmotic-resistance than B. abortus wild-type. In addition, the betB mutant showed higher internalization rates compared to the wild-type strain; however, it also displayed replication failures in HeLa cells and RAW 264.7 macrophages. During internalization, compared to the wild-type strain, the betB mutant was more adherent to the host surface and showed enhanced phosphorylation of protein kinases, two processes that promote phagocytic activity, in host cells. During intracellular trafficking, colocalization of B. abortus-containing phagosomes with LAMP-1 was elevated in betB mutant-infected cells compared to the wild-type cells. In mice, the betB mutant was predominantly cleared from spleens compared to the wild-type strain after 2 weeks post-infection, and the vaccination test with the live betB mutant showed effective protection against challenge infection with the virulent wild-type strain. These findings suggested that the B. abortus betB gene substantially affects the phagocytic pathway in human phagocytes and in host cells in mice. Furthermore, this study highlights the potential use of the B. abortus betB mutant as a live vaccine for the control of brucellosis.

  6. A microfluidic-based genetic screen to identify microbial virulence factors that inhibit dendritic cell migration.

    PubMed

    McLaughlin, Laura M; Xu, Hui; Carden, Sarah E; Fisher, Samantha; Reyes, Monique; Heilshorn, Sarah C; Monack, Denise M

    2014-04-01

    Microbial pathogens are able to modulate host cells and evade the immune system by multiple mechanisms. For example, Salmonella injects effector proteins into host cells and evades the host immune system in part by inhibiting dendritic cell (DC) migration. The identification of microbial factors that modulate normal host functions should lead to the development of new classes of therapeutics that target these pathways. Current screening methods to identify either host or pathogen genes involved in modulating migration towards a chemical signal are limited because they do not employ stable, precisely controlled chemical gradients. Here, we develop a positive selection microfluidic-based genetic screen that allows us to identify Salmonella virulence factors that manipulate DC migration within stable, linear chemokine gradients. Our screen identified 7 Salmonella effectors (SseF, SifA, SspH2, SlrP, PipB2, SpiC and SseI) that inhibit DC chemotaxis toward CCL19. This method is widely applicable for identifying novel microbial factors that influence normal host cell chemotaxis as well as revealing new mammalian genes involved in directed cell migration.

  7. Structural Basis of the Novel S. pneumoniae Virulence Factor, GHIP, a Glycosyl Hydrolase 25 Participating in Host-Cell Invasion

    PubMed Central

    Niu, Siqiang; Luo, Miao; Tang, Jian; Zhou, Hua; Zhang, Yangli; Min, Xun; Cai, Xuefei; Zhang, Wenlu; Xu, Wenchu; Li, Defeng; Ding, Jingjin; Hu, Yonglin; Wang, Dacheng; Huang, Ailong

    2013-01-01

    Pathogenic bacteria produce a wide variety of virulence factors that are considered to be potential antibiotic targets. In this study, we report the crystal structure of a novel S. pneumoniae virulence factor, GHIP, which is a streptococcus-specific glycosyl hydrolase. This novel structure exhibits an α/β-barrel fold that slightly differs from other characterized hydrolases. The GHIP active site, located at the negatively charged groove in the barrel, is very similar to the active site in known peptidoglycan hydrolases. Functionally, GHIP exhibited weak enzymatic activity to hydrolyze the PNP-(GlcNAc)5 peptidoglycan by the general acid/base catalytic mechanism. Animal experiments demonstrated a marked attenuation of S. pneumoniae-mediated virulence in mice infected by ΔGHIP-deficient strains, suggesting that GHIP functions as a novel S. pneumoniae virulence factor. Furthermore, GHIP participates in allowing S. pneumoniae to colonize the nasopharynx and invade host epithelial cells. Taken together, these findings suggest that GHIP can potentially serve as an antibiotic target to effectively treat streptococcus-mediated infection. PMID:23874703

  8. 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

  9. 14 CFR 1203.406 - Additional classification factors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 5 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Additional classification factors. 1203.406 Section 1203.406 Aeronautics and Space NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION SECURITY PROGRAM Guides for Original Classification § 1203.406 Additional classification factors. In...

  10. 14 CFR 1203.406 - Additional classification factors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 5 2011-01-01 2010-01-01 true Additional classification factors. 1203.406 Section 1203.406 Aeronautics and Space NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION SECURITY PROGRAM Guides for Original Classification § 1203.406 Additional classification factors. In...

  11. 14 CFR 1203.406 - Additional classification factors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 5 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Additional classification factors. 1203.406 Section 1203.406 Aeronautics and Space NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION SECURITY PROGRAM Guides for Original Classification § 1203.406 Additional classification factors. In...

  12. Virulence factors in Escherichia coli strains isolated from Swedish piglets with diarrhea.

    PubMed Central

    Söderlind, O; Thafvelin, B; Möllby, R

    1988-01-01

    Parenteral vaccination of sows against Escherichia coli diarrhea in their newborn piglets has become more common during the last decade in Sweden, and the vaccination has generally had positive effects. For more than 20 years we have investigated E. coli strains isolated from piglets and weaned pigs with enteric disorders, noting the presence of O groups, enterotoxins, and adhesins. There has been a continuous change in the frequency of these virulence factors. The present study was performed during 1983 and 1984 to follow this change, since such information is essential for the proper choice of vaccines. A total of 856 E. coli strains were obtained from 683 herds divided into three age groups: 1 to 6 days old, 1 to 6 weeks old, and weaned pigs. O group 149 still dominated in the last two age groups, while O group 101 was, for the first time, the most frequent O group in neonatal piglets. All but four O149 strains carried the K88 antigen, which was found in only one other strain (O group 8). K99 antigen was most often found in O groups 101 and 64, and among all the K99 strains ST mouse was the most common (44 of 57), followed by ST mouse-ST pig strains (12 of 57). The 987P antigen was demonstrated in 26 strains belonging to O groups 141 and OX46 and nontypable strains. Two strains belonging to O group 101 were positive for F41 antigen; one of them also carried the K99 antigen. Among all non-O149 strains, ST mouse was the most common type of enterotoxigenic E. coli ( n = 88), followed in decreasing order by ST mouse-ST pig strains ( n = 69) and ST pig strains ( n = 33). In 114 strains producing enterotoxins no adhesive factor was found. Thus, vaccination of the Swedish sow population for more than 5 years with vaccines containing O149 and K88 antigens has apparently changed the pattern of enterotoxigenic E. coli in neonatal diarrhea. The frequency of O149:K88 strains has been reduced, and O101:K99:ST mouse strains now dominate. However, O149 strains remain the

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

    PubMed

    Ramsey, Kathryn M; Dove, Simon L

    2016-08-01

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

  15. [The role of persistence and virulence factors in microecological changes in a humans].

    PubMed

    Usviatsov, B Ia; Khusnutdinova, L M; Parshuta, L I; Khanina, E A; Dolgov, V A; Porshina, O V

    2006-01-01

    The patterns of persistence and virulence factors expression in the representatives of human microbial biocenosis depends on a complex of the environmental conditions: influence of microbes-symbionts, biotope peculiarities, properties of microorganisms located within eukaryotes. Interactions of symbionts in pairs "indigen-indigen" isolated from mucous membrane of tonsils in healthy persons, did not lead to changes in expression of pathogenic properties. Interinfluence in pairs "pathogen-indigen" and "indigen-indigen", isolated from patients with chronic tonsilitis were accompanied by an increase of anti-lysozyme, hemolytic and lecithovitellase activities. Migration of strains of non-enzymatized gram-negative bacteria (NEYNB) from nasal into tympanic cavity in experimental acute purulent otitis is connected with an earlier increase of their number in the nasal cavity and the expression of anti-lysozyme activity. In acute and chronic pyoderma, expression of ALA is more marked in bacteria from a perifocal damage in contrast to focal damage of normal skin. In conditions of interaction between erythrocytes and staphylococcal clones with different levels of expression of pathogenic factors, differences were observed in dynamics of hemolytic and anti-hemoglobin activities. PMID:16941873

  16. Helicobacter pylori virulence factor CagA promotes tumorigenesis of gastric cancer via multiple signaling pathways.

    PubMed

    Yong, Xin; Tang, Bo; Li, Bo-Sheng; Xie, Rui; Hu, Chang-Jiang; Luo, Gang; Qin, Yong; Dong, Hui; Yang, Shi-Ming

    2015-01-01

    Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is strongly associated with the development of gastric diseases but also with several extragastric diseases. The clinical outcomes caused by H. pylori infection are considered to be associated with a complex combination of host susceptibility, environmental factors and bacterial isolates. Infections involving H. pylori strains that possess the virulence factor CagA have a worse clinical outcome than those involving CagA-negative strains. It is remarkable that CagA-positive H. pylori increase the risk for gastric cancer over the risk associated with H. pylori infection alone. CagA behaves as a bacterial oncoprotein playing a key role in H. pylori-induced gastric cancer. Activation of oncogenic signaling pathways and inactivation of tumor suppressor pathways are two crucial events in the development of gastric cancer. CagA shows the ability to affect the expression or function of vital protein in oncogenic or tumor suppressor signaling pathways via several molecular mechanisms, such as direct binding or interaction, phosphorylation of vital signaling proteins and methylation of tumor suppressor genes. As a result, CagA continuously dysregulates of these signaling pathways and promotes tumorigenesis. Recent research has enriched our understanding of how CagA effects on these signaling pathways. This review summarizes the results of the most relevant studies, discusses the complex molecular mechanism involved and attempts to delineate the entire signaling pathway.

  17. Functional and structural properties of a novel protein and virulence factor (Protein sHIP) in Streptococcus pyogenes.

    PubMed

    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

    2014-06-27

    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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. The stationary phase sigma factor, RpoS, regulates the production of a carbapenem antibiotic, a bioactive prodigiosin and virulence in the enterobacterial pathogen Serratia sp. ATCC 39006.

    PubMed

    Wilf, Nabil M; Salmond, George P C

    2012-03-01

    Serratia sp. ATCC 39006 (S39006) is a Gram-negative bacterium that is virulent in plant (potato) and invertebrate animal (Caenorhabditis elegans) models. It produces two secondary metabolite antibiotics, a prodigiosin and a carbapenem, and the exoenzymes pectate lyase and cellulase. We showed previously that deletion of the RNA chaperone Hfq abolished antibiotic production and attenuated virulence in both animal and plant hosts. Hfq and dependent small RNAs (sRNAs) are known to regulate the post-transcriptional expression of rpoS, which encodes σ(S), the stationary phase sigma factor subunit of RNA polymerase. An S39006 hfq deletion mutant showed decreased transcript levels of rpoS. Therefore, in this study we investigated whether the phenotypes regulated by Hfq were mediated through its control of rpoS. Whereas loss of Hfq abolished prodigiosin and carbapenem production and attenuated virulence in both C. elegans and potato, characterization of an S39006 rpoS mutant showed unexpectedly elevated prodigiosin and carbapenem production. Furthermore, the rpoS mutant exhibited attenuated animal pathogenesis, but not plant pathogenesis. Additionally, a homologue of the Hfq-dependent sRNA, RprA, was identified and shown to regulate prodigiosin production in a manner consistent with its role in positively regulating translation of rpoS mRNA. Combined, these results demonstrate that Hfq regulation of secondary metabolism and plant pathogenesis is independent of RpoS and establishes RpoS and RprA as regulators of antibiotic production.

  1. 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

  2. The Mucoid Switch in Pseudomonas aeruginosa Represses Quorum Sensing Systems and Leads to Complex Changes to Stationary Phase Virulence Factor Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Ryall, Ben; Carrara, Marta; Zlosnik, James E. A.; Behrends, Volker; Lee, Xiaoyun; Wong, Zhen; Lougheed, Kathryn E.; Williams, Huw D.

    2014-01-01

    The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa chronically infects the airways of Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patients during which it adapts and undergoes clonal expansion within the lung. It commonly acquires inactivating mutations of the anti-sigma factor MucA leading to a mucoid phenotype, caused by excessive production of the extracellular polysaccharide alginate that is associated with a decline in lung function. Alginate production is believed to be the key benefit of mucA mutations to the bacterium in the CF lung. A phenotypic and gene expression characterisation of the stationary phase physiology of mucA22 mutants demonstrated complex and subtle changes in virulence factor production, including cyanide and pyocyanin, that results in their down-regulation upon entry into stationary phase but, (and in contrast to wildtype strains) continued production in prolonged stationary phase. These findings may have consequences for chronic infection if mucoid P. aeruginosa were to continue to make virulence factors under non-growing conditions during infection. These changes resulted in part from a severe down-regulation of both AHL-and AQ (PQS)-dependent quorum sensing systems. In trans expression of the cAMP-dependent transcription factor Vfr restored both quorum sensing defects and virulence factor production in early stationary phase. Our findings have implications for understanding the evolution of P. aeruginosa during CF lung infection and it demonstrates that mucA22 mutation provides a second mechanism, in addition to the commonly occurring lasR mutations, of down-regulating quorum sensing during chronic infection this may provide a selection pressure for the mucoid switch in the CF lung. PMID:24852379

  3. The mucoid switch in Pseudomonas aeruginosa represses quorum sensing systems and leads to complex changes to stationary phase virulence factor regulation.

    PubMed

    Ryall, Ben; Carrara, Marta; Zlosnik, James E A; Behrends, Volker; Lee, Xiaoyun; Wong, Zhen; Lougheed, Kathryn E; Williams, Huw D

    2014-01-01

    The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa chronically infects the airways of Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patients during which it adapts and undergoes clonal expansion within the lung. It commonly acquires inactivating mutations of the anti-sigma factor MucA leading to a mucoid phenotype, caused by excessive production of the extracellular polysaccharide alginate that is associated with a decline in lung function. Alginate production is believed to be the key benefit of mucA mutations to the bacterium in the CF lung. A phenotypic and gene expression characterisation of the stationary phase physiology of mucA22 mutants demonstrated complex and subtle changes in virulence factor production, including cyanide and pyocyanin, that results in their down-regulation upon entry into stationary phase but, (and in contrast to wildtype strains) continued production in prolonged stationary phase. These findings may have consequences for chronic infection if mucoid P. aeruginosa were to continue to make virulence factors under non-growing conditions during infection. These changes resulted in part from a severe down-regulation of both AHL-and AQ (PQS)-dependent quorum sensing systems. In trans expression of the cAMP-dependent transcription factor Vfr restored both quorum sensing defects and virulence factor production in early stationary phase. Our findings have implications for understanding the evolution of P. aeruginosa during CF lung infection and it demonstrates that mucA22 mutation provides a second mechanism, in addition to the commonly occurring lasR mutations, of down-regulating quorum sensing during chronic infection this may provide a selection pressure for the mucoid switch in the CF lung. PMID:24852379

  4. Dietary L-glutamine supplementation increases Pasteurella multocida burden and the expression of its major virulence factors in mice.

    PubMed

    Ren, Wenkai; Liu, Shuping; Chen, Shuai; Zhang, Fengmei; Li, Nengzhang; Yin, Jie; Peng, Yuanyi; Wu, Li; Liu, Gang; Yin, Yulong; Wu, Guoyao

    2013-10-01

    This study was conducted to determine the effects of graded doses of L-glutamine supplementation on the replication and distribution of Pasteurella multocida, and the expression of its major virulence factors in mouse model. Mice were randomly assigned to the basal diet supplemented with 0, 0.5, 1.0 or 2.0 % glutamine. Pasteurella multocida burden was detected in the heart, liver, spleen, lung and kidney after 12 h of P. multocida infection. The expression of major virulence factors, toll-like receptors (TLRs), proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin-1 beta, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha) and anti-oxidative factors (GPX1 and CuZnSOD) was analyzed in the lung and spleen. Dietary 0.5 % glutamine supplementation has little significant effect on these parameters, compared to those with basal diet. However, results showed that a high dose of glutamine supplementation increased the P. multocida burden (P < 0.001) and the expression of its major virulence factors (P < 0.05) as compared to those with a lower dose of supplementation. In the lung, high dose of glutamine supplementation inhibited the proinflammatory responses (P < 0.05) and TLRs signaling (P < 0.05). In the spleen, the effect of glutamine supplementation on different components in TLR signaling depends on glutamine concentration, and high dose of glutamine supplementation activated the proinflammatory response. In conclusion, glutamine supplementation increased P. multocida burden and the expression of its major virulence factors, while affecting the functions of the lung and spleen.

  5. 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.

  6. Linking epithelial polarity and carcinogenesis by multitasking Helicobacter pylori virulence factor CagA.

    PubMed

    Hatakeyama, M

    2008-11-24

    Loss of cell polarity and tissue architecture is a hallmark of carcinomas that arise from epithelial cells. Recent studies on Drosophila tumor suppressors have provided evidence that epithelial polarity and cell proliferation are functionally coupled, suggesting a function for polarity defects in the development of carcinomas. This notion is supported by the findings that mammalian orthologs of these Drosophila tumor suppressors are targeted by a number of viral oncoproteins. Chronic infection with Helicobacter pylori is causally associated with gastric carcinoma. H. pylori virulence factor CagA (cytotoxin-associated gene A), which is delivered into gastric epithelial cells through a bacterial type IV secretion system, has an important function in cell transformation through interacting with and deregulating SHP-2 phosphatase, a bona fide oncoprotein that is associated with human malignancies. Recent studies have further revealed that CagA specifically binds and inhibits PAR1/MARK polarity-regulating kinase, thereby causing junctional and polarity defects in epithelial cells. Thus, the bacterial oncoprotein simultaneously targets the polarity-regulating system and growth-regulatory system. These findings indicate that loss of cell polarity underlies the abnormal proliferation of epithelial cells that directs carcinogenesis.

  7. 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. PMID:25230496

  8. 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. PMID:27347390

  9. 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. PMID:26224786

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Structural characterization of the virulence factor Sda1 nuclease from Streptococcus pyogenes

    PubMed Central

    Moon, Andrea F.; Krahn, Juno M.; Lu, Xun; Cuneo, Matthew J.; Pedersen, Lars C.

    2016-01-01

    Infection by Group A Streptococcus pyogenes (GAS) is a leading cause of severe invasive disease in humans, including streptococcal toxic shock syndrome and necrotizing fasciitis. GAS infections lead to nearly 163,000 annual deaths worldwide. Hypervirulent strains of S. pyogenes have evolved a plethora of virulence factors that aid in disease—by promoting bacterial adhesion to host cells, subsequent invasion of deeper tissues and blocking the immune system's attempts to eradicate the infection. Expression and secretion of the extracellular nuclease Sda1 is advantageous for promoting bacterial dissemination throughout the host organism, and evasion of the host's innate immune response. Here we present two crystal structures of Sda1, as well as biochemical studies to address key structural features and surface residues involved in DNA binding and catalysis. In the active site, Asn211 is observed to directly chelate a hydrated divalent metal ion and Arg124, on the putative substrate binding loop, likely stabilizes the transition state during phosphodiester bond cleavage. These structures provide a foundation for rational drug design of small molecule inhibitors to be used in prevention of invasive streptococcal disease. PMID:26969731

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    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 3(rd) 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.

  17. Assessment of safety of enterococci isolated throughout traditional Terrincho cheesemaking: virulence factors and antibiotic susceptibility.

    PubMed

    Pimentel, Lígia L; Semedo, Teresa; Tenreiro, Rogério; Crespo, M Teresa B; Pintado, M Manuela E; Malcata, F Xavier

    2007-09-01

    Enterococci account for an important fraction of the adventitious microflora of traditional cheeses manufactured in Mediterranean countries from small ruminants' raw milk and play an important role in the development of suitable organoleptic characteristics of the final product. It has been suggested that animals used for food or animals that supply edible products are a reservoir of antibiotic-resistant enterococci. The main purpose of this research effort was thus to identify, to the species level, a total of 73 enterococci with high tolerance to acidic pH and bile salts (as prevailing environmental conditions in the first portion of the gastrointestinal tract), which were previously isolated from the milk feedstock to the final product of Terrincho cheesemaking, and to determine their profiles of antibiotic susceptibility, coupled with the occurrence of specific virulence factors (especially in those that might eventually be claimed to exhibit suitable probiotic and technological performances). Isolates, identified by both API 20 STREP and PCR methods, were found to belong to the following Enterococcus species: E. casseliflavus, E. durans, E. faecalis, E. faecium, and E. gallinarum. Susceptibility of those isolates was observed to most antibiotics tested, whereas none harbored aminoglycoside resistance genes. PCR screenings for cytolysin genes (cylL(L), cylL(s), cylM, cylB, and cylA), surface adhesin genes (efaA(fs), efaA(fm), and esp), the aggregation protein gene (agg), and the extracellular metalloendopeptidase gene (gelE) were performed. All isolates proved negative for cylL(L), cylM, cylB, and agg genes. Both E. faecalis strains were positive for the cell wall-associated protein Esp and the cell wall adhesin efaA(fs), whereas the cell wall adhesin efaA(fm) was detected in 11 of the 12 E. faecium strains. Only one strain possessed the cylL(s) determinant, and another possessed the cylA gene. Incidence of virulence determinants was thus very low; hence, the

  18. Alcohol abuse and Streptococcus pneumoniae infections: Consideration of Virulence Factors and Impaired Immune Responses

    PubMed Central

    Bhatty, Minny; Pruett, Stephen B; Swiatlo, Edwin; Nanduri, Bindu

    2011-01-01

    Alcohol is the most frequently abused substance in the world. Both acute and chronic alcohol consumption have diverse and well documented effects on the human immune system, leading to increased susceptibility to infections like bacterial pneumonia. S. pneumoniae is the most common bacterial etiology of community acquired pneumonia world-wide. The frequency and severity of pneumococcal infections in individuals with a history of alcohol abuse is much higher than the general population. Despite this obvious epidemiological relevance, very few experimental studies have focused on the interaction of pneumococci with the immune system of a host acutely or chronically exposed to alcohol. Understanding these host-pathogen interactions is imperative for designing effective prophylactic and therapeutic interventions for such populations. Recent advances in pneumococcal research have greatly improved our understanding of pneumococcal pathogenesis and virulence mechanisms. Additionally, a large body of data is available on the effect of alcohol on the physiology of the lungs and the innate and adaptive immune system of the host. The purpose of this review is to integrate the available knowledge in these diverse areas of for a better understanding of the how the compromised immune system derived from alcohol exposure responds to pneumococcal infections. PMID:21827928

  19. The PecT repressor coregulates synthesis of exopolysaccharides and virulence factors in Erwinia chrysanthemi.

    PubMed

    Condemine, G; Castillo, A; Passeri, F; Enard, C

    1999-01-01

    Erwinia chrysanthemi 3937 synthesizes an exopolysaccharide (EPS) composed of rhamnose, galactose, and galacturonic acid. Fourteen transcriptional fusions in genes required for EPS synthesis, named eps, were obtained by Tn5-B21 mutagenesis. Eleven of them are clustered on the chromosome and are repressed by PecT, a regulator of pectate lyase synthesis. In addition, expression of these fusions is repressed by the catabolite regulatory protein, CRP, and induced in low osmolarity medium. The three other mutations are located in genes that are not regulated by pecT. A 13-kb DNA fragment containing pecT-regulated eps genes has been cloned. All the genes identified on this fragment are transcribed in the same orientation and could form a large operon. The promoter region of this operon has been sequenced. It contains a JUMP-start sequence, a sequence required for the expression of polysaccharide-associated operons. E. chrysanthemi 3937 produces a systemic soft rot on its host Saintpaulia ionantha. An eps mutant was less efficient than the wild-type strain in initiating a maceration symptom, suggesting that production of EPS is required for the full expression of the E. chrysanthemi virulence. PMID:9885192

  20. Characterization of New Virulence Factors Involved in the Intracellular Growth and Survival of Burkholderia pseudomallei.

    PubMed

    Moule, Madeleine G; Spink, Natasha; Willcocks, Sam; Lim, Jiali; Guerra-Assunção, José Afonso; Cia, Felipe; Champion, Olivia L; Senior, Nicola J; Atkins, Helen S; Clark, Taane; Bancroft, Gregory J; Cuccui, Jon; Wren, Brendan W

    2016-03-01

    Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis, has complex and poorly understood extracellular and intracellular lifestyles. We used transposon-directed insertion site sequencing (TraDIS) to retrospectively analyze a transposon library that had previously been screened through a BALB/c mouse model to identify genes important for growth and survival in vivo. This allowed us to identify the insertion sites and phenotypes of negatively selected mutants that were previously overlooked due to technical constraints. All 23 unique genes identified in the original screen were confirmed by TraDIS, and an additional 105 mutants with various degrees of attenuation in vivo were identified. Five of the newly identified genes were chosen for further characterization, and clean, unmarked bpsl2248, tex, rpiR, bpsl1728, and bpss1528 deletion mutants were constructed from the wild-type strain K96243. Each of these mutants was tested in vitro and in vivo to confirm their attenuated phenotypes and investigate the nature of the attenuation. Our results confirm that we have identified new genes important to in vivo virulence with roles in different stages of B. pseudomallei pathogenesis, including extracellular and intracellular survival. Of particular interest, deletion of the transcription accessory protein Tex was shown to be highly attenuating, and the tex mutant was capable of providing protective immunity against challenge with wild-type B. pseudomallei, suggesting that the genes identified in our TraDIS screen have the potential to be investigated as live vaccine candidates. PMID:26712202

  1. Characterization of New Virulence Factors Involved in the Intracellular Growth and Survival of Burkholderia pseudomallei

    PubMed Central

    Moule, Madeleine G.; Spink, Natasha; Willcocks, Sam; Lim, Jiali; Guerra-Assunção, José Afonso; Cia, Felipe; Champion, Olivia L.; Senior, Nicola J.; Atkins, Helen S.; Clark, Taane; Bancroft, Gregory J.; Cuccui, Jon

    2015-01-01

    Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis, has complex and poorly understood extracellular and intracellular lifestyles. We used transposon-directed insertion site sequencing (TraDIS) to retrospectively analyze a transposon library that had previously been screened through a BALB/c mouse model to identify genes important for growth and survival in vivo. This allowed us to identify the insertion sites and phenotypes of negatively selected mutants that were previously overlooked due to technical constraints. All 23 unique genes identified in the original screen were confirmed by TraDIS, and an additional 105 mutants with various degrees of attenuation in vivo were identified. Five of the newly identified genes were chosen for further characterization, and clean, unmarked bpsl2248, tex, rpiR, bpsl1728, and bpss1528 deletion mutants were constructed from the wild-type strain K96243. Each of these mutants was tested in vitro and in vivo to confirm their attenuated phenotypes and investigate the nature of the attenuation. Our results confirm that we have identified new genes important to in vivo virulence with roles in different stages of B. pseudomallei pathogenesis, including extracellular and intracellular survival. Of particular interest, deletion of the transcription accessory protein Tex was shown to be highly attenuating, and the tex mutant was capable of providing protective immunity against challenge with wild-type B. pseudomallei, suggesting that the genes identified in our TraDIS screen have the potential to be investigated as live vaccine candidates. PMID:26712202

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  6. The chitin-binding Cladosporium fulvum effector protein Avr4 is a virulence factor.

    PubMed

    van Esse, H Peter; Bolton, Melvin D; Stergiopoulos, Ioannis; de Wit, Pierre J G M; Thomma, Bart P H J

    2007-09-01

    The biotrophic fungal pathogen Cladosporium fulvum (syn. Passalora fulva) is the causal agent of tomato leaf mold. The Avr4 protein belongs to a set of effectors that is secreted by C. fulvum during infection and is thought to play a role in pathogen virulence. Previous studies have shown that Avr4 binds to chitin present in fungal cell walls and that, through this binding, Avr4 can protect these cell walls against hydrolysis by plant chitinases. In this study, we demonstrate that Avr4 expression in Arabidopsis results in increased virulence of several fungal pathogens with exposed chitin in their cell walls, whereas the virulence of a bacterium and an oomycete remained unaltered. Heterologous expression of Avr4 in tomato increased the virulence of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici. Through tomato GeneChip analyses, we demonstrate that Avr4 expression in tomato results in the induced expression of only a few genes. Finally, we demonstrate that silencing of the Avr4 gene in C. fulvum decreases its virulence on tomato. This is the first report on the intrinsic function of a fungal avirulence protein that has a counter-defensive activity required for full virulence of the pathogen.

  7. Solution Structures of Phenol-Soluble Modulins α1, α3, and β2, Virulence Factors from Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Towle, Kaitlyn M; Lohans, Christopher T; Miskolzie, Mark; Acedo, Jeella Z; van Belkum, Marco J; Vederas, John C

    2016-08-30

    Phenol-soluble modulins (PSMs) are peptide virulence factors produced by staphylococci. These peptides contribute to the overall pathogenicity of these bacteria, eliciting multiple immune responses from host cells. Many of the α-type PSMs exhibit cytolytic properties and are able to lyse particular eukaryotic cells, including erythrocytes, neutrophils, and leukocytes. In addition, they also appear to contribute to the protection of the bacterial cell from the host immune response through biofilm formation and detachment. In this study, three of these peptide toxins, PSMs α1, α3, and β2, normally produced by Staphylococcus aureus, have been synthesized using solid-supported peptide synthesis (SPPS) (PSMα1 and PSMα3) or made by heterologous expression in Escherichia coli (PSMβ2). Their three-dimensional structures were elucidated using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. PSMα1 and PSMα3 each consist of a single amphipathic helix with a slight bend near the N- and C-termini, respectively. PSMβ2 contains three amphipathic helices, which fold to produce a "v-like" shape between α-helix 2 and α-helix 3, with α-helix 1 folded over such that it is perpendicular to α-helix 3. The availability of three-dimensional structures permits spatial analysis of features and residues proposed to control the biological activity of these peptide toxins. PMID:27525453

  8. The mtfA Transcription Factor Gene Controls Morphogenesis, Gliotoxin Production, and Virulence in the Opportunistic Human Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Timothy D.

    2014-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the leading causative agent of invasive aspergillosis (IA). The number of cases is on the rise, with mortality rates as high as 90% among immunocompromised patients. Molecular genetic studies in A. fumigatus could provide novel targets to potentially set the basis for antifungal therapies. In the current study, we investigated the role of the transcription factor gene mtfA in A. fumigatus. Our results revealed that mtfA plays a role in the growth and development of the fungus. Deletion or overexpression of mtfA leads to a slight reduction in colony growth, as well as a reduction in conidiation levels, in the overexpression strain compared to the wild-type strain. Furthermore, production of the secondary metabolite gliotoxin increased when mtfA was overexpressed, coinciding with an increase in the transcription levels of the gliotoxin genes gliZ and gliP with respect to the wild type. In addition, our study showed that mtfA is also necessary for normal protease activity in A. fumigatus; deletion of mtfA resulted in a reduction of protease activity compared to wild-type levels. Importantly, the absence of mtfA caused a decrease in virulence in the Galleria mellonella infection model, indicating that mtfA is necessary for A. fumigatus wild-type pathogenesis. PMID:24728192

  9. 14 CFR § 1203.406 - Additional classification factors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 5 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Additional classification factors. § 1203.406 Section § 1203.406 Aeronautics and Space NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION SECURITY PROGRAM Guides for Original Classification § 1203.406 Additional classification...

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. A virulence factor of Helicobacter pylori: role of heat shock protein in mucosal inflammation after H. pylori infection.

    PubMed

    Kamiya, S; Yamaguchi, H; Osaki, T; Taguchi, H

    1998-01-01

    Among the various virulence factors of Helicobacter pylori the role of its heat shock protein 60 (HSP60, HspB) in mucosal inflammation after H. pylori infection was examined. In flow cytometric analysis, the expression of HSP60 on the cell surface was different, depending on the H. pylori strain used. The HSP60 epitope was also detected on the surface of both human gastric cancer cells (MKN45, KATOIII, and MKN28) and human gastric biopsy specimens. The intensity of the expression of HSP60 on the cell surface correlated significantly with the adhesion of H. pylori to MKN45 cells, but not with urease activity and production of vacuolating cytotoxin. A monoclonal antibody to H. pylori HSP60 inhibited the adhesion of H. pylori to MKN45 cells. These results suggest that HSP60 of H. pylori might act as an important virulence factor after H. pylori infection. PMID:9872496

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:21724174

  15. [Extracellular matrix as a microbial virulence factor in the development of human diseases].

    PubMed

    Moryl, Magdalena

    2015-01-01

    Extracellular polymers which build a biofilm matrix possess a complicated structure, where the polysaccharide fraction, composed of homo- or heteropolysaccharides, is the largest. Other important components are proteins, eDNA, glycoproteins and lipids. The matrix has a protective function against the surrounding environment, plays a role in biofilm formation and maturation processes, stabilizes the biofilm structure, and also is a source of nutrients and water for the cells. It is noteworthy that the biofilm matrix is a virulence factor and plays an important role in the pathogenesis of many human diseases. Pseudomonas aeruginosa growing in the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis produces three major exopolysaccharides (Pel, Psl and alginate) and synthesizes numerous proteins such as lectins and enzymes, e.g. PasP, chitinase, aminopeptidase, and protease IV, which facilitate the tissue colonization. Extracellular polymers play a significant role in the course of caries, which is associated with the development of multi-species biofilm on the teeth surface. The structure of the matrix surrounding that biofilm is complicated--different for each patient. The components of the matrix are constantly changing depending on the environmental conditions, e.g. the presence of sucrose affects the synthesis of mutan and dextran. Infections associated with biofilm formation on implants pose significant medical and economic problems. The main components of the matrices are saccharides (e.g., PIA, EC-TA), as well as surface and extracellular proteins. Studies on the matrix structure and the factors regulating its synthesis are necessary to develop techniques for biofilm eradication and better control of biofilm-related infections.

  16. Virulence Factors of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Induce Both the Unfolded Protein and Integrated Stress Responses in Airway Epithelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    van ‘t Wout, Emily F. A.; van Schadewijk, Annemarie; van Boxtel, Ria; Dalton, Lucy E.; Clarke, Hanna J.; Tommassen, Jan; Marciniak, Stefan J.; Hiemstra, Pieter S.

    2015-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection can be disastrous in chronic lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Its toxic effects are largely mediated by secreted virulence factors including pyocyanin, elastase and alkaline protease (AprA). Efficient functioning of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is crucial for cell survival and appropriate immune responses, while an excess of unfolded proteins within the ER leads to “ER stress” and activation of the “unfolded protein response” (UPR). Bacterial infection and Toll-like receptor activation trigger the UPR most likely due to the increased demand for protein folding of inflammatory mediators. In this study, we show that cell-free conditioned medium of the PAO1 strain of P. aeruginosa, containing secreted virulence factors, induces ER stress in primary bronchial epithelial cells as evidenced by splicing of XBP1 mRNA and induction of CHOP, GRP78 and GADD34 expression. Most aspects of the ER stress response were dependent on TAK1 and p38 MAPK, except for the induction of GADD34 mRNA. Using various mutant strains and purified virulence factors, we identified pyocyanin and AprA as inducers of ER stress. However, the induction of GADD34 was mediated by an ER stress-independent integrated stress response (ISR) which was at least partly dependent on the iron-sensing eIF2α kinase HRI. Our data strongly suggest that this increased GADD34 expression served to protect against Pseudomonas-induced, iron-sensitive cell cytotoxicity. In summary, virulence factors from P. aeruginosa induce ER stress in airway epithelial cells and also trigger the ISR to improve cell survival of the host. PMID:26083346

  17. Aerobactin and other virulence factor genes among strains of Escherichia coli causing urosepsis: association with patient characteristics.

    PubMed

    Johnson, J R; Moseley, S L; Roberts, P L; Stamm, W E

    1988-02-01

    To assess the role of aerobactin as a virulence factor among uropathogenic Escherichia coli, we determined the prevalence, location, and phenotypic expression of aerobactin determinants among 58 E. coli strains causing bacteremic urinary tract infections. We correlated the presence of the aerobactin system with antimicrobial-agent resistance, the presence and phenotypic expression of other uropathogenic virulence factor determinants (P fimbriae, hemolysin, and type 1 fimbriae), and characteristics of patients. Colony and Southern hybridization of total and plasmid DNA with DNA probes for each virulence factor showed that aerobactin determinants were present in 78% of the strains and were plasmid associated in 21%, whereas P fimbria, hemolysin, and type 1 fimbria determinants were present in 74, 43, and 98% of the strains, respectively, and were always chromosomal. Chromosomal aerobactin, P fimbria, and hemolysin determinants occurred together on the chromosome more often in strains from patients without predisposing urological or medical conditions (P = 0.04). Strains with plasmid-encoded aerobactin lacked determinants for P fimbriae (P = 0.004) and hemolysin (P = 0.0004), were resistant to multiple antimicrobial agents (P = 0.0001), and were found only in compromised patients. Mating experiments demonstrated that some aerobactin plasmids also encoded antimicrobial-agent resistance. These findings suggest that the determinants for aerobactin, P fimbriae, and hemolysin are conserved on the chromosome of the antimicrobial-agent-susceptible uropathogenic strains of E. coli which invade noncompromised patients. In contrast, these chromosomal virulence factors are often absent from E. coli strains causing urosepsis in compromised hosts; these strains may acquire plasmid aerobactin in conjunction with antimicrobial-agent resistance genes.

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

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Jana K; Freitag, Nancy E

    2016-10-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Jana K; Freitag, Nancy E

    2016-10-01

    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

  20. Factors other than metalloprotease are required for full virulence of French Vibrio tubiashii isolates in oyster larvae.

    PubMed

    Mersni-Achour, Rachida; Ben Cheikh, Yosra; Pichereau, Vianney; Doghri, Ibtissem; Etien, Cédric; Dégremont, Lionel; Saulnier, Denis; Fruitier-Arnaudin, Ingrid; Travers, Marie-Agnès

    2015-05-01

    Vibrio tubiashii is a marine pathogen isolated from larval and juvenile bivalve molluscs that causes bacillary necrosis. Recent studies demonstrated the isolation of this species in a French experimental hatchery/nursery affecting Crassostrea gigas spat in 2007. Here, using larvae of C. gigas as an interaction model, we showed that the French V. tubiashii is virulent to larvae and can cause bacillary necrosis symptoms with an LD50 of about 2.3 × 10(3) c.f.u. ml(-1) after 24 h. Moreover, complete or gel permeation HPLC fractionated extracellular products (ECPs) of this strain appeared toxic to larvae. MS-MS analysis of the different ECP fractions revealed the existence of an extracellular metalloprotease and other suspected virulence factors. This observation is also supported by the expression level of some potential virulence factors. The overall results suggest that the pathology caused by the French V. tubiashii in C. gigas oysters is caused by a group of toxic factors and not only the metalloprotease.

  1. Factors other than metalloprotease are required for full virulence of French Vibrio tubiashii isolates in oyster larvae.

    PubMed

    Mersni-Achour, Rachida; Ben Cheikh, Yosra; Pichereau, Vianney; Doghri, Ibtissem; Etien, Cédric; Dégremont, Lionel; Saulnier, Denis; Fruitier-Arnaudin, Ingrid; Travers, Marie-Agnès

    2015-05-01

    Vibrio tubiashii is a marine pathogen isolated from larval and juvenile bivalve molluscs that causes bacillary necrosis. Recent studies demonstrated the isolation of this species in a French experimental hatchery/nursery affecting Crassostrea gigas spat in 2007. Here, using larvae of C. gigas as an interaction model, we showed that the French V. tubiashii is virulent to larvae and can cause bacillary necrosis symptoms with an LD50 of about 2.3 × 10(3) c.f.u. ml(-1) after 24 h. Moreover, complete or gel permeation HPLC fractionated extracellular products (ECPs) of this strain appeared toxic to larvae. MS-MS analysis of the different ECP fractions revealed the existence of an extracellular metalloprotease and other suspected virulence factors. This observation is also supported by the expression level of some potential virulence factors. The overall results suggest that the pathology caused by the French V. tubiashii in C. gigas oysters is caused by a group of toxic factors and not only the metalloprotease. PMID:25701736

  2. Genomes and Virulence Factors of Novel Bacterial Pathogens Causing Bleaching Disease in the Marine Red Alga Delisea pulchra

    PubMed Central

    Fernandes, Neil; Case, Rebecca J.; Longford, Sharon R.; Seyedsayamdost, Mohammad R.; Steinberg, Peter D.; Kjelleberg, Staffan; Thomas, Torsten

    2011-01-01

    Nautella sp. R11, a member of the marine Roseobacter clade, causes a bleaching disease in the temperate-marine red macroalga, Delisea pulchra. To begin to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underpinning the ability of Nautella sp. R11 to colonize, invade and induce bleaching of D. pulchra, we sequenced and analyzed its genome. The genome encodes several factors such as adhesion mechanisms, systems for the transport of algal metabolites, enzymes that confer resistance to oxidative stress, cytolysins, and global regulatory mechanisms that may allow for the switch of Nautella sp. R11 to a pathogenic lifestyle. Many virulence effectors common in phytopathogenic bacteria are also found in the R11 genome, such as the plant hormone indole acetic acid, cellulose fibrils, succinoglycan and nodulation protein L. Comparative genomics with non-pathogenic Roseobacter strains and a newly identified pathogen, Phaeobacter sp. LSS9, revealed a patchy distribution of putative virulence factors in all genomes, but also led to the identification of a quorum sensing (QS) dependent transcriptional regulator that was unique to pathogenic Roseobacter strains. This observation supports the model that a combination of virulence factors and QS-dependent regulatory mechanisms enables indigenous members of the host alga's epiphytic microbial community to switch to a pathogenic lifestyle, especially under environmental conditions when innate host defence mechanisms are compromised. PMID:22162749

  3. Quorum sensing signals are produced by Aeromonas salmonicida and quorum sensing inhibitors can reduce production of a potential virulence factor.

    PubMed

    Rasch, Maria; Kastbjerg, Vicky Gaedt; Bruhn, Jesper Bartholin; Dalsgaard, Inger; Givskov, Michael; Gram, Lone

    2007-12-13

    Many pathogens control production of virulence factors by self-produced signals in a process called quorum sensing (QS). We demonstrate that acyl homoserine lactone (AHL) signals, which enable bacteria to express certain phenotypes in relation to cell density, are produced by a wide spectrum of Aeromonas salmonicida strains. All 31 typical strains were AHL producers as were 21 of 26 atypical strains, but on a strain population basis, production of virulence factors such as protease, lipase, A-layer or pigment did not correlate with the production and accumulation of AHLs in the growth medium. Pigment production was only observed in broth under highly aerated conditions. Quorum sensing inhibitors (QSIs) are compounds that specifically block QS systems without affecting bacterial growth and 2 such compounds, sulphur-containing AHL-analogues, reduced production of protease in a typical strain of Aeromonas salmonicida. The most efficient compound N-(heptylsulfanylacetyl)-L-homoserine lactone (HepS-AHL), reduced protease production by a factor of 10. Five extracellular proteases were detected on gelatin-containing sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) gels and 3 of these were completely down regulated by HepS-AHL. Hence, QSIs can curb virulence in some strains and could potentially be pursued as bacterial disease control measures in aquaculture.

  4. A supracellular system of actin-lined canals controls biogenesis and release of virulence factors in parasitoid venom glands.

    PubMed

    Ferrarese, Roberto; Morales, Jorge; Fimiarz, Daniel; Webb, Bruce A; Govind, Shubha

    2009-07-01

    Parasitoid wasps produce virulence factors that bear significant resemblance to viruses and have the ability to block host defense responses. The function of these virulence factors, produced predominantly in wasp venom glands, and the ways in which they interfere with host development and physiology remain mysterious. Here, we report the discovery of a specialized system of canals in venom glands of five parasitoid wasps that differ in their infection strategies. This supracellular canal system is made up of individual secretory units, one per secretory cell. Individual units merge into the canal lumen. The membrane surface of the proximal end of each canal within the secretory cell assumes brush border morphology, lined with bundles of F-actin. Systemic administration of cytochalasin D compromises the integrity of the secretory unit. We show a dynamic and continuous association of p40, a protein of virus-like particles from a Drosophila parasitoid, L. heterotoma, with the canal and venom gland lumen. Similar structures in three Leptopilina species and Ganaspis xanthopoda, parasitoids of Drosophila spp., and Campoletis sonorenesis, a parasitoid of Heliothis virescens, suggest that this novel supracellular canal system is likely to be a common trait of parasitoid venom glands that is essential for efficient biogenesis and delivery of virulence factors. PMID:19561216

  5. A supracellular system of actin-lined canals controls biogenesis and release of virulence factors in parasitoid venom glands

    PubMed Central

    Ferrarese, Roberto; Morales, Jorge; Fimiarz, Daniel; Webb, Bruce A.; Govind, Shubha

    2009-01-01

    Summary Parasitoid wasps produce virulence factors that bear significant resemblance to viruses and have the ability to block host defense responses. The function of these virulence factors, produced predominantly in wasp venom glands, and the ways in which they interfere with host development and physiology remain mysterious. Here, we report the discovery of a specialized system of canals in venom glands of five parasitoid wasps that differ in their infection strategies. This supracellular canal system is made up of individual secretory units, one per secretory cell. Individual units merge into the canal lumen. The membrane surface of the proximal end of each canal within the secretory cell assumes brush border morphology, lined with bundles of F-actin. Systemic administration of cytochalasin D compromises the integrity of the secretory unit. We show a dynamic and continuous association of p40, a protein of virus-like particles from a Drosophila parasitoid, L. heterotoma, with the canal and venom gland lumen. Similar structures in three Leptopilina species and Ganaspis xanthopoda, parasitoids of Drosophila spp., and Campoletis sonorenesis, a parasitoid of Heliothis virescens, suggest that this novel supracellular canal system is likely to be a common trait of parasitoid venom glands that is essential for efficient biogenesis and delivery of virulence factors. PMID:19561216

  6. Virulence Factors and TEM-Type β-Lactamases Produced by Two Isolates of an Epidemic Klebsiella pneumoniae Strain

    PubMed Central

    Hennequin, Claire; Gniadkowski, Marek; Beyrouthy, Racha; Empel, Joanna; Gibold, Lucie; Bonnet, Richard

    2012-01-01

    Two Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates of the same strain, identified in Poland, produced either TEM-47 or TEM-68, which differed by the Arg275Leu substitution. They harbored a few virulence factors, including an iron-chelating factor and capsule overproduction, suggesting that these factors were sufficient to enhance their nosocomial potency. TEM-68 and TEM-47 had similar enzymatic activities, but TEM-68 was less susceptible to inhibitors than TEM-47. These results confirm the role of the Arg275Leu substitution in the evolution of TEM enzymes. PMID:22106220

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Background & Aim The ability of Staphylococcus aureus to successfully colonize (a)biotic surfaces may be explained by biofilm formation and the actions of virulence factors. The aim of the present study was to establish the presence of 52 proteins, including virulence factors such as alpha-toxin, during biofilm formation of five different (methicillin resistant) S. aureus strains on Leiden human epidermal models (LEMs) and polystyrene surfaces (PS) using a competitive Luminex-based assay. Results All five S. aureus strains formed biofilms on PS, whereas only three out of five strains formed biofilms on LEMs. Out of the 52 tested proteins, six functionally diverse proteins (ClfB, glucosaminidase, IsdA, IsaA, SACOL0688 and nuclease) were detected in biofilms of all strains on both PS and LEMs. At the same time, four toxins (alpha-toxin, gamma-hemolysin B and leukocidins D and E), two immune modulators (formyl peptide receptor-like inhibitory protein and Staphylococcal superantigen-like protein 1), and two other proteins (lipase and LytM) were detectable in biofilms by all five S. aureus strains on LEMs, but not on PS. In contrast, fibronectin-binding protein B (FnbpB) was detectable in biofilms by all S. aureus biofilms on PS, but not on LEMs. These data were largely confirmed by the results from proteomic and transcriptomic analyses and in case of alpha-toxin additionally by GFP-reporter technology. Conclusion Functionally diverse virulence factors of (methicillin-resistant) S. aureus are present during biofilm formation on LEMs and PS. These results could aid in identifying novel targets for future treatment strategies against biofilm-associated infections. PMID:26741798

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Risk factors for mortality in patients with bloodstream infections caused by carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa: clinical impact of bacterial virulence and strains on outcome.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Su Jin; Yoon, Sang Sun; Bae, Il Kwon; Jeong, Seok Hoon; Kim, June Myung; Lee, Kyungwon

    2014-10-01

    The incidence of carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPA) bacteremia has increased in recent years, and infections caused by CRPA result in higher mortality than those caused by susceptible strains. This study was performed to evaluate the risk factors for mortality and to study the impact of virulence factors and bacterial strains on clinical outcomes in patients with CRPA bacteremia. Data on 63 episodes of CRPA bacteremia that have occurred between January 1, 2007, and December 31, 2009, in a teaching hospital (2000 beds) in Seoul, Korea, were analyzed. The Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II) score at the time of CRPA bacteremia and the capacity of CRPA to form biofilm were independent predictive factors for mortality in patients with CRPA bacteremia. In addition, the biofilm-forming ability and elastase activity of strains were correlated with APACHE II scores to measure the severity of disease and estimate predicted mortality in the patients.

  11. Identification of Unconventional Intestinal Pathogenic Escherichia coli Isolates Expressing Intermediate Virulence Factor Profiles by Using a Novel Single-Step Multiplex PCR▿

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Daniel; Greune, Lilo; Heusipp, Gerhard; Karch, Helge; Fruth, Angelika; Tschäpe, Helmut; Schmidt, M. Alexander

    2007-01-01

    Intestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli represents a global health problem for mammals, including humans. At present, diarrheagenic E. coli bacteria are grouped into seven major pathotypes that differ in their virulence factor profiles, severity of clinical manifestations, and prognosis. In this study, we developed and evaluated a one-step multiplex PCR (MPCR) for the straightforward differential identification of intestinal pathotypes of E. coli. The specificity of this novel MPCR was validated by using a subset of reference strains and further confirmed by PCR-independent pheno- and genotypic characterization. Moreover, we tested 246 clinical E. coli isolates derived from diarrhea patients from several distinct geographic regions. Interestingly, besides strains belonging to the defined and well-described pathotypes, we identified five unconventional strains expressing intermediate virulence factor profiles. These strains have been further characterized and appear to represent intermediate strains carrying genes and expressing factors associated with enteropathogenic E. coli, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, enterotoxigenic E. coli, and enteroaggregative E. coli alike. These strains represent further examples of the extraordinary plasticity of the E. coli genome. Moreover, this implies that the important identification of specific pathotypes has to be based on a broad matrix of indicator genes. In addition, the presence of intermediate strains needs to be accounted for. PMID:17400780

  12. 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.

  13. Limonene inhibits streptococcal biofilm formation by targeting surface-associated virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Subramenium, Ganapathy Ashwinkumar; Vijayakumar, Karuppiah; Pandian, Shunmugiah Karutha

    2015-08-01

    The present study explores the efficacy of limonene, a cyclic terpene found in the rind of citrus fruits, for antibiofilm potential against species of the genus Streptococcus, which have been deeply studied worldwide owing to their multiple pathogenic efficacy. Limonene showed a concentration-dependent reduction in the biofilm formation of Streptococcus pyogenes (SF370), with minimal biofilm inhibitory concentration (MBIC) of 400 μg ml - 1. Limonene was found to possess about 75-95 % antibiofilm activity against all the pathogens tested, viz. Streptococcus pyogenes (SF370 and 5 clinical isolates), Streptococcus mutans (UA159) and Streptococcus mitis (ATCC 6249) at 400 μg ml - 1 concentration. Microscopic analysis of biofilm architecture revealed a quantitative breach in biofilm formation. Results of a surface-coating assay suggested that the possible mode of action of limonene could be by inhibiting bacterial adhesion to surfaces, thereby preventing the biofilm formation cascade. Susceptibility of limonene-treated Streptococcus pyogenes to healthy human blood goes in unison with gene expression studies in which the mga gene was found to be downregulated. Anti-cariogenic efficacy of limonene against Streptococcus mutans was confirmed, with inhibition of acid production and downregulation of the vicR gene. Downregulation of the covR, mga and vicR genes, which play a critical role in regulating surface-associated proteins in Streptococcus pyogenes and Streptococcus mutans, respectively, is yet further evidence to show that limonene targets surface-associated proteins. The results of physiological assays and gene expression studies clearly show that the surface-associated antagonistic mechanism of limonene also reduces surface-mediated virulence factors. PMID:26294065

  14. 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

  15. Correlation between genetic variability and virulence factors in clinical strains of Malassezia pachydermatis of animal origin.

    PubMed

    Buommino, Elisabetta; Nocera, Francesca Paola; Parisi, Annamaria; Rizzo, Antonietta; Donnarumma, Giovanna; Mallardo, Karina; Fiorito, Filomena; Baroni, Adone; De Martino, Luisa

    2016-09-01

    Malassezia pachydermatis is a yeast belonging to the microbiota of the skin and mucous membranes of dog and cat, but it can also act as pathogen, causing dermatitis. The aim of this work was to evaluate the genetic variability of M. pachydermatis strains isolated from symptomatic dogs and cats and determine a correlation between genotype and phenotype. For this purpose eleven strains of M. pachydermatis were molecularly classified by nested-polymerase chain reaction (nested-PCR) based on ITS-1 and ITS-2 regions, specific for fungal rRNA genes. Furthermore, random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD) was applied for genetic typing of M. pachydermatis isolates identifying four different genotypes. Strains belonging to genotype 1 produced the highest amount of biofilm and phospholipase activity. The inflammatory response induced by M. pachydermatis strains in immortalized human keratinocytes (HaCat cells) was significantly different when we compared the results obtained from each strain. In particular, HaCat cells infected with the strains belonging to genotypes 1 and 2 triggered the highest levels of increase in TLR-2, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, COX-2 and MMP-9 expression. By contrast, cells infected with the strains of genotype 3 and those of genotype 4 did not significantly induce TLR-2 and cytokines. The results obtained might suggest a possible association between genotype and virulence factors expressed by M. pachydermatis strains. This highlights the need for a more accurate identification of the yeast to improve the therapeutic approach and to monitor the onset of human infections caused by this emergent zoonotic pathogen. PMID:27602421

  16. Limonene inhibits streptococcal biofilm formation by targeting surface-associated virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Subramenium, Ganapathy Ashwinkumar; Vijayakumar, Karuppiah; Pandian, Shunmugiah Karutha

    2015-08-01

    The present study explores the efficacy of limonene, a cyclic terpene found in the rind of citrus fruits, for antibiofilm potential against species of the genus Streptococcus, which have been deeply studied worldwide owing to their multiple pathogenic efficacy. Limonene showed a concentration-dependent reduction in the biofilm formation of Streptococcus pyogenes (SF370), with minimal biofilm inhibitory concentration (MBIC) of 400 μg ml - 1. Limonene was found to possess about 75-95 % antibiofilm activity against all the pathogens tested, viz. Streptococcus pyogenes (SF370 and 5 clinical isolates), Streptococcus mutans (UA159) and Streptococcus mitis (ATCC 6249) at 400 μg ml - 1 concentration. Microscopic analysis of biofilm architecture revealed a quantitative breach in biofilm formation. Results of a surface-coating assay suggested that the possible mode of action of limonene could be by inhibiting bacterial adhesion to surfaces, thereby preventing the biofilm formation cascade. Susceptibility of limonene-treated Streptococcus pyogenes to healthy human blood goes in unison with gene expression studies in which the mga gene was found to be downregulated. Anti-cariogenic efficacy of limonene against Streptococcus mutans was confirmed, with inhibition of acid production and downregulation of the vicR gene. Downregulation of the covR, mga and vicR genes, which play a critical role in regulating surface-associated proteins in Streptococcus pyogenes and Streptococcus mutans, respectively, is yet further evidence to show that limonene targets surface-associated proteins. The results of physiological assays and gene expression studies clearly show that the surface-associated antagonistic mechanism of limonene also reduces surface-mediated virulence factors.

  17. 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. PMID:26319870

  18. 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. PMID:21831138

  19. 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.

  20. Molecular Characterization of Equine Isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae: Natural Disruption of Genes Encoding the Virulence Factors Pneumolysin and Autolysin

    PubMed Central

    Whatmore, Adrian M.; King, Samantha J.; Doherty, Neil C.; Sturgeon, Daniel; Chanter, Neil; Dowson, Christopher G.

    1999-01-01

    Although often considered a strict human pathogen, Streptococcus pneumoniae has been reported to infect and cause pneumonia in horses, although the pathology appears restricted compared to that of human infections. Here we report on the molecular characterization of a group of S. pneumoniae isolates obtained from horses in England and Ireland. Despite being obtained from geographically distinct locations, the isolates were found to represent a tight clonal group, virtually identical to each other but genetically distinguishable from more than 120 divergent isolates of human S. pneumoniae. A comprehensive analysis of known pneumococcal virulence determinants was undertaken in an attempt to understand the pathogenicity of equine pneumococci. Surprisingly, equine isolates appear to lack activities associated with both the hemolytic cytotoxin pneumolysin, often considered a major virulence factor of pneumococci, and the major autolysin gene lytA, also considered an important virulence factor. In support of phenotypic data, molecular studies demonstrated a deletion of parts of the coding sequences of both lytA and ply genes in equine pneumococci. The implications of these findings for the evolution and pathogenicity of equine S. pneumoniae are discussed. PMID:10338480

  1. Sequence Analysis of the Staphylococcus aureus srrAB Loci Reveals that Truncation of srrA Affects Growth and Virulence Factor Expression▿

    PubMed Central

    Pragman, Alexa A.; Herron-Olson, Lisa; Case, Laura C.; Vetter, Sara M.; Henke, Evan E.; Kapur, Vivek; Schlievert, Patrick M.

    2007-01-01

    The SrrAB system regulates metabolism and virulence factors in Staphylococcus aureus. We sequenced the srrAB loci of 21 isolates and performed a phylogenetic analysis. Vaginal and bovine isolates clustered together, while skin isolates were genetically diverse. Few nucleotide polymorphisms were observed, and most were synonymous. Two strains (N2 and N19) with N-terminal truncations in SrrA displayed defects in growth and abnormally upregulated virulence factor expression under low-oxygen conditions. PMID:17693503

  2. Defining a protective epitope on factor H binding protein, a key meningococcal virulence factor and vaccine antigen.

    PubMed

    Malito, Enrico; Faleri, Agnese; Lo Surdo, Paola; Veggi, Daniele; Maruggi, Giulietta; Grassi, Eva; Cartocci, Elena; Bertoldi, Isabella; Genovese, Alessia; Santini, Laura; Romagnoli, Giacomo; Borgogni, Erica; Brier, Sébastien; Lo Passo, Carla; Domina, Maria; Castellino, Flora; Felici, Franco; van der Veen, Stijn; Johnson, Steven; Lea, Susan M; Tang, Christoph M; Pizza, Mariagrazia; Savino, Silvana; Norais, Nathalie; Rappuoli, Rino; Bottomley, Matthew J; Masignani, Vega

    2013-02-26

    Mapping of epitopes recognized by functional monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) is essential for understanding the nature of immune responses and designing improved vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. In recent years, identification of B-cell epitopes targeted by neutralizing antibodies has facilitated the design of peptide-based vaccines against highly variable pathogens like HIV, respiratory syncytial virus, and Helicobacter pylori; however, none of these products has yet progressed into clinical stages. Linear epitopes identified by conventional mapping techniques only partially reflect the immunogenic properties of the epitope in its natural conformation, thus limiting the success of this approach. To investigate antigen-antibody interactions and assess the potential of the most common epitope mapping techniques, we generated a series of mAbs against factor H binding protein (fHbp), a key virulence factor and vaccine antigen of Neisseria meningitidis. The interaction of fHbp with the bactericidal mAb 12C1 was studied by various epitope mapping methods. Although a 12-residue epitope in the C terminus of fHbp was identified by both Peptide Scanning and Phage Display Library screening, other approaches, such as hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (MS) and X-ray crystallography, showed that mAb 12C1 occupies an area of ∼1,000 Å(2) on fHbp, including >20 fHbp residues distributed on both N- and C-terminal domains. Collectively, these data show that linear epitope mapping techniques provide useful but incomplete descriptions of B-cell epitopes, indicating that increased efforts to fully characterize antigen-antibody interfaces are required to understand and design effective immunogens.

  3. Defining a protective epitope on factor H binding protein, a key meningococcal virulence factor and vaccine antigen

    PubMed Central

    Malito, Enrico; Faleri, Agnese; Lo Surdo, Paola; Veggi, Daniele; Maruggi, Giulietta; Grassi, Eva; Cartocci, Elena; Bertoldi, Isabella; Genovese, Alessia; Santini, Laura; Romagnoli, Giacomo; Borgogni, Erica; Brier, Sébastien; Lo Passo, Carla; Domina, Maria; Castellino, Flora; Felici, Franco; van der Veen, Stijn; Johnson, Steven; Lea, Susan M.; Tang, Christoph M.; Pizza, Mariagrazia; Savino, Silvana; Norais, Nathalie; Rappuoli, Rino; Bottomley, Matthew J.; Masignani, Vega

    2013-01-01

    Mapping of epitopes recognized by functional monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) is essential for understanding the nature of immune responses and designing improved vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. In recent years, identification of B-cell epitopes targeted by neutralizing antibodies has facilitated the design of peptide-based vaccines against highly variable pathogens like HIV, respiratory syncytial virus, and Helicobacter pylori; however, none of these products has yet progressed into clinical stages. Linear epitopes identified by conventional mapping techniques only partially reflect the immunogenic properties of the epitope in its natural conformation, thus limiting the success of this approach. To investigate antigen–antibody interactions and assess the potential of the most common epitope mapping techniques, we generated a series of mAbs against factor H binding protein (fHbp), a key virulence factor and vaccine antigen of Neisseria meningitidis. The interaction of fHbp with the bactericidal mAb 12C1 was studied by various epitope mapping methods. Although a 12-residue epitope in the C terminus of fHbp was identified by both Peptide Scanning and Phage Display Library screening, other approaches, such as hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (MS) and X-ray crystallography, showed that mAb 12C1 occupies an area of ∼1,000 Å2 on fHbp, including >20 fHbp residues distributed on both N- and C-terminal domains. Collectively, these data show that linear epitope mapping techniques provide useful but incomplete descriptions of B-cell epitopes, indicating that increased efforts to fully characterize antigen–antibody interfaces are required to understand and design effective immunogens. PMID:23396847

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Antibiotic resistance and putative virulence factors of Serratia marcescens with respect to O and K serotypes.

    PubMed

    Aucken, H M; Pitt, T L

    1998-12-01

    Serratia marcescens serotypes O6:K14, O8:K14 and O28:K28 are common in the natural environment, but rare in hospitals. Serotypes O14:K14 and O27:K14 predominate among clinical strains, but not in the environment, suggesting that the latter serotypes may be more suited for survival in the clinical setting. Consequently, 469 epidemiologically distinct strains of S. marcescens were tested for various putative virulence factors and analysed for associations with serotype. The factors positively associated with serotype O14:K14 were agglutination of five different species of red blood cells and expression of type 1 fimbriae. These were found in 63% and 53% of O14:K14 strains, respectively, compared with 7% and 12% of the three 'environmental serotypes'. Almost a quarter of the collection expressed the mannose-resistant haemagglutinin indicative of type 3 fimbriae, but this was not associated with any serotype. The production of DNAase, haemolysin, lipase, lecithinase, proteases and siderophores was almost universal and showed no serotype correlations. Almost half of the strains (46%) were resistant to serum and serotypes O27:K14 and O6:K14 were strongly associated with this characteristic. Serotype O27:K14 was also associated with higher proportions of antibiotic-resistant strains than other serotypes, but the same was not true of serotype O14:K14. All three 'environmental serotypes' were associated with low frequencies of antibiotic resistance; <12% were resistant to gentamicin, carbenicillin or piperacillin, or any combination of these three, compared with 20-25% of O14:K14 strains and >42-51% of O27:K14 strains. Pigment production was strongly associated with serotype. None of the O14:K14 or O27:K14 strains produced prodigiosin, but frequencies for the three 'environmental serotypes' ranged from 31% of O28:K28 strains to 85% of O6:K14 strains. The results of this study suggest that the adherence capability of S. marcescens strains may play a role in the colonisation

  7. Unravelling potential virulence factor candidates in Xanthomonas citri. subsp. citri by secretome analysis.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Rafael M; Moreira, Leandro M; Ferro, Jesus A; Soares, Marcia R R; Laia, Marcelo L; Varani, Alessandro M; 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

  8. The role of the multiple banded antigen of Ureaplasma parvum in intra-amniotic infection: major virulence factor or decoy?

    PubMed

    Dando, Samantha J; Nitsos, Ilias; Kallapur, Suhas G; Newnham, John P; Polglase, Graeme R; Pillow, J Jane; Jobe, Alan H; Timms, Peter; Knox, Christine L

    2012-01-01

    The multiple banded antigen (MBA) is a predicted virulence factor of Ureaplasma species. Antigenic variation of the MBA is a potential mechanism by which ureaplasmas avoid immune recognition and cause chronic infections of the upper genital tract of pregnant women. We tested whether the MBA is involved in the pathogenesis of intra-amniotic infection and chorioamnionitis by injecting virulent or avirulent-derived ureaplasma clones (expressing single MBA variants) into the amniotic fluid of pregnant sheep. At 55 days of gestation pregnant ewes (n = 20) received intra-amniotic injections of virulent-derived or avirulent-derived U. parvum serovar 6 strains (2×10⁴ CFU), or 10B medium (n = 5). Amniotic fluid was collected every two weeks post-infection and fetal tissues were collected at the time of surgical delivery of the fetus (140 days of gestation). Whilst chronic colonisation was established in the amniotic fluid of animals infected with avirulent-derived and virulent-derived ureaplasmas, the severity of chorioamnionitis and fetal inflammation was not different between these groups (p>0.05). MBA size variants (32-170 kDa) were generated in vivo in amniotic fluid samples from both the avirulent and virulent groups, whereas in vitro antibody selection experiments led to the emergence of MBA-negative escape variants in both strains. Anti-ureaplasma IgG antibodies were detected in the maternal serum of animals from the avirulent (40%) and virulent (55%) groups, and these antibodies correlated with increased IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-8 expression in chorioamnion tissue (p<0.05). We demonstrate that ureaplasmas are capable of MBA phase variation in vitro; however, ureaplasmas undergo MBA size variation in vivo, to potentially prevent eradication by the immune response. Size variation of the MBA did not correlate with the severity of chorioamnionitis. Nonetheless, the correlation between a maternal humoral response and the expression of chorioamnion cytokines is a

  9. The Role of the Multiple Banded Antigen of Ureaplasma parvum in Intra-Amniotic Infection: Major Virulence Factor or Decoy?

    PubMed Central

    Dando, Samantha J.; Nitsos, Ilias; Kallapur, Suhas G.; Newnham, John P.; Polglase, Graeme R.; Pillow, J. Jane; Jobe, Alan H.; Timms, Peter; Knox, Christine L.

    2012-01-01

    The multiple banded antigen (MBA) is a predicted virulence factor of Ureaplasma species. Antigenic variation of the MBA is a potential mechanism by which ureaplasmas avoid immune recognition and cause chronic infections of the upper genital tract of pregnant women. We tested whether the MBA is involved in the pathogenesis of intra-amniotic infection and chorioamnionitis by injecting virulent or avirulent-derived ureaplasma clones (expressing single MBA variants) into the amniotic fluid of pregnant sheep. At 55 days of gestation pregnant ewes (n = 20) received intra-amniotic injections of virulent-derived or avirulent-derived U. parvum serovar 6 strains (2×104 CFU), or 10B medium (n = 5). Amniotic fluid was collected every two weeks post-infection and fetal tissues were collected at the time of surgical delivery of the fetus (140 days of gestation). Whilst chronic colonisation was established in the amniotic fluid of animals infected with avirulent-derived and virulent-derived ureaplasmas, the severity of chorioamnionitis and fetal inflammation was not different between these groups (p>0.05). MBA size variants (32–170 kDa) were generated in vivo in amniotic fluid samples from both the avirulent and virulent groups, whereas in vitro antibody selection experiments led to the emergence of MBA-negative escape variants in both strains. Anti-ureaplasma IgG antibodies were detected in the maternal serum of animals from the avirulent (40%) and virulent (55%) groups, and these antibodies correlated with increased IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-8 expression in chorioamnion tissue (p<0.05). We demonstrate that ureaplasmas are capable of MBA phase variation in vitro; however, ureaplasmas undergo MBA size variation in vivo, to potentially prevent eradication by the immune response. Size variation of the MBA did not correlate with the severity of chorioamnionitis. Nonetheless, the correlation between a maternal humoral response and the expression of chorioamnion cytokines is a

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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. PMID:24313380

  13. bZIP transcription factor CgAP1 is essential for oxidative stress tolerance and full virulence of the poplar anthracnose fungus Colletotrichum gloeosporioides.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yingjiao; Wang, Yonglin; Tian, Chengming

    2016-10-01

    Yeast AP1 transcription factor is a regulator of oxidative stress response. Here, we report the identification and characterization of CgAP1, an ortholog of YAP1 in poplar anthracnose fungus Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. The expression of CgAP1 was highly induced by reactive oxygen species. CgAP1 deletion mutants displayed enhanced sensitivity to oxidative stress compared with the wild-type strain, and their poplar leaf virulence was obviously reduced. However, the mutants exhibited no obvious defects in aerial hyphal growth, conidia production, and appressoria formation. CgAP1::eGFP fusion protein localized to the nucleus after TBH (tert-Butyl hydroperoxide) treatment, suggesting that CgAP1 functions as a redox sensor in C. gloeosporioides. In addition, CgAP1 prevented the accumulation of ROS during early stages of biotrophic growth. CgAP1 also acted as a positive regulator of several ROS-related genes (i.e., Glr1, Hyr1, and Cyt1) involved in the antioxidative response. These results highlight the key regulatory role of CgAP1 transcription factor in oxidative stress response and provide insights into the function of ROS detoxification in virulence of C. gloeosporioides. PMID:27544415

  14. 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

  15. Aspergillus fumigatus MADS-Box Transcription Factor rlmA Is Required for Regulation of the Cell Wall Integrity and Virulence.

    PubMed

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Proteome analysis of virulence factor regulated by autoinducer-2-like activity in Escherichia coli O157:H7.

    PubMed

    Kim, Younghoon; Oh, Sangnam; Ahn, Eun Young; Imm, Jee-Young; Oh, Sejong; Park, Sungsu; Kim, Sae Hun

    2007-02-01

    Many pathogenic bacteria, including Escherichia coli O157:H7, can control gene expression in a cell density-dependent manner by producing small signaling molecules (autoinducers) in a process known as quorum sensing. In this study, the effects of the autoinducer-2-like activity on the expression of proteins, including virulence factors, in E. coli O157:H7 were characterized by proteomic analysis. Compared with the control, E. coli O157:H7 strains in the presence of autoinducer-2-like activity exhibited elevated virulence by more rapidly forming cell aggregates on epithelial cells and rapidly killing the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the surrogate host. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis revealed 18 proteins that were upregulated by autoinducer-2-like activity and 4 proteins that were down-regulated. These proteins were further characterized by matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry and are involved in the metabolic process, adaptation and protection, cell motility, secretion, envelope biogenesis, and protein translation. These results indicate that the newly identified proteins are associated with the control of virulence in E. coli O157:H7 and that these proteins can be potential targets for the development of antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents.

  19. Atypical regulation of virulence-associated functions by a diffusible signal factor in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae.

    PubMed

    Rai, Rikky; Ranjan, Manish; Pradhan, Binod B; Chatterjee, Subhadeep

    2012-06-01

    In Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, the bacterial blight pathogen of rice, a secreted fatty acid signaling molecule known as diffusible signal factor (DSF) is required for virulence and growth on low-iron medium. To identify other virulence-associated traits that are regulated by DSF in this pathogen, we have performed microarray analysis of transcriptional changes between the wild type and DSF-deficient mutants of X. oryzae pv. oryzae. Expression of genes that encode secreted hydrolytic enzymes, motility, and chemotaxis functions are negatively regulated by DSF while functions involved in adhesion and biofilm formation are positively regulated. Enzymatic assays for hydrolytic enzymes as well as assays for chemotaxis, motility, attachment, and biofilm formation corroborate these findings. These results demonstrate that, in X. oryzae pv. oryzae, DSF-mediated cell-to-cell signaling coordinates transition from solitary to biofilm lifestyle by promoting expression of attachment functions and negatively regulating expression of motility functions. This is in contrast to X. campestris pv. campestris, a pathogen of crucifers, wherein the DSF system positively regulates motility functions and negatively regulates biofilm formation. These results indicate that virulence-associated functions can be regulated in a completely contrasting fashion by the same signaling system in very closely related bacteria.

  20. Antibiotic resistance genes and virulence factors in Enterococcus faecium and Enterococcus faecalis from diseased farm animals: pigs, cattle and poultry.

    PubMed

    Seputiene, V; Bogdaite, A; Ruzauskas, M; Suziedeliene, E

    2012-01-01

    Eighty enterococcal isolates (E. faecium, n = 38, E. faecalis, n = 42) from diseased farm animals (swine, cattle, poultry) in Lithuania have been studied for the prevalence of antibiotic resistance and for resistance and virulence genetic determinants. 86% of E. faecium and 71% of E. faecalis isolates were multidrug resistant (resistant to three or more unrelated antibiotics). Resistance to aminoglycosides, tetracycline and erythromycin was found most frequently in both species (61%, 69%) and was linked to aph(3')-IIIa, aac(6')-Ie-aph(2")-Ia, ant(6)-Ia (aminoglycoside resistance), tetM, tetL (tetracycline resistance), ermA, ermB (erythromycin resistance) gene combinations, which were supplemented with chloramphenicol resistance genes catA7, catA8 (E. faecalis) and catA9 (E. faecium). All E. faecalis isolates harboured genes coding for virulence factors agg, esp, fsr gelE alone or in combinations with the high prevalence of esp gene in isolates from cattle (63%) and pigs (79%). The origin-dependent incidence of agg gene variants prgB and asp1 was observed. The results indicate the existence of a large pool of potentially virulent and multidrug resistant E. faecalis in diseased farm animals posing risk to humans.

  1. Structure and Mechanism of Cysteine Peptidase Gingipain K (Kgp), a Major Virulence Factor of Porphyromonas gingivalis in Periodontitis*

    PubMed Central

    de Diego, Iñaki; Veillard, Florian; Sztukowska, Maryta N.; Guevara, Tibisay; Potempa, Barbara; Pomowski, Anja; Huntington, James A.; Potempa, Jan; Gomis-Rüth, F. Xavier

    2014-01-01

    Cysteine peptidases are key proteolytic virulence factors of the periodontopathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis, which causes chronic periodontitis, the most prevalent dysbiosis-driven disease in humans. Two peptidases, gingipain K (Kgp) and R (RgpA and RgpB), which differ in their selectivity after lysines and arginines, respectively, collectively account for 85% of the extracellular proteolytic activity of P. gingivalis at the site of infection. Therefore, they are promising targets for the design of specific inhibitors. Although the structure of the catalytic domain of RgpB is known, little is known about Kgp, which shares only 27% sequence identity. We report the high resolution crystal structure of a competent fragment of Kgp encompassing the catalytic cysteine peptidase domain and a downstream immunoglobulin superfamily-like domain, which is required for folding and secretion of Kgp in vivo. The structure, which strikingly resembles a tooth, was serendipitously trapped with a fragment of a covalent inhibitor targeting the catalytic cysteine. This provided accurate insight into the active site and suggested that catalysis may require a catalytic triad, Cys477-His444-Asp388, rather than the cysteine-histidine dyad normally found in cysteine peptidases. In addition, a 20-Å-long solvent-filled interior channel traverses the molecule and links the bottom of the specificity pocket with the molecular surface opposite the active site cleft. This channel, absent in RgpB, may enhance the plasticity of the enzyme, which would explain the much lower activity in vitro toward comparable specific synthetic substrates. Overall, the present results report the architecture and molecular determinants of the working mechanism of Kgp, including interaction with its substrates. PMID:25266723

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli isolated from chicken meat in Iran: serogroups, virulence factors, and antimicrobial resistance properties.

    PubMed

    Momtaz, Hassan; Jamshidi, Alireza

    2013-05-01

    The aim of the current study was to determine the virulence factors, serogroups, and antibiotic resistance properties of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli isolated from chicken meat samples. A total of 422 chicken meat samples were collected from 5 townships of Iran. Specimens were immediately transferred to the laboratory in a cooler with an ice pack. Samples were cultured, and the positive culture samples were analyzed by PCR assays. Finally, the antimicrobial susceptibility test was performed using the disk diffusion method in Mueller-Hinton agar. According to the results, out of 422 samples, 146 (34.59%) were confirmed to be E. coli positive and among E. coli-positive samples, 51 (34.93%) and 31 (21.23%) were from attaching and effacing E. coli (AEEC) and enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) subgroups, respectively. All of the EHEC-positive samples had all stx1, eaeA, and ehly virulence genes, whereas only 5 (9.80%) of AEEC subgroup had all stx1, stx2, and eaeA genes. As the data revealed, O157 was the most prevalent and O111 was the least prevalent strains in the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) population. Among STEC strains, sulI and blaSHV had the highest and lowest incidence rate, respectively. There was a high resistance to tetracycline (76.82%), followed by chloramphenicol (73.17%) and nitrofurantoin (63.41%), but there was low resistance to cephalotine (7.31%) antibiotics in isolated strains. Results shows that the PCR technique has a high performance for detection of serogroups, virulence genes, and antibiotic resistance genes in STEC strains. This study is the first prevalence report of detection of virulence genes, serogroups, and antibiotic resistance properties of STEC strains isolated from chicken meat samples in Iran. Based on the results, chicken meat is one of the main sources of STEC strains and its virulence factors in Iran, so an accurate meat inspection would reduce disease outbreaks.

  5. MtsR is a dual regulator that controls virulence genes and metabolic functions in addition to metal homeostasis in the group A streptococcus.

    PubMed

    Toukoki, Chadia; Gold, Kathryn M; McIver, Kevin S; Eichenbaum, Zehava

    2010-05-01

    MtsR is a metal-dependent regulator in the group A streptococcus (GAS) that directly represses the transcription of genes involved in haem and metal uptake. While MtsR has been implicated in GAS virulence, the DNA recognition and full regulatory scope exerted by the protein are unknown. In this study we identified the shr promoter (P(shr)) and mapped MtsR binding to a 69 bp segment in P(shr) that overlaps the core promoter elements. A global transcriptional analysis demonstrated that MtsR modulates the expression of 64 genes in GAS, 44 of which were upregulated and 20 were downregulated in the mtsR mutant. MtsR controls genes with diverse functions including metal homeostasis, nucleic acid and amino acid metabolism, and protein fate. Importantly, the MtsR regulon includes mga, emm49 and ska, which are central for GAS pathogenesis. MtsR binding to the promoter region of both negatively and positively regulated genes demonstrates that it functions as a dual regulator. MtsR footprints are large (47-130 bp) and vary between target promoters. A 16 bp motif that consists of an interrupted palindrome is implicated in the DNA recognition by the metalloregulator. In conclusion, we report here that MtsR is a global regulator in GAS that shapes the expression of vital virulence factors and genes involved in metabolic functions and metal transport, and we discuss the implications for the GAS disease process.

  6. Inhibitory Effects of Chrysanthemum boreale Essential Oil on Biofilm Formation and Virulence Factor Expression of Streptococcus mutans

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Beom-Su; Park, Sun-Ju; Kim, Myung-Kon; Kim, Young-Hoi; Lee, Sang-Bong; Lee, Kwang-Hee; Lee, Young-Rae; Lee, Young-Eun; You, Yong-Ouk

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the study was to evaluate the antibacterial activity of essential oil extracted from Chrysanthemum boreale (C. boreale) on Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans). To investigate anticariogenic properties, and bacterial growth, acid production, biofilm formation, bacterial adherence of S. mutans were evaluated. Then gene expression of several virulence factors was also evaluated. C. boreale essential oil exhibited significant inhibition of bacterial growth, adherence capacity, and acid production of S. mutans at concentrations 0.1–0.5 mg/mL and 0.25–0.5 mg/mL, respectively. The safranin staining and scanning electron microscopy results showed that the biofilm formation was also inhibited. The result of live/dead staining showed the bactericidal effect. Furthermore, real-time PCR analysis showed that the gene expression of some virulence factors such as gtfB, gtfC, gtfD, gbpB, spaP, brpA, relA, and vicR of S. mutans was significantly decreased in a dose dependent manner. In GC and GC-MS analysis, seventy-two compounds were identified in the oil, representing 85.42% of the total oil. The major components were camphor (20.89%), β-caryophyllene (5.71%), α-thujone (5.46%), piperitone (5.27%), epi-sesquiphellandrene (5.16%), α-pinene (4.97%), 1,8-cineole (4.52%), β-pinene (4.45%), and camphene (4.19%). These results suggest that C. boreale essential oil may inhibit growth, adhesion, acid tolerance, and biofilm formation of S. mutans through the partial inhibition of several of these virulence factors. PMID:25763094

  7. 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

  8. Enterococcus Species in the Oral Cavity: Prevalence, Virulence Factors and Antimicrobial Susceptibility.

    PubMed

    Komiyama, Edson Yukio; Lepesqueur, Laura Soares Souto; Yassuda, Cinthia Gomes; Samaranayake, Lakshman P; Parahitiyawa, Nipuna B; Balducci, Ivan; Koga-Ito, Cristiane Yumi

    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.

  9. Changes in Caenorhabditis elegans immunity and Staphylococcal virulence factors during their interactions.

    PubMed

    JebaMercy, Gnanasekaran; Prithika, Udayakumar; Lavanya, Nehru; Sekar, Chinnathambi; Balamurugan, Krishnaswamy

    2015-03-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is used as a model system for the study of host-pathogen interactions. Lipoteichoic acid (LTA) is one of the major virulent and immunostimulatory components found in gram positive bacteria. The current study used LTA isolated from Staphylococcus aureus and pathogenic and non-pathogenic Staphylococcus epidermidis. The overall physiological assays revealed that LTA exposed C. elegans show a significant reduction in the life span, production of eggs and progenies. To understand the involvement of innate immune specific players at the mRNA level, the regulation of few candidate antimicrobial genes was studied during Staphylococcal LTA exposures. qPCR analysis indicated an upregulation of antimicrobial peptides during LTA exposures. To understand the involvement of LTA and other virulent genes during infection, the regulation of LTA synthase and a few virulence genes was monitored during host exposure. The qPCR analyses indicated the upregulation of ltaS and other virulence genes (atoxin, sak, ssaA and fbe) during infection. Ability of the pathogens to modify their internal machinery during host presence was monitored by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and cyclic voltametric analyses. The FTIR results indicated distinct alterations of peaks from Staphylococcal LTA composition between control and the host exposed. Further, EIS and CV data displayed clear differences between the host exposed Staphylococcal samples compared to their respective unexposed controls. The pathogenic and non-pathogenic strains showed different types of regulations and interactions during host exposures. The observed modifications clearly suggest that the Gram positive pathogen changes its LTA production and possibly the structure to cause a severe pathogenic effect on an interacting host.

  10. The bacterial virulence factor NleA inhibits cellular protein secretion by disrupting mammalian COPII function.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jinoh; Thanabalasuriar, Ajitha; Chaworth-Musters, Tessa; Fromme, J Chris; Frey, Elizabeth A; Lario, Paula I; Metalnikov, Pavel; Rizg, Keyrillos; Thomas, Nikhil A; Lee, Sau Fung; Hartland, Elizabeth L; Hardwidge, Philip R; Pawson, Tony; Strynadka, Natalie C; Finlay, B Brett; Schekman, Randy; Gruenheid, Samantha

    2007-09-13

    Enterohemorrhagic and enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EHEC and EPEC) maintain an extracellular lifestyle and use a type III secretion system to translocate effector proteins into the host cytosol. These effectors manipulate host pathways to favor bacterial replication and survival. NleA is an EHEC/EPEC- and related species-specific translocated effector protein that is essential for bacterial virulence. However, the mechanism by which NleA impacts virulence remains undetermined. Here we demonstrate that NleA compromises the Sec23/24 complex, a component of the mammalian COPII protein coat that shapes intracellular protein transport vesicles, by directly binding Sec24. Expression of an NleA-GFP fusion protein reduces the efficiency of cellular secretion by 50%, and secretion is inhibited in EPEC-infected cells. Direct biochemical experiments show that NleA inhibits COPII-dependent protein export from the endoplasmic reticulum. Collectively, these findings indicate that disruption of COPII function in host cells contributes to the virulence of EPEC and EHEC.

  11. AatA Is a Novel Autotransporter and Virulence Factor of Avian Pathogenic Escherichia coli▿

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ganwu; Feng, Yaping; Kariyawasam, Subhashinie; Tivendale, Kelly A.; Wannemuehler, Yvonne; Zhou, Fanghong; Logue, Catherine M.; Miller, Cathy L.; Nolan, Lisa K.

    2010-01-01

    Autotransporters (AT) are widespread in Gram-negative bacteria, and many of them are involved in virulence. An open reading frame (APECO1_O1CoBM96) encoding a novel AT was located in the pathogenicity island of avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) O1's virulence plasmid, pAPEC-O1-ColBM. This 3.5-kb APEC autotransporter gene (aatA) is predicted to encode a 123.7-kDa protein with a 25-amino-acid signal peptide, an 857-amino-acid passenger domain, and a 284-amino-acid β domain. The three-dimensional structure of AatA was also predicted by the threading method using the I-TASSER online server and then was refined using four-body contact potentials. Molecular analysis of AatA revealed that it is translocated to the cell surface, where it elicits antibody production in infected chickens. Gene prevalence analysis indicated that aatA is strongly associated with E. coli from avian sources but not with E. coli isolated from human hosts. Also, AatA was shown to enhance adhesion of APEC to chicken embryo fibroblast cells and to contribute to APEC virulence. PMID:20028805

  12. 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

  13. 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 Central

    Puah, Suat Moi; Chua, Kek Heng; Tan, Jin Ai Mary Anne

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26861367

  14. 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.

  15. 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

    2016-02-01

    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. PMID:26861367

  16. Inhibition of pyrimidine synthesis reverses viral virulence factor-mediated block of mRNA nuclear export.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Liang; Das, Priyabrata; Schmolke, Mirco; Manicassamy, Balaji; Wang, Yaming; Deng, Xiaoyi; Cai, Ling; Tu, Benjamin P; Forst, Christian V; Roth, Michael G; Levy, David E; García-Sastre, Adolfo; de Brabander, Jef; Phillips, Margaret A; Fontoura, Beatriz M A

    2012-02-01

    The NS1 protein of influenza virus is a major virulence factor essential for virus replication, as it redirects the host cell to promote viral protein expression. NS1 inhibits cellular messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) processing and export, down-regulating host gene expression and enhancing viral gene expression. We report in this paper the identification of a nontoxic quinoline carboxylic acid that reverts the inhibition of mRNA nuclear export by NS1, in the absence or presence of the virus. This quinoline carboxylic acid directly inhibited dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH), a host enzyme required for de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis, and partially reduced pyrimidine levels. This effect induced NXF1 expression, which promoted mRNA nuclear export in the presence of NS1. The release of NS1-mediated mRNA export block by DHODH inhibition also occurred in the presence of vesicular stomatitis virus M (matrix) protein, another viral inhibitor of mRNA export. This reversal of mRNA export block allowed expression of antiviral factors. Thus, pyrimidines play a necessary role in the inhibition of mRNA nuclear export by virulence factors.

  17. Vaccinia virus protein K7 is a virulence factor that alters the acute immune response to infection.

    PubMed

    Benfield, Camilla T O; Ren, Hongwei; Lucas, Stuart J; Bahsoun, Basma; Smith, Geoffrey L

    2013-07-01

    Vaccinia virus (VACV) encodes many proteins that antagonize the innate immune system including a family of intracellular proteins with a B-cell lymphoma (Bcl)-2-like structure. One of these Bcl-2 proteins called K7 binds Toll-like receptor-adaptor proteins and the DEAD-box RNA helicase DDX3 and thereby inhibits the activation of NF-κB and interferon regulatory factor 3. However, the contribution of K7 to virus virulence is not known. Here a VACV lacking the K7R gene (vΔK7) was constructed and compared with control viruses that included a plaque purified wt (vK7), a revertant with the K7R gene reinserted (vK7-rev) and a frame-shifted virus in which the translational initiation codon was mutated to prevent K7 protein expression (vK7-fs). Data presented show that loss of K7 does not affect virus replication in cell culture or in vivo; however, viruses lacking the K7 protein were less virulent than controls in murine intradermal (i.d.) and intranasal (i.n.) infection models and there was an altered acute immune response to infection. In the i.d. model, vΔK7 induced smaller lesions than controls, and after i.n. infection vΔK7 induced a reduced weight loss and signs of illness, and more rapid clearance of virus from infected tissue. Concomitantly, the intrapulmonary innate immune response to infection with vΔK7 showed increased infiltration of NK cells and CD8⁺ T-cells, enhanced MHC class II expression by macrophages, and enhanced cytolysis of target cells by NK cells and VACV-specific CD8⁺ T-cells. Thus protein K7 is a virulence factor that affects the acute immune response to infection.

  18. 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.

  19. Streptococcal 5'-Nucleotidase A (S5nA), a Novel Streptococcus pyogenes Virulence Factor That Facilitates Immune Evasion.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Lisa; Khemlani, Adrina; Lorenz, Natalie; Loh, Jacelyn M S; Langley, Ries J; Proft, Thomas

    2015-12-25

    Streptococcus pyogenes is an important human pathogen that causes a wide range of diseases. Using bioinformatics analysis of the complete S. pyogenes strain SF370 genome, we have identified a novel S. pyogenes virulence factor, which we termed streptococcal 5'-nucleotidase A (S5nA). A recombinant form of S5nA hydrolyzed AMP and ADP, but not ATP, to generate the immunomodulatory molecule adenosine. Michaelis-Menten kinetics revealed a Km of 169 μm and a Vmax of 7550 nmol/mg/min for the substrate AMP. Furthermore, recombinant S5nA acted synergistically with S. pyogenes nuclease A to generate macrophage-toxic deoxyadenosine from DNA. The enzyme showed optimal activity between pH 5 and pH 6.5 and between 37 and 47 °C. Like other 5'-nucleotidases, S5nA requires divalent cations and was active in the presence of Mg(2+), Ca(2+), or Mn(2+). However, Zn(2+) inhibited the enzymatic activity. Structural modeling combined with mutational analysis revealed a highly conserved catalytic dyad as well as conserved substrate and cation-binding sites. Recombinant S5nA significantly increased the survival of the non-pathogenic bacterium Lactococcus lactis during a human whole blood killing assay in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting a role as an S. pyogenes virulence factor. In conclusion, we have identified a novel S. pyogenes enzyme with 5'-nucleotidase activity and immune evasion properties.

  20. 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

  1. Surface antigens and potential virulence factors from parasites detected by comparative genomics of perfect amino acid repeats

    PubMed Central

    Fankhauser, Niklaus; Nguyen-Ha, Tien-Minh; Adler, Joël; Mäser, Pascal

    2007-01-01

    Background Many parasitic organisms, eukaryotes as well as bacteria, possess surface antigens with amino acid repeats. Making up the interface between host and pathogen such repetitive proteins may be virulence factors involved in immune evasion or cytoadherence. They find immunological applications in serodiagnostics and vaccine development. Here we use proteins which contain perfect repeats as a basis for comparative genomics between parasitic and free-living organisms. Results We have developed Reptile , a program for proteome-wide probabilistic description of perfect repeats in proteins. Parasite proteomes exhibited a large variance regarding the proportion of repeat-containing proteins. Interestingly, there was a good correlation between the percentage of highly repetitive proteins and mean protein length in parasite proteomes, but not at all in the proteomes of free-living eukaryotes. Reptile combined with programs for the prediction of transmembrane domains and GPI-anchoring resulted in an effective tool for in silico identification of potential surface antigens and virulence factors from parasites. Conclusion Systemic surveys for perfect amino acid repeats allowed basic comparisons between free-living and parasitic organisms that were directly applicable to predict proteins of serological and parasitological importance. An on-line tool is available at . PMID:18096064

  2. Bacillus pumilus of Palk Bay origin inhibits quorum-sensing-mediated virulence factors in Gram-negative bacteria.

    PubMed

    Nithya, Chari; Aravindraja, Chairman; Pandian, Shunmugiah Karutha

    2010-05-01

    The aim of the current study was to inhibit quoring-sensing(QS)-mediated virulence factors of representative Gram-negative bacteria by marine bacterial isolates. Bacteria isolated from Palk Bay sediments were screened for anti-QS activity. Eleven strains inhibited QS signals in Chromobacterium violaceum (ATCC 12472) and C. violaceum CV026. The marine bacterial strain S8-07 reduced the accumulation of N-acyl homoserine lactone (AHLs) and showed significant inhibition of LasA protease(76%), LasB elastase(84%), caseinase(70%), pyocyanin (84%), pyoverdin and biofilm formation(87%) in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. Strain S8-07 also showed highly significant reduction (90%) in prodigiosin, secreted casienase (92%), hemolytic activity (73%) and biofilm formation (61%) in Serratia marcescens. Strain S8-07, identified as Bacillus pumilus (accession number FJ584416), showed distinct profiles of inhibition against the virulence factors of both P. aeruginosa PAO1 (las, rhl) and S. marcescens (shl). Polar extraction and proteinase K treatment of the culture supernatant confirmed that the anti-QS activity of S8-07 was indeed due to a protein molecule. Acidification assay and HPLC analysis revealed that the degradation of AHL was not due to lactonase activity, but rather, was due to acylase activity of S8-07. Thus, novel anti-QS acylase activity is reported for the first time from a B. pumilus strain of marine origin.

  3. The streptococcal hemoprotein receptor: a moonlighting protein or a virulence factor?

    PubMed

    Eichenbaum, Zehava

    2012-11-15

    The β-hemolytic group A streptococcus (GAS) is a major pathogen that readily uses hemoglobin to satisfy its requirements for iron. The streptococcal hemoprotein receptor in GAS plays a central role in heme utilization and binds fibronectin and laminin in vitro. Shr inactivation attenuates the virulent M1T1 GAS strain in two murine infection models and reduces bacterial growth in blood and binding to laminin. Shr impact on the globally disseminated M1T1 strain underscores the importance of heme uptake in GAS pathogenesis and raises the possibility of targeting heme-uptake proteins in the development of new methods to combat GAS infections.

  4. 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

  5. Melanin as a virulence factor of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis and other dimorphic pathogenic fungi: a minireview.

    PubMed

    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

  6. Enterococcus Species in the Oral Cavity: Prevalence, Virulence Factors and Antimicrobial Susceptibility.

    PubMed

    Komiyama, Edson Yukio; Lepesqueur, Laura Soares Souto; Yassuda, Cinthia Gomes; Samaranayake, Lakshman P; Parahitiyawa, Nipuna B; Balducci, Ivan; Koga-Ito, Cristiane Yumi

    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. PMID

  7. A Novel Toxoplasma gondii Nuclear Factor TgNF3 Is a Dynamic Chromatin-Associated Component, Modulator of Nucleolar Architecture and Parasite Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Olguin-Lamas, Alejandro; Madec, Edwige; Hovasse, Agnes; Werkmeister, Elisabeth; Callebaut, Isabelle; Slomianny, Christian; Delhaye, Stephane; Mouveaux, Thomas; Schaeffer-Reiss, Christine; Van Dorsselaer, Alain; Tomavo, Stanislas

    2011-01-01

    In Toxoplasma gondii, cis-acting elements present in promoter sequences of genes that are stage-specifically regulated have been described. However, the nuclear factors that bind to these cis-acting elements and regulate promoter activities have not been identified. In the present study, we performed affinity purification, followed by proteomic analysis, to identify nuclear factors that bind to a stage-specific promoter in T. gondii. This led to the identification of several nuclear factors in T. gondii including a novel factor, designated herein as TgNF3. The N-terminal domain of TgNF3 shares similarities with the N-terminus of yeast nuclear FK506-binding protein (FKBP), known as a histone chaperone regulating gene silencing. Using anti-TgNF3 antibodies, HA-FLAG and YFP-tagged TgNF3, we show that TgNF3 is predominantly a parasite nucleolar, chromatin-associated protein that binds specifically to T. gondii gene promoters in vivo. Genome-wide analysis using chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq) identified promoter occupancies by TgNF3. In addition, TgNF3 has a direct role in transcriptional control of genes involved in parasite metabolism, transcription and translation. The ectopic expression of TgNF3 in the tachyzoites revealed dynamic changes in the size of the nucleolus, leading to a severe attenuation of virulence in vivo. We demonstrate that TgNF3 physically interacts with H3, H4 and H2A/H2B assembled into bona fide core and nucleosome-associated histones. Furthermore, TgNF3 interacts specifically to histones in the context of stage-specific gene silencing of a promoter that lacks active epigenetic acetylated histone marks. In contrast to virulent tachyzoites, which express the majority of TgNF3 in the nucleolus, the protein is exclusively located in the cytoplasm of the avirulent bradyzoites. We propose a model where TgNF3 acts essentially to coordinate nucleolus and nuclear functions by modulating nucleosome

  8. Chlamydia trachomatis In Vivo to In Vitro Transition Reveals Mechanisms of Phase Variation and Down-Regulation of Virulence Factors

    PubMed Central

    Borges, Vítor; Pinheiro, Miguel; Antelo, Minia; Sampaio, Daniel A.; Vieira, Luís; Ferreira, Rita; Nunes, Alexandra; Almeida, Filipe; Mota, Luís J.; Borrego, Maria J.; Gomes, João P.

    2015-01-01

    Research on the obligate intracellular bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis demands culture in cell-lines, but the adaptive process behind the in vivo to in vitro transition is not understood. We assessed the genomic and transcriptomic dynamics underlying C. trachomatis in vitro adaptation of strains representing the three disease groups (ocular, epithelial-genital and lymphogranuloma venereum) propagated in epithelial cells over multiple passages. We found genetic features potentially underlying phase variation mechanisms mediating the regulation of a lipid A biosynthesis enzyme (CT533/LpxC), and the functionality of the cytotoxin (CT166) through an ON/OFF mechanism. We detected inactivating mutations in CT713/porB, a scenario suggesting metabolic adaptation to the available carbon source. CT135 was inactivated in a tropism-specific manner, with CT135-negative clones emerging for all epithelial-genital populations (but not for LGV and ocular populations) and rapidly increasing in frequency (~23% mutants per 10 passages). RNA-sequencing analyses revealed that a deletion event involving CT135 impacted the expression of multiple virulence factors, namely effectors known to play a role in the C. trachomatis host-cell invasion or subversion (e.g., CT456/Tarp, CT694, CT875/TepP and CT868/ChlaDub1). This reflects a scenario of attenuation of C. trachomatis virulence in vitro, which may take place independently or in a cumulative fashion with the also observed down-regulation of plasmid-related virulence factors. This issue may be relevant on behalf of the recent advances in Chlamydia mutagenesis and transformation where culture propagation for selecting mutants/transformants is mandatory. Finally, there was an increase in the growth rate for all strains, reflecting gradual fitness enhancement over time. In general, these data shed light on the adaptive process underlying the C. trachomatis in vivo to in vitro transition, and indicates that it would be prudent to restrict

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Coordination of Metabolism and Virulence Factors Expression of Extraintestinal Pathogenic Escherichia coli Purified from Blood Cultures of Patients with Sepsis.

    PubMed

    Pettersen, Veronika Kuchařová; Mosevoll, Knut Anders; Lindemann, Paul Christoffer; Wiker, Harald G

    2016-09-01

    extraintestinal virulence factors and overall cellular metabolism closely reflects specific growth conditions. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD002912. PMID:27364158

  12. Pathogenicity and phenotypic analysis of sopB, sopD and pipD virulence factors in Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium and Salmonella enterica serovar Agona.

    PubMed

    Khoo, Chai-Hoon; Sim, Jiun-Horng; Salleh, Noorzaleha Awang; Cheah, Yoke-Kqueen

    2015-01-01

    Salmonella is an important food-borne pathogen causing disease in humans and animals worldwide. Salmonellosis may be caused by any one of over 2,500 serovars of Salmonella. Nonetheless, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and Salmonella enterica serovar Agona are the second most prevalent serovars isolated from humans and livestock products respectively. Limited knowledge is available about the virulence mechanisms responsible for diarrheal disease caused by them. To investigate the contribution of sopB, sopD and pipD as virulence factors in intracellular infections and the uniqueness of these bacteria becoming far more prevalent than other serovars, the infection model of Caenorhabditis elegans and phenotypic microarray were used to characterize their mutants. The strains containing the mutation in sopB, sopD and pipD genes were constructed by using latest site-specific group II intron mutagenesis approach to reveal the pathogenicity of the virulence factors. Overall, we observed that the mutations in sopB, sopD and pipD genes of both serovars did not exhibit significant decrease in virulence towards the nematode. This may indicate that these virulence effectors may not be universal virulence factors involved in conserved innate immunity. There are significant phenotypic differences amongst strains carrying sopB, sopD and pipD gene mutations via the analysis of biochemical profiles of the bacteria. Interestingly, mutant strains displayed different susceptibility to chemical stressors from several distinct pharmacological and structural classes when compared to its isogenic parental strains. These metabolic and chemosensitivity assays also revealed multiple roles of Salmonella virulence factors in nutrient metabolism and antibiotic resistance.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase is an acid-induced, chromosomally encoded virulence factor in Agrobacterium tumefaciens.

    PubMed

    Liu, Pu; Wood, Derek; Nester, Eugene W

    2005-09-01

    The pckA gene, encoding phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, catalyzes the reversible decarboxylation and phosphorylation of oxaloacetate to form phosphoenolpyruvate. Located on the circular chromosome of Agrobacterium, this locus is adjacent to the loci chvG and chvI, encoding a two-component regulatory system that has been shown to be important in virulence. Using a reporter gene fusion, studies showed that the pckA gene is induced by acidic pH but not by acetosyringone. This acid induction is regulated by the chvG-chvI regulatory system, which controls acid-inducible genes. A pckA mutant had no demonstrable PckA enzyme activity and grew on AB minimal medium with glucose but did not grow on the same medium with succinate as the sole carbon source and was more inhibited in its growth than the wild-type strain by an acidic environment. A pckA mutant was highly attenuated in tumor-inducing ability on tobacco leaf disks and was severely attenuated in vir gene expression. Although vir gene induction was completely restored when a constitutive virG gene was introduced into the mutant strain, virulence was only partially restored. These results suggest that avirulence may be due to a combination of the inhibition of this mutant in the acidic plant wound environment and the poor induction of the vir genes. PMID:16109945

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. The Streptococcus pyogenes serotype M49 Nra-Ralp3 transcriptional regulatory network and its control of virulence factor expression from the novel eno ralp3 epf sagA pathogenicity region.

    PubMed

    Kreikemeyer, Bernd; Nakata, Masanobu; Köller, Thomas; Hildisch, Hendrikje; Kourakos, Vassilios; Standar, Kerstin; Kawabata, Shigetada; Glocker, Michael O; Podbielski, Andreas

    2007-12-01

    Many Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococcus [GAS]) virulence factor- and transcriptional regulator-encoding genes cluster together in discrete genomic regions. Nra is a central regulator of the FCT region. Previous studies exclusively described Nra as a transcriptional repressor of adhesin and toxin genes. Here transcriptome and proteome analysis of a serotype M49 GAS strain and an isogenic Nra mutant of this strain revealed the complete Nra regulon profile. Nra is active in all growth phases tested, with the largest regulon in the transition phase. Almost exclusively, virulence factor-encoding genes are repressed by Nra; these genes include the GAS pilus operon, the capsule synthesis operon, the cytolysin-mediated translocation system genes, all Mga region core virulence genes, and genes encoding other regulators, like the Ihk/Irr system, Rgg, and two additional RofA-like protein family regulators. Surprisingly, our experiments revealed that Nra additionally acts as a positive regulator, mostly for genes encoding proteins and enzymes with metabolic functions. Epidemiological investigations revealed strong genetic linkage of one particular Nra-repressed regulator, Ralp3 (SPy0735), with a gene encoding Epf (extracellular protein factor from Streptococcus suis). In a serotype-specific fashion, this ralp3 epf gene block is integrated, most likely via transposition, into the eno sagA virulence gene block, which is present in all GAS serotypes. In GAS serotypes M1, M4, M12, M28, and M49 this novel discrete genetic region is therefore designated the eno ralp3 epf sagA (ERES) pathogenicity region. Functional experiments showed that Epf is a novel GAS plasminogen-binding protein and revealed that Ralp3 activity counteracts Nra and MsmR regulatory activity. In addition to the Mga and FCT regions, the ERES region is the third discrete chromosomal pathogenicity region. All of these regions are transcriptionally linked, adding another level of complexity to the known

  1. 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. PMID:20057063

  2. Deletion analysis of two tandemly arranged virulence genes in myxoma virus, M11L and myxoma growth factor.

    PubMed Central

    Opgenorth, A; Graham, K; Nation, N; Strayer, D; McFadden, G

    1992-01-01

    Myxoma virus (MYX) is a leporipoxvirus of rabbits that induces a lethal syndrome characterized by disseminated tumorlike lesions, generalized immunosuppression, and secondary gram-negative bacterial infection. A MYX deletion mutant (vMYX-GF- delta M11L) was constructed to remove the entire myxoma growth factor (MGF) coding sequence and that for the C-terminal five amino acids of the partially overlapping upstream gene, M11L. Unexpectedly, this deletion completely abrogates the capacity of MYX to cause the characteristic disease symptoms of myxomatosis. Upon inoculation of rabbits with vMYX-GF- delta M11L, recipient animals developed only a benign, localized nodule reminiscent of a Shope fibroma virus-induced tumor in which a single primary lesion appeared at the site of injection and then completely regressed within 14 days, leaving the animals resistant to challenge with wild-type MYX. No evidence of the purulent conjunctivitis and rhinitis that always accompany wild-type MYX infection was observed. To ascertain whether the attenuation observed in vMYX-GF- delta M11L was due to a combined effect of the MGF deletion and alteration of the upstream M11L gene, two additional MYX recombinants were constructed: an MGF- virus (vMYX-GF-) containing an intact M11L gene and an M11L- virus (vMYX-M11L-) containing an intact MGF gene. Infection with vMYX-GF- resulted in moderated symptoms of myxomatosis, but all clinical stages of the disease were still detectable. In contrast, disruption of M11L alone dramatically reduced the virus virulence, resulting in a nonlethal syndrome whose clinical course was nevertheless distinct from that of vMYX-GF- delta M11L. Upon inoculation with vMYX-M11L-, rabbits developed primary and secondary tumors which were larger and more circumscribed than those of wild-type MYX recipients. Whereas wild-type MYX infection always includes severe, purulent conjunctivitis and rhinitis, vMYX-M11L- recipients remained healthy and displayed only minimal

  3. 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

  4. Slam is an outer membrane protein that is required for the surface display of lipidated virulence factors in Neisseria.

    PubMed

    Hooda, Yogesh; Lai, Christine Chieh-Lin; Judd, Andrew; Buckwalter, Carolyn M; Shin, Hyejin Esther; Gray-Owen, Scott D; Moraes, Trevor F

    2016-01-01

    Lipoproteins decorate the surface of many Gram-negative bacterial pathogens, playing essential roles in immune evasion and nutrient acquisition. In Neisseria spp., the causative agents of gonorrhoea and meningococcal meningitis, surface lipoproteins (SLPs) are required for virulence and have been extensively studied as prime candidates for vaccine development. However, the machinery and mechanism that allow for the surface display of SLPs are not known. Here, we describe a transposon (Tn5)-based search for the proteins required to deliver SLPs to the surface of Neisseria meningitidis, revealing a family of proteins that we have named the surface lipoprotein assembly modulator (Slam). N. meningitidis contains two Slam proteins, each exhibiting distinct substrate preferences. The Slam proteins are sufficient to reconstitute SLP transport in laboratory strains of Escherichia coli, which are otherwise unable to efficiently display these lipoproteins on their cell surface. Immunoprecipitation and domain probing experiments suggest that the SLP, TbpB, interacts with Slam during the transit process; furthermore, the membrane domain of Slam is sufficient for selectivity and proper surface display of SLPs. Rather than being a Neisseria-specific factor, our bioinformatic analysis shows that Slam can be found throughout proteobacterial genomes, indicating a conserved but until now unrecognized virulence mechanism. PMID:27572441

  5. Polynucleotide Phosphorylase Regulates Multiple Virulence Factors and the Stabilities of Small RNAs RsmY/Z in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Ronghao; Weng, Yuding; Zhu, Feng; Jin, Yongxin; Liu, Chang; Pan, Xiaolei; Xia, Bin; Cheng, Zhihui; Jin, Shouguang; Wu, Weihui

    2016-01-01

    Post-transcriptional regulation enables bacteria to quickly response to environmental stresses. Polynucleotide phosphorylase (PNPase), which contains an N-terminal catalytic core and C-terminal RNA binding KH-S1 domains, is involved in RNA processing. Here we demonstrate that in Pseudomonas aeruginosa the KH-S1 domains of PNPase are required for the type III secretion system (T3SS) and bacterial virulence. Transcriptome analysis revealed a pleiotropic role of PNPase in gene regulation. Particularly, the RNA level of exsA was decreased in the ΔKH-S1 mutant, which was responsible for the reduced T3SS expression. Meanwhile, the pilus biosynthesis genes were down regulated and the type VI secretion system (T6SS) genes were up regulated in the ΔKH-S1 mutant, which were caused by increased levels of small RNAs, RsmY, and RsmZ. Further studies revealed that deletion of the KH-S1 domains did not affect the transcription of RsmY/Z, but increased their stabilities. An in vivo pull-down and in vitro electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) demonstrated a direct interaction between RsmY/Z and the KH-S1 fragment. Overall, this study reveals the roles of PNPase in the regulation of virulence factors and stabilities of small RNAs in P. aeruginosa. PMID:26973625

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:26386492

  8. 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. PMID:26445498

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Effect of Helicobacter pylori and its Virulence Factors on Portal Hypertensive Gastropathy and Interleukin (IL)-8, IL-10, and Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha Levels

    PubMed Central

    Abbas, Zaigham; Yakoob, Javed; Usman, Muhammad W.; Shakir, Tanzila; Hamid, Saeed; Jafri, Wasim

    2014-01-01

    Background/Aim: We aimed to assess the influence of Helicobacter pylori and its virulent factors, cytotoxin associated gene (cag) A and E, on portal hypertensive gastropathy (PHG) and the levels of interleukin (IL)-8, IL-10, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). Patients and Methods: The patients with cirrhosis underwent screening endoscopy and the lesions related to PHG were graded. Biopsies were obtained for histology, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of H. pylori 16S rRNA, cagA, cagE, and tissue cytokine levels was carried out. Absent or mild PHG was compared with moderate to severe PHG. Results: One hundred and forty patients with cirrhosis were studied; males numbered 92 and the mean age of the patients was 50.3 ± 12.0 years, H. pylori positivity in 87 (62.1%) patients was associated with male gender (P = 0.032), younger age (P = 0.029), hepatitis D etiology (P = 0.005), higher serum albumin (0.000), lower Child Pugh score (P = 0.001), and lower portal vein diameter (P = 0.001). There was no significant difference in the levels of TNF-α and IL-8. However, a decrease in the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 was noted with moderate to severe gastropathy. Four H. pylori strains were positive for both cagA and cagE, while four were positive for cagA only. All the four patients with both virulent factors had mild gastropathy only. Conclusion: The presence of H. pylori infection neither affected the severity of PHG nor augmented the IL-8 and TNF-α levels. There was a decline of virulent H. pylori strains and IL-10 levels in patients with advanced PHG. PMID:24705150

  13. Invasiveness as a putative additional virulence mechanism of some atypical Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli strains with different uncommon intimin types

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) produce attaching/effacing (A/E) lesions on eukaryotic cells mediated by the outer membrane adhesin intimin. EPEC are sub-grouped into typical (tEPEC) and atypical (aEPEC). We have recently demonstrated that aEPEC strain 1551-2 (serotype O non-typable, non-motile) invades HeLa cells by a process dependent on the expression of intimin sub-type omicron. In this study, we evaluated whether aEPEC strains expressing other intimin sub-types are also invasive using the quantitative gentamicin protection assay. We also evaluated whether aEPEC invade differentiated intestinal T84 cells. Results Five of six strains invaded HeLa and T84 cells in a range of 13.3%–20.9% and 5.8%–17.8%, respectively, of the total cell-associated bacteria. The strains studied were significantly more invasive than prototype tEPEC strain E2348/69 (1.4% and 0.5% in HeLa and T84 cells, respectively). Invasiveness was confirmed by transmission electron microscopy. We also showed that invasion of HeLa cells by aEPEC 1551-2 depended on actin filaments, but not on microtubules. In addition, disruption of tight junctions enhanced its invasion efficiency in T84 cells, suggesting preferential invasion via a non-differentiated surface. Conclusion Some aEPEC strains may invade intestinal cells in vitro with varying efficiencies and independently of the intimin sub-type. PMID:19622141

  14. Occurrence of virulence factors and antimicrobial resistance in Pasteurella multocida strains isolated from slaughter cattle in Iran

    PubMed Central

    Khamesipour, Faham; Momtaz, Hassan; Azhdary Mamoreh, Morteza

    2014-01-01

    A total of 30 Pasteurella multocida strains isolated from 333 pneumonic and apparently health slaughter cattle were examined for capsule biosynthesis genes and 23 virulence-associated genes by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The disc diffusion technique was used to determine antimicrobial resistance profiles among the isolates. Of the isolates, 23 belonged to capsular type A, 5 to capsular type D and two isolates were untypeable. The distribution of the capsular types in pneumonic lungs and in apparently health lungs was statistically similar. All virulence genes tested were detected among the isolates derived from pneumonic lungs; whereas isolates derived from apparently health lungs carried 16 of the 23 genes. The frequently detected genes among isolates from pneumonic lungs were exbD, hgbA, hgbB, ompA, ompH, oma87, and sodC; whereas tadD, toxA, and pmHAS genes occurred less frequently. Most of the adhesins and superoxide dismutases; and all of the iron acquisition and protectin proteins occurred at significantly (p ≤ 0.05) higher frequencies in isolates from pneumonic lungs. Isolates from apparently healthy lungs didn't carry the following genes; hsf-1, hsf-2, tadD, toxA, nanB, nanH, and pmHAS. One adhesion (hsf-1) and two iron acquisition (exbD and tonB) genes occurred at significantly (p ≤ 0.05) higher frequencies among capA isolates. All the P. multocida isolates were susceptible to ciprofloxacin, co-trimoxazole, doxycycline, enrofloxacin, nitrofurantoin, and tetracyclines. Different proportions of the isolates were however resistant to ampicillin, amoxicillin, erythromycin, lincomycin, penicillin, rifampin, streptomycin, and florfenicol. Our results reveal presence of virulence factors (VFs) in P. multocida strains isolated from symptomatic and asymptomatic bovids. A higher frequency of the factors among isolates from symptomatic study animals may suggest their role in pathogenesis of P. multocida-associated bovine respiratory disease (BRD). The results

  15. Occurrence of virulence factors and antimicrobial resistance in Pasteurella multocida strains isolated from slaughter cattle in Iran.

    PubMed

    Khamesipour, Faham; Momtaz, Hassan; Azhdary Mamoreh, Morteza

    2014-01-01

    A total of 30 Pasteurella multocida strains isolated from 333 pneumonic and apparently health slaughter cattle were examined for capsule biosynthesis genes and 23 virulence-associated genes by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The disc diffusion technique was used to determine antimicrobial resistance profiles among the isolates. Of the isolates, 23 belonged to capsular type A, 5 to capsular type D and two isolates were untypeable. The distribution of the capsular types in pneumonic lungs and in apparently health lungs was statistically similar. All virulence genes tested were detected among the isolates derived from pneumonic lungs; whereas isolates derived from apparently health lungs carried 16 of the 23 genes. The frequently detected genes among isolates from pneumonic lungs were exbD, hgbA, hgbB, ompA, ompH, oma87, and sodC; whereas tadD, toxA, and pmHAS genes occurred less frequently. Most of the adhesins and superoxide dismutases; and all of the iron acquisition and protectin proteins occurred at significantly (p ≤ 0.05) higher frequencies in isolates from pneumonic lungs. Isolates from apparently healthy lungs didn't carry the following genes; hsf-1, hsf-2, tadD, toxA, nanB, nanH, and pmHAS. One adhesion (hsf-1) and two iron acquisition (exbD and tonB) genes occurred at significantly (p ≤ 0.05) higher frequencies among capA isolates. All the P. multocida isolates were susceptible to ciprofloxacin, co-trimoxazole, doxycycline, enrofloxacin, nitrofurantoin, and tetracyclines. Different proportions of the isolates were however resistant to ampicillin, amoxicillin, erythromycin, lincomycin, penicillin, rifampin, streptomycin, and florfenicol. Our results reveal presence of virulence factors (VFs) in P. multocida strains isolated from symptomatic and asymptomatic bovids. A higher frequency of the factors among isolates from symptomatic study animals may suggest their role in pathogenesis of P. multocida-associated bovine respiratory disease (BRD). The results

  16. 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.; Cabelli, Diane E.; Bruns, Cami K.; Belzer, Carol A.; Gorringe, Andrew R.; Langford, Paul R.; Tabatabai, Louisa B.; Kroll, J. Simon; et al

    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

  17. 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

  18. Identification of genetic bases of vibrio fluvialis species-specific biochemical pathways and potential virulence factors by comparative genomic analysis.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xin; Liang, Weili; Wang, Yunduan; Xu, Jialiang; Zhu, Jun; Kan, Biao

    2014-03-01

    Vibrio fluvialis is an important food-borne pathogen that causes diarrheal illness and sometimes extraintestinal infections in humans. In this study, we sequenced the genome of a clinical V. fluvialis strain and determined its phylogenetic relationships with other Vibrio species by comparative genomic analysis. We found that the closest relationship was between V. fluvialis and V. furnissii, followed by those with V. cholerae and V. mimicus. Moreover, based on genome comparisons and gene complementation experiments, we revealed genetic mechanisms of the biochemical tests that differentiate V. fluvialis from closely related species. Importantly, we identified a variety of genes encoding potential virulence factors, including multiple hemolysins, transcriptional regulators, and environmental survival and adaptation apparatuses, and the type VI secretion system, which is indicative of complex regulatory pathways modulating pathogenesis in this organism. The availability of V. fluvialis genome sequences may promote our understanding of pathogenic mechanisms for this emerging pathogen.

  19. 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)

  20. Serum IgG response in calves to the putative pneumonic virulence factor Gs60 of Mannheimia haemolytica A1.

    PubMed

    Orouji, Shahriar; Hodgins, Douglas C; Lo, Reggie Y C; Shewen, Patricia E

    2012-10-01

    Bovine pneumonic pasteurellosis vaccines incorporate various antigens of Mannheimia haemolytica, including the acknowledged virulence factor leukotoxin (Lkt), and Gs60, a surface lipoprotein. To examine the role of antibodies to Gs60 in protection, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed for retrospective analysis of serum samples from previous trials in which vaccines containing native or recombinant Gs60 were administered parenterally. The analysis revealed a positive correlation between the titer of antibodies to Gs60 and protection against experimental challenge in both vaccinates and naturally exposed controls. There was a strong correlation between production of IgG antibodies to Gs60 and Lkt neutralizing antibodies. Analysis of the relationship between the serum antibody titers and resistance to experimental challenge using linear statistical models revealed a significant association between prechallenge titers of serum antibodies to Lkt and protection. Further analysis suggested that antibodies against Gs60 were beneficial when Lkt neutralizing antibody titers were low.

  1. Characterisation of Escherichia coli isolates from the blood of haematological adult patients with bacteraemia: translocation from gut to blood requires the cooperation of multiple virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Krawczyk, B; Śledzińska, A; Szemiako, K; Samet, A; Nowicki, B; Kur, J

    2015-06-01

    The aim of the study was to investigate whether there are unique pathotypes of Escherichia coli capable of transmission from the gastrointestinal tract to the vascular bed. The study included E. coli strains isolated from clinical materials collected from 115 patients suffering from haematologic malignancies diagnosed with bacteraemia. The genotyping techniques established that 89 E. coli isolates from the blood had the same genotype as the E. coli from the patient's bowel. The presence of 21 genes encoding virulence factors typical of various E. coli pathotypes and their relationship with the phylogenetic group was established. One-dimensional analysis showed that the focG gene occurred more frequently in the control bowel group, while the ampicillin-resistant afa/dr E. coli were associated with bacteraemia. Blood isolates with the highest occurrence of virulence factors belonged to pathogenic group B2 and non-pathogenic group A. The co-occurrence of multiple genes encoding papC, sfa, usp and cnf1 virulence factors probably predisposes E. coli to translocation from the gastrointestinal tract to the vascular bed in the group of patients with haematologic malignancies. Based on clustering analysis, dominance of the most virulent strains assigned to the cluster with seven virulence factors encoded by the following genes, papC, sfaD/E, cnf1, usp, agn43, hlyA and iutA, was found. The obtained results enforce the previously proposed concept of bowel-blood translocation and further expand our hypothesis by defining the unique virulence characteristics of E. coli isolates, which predispose them to bowel colonisation or translocation and bacteraemia in this group of patients.

  2. Identification of a Novel Virulence Factor in Burkholderia cenocepacia H111 Required for Efficient Slow Killing of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Huber, Birgit; Feldmann, Friederike; Köthe, Manuela; Vandamme, Peter; Wopperer, Julia; Riedel, Kathrin; Eberl, Leo

    2004-01-01

    Burkholderia cenocepacia H111, which was isolated from a cystic fibrosis patient, employs a quorum-sensing (QS) system, encoded by cep, to control the expression of virulence factors as well as the formation of biofilms. The QS system is thought to ensure that pathogenic traits are expressed only when the bacterial population density is high enough to overwhelm the host before it is able to mount an efficient response. While the wild-type strain effectively kills the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the pathogenicity of mutants with defective quorum sensing is attenuated. To date, very little is known about the cep-regulated virulence factors required for nematode killing. Here we report the identification of a cep-regulated gene, whose predicted amino acid sequence is highly similar to the QS-regulated protein AidA of the plant pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum. By use of polyclonal antibodies directed against AidA, it is demonstrated that the protein is expressed in the late-exponential phase and accumulates during growth arrest. We show that B. cenocepacia H111 AidA is essential for slow killing of C. elegans but has little effect on fast killing, suggesting that the protein plays a role in the accumulation of the strain in the nematode gut. Thus, AidA appears to be required for establishing an infection-like process rather than acting as a toxin. Furthermore, evidence is provided that AidA is produced not only by B. cenocepacia but also by many other strains of the Burkholderia cepacia complex. PMID:15557647

  3. Fis is essential for capsule production in Pasteurella multocida and regulates expression of other important virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Steen, Jason A; Steen, Jennifer A; Harrison, Paul; Seemann, Torsten; Wilkie, Ian; Harper, Marina; Adler, Ben; Boyce, John D

    2010-02-05

    P. multocida is the causative agent of a wide range of diseases of animals, including fowl cholera in poultry and wild birds. Fowl cholera isolates of P. multocida generally express a capsular polysaccharide composed of hyaluronic acid. There have been reports of spontaneous capsule loss in P. multocida, but the mechanism by which this occurs has not been determined. In this study, we identified three independent strains that had spontaneously lost the ability to produce capsular polysaccharide. Quantitative RT-PCR showed that these strains had significantly reduced transcription of the capsule biosynthetic genes, but DNA sequence analysis identified no mutations within the capsule biosynthetic locus. However, whole-genome sequencing of paired capsulated and acapsular strains identified a single point mutation within the fis gene in the acapsular strain. Sequencing of fis from two independently derived spontaneous acapsular strains showed that each contained a mutation within fis. Complementation of these strains with an intact copy of fis, predicted to encode a transcriptional regulator, returned capsule expression to all strains. Therefore, expression of a functional Fis protein is essential for capsule expression in P. multocida. DNA microarray analysis of one of the spontaneous fis mutants identified approximately 30 genes as down-regulated in the mutant, including pfhB_2, which encodes a filamentous hemagglutinin, a known P. multocida virulence factor, and plpE, which encodes the cross protective surface antigen PlpE. Therefore these experiments define for the first time a mechanism for spontaneous capsule loss in P. multocida and identify Fis as a critical regulator of capsule expression. Furthermore, Fis is involved in the regulation of a range of other P. multocida genes including important virulence factors.

  4. Structural, functional and immunogenic insights on Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase pathogenic virulence factors from Neisseria meningitidis and Brucella abortus

    DOE PAGES

    Cabelli, Diane E.; Pratt, Ashley J.; DiDonato, Michael; Shin, David S.; Bruns, Cami K.; Belzer, Carol A.; Gorringe, Andrew R.; Langford, Paul R.; Tabatabai, Louisa B.; Kroll, J. Simon; et al

    2015-12-01

    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 themore » 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. Furthermore, 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.« less

  5. A Gly145Ser substitution in the transcriptional activator PrfA causes constitutive overexpression of virulence factors in Listeria monocytogenes.

    PubMed Central

    Ripio, M T; Domínguez-Bernal, G; Lara, M; Suárez, M; Vazquez-Boland, J A

    1997-01-01

    Virulence genes in Listeria monocytogenes are coordinately expressed under the control of the transcriptional activator PrfA, encoded by prfA, a member of the cyclic AMP (cAMP) receptor protein (CRP)/FNR family of bacterial regulators. Strain P14-A is a spontaneous mutant of L. monocytogenes serovar 4b which produces elevated levels of virulence factors (M. T. Ripio, G. Domínguez-Bernal, M. Suárez, K. Brehm, P. Berche, and J. A. Vázquez-Boland, Res. Microbiol. 147:371-384, 1996). Here we report that P14-A and other variant strains with the same phenotype carry a point mutation in codon 145 of prfA, leading to a Gly-->Ser substitution. trans-complementation experiments with PrfA-deficient mutants demonstrated that the Gly145Ser prfA allele causes overexpression of virulence factors in L. monocytogenes, to the levels found in the virulence factor-overexpressing variants. In strain P14-A with a chromosomal Glyl45Ser prfA background, transcription of prfA and of PrfA-dependent virulence genes remained constitutively high under culture conditions in which virulence factor expression is downregulated in wild-type L. monocytogenes. The Glyl45Ser substitution is located in a PrfA stretch (residues 141 to 151) showing high sequence similarity to the D alpha-helix of CRP. Interestingly, well-characterized crp* mutations, which make CRP functionally active in the absence of cAMP, map in this region (i.e., Gly141Ser and Ala144Thr substitutions). By analogy with the CRP model, the phenotype conferred to L. monocytogenes by the Gly145Ser substitution in PrfA could be due to the mutant regulatory protein being locked in a transcriptionally active, cofactor-independent conformational state. Our observations allow the construction of a model for PrfA-dependent virulence gene regulation in which the levels of virulence factor expression depend primarily on the conformational state of the PrfA protein, which alternates between active and inactive forms according to its interaction

  6. Stereoselective Synthesis of 1-Tuberculosinyl Adenosine; a Virulence Factor of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Buter, Jeffrey; Heijnen, Dorus; Wan, Ieng Chim; Bickelhaupt, F Matthias; Young, David C; Otten, Edwin; Moody, D Branch; Minnaard, Adriaan J

    2016-08-01

    Despite its status as one of the world's most prevalent and deadly bacterial pathogens, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection is not routinely diagnosed by rapid and highly reliable tests. A program to discover Mtb-specific biomarkers recently identified two natural compounds, 1-tuberculosinyl adenosine (1-TbAd) and N(6)-tuberculosinyl adenosine (N(6)-TbAd). Based on their association with virulence, the lack of similar compounds in nature, the presence of multiple stereocenters, and the need for abundant products to develop diagnostic tests, synthesis of these compounds was considered to be of high value but challenging. Here, a multigram-scale stereoselective synthesis of 1-TbAd and N(6)-TbAd is described. As a key-step, a chiral auxiliary-mediated Diels-Alder cycloaddition was developed, introducing the three stereocenters with a high exo endo ratio (10:1) and excellent enantioselectivity (>98% ee). This constitutes the first entry into the stereoselective synthesis of diterpenes with the halimane skeleton. Computational studies explain the observed stereochemical outcome. PMID:27398789

  7. 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

  8. Quorum-sensing-regulated virulence factors in Pseudomonas aeruginosa are toxic to Lucilia sericata maggots

    PubMed Central

    Andersen, A. S.; Joergensen, B.; Bjarnsholt, T.; Johansen, H.; Karlsmark, T.; Givskov, M.; Krogfelt, K. A.

    2010-01-01

    Maggot debridement therapy (MDT) is widely used for debridement of chronic infected wounds; however, for wounds harbouring specific bacteria limited effect or failure of the treatment has been described. Here we studied the survival of Lucilia sericata maggots encountering Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 in a simple assay with emphasis on the quorum-sensing (QS)-regulated virulence. The maggots were challenged with GFP-tagged P. aeruginosa wild-type (WT) PAO1 and a GFP-tagged P. aeruginosa ΔlasR rhlR (ΔRR) QS-deficient mutant in different concentrations. Maggots were killed in the presence of WT PAO1 whereas the challenge with the QS mutant showed a survival reduction of ∼25 % compared to negative controls. Furthermore, bacterial intake by the maggots was lower in the presence of WT PAO1 compared to the PAO1 ΔRR mutant. Maggot excretions/secretions (ES) were assayed for the presence of QS inhibitors; only high doses of ES showed inhibition of QS in P. aeruginosa. Thus P. aeruginosa was shown to be toxic to L. sericata maggots. This, coupled to the preferential feeding by the maggots and reduced ingestion of P. aeruginosa, could explain MDT failure in wounds colonized by P. aeruginosa. Wounds heavily colonized with P. aeruginosa should be a counterindication for MDT unless used in combination with a pre-treatment with other topical therapeutics targeting P. aeruginosa. PMID:19892758

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Differential host susceptibility and bacterial virulence factors driving Klebsiella liver abscess in an ethnically diverse population.

    PubMed

    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

  12. Genome sequence of the enterobacterial phytopathogen Erwinia carotovora subsp. atroseptica and characterization of virulence factors

    PubMed Central

    Bell, K. S.; Sebaihia, M.; Pritchard, L.; Holden, M. T. G.; Hyman, L. J.; Holeva, M. C.; Thomson, N. R.; Bentley, S. D.; Churcher, L. J. C.; Mungall, K.; Atkin, R.; Bason, N.; Brooks, K.; Chillingworth, T.; Clark, K.; Doggett, J.; Fraser, A.; Hance, Z.; Hauser, H.; Jagels, K.; Moule, S.; Norbertczak, H.; Ormond, D.; Price, C.; Quail, M. A.; Sanders, M.; Walker, D.; Whitehead, S.; Salmond, G. P. C.; Birch, P. R. J.; Parkhill, J.; Toth, I. K.

    2004-01-01

    The bacterial family Enterobacteriaceae is notable for its well studied human pathogens, including Salmonella, Yersinia, Shigella, and Escherichia spp. However, it also contains several plant pathogens. We report the genome sequence of a plant pathogenic enterobacterium, Erwinia carotovora subsp. atroseptica (Eca) strain SCRI1043, the causative agent of soft rot and blackleg potato diseases. Approximately 33% of Eca genes are not shared with sequenced enterobacterial human pathogens, including some predicted to facilitate unexpected metabolic traits, such as nitrogen fixation and opine catabolism. This proportion of genes also contains an overrepresentation of pathogenicity determinants, including possible horizontally acquired gene clusters for putative type IV secretion and polyketide phytotoxin synthesis. To investigate whether these gene clusters play a role in the disease process, an arrayed set of insertional mutants was generated, and mutations were identified. Plant bioassays showed that these mutants were significantly reduced in virulence, demonstrating both the presence of novel pathogenicity determinants in Eca, and the impact of functional genomics in expanding our understanding of phytopathogenicity in the Enterobacteriaceae. PMID:15263089

  13. 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). PMID:27345125

  14. Artemisia princeps Inhibits Biofilm Formation and Virulence-Factor Expression of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.

    PubMed

    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.

  15. 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

  16. Quorum-sensing-regulated virulence factors in Pseudomonas aeruginosa are toxic to Lucilia sericata maggots.

    PubMed

    Andersen, A S; Joergensen, B; Bjarnsholt, T; Johansen, H; Karlsmark, T; Givskov, M; Krogfelt, K A

    2010-02-01

    Maggot debridement therapy (MDT) is widely used for debridement of chronic infected wounds; however, for wounds harbouring specific bacteria limited effect or failure of the treatment has been described. Here we studied the survival of Lucilia sericata maggots encountering Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 in a simple assay with emphasis on the quorum-sensing (QS)-regulated virulence. The maggots were challenged with GFP-tagged P. aeruginosa wild-type (WT) PAO1 and a GFP-tagged P. aeruginosa DeltalasR rhlR (DeltaRR) QS-deficient mutant in different concentrations. Maggots were killed in the presence of WT PAO1 whereas the challenge with the QS mutant showed a survival reduction of approximately 25 % compared to negative controls. Furthermore, bacterial intake by the maggots was lower in the presence of WT PAO1 compared to the PAO1 DeltaRR mutant. Maggot excretions/secretions (ES) were assayed for the presence of QS inhibitors; only high doses of ES showed inhibition of QS in P. aeruginosa. Thus P. aeruginosa was shown to be toxic to L. sericata maggots. This, coupled to the preferential feeding by the maggots and reduced ingestion of P. aeruginosa, could explain MDT failure in wounds colonized by P. aeruginosa. Wounds heavily colonized with P. aeruginosa should be a counterindication for MDT unless used in combination with a pre-treatment with other topical therapeutics targeting P. aeruginosa.

  17. 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.

  18. Identification of a Serratia marcescens virulence factor that promotes hemolymph bleeding in the silkworm, Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Ishii, Kenichi; Adachi, Tatsuo; Hara, Takashi; Hamamoto, Hiroshi; Sekimizu, Kazuhisa

    2014-03-01

    Injection of culture supernatant of Serratia marcescens, a Gram-negative bacterium pathogenic to a wide range of host animals including insects and mammals, into the hemolymph of silkworm (Bombyx mori) larvae led to continuous flow of the hemolymph (blood of insects) from the injection site. The amount of hemolymph lost within 60 min reached 15-20% of the total larval weight. Using a bioassay with live silkworms, we purified Serralysin, a metalloprotease that requires divalent cations for its activity, as the factor responsible for the promotion of hemolymph bleeding from the culture supernatant of S. marcescens. Recombinant protein also induced hemolymph bleeding in silkworms. Moreover, the culture supernatant of an S. marcescens disruption mutant of the ser gene showed attenuated ability to promote hemolymph bleeding. In addition, this bleeding-promoting activity of the S. marcescens culture supernatant was attenuated by disruption of the wecA gene, which is involved in the biosynthesis of the lipopolysaccharide O-antigen. These findings suggest that Serralysin metalloprotease contributes to the pathogenesis of S. marcescens by inhibiting wound healing, which leads to a massive loss of hemolymph from silkworm larvae.

  19. Staphylococcus aureus Hemolysins, bi-component Leukocidins, and Cytolytic Peptides: A Redundant Arsenal of Membrane-Damaging Virulence Factors?

    PubMed Central

    Vandenesch, François; Lina, G.; Henry, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    One key aspect of the virulence of Staphylococcus aureus lies in its ability to target the host cell membrane with a large number of membrane-damaging toxins and peptides. In this review, we describe the hemolysins, the bi-component leukocidins (which include the Panton Valentine leukocidin, LukAB/GH, and LukED), and the cytolytic peptides (phenol soluble modulins). While at first glance, all of these factors might appear redundant, it is now clear that some of these factors play specific roles in certain S. aureus life stages and diseases or target specific cell types or species. In this review, we present an update of the literature on toxin receptors and their cell type and species specificities. Furthermore, we review epidemiological studies and animal models illustrating the role of these membrane-damaging factors in various diseases. Finally, we emphasize the interplay of these factors with the host immune system and highlight all their non-lytic functions. PMID:22919604

  20. Expression of trypsin modulating oostatic factor (TMOF) in an entomopathogenic fungus increases its virulence towards Anopheles gambiae and reduces fecundity in the target mosquito

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Adult and larval mosquitoes regulate food digestion in their gut with trypsin modulating oostatic factor (TMOF), a decapeptide hormone synthesized by the ovaries and the neuroendocrine system. TMOF is currently being developed as a mosquitocide, however, delivery of the peptide to the mosquito remains a significant challenge. Entomopathogenic fungi offer a means for targeting mosquitoes with TMOF. Findings The efficacy of wild type and transgenic Beauveria bassiana strains expressing Aedes aegypti TMOF (Bb-Aa1) were evaluated against larvae and sugar- and blood-fed adult Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes using insect bioassays. Bb-Aa1 displayed increased virulence against larvae, and sugar and blood fed adult A. gambiae when compared to the wild type parent strain. Median lethal dose (LD50) values decreased by ~20% for larvae, and ~40% for both sugar and blood-fed mosquitoes using Bb-Aa1 relative to the wild type parent. Median lethal time (LT50) values were lower for blood-fed compared to sugar-fed mosquitoes in infections with both wild type and Bb-Aa1. However, infection using Bb-Aa1 resulted in 15% to 25% reduction in LT50 values for sugar- and blood fed mosquitoes, and ~27% for larvae, respectively, relative to the wild type parent. In addition, infection with Bb-Aa1 resulted in a dramatic reduction in fecundity of the target mosquitoes. Conclusions B. bassiana expressing Ae. aegypti TMOF exhibited increased virulence against A. gambiae compared to the wild type strain. These data expand the range and utility of entomopathogenic fungi expressing mosquito-specific molecules to improve their biological control activities against mosquito vectors of disease. PMID:23336669

  1. 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. PMID:21864997

  2. Genetic and Genomic Dissection of the Cochliobolus heterostrophus Tox1 Locus Controlling Biosynthesis of the Polyketide Virulence Factor T-toxin

    SciTech Connect

    Turgeon, Barbara G.; Baker, Scott E.

    2007-04-27

    Fungal pathogenesis to plants is an intricate developmental process requiring biological components found in most fungi, as well as factors that are unique to fungal taxa that participate in particular fungus–plant interactions. The host-selective polyketide toxin known as T-toxin produced by Cochliobolus heterostrophus race T, a highly virulent pathogen of maize, is an intriguing example of the latter type of virulence determinant. The Tox1 locus, which controls biosynthesis of T-toxin, originally defined as a single genetic locus, it is, in fact, two exceedingly complex loci on two chromosomes that are reciprocally translocated with respect to their counterparts in weakly pathogenic race O. Race O lacks the Tox1 locus and does not produce T-toxin. Highly virulent race T was first recognized when it caused an epidemic of Southern Corn Leaf Blight, which devastated the US corn crop in 1970. The evolutionary origin of the Tox1 locus remains unknown.

  3. 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

  4. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of BipD, a virulence factor from Burkholderia pseudomallei

    SciTech Connect

    Knight, M. J.; Ruaux, A.; Mikolajek, H.; Erskine, P. T.; Gill, R.; Wood, S. P.; Wood, M.; Cooper, J. B.

    2006-08-01

    BipD is likely to be a component of a type-III protein secretion system (TTSS) in B. pseudomallei. Native and selenomethionyl-BipD proteins have been expressed and crystals have been obtained which diffract to 2.1 Å. Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis, possesses a protein-secretion apparatus that is similar to those found in Salmonella and Shigella. A major function of these secretion systems is to secrete virulence-associated proteins into target cells of the host organism. The BipD gene of B. pseudomallei encodes a secreted virulence factor that is similar in sequence and most likely functionally analogous to IpaD from Shigella and SipD from Salmonella. Thus, the BipD protein is likely to be a component of a type III protein-secretion system (TTSS) in B. pseudomallei. Proteins in the same class as BipD, such as IpaD and SipD, are thought to act as extracellular chaperones to help the hydrophobic translocator proteins enter the target cell membrane, where they form a pore and might even link the translocon pore with the secretion needle. There is evidence that the translocator proteins also bind an integrin which stimulates actin-mediated insertion of the bacterium into the host-cell membrane. Native BipD has been crystallized in a monoclinic crystal form that diffracts X-rays to 2.5 Å resolution. BipD protein which incorporates selenomethionine (SeMet-BipD) has also been expressed and forms crystals which diffract to a higher resolution of 2.1 Å.

  5. Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolated from Iranian hospitals: virulence factors and antibiotic resistance properties.

    PubMed

    Momtaz, Hassan; Hafezi, Laleh

    2014-10-05

    Staphylococcus aureus is an important opportunistic pathogen responsible for a variety of diseases. Indiscriminate prescription of antibiotics caused severe antibiotic resistance especially against commonly used drugs. The present investigation was carried out to study the distribution of Panton-Valentine Leukocidin gene, SCCmec types and antibiotic resistance properties of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolated from Iranian hospitals. A total of 132 clinical specimens were collected from two major Iranian hospitals. Samples were cultured and their positive results were subjected to several PCR methods. The patterns of antibiotic resistance were studied using the disk diffusion method. We found that 66 out of 132 samples (50%) were positive for Staphylococcus aureus. The most commonly infected samples were superficial and surgical wounds (66.12%). The incidence of mecA, tetK, ermA, ermC, tetM, aacA-D, linA, msrA, vatA, vatC and vatB antibiotic resistance genes were 80.30%, 34.84%, 30.30%, 25.75%, 24.24%, 19.69%, 7.57%, 7.57%, 6.06%, 3.03% and 1.51%, respectively. Totally, 40.90% of isolates harbored the Panton-Valentine Leukocidin gene. Of 53 mec positive strains, the distribution of SCCmec V, SCCmec III, SCCmec IVa, SCCmec IVc and SCCmec IVb were 28 (52.83%), 13 (24.52%), 6 (11.32%), 4 (7.54%) and 2 (3.77%), respectively. All isolates were resistant to penicillin, cephalothin, cefazoline and ceftriaxone. The high levels of Staphylococcus aureus resistance against commonly used antibiotics as well as high presence of SCCmec types of meticillin-resistant virulent strains of Staphylococcus aureus suggest that infections with these strains require more advanced hospital care with emerging demand for novel antibiotics.

  6. The Chlamydia trachomatis plasmid is a transcriptional regulator of chromosomal genes and a virulence factor.

    PubMed

    Carlson, John H; Whitmire, William M; Crane, Deborah D; Wicke, Luke; Virtaneva, Kimmo; Sturdevant, Daniel E; Kupko, John J; Porcella, Stephen F; Martinez-Orengo, Neysha; Heinzen, Robert A; Kari, Laszlo; Caldwell, Harlan D

    2008-06-01

    Chlamydia trachomatis possesses a cryptic 7.5-kb plasmid of unknown function. Here, we describe a comprehensive molecular and biological characterization of the naturally occurring plasmidless human C. trachomatis strain L2(25667R). We found that despite minimal chromosomal polymorphisms, the LGV strain L2(25667R) was indistinguishable from plasmid-positive strain L2(434) with regard to its in vitro infectivity characteristics such as growth kinetics, plaquing efficiency, and plaque size. The only in vitro phenotypic differences between L2(434) and L2(25667R) were the accumulation of glycogen granules in the inclusion matrix and the lack of the typical intrainclusion Brownian-like movement characteristic of C. trachomatis strains. Conversely, we observed a marked difference between the two strains in their abilities to colonize and infect the female mouse genital tract. The 50% infective dose of plasmidless strain L2(25667R) was 400-fold greater (4 x 10(6) inclusion-forming units [IFU]) than that of plasmid-bearing strain L2(434) (1 x 10(4) IFU). Transcriptome analysis of the two strains demonstrated a decrease in the transcript levels of a subset of chromosomal genes for strain L2(25667R). Among those genes was glgA, encoding glycogen synthase, a finding consistent with the failure of L2(25667R) to accumulate glycogen granules. These findings support a primary role for the plasmid in in vivo infectivity and suggest that virulence is controlled, at least in part, by the plasmid's ability to regulate the expression of chromosomal genes. Our findings have important implications in understanding a role for the plasmid in the pathogenesis of human infection and disease.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Genotypes, antibiotic resistance, and virulence factors of staphylococci from ready-to-eat food.

    PubMed

    Podkowik, Magdalena; Bystroń, Jarosław; Bania, Jacek

    2012-01-01

    Sixty-seven staphylococcal isolates belonging to 12 species were obtained from 70 ready-to-eat food products. Staphylococcus aureus (n=25), and Staphylococcus epidermidis (n=13) were dominant. Susceptibility to penicillin, oxacillin, tetracycline, clindamycin, gentamicin, erythromycin, ciprofloxacin, and vancomycin was determined. All investigated S. aureus isolates were resistant to at least one antibiotic, and fifteen isolates were resistant to four and more antibiotics. Thirty-eight coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) isolates were resistant to at least one antibiotic, and seventeen to four and more antibiotics. Fifteen CNS isolates were mecA positive, and grew in the presence of 6 μg/mL oxacillin. All S. aureus isolates were mecA-negative. Arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME) was found in seven S. epidermidis isolates. Five S. epidermidis isolates harbored ica operon, ACME and were able to form biofilm. Three of them also possessed IS256 element and were mecA-positive. The expression of icaA gene was comparable in five ica-positive S. epidermidis isolates. One of six mecA positive S. epidermidis isolates was classified as sequence type (ST)155, one as ST110, and two as ST88. Two methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermis (MRSE) belonged to new STs, that is, ST362, and ST363. Enterotoxin genes were found in 92% of S. aureus isolates. No enterotoxin gene was detected in analyzed CNS population. We show that ready-to-eat products are an important source of antibiotic-resistant CNS and potentially virulent strains of S. epidermidis, including genotypes undistinguishable from hospital-adapted clones. PMID:21988402

  10. Global effect of indole-3-acetic acid biosynthesis on multiple virulence factors of Erwinia chrysanthemi 3937.

    PubMed

    Yang, Shihui; Zhang, Qiu; Guo, Jianhua; Charkowski, Amy O; Glick, Bernard R; Ibekwe, A Mark; Cooksey, Donald A; Yang, Ching-Hong

    2007-02-01

    Production of the plant hormone indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) is widespread among plant-associated microorganisms. The non-gall-forming phytopathogen Erwinia chrysanthemi 3937 (strain Ech3937) possesses iaaM (ASAP16562) and iaaH (ASAP16563) gene homologues. In this work, the null knockout iaaM mutant strain Ech138 was constructed. The IAA production by Ech138 was reduced in M9 minimal medium supplemented with l-tryptophan. Compared with wild-type Ech3937, Ech138 exhibited reduced ability to produce local maceration, but its multiplication in Saintpaulia ionantha was unaffected. The pectate lyase production of Ech138 was diminished. Compared with wild-type Ech3937, the expression levels of an oligogalacturonate lyase gene, ogl, and three endopectate lyase genes, pelD, pelI, and pelL, were reduced in Ech138 as determined by a green fluorescent protein-based fluorescence-activated cell sorting promoter activity assay. In addition, the transcription of type III secretion system (T3SS) genes, dspE (a putative T3SS effector) and hrpN (T3SS harpin), was found to be diminished in the iaaM mutant Ech138. Compared with Ech3937, reduced expression of hrpL (a T3SS alternative sigma factor) and gacA but increased expression of rsmA in Ech138 was also observed, suggesting that the regulation of T3SS and pectate lyase genes by IAA biosynthesis might be partially due to the posttranscriptional regulation of the Gac-Rsm regulatory pathway. PMID:17189441

  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. Effect of phosphatidylcholine-cholesterol liposomes on Entamoeba histolytica virulence.

    PubMed

    Serrano-Luna, Jesús; Gutiérrez-Meza, Manuel; Mejía-Zepeda, Ricardo; Galindo-Gómez, Silvia; Tsutsumi, Víctor; Shibayama, Mineko

    2010-12-01

    Trophozoites of Entamoeba histolytica HM-1:IMSS become less virulent after long-term maintenance in axenic cultures. The factors responsible for the loss of virulence during in vitro cultivation remain unclear. However, it is known that in vitro cultivation of amoeba in culture medium supplemented with cholesterol restores their virulence. In this study, we analyzed the effect of adding phosphatidylcholine-cholesterol (PC-Chol) liposomes to the culture medium and evaluated the effect of this lipid on various biochemical and biological functions of E. histolytica HM-1:IMSS in terms of its virulence. The addition of PC-Chol liposomes to the culture medium maintained the virulence of these parasites against hamster liver at the same level as the original virulent E. histolytica strain, even though these amoebae were maintained without passage through hamster liver for 18 months. The trophozoites also showed increased endocytosis, erythrophagocytosis, and carbohydrate residue expression on the amoebic surface. Protease activities were also modified by the presence of cholesterol in the culture medium. These findings indicate the capacity of cholesterol to preserve amoeba virulence and provide an alternative method for the maintenance of virulent E. histolytica trophozoites without the need for in vivo procedures.

  13. AP-42 ADDITIONS AND REVISIONS - TRANSPORTABILITY FACTORS FOR FUGITIVE DUST

    EPA Science Inventory

    The product is a table of factors, one for each county in the US, reflecting the portion of fugitive dust removed very close to the source via impaction on vegetation and similar mechanisms. Factors were based on land cover in area (county or grid cell) A praft final product was...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Parasitoid wasp virulence

    PubMed Central

    Mortimer, Nathan T

    2013-01-01

    In nature, larvae of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster are commonly infected by parasitoid wasps. Following infection, flies mount an immune response termed cellular encapsulation in which fly immune cells form a multilayered capsule that covers and kills the wasp egg. Parasitoids have thus evolved virulence factors to suppress cellular encapsulation. To uncover the molecular mechanisms underlying the antiwasp response, we and others have begun identifying and functionally characterizing these virulence factors. Our recent work on the Drosophila parasitoid Ganaspis sp.1 has demonstrated that a virulence factor encoding a SERCA-type calcium pump plays an important role in Ganaspis sp.1 virulence. This venom SERCA antagonizes fly immune cell calcium signaling and thereby prevents the activation of the encapsulation response. In this way, the study of wasp virulence factors has revealed a novel aspect of fly immunity, namely a role for calcium signaling in fly immune cell activation, which is conserved with human immunity, again illustrating the marked conservation between fly and mammalian immune responses. Our findings demonstrate that the cellular encapsulation response can serve as a model of immune cell function and can also provide valuable insight into basic cell biological processes. PMID:24088661

  19. Serotypes, virulence factors, and antimicrobial susceptibilities of vaginal and fecal isolates of Escherichia coli from giant pandas.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xin; Yan, Qigui; Xia, Xiaodong; Zhang, Yanming; Li, Desheng; Wang, Chengdong; Chen, Shijie; Hou, Rong

    2013-09-01

    Although Escherichia coli typically colonizes the intestinal tract and vagina of giant pandas, it has caused enteric and systemic disease in giant pandas and greatly impacts the health and survival of this endangered species. In order to understand the distribution and characteristics of E. coli from giant pandas, 67 fecal and 30 vaginal E. coli isolates from 21 giant pandas were characterized for O serogroups, phylogenetic groups, antimicrobial susceptibilities, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) profiles. In addition, these isolates were tested for the presence of extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC) and diarrheagenic E. coli (DEC) by multiplex PCR detection of specific virulence genes. The most prevalent serogroups for all E. coli isolates were O88, O18, O167, O4, and O158. ExPEC isolates were detected mostly in vaginal samples, and DEC isolates were detected only in fecal samples. Phylogenetic group B1 predominated in fecal isolates, while groups B2 and D were frequently detected in vaginal isolates. Resistance to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole was most frequently observed, followed by resistance to nalidixic acid and tetracycline. All except five isolates were typeable by using XbaI and were categorized into 74 PFGE patterns. Our findings indicate that panda E. coli isolates exhibited antimicrobial resistance, and potentially pathogenic E. coli isolates were present in giant pandas. In addition, these E. coli isolates were genetically diverse. This study may provide helpful information for developing strategies in the future to control E. coli infections of giant pandas. PMID:23793635

  20. Serotypes, Virulence Factors, and Antimicrobial Susceptibilities of Vaginal and Fecal Isolates of Escherichia coli from Giant Pandas

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xin; Xia, Xiaodong; Li, Desheng; Wang, Chengdong; Chen, Shijie; Hou, Rong

    2013-01-01

    Although Escherichia coli typically colonizes the intestinal tract and vagina of giant pandas, it has caused enteric and systemic disease in giant pandas and greatly impacts the health and survival of this endangered species. In order to understand the distribution and characteristics of E. coli from giant pandas, 67 fecal and 30 vaginal E. coli isolates from 21 giant pandas were characterized for O serogroups, phylogenetic groups, antimicrobial susceptibilities, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) profiles. In addition, these isolates were tested for the presence of extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC) and diarrheagenic E. coli (DEC) by multiplex PCR detection of specific virulence genes. The most prevalent serogroups for all E. coli isolates were O88, O18, O167, O4, and O158. ExPEC isolates were detected mostly in vaginal samples, and DEC isolates were detected only in fecal samples. Phylogenetic group B1 predominated in fecal isolates, while groups B2 and D were frequently detected in vaginal isolates. Resistance to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole was most frequently observed, followed by resistance to nalidixic acid and tetracycline. All except five isolates were typeable by using XbaI and were categorized into 74 PFGE patterns. Our findings indicate that panda E. coli isolates exhibited antimicrobial resistance, and potentially pathogenic E. coli isolates were present in giant pandas. In addition, these E. coli isolates were genetically diverse. This study may provide helpful information for developing strategies in the future to control E. coli infections of giant pandas. PMID:23793635

  1. Serotypes, virulence factors, and antimicrobial susceptibilities of vaginal and fecal isolates of Escherichia coli from giant pandas.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xin; Yan, Qigui; Xia, Xiaodong; Zhang, Yanming; Li, Desheng; Wang, Chengdong; Chen, Shijie; Hou, Rong

    2013-09-01

    Although Escherichia coli typically colonizes the intestinal tract and vagina of giant pandas, it has caused enteric and systemic disease in giant pandas and greatly impacts the health and survival of this endangered species. In order to understand the distribution and characteristics of E. coli from giant pandas, 67 fecal and 30 vaginal E. coli isolates from 21 giant pandas were characterized for O serogroups, phylogenetic groups, antimicrobial susceptibilities, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) profiles. In addition, these isolates were tested for the presence of extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC) and diarrheagenic E. coli (DEC) by multiplex PCR detection of specific virulence genes. The most prevalent serogroups for all E. coli isolates were O88, O18, O167, O4, and O158. ExPEC isolates were detected mostly in vaginal samples, and DEC isolates were detected only in fecal samples. Phylogenetic group B1 predominated in fecal isolates, while groups B2 and D were frequently detected in vaginal isolates. Resistance to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole was most frequently observed, followed by resistance to nalidixic acid and tetracycline. All except five isolates were typeable by using XbaI and were categorized into 74 PFGE patterns. Our findings indicate that panda E. coli isolates exhibited antimicrobial resistance, and potentially pathogenic E. coli isolates were present in giant pandas. In addition, these E. coli isolates were genetically diverse. This study may provide helpful information for developing strategies in the future to control E. coli infections of giant pandas.

  2. AsnB, regulated by diffusible signal factor and global regulator Clp, is involved in aspartate metabolism, resistance to oxidative stress and virulence in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola.

    PubMed

    Qian, Guoliang; Liu, Chunhui; Wu, Guichun; Yin, Fangqun; Zhao, Yancun; Zhou, Yijing; Zhang, Yanbing; Song, Zhiwei; Fan, Jiaqin; Hu, Baishi; Liu, Fengquan

    2013-02-01

    Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola (Xoc) causes bacterial leaf streak in rice, which is a destructive disease worldwide. Xoc virulence factors are regulated by diffusible signal factor (DSF) and the global regulator Clp. In this study, we have demonstrated that asnB (XOC_3054), encoding an asparagine synthetase, is a novel virulence-related gene regulated by both DSF and Clp in Xoc. A sequence analysis revealed that AsnB is highly conserved in Xanthomonas. An asnB mutation in Xoc dramatically impaired pathogen virulence and growth rate in host rice, but did not affect the ability to trigger the hypersensitive response in nonhost (plant) tobacco. Compared with the wild-type strain, the asnB deletion mutant was unable to grow in basic MMX (-) medium (a minimal medium without ammonium sulphate as the nitrogen source) with or without 10 tested nitrogen sources, except asparagine. The disruption of asnB impaired pathogen resistance to oxidative stress and reduced the transcriptional expression of oxyR, katA and katG, which encode three important proteins responsible for hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) sensing and detoxification in Xanthomonas in the presence of H(2)O(2), and nine important known Xoc virulence-related genes in plant cell-mimicking medium. Furthermore, the asnB mutation did not affect extracellular protease activity, extracellular polysaccharide production, motility or chemotaxis. Taken together, our results demonstrate the role of asnB in Xanthomonas for the first time.

  3. 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

  4. 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

    Haidar, Malak; Echebli, Nadia; Ding, Ying; Kamau, Everlyn; Langsley, Gordon

    2015-05-01

    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.

  5. 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....

  6. Induction of virulence factors, apoptosis, and cytokines in precision-cut hamster liver slices infected with Entamoeba histolytica.

    PubMed

    Carranza-Rosales, Pilar; Santiago-Mauricio, María Guadalupe; Guzmán-Delgado, Nancy Elena; Vargas-Villarreal, Javier; Lozano-Garza, Gerardo; Viveros-Valdez, Ezequiel; Ortiz-López, Rocío; Morán-Martínez, Javier; Gandolfi, A Jay

    2012-12-01

    Precision-cut liver slices (PCLS) are mainly used to evaluate hepatotoxicity and metabolism of chemicals, as well as to study mechanisms of liver damage and repair. However, recently they have been used as a system to study amoebic infections. The aim of this study was to validate this model as an alternative for experimental amoebic liver absess (ALA) in animals. To do this, the PCLS was analyzed for the expression of amoebapore and cysteine proteinases 1 and 5, three of the most studied virulence factors of Entamoeba histolytica, as well as the induction of apoptosis and cytokines production in response to the ex vivo infection. PCHLS were prepared with the Brendel-Vitron tissue slicer and then, infected with 200,000 trophozoites of E. histolytica. Samples were taken at 0, 6, 12, 18, and 24 h and compared to control non-infected slices. Morphological studies were performed in order to verify the infection; while apoptosis was studied by TUNEL and PAS techniques. The expression of cysteine proteinases (1 and 5), and amoebapore, was analyzed by real-time PCR. By using ELISA assays, the production of cytokines was also studied. PCHLS were found to be a reproducible infection system, and E. histolytica caused the expression of cysteine proteinases and amoebapore in infected slices. At the same time, trophozoites induce release of cytokines and apoptotic death of the hepatocytes close to them. PCHLS represent a new and suitable alternative model to study the pathogenesis of hepatic amoebiasis.

  7. Induction of virulence factors, apoptosis, and cytokines in precision-cut hamster liver slices infected with Entamoeba histolytica.

    PubMed

    Carranza-Rosales, Pilar; Santiago-Mauricio, María Guadalupe; Guzmán-Delgado, Nancy Elena; Vargas-Villarreal, Javier; Lozano-Garza, Gerardo; Viveros-Valdez, Ezequiel; Ortiz-López, Rocío; Morán-Martínez, Javier; Gandolfi, A Jay

    2012-12-01

    Precision-cut liver slices (PCLS) are mainly used to evaluate hepatotoxicity and metabolism of chemicals, as well as to study mechanisms of liver damage and repair. However, recently they have been used as a system to study amoebic infections. The aim of this study was to validate this model as an alternative for experimental amoebic liver absess (ALA) in animals. To do this, the PCLS was analyzed for the expression of amoebapore and cysteine proteinases 1 and 5, three of the most studied virulence factors of Entamoeba histolytica, as well as the induction of apoptosis and cytokines production in response to the ex vivo infection. PCHLS were prepared with the Brendel-Vitron tissue slicer and then, infected with 200,000 trophozoites of E. histolytica. Samples were taken at 0, 6, 12, 18, and 24 h and compared to control non-infected slices. Morphological studies were performed in order to verify the infection; while apoptosis was studied by TUNEL and PAS techniques. The expression of cysteine proteinases (1 and 5), and amoebapore, was analyzed by real-time PCR. By using ELISA assays, the production of cytokines was also studied. PCHLS were found to be a reproducible infection system, and E. histolytica caused the expression of cysteine proteinases and amoebapore in infected slices. At the same time, trophozoites induce release of cytokines and apoptotic death of the hepatocytes close to them. PCHLS represent a new and suitable alternative model to study the pathogenesis of hepatic amoebiasis. PMID:23043979

  8. Pseudomonas fluorescens Filamentous Hemagglutinin, an Iron-Regulated Protein, Is an Important Virulence Factor that Modulates Bacterial Pathogenicity.

    PubMed

    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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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