Science.gov

Sample records for bacillus anthracis lethality

  1. Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin reduces human alveolar epithelial barrier function.

    PubMed

    Langer, Marybeth; Duggan, Elizabeth Stewart; Booth, John Leland; Patel, Vineet Indrajit; Zander, Ryan A; Silasi-Mansat, Robert; Ramani, Vijay; Veres, Tibor Zoltan; Prenzler, Frauke; Sewald, Katherina; Williams, Daniel M; Coggeshall, Kenneth Mark; Awasthi, Shanjana; Lupu, Florea; Burian, Dennis; Ballard, Jimmy Dale; Braun, Armin; Metcalf, Jordan Patrick

    2012-12-01

    The lung is the site of entry for Bacillus anthracis in inhalation anthrax, the deadliest form of the disease. Bacillus anthracis produces virulence toxins required for disease. Alveolar macrophages were considered the primary target of the Bacillus anthracis virulence factor lethal toxin because lethal toxin inhibits mouse macrophages through cleavage of MEK signaling pathway components, but we have reported that human alveolar macrophages are not a target of lethal toxin. Our current results suggest that, unlike human alveolar macrophages, the cells lining the respiratory units of the lung, alveolar epithelial cells, are a target of lethal toxin in humans. Alveolar epithelial cells expressed lethal toxin receptor protein, bound the protective antigen component of lethal toxin, and were subject to lethal-toxin-induced cleavage of multiple MEKs. These findings suggest that human alveolar epithelial cells are a target of Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin. Further, no reduction in alveolar epithelial cell viability was observed, but lethal toxin caused actin rearrangement and impaired desmosome formation, consistent with impaired barrier function as well as reduced surfactant production. Therefore, by compromising epithelial barrier function, lethal toxin may play a role in the pathogenesis of inhalation anthrax by facilitating the dissemination of Bacillus anthracis from the lung in early disease and promoting edema in late stages of the illness.

  2. Bacillus anthracis Lethal Toxin Reduces Human Alveolar Epithelial Barrier Function

    PubMed Central

    Langer, Marybeth; Duggan, Elizabeth Stewart; Booth, John Leland; Patel, Vineet Indrajit; Zander, Ryan A.; Silasi-Mansat, Robert; Ramani, Vijay; Veres, Tibor Zoltan; Prenzler, Frauke; Sewald, Katherina; Williams, Daniel M.; Coggeshall, Kenneth Mark; Awasthi, Shanjana; Lupu, Florea; Burian, Dennis; Ballard, Jimmy Dale; Braun, Armin

    2012-01-01

    The lung is the site of entry for Bacillus anthracis in inhalation anthrax, the deadliest form of the disease. Bacillus anthracis produces virulence toxins required for disease. Alveolar macrophages were considered the primary target of the Bacillus anthracis virulence factor lethal toxin because lethal toxin inhibits mouse macrophages through cleavage of MEK signaling pathway components, but we have reported that human alveolar macrophages are not a target of lethal toxin. Our current results suggest that, unlike human alveolar macrophages, the cells lining the respiratory units of the lung, alveolar epithelial cells, are a target of lethal toxin in humans. Alveolar epithelial cells expressed lethal toxin receptor protein, bound the protective antigen component of lethal toxin, and were subject to lethal-toxin-induced cleavage of multiple MEKs. These findings suggest that human alveolar epithelial cells are a target of Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin. Further, no reduction in alveolar epithelial cell viability was observed, but lethal toxin caused actin rearrangement and impaired desmosome formation, consistent with impaired barrier function as well as reduced surfactant production. Therefore, by compromising epithelial barrier function, lethal toxin may play a role in the pathogenesis of inhalation anthrax by facilitating the dissemination of Bacillus anthracis from the lung in early disease and promoting edema in late stages of the illness. PMID:23027535

  3. Dendritic Cell Targeting of Bacillus anthracis Protective Antigen Expressed by Lactobacillus acidophilus Protects Mice from Lethal Challenge

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-10-28

    Dendritic cell targeting of Bacillus anthracis protective antigen expressed by Lactobacillus acidophilus protects mice from lethal challenge M...lethal chal- lenge. A vaccine strategy was established by using Lactobacillus acidophilus to deliver Bacillus anthracis protective antigen (PA) via...4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Dendritic cell targeting of Bacillus anthracis protective antigen expressed by Lactobacillus acidophilus protects mice

  4. Anthrax Lethal Toxin Impairs Innate Immune Functions of Alveolar Macrophages and Facilitates Bacillus anthracis Survival

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-06-14

    germinate into vegetative bacteria (10, 23), which are capable of secreting anthrax lethal toxin (LT) and edema toxin . In the lymph nodes, bacteria ...inability of AM to completely eradicate bacteria suggests that intracellularly secreted lethal FIG. 5. Lethal toxin impairs bactericidal activity but...Microbiology. All Rights Reserved. Anthrax Lethal Toxin Impairs Innate Immune Functions of Alveolar Macrophages and Facilitates Bacillus anthracis

  5. Lethality of Bacillus Anthracis Spores Due to Short Duration Heating Measured Using Infrared Spectroscopy

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-03-01

    wavelengths were these differences distinguished. Individual bacterial endospores from four species of Bacillus (cereus, megaterium , subtilis, and... Bacillus (cereus, megaterium , and subtilis) at various wavelengths. Spectral comparisons were made between spores and vegetative cells. Results...LETHALITY OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS SPORES DUE TO SHORT DURATION HEATING MEASURED USING INFRARED SPECTROSCOPY THESIS Kristina M

  6. Host immunity to Bacillus anthracis lethal factor and other immunogens: implications for vaccine design.

    PubMed

    Altmann, Daniel M

    2015-03-01

    Infections of humans with Bacillus anthracis are an issue with respect to the biothreat both to civilians and military personnel, infections of individuals by infected livestock in endemic regions and, recently, infections of intravenous drug users injecting anthrax-contaminated heroin. Existing vaccination regimens are reliant on protective antigen neutralization induced by repeated boosts with the AVA or AVP vaccines. However, there is ongoing interest in updated approaches in light of the intensive booster regime and extent of reactogenicity inherent in the current protocols. Several other immunogens from the B. anthracis proteome have been characterized in recent years, including lethal factor. Lethal factor induces strong CD4 T-cell immunity and encompasses immunodominant epitopes of relevance across diverse HLA polymorphisms. Taken together, recent studies emphasize the potential benefits of vaccines able to confer synergistic immunity to protective antigen and to other immunogens, targeting both B-cell and T-cell repertoires.

  7. Cutting Edge: Resistance to Bacillus anthracis Infection Mediated by a Lethal Toxin Sensitive Allele of Nalp1b/Nlrp1b

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-01-01

    Nalp1b/Nlrp1b Lethal Toxin Sensitive Allele of Infection Mediated by aanthracis BacillusCutting Edge: Resistance to http://www.jimmunol.org/cgi/content...COVERED - 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Cutting edge: resistance to Bacillus anthracis infection mediated by a lethal toxin -sensitive allele of Nalp1b...Bacillus anthracis is associated with the production of lethal toxin (LT), which activates the murine Nalp1b/Nlrp1b inflammasome and induces caspase

  8. Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Spencer, R C

    2003-01-01

    The events of 11 September 2001 and the subsequent anthrax outbreaks have shown that the West needs to be prepared for an increasing number of terrorist attacks, which may include the use of biological warfare. Bacillus anthracis has long been considered a potential biological warfare agent, and this review will discuss the history of its use as such. It will also cover the biology of this organism and the clinical features of the three disease forms that it can produce: cutaneous, gastrointestinal, and inhalation anthrax. In addition, treatment and vaccination strategies will be reviewed. PMID:12610093

  9. Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin induces TNF-α–independent hypoxia-mediated toxicity in mice

    PubMed Central

    Moayeri, Mahtab; Haines, Diana; Young, Howard A.; Leppla, Stephen H.

    2003-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin (LT) is the major virulence factor of anthrax and reproduces most of the laboratory manifestations of the disease in animals. We studied LT toxicity in BALB/cJ and C57BL/6J mice. BALB/cJ mice became terminally ill earlier and with higher frequency than C57BL/6J mice. Timed histopathological analysis identified bone marrow, spleen, and liver as major affected organs in both mouse strains. LT induced extensive hypoxia. Crisis was due to extensive liver necrosis accompanied by pleural edema. There was no evidence of disseminated intravascular coagulation or renal dysfunction. Instead, analyses revealed hepatic dysfunction, hypoalbuminemia, and vascular/oxygenation insufficiency. Of 50 cytokines analyzed, BALB/cJ mice showed rapid but transitory increases in specific factors including KC, MCP-1/JE, IL-6, MIP-2, G-CSF, GM-CSF, eotaxin, FasL, and IL-1β. No changes in TNF-α occurred. The C57BL/6J mice did not mount a similar cytokine response. These factors were not induced in vitro by LT treatment of toxin-sensitive macrophages. The evidence presented shows that LT kills mice through a TNF-α–independent, FasL-independent, noninflammatory mechanism that involves hypoxic tissue injury but does not require macrophage sensitivity to toxin. PMID:12952916

  10. Ruling Out Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Papaparaskevas, Joseph; Houhoula, Dimitra P.; Papadimitriou, Maria; Saroglou, Georgios; Legakis, Nicholas J.

    2004-01-01

    Optimization of methods for ruling out Bacillus anthracis leads to increased yields, faster turnaround times, and a lighter workload. We used 72 environmental non–B. anthracis bacilli to validate methods for ruling out B. anthracis. Most effective were horse blood agar, motility testing after a 2-h incubation in trypticase soy broth, and screening with a B. anthracis–selective agar. PMID:15200872

  11. Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin disrupts TCR signaling in CD1d-restricted NKT cells leading to functional anergy.

    PubMed

    Joshi, Sunil K; Lang, Gillian A; Larabee, Jason L; Devera, T Scott; Aye, Lindsay M; Shah, Hemangi B; Ballard, Jimmy D; Lang, Mark L

    2009-09-01

    Exogenous CD1d-binding glycolipid (alpha-Galactosylceramide, alpha-GC) stimulates TCR signaling and activation of type-1 natural killer-like T (NKT) cells. Activated NKT cells play a central role in the regulation of adaptive and protective immune responses against pathogens and tumors. In the present study, we tested the effect of Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin (LT) on NKT cells both in vivo and in vitro. LT is a binary toxin known to suppress host immune responses during anthrax disease and intoxicates cells by protective antigen (PA)-mediated intracellular delivery of lethal factor (LF), a potent metalloprotease. We observed that NKT cells expressed anthrax toxin receptors (CMG-2 and TEM-8) and bound more PA than other immune cell types. A sub-lethal dose of LT administered in vivo in C57BL/6 mice decreased expression of the activation receptor NKG2D by NKT cells but not by NK cells. The in vivo administration of LT led to decreased TCR-induced cytokine secretion but did not affect TCR expression. Further analysis revealed LT-dependent inhibition of TCR-stimulated MAP kinase signaling in NKT cells attributable to LT cleavage of the MAP kinase kinase MEK-2. We propose that Bacillus anthracis-derived LT causes a novel form of functional anergy in NKT cells and therefore has potential for contributing to immune evasion by the pathogen.

  12. Effect of delayed anthrax vaccine dose on Bacillus anthracis protective antigen IgG response and lethal toxin neutralization activity.

    PubMed

    Pittman, Phillip R; Fisher, Diana; Quinn, Xiaofei; Schmader, Trevor; Barrera-Oro, Julio G

    2013-10-17

    We describe the Bacillus anthracis protective antigen IgG antibody response and the B. anthracis lethal toxin neutralization activity to a delayed dose of anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA, BioThrax(®)) using validated assays. 373 individuals received 1, 2, or 3 priming doses, 18-24 months afterward, they received a delayed dose of AVA. Overall, 23.6% of subjects showed detectable anti-PA IgG before the boost, compared to 99.2% (P<0.0001) 28 days after the boost. Geometric mean anti-PA IgG concentration (GMC) was 1.66 μg/mL before and 887.82 μg/mL after the boost (P<0.0001). The proportion of individuals with four-fold increase in GMC following the boost ranged from 93.8% to 100%. Robust anti-PA IgG levels and B. anthracis lethal toxin neutralization activity are induced when an AVA dose is delayed as long as two years. These data support continuing with the vaccination schedule when a dose is delayed as long as two years rather than restarting the series.

  13. Quantitative Determination of Lethal Toxin Proteins in Culture Supernatant of Human Live Anthrax Vaccine Bacillus anthracis A16R.

    PubMed

    Zai, Xiaodong; Zhang, Jun; Liu, Ju; Liu, Jie; Li, Liangliang; Yin, Ying; Fu, Ling; Xu, Junjie; Chen, Wei

    2016-02-25

    Bacillus anthracis (B. anthracis) is the etiological agent of anthrax affecting both humans and animals. Anthrax toxin (AT) plays a major role in pathogenesis. It includes lethal toxin (LT) and edema toxin (ET), which are formed by the combination of protective antigen (PA) and lethal factor (LF) or edema factor (EF), respectively. The currently used human anthrax vaccine in China utilizes live-attenuated B. anthracis spores (A16R; pXO1+, pXO2-) that produce anthrax toxin but cannot produce the capsule. Anthrax toxins, especially LT, have key effects on both the immunogenicity and toxicity of human anthrax vaccines. Thus, determining quantities and biological activities of LT proteins expressed by the A16R strain is meaningful. Here, we explored LT expression patterns of the A16R strain in culture conditions using another vaccine strain Sterne as a control. We developed a sandwich ELISA and cytotoxicity-based method for quantitative detection of PA and LF. Expression and degradation of LT proteins were observed in culture supernatants over time. Additionally, LT proteins expressed by the A16R and Sterne strains were found to be monomeric and showed cytotoxic activity, which may be the main reason for side effects of live anthrax vaccines. Our work facilitates the characterization of anthrax vaccines components and establishment of a quality control standard for vaccine production which may ultimately help to ensure the efficacy and safety of the human anthrax vaccine A16R.

  14. Biochip for the Detection of Bacillus anthracis Lethal Factor and Therapeutic Agents against Anthrax Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Silin, Vitalii; Kasianowicz, John J.; Michelman-Ribeiro, Ariel; Panchal, Rekha G.; Bavari, Sina; Robertson, Joseph W. F.

    2016-01-01

    Tethered lipid bilayer membranes (tBLMs) have been used in many applications, including biosensing and membrane protein structure studies. This report describes a biosensor for anthrax toxins that was fabricated through the self-assembly of a tBLM with B. anthracis protective antigen ion channels that are both the recognition element and electrochemical transducer. We characterize the sensor and its properties with electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and surface plasmon resonance. The sensor shows a sensitivity similar to ELISA and can also be used to rapidly screen for molecules that bind to the toxins and potentially inhibit their lethal effects. PMID:27348008

  15. Bacillus anthracis spore movement does not require a carrier cell and is not affected by lethal toxin in human lung models.

    PubMed

    Booth, J Leland; Duggan, Elizabeth S; Patel, Vineet I; Langer, Marybeth; Wu, Wenxin; Braun, Armin; Coggeshall, K Mark; Metcalf, Jordan P

    2016-10-01

    The lung is the entry site for Bacillus anthracis in inhalation anthrax, the most deadly form of the disease. Spores escape from the alveolus to regional lymph nodes, germinate and enter the circulatory system to cause disease. The roles of carrier cells and the effects of B. anthracis toxins in this process are unclear. We used a human lung organ culture model to measure spore uptake by antigen presenting cells (APC) and alveolar epithelial cells (AEC), spore partitioning between these cells, and the effects of B. anthracis lethal toxin and protective antigen. We repeated the study in a human A549 alveolar epithelial cell model. Most spores remained unassociated with cells, but the majority of cell-associated spores were in AEC, not in APC. Spore movement was not dependent on internalization, although the location of internalized spores changed in both cell types. Spores also internalized in a non-uniform pattern. Toxins affected neither transit of the spores nor the partitioning of spores into AEC and APC. Our results support a model of spore escape from the alveolus that involves spore clustering with transient passage through intact AEC. However, subsequent transport of spores by APC from the lung to the lymph nodes may occur.

  16. Capsule Depolymerase Overexpression Reduces Bacillus anthracis Virulence

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-01-01

    Friedlander, A. M. (2004). The NheA component of the non- hemolytic enterotoxin of Bacillus cereus is produced by Bacillus anthracis but is not required for...Capsule depolymerase overexpression reduces Bacillus anthracis virulence Angelo Scorpio,3 Donald J. Chabot, William A. Day,4 Timothy A. Hoover and...depolymerase (CapD) is a c-glutamyl transpeptidase and a product of the Bacillus anthracis capsule biosynthesis operon. In this study, we examined the

  17. The Early Humoral Immune Response to Bacillus anthracis Toxins in Patients Infected with Cutaneous Anthrax

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-01-01

    RESEARCH ARTICLE The early humoral immune response to Bacillus anthracis toxins in patients infected with cutaneous anthrax Karen E. Brenneman 1•2...Editor: Patrick Brennan Keywords anthrax; lethal factor; edema factor; protective antigen. Introduction Abstract Bacillus anthracis, the...Anthrax is a zoonotic disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, a Gram-positive spore-forming microorganism whose mani- festations in humans depend on the

  18. Chloroquine derivatives block the translocation pores and inhibit cellular entry of Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin and Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin.

    PubMed

    Kreidler, Anna-Maria; Benz, Roland; Barth, Holger

    2017-03-01

    The pathogenic bacteria Clostridium botulinum and Bacillus anthracis produce the binary protein toxins C2 and lethal toxin (LT), respectively. These toxins consist of a binding/transport (B7) component that delivers the separate enzyme (A) component into the cytosol of target cells where it modifies its specific substrate and causes cell death. The B7 components of C2 toxin and LT, C2IIa and PA63, respectively, are ring-shaped heptamers that bind to their cellular receptors and form complexes with their A components C2I and lethal factor (LF), respectively. After receptor-mediated endocytosis of the toxin complexes, C2IIa and PA63 insert into the membranes of acidified endosomes and form trans-membrane pores through which C2I and LF translocate across endosomal membranes into the cytosol. C2IIa and PA63 also form channels in planar bilayer membranes, and we used this approach earlier to identify chloroquine as a potent blocker of C2IIa and PA63 pores. Here, a series of chloroquine derivatives was investigated to identify more efficient toxin inhibitors with less toxic side effects. Chloroquine, primaquine, quinacrine, and fluphenazine blocked C2IIa and PA63 pores in planar lipid bilayers and in membranes of living epithelial cells and macrophages, thereby preventing the pH-dependent membrane transport of the A components into the cytosol and protecting cells from intoxication with C2 toxin and LT. These potent inhibitors of toxin entry underline the central role of the translocation pores for cellular uptake of binary bacterial toxins and as relevant drug targets, and might be lead compounds for novel pharmacological strategies against severe enteric diseases and anthrax.

  19. Nosocomial Infection of Serratia marcescens May Induce a Protective Effect of Monkeys Exposed to Bacillus anthracis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-01-01

    toxin " effect in this experiment. The innate immune response may have protected the AGMs from a lethal inhalational dose of B. anthracis spores. 15...SUBJECT TERMS Bacillus anthracis, anthrax, Serratia marcescens, protective effect, Coley’s toxin , efficacy, laboratory animals, nonhuman primates...Coley’s toxin ’’ effect in this experiment. The innate immune response may have protected the AGMs from a lethal inhalational dose of B. anthracis

  20. Early interactions between fully virulent Bacillus anthracis and macrophages that influence the balance between spore clearance and development of a lethal infection.

    PubMed

    Cote, Christopher K; DiMezzo, Tracy L; Banks, David J; France, Bryan; Bradley, Kenneth A; Welkos, Susan L

    2008-05-01

    The role of macrophages in the pathogenesis of anthrax is unresolved. Macrophages are believed to support the initiation of infection by Bacillus anthracis spores, yet are also sporicidal. Furthermore, it is believed that the anthrax toxins suppress normal macrophage function. However, the significance of toxin effects on macrophages has not been addressed in an in vivo infection model. We used mutant derivatives of murine macrophage RAW264.7 cells that are toxin receptor-negative (R3D) to test the role of toxin-targeting of macrophages during a challenge with spores of the Ames strain of B. anthracis in both in vivo and in vitro models. We found that the R3D cells were able to control challenge with Ames when mice were inoculated with the cells prior to spore challenge. These findings were confirmed in vitro by high dose spore infection of macrophages. Interestingly, whereas the R3D cells provided a significantly greater survival advantage against spores than did the wild type RAW264.7 cells or R3D-complemented cells, the protection afforded the mutant and wild type cells was equivalent against a bacillus challenge. The findings appear to be the first specific test of the role of toxin targeting of macrophages during infection with B. anthracis spores.

  1. Phosphate starvation enhances the pathogenesis of Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Aggarwal, Somya; Somani, Vikas Kumar; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2015-09-01

    Identifying the factors responsible for survival and virulence of Bacillus anthracis within the host is prerequisite for the development of therapeutics against anthrax. Host provides several stresses as well as many advantages to the invading pathogen. Inorganic phosphate (Pi) starvation within the host has been considered as one of the major contributing factors in the establishment of infection by pathogenic microorganisms. Here, we report for the first time that Pi fluctuation encountered by B. anthracis at different stages of its life cycle within the host, contributes significantly in its pathogenesis. In this study, Pi starvation was found to hasten the onset of infection cycle by promoting spore germination. After germination, it was found to impede cell growth. In addition, phosphate starved bacilli showed more antibiotic tolerance. Interestingly, phosphate starvation enhanced the pathogenicity of B. anthracis by augmenting its invasiveness in macrophages in vitro. B. anthracis grown under phosphate starvation were also found to be more efficient in establishing lethal infections in mouse model as well. Phosphate starvation increased B. anthracis virulence by promoting the secretion of primary virulence factors like protective antigen (PA), lethal factor (LF) and edema factor (EF). Thus, this study affirms that besides other host mediated factors, phosphate limitation may also contribute B. anthracis for successfully establishing itself within the host. This study is a step forward in delineating its pathophysiology that might help in understanding the pathogenesis of anthrax.

  2. Development of a Cell-Based Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer Reporter for Bacillus anthracis Lethal Factor Protease

    SciTech Connect

    Kimura, R H; Steenblock, E R; Camarero, J A

    2007-03-22

    We report the construction of a cell-based fluorescent reporter for anthrax lethal factor (LF) protease activity using the principle of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). This was accomplished by engineering an Escherichia coli cell line to express a genetically encoded FRET reporter and LF protease. Both proteins were encoded in two different expression plasmids under the control of different tightly controlled inducible promoters. The FRET-based reporter was designed to contain a LF recognition sequence flanked by the FRET pair formed by CyPet and YPet fluorescent proteins. The length of the linker between both fluorescent proteins was optimized using a flexible peptide linker containing several Gly-Gly-Ser repeats. Our results indicate that this FRET-based LF reporter was readily expressed in E. coli cells showing high levels of FRET in vivo in the absence of LF. The FRET signal, however, decreased 5 times after inducing LF expression in the same cell. These results suggest that this cell-based LF FRET reporter may be used to screen genetically encoded libraries in vivo against LF.

  3. Bovine Bacillus anthracis in Cameroon ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Pilo, Paola; Rossano, Alexandra; Bamamga, Hamadou; Abdoulkadiri, Souley; Perreten, Vincent; Frey, Joachim

    2011-01-01

    Bovine Bacillus anthracis isolates from Cameroon were genetically characterized. They showed a strong homogeneity, and they belong, together with strains from Chad, to cluster Aβ, which appears to be predominant in western Africa. However, one strain that belongs to a newly defined clade (D) and cluster (D1) is penicillin resistant and shows certain phenotypes typical of Bacillus cereus. PMID:21705535

  4. Simultaneous identification and verification of Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Krishnamurthy, Thaiya; Hewel, Johannes; Bonzagni, Neil J; Dabbs, Jason; Bull, Robert L; Yates, John R

    2006-01-01

    Specific identification of Bacillus anthracis (B. anthracis) is vital for the accurate treatment of afflicted personnel during biological warfare situations and civilian terrorist attacks. In order to accomplish this, we have subjected the lysates from B. anthracis to affinity purification using monoclonal antibodies for the selected antigenic protein present in the bacteria. The bound antigenic protein was identified by multi-dimensional protein identification technology (MudPIT) to be a surface layer protein EA1. The same antigen was identified from the lysates from a few strains of B. anthracis demonstrating the observation to be common for B. anthracis strains. Hence, this presents an effective pathway for the identification of the bacteria present in unknown samples of various origins. Generation of a database containing the EA1 protein has been found to be useful in the database search of unknown samples.

  5. Bacillus anthracis factors for phagosomal escape.

    PubMed

    Tonello, Fiorella; Zornetta, Irene

    2012-07-01

    The mechanism of phagosome escape by intracellular pathogens is an important step in the infectious cycle. During the establishment of anthrax, Bacillus anthracis undergoes a transient intracellular phase in which spores are engulfed by local phagocytes. Spores germinate inside phagosomes and grow to vegetative bacilli, which emerge from their resident intracellular compartments, replicate and eventually exit from the plasma membrane. During germination, B. anthracis secretes multiple factors that can help its resistance to the phagocytes. Here the possible role of B. anthracis toxins, phospholipases, antioxidant enzymes and capsules in the phagosomal escape and survival, is analyzed and compared with that of factors of other microbial pathogens involved in the same type of process.

  6. Morphogenesis of the Bacillus anthracis Spore

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-02-01

    layers in B. subtilis is unknown. Unlike B. subtilis, in B. anthracis, Bacillus megaterium , and other species, the spore is surrounded by an additional...nonpathogenic species including B. megaterium and Bacillus odysseyi (45, 85), suggesting that their primary role need not be in disease. Nonetheless, the exospo...S. 1994. Prime time for Bacillus megaterium . Microbiology 140:1001– 1013. 86. Warth, A. D., D. F. Ohye, and W. G. Murrell. 1963. The composition and

  7. Morphogenesis of the Bacillus anthracis Spore▿

    PubMed Central

    Giorno, Rebecca; Bozue, Joel; Cote, Christopher; Wenzel, Theresa; Moody, Krishna-Sulayman; Mallozzi, Michael; Ryan, Matthew; Wang, Rong; Zielke, Ryszard; Maddock, Janine R.; Friedlander, Arthur; Welkos, Susan; Driks, Adam

    2007-01-01

    Bacillus spp. and Clostridium spp. form a specialized cell type, called a spore, during a multistep differentiation process that is initiated in response to starvation. Spores are protected by a morphologically complex protein coat. The Bacillus anthracis coat is of particular interest because the spore is the infective particle of anthrax. We determined the roles of several B. anthracis orthologues of Bacillus subtilis coat protein genes in spore assembly and virulence. One of these, cotE, has a striking function in B. anthracis: it guides the assembly of the exosporium, an outer structure encasing B. anthracis but not B. subtilis spores. However, CotE has only a modest role in coat protein assembly, in contrast to the B. subtilis orthologue. cotE mutant spores are fully virulent in animal models, indicating that the exosporium is dispensable for infection, at least in the context of a cotE mutation. This has implications for both the pathophysiology of the disease and next-generation therapeutics. CotH, which directs the assembly of an important subset of coat proteins in B. subtilis, also directs coat protein deposition in B. anthracis. Additionally, however, in B. anthracis, CotH effects germination; in its absence, more spores germinate than in the wild type. We also found that SpoIVA has a critical role in directing the assembly of the coat and exosporium to an area around the forespore. This function is very similar to that of the B. subtilis orthologue, which directs the assembly of the coat to the forespore. These results show that while B. anthracis and B. subtilis rely on a core of conserved morphogenetic proteins to guide coat formation, these proteins may also be important for species-specific differences in coat morphology. We further hypothesize that variations in conserved morphogenetic coat proteins may play roles in taxonomic variation among species. PMID:17114257

  8. Fatal meningoencephalitis due to Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Kwong, K L; Que, T L; Wong, S N; So, K T

    1997-12-01

    We report the first case of fatal anthrax meningoencephalitis in Hong Kong over the past 60 years. A 13 year-old boy presented with right lower quadrant pain, diarrhoea and progressive headache. Lumbar puncture yielded gram positive bacilli initially thought to be Bacillus cereus, a contaminant. He was treated with ampicillin and cefotaxime, but died 3 days after hospitalization. The organism isolated from blood and cerebrospinal fluid was later identified as Bacillus anthracis.

  9. Methyl Iodide Fumigation of Bacillus anthracis Spores.

    PubMed

    Sutton, Mark; Kane, Staci R; Wollard, Jessica R

    2015-09-01

    Fumigation techniques such as chlorine dioxide, vaporous hydrogen peroxide, and paraformaldehyde previously used to decontaminate items, rooms, and buildings following contamination with Bacillus anthracis spores are often incompatible with materials (e.g., porous surfaces, organics, and metals), causing damage or residue. Alternative fumigation with methyl bromide is subject to U.S. and international restrictions due to its ozone-depleting properties. Methyl iodide, however, does not pose a risk to the ozone layer and has previously been demonstrated as a fumigant for fungi, insects, and nematodes. Until now, methyl iodide has not been evaluated against Bacillus anthracis. Sterne strain Bacillus anthracis spores were subjected to methyl iodide fumigation at room temperature and at 550C. Efficacy was measured on a log-scale with a 6-log reduction in CFUs being considered successful compared to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency biocide standard. Such efficacies were obtained after just one hour at 55 °C and after 12 hours at room temperature. No detrimental effects were observed on glassware, PTFE O-rings, or stainless steel. This is the first reported efficacy of methyl iodide in the reduction of Bacillus anthracis spore contamination at ambient and elevated temperatures.

  10. Microarray Analysis of Transposon Insertion Mutants in Bacillus Anthracis: Global Identification of Genes Required for Sporulation and Germination

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-02-01

    Gilois, M. Rose, and D. Lereclus. 2001. Oligopep- tide permease is required for expression of the Bacillus thuringiensis plcR regulon and for...non- toxin gene expression in Bacillus anthracis. Infect. Immun. 65:3091–3099. 10. Ikeda, R. A., C. M. Ligman, and S. Warshamana. 1992. T7 promoter con...nontoxi- genic Bacillus anthracis spore vaccines based on strains expressing mutant vari- ants of lethal toxin components. Vaccine 23:5688–5697. 17. Read

  11. Environmental sampling for spores of Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Teshale, Eyasu H; Painter, John; Burr, Gregory A; Mead, Paul; Wright, Scott V; Cseh, Larry F; Zabrocki, Ronald; Collins, Rick; Kelley, Kathy A; Hadler, James L; Swerdlow, David L

    2002-10-01

    On November 11, 2001, following the bioterrorism-related anthrax attacks, the U.S. Postal Service collected samples at the Southern Connecticut Processing and Distribution Center; all samples were negative for Bacillus anthracis. After a patient in Connecticut died from inhalational anthrax on November 19, the center was sampled again on November 21 and 25 by using dry and wet swabs. All samples were again negative for B. anthracis. On November 28, guided by information from epidemiologic investigation, we sampled the site extensively with wet wipes and surface vacuum sock samples (using HEPA vacuum). Of 212 samples, 6 (3%) were positive, including one from a highly contaminated sorter. Subsequently B. anthracis was also detected in mail-sorting bins used for the patient's carrier route. These results suggest cross-contaminated mail as a possible source of anthrax for the inhalational anthrax patient in Connecticut. In future such investigations, extensive sampling guided by epidemiologic data is imperative.

  12. Specific identification of Bacillus anthracis strains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krishnamurthy, Thaiya; Deshpande, Samir; Hewel, Johannes; Liu, Hongbin; Wick, Charles H.; Yates, John R., III

    2007-01-01

    Accurate identification of human pathogens is the initial vital step in treating the civilian terrorism victims and military personnel afflicted in biological threat situations. We have applied a powerful multi-dimensional protein identification technology (MudPIT) along with newly generated software termed Profiler to identify the sequences of specific proteins observed for few strains of Bacillus anthracis, a human pathogen. Software termed Profiler was created to initially screen the MudPIT data of B. anthracis strains and establish the observed proteins specific for its strains. A database was also generated using Profiler containing marker proteins of B. anthracis and its strains, which in turn could be used for detecting the organism and its corresponding strains in samples. Analysis of the unknowns by our methodology, combining MudPIT and Profiler, led to the accurate identification of the anthracis strains present in samples. Thus, a new approach for the identification of B. anthracis strains in unknown samples, based on the molecular mass and sequences of marker proteins, has been ascertained.

  13. Formation of Spheroplasts from Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Chatterjee, B. R.; Williams, Robert P.

    1965-01-01

    Chatterjee, B. R. (Baylor University College of Medicine, Houston, Tex.), and Robert P. Williams. Formation of spheroplasts from Bacillus anthracis. J. Bacteriol. 89:1128–1133. 1965.—Spheroplasts were prepared from Bacillus anthracis by combined treatment with lysozyme and glycine. Glycine, at a final concentration of 3%, was added to cultures of B. anthracis in nutrient broth that had grown at 37 C for 16 to 18 hr under 50% CO2. After additional incubation under CO2 for 2 hr, lysozyme, at the appropriate concentration (50 to 100 μg/ml), and sucrose, to a concentration of 15%, were added, and incubation was continued for 2 to 6 hr in CO2. At the end of this period, incubation in CO2 was discontinued. Spheroplasts formed after incubation in air for 6 to 12 hr. Lysozyme alone exhibited the same effect when added at much higher concentrations (500 to 2,000 μg/ml) to cultures growing under CO2. No spheroplasts formed when cultures were treated with glycine alone. Treatment with lysozyme was more effective on smooth strains than rough. Cells from young cultures were more susceptible to lysozyme than older cells. CO2 apparently was essential for formation of spheroplasts from B. anthracis. Images PMID:14276107

  14. Development and validation of a real-time quantitative PCR assay for rapid identification of Bacillus anthracis in environmental samples.

    PubMed

    Irenge, Léonid M; Durant, Jean-François; Tomaso, Herbert; Pilo, Paola; Olsen, Jaran S; Ramisse, Vincent; Mahillon, Jacques; Gala, Jean-Luc

    2010-11-01

    A real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was developed for rapid identification of Bacillus anthracis in environmental samples. These samples often harbor Bacillus cereus bacteria closely related to B. anthracis, which may hinder its specific identification by resulting in false positive signals. The assay consists of two duplex real-time PCR: the first PCR allows amplification of a sequence specific of the B. cereus group (B. anthracis, B. cereus, Bacillus thuringiensis, Bacillus weihenstephanensis, Bacillus pseudomycoides, and Bacillus mycoides) within the phosphoenolpyruvate/sugar phosphotransferase system I gene and a B. anthracis specific single nucleotide polymorphism within the adenylosuccinate synthetase gene. The second real-time PCR assay targets the lethal factor gene from virulence plasmid pXO1 and the capsule synthesis gene from virulence plasmid pXO2. Specificity of the assay is enhanced by the use of minor groove binding probes and/or locked nucleic acids probes. The assay was validated on 304 bacterial strains including 37 B. anthracis, 67 B. cereus group, 54 strains of non-cereus group Bacillus, and 146 Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria strains. The assay was performed on various environmental samples spiked with B. anthracis or B. cereus spores. The assay allowed an accurate identification of B. anthracis in environmental samples. This study provides a rapid and reliable method for improving rapid identification of B. anthracis in field operational conditions.

  15. Genome Sequence of Bacillus anthracis Strain Tangail-1 from Bangladesh

    PubMed Central

    Rume, Farzana Islam; Braun, Peter; Biswas, Paritosh Kumar; Yasmin, Mahmuda; Grass, Gregor; Ahsan, Chowdhury Rafiqul; Hanczaruk, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Soil was collected in July 2013 at a site where a cow infected with anthrax had been the month before. Selective culturing yielded Bacillus anthracis strain Tangail-1. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of this Bacillus anthracis isolate that belongs to the canonical A.Br.001/002 clade. PMID:27469968

  16. [Bacillus anthracis: a molecular look at a famous pathogen].

    PubMed

    Pavan, María E; Pettinari, María J; Cairó, Fabián; Pavan, Esteban E; Cataldi, Angel A

    2011-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, a gram-positive rod belonging to the Bacillus cereus group, has an extremely monomorphic genome, and presents high structural and physiological similarity with B. cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis. In this work, the new molecular methods for the identification and typing of B. anthracis developed in the last years, based on variable number tandem repeats or on genetic differences detected through sequencing, are described. The molecular aspects of traditional virulence factors: capsule, protective antigen, lethal factor and edema factor are described in depth, together with virulence factors recently proposed, such as the siderophores petrobactin and bacillibactin, the S-layer adhesin and the MntA lipoprotein. It is detailed the molecular organization of megaplasmids pXO1 and pXO2, including the pathogenicity island of pXO1. The genetic skeleton of these plasmids has been observed in related species, and this could be attributed to lateral gene transfer. Finally, the two anthrax toxin protective antigen receptors, ANTXR1/TEM8 and ANTXR2/CMG2, essential for the interaction of the pathogen with the host, are presented. The molecular studies performed in recent years have greatly increased knowledge in different aspects of this microorganism and its relationship with the host, but at the same time they have raised new questions about this noted pathogen.

  17. Evaluation of Three Methods for Discrimination of Bacillus anthracis From Other Bacillus Species

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-07-01

    EVALUATION OF THREE METHODS FOR DISCRIMINATION OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS FROM OTHER BACILLUS SPECIES. Diane L. Dutt Geo-Centers Aberdeen...ABSTRACT Bacillus anthracis shares the same ecological niche with other members of the B. cereus group: especially B. cereus and B. thuringiensis...Techniques that differentiate among Bacillus species using metabolic characteristics can be used to compliment PCR-based methods. These

  18. A selective chromogenic agar that distinguishes Bacillus anthracis from Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis.

    PubMed

    Juergensmeyer, Margaret A; Gingras, Bruce A; Restaino, Lawrence; Frampton, Elon W

    2006-08-01

    A selective and differential plating medium, R & F anthracis chromogenic agar (ACA), has been developed for isolating and identifying presumptive colonies of Bacillus anthracis. ACA contains the chromogenic substrate 5-bromo-4-chloro-3-indoxyl-choline phosphate that upon hydrolysis yields teal (blue green) colonies indicating the presence of phosphatidylcholine-specific phospholipase C (PC-PLC) activity. Among seven Bacillus species tested on ACA, only members of the Bacillus cereus group (B. anthracis, B. cereus, and B. thuringiensis) produced teal colonies (PC-PLC positive) having cream rings. Examination of colony morphology in 18 pure culture strains of B. anthracis (15 ATCC strains plus AMES-1-RIID, ANR-1, and AMED-RIID), with one exception, required 48 h at 35 to 37 degrees C for significant color production, whereas only 24 h was required for B. cereus and B. thuringiensis. This differential rate of PC-PLC synthesis in B. anthracis (due to the truncated plcR gene and PlcR regulator in B. anthracis) allowed for the rapid differentiation on ACA of presumptive colonies of B. anthracis from B. cereus and B. thuringiensis in both pure and mixed cultures. Effective recovery of B. anthracis from a variety of matrices having both high (soil and sewage) and low microbial backgrounds (cloth, paper, and blood) spiked with B. anthracis ANR-1 spores suggests the probable utility of ACA plating for B. anthracis recovery in a diversity of applications.

  19. Murine Macrophages Kill the Vegetative Form of Bacillus anthracis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-08-18

    inhibitor of the germination of B. anthracis and Bacillus cereus spores. It converts L-alanine to D-alanine, an isomer that is not recognized by...nation of Bacillus cereus spores in response to L-alanine and to inosine: the roles of gerL and gerQ operons. Microbiology 148:2089–2095. 5. Dixon, T...anthracis. J. Appl. Bacteriol. 62:269–273. 32. Todd, S. J., A. J. Moir, M. J. Johnson, and A. Moir. 2003. Genes of Bacillus cereus and Bacillus anthracis

  20. Evaluation of the ability of N-terminal fragment of lethal factor of Bacillus anthracis for delivery of Mycobacterium T cell antigen ESAT-6 into cytosol of antigen presenting cells to elicit effective cytotoxic T lymphocyte response

    SciTech Connect

    Chandra, Subhash; Kaur, Manpreet; Midha, Shuchi; Bhatnagar, Rakesh . E-mail: rakbhat01@yahoo.com; Banerjee-Bhatnagar, Nirupama . E-mail: nirupama@icgeb.res.in

    2006-12-22

    We report the ability of N-terminal fragment of lethal factor of Bacillus anthracis to deliver genetically fused ESAT-6 (early secretory antigen target), a potent T cell antigen of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, into cytosol to elicit Cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response. In vitro Th1 cytokines data and CTL assay proved that efficient delivery of LFn.ESAT-6 occurs in cytosol, in the presence of protective antigen (PA), and leads to generation of effective CTL response. Since CTL response is essential for protection against intracellular pathogens and, it is well known that only single T cell epitope or single antigenic protein is not sufficient to elicit protective CTL response due to variation or polymorphism in MHC-I alleles among the individuals, we suggest that as a fusion protein LFn can be used to deliver multiepitopes of T cells or multiproteins which can generate effective CTLs against intracellular pathogens like M. tuberculosis. It can be used to enhance the protective efficacy of BCG vaccine.

  1. Sequence and Analysis of the DNA Encoding Protective Antigen of Bacillus anthracis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-01-01

    fractionating the toxin J.A. (Eds.), Molecular Cloning and Gene Regulation in Bacilli. of Bacillus anthracis. J. Bacteriol. 83 (1962) 274-1280. Academic...Maniatis, T., Fritsch, E.F. and Sambrook, J.: Molecular Cloning . Friedlander, A.M.: Macrophages are sensitive to anthrax lethal A Laboratory Manual... Molecular cloning and the nucleotide sequence of region of Bacillus subtiis a-amylase gene cloned in pUB I10. the Mr 28000 crystal protein gene of

  2. Photothermal spectroscopy of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus cereus with microcantilevers

    SciTech Connect

    Wig, Andrew G; Arakawa, Edward T; Passian, Ali; Ferrell, Thomas L; Thundat, Thomas George

    2006-03-01

    Microcalorimetric optical and infrared spectroscopy is a method of determining the spectral absorption of small quantities of materials over a wide range of incident wavelengths. In this paper, the first spectroscopic results for microcantilevers coated with Bacillus anthracis (BA) are presented. These results, for B. anthracis from 2.5 to 14.5 {micro}m, are compared with results from microcantilevers coated with Bacillus cereus (BC) and standard spectroscopic absorption data. The results demonstrate strong correlation between the deflection measurements and the reference spectroscopic absorption peaks. An advantage of this microcantilever-based method over traditional spectroscopy is that much smaller amounts of material (nanogram quantities) can be detected in comparison with the milligram amounts needed for standard methods. Another advantage is that the complete system can be relatively small without sacrificing spectral resolution.

  3. Inactivation of Bacillus Anthracis Spores Using Carbon Nanotubes

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-10-30

    2010 31-May-2014 Approved for Public Release; Distribution Unlimited Final Report: (Life Science Division/Biochemistry) Inactivation of Bacillus ...S) AND ADDRESS (ES) U.S. Army Research Office P.O. Box 12211 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2211 Bacillus Anthracis, Spores, Biofilm, Inhibition...Biochemistry) Inactivation of Bacillus Anthracis Spores Using Carbon Nanotubes Report Title The Specific Aims of the project were to investigate: 1) the

  4. Processing, Assembly and Localization of a Bacillus anthracis Spore Protein

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-01-01

    anthracis (but not, for example, Bacillus megaterium ), a series of fine hair-like projections, also called a nap, extends from the exosporium (Aronson...3373–3378. Vary, P. S. (1994). Prime time for Bacillus megaterium . Microbiology 140, 1001–1013. Welkos, S. L., Cote, C. K., Rea, K. M. & Gibbs, P. H...Processing, assembly and localization of a Bacillus anthracis spore protein K. L. Moody,13 A. Driks,2 G. L. Rother,1 C. K. Cote,1 E. E. Brueggemann,3

  5. Real-Time PCR Identification of Unique Bacillus anthracis Sequences.

    PubMed

    Cieślik, P; Knap, J; Kolodziej, M; Mirski, T; Joniec, J; Graniak, G; Zakowska, D; Winnicka, I; Bielawska-Drózd, A

    2015-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is a spore-forming, Gram-positive microorganism. It is a causative agent of anthrax, a highly infectious disease. It belongs to the "Bacillus cereus group", which contains other closely related species, including Bacillus cereus, Bacillus thuringiensis, Bacillus mycoides, Bacillus weihenstephanensis, and Bacillus pseudomycoides. B. anthracis naturally occurs in soil environments. The BA5345 genetic marker was used for highly specific detection of B. anthracis with TaqMan probes. The detection limit of a real-time PCR assay was estimated at the level of 16.9 copies (CI95% - 37.4 to 37.86, SD = 0.2; SE = 0.118). Oligonucleotides designed for the targeted sequences (within the tested locus) revealed 100 % homology to B. anthracis strain reference sequences deposited in the database (NCBI) and high specificity to all tested B. anthracis strains. Additional in silico analysis of plasmid markers pag and cap genes with B. anthracis strains included in the database was carried out. Our study clearly indicates that the BA5345 marker can be used with success as a chromosomal marker in routine identification of B. anthracis; moreover, detection of plasmid markers indicates virulence of the examined strains.

  6. New transposon delivery plasmids for insertional mutagenesis in Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Adam C.; Perego, Marta; Hoch, James A.

    2007-01-01

    Two new transposon delivery vector systems utilizing Mariner and mini-Tn10 transposons have been developed for in vivo insertional mutagenesis in Bacillus anthracis and other compatible Gram-positive species. The utility of both systems was directly demonstrated through the mutagenesis of a widely used B. anthracis strain. PMID:17931726

  7. Inactivation of Bacillus anthracis Spores in Soil Matrices with ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Report This report documents the results of a laboratory study designed to better understand the effectiveness of chlorine dioxide (ClO2) gas to decontaminate soil materials contaminated with Bacillus anthracis spores.

  8. Composite Sampling of a Bacillus anthracis Surrogate with ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Journal Article A series of experiments were conducted to explore the utility of composite-based collection of surface samples for the detection of a Bacillus anthracis surrogate using cellulose sponge samplers on a stainless steel surface.

  9. Protocol for Detection of Bacillus anthracis in Environmental Samples

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This pProtocol Method describes proceduresintended for the analyses of swabs, wipes, Sponge-Sticks, vacuum socks and filters, air filters, drinking water, and decontamination waste water for Bacillus anthracis spores.

  10. Environmental Persistence of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis Spores

    PubMed Central

    Wood, Joseph P.; Meyer, Kathryn M.; Kelly, Thomas J.; Choi, Young W.; Rogers, James V.; Riggs, Karen B.; Willenberg, Zachary J.

    2015-01-01

    There is a lack of data for how the viability of biological agents may degrade over time in different environments. In this study, experiments were conducted to determine the persistence of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis spores on outdoor materials with and without exposure to simulated sunlight, using ultraviolet (UV)-A/B radiation. Spores were inoculated onto glass, wood, concrete, and topsoil and recovered after periods of 2, 14, 28, and 56 days. Recovery and inactivation kinetics for the two species were assessed for each surface material and UV exposure condition. Results suggest that with exposure to UV, decay of spore viability for both Bacillus species occurs in two phases, with an initial rapid decay, followed by a slower inactivation period. The exception was with topsoil, in which there was minimal loss of spore viability in soil over 56 days, with or without UV exposure. The greatest loss in viable spore recovery occurred on glass with UV exposure, with nearly a four log10 reduction after just two days. In most cases, B. subtilis had a slower rate of decay than B. anthracis, although less B. subtilis was recovered initially. PMID:26372011

  11. Environmental Persistence of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis Spores.

    PubMed

    Wood, Joseph P; Meyer, Kathryn M; Kelly, Thomas J; Choi, Young W; Rogers, James V; Riggs, Karen B; Willenberg, Zachary J

    2015-01-01

    There is a lack of data for how the viability of biological agents may degrade over time in different environments. In this study, experiments were conducted to determine the persistence of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis spores on outdoor materials with and without exposure to simulated sunlight, using ultraviolet (UV)-A/B radiation. Spores were inoculated onto glass, wood, concrete, and topsoil and recovered after periods of 2, 14, 28, and 56 days. Recovery and inactivation kinetics for the two species were assessed for each surface material and UV exposure condition. Results suggest that with exposure to UV, decay of spore viability for both Bacillus species occurs in two phases, with an initial rapid decay, followed by a slower inactivation period. The exception was with topsoil, in which there was minimal loss of spore viability in soil over 56 days, with or without UV exposure. The greatest loss in viable spore recovery occurred on glass with UV exposure, with nearly a four log10 reduction after just two days. In most cases, B. subtilis had a slower rate of decay than B. anthracis, although less B. subtilis was recovered initially.

  12. FORMALDEHYDE GAS INACTIVATION OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS, BACILLUS SUBTILIS AND GEOBACILLUS STEAROTHERMOPHILUS SPORES ON INDOOR SURFACE MATERIALS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Research evaluated the decontamination of Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus subtilis, and Geobacillus stearothermophilus spores on indoor surface material using formaldehyde gas. Spores were dried on seven types of indoor surfaces and exposed to 1100 ppm formaldehyde gas for 10 hr. Fo...

  13. Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis—One Species on the Basis of Genetic Evidence

    PubMed Central

    Helgason, Erlendur; Økstad, Ole Andreas; Caugant, Dominique A.; Johansen, Henning A.; Fouet, Agnes; Mock, Michéle; Hegna, Ida; Kolstø, Anne-Brit

    2000-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis are members of the Bacillus cereus group of bacteria, demonstrating widely different phenotypes and pathological effects. B. anthracis causes the acute fatal disease anthrax and is a potential biological weapon due to its high toxicity. B. thuringiensis produces intracellular protein crystals toxic to a wide number of insect larvae and is the most commonly used biological pesticide worldwide. B. cereus is a probably ubiquitous soil bacterium and an opportunistic pathogen that is a common cause of food poisoning. In contrast to the differences in phenotypes, we show by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis and by sequence analysis of nine chromosomal genes that B. anthracis should be considered a lineage of B. cereus. This determination is not only a formal matter of taxonomy but may also have consequences with respect to virulence and the potential of horizontal gene transfer within the B. cereus group. PMID:10831447

  14. DECONTAMINATION ASSESSMENT OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS, BACILLUS SUBTILIS, AND GEOBACILLUS STEAROTHERMOPHILUS SPORES ON INDOOR SURFACTS USING A HYDROGEN PERIOXIDE GAS GENERATOR

    EPA Science Inventory

    Aims: To evaluate the decontamination of Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus subtilis, and Geobacillus stearothermophilus spores on indoor surface materials using hydrogen peroxide gas. Methods and Results: B. anthracis, B. subtilis, and G. Stearothermophilus spores were dried on seven...

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

    PubMed

    Vetter, Sara M; Schlievert, Patrick M

    2005-04-01

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

  16. Strategy for identification of Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis strains closely related to Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Daffonchio, Daniele; Raddadi, Noura; Merabishvili, Maya; Cherif, Ameur; Carmagnola, Lorenzo; Brusetti, Lorenzo; Rizzi, Aurora; Chanishvili, Nina; Visca, Paolo; Sharp, Richard; Borin, Sara

    2006-02-01

    Bacillus cereus strains that are genetically closely related to B. anthracis can display anthrax-like virulence traits (A. R. Hoffmaster et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 101:8449-8454, 2004). Hence, approaches that rapidly identify these "near neighbors" are of great interest for the study of B. anthracis virulence mechanisms, as well as to prevent the use of such strains for B. anthracis-based bioweapon development. Here, a strategy is proposed for the identification of near neighbors of B. anthracis based on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer (ITS) containing tRNA genes, characteristic of B. anthracis. By using restriction site insertion-PCR (RSI-PCR) the presence of two SNP typical of B. anthracis was screened in 126 B. cereus group strains of different origin. Two B. cereus strains and one B. thuringiensis strain showed RSI-PCR profiles identical to that of B. anthracis. The sequencing of the entire ITS containing tRNA genes revealed two of the strains to be identical to B. anthracis. The strict relationship with B. anthracis was confirmed by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) of four other independent loci: cerA, plcR, AC-390, and SG-749. The relationship to B. anthracis of the three strains described by MLST was comparable and even higher to that of four B. cereus strains associated with periodontitis in humans and previously reported as the closest known strains to B. anthracis. SNP in ITS containing tRNA genes combined with RSI-PCR provide a very efficient tool for the identification of strains closely related to B. anthracis.

  17. Comparison of Bacillus Anthracis to the Surrogate Bacillus Atrophaeus for Spore Inactivation on a Novel Antimicrobial Fabric

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-05-01

    AFRL-HE-WP-TP-2006-0061 AIR FORCE RESEARCH LABORATORY Comparison of Bacillus Anthracis to the Surrogate Bacillus Atrophaeus for Spore Inactivation on...CONTRACT NUMBER Comparison of Bacillus Anthracis to the Surrogate Bacillus Atrophaeus for Spore Inactivation on a Novel Antimicrobial Fabric 5b. GRANT NUMBER...239.18 Comparison of Bacillus anthracis to the Surrogate Bacillus atrophaeus for Spore Inactivation on a Novel Antimicrobial Fabric Christopher C

  18. [Isolation and identification of Bacillus anthracis in an accidental case].

    PubMed

    Wang, Zheng-Qiang; He, Jun; Su, Yu-Xin; Zhu, Hong; Duan, Qing

    2006-06-01

    During June to July 2005, a few farmers in Chengde county of Hebei province were got ill after eating beef of sick cattle. The cattle could be infected with Bacillus anthracis. One beef sample and one soil sample contaminated with cattle blood were collected and used for pathogen isolation and identification in laboratory. Two bacteria strains were isolated from beef and soil sample, respectively, and showed typical morphology of Bacillus anthracis on blood agar and under microscope with Gram stain. The two bacteria strains were also positive to standard positive serum of Bacillus anthracis by slide agglutination test. Biochemical characteristics of the two bacteria were tested using API CHB/E strip and analyzed by API software (version 3.3), result showed that the two isolated bacteria were Bacillus anthracis. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to further characterize the two isolated bacteria strains. Three pairs of primer were designed and used for PCR, and these primers exactly matched the protective antigen gene, edema factor gene and capsule gene, respectively. By analyzed on agarose gel, PCR products were 423bp, 494bp and 397bp, respectively, and this result showed that the two isolated bacteria contained two plasmids, pX01 and pX02, which encoded anthrax toxin and capsule, respectively. Anthrax toxin and capsule were very important virulent factors for Bacillus anthracis. PCR products were purified and then cloned to T vector, positive clone was chose and sequenced. By BLAST with GenBank, sequence of the three genes of the two bacteria strains had a similarity of 99% with Bacillus anthracis A2012 strain, Ames Ancestor strain and A16R strain. Based on results of colonial morphology, serum test and biochemistry characterization, the two bacteria strains are Bacillus anthracis. They can encode anthrax toxin and capsule, and are virulent to animal and human.

  19. Determination of the most closely related bacillus isolates to Bacillus anthracis by multilocus sequence typing.

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Kijeong; Cheon, Eunhee; Wheeler, Katherine E.; Youn, Youngchul; Leighton, Terrance J.; Park, Chulmin; Kim, Wonyong; Chung, Sang-In

    2005-01-01

    There have been many efforts to develop Bacillus anthracis detection assays, but the problem of false-positive results has often been encountered. Therefore, to validate an assay for B. anthracis detection, it is critical to examine its specificity with the most closely related Bacillus isolates that are available. To define the most closely related Bacillus isolates to B. anthracis in our Bacillus collections, we analyzed by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) the phylogeny of 77 closely related Bacillus isolates selected from 264 Bacillus isolates. The selection includes all the Bacillus isolates that have been shown in our previous studies to produce false-positive results by some anthrax-detection assays. The MLST phylogenetic analyses revealed that 27 of the non-B. anthracis isolates clustered within the B. anthracis clade, and four of them (three sequence types, STs) had the highest degree of genetic relatedness with B. anthracis, 18 (11 STs) had the second highest, and five (five STs) had the third highest. We anticipate that the inclusion of the 19 ST isolates when analyzing B. anthracis detection assays will prove to be useful for screening for their specificity to detect B. anthracis. PMID:16197725

  20. Phenotypic and functional characterization of Bacillus anthracis biofilms.

    PubMed

    Lee, Keehoon; Costerton, J W; Ravel, Jacques; Auerbach, Raymond K; Wagner, David M; Keim, Paul; Leid, Jeff G

    2007-06-01

    Biofilms, communities of micro-organisms attached to a surface, are responsible for many chronic diseases and are often associated with environmental reservoirs or lifestyles. Bacillus anthracis is a Gram-positive, endospore-forming bacterium and is the aetiological agent of pulmonary, gastrointestinal and cutaneous anthrax. Anthrax infections are part of the natural lifecycle of many ruminants in North America, including cattle and bison, and B. anthracis is thought to be a central part of this ecosystem. However, in endemic areas in which humans and livestock interact, chronic cases of cutaneous anthrax are commonly reported. This suggests that biofilms of B. anthracis exist in the environment and are part of the ecology associated with its lifecycle. Currently, there are few data that account for the importance of the biofilm mode of life in B. anthracis, yet biofilms have been characterized in other pathogenic and non-pathogenic Bacillus species, including Bacillus cereus and Bacillus subtilis, respectively. This study investigated the phenotypic and functional role of biofilms in B. anthracis. The results demonstrate that B. anthracis readily forms biofilms which are inherently resistant to commonly prescribed antibiotics, and that antibiotic resistance is not solely the function of sporulation.

  1. Wide Area Recovery and Resiliency Program (WARRP) Interim Clearance Strategy for Environments Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-07-01

    Interim Clearance Strategy for Environments Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis July 2012...WARRP) Interim Clearance Strategy for Environments Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT...contains color images. 14. ABSTRACT If a Bacillus anthracis incident occurs in the United States or within its territories, the public health and

  2. Bacillus anthracis aerosolization associated with a contaminated mail sorting machine.

    PubMed

    Dull, Peter M; Wilson, Kathy E; Kournikakis, Bill; Whitney, Ellen A S; Boulet, Camille A; Ho, Jim Y W; Ogston, Jim; Spence, Mel R; McKenzie, Megan M; Phelan, Maureen A; Popovic, Tanja; Ashford, David

    2002-10-01

    On October 12, 2001, two envelopes containing Bacillus anthracis spores passed through a sorting machine in a postal facility in Washington, D.C. When anthrax infection was identified in postal workers 9 days later, the facility was closed. To determine if exposure to airborne B. anthracis spores continued to occur, we performed air sampling around the contaminated sorter. One CFU of B. anthracis was isolated from 990 L of air sampled before the machine was activated. Six CFUs were isolated during machine activation and processing of clean dummy mail. These data indicate that an employee working near this machine might inhale approximately 30 B. anthracis-containing particles during an 8-h work shift. What risk this may have represented to postal workers is not known, but this estimate is approximately 20-fold less than a previous estimate of sub-5 micro m B. anthracis-containing particles routinely inhaled by asymptomatic, unvaccinated workers in a goat-hair mill.

  3. Identifying experimental surrogates for Bacillus anthracis spores: a review

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a proven biological weapon. In order to study this threat, a number of experimental surrogates have been used over the past 70 years. However, not all surrogates are appropriate for B. anthracis, especially when investigating transport, fate and survival. Although B. atrophaeus has been widely used as a B. anthracis surrogate, the two species do not always behave identically in transport and survival models. Therefore, we devised a scheme to identify a more appropriate surrogate for B. anthracis. Our selection criteria included risk of use (pathogenicity), phylogenetic relationship, morphology and comparative survivability when challenged with biocides. Although our knowledge of certain parameters remains incomplete, especially with regards to comparisons of spore longevity under natural conditions, we found that B. thuringiensis provided the best overall fit as a non-pathogenic surrogate for B. anthracis. Thus, we suggest focusing on this surrogate in future experiments of spore fate and transport modelling. PMID:21092338

  4. Genetic Characterization of Bacillus anthracis 17 JB strain

    PubMed Central

    Seyed-Mohamadi, Sakineh; Moradi Bidhendi, Soheila; Tadayon, Keyvan; Ghaderi, Rainak

    2015-01-01

    Background and Objectives: Bacillus anthracis is one of the most homogenous bacteria ever described. Some level of diversity. Bacillus anthracis 17JB is a laboratory strain It is broadly used as a challenge strain in guinea pigs for potency test of anthrax vaccine. Material and Methods: This work describes genetic characterization of B. anthracis 17 JB strain using the SNPs and MLVA genotyping. Results and Conclusion: In SNPs typing, the originally French 17JB strain represented the A.Br. 008/009 subgroup. In Levy's genotyping method, 843, 451 and 864 bp long fragments were identified at AA03, AJ03 and AA07 loci, respectively. In the vaccine manufacturer perspective these findings are much valuable on their own account, but similar research is required to extend molecular knowledge of B. anthracis epidemiology in Persia. PMID:26668705

  5. Pilot-scale crossflow-microfiltration and pasturization to remove spores of Bacillus anthracis (Sterne) from milk

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    HTST pasteurization of milk is generally ineffective against spore-forming bacteria such as Bacillus anthracis (BA) but is lethal to its vegetative cells. Crossflow microfiltration (MF), using ceramic membranes with a pore diameter of 1.4 um, has been shown to physically remove somatic cells, vegeta...

  6. Application of paramagnetic beads for purifying Bacillus anthracis protective antigen.

    PubMed

    Zarzecka, A; Bartoszcze, M

    2006-10-01

    Paramagnetic beads coated with Protein G and Tosylactivated-280 dynabeads have been used to purify Bacillus anthracis protective antigen from a liquid culture. The obtained protein was used in the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test to detect B. anthracis protective antigen antibodies in human sera collected from immunized individuals. The purification method using paramagnetic beads is very effective. It is fast, easy and may be carried out practically in any laboratory.

  7. Development of a Manual Threshold Immunoassay for Bacillus anthracis Spores

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-11-01

    detected by the LAPS. The MT has been developed to detect several BW agents including ricin, Brucella melitensis (Lee et al., 2000), Venezuelan...and B. globigii. B. anthracis is closely related to B. cereus and B. thuringiensis, and they all produce a structurally similar exosporium (Steichen et...Jr. (2005). Orientation within the exosporium and structural stability of the collagen-like glycoprotein BclA of Bacillus anthracis. J Bacteriol

  8. Inadvertent laboratory exposure to Bacillus anthracis--California, 2004.

    PubMed

    2005-04-01

    On June 9, 2004, the California Department of Health Services (CDHS) was notified of possible inadvertent exposure to Bacillus anthracis spores at Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI), where workers were evaluating the immune response of mice to B. anthracis. This report summarizes the subsequent investigation by CDHS and CDC, including assessment of exposures, administration of postexposure chemoprophylaxis, and serologic testing of potentially exposed workers. The findings underscore the importance of using appropriate biosafety practices and performing adequate sterility testing when working with material believed to contain inactivated B. anthracis organisms.

  9. Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling of Bacillus anthracis ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Journal Article Three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics and Lagrangian particle deposition models were developed to compare the deposition of aerosolized Bacillus anthracis spores in the respiratory airways of a human with that of the rabbit, a species commonly used in the study of anthrax disease. The respiratory airway geometries for each species were derived from computed tomography (CT) or µCT images. Both models encompassed airways that extended from the external nose to the lung with a total of 272 outlets in the human model and 2878 outlets in the rabbit model. All simulations of spore deposition were conducted under transient, inhalation-exhalation breathing conditions using average species-specific minute volumes. Four different exposure scenarios were modeled in the rabbit based upon experimental inhalation studies. For comparison, human simulations were conducted at the highest exposure concentration used during the rabbit experimental exposures. Results demonstrated that regional spore deposition patterns were sensitive to airway geometry and ventilation profiles. Despite the complex airway geometries in the rabbit nose, higher spore deposition efficiency was predicted in the upper conducting airways of the human at the same air concentration of anthrax spores. This greater deposition of spores in the upper airways in the human resulted in lower penetration and deposition in the tracheobronchial airways and the deep lung than that predict

  10. Interactions between Bacillus anthracis and Plants May Promote Anthrax Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Ganz, Holly H.; Turner, Wendy C.; Brodie, Eoin L.; Kusters, Martina; Shi, Ying; Sibanda, Heniritha; Torok, Tamas; Getz, Wayne M.

    2014-01-01

    Environmental reservoirs are essential in the maintenance and transmission of anthrax but are poorly characterized. The anthrax agent, Bacillus anthracis was long considered an obligate pathogen that is dormant and passively transmitted in the environment. However, a growing number of laboratory studies indicate that, like some of its close relatives, B. anthracis has some activity outside of its vertebrate hosts. Here we show in the field that B. anthracis has significant interactions with a grass that could promote anthrax spore transmission to grazing hosts. Using a local, virulent strain of B. anthracis, we performed a field experiment in an enclosure within a grassland savanna. We found that B. anthracis increased the rate of establishment of a native grass (Enneapogon desvauxii) by 50% and that grass seeds exposed to blood reached heights that were 45% taller than controls. Further we detected significant effects of E. desvauxii, B. anthracis, and their interaction on soil bacterial taxa richness and community composition. We did not find any evidence for multiplication or increased longevity of B. anthracis in bulk soil associated with grass compared to controls. Instead interactions between B. anthracis and plants may result in increased host grazing and subsequently increased transmission to hosts. PMID:24901846

  11. Novel giant siphovirus from Bacillus anthracis features unusual genome characteristics.

    PubMed

    Ganz, Holly H; Law, Christina; Schmuki, Martina; Eichenseher, Fritz; Calendar, Richard; Loessner, Martin J; Getz, Wayne M; Korlach, Jonas; Beyer, Wolfgang; Klumpp, Jochen

    2014-01-01

    Here we present vB_BanS-Tsamsa, a novel temperate phage isolated from Bacillus anthracis, the agent responsible for anthrax infections in wildlife, livestock and humans. Tsamsa phage is a giant siphovirus (order Caudovirales), featuring a long, flexible and non-contractile tail of 440 nm (not including baseplate structure) and an isometric head of 82 nm in diameter. We induced Tsamsa phage in samples from two different carcass sites in Etosha National Park, Namibia. The Tsamsa phage genome is the largest sequenced Bacillus siphovirus, containing 168,876 bp and 272 ORFs. The genome features an integrase/recombinase enzyme, indicative of a temperate lifestyle. Among bacterial strains tested, the phage infected only certain members of the Bacillus cereus sensu lato group (B. anthracis, B. cereus and B. thuringiensis) and exhibited moderate specificity for B. anthracis. Tsamsa lysed seven out of 25 B. cereus strains, two out of five B. thuringiensis strains and six out of seven B. anthracis strains tested. It did not lyse B. anthracis PAK-1, an atypical strain that is also resistant to both gamma phage and cherry phage. The Tsamsa endolysin features a broader lytic spectrum than the phage host range, indicating possible use of the enzyme in Bacillus biocontrol.

  12. Production and Validation of the Use of Gamma Phage for Identification of Bacillus anthracis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-09-01

    Validation of the Use of Gamma Phage for Identification of Bacillus anthracis T. G. Abshire,1 J. E. Brown,2 and J. W. Ezzell1* Diagnostic Systems...Received 5 January 2005/Returned for modification 2 April 2005/Accepted 16 April 2005 Gamma phage specifically lyses vegetative cells of Bacillus anthracis...B. anthracis strains and 49 similar non-B. anthracis Bacillus species, the analytical specificity was >95%, a value that is intentionally low because

  13. Activity of Pera Safe(Trademark) Against Bacillus Anthracis Spores

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2002-01-01

    peroxide and peracetic acid . J.Appl. Bacteriol. 1983,54,417-23. 2. Dietz P., Böhm R.: Results of an experimental study on testing disinfectants with spores...Bacteriol. 1980, 48, 161-90. 5. Hussaini S.N., Ruby K.R.: Sporicidal activity of peracetic acid against Bacillus anthracis spores. Vet. Rec. 1976, 98, 257-9. ...challenging task. There exist a variety of disinfectants that can inactivate Bacillus anthracis spores; however, most of them have negative side effects

  14. MICs of Selected Antibiotics for Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, Bacillus thuringiensis, and Bacillus mycoides From a Range of Clinical and Environmental Sources as Determined by the Etest

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-08-01

    1184–1187. 21. Kemmerly, S. A., and G. A. Pankey. 1993. Oral ciprofloxacin therapy for Bacillus cereus wound infection and bacteremia . Clin. Infect...Antibiotics for Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus , Bacillus thuringiensis, and Bacillus mycoides from a Range of Clinical and Environmental Sources...76 isolates of Bacillus anthracis chosen for their diverse histories and 67, 12, and 4 cultures, respectively, of its close relatives B. cereus , B

  15. Effects of endogenous D-alanine synthesis and autoinhibition of Bacillus anthracis germination on in vitro and in vivo infections.

    PubMed

    McKevitt, Matthew T; Bryant, Katie M; Shakir, Salika M; Larabee, Jason L; Blanke, Steven R; Lovchik, Julie; Lyons, C Rick; Ballard, Jimmy D

    2007-12-01

    Bacillus anthracis transitions from a dormant spore to a vegetative bacillus through a series of structural and biochemical changes collectively referred to as germination. The timing of germination is important during early steps in infection and may determine if B. anthracis survives or succumbs to responsive macrophages. In the current study experiments determined the contribution of endogenous D-alanine production to the efficiency and timing of B. anthracis spore germination under in vitro and in vivo conditions. Racemase-mediated production of endogenous D-alanine by B. anthracis altered the kinetics for initiation of germination over a range of spore densities and exhibited a threshold effect wherein small changes in spore number resulted in major changes in germination efficiency. This threshold effect correlated with D-alanine production, was prevented by an alanine racemase inhibitor, and required L-alanine. Interestingly, endogenous production of inhibitory levels of D-alanine was detected under experimental conditions that did not support germination and in a germination-deficient mutant of B. anthracis. Racemase-dependent production of D-alanine enhanced survival of B. anthracis during interaction with murine macrophages, suggesting a role for inhibition of germination during interaction with these cells. Finally, in vivo experiments revealed an approximately twofold decrease in the 50% lethal dose of B. anthracis spores administered in the presence of D-alanine, indicating that rates of germination may be directly influenced by the levels of this amino acid during early stages of disease.

  16. Bacillus anthracis Edema Toxin Impairs Neutrophil Actin-Based Motility▿

    PubMed Central

    Szarowicz, Sarah E.; During, Russell L.; Li, Wei; Quinn, Conrad P.; Tang, Wei-Jen; Southwick, Frederick S.

    2009-01-01

    Inhalation anthrax results in high-grade bacteremia and is accompanied by a delay in the rise of the peripheral polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN) count and a paucity of PMNs in the infected pleural fluid and mediastinum. Edema toxin (ET) is one of the major Bacillus anthracis virulence factors and consists of the adenylate cyclase edema factor (EF) and protective antigen (PA). Relatively low concentrations of ET (100 to 500 ng/ml of PA and EF) significantly impair human PMN chemokinesis, chemotaxis, and ability to polarize. These changes are accompanied by a reduction in chemoattractant-stimulated PMN actin assembly. ET also causes a significant decrease in Listeria monocytogenes intracellular actin-based motility within HeLa cells. These defects in actin assembly are accompanied by a >50-fold increase in intracellular cyclic AMP and a >4-fold increase in the phosphorylation of protein kinase A. We have previously shown that anthrax lethal toxin (LT) also impairs neutrophil actin-based motility (R. L. During, W. Li, B. Hao, J. M. Koenig, D. S. Stephens, C. P. Quinn, and F. S. Southwick, J. Infect. Dis. 192:837-845, 2005), and we now find that LT combined with ET causes an additive inhibition of PMN chemokinesis, polarization, chemotaxis, and FMLP (N-formyl-met-leu-phe)-induced actin assembly. We conclude that ET alone or combined with LT impairs PMN actin assembly, resulting in paralysis of PMN chemotaxis. PMID:19349425

  17. Detection of Bacillus anthracis DNA in Complex Soil and Air Samples Using Next-Generation Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Be, Nicholas A.; Thissen, James B.; Gardner, Shea N.; McLoughlin, Kevin S.; Fofanov, Viacheslav Y.; Koshinsky, Heather; Ellingson, Sally R.; Brettin, Thomas S.; Jackson, Paul J.; Jaing, Crystal J.

    2013-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the potentially lethal etiologic agent of anthrax disease, and is a significant concern in the realm of biodefense. One of the cornerstones of an effective biodefense strategy is the ability to detect infectious agents with a high degree of sensitivity and specificity in the context of a complex sample background. The nature of the B. anthracis genome, however, renders specific detection difficult, due to close homology with B. cereus and B. thuringiensis. We therefore elected to determine the efficacy of next-generation sequencing analysis and microarrays for detection of B. anthracis in an environmental background. We applied next-generation sequencing to titrated genome copy numbers of B. anthracis in the presence of background nucleic acid extracted from aerosol and soil samples. We found next-generation sequencing to be capable of detecting as few as 10 genomic equivalents of B. anthracis DNA per nanogram of background nucleic acid. Detection was accomplished by mapping reads to either a defined subset of reference genomes or to the full GenBank database. Moreover, sequence data obtained from B. anthracis could be reliably distinguished from sequence data mapping to either B. cereus or B. thuringiensis. We also demonstrated the efficacy of a microbial census microarray in detecting B. anthracis in the same samples, representing a cost-effective and high-throughput approach, complementary to next-generation sequencing. Our results, in combination with the capacity of sequencing for providing insights into the genomic characteristics of complex and novel organisms, suggest that these platforms should be considered important components of a biosurveillance strategy. PMID:24039948

  18. The Bacillus anthracis Exosporium: What's the Big "Hairy" Deal?

    PubMed

    Bozue, Joel A; Welkos, Susan; Cote, Christopher K

    2015-10-01

    In some Bacillus species, including Bacillus subtilis, the coat is the outermost layer of the spore. In others, such as the Bacillus cereus family, there is an additional layer that envelops the coat, called the exosporium. In the case of Bacillus anthracis, a series of fine hair-like projections, also referred to as a "hairy" nap, extends from the exosporium basal layer. The exact role of the exosporium in B. anthracis, or for any of the Bacillus species possessing this structure, remains unclear. However, it has been assumed that the exosporium would play some role in infection for B. anthracis, because it is the outermost structure of the spore and would make initial contact with host and immune cells during infection. Therefore, the exosporium has been a topic of great interest, and over the past decade much progress has been made to understand its composition, biosynthesis, and potential roles. Several key aspects of this spore structure, however, are still debated and remain undetermined. Although insights have been gained on the interaction of exosporium with the host during infection, the exact role and significance of this complex structure remain to be determined. Furthermore, because the exosporium is a highly antigenic structure, future strategies for the next-generation anthrax vaccine should pursue its inclusion as a component to provide protection against the spore itself during the initial stages of anthrax.

  19. Nucleotide Sequence of the Protective Antigen Gene of Bacillus Anthracis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-02-02

    transcription and translation of the Bacillus megaterium protein C gene. J. Bacteriol. 158:e09-813. 9. Friedlander, A, M. 1986. Macrophages are sensitive to...of the Protective Antigen Gene of Bacillus anthracis 6. pEaltranalO opl. AMPOA’T B*u~iA S. L. Welkos, J. R. Lowe, F. Eden-McCutchan, M. Vodkin, S. M... Bacillus anthracls and the 5’ and 3’ flanking sequences were determined. Protective antigen ie one of three proteins comprising anthrax toxin. The open

  20. Real-Time PCR Assay for a Unique Chromosomal Sequence of Bacillus anthracis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-12-01

    33672 Bacillus megaterium ................................................................ NA...Assay for a Unique Chromosomal Sequence of Bacillus anthracis Elizabeth Bode,1 William Hurtle,2† and David Norwood1* United States Army Medical...modification 4 June 2004/Accepted 9 August 2004 Real-time PCR has become an important method for the rapid identification of Bacillus anthracis since the

  1. Genetic variation and linkage disequilibrium in Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Zwick, Michael E; Thomason, Maureen Kiley; Chen, Peter E; Johnson, Henry R; Sozhamannan, Shanmuga; Mateczun, Alfred; Read, Timothy D

    2011-01-01

    We performed whole-genome amplification followed by hybridization of custom-designed resequencing arrays to resequence 303 kb of genomic sequence from a worldwide panel of 39 Bacillus anthracis strains. We used an efficient algorithm contained within a custom software program, UniqueMER, to identify and mask repetitive sequences on the resequencing array to reduce false-positive identification of genetic variation, which can arise from cross-hybridization. We discovered a total of 240 single nucleotide variants (SNVs) and showed that B. anthracis strains have an average of 2.25 differences per 10,000 bases in the region we resequenced. Common SNVs in this region are found to be in complete linkage disequilibrium. These patterns of variation suggest there has been little if any historical recombination among B. anthracis strains since the origin of the pathogen. This pattern of common genetic variation suggests a framework for recognizing new or genetically engineered strains.

  2. Genetic and Physiological Control of Protective Antigen Synthesis by Bacillus Anthracis.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-12-01

    end Identify by block nmber) Bacillus anthracis Anthrax protective antigen Anthrax toxin t 2&. /AV$TMACT (CNIm am reverse f nogee6m7 and IdentifF by...bWoek number) A-rhe primary objective of the research is to improve the yields of protec- tive antigen in culture filtrates of Bacillus anthracis...and/or Dist Special LI Unclassified AD REPORT NUMBER ONE GENETIC AND PHYSIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF PROTECTIVE ANTIGEN SYNTHESIS BY BACILLUS ANTHRACIS ANNUAL

  3. Genetic and Physiological Control of Protective Antigen Synthesis by Bacillus Anthracis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-12-01

    Unclassified AD REPORT NUMBER TWO GENETIC AND PHYSIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF PROTECTIVE ANTIGEN SYNTHESIS BY BACILLUS ANTHRACIS ANNUAL PROGRESS REPORT...Physiological Control of Protective Annual Report Antigen Synthesis by Bacillus anthracis Jan. 1, 1981 - Dec. 31,198 6. PERFORMING ORG. REPORT NUMBER...neceteemy mid Identify by block number) Bacillus anthracis Anthrax protective antigen Anthrax toxin 2Q. ASSMI*ACT (Camnot en r everit stO neneesemy md fd

  4. Photoreactivation of Ultraviolet-Irradiated, Plasmid-Bearing and Plasmid-Free Strains of Bacillus anthracis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1985-12-19

    NUMBER __ vation Bacillus anthracis) ś 7. AUTHOR(’a) B.KusnShD . CONTRACT OR GRANT NUMBER(a) PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME AND ADDRESS 10. PROGRAM ELEMENT... Bacillus anthracis, anthrax, photoreactivation, DNA repair, plasmid A6SSTACT (Cinvt ass,.yme eEb ir "mease wy f dentif by block nlmbaw) Iee. he...effects of toxin- a’nd capsule-encoding plasmids on the kinetics of UIV inactivation of various strains of Bacillus anthracis were investigated. :Z

  5. Allelic Variation on Murine Chromosome 11 Modifies Host Inflammatory Responses and Resistance to Bacillus anthracis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-12-01

    Allelic Variation on Murine Chromosome 11 Modifies Host Inflammatory Responses and Resistance to Bacillus anthracis Jill K. Terra1, Bryan France1...of America Abstract Anthrax is a potentially fatal disease resulting from infection with Bacillus anthracis. The outcome of infection is influenced by...Inflammatory Responses and Resistance to Bacillus anthracis. PLoS Pathog 7(12): e1002469. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002469 Editor: Theresa M. Koehler, The

  6. Evaluation of the Cepheid GeneXpert System for Detecting Bacillus anthracis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-10-25

    ORIGINAL ARTICLE Evaluation of the Cepheid GeneXpert system for detecting Bacillus anthracis M.P. Ulrich1, D.R. Christensen1, S.R. Coyne1, P.D...Knepp et al. 2003). In addition, Keywords anthrax, automated system, Bacillus anthracis, GeneXpert, nucleic acid, real-time PCR, sample processing...system. In this study, the capability of the GeneX- pert to isolate and detect nucleic acid from Bacillus anthracis Ames spores was assessed. Methods

  7. Duration of Protection of Rabbits after Vaccination with Bacillus anthracis Recombinant Protective Antigen Vaccine

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-12-27

    against an aerosol spore challenge with the Ames isolate of Bacillus anthracis at 6 and 12 months. At 6 months after the primary injection, survival...vaccine was examined against an aerosol spore challenge with the Ames isolate of Bacillus anthracis at 6 and 12 months. At 6 months after the...Vaccine 24 (2006) 2530–2536 Duration of protection of rabbits after vaccination with Bacillus anthracis recombinant protective antigen vaccine S.F

  8. Duration of Protection of Rabbits after Vaccination with Bacillus anthracis Recombinant Protective Antigen Vaccine

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-12-13

    against an aerosol spore challenge with the Ames isolate of Bacillus anthracis at 6 and 12 months. At 6 months after the primary injection, survival...rPA) vaccine was examined against an aerosol spore challenge with the Ames isolate of Bacillus anthracis at 6 and 12 months. At 6 months after the...Vaccine 24 (2006) 2530–2536 Duration of protection of rabbits after vaccination with Bacillus anthracis recombinant protective antigen vaccine S.F

  9. Detection of the Bacillus anthracis gyrA Gene by Using a Minor Groove Binder Probe

    PubMed Central

    Hurtle, William; Bode, Elizabeth; Kulesh, David A.; Kaplan, Rebecca Susan; Garrison, Jeff; Bridge, Deanna; House, Michelle; Frye, Melissa S.; Loveless, Bonnie; Norwood, David

    2004-01-01

    Identification of chromosomal markers for rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis is difficult because significant chromosomal homology exists among B. anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis. We evaluated the bacterial gyrA gene as a potential chromosomal marker for B. anthracis. A real-time PCR assay was developed for the detection of B. anthracis. After analysis of the unique nucleotide sequence of the B. anthracis gyrA gene, a fluorescent 3′ minor groove binding probe was tested with 171 organisms from 29 genera of bacteria, including 102 Bacillus strains. The assay was found to be specific for all 43 strains of B. anthracis tested. In addition, a test panel of 105 samples was analyzed to evaluate the potential diagnostic capability of the assay. The assay showed 100% specificity, demonstrating the usefulness of the gyrA gene as a specific chromosomal marker for B. anthracis. PMID:14715750

  10. Transcriptional profiling of Bacillus anthracis during infection of host macrophages.

    PubMed

    Bergman, Nicholas H; Anderson, Erica C; Swenson, Ellen E; Janes, Brian K; Fisher, Nathan; Niemeyer, Matthew M; Miyoshi, Amy D; Hanna, Philip C

    2007-07-01

    The interaction between Bacillus anthracis and the mammalian phagocyte is one of the central stages in the progression of inhalational anthrax, and it is commonly believed that the host cell plays a key role in facilitating germination and dissemination of inhaled B. anthracis spores. Given this, a detailed definition of the survival strategies used by B. anthracis within the phagocyte is critical for our understanding of anthrax. In this study, we report the first genome-wide analysis of B. anthracis gene expression during infection of host phagocytes. We developed a technique for specific isolation of bacterial RNA from within infected murine macrophages, and we used custom B. anthracis microarrays to characterize the expression patterns occurring within intracellular bacteria throughout infection of the host phagocyte. We found that B. anthracis adapts very quickly to the intracellular environment, and our analyses identified metabolic pathways that appear to be important to the bacterium during intracellular growth, as well as individual genes that show significant induction in vivo. We used quantitative reverse transcription-PCR to verify that the expression trends that we observed by microarray analysis were valid, and we chose one gene (GBAA1941, encoding a putative transcriptional regulator) for further characterization. A deletion strain missing this gene showed no phenotype in vitro but was significantly attenuated in a mouse model of inhalational anthrax, suggesting that the microarray data described here provide not only the first comprehensive view of how B. anthracis survives within the host cell but also a number of promising leads for further research in anthrax.

  11. Fast and Sensitive Detection of Bacillus anthracis Spores by Immunoassay

    PubMed Central

    Volland, Hervé; Dano, Julie; Lamourette, Patricia; Sylvestre, Patricia; Mock, Michèle; Créminon, Christophe

    2012-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is one of the most dangerous potential biological weapons, and it is essential to develop a rapid and simple method to detect B. anthracis spores in environmental samples. The immunoassay is a rapid and easy-to-use method for the detection of B. anthracis by means of antibodies directed against surface spore antigens. With this objective in view, we have produced a panel of monoclonal antibodies against B. anthracis and developed colorimetric and electrochemiluminescence (ECL) immunoassays. Using Meso Scale Discovery ECL technology, which is based on electrochemiluminescence (ECL) detection utilizing a sulfo-Tag label that emits light upon electrochemical stimulation (using a dedicated ECL plate reader, an electrical current is placed across the microplate with electrodes integrated into the bottom of the plate, resulting in a series of electrically induced reactions leading to a luminescent signal), a detection limit ranging between 0.3 × 103 and 103 CFU/ml (i.e., 30 to 100 spores per test), depending on the B. anthracis strain assayed, was achieved. In complex matrices (5 mg/ml of soil or simulated powder), the detection level (without any sample purification or concentration) was never altered more than 3-fold compared with the results obtained in phosphate-buffered saline. PMID:22773632

  12. Measuring the Variability of Treated Bacillus Anthracis Delta Stern Spores

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-02-23

    the 35 varied outcomes that can be induced by density gradient purification and post- growth 36 inactivation using gamma irradiation. The responses...and post- growth 36 inactivation using gamma irradiation. The responses using Quantitative Polymerase Chain 37 Reaction, Electrochemiluminescence...neighbor (5,19) Bacillus species (B. cereus 62 group) or avirulent B. anthracis (29) to avoid occupational exposures, and by use of varied 63 growth

  13. Multigeneration Cross-Contamination of Mail with Bacillus anthracis Spores.

    PubMed

    Edmonds, Jason; Lindquist, H D Alan; Sabol, Jonathan; Martinez, Kenneth; Shadomy, Sean; Cymet, Tyler; Emanuel, Peter

    2016-01-01

    The release of biological agents, including those which could be used in biowarfare or bioterrorism in large urban areas, has been a concern for governments for nearly three decades. Previous incidents from Sverdlosk and the postal anthrax attack of 2001 have raised questions on the mechanism of spread of Bacillus anthracis spores as an aerosol or contaminant. Prior studies have demonstrated that Bacillus atrophaeus is easily transferred through simulated mail handing, but no reports have demonstrated this ability with Bacillus anthracis spores, which have morphological differences that may affect adhesion properties between spore and formite. In this study, equipment developed to simulate interactions across three generations of envelopes subjected to tumbling and mixing was used to evaluate the potential for cross-contamination of B. anthracis spores in simulated mail handling. In these experiments, we found that the potential for cross-contamination through letter tumbling from one generation to the next varied between generations while the presence of a fluidizer had no statistical impact on the transfer of material. Likewise, the presence or absence of a fluidizer had no statistically significant impact on cross-contamination levels or reaerosolization from letter opening.

  14. Multigeneration Cross-Contamination of Mail with Bacillus anthracis Spores

    PubMed Central

    Edmonds, Jason; Lindquist, H. D. Alan; Sabol, Jonathan; Martinez, Kenneth; Shadomy, Sean; Cymet, Tyler; Emanuel, Peter

    2016-01-01

    The release of biological agents, including those which could be used in biowarfare or bioterrorism in large urban areas, has been a concern for governments for nearly three decades. Previous incidents from Sverdlosk and the postal anthrax attack of 2001 have raised questions on the mechanism of spread of Bacillus anthracis spores as an aerosol or contaminant. Prior studies have demonstrated that Bacillus atrophaeus is easily transferred through simulated mail handing, but no reports have demonstrated this ability with Bacillus anthracis spores, which have morphological differences that may affect adhesion properties between spore and formite. In this study, equipment developed to simulate interactions across three generations of envelopes subjected to tumbling and mixing was used to evaluate the potential for cross-contamination of B. anthracis spores in simulated mail handling. In these experiments, we found that the potential for cross-contamination through letter tumbling from one generation to the next varied between generations while the presence of a fluidizer had no statistical impact on the transfer of material. Likewise, the presence or absence of a fluidizer had no statistically significant impact on cross-contamination levels or reaerosolization from letter opening. PMID:27123934

  15. Bacillus cereus G9241 makes anthrax toxin and capsule like highly virulent B. anthracis Ames but behaves like attenuated toxigenic nonencapsulated B. anthracis Sterne in rabbits and mice.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Melissa K; Vergis, James M; Alem, Farhang; Palmer, John R; Keane-Myers, Andrea M; Brahmbhatt, Trupti N; Ventura, Christy L; O'Brien, Alison D

    2011-08-01

    Bacillus cereus G9241 was isolated from a welder with a pulmonary anthrax-like illness. The organism contains two megaplasmids, pBCXO1 and pBC218. These plasmids are analogous to the Bacillus anthracis Ames plasmids pXO1 and pXO2 that encode anthrax toxins and capsule, respectively. Here we evaluated the virulence of B. cereus G9241 as well as the contributions of pBCXO1 and pBC218 to virulence. B. cereus G9241 was avirulent in New Zealand rabbits after subcutaneous inoculation and attenuated 100-fold compared to the published 50% lethal dose (LD(50)) values for B. anthracis Ames after aerosol inoculation. A/J and C57BL/6J mice were comparably susceptible to B. cereus G9241 by both subcutaneous and intranasal routes of infection. However, the LD(50)s for B. cereus G9241 in both mouse strains were markedly higher than those reported for B. anthracis Ames and more like those of the toxigenic but nonencapsulated B. anthracis Sterne. Furthermore, B. cereus G9241 spores could germinate and disseminate after intranasal inoculation into A/J mice, as indicated by the presence of vegetative cells in the spleen and blood of animals 48 h after infection. Lastly, B. cereus G9241 derivatives cured of one or both megaplasmids were highly attenuated in A/J mice. We conclude that the presence of the toxin- and capsule-encoding plasmids pBCXO1 and pBC218 in B. cereus G9241 alone is insufficient to render the strain as virulent as B. anthracis Ames. However, like B. anthracis, full virulence of B. cereus G9241 for mice requires the presence of both plasmids.

  16. Phages Preying on Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis: Past, Present and Future

    PubMed Central

    Gillis, Annika; Mahillon, Jacques

    2014-01-01

    Many bacteriophages (phages) have been widely studied due to their major role in virulence evolution of bacterial pathogens. However, less attention has been paid to phages preying on bacteria from the Bacillus cereus group and their contribution to the bacterial genetic pool has been disregarded. Therefore, this review brings together the main information for the B. cereus group phages, from their discovery to their modern biotechnological applications. A special focus is given to phages infecting Bacillus anthracis, B. cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis. These phages belong to the Myoviridae, Siphoviridae, Podoviridae and Tectiviridae families. For the sake of clarity, several phage categories have been made according to significant characteristics such as lifestyles and lysogenic states. The main categories comprise the transducing phages, phages with a chromosomal or plasmidial prophage state, γ-like phages and jumbo-phages. The current genomic characterization of some of these phages is also addressed throughout this work and some promising applications are discussed here. PMID:25010767

  17. Effectiveness of Medical Defense Interventions Against Predicted Battlefield Levels of Bacillus Anthracis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-10-01

    medical interventions such as vaccination and antibiotic therapy . 2 2.0 BACKGROUND 2.1 CHARACTERISTICS OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS Anthrax is a disease that...physical characteristics of B. anthracis released as an aerosol. , The toxicology of B. anthracis without medical intervention , with antibiotic therapy , or...spores/vegetative cells of B. anthracis; the impact of a protective mask or medical intervention using pre- or post- exposure antibiotic therapy and/or

  18. Novel and unique diagnostic biomarkers for Bacillus anthracis infection.

    PubMed

    Sela-Abramovich, Sagit; Chitlaru, Theodor; Gat, Orit; Grosfeld, Haim; Cohen, Ofer; Shafferman, Avigdor

    2009-10-01

    A search for bacterium-specific biomarkers in peripheral blood following infection with Bacillus anthracis was carried out with rabbits, using a battery of specific antibodies generated by DNA vaccination against 10 preselected highly immunogenic bacterial antigens which were identified previously by a genomic/proteomic/serologic screen of the B. anthracis secretome. Detection of infection biomarkers in the circulation of infected rabbits could be achieved only after removal of highly abundant serum proteins by chromatography using a random-ligand affinity column. Besides the toxin component protective antigen, the following three secreted proteins were detected in the circulation of infected animals: the chaperone and protease HtrA (BA3660), an NlpC/P60 endopeptidase (BA1952), and a protein of unknown function harboring two SH3 (Src homology 3) domains (BA0796). The three proteins could be detected in plasma samples from infected animals exhibiting 10(3) to 10(5) CFU/ml blood and also in standard blood cultures at 3 to 6 h post-bacterial inoculation at a bacteremic level as low as 10(3) CFU/ml. Furthermore, the three biomarkers appear to be present only in the secretome of B. anthracis, not in those of the related pathogens B. thuringiensis and B. cereus. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of direct detection of B. anthracis-specific proteins, other than the toxin components, in the circulation of infected animals.

  19. Genetic and Physiological Control of Protective Antigen Synthesis by Bacillus anthracis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1982-12-01

    referred to in this report Organism Characteristics and Source* Bacillus licheniformis ATCC 9945A C.E. Thorne collection Bacillus subtilis 168 trpC, C.B...Unclassified AD REPORT NUMBER THREE GENETIC ANL PHYSIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF PROTECTIVE ANTIGEN SYNTHESIS BY BACILLUS ANTHRACIS N ANNUAL PROGRESS REPORT...PERIOD COVERED Genetic and Physiological Control of Protective Annual Report Antigen Synthesis by Bacillus anthracis Jan. 1, 1982-Dec. 31, 1982 6

  20. Two-Component Direct Fluorescent-Antibody Assay for Rapid Identification of Bacillus Anthracis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2002-10-01

    Bacillus spp. (n=56) Five closely related Bacillus species—B. cereus (n=23), B. megaterium (n=11), B. subtilis (n=9), B. thuringiensis (n=12), and B...Rapid Identification of Bacillus anthracis Barun K. De,* Sandra L. Bragg,* Gary N. Sanden,* Kathy E. Wilson,* Lois A. Diem,* Chung K. Marston...antibody (DFA) assay, using fluorescein-labeled monoclonal antibodies specific to the Bacillus anthracis cell wall (CW-DFA) and capsule (CAP-DFA

  1. Recombinant expression and purification of a tumor-targeted toxin in Bacillus anthracis

    SciTech Connect

    Bachran, Christopher; Abdelazim, Suzanne; Fattah, Rasem J.; Liu, Shihui; Leppla, Stephen H.

    2013-01-04

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Non-infectious and protease-deficient Bacillus anthracis protein expression system. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Successful expression and purification of a tumor-targeted fusion protein drug. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Very low endotoxin contamination of purified protein. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Efficient protein secretion simplifies purification. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Functional anti-tumor fusion protein purified. -- Abstract: Many recombinant therapeutic proteins are purified from Escherichia coli. While expression in E. coli is easily achieved, some disadvantages such as protein aggregation, formation of inclusion bodies, and contamination of purified proteins with the lipopolysaccharides arise. Lipopolysaccharides have to be removed to prevent inflammatory responses in patients. Use of the Gram-positive Bacillus anthracis as an expression host offers a solution to circumvent these problems. Using the multiple protease-deficient strain BH460, we expressed a fusion of the N-terminal 254 amino acids of anthrax lethal factor (LFn), the N-terminal 389 amino acids of diphtheria toxin (DT389) and human transforming growth factor alpha (TGF{alpha}). The resulting fusion protein was constitutively expressed and successfully secreted by B. anthracis into the culture supernatant. Purification was achieved by anion exchange chromatography and proteolytic cleavage removed LFn from the desired fusion protein (DT389 fused to TGF{alpha}). The fusion protein showed the intended specific cytotoxicity to epidermal growth factor receptor-expressing human head and neck cancer cells. Final analyses showed low levels of lipopolysaccharides, originating most likely from contamination during the purification process. Thus, the fusion to LFn for protein secretion and expression in B. anthracis BH460 provides an elegant tool to obtain high levels of lipopolysaccharide-free recombinant protein.

  2. Method for screening inhibitors of the toxicity of Bacillus anthracis

    DOEpatents

    Cirino, Nick M.; Jackson, Paul J.; Lehnert, Bruce E.

    2001-01-01

    The protective antigen (PA) of Bacillus anthracis is integral to the mechanism of anthrax poisoning. The cloning, expression and purification of a 32 kDa B. anthracis PA fragment (PA32) is described. This fragment has also been expressed as a fusion construct to stabilized green fluorescent protein (EGFP-PA32). Both proteins were capable of binding to specific cell surface receptors as determined by fluorescent microscopy and a flow cytometric assay. To confirm binding specificity in the flow cytometric assay, non-fluorescent PA83 or PA32 was used to competitively inhibit fluorescent EGFP-PA32 binding to cell receptors. This assay can be employed as a rapid screen for compounds which disrupts binding of PA to cells. Additionally, the high intracellular expression levels and ease of purification make this recombinant protein an attractive vaccine candidate or therapeutic treatment for anthrax poisoning.

  3. Structure of isochorismate synthase DhbC from Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Domagalski, M J; Tkaczuk, K L; Chruszcz, M; Skarina, T; Onopriyenko, O; Cymborowski, M; Grabowski, M; Savchenko, A; Minor, W

    2013-09-01

    The isochorismate synthase DhbC from Bacillus anthracis is essential for the biosynthesis of the siderophore bacillibactin by this pathogenic bacterium. The structure of the selenomethionine-substituted protein was determined to 2.4 Å resolution using single-wavelength anomalous diffraction. B. anthracis DhbC bears the strongest resemblance to the Escherichia coli isochorismate synthase EntC, which is involved in the biosynthesis of another siderophore, namely enterobactin. Both proteins adopt the characteristic fold of other chorismate-utilizing enzymes, which are involved in the biosynthesis of various products, including siderophores, menaquinone and tryptophan. The conservation of the active-site residues, as well as their spatial arrangement, suggests that these enzymes share a common Mg(2+)-dependent catalytic mechanism.

  4. Structure of isochorismate synthase DhbC from Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Domagalski, M. J.; Tkaczuk, K. L.; Chruszcz, M.; Skarina, T.; Onopriyenko, O.; Cymborowski, M.; Grabowski, M.; Savchenko, A.; Minor, W.

    2013-01-01

    The isochorismate synthase DhbC from Bacillus anthracis is essential for the biosynthesis of the siderophore bacillibactin by this pathogenic bacterium. The structure of the selenomethionine-substituted protein was determined to 2.4 Å resolution using single-wavelength anomalous diffraction. B. anthracis DhbC bears the strongest resemblance to the Escherichia coli isochorismate synthase EntC, which is involved in the biosynthesis of another siderophore, namely enterobactin. Both proteins adopt the characteristic fold of other chorismate-utilizing enzymes, which are involved in the biosynthesis of various products, including siderophores, menaquinone and tryptophan. The conservation of the active-site residues, as well as their spatial arrangement, suggests that these enzymes share a common Mg2+-dependent catalytic mechanism. PMID:23989140

  5. Surface Sampling Methods for Bacillus anthracis Spore Contamination

    PubMed Central

    Hein, Misty J.; Taylor, Lauralynn; Curwin, Brian D.; Kinnes, Gregory M.; Seitz, Teresa A.; Popovic, Tanja; Holmes, Harvey T.; Kellum, Molly E.; McAllister, Sigrid K.; Whaley, David N.; Tupin, Edward A.; Walker, Timothy; Freed, Jennifer A.; Small, Dorothy S.; Klusaritz, Brian; Bridges, John H.

    2002-01-01

    During an investigation conducted December 17–20, 2001, we collected environmental samples from a U.S. postal facility in Washington, D.C., known to be extensively contaminated with Bacillus anthracis spores. Because methods for collecting and analyzing B. anthracis spores have not yet been validated, our objective was to compare the relative effectiveness of sampling methods used for collecting spores from contaminated surfaces. Comparison of wipe, wet and dry swab, and HEPA vacuum sock samples on nonporous surfaces indicated good agreement between results with HEPA vacuum and wipe samples. However, results from HEPA vacuum sock and wipe samples agreed poorly with the swab samples. Dry swabs failed to detect spores >75% of the time they were detected by wipe and HEPA vacuum samples. Wipe samples collected after HEPA vacuum samples and HEPA vacuum samples after wipe samples indicated that neither method completely removed spores from the sampled surfaces. PMID:12396930

  6. Historical distribution and molecular diversity of Bacillus anthracis, Kazakhstan.

    PubMed

    Aikembayev, Alim M; Lukhnova, Larissa; Temiraliyeva, Gulnara; Meka-Mechenko, Tatyana; Pazylov, Yerlan; Zakaryan, Sarkis; Denissov, Georgiy; Easterday, W Ryan; Van Ert, Matthew N; Keim, Paul; Francesconi, Stephen C; Blackburn, Jason K; Hugh-Jones, Martin; Hadfield, Ted

    2010-05-01

    To map the distribution of anthrax outbreaks and strain subtypes in Kazakhstan during 1937-2005, we combined geographic information system technology and genetic analysis by using archived cultures and data. Biochemical and genetic tests confirmed the identity of 93 archived cultures in the Kazakhstan National Culture Collection as Bacillus anthracis. Multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis genotyping identified 12 genotypes. Cluster analysis comparing these genotypes with previously published genotypes indicated that most (n = 78) isolates belonged to the previously described A1.a genetic cluster, 6 isolates belonged to the A3.b cluster, and 2 belonged to the A4 cluster. Two genotypes in the collection appeared to represent novel genetic sublineages; 1 of these isolates was from Krygystan. Our data provide a description of the historical, geographic, and genetic diversity of B. anthracis in this Central Asian region.

  7. Evaluation of PCR Systems for Field Screening of Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Ozanich, Richard M.; Colburn, Heather A.; Victry, Kristin D.; Bartholomew, Rachel A.; Arce, Jennifer S.; Heredia-Langner, Alejandro; Jarman, Kristin; Kreuzer, Helen W.

    2017-01-01

    There is little published data on the performance of hand-portable polymerase chain reaction (PCR) systems that can be used by first responders to determine if a suspicious powder contains a potential biothreat agent. We evaluated 5 commercially available hand-portable PCR instruments for detection of Bacillus anthracis. We used a cost-effective, statistically based test plan to evaluate systems at performance levels ranging from 0.85-0.95 lower confidence bound (LCB) of the probability of detection (POD) at confidence levels of 80% to 95%. We assessed specificity using purified genomic DNA from 13 B. anthracis strains and 18 Bacillus near neighbors, potential interference with 22 suspicious powders that are commonly encountered in the field by first responders during suspected biothreat incidents, and the potential for PCR inhibition when B. anthracis spores were spiked into these powders. Our results indicate that 3 of the 5 systems achieved 0.95 LCB of the probability of detection with 95% confidence levels at test concentrations of 2,000 genome equivalents/mL (GE/mL), which is comparable to 2,000 spores/mL. This is more than sufficient sensitivity for screening visible suspicious powders. These systems exhibited no false-positive results or PCR inhibition with common suspicious powders and reliably detected B. anthracis spores spiked into these powders, though some issues with assay controls were observed. Our testing approach enables efficient performance testing using a statistically rigorous and cost-effective test plan to generate performance data that allow users to make informed decisions regarding the purchase and use of field biodetection equipment. PMID:28192050

  8. Metal binding spectrum and model structure of the Bacillus anthracis virulence determinant MntA.

    PubMed

    Vigonsky, Elena; Fish, Inbar; Livnat-Levanon, Nurit; Ovcharenko, Elena; Ben-Tal, Nir; Lewinson, Oded

    2015-10-01

    The potentially lethal human pathogen Bacillus anthracis expresses a putative metal import system, MntBCA, which belongs to the large family of ABC transporters. MntBCA is essential for virulence of Bacillus anthracis: deletion of MntA, the system's substrate binding protein, yields a completely non-virulent strain. Here we determined the metal binding spectrum of MntA. In contrast to what can be inferred from growth complementation studies we find no evidence that MntA binds Fe(2+) or Fe(3+). Rather, MntA binds a variety of other metal ions, including Mn(2+), Zn(2+), Cd(2+), Co(2+), and Ni(2+) with affinities ranging from 10(-6) to 10(-8) M. Binding of Zn(2+) and Co(2+) have a pronounced thermo-stabilizing effect on MntA, with Mn(2+) having a milder effect. The thermodynamic stability of MntA, competition experiments, and metal binding and release experiments all suggest that Mn(2+) is the metal that is likely transported by MntBCA and is therefore the limiting factor for virulence of Bacillus anthracis. A homology-model of MntA shows a single, highly conserved metal binding site, with four residues that participate in metal coordination: two histidines, a glutamate, and an aspartate. The metals bind to this site in a mutually exclusive manner, yet surprisingly, mutational analysis shows that for proper coordination each metal requires a different subset of these four residues. ConSurf evolutionary analysis and structural comparison of MntA and its homologues suggest that substrate binding proteins (SBPs) of metal ions use a pair of highly conserved prolines to interact with their cognate ABC transporters. This proline pair is found exclusively in ABC import systems of metal ions.

  9. Bacillus cereus G9241 Makes Anthrax Toxin and Capsule like Highly Virulent B. anthracis Ames but Behaves like Attenuated Toxigenic Nonencapsulated B. anthracis Sterne in Rabbits and Mice

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-08-01

    20. Kuroki, R., et al. 2009. Nosocomial bacteremia caused by biofilm-forming Bacillus cereus and Bacillus tlrurin!{iensis. Intern. Med. 48:791-796...Microbiology. All Rights Reserved. Bacillus cereus G9241 Makes Anthrax Toxin and Capsule like Highly Virulent B. anthracis Ames but Behaves like...G9241 for mice requires the presence of both plasmids. The Bacillus cereus group, of which Bacillus anthracis, Bacil- lus thuringiensis, and B

  10. Nanomechanical Characterization of Bacillus anthracis Spores by Atomic Force Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Burggraf, Larry W.; Xing, Yun

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The study of structures and properties of bacterial spores is important to understanding spore formation and biological responses to environmental stresses. While significant progress has been made over the years in elucidating the multilayer architecture of spores, the mechanical properties of the spore interior are not known. Here, we present a thermal atomic force microscopy (AFM) study of the nanomechanical properties of internal structures of Bacillus anthracis spores. We developed a nanosurgical sectioning method in which a stiff diamond AFM tip was used to cut an individual spore, exposing its internal structure, and a soft AFM tip was used to image and characterize the spore interior on the nanometer scale. We observed that the elastic modulus and adhesion force, including their thermal responses at elevated temperatures, varied significantly in different regions of the spore section. Our AFM images indicated that the peptidoglycan (PG) cortex of Bacillus anthracis spores consisted of rod-like nanometer-sized structures that are oriented in the direction perpendicular to the spore surface. Our findings may shed light on the spore architecture and properties. IMPORTANCE A nanosurgical AFM method was developed that can be used to probe the structure and properties of the spore interior. The previously unknown ultrastructure of the PG cortex of Bacillus anthracis spores was observed to consist of nanometer-sized rod-like structures that are oriented in the direction perpendicular to the spore surface. The variations in the nanomechanical properties of the spore section were largely correlated with its chemical composition. Different components of the spore materials showed different thermal responses at elevated temperatures. PMID:26969703

  11. Antimicrobial susceptibility of Bacillus anthracis strains from Hungary.

    PubMed

    Kreizinger, Zsuzsa; Sulyok, Kinga Mária; Makrai, László; Rónai, Zsuzsanna; Fodor, László; Jánosi, Szilárd; Gyuranecz, Miklós

    2016-06-01

    The susceptibility of 29 Bacillus anthracis strains, collected in Hungary between 1933 and 2014, was tested to 10 antibiotics with commercially available minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) test strips. All strains were susceptible to amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin, clindamycin, doxycycline, gentamicin, penicillin, rifampicin, and vancomycin. Intermediate susceptibility to erythromycin and cefotaxime was detected in 17.2% (5/29) and 58.6% (17/29) of the strains, respectively. Correlations were not observed between the isolation date, location, host species, genotype, and antibiotic susceptibility profile of strains.

  12. Anthrax toxin targeting of myeloid cells through the CMG2 receptor is essential for establishment of Bacillus anthracis infections in mice.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shihui; Miller-Randolph, Sharmina; Crown, Devorah; Moayeri, Mahtab; Sastalla, Inka; Okugawa, Shu; Leppla, Stephen H

    2010-11-18

    Bacillus anthracis kills through a combination of bacterial infection and toxemia. Anthrax toxin working via the CMG2 receptor mediates lethality late in infection, but its roles early in infection remain unclear. We generated myeloid-lineage specific CMG2-deficient mice to examine the roles of macrophages, neutrophils, and other myeloid cells in anthrax pathogenesis. Macrophages and neutrophils isolated from these mice were resistant to anthrax toxin. However, the myeloid-specific CMG2-deficient mice remained fully sensitive to both anthrax lethal and edema toxins, demonstrating that targeting of myeloid cells is not responsible for anthrax toxin-induced lethality. Surprisingly, the myeloid-specific CMG2-deficient mice were completely resistant to B. anthracis infection. Neutrophil depletion experiments suggest that B. anthracis relies on anthrax toxin secretion to evade the scavenging functions of neutrophils to successfully establish infection. This work demonstrates that anthrax toxin uptake through CMG2 and the resulting impairment of myeloid cells are essential to anthrax infection.

  13. Genetic and Physiological Studies of Bacillus anthracis Related to Development of an Improved Vaccine

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-07-01

    resistance plasmid pBC16 to the Bacillus species anthracis, cereus, K -21- ’./ licheniformis , megateritm, pumilus, subtilis, and thuringiensis. Evidence...Q 1 FILE (PRY AD _ _ GENETIC AND PHYSIOLOGICAL STUDIES OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS RELATED TO DEVELOPMENT OF AN IMPROVED VACCINE ANNUAL PROGRESS REPORTDTIC...Physiological Studies of Bacillus antihviCls Related to Development /1 of An Improved Vaccine S 12. PERSONAL AUTHOR(S)Cuts .Thre 7 13.. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 13, T1EO EOT1b

  14. Production and Characterization of Monoclonal Antibodies Against the Protective Antigen Component of Bacillus anthracis Toxin

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-01-21

    F. Jaquet, P. Luethy, R. Huetter, and D. G. Braun. 1986. Characterization of mcnoclonal antibodies to a crystal protein of Bacillus thuringiensis ...AD-A192 855 UT FILE COPY Production and Characterization of Monoclonal Antibodies Against the Protective Antigen Component of Bacillus anthracis...Author Tel. No. 301-663-7341 1--ac",- 88 3 14 05 6 Krhirty-six monoclonal antibodies to the protective antigen protein of Bacillus anthracis exotoxin

  15. Verification of Commercial Decontamination Technologies in Bench-Scale Studies Using Bacillus anthracis Spores

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-11-17

    12980) • Spore Strips – Bacillus atrophaeus (ATCC 9372) Biological Indicator Spore Strip BUSINESS SENSITIVE Organisms Biological Indicators: SEM Images...BUSINESS SENSITIVE Verification of Commercial Decontamination Technologies in Bench-Scale Studies Using Bacillus anthracis Spores M.L. Taylor, J.V...Commercial Decontamination Technologies in Bench-Scale Studies Using Bacillus anthracis Spores 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM

  16. Evaluation of tools for environmental sampling of Bacillus anthracis spores.

    PubMed

    Fujinami, Yoshihito; Hosokawa-Muto, Junji; Mizuno, Natsuko

    2015-12-01

    This study describes the validation of sampling techniques used to detect biological warfare agents used in terror attacks. For this purpose, we tested the efficiencies of different sampling media and extraction solutions for the recovery of bacterial pathogens. We first used Bacillus cereus ATCC 4342 spores as a surrogate for highly pathogenic B. anthracis to compare recovery efficiencies of spores from four different surfaces. We used three different types of sampling swabs and four different solutions to extract spores from the swabs. The most effective sampling method employed rayon swabs moistened with water. The efficencies of the four extraction solutions did not differ significantly, although yields were highest using phosphate-buffered saline containing Tween 80 (PBS-T). Using rayon swabs and sterile water, we recovered B. cereus ATCC 4342 and B. anthracis spores with equivalent efficiencies. These findings indicate that because of its reduced pathogenicity and relative ease in handling (Biosafety Level 1), use of B. cereus ATCC 4342 will facilitate further optimization of techniques to detect B. anthracis.

  17. Setting risk-informed environmental standards for Bacillus anthracis spores.

    PubMed

    Hong, Tao; Gurian, Patrick L; Ward, Nicholas F Dudley

    2010-10-01

    In many cases, human health risk from biological agents is associated with aerosol exposures. Because air concentrations decline rapidly after a release, it may be necessary to use concentrations found in other environmental media to infer future or past aerosol exposures. This article presents an approach for linking environmental concentrations of Bacillus. anthracis (B. anthracis) spores on walls, floors, ventilation system filters, and in human nasal passages with human health risk from exposure to B. anthracis spores. This approach is then used to calculate example values of risk-informed concentration standards for both retrospective risk mitigation (e.g., prophylactic antibiotics) and prospective risk mitigation (e.g., environmental clean up and reoccupancy). A large number of assumptions are required to calculate these values, and the resulting values have large uncertainties associated with them. The values calculated here suggest that documenting compliance with risks in the range of 10(-4) to 10(-6) would be challenging for small diameter (respirable) spore particles. For less stringent risk targets and for releases of larger diameter particles (which are less respirable and hence less hazardous), environmental sampling would be more promising.

  18. Molecular characterization of the circulating Bacillus anthracis in Jordan.

    PubMed

    Aqel, Amin Abdelfattah; Hailat, Ekhlas; Serrecchia, Luigina; Aqel, Suad; Campese, Emanuele; Vicari, Nadia; Fasanella, Antonio

    2015-12-01

    To understand the biomolecular charcteristics of Bacillus anthracis in Jordan, 20 blood smear slides from dead animals with suspected anthrax were analyzed using conventional and molecular approaches. All slides were positive for B. anthracis by conventional staining but no growth of the organism on selective media was detected. However, of the 20 samples, 16 were B. anthracis DNA-positive using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Seven samples provided enough quantity and quality of DNA, and their multilocus variable tandem repeat analysis (MLVA)-15 loci analysis revealed two different genotypes. All genotypes were belonging to A.B..r. 008/009 which is very common in Asia and Europe. Single nucleotide repeat (SNR) analysis revealed that there were no sub genotypes. Molecular diagnosis of animal anthrax in Jordan is not used routinely; henceforth, official diagnosis of anthrax is based on the observation of the slides by optical microscope and this can often cause reading errors. Therefore, the prevalence of the disease in Jordan might be slightly lower than that reported by the official bodies.

  19. Expression of Bacillus anthracis Protective Antigen in Bacillus megaterium

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-03-01

    protective antigen in Bacillus megaterium B.J. Berger, K.E. Schwandt and C.L. Radford Defence R&D Canada - Suffield Technical Memorandum DISTRIBUTION...antigen in Bacillus megaterium B. J. Berger, K. E. Schwandt, and C. L. Radford Defence R&D Canada - Suffield Defence R&D Canada - Suffield Technical...expressed using Bacillus megaterium and a xylose-inducible heterologous expression system. After only 3.5 hours growth post-induction in Luria

  20. Identification of Bacillus anthracis spore component antigens conserved across diverse Bacillus cereus sensu lato strains.

    PubMed

    Mukhopadhyay, Sanghamitra; Akmal, Arya; Stewart, Andrew C; Hsia, Ru-Ching; Read, Timothy D

    2009-06-01

    We sought to identify proteins in the Bacillus anthracis spore, conserved in other strains of the closely related Bacillus cereus group, that elicit an immune response in mammals. Two high throughput approaches were used. First, an in silico screening identified 200 conserved putative B. anthracis spore components. A total of 192 of those candidate genes were expressed and purified in vitro, 75 of which reacted with the rabbit immune sera generated against B. anthracis spores. The second approach was to screen for cross-reacting antigens in the spore proteome of 10 diverse B. cereus group strains. Two-dimensional electrophoresis resolved more than 200 protein spots in each spore preparation. About 72% of the protein spots were found in all the strains. 18 of these conserved proteins reacted against anti-B. anthracis spore rabbit immune sera, two of which (alanine racemase, Dal-1 and the methionine transporter, MetN) overlapped the set of proteins identified using the in silico screen. A conserved repeat domain protein (Crd) was the most immunoreactive protein found broadly across B. cereus sensu lato strains. We have established an approach for finding conserved targets across a species using population genomics and proteomics. The results of these screens suggest the possibility of a multiepitope antigen for broad host range diagnostics or therapeutics against Bacillus spore infection.

  1. Host-Pathogen Coupled Networks: Model for Bacillus Anthracis Interaction with Host Macrophages

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-09-01

    regional lymph nodes where vegetative BA bacteria synthesize protective antigen (PA), lethal factor (LF), and edema factor (EF) for release into...vegetative B. anthracis bacteria synthesize protective antigen (PA), lethal factor (LF), and edema factor (EF) for release into the circulation...proteins to which B. anthracis owes its virulence. These proteins are protective antigen (PA), lethal factor (LF), and edema factor (EF). LF is a

  2. Genotype Analysis of Bacillus anthracis Strains Circulating in Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Rume, Farzana Islam; Affuso, Alessia; Serrecchia, Luigina; Rondinone, Valeria; Manzulli, Viviana; Campese, Emanuele; Di Taranto, Pietro; Biswas, Paritosh Kumar; Ahsan, Chowdhury Rafiqul; Yasmin, Mahmuda; Fasanella, Antonio; Hugh-Jones, Martin

    2016-01-01

    In Bangladesh, anthrax, caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, is considered an endemic disease affecting ruminants with sporadic zoonotic occurrences in humans. Due to the lack of knowledge about risks from an incorrect removal of infected carcasses, the disease is not properly monitored, and because of the socio-economic conditions, the situation is under-reported and under-diagnosed. For sensitive species, anthrax represents a fatal outcome with sudden death and sometimes bleeding from natural orifices. The most common source of infection for ruminants is ingestion of spores during grazing in contaminated pastures or through grass and water contaminated with anthrax spores. Domestic cattle, sheep and goats can also become infected through contaminated bone meal (used as feed) originating from anthrax-infected carcasses. The present investigation was conducted to isolate B. anthracis organisms from 169 samples (73 soil, 1 tissue, 4 bone and 91 bone meal samples) collected from 12 different districts of Bangladesh. The sampling was carried out from 2012 to 2015. Twelve samples resulted positive for B. anthracis. Biomolecular analyses were conducted starting from the Canonical Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (CanSNP) to analyze the phylogenetic origin of strains. The analysis of genotype, obtained through the Multiple Locus Variable Number Tandem Repeat Analysis (MLVA) with the analysis of 15 Variable Number Tandem Repeats (VNTR), demonstrated four different genotypes: two of them were previously identified in the district of Sirajganj. The sub-genotyping, conducted with Single Nucleotide Repeats analysis, revealed the presence of eight subgenotypes. The data of the present study concluded that there was no observed correlation between imported cattle feed and anthrax occurrence in Bangladesh and that the remarkable genetic variations of B. anthracis were found in the soil of numerous outbreaks in this country.

  3. Allelic variation on murine chromosome 11 modifies host inflammatory responses and resistance to Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Terra, Jill K; France, Bryan; Cote, Christopher K; Jenkins, Amy; Bozue, Joel A; Welkos, Susan L; Bhargava, Ragini; Ho, Chi-Lee; Mehrabian, Margarete; Pan, Calvin; Lusis, Aldons J; Davis, Richard C; LeVine, Steven M; Bradley, Kenneth A

    2011-12-01

    Anthrax is a potentially fatal disease resulting from infection with Bacillus anthracis. The outcome of infection is influenced by pathogen-encoded virulence factors such as lethal toxin (LT), as well as by genetic variation within the host. To identify host genes controlling susceptibility to anthrax, a library of congenic mice consisting of strains with homozygous chromosomal segments from the LT-responsive CAST/Ei strain introgressed on a LT-resistant C57BL/6 (B6) background was screened for response to LT. Three congenic strains containing CAST/Ei regions of chromosome 11 were identified that displayed a rapid inflammatory response to LT similar to, but more severe than that driven by a LT-responsive allele of the inflammasome constituent NRLP1B. Importantly, increased response to LT in congenic mice correlated with greater resistance to infection by the Sterne strain of B. anthracis. The genomic region controlling the inflammatory response to LT was mapped to 66.36-74.67 Mb on chromosome 11, a region that encodes the LT-responsive CAST/Ei allele of Nlrp1b. However, known downstream effects of NLRP1B activation, including macrophage pyroptosis, cytokine release, and leukocyte infiltration could not fully explain the response to LT or the resistance to B. anthracis Sterne in congenic mice. Further, the exacerbated response in congenic mice is inherited in a recessive manner while the Nlrp1b-mediated response to LT is dominant. Finally, congenic mice displayed increased responsiveness in a model of sepsis compared with B6 mice. In total, these data suggest that allelic variation of one or more chromosome 11 genes in addition to Nlrp1b controls the severity of host response to multiple inflammatory stimuli and contributes to resistance to B. anthracis Sterne. Expression quantitative trait locus analysis revealed 25 genes within this region as high priority candidates for contributing to the host response to LT.

  4. Bacillus anthracis Capsular Conjugates Elicit Chimpanzee Polyclonal Antibodies That Protect Mice from Pulmonary Anthrax.

    PubMed

    Chen, Zhaochun; Schneerson, Rachel; Lovchik, Julie A; Dai, Zhongdong; Kubler-Kielb, Joanna; Agulto, Liane; Leppla, Stephen H; Purcell, Robert H

    2015-08-01

    The immunogenicity of Bacillus anthracis capsule (poly-γ-D-glutamic acid [PGA]) conjugated to recombinant B. anthracis protective antigen (rPA) or to tetanus toxoid (TT) was evaluated in two anthrax-naive juvenile chimpanzees. In a previous study of these conjugates, highly protective monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against PGA were generated. This study examines the polyclonal antibody response of the same animals. Preimmune antibodies to PGA with titers of >10(3) were detected in the chimpanzees. The maximal titer of anti-PGA was induced within 1 to 2 weeks following the 1st immunization, with no booster effects following the 2nd and 3rd immunizations. Thus, the anti-PGA response in the chimpanzees resembled a secondary immune response. Screening of sera from nine unimmunized chimpanzees and six humans revealed antibodies to PGA in all samples, with an average titer of 10(3). An anti-PA response was also observed following immunization with PGA-rPA conjugate, similar to that seen following immunization with rPA alone. However, in contrast to anti-PGA, preimmune anti-PA antibody titers and those following the 1st immunization were ≤300, with the antibodies peaking above 10(4) following the 2nd immunization. The polyclonal anti-PGA shared the MAb 11D epitope and, similar to the MAbs, exerted opsonophagocytic killing of B. anthracis. Most important, the PGA-TT-induced antibodies protected mice from a lethal challenge with virulent B. anthracis spores. Our data support the use of PGA conjugates, especially PGA-rPA targeting both toxin and capsule, as expanded-spectrum anthrax vaccines.

  5. Development of internal controls for PCR detection of Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Brightwell, G; Pearce, M; Leslie, D

    1998-12-01

    This work describes the development and evaluation of a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the detection of Bacillus anthracis strains harbouring plasmid pX02. The multiplex also incorporated an internal control (IC) to avoid false negative reactions. Internal controls consisted of plasmids containing modified PCR target sequences, corresponding to the capC and BA813 genes of B. anthracis, which were then co-amplified with the original target sequences using the same set of amplimers. The initial IC construct comprised of an internally deleted form of the genomic target sequence cloned into pUC19. A series of nested DNA fragments corresponding to the 23S rRNA sequences of Bacillus cereus were then subcloned into the point of deletion, producing a number of IC constructs with similar sequences but increasing product size on PCR amplification. Neither the presence of IC DNA template or IC PCR product size affected the specificity or non-specific cross-reactivity of the original PCR assay. The concentration of IC was critical, too much IC DNA template would out compete the genomic DNA template, thus giving a false negative result. However, when the concentration of IC was optimal assay sensitivity was not compromised.

  6. Effects of L-Alanine and Inosine Germinants on the Elasticity of Bacillus anthracis Spores

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-01-22

    several Bacillus species, such as B. subtilis, B. cereus , B. anthracis, andB. atrophaeus.6,8,12 Inosine is a purine ribonucleoside that has been shown to...Germinants on the Elasticity of Bacillus anthracis Spores Paola A. Pinzon-Arango,† Ramanathan Nagarajan,‡ and Terri A. Camesano*,† †Department of Chemical...surface of dormant Bacillus anthracis spores consists of a multilayer of protein coats and a thick peptidoglycan layer that allow the cells to resist

  7. Genetic diversity among Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis strains using repetitive element polymorphism-PCR.

    PubMed

    Brumlik, Michael J; Bielawska-Drózd, Agata; Zakowska, Dorota; Liang, Xudong; Spalletta, Ronald A; Patra, Guy; Delvecchio, Vito G

    2004-01-01

    Repetitive element polymorphism-PCR (REP-PCR) is one of the tools that has been used to elucidate genetic diversity of related microorganisms. Using the MB1 primer, REP-PCR fingerprints from 110 Bacillus strains within the "B. cereus group" have identified eighteen distinct categories, while other more distantly related bacterial species fell within six additional categories. All Bacillus anthracis strains tested were found to be monomorphic by fluorophore-enhanced REP-PCR (FERP) fingerprinting using the MB1 primer. In contrast, other non- B. anthracis isolates displayed a high degree of polymorphism. Dendrogramic analysis revealed that the non- B. anthracis strains possessing the Ba813 chromosomal marker were divided into two clusters. One of the clusters shared identity with the B. cereus strains examined.

  8. Draft genome sequence of Bacillus anthracis UR-1, isolated from a German heroin user.

    PubMed

    Rückert, Christian; Licht, Katharina; Kalinowski, Jörn; Espírito Santo, Christophe; Antwerpen, Markus; Hanczaruk, Matthias; Reischl, Udo; Holzmann, Thomas; Gessner, André; Tiemann, Carsten; Grass, Gregor

    2012-11-01

    We report the draft genome sequence of Bacillus anthracis UR-1, isolated from a fatal case of injectional anthrax in a German heroin user. Analysis of the genome sequence of strain UR-1 may aid in describing phylogenetic relationships between virulent heroin-associated isolates of B. anthracis isolated in the United Kingdom, Germany, and other European countries.

  9. Genome Sequence of the Soviet/Russian Bacillus anthracis Vaccine Strain 55-VNIIVViM

    PubMed Central

    Kotorashvili, Adam

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis strain 55-VNIIVViM is a live-attenuated nonencapsulated Soviet/Russian veterinary anthrax vaccine strain. We report here the genome of 55-VNIIVViM and confirm its phylogenetic placement in the global population structure of B. anthracis. PMID:28007853

  10. Genomic characterization of the Bacillus cereus sensu lato species: backdrop to the evolution of Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Zwick, Michael E; Joseph, Sandeep J; Didelot, Xavier; Chen, Peter E; Bishop-Lilly, Kimberly A; Stewart, Andrew C; Willner, Kristin; Nolan, Nichole; Lentz, Shannon; Thomason, Maureen K; Sozhamannan, Shanmuga; Mateczun, Alfred J; Du, Lei; Read, Timothy D

    2012-08-01

    The key genes required for Bacillus anthracis to cause anthrax have been acquired recently by horizontal gene transfer. To understand the genetic background for the evolution of B. anthracis virulence, we obtained high-redundancy genome sequences of 45 strains of the Bacillus cereus sensu lato (s.l.) species that were chosen for their genetic diversity within the species based on the existing multilocus sequence typing scheme. From the resulting data, we called more than 324,000 new genes representing more than 12,333 new gene families for this group. The core genome size for the B. cereus s.l. group was ∼1750 genes, with another 2150 genes found in almost every genome constituting the extended core. There was a paucity of genes specific and conserved in any clade. We found no evidence of recent large-scale gene loss in B. anthracis or for unusual accumulation of nonsynonymous DNA substitutions in the chromosome; however, several B. cereus genomes isolated from soil and not previously associated with human disease were degraded to various degrees. Although B. anthracis has undergone an ecological shift within the species, its chromosome does not appear to be exceptional on a macroscopic scale compared with close relatives.

  11. A Randomly Amplified Polymorphic DNA Marker Specific for the Bacillus cereus Group Is Diagnostic for Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Daffonchio, Daniele; Borin, Sara; Frova, Giuseppe; Gallo, Romina; Mori, Elena; Fani, Renato; Sorlini, Claudia

    1999-01-01

    Aiming to develop a DNA marker specific for Bacillus anthracis and able to discriminate this species from Bacillus cereus, Bacillus thuringiensis, and Bacillus mycoides, we applied the randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) fingerprinting technique to a collection of 101 strains of the genus Bacillus, including 61 strains of the B. cereus group. An 838-bp RAPD marker (SG-850) specific for B. cereus, B. thuringiensis, B. anthracis, and B. mycoides was identified. This fragment included a putative (366-nucleotide) open reading frame highly homologous to the ypuA gene of Bacillus subtilis. The restriction analysis of the SG-850 fragment with AluI distinguished B. anthracis from the other species of the B. cereus group. PMID:10049896

  12. GcoGSA-BA: a global core genome SNP analysis for Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Akifmi; Sekizuka, Tsuyoshi; Kuroda, Makoto

    2015-01-01

    As an issue of biosecurity, it is important to identify the origin of a suspected sample to distinguish whether it originated from the release of a bioterrorism agent or from environmental contamination with a virulent agent. Here we have developed an analytical pipeline that can infer the phylogenetic position of Bacillus cereus group species, including B. anthracis, from next-generation sequencing reads without extensive genomics skills. GcoGSA-BA can also detect the existence of anthrax plasmid pXO1 carrying 3 anthrax toxins (lethal factor, edema factor, and protective antigen). This pipeline can also be used to correctly infer the phylogenetic position and to detect the suspected isolate carrying anthrax toxins among B. cereus group.

  13. Roles of the Bacillus anthracis Spore Protein ExsK in Exosporium Maturation and Germination

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-12-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis and the nonpathogenic bac- teria Bacillus megaterium and Bacillus odysseyi, have an addi- tional structure called the...exosporium. J. Bacte- riol. 185:3373–3378. 47. Vary, P. S. 1994. Prime time for Bacillus megaterium . Microbiology 140:1001– 1013. 48. Weaver, J., T. J...Microbiology. All Rights Reserved. Roles of the Bacillus anthracis Spore Protein ExsK in Exosporium Maturation and Germination Kari M. Severson,1

  14. Penicillin-Susceptible, Oxidase-Negative, Nonhemolytic, Nonmotile Bacillus megaterium in Disguise of Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is a bacterial pathogen of major concern. The spores of this bacteria can survive harsh environmental conditions for extended periods and are well recognized as a potential bioterror weapon with significant implications. Accurate and timely identification of this Bacillus species in the diagnostic laboratory is essential for disease and public health management. Biosafety Level 3 measures and ciprofloxacin treatment were instituted when B. anthracis was suspected from a patient with gangrenous foot. 16S rDNA sequencing was performed to accurately identify the suspected bacterium, due to the superiority of this method to accurately identify clinically isolated bacteria. B. megaterium was identified as the causative agent and the organism was subsequently treated as a Biosafety Level 2 pathogen. PMID:28331641

  15. ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSE TO INTENTIONAL DISSEMINATION OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS SPORES IN THE UNITED STATES--2001

    EPA Science Inventory

    The intentional dissemination of Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) spores at multiple locations in the United States in the Fall of 2001 resulted not only in several deaths and illnesses (including psychological effects), but likely changed lifestyles and attitudes, and increased the ...

  16. Use of long-range repetitive element polymorphism-PCR to differentiate Bacillus anthracis strains.

    PubMed

    Brumlik, M J; Szymajda, U; Zakowska, D; Liang, X; Redkar, R J; Patra, G; Del Vecchio, V G

    2001-07-01

    The genome of Bacillus anthracis is extremely monomorphic, and thus individual strains have often proven to be recalcitrant to differentiation at the molecular level. Long-range repetitive element polymorphism-PCR (LR REP-PCR) was used to differentiate various B. anthracis strains. A single PCR primer derived from a repetitive DNA element was able to amplify variable segments of a bacterial genome as large as 10 kb. We were able to characterize five genetically distinct groups by examining 105 B. anthracis strains of diverse geographical origins. All B. anthracis strains produced fingerprints comprising seven to eight bands, referred to as "skeleton" bands, while one to three "diagnostic" bands differentiated between B. anthracis strains. LR REP-PCR fingerprints of B. anthracis strains showed very little in common with those of other closely related species such as B. cereus, B. thuringiensis, and B. mycoides, suggesting relative heterogeneity among the non-B. anthracis strains. Fingerprints from transitional non-B. anthracis strains, which possessed the B. anthracis chromosomal marker Ba813, scarcely resembled those observed for any of the five distinct B. anthracis groups that we have identified. The LR REP-PCR method described in this report provides a simple means of differentiating B. anthracis strains.

  17. Use of Long-Range Repetitive Element Polymorphism-PCR To Differentiate Bacillus anthracis Strains

    PubMed Central

    Brumlik, Michael J.; Szymajda, Urszula; Zakowska, Dorota; Liang, Xudong; Redkar, Rajendra J.; Patra, Guy; Del Vecchio, Vito G.

    2001-01-01

    The genome of Bacillus anthracis is extremely monomorphic, and thus individual strains have often proven to be recalcitrant to differentiation at the molecular level. Long-range repetitive element polymorphism-PCR (LR REP-PCR) was used to differentiate various B. anthracis strains. A single PCR primer derived from a repetitive DNA element was able to amplify variable segments of a bacterial genome as large as 10 kb. We were able to characterize five genetically distinct groups by examining 105 B. anthracis strains of diverse geographical origins. All B. anthracis strains produced fingerprints comprising seven to eight bands, referred to as “skeleton” bands, while one to three “diagnostic” bands differentiated between B. anthracis strains. LR REP-PCR fingerprints of B. anthracis strains showed very little in common with those of other closely related species such as B. cereus, B. thuringiensis, and B. mycoides, suggesting relative heterogeneity among the non-B. anthracis strains. Fingerprints from transitional non-B. anthracis strains, which possessed the B. anthracis chromosomal marker Ba813, scarcely resembled those observed for any of the five distinct B. anthracis groups that we have identified. The LR REP-PCR method described in this report provides a simple means of differentiating B. anthracis strains. PMID:11425716

  18. Genetic and Physiological Studies of Bacillus Anthracis Related to Development of an Improved Vaccine

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-06-29

    AD-A284 565 AD CONTRACT NO: DAMDl7-91-C-1100 TITLE: GENETIC AND PHYSIOLOGICAL STUDIES OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS RELATED TO DEVELOPMENT OF AN IMPROVED...29 June 1994 Final 30 June 1991-29 June 1994 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5. FUNDING NUMBERS Genetic and Physiological Studies of Bacillus Anthracis Related...they form on agar plates, and th, nss of capsular material in a short period of time resemble polypeptide production by B. licheniformis . Tn917 has been

  19. Genetic and Physiological Studies of Bacillus Anthracis Related to Development of an Improved Vaccine

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-12-31

    AD-A260 696 AD________ CONTRACT NO: DAMD17-91-C-1100 TITLE: GENETIC AND PHYSIOLOGICAL STUDIES OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS RELATED TO DEVELOPMENT OF AN...20. Glutamyl polypeptide synthesis by Bacillus anthracis 4229 UM12 and insertion mutants tp49, tp5O and tp6O ............................... 61 FIG... licheniformis . Tn917 has been shown by DNA-DNA hybridization experiments to be located in the chromosome of tp5O and in the capsule plasmid of tp49 and

  20. A Novel Multiplex PCR Discriminates Bacillus anthracis and Its Genetically Related Strains from Other Bacillus cereus Group Species

    PubMed Central

    Ogawa, Hirohito; Fujikura, Daisuke; Ohnuma, Miyuki; Ohnishi, Naomi; Hang'ombe, Bernard M.; Mimuro, Hitomi; Ezaki, Takayuki; Mweene, Aaron S.; Higashi, Hideaki

    2015-01-01

    Anthrax is an important zoonotic disease worldwide that is caused by Bacillus anthracis, a spore-forming pathogenic bacterium. A rapid and sensitive method to detect B. anthracis is important for anthrax risk management and control in animal cases to address public health issues. However, it has recently become difficult to identify B. anthracis by using previously reported molecular-based methods because of the emergence of B. cereus, which causes severe extra-intestinal infection, as well as the human pathogenic B. thuringiensis, both of which are genetically related to B. anthracis. The close genetic relation of chromosomal backgrounds has led to complexity of molecular-based diagnosis. In this study, we established a B. anthracis multiplex PCR that can screen for the presence of B. anthracis virulent plasmids and differentiate B. anthracis and its genetically related strains from other B. cereus group species. Six sets of primers targeting a chromosome of B. anthracis and B. anthracis-like strains, two virulent plasmids, pXO1 and pXO2, a bacterial gene, 16S rRNA gene, and a mammalian gene, actin-beta gene, were designed. The multiplex PCR detected approximately 3.0 CFU of B. anthracis DNA per PCR reaction and was sensitive to B. anthracis. The internal control primers also detected all bacterial and mammalian DNAs examined, indicating the practical applicability of this assay as it enables monitoring of appropriate amplification. The assay was also applied for detection of clinical strains genetically related to B. anthracis, which were B. cereus strains isolated from outbreaks of hospital infections in Japan, and field strains isolated in Zambia, and the assay differentiated B. anthracis and its genetically related strains from other B. cereus group strains. Taken together, the results indicate that the newly developed multiplex PCR is a sensitive and practical method for detecting B. anthracis. PMID:25774512

  1. A novel multiplex PCR discriminates Bacillus anthracis and its genetically related strains from other Bacillus cereus group species.

    PubMed

    Ogawa, Hirohito; Fujikura, Daisuke; Ohnuma, Miyuki; Ohnishi, Naomi; Hang'ombe, Bernard M; Mimuro, Hitomi; Ezaki, Takayuki; Mweene, Aaron S; Higashi, Hideaki

    2015-01-01

    Anthrax is an important zoonotic disease worldwide that is caused by Bacillus anthracis, a spore-forming pathogenic bacterium. A rapid and sensitive method to detect B. anthracis is important for anthrax risk management and control in animal cases to address public health issues. However, it has recently become difficult to identify B. anthracis by using previously reported molecular-based methods because of the emergence of B. cereus, which causes severe extra-intestinal infection, as well as the human pathogenic B. thuringiensis, both of which are genetically related to B. anthracis. The close genetic relation of chromosomal backgrounds has led to complexity of molecular-based diagnosis. In this study, we established a B. anthracis multiplex PCR that can screen for the presence of B. anthracis virulent plasmids and differentiate B. anthracis and its genetically related strains from other B. cereus group species. Six sets of primers targeting a chromosome of B. anthracis and B. anthracis-like strains, two virulent plasmids, pXO1 and pXO2, a bacterial gene, 16S rRNA gene, and a mammalian gene, actin-beta gene, were designed. The multiplex PCR detected approximately 3.0 CFU of B. anthracis DNA per PCR reaction and was sensitive to B. anthracis. The internal control primers also detected all bacterial and mammalian DNAs examined, indicating the practical applicability of this assay as it enables monitoring of appropriate amplification. The assay was also applied for detection of clinical strains genetically related to B. anthracis, which were B. cereus strains isolated from outbreaks of hospital infections in Japan, and field strains isolated in Zambia, and the assay differentiated B. anthracis and its genetically related strains from other B. cereus group strains. Taken together, the results indicate that the newly developed multiplex PCR is a sensitive and practical method for detecting B. anthracis.

  2. Global gene expression by Bacillus anthracis during growth in mammalian blood.

    PubMed

    Carlson, Paul E; Bourgis, Alexandra E T; Hagan, Ada K; Hanna, Philip C

    2015-11-01

    During the late stages of systemic anthrax, Bacillus anthracis grows rapidly in the host bloodstream. To identify potential genes necessary for this observed rapid growth, we defined the transcriptional profile of B. anthracis during in vitro growth in bovine blood. Genome-wide transcriptome analysis indicated that B. anthracis undergoes significant changes in its transcriptome profile during growth in blood, including the differential regulation of genes associated both with metabolism and known virulence factors. Collectively, these data provide a framework for future studies identifying specific B. anthracis factors required for growth in the mammalian bloodstream.

  3. Crystal structure of Bacillus anthracis transpeptidase enzyme CapD.

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, R.; Richter, S.; Zhang, R.; Anderson, V. J.; Missiakas, D.; Joachimiak, A.; Biosciences Division; Univ. of Chicago

    2009-09-04

    Bacillus anthracis elaborates a poly-{gamma}-d-glutamic acid capsule that protects bacilli from phagocytic killing during infection. The enzyme CapD generates amide bonds with peptidoglycan cross-bridges to anchor capsular material within the cell wall envelope of B. anthracis. The capsular biosynthetic pathway is essential for virulence during anthrax infections and can be targeted for anti-infective inhibition with small molecules. Here, we present the crystal structures of the {gamma}-glutamyltranspeptidase CapD with and without {alpha}-l-Glu-l-Glu dipeptide, a non-hydrolyzable analog of poly-{gamma}-d-glutamic acid, in the active site. Purified CapD displays transpeptidation activity in vitro, and its structure reveals an active site broadly accessible for poly-{gamma}-glutamate binding and processing. Using structural and biochemical information, we derive a mechanistic model for CapD catalysis whereby Pro{sup 427}, Gly{sup 428}, and Gly{sup 429} activate the catalytic residue of the enzyme, Thr{sup 352}, and stabilize an oxyanion hole via main chain amide hydrogen bonds.

  4. Bacillus anthracis genome organization in light of whole transcriptome sequencing

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, Jeffrey; Zhu, Wenhan; Passalacqua, Karla D.; Bergman, Nicholas; Borodovsky, Mark

    2010-03-22

    Emerging knowledge of whole prokaryotic transcriptomes could validate a number of theoretical concepts introduced in the early days of genomics. What are the rules connecting gene expression levels with sequence determinants such as quantitative scores of promoters and terminators? Are translation efficiency measures, e.g. codon adaptation index and RBS score related to gene expression? We used the whole transcriptome shotgun sequencing of a bacterial pathogen Bacillus anthracis to assess correlation of gene expression level with promoter, terminator and RBS scores, codon adaptation index, as well as with a new measure of gene translational efficiency, average translation speed. We compared computational predictions of operon topologies with the transcript borders inferred from RNA-Seq reads. Transcriptome mapping may also improve existing gene annotation. Upon assessment of accuracy of current annotation of protein-coding genes in the B. anthracis genome we have shown that the transcriptome data indicate existence of more than a hundred genes missing in the annotation though predicted by an ab initio gene finder. Interestingly, we observed that many pseudogenes possess not only a sequence with detectable coding potential but also promoters that maintain transcriptional activity.

  5. Inhibition of Bacillus anthracis Spore Outgrowth by Nisin▿

    PubMed Central

    Gut, Ian M.; Prouty, Angela M.; Ballard, Jimmy D.; van der Donk, Wilfred A.; Blanke, Steven R.

    2008-01-01

    The lantibiotic nisin has previously been reported to inhibit the outgrowth of spores from several Bacillus species. However, the mode of action of nisin responsible for outgrowth inhibition is poorly understood. By using B. anthracis Sterne 7702 as a model, nisin acted against spores with a 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) and an IC90 of 0.57 μM and 0.90 μM, respectively. Viable B. anthracis organisms were not recoverable from cultures containing concentrations of nisin greater than the IC90. These studies demonstrated that spores lose heat resistance and become hydrated in the presence of nisin, thereby ruling out a possible mechanism of inhibition in which nisin acts to block germination initiation. Rather, germination initiation is requisite for the action of nisin. This study also revealed that nisin rapidly and irreversibly inhibits growth by preventing the establishment of oxidative metabolism and the membrane potential in germinating spores. On the other hand, nisin had no detectable effects on the typical changes associated with the dissolution of the outer spore structures (e.g., the spore coats, cortex, and exosporium). Thus, the action of nisin results in the uncoupling of two critical sequences of events necessary for the outgrowth of spores: the establishment of metabolism and the shedding of the external spore structures. PMID:18809941

  6. Gene expression control by Bacillus anthracis purine riboswitches.

    PubMed

    Kirchner, Marion; Schneider, Sabine

    2017-02-16

    In all kingdoms of life, cellular replication relies on the presence of nucleosides and nucleotides, the building blocks of nucleic acids and the main source of energy. In bacteria, the availability of metabolites sometimes directly regulates the expression of enzymes and proteins involved in purine salvage, biosynthesis and uptake through riboswitches. Riboswitches are located in bacterial mRNAs and can control gene expression by conformational changes in response to ligand binding. We have established an inverse reporter gene system in Bacillus subtilis that allows us to monitor riboswitch-controlled gene expression. We used it to investigate the activity of five potential purine riboswitches from B. anthracis in response to different purines and pyrimidines. Furthermore, in vitro studies on the aptamer domains of the riboswitches reveal their variation in guanine binding affinity ranging from nM to µM. These data do not only provide insight into metabolite sensing but can also aid to engineer artificial cell regulatory systems.

  7. Decontamination Options for Drinking Water Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis Spores

    SciTech Connect

    Raber, E; Burklund, A

    2010-02-16

    Five parameters were evaluated with surrogates of Bacillus anthracis spores to determine effective decontamination options for use in a contaminated drinking water supply. The parameters were: (1) type of Bacillus spore surrogate (B. thuringiensis or B. atrophaeus); (2) spore concentration in suspension (10{sup 2} to 10{sup 6} spores/ml); (3) chemical characteristics of decontaminant [sodium dicholor-s-triazinetrione dihydrate (Dichlor), hydrogen peroxide, potassium peroxymonosulfate (Oxone), sodium hypochlorite, and VirkonS{reg_sign}]; (4) decontaminant concentration (0.01% to 5%); and (5) decontaminant exposure time (10 min to 24 hr). Results from 162 suspension tests with appropriate controls are reported. Hydrogen peroxide at a concentration of 5%, and Dichlor and sodium hypochlorite at a concentration of 2%, were effective at spore inactivation regardless of spore type tested, spore exposure time, or spore concentration evaluated. This is the first reported study of Dichlor as an effective decontaminant for B. anthracis spore surrogates. Dichlor's desirable characteristics of high oxidation potential, high level of free chlorine, and more neutral pH than that of other oxidizers evaluated appear to make it an excellent alternative. All three oxidizers were effective against B. atrophaeus spores in meeting EPA's biocide standard of greater than a 6 log kill after a 10-minute exposure time and at lower concentrations than typically reported for biocide use. Solutions of 5% VirkonS{reg_sign} and Oxone were less effective decontaminants than other options evaluated in this study and did not meet the EPA's efficacy standard for biocides. Differences in methods and procedures reported by other investigators make quantitative comparisons among studies difficult.

  8. The Pathogenomic Sequence Analysis of B. cereus and B. Thuringiensis isolates closely related to Bacillus anthracis

    SciTech Connect

    Han, C S; Xie, G; Challacombe, J F; Altherr, M R; Bhotika, S S; Bruce, D; Campbell, C S; Campbell, M L; Chen, J; Chertkov, O; Cleland, C; Dimitrijevic-Bussod, M; Doggett, N A; Fawcett, J J; Glavina, T; Goodwin, L A; Hill, K K; Hitchcock, P; Jackson, P J; Keim, P; Kewalramani, A R; Longmire, J; Lucas, S; Malfatti, S; McMurry, K; Meincke, L J; Misra, M; Moseman, B L; Mundt, M; Munk, A C; Okinaka, R T; Parson-Quintana, B; Reilly, L P; Richardson, P; Robinson, D L; Rubin, E; Saunders, E; Tapia, R; Tesmer, J G; Thayer, N; Thompson, L S; Tice, H; Ticknor, L O; Wills, P L; Gilna, P; Brettin, T S

    2005-10-12

    The sequencing and analysis of two close relatives of Bacillus anthracis are reported. AFLP analysis of over 300 isolates of B. cereus, B. thuringiensis and B. anthracis identified two isolates as being very closely related to B. anthracis. One, a B. cereus, BcE33L, was isolated from a zebra carcass in Nambia; the second, a B. thuringiensis, 97-27, was isolated from a necrotic human wound. The B. cereus appears to be the closest anthracis relative sequenced to date. A core genome of over 3,900 genes was compiled for the Bacillus cereus group, including B anthracis. Comparative analysis of these two genomes with other members of the B. cereus group provides insight into the evolutionary relationships among these organisms. Evidence is presented that differential regulation modulates virulence, rather than simple acquisition of virulence factors. These genome sequences provide insight into the molecular mechanisms contributing to the host range and virulence of this group of organisms.

  9. The function of PlcR in Bacillus anthracis vaccine strain A16R.

    PubMed

    Xiaolin, Jia; Dongshu, Wang; Zhiqi, Gao; Erling, Feng; Jiping, Zheng; Hengliang, Wang; Guiying, Guo; Xiankai, Liu

    2015-05-01

    Bacillus anthracis, B. thuringiensis and B. cereus are members of the B. cereus group. They share high genetic similarity. Whereas plcR (Phospholipase C regulator) usually encodes a functional pleiotropic activator protein in B. cereus and B. thuringiensis isolates, a characteristic nonsense mutation is found in all B. anthracis strains investigated, making the gene dysfunctional. To study the function of PlcR in B. anthracis, we used the B. cereus CMCC63301 genome as a template and constructed a recombinant expression plasmid pBE2A-plcR, and introduced it into the B. anthracis vaccine strain A16R, and then analyzed the activity of the hemolysin and sphingomyelinase. The results showed that transformation of B. anthracis with plasmid pBE2A-plcR carrying the native B. cereus plcR gene active the expression of sphingomyelinase gene, but did not activate expression of hemolysin genes of B. anthracis A16R.

  10. A Bacillus anthracis strain deleted for six proteases serves as an effective host for production of recombinant proteins.

    PubMed

    Pomerantsev, Andrei P; Pomerantseva, Olga M; Moayeri, Mahtab; Fattah, Rasem; Tallant, Cynthia; Leppla, Stephen H

    2011-11-01

    Bacillus anthracis produces a number of extracellular proteases that impact the integrity and yield of other proteins in the B. anthracis secretome. In this study we show that anthrolysin O (ALO) and the three anthrax toxin proteins, protective antigen (PA), lethal factor (LF), and edema factor (EF), produced from the B. anthracis Ames 35 strain (pXO1⁺, pXO2⁻), are completely degraded at the onset of stationary phase due to the action of proteases. An improved Cre-loxP gene knockout system was used to sequentially delete the genes encoding six proteases (InhA1, InhA2, camelysin, TasA, NprB, and MmpZ). The role of each protease in degradation of the B. anthracis toxin components and ALO was demonstrated. Levels of the anthrax toxin components and ALO in the supernatant of the sporulation defective, pXO1⁺ A35HMS mutant strain deleted for the six proteases were significantly increased and remained stable over 24 h. A pXO1-free variant of this six-protease mutant strain, designated BH460, provides an improved host strain for the preparation of recombinant proteins. As an example, BH460 was used to produce recombinant EF, which previously has been difficult to obtain from B. anthracis. The EF protein produced from BH460 had the highest in vivo potency of any EF previously purified from B. anthracis or Escherichia coli hosts. BH460 is recommended as an effective host strain for recombinant protein production, typically yielding greater than 10mg pure protein per liter of culture.

  11. Comparative Secretome Analyses of Three Bacillus anthracis Strains with Variant Plasmid Contents

    PubMed Central

    Lamonica, Janine M.; Wagner, MaryAnn; Eschenbrenner, Michel; Williams, Leanne E.; Miller, Tabbi L.; Patra, Guy; DelVecchio, Vito G.

    2005-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, secretes numerous proteins into the extracellular environment during infection. A comparative proteomic approach was employed to elucidate the differences among the extracellular proteomes (secretomes) of three isogenic strains of B. anthracis that differed solely in their plasmid contents. The strains utilized were the wild-type virulent B. anthracis RA3 (pXO1+ pXO2+) and its two nonpathogenic derivative strains: the toxigenic, nonencapsulated RA3R (pXO1+ pXO2−) and the totally cured, nontoxigenic, nonencapsulated RA3:00 (pXO1− pXO2−). Comparative proteomics using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis followed by computer-assisted gel image analysis was performed to reveal unique, up-regulated, or down-regulated secretome proteins among the strains. In total, 57 protein spots, representing 26 different proteins encoded on the chromosome or pXO1, were identified by peptide mass fingerprinting. S-layer-derived proteins, such as Sap and EA1, were most frequently observed. Many sporulation-associated enzymes were found to be overexpressed in strains containing pXO1+. This study also provides evidence that pXO2 is necessary for the maximal expression of the pXO1-encoded toxins lethal factor (LF), edema factor (EF), and protective antigen (PA). Several newly identified putative virulence factors were observed; these include enolase, a high-affinity zinc uptake transporter, the peroxide stress-related alkyl hydroperoxide reductase, isocitrate lyase, and the cell surface protein A. PMID:15908394

  12. Development of a Rapid and Sensitive Immunoassay for Detection and Subsequent Recovery of Bacillus anthracis Spores in Environmental Samples

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bacillus anthracis is considered a major threat as an agent of bioterrorism. B. anthracis spores are readily dispersed as aerosols, are very persistent, and are resistant to normal disinfection treatments. Immunoassays have been developed to rapidly detect B. anthracis spores at high concentration...

  13. Bacillus anthracis protective antigen kinetics in inhalation spore-challenged untreated or levofloxacin/ raxibacumab-treated New Zealand white rabbits.

    PubMed

    Corey, Alfred; Migone, Thi-Sau; Bolmer, Sally; Fiscella, Michele; Ward, Chris; Chen, Cecil; Meister, Gabriel

    2013-01-14

    Inhaled Bacillus anthracis spores germinate and the subsequent vegetative growth results in bacteremia and toxin production. Anthrax toxin is tripartite: the lethal factor and edema factor are enzymatic moieties, while the protective antigen (PA) binds to cell receptors and the enzymatic moieties. Antibiotics can control B. anthracis bacteremia, whereas raxibacumab binds PA and blocks lethal toxin effects. This study assessed plasma PA kinetics in rabbits following an inhaled B. anthracis spore challenge. Additionally, at 84 h post-challenge, 42% of challenged rabbits that had survived were treated with either levofloxacin/placebo or levofloxacin/raxibacumab. The profiles were modeled using a modified Gompertz/second exponential growth phase model in untreated rabbits, with added monoexponential PA elimination in treated rabbits. Shorter survival times were related to a higher plateau and a faster increase in PA levels. PA elimination half-lives were 10 and 19 h for the levofloxacin/placebo and levofloxacin/raxibacumab groups, respectively, with the difference attributable to persistent circulating PA-raxibacumab complex. PA kinetics were similar between untreated and treated rabbits, with one exception: treated rabbits had a plateau phase nearly twice as long as that for untreated rabbits. Treated rabbits that succumbed to disease had higher plateau PA levels and shorter plateau duration than surviving treated rabbits.

  14. Bacillus anthracis Protective Antigen Kinetics in Inhalation Spore-Challenged Untreated or Levofloxacin/Raxibacumab-Treated New Zealand White Rabbits

    PubMed Central

    Corey, Alfred; Migone, Thi-Sau; Bolmer, Sally; Fiscella, Michele; Ward, Chris; Chen, Cecil; Meister, Gabriel

    2013-01-01

    Inhaled Bacillus anthracis spores germinate and the subsequent vegetative growth results in bacteremia and toxin production. Anthrax toxin is tripartite: the lethal factor and edema factor are enzymatic moieties, while the protective antigen (PA) binds to cell receptors and the enzymatic moieties. Antibiotics can control B. anthracis bacteremia, whereas raxibacumab binds PA and blocks lethal toxin effects. This study assessed plasma PA kinetics in rabbits following an inhaled B. anthracis spore challenge. Additionally, at 84 h post-challenge, 42% of challenged rabbits that had survived were treated with either levofloxacin/placebo or levofloxacin/raxibacumab. The profiles were modeled using a modified Gompertz/second exponential growth phase model in untreated rabbits, with added monoexponential PA elimination in treated rabbits. Shorter survival times were related to a higher plateau and a faster increase in PA levels. PA elimination half-lives were 10 and 19 h for the levofloxacin/placebo and levofloxacin/raxibacumab groups, respectively, with the difference attributable to persistent circulating PA-raxibacumab complex. PA kinetics were similar between untreated and treated rabbits, with one exception: treated rabbits had a plateau phase nearly twice as long as that for untreated rabbits. Treated rabbits that succumbed to disease had higher plateau PA levels and shorter plateau duration than surviving treated rabbits. PMID:23344456

  15. Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Mass Spectrometric Analysis of Bacillus anthracis: From Fingerprint Analysis of the Bacterium to Quantification of its Toxins in Clinical Samples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woolfitt, Adrian R.; Boyer, Anne E.; Quinn, Conrad P.; Hoffmaster, Alex R.; Kozel, Thomas R.; de, Barun K.; Gallegos, Maribel; Moura, Hercules; Pirkle, James L.; Barr, John R.

    A range of mass spectrometry-based techniques have been used to identify, characterize and differentiate Bacillus anthracis, both in culture for forensic applications and for diagnosis during infection. This range of techniques could usefully be considered to exist as a continuum, based on the degrees of specificity involved. We show two examples here, a whole-organism fingerprinting method and a high-specificity assay for one unique protein, anthrax lethal factor.

  16. Identification of Bacillus anthracis specific chromosomal sequences by suppressive subtractive hybridization

    PubMed Central

    Dwyer, Kathleen G; Lamonica, Janine M; Schumacher, Jennifer A; Williams, Leanne E; Bishara, Joanne; Lewandowski, Anna; Redkar, Rajendra; Patra, Guy; DelVecchio, Vito G

    2004-01-01

    Background Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus cereus are closely related members of the B. cereus-group of bacilli. Suppressive subtractive hybridization (SSH) was used to identify specific chromosomal sequences unique to B. anthracis. Results Two SSH libraries were generated. Genomic DNA from plasmid-cured B. anthracis was used as the tester DNA in both libraries, while genomic DNA from either B. cereus or B. thuringiensis served as the driver DNA. Progressive screening of the libraries by colony filter and Southern blot analyses identified 29 different clones that were specific for the B. anthracis chromosome relative not only to the respective driver DNAs, but also to seven other different strains of B. cereus and B. thuringiensis included in the process. The nucleotide sequences of the clones were compared with those found in genomic databases, revealing that over half of the clones were located into 2 regions on the B. anthracis chromosome. Conclusions Genes encoding potential cell wall synthesis proteins dominated one region, while bacteriophage-related sequences dominated the other region. The latter supports the hypothesis that acquisition of these bacteriophage sequences occurred during or after speciation of B. anthracis relative to B. cereus and B. thuringiensis. This study provides insight into the chromosomal differences between B. anthracis and its closest phylogenetic relatives. PMID:15028116

  17. Bacillus anthracis sin Locus and Regulation of Secreted Proteases ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Pflughoeft, Kathryn J.; Sumby, Paul; Koehler, Theresa M.

    2011-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis shares many regulatory loci with the nonpathogenic Bacillus species Bacillus subtilis. One such locus is sinIR, which in B. subtilis controls sporulation, biofilm formation, motility, and competency. As B. anthracis is not known to be motile, to be naturally competent, or to readily form biofilms, we hypothesized that the B. anthracis sinIR regulon is distinct from that of B. subtilis. A genome-wide expression microarray analysis of B. anthracis parental and sinR mutant strains indicated limited convergence of the B. anthracis and B. subtilis SinR regulons. The B. anthracis regulon includes homologues of some B. subtilis SinR-regulated genes, including the signal peptidase gene sipW near the sinIR locus and the sporulation gene spoIIE. The B. anthracis SinR protein also negatively regulates transcription of genes adjacent to the sinIR locus that are unique to the Bacillus cereus group species. These include calY and inhA1, structural genes for the metalloproteases camelysin and immune inhibitor A1 (InhA1), which have been suggested to be associated with virulence in B. cereus and B. anthracis, respectively. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays revealed direct binding of B. anthracis SinR to promoter DNA from strongly regulated genes, such as calY and sipW, but not to the weakly regulated inhA1 gene. Assessment of camelysin and InhA1 levels in culture supernates from sinR-, inhA1-, and calY-null mutants showed that the concentration of InhA1 in the culture supernatant is inversely proportional to the concentration of camelysin. Our data are consistent with a model in which InhA1 protease levels are controlled at the transcriptional level by SinR and at the posttranslational level by camelysin. PMID:21131488

  18. Genetic and Physiological Studies of Bacillus Anthracis Related to Development of An Improved Vaccine

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-07-01

    N imIC FILE COPY 0 AD GENETIC AND PHYSIOLOGICAL STUDIES OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS RELATED TO DEVELOPMENT OF AN IMPROVED VACCINE ANNUAL PROGRESS REPORT...3M161. NO. AA ACCESSION NO 61102A I102BS12 106 11. T17LE (include Security Classificatir~n) (U) Genetic and Physiological Studies of Bacillus 3nthracis...Continue on reverse if nece ry anti identify by block number) FIELD GROUP SUB-GROUP Bacillus anthracis RAI Anthrax protective afitiger 06 1.3 B

  19. Genetic and Physiological Studies of Bacillus anthracis Related to Development of an Improved Vaccine

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-07-01

    Unolassified AD GENETtC AND PHYSIOLOGICAL STUDIES O0 BACILLUS ANTHFACIS RELATED TO DEVELOPMENT OF IMPROVED VACCINE ANNUAL PROGRESS REPORT t...0.3M16. NO. CESSiON Mo 1’.TILI kxjg Seur Clwf~)61102A 1102BS12 AA M 1 06.1. TTLo2InsA Seat/Oewooon (U) Genetic and Physiological Studies of Bacillus ...Confrmpe an ovmem ,f nmcvueay and x*nMf by bkoc* nvmur) F ,IELO GROUP SU@-CROUP Bacillus anthracis B, anthracis plassids 06 13 Anthrax protective antigen

  20. Plantazolicin is an ultra-narrow spectrum antibiotic that targets the Bacillus anthracis membrane

    PubMed Central

    Molohon, Katie J.; Blair, Patricia M.; Park, Seongjin; Doroghazi, James R.; Maxson, Tucker; Hershfield, Jeremy R.; Flatt, Kristen M.; Schroeder, Nathan E.; Ha, Taekjip; Mitchell, Douglas A.

    2016-01-01

    Plantazolicin (PZN) is a ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified natural product from Bacillus methylotrophicus FZB42 and Bacillus pumilus. Extensive tailoring to twelve of the fourteen amino acid residues in the mature natural product endows PZN with not only a rigid, polyheterocyclic structure, but also antibacterial activity. Here we report a remarkably discriminatory activity of PZN toward Bacillus anthracis, which rivals a previously-described gamma (γ) phage lysis assay in distinguishing B. anthracis from other members of the Bacillus cereus group. We evaluate the underlying cause of this selective activity by measuring the RNA expression profile of PZN-treated B. anthracis, which revealed significant upregulation of genes within the cell envelope stress response. PZN depolarizes the B. anthracis membrane like other cell envelope-acting compounds but uniquely localizes to distinct foci within the envelope. Selection and whole-genome sequencing of PZN-resistant mutants of B. anthracis implicate a relationship between the action of PZN and cardiolipin (CL) within the membrane. Exogenous CL increases the potency of PZN in wild type B. anthracis and promotes the incorporation of fluorescently tagged PZN in the cell envelope. We propose that PZN localizes to and exacerbates structurally compromised regions of the bacterial membrane, which ultimately results in cell lysis. PMID:27152321

  1. Plantazolicin is an ultra-narrow spectrum antibiotic that targets the Bacillus anthracis membrane.

    PubMed

    Molohon, Katie J; Blair, Patricia M; Park, Seongjin; Doroghazi, James R; Maxson, Tucker; Hershfield, Jeremy R; Flatt, Kristen M; Schroeder, Nathan E; Ha, Taekjip; Mitchell, Douglas A

    2016-03-10

    Plantazolicin (PZN) is a ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified natural product from Bacillus methylotrophicus FZB42 and Bacillus pumilus. Extensive tailoring to twelve of the fourteen amino acid residues in the mature natural product endows PZN with not only a rigid, polyheterocyclic structure, but also antibacterial activity. Here we report a remarkably discriminatory activity of PZN toward Bacillus anthracis, which rivals a previously-described gamma (γ) phage lysis assay in distinguishing B. anthracis from other members of the Bacillus cereus group. We evaluate the underlying cause of this selective activity by measuring the RNA expression profile of PZN-treated B. anthracis, which revealed significant upregulation of genes within the cell envelope stress response. PZN depolarizes the B. anthracis membrane like other cell envelope-acting compounds but uniquely localizes to distinct foci within the envelope. Selection and whole-genome sequencing of PZN-resistant mutants of B. anthracis implicate a relationship between the action of PZN and cardiolipin (CL) within the membrane. Exogenous CL increases the potency of PZN in wild type B. anthracis and promotes the incorporation of fluorescently tagged PZN in the cell envelope. We propose that PZN localizes to and exacerbates structurally compromised regions of the bacterial membrane, which ultimately results in cell lysis.

  2. Growth characteristics of Bacillus anthracis compared to other Bacillus spp. on the selective nutrient media Anthrax Blood Agar and Cereus Ident Agar.

    PubMed

    Tomaso, Herbert; Bartling, Carsten; Al Dahouk, Sascha; Hagen, Ralf M; Scholz, Holger C; Beyer, Wolfgang; Neubauer, Heinrich

    2006-01-01

    Anthrax Blood Agar (ABA) and Cereus Ident Agar (CEI) were evaluated as selective growth media for the isolation of Bacillus anthracis using 92 B. anthracis and 132 other Bacillus strains from 30 species. The positive predictive values for the identification of B. anthracis on ABA, CEI, and the combination of both were 72%, 71%, and 90%, respectively. Thus, less than 10% of all species were misidentified using both nutrient media. Species which might be misidentified as B. anthracis were B. cereus, B. mycoides, and B. thuringiensis. Particularly, 30% of B. weihenstephanensis strains were misidentified as B. anthracis.

  3. Performance of a Handheld PCR Instrument in the Detection of Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis: Sensitivity, Specificity, and Effect of Interferents on Assay Results

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-12-01

    1 PERFORMANCE OF A HANDHELD PCR INSTRUMENT IN THE DETECTION OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS, FRANCISELLA TULARENSIS, AND YERSINIA PESTIS: SENSITIVITY...fluorogenic PCR assay reagents for the detection of three biological threat agents, Bacillus anthracis (BA), Francisella tularensis (FT), and Yersinia...TITLE AND SUBTITLE Performance Of A Handheld Pcr Instrument In The Detection Of Bacillus Anthracis, Francisella Tularensis, And Yersinia Pestis

  4. Synthetic and Crystallographic Studies of a New Inhibitor Series Targeting Bacillus anthracis Dihydrofolate Reductase

    PubMed Central

    Beierlein, Jennifer M.; Frey, Kathleen M.; Bolstad, David B.; Pelphrey, Phillip M.; Joska, Tammy M.; Smith, Adrienne E.; Priestley, Nigel D.; Wright, Dennis L.; Anderson, Amy C.

    2008-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, poses a significant biodefense danger. Serious limitations in approved therapeutics and the generation of resistance have produced a compelling need for new therapeutic agents against this organism. Bacillus anthracis is known to be insensitive to the clinically used antifolate, trimethoprim, because of a lack of potency against the dihydrofolate reductase enzyme. Herein, we describe a novel lead series of B. anthracis dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors characterized by an extended trimethoprim-like scaffold. The best lead compound adds only 22 Da to the molecular weight and is 82-fold more potent than trimethoprim. An X-ray crystal structure of this lead compound bound to B. anthracis dihydrofolate reductase in the presence of NADPH was determined to 2.25 Å resolution. The structure reveals several features that can be exploited for further development of this lead series. PMID:19007108

  5. Synthetic and Crystallographic Studies of a New Inhibitor Series Targeting Bacillus anthracis Dihydrofolate Reductase

    SciTech Connect

    Beierlein, J.; Frey, K; Bolstad, D; Pelphrey, P; Joska, T; Smith, A; Priestley, N; Wright, D; Anderson, A

    2008-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, poses a significant biodefense danger. Serious limitations in approved therapeutics and the generation of resistance have produced a compelling need for new therapeutic agents against this organism. Bacillus anthracis is known to be insensitive to the clinically used antifolate, trimethoprim, because of a lack of potency against the dihydrofolate reductase enzyme. Herein, we describe a novel lead series of B. anthracis dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors characterized by an extended trimethoprim-like scaffold. The best lead compound adds only 22 Da to the molecular weight and is 82-fold more potent than trimethoprim. An X-ray crystal structure of this lead compound bound to B. anthracis dihydrofolate reductase in the presence of NADPH was determined to 2.25 A resolution. The structure reveals several features that can be exploited for further development of this lead series.

  6. Decontamination Efficacy and Skin Toxicity of Two Decontaminants against Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Stratilo, Chad W; Crichton, Melissa K F; Sawyer, Thomas W

    2015-01-01

    Decontamination of bacterial endospores such as Bacillus anthracis has traditionally required the use of harsh or caustic chemicals. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a chlorine dioxide decontaminant in killing Bacillus anthracis spores in solution and on a human skin simulant (porcine cadaver skin), compared to that of commonly used sodium hypochlorite or soapy water decontamination procedures. In addition, the relative toxicities of these decontaminants were compared in human skin keratinocyte primary cultures. The chlorine dioxide decontaminant was similarly effective to sodium hypochlorite in reducing spore numbers of Bacillus anthracis Ames in liquid suspension after a 10 minute exposure. After five minutes, the chlorine dioxide product was significantly more efficacious. Decontamination of isolated swine skin contaminated with Bacillus anthracis Sterne with the chlorine dioxide product resulted in no viable spores sampled. The toxicity of the chlorine dioxide decontaminant was up to two orders of magnitude less than that of sodium hypochlorite in human skin keratinocyte cultures. In summary, the chlorine dioxide based decontaminant efficiently killed Bacillus anthracis spores in liquid suspension, as well as on isolated swine skin, and was less toxic than sodium hypochlorite in cultures of human skin keratinocytes.

  7. Decontamination Efficacy and Skin Toxicity of Two Decontaminants against Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Stratilo, Chad W.; Crichton, Melissa K. F.; Sawyer, Thomas W.

    2015-01-01

    Decontamination of bacterial endospores such as Bacillus anthracis has traditionally required the use of harsh or caustic chemicals. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a chlorine dioxide decontaminant in killing Bacillus anthracis spores in solution and on a human skin simulant (porcine cadaver skin), compared to that of commonly used sodium hypochlorite or soapy water decontamination procedures. In addition, the relative toxicities of these decontaminants were compared in human skin keratinocyte primary cultures. The chlorine dioxide decontaminant was similarly effective to sodium hypochlorite in reducing spore numbers of Bacillus anthracis Ames in liquid suspension after a 10 minute exposure. After five minutes, the chlorine dioxide product was significantly more efficacious. Decontamination of isolated swine skin contaminated with Bacillus anthracis Sterne with the chlorine dioxide product resulted in no viable spores sampled. The toxicity of the chlorine dioxide decontaminant was up to two orders of magnitude less than that of sodium hypochlorite in human skin keratinocyte cultures. In summary, the chlorine dioxide based decontaminant efficiently killed Bacillus anthracis spores in liquid suspension, as well as on isolated swine skin, and was less toxic than sodium hypochlorite in cultures of human skin keratinocytes. PMID:26394165

  8. Observations on the Inactivation Efficacy of a MALDI-TOF MS Chemical Extraction Method on Bacillus anthracis Vegetative Cells and Spores.

    PubMed

    Weller, Simon A; Stokes, Margaret G M; Lukaszewski, Roman A

    2015-01-01

    A chemical (ethanol; formic acid; acetonitrile) protein extraction method for the preparation of bacterial samples for matrix assisted laser desorption ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) identification was evaluated for its ability to inactivate bacterial species. Initial viability tests (with and without double filtration of the extract through 0.2 μM filters), indicated that the method could inactivate Escherichia coli MRE 162 and Klebsiella pneumoniae ATCC 35657, with or without filtration, but that filtration was required to exclude viable, avirulent, Bacillus anthracis UM23CL2 from extracts. Multiple, high stringency, viability experiments were then carried out on entire filtered extracts prepared from virulent B. anthracis Vollum vegetative cells and spores ranging in concentration from 10(6)-10(8) cfu per extract. B. anthracis was recovered in 3/18 vegetative cell extracts and 10/18 spore extracts. From vegetative cell extracts B. anthracis was only recovered from extracts that had undergone prolonged Luria (L)-broth (7 day) and L-agar plate (a further 7 days) incubations. We hypothesise that the recovery of B. anthracis in vegetative cell extracts is due to the escape of individual sub-lethally injured cells. We discuss our results in view of working practises in clinical laboratories and in the context of recent inadvertent releases of viable B. anthracis.

  9. Implications of limits of detection of various methods for Bacillus anthracis in computing risks to human health.

    PubMed

    Herzog, Amanda B; McLennan, S Devin; Pandey, Alok K; Gerba, Charles P; Haas, Charles N; Rose, Joan B; Hashsham, Syed A

    2009-10-01

    Used for decades for biological warfare, Bacillus anthracis (category A agent) has proven to be highly stable and lethal. Quantitative risk assessment modeling requires descriptive statistics of the limit of detection to assist in defining the exposure. Furthermore, the sensitivities of various detection methods in environmental matrices are vital information for first responders. A literature review of peer-reviewed journal articles related to methods for detection of B. anthracis was undertaken. Articles focused on the development or evaluation of various detection approaches, such as PCR, real-time PCR, immunoassay, etc. Real-time PCR and PCR were the most sensitive methods for the detection of B. anthracis, with median instrument limits of detection of 430 and 440 cells/ml, respectively. There were very few peer-reviewed articles on the detection methods for B. anthracis in the environment. The most sensitive limits of detection for the environmental samples were 0.1 CFU/g for soil using PCR-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), 17 CFU/liter for air using an ELISA-biochip system, 1 CFU/liter for water using cultivation, and 1 CFU/cm(2) for stainless steel fomites using cultivation. An exponential dose-response model for the inhalation of B. anthracis estimates of risk at concentrations equal to the environmental limit of detection determined the probability of death if untreated to be as high as 0.520. Though more data on the environmental limit of detection would improve the assumptions made for the risk assessment, this study's quantification of the risk posed by current limitations in the knowledge of detection methods should be considered when employing those methods in environmental monitoring and cleanup strategies.

  10. Species-Specific Peptide Ligands for the Detection of Bacillus anthracis Spores

    PubMed Central

    Williams, David D.; Benedek, Orsolya; Turnbough, Charles L.

    2003-01-01

    Currently available detectors for spores of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, are inadequate for frontline use and general monitoring. There is a critical need for simple, rugged, and inexpensive detectors capable of accurate and direct identification of B. anthracis spores. Necessary components in such detectors are stable ligands that bind tightly and specifically to target spores. By screening a phage display peptide library, we identified a family of peptides, with the consensus sequence TYPXPXR, that bind selectively to B. anthracis spores. We extended this work by identifying a peptide variant, ATYPLPIR, with enhanced ability to bind to B. anthracis spores and an additional peptide, SLLPGLP, that preferentially binds to spores of species phylogenetically similar to, but distinct from, B. anthracis. These two peptides were used in tandem in simple assays to rapidly and unambiguously identify B. anthracis spores. We envision that these peptides can be used as sensors in economical and portable B. anthracis spore detectors that are essentially free of false-positive signals due to other environmental Bacillus spores. PMID:14532093

  11. Glyconanobiotics: Novel carbohydrated nanoparticle antibiotics for MRSA and Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Abeylath, Sampath C.; Turos, Edward; Dickey, Sonja; Limb, Daniel V.

    2008-01-01

    This report describes the synthesis and evaluation of glycosylated polyacrylate nanoparticles that have covalently-bound antibiotics within their framework. The requisite glycosylated drug monomers were prepared from one of three known antibiotics, an N-sec-butylthio β-lactam, ciprofloxacin, and a penicillin, by acylation with 3-O-acryloyl-1,2-O-isopropylidene-5,6 bis((chlorosuccinyl)oxy)-D-glucofuranose (7) or 6-O-acetyl-3-O-acryloyl-1,2-O-isopropylidene-5-(chlorosuccinyl)oxy-α-D-glucofuranose (10). These acrylated monomers were subjected to emulsion polymerization in a 7:3 (w:w) mixture of butyl acrylate-styrene in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulfate as surfactant (3 weight %) and potassium persulfate as a radical initiator (1 weight %). The resulting nanoparticle emulsions were characterized by dynamic light scattering and found to have similar diameters (~40 nm) and size distributions to those of our previously studied systems. Microbiological testing showed that the N-sec-butylthio β-lactam and ciprofloxacin nanoparticles both have powerful in vitro activities against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus anthracis, while the penicillin-bound nanoparticles have no antimicrobial activity. This indicates the need for matching a suitable antibiotic with the nanoparticle carrier. Overall, the study shows that even relatively large, polar acrylate monomers (MW>1000 amu) can be efficiently incorporated into the nanoparticle matrix by emulsion polymerization, providing opportunities for further advances in nanomedicine. PMID:18063370

  12. Structure of nicotinic acid mononucleotide adenylyltransferase from Bacillus anthracis

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, S.; Smith, C.; Yang, Z.; Pruett, P.; Nagy, L.; McCombs, D; DeLucas, L.; Brouillette, W.; Brouillette, C.

    2008-11-25

    Nicotinic acid mononucleotide adenylyltransferase (NaMNAT; EC 2.7.7.18) is the penultimate enzyme in the biosynthesis of NAD{sup +} and catalyzes the adenylation of nicotinic acid mononucleotide (NaMN) by ATP to form nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide (NaAD). This enzyme is regarded as a suitable candidate for antibacterial drug development; as such, Bacillus anthracis NaMNAT (BA NaMNAT) was heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli for the purpose of inhibitor discovery and crystallography. The crystal structure of BA NaMNAT was determined by molecular replacement, revealing two dimers per asymmetric unit, and was refined to an R factor and R{sub free} of 0.228 and 0.263, respectively, at 2.3 {angstrom} resolution. The structure is very similar to that of B. subtilis NaMNAT (BS NaMNAT), which is also a dimer, and another independently solved structure of BA NaMNAT recently released from the PDB along with two ligated forms. Comparison of these and other less related bacterial NaMNAT structures support the presence of considerable conformational heterogeneity and flexibility in three loops surrounding the substrate-binding area.

  13. Microbial forensics: fiber optic microarray subtyping of Bacillus anthracis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shepard, Jason R. E.

    2009-05-01

    The past decade has seen increased development and subsequent adoption of rapid molecular techniques involving DNA analysis for detection of pathogenic microorganisms, also termed microbial forensics. The continued accumulation of microbial sequence information in genomic databases now better positions the field of high-throughput DNA analysis to proceed in a more manageable fashion. The potential to build off of these databases exists as technology continues to develop, which will enable more rapid, cost effective analyses. This wealth of genetic information, along with new technologies, has the potential to better address some of the current problems and solve the key issues involved in DNA analysis of pathogenic microorganisms. To this end, a high density fiber optic microarray has been employed, housing numerous DNA sequences simultaneously for detection of various pathogenic microorganisms, including Bacillus anthracis, among others. Each organism is analyzed with multiple sequences and can be sub-typed against other closely related organisms. For public health labs, real-time PCR methods have been developed as an initial preliminary screen, but culture and growth are still considered the gold standard. Technologies employing higher throughput than these standard methods are better suited to capitalize on the limitless potential garnered from the sequence information. Microarray analyses are one such format positioned to exploit this potential, and our array platform is reusable, allowing repetitive tests on a single array, providing an increase in throughput and decrease in cost, along with a certainty of detection, down to the individual strain level.

  14. Simultaneous real-time PCR detection of Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis and Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Skottman, T; Piiparinen, H; Hyytiäinen, H; Myllys, V; Skurnik, M; Nikkari, S

    2007-03-01

    This report describes the development of in-house real-time PCR assays using minor groove binding probes for simultaneous detection of the Bacillus anthracis pag and cap genes, the Francisella tularensis 23 KDa gene, as well as the Yersinia pestis pla gene. The sensitivities of these assays were at least 1 fg, except for the assay targeting the Bacillus anthracis cap gene, which showed a sensitivity of 10 fg when total DNA was used as a template in a serial dilution. The clinical value of the Bacillus anthracis- and Francisella tularensis-specific assays was demonstrated by successful amplification of DNA from cases of cow anthrax and hare tularemia, respectively. No cross-reactivity between these species-specific assays or with 39 other bacterial species was noted. These assays may provide a rapid tool for the simultaneous detection and identification of the three category A bacterial species listed as biological threats by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  15. Identification and Validation of Specific Markers of Bacillus anthracis Spores by Proteomics and Genomics Approaches*

    PubMed Central

    Chenau, Jérôme; Fenaille, François; Caro, Valérie; Haustant, Michel; Diancourt, Laure; Klee, Silke R.; Junot, Christophe; Ezan, Eric; Goossens, Pierre L.; Becher, François

    2014-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative bacteria of anthrax, an acute and often fatal disease in humans. The infectious agent, the spore, represents a real bioterrorism threat and its specific identification is crucial. However, because of the high genomic relatedness within the Bacillus cereus group, it is still a real challenge to identify B. anthracis spores confidently. Mass spectrometry-based tools represent a powerful approach to the efficient discovery and identification of such protein markers. Here we undertook comparative proteomics analyses of Bacillus anthracis, cereus and thuringiensis spores to identify proteoforms unique to B. anthracis. The marker discovery pipeline developed combined peptide- and protein-centric approaches using liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry experiments using a high resolution/high mass accuracy LTQ-Orbitrap instrument. By combining these data with those from complementary bioinformatics approaches, we were able to highlight a dozen novel proteins consistently observed across all the investigated B. anthracis spores while being absent in B. cereus/thuringiensis spores. To further demonstrate the relevance of these markers and their strict specificity to B. anthracis, the number of strains studied was extended to 55, by including closely related strains such as B. thuringiensis 9727, and above all the B. cereus biovar anthracis CI, CA strains that possess pXO1- and pXO2-like plasmids. Under these conditions, the combination of proteomics and genomics approaches confirms the pertinence of 11 markers. Genes encoding these 11 markers are located on the chromosome, which provides additional targets complementary to the commonly used plasmid-encoded markers. Last but not least, we also report the development of a targeted liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry method involving the selection reaction monitoring mode for the monitoring of the 4 most suitable protein markers. Within a proof

  16. Identification and validation of specific markers of Bacillus anthracis spores by proteomics and genomics approaches.

    PubMed

    Chenau, Jérôme; Fenaille, François; Caro, Valérie; Haustant, Michel; Diancourt, Laure; Klee, Silke R; Junot, Christophe; Ezan, Eric; Goossens, Pierre L; Becher, François

    2014-03-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative bacteria of anthrax, an acute and often fatal disease in humans. The infectious agent, the spore, represents a real bioterrorism threat and its specific identification is crucial. However, because of the high genomic relatedness within the Bacillus cereus group, it is still a real challenge to identify B. anthracis spores confidently. Mass spectrometry-based tools represent a powerful approach to the efficient discovery and identification of such protein markers. Here we undertook comparative proteomics analyses of Bacillus anthracis, cereus and thuringiensis spores to identify proteoforms unique to B. anthracis. The marker discovery pipeline developed combined peptide- and protein-centric approaches using liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry experiments using a high resolution/high mass accuracy LTQ-Orbitrap instrument. By combining these data with those from complementary bioinformatics approaches, we were able to highlight a dozen novel proteins consistently observed across all the investigated B. anthracis spores while being absent in B. cereus/thuringiensis spores. To further demonstrate the relevance of these markers and their strict specificity to B. anthracis, the number of strains studied was extended to 55, by including closely related strains such as B. thuringiensis 9727, and above all the B. cereus biovar anthracis CI, CA strains that possess pXO1- and pXO2-like plasmids. Under these conditions, the combination of proteomics and genomics approaches confirms the pertinence of 11 markers. Genes encoding these 11 markers are located on the chromosome, which provides additional targets complementary to the commonly used plasmid-encoded markers. Last but not least, we also report the development of a targeted liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry method involving the selection reaction monitoring mode for the monitoring of the 4 most suitable protein markers. Within a proof

  17. Bacillus anthracis Virulent Plasmid pX02 Genes Found in Large Plasmids of Two Other Bacillus Species

    PubMed Central

    Luna, Vicki A.; King, Debra S.; Peak, K. Kealy; Reeves, Frank; Heberlein-Larson, Lea; Veguilla, William; Heller, L.; Duncan, Kathleen E.; Cannons, Andrew C.; Amuso, Philip; Cattani, Jacqueline

    2006-01-01

    In order to cause the disease anthrax, Bacillus anthracis requires two plasmids, pX01 and pX02, which carry toxin and capsule genes, respectively, that are used as genetic targets in the laboratory detection of the bacterium. Clinical, forensic, and environmental samples that test positive by PCR protocols established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for B. anthracis are considered to be potentially B. anthracis until confirmed by culture and a secondary battery of tests. We report the presence of 10 genes (acpA, capA, capB, capC, capR, capD, IS1627, ORF 48, ORF 61, and repA) and the sequence for the capsule promoter normally found on pX02 in Bacillus circulans and a Bacillus species closely related to Bacillus luciferensis. Tests revealed these sequences to be present on a large plasmid in each isolate. The 11 sequences consistently matched to B. anthracis plasmid pX02, GenBank accession numbers AF188935.1, AE011191.1, and AE017335.3. The percent nucleotide identities for capD and the capsule promoter were 99.9% and 99.7%, respectively, and for the remaining nine genes, the nucleotide identity was 100% for both isolates. The presence of these genes, which are usually associated with the pX02 plasmid, in two soil Bacillus species unrelated to B. anthracis alerts us to the necessity of identifying additional sequences that will signal the presence of B. anthracis in clinical, forensic, and environmental samples. PMID:16825351

  18. Real-Time PCR Assay for a Unique Chromosomal Sequence of Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Bode, Elizabeth; Hurtle, William; Norwood, David

    2004-01-01

    Real-time PCR has become an important method for the rapid identification of Bacillus anthracis since the 2001 anthrax mailings. Most real-time PCR assays for B. anthracis have been developed to detect virulence genes located on the pXO1 and pXO2 plasmids. In contrast, only two published chromosomal targets exist, the rpoB gene and the gyrA gene. In the present study, subtraction-hybridization with a plasmid-cured B. anthracis tester strain and a Bacillus cereus driver was used to find a unique chromosomal sequence. By targeting this region, a real-time assay was developed with the Ruggedized Advanced Pathogen Identification Device. Further testing has revealed that the assay has 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity, with a limit of detection of 50 fg of DNA. The results of a search for sequences with homology with the BLAST program demonstrated significant alignment to the recently published B. anthracis Ames strain, while an inquiry for protein sequence similarities indicated homology with an abhydrolase from B. anthracis strain A2012. The importance of this chromosomal assay will be to verify the presence of B. anthracis independently of plasmid occurrence. PMID:15583318

  19. A Reaction Path Study of the Catalysis and Inhibition of the Bacillus anthracis CapD gamma-Glutamyl Transpeptidase

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-10-21

    A Reaction Path Study of the Catalysis and Inhibition of the Bacillus anthracis CapD γ‑Glutamyl Transpeptidase Ilja V. Khavrutskii,*,† Patricia M...Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Maryland 21702, United States *S Supporting Information ABSTRACT: The CapD enzyme of Bacillus ...nature of CapD, the enzyme cleaved the amide bond of capsidin by attacking it on the opposite side compared to pDGA. Bacillus anthracis is a Gram-positive

  20. Bacillus Anthracis Spore Interactions with Mammalian Cells: Relationship Between Germination State and the Outcome of in Vitro Infections

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-02-28

    germinant receptors in vitro. J Bacteriol 2005, 187(23):8055-8062. 42. Barlass PJ, Houston CW, Clements MO, Moir A: Germination of Bacillus cereus spores...available soon. Bacillus anthracis spore interactions with mammalian cells: Relationship between germination state and the outcome of in vitro infections...00-2011 to 00-00-2011 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Bacillus Anthracis Spore Interactions With Mammalian Cells: Relationship Between Germination State And

  1. Immunomagnetic capture of Bacillus anthracis spores from food.

    PubMed

    Shields, Michael J; Hahn, Kristen R; Janzen, Timothy W; Goji, Noriko; Thomas, Matthew C; Kingombe, Cesar Bin I; Paquet, Chantal; Kell, Arnold J; Amoako, Kingsley K

    2012-07-01

    Food is a vulnerable target for potential bioterrorist attacks; therefore, a critical mitigation strategy is needed for the rapid concentration and detection of biothreat agents from food matrices. Magnetic beads offer a unique advantage in that they have a large surface area for efficient capture of bacteria. We have demonstrated the efficient capture and concentration of Bacillus anthracis (Sterne) spores using immunomagnetic beads for a potential food application. Magnetic beads from three different sources, with varying sizes and surface chemistries, were functionalized with monoclonal antibodies and polyclonal antibodies from commercial sources and used to capture and concentrate anthrax spores from spiked food matrices, including milk, apple juice, bagged salad, processed meat, and bottled water. The results indicated that the Pathatrix beads were more effective in the binding and capture of anthrax spores than the other two bead types investigated. Furthermore, it was observed that the use of polyclonal antibodies resulted in a more efficient recovery of anthrax spores than the use of monoclonal antibodies. Three different magnetic capture methods, inversion, the Pathatrix Auto system, and the new i CropTheBug system, were investigated. The i CropTheBug system yielded a much higher recovery of spores than the Pathatrix Auto system. Spore recoveries ranged from 80 to 100% for the i CropTheBug system when using pure spore preparations, whereas the Pathatrix Auto system had recoveries from 20 to 30%. Spore capture from food samples inoculated at a level of 1 CFU/ml resulted in 80 to 100% capture for milk, bottled water, and juice samples and 60 to 80% for processed meat and bagged salad when using the i CropTheBug system. This efficient capture of anthrax spores at very low concentrations without enrichment has the potential to enhance the sensitivity of downstream detection technologies and will be a useful method in a foodborne bioterrorism response.

  2. Colonic Immune Suppression, Barrier Dysfunction, and Dysbiosis by Gastrointestinal Bacillus anthracis Infection

    PubMed Central

    Sahay, Bikash; Zadeh, Mojgan; Cheng, Sam X.; Wang, Gary P.; Owen, Jennifer L.; Mohamadzadeh, Mansour

    2014-01-01

    Gastrointestinal (GI) anthrax results from the ingestion of Bacillus anthracis. Herein, we investigated the pathogenesis of GI anthrax in animals orally infected with toxigenic non-encapsulated B. anthracis Sterne strain (pXO1+ pXO2−) spores that resulted in rapid animal death. B. anthracis Sterne induced significant breakdown of intestinal barrier function and led to gut dysbiosis, resulting in systemic dissemination of not only B. anthracis, but also of commensals. Disease progression significantly correlated with the deterioration of innate and T cell functions. Our studies provide critical immunologic and physiologic insights into the pathogenesis of GI anthrax infection, whereupon cleavage of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) in immune cells may play a central role in promoting dysfunctional immune responses against this deadly pathogen. PMID:24945934

  3. Colonic immune suppression, barrier dysfunction, and dysbiosis by gastrointestinal bacillus anthracis Infection.

    PubMed

    Lightfoot, Yaíma L; Yang, Tao; Sahay, Bikash; Zadeh, Mojgan; Cheng, Sam X; Wang, Gary P; Owen, Jennifer L; Mohamadzadeh, Mansour

    2014-01-01

    Gastrointestinal (GI) anthrax results from the ingestion of Bacillus anthracis. Herein, we investigated the pathogenesis of GI anthrax in animals orally infected with toxigenic non-encapsulated B. anthracis Sterne strain (pXO1+ pXO2-) spores that resulted in rapid animal death. B. anthracis Sterne induced significant breakdown of intestinal barrier function and led to gut dysbiosis, resulting in systemic dissemination of not only B. anthracis, but also of commensals. Disease progression significantly correlated with the deterioration of innate and T cell functions. Our studies provide critical immunologic and physiologic insights into the pathogenesis of GI anthrax infection, whereupon cleavage of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) in immune cells may play a central role in promoting dysfunctional immune responses against this deadly pathogen.

  4. Structures of two superoxide dismutases from Bacillus anthracis reveal a novel active centre

    SciTech Connect

    Boucher, Ian W.; Kalliomaa, Anne K.; Levdikov, Vladimir M.; Blagova, Elena V.; Fogg, Mark J.; Brannigan, James A. Wilson, Keith S.; Wilkinson, Anthony J.

    2005-07-01

    The crystal structures of two manganese superoxide dismutases from B. anthracis were solved by X-ray crystallography using molecular replacement. The BA4499 and BA5696 genes of Bacillus anthracis encode proteins homologous to manganese superoxide dismutase, suggesting that this organism has an expanded repertoire of antioxidant proteins. Differences in metal specificity and quaternary structure between the dismutases of prokaryotes and higher eukaryotes may be exploited in the development of therapeutic antibacterial compounds. Here, the crystal structure of two Mn superoxide dismutases from B. anthracis solved to high resolution are reported. Comparison of their structures reveals that a highly conserved residue near the active centre is substituted in one of the proteins and that this is a characteristic feature of superoxide dismutases from the B. cereus/B. anthracis/B. thuringiensis group of organisms.

  5. WalRK two component system of Bacillus anthracis responds to temperature and antibiotic stress.

    PubMed

    Dhiman, Alisha; Gopalani, Monisha; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2015-04-17

    WalRK Two Component System (TCS) of Bacillus anthracis forms a functional TCS. This report elaborates upon the WalRK genomic architecture, promoter structure, promoter activity and expression under various stress conditions in B. anthracis. 5' RACE located the WalRK functional promoter within 317 bp region upstream of WalR. Reporter gene assays demonstrated maximal promoter activity during early growth phases indicating utility in exponential stages of growth. qRT-PCR showed upregulation of WalRK transcripts during temperature and antibiotic stress. However, WalR overexpression did not affect the tested antibiotic MIC values in B. anthracis. Collectively, these results confirm that WalRK responds to cell envelope stress in B. anthracis.

  6. Glycosylation of BclA Glycoprotein from Bacillus cereus and Bacillus anthracis Exosporium Is Domain-specific.

    PubMed

    Maes, Emmanuel; Krzewinski, Frederic; Garenaux, Estelle; Lequette, Yannick; Coddeville, Bernadette; Trivelli, Xavier; Ronse, Annette; Faille, Christine; Guerardel, Yann

    2016-04-29

    The spores of the Bacillus cereus group (B. cereus, Bacillus anthracis, and Bacillus thuringiensis) are surrounded by a paracrystalline flexible yet resistant layer called exosporium that plays a major role in spore adhesion and virulence. The major constituent of its hairlike surface, the trimerized glycoprotein BclA, is attached to the basal layer through an N-terminal domain. It is then followed by a repetitive collagen-like neck bearing a globular head (C-terminal domain) that promotes glycoprotein trimerization. The collagen-like region of B. anthracis is known to be densely substituted by unusual O-glycans that may be used for developing species-specific diagnostics of B. anthracis spores and thus targeted therapeutic interventions. In the present study, we have explored the species and domain specificity of BclA glycosylation within the B. cereus group. First, we have established that the collagen-like regions of both B. anthracis and B. cereus are similarly substituted by short O-glycans that bear the species-specific deoxyhexose residues anthrose and the newly observed cereose, respectively. Second we have discovered that the C-terminal globular domains of BclA from both species are substituted by polysaccharide-like O-linked glycans whose structures are also species-specific. The presence of large carbohydrate polymers covering the surface of Bacillus spores may have a profound impact on the way that spores regulate their interactions with biotic and abiotic surfaces and represents potential new diagnostic targets.

  7. The Bacillus anthracis chromosome contains four conserved, excision-proficient, putative prophages

    PubMed Central

    Sozhamannan, Shanmuga; Chute, Michael D; McAfee, Farrell D; Fouts, Derrick E; Akmal, Arya; Galloway, Darrell R; Mateczun, Alfred; Baillie, Leslie W; Read, Timothy D

    2006-01-01

    Background Bacillus anthracis is considered to be a recently emerged clone within the Bacillus cereus sensu lato group. The B. anthracis genome sequence contains four putative lambdoid prophages. We undertook this study in order to understand whether the four prophages are unique to B. anthracis and whether they produce active phages. Results More than 300 geographically and temporally divergent isolates of B. anthracis and its near neighbors were screened by PCR for the presence of specific DNA sequences from each prophage region. Every isolate of B. anthracis screened by PCR was found to produce all four phage-specific amplicons whereas none of the non-B. anthracis isolates, produced more than one phage-specific amplicon. Excision of prophages could be detected by a PCR based assay for attP sites on extra-chromosomal phage circles and for attB sites on phage-excised chromosomes. SYBR-green real-time PCR assays indicated that prophage excision occurs at very low frequencies (2 × 10-5 - 8 × 10-8/cell). Induction with mitomycin C increased the frequency of excision of one of the prophages by approximately 250 fold. All four prophages appear to be defective since, mitomycin C induced culture did not release any viable phage particle or lyse the cells or reveal any phage particle under electron microscopic examination. Conclusion The retention of all four putative prophage regions across all tested strains of B. anthracis is further evidence of the very recent emergence of this lineage and the prophage regions may be useful for differentiating the B. anthracis chromosome from that of its neighbors. All four prophages can excise at low frequencies, but are apparently defective in phage production. PMID:16600039

  8. The Ba813 chromosomal DNA sequence effectively traces the whole Bacillus anthracis community.

    PubMed

    Ramisse, V; Patra, G; Vaissaire, J; Mock, M

    1999-08-01

    Plasmid genes that are responsible for virulence of Bacillus anthracis are important targets for the DNA-based detection of anthrax. We evaluated the distribution of the Ba813 chromosomal DNA sequence (Ba813) within closely related Bacillus species. Ba813 was systematically identified from 47 strains or isolates of B. anthracis tested, thus indicating its reliability as a tracer for that species. From the 60 strains of closely related Bacillus spp. examined, three bona fide B. cereus and one bona fide B. thuringiensis were found to harbour Ba813. This marker was also detected in Bacillus sp. isolates that were present at high levels in soil samples collected in a place where an anthrax outbreak had occurred. The significance and the possible function of the Ba813 locus is discussed.

  9. An outbreak of infection with Bacillus anthracis in injecting drug users in Scotland.

    PubMed

    Ramsay, C N; Stirling, A; Smith, J; Hawkins, G; Brooks, T; Hood, J; Penrice, G; Browning, L M; Ahmed, S

    2010-01-14

    An investigation is currently underway to explore and control an outbreak of Bacillus anthracis among drug users (mainly injecting) in Scotland. Contaminated heroin or a contaminated cutting agent mixed with the heroin is considered to be the most likely source and vehicle of infection. Heroin users have been advised of the risk. The risk to the general public is regarded as very low.

  10. Genome Sequence of a Bacillus anthracis Outbreak Strain from Zambia, 2011.

    PubMed

    Ohnishi, Naomi; Maruyama, Fumito; Ogawa, Hirohito; Kachi, Hirokazu; Yamada, Shunsuke; Fujikura, Daisuke; Nakagawa, Ichiro; Hang'ombe, Mudenda B; Thomas, Yuka; Mweene, Aaron S; Higashi, Hideaki

    2014-03-06

    In August 2011, an anthrax outbreak occurred among Hippopotamus amphibius hippopotamuses and humans in Zambia. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of the Bacillus anthracis outbreak strain CZC5, isolated from tissues of H. amphibius hippopotamuses that had died in the outbreak area.

  11. Genome Sequence of a Bacillus anthracis Outbreak Strain from Zambia, 2011

    PubMed Central

    Ohnishi, Naomi; Maruyama, Fumito; Ogawa, Hirohito; Kachi, Hirokazu; Yamada, Shunsuke; Fujikura, Daisuke; Nakagawa, Ichiro; Hang’ombe, Mudenda B.; Thomas, Yuka; Mweene, Aaron S.

    2014-01-01

    In August 2011, an anthrax outbreak occurred among Hippopotamus amphibius hippopotamuses and humans in Zambia. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of the Bacillus anthracis outbreak strain CZC5, isolated from tissues of H. amphibius hippopotamuses that had died in the outbreak area. PMID:24604644

  12. Biochemical Characterization of β-Lactamases Bla1 and Bla2 from Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Materon, Isabel C.; Queenan, Anne Marie; Koehler, Theresa M.; Bush, Karen; Palzkill, Timothy

    2003-01-01

    The Sterne and Ames strains of Bacillus anthracis carry chromosomal genes bla1 and bla2, which confer β-lactam resistance when expressed in Escherichia coli. MIC measurements and steady-state kinetic analyses indicate that Bla1 possesses penicillinase activity while Bla2 possesses penicillinase, cephalosporinase, and carbapenem-hydrolyzing activities. PMID:12760895

  13. Identification of Bacillus anthracis PurE inhibitors with antimicrobial activity.

    PubMed

    Kim, Anna; Wolf, Nina M; Zhu, Tian; Johnson, Michael E; Deng, Jiangping; Cook, James L; Fung, Leslie W-M

    2015-04-01

    N(5)-carboxy-amino-imidazole ribonucleotide (N(5)-CAIR) mutase (PurE), a bacterial enzyme in the de novo purine biosynthetic pathway, has been suggested to be a target for antimicrobial agent development. We have optimized a thermal shift method for high-throughput screening of compounds binding to Bacillus anthracis PurE. We used a low ionic strength buffer condition to accentuate the thermal shift stabilization induced by compound binding to Bacillus anthracis PurE. The compounds identified were then subjected to computational docking to the active site to further select compounds likely to be inhibitors. A UV-based enzymatic activity assay was then used to select inhibitory compounds. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values were subsequently obtained for the inhibitory compounds against Bacillus anthracis (ΔANR strain), Escherichia coli (BW25113 strain, wild-type and ΔTolC), Francisella tularensis, Staphylococcus aureus (both methicillin susceptible and methicillin-resistant strains) and Yersinia pestis. Several compounds exhibited excellent (0.05-0.15μg/mL) MIC values against Bacillus anthracis. A common core structure was identified for the compounds exhibiting low MIC values. The difference in concentrations for inhibition and MIC suggest that another enzyme(s) is also targeted by the compounds that we identified.

  14. Removal of Bacillus anthracis sterne spore from commercial unpasteurized liquid egg white using crossflow microfiltration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Current pasteurization technology used by the egg industry is ineffective for destruction of spores such as those of Bacillus anthracis (BA). The validity of a cross-flow microfiltration (MF) process for separation of the attenuated strain of BA (Sterne) spores from commercial unpasteurized liquid ...

  15. Biochemical characterization of beta-lactamases Bla1 and Bla2 from Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Materon, Isabel C; Queenan, Anne Marie; Koehler, Theresa M; Bush, Karen; Palzkill, Timothy

    2003-06-01

    The Sterne and Ames strains of Bacillus anthracis carry chromosomal genes bla1 and bla2, which confer beta-lactam resistance when expressed in Escherichia coli. MIC measurements and steady-state kinetic analyses indicate that Bla1 possesses penicillinase activity while Bla2 possesses penicillinase, cephalosporinase, and carbapenem-hydrolyzing activities.

  16. Microarray-based Resequencing of Multiple Bacillus anthracis Isolates

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-12-17

    The major technical challenge facing RA-based resequencing Radial tree showing inferred phylogenetic relationships of B. anthracis strains from this...studyFigure 3 Radial tree showing inferred phylogenetic relationships of B. anthracis strains from this study. The 37 variable positions identified in... Phylogenetic tree inference The 37 variable positions identified in this study were con- catenated together to create artificial sequence types. A DNA

  17. Next-Generation Bacillus anthracis Live Attenuated Spore Vaccine Based on the htrA(-) (High Temperature Requirement A) Sterne Strain.

    PubMed

    Chitlaru, Theodor; Israeli, Ma'ayan; Bar-Haim, Erez; Elia, Uri; Rotem, Shahar; Ehrlich, Sharon; Cohen, Ofer; Shafferman, Avigdor

    2016-01-06

    Anthrax is a lethal disease caused by the gram-positive spore-producing bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Live attenuated vaccines, such as the nonencapsulated Sterne strain, do not meet the safety standards mandated for human use in the Western world and are approved for veterinary purposes only. Here we demonstrate that disrupting the htrA gene, encoding the chaperone/protease HtrA (High Temperature Requirement A), in the virulent Bacillus anthracis Vollum strain results in significant virulence attenuation in guinea pigs, rabbits and mice, underlying the universality of the attenuated phenotype associated with htrA knockout. Accordingly, htrA disruption was implemented for the development of a Sterne-derived safe live vaccine compatible with human use. The novel B. anthracis SterneΔhtrA strain secretes functional anthrax toxins but is 10-10(4)-fold less virulent than the Sterne vaccine strain depending on animal model (mice, guinea pigs, or rabbits). In spite of this attenuation, double or even single immunization with SterneΔhtrA spores elicits immune responses which target toxaemia and bacteremia resulting in protection from subcutaneous or respiratory lethal challenge with a virulent strain in guinea pigs and rabbits. The efficacy of the immune-protective response in guinea pigs was maintained for at least 50 weeks after a single immunization.

  18. Novel Sample Preparation Method for Safe and Rapid Detection of Bacillus anthracis Spores in Environmental Powders and Nasal Swabs

    PubMed Central

    Luna, Vicki A.; King, Debra; Davis, Carisa; Rycerz, Tony; Ewert, Matthew; Cannons, Andrew; Amuso, Philip; Cattani, Jacqueline

    2003-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis spores have been used as a biological weapon in the United States. We wanted to develop a safe, rapid method of sample preparation that provided safe DNA for the detection of spores in environmental and clinical specimens. Our method reproducibly detects B. anthracis in samples containing <10 spores. PMID:12624060

  19. Direct detection of Bacillus anthracis DNA in animals by polymerase chain reaction.

    PubMed Central

    Makino, S I; Iinuma-Okada, Y; Maruyama, T; Ezaki, T; Sasakawa, C; Yoshikawa, M

    1993-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is a soil pathogen capable of causing anthrax. To establish a method for specifically detecting B. anthracis for practical applications, such as for the inspection of slaughterhouses, the cap region, which is essential for encapsulation in B. anthracis, was used in a DNA hybridization study by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Oligonucleotide primers were designed to amplify a 288-bp DNA fragment within the capA gene by PCR. The amplified DNA sequence specifically hybridized to the DNA of B. anthracis but not to that of other bacterial strains tested. Since this PCR-based method efficiently and specifically detected the capA sequence of bacteria in blood and spleen samples of mice within 8 h after the administration of live B. anthracis, this PCR system could be used for practical applications. By using lysis methods in preparing the samples for PCR, it was possible to amplify the 288-bp DNA segment from samples containing very few bacteria, as few as only 1 sporeforming unit, indicating that the PCR detection method developed in this study will permit the monitoring of B. anthracis contamination in the environment. Images PMID:8458949

  20. Bacillus anthracis comparative genome analysis in support of the Amerithrax investigation

    PubMed Central

    Rasko, David A.; Worsham, Patricia L.; Abshire, Terry G.; Stanley, Scott T.; Bannan, Jason D.; Wilson, Mark R.; Langham, Richard J.; Decker, R. Scott; Jiang, Lingxia; Read, Timothy D.; Phillippy, Adam M.; Salzberg, Steven L.; Pop, Mihai; Van Ert, Matthew N.; Kenefic, Leo J.; Keim, Paul S.; Fraser-Liggett, Claire M.; Ravel, Jacques

    2011-01-01

    Before the anthrax letter attacks of 2001, the developing field of microbial forensics relied on microbial genotyping schemes based on a small portion of a genome sequence. Amerithrax, the investigation into the anthrax letter attacks, applied high-resolution whole-genome sequencing and comparative genomics to identify key genetic features of the letters’ Bacillus anthracis Ames strain. During systematic microbiological analysis of the spore material from the letters, we identified a number of morphological variants based on phenotypic characteristics and the ability to sporulate. The genomes of these morphological variants were sequenced and compared with that of the B. anthracis Ames ancestor, the progenitor of all B. anthracis Ames strains. Through comparative genomics, we identified four distinct loci with verifiable genetic mutations. Three of the four mutations could be directly linked to sporulation pathways in B. anthracis and more specifically to the regulation of the phosphorylation state of Spo0F, a key regulatory protein in the initiation of the sporulation cascade, thus linking phenotype to genotype. None of these variant genotypes were identified in single-colony environmental B. anthracis Ames isolates associated with the investigation. These genotypes were identified only in B. anthracis morphotypes isolated from the letters, indicating that the variants were not prevalent in the environment, not even the environments associated with the investigation. This study demonstrates the forensic value of systematic microbiological analysis combined with whole-genome sequencing and comparative genomics. PMID:21383169

  1. The Secret Life of the Anthrax Agent Bacillus anthracis: Bacteriophage-Mediated Ecological Adaptations

    PubMed Central

    Schuch, Raymond; Fischetti, Vincent A.

    2009-01-01

    Ecological and genetic factors that govern the occurrence and persistence of anthrax reservoirs in the environment are obscure. A central tenet, based on limited and often conflicting studies, has long held that growing or vegetative forms of Bacillus anthracis survive poorly outside the mammalian host and must sporulate to survive in the environment. Here, we present evidence of a more dynamic lifecycle, whereby interactions with bacterial viruses, or bacteriophages, elicit phenotypic alterations in B. anthracis and the emergence of infected derivatives, or lysogens, with dramatically altered survival capabilities. Using both laboratory and environmental B. anthracis strains, we show that lysogeny can block or promote sporulation depending on the phage, induce exopolysaccharide expression and biofilm formation, and enable the long-term colonization of both an artificial soil environment and the intestinal tract of the invertebrate redworm, Eisenia fetida. All of the B. anthracis lysogens existed in a pseudolysogenic-like state in both the soil and worm gut, shedding phages that could in turn infect non-lysogenic B. anthracis recipients and confer survival phenotypes in those environments. Finally, the mechanism behind several phenotypic changes was found to require phage-encoded bacterial sigma factors and the expression of at least one host-encoded protein predicted to be involved in the colonization of invertebrate intestines. The results here demonstrate that during its environmental phase, bacteriophages provide B. anthracis with alternatives to sporulation that involve the activation of soil-survival and endosymbiotic capabilities. PMID:19672290

  2. Decontamination of a hospital room using gaseous chlorine dioxide: Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Lowe, John J; Gibbs, Shawn G; Iwen, Peter C; Smith, Philip W; Hewlett, Angela L

    2013-01-01

    This study assessed the efficacy of gaseous chlorine dioxide for inactivation of Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis in a hospital patient care suite. Spore and vegetative cells of Bacillus anthracis Sterne 34F2, spores of Bacillus atrophaeus ATCC 9372 and vegetative cells of both Francisella tularensis ATCC 6223 and Yersinia pestis A1122 were exposed to gaseous chlorine dioxide in a patient care suite. Organism inactivation was then assessed by log reduction in viable organisms postexposure to chlorine dioxide gas compared to non-exposed control organism. Hospital room decontamination protocols utilizing chlorine dioxide gas concentrations of 377 to 385 ppm maintained to exposures of 767 ppm-hours with 65% relative humidity consistently achieved complete inactivation of B. anthracis and B. atrophaeus spores, as well as vegetative cells of B. anthracis, F. tularensis, and Y. pestis. Decrease in exposure (ppm-hours) and relative humidity (<65%) or restricting airflow reduced inactivation but achieved >8 log reductions in organisms. Up to 10-log reductions were achieved in a hospital room with limited impact on adjacent areas, indicating chlorine dioxide concentrations needed for decontamination of highly concentrated (>6 logs) organisms can be achieved throughout a hospital room. This study translates laboratory chlorine dioxide fumigation studies applied in a complex clinical environment.

  3. PCR Assay To Detect Bacillus anthracis Spores in Heat-Treated Specimens

    PubMed Central

    Fasanella, A.; Losito, S.; Adone, R.; Ciuchini, F.; Trotta, T.; Altamura, S. A.; Chiocco, D.; Ippolito, G.

    2003-01-01

    Recent interest in anthrax is due to its potential use in bioterrorism and as a biowarfare agent against civilian populations. The development of rapid and sensitive techniques to detect anthrax spores in suspicious specimens is the most important aim for public health. With a view to preventing exposure of laboratory workers to viable Bacillus anthracis spores, this study evaluated the suitability of PCR assays for detecting anthrax spores previously inactivated at 121°C for 45 min. The results indicate that heat treatment ensures the complete inactivation of B. anthracis spores without significantly affecting the efficiency of PCR assays. PMID:12574311

  4. Assessment of a Solid Phase Matrix for the Neutralization and Real-Time PCR Detection of Bacillus anthracis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-12-01

    for the Neutralization and Real - Time PCR Detection of Bacillus anthracis D.E. Bader, G.R. Fisher and C.W. Stratilo DRDC Suffield Technical Memorandum...Matrix for the Neutralization and Real - Time PCR Detection of Bacillus anthracis D.E. Bader, G.R. Fisher, and C.W. Stratilo Defence R&D Canada - Suffield...evaluated for their neutralization ability, based on cell culture analysis, and were also analyzed using real - time PCR detection assays designed to

  5. Expression of Bacillus anthracis protective antigen in transgenic chloroplasts of tobacco, a non-food/feed crop

    PubMed Central

    Watson, Jennifer; Koya, Vijay; Leppla, Stephen H.; Daniell, Henry

    2012-01-01

    The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) lists Bacillus anthracis as a category A agent and estimates the cost of an anthrax attack to exceed US$ 26 billion per 100,000 exposed individuals. Concerns regarding anthrax vaccine purity, a requirement for multiple injections, and a limited supply of the protective antigen (PA), underscore the urgent need for an improved vaccine. Therefore, the 83 kDa immunogenic Bacillus anthracis protective antigen was expressed in transgenic tobacco chloroplasts. The PA gene (pag) was cloned into a chloroplast vector along with the psbA regulatory signals to enhance translation. Chloroplast integration of the transgenes was confirmed by PCR and Southern blot analyses. Crude plant extracts contained up to 2.5 mg full length PA/g of fresh leaf tissue and this showed exceptional stability for several months in stored leaves or crude extracts. Maximum levels of expression were observed in mature leaves under continuous illumination. Co-expression of the ORF2 chaperonin from Bacillus thuringiensis did not increase PA accumulation or induce folding into cuboidal crystals in transgenic chloroplasts. Trypsin, chymotrypsin and furin proteolytic cleavage sites present in PA were protected in transgenic chloroplasts because only full length PA 83 was observed without any degradation products. Both CHAPS and SDS detergents extracted PA with equal efficiency and PA was observed in the soluble fraction. Chloroplast-derived PA was functionally active in lysing mouse macrophages when combined with lethal factor (LF). Crude leaf extracts contained up to 25 μg functional PA/ml. With an average yield of 172 mg of PA per plant using an experimental transgenic cultivar grown in a greenhouse, 400 million doses of vaccine (free of contaminants) could be produced per acre, a yield that could be further enhanced 18-fold using a commercial cultivar in the field. PMID:15474731

  6. Nano-Mechanical Properties of Heat Inactivated Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus thuringiensis Spores

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-03-01

    possible simulant for B. anthracis in counter-proliferation studies because it is closely related to B. anthracis and is not harmful to humans. In order...to be a good simulant in counter-proliferation studies, B. thuringiensis spores must have similar properties to B. anthracis spores. In particular...Preparation ......................32 Reflection Amplitude Curves

  7. DnaJ sequences of Bacillus cereus strains isolated from outbreaks of hospital infection are highly similar to Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jiwei; van Hung, Pham; Hayashi, Masahiro; Yoshida, Shigeru; Ohkusu, Kiyofumi; Ezaki, Takayuki

    2011-07-01

    Bacillus cereus is becoming an important nomosomial pathogen because of frequent isolation from blood cultures and from severe systemic infections. To differentiate highly pathogenic outbreak strain of B. cereus from other sources of the Bacillus cereus, we attempted to analyze their dnaJ sequences. Assays indicated that dnaJ sequence similarity of all of 52 blood culture isolates of B. cereus ranged from 92.8% to 100%. The distance between B. anthracis and B. cereus except six outbreak isolates ranged from 3.8% to 6.4%. The dnaJ sequences of six outbreak strains of B. cereus (GTC 02891, GTC 02896, GTC 02916, GTC 02917, GTC 03221, and GTC 03222) were closely related to those of B. anthracis (99.2%-99.5% sequence similarity). Ba813 sequences were only found in the six outbreak strains of B. cereus. The other pathogenic factors of B. anthracis were not found in these six outbreak strains, with the exception of GTC 02891 (cap-positive). The six outbreak strains formed clear β-hemolytic colonies on a sheep blood agar plate. Our findings suggest that outbreak strains of B. cereus isolated from blood cultures are likely to have the risk of causing serious infection, and dnaJ and Ba813 are important markers to identify such strains. Phylogenetic analysis of dnaJ and MLST revealed that the six outbreak strains of B. cereus are closely related to B. anthracis.

  8. Structure of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (DeoD) from Bacillus anthracis

    SciTech Connect

    Grenha, Rosa; Levdikov, Vladimir M.; Fogg, Mark J.; Blagova, Elena V.; Brannigan, James A. Wilkinson, Anthony J.; Wilson, Keith S.

    2005-05-01

    The crystal structure of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (DeoD) from B. anthracis was solved by X-ray crystallography using molecular replacement and refined at a resolution of 2.24 Å. Protein structures from the causative agent of anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) are being determined as part of a structural genomics programme. Amongst initial candidates for crystallographic analysis are enzymes involved in nucleotide biosynthesis, since these are recognized as potential targets in antibacterial therapy. Purine nucleoside phosphorylase is a key enzyme in the purine-salvage pathway. The crystal structure of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (DeoD) from B. anthracis has been solved by molecular replacement at 2.24 Å resolution and refined to an R factor of 18.4%. This is the first report of a DeoD structure from a Gram-positive bacterium.

  9. Proteolytic Degradation of Human Antimicrobial Peptide LL-37 by Bacillus anthracis May Contribute to Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Thwaite, Joanne E.; Hibbs, Stephen; Titball, Richard W.; Atkins, Timothy P.

    2006-01-01

    In this paper we report on the susceptibilities of a range of Bacillus species to the human antimicrobial peptide LL-37. B. subtilis showed a low level of resistance to killing by LL-37 (50% growth-inhibitory concentration [GI50], 1 μg/ml). B. cereus and B. thuringiensis showed intermediate levels of resistance to killing (GI50s, 33 μg/ml and 37 μg/ml, respectively). B. anthracis showed the highest level of resistance (GI50s, 40 to 66 μg/ml). The degradation of LL-37 by B. anthracis culture supernatant was blocked by the metalloprotease inhibitors EDTA and 1,10-phenanthroline, and the gene encoding the protease responsible for LL-37 degradation was not plasmid borne. Our findings suggest that alongside the classical plasmid-based virulence determinants, extracellular metalloproteases of B. anthracis may play a role in survival in the host. PMID:16801407

  10. Structure of 5-formyltetrahydrofolate cyclo-ligase from Bacillus anthracis (BA4489)

    SciTech Connect

    Meier, Christoph; Carter, Lester G.; Winter, Graeme; Owens, Ray J.; Stuart, David I.; Esnouf, Robert M.

    2007-03-01

    The structure of 5-formyltetrahydrofolate cyclo-ligase from B. anthracis determined by X-ray crystallography at a resolution of 1.6 Å is described. Bacillus anthracis is a spore-forming bacterium and the causative agent of the disease anthrax. The Oxford Protein Production Facility has been targeting proteins from B. anthracis in order to develop high-throughput technologies within the Structural Proteomics in Europe project. As part of this work, the structure of 5-formyltetrahydrofolate cyclo-ligase (BA4489) has been determined by X-ray crystallography to 1.6 Å resolution. The structure, solved in complex with magnesium-ion-bound ADP and phosphate, gives a detailed picture of the proposed catalytic mechanism of the enzyme. Chemical differences from other cyclo-ligase structures close to the active site that could be exploited to design specific inhibitors are also highlighted.

  11. Endospore surface properties of commonly used Bacillus anthracis surrogates vary in aqueous solution.

    PubMed

    White, Colin P; Popovici, Jonathan; Lytle, Darren A; Rice, Eugene W

    2014-08-01

    The hydrophobic character and electrophoretic mobility (EPM) of microorganisms are vital aspects of understanding their interactions with the environment. These properties are fundamental in fate-and-transport, physiological, and virulence studies, and thus integral in surrogate selection. Hydrophobic and electrostatic forces are significant contributors to particle and microorganism mobility in the environment. Herein, the surface properties of commonly used Bacillus anthracis surrogate endospores were tested under comparable conditions with respect to culture, endospore purification, buffer type and strength. Additionally, data is presented of endospores suspended in dechlorinated tap water to evaluate the surrogates in regard to a breach of water infrastructure security. The surface properties of B. anthracis were found to be the most hydrophobic and least electronegative among the six Bacillus species tested across buffer strength. The effect of EPM on hydrophobicity varies in a species-specific manner. This study demonstrates that surrogate surface properties differ and care must be taken when choosing the most suitable surrogate. Moreover, it is shown that Bacillus thuringensis best represents Bacillus anthracis-Sterne with respect to both EPM and hydrophobicity across all test buffers.

  12. Bacillus anthracis tagO Is Required for Vegetative Growth and Secondary Cell Wall Polysaccharide Synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Lunderberg, J. Mark; Liszewski Zilla, Megan; Missiakas, Dominique

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bacillus anthracis elaborates a linear secondary cell wall polysaccharide (SCWP) that retains surface (S)-layer and associated proteins via their S-layer homology (SLH) domains. The SCWP is comprised of trisaccharide repeats [→4)-β-ManNAc-(1→4)-β-GlcNAc-(1→6)-α-GlcNAc-(1→] and tethered via acid-labile phosphodiester bonds to peptidoglycan. Earlier work identified UDP-GlcNAc 2-epimerases GneY (BAS5048) and GneZ (BAS5117), which act as catalysts of ManNAc synthesis, as well as a polysaccharide deacetylase (BAS5051), as factors contributing to SCWP synthesis. Here, we show that tagO (BAS5050), which encodes a UDP-N-acetylglucosamine:undecaprenyl-P N-acetylglucosaminyl 1-P transferase, the enzyme that initiates the synthesis of murein linkage units, is required for B. anthracis SCWP synthesis and S-layer assembly. Similar to gneY-gneZ mutants, B. anthracis strains lacking tagO cannot maintain cell shape or support vegetative growth. In contrast, mutations in BAS5051 do not affect B. anthracis cell shape, vegetative growth, SCWP synthesis, or S-layer assembly. These data suggest that TagO-mediated murein linkage unit assembly supports SCWP synthesis and attachment to the peptidoglycan via acid-labile phosphodiester bonds. Further, B. anthracis variants unable to synthesize SCWP trisaccharide repeats cannot sustain cell shape and vegetative growth. IMPORTANCE Bacillus anthracis elaborates an SCWP to support vegetative growth and envelope assembly. Here, we show that some, but not all, SCWP synthesis is dependent on tagO-derived murein linkage units and subsequent attachment of SCWP to peptidoglycan. The data implicate secondary polymer modifications of peptidoglycan and subcellular distributions as a key feature of the cell cycle in Gram-positive bacteria and establish foundations for work on the molecular functions of the SCWP and on inhibitors with antibiotic attributes. PMID:26324447

  13. Mechanical transmission of Bacillus anthracis by stable flies (Stomoxys calcitrans) and mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti and Aedes taeniorhynchus).

    PubMed Central

    Turell, M J; Knudson, G B

    1987-01-01

    We evaluated the potential of stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans, and two species of mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti and Aedes taeniorhynchus, to transmit Bacillus anthracis Vollum 1B mechanically. After probing on Hartley guinea pigs with a bacteremia of ca. 10(8.6) CFU of B. anthracis per ml of blood, individual or pools of two to four stable flies or mosquitoes were allowed to continue feeding on either uninfected guinea pigs or A/J mice. All three insect species transmitted lethal anthrax infections to both guinea pigs and mice. Both stable flies and mosquitoes transmitted anthrax, even when they were held at room temperature for 4 h after exposure to the bacteremic guinea pig before being allowed to continue feeding on the susceptible animals. This study confirms that blood-feeding insects can mechanically transmit anthrax and supports recent anecdotal reports of fly-bite-associated cutaneous human anthrax. The potential for flies to mechanically transmit anthrax suggests that fly control should be considered as part of a program for control of epizootic anthrax. PMID:3112013

  14. Strain-specific single-nucleotide polymorphism assays for the Bacillus anthracis Ames strain.

    PubMed

    Van Ert, Matthew N; Easterday, W Ryan; Simonson, Tatum S; U'Ren, Jana M; Pearson, Talima; Kenefic, Leo J; Busch, Joseph D; Huynh, Lynn Y; Dukerich, Megan; Trim, Carla B; Beaudry, Jodi; Welty-Bernard, Amy; Read, Timothy; Fraser, Claire M; Ravel, Jacques; Keim, Paul

    2007-01-01

    Highly precise diagnostics and forensic assays can be developed through a combination of evolutionary analysis and the exhaustive examination of genomic sequences. In Bacillus anthracis, whole-genome sequencing efforts revealed ca. 3,500 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) among eight different strains and evolutionary analysis provides the identification of canonical SNPs. We have previously shown that SNPs are highly evolutionarily stable, and the clonal nature of B. anthracis makes them ideal signatures for subtyping this pathogen. Here we identified SNPs that define the lineage of B. anthracis that contains the Ames strain, the strain used in the 2001 bioterrorist attacks in the United States. Sequencing and real-time PCR were used to validate these SNPs across B. anthracis strains, including (i) 88 globally and genetically diverse isolates; (ii) isolates that were shown to be genetic relatives of the Ames strain by multiple-locus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA); and (iii) several different lab stocks of the Ames strain, including a clinical isolate from the 2001 letter attack. Six SNPs were found to be highly specific for the Ames strain; four on the chromosome, one on the pX01 plasmid, and one on the pX02 plasmid. All six SNPs differentiated the B. anthracis Ames strain from the 88 unique B. anthracis strains, while five of the six separated Ames from its close genetic relatives. The use of these SNPs coupled with real-time PCR allows specific and sensitive (<100 fg of template DNA) identification of the Ames strain. This evolutionary and genomics-based approach provides an effective means for the discovery of strain-specific SNPs in B. anthracis.

  15. Rapid Detection of Bacillus anthracis in Complex Food Matrices Using Phage-Mediated Bioluminescence.

    PubMed

    Sharp, Natasha J; Vandamm, Joshua P; Molineux, Ian J; Schofield, David A

    2015-05-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is considered a high-priority agent that may be used in a food-related terrorist attack because it can be contracted by ingestion and it also forms spores with heat and chemical resistance. Thus, novel surveillance methodologies to detect B. anthracis on adulterated foods are important for bioterrorism preparedness. We describe the development of a phage-based bioluminescence assay for the detection of B. anthracis on deliberately contaminated foods. We previously engineered the B. anthracis phage Wβ with genes encoding bacterial luciferase (luxA and luxB) to create a "light-tagged" reporter (Wβ::luxAB) that is able to rapidly detect B. anthracis by transducing a bioluminescent signal response. Here, we investigate the ability of Wβ::luxAB to detect B. anthracis Sterne, an attenuated select agent strain, in inoculated food (ground beef) and milk (2%, baby formula, and half and half) matrices after incubation with spores for 72 h at 4°C as per AOAC testing guidelines. The majority of B. anthracis bacilli remained in spore form, and thus were potentially infectious, within each of the liquid matrices for 14 days. Detection limits were 80 CFU/ml after 7 h of enrichment; sensitivity of detection increased to 8 CFU/ml when enrichment was extended to 16 h. The limit of detection in ground beef was 3.2 × 10(3) CFU/g after 7 h of enrichment, improving to 3.2 × 10(2) CFU/g after 16 h. Because the time to result is rapid and minimal processing is required, and because gastrointestinal anthrax can be fatal, the reporter technology displays promise for the protection of our food supply following a deliberate release of this priority pathogen.

  16. Rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis by γ phage amplification and lateral flow immunochromatography.

    PubMed

    Cox, Christopher R; Jensen, Kirk R; Mondesire, Roy R; Voorhees, Kent J

    2015-11-01

    New, rapid point-of-need diagnostic methods for Bacillus anthracis detection can enhance civil and military responses to accidental or deliberate dispersal of anthrax as a biological weapon. Current laboratory-based methods for clinical identification of B. anthracis require 12 to 120h, and are confirmed by plaque assay using the well-characterized γ typing phage, which requires an additional minimum of 24h for bacterial culture. To reduce testing time, the natural specificity of γ phage amplification was investigated in combination with lateral flow immunochromatography (LFI) for rapid, point-of-need B. anthracis detection. Phage-based LFI detection of B. anthracis Sterne was validated over a range of bacterial and phage concentrations with optimal detection achieved in as little as 2h from the onset of amplification with a threshold sensitivity of 2.5×10(4)cfu/mL. The novel use of γ phage amplification detected with a simple, inexpensive LFI assay provides a rapid, sensitive, highly accurate, and field-deployable method for diagnostic ID of B. anthracis in a fraction of the time required by conventional techniques, and without the need for extensive laboratory culture.

  17. The phenotypic and genotypic characterization of Bacillus anthracis isolates from Iran.

    PubMed

    Jula, Gholamreza Moazeni; Sattari, Morteza; Banihashemi, Reza; Razzaz, Hossein; Sanchouli, Alireza; Tadayon, Keyvan

    2011-03-01

    To understand epidemiology of Bacillus anthracis in Iran, the morphological, biochemical, and virulence specifications of 32 B. anthracis isolates, collected from human, sheep, cattle, goat, and environmental specimens obtained from throughout Iran were examined by conventional and molecular approaches. B. anthracis isolates were characterized in multiple ways: (1) capsule formation both on bicarbonate agar and in defibrinated horse blood, (2) motility of vegetative forms, (3) hemolysis on 5% sheep blood agar, (4) penicillin G susceptibility, (5) lecithinase production on egg yolk agar, (6) gelatin hydrolysis, (7) ability to develop "string of pearls" on tryptose agar, and (8) capability to develop mucoid colonies in presence of CO(2) were assessed. In addition, biochemical properties such as indole, methyl red, catalase, citrate utilization, and finally nitrate reduction tests were used. All the tested isolates produced identical morphological and biochemical patterns with those of the vaccine strain B. anthracis 34F2 Sterne. In order to assess potential virulence of isolates at genomic level, PCR protocols assaying for the pXO1 and pXO2 loci were employed. The intriguing high level of phenotypic similarity between Iranian isolates of B. anthracis and the 34F2 Sterne strain deserves further studies at genomic level.

  18. Bacillus anthracis interacts with plasmin(ogen) to evade C3b-dependent innate immunity.

    PubMed

    Chung, Myung-Chul; Tonry, Jessica H; Narayanan, Aarthi; Manes, Nathan P; Mackie, Ryan S; Gutting, Bradford; Mukherjee, Dhritiman V; Popova, Taissia G; Kashanchi, Fatah; Bailey, Charles L; Popov, Serguei G

    2011-03-25

    The causative agent of anthrax, Bacillus anthracis, is capable of circumventing the humoral and innate immune defense of the host and modulating the blood chemistry in circulation to initiate a productive infection. It has been shown that the pathogen employs a number of strategies against immune cells using secreted pathogenic factors such as toxins. However, interference of B. anthracis with the innate immune system through specific interaction of the spore surface with host proteins such as the complement system has heretofore attracted little attention. In order to assess the mechanisms by which B. anthracis evades the defense system, we employed a proteomic analysis to identify human serum proteins interacting with B. anthracis spores, and found that plasminogen (PLG) is a major surface-bound protein. PLG efficiently bound to spores in a lysine- and exosporium-dependent manner. We identified α-enolase and elongation factor tu as PLG receptors. PLG-bound spores were capable of exhibiting anti-opsonic properties by cleaving C3b molecules in vitro and in rabbit bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, resulting in a decrease in macrophage phagocytosis. Our findings represent a step forward in understanding the mechanisms involved in the evasion of innate immunity by B. anthracis through recruitment of PLG resulting in the enhancement of anti-complement and anti-opsonization properties of the pathogen.

  19. Identification and characterization of Bacillus anthracis by multiplex PCR on DNA chip.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shi-Hua; Wen, Ji-Kai; Zhou, Ya-Feng; Zhang, Zhi-Ping; Yang, Rui-Fu; Zhang, Ji-Bin; Chen, Jia; Zhang, Xian-En

    2004-11-01

    Bacillus anthracis can be identified by detecting virulence factor genes located on two plasmids, pXO1 and pXO2. Combining multiplex PCR with arrayed anchored primer PCR and biotin-avidin alkaline phosphatase indicator system, we developed a qualitative DNA chip method for characterization of B. anthracis, and simultaneous confirmation of the species identity independent of plasmid contents. The assay amplifies pag gene (in pXO1), cap gene (in pXO2) and Ba813 gene (a B. anthracis specific chromosomal marker), and the results were indicated by an easy-to-read profile based on the color reaction of alkaline phosphatase. About 1 pg of specific DNA fragments on the chip wells could be detected after PCR. With the proposed method, the avirulent (pXO1+/2-, pXO1-/2+ and pXO1-/2-) strains of B. anthracis and distinguished 'anthrax-like' strains from other B. cereus group bacteria were unambiguously identified, while the genera other than Bacillus gave no positive signal.

  20. Bacillus anthracis diagnostic detection and rapid antibiotic susceptibility determination using 'bioluminescent' reporter phage.

    PubMed

    Schofield, David A; Sharp, Natasha J; Vandamm, Joshua; Molineux, Ian J; Spreng, Krista A; Rajanna, Chythanya; Westwater, Caroline; Stewart, George C

    2013-11-01

    Genetically modified phages have the potential to detect pathogenic bacteria from clinical, environmental, or food-related sources. Herein we assess an engineered 'bioluminescent' reporter phage (Wß::luxAB) as a clinical diagnostic tool for Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax. Wß::luxAB is able to rapidly (within minutes) detect a panel of B. anthracis strains by transducing a bioluminescent phenotype. The reporter phage displays species specificity by its inability, or significantly reduced ability, to detect members of the closely related Bacillus cereus group and other common bacterial pathogens. Using spiked clinical specimens, Wß::luxAB detects B. anthracis within 5 h at clinically relevant concentrations, and provides antibiotic susceptibility information that mirrors the CLSI method, except that data are obtained at least 5-fold faster. Although anthrax is a treatable disease, a positive patient prognosis is dependent on timely diagnosis and appropriate therapy. Wß::luxAB rapidly detects B. anthracis and determines antibiotic efficacy, properties that will help patient outcome.

  1. Functional characterization of WalRK: A two-component signal transduction system from Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Dhiman, Alisha; Bhatnagar, Sonika; Kulshreshtha, Parul; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2014-01-01

    Two-component signal transduction systems (TCS), consisting of a sensor histidine protein kinase and its cognate response regulator, are an important mode of environmental sensing in bacteria. Additionally, they have been found to regulate virulence determinants in several pathogens. Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax and a bioterrorism agent, harbours 41 pairs of TCS. However, their role in its pathogenicity has remained largely unexplored. Here, we show that WalRK of B. anthracis forms a functional TCS which exhibits some species-specific functions. Biochemical studies showed that domain variants of WalK, the histidine kinase, exhibit classical properties of autophosphorylation and phosphotransfer to its cognate response regulator WalR. Interestingly, these domain variants also show phosphatase activity towards phosphorylated WalR, thereby making WalK a bifunctional histidine kinase/phosphatase. An in silico regulon determination approach, using a consensus binding sequence from Bacillus subtilis, provided a list of 30 genes that could form a putative WalR regulon in B. anthracis. Further, electrophoretic mobility shift assay was used to show direct binding of purified WalR to the upstream regions of three putative regulon candidates, an S-layer protein EA1, a cell division ABC transporter FtsE and a sporulation histidine kinase KinB3. Our work lends insight into the species-specific functions and mode of action of B. anthracis WalRK.

  2. The two CcdA proteins of Bacillus anthracis differentially affect virulence gene expression and sporulation.

    PubMed

    Han, Hesong; Wilson, Adam C

    2013-12-01

    The cytochrome c maturation system influences the expression of virulence factors in Bacillus anthracis. B. anthracis carries two copies of the ccdA gene, encoding predicted thiol-disulfide oxidoreductases that contribute to cytochrome c maturation, while the closely related organism Bacillus subtilis carries only one copy of ccdA. To investigate the roles of the two ccdA gene copies in B. anthracis, strains were constructed without each ccdA gene, and one strain was constructed without both copies simultaneously. Loss of both ccdA genes results in a reduction of cytochrome c production, an increase in virulence factor expression, and a reduction in sporulation efficiency. Complementation and expression analyses indicate that ccdA2 encodes the primary CcdA in B. anthracis, active in all three pathways. While CcdA1 retains activity in cytochrome c maturation and virulence control, it has completely lost its activity in the sporulation pathway. In support of this finding, expression of ccdA1 is strongly reduced when cells are grown under sporulation-inducing conditions. When the activities of CcdA1 and CcdA2 were analyzed in B. subtilis, neither protein retained activity in cytochrome c maturation, but CcdA2 could still function in sporulation. These observations reveal the complexities of thiol-disulfide oxidoreductase function in pathways relevant to virulence and physiology.

  3. Decontamination Efficacy of Three Commercial Off-the-Shelf Sporicidal Agents on Medium-Sized Panels Contaminated with Surrogates of Bacillus anthracis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-04-01

    Bacillus anthracis spores Bacillus atrophaeus spores Bacillus subtilis spores Sporicidal efficacy pH-amended bleach PT lumber Stainless steel...Method 2008.05, Efficacy of Liquid Sporicides against Spores of Bacillus subtilis on a Hard, Nonporous Surface, Quantitative Three-step Method. J. AOAC Int. 2010, 93, 259-276. 11 ... BACILLUS ANTHRACIS \\« N^^ k •■ * *. Jason M. Edmonds Vipin K. Rastogi RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY DIRECTORATE April 2012 -W US ARMY ™

  4. Evaluation of the rapid analyte measurement platform (RAMP) for the detection of Bacillus anthracis at a crime scene.

    PubMed

    Hoile, Rebecca; Yuen, Marion; James, Gregory; Gilbert, Gwendolyn L

    2007-08-24

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the accuracy and reliability of the rapid analyte measurement platform (RAMP) for presumptive identification of Bacillus anthracis spores. Test samples consisted of serial dilutions of spore preparations of several Bacillus species, including B. anthracis, which were tested, using the RAMP Anthrax test cartridge, according to the manufacturer's instructions. The fluorescence labelled antibody-antigen complexes were detected in the portable reader after 15 min following sample addition. Dilutions of common environmental and household powders were also tested to identify possible false positive results. B. anthracis spores were identified reliably in test samples containing more than 6000 spores. The test kits were highly specific, showing no cross reactivity with other Bacillus species or any environmental powders tested. The RAMP system for detection of B. anthracis spores, from environmental samples, showed consistent results under a variety of analytical conditions, enabling the trained user to provide a rapid, accurate preliminary risk assessment of a suspected bioterrorism incident.

  5. Laboratory Studies on Surface Sampling of Bacillus anthracis Contamination: Summary, Gaps, and Recommendations

    SciTech Connect

    Piepel, Gregory F.; Amidan, Brett G.; Hu, Rebecca

    2011-11-28

    This report summarizes previous laboratory studies to characterize the performance of methods for collecting, storing/transporting, processing, and analyzing samples from surfaces contaminated by Bacillus anthracis or related surrogates. The focus is on plate culture and count estimates of surface contamination for swab, wipe, and vacuum samples of porous and nonporous surfaces. Summaries of the previous studies and their results were assessed to identify gaps in information needed as inputs to calculate key parameters critical to risk management in biothreat incidents. One key parameter is the number of samples needed to make characterization or clearance decisions with specified statistical confidence. Other key parameters include the ability to calculate, following contamination incidents, the (1) estimates of Bacillus anthracis contamination, as well as the bias and uncertainties in the estimates, and (2) confidence in characterization and clearance decisions for contaminated or decontaminated buildings. Gaps in knowledge and understanding identified during the summary of the studies are discussed and recommendations are given for future studies.

  6. Determination of Antibiotic Efficacy against Bacillus anthracis in a Mouse Aerosol Challenge Model▿

    PubMed Central

    Heine, Henry S.; Bassett, Jennifer; Miller, Lynda; Hartings, Justin M.; Ivins, Bruce E.; Pitt, M. Louise; Fritz, David; Norris, Sarah L.; Byrne, W. Russell

    2007-01-01

    An anthrax spore aerosol infection mouse model was developed as a first test of in vivo efficacy of antibiotics identified as active against Bacillus anthracis. Whole-body, 50% lethal dose (LD50) aerosol challenge doses in a range of 1.9 × 103 to 3.4 × 104 CFU with spores of the fully virulent Ames strain were established for three inbred and one outbred mouse strain (A/J, BALB/c, C57BL, and Swiss Webster). The BALB/c strain was further developed as a model for antibiotic efficacy. Time course microbiological examinations of tissue burdens in mice after challenge showed that spores could remain dormant in the lungs while vegetative cells disseminated to the mediastinal lymph nodes and then to the spleen, accompanied by bacteremia. For antibiotic efficacy studies, BALB/c mice were challenged with 50 to 100 LD50 of spores followed by intraperitoneal injection of either ciprofloxacin at 30 mg/kg of body weight (every 12 h [q12h]) or doxycycline at 40 mg/kg (q6h). A control group was treated with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) q6h. Treatment was begun 24 h after challenge with groups of 10 mice for 14 or 21 days. The PBS-treated control mice all succumbed (10/10) to inhalation anthrax infection within 72 h. Sixty-day survival rates for ciprofloxacin and doxycycline-treated groups were 8/10 and 9/10, respectively, for 14-day treatment and 10/10 and 7/10 for 21-day treatment. Delayed treatment with ciprofloxacin initiated 36 and 48 h postexposure resulted in 80% survival and was statistically no different than early (24 h) postexposure treatment. Results using this mouse model correlate closely with clinical observations of inhalational anthrax in humans and with earlier antibiotic studies in the nonhuman primate inhalational anthrax model. PMID:17296745

  7. Development of an Inhalational Bacillus anthracis Exposure Therapeutic Model in Cynomolgus Macaques

    PubMed Central

    Comer, Jason E.; Stark, Gregory V.; Ray, Bryan D.; Tordoff, Kevin P.; Knostman, Katherine A. B.; Meister, Gabriel T.

    2012-01-01

    Appropriate animal models are required to test medical countermeasures to bioterrorist threats. To that end, we characterized a nonhuman primate (NHP) inhalational anthrax therapeutic model for use in testing anthrax therapeutic medical countermeasures according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Animal Rule. A clinical profile was recorded for each NHP exposed to a lethal dose of Bacillus anthracis Ames spores. Specific diagnostic parameters were detected relatively early in disease progression, i.e., by blood culture (∼37 h postchallenge) and the presence of circulating protective antigen (PA) detected by electrochemiluminescence (ECL) ∼38 h postchallenge, whereas nonspecific clinical signs of disease, i.e., changes in body temperature, hematologic parameters (ca. 52 to 66 h), and clinical observations, were delayed. To determine whether the presentation of antigenemia (PA in the blood) was an appropriate trigger for therapeutic intervention, a monoclonal antibody specific for PA was administered to 12 additional animals after the circulating levels of PA were detected by ECL. Seventy-five percent of the monoclonal antibody-treated animals survived compared to 17% of the untreated controls, suggesting that intervention at the onset of antigenemia is an appropriate treatment trigger for this model. Moreover, the onset of antigenemia correlated with bacteremia, and NHPs were treated in a therapeutic manner. Interestingly, brain lesions were observed by histopathology in the treated nonsurviving animals, whereas this observation was absent from 90% of the nonsurviving untreated animals. Our results support the use of the cynomolgus macaque as an appropriate therapeutic animal model for assessing the efficacy of medical countermeasures developed against anthrax when administered after a confirmation of infection. PMID:22956657

  8. Role of Superoxide in the Germination of Bacillus Anthracis Endospores

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-01-01

    effect on the dormant organism. This study addresses two critical questions. First, can the spore protect the organism from physiologically rel- evant...bailliel@nmrc.navy.mil (L. Baillie).that the spore may play a direct role in virulence. For instance, spore coat extract from two serovars of Bacil- lus...thuringiensis [5], B. cereus [6] and B. anthracis [7]. Preliminary studies have identified proteins in the exosporium that play a role in insect

  9. Molecular modeling toward selective inhibitors of dihydrofolate reductase from the biological warfare agent Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Giacoppo, Juliana O S; Mancini, Daiana T; Guimarães, Ana P; Gonçalves, Arlan S; da Cunha, Elaine F F; França, Tanos C C; Ramalho, Teodorico C

    2015-02-16

    In the present work, we applied docking and molecular dynamics techniques to study 11 compounds inside the enzymes dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) from the biological warfare agent Bacillus anthracis (BaDHFR) and Homo sapiens sapiens (HssDHFR). Six of these compounds were selected for a study with the mutant BaF96IDHFR. Our results corroborated with experimental data and allowed the proposition of a new molecule with potential activity and better selectivity for BaDHFR.

  10. New aspects of the infection mechanisms of Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Zakowska, Dorota; Bartoszcze, Michał; Niemcewicz, Marcin; Bielawska-Drózd, Agata; Kocik, Janusz

    2012-01-01

    Articles concerning new aspects of B. anthracis mechanisms of infection were reviewed. It was found, that the hair follicle plays an important role in the spore germination process. The hair follicle represent an important portal of entry in the course of the cutaneous form of disease infections. After mouse exposition to aerosol of spores prepared from B. anthracis strains, an increase in the level of TNF-α cytokines was observed. The TNF-α cytokines were produced after intrusion into the host by the microorganism. This process may play a significant role in the induced migration of infected cells APCs (Antigen Presenting Cells) via chemotactic signals to the lymph nodes. It was explained that IgG, which binds to the spore surface, activates the adaptive immune system response. As a result, the release C3b opsonin from the spore surface, and mediating of C3 protein fragments of B. anthracis spores phagocytosis by human macrophages, was observed. The genes coding germination spores protein in mutant strains of B. anthracis MIGD was a crucial discovery. According to this, it could be assumed that the activity of B. anthracis spores germination process is dependent upon the sleB, cwlJ1 and cwlJ2 genes, which code the GSLEs lithic enzymes. It was also discovered that the specific antibody for PA20, which binds to the PA20 antigenic determinant, are able to block further PA83 proteolytic fission on the surface of cells. This process neutralized PA functions and weakened the activity of free PA20, which is produced during the PA83 enzyme fission process. Interaction between PA63 monomer and LF may be helpful in the PA63 oligomerization and grouping process, and the creation of LF/PA63 complexes may be a part of an alternative process of assembling the anthrax toxin on the surface of cells. It was found that actin-dependent endocytosis plays an important role in the PA heptamerisation process and leads to blocking the toxin activity. Chaperones, a protein derived from

  11. Requirements for the Development of Bacillus Anthracis Spore Reference Materials Used to Test Detection Systems

    PubMed Central

    Almeida, Jamie L.; Wang, Lili; Morrow, Jayne B.; Cole, Kenneth D.

    2006-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis spores have been used as biological weapons and the possibility of their further use requires surveillance systems that can accurately and reliably detect their presence in the environment. These systems must collect samples from a variety of matrices, process the samples, and detect the spores. The processing of the sample may include removal of inhibitors, concentration of the target, and extraction of the target in a form suitable for detection. Suitable reference materials will allow the testing of each of these steps to determine the sensitivity and specificity of the detection systems. The development of uniform and well-characterized reference materials will allow the comparison of different devices and technologies as well as assure the continued performance of detection systems. This paper discusses the special requirements of reference materials for Bacillus anthracis spores that could be used for testing detection systems. The detection of Bacillus anthracis spores is based on recognition of specific characteristics (markers) on either the spore surface or in the nucleic acids (DNA). We have reviewed the specific markers and their relevance to characterization of reference materials. We have also included the approach for the characterization of candidate reference materials that we are developing at the NIST laboratories. Additional applications of spore reference materials would include testing sporicidal treatments, techniques for sampling the environment, and remediation of spore-contaminated environments. PMID:27274929

  12. Storage Effects on Sample Integrity of Environmental Surface Sampling Specimens with Bacillus anthracis Spores.

    PubMed

    Perry, K Allison; O'Connell, Heather A; Rose, Laura J; Noble-Wang, Judith A; Arduino, Matthew J

    The effect of packaging, shipping temperatures and storage times on recovery of Bacillus anthracis. Sterne spores from swabs was investigated. Macrofoam swabs were pre-moistened, inoculated with Bacillus anthracis spores, and packaged in primary containment or secondary containment before storage at -15°C, 5°C, 21°C, or 35°C for 0-7 days. Swabs were processed according to validated Centers for Disease Control/Laboratory Response Network culture protocols, and the percent recovery relative to a reference sample (T0) was determined for each variable. No differences were observed in recovery between swabs held at -15° and 5°C, (p ≥ 0.23). These two temperatures provided significantly better recovery than swabs held at 21°C or 35°C (all 7 days pooled, p ≤ 0.04). The percent recovery at 5°C was not significantly different if processed on days 1, 2 or 4, but was significantly lower on day 7 (day 2 vs. 7, 5°C, 10(2), p=0.03). Secondary containment provided significantly better percent recovery than primary containment, regardless of storage time (5°C data, p ≤ 0.008). The integrity of environmental swab samples containing Bacillus anthracis spores shipped in secondary containment was maintained when stored at -15°C or 5°C and processed within 4 days to yield the optimum percent recovery of spores.

  13. The poly-γ-d-glutamic acid capsule surrogate of the Bacillus anthracis capsule induces nitric oxide production via the platelet activating factor receptor signaling pathway.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hae-Ri; Jeon, Jun Ho; Park, Ok-Kyu; Chun, Jeong-Hoon; Park, Jungchan; Rhie, Gi-Eun

    2015-12-01

    The poly-γ-d-glutamic acid (PGA) capsule, a major virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis, confers protection of the bacillus from phagocytosis and allows its unimpeded growth in the host. PGA capsules released from B. anthracis are associated with lethal toxin in the blood of experimentally infected animals and enhance the cytotoxic effect of lethal toxin on macrophages. In addition, PGA capsule itself activates macrophages and dendritic cells to produce proinflammatory cytokine such as IL-1β, indicating multiple roles of PGA capsule in anthrax pathogenesis. Here we report that PGA capsule of Bacillus licheniformis, a surrogate of B. anthracis capsule, induces production of nitric oxide (NO) in RAW264.7 cells and bone marrow-derived macrophages. NO production was induced by PGA in a dose-dependent manner and was markedly reduced by inhibitors of inducible NO synthase (iNOS), suggesting iNOS-dependent production of NO. Induction of NO production by PGA was not observed in macrophages from TLR2-deficient mice and was also substantially inhibited in RAW264.7 cells by pretreatment of TLR2 blocking antibody. Subsequently, the downstream signaling events such as ERK, JNK and p38 of MAPK pathways as well as NF-κB activation were required for PGA-induced NO production. In addition, the induced NO production was significantly suppressed by treatment with antagonists of platelet activating factor receptor (PAFR) or PAFR siRNA, and mediated through PAFR/Jak2/STAT-1 signaling pathway. These findings suggest that PGA capsule induces NO production in macrophages by triggering both TLR2 and PAFR signaling pathways which lead to activation of NF-kB and STAT-1, respectively.

  14. The central nervous system as target of Bacillus anthracis toxin independent virulence in rabbits and guinea pigs.

    PubMed

    Levy, Haim; Glinert, Itai; Weiss, Shay; Bar-David, Elad; Sittner, Assa; Schlomovitz, Josef; Altboum, Zeev; Kobiler, David

    2014-01-01

    Infection of the central nervous system is considered a complication of Anthrax and was reported in humans and non-human primates. Previously we have reported that Bacillus anthracis possesses a toxin-independent virulent trait that, like the toxins, is regulated by the major virulence regulator, AtxA, in the presence of pXO2. This toxin-independent lethal trait is exhibited in rabbits and Guinea pigs following significant bacteremia and organ dissemination. Various findings, including meningitis seen in humans and primates, suggested that the CNS is a possible target for this AtxA-mediated activity. In order to penetrate into the brain tissue, the bacteria have to overcome the barriers isolating the CNS from the blood stream. Taking a systematic genetic approach, we compared intracranial (IC) inoculation and IV/SC inoculation for the outcome of the infection in rabbits/GP, respectively. The outstanding difference between the two models is exhibited by the encapsulated strain VollumΔpXO1, which is lethal when injected IC, but asymptomatic when inoculated IV/SC. The findings demonstrate that there is an apparent bottleneck in the ability of mutants to penetrate into the brain. Any mutant carrying either pXO1 or pXO2 will kill the host upon IC injection, but only those carrying AtxA either on pXO1 or in the chromosome in the background of pXO2 can penetrate into the brain following peripheral inoculation. The findings were corroborated by histological examination by H&E staining and immunofluorescence of rabbits' brains following IV and IC inoculations. These findings may have major implications on future research both on B. anthracis pathogenicity and on vaccine development.

  15. Antimicrobial effects of interferon-inducible CXC chemokines against Bacillus anthracis spores and bacilli.

    PubMed

    Crawford, Matthew A; Zhu, Yinghua; Green, Candace S; Burdick, Marie D; Sanz, Patrick; Alem, Farhang; O'Brien, Alison D; Mehrad, Borna; Strieter, Robert M; Hughes, Molly A

    2009-04-01

    Based on previous studies showing that host chemokines exert antimicrobial activities against bacteria, we sought to determine whether the interferon-inducible Glu-Leu-Arg-negative CXC chemokines CXCL9, CXCL10, and CXCL11 exhibit antimicrobial activities against Bacillus anthracis. In vitro analysis demonstrated that all three CXC chemokines exerted direct antimicrobial effects against B. anthracis spores and bacilli including marked reductions in spore and bacillus viability as determined using a fluorometric assay of bacterial viability and CFU determinations. Electron microscopy studies revealed that CXCL10-treated spores failed to undergo germination as judged by an absence of cytological changes in spore structure that occur during the process of germination. Immunogold labeling of CXCL10-treated spores demonstrated that the chemokine was located internal to the exosporium in association primarily with the spore coat and its interface with the cortex. To begin examining the potential biological relevance of chemokine-mediated antimicrobial activity, we used a murine model of inhalational anthrax. Upon spore challenge, the lungs of C57BL/6 mice (resistant to inhalational B. anthracis infection) had significantly higher levels of CXCL9, CXCL10, and CXCL11 than did the lungs of A/J mice (highly susceptible to infection). Increased CXC chemokine levels were associated with significantly reduced levels of spore germination within the lungs as determined by in vivo imaging. Taken together, our data demonstrate a novel antimicrobial role for host chemokines against B. anthracis that provides unique insight into host defense against inhalational anthrax; these data also support the notion for an innovative approach in treating B. anthracis infection as well as infections caused by other spore-forming organisms.

  16. Whole genome protein microarrays for serum profiling of immunodominant antigens of Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Kempsell, Karen E.; Kidd, Stephen P.; Lewandowski, Kuiama; Elmore, Michael J.; Charlton, Sue; Yeates, Annemarie; Cuthbertson, Hannah; Hallis, Bassam; Altmann, Daniel M.; Rogers, Mitch; Wattiau, Pierre; Ingram, Rebecca J.; Brooks, Tim; Vipond, Richard

    2015-01-01

    A commercial Bacillus anthracis (Anthrax) whole genome protein microarray has been used to identify immunogenic Anthrax proteins (IAP) using sera from groups of donors with (a) confirmed B. anthracis naturally acquired cutaneous infection, (b) confirmed B. anthracis intravenous drug use-acquired infection, (c) occupational exposure in a wool-sorters factory, (d) humans and rabbits vaccinated with the UK Anthrax protein vaccine and compared to naïve unexposed controls. Anti-IAP responses were observed for both IgG and IgA in the challenged groups; however the anti-IAP IgG response was more evident in the vaccinated group and the anti-IAP IgA response more evident in the B. anthracis-infected groups. Infected individuals appeared somewhat suppressed for their general IgG response, compared with other challenged groups. Immunogenic protein antigens were identified in all groups, some of which were shared between groups whilst others were specific for individual groups. The toxin proteins were immunodominant in all vaccinated, infected or other challenged groups. However, a number of other chromosomally-located and plasmid encoded open reading frame proteins were also recognized by infected or exposed groups in comparison to controls. Some of these antigens e.g., BA4182 are not recognized by vaccinated individuals, suggesting that there are proteins more specifically expressed by live Anthrax spores in vivo that are not currently found in the UK licensed Anthrax Vaccine (AVP). These may perhaps be preferentially expressed during infection and represent expression of alternative pathways in the B. anthracis “infectome.” These may make highly attractive candidates for diagnostic and vaccine biomarker development as they may be more specifically associated with the infectious phase of the pathogen. A number of B. anthracis small hypothetical protein targets have been synthesized, tested in mouse immunogenicity studies and validated in parallel using human sera from

  17. Evaluation of Immunoassays and General Biological Indicator Tests for Field Screening of Bacillus anthracis and Ricin

    PubMed Central

    Bartholomew, Rachel A.; Ozanich, Richard M.; Arce, Jennifer S.; Engelmann, Heather E.; Heredia-Langner, Alejandro; Hofstad, Beth A.; Hutchison, Janine R.; Jarman, Kristin; Melville, Angela M.; Victry, Kristin D.

    2017-01-01

    There is little published data on the performance of biological indicator tests and immunoassays that could be used by first responders to determine if a suspicious powder contains a potential biothreat agent. We evaluated a range of biological indicator tests, including 3 protein tests, 2 ATP tests, 1 DNA test, and 1 FTIR spectroscopy instrument for their ability to screen suspicious powders for Bacillus anthracis (B. anthracis) spores and ricin. We also evaluated 12 immunoassays (mostly lateral flow immunoassays) for their ability to screen for B. anthracis and ricin. We used a cost-effective, statistically based test plan that allows instruments to be evaluated at performance levels ranging from 0.85 to 0.95 lower confidence bound of the probability of detection at confidence levels of 80% to 95%. We also assessed interference with 22 common suspicious powders encountered in the field. The detection reproducibility for the biological indicators was evaluated at 108 B. anthracis spores and 62.5 μg ricin, and the immunoassay detection reproducibility was evaluated at 107 spores/mL (B. anthracis) and 0.1 μg/mL (ricin). Seven out of 12 immunoassays met our most stringent criteria for B. anthracis detection, while 9 out of 12 met our most stringent test criteria for ricin detection. Most of the immunoassays also detected ricin in 3 different crude castor seed preparations. Our testing results varied across products and sample preparations, indicating the importance of reviewing performance data for specific instruments and sample types of interest for the application in order to make informed decisions regarding the selection of biodetection equipment for field use. PMID:28192054

  18. The worldwide distribution of genetically and phylogenetically diverse Bacillus cereus isolates harbouring Bacillus anthracis-like plasmids.

    PubMed

    Kaminska, Paulina Sylwia; Yernazarova, Aliya; Drewnowska, Justyna Malgorzata; Zambrowski, Grzegorz; Swiecicka, Izabela

    2015-10-01

    Bacillus cereus is a close relative of B. anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax whose pathogenic determinants are located on pXO1 and pXO2 plasmids. Bacillus anthracis-like plasmids have been also noted among B. cereus, however, genetic features of B. cereus harbouring these elements remain largely undescribed, especially from the global perspective. Herein, we present the genetic polymorphism, population structure and phylogeny of B. cereus with pXO1-/pXO2-like plasmids originating from Argentina, Kazakhstan, Kenya and Poland. The plasmids were found in about 17% of the isolates, but their frequencies and expression of replicons differed within and between populations. In the multi-locus sequence typing, the bacteria exhibited high genetic polymorphism reflected by 116 sequencing types, including 84 singletons and 10 clonal complexes, which mainly consisted of isolates of the same origin. The phylogenetic analysis of pXO1-/pXO2-like positive B. cereus isolates revealed six independent clades; in certain clades individual populations predominated. Generally, B. cereus with pXO1-/pXO2-like plasmids did not indicate the genetic relationship with B. anthracis, and cannot be classified into an evolutionary independent anthrax line within the B. cereus group. Our report is of a crucial importance for discovering the genetic specificity and evolution of B. cereus bacilli.

  19. Identification of a region of genetic variability among Bacillus anthracis strains and related species.

    PubMed Central

    Andersen, G L; Simchock, J M; Wilson, K H

    1996-01-01

    The identification of a region of sequence variability among individual isolates of Bacillus anthracis as well as the two closely related species, Bacillus cereus and Bacillus mycoides, has made a sequence-based approach for the rapid differentiation among members of this group possible. We have identified this region of sequence divergence by comparison of arbitrarily primed (AP)-PCR "fingerprints" generated by an M13 bacteriophage-derived primer and sequencing the respective forms of the only polymorphic fragment observed. The 1,480-bp fragment derived from genomic DNA of the Sterne strain of B. anthracis contained four consecutive repeats of CAATATCAACAA. The same fragment from the Vollum strain was identical except that two of these repeats were deleted. The Ames strain of B. anthracis differed from the Sterne strain by a single-nucleotide deletion. More than 150 nucleotide differences separated B. cereus and B. mycoides from B. anthracis in pairwise comparisons. The nucleotide sequence of the variable fragment from each species contained one complete open reading frame (ORF) (designated vrrA, for variable region with repetitive sequence), encoding a potential 30-kDa protein located between the carboxy terminus of an upstream ORF (designated orf1) and the amino terminus of a downstream ORF (designated lytB). The sequence variation was primarily in vrrA, which was glutamine- and proline-rich (30% of total) and contained repetitive regions. A large proportion of the nucleotide substitutions between species were synonymous. vrrA has 35% identity with the microfilarial sheath protein shp2 of the parasitic worm Litomosoides carinii. PMID:8550456

  20. Characterization of the Sortase Repertoire in Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Fouet, Agnès

    2011-01-01

    LPXTG proteins, present in most if not all Gram-positive bacteria, are known to be anchored by sortases to the bacterial peptidoglycan. More than one sortase gene is often encoded in a bacterial species, and each sortase is supposed to specifically anchor given LPXTG proteins, depending of the sequence of the C-terminal cell wall sorting signal (cwss), bearing an LPXTG motif or another recognition sequence. B. anthracis possesses three sortase genes. B. anthracis sortase deleted mutant strains are not affected in their virulence. To determine the sortase repertoires, we developed a genetic screen using the property of the gamma phage to lyse bacteria only when its receptor, GamR, an LPXTG protein, is exposed at the surface. We identified 10 proteins that contain a cell wall sorting signal and are covalently anchored to the peptidoglycan. Some chimeric proteins yielded phage lysis in all sortase mutant strains, suggesting that cwss proteins remained surface accessible in absence of their anchoring sortase, probably as a consequence of membrane localization of yet uncleaved precursor proteins. For definite assignment of the sortase repertoires, we consequently relied on a complementary test, using a biochemical approach, namely immunoblot experiments. The sortase anchoring nine of these proteins has thus been determined. The absence of virulence defect of the sortase mutants could be a consequence of the membrane localization of the cwss proteins. PMID:22076158

  1. A Simple Luminescent Adenylate-Cyclase Functional Assay for Evaluation of Bacillus anthracis Edema Factor Activity

    PubMed Central

    Israeli, Ma’ayan; Rotem, Shahar; Elia, Uri; Bar-Haim, Erez; Cohen, Ofer; Chitlaru, Theodor

    2016-01-01

    Edema Factor (EF), the toxic sub-unit of the Bacillus anthracis Edema Toxin (ET) is a calmodulin-dependent adenylate cyclase whose detrimental activity in the infected host results in severe edema. EF is therefore a major virulence factor of B. anthracis. We describe a simple, rapid and reliable functional adenylate-cyclase assay based on inhibition of a luciferase-mediated luminescence reaction. The assay exploits the efficient adenylate cyclase-mediated depletion of adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP), and the strict dependence on ATP of the light-emitting luciferase-catalyzed luciferin-conversion to oxyluciferin, which can be easily visualized. The assay exhibits a robust EF-dose response decrease in luminescence, which may be specifically reverted by anti-EF antibodies. The application of the assay is exemplified in: (a) determining the presence of EF in B. anthracis cultures, or its absence in cultures of EF-defective strains; (b) evaluating the anti-EF humoral response in experimental animals infected/vaccinated with B. anthracis; and (c) rapid discrimination between EF producing and non-producing bacterial colonies. Furthermore, the assay may be amenable with high-throughput screening for EF inhibitory molecules. PMID:27548219

  2. Responding to detection of aerosolized Bacillus anthracis by autonomous detection systems in the workplace.

    PubMed

    Meehan, Patrick J; Rosenstein, Nancy E; Gillen, Matthew; Meyer, Richard F; Kiefer, Max J; Deitchman, Scott; Besser, Richard E; Ehrenberg, Richard L; Edwards, Kathleen M; Martinez, Kenneth F

    2004-06-04

    Autonomous detection systems (ADSs) are under development to detect agents of biologic and chemical terror in the environment. These systems will eventually be able to detect biologic and chemical hazards reliably and provide approximate real-time alerts that an agent is present. One type of ADS that tests specifically for Bacillus anthracis is being deployed in hundreds of postal distribution centers across the United States. Identification of aerosolized B. anthracis spores in an air sample can facilitate prompt on-site decontamination of workers and subsequent administration of postexposure prophylaxis to prevent inhalational anthrax. Every employer who deploys an ADS should develop detailed plans for responding to a positive signal. Responding to ADS detection of B. anthracis involves coordinating responses with community partners and should include drills and exercises with these partners. This report provides guidelines in the following six areas: 1) response and consequence management planning, including the minimum components of a facility response plan; 2) immediate response and evacuation; 3) decontamination of potentially exposed workers to remove spores from clothing and skin and prevent introduction of B. anthracis into the worker's home and conveyances; 4) laboratory confirmation of an ADS signal; 5) steps for evaluating potentially contaminated environments; and 6) postexposure prophylaxis and follow-up.

  3. clpC operon regulates cell architecture and sporulation in Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Singh, Lalit K; Dhasmana, Neha; Sajid, Andaleeb; Kumar, Prasun; Bhaduri, Asani; Bharadwaj, Mitasha; Gandotra, Sheetal; Kalia, Vipin C; Das, Taposh K; Goel, Ajay K; Pomerantsev, Andrei P; Misra, Richa; Gerth, Ulf; Leppla, Stephen H; Singh, Yogendra

    2015-03-01

    The clpC operon is known to regulate several processes such as genetic competence, protein degradation and stress survival in bacteria. Here, we describe the role of clpC operon in Bacillus anthracis. We generated knockout strains of the clpC operon genes to investigate the impact of CtsR, McsA, McsB and ClpC deletion on essential processes of B. anthracis. We observed that growth, cell division, sporulation and germination were severely affected in mcsB and clpC deleted strains, while none of deletions affected toxin secretion. Growth defect in these strains was pronounced at elevated temperature. The growth pattern gets restored on complementation of mcsB and clpC in respective mutants. Electron microscopic examination revealed that mcsB and clpC deletion also causes defect in septum formation leading to cell elongation. These vegetative cell deformities were accompanied by inability of mutant strains to generate morphologically intact spores. Higher levels of polyhydroxybutyrate granules accumulation were also observed in these deletion strains, indicating a defect in sporulation process. Our results demonstrate, for the first time, the vital role played by McsB and ClpC in physiology of B. anthracis and open up further interest on this operon, which might be of importance to success of B. anthracis as pathogen.

  4. Virulence plasmid stability in environmentally occurring Bacillus anthracis from North East Turkey.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Callum; Buyuk, Fatih; Schelkle, Bettina; Saglam, Aliye Gulmez; Celik, Elif; Celebi, Ozgur; Sahin, Mitat; Hawkyard, Tom; Baillie, Les

    2017-01-01

    The Bacillus anthracis virulence plasmid pXO2, which encodes for a polypeptide capsule, can be lost during long term laboratory storage. To determine if pXO2 is lost in nature we screened B. anthracis isolates obtained from B. anthracis spores from contaminated animal burial sites in Turkey for their ability to express a capsule upon primary culture. A total of 672 B. anthracis colonies were examined of which ten produced a mixed mucoid (capsule +ve)/non-mucoid (capsule -ve) phenotype and a further one colony yielded non-mucoid colonies upon repeated culture. Screening by PCR using pXO2 specific primers revealed that seven of these isolates had eliminated the plasmid. Of the four colonies which were positive by PCR, one regained the ability to express a capsule upon repeated culture suggesting that the defect was reversible. This is an important observation as capsule expression is a principal marker of virulence and in the absence of PCR serves as a key diagnostic marker. The results of this preliminary study suggest that pXO2 is lost in nature and that further studies are need to determine the mechanisms by which this occurs.

  5. Carbon microarrays for the direct impedimetric detection of Bacillus anthracis using Gamma phages as probes.

    PubMed

    Shabani, Arghavan; Marquette, Christophe A; Mandeville, Rosemonde; Lawrence, Marcus F

    2013-03-07

    A direct and efficient impedimetric method is presented for the detection of Bacillus anthracis Sterne vegetative cells, using Gamma phages as probes attached to screen-printed carbon electrode microarrays. The carbon electrodes were initially functionalized through cyclic-voltammetric reduction of a nitro-aryl diazonium moiety, followed by further reduction of nitro groups to amino groups, and finally by treatment with glutaraldehyde. Functionalization (probe immobilization) using Gamma phages was verified by XPS and TOF-SIM experiments. The Gamma phage-modified microarrays were then used to detect B. anthracis Sterne bacteria in aqueous electrolyte media. Faradaic impedimetric detection of bacteria in KCl solution containing the ferri/ferro cyanide redox couple shows a gradual increase in Z' (real impedance) values, taken from the extrapolation of the linear portion of Nyquist plots in the low frequency range, for sensors placed in contact with increasing concentrations of B. anthracis. ΔZ' values vary from 700 to 5300 Ohms for bacteria concentrations ranging from 10(2) to 10(8) cfu mL(-1). These shifts in Z' are attributed to a decrease in diffusion controlled charge transfer to the electrode surface following capture of intact B. anthracis. No significant ΔZ' was observed for control experiments using E. coli. K12 as a non-specific target, even at a concentration of 10(8) cfu mL(-1).

  6. The Pathogenomic Sequence Analysis of B. cereus and B.thuringiensis Isolates Closely Related to Bacillus anthracis

    SciTech Connect

    Han, Cliff S.; Xie, Gary; Challacombe, Jean F.; Altherr, MichaelR.; Smriti, B.; Bruce, David; Campbell, Connie S.; Campbell, Mary L.; Chen, Jin; Chertkov, Olga; Cleland, Cathy; Dimitrijevic-Bussod, M.; Doggett, Norman A.; Fawcett, John J.; Glavina, Tijana; Goodwin, Lynne A.; Hill, Karen K.; Hitchcock, Penny; Jackson, Paul J.; Keim, Paul; Kewalramani, Avinash Ramesh; Longmire, Jon; Lucas, Susan; Malfatti,Stephanie; McMurry, Kim; Meincke, Linda J.; Misra, Monica; Moseman,Bernice L.; Mundt, Mark; Munk, A. Christine; Okinaka, Richard T.; Parson-Quintana, B.; Reilly, Lee P.; Richardson, Paul; Robinson, DonnaL.; Rubin, Eddy; Saunders, Elizabeth; Tapia, Roxanne; Tesmer, Judith G.; Thayer, Nina; Thompson, Linda S.; Tice, Hope; Ticknor, Lawrence O.; Wills, Patti L.; Gilna, Payl; Brettin, Thomas S.

    2005-08-18

    The sequencing and analysis of two close relatives of Bacillus anthracis are reported. AFLP analysis of over 300 isolates of B.cereus, B. thuringiensis and B. anthracis identified two isolates as being very closely related to B. anthracis. One, a B. cereus, BcE33L, was isolated from a zebra carcass in Nambia; the second, a B. thuringiensis, 97-27, was isolated from a necrotic human wound. The B. cereus appears to be the closest anthracis relative sequenced to date. A core genome of over 3,900 genes was compiled for the Bacillus cereus group, including Banthracis. Comparative analysis of these two genomes with other members of the B. cereus group provides insight into the evolutionary relationships among these organisms. Evidence is presented that differential regulation modulates virulence, rather than simple acquisition of virulence factors. These genome sequences provide insight into the molecular mechanisms contributing to the host range and virulence of this group of organisms.

  7. Draft Genome Sequence of the Nonpathogenic, Thermotolerant, and Exopolysaccharide-Producing Bacillus anthracis Strain PFAB2 from Panifala Hot Water Spring in West Bengal, India

    PubMed Central

    Banerjee, Aparna; Halder, Urmi; Chaudhry, Vasvi; Varshney, Rajeev K.; Mantri, Shrikant

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of fatal anthrax in both animals and humans. It is prevalently pathogenic. Here, we present a Bacillus anthracis PFAB2 strain from a relatively unexplored Panifala hot water spring in West Bengal, India. It is nonpathogenic, exopolysaccharide producing, and thermotolerant in nature. PMID:28007848

  8. Draft Genome Sequence of the Nonpathogenic, Thermotolerant, and Exopolysaccharide-Producing Bacillus anthracis Strain PFAB2 from Panifala Hot Water Spring in West Bengal, India.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Aparna; Halder, Urmi; Chaudhry, Vasvi; Varshney, Rajeev K; Mantri, Shrikant; Bandopadhyay, Rajib

    2016-12-22

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of fatal anthrax in both animals and humans. It is prevalently pathogenic. Here, we present a Bacillus anthracis PFAB2 strain from a relatively unexplored Panifala hot water spring in West Bengal, India. It is nonpathogenic, exopolysaccharide producing, and thermotolerant in nature.

  9. Design and Synthesis of Aryl Ether Inhibitors of the Bacillus Anthracis Enoyl–ACP Reductase

    PubMed Central

    Tipparaju, Suresh K.; Mulhearn, Debbie C.; Klein, Gary M.; Chen, Yufeng; Tapadar, Subhasish; Bishop, Molly H.; Yang, Shuo; Chen, Juan; Ghassemi, Mahmood; Santarsiero, Bernard D.; Cook, James L.; Johlfs, Mary; Mesecar, Andrew D.; Johnson, Michael E.; Kozikowski, Alan P.

    2009-01-01

    The problem of increasing bacterial resistance to the current generation of antibiotics is well documented. This includes such pathogens as methicillin–resistant Staphylococcus aureus and the potential for developing drug–resistant pathogens for use as bioweapons, such as Bacillus anthracis. The biphenyl ether, antibacterial triclosan exhibits broad–spectrum activity and provides a potential scaffold for the development of new, broad–spectrum antibiotics targeting the fatty acid biosynthetic pathway, via inhibition of enoyl–acyl carrier protein reductase (ENR). We have utilized a structure–based approach to develop novel aryl ether analogs of triclosan that target ENR, the product of the FabI gene, from Bacillus anthracis (BaENR). Structure–based design methods were used for the expansion of the compound series including X-ray crystal structure determination, molecular docking, and QSAR methods. Structural modifications were made to both phenyl rings of the 2-phenoxyphenyl core. A number of compounds were derived that exhibited improved potency against BaENR and increased efficacy against both the Sterne strain of B. anthracis and the methicillin–resistant strain of S. aureus. X-ray crystal structures of BaENR in complex with triclosan and two other compounds help explain the improved efficacy of the new compounds and suggest future rounds of optimisation that might be used to improve their potency. PMID:18663709

  10. Cloning, purification and crystallization of Bacillus anthracis class C acid phosphatase

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-07-01

    Crystallization of a surface-localized acid phosphatase from Bacillus anthracis is reported. Flash annealing increased the high-resolution limit of usable data from 1.8 to 1.6 Å. Cloning, expression, purification and crystallization studies of a recombinant class C acid phosphatase from the Category A pathogen Bacillus anthracis are reported. Large diffraction-quality crystals were grown in the presence of HEPES and Jeffamine ED-2001 at pH 7.0. The crystals belong to space group P2{sub 1}2{sub 1}2{sub 1}, with unit-cell parameters a = 53.4, b = 90.1, c = 104.2 Å. The asymmetric unit is predicted to contain two protein molecules with a solvent content of 38%. Two native data sets were collected from the same crystal before and after flash-annealing. The first data set had a mosaicity of 1.6° and a high-resolution limit of 1.8 Å. After flash-annealing, the apparent mosaicity decreased to 0.9° and the high-resolution limit of usable data increased to 1.6 Å. This crystal form is currently being used to determine the structure of B. anthracis class C acid phosphatase with experimental phasing techniques.

  11. Molecular characterization of a variant of Bacillus anthracis-specific phage AP50 with improved bacteriolytic activity.

    PubMed

    Sozhamannan, Shanmuga; McKinstry, Michael; Lentz, Shannon M; Jalasvuori, Matti; McAfee, Farrell; Smith, Angela; Dabbs, Jason; Ackermann, Hans-W; Bamford, Jaana K H; Mateczun, Alfred; Read, Timothy D

    2008-11-01

    The genome sequence of a Bacillus anthracis-specific clear plaque mutant phage, AP50c, contains 31 open reading frames spanning 14,398 bp, has two mutations compared to wild-type AP50t, and has a colinear genome architecture highly similar to that of gram-positive Tectiviridae phages. Spontaneous AP50c-resistant B. anthracis mutants exhibit a mucoid colony phenotype.

  12. A genetic approach for the identification of exosporium assembly determinants of Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Spreng, Krista A.; Thompson, Brian M.; Stewart, George C.

    2013-01-01

    The exosporium is the outermost layer of spores of the zoonotic pathogen Bacillus anthracis. The composition of the exosporium and its functions are only partly understood. Because this outer spore layer is refractive to traditional biochemical analysis, a genetic approach is needed in order to define the proteins which comprise this important spore layer and its assembly pathway. We have created a novel genetic screening system for the identification and isolation of mutants with defects in exosporium assembly during B. anthracis spore maturation. The system is based on the targeting sequence of the BclA exosporium nap layer glycoprotein and a fluorescent reporter. By utilizing this screening system and gene inactivation with Tn916, several novel putative exosporium-associated determinants were identified. A sampling of the mutants obtained was further characterized, confirming their exosporium defect and validating the utility of this screen to identify novel spore determinants in the genome of this pathogen. PMID:23411372

  13. Variable Lymphocyte Receptor Recognition of the Immunodominant Glycoprotein of Bacillus anthracis Spores

    SciTech Connect

    Kirchdoerfer, Robert N.; Herrin, Brantley R.; Han, Byung Woo; Turnbough, Jr., Charles L.; Cooper, Max D.; Wilson, Ian A.

    2012-07-25

    Variable lymphocyte receptors (VLRs) are the adaptive immune receptors of jawless fish, which evolved adaptive immunity independent of other vertebrates. In lieu of the immunoglobulin fold-based T and B cell receptors, lymphocyte-like cells of jawless fish express VLRs (VLRA, VLRB, or VLRC) composed of leucine-rich repeats and are similar to toll-like receptors (TLRs) in structure, but antibodies (VLRB) and T cell receptors (VLRA and VLRC) in function. Here, we present the structural and biochemical characterization of VLR4, a VLRB, in complex with BclA, the immunodominant glycoprotein of Bacillus anthracis spores. Using a combination of crystallography, mutagenesis, and binding studies, we delineate the mode of antigen recognition and binding between VLR4 and BclA, examine commonalities in VLRB recognition of antigens, and demonstrate the potential of VLR4 as a diagnostic tool for the identification of B. anthracis spores.

  14. Occurrence and genetic diversity of Bacillus anthracis strains isolated in an active wool-cleaning factory.

    PubMed

    Wattiau, Pierre; Klee, Silke R; Fretin, David; Van Hessche, Mieke; Ménart, Marie; Franz, Tatjana; Chasseur, Camille; Butaye, Patrick; Imberechts, Hein

    2008-07-01

    Culturable microorganisms from various samples taken at an active factory performing wool and goat hair cleaning were isolated and analyzed. Bacillus anthracis was found in air filter dust, wastewater, and goat hairs, where it accounted for approximately 1% of the total counts of viable bacteria. Consistent with the countries of origin of the processed material (South Caucasian and Middle Eastern), all B. anthracis isolates belonged to the same phylogenetic cluster, as determined by variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) typing at eight loci. Within this cluster, five closely related VNTR subtypes could be identified, of which two were previously unreported. Additional diversity was observed when more sensitive genetic markers were assayed, demonstrating the multifocal nature of goat hair contamination. Goat hair originating from areas where anthrax is endemic remains a material with high biological risk for modern woolworkers.

  15. Discovery of a significant optical chromatographic difference between spores of Bacillus anthracis and its close relative, Bacillus thuringiensis.

    PubMed

    Hart, Sean J; Terray, Alex; Leski, Tomasz A; Arnold, Jonathan; Stroud, Rhonda

    2006-05-01

    A significant difference between two closely related Bacillus spores has been discovered using optical chromatography. This difference can be harnessed for the separation of microscopic particles using opposing laser and fluid flow forces. Particles of different size, composition, and shape experience different optical and fluid forces and come to rest at unique equilibrium positions where the two forces balance. Separations in excess of 600 mum have been observed between Bacillus anthracis Sterne strain and its genetic relative, Bacillus thuringiensis. These findings open new possibilities for detection and characterization of the biological warfare agent, B. anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, the deadly mammalian disease. The large optical separation between these species is surprising given their close genetic relationship but may be explained by differences in their shape and exosporium morphology, which may result in differences in fluid drag force. The observation of large differences due to less common variables indicates the complex nature of the force balance in optical chromatography, which may in the future be used to separate and characterize microbiological samples. In general, the discovery of such large differences between such closely related biological species suggests new possibilities for the separation and characterization of microorganisms using the full range of emerging techniques that employ radiation pressure (optical filtering, laser tweezers, optical chromatography, etc.).

  16. Cloning of the Protective Antigen Gene of Bacillus anthracis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1983-09-01

    of the complicated precedents of duplicate toxin genes in chro- muumm mosomall and plasmid DNA of B. thuringiensis (Schnepf and Whitely, 1981; Klier...OiL V4. 34. S-W7. SW 1v 99 CwI 0193 by MT 0 009-7483/06O-002.00/0 mU"- - 1*;)-0Cloning of the Protective Antigen Gene OCT 19 MI L Sof Bacillus ...Sumnler uncertain, it is probably caused by other Bacillus antigens, 4 t which may include LF and EF. PA produced from recom- A The - "w t of a

  17. Inactivation of Bacillus anthracis Spores during Laboratory-Scale Composting of Feedlot Cattle Manure

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Shanwei; Harvey, Amanda; Barbieri, Ruth; Reuter, Tim; Stanford, Kim; Amoako, Kingsley K.; Selinger, Leonard B.; McAllister, Tim A.

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax outbreaks in livestock have social, economic and health implications, altering farmer’s livelihoods, impacting trade and posing a zoonotic risk. Our study investigated the survival of Bacillus thuringiensis and B. anthracis spores sporulated at 15, 20, or 37°C, over 33 days of composting. Spores (∼7.5 log10 CFU g-1) were mixed with manure and composted in laboratory scale composters. After 15 days, the compost was mixed and returned to the composter for a second cycle. Temperatures peaked at 71°C on day 2 and remained ≥55°C for an average of 7 days in the first cycle, but did not exceed 55°C in the second. For B. thuringiensis, spores generated at 15 and 21°C exhibited reduced (P < 0.05) viability of 2.7 and 2.6 log10 CFU g-1 respectively, as compared to a 0.6 log10 CFU g-1 reduction for those generated at 37°C. For B. anthracis, sporulation temperature did not impact spore survival as there was a 2.5, 2.2, and 2.8 log10 CFU g-1 reduction after composting for spores generated at 15, 21, and 37°C, respectively. For both species, spore viability declined more rapidly (P < 0.05) in the first as compared to the second composting cycle. Our findings suggest that the duration of thermophilic exposure (≥55°C) is the main factor influencing survival of B. anthracis spores in compost. As sporulation temperature did not influence survival of B. anthracis, composting may lower the viability of spores associated with carcasses infected with B. anthracis over a range of sporulation temperatures. PMID:27303388

  18. STRUCTURE OF THE TYPE III PANTOTHENATE KINASE FROM Bacillus anthracis AT 2.0 Å RESOLUTION

    PubMed Central

    Nicely, Nathan I.; Parsonage, Derek; Paige, Carleitta; Newton, Gerald L.; Fahey, Robert C.; Leonardi, Roberta; Jackowski, Suzanne; Mallett, T. Conn; Claiborne, Al

    2008-01-01

    Coenzyme A (CoASH) is the major low-molecular weight thiol in Staphylococcus aureus and a number of other bacteria; the crystal structure of the S. aureus coenzyme A-disulfide reductase (CoADR), which maintains the reduced intracellular state of CoASH, has recently been reported [Mallett, T.C., Wallen, J.R., Karplus, P.A., Sakai, H., Tsukihara, T., and Claiborne, A. (2006) Biochemistry 45, 11278-11289]. In this report we demonstrate that CoASH is the major thiol in Bacillus anthracis; a bioinformatics analysis indicates that three of the four proteins responsible for the conversion of pantothenate (Pan) to CoASH in Escherichia coli are conserved in B. anthracis. In contrast, a novel type III pantothenate kinase (PanK) catalyzes the first committed step in the biosynthetic pathway in B. anthracis; unlike the E. coli type I PanK, this enzyme is not subject to feedback inhibition by CoASH. The crystal structure of B. anthracis PanK (BaPanK), solved using multiwavelength anomalous dispersion data and refined at a resolution of 2.0 Å, demonstrates that BaPanK is a new member of the Acetate and Sugar Kinase/Hsc70/Actin (ASKHA) superfamily. The Pan and ATP substrates have been modeled into the active-site cleft; in addition to providing a clear rationale for the absence of CoASH inhibition, analysis of the Pan-binding pocket has led to the development of two new structure-based motifs (the PAN and INTERFACE motifs). Our analyses also suggest that the type III PanK in the spore-forming B. anthracis plays an essential role in the novel thiol/disulfide redox biology of this category A biodefense pathogen. PMID:17323930

  19. The Use of Germinants to Potentiate the Sensitivity of Bacillus anthracis Spores to Peracetic Acid.

    PubMed

    Celebi, Ozgur; Buyuk, Fatih; Pottage, Tom; Crook, Ant; Hawkey, Suzanna; Cooper, Callum; Bennett, Allan; Sahin, Mitat; Baillie, Leslie

    2016-01-01

    Elimination of Bacillus anthracis spores from the environment is a difficult and costly process due in part to the toxicity of current sporicidal agents. For this reason we investigated the ability of the spore germinants L-alanine (100 mM) and inosine (5 mM) to reduce the concentration of peracetic acid (PAA) required to inactivate B. anthracis spores. While L-alanine significantly enhanced (p = 0.0085) the bactericidal activity of 500 ppm PAA the same was not true for inosine suggesting some form of negative interaction. In contrast the germinant combination proved most effective at 100 ppm PAA (p = 0.0009). To determine if we could achieve similar results in soil we treated soil collected from the burial site of an anthrax infected animal which had been supplemented with spores of the Sterne strain of B. anthracis to increase the level of contamination to 10(4) spores/g. Treatment with germinants followed 1 h later by 5000 ppm PAA eliminated all of the spores. In contrast direct treatment of the animal burial site using this approach delivered using a back pack sprayer had no detectable effect on the level of B. anthracis contamination or on total culturable bacterial numbers over the course of the experiment. It did trigger a significant, but temporary, reduction (p < 0.0001) in the total spore count suggesting that germination had been triggered under real world conditions. In conclusion, we have shown that the application of germinants increase the sensitivity of bacterial spores to PAA. While the results of the single field trial were inconclusive, the study highlighted the potential of this approach and the challenges faced when attempting to perform real world studies on B. anthracis spores contaminated sites.

  20. The Use of Germinants to Potentiate the Sensitivity of Bacillus anthracis Spores to Peracetic Acid

    PubMed Central

    Celebi, Ozgur; Buyuk, Fatih; Pottage, Tom; Crook, Ant; Hawkey, Suzanna; Cooper, Callum; Bennett, Allan; Sahin, Mitat; Baillie, Leslie

    2016-01-01

    Elimination of Bacillus anthracis spores from the environment is a difficult and costly process due in part to the toxicity of current sporicidal agents. For this reason we investigated the ability of the spore germinants L-alanine (100 mM) and inosine (5 mM) to reduce the concentration of peracetic acid (PAA) required to inactivate B. anthracis spores. While L-alanine significantly enhanced (p = 0.0085) the bactericidal activity of 500 ppm PAA the same was not true for inosine suggesting some form of negative interaction. In contrast the germinant combination proved most effective at 100 ppm PAA (p = 0.0009). To determine if we could achieve similar results in soil we treated soil collected from the burial site of an anthrax infected animal which had been supplemented with spores of the Sterne strain of B. anthracis to increase the level of contamination to 104 spores/g. Treatment with germinants followed 1 h later by 5000 ppm PAA eliminated all of the spores. In contrast direct treatment of the animal burial site using this approach delivered using a back pack sprayer had no detectable effect on the level of B. anthracis contamination or on total culturable bacterial numbers over the course of the experiment. It did trigger a significant, but temporary, reduction (p < 0.0001) in the total spore count suggesting that germination had been triggered under real world conditions. In conclusion, we have shown that the application of germinants increase the sensitivity of bacterial spores to PAA. While the results of the single field trial were inconclusive, the study highlighted the potential of this approach and the challenges faced when attempting to perform real world studies on B. anthracis spores contaminated sites. PMID:26858699

  1. Comparative analysis of the immunologic response induced by the Sterne 34F2 live spore Bacillus anthracis vaccine in a ruminant model.

    PubMed

    Ndumnego, Okechukwu C; Köhler, Susanne M; Crafford, Jannie; van Heerden, Henriette; Beyer, Wolfgang

    2016-10-01

    The Sterne 34F2 live spore vaccine (SLSV) developed in 1937 is the most widely used veterinary vaccine against anthrax. However, literature on the immunogenicity of this vaccine in a target ruminant host is scarce. In this study, we evaluated the humoral response to the Bacillus anthracis protective antigen (rPA), a recombinant bacillus collagen-like protein of anthracis (rBclA), formaldehyde inactivated spores (FIS) prepared from strain 34F2 and a vegetative antigen formulation prepared from a capsule and toxin deficient strain (CDC 1014) in Boer goats. The toxin neutralizing ability of induced antibodies was evaluated using an in vitro toxin neutralization assay. The protection afforded by the vaccine was also assessed in vaccinates. Anti-rPA, anti-FIS and lethal toxin neutralizing titres were superior after booster vaccinations, compared to single vaccinations. Qualitative analysis of humoral responses to rPA, rBclA and FIS antigens revealed a preponderance of anti-FIS IgG titres following either single or double vaccinations with the SLSV. Antibodies against FIS and rPA both increased by 350 and 300-fold following revaccinations respectively. There was no response to rBclA following vaccinations with the SLSV. Toxin neutralizing titres increased by 80-fold after single vaccination and 700-fold following a double vaccination. Lethal challenge studies in naïve goats indicated a minimum infective dose of 36 B. anthracis spores. Single and double vaccination with the SLSV protected 4/5 and 3/3 of goats challenged with>800 spores respectively. An early booster vaccination following the first immunization is suggested in order to achieve a robust immunity. Results from this study indicate that this crucial second vaccination can be administered as early as 3 months after the initial vaccination.

  2. Modeling the potential distribution of Bacillus anthracis under multiple climate change scenarios for Kazakhstan.

    PubMed

    Joyner, Timothy Andrew; Lukhnova, Larissa; Pazilov, Yerlan; Temiralyeva, Gulnara; Hugh-Jones, Martin E; Aikimbayev, Alim; Blackburn, Jason K

    2010-03-09

    Anthrax, caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, is a zoonotic disease that persists throughout much of the world in livestock, wildlife, and secondarily infects humans. This is true across much of Central Asia, and particularly the Steppe region, including Kazakhstan. This study employed the Genetic Algorithm for Rule-set Prediction (GARP) to model the current and future geographic distribution of Bacillus anthracis in Kazakhstan based on the A2 and B2 IPCC SRES climate change scenarios using a 5-variable data set at 55 km(2) and 8 km(2) and a 6-variable BioClim data set at 8 km(2). Future models suggest large areas predicted under current conditions may be reduced by 2050 with the A2 model predicting approximately 14-16% loss across the three spatial resolutions. There was greater variability in the B2 models across scenarios predicting approximately 15% loss at 55 km(2), approximately 34% loss at 8 km(2), and approximately 30% loss with the BioClim variables. Only very small areas of habitat expansion into new areas were predicted by either A2 or B2 in any models. Greater areas of habitat loss are predicted in the southern regions of Kazakhstan by A2 and B2 models, while moderate habitat loss is also predicted in the northern regions by either B2 model at 8 km(2). Anthrax disease control relies mainly on livestock vaccination and proper carcass disposal, both of which require adequate surveillance. In many situations, including that of Kazakhstan, vaccine resources are limited, and understanding the geographic distribution of the organism, in tandem with current data on livestock population dynamics, can aid in properly allocating doses. While speculative, contemplating future changes in livestock distributions and B. anthracis spore promoting environments can be useful for establishing future surveillance priorities. This study may also have broader applications to global public health surveillance relating to other diseases in addition to B. anthracis.

  3. Inactivation of Bacillus anthracis Spores by Liquid Biocides in the Presence of Food Residue▿

    PubMed Central

    Hilgren, J.; Swanson, K. M. J.; Diez-Gonzalez, F.; Cords, B.

    2007-01-01

    Biocide inactivation of Bacillus anthracis spores in the presence of food residues after a 10-min treatment time was investigated. Spores of nonvirulent Bacillus anthracis strains 7702, ANR-1, and 9131 were mixed with water, flour paste, whole milk, or egg yolk emulsion and dried onto stainless-steel carriers. The carriers were exposed to various concentrations of peroxyacetic acid, sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl), or hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) for 10 min at 10, 20, or 30°C, after which time the survivors were quantified. The relationship between peroxyacetic acid concentration, H2O2 concentration, and spore inactivation followed a sigmoid curve that was accurately described using a four-parameter logistic model. At 20°C, the minimum concentrations of peroxyacetic acid, H2O2, and NaOCl (as total available chlorine) predicted to inactivate 6 log10 CFU of B. anthracis spores with no food residue present were 1.05, 23.0, and 0.78%, respectively. At 10°C, sodium hypochlorite at 5% total available chlorine did not inactivate more than 4 log10 CFU. The presence of the food residues had only a minimal effect on peroxyacetic acid and H2O2 sporicidal efficacy, but the efficacy of sodium hypochlorite was markedly inhibited by whole-milk and egg yolk residues. Sodium hypochlorite at 5% total available chlorine provided no greater than a 2-log10 CFU reduction when spores were in the presence of egg yolk residue. This research provides new information regarding the usefulness of peroxygen biocides for B. anthracis spore inactivation when food residue is present. This work also provides guidance for adjusting decontamination procedures for food-soiled and cold surfaces. PMID:17720823

  4. HtrC Is Involved in Proteolysis of YpeB during Germination of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis Spores

    PubMed Central

    Bernhards, Casey B.; Chen, Yan; Toutkoushian, Hannah

    2014-01-01

    Bacterial endospores can remain dormant for decades yet can respond to nutrients, germinate, and resume growth within minutes. An essential step in the germination process is degradation of the spore cortex peptidoglycan wall, and the SleB protein in Bacillus species plays a key role in this process. Stable incorporation of SleB into the spore requires the YpeB protein, and some evidence suggests that the two proteins interact within the dormant spore. Early during germination, YpeB is proteolytically processed to a stable fragment. In this work, the primary sites of YpeB cleavage were identified in Bacillus anthracis, and it was shown that the stable products are comprised of the C-terminal domain of YpeB. Modification of the predominant YpeB cleavage sites reduced proteolysis, but cleavage at other sites still resulted in loss of full-length YpeB. A B. anthracis strain lacking the HtrC protease did not generate the same stable YpeB products. In B. anthracis and Bacillus subtilis htrC mutants, YpeB was partially stabilized during germination but was still degraded at a reduced rate by other, unidentified proteases. Purified HtrC cleaved YpeB to a fragment similar to that observed in vivo, and this cleavage was stimulated by Mn2+ or Ca2+ ions. A lack of HtrC did not stabilize YpeB or SleB during spore formation in the absence of the partner protein, indicating other proteases are involved in their degradation during sporulation. PMID:25384476

  5. HtrC is involved in proteolysis of YpeB during germination of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis spores.

    PubMed

    Bernhards, Casey B; Chen, Yan; Toutkoushian, Hannah; Popham, David L

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial endospores can remain dormant for decades yet can respond to nutrients, germinate, and resume growth within minutes. An essential step in the germination process is degradation of the spore cortex peptidoglycan wall, and the SleB protein in Bacillus species plays a key role in this process. Stable incorporation of SleB into the spore requires the YpeB protein, and some evidence suggests that the two proteins interact within the dormant spore. Early during germination, YpeB is proteolytically processed to a stable fragment. In this work, the primary sites of YpeB cleavage were identified in Bacillus anthracis, and it was shown that the stable products are comprised of the C-terminal domain of YpeB. Modification of the predominant YpeB cleavage sites reduced proteolysis, but cleavage at other sites still resulted in loss of full-length YpeB. A B. anthracis strain lacking the HtrC protease did not generate the same stable YpeB products. In B. anthracis and Bacillus subtilis htrC mutants, YpeB was partially stabilized during germination but was still degraded at a reduced rate by other, unidentified proteases. Purified HtrC cleaved YpeB to a fragment similar to that observed in vivo, and this cleavage was stimulated by Mn(2+) or Ca(2+) ions. A lack of HtrC did not stabilize YpeB or SleB during spore formation in the absence of the partner protein, indicating other proteases are involved in their degradation during sporulation.

  6. Characterization of Bacillus anthracis-like bacteria isolated from wild great apes from Cote d'Ivoire and Cameroon.

    PubMed

    Klee, Silke R; Ozel, Muhsin; Appel, Bernd; Boesch, Christophe; Ellerbrok, Heinz; Jacob, Daniela; Holland, Gudrun; Leendertz, Fabian H; Pauli, Georg; Grunow, Roland; Nattermann, Herbert

    2006-08-01

    We present the microbiological and molecular characterization of bacteria isolated from four chimpanzees and one gorilla thought to have died of an anthrax-like disease in Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon. These isolates differed significantly from classic Bacillus anthracis by the following criteria: motility, resistance to the gamma phage, and, for isolates from Cameroon, resistance to penicillin G. A capsule was expressed not only after induction by CO(2) and bicarbonate but also under normal growth conditions. Subcultivation resulted in beta-hemolytic activity and gamma phage susceptibility in some subclones, suggesting differences in gene regulation compared to classic B. anthracis. The isolates from Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon showed slight differences in their biochemical characteristics and MICs of different antibiotics but were identical in all molecular features and sequences analyzed. PCR and Southern blot analyses confirmed the presence of both the toxin and the capsule plasmid, with sizes corresponding to the B. anthracis virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2. Protective antigen was expressed and secreted into the culture supernatant. The isolates possessed variants of the Ba813 marker and the SG-749 fragment differing from that of classic B. anthracis strains. Multilocus sequence typing revealed a close relationship of our atypical isolates with both classic B. anthracis strains and two uncommonly virulent Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis isolates. We propose that the newly discovered atypical B. anthracis strains share a common ancestor with classic B. anthracis or that they emerged recently by transfer of the B. anthracis plasmids to a strain of the B. cereus group.

  7. GC/MS method for positive detection of Bacillus anthracis endospores.

    PubMed

    Li, Dan; Truong, Tai V; Bills, Teri M; Holt, Brian C; VanDerwerken, Douglas N; Williams, John R; Acharya, Abhilasha; Robison, Richard A; Tolley, H Dennis; Lee, Milton L

    2012-02-07

    A simple method was developed for detection of Bacillus anthracis (BA) endospores and for differentiation of them from other species in the Bacillus cereus group. Chemical profiles that include lipids (i.e., fatty acids), carbohydrates (i.e., sugars), and the spore-specific biomarker, dipicolinic acid, were generated by one-step thermochemolysis (TCM) at 140 °C in 5 min to provide specific biomarker signatures. Anthrose, which is a biomarker characteristic of the B. cereus group of bacteria, was determined from a fragment produced by TCM. Surprisingly, several virulent BA strains contained very low levels of anthrose, which confounded their detection. A statistical discrimination algorithm was constructed using a combination of biomarkers, which was robust against different growth conditions (medium and temperature). Fifteen endospore-forming Bacillus species were confirmed in a statistically designed test (~90%) using the algorithm, including six BA strains (four virulent isolates), five B. thuringiensis (BT) isolates, and one isolate each for B. cereus (BC), B. mycoides (BM), B. atrophaeus (BG), and B. subtilis (BS). The detection limit for B. anthracis was found to be 50,000 endospores, on the basis of the GC/MS detection limits for 3-methyl-2-butenoic acid methyl ester, which is the biomarker derived from TCM of anthrose.

  8. Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis and Yersinia pestis. The most important bacterial warfare agents - review.

    PubMed

    Pohanka, M; Skládal, P

    2009-01-01

    There are three most important bacterial causative agents of serious infections that could be misused for warfare purposes: Bacillus anthracis (the causative agent of anthrax) is the most frequently mentioned one; however, Fracisella tularensis (causing tularemia) and Yersinia pestis (the causative agent of plague) are further bacterial agents enlisted by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention into the category A of potential biological weapons. This review intends to summarize basic information about these bacterial agents. Military aspects of their pathogenesis and the detection techniques suitable for field use are discussed.

  9. Genome sequence of Bacillus anthracis attenuated vaccine strain A16R used for human in China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiankai; Qi, Xinpeng; Zhu, Li; Wang, Dongshu; Gao, Zhiqi; Deng, Haijun; Wu, Weili; Hu, Tao; Chen, Chen; Chen, Weijun; Wang, Hengliang

    2015-09-20

    An attenuated Bacillus anthracis vaccine strain for human use, A16R, was obtained in China after ultraviolet radiation treatment and continuous subculture of the wild-type strain A16. A16R can synthesize the exotoxin, but without a capsule. We sequenced and annotated the A16R genome to encourage the use of this strain. The genome sequencing of the wild-type strain A16 is underway and the genomic comparison between the two strains will help to illustrate the attenuating mechanism of the A16R vaccine strain.

  10. Aerosol and Surface Deposition Characteristics of Two Surrogates for Bacillus anthracis Spores.

    PubMed

    Bishop, Alistair H; Stapleton, Helen L

    2016-11-15

    Spores of an acrystalliferous derivative of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki, termed Btcry-, are morphologically, aerodynamically, and structurally indistinguishable from Bacillus anthracis spores. Btcry- spores were dispersed in a large, open-ended barn together with spores of Bacillus atrophaeus subsp. globigii, a historically used surrogate for Bacillus anthracis Spore suspensions (2 × 10(12) CFU each of B. atrophaeus subsp. globigii and Btcry-) were aerosolized in each of five spray events using a backpack misting device incorporating an air blower; a wind of 4.9 to 7.6 m s(-1) was also flowing through the barn in the same direction. Filter air samplers were situated throughout the barn to assess the aerosol density of the spores during each release. Trays filled with a surfactant in aqueous buffer were placed on the floor near the filter samplers to assess spore deposition. Spores were also recovered from arrays of solid surfaces (concrete, aluminum, and plywood) that had been laid on the floor and set up as a wall at the end of the barn. B. atrophaeus subsp. globigii spores were found to remain airborne for significantly longer periods, and to be deposited on horizontal surfaces at lower densities, than Btcry- spores, particularly near the spray source. There was a 6-fold-higher deposition of Btcry- spores than of B. atrophaeus subsp. globigii spores on vertical surfaces relative to the surrounding airborne density. This work is relevant for selecting the best B. anthracis surrogate for the prediction of human exposure, hazard assessment, and hazard management following a malicious release of B. anthracis IMPORTANCE: There is concern that pathogenic bacteria could be maliciously disseminated in the air to cause human infection and disruption of normal life. The threat from spore-forming organisms, such as the causative agent of anthrax, is particularly serious. In order to assess the extent of this risk, it is important to have a surrogate organism

  11. Discerning Viable from Nonviable Yersinia pestis pgm- and Bacillus anthracis Sterne using Propidium Monoazide in the Presence of White Powders

    SciTech Connect

    Hess, Becky M.; Kaiser, Brooke LD; Sydor, Michael A.; Wunschel, David S.; Bruckner-Lea, Cindy J.; Hutchison, Janine R.

    2015-12-23

    ABSTRACT Aims To develop and optimize an assay to determine viability status of Bacillus anthracis Sterne and Yersinia pestis pgm- strains in the presence of white powders by coupling propidium monoazide (PMA) treatment with real-time PCR (qPCR) analysis. Methods and Results PMA selectively enters nonviable cells and binds DNA, thereby increasing qPCR assay cycle threshold (CT) values compared to untreated samples. Dye concentration, cell number and fitness, incubation time, inactivation methods, and assay buffer were optimized for B. anthracis Sterne and Y. pestis pgm-. Differences in CT values in nonviable cells compared to untreated samples were consistently > 9 for both B. anthracis Sterne vegetative cells and Y. pestis pgm- in the presence and absence of three different white powders. Our method eliminates the need for a DNA extraction step prior to detection by qPCR. Conclusions The developed assay enables simultaneous identification and viability assessment for B. anthracis Sterne and Y. pestis pgm- under laboratory conditions, even in the presence of white powders. Eliminating the DNA extraction step that is typically used reduces total assay time and labor requirements for sample analysis. Significance and Impact of the Study The method developed for simultaneous detection and viability assessment for B. anthracis and Y. pestis can be employed in forming decisions about the severity of a biothreat event or the safety of food. Keywords Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Propidium Monoazide, qPCR, White Powders, Rapid Viability Detection

  12. Optimization of a sample processing protocol for recovery of Bacillus anthracis spores from soil

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Silvestri, Erin E.; Feldhake, David; Griffin, Dale; Lisle, John T.; Nichols, Tonya L.; Shah, Sanjiv; Pemberton, A; Schaefer III, Frank W

    2016-01-01

    Following a release of Bacillus anthracis spores into the environment, there is a potential for lasting environmental contamination in soils. There is a need for detection protocols for B. anthracis in environmental matrices. However, identification of B. anthracis within a soil is a difficult task. Processing soil samples helps to remove debris, chemical components, and biological impurities that can interfere with microbiological detection. This study aimed to optimize a previously used indirect processing protocol, which included a series of washing and centrifugation steps. Optimization of the protocol included: identifying an ideal extraction diluent, variation in the number of wash steps, variation in the initial centrifugation speed, sonication and shaking mechanisms. The optimized protocol was demonstrated at two laboratories in order to evaluate the recovery of spores from loamy and sandy soils. The new protocol demonstrated an improved limit of detection for loamy and sandy soils over the non-optimized protocol with an approximate matrix limit of detection at 14 spores/g of soil. There were no significant differences overall between the two laboratories for either soil type, suggesting that the processing protocol will be robust enough to use at multiple laboratories while achieving comparable recoveries.

  13. Design and synthesis of aryl ether inhibitors of the Bacillus anthracis enoyl-ACP reductase.

    PubMed

    Tipparaju, Suresh K; Mulhearn, Debbie C; Klein, Gary M; Chen, Yufeng; Tapadar, Subhasish; Bishop, Molly H; Yang, Shuo; Chen, Juan; Ghassemi, Mahmood; Santarsiero, Bernard D; Cook, James L; Johlfs, Mary; Mesecar, Andrew D; Johnson, Michael E; Kozikowski, Alan P

    2008-08-01

    The problem of increasing bacterial resistance to the current generation of antibiotics is well documented. Known resistant pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus are becoming more prevalent, while the potential exists for developing drug-resistant pathogens for use as bioweapons, such as Bacillus anthracis. The biphenyl ether antibacterial agent, triclosan, exhibits broad-spectrum activity by targeting the fatty acid biosynthetic pathway through inhibition of enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase (ENR) and provides a potential scaffold for the development of new, broad-spectrum antibiotics. We used a structure-based approach to develop novel aryl ether analogues of triclosan that target ENR, the product of the fabI gene, from B. anthracis (BaENR). Structure-based design methods were used for the expansion of the compound series including X-ray crystal structure determination, molecular docking, and QSAR methods. Structural modifications were made to both phenyl rings of the 2-phenoxyphenyl core. A number of compounds exhibited improved potency against BaENR and increased efficacy against both the Sterne strain of B. anthracis and the methicillin-resistant strain of S. aureus. X-ray crystal structures of BaENR in complex with triclosan and two other compounds help explain the improved efficacy of the new compounds and suggest future rounds of optimization that might be used to improve their potency.

  14. Novel Role for the yceGH Tellurite Resistance Genes in the Pathogenesis of Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Franks, Sarah E.; Ebrahimi, Celia; Hollands, Andrew; Okumura, Cheryl Y.; Aroian, Raffi V.; Nizet, Victor

    2014-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, relies on multiple virulence factors to subvert the host immune defense. Using Caenorhabditis elegans as an infection model, we screened approximately 5,000 transposon mutants of B. anthracis Sterne for decreased virulence. One of the attenuated mutants resulted in loss of expression of yceG and yceH, the last two genes in a six-gene cluster of tellurite resistance genes. We generated an analogous insertional mutant to confirm the phenotype and characterize the role of yceGH in resistance to host defenses. Loss of yceGH rendered the mutants more sensitive to tellurite toxicity as well as to host defenses such as reactive oxygen species and the cathelicidin family of antimicrobial peptides. Additionally, we see decreased survival in mammalian models of infection, including human whole blood and in mice. We identify a novel role for the yceGH genes in B. anthracis Sterne virulence and suggest that C. elegans is a useful infection model to study anthrax pathogenesis. PMID:24366250

  15. Potential role of autophagy in the bactericidal activity of human PMNs for Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Ramachandran, Girish; Gade, Padmaja; Tsai, Pei; Lu, Wuyuan; Kalvakolanu, Dhananjaya V.; Rosen, Gerald M.; Cross, Alan S.

    2015-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is acquired by mammalian hosts from the environment, as quiescent endospores. These endospores must germinate inside host cells, forming vegetative bacilli, before they can express the virulence factors that enable them to evade host defenses and disseminate throughout the body. While the role of macrophages and dendritic cells in this initial interaction has been established, the role of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) has not been adequately defined. We discovered that while B. anthracis 34F2 Sterne endospores germinate poorly within non-activated human PMNs, these phagocytes exhibit rapid microbicidal activity toward the outgrown vegetative bacilli, independent of superoxide and nitric oxide. These findings suggest that a non-free radical pathway kills B. anthracis bacilli. We also find in PMNs an autophagic mechanism of bacterial killing based on the rapid induction of LC-3 conversion, beclin-1 expression, sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1) degradation and inhibition of bactericidal activity by the inhibitor, 3-methyladenine. These findings extend to PMNs an autophagic bactericidal mechanism previously described for other phagocytes. PMID:26424808

  16. Bacillus anthracis TIR Domain-Containing Protein Localises to Cellular Microtubule Structures and Induces Autophagy

    PubMed Central

    Carlsson, Emil; Thwaite, Joanne E.; Jenner, Dominic C.; Spear, Abigail M.; Flick-Smith, Helen; Atkins, Helen S.; Ding, Jeak Ling

    2016-01-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) recognise invading pathogens and mediate downstream immune signalling via Toll/IL-1 receptor (TIR) domains. TIR domain proteins (Tdps) have been identified in multiple pathogenic bacteria and have recently been implicated as negative regulators of host innate immune activation. A Tdp has been identified in Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax. Here we present the first study of this protein, designated BaTdp. Recombinantly expressed and purified BaTdp TIR domain interacted with several human TIR domains, including that of the key TLR adaptor MyD88, although BaTdp expression in cultured HEK293 cells had no effect on TLR4- or TLR2- mediated immune activation. During expression in mammalian cells, BaTdp localised to microtubular networks and caused an increase in lipidated cytosolic microtubule-associated protein 1A/1B-light chain 3 (LC3), indicative of autophagosome formation. In vivo intra-nasal infection experiments in mice showed that a BaTdp knockout strain colonised host tissue faster with higher bacterial load within 4 days post-infection compared to the wild type B. anthracis. Taken together, these findings indicate that BaTdp does not play an immune suppressive role, but rather, its absence increases virulence. BaTdp present in wild type B. anthracis plausibly interact with the infected host cell, which undergoes autophagy in self-defence. PMID:27391310

  17. Structural study and thermodynamic characterization of inhibitor binding to lumazine synthase from Bacillus anthracis

    SciTech Connect

    Morgunova, Ekaterina; Illarionov, Boris; Saller, Sabine; Popov, Aleksander; Sambaiah, Thota; Bacher, Adelbert; Cushman, Mark; Fischer, Markus; Ladenstein, Rudolf

    2010-09-01

    Crystallographic studies of lumazine synthase, the penultimate enzyme of the riboflavin-biosynthetic pathway in B. anthracis, provide a structural framework for the design of antibiotic inhibitors, together with calorimetric and kinetic investigations of inhibitor binding. The crystal structure of lumazine synthase from Bacillus anthracis was solved by molecular replacement and refined to R{sub cryst} = 23.7% (R{sub free} = 28.4%) at a resolution of 3.5 Å. The structure reveals the icosahedral symmetry of the enzyme and specific features of the active site that are unique in comparison with previously determined orthologues. The application of isothermal titration calorimetry in combination with enzyme kinetics showed that three designed pyrimidine derivatives bind to lumazine synthase with micromolar dissociation constants and competitively inhibit the catalytic reaction. Structure-based modelling suggested the binding modes of the inhibitors in the active site and allowed an estimation of the possible contacts formed upon binding. The results provide a structural framework for the design of antibiotics active against B. anthracis.

  18. Ca-asp bound X-ray structure and inhibition of Bacillus anthracis dihydroorotase (DHOase).

    PubMed

    Rice, Amy J; Lei, Hao; Santarsiero, Bernard D; Lee, Hyun; Johnson, Michael E

    2016-10-01

    Dihydroorotase (DHOase) is the third enzyme in the de novo pyrimidine synthesis pathway and is responsible for the reversible cyclization of carbamyl-aspartate (Ca-asp) to dihydroorotate (DHO). DHOase is further divided into two classes based on several structural characteristics, one of which is the length of the flexible catalytic loop that interacts with the substrate, Ca-asp, regulating the enzyme activity. Here, we present the crystal structure of Class I Bacillus anthracis DHOase with Ca-asp in the active site, which shows the peptide backbone of glycine in the shorter loop forming the necessary hydrogen bonds with the substrate, in place of the two threonines found in Class II DHOases. Despite the differences in the catalytic loop, the structure confirms that the key interactions between the substrate and active site residues are similar between Class I and Class II DHOase enzymes, which we further validated by mutagenesis studies. B. anthracis DHOase is also a potential antibacterial drug target. In order to identify prospective inhibitors, we performed high-throughput screening against several libraries using a colorimetric enzymatic assay and an orthogonal fluorescence thermal binding assay. Surface plasmon resonance was used for determining binding affinity (KD) and competition analysis with Ca-asp. Our results highlight that the primary difference between Class I and Class II DHOase is the catalytic loop. We also identify several compounds that can potentially be further optimized as potential B. anthracis inhibitors.

  19. Genetic diversity of Bacillus anthracis in Europe: genotyping methods in forensic and epidemiologic investigations.

    PubMed

    Derzelle, Sylviane; Thierry, Simon

    2013-09-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, a zoonosis relatively common throughout the world, can be used as an agent of bioterrorism. In naturally occurring outbreaks and in criminal release of this pathogen, a fast and accurate diagnosis is crucial to an effective response. Microbiological forensics and epidemiologic investigations increasingly rely on molecular markers, such as polymorphisms in DNA sequence, to obtain reliable information regarding the identification or source of a suspicious strain. Over the past decade, significant research efforts have been undertaken to develop genotyping methods with increased power to differentiate B. anthracis strains. A growing number of DNA signatures have been identified and used to survey B. anthracis diversity in nature, leading to rapid advances in our understanding of the global population of this pathogen. This article provides an overview of the different phylogenetic subgroups distributed across the world, with a particular focus on Europe. Updated information on the anthrax situation in Europe is reported. A brief description of some of the work in progress in the work package 5.1 of the AniBioThreat project is also presented, including (1) the development of a robust typing tool based on a suspension array technology and multiplexed single nucleotide polymorphisms scoring and (2) the typing of a collection of DNA from European isolates exchanged between the partners of the project. The know-how acquired will contribute to improving the EU's ability to react rapidly when the identity and real origin of a strain need to be established.

  20. Evaluation of the Efficacy of Methyl Bromide in the Decontamination of Building and Interior Materials Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis Spores

    PubMed Central

    Wendling, Morgan; Richter, William; Lastivka, Andrew; Mickelsen, Leroy

    2016-01-01

    The primary goal of this study was to determine the conditions required for the effective inactivation of Bacillus anthracis spores on materials by using methyl bromide (MeBr) gas. Another objective was to obtain comparative decontamination efficacy data with three avirulent microorganisms to assess their potential for use as surrogates for B. anthracis Ames. Decontamination tests were conducted with spores of B. anthracis Ames and Geobacillus stearothermophilus, B. anthracis NNR1Δ1, and B. anthracis Sterne inoculated onto six different materials. Experimental variables included temperature, relative humidity (RH), MeBr concentration, and contact time. MeBr was found to be an effective decontaminant under a number of conditions. This study highlights the important role that RH has when fumigation is performed with MeBr. There were no tests in which a ≥6-log10 reduction (LR) of B. anthracis Ames was achieved on all materials when fumigation was done at 45% RH. At 75% RH, an increase in the temperature, the MeBr concentration, or contact time generally improved the efficacy of fumigation with MeBr. This study provides new information for the effective use of MeBr at temperatures and RH levels lower than those that have been recommended previously. The study also provides data to assist with the selection of an avirulent surrogate for B. anthracis Ames spores when additional tests with MeBr are conducted. PMID:26801580

  1. Evaluation of the Efficacy of Methyl Bromide in the Decontamination of Building and Interior Materials Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis Spores.

    PubMed

    Wood, Joseph P; Wendling, Morgan; Richter, William; Lastivka, Andrew; Mickelsen, Leroy

    2016-01-22

    The primary goal of this study was to determine the conditions required for the effective inactivation of Bacillus anthracis spores on materials by using methyl bromide (MeBr) gas. Another objective was to obtain comparative decontamination efficacy data with three avirulent microorganisms to assess their potential for use as surrogates for B. anthracis Ames. Decontamination tests were conducted with spores of B. anthracis Ames and Geobacillus stearothermophilus, B. anthracis NNR1Δ1, and B. anthracis Sterne inoculated onto six different materials. Experimental variables included temperature, relative humidity (RH), MeBr concentration, and contact time. MeBr was found to be an effective decontaminant under a number of conditions. This study highlights the important role that RH has when fumigation is performed with MeBr. There were no tests in which a ≥6-log10 reduction (LR) of B. anthracis Ames was achieved on all materials when fumigation was done at 45% RH. At 75% RH, an increase in the temperature, the MeBr concentration, or contact time generally improved the efficacy of fumigation with MeBr. This study provides new information for the effective use of MeBr at temperatures and RH levels lower than those that have been recommended previously. The study also provides data to assist with the selection of an avirulent surrogate for B. anthracis Ames spores when additional tests with MeBr are conducted.

  2. Rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis spores using a super-paramagnetic lateral-flow immunological detection system.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dian-Bing; Tian, Bo; Zhang, Zhi-Ping; Deng, Jiao-Yu; Cui, Zong-Qiang; Yang, Rui-Fu; Wang, Xu-Ying; Wei, Hong-Ping; Zhang, Xian-En

    2013-04-15

    There is an urgent need for convenient, sensitive, and specific methods to detect the spores of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, because of the bioterrorism threat posed by this bacterium. In this study, we firstly develop a super-paramagnetic lateral-flow immunological detection system for B. anthracis spores. This system involves the use of a portable magnetic assay reader, super-paramagnetic iron oxide particles, lateral-flow strips and two different monoclonal antibodies directed against B. anthracis spores. This detection system specifically recognises as few as 400 pure B. anthracis spores in 30 min. This system has a linear range of 4×10³-10⁶ CFU ml⁻¹ and reproducible detection limits of 200 spores mg⁻¹ milk powder and 130 spores mg⁻¹ soil for simulated samples. In addition, this approach shows no obvious cross-reaction with other related Bacillus spores, even at high concentrations, and has no significant dependence on the duration of the storage of the immunological strips. Therefore, this super-paramagnetic lateral-flow immunological detection system is a promising tool for the rapid and sensitive detection of Bacillus anthracis spores under field conditions.

  3. A Bacillus anthracis Genome Sequence from the Sverdlovsk 1979 Autopsy Specimens

    PubMed Central

    Sahl, Jason W.; Pearson, Talima; Okinaka, Richard; Schupp, James M.; Gillece, John D.; Heaton, Hannah; Birdsell, Dawn; Hepp, Crystal; Fofanov, Viacheslav; Noseda, Ramón; Fasanella, Antonio; Hoffmaster, Alex; Wagner, David M.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Anthrax is a zoonotic disease that occurs naturally in wild and domestic animals but has been used by both state-sponsored programs and terrorists as a biological weapon. A Soviet industrial production facility in Sverdlovsk, USSR, proved deficient in 1979 when a plume of spores was accidentally released and resulted in one of the largest known human anthrax outbreaks. In order to understand this outbreak and others, we generated a Bacillus anthracis population genetic database based upon whole-genome analysis to identify all single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across a reference genome. Phylogenetic analysis has defined three major clades (A, B, and C), B and C being relatively rare compared to A. The A clade has numerous subclades, including a major polytomy named the trans-Eurasian (TEA) group. The TEA radiation is a dominant evolutionary feature of B. anthracis, with many contemporary populations having resulted from a large spatial dispersal of spores from a single source. Two autopsy specimens from the Sverdlovsk outbreak were deep sequenced to produce draft B. anthracis genomes. This allowed the phylogenetic placement of the Sverdlovsk strain into a clade with two Asian live vaccine strains, including the Russian Tsiankovskii strain. The genome was examined for evidence of drug resistance manipulation or other genetic engineering, but none was found. The Soviet Sverdlovsk strain genome is consistent with a wild-type strain from Russia that had no evidence of genetic manipulation during its industrial production. This work provides insights into the world’s largest biological weapons program and provides an extensive B. anthracis phylogenetic reference. PMID:27677796

  4. Rapid Detection of Viable Bacillus anthracis Spores in Environmental Samples by Using Engineered Reporter Phages

    PubMed Central

    Sharp, Natasha J.; Molineux, Ian J.; Page, Martin A.

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, was utilized as a bioterrorism agent in 2001 when spores were distributed via the U.S. postal system. In responding to this event, the Federal Bureau of Investigation used traditional bacterial culture viability assays to ascertain the extent of contamination of the postal facilities within 24 to 48 h of environmental sample acquisition. Here, we describe a low-complexity, second-generation reporter phage assay for the rapid detection of viable B. anthracis spores in environmental samples. The assay uses an engineered B. anthracis reporter phage (Wβ::luxAB-2) which transduces bioluminescence to infected cells. To facilitate low-level environmental detection and maximize the signal response, expression of luxAB in an earlier version of the reporter phage (Wβ::luxAB-1) was optimized. These alterations prolonged signal kinetics, increased light output, and improved assay sensitivity. Using Wβ::luxAB-2, detection of B. anthracis spores was 1 CFU in 8 h from pure cultures and as low as 10 CFU/g in sterile soil but increased to 105 CFU/g in unprocessed soil due to an unstable signal and the presence of competing bacteria. Inclusion of semiselective medium, mediated by a phage-expressed antibiotic resistance gene, maintained signal stability and enabled the detection of 104 CFU/g in 6 h. The assay does not require spore extraction and relies on the phage infecting germinating cells directly in the soil sample. This reporter phage displays promise for the rapid detection of low levels of spores on clean surfaces and also in grossly contaminated environmental samples from complex matrices such as soils. PMID:26873316

  5. Rapid Detection of Viable Bacillus anthracis Spores in Environmental Samples by Using Engineered Reporter Phages.

    PubMed

    Sharp, Natasha J; Molineux, Ian J; Page, Martin A; Schofield, David A

    2016-04-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, was utilized as a bioterrorism agent in 2001 when spores were distributed via the U.S. postal system. In responding to this event, the Federal Bureau of Investigation used traditional bacterial culture viability assays to ascertain the extent of contamination of the postal facilities within 24 to 48 h of environmental sample acquisition. Here, we describe a low-complexity, second-generation reporter phage assay for the rapid detection of viableB. anthracis spores in environmental samples. The assay uses an engineered B. anthracis reporter phage (Wβ::luxAB-2) which transduces bioluminescence to infected cells. To facilitate low-level environmental detection and maximize the signal response, expression of luxABin an earlier version of the reporter phage (Wβ::luxAB-1) was optimized. These alterations prolonged signal kinetics, increased light output, and improved assay sensitivity. Using Wβ::luxAB-2, detection of B. anthracis spores was 1 CFU in 8 h from pure cultures and as low as 10 CFU/g in sterile soil but increased to 10(5)CFU/g in unprocessed soil due to an unstable signal and the presence of competing bacteria. Inclusion of semiselective medium, mediated by a phage-expressed antibiotic resistance gene, maintained signal stability and enabled the detection of 10(4)CFU/g in 6 h. The assay does not require spore extraction and relies on the phage infecting germinating cells directly in the soil sample. This reporter phage displays promise for the rapid detection of low levels of spores on clean surfaces and also in grossly contaminated environmental samples from complex matrices such as soils.

  6. Measurements of the Ultraviolet Fluorescence Cross Sections and Spectra of Bacillus Anthracis Simulants

    SciTech Connect

    Stephens, J.R.

    1998-09-01

    Measurements of the ultraviolet autofluorescence spectra and absolute cross sections of the Bacillus anthracis (Ba) simulants Bacillus globigii (Bg), Bacillus megaterium (Bm), Bacillus subtilis (Bs), and Bacillus cereus (Bc) were measured. Fluorescence spectra and cross sections of pine pollen (Pina echinata) were measured for comparison. Both dried vegetative cells and spores separated from the sporulated vegetative material were studied. The spectra were obtained by suspending a small number (<10) of particles in air in our Single Particle Spectroscopy Apparatus (SPSA), illuminating the particles with light from a spectrally filtered arc lamp, and measuring the fluorescence spectra of the particles. The illumination was 280 nm (20 nm FWHM) and the fluorescence spectra was measured between 300 and 450 nm. The fluorescence cross section of vegetative Bg peaks at 320 nm with a maximum cross section of 5 X 10{sup -14} cm{sup 2}/sr-nm-particle while the Bg spore fluorescence peaks at 310 nm with peak fluorescence of 8 X 10{sup -15} cm{sup 2}/sr-nm-particle. Pine pollen particles showed a higher fluorescence peaking at 355 nm with a cross section of 1.7 X 10{sup -13} cm{sup 2}/sr-nm-particle. Integrated cross sections ranged from 3.0 X 10{sup -13} for the Bg spores through 2.25 X 10{sup -12} (cm{sup 2}/sr-particle) for the vegetative cells.

  7. Differentiation of Bacillus Anthracis and Other Bacillus Species by Use of Lectins

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1983-07-18

    GlcNAc Ulex eurpaes ( UEA - I ) a-L- Fuc Ulex europaeus ( UEA -1I) (V- PlcNAc) > 0--D-GlcNAc 2 ý-Specificities of all lectins werE obtained from E-Y...from B. anthracis and the related OD ~YI 113 EITIO OP NOV61 I OSSL~rtUNCLASSIFIED’ Y 8 3 7 2 03 9 SECUR4TY CLASSIFICATION OF rthS PAGE (w7bma Daie d...Institute of Infectious Diseases, Ft. Detrick, MD 21701 Aoaession For Short title: Lectin -1B. anthracis interaction I RA *Correspondent author (502

  8. Acetalated Dextran Microparticulate Vaccine Formulated via Coaxial Electrospray Preserves Toxin Neutralization and Enhances Murine Survival Following Inhalational Bacillus Anthracis Exposure.

    PubMed

    Gallovic, Matthew D; Schully, Kevin L; Bell, Matthew G; Elberson, Margaret A; Palmer, John R; Darko, Christian A; Bachelder, Eric M; Wyslouzil, Barbara E; Keane-Myers, Andrea M; Ainslie, Kristy M

    2016-10-01

    Subunit formulations are regarded as the safest type of vaccine, but they often contain a protein-based antigen that can result in significant challenges, such as preserving antigenicity during formulation and administration. Many studies have demonstrated that encapsulation of protein antigens in polymeric microparticles (MPs) via emulsion techniques results in total IgG antibody titers comparable to alum formulations, however, the antibodies themselves are non-neutralizing. To address this issue, a coaxial electrohydrodynamic spraying (electrospray) technique is used to formulate a microparticulate-based subunit anthrax vaccine under conditions that minimize recombinant protective antigen (rPA) exposure to harsh solvents and high shear stress. rPA and the adjuvant resiquimod are encapsulated either in separate or the same acetalated dextran MPs. Using a murine model, the electrospray formulations lead to higher IgG2a subtype titers as well as comparable total IgG antibody titers and toxin neutralization relative to the FDA-approved vaccine (BioThrax). BioThrax provides no protection against a lethal inhalational challenge of the highly virulent Ames Bacillus anthracis anthrax strain, whereas 50% of the mice vaccinated with separately encapsulated electrospray MPs survive. Overall, this study demonstrates the potential use of electrospray for encapsulating protein antigens in polymeric MPs.

  9. Disinfection methods for spores of Bacillus atrophaeus, B. anthracis, Clostridium tetani, C. botulinum and C. difficile.

    PubMed

    Oie, Shigeharu; Obayashi, Akiko; Yamasaki, Hirofumi; Furukawa, Hiroyuki; Kenri, Tsuyoshi; Takahashi, Motohide; Kawamoto, Keiko; Makino, Sou-ichi

    2011-01-01

    To evaluate disinfection methods for environments contaminated with bioterrorism-associated microorganism (Bacillus anthracis), we performed the following experiments. First, the sporicidal effects of sodium hypochlorite on spores of five bacterial species were evaluated. Bacillus atrophaeus was the most resistant to hypochlorite, followed in order by B. anthracis, Clostridium botulinum and Clostridium tetani, and Clostridium difficile. Subsequently, using B. atrophaeus spores that were the most resistant to hypochlorite, the sporicidal effects of hypochlorite at lower pH by adding vinegar were evaluated. Hypochlorite containing vinegar had far more marked sporicidal effects than hypochlorite alone. Cleaning with 0.5% (5000 ppm) hypochlorite containing vinegar inactivated B. atrophaeus spores attached to vinyl chloride and plywood plates within 15 s, while that not containing vinegar did not inactivate spores attached to cement or plywood plates even after 1 h. Therefore, the surfaces of cement or plywood plates were covered with gauze soaked in 0.5% hypochlorite containing vinegar, and the sporicidal effects were evaluated. B. atrophaeus spores attached to plywood plates were not inactivated even after 6 h, but those attached to cement plates were inactivated within 5 min. On the other hand, covering the surfaces of plywood plates with gauze soaked in 0.3% peracetic acid and gauze soaked in 2% glutaral inactivated B. atrophaeus spores within 5 min and 6 h, respectively. These results suggest that hypochlorite containing vinegar is effective for disinfecting vinyl chloride, tile, and cement plates contaminated with B. anthracis, and peracetic acid is effective for disinfecting plywood plates contaminated with such microorganism.

  10. A Field Investigation of Bacillus anthracis Contamination of U.S. Department of Agriculture and Other Washington, D.C., Buildings during the Anthrax Attack of October 2001

    PubMed Central

    Higgins, James A.; Cooper, Mary; Schroeder-Tucker, Linda; Black, Scott; Miller, David; Karns, Jeffrey S.; Manthey, Erlynn; Breeze, Roger; Perdue, Michael L.

    2003-01-01

    In response to a bioterrorism attack in the Washington, D.C., area in October 2001, a mobile laboratory (ML) was set up in the city to conduct rapid molecular tests on environmental samples for the presence of Bacillus anthracis spores and to route samples for further culture analysis. The ML contained class I laminar-flow hoods, a portable autoclave, two portable real-time PCR devices (Ruggedized Advanced Pathogen Identification Device [RAPID]), and miscellaneous supplies and equipment to process samples. Envelopes and swab and air samples collected from 30 locations in the metropolitan area once every three days were subjected to visual examination and DNA extraction, followed by real-time PCR using freeze-dried, fluorescent-probe-based reagents. Surface swabs and air samples were also cultured for B. anthracis at the National Veterinary Service Laboratory (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa. From 24 October 2001 to 15 September 2002, 2,092 pieces of mail were examined, 405 real-time PCR assays were performed (comprising 4,639 samples), and at the NVSL 6,275 samples were subjected to over 18,000 platings. None of the PCR assays on DNA extracted from swab and air samples were positive, but viable spores were cultured from surface swabs taken from six locations in the metropolitan area in October, November, and December 2001 and February, March, and May 2002. DNA extracted from these suspected B. anthracis colonies was positive by real-time and conventional PCRs for the lethal factor, pXO1, and for capA and vrr genes; sequence analysis of the latter amplicons indicated >99% homology with the Ames, vollum, B6273-93, C93022281, and W-21 strains of B. anthracis, suggesting they arose from cross-contamination during the attack through the mail. The RAPID-based PCR analysis provided fast confirmation of suspect colonies from an overnight incubation on agar plates. PMID:12514046

  11. Rapid Detection of Bacillus anthracis Spores Using Immunomagnetic Separation and Amperometry

    PubMed Central

    Waller, David F.; Hew, Brian E.; Holdaway, Charlie; Jen, Michael; Peckham, Gabriel D.

    2016-01-01

    Portable detection and quantitation methods for Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) spores in pure culture or in environmental samples are lacking. Here, an amperometric immunoassay has been developed utilizing immunomagnetic separation to capture the spores and remove potential interferents from test samples followed by amperometric measurement on a field-portable instrument. Antibody-conjugated magnetic beads and antibody-conjugated glucose oxidase were used in a sandwich format for the capture and detection of target spores. Glucose oxidase activity of spore pellets was measured indirectly via amperometry by applying a bias voltage after incubation with glucose, horseradish peroxidase, and the electron mediator 2,2′-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulphonic acid). Target capture was mediated by polyclonal antisera, whereas monoclonal antibodies were used for signal generation. This strategy maximized sensitivity (500 target spores, 5000 cfu/mL), while also providing a good specificity for Bacillus anthracis spores. Minimal signal deviation occurs in the presence of environmental interferents including soil and modified pH conditions, demonstrating the strengths of immunomagnetic separation. The simultaneous incubation of capture and detection antibodies and rapid substrate development (5 min) result in short sample-to-signal times (less than an hour). With attributes comparable or exceeding that of ELISA and LFDs, amperometry is a low-cost, low-weight, and practical method for detecting anthrax spores in the field. PMID:27999382

  12. Laboratory studies on surface sampling of Bacillus anthracis contamination: summary, gaps, and recommendations

    SciTech Connect

    Piepel, Gregory F.; Amidan, Brett G.; Hu, Rebecca

    2012-12-01

    This article summarizes previous laboratory studies to characterize the performance of methods for collecting, storing/transporting, processing, and analyzing samples from surfaces contaminated by Bacillus anthracis or related surrogates. The focus is on plate culture and count estimates of surface contamination for swab, wipe, and vacuum samples of porous and nonporous surfaces. Summaries of the previous studies and their results were assessed to identify gaps in information needed as inputs to calculate key parameters critical to risk management in biothreat incidents. One key parameter is the number of samples needed to make characterization or clearance decisions with specified statistical confidence. Other key parameters include the ability to calculate, following contamination incidents, the 1) estimates of Bacillus anthracis contamination, as well as the bias and uncertainties in the estimates, and 2) confidence in characterization and clearance decisions for contaminated or decontaminated buildings. Gaps in knowledge and understanding identified during the summary of the studies are discussed. Recommendations are given for future evaluations of data from existing studies and possible new studies.

  13. Surface display of recombinant proteins on Escherichia coli by BclA exosporium of Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The anchoring motif is one of the most important aspects of cell surface display as well as efficient and stable display of target proteins. Thus, there is currently a need for the identification and isolation of novel anchoring motifs. Results A system for the display of recombinant proteins on the surface of Escherichia coli was developed using the Bacillus anthracis exosporal protein (BclA) as a new anchoring motif. For the surface display of recombinant proteins, the BAN display platform was constructed in which a target protein is linked to the C-terminus of N-terminal domain (21 amino acids) of BclA. The potential application of BAN platform for cell surface display was demonstrated with two model proteins of different size, the Bacillus sp. endoxylanase (XynA) and monooxygenase (P450 BM3m2). Through experimental analysis including outer membrane fractionation, confocal microscopy and activity assay, it was clearly confirmed that both model proteins were successfully displayed with high activities on the E. coli cell surface. Conclusions These results of this study suggest that the strategy employing the B. anthracis BclA as an anchoring motif is suitable for the display of heterologous proteins on the surface of E. coli and consequently for various biocatalytic applications as well as protein engineering. PMID:24053632

  14. Tertiary amides of Salinomycin: A new group of antibacterial agents against Bacillus anthracis and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis.

    PubMed

    Stefańska, Joanna; Antoszczak, Michał; Stępień, Karolina; Bartoszcze, Michał; Mirski, Tomasz; Huczyński, Adam

    2015-01-01

    For the first time, a series of tertiary amides of polyether antibiotic-Salinomycin have been obtained and screened for their antibacterial activity against different strains of bacteria, including Bacillus anthracis and clinical methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis (MRSE). Moreover, biofilm inhibition of MRSE and genotoxicity tests against Bacillus subtilis have been performed. Our studies show that Salinomycin and its some derivatives are active against tested bacteria and exhibited definitely bacteriostatic, not bactericidal activity.

  15. Effect of pH on the Electrophoretic Mobility of Spores of Bacillus anthracis and Its Surrogates in Aqueous Solutions

    EPA Science Inventory

    Electrophoretic mobility (EPM) of endospores of Bacillus anthracis and surrogates were measured in aqueous solution across a broad pH range and several ionic strengths. EPM values trended around phylogenetic clustering based on the 16S rRNA gene. Measurements reported here prov...

  16. Genome Sequence of Historical Bacillus anthracis Strain Tyrol 4675 Isolated from a Bovine Anthrax Case in Austria

    PubMed Central

    Antwerpen, Markus; Wölfel, Roman

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT In 1988, an outbreak of anthrax occurred among cattle in the Austrian state of Tyrol. Since then, Austria has been declared anthrax-free. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of one of these last outbreak strains, Bacillus anthracis Tyrol 4675, isolated from a diseased cow. PMID:28280006

  17. Design and synthesis of 2-pyridones as novel inhibitors of the Bacillus anthracis enoyl-ACP reductase.

    PubMed

    Tipparaju, Suresh K; Joyasawal, Sipak; Forrester, Sara; Mulhearn, Debbie C; Pegan, Scott; Johnson, Michael E; Mesecar, Andrew D; Kozikowski, Alan P

    2008-06-15

    Enoyl-ACP reductase (ENR), the product of the FabI gene, from Bacillus anthracis (BaENR) is responsible for catalyzing the final step of bacterial fatty acid biosynthesis. A number of novel 2-pyridone derivatives were synthesized and shown to be potent inhibitors of BaENR.

  18. Antibiotic Susceptibility and Molecular Diversity of Bacillus anthracis Strains in Chad: Detection of a New Phylogenetic Subgroup

    PubMed Central

    Maho, Angaya; Rossano, Alexandra; Hächler, Herbert; Holzer, Anita; Schelling, Esther; Zinsstag, Jakob; Hassane, Mahamat H.; Toguebaye, Bhen S.; Akakpo, Ayayi J.; Van Ert, Matthew; Keim, Paul; Kenefic, Leo; Frey, Joachim; Perreten, Vincent

    2006-01-01

    We genotyped 15 Bacillus anthracis isolates from Chad, Africa, using multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis and three additional direct-repeat markers. We identified two unique genotypes that represent a novel genetic lineage in the A cluster. Chadian isolates were susceptible to 11 antibiotics and free of 94 antibiotic resistance genes. PMID:16954291

  19. Thermal inactivation of Bacillus anthracis Sterne in irradiated ground beef heated in a water bath or cooked on commercial grills

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The thermal stability of heat-shocked and non heat-shocked spores of the virulence-attenuated Sterne strain of Bacillus anthracis was evaluated at select temperatures in irradiated, raw ground beef (25% fat) heated in a water bath or cooked using two different commercial grills. For the former, 3-g ...

  20. Reagent-free and portable detection of Bacillus anthracis spores using a microfluidic incubator and smartphone microscope

    SciTech Connect

    Hutchison, Janine R.; Erikson, Rebecca L.; Sheen, Allison M.; Ozanich, Richard M.; Kelly, Ryan T.

    2015-08-06

    Rapid, cost-effective bacterial detection systems are needed to respond to potential biothreat events. Here we report the use of smartphone-based microscopy in combination with a simple microfluidic incubation device to detect 5000 Bacillus anthracis spores in 3 hours. This field-deployable approach is compatible with real-time PCR for secondary confirmation.

  1. The Genome Sequence of Bacillus cereus ATCC 10987 Reveals Metabolic Adaptations and a Large Plasmid Related to Bacillus anthracis pXO1

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-01-01

    R.L. and Waites,K.B. (2003) Bacillus cereus bacteremia in a preterm neonate. J. Clin. Microbiol., 41, 3441±3444. 9. Ginsburg,A.S., Salazar,L.G., True... bacteremia and pneumonia due to Bacillus cereus . J. Clin. Microbiol., 35, 504±507. 12. Okinaka,R., Cloud,K., Hampton,O., Hoffmaster,A., Hill,K., Keim,P...The genome sequence of Bacillus cereus ATCC 10987 reveals metabolic adaptations and a large plasmid related to Bacillus anthracis pXO1 David A. Rasko

  2. Bacillus cereus Biovar Anthracis Causing Anthrax in Sub-Saharan Africa—Chromosomal Monophyly and Broad Geographic Distribution

    PubMed Central

    Mabon, Philip; Zimmermann, Fee; Lankester, Felix; Peller, Tianna; Feistner, Anna; Todd, Angelique; Herbinger, Ilka; de Nys, Hélène M.; Muyembe-Tamfun, Jean-Jacques; Karhemere, Stomy; Wittig, Roman M.; Couacy-Hymann, Emmanuel; Grunow, Roland; Calvignac-Spencer, Sébastien; Corbett, Cindi R.; Klee, Silke R.; Leendertz, Fabian H.

    2016-01-01

    Through full genome analyses of four atypical Bacillus cereus isolates, designated B. cereus biovar anthracis, we describe a distinct clade within the B. cereus group that presents with anthrax-like disease, carrying virulence plasmids similar to those of classic Bacillus anthracis. We have isolated members of this clade from different mammals (wild chimpanzees, gorillas, an elephant and goats) in West and Central Africa (Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo). The isolates shared several phenotypic features of both B. anthracis and B. cereus, but differed amongst each other in motility and their resistance or sensitivity to penicillin. They all possessed the same mutation in the regulator gene plcR, different from the one found in B. anthracis, and in addition, carry genes which enable them to produce a second capsule composed of hyaluronic acid. Our findings show the existence of a discrete clade of the B. cereus group capable of causing anthrax-like disease, found in areas of high biodiversity, which are possibly also the origin of the worldwide distributed B. anthracis. Establishing the impact of these pathogenic bacteria on threatened wildlife species will require systematic investigation. Furthermore, the consumption of wildlife found dead by the local population and presence in a domestic animal reveal potential sources of exposure to humans. PMID:27607836

  3. Prevalence of Bacillus anthracis-Like Organisms and Bacteriophages in the Intestinal Tract of the Earthworm Eisenia fetida▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Schuch, R.; Pelzek, A. J.; Kan, S.; Fischetti, V. A.

    2010-01-01

    Stable infection of Bacillus anthracis laboratory strains with environmental bacteriophages confers survival phenotypes in soil and earthworm intestinal niches (R. Schuch and V. A. Fischetti, PLoS One 4:e6532, 2009). Here, the natural occurrence of two such B. anthracis-infective bacteriophages, Wip1 and Wip4, was examined in the intestines of Eisenia fetida earthworms as part of a 6-year longitudinal study at a Pennsylvania forest site. The Wip1 tectivirus was initially dominant before being supplanted by the Wip4 siphovirus, which was then dominant for the next 3 years. In a host range analysis of a wide-ranging group of Bacillus species and related organisms, Wip1 and Wip4 were both infective only toward B. anthracis and certain B. cereus strains. The natural host of Wip4 remained constant for 3 years and was a B. cereus strain that expressed a B. anthracis-like surface polysaccharide at septal positions on the cell surface. Next, a novel metagenomic approach was used to determine the extent to which such B. cereus- and B. anthracis-like strains are found in worms from two geographical locations. Three different enrichment strategies were used for metagenomic DNA isolation, based either on the ability of B. cereus sensu lato to form heat-resistant spores, the sensitivity of B. anthracis to the PlyG lysin, or the selective amplification of environmental phages cocultured with B. anthracis. Findings from this work indicate that B. cereus sensu lato and its phages are common inhabitants of earthworm intestines. PMID:20118353

  4. Prevalence of Bacillus anthracis-like organisms and bacteriophages in the intestinal tract of the earthworm Eisenia fetida.

    PubMed

    Schuch, R; Pelzek, A J; Kan, S; Fischetti, V A

    2010-04-01

    Stable infection of Bacillus anthracis laboratory strains with environmental bacteriophages confers survival phenotypes in soil and earthworm intestinal niches (R. Schuch and V. A. Fischetti, PLoS One 4:e6532, 2009). Here, the natural occurrence of two such B. anthracis-infective bacteriophages, Wip1 and Wip4, was examined in the intestines of Eisenia fetida earthworms as part of a 6-year longitudinal study at a Pennsylvania forest site. The Wip1 tectivirus was initially dominant before being supplanted by the Wip4 siphovirus, which was then dominant for the next 3 years. In a host range analysis of a wide-ranging group of Bacillus species and related organisms, Wip1 and Wip4 were both infective only toward B. anthracis and certain B. cereus strains. The natural host of Wip4 remained constant for 3 years and was a B. cereus strain that expressed a B. anthracis-like surface polysaccharide at septal positions on the cell surface. Next, a novel metagenomic approach was used to determine the extent to which such B. cereus- and B. anthracis-like strains are found in worms from two geographical locations. Three different enrichment strategies were used for metagenomic DNA isolation, based either on the ability of B. cereus sensu lato to form heat-resistant spores, the sensitivity of B. anthracis to the PlyG lysin, or the selective amplification of environmental phages cocultured with B. anthracis. Findings from this work indicate that B. cereus sensu lato and its phages are common inhabitants of earthworm intestines.

  5. In silico and in vitro evaluation of PCR-based assays for the detection of Bacillus anthracis chromosomal signature sequences

    PubMed Central

    Ågren, Joakim; Hamidjaja, Raditijo A; Hansen, Trine; Ruuls, Robin; Thierry, Simon; Vigre, Håkan; Janse, Ingmar; Sundström, Anders; Segerman, Bo; Koene, Miriam; Löfström, Charlotta; Van Rotterdam, Bart; Derzelle, Sylviane

    2013-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a zoonotic pathogen that is relatively common throughout the world and may cause life threatening diseases in animals and humans. There are many PCR-based assays in use for the detection of B. anthracis. While most of the developed assays rely on unique markers present on virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2, relatively few assays incorporate chromosomal DNA markers due to the close relatedness of B. anthracis to the B. cereus group strains. For the detection of chromosomal DNA, different genes have been used, such as BA813, rpoB, gyrA, plcR, S-layer, and prophage-lambda. Following a review of the literature, an in silico analysis of all signature sequences reported for identification of B. anthracis was conducted. Published primer and probe sequences were compared for specificity against 134 available Bacillus spp. genomes. Although many of the chromosomal targets evaluated are claimed to be specific to B. anthracis, cross-reactions with closely related B. cereus and B. thuringiensis strains were often observed. Of the 35 investigated PCR assays, only 4 were 100% specific for the B. anthracis chromosome. An interlaboratory ring trial among five European laboratories was then performed to evaluate six assays, including the WHO recommended procedures, using a collection of 90 Bacillus strains. Three assays performed adequately, yielding no false positive or negative results. All three assays target chromosomal markers located within the lambdaBa03 prophage region (PL3, BA5345, and BA5357). Detection limit was further assessed for one of these highly specific assays. PMID:24005110

  6. In silico and in vitro evaluation of PCR-based assays for the detection of Bacillus anthracis chromosomal signature sequences.

    PubMed

    Ågren, Joakim; Hamidjaja, Raditijo A; Hansen, Trine; Ruuls, Robin; Thierry, Simon; Vigre, Håkan; Janse, Ingmar; Sundström, Anders; Segerman, Bo; Koene, Miriam; Löfström, Charlotta; Van Rotterdam, Bart; Derzelle, Sylviane

    2013-11-15

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a zoonotic pathogen that is relatively common throughout the world and may cause life threatening diseases in animals and humans. There are many PCR-based assays in use for the detection of B. anthracis. While most of the developed assays rely on unique markers present on virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2, relatively few assays incorporate chromosomal DNA markers due to the close relatedness of B. anthracis to the B. cereus group strains. For the detection of chromosomal DNA, different genes have been used, such as BA813, rpoB, gyrA, plcR, S-layer, and prophage-lambda. Following a review of the literature, an in silico analysis of all signature sequences reported for identification of B. anthracis was conducted. Published primer and probe sequences were compared for specificity against 134 available Bacillus spp. genomes. Although many of the chromosomal targets evaluated are claimed to be specific to B. anthracis, cross-reactions with closely related B. cereus and B. thuringiensis strains were often observed. Of the 35 investigated PCR assays, only 4 were 100% specific for the B. anthracis chromosome. An interlaboratory ring trial among five European laboratories was then performed to evaluate six assays, including the WHO recommended procedures, using a collection of 90 Bacillus strains. Three assays performed adequately, yielding no false positive or negative results. All three assays target chromosomal markers located within the lambdaBa03 prophage region (PL3, BA5345, and BA5357). Detection limit was further assessed for one of these highly specific assays.

  7. Developing an integrated proteo-genomic approach for the characterisation of biomarkers for the identification of Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Misra, Raju V; Ahmod, Nadia Z; Parker, Robert; Fang, Min; Shah, Haroun; Gharbia, Saheer

    2012-02-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax, an acute and often fatal disease in humans. Due to the high genomic relatedness within the Bacillus cereus group of species it is a challenge to identify B. anthracis consistently. Alternative strategies such as proteomics coupled with mass spectrometry (MS) provide a powerful approach for biomarker discovery. However, validating and evaluating these markers, particularly for genetically homogeneous species such as B. anthracis are challenging. The objective of this study is to develop a robust biomarker discovery and validation pipeline, using proteomic methodology combined with in silico and molecular approaches, to determine a biomarker list, using B. anthracis as a model. In this exploratory study we profiled the proteome of B. anthracis and genetically related species using GeLC-Liquid Chromatography MS/MS (GeLC-LC MS/MS), identifying peptides that could be used to detect B. anthracis. Peptides were filtered to remove low quality identifications. Using comparative bioinformatic approaches, matching and searching against genomic sequence data a shortlist of peptide biomarkers was determined and validated using DNA sequencing, against a panel of closely related strains, to determine marker specificity. Further validation was performed using MS quantitation methods to assess sensitivity and specificity. A biomarker discovery pipeline was successfully developed in this study, comprising four distinct stages: proteome profiling, comparative bioinformatic validation, DNA sequencing and MS validation. Using the pipeline, 5379 peptides specific for Bacillus species and 36 peptides specific for B. anthracis were identified and validated. The 36 peptides, representing 30 proteins were derived from over 15 different clusters of orthologous group categories, including proteins involved in transcription, energy production/conservation as well as multifunctional proteins. We demonstrated that the peptide biomarkers

  8. Bacillus anthracis’ lethal toxin induces broad transcriptional responses in human peripheral monocytes

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Anthrax lethal toxin (LT), produced by the Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus anthracis, is a highly effective zinc dependent metalloprotease that cleaves the N-terminus of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinases (MAPKK or MEKs) and is known to play a role in impairing the host immune system during an inhalation anthrax infection. Here, we present the transcriptional responses of LT treated human monocytes in order to further elucidate the mechanisms of LT inhibition on the host immune system. Results Western Blot analysis demonstrated cleavage of endogenous MEK1 and MEK3 when human monocytes were treated with 500 ng/mL LT for four hours, proving their susceptibility to anthrax lethal toxin. Furthermore, staining with annexin V and propidium iodide revealed that LT treatment did not induce human peripheral monocyte apoptosis or necrosis. Using Affymetrix Human Genome U133 Plus 2.0 Arrays, we identified over 820 probe sets differentially regulated after LT treatment at the p <0.001 significance level, interrupting the normal transduction of over 60 known pathways. As expected, the MAPKK signaling pathway was most drastically affected by LT, but numerous genes outside the well-recognized pathways were also influenced by LT including the IL-18 signaling pathway, Toll-like receptor pathway and the IFN alpha signaling pathway. Multiple genes involved in actin regulation, signal transduction, transcriptional regulation and cytokine signaling were identified after treatment with anthrax LT. Conclusion We conclude LT directly targets human peripheral monocytes and causes multiple aberrant gene responses that would be expected to be associated with defects in human monocyte’s normal signaling transduction pathways and function. This study provides further insights into the mechanisms associated with the host immune system collapse during an anthrax infection, and suggests that anthrax LT may have additional downstream targets outside the well-known MAPK

  9. Identification of a Bacillus anthracis specific indel in the yeaC gene and development of a rapid pyrosequencing assay for distinguishing B. anthracis from the B. cereus group.

    PubMed

    Ahmod, Nadia Z; Gupta, Radhey S; Shah, Haroun N

    2011-12-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a potential source of bioterrorism. The existing assays for its identification lack specificity due to the close genetic relationship it exhibits to other members of the B. cereus group. Our comparative analyses of protein sequences from Bacillus species have identified a 24 amino acid deletion in a conserved region of the YeaC protein that is uniquely present in B. anthracis. PCR primers based on conserved regions flanking this indel in the Bacillus cereus group of species (viz. Bacillus cereus, B. anthracis, B. thuringiensis, B. mycoides, B. weihenstephnensis and B. pseudomycoides) specifically amplified a 282 bp fragment from all six reference B. anthracis strains, whereas a 354 bp fragment was amplified from 15 other B. cereus group of species/strains. These fragments, due to large size difference, are readily distinguished by means of agarose gel electrophoresis. In contrast to the B. cereus group, no PCR amplification was observed with any of the non-B. cereus group of species/strains. This indel was also used for developing a rapid pyrosequencing assay for the identification of B. anthracis. Its performance was evaluated by examining the presence or absence of this indel in a panel of 81 B. cereus-like isolates from various sources that included 39 B. anthracis strains. Based upon the sequence data from the pyrograms, the yeaC indel was found to be a distinctive characteristic of various B. anthracis strains tested and not found in any other species/strains from these samples. Therefore, this B. anthracis specific indel provides a robust and highly-specific chromosomal marker for the identification of this high-risk pathogen from other members of the B. cereus group independent of a strain's virulence. The pyrosequencing platform also allows for the rapid and simultaneous screening of multiple samples for the presence of this B. anthracis-specific marker.

  10. Rapid-Viability PCR Method for Detection of Live, Virulent Bacillus anthracis in Environmental Samples ▿

    PubMed Central

    Létant, Sonia E.; Murphy, Gloria A.; Alfaro, Teneile M.; Avila, Julie R.; Kane, Staci R.; Raber, Ellen; Bunt, Thomas M.; Shah, Sanjiv R.

    2011-01-01

    In the event of a biothreat agent release, hundreds of samples would need to be rapidly processed to characterize the extent of contamination and determine the efficacy of remediation activities. Current biological agent identification and viability determination methods are both labor- and time-intensive such that turnaround time for confirmed results is typically several days. In order to alleviate this issue, automated, high-throughput sample processing methods were developed in which real-time PCR analysis is conducted on samples before and after incubation. The method, referred to as rapid-viability (RV)-PCR, uses the change in cycle threshold after incubation to detect the presence of live organisms. In this article, we report a novel RV-PCR method for detection of live, virulent Bacillus anthracis, in which the incubation time was reduced from 14 h to 9 h, bringing the total turnaround time for results below 15 h. The method incorporates a magnetic bead-based DNA extraction and purification step prior to PCR analysis, as well as specific real-time PCR assays for the B. anthracis chromosome and pXO1 and pXO2 plasmids. A single laboratory verification of the optimized method applied to the detection of virulent B. anthracis in environmental samples was conducted and showed a detection level of 10 to 99 CFU/sample with both manual and automated RV-PCR methods in the presence of various challenges. Experiments exploring the relationship between the incubation time and the limit of detection suggest that the method could be further shortened by an additional 2 to 3 h for relatively clean samples. PMID:21764960

  11. Sensing and inactivation of Bacillus anthracis Sterne by polymer-bromine complexes.

    PubMed

    D'Angelo, Paola A; Bromberg, Lev; Hatton, T Alan; Wilusz, Eugene

    2016-08-01

    We report on the performance of brominated poly(N-vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP-Br), brominated poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG-Br), and brominated poly(allylamine-co-4-aminopyridine) (PAAm-APy-Br) for their ability to decontaminate Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores in solution while also allowing for the sensing of the spores. The polymers were brominated by bromine using carbon tetrachloride or potassium tribromide as solvents, with bromine loadings ranging from 1.6 to 4.2 mEq/g of polymer. B. anthracis Sterne spores were exposed to increasing concentrations of brominated polymers for 5 min, while the kinetics of the sporicidal activity was assessed. All brominated polymers demonstrated spore log-kills of 8 within 5 min of exposure at 12 mg/mL aqueous polymer concentration. Sensing of spores was accomplished by measuring the release of dipicolinic acid (DPA) from the spore using time-resolved fluorescence. Parent, non-brominated polymers did not cause any release of DPA and the spores remained viable. In contrast, spores exposed to the brominated polymers were inactivated and the release of DPA was observed within minutes of exposure. Also, this release of DPA continued for a long time after spore inactivation as in a controlled release process. The DPA release was more pronounced for spores exposed to brominated PVP and brominated PEG-8000 compared to brominated PAAm-APy and brominated PEG-400. Using time-resolved fluorescence, we detected as low as 2500 B. anthracis spores, with PEG-8000 being more sensitive to low spore numbers. Our results suggest that the brominated polymers may be used effectively as decontamination agents against bacterial spores while also providing the sensing capability.

  12. Novel Strategies for Enhanced Removal of Persistent Bacillus anthracis Surrogates and Clostridium difficile Spores from Skin

    PubMed Central

    Nerandzic, Michelle M.; Rackaityte, Elze; Jury, Lucy A.; Eckart, Kevin; Donskey, Curtis J.

    2013-01-01

    Background Removing spores of Clostridium difficile and Bacillus anthracis from skin is challenging because they are resistant to commonly used antimicrobials and soap and water washing provides only modest efficacy. We hypothesized that hygiene interventions incorporating a sporicidal electrochemically generated hypochlorous acid solution (Vashe®) would reduce the burden of spores on skin. Methods Hands of volunteers were inoculated with non-toxigenic C. difficile spores or B. anthracis spore surrogates to assess the effectiveness of Vashe solution for reducing spores on skin. Reduction in spores was compared for Vashe hygiene interventions versus soap and water (control). To determine the effectiveness of Vashe solution for removal of C. difficile spores from the skin of patients with C. difficile infection (CDI), reductions in levels of spores on skin were compared for soap and water versus Vashe bed baths. Results Spore removal from hands was enhanced with Vashe soak (>2.5 log10 reduction) versus soap and water wash or soak (~2.0 log10 reduction; P <0.05) and Vashe wipes versus alcohol wipes (P <0.01). A combined approach of soap and water wash followed by soaking in Vashe removed >3.5 log10 spores from hands (P <0.01 compared to washing or soaking alone). Bed baths using soap and water (N =26 patients) did not reduce the percentage of positive skin cultures for CDI patients (64% before versus 57% after bathing; P =0.5), whereas bathing with Vashe solution (N =21 patients) significantly reduced skin contamination (54% before versus 8% after bathing; P =0.0001). Vashe was well-tolerated with no evidence of adverse effects on skin. Conclusions Vashe was safe and effective for reducing the burden of B. anthracis surrogates and C. difficile spores on hands. Bed baths with Vashe were effective for reducing C. difficile on skin. These findings suggest a novel strategy to reduce the burden of spores on skin. PMID:23844234

  13. Purification, crystallization and preliminary structural analysis of nucleoside diphosphate kinase from Bacillus anthracis

    SciTech Connect

    Misra, Gauri; Aggarwal, Anita; Mittal, Sonia; Singh, Yogendra; Ramachandran, Ravishankar

    2007-12-01

    Nucleoside diphosphate kinase from B. anthracis has been crystallized. Preliminary crystallographic analysis shows that there is one monomer in the asymmetric unit of the crystal. Bacillus anthracis nucleoside diphosphate kinase (BaNdk) is an enzyme whose primary function is to maintain deoxynucleotide triphosphate (dNTP) pools by converting deoxynucleotide diphosphates to triphosphates using ATP as the major phosphate donor. Although the structures of Ndks from a variety of organisms have been elucidated, the enzyme from sporulating bacteria has not been structurally characterized to date. Crystals of the B. anthracis enzyme were grown using the vapour-diffusion method from a hanging drop consisting of 2 µl 10 mg ml{sup −1} protein in 50 mM Tris–HCl pH 8.0, 50 mM NaCl, 5 mM EDTA equilibrated against 500 µl reservoir solution consisting of 2.25 M ammonium formate and 0.1 M HEPES buffer pH 7.25. Diffraction data extending to 2.0 Å were collected at room temperature from a single crystal with unit-cell parameters a = b = 107.53, c = 52.3 Å. The crystals are hexagonal in shape and belong to space group P6{sub 3}22. The crystals contain a monomer in the asymmetric unit, which corresponds to a Matthews coefficient (V{sub M}) of 2.1 Å{sup 3} Da{sup −1} and a solvent content of about 36.9%.

  14. Two Putative Polysaccharide Deacetylases Are Required for Osmotic Stability and Cell Shape Maintenance in Bacillus anthracis*

    PubMed Central

    Arnaouteli, Sofia; Giastas, Petros; Andreou, Athina; Tzanodaskalaki, Mary; Aldridge, Christine; Tzartos, Socrates J.; Vollmer, Waldemar; Eliopoulos, Elias; Bouriotis, Vassilis

    2015-01-01

    Membrane-anchored lipoproteins have a broad range of functions and play key roles in several cellular processes in Gram-positive bacteria. BA0330 and BA0331 are the only lipoproteins among the 11 known or putative polysaccharide deacetylases of Bacillus anthracis. We found that both lipoproteins exhibit unique characteristics. BA0330 and BA0331 interact with peptidoglycan, and BA0330 is important for the adaptation of the bacterium to grow in the presence of a high concentration of salt, whereas BA0331 contributes to the maintenance of a uniform cell shape. They appear not to alter the peptidoglycan structure and do not contribute to lysozyme resistance. The high resolution x-ray structure of BA0330 revealed a C-terminal domain with the typical fold of a carbohydrate esterase 4 and an N-terminal domain unique for this family, composed of a two-layered (4 + 3) β-sandwich with structural similarity to fibronectin type 3 domains. Our data suggest that BA0330 and BA0331 have a structural role in stabilizing the cell wall of B. anthracis. PMID:25825488

  15. Rapid detection and identification of Bacillus anthracis in food using pyrosequencing technology.

    PubMed

    Amoako, Kingsley K; Janzen, Timothy W; Shields, Michael J; Hahn, Kristen R; Thomas, Matthew C; Goji, Noriko

    2013-08-01

    The development of advanced methodologies for the detection of Bacillus anthracis has been evolving rapidly since the release of the anthrax spores in the mail in 2001. Recent advances in detection and identification techniques could prove to be an essential component in the defense against biological attacks. Sequence based such as pyrosequencing, which has the capability to determine short DNA stretches in real-time using biotinylated PCR amplicons, has potential biodefense applications. Using markers from the virulence plasmids (pXO1 and pXO2) and chromosomal regions, we have demonstrated the power of this technology in the rapid, specific and sensitive detection of B. anthracis spores in food matrices including milk, juice, bottled water, and processed meat. The combined use of immunomagnetic separation and pyrosequencing showed positive detection when liquid foods (bottled water, milk, juice), and processed meat were experimentally inoculated with 6CFU/mL and 6CFU/g, respectively, without an enrichment step. Pyrosequencing is completed in about 60min (following PCR amplification) and yields accurate and reliable results with an added layer of confidence. The entire assay (from sample preparation to sequencing information) can be completed in about 7.5h. A typical run on food samples yielded 67-80bp reads with 94-100% identity to the expected sequence. This sequence based approach is a novel application for the detection of anthrax spores in food with potential application in foodborne bioterrorism response and biodefense involving the use of anthrax spores.

  16. Forensic application of microbiological culture analysis to identify mail intentionally contaminated with Bacillus anthracis spores.

    PubMed

    Beecher, Douglas J

    2006-08-01

    The discovery of a letter intentionally filled with dried Bacillus anthracis spores in the office of a United States senator prompted the collection and quarantine of all mail in congressional buildings. This mail was subsequently searched for additional intentionally contaminated letters. A microbiological sampling strategy was used to locate heavy contamination within the 642 separate plastic bags containing the mail. Swab sampling identified 20 bags for manual and visual examination. Air sampling within the 20 bags indicated that one bag was orders of magnitude more contaminated than all the others. This bag contained a letter addressed to Senator Patrick Leahy that had been loaded with dried B. anthracis spores. Microbiological sampling of compartmentalized batches of mail proved to be efficient and relatively safe. Efficiency was increased by inoculating culture media in the hot zone rather than transferring swab samples to a laboratory for inoculation. All mail sampling was complete within 4 days with minimal contamination of the sampling environment or personnel. However, physically handling the intentionally contaminated letter proved to be exceptionally hazardous, as did sorting of cross-contaminated mail, which resulted in generation of hazardous aerosol and extensive contamination of protective clothing. Nearly 8 x 10(6) CFU was removed from the most highly cross-contaminated piece of mail found. Tracking data indicated that this and other heavily contaminated envelopes had been processed through the same mail sorting equipment as, and within 1 s of, two intentionally contaminated letters.

  17. Two Putative Polysaccharide Deacetylases Are Required for Osmotic Stability and Cell Shape Maintenance in Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Arnaouteli, Sofia; Giastas, Petros; Andreou, Athina; Tzanodaskalaki, Mary; Aldridge, Christine; Tzartos, Socrates J; Vollmer, Waldemar; Eliopoulos, Elias; Bouriotis, Vassilis

    2015-05-22

    Membrane-anchored lipoproteins have a broad range of functions and play key roles in several cellular processes in Gram-positive bacteria. BA0330 and BA0331 are the only lipoproteins among the 11 known or putative polysaccharide deacetylases of Bacillus anthracis. We found that both lipoproteins exhibit unique characteristics. BA0330 and BA0331 interact with peptidoglycan, and BA0330 is important for the adaptation of the bacterium to grow in the presence of a high concentration of salt, whereas BA0331 contributes to the maintenance of a uniform cell shape. They appear not to alter the peptidoglycan structure and do not contribute to lysozyme resistance. The high resolution x-ray structure of BA0330 revealed a C-terminal domain with the typical fold of a carbohydrate esterase 4 and an N-terminal domain unique for this family, composed of a two-layered (4 + 3) β-sandwich with structural similarity to fibronectin type 3 domains. Our data suggest that BA0330 and BA0331 have a structural role in stabilizing the cell wall of B. anthracis.

  18. Improved proteomic analysis following trichloroacetic acid extraction of Bacillus anthracis spore proteins.

    PubMed

    Deatherage Kaiser, Brooke L; Wunschel, David S; Sydor, Michael A; Warner, Marvin G; Wahl, Karen L; Hutchison, Janine R

    2015-11-01

    Proteomic analysis of bacterial samples provides valuable information about cellular responses and functions under different environmental pressures. Analysis of cellular proteins is dependent upon efficient extraction from bacterial samples, which can be challenging with increasing complexity and refractory characteristics. While no single method can recover 100% of the bacterial proteins, selected protocols can improve overall protein isolation, peptide recovery, or enrichment for certain classes of proteins. The method presented here is technically simple, does not require specialized equipment such as a mechanical disrupter, and is effective for protein extraction of the particularly challenging sample type of Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores. The ability of Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) extraction to isolate proteins from spores and enrich for spore-specific proteins was compared to the traditional mechanical disruption method of bead beating. TCA extraction improved the total average number of proteins identified within a sample as compared to bead beating (547 vs 495, respectively). Further, TCA extraction enriched for 270 spore proteins, including those typically identified by first isolating the spore coat and exosporium layers. Bead beating enriched for 156 spore proteins more typically identified from whole spore proteome analyses. The total average number of proteins identified was equal using TCA or bead beating for easily lysed samples, such as B. anthracis vegetative cells. As with all assays, supplemental methods such as implementation of an alternative preparation method may simplify sample preparation and provide additional insight to the protein biology of the organism being studied.

  19. The Role of DNA Restriction-Modification Systems in the Biology of Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Sitaraman, Ramakrishnan

    2016-01-01

    Restriction–modification (R–M) systems are widespread among prokaryotes and, depending on their type, may be viewed as selfish genetic elements that persist as toxin–antitoxin modules, or as cellular defense systems against phage infection that confer a selective advantage to the host bacterium. Studies in the last decade have made it amply clear that these two options do not exhaust the list of possible biological roles for R–M systems. Their presence in a cell may also have a bearing on other processes such as horizontal gene transfer and gene regulation. From genome sequencing and experimental data, we know that Bacillus anthracis encodes at least three methylation-dependent (typeIV) restriction endonucleases (RE), and an orphan DNA methyltransferase. In this article, we first present an outline of our current knowledge of R–M systems in B. anthracis. Based on available DNA sequence data, and on our current understanding of the functions of similar genes in other systems, we conclude with hypotheses on the possible roles of the three REs and the orphan DNA methyltransferase. PMID:26834729

  20. Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of 2,4-Diaminopyrimidine-Based Antifolate Drugs against Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Nammalwar, Baskar; Muddala, N. Prasad; Bourne, Christina R.; Henry, Mary; Bourne, Philip C.; Bunce, Richard A.; Barrow, Esther W.; Berlin, K. Darrell; Barrow, William W.

    2014-01-01

    Due to the innate ability of bacteria to develop resistance to available antibiotics, there is a critical need to develop new agents to treat more resilient strains. As a continuation of our research in this area, we have synthesized a series of racemic 2,4-diaminopyrimidine-based drug candidates, and evaluated them against Bacillus anthracis. The structures are comprised of a 2,4-diaminopyrimidine ring, a 3,4-dimethoxybenzyl ring, and an N-acryloyl-substituted 1,2-dihydrophthalazine ring. Various changes were made at the C1 stereocenter of the dihydrophthalazine moiety in the structure, and the biological activity was assessed by measurement of the MIC and Ki values to identify the most potent drug candidate. PMID:24642909

  1. Phage-based magnetostrictive-acoustic microbiosensors for detecting bacillus anthracis spores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wan, J.; Yang, H.; Lakshmanan, R. S.; Guntupalli, R.; Huang, S.; Hu, J.; Petrenko, V. A.; Chin, B. A.

    2006-05-01

    Magnetostrictive particles (MSPs) as biosensor platform have been developed recently. The principle of MSPs as sensor platform is the same as that of other acoustic wave devices, such as quartz crystal microbalance. In this paper, the fabrication, characterization and performance of phage-based MSP biosensors for detecting Bacillus anthracis spores are reported. A commercially available magnetostrictive alloy was utilized to fabricate the sensor platform. The phage was immobilized onto the MSPs using physical adsorption technology. The following performance of the phage-based MSP sensors will be presented: sensitivity, response time, longevity, specificity and binding efficacy. The performance of the sensors at static and dynamic conditions was characterized. The experimental results are confirmed by microscopy photographs. The excellent performance including high sensitivity and rapid response is demonstrated. More importantly, it is experimentally found that the phage-based MSP sensors have a much better longevity than antibody-based sensors.

  2. Secondary cell wall polysaccharides of Bacillus anthracis are antigens that contain specific epitopes which cross-react with three pathogenic Bacillus cereus strains that caused severe disease, and other epitopes common to all the Bacillus cereus strains tested.

    PubMed

    Leoff, Christine; Saile, Elke; Rauvolfova, Jana; Quinn, Conrad P; Hoffmaster, Alex R; Zhong, Wei; Mehta, Alok S; Boons, Geert-Jan; Carlson, Russell W; Kannenberg, Elmar L

    2009-06-01

    The immunoreactivities of hydrogen fluoride (HF)-released cell wall polysaccharides (HF-PSs) from selected Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus cereus strains were compared using antisera against live and killed B. anthracis spores. These antisera bound to the HF-PSs from B. anthracis and from three clinical B. cereus isolates (G9241, 03BB87, and 03BB102) obtained from cases of severe or fatal human pneumonia but did not bind to the HF-PSs from the closely related B. cereus ATCC 10987 or from B. cereus type strain ATCC 14579. Antiserum against a keyhole limpet hemocyanin conjugate of the B. anthracis HF-PS (HF-PS-KLH) also bound to HF-PSs and cell walls from B. anthracis and the three clinical B. cereus isolates, and B. anthracis spores. These results indicate that the B. anthracis HF-PS is an antigen in both B. anthracis cell walls and spores, and that it shares cross-reactive, and possibly pathogenicity-related, epitopes with three clinical B. cereus isolates that caused severe disease. The anti-HF-PS-KLH antiserum cross-reacted with the bovine serum albumin (BSA)-conjugates of all B. anthracis and all B. cereus HF-PSs tested, including those from nonclinical B. cereus ATCC 10987 and ATCC 14579 strains. Finally, the serum of vaccinated (anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA)) Rhesus macaques that survived inhalation anthrax contained IgG antibodies that bound the B. anthracis HF-PS-KLH conjugate. These data indicate that HF-PSs from the cell walls of the bacilli tested here are (i) antigens that contain (ii) a potentially virulence-associated carbohydrate antigen motif, and (iii) another antigenic determinant that is common to B. cereus strains.

  3. Bacillus anthracis Overcomes an Amino Acid Auxotrophy by Cleaving Host Serum Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Terwilliger, Austen; Swick, Michelle C.; Pflughoeft, Kathryn J.; Pomerantsev, Andrei; Lyons, C. Rick; Koehler, Theresa M.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bacteria sustain an infection by acquiring nutrients from the host to support replication. The host sequesters these nutrients as a growth-restricting strategy, a concept termed “nutritional immunity.” Historically, the study of nutritional immunity has centered on iron uptake because many bacteria target hemoglobin, an abundant circulating protein, as an iron source. Left unresolved are the mechanisms that bacteria use to attain other nutrients from host sources, including amino acids. We employed a novel medium designed to mimic the chemical composition of human serum, and we show here that Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax disease, proteolyzes human hemoglobin to liberate essential amino acids which enhance its growth. This property can be traced to the actions of InhA1, a secreted metalloprotease, and extends to at least three other serum proteins, including serum albumin. The results suggest that we must also consider proteolysis of key host proteins to be a way for bacterial pathogens to attain essential nutrients, and we provide an experimental framework to determine the host and bacterial factors involved in this process. IMPORTANCE The mechanisms by which bacterial pathogens acquire nutrients during infection are poorly understood. Here we used a novel defined medium that approximates the chemical composition of human blood serum, blood serum mimic (BSM), to better model the nutritional environment that pathogens encounter during bacteremia. Removing essential amino acids from BSM revealed that two of the most abundant proteins in blood—hemoglobin and serum albumin—can satiate the amino acid requirement for Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax. We further demonstrate that hemoglobin is proteolyzed by the secreted protease InhA1. These studies highlight that common blood proteins can be a nutrient source for bacteria. They also challenge the historical view that hemoglobin is solely an iron source for

  4. Decontamination options for Bacillus anthracis-contaminated drinking water determined from spore surrogate studies.

    PubMed

    Raber, Ellen; Burklund, Alison

    2010-10-01

    Five parameters were evaluated with surrogates of Bacillus anthracis spores to determine effective decontamination alternatives for use in a contaminated drinking water supply. The parameters were as follows: (i) type of Bacillus spore surrogate (B. thuringiensis or B. atrophaeus), (ii) spore concentration in suspension (10(2) and 10(6) spores/ml), (iii) chemical characteristics of the decontaminant (sodium dichloro-S-triazinetrione dihydrate [Dichlor], hydrogen peroxide, potassium peroxymonosulfate [Oxone], sodium hypochlorite, and VirkonS), (iv) decontaminant concentration (0.01% to 5%), and (v) exposure time to decontaminant (10 min to 1 h). Results from 138 suspension tests with appropriate controls are reported. Hydrogen peroxide at a concentration of 5% and Dichlor or sodium hypochlorite at a concentration of 2% were highly effective at spore inactivation regardless of spore type tested, spore exposure time, or spore concentration evaluated. This is the first reported study of Dichlor as an effective decontaminant for B. anthracis spore surrogates. Dichlor's desirable characteristics of high oxidation potential, high level of free chlorine, and a more neutral pH than that of other oxidizers evaluated appear to make it an excellent alternative. All three oxidizers were effective against B. atrophaeus spores in meeting the EPA biocide standard of greater than a 6-log kill after a 10-min exposure time and at lower concentrations than typically reported for biocide use. Solutions of 5% VirkonS and Oxone were less effective as decontaminants than other options evaluated in this study and did not meet the EPA's efficacy standard for a biocide, although they were found to be as effective for concentrations of 10(2) spores/ml. Differences in methods and procedures reported by other investigators make quantitative comparisons among studies difficult.

  5. CXCL10 Acts as a Bifunctional Antimicrobial Molecule against Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Margulieux, Katie R.; Fox, Jay W.; Nakamoto, Robert K.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bacillus anthracis is killed by the interferon-inducible, ELR(−) CXC chemokine CXCL10. Previous studies showed that disruption of the gene encoding FtsX, a conserved membrane component of the ATP-binding cassette transporter-like complex FtsE/X, resulted in resistance to CXCL10. FtsX exhibits some sequence similarity to the mammalian CXCL10 receptor, CXCR3, suggesting that the CXCL10 N-terminal region that interacts with CXCR3 may also interact with FtsX. A C-terminal truncated CXCL10 was tested to determine if the FtsX-dependent antimicrobial activity is associated with the CXCR3-interacting N terminus. The truncated CXCL10 exhibited antimicrobial activity against the B. anthracis parent strain but not the ΔftsX mutant, which supports a key role for the CXCL10 N terminus. Mutations in FtsE, the conserved ATP-binding protein of the FtsE/X complex, resulted in resistance to both CXCL10 and truncated CXCL10, indicating that both FtsX and FtsE are important. Higher concentrations of CXCL10 overcame the resistance of the ΔftsX mutant to CXCL10, suggesting an FtsX-independent killing mechanism, likely involving its C-terminal α-helix, which resembles a cationic antimicrobial peptide. Membrane depolarization studies revealed that CXCL10 disrupted membranes of the B. anthracis parent strain and the ΔftsX mutant, but only the parent strain underwent depolarization with truncated CXCL10. These findings suggest that CXCL10 is a bifunctional molecule that kills B. anthracis by two mechanisms. FtsE/X-dependent killing is mediated through an N-terminal portion of CXCL10 and is not reliant upon the C-terminal α-helix. The FtsE/X-independent mechanism involves membrane depolarization by CXCL10, likely because of its α-helix. These findings present a new paradigm for understanding mechanisms by which CXCL10 and related chemokines kill bacteria. PMID:27165799

  6. Immunization with a Recombinant, Pseudomonas fluorescens-Expressed, Mutant Form of Bacillus anthracis-Derived Protective Antigen Protects Rabbits from Anthrax Infection.

    PubMed

    Reed, Matthew D; Wilder, Julie A; Mega, William M; Hutt, Julie A; Kuehl, Philip J; Valderas, Michelle W; Chew, Lawrence L; Liang, Bertrand C; Squires, Charles H

    2015-01-01

    Protective antigen (PA), one of the components of the anthrax toxin, is the major component of human anthrax vaccine (Biothrax). Human anthrax vaccines approved in the United States and Europe consist of an alum-adsorbed or precipitated (respectively) supernatant material derived from cultures of toxigenic, non-encapsulated strains of Bacillus anthracis. Approved vaccination schedules in humans with either of these vaccines requires several booster shots and occasionally causes adverse injection site reactions. Mutant derivatives of the protective antigen that will not form the anthrax toxins have been described. We have cloned and expressed both mutant (PA SNKE167-ΔFF-315-E308D) and native PA molecules recombinantly and purified them. In this study, both the mutant and native PA molecules, formulated with alum (Alhydrogel), elicited high titers of anthrax toxin neutralizing anti-PA antibodies in New Zealand White rabbits. Both mutant and native PA vaccine preparations protected rabbits from lethal, aerosolized, B. anthracis spore challenge subsequent to two immunizations at doses of less than 1 μg.

  7. Structure of the Bacillus anthracis Sortase A Enzyme Bound to Its Sorting Signal: A FLEXIBLE AMINO-TERMINAL APPENDAGE MODULATES SUBSTRATE ACCESS.

    PubMed

    Chan, Albert H; Yi, Sung Wook; Terwilliger, Austen L; Maresso, Anthony W; Jung, Michael E; Clubb, Robert T

    2015-10-16

    The endospore forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis causes lethal anthrax disease in humans and animals. The ability of this pathogen to replicate within macrophages is dependent upon the display of bacterial surface proteins attached to the cell wall by the B. anthracis Sortase A ((Ba)SrtA) enzyme. Previously, we discovered that the class A (Ba)SrtA sortase contains a unique N-terminal appendage that wraps around the body of the protein to contact the active site of the enzyme. To gain insight into its function, we determined the NMR structure of (Ba)SrtA bound to a LPXTG sorting signal analog. The structure, combined with dynamics, kinetics, and whole cell protein display data suggest that the N terminus modulates substrate access to the enzyme. We propose that it may increase the efficiency of protein display by reducing the unproductive hydrolytic cleavage of enzyme-protein covalent intermediates that form during the cell wall anchoring reaction. Notably, a key active site loop (β7/β8 loop) undergoes a disordered to ordered transition upon binding the sorting signal, potentially facilitating recognition of lipid II.

  8. Transcriptomic and phenotypic analysis of paralogous spx gene function in Bacillus anthracis Sterne.

    PubMed

    Barendt, Skye; Lee, Hyunwoo; Birch, Cierra; Nakano, Michiko M; Jones, Marcus; Zuber, Peter

    2013-08-01

    Spx of Bacillus subtilis is a redox-sensitive protein, which, under disulfide stress, interacts with RNA polymerase to activate genes required for maintaining thiol homeostasis. Spx orthologs are highly conserved among low %GC Gram-positive bacteria, and often exist in multiple paralogous forms. In this study, we used B. anthracis Sterne, which harbors two paralogous spx genes, spxA1 and spxA2, to examine the phenotypes of spx null mutations and to identify the genes regulated by each Spx paralog. Cells devoid of spxA1 were sensitive to diamide and hydrogen peroxide, while the spxA1 spoxA2 double mutant was hypersensitive to the thiol-specific oxidant, diamide. Bacillus anthracis Sterne strains expressing spxA1DD or spxA2DD alleles encoding protease-resistant products were used in microarray and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) analyses in order to uncover genes under SpxA1, SpxA2, or SpxA1/SpxA2 control. Comparison of transcriptomes identified many genes that were upregulated when either SpxA1DD or SpxA2DD was produced, but several genes were uncovered whose transcript levels increased in only one of the two SpxADD-expression strains, suggesting that each Spx paralog governs a unique regulon. Among genes that were upregulated were those encoding orthologs of proteins that are specifically involved in maintaining intracellular thiol homeostasis or alleviating oxidative stress. Some of these genes have important roles in B. anthracis pathogenesis, and a large number of upregulated hypothetical genes have no homology outside of the B. cereus/thuringiensis group. Microarray and RT-qPCR analyses also unveiled a regulatory link that exists between the two spx paralogous genes. The data indicate that spxA1 and spxA2 are transcriptional regulators involved in relieving disulfide stress but also control a set of genes whose products function in other cellular processes.

  9. The Poly-γ-d-Glutamic Acid Capsule Surrogate of the Bacillus anthracis Capsule Is a Novel Toll-Like Receptor 2 Agonist.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Jun Ho; Lee, Hae-Ri; Cho, Min-Hee; Park, Ok-Kyu; Park, Jungchan; Rhie, Gi-eun

    2015-10-01

    Bacillus anthracis is a pathogenic Gram-positive bacterium that causes a highly lethal infectious disease, anthrax. The poly-γ-d-glutamic acid (PGA) capsule is one of the major virulence factors of B. anthracis, along with exotoxins. PGA enables B. anthracis to escape phagocytosis and immune surveillance. Our previous study showed that PGA activates the human macrophage cell line THP-1 and human dendritic cells, resulting in the production of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β (IL-1β) (M. H. Cho et al., Infect Immun 78:387-392, 2010, http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/IAI.00956-09). Here, we investigated PGA-induced cytokine responses and related signaling pathways in mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) using Bacillus licheniformis PGA as a surrogate for B. anthracis PGA. Upon exposure to PGA, BMDMs produced proinflammatory mediators, including tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), IL-6, IL-12p40, and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1), in a concentration-dependent manner. PGA stimulated Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) but not TLR4 in Chinese hamster ovary cells expressing either TLR2 or TLR4. The ability of PGA to induce TNF-α and IL-6 was retained in TLR4(-/-) but not TLR2(-/-) BMDMs. Blocking experiments with specific neutralizing antibodies for TLR1, TLR6, and CD14 showed that TLR6 and CD14 also were necessary for PGA-induced inflammatory responses. Furthermore, PGA enhanced activation of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), which are responsible for expression of proinflammatory cytokines. Additionally, PGA-induced TNF-α production was abrogated not only in MyD88(-/-) BMDMs but also in BMDMs pretreated with inhibitors of MAP kinases and NF-κB. These results suggest that immune responses induced by PGA occur via TLR2, TLR6, CD14, and MyD88 through activation of MAP kinase and NF-κB pathways.

  10. Viability of Bacillus licheniformis and Bacillus thuringiensis Spores as a Model for Predicting the Fate of Bacillus anthracis Spores during Composting of Dead Livestock▿

    PubMed Central

    Reuter, Tim; Alexander, Trevor W.; McAllister, Tim A.

    2011-01-01

    Safe disposal of dead livestock and contaminated manure is essential for the effective control of infectious disease outbreaks. Composting has been shown to be an effective method of disposal, but no information exists on its ability to contain diseases caused by spore-forming bacteria, such as Bacillus anthracis. Duplicate composters (east and west), each containing 16 dead cattle, were constructed (final capacity, 85,000 kg). Spores (107 CFU/g manure) of Bacillus licheniformis and Bacillus thuringiensis were mixed with autoclaved feedlot manure and placed in either sterile vials or porous nylon bags. Compost temperatures in the west composter were slightly higher than in the east composter. Viable B. thuringiensis spores were reduced to ≤102 CFU in all samples after 112 days but were isolated from bags (west composter) at ≤102 and at 105 CFU (east composter) after 230 days. In contrast, B. licheniformis was at ≤102 CFU in vials (west composter) after 112 days but remained at 106 CFU after 230 days (east composter). Similarly, B. licheniformis in bags was not detected after 230 days in the west composter but remained at 107 CFU in the east composter. Our study suggests that spore viability was reduced in the west composter by exposure to compost and elevated temperatures over time. Different temperature profiles may explain why spores remained viable in the east structure but were largely rendered nonviable in the west structure. Under practical conditions, variation in composting microclimates may preclude the complete inactivation of Bacillus spores, including those of B. anthracis, during composting. However, composting may still have merit as a method of biocontainment, reducing and diluting the transfer of infectious spores into the environment. PMID:21193674

  11. Bacillus anthracis Virulence in Guinea Pigs Vaccinated with Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed Is Linked to Plasmid Quantities and Clonality

    PubMed Central

    Coker, Pamala R.; Smith, Kimothy L.; Fellows, Patricia F.; Rybachuck, Galena; Kousoulas, Konstantin G.; Hugh-Jones, Martin E.

    2003-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is a bacterial pathogen of great importance, both historically and in the present. This study presents data collected from several investigations and indicates that B. anthracis virulence is associated with the clonality and virulence of plasmids pXO1 and pXO2. Guinea pigs vaccinated with Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed were challenged with 20 B. anthracis isolates representative of worldwide genetic diversity. These same isolates were characterized with respect to plasmid copy number by using a novel method of quantitative PCR developed for rapid and efficient detection of B. anthracis from environmental samples. We found that the copy numbers for both pXO1 and pXO2 differed from those in previously published reports. By combining the data on survival, plasmid copy numbers, and clonality, we developed a model predicting virulence. This model was validated by using a randomly chosen set of 12 additional B. anthracis isolates. Results from this study will be helpful in future efforts to elucidate the basis for variation in the virulence of this important pathogen. PMID:12624053

  12. Cross-contamination of clinical specimens with Bacillus anthracis during a laboratory proficiency test--Idaho, 2006.

    PubMed

    2008-09-12

    On July 18, 2006, the Utah Department of Health notified epidemiologists at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare that Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent for anthrax, had been isolated from a patient. On the same day, the Idaho epidemiologists were notified by the Idaho Bureau of Laboratories of a specimen from a second patient received for anthrax testing. The two reports resulted briefly in alerts to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and precautionary treatment of one of the patients for anthrax. Subsequent investigation revealed that, during July 2006, the Idaho Bureau of Laboratories had been conducting a sentinel laboratory proficiency testing exercise among Idaho's hospital laboratories. The exercise included specimens with the Sterne strain of B. anthracis, a nonvirulent strain. Subsequent laboratory testing of the two patient isolates detected the Sterne strain of B. anthracis; neither patient had signs or symptoms consistent with B. anthracis infection. Further investigation revealed that the Idaho hospital laboratories that tested the two specimens had been conducting the laboratory proficiency testing exercise simultaneously, but the Idaho epidemiologists were not aware of the exercise. The two specimens had become cross-contaminated with B. anthracis in the laboratories. The findings in this report underscore the need to follow proper laboratory practices to minimize cross-contamination. In addition, to guard against false reports of anthrax, public health epidemiologists who monitor reportable diseases should be notified of upcoming proficiency testing of high-priority bioterrorism agents.

  13. N-Acetylglucosamine Deacetylases Modulate the Anchoring of the Gamma-Glutamyl Capsule to the Cell Wall of Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Candela, Thomas; Balomenou, Stavroula; Aucher, Willy; Bouriotis, Vassilis; Simore, Jean-Pierre; Fouet, Agnes

    2014-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis has a complex cell wall structure composed of a peptidoglycan (PG) layer to which major structures are anchored such as a neutral polysaccharide, an S-layer, and a poly-γ-D-glutamate (PDGA) capsule. Many of these structures have central roles in the biology of B. anthracis, particularly, in virulence. However, little attention has been devoted to structurally study the PG and how it is modified in the presence of these secondary cell wall components. We present here the fine structure of the PG of the encapsulated RPG1 strain harboring both pXO1 and pXO2 virulence plasmids. We show that B. anthracis has a high degree of cross-linking and its GlcNAc residues are highly modified by N-deacetylation. The PG composition is not dependent on the presence of either LPXTG proteins or the capsule. Using NMR analysis of the PG-PDGA complex, we provide evidence for the anchoring of the PDGA to the glucosamine residues. We show that anchoring of the PDGA capsule is impaired in two PG N-deacetylase mutants, Ba1961 and Ba3679. Thus, these multiple N-deactylase activities would constitute excellent drug targets in B. anthracis by simultaneously affecting its resistance to lysozyme and to phagocytosis impairing B. anthracis survival in the host. PMID:24833281

  14. Development of a Rapid and Sensitive Immunoassay for Detection and Subsequent Recovery of Bacillus anthracis Spores in Environmental Samples

    PubMed Central

    Hang, Jun; Sundaram, Appavu K.; Zhu, Peixuan; Shelton, Daniel R.; Karns, Jeffrey S.; Martin, Phyllis A W.; Li, Shuhong; Amstutz, Platte; Tang, Cha-Mei

    2008-01-01

    Bacillusanthracis is considered a major threat as an agent of bioterrorism. B. anthracis spores are readily dispersed as aerosols, are very persistent, and are resistant to normal disinfection treatments. Immunoassays have been developed to rapidly detect B. anthracis spores at high concentrations. However, detection of B. anthracis spores at lower concentrations is problematic due to the fact that closely related Bacillus species (e.g., B. thuringiensis) can cross react with anti-B. anthracis antibodies, resulting in false positive detections. Subsequent polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis is required to differentiate virulent strains. We report here on a protocol for the rapid, sensitive detection of B. anthracis spore using the Integrating Waveguide Biosensor followed by a method for the rapid release and germination of immunocaptured spores. A detection limit of ca. 103 spores was achieved by incubating spores simultaneously with capture and detection antibodies (‘liquid-phase” assay) prior to capture on capillary tubes/waveguides. Subsequent incubation with BHI broth directly in capillary tubes allowed for rapid germination, outgrowth, and release of spores, resulting in vegetative cells for PCR analysis. PMID:18395279

  15. Late-Exponential Gene Expression in codY-Deficient Bacillus anthracis in a Host-Like Environment.

    PubMed

    Kim, Se Kye; Jung, Kyoung Hwa; Yoon, Sung Nyo; Kim, Yun Ki; Chai, Young Gyu

    2016-11-01

    CodY is a pleiotropic regulator commonly found in Gram-positive bacteria and regulates various biological processes during the stringent response in a nutrient-limiting environment. CodY also participates in virulence factor expression in many low G+C Gram-positive pathogens, as observed in Bacillus anthracis. However, the mechanism by which B. anthracis CodY regulates metabolism and virulence factors in response to environmental changes is unclear. Here, we attempted to identify the link between CodY and B. anthracis regulation with codY-deficient and codY-overexpressing mutants using high-throughput transcriptional analysis. Growth pattern analyses of codY mutants in both rich and minimal media showed defects in early cell proliferation, with opposite patterns in the early stationary phase: CodY overexpression prolonged bacterial growth, whereas deletion inhibited growth. RNA sequencing of codY-deficient B. anthracis showed both positive and negative changes in the gene expression of proteases and virulence factors as well as genes related to stringent response-related metabolism and biosynthetic processing. We also found that changes in codY expression could alter virulence gene expression of B. anthracis, suggesting modes of regulation in its virulence in a CodY concentration-dependent manner. Collectively, we conclude from these results that CodY can both positively and negatively regulate its regulon via direct and/or indirect approaches, and that its mode of regulation may be concentration dependent.

  16. N-acetylglucosamine deacetylases modulate the anchoring of the gamma-glutamyl capsule to the cell wall of Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Candela, Thomas; Balomenou, Stavroula; Aucher, Willy; Bouriotis, Vassilis; Simore, Jean-Pierre; Fouet, Agnes; Boneca, Ivo G

    2014-06-01

    Bacillus anthracis has a complex cell wall structure composed of a peptidoglycan (PG) layer to which major structures are anchored such as a neutral polysaccharide, an S-layer, and a poly-γ-D-glutamate (PDGA) capsule. Many of these structures have central roles in the biology of B. anthracis, particularly, in virulence. However, little attention has been devoted to structurally study the PG and how it is modified in the presence of these secondary cell wall components. We present here the fine structure of the PG of the encapsulated RPG1 strain harboring both pXO1 and pXO2 virulence plasmids. We show that B. anthracis has a high degree of cross-linking and its GlcNAc residues are highly modified by N-deacetylation. The PG composition is not dependent on the presence of either LPXTG proteins or the capsule. Using NMR analysis of the PG-PDGA complex, we provide evidence for the anchoring of the PDGA to the glucosamine residues. We show that anchoring of the PDGA capsule is impaired in two PG N-deacetylase mutants, Ba1961 and Ba3679. Thus, these multiple N-deactylase activities would constitute excellent drug targets in B. anthracis by simultaneously affecting its resistance to lysozyme and to phagocytosis impairing B. anthracis survival in the host.

  17. LytR-CpsA-Psr enzymes as determinants of Bacillus anthracis secondary cell wall polysaccharide assembly.

    PubMed

    Liszewski Zilla, Megan; Chan, Yvonne G Y; Lunderberg, Justin Mark; Schneewind, Olaf; Missiakas, Dominique

    2015-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, replicates as chains of vegetative cells by regulating the separation of septal peptidoglycan. Surface (S)-layer proteins and associated proteins (BSLs) function as chain length determinants and bind to the secondary cell wall polysaccharide (SCWP). In this study, we identified the B. anthracis lcpD mutant, which displays increased chain length and S-layer assembly defects due to diminished SCWP attachment to peptidoglycan. In contrast, the B. anthracis lcpB3 variant displayed reduced cell size and chain length, which could be attributed to increased deposition of BSLs. In other bacteria, LytR-CpsA-Psr (LCP) proteins attach wall teichoic acid (WTA) and polysaccharide capsule to peptidoglycan. B. anthracis does not synthesize these polymers, yet its genome encodes six LCP homologues, which, when expressed in S. aureus, promote WTA attachment. We propose a model whereby B. anthracis LCPs promote attachment of SCWP precursors to discrete locations in the peptidoglycan, enabling BSL assembly and regulated separation of septal peptidoglycan.

  18. Using ultrafiltration to concentrate and detect Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus atrophaeus subspecies globigii, and Cryptosporidium parvum in 100-liter water samples.

    PubMed

    Lindquist, H D Alan; Harris, Stephanie; Lucas, Sasha; Hartzel, Margaret; Riner, Diana; Rochele, Paul; Deleon, Ricardo

    2007-09-01

    A strategy that uses ultrafiltration (UF) to concentrate microorganisms from water samples has been developed and tested. This strategy was tested using 100-liter water samples with volume reduction achieved through ultrafiltration and recycling the microorganisms of interest through a retentate vessel, rather than returning them to the sample container, where they might pose an incremental hazard to sample takers or the environment. Three protocols based on this strategy were tested. The first protocol entailed sample volume reduction and collection of the final reduced sample. The second and third protocols both incorporated pretreatment of the filter and fluid lines with a solution to prevent microorganisms from adhering. In the second protocol, the filter was back flushed with a surfactant solution to recover microorganisms. The third protocol used recirculation of a surfactant solution to recover microorganisms. Tests were undertaken using 100-liter water samples spiked with approximately 100 or 1000 microorganisms (1 or 10 per liter). Test microorganisms included Bacillus anthracis Sterne strain, Bacillus atrophaeus subsp. globigii, and Cryptosporidium parvum. The first protocol had significantly lower recovery than the other two. Back flushing resulted in higher recovery than forward flushing, but the difference was not statistically significant.

  19. Reagent-free and portable detection of Bacillus anthracis spores using a microfluidic incubator and smartphone microscope.

    PubMed

    Hutchison, Janine R; Erikson, Rebecca L; Sheen, Allison M; Ozanich, Richard M; Kelly, Ryan T

    2015-09-21

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax and can be contracted by humans and herbivorous mammals by inhalation, ingestion, or cutaneous exposure to bacterial spores. Due to its stability and disease potential, B. anthracis is a recognized biothreat agent and robust detection and viability methods are needed to identify spores from unknown samples. Here we report the use of smartphone-based microscopy (SPM) in combination with a simple microfluidic incubation device (MID) to detect 50 to 5000 B. anthracis Sterne spores in 3 to 5 hours. This technique relies on optical monitoring of the conversion of the ∼1 μm spores to the filamentous vegetative cells that range from tens to hundreds of micrometers in length. This distinguishing filament formation is unique to B. anthracis as compared to other members of the Bacillus cereus group. A unique feature of this approach is that the sample integrity is maintained, and the vegetative biomass can be removed from the chip for secondary molecular analysis such as PCR. Compared with existing chip-based and rapid viability PCR methods, this new approach reduces assay time by almost half, and is highly sensitive, specific, and cost effective.

  20. Rapid discrimination of Bacillus anthracis from other members of the B. cereus group by mass and sequence of "intact" small acid soluble proteins (SASPs) using mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Castanha, Elisangela R; Fox, Alvin; Fox, Karen F

    2006-11-01

    The intentional contamination of buildings, e.g. anthrax in the bioterrorism attacks of 2001, demonstrated that the population can be affected rapidly and lethally if the appropriate treatment is not provided at the right time. Molecular approaches, primarily involving PCR, have proved useful in characterizing "white powders" used in these attacks as well as isolated organisms. However there is a need for a simpler approach, which does not involve temperamental reagents (e.g. enzymes and primers) which could potentially be used by first responders. It is demonstrated here that small acid-soluble proteins (SASPs), located in the core region of Bacillus spores, are reliable biomarkers for identification. The general strategy used in this study was to measure the molecular weight (MW) of an intact SASP by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI MS) followed by generation of sequence-specific information by ESI MS/MS (tandem mass spectrometry). A prominent SASP of mass 6679 was present in all B. anthracis strains. For B. cereus and B. thuringiensis strains the SASP had a mass of 6712. This represents a two amino acid substitution (serine to alanine; phenylalanine to tyrosine). The only SASP present in the B. anthracis genome consistent with this sequence is encoded by the gene ssB. This protein has a predicted mass of 6810, presumably post-translational processing leads to loss of methionine (mass 131) generating a SASP of mass 6679. This study showed that intact SASPs can be used as a biomarker for identification of B. anthracis; the protocol is simple and rapid. Extrapolation of this approach might prove important for real-time biodetection.

  1. Multiple Asparagine Deamidation of Bacillus anthracis Protective Antigen Causes Charge Isoforms Whose Complexity Correlates with Reduced Biological Activity

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-01-01

    Report Documentation Page Form ApprovedOMB No. 0704-0188 Public reporting burden for the collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour...subject to a penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information if it does not display a currently valid OMB control number. 1 . REPORT DATE 1 ...FEB 2007 2. REPORT TYPE N/A 3. DATES COVERED - 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Multiple asparagine deamidation of Bacillus anthracis protective

  2. Antimicrobial Effects of Gold/Copper Sulphide (Au/Cus) Core/Shell Nanoparticles on Bacillus Anthracis Spores and Cells

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-01-01

    nanocomposites as efficient photothermal transducer agents for cancer treatment. Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology , 2012. 8(6): p. 883-890. 22...Sloan, M. and S. Farnsworth, Testing and Evaluation of Nanoparticle Efficacy on E. Coli, and Bacillus Anthracis Spores. 2006. 46. Dykman, L. and N...AND GOLD NANOPARTICLES FOR APPLICATION IN CANCER THERAPY, in MATERIALS SCIENCE & ENGINEERING. 2011, The University of Texas at Arlington: Arlington

  3. Comparative Vaccine Efficacy of Different Isoforms of Recombinant Protective Antigen Against Bacillus anthracis Spore Challenge in Rabbits

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-02-06

    bovine serum, 4 mM glutamine and 00 U of Penicillin G and 100 g of streptomycin per ml D-MEM complete) supplemented with 25 mM HEPES. ne -hundred...contains small, but varying quantities of other bacterial com- ponents. A second-generation vaccine currently undergoing clinical trials is a purified...Friedlander AM. Comparative safety and efficacy against Bacillus anthracis of protective antigen and live vaccines in mice. Microb Pathog 1988;5(2):127–39

  4. Thermal inactivation of Bacillus anthracis surrogate spores in a bench-scale enclosed landfill gas flare.

    PubMed

    Tufts, Jenia A McBrian; Rosati, Jacky A

    2012-02-01

    A bench-scale landfill flare system was designed and built to test the potential for landfilled biological spores that migrate from the waste into the landfill gas to pass through the flare and exit into the environment as viable. The residence times and temperatures of the flare were characterized and compared to full-scale systems. Geobacillus stearothermophilus and Bacillus atrophaeus, nonpathogenic spores that may serve as surrogates for Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent for anthrax, were investigated to determine whether these organisms would be inactivated or remain viable after passing through a simulated landfill flare. High concentration spore solutions were aerosolized, dried, and sent through a bench-scale system to simulate the fate of biological weapon (BW)-grade spores in a landfill gas flare. Sampling was conducted downstream of the flare using a bioaerosol collection device containing sterile white mineral oil. The samples were cultured, incubated for seven days, and assessed for viability. Results showed that the bench-scale system exhibited good similarity to the real-world conditions of an enclosed standard combustor flare stack with a single orifice, forced-draft diffusion burner. All spores of G. stearothermophilus and B. atrophaeus were inactivated in the flare, indicating that spores that become re-entrained in landfill gas may not escape the landfill as viable, apparently becoming completely inactivated as they exit through a landfill flare.

  5. Utilization of the rpoB Gene as a Specific Chromosomal Marker for Real-Time PCR Detection of Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Qi, Yuan; Patra, Guy; Liang, Xudong; Williams, Leanne E.; Rose, Sharon; Redkar, Rajendra J.; DelVecchio, Vito G.

    2001-01-01

    The potential use of Bacillus anthracis as a weapon of mass destruction poses a threat to humans, domesticated animals, and wildlife and necessitates the need for a rapid and highly specific detection assay. We have developed a real-time PCR-based assay for the specific detection of B. anthracis by taking advantage of the unique nucleotide sequence of the B. anthracis rpoB gene. Variable region 1 of the rpoB gene was sequenced from 36 Bacillus strains, including 16 B. anthracis strains and 20 other related bacilli, and four nucleotides specific for B. anthracis were identified. PCR primers were selected so that two B. anthracis-specific nucleotides were at their 3′ ends, whereas the remaining bases were specific to the probe region. This format permitted the PCR reactions to be performed on a LightCycler via fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). The assay was found to be specific for 144 B. anthracis strains from different geographical locations and did not cross-react with other related bacilli (175 strains), with the exception of one strain. The PCR assay can be performed on isolated DNA as well as crude vegetative cell lysates in less than 1 h. Therefore, the rpoB-FRET assay could be used as a new chromosomal marker for rapid detection of B. anthracis. PMID:11472954

  6. Drug interactions with Bacillus anthracis topoisomerase IV: biochemical basis for quinolone action and resistance.

    PubMed

    Aldred, Katie J; McPherson, Sylvia A; Wang, Pengfei; Kerns, Robert J; Graves, David E; Turnbough, Charles L; Osheroff, Neil

    2012-01-10

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is considered a serious threat as a bioweapon. The drugs most commonly used to treat anthrax are quinolones, which act by increasing the levels of DNA cleavage mediated by topoisomerase IV and gyrase. Quinolone resistance most often is associated with specific serine mutations in these enzymes. Therefore, to determine the basis for quinolone action and resistance, we characterized wild-type B. anthracis topoisomerase IV, the GrlA(S81F) and GrlA(S81Y) quinolone-resistant mutants, and the effects of quinolones and a related quinazolinedione on these enzymes. Ser81 is believed to anchor a water-Mg(2+) bridge that coordinates quinolones to the enzyme through the C3/C4 keto acid. Consistent with this hypothesized bridge, ciprofloxacin required increased Mg(2+) concentrations to support DNA cleavage by GrlA(S81F) topoisomerase IV. The three enzymes displayed similar catalytic activities in the absence of drugs. However, the resistance mutations decreased the affinity of topoisomerase IV for ciprofloxacin and other quinolones, diminished quinolone-induced inhibition of DNA religation, and reduced the stability of the enzyme-quinolone-DNA ternary complex. Wild-type DNA cleavage levels were generated by mutant enzymes at high quinolone concentrations, suggesting that increased drug potency could overcome resistance. 8-Methyl-quinazoline-2,4-dione, which lacks the quinolone keto acid (and presumably does not require the water-Mg(2+) bridge to mediate protein interactions), was more potent than quinolones against wild-type topoisomerase IV and was equally efficacious. Moreover, it maintained high potency and efficacy against the mutant enzymes, effectively inhibited DNA religation, and formed stable ternary complexes. Our findings provide an underlying biochemical basis for the ability of quinazolinediones to overcome clinically relevant quinolone resistance mutations in bacterial type II topoisomerases.

  7. Recovery efficiency and limit of detection of aerosolized Bacillus anthracis Sterne from environmental surface samples.

    PubMed

    Estill, Cheryl Fairfield; Baron, Paul A; Beard, Jeremy K; Hein, Misty J; Larsen, Lloyd D; Rose, Laura; Schaefer, Frank W; Noble-Wang, Judith; Hodges, Lisa; Lindquist, H D Alan; Deye, Gregory J; Arduino, Matthew J

    2009-07-01

    After the 2001 anthrax incidents, surface sampling techniques for biological agents were found to be inadequately validated, especially at low surface loadings. We aerosolized Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores within a chamber to achieve very low surface loading (ca. 3, 30, and 200 CFU per 100 cm(2)). Steel and carpet coupons seeded in the chamber were sampled with swab (103 cm(2)) or wipe or vacuum (929 cm(2)) surface sampling methods and analyzed at three laboratories. Agar settle plates (60 cm(2)) were the reference for determining recovery efficiency (RE). The minimum estimated surface concentrations to achieve a 95% response rate based on probit regression were 190, 15, and 44 CFU/100 cm(2) for sampling steel surfaces and 40, 9.2, and 28 CFU/100 cm(2) for sampling carpet surfaces with swab, wipe, and vacuum methods, respectively; however, these results should be cautiously interpreted because of high observed variability. Mean REs at the highest surface loading were 5.0%, 18%, and 3.7% on steel and 12%, 23%, and 4.7% on carpet for the swab, wipe, and vacuum methods, respectively. Precision (coefficient of variation) was poor at the lower surface concentrations but improved with increasing surface concentration. The best precision was obtained with wipe samples on carpet, achieving 38% at the highest surface concentration. The wipe sampling method detected B. anthracis at lower estimated surface concentrations and had higher RE and better precision than the other methods. These results may guide investigators to more meaningfully conduct environmental sampling, quantify contamination levels, and conduct risk assessment for humans.

  8. Mechanism of Inhibition of Bacillus anthracis Spore Outgrowth by the Lantibiotic Nisin

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    The lantibiotic nisin inhibits growth of vegetative Gram-positive bacteria by binding to lipid II, which disrupts cell wall biosynthesis and facilitates pore formation. Nisin also inhibits the outgrowth of bacterial spores, including spores of Bacillus anthracis, whose structural and biochemical properties are fundamentally different from those of vegetative bacteria. The molecular basis of nisin inhibition of spore outgrowth had not been identified, as previous studies suggested that inhibition of spore outgrowth involved either covalent binding to a spore target or loss of membrane integrity; disruption of cell wall biosynthesis via binding to lipid II had not been investigated. To provide insights into the latter possibility, the effects of nisin were compared with those of vancomycin, another lipid II binding antibiotic that inhibits cell wall biosynthesis but does not form pores. Nisin and vancomycin both inhibited the replication of vegetative cells, but only nisin inhibited the transition from a germinated spore to a vegetative cell. Moreover, vancomycin prevented nisin’s activity in competition studies, suggesting that the nisin-lipid II interaction is important for inhibition of spore outgrowth. In experiments with fluorescently labeled nisin, no evidence was found for a covalent mechanism for inhibition of spore outgrowth. Interestingly, mutants in the hinge region (N20P/M21P and M21P/K22P) that still bind lipid II but cannot form pores had potent antimicrobial activity against vegetative B. anthracis cells but did not inhibit spore outgrowth. Therefore, pore formation is essential for the latter activity but not the former. Collectively, these studies suggest that nisin utilizes lipid II as the germinated spore target during outgrowth inhibition and that nisin-mediated membrane disruption is essential to inhibit spore development into vegetative cells. PMID:21517116

  9. High-Throughput, Single-Cell Analysis of Macrophage Interactions with Fluorescently Labeled Bacillus anthracis Spores▿

    PubMed Central

    Stojkovic, Bojana; Torres, Eric M.; Prouty, Angela M.; Patel, Hetal K.; Zhuang, Lefan; Koehler, Theresa M.; Ballard, Jimmy D.; Blanke, Steven R.

    2008-01-01

    The engulfment of Bacillus anthracis spores by macrophages is an important step in the pathogenesis of inhalational anthrax. However, from a quantitative standpoint, the magnitude to which macrophages interact with and engulf spores remains poorly understood, in part due to inherent limitations associated with commonly used assays. To analyze phagocytosis of spores by RAW264.7 macrophage-like cells in a high-throughput, nonsubjective manner, we labeled B. anthracis Sterne 7702 spores prior to infection with an Alexa Fluor 488 amine-reactive dye in a manner that did not alter their germination, growth kinetics, and heat resistance. Using flow cytometry, large numbers of cells exposed to labeled spores were screened to concurrently discriminate infected from uninfected cells and surface-associated from internalized spores. These experiments revealed that spore uptake was not uniform, but instead, highly heterogeneous and characterized by subpopulations of infected and uninfected cells, as well as considerable variation in the number of spores associated with individual cells. Flow cytometry analysis of infections demonstrated that spore uptake was independent of the presence or absence of fetal bovine serum, a germinant that, while routinely used in vitro, complicates the interpretation of the outcome of infections. Two commonly used macrophage cell lines, RAW264.7 and J774A.1 cells, were compared, revealing significant disparity between these two models in the rates of phagocytosis of labeled spores. These studies provide the experimental framework for investigating mechanisms of spore phagocytosis, as well as quantitatively evaluating strategies for interfering with macrophage binding and uptake of spores. PMID:18552183

  10. Role of YpeB in Cortex Hydrolysis during Germination of Bacillus anthracis Spores

    PubMed Central

    Bernhards, Casey B.

    2014-01-01

    The infectious agent of the disease anthrax is the spore of Bacillus anthracis. Bacterial spores are extremely resistant to environmental stresses, which greatly hinders spore decontamination efforts. The spore cortex, a thick layer of modified peptidoglycan, contributes to spore dormancy and resistance by maintaining the low water content of the spore core. The cortex is degraded by germination-specific lytic enzymes (GSLEs) during spore germination, rendering the cells vulnerable to common disinfection techniques. This study investigates the relationship between SleB, a GSLE in B. anthracis, and YpeB, a protein necessary for SleB stability and function. The results indicate that ΔsleB and ΔypeB spores exhibit similar germination phenotypes and that the two proteins have a strict codependency for their incorporation into the dormant spore. In the absence of its partner protein, SleB or YpeB is proteolytically degraded soon after expression during sporulation, rather than escaping the developing spore. The three PepSY domains of YpeB were examined for their roles in the interaction with SleB. YpeB truncation mutants illustrate the necessity of a region beyond the first PepSY domain for SleB stability. Furthermore, site-directed mutagenesis of highly conserved residues within the PepSY domains resulted in germination defects corresponding to reduced levels of both SleB and YpeB in the mutant spores. These results identify residues involved in the stability of both proteins and reiterate their codependent relationship. It is hoped that the study of GSLEs and interacting proteins will lead to the use of GSLEs as targets for efficient activation of spore germination and facilitation of spore cleanup. PMID:25022853

  11. Role of YpeB in cortex hydrolysis during germination of Bacillus anthracis spores.

    PubMed

    Bernhards, Casey B; Popham, David L

    2014-10-01

    The infectious agent of the disease anthrax is the spore of Bacillus anthracis. Bacterial spores are extremely resistant to environmental stresses, which greatly hinders spore decontamination efforts. The spore cortex, a thick layer of modified peptidoglycan, contributes to spore dormancy and resistance by maintaining the low water content of the spore core. The cortex is degraded by germination-specific lytic enzymes (GSLEs) during spore germination, rendering the cells vulnerable to common disinfection techniques. This study investigates the relationship between SleB, a GSLE in B. anthracis, and YpeB, a protein necessary for SleB stability and function. The results indicate that ΔsleB and ΔypeB spores exhibit similar germination phenotypes and that the two proteins have a strict codependency for their incorporation into the dormant spore. In the absence of its partner protein, SleB or YpeB is proteolytically degraded soon after expression during sporulation, rather than escaping the developing spore. The three PepSY domains of YpeB were examined for their roles in the interaction with SleB. YpeB truncation mutants illustrate the necessity of a region beyond the first PepSY domain for SleB stability. Furthermore, site-directed mutagenesis of highly conserved residues within the PepSY domains resulted in germination defects corresponding to reduced levels of both SleB and YpeB in the mutant spores. These results identify residues involved in the stability of both proteins and reiterate their codependent relationship. It is hoped that the study of GSLEs and interacting proteins will lead to the use of GSLEs as targets for efficient activation of spore germination and facilitation of spore cleanup.

  12. Characterization of the Operon Encoding the Alternative ςB Factor from Bacillus anthracis and Its Role in Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Fouet, Agnès; Namy, Olivier; Lambert, Guillaume

    2000-01-01

    The operon encoding the general stress transcription factor ςB and two proteins of its regulatory network, RsbV and RsbW, was cloned from the gram-positive bacterium Bacillus anthracis by PCR amplification of chromosomal DNA with degenerate primers, by inverse PCR, and by direct cloning. The gene cluster was very similar to the Bacillus subtilis sigB operon both in the primary sequences of the gene products and in the order of its three genes. However, the deduced products of sequences upstream and downstream from this operon showed no similarity to other proteins encoded by the B. subtilis sigB operon. Therefore, the B. anthracis sigB operon contains three genes rather than eight as in B. subtilis. The B. anthracis operon is preceded by a ςB-like promoter sequence, the expression of which depends on an intact ςB transcription factor in B. subtilis. It is followed by another open reading frame that is also preceded by a promoter sequence similarly dependent on B. subtilis ςB. We found that in B. anthracis, both these promoters were induced during the stationary phase and induction required an intact sigB gene. The sigB operon was induced by heat shock. Mutants from which sigB was deleted were constructed in a toxinogenic and a plasmidless strain. These mutants differed from the parental strains in terms of morphology. The toxinogenic sigB mutant strain was also less virulent than the parental strain in the mouse model. B. anthracis ςB may therefore be a minor virulence factor. PMID:10960085

  13. Fate of Bacillus anthracis during production of laboratory-scale cream cheese and homemade-style yoghurt.

    PubMed

    Mertens, Katja; Schneider, Oda; Schmoock, Gernot; Melzer, Falk; Elschner, Mandy C

    2015-04-01

    The viability of Bacillus anthracis during production and storage of cream cheese and yoghurt was evaluated. Experimental cheeses were manufactured from whole milk inoculated with a suspension of B. anthracis vegetative cells and spores at a final concentration of 10(4) cfu/ml. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and lab ferment were used to induce milk ripening and milk coagulation. The pH-value of the contaminated milk dropped below 4.5 within the first 6 h and the amount of LAB increased by approximately 2-logs. During cheese production and storage at 5-9 °C for 24 days no growth of B. anthracis was observed. The amount of vegetative cells and spores fluctuated by 1-log. Inoculation of whole milk with heat-treated spores at 10(4) cfu/ml resulted in a slight increase of vegetative cell counts during the first 6 h. This indicated that germination occurred, but replication of vegetative cells was still inhibited in the produced cheese. Incubation of cheeses at room temperature or heating after milk coagulation strongly reduced the amount of LAB but had no effect on the growth behaviour of B. anthracis. The vegetative cell and spore content remained steady at 10(4) cfu/100 mg. During yoghurt production the pH-value decreased within 5 h below 5 and growth of B. anthracis was inhibited throughout storage. A pH-value of 5 or less is likely a critical factor to control the growth of B. anthracis. However, spores remained viable in experimental cream cheeses and yoghurts and are a potential risk of infection.

  14. In Vitro and In Vivo Activity of Omadacycline Against Two Biothreat Pathogens: Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Steenbergen, Judith; Tanaka, S Ken; Miller, Lynda L; Halasohoris, Stephanie A; Hershfield, Jeremy R

    2017-02-21

    Introduction: The in vitro activity and in vivo efficacy of omadacycline (OMC) were evaluated against the causative pathogens of anthrax and plague, Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis, respectively.Methods: Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of OMC were determined by microbroth dilution according to CLSI guidelines for 30 isolates each of Y. pestis and B. anthracis The in vivo efficacy of omadacycline was studied at a range of dosages in both a post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) murine model of anthrax and plague as well as in a delayed treatment model of inhalational anthrax.Results: Omadacycline was active in vitro against Y. pestis (MIC90=1 mcg/mL) and B. anthracis (MIC90=0.06 mcg/mL). Omadacycline was less active in vitro than ciprofloxacin (CIP) against Y. pestis (CIP MIC90=0.03 mcg/mL), but more potent in vitro against B. anthracis (CIP MIC90=0.12 mcg/mL). In the mouse model of infection, the survival curves for all treatment cohorts differed significantly from the vehicle control (p=0.004). The median survival for the vehicle-treated controls was 6 days post-challenge while all antibiotic-treated mice survived the entire study. Omadacycline treatment with 5, 10 or 20 mg/kg twice daily for 14 days had significant efficacy over the vehicle control in the treatment of aerosolized B. anthracis Additionally, for post exposure prophylaxis treatment of mice infected with Y. pestis, the survival curves for omadacycline (40 mg/kg twice daily), ciprofloxacin, and doxycycline cohorts differed significantly from the vehicle control (p<0.0001).Conclusions: Omadacycline is potent and demonstrates efficacy against both B. anthracis and Y. pestis The well-characterized oral and IV pharmacokinetics, safety and tolerability, warrant further assessment of the potential utility of omadacycline in combating these serious biothreat organisms.

  15. Molecular epidemiological study of Bacillus anthracis isolated in Mongolia by multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis for 8 loci (MLVA-8).

    PubMed

    Okutani, Akiko; Tungalag, Hurelsukh; Boldbaatar, Bazartseren; Yamada, Akio; Tserennorov, Damdindorj; Otgonchimeg, Ishtsog; Erdenebat, Adiya; Otgonbaatar, Dashdavaa; Inoue, Satoshi

    2011-01-01

    The incidence of anthrax, which is caused by Bacillus anthracis, in the human and animal population of Mongolia has increased recently, and control of this infection is a nationwide concern. In this study, 29 isolates obtained from animals and various regions in Mongolia from 2001 to 2007 were analyzed by performing multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis for 8 loci (MLVA-8) to understand the genetic relationship between the Mongolian B. anthracis isolates. We found that all the Mongolian isolates can be classified into A3 cluster along with the Japanese and the Chinese B. anthracis isolates. Our data revealed that MLVA-8 is useful for studying the molecular epidemiology of the Mongolian B. anthracis isolates and would help characterize B. anthracis infections in Mongolia.

  16. Oral Administration of a Salmonella enterica-Based Vaccine Expressing Bacillus anthracis Protective Antigen Confers Protection against Aerosolized B. anthracis▿

    PubMed Central

    Stokes, Margaret G. M.; Titball, Richard W.; Neeson, Brendan N.; Galen, James E.; Walker, Nicola J.; Stagg, Anthony J.; Jenner, Dominic C.; Thwaite, Joanne E.; Nataro, James P.; Baillie, Leslie W. J.; Atkins, Helen S.

    2007-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax, a disease that affects wildlife, livestock, and humans. Protection against anthrax is primarily afforded by immunity to the B. anthracis protective antigen (PA), particularly PA domains 4 and 1. To further the development of an orally delivered human vaccine for mass vaccination against anthrax, we produced Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium expressing full-length PA, PA domains 1 and 4, or PA domain 4 using codon-optimized PA DNA fused to the S. enterica serovar Typhi ClyA and under the control of the ompC promoter. Oral immunization of A/J mice with Salmonella expressing full-length PA protected five of six mice against a challenge with 105 CFU of aerosolized B. anthracis STI spores, whereas Salmonella expressing PA domains 1 and 4 provided only 25% protection (two of eight mice), and Salmonella expressing PA domain 4 or a Salmonella-only control afforded no measurable protection. However, a purified recombinant fusion protein of domains 1 and 4 provided 100% protection, and purified recombinant 4 provided protection in three of eight immunized mice. Thus, we demonstrate for the first time the efficacy of an oral S. enterica-based vaccine against aerosolized B. anthracis spores. PMID:17145938

  17. Bacillus anthracis Diversity and Geographic Potential across Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad: Further Support of a Novel West African Lineage

    PubMed Central

    Blackburn, Jason K.; Odugbo, Moses Ode; Van Ert, Matthew; O’Shea, Bob; Mullins, Jocelyn; Perrenten, Vincent; Maho, Angaya; Hugh-Jones, Martin; Hadfield, Ted

    2015-01-01

    Zoonoses, diseases affecting both humans and animals, can exert tremendous pressures on human and veterinary health systems, particularly in resource limited countries. Anthrax is one such zoonosis of concern and is a disease requiring greater public health attention in Nigeria. Here we describe the genetic diversity of Bacillus anthracis in Nigeria and compare it to Chad, Cameroon and a broader global dataset based on the multiple locus variable number tandem repeat (MLVA-25) genetic typing system. Nigerian B. anthracis isolates had identical MLVA genotypes and could only be resolved by measuring highly mutable single nucleotide repeats (SNRs). The Nigerian MLVA genotype was identical or highly genetically similar to those in the neighboring countries, confirming the strains belong to this unique West African lineage. Interestingly, sequence data from a Nigerian isolate shares the anthrose deficient genotypes previously described for strains in this region, which may be associated with vaccine evasion. Strains in this study were isolated over six decades, indicating a high level of temporal strain stability regionally. Ecological niche models were used to predict the geographic distribution of the pathogen for all three countries. We describe a west-east habitat corridor through northern Nigeria extending into Chad and Cameroon. Ecological niche models and genetic results show B. anthracis to be ecologically established in Nigeria. These findings expand our understanding of the global B. anthracis population structure and can guide regional anthrax surveillance and control planning. PMID:26291625

  18. Bacillus anthracis Diversity and Geographic Potential across Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad: Further Support of a Novel West African Lineage.

    PubMed

    Blackburn, Jason K; Odugbo, Moses Ode; Van Ert, Matthew; O'Shea, Bob; Mullins, Jocelyn; Perreten, Vincent; Perrenten, Vincent; Maho, Angaya; Hugh-Jones, Martin; Hadfield, Ted

    2015-01-01

    Zoonoses, diseases affecting both humans and animals, can exert tremendous pressures on human and veterinary health systems, particularly in resource limited countries. Anthrax is one such zoonosis of concern and is a disease requiring greater public health attention in Nigeria. Here we describe the genetic diversity of Bacillus anthracis in Nigeria and compare it to Chad, Cameroon and a broader global dataset based on the multiple locus variable number tandem repeat (MLVA-25) genetic typing system. Nigerian B. anthracis isolates had identical MLVA genotypes and could only be resolved by measuring highly mutable single nucleotide repeats (SNRs). The Nigerian MLVA genotype was identical or highly genetically similar to those in the neighboring countries, confirming the strains belong to this unique West African lineage. Interestingly, sequence data from a Nigerian isolate shares the anthrose deficient genotypes previously described for strains in this region, which may be associated with vaccine evasion. Strains in this study were isolated over six decades, indicating a high level of temporal strain stability regionally. Ecological niche models were used to predict the geographic distribution of the pathogen for all three countries. We describe a west-east habitat corridor through northern Nigeria extending into Chad and Cameroon. Ecological niche models and genetic results show B. anthracis to be ecologically established in Nigeria. These findings expand our understanding of the global B. anthracis population structure and can guide regional anthrax surveillance and control planning.

  19. Detection of Bacillus anthracis spores by super-paramagnetic lateral-flow immunoassays based on "Road Closure".

    PubMed

    Wang, Dian-Bing; Tian, Bo; Zhang, Zhi-Ping; Wang, Xu-Ying; Fleming, Joy; Bi, Li-Jun; Yang, Rui-Fu; Zhang, Xian-En

    2015-05-15

    Detection of Bacillus anthracis in the field, whether as a natural infection or as a biothreat remains challenging. Here we have developed a new lateral-flow immunochromatographic assay (LFIA) for B. anthracis spore detection based on the fact that conjugates of B. anthracis spores and super-paramagnetic particles labeled with antibodies will block the pores of chromatographic strips and form retention lines on the strips, instead of the conventionally reported test lines and control lines in classic LFIA. As a result, this new LFIA can simultaneously realize optical, magnetic and naked-eye detection by analyzing signals from the retention lines. As few as 500-700 pure B. anthracis spores can be recognized with CV values less than 8.31% within 5 min of chromatography and a total time of 20 min. For powdery sample tests, this LFIA can endure interference from 25% (w/v) milk, 10% (w/v) baking soda and 10% (w/v) starch without any sample pre-treatment, and has a corresponding detection limit of 6×10(4) spores/g milk powder, 2×10(5) spores/g starch and 5×10(5) spores/g baking soda. Compared with existing methods, this new approach is very competitive in terms of sensitivity, specificity, cost and ease of operation. This proof-of-concept study can also be extended for detection of many other large-sized analytes.

  20. Technical Note: Simple, scalable, and sensitive protocol for retrieving Bacillus anthracis (and other live bacteria) from heroin.

    PubMed

    Grass, Gregor; Ahrens, Bjoern; Schleenbecker, Uwe; Dobrzykowski, Linda; Wagner, Matthias; Krüger, Christian; Wölfel, Roman

    2016-02-01

    We describe a culture-based method suitable for isolating Bacillus anthracis and other live bacteria from heroin. This protocol was developed as a consequence of the bioforensic need to retrieve bacteria from batches of the drug associated with cases of injectional anthrax among heroin-consumers in Europe. This uncommon manifestation of infection with the notorious pathogen B. anthracis has resulted in 26 deaths between the years 2000 to 2013. Thus far, no life disease agent has been isolated from heroin during forensic investigations surrounding these incidences. Because of the conjectured very small number of disease-causing endospores in the contaminated drug it is likely that too few target sequences are available for molecular genetic analysis. Therefore, a direct culture-based approach was chosen here. Endospores of attenuated B. anthracis artificially spiked into heroin were successfully retrieved at 84-98% recovery rates using a wash solution consisting of 0.5% Tween 20 in water. Using this approach, 82 samples of un-cut heroin originating from the German Federal Criminal Police Office's heroin analysis program seized during the period between 2000 and 2014 were tested and found to be surprisingly poor in retrievable bacteria. Notably, while no B. anthracis was isolated from the drug batches, other bacteria were successfully cultured. The resulting methodical protocol is therefore suitable for analyzing un-cut heroin which can be anticipated to comprise the original microbiota from the drug's original source without interference from contaminations introduced by cutting.

  1. Bacillus anthracis-Like Bacteria and Other B. cereus Group Members in a Microbial Community Within the International Space Station: A Challenge for Rapid and Easy Molecular Detection of Virulent B. anthracis

    PubMed Central

    van Tongeren, Sandra P.; Roest, Hendrik I. J.; Degener, John E.; Harmsen, Hermie J. M.

    2014-01-01

    For some microbial species, such as Bacillus anthracis, the etiologic agent of the disease anthrax, correct detection and identification by molecular methods can be problematic. The detection of virulent B. anthracis is challenging due to multiple virulence markers that need to be present in order for B. anthracis to be virulent and its close relationship to Bacillus cereus and other members of the B. cereus group. This is especially the case in environments where build-up of Bacillus spores can occur and several representatives of the B. cereus group may be present, which increases the chance for false-positives. In this study we show the presence of B. anthracis-like bacteria and other members of the B. cereus group in a microbial community within the human environment of the International Space Station and their preliminary identification by using conventional culturing as well as molecular techniques including 16S rDNA sequencing, PCR and real-time PCR. Our study shows that when monitoring the microbial hygiene in a given human environment, health risk assessment is troublesome in the case of virulent B. anthracis, especially if this should be done with rapid, easy to apply and on-site molecular methods. PMID:24945323

  2. Bacillus anthracis-like bacteria and other B. cereus group members in a microbial community within the International Space Station: a challenge for rapid and easy molecular detection of virulent B. anthracis.

    PubMed

    van Tongeren, Sandra P; Roest, Hendrik I J; Degener, John E; Harmsen, Hermie J M

    2014-01-01

    For some microbial species, such as Bacillus anthracis, the etiologic agent of the disease anthrax, correct detection and identification by molecular methods can be problematic. The detection of virulent B. anthracis is challenging due to multiple virulence markers that need to be present in order for B. anthracis to be virulent and its close relationship to Bacillus cereus and other members of the B. cereus group. This is especially the case in environments where build-up of Bacillus spores can occur and several representatives of the B. cereus group may be present, which increases the chance for false-positives. In this study we show the presence of B. anthracis-like bacteria and other members of the B. cereus group in a microbial community within the human environment of the International Space Station and their preliminary identification by using conventional culturing as well as molecular techniques including 16S rDNA sequencing, PCR and real-time PCR. Our study shows that when monitoring the microbial hygiene in a given human environment, health risk assessment is troublesome in the case of virulent B. anthracis, especially if this should be done with rapid, easy to apply and on-site molecular methods.

  3. [Application of the multiplex PCR and PCR-RFLP method in the identification of the Bacillus anthracis].

    PubMed

    Szymajda, Urszula; Bartoszcze, Michał

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this study was to apply the multiplex PCR and PCR-RFLP method for the identification of the B. anthracis strains and to distinguish those bacteria from other members of the Bacillus cereus group. The multiplex PCR method enables to detect the virulence factors, i.e. the toxin and the capsule in B. anthracis strains. To do that, the authors have used 5 primer pairs specific for the fragments of lef, cya, pag genes which are present in the pXO1 plasmid and encode the toxin, the cap gene, which is present in the pXO2 plasmid and encodes the capsule, and the Ba813 chromosomal sequence. Among the four B. anthracis strains examined, three contained two plasmids and the Ba813 chromosomal sequence, while the fourth one contained the pXO1 plasmid only, together and the Ba813 chromosomal sequence. Other bacterial species, belonging to the B. cereus group, were also examined: 6 strains of B. cereus, 4 strains of B. thuringiensis and one strain of B. mycoides. The presence of Ba813 chromosomal sequence has been detected in two B. cereus strains. Neither plasmids nor Ba813 chromosomal sequence have been discovered in other B. cereus, B. thuringiensis and B. mycoides strains. The results of the survey indicate that the Ba813 chromosomal sequence does not occur solely in B. anthracis strains. The PCR-RFLP method with the use of SG-749f and SG-749r primers enabled to demonstrate the presence of DNA sequence (SG-749) in B. anthracis, B. cereus, B. thuringiensis and B. mycoides strains. Restriction analysis with enzyme AluI of the SG-749 sequence, has shown the presence of two DNA fragments at the size of about 90 and 660 bp in all B. anthracis strains. The restriction profile obtained was characteristic for B. anthracis strains and it did not occur in other investigated bacterial species belonging to the B. cereus group. It was not observed even in such B. cereus strains in which the presence of Ba813 sequence was discovered and it enabled to differentiate between B

  4. Bacillus Anthracis Spores of the bclA Mutant Exhibit Increased Adherence to Epithelial Cells, Fibroblasts, and Endothelial Cells but not to Macrophages

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-09-01

    Approximately 20 exosporium-associated proteins and glycoproteins have been identified from analyses of B. anthracis and Bacillus cereus spores (4, 5...Pathog. 38:1–12. 5. Charlton, S., A. J. Moir, L. Baillie, and A. Moir. 1999. Characterization of the exosporium of Bacillus cereus . J. Appl. Microbiol...Clin. Top. Infect. Dis. 20:335–349. 12. Gerhardt, P., and E. Ribi. 1964. Ultrastructure of the exosporium enveloping spores of Bacillus cereus . J

  5. A recombinant 63-kDa form of Bacillus anthracis protective antigen produced in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae provides protection in rabbit and primate inhalational challenge models of anthrax infection.

    PubMed

    Hepler, Robert W; Kelly, Rosemarie; McNeely, Tessie B; Fan, Hongxia; Losada, Maria C; George, Hugh A; Woods, Andrea; Cope, Leslie D; Bansal, Alka; Cook, James C; Zang, Gina; Cohen, Steven L; Wei, Xiaorong; Keller, Paul M; Leffel, Elizabeth; Joyce, Joseph G; Pitt, Louise; Schultz, Loren D; Jansen, Kathrin U; Kurtz, Myra

    2006-03-06

    Infection by Bacillus anthracis is preventable by prophylactic vaccination with several naturally derived and recombinant vaccine preparations. Existing data suggests that protection is mediated by antibodies directed against the protective antigen (PA) component of the anthrax toxin complex. PA is an 83-kDa protein cleaved in vivo to yield a biologically active 63-kDa protein. In an effort to evaluate the potential of yeast as an expression system for the production of recombinant PA, and to determine if the yeast-purified rPA63 can protect from a lethal inhalational challenge, the sequence of the 63-kDa form of PA was codon-optimized and expressed in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Highly purified rPA63 isolated from Saccharomyces under denaturing conditions demonstrated reduced biological activity in a macrophage-killing assay compared to non-denatured rPA83 purified from Escherichia coli. Rabbits and non-human primates (NHP) immunized with rPA63 and later challenged with a lethal dose of B. anthracis spores were generally protected from infection. These results indicate that epitopes present in the 63-kDa from of PA can protect rabbits and non-human primates from a lethal spore challenge, and further suggest that a fully functional rPA63 is not required in order to provide these epitopes.

  6. First detection of Bacillus anthracis in feces of free-ranging raptors from central Argentina.

    PubMed

    Saggese, Miguel D; Noseda, Ramón P; Uhart, Marcela M; Deem, Sharon L; Ferreyra, Hebe; Romano, Marcelo C; Ferreyra-Armas, María C; Hugh-Jones, Martin

    2007-01-01

    Prevalence of anthrax spores in feces of raptors was determined from samples collected in November-December 2000 and April-May 2001 in an agricultural region of Santa Fé province, Argentina. Feces were tested from 48 birds of six raptor species. One of 14 chimango caracaras (Milvago chimango) and one of eight road-side hawks (Buteo magnirostris) tested positive. The prevalence of Bacillus anthracis spores in feces for the six species was 4% (n=48). The prevalence was 7% (n=14) for chimango caracaras, 13% for road-side hawks (n=8), and 0% for the remaining species (Burrowing owl [Speotyto cunicularia] [n=17], Swainson's hawk [Buteo swainsoni] [n=3], Aplomado falcon [Falco femoralis] [n=2], and American kestrel [Falco sparverius] [n=4]). Grouped by their feeding habits, prevalence for scavenger species was not significantly different than for predators (7% vs. 3%, P>0.999). This study provides evidence that in central Argentina scavenger and non-scavenger raptors may have a role in the epidemiology of anthrax. Long-term studies to determine the extent of this potential involvement in the epidemiology of anthrax in central Argentina are required.

  7. New developments in vaccines, inhibitors of anthrax toxins, and antibiotic therapeutics for Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Beierlein, J M; Anderson, A C

    2011-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent responsible for anthrax infections, poses a significant biodefense threat. There is a high mortality rate associated with untreated anthrax infections; specifically, inhalation anthrax is a particularly virulent form of infection with mortality rates close to 100%, even with aggressive treatment. Currently, a vaccine is not available to the general public and few antibiotics have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of inhalation anthrax. With the threat of natural or engineered bacterial resistance to antibiotics and the limited population for whom the current drugs are approved, there is a clear need for more effective treatments against this deadly infection. A comprehensive review of current research in drug discovery is presented in this article, including efforts to improve the purity and stability of vaccines, design inhibitors targeting the anthrax toxins, and identify inhibitors of novel enzyme targets. High resolution structural information for the anthrax toxins and several essential metabolic enzymes has played a significant role in aiding the structure-based design of potent and selective antibiotics.

  8. Analysis of the sporicidal activity of chlorine dioxide disinfectant against Bacillus anthracis (Sterne strain)

    PubMed Central

    Chatuev, B.A.; Peterson, J.W.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Routine surface decontamination is an essential hospital and laboratory procedure, but the list of effective, noncorrosive disinfectants that kill spores is limited. We investigated the sporicidal potential of an aqueous chlorine dioxide solution and encountered some unanticipated problems. Quantitative bacteriological culture methods were used to determine the log10 reduction of Bacillus anthracis (Sterne strain) spores following 3 min exposure to various concentrations of aqueous chlorine dioxide solutions at room temperature in sealed tubes, as well as spraying onto plastic and stainless steel surfaces in a biological safety cabinet. Serial 10-fold dilutions of the treated spores were then plated on 5% sheep blood agar plates, and the survivor colonies were enumerated. Disinfection of spore suspensions with aqueous chlorine dioxide solution in sealed microfuge tubes was highly effective, reducing the viable spore counts by 8 log10 in only 3 min. By contrast, the process of spraying or spreading the disinfectant onto surfaces resulted in only a 1 log10 kill because the chlorine dioxide gas was rapidly vaporised from the solutions. Full potency of the sprayed aqueous chlorine dioxide solution was restored by preparing the chlorine dioxide solution in 5% bleach (0.3% sodium hypochlorite). The volatility of chlorine dioxide can cause treatment failures that constitute a serious hazard for unsuspecting users. Supplementation of the chlorine dioxide solution with 5% bleach (0.3% sodium hypochlorite) restored full potency and increased stability for one week. PMID:20061062

  9. Intranasal immunization with protective antigen of Bacillus anthracis induces a long-term immunological memory response.

    PubMed

    Woo, Sun-Je; Kang, Seok-Seong; Park, Sung-Moo; Yang, Jae Seung; Song, Man Ki; Yun, Cheol-Heui; Han, Seung Hyun

    2015-10-01

    Although intranasal vaccination has been shown to be effective for the protection against inhalational anthrax, establishment of long-term immunity has yet to be achieved. Here, we investigated whether intranasal immunization with recombinant protective antigen (rPA) of Bacillus anthracis induces immunological memory responses in the mucosal and systemic compartments. Intranasal immunization with rPA plus cholera toxin (CT) sustained PA-specific antibody responses for 6 months in lung, nasal washes, and vaginal washes as well as serum. A significant induction of PA-specific memory B cells was observed in spleen, cervical lymph nodes (CLNs) and lung after booster immunization. Furthermore, intranasal immunization with rPA plus CT remarkably generated effector memory CD4(+) T cells in the lung. PA-specific CD4(+) T cells preferentially increased the expression of Th1- and Th17-type cytokines in lung, but not in spleen or CLNs. Collectively, the intranasal immunization with rPA plus CT promoted immunologic memory responses in the mucosal and systemic compartments, providing long-term immunity.

  10. Analysis of the sporicidal activity of chlorine dioxide disinfectant against Bacillus anthracis (Sterne strain).

    PubMed

    Chatuev, B M; Peterson, J W

    2010-02-01

    Routine surface decontamination is an essential hospital and laboratory procedure, but the list of effective, noncorrosive disinfectants that kill spores is limited. We investigated the sporicidal potential of an aqueous chlorine dioxide solution and encountered some unanticipated problems. Quantitative bacteriological culture methods were used to determine the log(10) reduction of Bacillus anthracis (Sterne strain) spores following 3min exposure to various concentrations of aqueous chlorine dioxide solutions at room temperature in sealed tubes, as well as spraying onto plastic and stainless steel surfaces in a biological safety cabinet. Serial 10-fold dilutions of the treated spores were then plated on 5% sheep blood agar plates, and the survivor colonies were enumerated. Disinfection of spore suspensions with aqueous chlorine dioxide solution in sealed microfuge tubes was highly effective, reducing the viable spore counts by 8log(10) in only 3min. By contrast, the process of spraying or spreading the disinfectant onto surfaces resulted in only a 1log(10) kill because the chlorine dioxide gas was rapidly vaporised from the solutions. Full potency of the sprayed aqueous chlorine dioxide solution was restored by preparing the chlorine dioxide solution in 5% bleach (0.3% sodium hypochlorite). The volatility of chlorine dioxide can cause treatment failures that constitute a serious hazard for unsuspecting users. Supplementation of the chlorine dioxide solution with 5% bleach (0.3% sodium hypochlorite) restored full potency and increased stability for one week.

  11. Surface architecture of endospores of the Bacillus cereus/anthracis/thuringiensis family at the subnanometer scale

    PubMed Central

    Kailas, Lekshmi; Terry, Cassandra; Abbott, Nicholas; Taylor, Robert; Mullin, Nic; Tzokov, Svetomir B.; Todd, Sarah J.; Wallace, B. A.; Hobbs, Jamie K.; Moir, Anne; Bullough, Per A.

    2011-01-01

    Bacteria of the Bacillus cereus family form highly resistant spores, which in the case of the pathogen B. anthracis act as the agents of infection. The outermost layer, the exosporium, enveloping spores of the B. cereus family as well as a number of Clostridia, plays roles in spore adhesion, dissemination, targeting, and germination control. We have analyzed two naturally crystalline layers associated with the exosporium, one representing the “basal” layer to which the outermost spore layer (“hairy nap”) is attached, and the other likely representing a subsurface (“parasporal”) layer. We have used electron cryomicroscopy at a resolution of 0.8–0.6 nm and circular dichroism spectroscopic measurements to reveal a highly α-helical structure for both layers. The helices are assembled into 2D arrays of “cups” or “crowns.” High-resolution atomic force microscopy of the outermost layer showed that the open ends of these cups face the external environment and the highly immunogenic collagen-like fibrils of the hairy nap (BclA) are attached to this surface. Based on our findings, we present a molecular model for the spore surface and propose how this surface can act as a semipermeable barrier and a matrix for binding of molecules involved in defense, germination control, and other interactions of the spore with the environment. PMID:21896762

  12. EsxB, a secreted protein from Bacillus anthracis forms two distinct helical bundles

    DOE PAGES

    Fan, Yao; Tan, Kemin; Chhor, Gekleng; ...

    2015-07-03

    The EsxB protein from Bacillus anthracis belongs to the WXG100 family, a group of proteins secreted by a specialized secretion system. We have determined the crystal structures of recombinant EsxB and discovered that the small protein (~10 kDa), comprised of a helix-loop-helix (HLH) hairpin, is capable of associating into two different helical bundles. The two basic quaternary assemblies of EsxB are an antiparallel (AP) dimer and a rarely observed bisecting U (BU) dimer. This structural duality of EsxB is believed to originate from the heptad repeat sequence diversity of the first helix of its HLH hairpin, which allows for twomore » alternative helix packing. The flexibility of EsxB and the ability to form alternative helical bundles underscore the possibility that this protein can serve as an adaptor in secretion and can form hetero-oligomeric helix bundle(s) with other secreted members of the WXG100 family, such as EsxW. The highly conserved WXG motif is located within the loop of the HLH hairpin and is mostly buried within the helix bundle suggesting that its role is mainly structural. The exact functions of the motif, including a proposed role as a secretion signal, remain unknown.« less

  13. Detection of Agar, by Analysis of Sugar Markers, Associated with Bacillus Anthracis Spores, After Culture

    SciTech Connect

    Wunschel, David S.; Colburn, Heather A.; Fox, Alvin; Fox, Karen F.; Harley, William M.; Wahl, Jon H.; Wahl, Karen L.

    2008-08-01

    Detection of small quantities of agar associated with spores of Bacillus anthracis could provide key information regarding its source or growth characteristics. Agar, widely used in growth of bacteria on solid surfaces, consists primarily of repeating polysaccharide units of 3,6-anhydro-L-galactose (AGal) and galactose (Gal) with sulfated and O-methylated galactoses present as minor constituents. Two variants of the alditol acetate procedure were evaluated for detection of potential agar markers associated with spores. The first method employed a reductive hydrolysis step, to stabilize labile anhydrogalactose, by converting to anhydrogalactitol. The second eliminated the reductive hydrolysis step simplifying the procedure. Anhydrogalactitol, derived from agar, was detected using both derivatization methods followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis. However, challenges with artefactual background (reductive hydrolysis) or marker destruction (hydrolysis) lead to the search for alternative sugar markers. A minor agar component, 6-O-methyl galactose (6-O-M gal), was readily detected in agar-grown but not broth-grown bacteria. Detection was optimized by the use of gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS-MS). With appropriate choice of sugar marker and analytical procedure, detection of sugar markers for agar has considerable potential in microbial forensics.

  14. Targeted Mutations of Bacillus anthracis Dihydrofolate Reductase Condense Complex Structure-Activity Relationships

    SciTech Connect

    J Beierlein; N Karri; A Anderson

    2011-12-31

    Several antifolates, including trimethoprim (TMP) and a series of propargyl-linked analogues, bind dihydrofolate reductase from Bacillus anthracis (BaDHFR) with lower affinity than is typical in other bacterial species. To guide lead optimization for BaDHFR, we explored a new approach to determine structure-activity relationships whereby the enzyme is altered and the analogues remain constant, essentially reversing the standard experimental design. Active site mutants of the enzyme, Ba(F96I)DHFR and Ba(Y102F)DHFR, were created and evaluated with enzyme inhibition assays and crystal structures. The affinities of the antifolates increase up to 60-fold with the Y102F mutant, suggesting that interactions with Tyr 102 are critical for affinity. Crystal structures of the enzymes bound to TMP and propargyl-linked inhibitors reveal the basis of TMP resistance and illuminate the influence of Tyr 102 on the lipophilic linker between the pyrimidine and aryl rings. Two new inhibitors test and validate these conclusions and show the value of the technique for providing new directions during lead optimization.

  15. Biochemical and structural analysis of an Eis family aminoglycoside acetyltransferase from bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Green, Keith D; Biswas, Tapan; Chang, Changsoo; Wu, Ruiying; Chen, Wenjing; Janes, Brian K; Chalupska, Dominika; Gornicki, Piotr; Hanna, Philip C; Tsodikov, Oleg V; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Garneau-Tsodikova, Sylvie

    2015-05-26

    Proteins from the enhanced intracellular survival (Eis) family are versatile acetyltransferases that acetylate amines at multiple positions of several aminoglycosides (AGs). Their upregulation confers drug resistance. Homologues of Eis are present in diverse bacteria, including many pathogens. Eis from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Eis_Mtb) has been well characterized. In this study, we explored the AG specificity and catalytic efficiency of the Eis family protein from Bacillus anthracis (Eis_Ban). Kinetic analysis of specificity and catalytic efficiency of acetylation of six AGs indicates that Eis_Ban displays significant differences from Eis_Mtb in both substrate binding and catalytic efficiency. The number of acetylated amines was also different for several AGs, indicating a distinct regiospecificity of Eis_Ban. Furthermore, most recently identified inhibitors of Eis_Mtb did not inhibit Eis_Ban, underscoring the differences between these two enzymes. To explain these differences, we determined an Eis_Ban crystal structure. The comparison of the crystal structures of Eis_Ban and Eis_Mtb demonstrates that critical residues lining their respective substrate binding pockets differ substantially, explaining their distinct specificities. Our results suggest that acetyltransferases of the Eis family evolved divergently to garner distinct specificities while conserving catalytic efficiency, possibly to counter distinct chemical challenges. The unique specificity features of these enzymes can be utilized as tools for developing AGs with novel modifications and help guide specific AG treatments to avoid Eis-mediated resistance.

  16. Most Probable Number Rapid Viability PCR Method to Detect Viable Spores of Bacillus anthracis in Swab Samples

    SciTech Connect

    Letant, S E; Kane, S R; Murphy, G A; Alfaro, T M; Hodges, L; Rose, L; Raber, E

    2008-05-30

    This note presents a comparison of Most-Probable-Number Rapid Viability (MPN-RV) PCR and traditional culture methods for the quantification of Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores in macrofoam swabs generated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for a multi-center validation study aimed at testing environmental swab processing methods for recovery, detection, and quantification of viable B. anthracis spores from surfaces. Results show that spore numbers provided by the MPN RV-PCR method were in statistical agreement with the CDC conventional culture method for all three levels of spores tested (10{sup 4}, 10{sup 2}, and 10 spores) even in the presence of dirt. In addition to detecting low levels of spores in environmental conditions, the MPN RV-PCR method is specific, and compatible with automated high-throughput sample processing and analysis protocols.

  17. Molecular characterization and protein analysis of the cap region, which is essential for encapsulation in Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed Central

    Makino, S; Uchida, I; Terakado, N; Sasakawa, C; Yoshikawa, M

    1989-01-01

    By using genetic complementation tests with various in vitro-constructed mutants with mutations in the cap region (which is essential for encapsulation in Bacillus anthracis), we identified three cistrons, capB, capC, and capA, in this order of arrangement. Minicell analysis revealed that these cistrons produce proteins of 44, 16, and 46 kilodaltons, respectively. The complete nucleotide sequence of 3,244 base pairs covering the whole cap region was determined and revealed the existence of the three open reading frames of capB (397 amino acid residues; molecular weight, 44,872), capC (149 amino acid residues; molecular weight, 16,522), and capA (411 amino acid residues; molecular weight, 46,420) arranged in the order predicted by complementation tests. These three cistrons were all transcribed in the same direction from promoters unique to each cistron. Judging from the predicted amino acid sequence of the three proteins and from their localization and their sensitivity to various physicochemical treatments, they appeared to be membrane-associated enzymes mediating the polymerization of D-glutamic acid via the membrane. Capsular peptides immunologically identical to that of B. anthracis were found in B. subtilis, B. megaterium, and B. licheniformis, but no sequence homologous to the cap region was found in any of these bacilli other than B. anthracis. Using strains of B. anthracis with or without insertional inactivation of the cap region, we found that the capsule of B. anthracis conferred strong resistance to phagocytosis upon the bacterial host. Images PMID:2536679

  18. Bacillus anthracis spore interactions with mammalian cells: Relationship between germination state and the outcome of in vitro

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background During inhalational anthrax, internalization of Bacillus anthracis spores by host cells within the lung is believed to be a key step for initiating the transition from the localized to disseminated stages of infection. Despite compelling in vivo evidence that spores remain dormant within the bronchioalveolar spaces of the lungs, and germinate only after uptake into host cells, most in vitro studies of infection have been conducted under conditions that promote rapid germination of spores within the culture medium. Results Using an in vitro model of infection, we evaluated the influence of the germination state of B. anthracis spores, as controlled by defined culture conditions, on the outcome of infection. Spores prepared from B. anthracis Sterne 7702 germinated in a variety of common cell culture media supplemented with fetal bovine serum (FBS) while, in the absence of FBS, germination was strictly dependent on medium composition. RAW264.7 macrophage-like cells internalized spores to the same extent in either germinating or non-germinating media. However, significantly more viable, intracellular B. anthracis were recovered from cells infected under non-germinating conditions compared to germinating conditions. At the same time, RAW264.7 cells demonstrated a significant loss in viability when infected under non-germinating conditions. Conclusions These results suggest that the outcome of host cell infection is sensitive to the germination state of spores at the time of uptake. Moreover, this study demonstrates the efficacy of studying B. anthracis spore infection of host cells within a defined, non-germinating, in vitro environment. PMID:21356113

  19. Overexpression of the pleiotropic regulator CodY decreases sporulation, attachment and pellicle formation in Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Gopalani, Monisha; Dhiman, Alisha; Rahi, Amit; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2016-01-15

    CodY, a global transcriptional regulator, primarily functions as a nutrient and energy sensor. It is activated by metabolic effectors like BCAA and GTP. In low G + C Gram positive bacteria, it facilitates coupling of changes in the cellular metabolite pool with those required in the transcriptome of the cell. This pleiotropic regulator controls the expression of a vast number of genes as the cell transits from exponential to the stationary phase. Earlier studies have shown that CodY is required for the virulence of Bacillus anthracis. We sought to investigate the effect of its overexpression on the physiology of B. anthracis. In our study, we found that cellular CodY levels were unchanged during this phase-transition. Expression of endogenous CodY remained the same in different nutrient limiting conditions. Immunoblotting studies revealed CodY presence in the whole spore lysate of B. anthracis indicating it to be a component of the spore proteome. We could also detect CodY in the secretome of B. anthracis. Further, CodY was overexpressed in B. anthracis Sterne strain and this led to a 100-fold decrease in the sporulation titer and a 2.5-fold decrease in the in vitro attachment ability of the bacteria. We also observed a decrease in the pellicle formation by CodY overexpressed strain when compared to wildtype bacilli. The CodY overexpressed strain showed chaining phenotype during growth in liquid media and pellicle.

  20. Cloning, expression, and characterization of recombinant nitric oxide synthase-like protein from Bacillus anthracis

    SciTech Connect

    Midha, Shuchi; Mishra, Rajeev; Aziz, M.A.; Sharma, Meenakshi; Mishra, Ashish; Khandelwal, Puneet; Bhatnagar, Rakesh . E-mail: rakbhat01@yahoo.com

    2005-10-14

    Nitric oxide synthase (NOS) is amongst a family of evolutionarily conserved enzymes, involved in a multi-turnover process that results in NO as a product. The significant role of NO in various pathological and physiological processes has created an interest in this enzyme from several perspectives. This study describes for the first time, cloning and expression of a NOS-like protein, baNOS, from Bacillus anthracis, a pathogenic bacterium responsible for causing anthrax. baNOS was expressed in Escherichia coli as a soluble and catalytically active enzyme. Homology models generated for baNOS indicated that the key structural features that are involved in the substrate and active site interaction have been highly conserved. Further, the behavior of baNOS in terms of heme-substrate interactions and heme-transitions was studied in detail. The optical perturbation spectra of the heme domain demonstrated that the ligands perturb the heme site in a ligand specific manner. baNOS forms a five-coordinate, high-spin complex with L-arginine analogs and a six-coordinate low-spin complex with inhibitor imidazole. Studies indicated that the binding of L-arginine, N {sup {omega}}-hydroxy-L-arginine, and imidazole produces various spectroscopic species that closely correspond to the equivalent complexes of mammalian NOS. The values of spectral binding constants further corroborated these results. The overall conservation of the key structural features and the correlation of heme-substrate interactions in baNOS and mammalian NOS, thus, point towards an interesting phenomenon of convergent evolution. Importantly, the NO generated by NOS of mammalian macrophages plays a potent role in antimicrobicidal activity. Because of the existence of high structural and behavioral similarity between mammalian NOS and baNOS, we propose that NO produced by B. anthracis may also have a pivotal pathophysiological role in anthrax infection. Therefore, this first report of characterization of a NOS

  1. Transcriptional Profiling of Murine Organ Genes in Response to Infection with Bacillus anthracis Ames Spores

    PubMed Central

    Moen, Scott T.; Yeager, Linsey A.; Lawrence, William S.; Ponce, Cindy; Galindo, Cristi L.; Garner, Harold R.; Baze, Wallace B.; Suarez, Giovanni; Peterson, Johnny W.; Chopra, Ashok K.

    2008-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the gram positive, spore-forming etiological agent of anthrax, an affliction studied because of its importance as a potential bioweapon. Although in vitro transcriptional responses of macrophages to either spore or anthrax toxins have been previously reported, little is known regarding the impact of infection on gene expression in host tissues. We infected Swiss-Webster mice intranasally with 5 LD50 of B. anthracis virulent Ames spores and observed the global transcriptional profiles of various tissues over a 48 hr time period. RNA was extracted from spleen, lung, and heart tissues of infected and control mice and examined by Affymetrix GeneChip analysis. Approximately 580 host genes were significantly over or under expressed among the lung, spleen, and heart tissues at 8 hr and 48 hr time points. Expression of genes encoding for surfactant and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) presentation was diminished during the early phase of infection in lungs. By 48 hr, a significant number of genes were modulated in the heart, including up-regulation of calcium-binding related gene expression, and down-regulation of multiple genes related to cell adhesion, formation of the extracellular matrix, and the cell cytoskeleton. Interestingly, the spleen 8 hr post-infection showed striking increases in the expression of genes that encode hydrolytic enzymes, and these levels remained elevated throughout infection. Further, genes involving antigen presentation and interferon responses were down-regulated in the spleen at 8 hr. In late stages of infection, splenic genes related to the inflammatory response were up-regulated. This study is the first to describe the in vivo global transcriptional response of multiple organs during inhalational anthrax. Although numerous genes related to the host immunological response and certain protection mechanisms were up-regulated in these organs, a vast list of genes important for fully developing and maintaining this

  2. Identification, Functional Characterization and Regulon Prediction of a Novel Two Component System Comprising BAS0540-BAS0541 of Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Gopalani, Monisha; Kandari, Divya; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2016-01-01

    Two component systems (TCSs) can be envisaged as complex molecular devices that help the bacteria to sense its environment and respond aptly. 41 TCSs are predicted in Bacillus anthracis, a potential bioterrorism agent, of which only four have been studied so far. Thus, the intricate signaling network contributed by TCSs remains largely unmapped in B. anthracis and needs comprehensive exploration. In this study, we functionally characterized one such system composed of BAS0540 (Response regulator) and BAS0541 (Histidine kinase). BAS0540-BAS0541, the closest homolog of CiaRH of Streptococcus in B. anthracis, forms a functional TCS with BAS0541 displaying autophosphorylation and subsequent phosphotransfer to BAS0540. BAS0540 was also found to accept phosphate from physiologically relevant small molecule phosphodonors like acetyl phosphate and carbamoyl phosphate. Results of qRT-PCR and immunoblotting demonstrated that BAS0540 exhibits a constitutive expression throughout the growth of B. anthracis. Regulon prediction for BAS0540 in B. anthracis was done in silico using the consensus DNA binding sequence of CiaR of Streptococcus. The predicted regulon of BAS0540 comprised of 23 genes, which could be classified into 8 functionally diverse categories. None of the proven virulence factors were a part of the predicted regulon, an observation contrasting with the regulon of CiaRH in Streptococci. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay was used to show direct binding of purified BAS0540 to the upstream regions of 5 putative regulon candidates- BAS0540 gene itself; a gene predicted to encode cell division protein FtsA; a self–immunity gene; a RND family transporter gene and a gene encoding stress (heat) responsive protein. A significant enhancement in the DNA binding ability of BAS0540 was observed upon phosphorylation. Overexpression of response regulator BAS0540 in B. anthracis led to a prodigious increase of ~6 folds in the cell length, thereby conferring it a filamentous

  3. Characterization of Bacillus anthracis-Like Bacteria Isolated from Wild Great Apes from Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon

    PubMed Central

    Klee, Silke R.; Özel, Muhsin; Appel, Bernd; Boesch, Christophe; Ellerbrok, Heinz; Jacob, Daniela; Holland, Gudrun; Leendertz, Fabian H.; Pauli, Georg; Grunow, Roland; Nattermann, Herbert

    2006-01-01

    We present the microbiological and molecular characterization of bacteria isolated from four chimpanzees and one gorilla thought to have died of an anthrax-like disease in Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon. These isolates differed significantly from classic Bacillus anthracis by the following criteria: motility, resistance to the gamma phage, and, for isolates from Cameroon, resistance to penicillin G. A capsule was expressed not only after induction by CO2 and bicarbonate but also under normal growth conditions. Subcultivation resulted in beta-hemolytic activity and gamma phage susceptibility in some subclones, suggesting differences in gene regulation compared to classic B. anthracis. The isolates from Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon showed slight differences in their biochemical characteristics and MICs of different antibiotics but were identical in all molecular features and sequences analyzed. PCR and Southern blot analyses confirmed the presence of both the toxin and the capsule plasmid, with sizes corresponding to the B. anthracis virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2. Protective antigen was expressed and secreted into the culture supernatant. The isolates possessed variants of the Ba813 marker and the SG-749 fragment differing from that of classic B. anthracis strains. Multilocus sequence typing revealed a close relationship of our atypical isolates with both classic B. anthracis strains and two uncommonly virulent Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis isolates. We propose that the newly discovered atypical B. anthracis strains share a common ancestor with classic B. anthracis or that they emerged recently by transfer of the B. anthracis plasmids to a strain of the B. cereus group. PMID:16855222

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Large-scale screening of nasal swabs for Bacillus anthracis: descriptive summary and discussion of the National Institutes of Health's experience.

    PubMed

    Kiratisin, Pattarachai; Fukuda, Caroline D; Wong, Alexandra; Stock, Frida; Preuss, Jeanne C; Ediger, Laura; Brahmbhatt, Trupti N; Fischer, Steven H; Fedorko, Daniel P; Witebsky, Frank G; Gill, Vee J

    2002-08-01

    In October 2001, a letter containing a large number of anthrax spores was sent through the Brentwood post office in Washington, D.C., to a United States Senate office on Capitol Hill, resulting in contamination in both places. Several thousand people who worked at these sites were screened for spore exposure by collecting nasal swab samples. We describe here a screening protocol which we, as a level A laboratory, used on very short notice to process a large number of specimens (3,936 swabs) in order to report preliminary results as quickly as possible. Six isolates from our screening met preliminary criteria for Bacillus anthracis identification and were referred for definitive testing. Although none of the isolates was later confirmed to be B. anthracis, we studied these isolates further to define their biochemical characteristics and 16S rRNA sequences. Four of the six isolates were identified as Bacillus megaterium, one was identified as Bacillus cereus, and one was an unidentifiable Bacillus sp. Our results suggest that large-scale nasal-swab screening for potential exposure to anthrax spores, particularly if not done immediately postexposure, may not be very effective for detecting B. anthracis but may detect a number of Bacillus spp. that are phenotypically very similar to B. anthracis.

  6. Computational fluid dynamics modeling of Bacillus anthracis spore deposition in rabbit and human respiratory airways

    SciTech Connect

    Kabilan, S.; Suffield, S. R.; Recknagle, K. P.; Jacob, R. E.; Einstein, D. R.; Kuprat, A. P.; Carson, J. P.; Colby, S. M.; Saunders, J. H.; Hines, S. A.; Teeguarden, J. G.; Straub, T. M.; Moe, M.; Taft, S. C.; Corley, R. A.

    2016-09-01

    Three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics and Lagrangian particle deposition models were developed to compare the deposition of aerosolized Bacillus anthracis spores in the respiratory airways of a human with that of the rabbit, a species commonly used in the study of anthrax disease. The respiratory airway geometries for each species were derived respectively from computed tomography (CT) and µCT images. Both models encompassed airways that extended from the external nose to the lung with a total of 272 outlets in the human model and 2878 outlets in the rabbit model. All simulations of spore deposition were conducted under transient, inhalation–exhalation breathing conditions using average species-specific minute volumes. Two different exposure scenarios were modeled in the rabbit based upon experimental inhalation studies. For comparison, human simulations were conducted at the highest exposure concentration used during the rabbit experimental exposures. Results demonstrated that regional spore deposition patterns were sensitive to airway geometry and ventilation profiles. Due to the complex airway geometries in the rabbit nose, higher spore deposition efficiency was predicted in the nasal sinus compared to the human at the same air concentration of anthrax spores. In contrast, higher spore deposition was predicted in the lower conducting airways of the human compared to the rabbit lung due to differences in airway branching pattern. This information can be used to refine published and ongoing biokinetic models of inhalation anthrax spore exposures, which currently estimate deposited spore concentrations based solely upon exposure concentrations and inhaled doses that do not factor in species-specific anatomy and physiology for deposition.

  7. Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling of Bacillus anthracis Spore Deposition in Rabbit and Human Respiratory Airways

    SciTech Connect

    Kabilan, Senthil; Suffield, Sarah R.; Recknagle, Kurtis P.; Jacob, Rick E.; Einstein, Daniel R.; Kuprat, Andrew P.; Carson, James P.; Colby, Sean M.; Saunders, James H.; Hines, Stephanie; Teeguarden, Justin G.; Straub, Tim M.; Moe, M.; Taft, Sarah; Corley, Richard A.

    2016-09-30

    Three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics and Lagrangian particle deposition models were developed to compare the deposition of aerosolized Bacillus anthracis spores in the respiratory airways of a human with that of the rabbit, a species commonly used in the study of anthrax disease. The respiratory airway geometries for each species were derived from computed tomography (CT) or µCT images. Both models encompassed airways that extended from the external nose to the lung with a total of 272 outlets in the human model and 2878 outlets in the rabbit model. All simulations of spore deposition were conducted under transient, inhalation-exhalation breathing conditions using average species-specific minute volumes. The highest exposure concentration was modeled in the rabbit based upon prior acute inhalation studies. For comparison, human simulation was also conducted at the same concentration. Results demonstrated that regional spore deposition patterns were sensitive to airway geometry and ventilation profiles. Due to the complex airway geometries in the rabbit nose, higher spore deposition efficiency was predicted in the upper conducting airways compared to the human at the same air concentration of anthrax spores. As a result, higher particle deposition was predicted in the conducting airways and deep lung of the human compared to the rabbit lung due to differences in airway branching pattern. This information can be used to refine published and ongoing biokinetic models of inhalation anthrax spore exposures, which currently estimate deposited spore concentrations based solely upon exposure concentrations and inhaled doses that do not factor in species-specific anatomy and physiology.

  8. Naturally acquired antibodies to Bacillus anthracis protective antigen in vultures of southern Africa.

    PubMed

    Turnbull, P C B; Diekmann, M; Kilian, J W; Versfeld, W; De Vos, V; Arntzen, L; Wolter, K; Bartels, P; Kotze, A

    2008-06-01

    Sera from 19 wild caught vultures in northern Namibia and 15 (12 wild caught and three captive bred but with minimal histories) in North West Province, South Africa, were examined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for antibodies to the Bacillus anthracis toxin protective antigen (PA). As assessed from the baseline established with a control group of ten captive reared vultures with well-documented histories, elevated titres were found in 12 of the 19 (63%) wild caught Namibian birds as compared with none of the 15 South African ones. There was a highly significant difference between the Namibian group as a whole and the other groups (P < 0.001) and no significant difference between the South African and control groups (P > 0.05). Numbers in the Namibian group were too small to determine any significances in species-, sex- or age-related differences within the raw data showing elevated titres in four out of six Cape Vultures, Gyps coprotheres, six out of ten White-backed Vultures, Gyps africanus, and one out of three Lappet-faced Vultures, Aegypius tracheliotus, or in five of six males versus three of seven females, and ten of 15 adults versus one of four juveniles. The results are in line with the available data on the incidence of anthrax in northern Namibia and South Africa and the likely contact of the vultures tested with anthrax carcasses. It is not known whether elevated titre indicates infection per se in vultures or absorption of incompletely digested epitopes of the toxin or both. The results are discussed in relation to distances travelled by vultures as determined by new tracking techniques, how serology can reveal anthrax activity in an area and the issue of the role of vultures in transmission of anthrax.

  9. Label-free flow-enhanced specific detection of Bacillus anthracis using a piezoelectric microcantilever sensor†

    PubMed Central

    McGovern, John-Paul; Rest, Richard; Purohit, Mitali; Pandya, Yognandan; Shih, Wei-Heng

    2009-01-01

    Differentiation between species of similar biological structure is of critical importance in biosensing applications. Here, we report specific detection of Bacillus anthracis (BA) spores from that of close relatives, such as B. thuringiensis (BT), B. cereus (BC), and B. subtilis (BS) by varying the flow speed of the sampling liquid over the surface of a piezoelectric microcantilever sensor (PEMS). Spore binding to the anti-BA spore IgG coated PEMS surface is determined by monitoring the resonance frequency change in the sensor’s impedance vs. frequency spectrum. Flow increases the resonance frequency shift at lower flow rates until the impingement force from the flow overcomes the binding strength of the antigen and decreases the resonance frequency shift at higher flow rates. We showed that the change from increasing to decreasing resonance frequency shift occurred at a lower fluid flow speed for BT, BC, and BS spores than for BA spores. This trend reduces the cross reactivity ratio of BC, BS, and BT to the anti-BA spore IgG immobilized PEMS from around 0.4 at low flow velocities to less than 0.05 at 3.8 mm s−1. This cross reactivity ratio of 0.05 was essentially negligible considering the experimental uncertainty. The use of the same flow that is used for detection to further distinguish the specific binding (BA to anti-BA spore antibody) from nonspecific binding (BT, BC, and BS to anti-BA spore antibody) is unique and has great potential in the detection of general biological species. PMID:18427687

  10. Composite Sampling of a Bacillus anthracis Surrogate with Cellulose Sponge Surface Samplers from a Nonporous Surface

    PubMed Central

    Tufts, Jenia A. M.; Meyer, Kathryn M.; Calfee, Michael Worth; Lee, Sang Don

    2014-01-01

    A series of experiments was conducted to explore the utility of composite-based collection of surface samples for the detection of a Bacillus anthracis surrogate using cellulose sponge samplers on a nonporous stainless steel surface. Two composite-based collection approaches were evaluated over a surface area of 3716 cm2 (four separate 929 cm2 areas), larger than the 645 cm2 prescribed by the standard Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention cellulose sponge sampling protocol for use on nonporous surfaces. The CDC method was also compared to a modified protocol where only one surface of the sponge sampler was used for each of the four areas composited. Differences in collection efficiency compared to positive controls and the potential for contaminant transfer for each protocol were assessed. The impact of the loss of wetting buffer from the sponge sampler onto additional surface areas sampled was evaluated. Statistical tests of the results using ANOVA indicate that the collection of composite samples using the modified sampling protocol is comparable to the collection of composite samples using the standard CDC protocol (p  =  0.261). Most of the surface-bound spores are collected on the first sampling pass, suggesting that multiple passes with the sponge sampler over the same surface may be unnecessary. The effect of moisture loss from the sponge sampler on collection efficiency was not significant (p  =  0.720) for both methods. Contaminant transfer occurs with both sampling protocols, but the magnitude of transfer is significantly greater when using the standard protocol than when the modified protocol is used (p<0.001). The results of this study suggest that composite surface sampling, by either method presented here, could successfully be used to increase the surface area sampled per sponge sampler, resulting in reduced sampling times in the field and decreased laboratory processing cost and turn-around times. PMID:25470365

  11. The differential susceptibility of spores from virulent and attenuated Bacillus anthracis strains to aldehyde- and hypochlorite-based disinfectants

    PubMed Central

    March, Jordon K; Cohen, Marissa N; Lindsey, James M; Millar, D A; Lowe, Chinn-Woan; Bunnell, Annette J; O'Neill, Kim L; Bruce Schaalje, G; Robison, Richard A

    2012-01-01

    This study compared the sensitivity of spores from virulent and attenuated Bacillus anthracis strains in suspension to inactivation by various chemical disinfectants. Spore suspensions from two virulent strains (A0256 and A0372) and two attenuated strains (Sterne and A0141) of B. anthracis were tested against two aldehyde-based disinfectants and one hypochlorite-based disinfectant. A novel statistical model was used to estimate 4-log10 reduction times for each disinfectant/strain combination. Reduction times were compared statistically using approximate Z and χ2 tests. Although there was no consistent correlation between virulence and increased sporicidal resistance across all three disinfectants, spores from the two virulent and two attenuated strains did display significantly different susceptibilities to different disinfectants. Significant disinfectant–strain interactions were observed for two of the three disinfectants evaluated. The comparative results suggest that the use of surrogate organisms to model the inactivation kinetics of virulent B. anthracis spores may be misleading. The accuracy of such extrapolations is disinfectant dependent and must be used with caution. PMID:23233190

  12. Rapid Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing of Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, and Burkholderia pseudomallei by Use of Laser Light Scattering Technology

    PubMed Central

    Lascols, Christine; Sue, David; Weigel, Linda M.

    2016-01-01

    Rapid methods to determine antimicrobial susceptibility would assist in the timely distribution of effective treatment or postexposure prophylaxis in the aftermath of the release of bacterial biothreat agents such as Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, or Burkholderia pseudomallei. Conventional susceptibility tests require 16 to 48 h of incubation, depending on the bacterial species. We evaluated a method that is based on laser light scattering technology that measures cell density in real time. We determined that it has the ability to rapidly differentiate between growth (resistant) and no growth (susceptible) of several bacterial threat agents in the presence of clinically relevant antimicrobials. Results were available in <4 h for B. anthracis and <6 h for Y. pestis and B. pseudomallei. One exception was B. pseudomallei in the presence of ceftazidime, which required >10 h of incubation. Use of laser scattering technology decreased the time required to determine antimicrobial susceptibility by 50% to 75% for B. anthracis, Y. pestis, and B. pseudomallei compared to conventional methods. PMID:26984973

  13. Ultrasensitive electrochemical immunoassay for surface array protein, a Bacillus anthracis biomarker using Au-Pd nanocrystals loaded on boron-nitride nanosheets as catalytic labels.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Mukesh Kumar; Narayanan, J; Pardasani, Deepak; Srivastava, Divesh N; Upadhyay, Sanjay; Goel, Ajay Kumar

    2016-06-15

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a well known bioterrorism agent. The determination of surface array protein (Sap), a unique biomarker for B. anthracis can offer an opportunity for specific detection of B. anthracis in culture broth. In this study, we designed a new catalytic bionanolabel and fabricated a novel electrochemical immunosensor for ultrasensitive detection of B. anthracis Sap antigen. Bimetallic gold-palladium nanoparticles were in-situ grown on poly (diallyldimethylammonium chloride) functionalized boron nitride nanosheets (Au-Pd NPs@BNNSs) and conjugated with the mouse anti-B. anthracis Sap antibodies (Ab2); named Au-Pd NPs@BNNSs/Ab2. The resulting Au-Pd NPs@BNNSs/Ab2 bionanolabel demonstrated high catalytic activity towards reduction of 4-nitrophenol. The sensitivity of the electrochemical immunosensor along with redox cycling of 4-aminophenol to 4-quinoneimine was improved to a great extent. Under optimal conditions, the proposed immunosensor exhibited a wide working range from 5 pg/mL to 100 ng/mL with a minimum detection limit of 1 pg/mL B. anthracis Sap antigen. The practical applicability of the immunosensor was demonstrated by specific detection of Sap secreted by the B. anthracis in culture broth just after 1h of growth. These labels open a new direction for the ultrasensitive detection of different biological warfare agents and their markers in different matrices.

  14. Identification of Novel Raft Marker Protein, FlotP in Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Somani, Vikas K.; Aggarwal, Somya; Singh, Damini; Prasad, Tulika; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2016-01-01

    Lipid rafts are dynamic, nanoscale assemblies of specific proteins and lipids, distributed heterogeneously on eukaryotic membrane. Flotillin-1, a conserved eukaryotic raft marker protein (RMP) harbor SPFH (Stomatin, Prohibitin, Flotillin, and HflK/C) and oligomerization domains to regulate various cellular processes through its interactions with other signaling or transport proteins. Rafts were thought to be absent in prokaryotes hitherto, but recent report of its presence and significance in physiology of Bacillus subtilis prompted us to investigate the same in pathogenic bacteria (PB) also. In prokaryotes, proteins of SPFH2a subfamily show highest identity to SPFH domain of Flotillin-1. Moreover, bacterial genome organization revealed that Flotillin homolog harboring SPFH2a domain exists in an operon with an upstream gene containing NFeD domain. Here, presence of RMP in PB was initially investigated in silico by analyzing the presence of SPFH2a, oligomerization domains in the concerned gene and NfeD domain in the adjacent upstream gene. After investigating 300 PB, four were found to harbor RMP. Among them, domains of Bas0525 (FlotP) of Bacillus anthracis (BA) showed highest identity with characteristic domains of RMP. Considering the global threat of BA as the bioterror agent, it was selected as a model for further in vitro characterization of rafts in PB. In silico and in vitro analysis showed significant similarity of FlotP with numerous attributes of Flotillin-1. Its punctate distribution on membrane with exclusive localization in detergent resistant membrane fraction; strongly favors presence of raft with RMP FlotP in BA. Furthermore, significant effect of Zaragozic acid (ZA), a raft associated lipid biosynthesis inhibitor, on several patho-physiological attributes of BA such as growth, morphology, membrane rigidity etc., were also observed. Specifically, a considerable decrease in membrane rigidity, strongly recommended presence of an unknown raft associated

  15. Phylogenetic typing of Bacillus anthracis isolated in Japan by multiple locus variable-number tandem repeats and the comprehensive single nucleotide polymorphism.

    PubMed

    Okutani, Akiko; Sekizuka, Tsuyoshi; Boldbaatar, Bazartseren; Yamada, Akio; Kuroda, Makoto; Inoue, Satoshi

    2010-01-01

    Twelve strains of Bacillus anthracis isolated in Japan were subjected to multiple locus variable-number tandem repeats analysis using 25 marker loci (MLVA25). The results showed that Japanese strains could be divided into two distinct genetic clusters, A3a and A3b. By using newly devised comprehensive single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) analysis, Japanese strains were also divided into two groups. The results obtained by the MLVA25 and plasmids SNP analysis well coincided, indicating that both methods were highly sensitive to discriminate B. anthracis strains. These results suggested that MLVA25 had sufficient discrimination power to identify B. anthracis at the strain level, and that MLVA25 as well as comprehensive SNPs analysis could facilitate further studies of B. anthracis strains including Japanese and other Asian strains.

  16. Microarray Bactericidal Testing of Natural Products Against Yersinia intermedia and Bacillus anthracis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2002-01-01

    against B. anthracis and Y. intermedia in Microarray Format AC Plant Source AC Plant Source Cineole Eucalyptus globulus Carvacrol Oregano (Origanum...concentrations (Figure 1, Table 3 ). Only the AC’s thymol, eugenol and carvacrol were effective against both B. anthracis and Y. intermedia (Figures 2, 3, 7...needed for an Overnight Inocula of B. anthracis VNR1-)1 and Y. intermedia Active component MIC (mM) B.A. MIC (mM) Y.I. Carvacrol 1.2 1.0 Thymol 0.3 3.5

  17. Bacillus Anthracis Comparative Genome Analysis in Support of the Amerithrax Investigation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-02-02

    strain had been cured of both virulence plasmids, pXO1 and pXO2, by heat (43 °C) and novobiocin treatment, respectively (16). Comparison of the ge- nome... virulent B. anthracis Ames. B. anthracis Ames was isolated in Sarita, TX, from a dead 14- mo-old Beefmaster heifer. It was acquired as a tryptose agar slant...it is an important, fully virulent reference for the Ames genotype (19). This material is hereafter referred to as B. anthracis Ames Ancestor. The

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-04-29

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

  19. Possible Use of Bacteriophages Active against Bacillus anthracis and Other B. cereus Group Members in the Face of a Bioterrorism Threat

    PubMed Central

    Weber-Dąbrowska, Beata; Borysowski, Jan; Górski, Andrzej

    2014-01-01

    Anthrax is an infectious fatal disease with epidemic potential. Nowadays, bioterrorism using Bacillus anthracis is a real possibility, and thus society needs an effective weapon to neutralize this threat. The pathogen may be easily transmitted to human populations. It is easy to store, transport, and disseminate and may survive for many decades. Recent data strongly support the effectiveness of bacteriophage in treating bacterial diseases. Moreover, it is clear that bacteriophages should be considered a potential incapacitative agent against bioterrorism using bacteria belonging to B. cereus group, especially B. anthracis. Therefore, we have reviewed the possibility of using bacteriophages active against Bacillus anthracis and other species of the B. cereus group in the face of a bioterrorism threat. PMID:25247187

  20. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray characterization of arylamine N-acetyltransferase C (BanatC) from Bacillus anthracis

    SciTech Connect

    Pluvinage, Benjamin; Li de la Sierra-Gallay, Inés; Martins, Marta; Ragunathan, Nilusha; Dupret, Jean-Marie; Rodrigues-Lima, Fernando

    2007-10-01

    Bacillus anthracis arylamine N-acetyltransferase C (BanatC) is an enzyme that metabolizes the drug sulfamethoxazole. Crystals of the purified enzyme that diffract at 1.95 Å are reported. The arylamine N-acetyltransferase (NAT) enzymes are xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes that have been found in a large range of eukaryotes and prokaryotes. These enzymes catalyse the acetylation of arylamine drugs and/or pollutants. Recently, a Bacillus anthracis NAT isoform (BanatC) has been cloned and shown to acetylate the sulfonamide antimicrobial sulfamethoxazole (SMX). Subsequently, it was shown that BanatC contributes to the resistance of this bacterium to SMX. Here, the crystallization and the X-ray characterization of BanatC (Y38F mutant) are reported. The crystals belong to the tetragonal space group P4{sub 1}2{sub 1}2 or P4{sub 3}2{sub 1}2, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 53.70, c = 172.40 Å, and diffract to 1.95 Å resolution on a synchrotron source.

  1. Rapid identification of Bacillus anthracis spores in suspicious powder samples by using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS).

    PubMed

    Dybwad, Marius; van der Laaken, Anton L; Blatny, Janet Martha; Paauw, Armand

    2013-09-01

    Rapid and reliable identification of Bacillus anthracis spores in suspicious powders is important to mitigate the safety risks and economic burdens associated with such incidents. The aim of this study was to develop and validate a rapid and reliable laboratory-based matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) analysis method for identifying B. anthracis spores in suspicious powder samples. A reference library containing 22 different Bacillus sp. strains or hoax materials was constructed and coupled with a novel classification algorithm and standardized processing protocol for various powder samples. The method's limit of B. anthracis detection was determined to be 2.5 × 10(6) spores, equivalent to a 55-μg sample size of the crudest B. anthracis-containing powder discovered during the 2001 Amerithrax incidents. The end-to-end analysis method was able to successfully discriminate among samples containing B. anthracis spores, closely related Bacillus sp. spores, and commonly encountered hoax materials. No false-positive or -negative classifications of B. anthracis spores were observed, even when the analysis method was challenged with a wide range of other bacterial agents. The robustness of the method was demonstrated by analyzing samples (i) at an external facility using a different MALDI-TOF MS instrument, (ii) using an untrained operator, and (iii) using mixtures of Bacillus sp. spores and hoax materials. Taken together, the observed performance of the analysis method developed demonstrates its potential applicability as a rapid, specific, sensitive, robust, and cost-effective laboratory-based analysis tool for resolving incidents involving suspicious powders in less than 30 min.

  2. Indirect Detection Of Bacillus Anthracis (Anthrax) Using Amplified Gamma Phage-Based Assays

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-01

    cells). Both capsule and toxin genes are required for fully virulent B. anthracis [28], and the production of the toxin proteins and the capsule... toxins . Most animal species , if untreated with antibiotics, contain between 10 and 100 million B. anthracis organisms per milliliter of blood at...environment and is found in many foods , it produces toxins that lead to food poisoning within several hours of ingestion. B. thuringiensis is an insect

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Use of high-resolution melting and melting temperature-shift assays for specific detection and identification of Bacillus anthracis based on single nucleotide discrimination.

    PubMed

    Derzelle, Sylviane; Mendy, Christiane; Laroche, Séverine; Madani, Nora

    2011-11-01

    Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are important diagnostic markers for the detection and differentiation of Bacillus anthracis. High-Resolution Melting (HRM) and Melting Temperature (Tm)-shift methods are two approaches that enable SNP detection without the need for expensive labeled probes. We evaluated the potential diagnostic capability of those methods to discriminate B. anthracis from the other members of the B. cereus group. Two assays targeting B. anthracis-specific SNPs in the plcR and gyrA genes were designed for each method and used to genotype a panel of 155 Bacilli strains. All B. anthracis isolates (n=65) were correctly and unambiguously identified. Assays also proved to be appropriate for the direct genotyping of biological samples. They could reliably detect B. anthracis in contaminated organs containing as little as 10(3)CFU/ml, corresponding to a few genome equivalents per reaction. The HRM and Tm-shift applications described here represent valuable tools for specific identification of B. anthracis at reduced cost.

  6. Structural Analysis of a Putative Aminoglycoside N-Acetyltransferase from Bacillus anthracis

    SciTech Connect

    Klimecka, Maria M.; Chruszcz, Maksymilian; Font, Jose; Skarina, Tatiana; Shumilin, Igor; Onopryienko, Olena; Porebski, Przemyslaw J.; Cymborowski, Marcin; Zimmerman, Matthew D.; Hasseman, Jeremy; Glomski, Ian J.; Lebioda, Lukasz; Savchenko, Alexei; Edwards, Aled; Minor, Wladek

    2012-02-15

    For the last decade, worldwide efforts for the treatment of anthrax infection have focused on developing effective vaccines. Patients that are already infected are still treated traditionally using different types of standard antimicrobial agents. The most popular are antibiotics such as tetracyclines and fluoroquinolones. While aminoglycosides appear to be less effective antimicrobial agents than other antibiotics, synthetic aminoglycosides have been shown to act as potent inhibitors of anthrax lethal factor and may have potential application as antitoxins. Here, we present a structural analysis of the BA2930 protein, a putative aminoglycoside acetyltransferase, which may be a component of the bacterium's aminoglycoside resistance mechanism. The determined structures revealed details of a fold characteristic only for one other protein structure in the Protein Data Bank, namely, YokD from Bacillus subtilis. Both BA2930 and YokD are members of the Antibiotic-NAT superfamily (PF02522). Sequential and structural analyses showed that residues conserved throughout the Antibiotic-NAT superfamily are responsible for the binding of the cofactor acetyl coenzyme A. The interaction of BA2930 with cofactors was characterized by both crystallographic and binding studies.

  7. Structural and functional analysis of two glutamate racemase isozymes from Bacillus anthracis and implications for inhibitor design†‡

    PubMed Central

    May, Melissa; Mehboob, Shahila; Mulhearn, Debbie C.; Wang, Zhiqiang; Yu, Huidong; Thatcher, Gregory R.J.; Santarsiero, Bernard D.; Johnson, Michael E.; Mesecar, Andrew D.

    2009-01-01

    Glutamate racemase (RacE) is responsible for converting L-glutamate to D-glutamate, which is an essential component of peptidoglycan biosynthesis, and the primary constituent of the poly-γ-D-glutamate capsule of the pathogen Bacillus anthracis. RacE enzymes are essential for bacterial growth and lack a human homolog, making them attractive targets for the design and development of antibacterial therapeutics. We have cloned, expressed and purified the two glutamate racemase isozymes, RacE1 and RacE2, from the B. anthracis genome. Through a series of steady-state kinetic studies, and based upon the ability of both RacE1 and RacE2 to catalyze the rapid formation of D-glutamate, we have determined that RacE1 and RacE2 are bona fide isozymes. The x-ray structures of B. anthracis RacE1 and RacE2, in complex with D-glutamate, were determined to resolutions of 1.75 Å and 2.0 Å. Both enzymes are dimers with monomers arranged in a “tail-to-tail” orientation, similar to the B. subtilis RacE structure, but differing substantially from the A. pyrophilus RacE structure. The differences in quaternary structures produce differences in the active sites of racemases among the various species, which has important implications for structure-based, inhibitor design efforts within this class of enzymes. We found a Val to Ala variance at the entrance of the active site between RacE1 and RacE2 which results in the active site entrance being less sterically hindered for RacE1. Using a series of inhibitors, we show that this variance results in differences in the inhibitory activity against the two isozymes and suggest a strategy for structure-based inhibitor design to obtain broad-spectrum inhibitors for glutamate racemases. PMID:17610893

  8. Development and field testing of a mobile chlorine dioxide generation system for the decontamination of buildings contaminated with Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Wood, Joseph P; Blair Martin, G

    2009-05-30

    The numerous buildings that became contaminated with Bacillus anthracis (the bacterium causing the disease anthrax) in 2001, and more recent B. anthracis - related events, point to the need to have effective decontamination technologies for buildings contaminated with biological threat agents. The U.S. Government developed a portable chlorine dioxide (ClO(2)) generation system to decontaminate buildings contaminated with B. anthracis spores, and this so-called mobile decontamination trailer (MDT) prototype was tested through a series of three field trials. The first test of the MDT was conducted at Fort McClellan in Anniston, AL. during October 2004. Four test attempts occurred over two weekends; however, a number of system problems resulted in termination of the activity prior to any ClO(2) introduction into the test building. After making several design enhancements and equipment changes, the MDT was subjected to a second test. During this test, extensive leak checks were made using argon and nitrogen in lieu of chlorine gas; each subsystem was checked for functionality, and the MDT was operated for 24h. This second test demonstrated the MDT flow and control systems functioned satisfactorily, and thus it was decided to proceed to a third, more challenging field trial. In the last field test, ClO(2) was generated and routed directly to the scrubber in a 12-h continuous run. Measurement of ClO(2) levels at the generator outlet showed that the desired production rate was not achieved. Additionally, only one of the two scrubbers performed adequately with regard to maintaining ClO(2) emissions below the limit. Numerous lessons were learned in the field trials of this ClO(2) decontamination technology.

  9. Hfqs in Bacillus anthracis: Role of protein sequence variation in the structure and function of proteins in the Hfq family.

    PubMed

    Vrentas, Catherine; Ghirlando, Rodolfo; Keefer, Andrea; Hu, Zonglin; Tomczak, Aurelie; Gittis, Apostolos G; Murthi, Athulaprabha; Garboczi, David N; Gottesman, Susan; Leppla, Stephen H

    2015-11-01

    Hfq proteins in Gram-negative bacteria play important roles in bacterial physiology and virulence, mediated by binding of the Hfq hexamer to small RNAs and/or mRNAs to post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression. However, the physiological role of Hfqs in Gram-positive bacteria is less clear. Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, uniquely expresses three distinct Hfq proteins, two from the chromosome (Hfq1, Hfq2) and one from its pXO1 virulence plasmid (Hfq3). The protein sequences of Hfq1 and 3 are evolutionarily distinct from those of Hfq2 and of Hfqs found in other Bacilli. Here, the quaternary structure of each B. anthracis Hfq protein, as produced heterologously in Escherichia coli, was characterized. While Hfq2 adopts the expected hexamer structure, Hfq1 does not form similarly stable hexamers in vitro. The impact on the monomer-hexamer equilibrium of varying Hfq C-terminal tail length and other sequence differences among the Hfqs was examined, and a sequence region of the Hfq proteins that was involved in hexamer formation was identified. It was found that, in addition to the distinct higher-order structures of the Hfq homologs, they give rise to different phenotypes. Hfq1 has a disruptive effect on the function of E. coli Hfq in vivo, while Hfq3 expression at high levels is toxic to E. coli but also partially complements Hfq function in E. coli. These results set the stage for future studies of the roles of these proteins in B. anthracis physiology and for the identification of sequence determinants of phenotypic complementation.

  10. Identification of Bacillus anthracis by Using Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization-Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry and Artificial Neural Networks ▿

    PubMed Central

    Lasch, Peter; Beyer, Wolfgang; Nattermann, Herbert; Stämmler, Maren; Siegbrecht, Enrico; Grunow, Roland; Naumann, Dieter

    2009-01-01

    This report demonstrates the applicability of a combination of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS) and chemometrics for rapid and reliable identification of vegetative cells of the causative agent of anthrax, Bacillus anthracis. Bacillus cultures were prepared under standardized conditions and inactivated according to a recently developed MS-compatible inactivation protocol for highly pathogenic microorganisms. MALDI-TOF MS was then employed to collect spectra from the microbial samples and to build up a database of bacterial reference spectra. This database comprised mass peak profiles of 374 strains from Bacillus and related genera, among them 102 strains of B. anthracis and 121 strains of B. cereus. The information contained in the database was investigated by means of visual inspection of gel view representations, univariate t tests for biomarker identification, unsupervised hierarchical clustering, and artificial neural networks (ANNs). Analysis of gel views and independent t tests suggested B. anthracis- and B. cereus group-specific signals. For example, mass spectra of B. anthracis exhibited discriminating biomarkers at 4,606, 5,413, and 6,679 Da. A systematic search in proteomic databases allowed tentative assignment of some of the biomarkers to ribosomal protein or small acid-soluble proteins. Multivariate pattern analysis by unsupervised hierarchical cluster analysis further revealed a subproteome-based taxonomy of the genus Bacillus. Superior classification accuracy was achieved when supervised ANNs were employed. For the identification of B. anthracis, independent validation of optimized ANN models yielded a diagnostic sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 100%. PMID:19767470

  11. Whole Genome-Sequencing and Phylogenetic Analysis of a Historical Collection of Bacillus anthracis Strains from Danish Cattle

    PubMed Central

    Derzelle, Sylviane; Girault, Guillaume; Kokotovic, Branko; Angen, Øystein

    2015-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is known as one of the most genetically monomorphic species. Canonical single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) typing and whole-genome sequencing were used to investigate the molecular diversity of eleven B. anthracis strains isolated from cattle in Denmark between 1935 and 1988. Danish strains were assigned into five canSNP groups or lineages, i.e. A.Br.001/002 (n = 4), A.Br.Ames (n = 2), A.Br.008/011 (n = 2), A.Br.005/006 (n = 2) and A.Br.Aust94 (n = 1). The match with the A.Br.Ames lineage is of particular interest as the occurrence of such lineage in Europe is demonstrated for the first time, filling an historical gap within the phylogeography of the lineage. Comparative genome analyses of these strains with 41 isolates from other parts of the world revealed that the two Danish A.Br.008/011 strains were related to the heroin-associated strains responsible for outbreaks of injection anthrax in drug users in Europe. Eight novel diagnostic SNPs that specifically discriminate the different sub-groups of Danish strains were identified and developed into PCR-based genotyping assays. PMID:26317972

  12. Whole Genome-Sequencing and Phylogenetic Analysis of a Historical Collection of Bacillus anthracis Strains from Danish Cattle.

    PubMed

    Derzelle, Sylviane; Girault, Guillaume; Kokotovic, Branko; Angen, Øystein

    2015-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is known as one of the most genetically monomorphic species. Canonical single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) typing and whole-genome sequencing were used to investigate the molecular diversity of eleven B. anthracis strains isolated from cattle in Denmark between 1935 and 1988. Danish strains were assigned into five canSNP groups or lineages, i.e. A.Br.001/002 (n = 4), A.Br.Ames (n = 2), A.Br.008/011 (n = 2), A.Br.005/006 (n = 2) and A.Br.Aust94 (n = 1). The match with the A.Br.Ames lineage is of particular interest as the occurrence of such lineage in Europe is demonstrated for the first time, filling an historical gap within the phylogeography of the lineage. Comparative genome analyses of these strains with 41 isolates from other parts of the world revealed that the two Danish A.Br.008/011 strains were related to the heroin-associated strains responsible for outbreaks of injection anthrax in drug users in Europe. Eight novel diagnostic SNPs that specifically discriminate the different sub-groups of Danish strains were identified and developed into PCR-based genotyping assays.

  13. Assessment of delivery parameters with the multi-electrode array for development of a DNA vaccine against Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Donate, Amy; Heller, Richard

    2013-12-01

    Gene electrotransfer (GET) enhances delivery of DNA vaccines by increasing both gene expression and immune responses. Our lab has developed the multi-electrode array (MEA) for DNA delivery to skin. The MEA was used at constant pulse duration (150 ms) and frequency (6.67 Hz). In this study, delivery parameters including applied voltage (5-45 V), amount of plasmid (100-300 μg), and number of treatments (2-3) were evaluated for delivery of a DNA vaccine. Mice were intradermally injected with plasmid expressing Bacillus anthracis protective antigen with or without GET and αPA serum titers measured. Within this experiment no significant differences were noted in antibody levels from varying dose or treatment number. However, significant differences were measured from applied voltages of 25 and 35 V. These voltages generated antibody levels between 20,000 and 25,000. Serum from animals vaccinated with these conditions also resulted in toxin neutralization in 40-60% of animals. Visual damage was noted at MEA conditions of 40 V. No damage was noted either visually or histologically from conditions of 35 V or below. These results reflect the importance of establishing appropriate electrical parameters and the potential for the MEA in non-invasive DNA vaccination against B. anthracis.

  14. Two independent replicons can support replication of the anthrax toxin-encoding plasmid pXO1 of Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Akhtar, Parvez; Khan, Saleem A.

    2014-01-01

    The large pXO1 plasmid (181.6 kb) of Bacillus anthracis encodes the anthrax toxin proteins. Previous studies have shown that two separate regions of pXO1 can support replication of pXO1 miniplasmids when introduced into plasmid-less strains of this organism. No information is currently available on the ability of the above two replicons, termed RepX and ORFs 14/16 replicons, to support replication of the full-length pXO1 plasmid. We generated mutants of the full-length pXO1 plasmid in which either the RepX or the ORFs 14/16 replicon was inactivated by TargeTron insertional mutagenesis. Plasmid pXO1 derivatives containing only the RepX or the ORFs 14/16 replicon were able to replicate when introduced into a plasmid-less B. anthracis strain. Plasmid copy number analysis showed that the ORFs 14/16 replicon is more efficient than the RepX replicon. Our studies demonstrate that both the RepX and ORFs 14/16 replicons can independently support the replication of the full-length pXO1 plasmid. PMID:22239982

  15. The Sortase A enzyme that attaches proteins to the cell wall of Bacillus anthracis contains an unusual active site architecture.

    PubMed

    Weiner, Ethan M; Robson, Scott; Marohn, Melanie; Clubb, Robert T

    2010-07-23

    The pathogen Bacillus anthracis uses the Sortase A (SrtA) enzyme to anchor proteins to its cell wall envelope during vegetative growth. To gain insight into the mechanism of protein attachment to the cell wall in B. anthracis we investigated the structure, backbone dynamics, and function of SrtA. The NMR structure of SrtA has been determined with a backbone coordinate precision of 0.40 +/- 0.07 A. SrtA possesses several novel features not previously observed in sortase enzymes including the presence of a structurally ordered amino terminus positioned within the active site and in contact with catalytically essential histidine residue (His(126)). We propose that this appendage, in combination with a unique flexible active site loop, mediates the recognition of lipid II, the second substrate to which proteins are attached during the anchoring reaction. pK(a) measurements indicate that His(126) is uncharged at physiological pH compatible with the enzyme operating through a "reverse protonation" mechanism. Interestingly, NMR relaxation measurements and the results of a model building study suggest that SrtA recognizes the LPXTG sorting signal through a lock-in-key mechanism in contrast to the prototypical SrtA enzyme from Staphylococcus aureus.

  16. The Sortase A Enzyme That Attaches Proteins to the Cell Wall of Bacillus anthracis Contains an Unusual Active Site Architecture*

    PubMed Central

    Weiner, Ethan M.; Robson, Scott; Marohn, Melanie; Clubb, Robert T.

    2010-01-01

    The pathogen Bacillus anthracis uses the Sortase A (SrtA) enzyme to anchor proteins to its cell wall envelope during vegetative growth. To gain insight into the mechanism of protein attachment to the cell wall in B. anthracis we investigated the structure, backbone dynamics, and function of SrtA. The NMR structure of SrtA has been determined with a backbone coordinate precision of 0.40 ± 0.07 Å. SrtA possesses several novel features not previously observed in sortase enzymes including the presence of a structurally ordered amino terminus positioned within the active site and in contact with catalytically essential histidine residue (His126). We propose that this appendage, in combination with a unique flexible active site loop, mediates the recognition of lipid II, the second substrate to which proteins are attached during the anchoring reaction. pKa measurements indicate that His126 is uncharged at physiological pH compatible with the enzyme operating through a “reverse protonation” mechanism. Interestingly, NMR relaxation measurements and the results of a model building study suggest that SrtA recognizes the LPXTG sorting signal through a lock-in-key mechanism in contrast to the prototypical SrtA enzyme from Staphylococcus aureus. PMID:20489200

  17. Identification of a Ligand on the Wip1 Bacteriophage Highly Specific for a Receptor on Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Kan, Sherry; Fornelos, Nadine; Schuch, Raymond

    2013-01-01

    Tectiviridae is a family of tailless bacteriophages with Gram-negative and Gram-positive hosts. The family model PRD1 and its close relatives all infect a broad range of enterobacteria by recognizing a plasmid-encoded conjugal transfer complex as a receptor. In contrast, tectiviruses with Gram-positive hosts are highly specific to only a few hosts within the same bacterial species. The cellular determinants that account for the observed specificity remain unknown. Here we present the genome sequence of Wip1, a tectivirus that infects the pathogen Bacillus anthracis. The Wip1 genome is related to other tectiviruses with Gram-positive hosts, notably, AP50, but displays some interesting differences in its genome organization. We identified Wip1 candidate genes for the viral spike complex, the structure located at the capsid vertices and involved in host receptor binding. Phage adsorption and inhibition tests were combined with immunofluorescence microscopy to show that the Wip1 gene product p23 is a receptor binding protein. His-p23 also formed a stable complex with p24, a Wip1 protein of unknown function, suggesting that the latter is involved with p23 in host cell recognition. The narrow host range of phage Wip1 and the identification of p23 as a receptor binding protein offer a new range of suitable tools for the rapid identification of B. anthracis. PMID:23893110

  18. Thermostable single domain antibody-maltose binding protein fusion for Bacillus anthracis spore protein BclA detection.

    PubMed

    Walper, Scott A; Battle, Shawna R; Audrey Brozozog Lee, P; Zabetakis, Dan; Turner, Kendrick B; Buckley, Patricia E; Calm, Alena M; Welsh, Heather S; Warner, Candice R; Zacharko, Melody A; Goldman, Ellen R; Anderson, George P

    2014-02-15

    We constructed a genetic fusion of a single domain antibody (sdAb) with the thermal stable maltose binding protein from the thermophile Pyrococcus furiosus (PfuMBP). Produced in the Escherichia coli cytoplasm with high yield, it proved to be a rugged and effective immunoreagent. The sdAb-A5 binds BclA, a Bacillus anthracis spore protein, with high affinity (K(D) ∼ 50 pM). MBPs, including the thermostable PfuMBP, have been demonstrated to be excellent folding chaperones, improving production of many recombinant proteins. A three-step purification of E. coli shake flask cultures of PfuMBP-sdAb gave a yield of approximately 100mg/L highly purified product. The PfuMBP remained stable up to 120 °C, whereas the sdAb-A5 portion unfolded at approximately 68 to 70 °C but could refold to regain activity. This fusion construct was stable to heating at 1mg/ml for 1h at 70 °C, retaining nearly 100% of its binding activity; nearly one-quarter (24%) activity remained after 1h at 90 °C. The PfuMBP-sdAb construct also provides a stable and effective method to coat gold nanoparticles. Most important, the construct was found to provide enhanced detection of B. anthracis Sterne strain (34F2) spores relative to the sdAb-A5 both as a capture reagent and as a detection reagent.

  19. Pilot-scale crossflow-microfiltration and pasteurization to remove spores of Bacillus anthracis (Sterne) from milk.

    PubMed

    Tomasula, P M; Mukhopadhyay, S; Datta, N; Porto-Fett, A; Call, J E; Luchansky, J B; Renye, J; Tunick, M

    2011-09-01

    High-temperature, short-time pasteurization of milk is ineffective against spore-forming bacteria such as Bacillus anthracis (BA), but is lethal to its vegetative cells. Crossflow microfiltration (MF) using ceramic membranes with a pore size of 1.4 μm has been shown to reject most microorganisms from skim milk; and, in combination with pasteurization, has been shown to extend its shelf life. The objectives of this study were to evaluate MF for its efficiency in removing spores of the attenuated Sterne strain of BA from milk; to evaluate the combined efficiency of MF using a 0.8-μm ceramic membrane, followed by pasteurization (72°C, 18.6s); and to monitor any residual BA in the permeates when stored at temperatures of 4, 10, and 25°C for up to 28 d. In each trial, 95 L of raw skim milk was inoculated with about 6.5 log(10) BA spores/mL of milk. It was then microfiltered in total recycle mode at 50°C using ceramic membranes with pore sizes of either 0.8 μm or 1.4 μm, at crossflow velocity of 6.2 m/s and transmembrane pressure of 127.6 kPa, conditions selected to exploit the selectivity of the membrane. Microfiltration using the 0.8-μm membrane removed 5.91±0.05 log(10) BA spores/mL of milk and the 1.4-μm membrane removed 4.50±0.35 log(10) BA spores/mL of milk. The 0.8-μm membrane showed efficient removal of the native microflora and both membranes showed near complete transmission of the casein proteins. Spore germination was evident in the permeates obtained at 10, 30, and 120 min of MF time (0.8-μm membrane) but when stored at 4 or 10°C, spore levels were decreased to below detection levels (≤0.3 log(10) spores/mL) by d 7 or 3 of storage, respectively. Permeates stored at 25°C showed coagulation and were not evaluated further. Pasteurization of the permeate samples immediately after MF resulted in additional spore germination that was related to the length of MF time. Pasteurized permeates obtained at 10 min of MF and stored at 4 or 10°C showed no

  20. gyrB as a phylogenetic discriminator for members of the Bacillus anthracis-cereus-thuringiensis group

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    La Duc, Myron T.; Satomi, Masataka; Agata, Norio; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri

    2004-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of the human disease anthrax, Bacillus cereus, a food-borne pathogen capable of causing human illness, and Bacillus thuringiensis, a well-characterized insecticidal toxin producer, all cluster together within a very tight clade (B. cereus group) phylogenetically and are indistinguishable from one another via 16S rDNA sequence analysis. As new pathogens are continually emerging, it is imperative to devise a system capable of rapidly and accurately differentiating closely related, yet phenotypically distinct species. Although the gyrB gene has proven useful in discriminating closely related species, its sequence analysis has not yet been validated by DNA:DNA hybridization, the taxonomically accepted "gold standard". We phylogenetically characterized the gyrB sequences of various species and serotypes encompassed in the "B. cereus group," including lab strains and environmental isolates. Results were compared to those obtained from analyses of phenotypic characteristics, 16S rDNA sequence, DNA:DNA hybridization, and virulence factors. The gyrB gene proved more highly differential than 16S, while, at the same time, as analytical as costly and laborious DNA:DNA hybridization techniques in differentiating species within the B. cereus group.

  1. Evaluation of New Dihydrophthalazine-Appended 2,4-Diaminopyrimidines against Bacillus anthracis: Improved Syntheses Using a New Pincer Complex

    PubMed Central

    Muddala, Nagendra Prasad; Nammalwar, Baskar; Selvaraju, Subhashini; Bourne, Christina R.; Henry, Mary; Bunce, Richard A.; Berlin, K. Darrell; Barrow, Esther W.; Barrow, William W.

    2015-01-01

    The synthesis and evaluation of ten new dihydrophthalazine-appended 2,4-diaminopyrimidines as potential drugs to treat Bacillus anthracis is reported. An improved synthesis utilizing a new pincer catalyst, dichlorobis[1-(dicyclohexylphosphanyl)-piperidine]palladium(II), allows the final Heck coupling to be performed at 90 °C using triethylamine as the base. These milder conditions have been used to achieve improved yields for new and previously reported substrates with functional groups that degrade or react at the normal 140 °C reaction temperature. An analytical protocol for separating the S and R enantiomers of two of the most active compounds is also disclosed. Finally, the X-ray structure for the most active enantiomer of the lead compound, (S)-RAB1, is given. PMID:25905602

  2. Expression, Purification, Crystallization And Preliminary X-Ray Studies of a Prolyl-4-Hydroxylase Protein From Bacillus Anthracis

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, M.A.; Scott, E.E.; Limburg, J.

    2009-05-26

    Collagen prolyl-4-hydroxylase (C-P4H) catalyzes the hydroxylation of specific proline residues in procollagen, which is an essential step in collagen biosynthesis. A new form of P4H from Bacillus anthracis (anthrax-P4H) that shares many characteristics with the type I C-P4H from human has recently been characterized. The structure of anthrax-P4H could provide important insight into the chemistry of C-P4Hs and into the function of this unique homodimeric P4H. X-ray diffraction data of selenomethionine-labeled anthrax-P4H recombinantly expressed in Escherichia coli have been collected to 1.4 {angstrom} resolution.

  3. Anthrax Toxins in Context of Bacillus anthracis Spores and Spore Germination

    PubMed Central

    Cote, Christopher K.; Welkos, Susan L.

    2015-01-01

    The interaction of anthrax toxin or toxin components with B. anthracis spores has been demonstrated. Germinating spores can produce significant amounts of toxin components very soon after the initiation of germination. In this review, we will summarize the work performed that has led to our understanding of toxin and spore interactions and discuss the complexities associated with these interactions. PMID:26287244

  4. Anthrax Toxins in Context of Bacillus anthracis Spores and Spore Germination.

    PubMed

    Cote, Christopher K; Welkos, Susan L

    2015-08-17

    The interaction of anthrax toxin or toxin components with B. anthracis spores has been demonstrated. Germinating spores can produce significant amounts of toxin components very soon after the initiation of germination. In this review, we will summarize the work performed that has led to our understanding of toxin and spore interactions and discuss the complexities associated with these interactions.

  5. Discrimination of Bacillus anthracis from closely related microorganisms by analysis of 16S and 23S rRNA with oligonucleotide microchips

    DOEpatents

    Bavykin, Sergei G.; Mirzabekov, Andrei D.

    2007-10-30

    The present invention is directed to a novel method of discriminating a highly infectious bacterium Bacillus anthracis from a group of closely related microorganisms. Sequence variations in the 16S and 23S rRNA of the B. cereus subgroup including B. anthracis are utilized to construct an array that can detect these sequence variations through selective hybridizations. The identification and analysis of these sequence variations enables positive discrimination of isolates of the B. cereus group that includes B. anthracis. Discrimination of single base differences in rRNA was achieved with a microchip during analysis of B. cereus group isolates from both single and in mixed probes, as well as identification of polymorphic sites. Successful use of a microchip to determine the appropriate subgroup classification using eight reference microorganisms from the B. cereus group as a study set, was demonstrated.

  6. Zinc regulates the activity of kinase-phosphatase pair (BasPrkC/BasPrpC) in Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Arora, Gunjan; Sajid, Andaleeb; Arulanandh, Mary Diana; Misra, Richa; Singhal, Anshika; Kumar, Santosh; Singh, Lalit K; Mattoo, Abid R; Raj, Rishi; Maiti, Souvik; Basu-Modak, Sharmila; Singh, Yogendra

    2013-10-01

    Bacillus anthracis Ser/Thr protein kinase PrkC (BasPrkC) is important for virulence of the bacterium within the host. Homologs of PrkC and its cognate phosphatase PrpC (BasPrpC) are the most conserved mediators of signaling events in diverse bacteria. BasPrkC homolog in Bacillus subtilis regulates critical processes like spore germination and BasPrpC modulates the activity of BasPrkC by dephosphorylation. So far, biochemical and genetic studies have provided important insights into the roles of BasPrkC and BasPrpC; however, regulation of their activities is not known. We studied the regulation of BasPrkC/BasPrpC pair and observed that Zn(2+) metal ions can alter their activities. Zn(2+) promotes BasPrkC kinase activity while inhibits the BasPrpC phosphatase activity. Concentration of Zn(2+) in growing B. anthracis cells was found to vary with growth phase. Zn(2+) was found to be lowest in log phase cells while it was highest in spores. This variation in Zn(2+) concentration is significant for understanding the antagonistic activities of BasPrkC/BasPrpC pair. Our results also show that BasPrkC activity is modulated by temperature changes and kinase inhibitors. Additionally, we identified Elongation Factor Tu (BasEf-Tu) as a substrate of BasPrkC/BasPrpC pair and assessed the impact of their regulation on BasEf-Tu phosphorylation. Based on these results, we propose Zn(2+) as an important regulator of BasPrkC/BasPrpC mediated phosphorylation cascades. Thus, this study reveals additional means by which BasPrkC can be activated leading to autophosphorylation and substrate phosphorylation.

  7. Multiplex PCR for species-level identification of Bacillus anthracis and detection of pXO1, pXO2, and related plasmids.

    PubMed

    Riojas, Marco A; Kiss, Katalin; McKee, Marian L; Hazbón, Manzour Hernando

    2015-01-01

    The Bacillus anthracis virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2 have critical implications for biosafety and select agent status. The proper identification and characterization of B. anthracis and its plasmid profile is important to the biodefense research community. Multiplex PCR was used to simultaneously detect a B. anthracis-specific chromosomal mutation, 4 targets distributed across pXO1, 3 targets distributed across pXO2, and highly conserved regions of the 16S gene, allowing an internal positive control for each sample. The multiplex PCR can produce as many as 9 easily separable and distinguishable amplicons, ranging in size from 188 to 555 bp. The PCR results were used to characterize DNA samples extracted from B. anthracis, other Bacillus species, and other bacterial species from many different genera. With the exception of 2 novel putative plasmids discovered, testing against inclusion and extensive exclusion panels showed 100% correlation to previously published and expected results. Upon testing 29 previously unpublished B. anthracis strains, 10 (34.5%) were pXO1(+)/pXO2(+), 9 (31.0%) were pXO1(+)/pXO2(-), 7 (24.1%) were pXO1(-)/pXO2(+), and 3 (10.3%) were pXO1(-)/pXO2(-). The present work presents a novel 9-target multiplex PCR assay capable of species-level identification of B. anthracis via a unique chromosomal marker and the detection of pXO1 and pXO2 via multiply redundant targets on each.

  8. Requirements for the Development of Bacillus Anthracis Spore Reference Materials Used to Test Detection Systems

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-01-01

    in some strains of Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis [55, 56]. The Ba813 marker has been used for a real time PCR assay using Taqman-type...spores. Bacillus spores contain a number of coat layers and some species posses an additional outermost layer called the exosporium. BA, B. cereus , and B...additional tubular appendages [9]. The exosporium of Bacillus cereus is composed of about 50 % proteins, along with lower amounts of lipids and

  9. Response surface modeling for hot, humid air decontamination of materials contaminated with Bacillus anthracis ∆Sterne and Bacillus thuringiensis Al Hakam spores

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Response surface methodology using a face-centered cube design was used to describe and predict spore inactivation of Bacillus anthracis ∆Sterne and Bacillus thuringiensis Al Hakam spores after exposure of six spore-contaminated materials to hot, humid air. For each strain/material pair, an attempt was made to fit a first or second order model. All three independent predictor variables (temperature, relative humidity, and time) were significant in the models except that time was not significant for B. thuringiensis Al Hakam on nylon. Modeling was unsuccessful for wiring insulation and wet spores because there was complete spore inactivation in the majority of the experimental space. In cases where a predictive equation could be fit, response surface plots with time set to four days were generated. The survival of highly purified Bacillus spores can be predicted for most materials tested when given the settings for temperature, relative humidity, and time. These predictions were cross-checked with spore inactivation measurements. PMID:24949256

  10. Optical Screening for Rapid Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing and for Observation of Phenotypic Diversity among Strains of the Genetically Clonal Species Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    McLaughlin, Heather P; Gargis, Amy S; Michel, Pierre; Sue, David; Weigel, Linda M

    2017-03-01

    During high-impact events involving Bacillus anthracis, such as the Amerithrax incident of 2001 or the anthrax outbreaks in Russia and Sweden in 2016, critical decisions to reduce morbidity and mortality include rapid selection and distribution of effective antimicrobial agents for treatment and postexposure prophylaxis. Detection of antimicrobial resistance currently relies on a conventional broth microdilution method that requires a 16- to 20-h incubation time for B. anthracis Advances in high-resolution optical screening offer a new technology to more rapidly evaluate antimicrobial susceptibility and to simultaneously assess the growth characteristics of an isolate. Herein, we describe a new method developed and evaluated as a rapid antimicrobial susceptibility test for B. anthracis This method is based on automated digital time-lapse microscopy to observe the growth and morphological effects of relevant antibiotics with an optical screening instrument, the oCelloScope. B. anthracis strains were monitored over time in the presence or absence of penicillin, ciprofloxacin, or doxycycline. Susceptibility to each antibiotic was determined in ≤4 h, 75 to 80% less than the time required for conventional methods. Time-lapse video imaging compiled from the optical screening images revealed unexpected differences in growth characteristics among strains of B. anthracis, which is considered to be a clonal organism. This technology provides a new approach for rapidly detecting phenotypic antimicrobial resistance and for documenting growth attributes that may be beneficial in the further characterization of individual strains.

  11. The use of a model of in vivo macrophage depletion to study the role of macrophages during infection with Bacillus anthracis spores.

    PubMed

    Cote, Christopher K; Rea, Kelly M; Norris, Sarah L; van Rooijen, Nico; Welkos, Susan L

    2004-10-01

    The pathogenesis of infection by Bacillus anthracis has been the subject of many investigations, but remains incompletely understood. It has been shown that B. anthracis spores germinate in macrophages and perhaps require this intracellular niche to germinate in vivo before outgrowth of the vegetative organism. However, it has also been reported that macrophages are sporicidal in vitro. In our in vivo model, macrophages were depleted from mice by either silica treatment or treatment with liposome-encapsulated dichloromethylene disphosphonate (Cl(2)MDP), and the animals were infected parenterally with virulent ungerminated B. anthracis (Ames strain) spores. The mice in which macrophages had been depleted were killed more rapidly than untreated mice. In addition, augmenting peritoneal populations of macrophages with cultured RAW264.7 cells partially protected mice from disease, increasing the survival rate in a dose dependent relationship. Alveolar macrophages were depleted by intranasal instillation of liposome-encapsulated Cl(2)MDP. The animals with normal alveolar macrophage numbers had significantly greater survival rates after inhaling B. anthracis spores than the macrophage-depleted mice. These findings do not preclude the observations that macrophages provide a site permissive for spore germination, however, these data suggest that macrophages do play an important role in limiting and/or clearing a B. anthracis infection.

  12. Virtual screening of LPXTG competitive SrtA inhibitors targeting signal transduction mechanism in Bacillus anthracis: a combined experimental and theoretical study.

    PubMed

    Selvaraj, Chandrabose; Sivakamavalli, Jeyachandran; Baskaralingam, Vaseeharan; Singh, Sanjeev Kumar

    2014-06-01

    Members of the sortase enzyme super family decorate the surfaces of Bacillus anthracis cell wall with proteins that play key roles in microbial pathogenesis and its biofilm formation. Bacillus anthracis Sortase-A (Ba-SrtA) is a potential target for new therapeutics as it is required for B. anthracis survival and replication within macrophages. An understanding of the binding site pocket and substrate recognition mechanism by SrtA enzymes may serve to be beneficial in the rational development of sortase inhibitors. Here, the LPXTG signal peptide-based competitive inhibitors are screened against the Ba-SrtA and compounds with reasonable inhibition, specificity, and mechanisms of inactivation of SrtA have been covered. The screened compounds are experimentally validated against the phylogenetically similar Gram-positive pathogen B. cereus. In situ microscopic visualizations suggest that these screened compounds showed the microbial and biofilm inhibitory activity against B. cereus. It facilitates the further development of these molecules into useful anti-infective agents to treat infections caused by B. anthracis and other Gram-positive pathogens. These results provide insight into basic design principles for generating new clinically relevant lead molecules. It also provides an alternative strategy where a screened ligand molecule can be used in combination to battle increasingly against the Gram-positive pathogens.

  13. Lethal effect of microwaves on spores of Bacillus spp.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jinn-Chyi; Hu, Shu-Hui; Lin, Chin-Yang

    2003-04-01

    Strains representing four types of common heat-resistant spores of Bacillus spp., B. cereus CCRC 14655, B. coagulans CCRC10606, B. licheniformis CCRC14693, and B. subtilis CCRC14199, were heated with microwaves at different power levels and under different conditions in salt solutions, starch solutions, and containers. The results of this study showed that B. licheniformis spores had the highest microwave tolerance at a power level of 100% for different incubation times. B. coagulans spores showed the lowest microwave tolerance in salt solutions with water activity values of 0.6, 0.7, 0.8, and 0.9, and B. licheniformis spores were the most resistant in the tested salt solutions at different incubation times. An analysis of the effect of the viscosity of the medium revealed that the bacteria had the lowest microwave resistance in a medium containing <0.8% starch in solution. The microwave resistance levels of the test microorganisms were the lower in glass containers than in polypropylene containers and aluminum foil-enclosed pouches. Of the four species of bacilli, B. licheniformis had the highest microwave tolerance (P < 0.05) under all conditions.

  14. Pharmacokinetic-Pharmacodynamic Assessment of Faropenem in a Lethal Murine Bacillus anthracis Inhalation Postexposure Prophylaxis Model

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-05-01

    Craig, W. A., and D. R. Andes. 2001. In vivo pharmacodynamic activity of faropenem against Streptococcus pneumoniae , abstr. A-2094. Abstr. 41st In...approved by the United States Food and Drug Ad- ministration (FDA) for treatment after exposure to this bac- terial agent. Of these, only penicillin is...tested for their susceptibilities to faropenem, amoxicillin-clavulanate, penicillin , mero- penem, azithromycin, doxycycline, ciprofloxacin, and

  15. Pharmacokinetics-Pharmacodynamics of Gatifloxacin in a Lethal Murine Bacillus Anthracis Inhalation Infection Model

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-12-01

    and sitafloxacin against Streptococcus pneumoniae , near-maximum effect was observed when free- drug AUC0–24/MIC ratios ranged from 50 to more than...fluoroquinolones against Streptococcus pneumoniae with survival and bactericidal activity in an animal model, abstr. 289. Abstr. 40th Intersci. Conf...against Strepto- coccus pneumoniae in patients with community-acquired respiratory tract infections Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 45:2793–2797. 3

  16. GroEL provides protection against Bacillus anthracis infection in BALB/c mice.

    PubMed

    Sinha, Kanchan; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2010-01-01

    Heat shock proteins (Hsps) of the HSP60 and HSP70 family are highly conserved and essential to all living organisms. Hsps are immunodominant in numerous microbial infections and have been investigated for their vaccine potential. We investigated the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of GroEL and DnaK of B. anthracis in murine model. Both Hsps were found to be highly immunogenic with mixed antibody response (both IgG1 and IgG2a), indicating stimulation of both humoral and cell-mediated immunity. Cytokine profile also confirmed robust T-cell response with increase in lymphocyte proliferation. Immunization with GroEL conferred 100% protection to mice against B. anthracis infection whereas DnaK couldn't provide protection.

  17. Evaluation of Levofloxacin Pharmacodynamics in a Mouse Model of Inhalational Bacillus anthracis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-10-01

    Cipro Levo vs. B. anthracis 0 2 4 6 8 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Time (days) l o g C F U Control Levo Human AUC/MIC = 300 Cipro AUC/MIC = 256 QD Cipro AUC/MIC = 128...challenge with Levo/ Cipro Rx is taking place currently • Good protection is being seen with “Humanized” levofloxacin dosing • The hollow fiber model

  18. Bacillus anthracis Edema Toxin Inhibits Staphylococcus aureus Enterotoxin B Effects in Vitro: A Potential Protein Therapeutic?

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-10-01

    involved in numerous human/animal diseases that include skin-linked maladies such as cutaneous anthrax, carbuncles, impetigo, and scalded-skin...contrast to Vibrio cholerae cholera toxin, which activates host adenylate cyclase, intracellular amounts of cAMP elicited by B. anthracis edema toxin rise...increase TNF- levels from PBMC. Such results are also similar to those previously reported for mouse macrophages with ele- vated cAMP due to cholera

  19. Inactivation of Bacillus Anthracis Spores in Drinking Water by Mixed Oxidant Solution

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-10-01

    calcium hypochlorite is used as a water disinfectant, a high free available chlorine concentration (FAC) is required to kill B. anthracis spores...Ground Chemistry ! FAC is the concentration of Cl2 + HOCl + OCl- (expressed as Cl2) and is the most chemically reactive and biocidal form of chlorine ...hypochlorite ion (OCl- + H+). ! OCl- is about 1/100 as effective a biocide as is HOCl, but still effective. ! HOCl at pH < 4 forms chlorine gas (Cl2

  20. Analysis of a Novel Spore Antigen in Bacillus anthracis That Contributes to Spore Opsonization

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-01-01

    primarily on production of antibodies against the protective antigen component of the anthrax toxins, which are secreted by the bacilli. It has been... production . A spore-associated protein was identified that was specific to the B. cereus group of bacteria and referred to as spore opsonization-associated...in the Ames strain of B. anthracis appeared to increase the phagocytic uptake of the spores in the presence of anti-spore antibodies , since, unlike

  1. Impedance Measurements Could Accelerate Phage-Based Identification of Bacillus anthracis and Other Bacteria

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-09-01

    isolates. However, phage assays generally require that suspect colonies be sub- cultured onto a fresh agar plate to generate a dense lawn against...consume valuable time. Researchers have shown that temporal changes in the dielectric permittivity of bacterial micro- cultures differ for chemically or...to detect ɣ phage-induced stress in susceptible B. anthracis micro- cultures and thereby reduce both the time and biomass required to perform phage

  2. The Detection of Protective Antigen (PA) Associated with Spores of Bacillus Anthracis and the Effects of Anti-PA Antibodies on Spore Germination and Macrophage Interactions

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-04-22

    unlimited 13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES The original document contains color images . 14. ABSTRACT The protective antigen (PA) component of the anthrax...air dried before inserted in a JEOL Jem 1010 transmission electron microscope. Images were captured with a Hamamatsu CCD camera aided with AMT 12-HR...Bacillus anthracis. Schweiz Z Allgem Pathol Bakteriol 1959;22:630–40. [36] Kramer MJ, Roth IL. Ultrastructural differences in the exosporium of the

  3. Binding domains of Bacillus anthracis phage endolysins recognize cell culture age-related features on the bacterial surface.

    PubMed

    Paskaleva, Elena E; Mundra, Ruchir V; Mehta, Krunal K; Pangule, Ravindra C; Wu, Xia; Glatfelter, Willing S; Chen, Zijing; Dordick, Jonathan S; Kane, Ravi S

    2015-01-01

    Bacteriolytic enzymes often possess a C-terminal binding domain that recognizes specific motifs on the bacterial surface and a catalytic domain that cleaves covalent linkages within the cell wall peptidoglycan. PlyPH, one such lytic enzyme of bacteriophage origin, has been reported to be highly effective against Bacillus anthracis, and can kill up to 99.99% of the viable bacteria. The bactericidal activity of this enzyme, however, appears to be strongly dependent on the age of the bacterial culture. Although highly bactericidal against cells in the early exponential phase, the enzyme is substantially less effective against stationary phase cells, thus limiting its application in real-world settings. We hypothesized that the binding domain of PlyPH may differ in affinity to cells in different Bacillus growth stages and may be primarily responsible for the age-restricted activity. We therefore employed an in silico approach to identify phage lysins differing in their specificity for the bacterial cell wall. Specifically we focused our attention on Plyβ, an enzyme with improved cell wall-binding ability and age-independent bactericidal activity. Although PlyPH and Plyβ have dissimilar binding domains, their catalytic domains are highly homologous. We characterized the biocatalytic mechanism of Plyβ by identifying the specific bonds cleaved within the cell wall peptidoglycan. Our results provide an example of the diversity of phage endolysins and the opportunity for these biocatalysts to be used for broad-based protection from bacterial pathogens.

  4. Genetic and Physiological Studies of Bacillus Anthracis Related to Development of an Improved Vaccine

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-07-01

    to be polypeptide overproducers and resemble Bacillus licheniformis with respect to colony morphology. (3) Strains that produce capsules when grown in...of a few which did not grow when incubated in air and a few which appeared to be polypeptide overproducers, resembling Bacillus licheniformis in this...a few which did not grow when incubated in air and a few which appeared to be polypeptide overproducers, resembling Bacillus licheniformis in this

  5. Genetic and Physiological Studies of Bacillus anthracis Related to Development of An Improved Vaccine

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-07-01

    species including B. an- thracis. We are continuing our studies with pLS2O in efforts to understand the mechanism of conjugal transfer among Bacillus... mechanism of conjugal transfer of plasmids among Bacillus cells. Utilization of the temperature-sensitive transposition selec- tion vector pTV1 has allowed...Therefore, we are interested in using pLS20 in our studies of the mechanism of plasmid transfer among Bacillus species by conjugation. pLS20 is

  6. A survey of the occurrence of Bacillus anthracis in North American soils over two long-range transects and within post-Katrina New Orleans

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Griffin, Dale W.; Petrosky, T.; Morman, S.A.; Luna, V.A.

    2009-01-01

    Soil samples were collected along a north-south transect extending from Manitoba, Canada, to the US-Mexico border near El Paso, Texas in 2004 (104 samples), a group of sites within New Orleans, Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 (19 samples), and a Gulf Coast transect extending from Sulphur, Louisiana, to DeFuniak Springs, Florida, in 2007 (38 samples). Samples were collected from the top 40 cm of soil and were screened for the presence of total Bacillus species and Bacillus anthracis (anthrax), specifically using multiplex-polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Using an assay with a sensitivity of ???170 equivalent colony-forming units (CFU) g-1 field moist soil, the prevalence rate of Bacillus sp./B. anthracis in the north-south transect and the 2005 New Orleans post-Katrina sample set were 20/5% and 26/26%, respectively. Prevalence in the 2007 Gulf Coast sample set using an assay with a sensitivity of ???4 CFU g-1 of soil was 63/0%. Individual transect-set data indicate a positive relation between occurrences of species and soil moisture or soil constituents (i.e., Zn and Cu content). The 2005 New Orleans post-Katrina data indicated that B. anthracis is readily detectable in Gulf Coast soils following flood events. The data also indicated that occurrence, as it relates to soil chemistry, may be confounded by flood-induced dissemination of germinated cells and the mixing of soil constituents for short temporal periods following an event.

  7. A survey of the occurrence of Bacillus anthracis in North American soils over two long-range transects and within post-Katrina New Orleans

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Griffin, Dale W.; Petrosky, Terry; Morman, Suzette A.; Luna, Vicki A.

    2009-01-01

    Soil samples were collected along a north-south transect extending from Manitoba, Canada, to the US-Mexico border near El Paso, Texas in 2004 (104 samples), a group of sites within New Orleans, Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 (19 samples), and a Gulf Coast transect extending from Sulphur, Louisiana, to DeFuniak Springs, Florida, in 2007 (38 samples). Samples were collected from the top 40 cm of soil and were screened for the presence of total Bacillus species and Bacillus anthracis (anthrax), specifically using multiplex-polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Using an assay with a sensitivity of ~170 equivalent colony-forming units (CFU) g-1 field moist soil, the prevalence rate of Bacillus sp./B. anthracis in the north-south transect and the 2005 New Orleans post-Katrina sample set were 20/5% and 26/26%, respectively. Prevalence in the 2007 Gulf Coast sample set using an assay with a sensitivity of ~4 CFU g-1 of soil was 63/0%. Individual transect-set data indicate a positive relation between occurrences of species and soil moisture or soil constituents (i.e., Zn and Cu content). The 2005 New Orleans post-Katrina data indicated that B. anthracis is readily detectable in Gulf Coast soils following flood events. The data also indicated that occurrence, as it relates to soil chemistry, may be confounded by flood-induced dissemination of germinated cells and the mixing of soil constituents for short temporal periods following an event.

  8. Crystal Structure and Catalytic Properties of Bacillus anthracis CoADR-RHD: Implications for Flavin-Linked Sulfur Trafficking

    SciTech Connect

    Wallen, J.; Mallett, T; Boles, W; Parsonage, D; Furdui, C; Karplus, A; Claiborne, A

    2009-01-01

    Rhodanese homology domains (RHDs) play important roles in sulfur trafficking mechanisms essential to the biosynthesis of sulfur-containing cofactors and nucleosides. We have now determined the crystal structure at 2.10 {angstrom} resolution for the Bacillus anthracis coenzyme A-disulfide reductase isoform (BaCoADR-RHD) containing a C-terminal RHD domain; this is the first structural representative of the multidomain proteins class of the rhodanese superfamily. The catalytic Cys44 of the CoADR module is separated by 25 {angstrom} from the active-site Cys514' of the RHD domain from the complementary subunit. In stark contrast to the B. anthracis CoADR (Wallen, J. R., Paige, C., Mallett, T. C., Karplus, P. A., and Claiborne, A. (2008) Biochemistry 47, 5182-5193), the BaCoADR-RHD isoform does not catalyze the reduction of coenzyme A-disulfide, although both enzymes conserve the Cys-SSCoA redox center. NADH titrations have been combined with a synchrotron reduction protocol for examination of the structural and redox behavior of the Cys44-SSCoA center. The synchrotron-reduced (Cys44 + CoASH) structure reveals ordered binding for the adenosine 3'-phosphate 5'-pyrophosphate moiety of CoASH, but the absence of density for the pantetheine arm indicates that it is flexible within the reduced active site. Steady-state kinetic analyses with the alternate disulfide substrates methyl methanethiolsulfonate (MMTS) and 5,5'-dithiobis(2-nitrobenzoate) (DTNB), including the appropriate Cys {yields} Ser mutants, demonstrate that MMTS reduction occurs within the CoADR active site. NADH-dependent DTNB reduction, on the other hand, requires communication between Cys44 and Cys514', and we propose that reduction of the Cys44-SSCoA disulfide promotes the transfer of reducing equivalents to the RHD, with the swinging pantetheine arm serving as a ca. 20 {angstrom} bridge.

  9. Two-Component System Cross-Regulation Integrates Bacillus anthracis Response to Heme and Cell Envelope Stress

    PubMed Central

    Mike, Laura A.; Choby, Jacob E.; Brinkman, Paul R.; Olive, Lorenzo Q.; Dutter, Brendan F.; Ivan, Samuel J.; Gibbs, Christopher M.; Sulikowski, Gary A.; Stauff, Devin L.; Skaar, Eric P.

    2014-01-01

    Two-component signaling systems (TCSs) are one of the mechanisms that bacteria employ to sense and adapt to changes in the environment. A prototypical TCS functions as a phosphorelay from a membrane-bound sensor histidine kinase (HK) to a cytoplasmic response regulator (RR) that controls target gene expression. Despite significant homology in the signaling domains of HKs and RRs, TCSs are thought to typically function as linear systems with little to no cross-talk between non-cognate HK-RR pairs. Here we have identified several cell envelope acting compounds that stimulate a previously uncharacterized Bacillus anthracis TCS. Furthermore, this TCS cross-signals with the heme sensing TCS HssRS; therefore, we have named it HssRS interfacing TCS (HitRS). HssRS reciprocates cross-talk to HitRS, suggesting a link between heme toxicity and cell envelope stress. The signaling between HssRS and HitRS occurs in the parental B. anthracis strain; therefore, we classify HssRS-HitRS interactions as cross-regulation. Cross-talk between HssRS and HitRS occurs at both HK-RR and post-RR signaling junctions. Finally, HitRS also regulates a previously unstudied ABC transporter implicating this transporter in the response to cell envelope stress. This chemical biology approach to probing TCS signaling provides a new model for understanding how bacterial signaling networks are integrated to enable adaptation to complex environments such as those encountered during colonization of the vertebrate host. PMID:24675902

  10. Baulamycins A and B, Broad-Spectrum Antibiotics Identified as Inhibitors of Siderophore Biosynthesis in Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Tripathi, Ashootosh; Schofield, Michael M.; Chlipala, George E.; Schultz, Pamela J.; Yim, Isaiah; Newmister, Sean A.; Nusca, Tyler D.; Scaglione, Jamie B.; Hanna, Philip C.; Tamayo-Castillo, Giselle; Sherman, David H.

    2014-01-01

    Siderophores are high-affinity iron chelators produced by microorganisms and frequently contribute to the virulence of human pathogens. Targeted inhibition of the biosynthesis of siderophores staphyloferrin B of Staphylococcus aureus and petrobactin of Bacillus anthracis hold considerable potential as a single or combined treatment for methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and anthrax infection, respectively. The biosynthetic pathways for both siderophores involve a nonribosomal peptide synthetase independent siderophore (NIS) synthetase, including SbnE in staphyloferrin B and AsbA in petrobactin. In this study, we developed a biochemical assay specific for NIS synthetases to screen for inhibitors of SbnE and AsbA against a library of marine microbial-derived natural product extracts (NPEs). Analysis of the NPE derived from Streptomyces tempisquensis led to the isolation of the novel antibiotics baulamycins A (BmcA, 6) and B (BmcB, 7). BmcA and BmcB displayed in vitro activity with IC50 values of 4.8 µM and 19 µM against SbnE and 180 µM and 200 µM against AsbA, respectively. Kinetic analysis showed that the compounds function as reversible competitive enzyme inhibitors. Liquid culture studies with S. aureus, B. anthracis, E. coli and several other bacterial pathogens demonstrated the capacity of these natural products to penetrate bacterial barriers and inhibit growth of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative species. These studies provide proof-of-concept that natural product inhibitors targeting siderophore virulence factors can provide access to novel broad-spectrum antibiotics, which may serve as important leads for the development of potent anti-infective agents PMID:24401083

  11. Crystal structure of Bacillus anthracis virulence regulator AtxA and effects of phosphorylated histidines on multimerization and activity

    DOE PAGES

    Hammerstrom, Troy G.; Horton, Lori B.; Swick, Michelle C.; ...

    2014-12-30

    The Bacillus anthracis virulence regulator AtxA controls transcription of the anthrax toxin genes and capsule biosynthesis operon. AtxA activity is elevated during growth in media containing glucose and CO2/bicarbonate, and there is a positive correlation between the CO2/bicarbonate signal, AtxA activity, and homomultimerization. AtxA activity is also affected by phosphorylation at specific histidines. We show that AtxA crystallizes as a dimer. Distinct folds associated with predicted DNA-binding domains (HTH1 and HTH2) and phosphoenolpyruvate: carbohydrate phosphotransferase system-regulated domains (PRD1 and PRD2) are apparent. We tested AtxA variants containing single and double phosphomimetic (His → Asp) and phosphoablative (His → Ala) aminomore » acid changes for activity in B. anthracis cultures and for protein-protein interactions in cell lysates. Reduced activity of AtxA H199A, lack of multimerization and activity of AtxAH379D variants, and predicted structural changes associated with phosphorylation support a model for control of AtxA function. We propose that (1) in the AtxA dimer, phosphorylation of H199 in PRD1 affects HTH2 positioning, influencing DNA-binding; and (2) phosphorylation of H379 in PRD2 disrupts dimer formation. In conclusion, the AtxA structure is the first reported high-resolution full-length structure of a PRD-containing regulator and can serve as a model for proteins of this family, especially those that link virulence to bacterial metabolism.« less

  12. Crystal structure of Bacillus anthracis virulence regulator AtxA and effects of phosphorylated histidines on multimerization and activity

    SciTech Connect

    Hammerstrom, Troy G.; Horton, Lori B.; Swick, Michelle C.; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Osipiuk, Jerzy; Koehler, Theresa M.

    2014-12-30

    The Bacillus anthracis virulence regulator AtxA controls transcription of the anthrax toxin genes and capsule biosynthesis operon. AtxA activity is elevated during growth in media containing glucose and CO2/bicarbonate, and there is a positive correlation between the CO2/bicarbonate signal, AtxA activity, and homomultimerization. AtxA activity is also affected by phosphorylation at specific histidines. We show that AtxA crystallizes as a dimer. Distinct folds associated with predicted DNA-binding domains (HTH1 and HTH2) and phosphoenolpyruvate: carbohydrate phosphotransferase system-regulated domains (PRD1 and PRD2) are apparent. We tested AtxA variants containing single and double phosphomimetic (His → Asp) and phosphoablative (His → Ala) amino acid changes for activity in B. anthracis cultures and for protein-protein interactions in cell lysates. Reduced activity of AtxA H199A, lack of multimerization and activity of AtxAH379D variants, and predicted structural changes associated with phosphorylation support a model for control of AtxA function. We propose that (1) in the AtxA dimer, phosphorylation of H199 in PRD1 affects HTH2 positioning, influencing DNA-binding; and (2) phosphorylation of H379 in PRD2 disrupts dimer formation. In conclusion, the AtxA structure is the first reported high-resolution full-length structure of a PRD-containing regulator and can serve as a model for proteins of this family, especially those that link virulence to bacterial metabolism.

  13. Crystal structure of Bacillus anthracis virulence regulator AtxA and effects of phosphorylated histidines on multimerization and activity.

    PubMed

    Hammerstrom, Troy G; Horton, Lori B; Swick, Michelle C; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Osipiuk, Jerzy; Koehler, Theresa M

    2015-02-01

    The Bacillus anthracis virulence regulator AtxA controls transcription of the anthrax toxin genes and capsule biosynthetic operon. AtxA activity is elevated during growth in media containing glucose and CO(2)/bicarbonate, and there is a positive correlation between the CO(2)/bicarbonate signal, AtxA activity and homomultimerization. AtxA activity is also affected by phosphorylation at specific histidines. We show that AtxA crystallizes as a dimer. Distinct folds associated with predicted DNA-binding domains (HTH1 and HTH2) and phosphoenolpyruvate: carbohydrate phosphotransferase system-regulated domains (PRD1 and PRD2) are apparent. We tested AtxA variants containing single and double phosphomimetic (His→Asp) and phosphoablative (His→Ala) amino acid changes for activity in B. anthracis cultures and for protein-protein interactions in cell lysates. Reduced activity of AtxA H199A, lack of multimerization and activity of AtxAH379D variants, and predicted structural changes associated with phosphorylation support a model for control of AtxA function. We propose that (i) in the AtxA dimer, phosphorylation of H199 in PRD1 affects HTH2 positioning, influencing DNA-binding; and (ii) phosphorylation of H379 in PRD2 disrupts dimer formation. The AtxA structure is the first reported high-resolution full-length structure of a PRD-containing regulator, and can serve as a model for proteins of this family, especially those that link virulence to bacterial metabolism.

  14. Baulamycins A and B, broad-spectrum antibiotics identified as inhibitors of siderophore biosynthesis in Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Tripathi, Ashootosh; Schofield, Michael M; Chlipala, George E; Schultz, Pamela J; Yim, Isaiah; Newmister, Sean A; Nusca, Tyler D; Scaglione, Jamie B; Hanna, Philip C; Tamayo-Castillo, Giselle; Sherman, David H

    2014-01-29

    Siderophores are high-affinity iron chelators produced by microorganisms and frequently contribute to the virulence of human pathogens. Targeted inhibition of the biosynthesis of siderophores staphyloferrin B of Staphylococcus aureus and petrobactin of Bacillus anthracis hold considerable potential as a single or combined treatment for methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and anthrax infection, respectively. The biosynthetic pathways for both siderophores involve a nonribosomal peptide synthetase independent siderophore (NIS) synthetase, including SbnE in staphyloferrin B and AsbA in petrobactin. In this study, we developed a biochemical assay specific for NIS synthetases to screen for inhibitors of SbnE and AsbA against a library of marine microbial-derived natural product extracts (NPEs). Analysis of the NPE derived from Streptomyces tempisquensis led to the isolation of the novel antibiotics baulamycins A (BmcA, 6) and B (BmcB, 7). BmcA and BmcB displayed in vitro activity with IC50 values of 4.8 μM and 19 μM against SbnE and 180 μM and 200 μM against AsbA, respectively. Kinetic analysis showed that the compounds function as reversible competitive enzyme inhibitors. Liquid culture studies with S. aureus , B. anthracis , E. coli , and several other bacterial pathogens demonstrated the capacity of these natural products to penetrate bacterial barriers and inhibit growth of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative species. These studies provide proof-of-concept that natural product inhibitors targeting siderophore virulence factors can provide access to novel broad-spectrum antibiotics, which may serve as important leads for the development of potent anti-infective agents.

  15. In vitro and in vivo analyses of the Bacillus anthracis spore cortex lytic protein SleL

    PubMed Central

    Lambert, Emily A.; Sherry, Nora

    2012-01-01

    The bacterial endospore is the most resilient biological structure known. Multiple protective integument layers shield the spore core and promote spore dehydration and dormancy. Dormancy is broken when a spore germinates and becomes a metabolically active vegetative cell. Germination requires the breakdown of a modified layer of peptidoglycan (PG) known as the spore cortex. This study reports in vitro and in vivo analyses of the Bacillus anthracis SleL protein. SleL is a spore cortex lytic enzyme composed of three conserved domains: two N-terminal LysM domains and a C-terminal glycosyl hydrolase family 18 domain. Derivatives of SleL containing both, one or no LysM domains were purified and characterized. SleL is incapable of digesting intact cortical PG of either decoated spores or purified spore sacculi. However, SleL derivatives can hydrolyse fragmented PG substrates containing muramic-δ-lactam recognition determinants. The muropeptides that result from SleL hydrolysis are the products of N-acetylglucosaminidase activity. These muropeptide products are small and readily released from the cortex matrix. Loss of the LysM domain(s) decreases both PG binding and hydrolysis activity but these domains do not appear to determine specificity for muramic-δ-lactam. When the SleL derivatives are expressed in vivo, those proteins lacking one or both LysM domains do not associate with the spore. Instead, these proteins remain in the mother cell and are apparently degraded. SleL with both LysM domains localizes to the coat or cortex of the endospore. The information revealed by elucidating the role of SleL and its domains in B. anthracis sporulation and germination is important in designing new spore decontamination methods. By exploiting germination-specific lytic enzymes, eradication techniques may be greatly simplified. PMID:22343356

  16. Macrophage Responses to B. Anthracis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-08-14

    LPS were reflective of a profound rophage responses to close relatives like Bacillus cereus as well change in cellular signaling, and in general these...published (attached) in 2005 [Bergman, et al. Murine Macrophage Transcriptional Responses to Bacillus I Final Report anthracis Infection and Intoxication...Macrophage Transcriptional Responses to Bacillus anthracis Infection and Intoxication. Infection & Immunity. 73:1069-1079. Parallel to the mRNA data

  17. Multiplex PCR for Species-Level Identification of Bacillus anthracis and Detection of pXO1, pXO2, and Related Plasmids

    PubMed Central

    Kiss, Katalin; McKee, Marian L.; Hazbón, Manzour Hernando

    2015-01-01

    The Bacillus anthracis virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2 have critical implications for biosafety and select agent status. The proper identification and characterization of B. anthracis and its plasmid profile is important to the biodefense research community. Multiplex PCR was used to simultaneously detect a B. anthracis–specific chromosomal mutation, 4 targets distributed across pXO1, 3 targets distributed across pXO2, and highly conserved regions of the 16S gene, allowing an internal positive control for each sample. The multiplex PCR can produce as many as 9 easily separable and distinguishable amplicons, ranging in size from 188 to 555 bp. The PCR results were used to characterize DNA samples extracted from B. anthracis, other Bacillus species, and other bacterial species from many different genera. With the exception of 2 novel putative plasmids discovered, testing against inclusion and extensive exclusion panels showed 100% correlation to previously published and expected results. Upon testing 29 previously unpublished B. anthracis strains, 10 (34.5%) were pXO1+/pXO2+, 9 (31.0%) were pXO1+/pXO2−, 7 (24.1%) were pXO1−/pXO2+, and 3 (10.3%) were pXO1−/pXO2−. The present work presents a novel 9-target multiplex PCR assay capable of species-level identification of B. anthracis via a unique chromosomal marker and the detection of pXO1 and pXO2 via multiply redundant targets on each. PMID:25813976

  18. Evaluation of DNA extraction methods for Bacillus anthracis spores spiked to food and feed matrices at biosafety level 3 conditions.

    PubMed

    Wielinga, Peter R; de Heer, Lianne; de Groot, Astrid; Hamidjaja, Raditijo A; Bruggeman, Geert; Jordan, Kieran; van Rotterdam, Bart J

    2011-11-01

    The DNA extraction efficiency from milk, whey, soy, corn gluten meal, wheat powders and heat-treated corn grain that were spiked with Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus thuringiensis spores was determined. Two steps were critical: lysis of the spores and binding of the free DNA to the DNA binding magnetic beads in the presence of the interfering powders. For the guanidine-thiocyanate based Nuclisens lysis buffer from Biomerieux we found that between 15 and 30% of the spores survived the lysis step. As most lysis buffers in DNA/RNA extraction kits are guanidine based it is likely that other lysis buffers will show a similar partial lysis of the Bacillus spores. Our results show that soybean flour and wheat flour inhibited the DNA extraction process strongest, leading to unreliable DNA extractions when using too much of the matrix. For corn gluten meal, heat-treated corn grain and milk powders, DNA extraction efficiencies in the presence of 100mg and 10mg of powder resulted in 70%-95% reduced DNA recoveries. The inhibition was, however, reliable and intermediate compared to the inhibition by soy and wheat. Whey powder had the lowest inhibitory effect on DNA-extraction efficiency and recoveries of 70-100% could be reached when using 10mg of powder. The results show that reducing the amount of matrix leads to better DNA-extraction efficiencies, particularly for strongly inhibiting powders such as soy and wheat. Based on these results, a standard protocol to directly isolate DNA from micro-organisms present in complex matrixes such as food and feed powders was designed.

  19. Investigation of Chlorine Treatment DNA-Based Detection of the Bacillus anthracis Spore

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-12-01

    Campylobacter jejuni, Cryptosporidium parvum, and Giardia lamblia have long been known to pose a public health threat to drinking water supplies. More...Chlorine and Antimicrobial Peptides …………………………………………………………………….. 37 7.3.1. PCR of B. anthracis Spores Treated with Protamine and Then...organisms such as Vibrio cholerae, Salmonella sp., Shigella sp., enteropathogenic Escherichia coli, Campylobacter jejuni, Cryptosporidium parvum, and

  20. Location of Receptor-Binding Region of Protective Antigen from Bacillus anthracis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-08-07

    internalization by receptor- mediated endocytosis (2). Molecular cloning of the PA and EF genes into the F. -Qjj vector pBR322 plasmid was accomplished...Leppla, S. H. and Schmidt, J. J. (1988) Gene 69, 287-300. 12. Sambrook, J., Fritsch, E. F. and Maniatis, T. (1989) Molecular Cloning , A Laboratory Manual...from SDS-PAGE gels except for pBKPPAA65, which was calculated from plasmid DNA sequence data. 7[ . 7 Figure 1. Molecular Cloning of ]. anthracis pq

  1. Detection of Bacillus anthracis spores in water using biosensors based on magnetostrictive microcantilever coated with phage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Liling; Li, Suiqiong; Zhang, Kewei; Cheng, Z.-Y.; Barbaree, J. M.

    2007-04-01

    Microcantilevers (MCs) as state-of-art sensor platforms have been widely investigated. We recently introduced a new type of MC, magnetostrictive microcantilever (MSMC), as high performance sensor platform. The MSMC is a remote/wireless sensor platform and exhibits a high quality merit factor in liquid. In this paper, a MSMC-based biosensor is developed for detecting B. anthracis spores in liquid, a potential biothreaten agent. The results demonstrated the advantages of MSMCs as a sensor platform. MSMCs with different sizes were fabricated and utilized in the experiments. The MSMCs were coated with the filamentous phage as a bio-recognition element to capture the B. anthracis spores. The phage-coated MSMCs as biosensors were exposed to cultures containing target spores with concentrations ranging from 5 * 10 4 spores/mL to 5 * 10 8 spores/mL. The resonance frequency of the MSMC sensors in cultures was monitored in a real-time manner. The results showed that for MSMCs of 2.8 mm * 1.0 mm * 35 μm and with 1.4 mm * 0.8 mm * 35 μm have a detection limit of 10 5 and 10 4 spores/mL, respectively.

  2. Improved Proteomic Analysis Following Trichloroacetic Acid Extraction of Bacillus anthracis Spore Proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Kaiser, Brooke LD; Wunschel, David S.; Sydor, Michael A.; Warner, Marvin G.; Wahl, Karen L.; Hutchison, Janine R.

    2015-08-07

    Proteomic analysis of bacterial samples provides valuable information about cellular responses and functions under different environmental pressures. Proteomic analysis is dependent upon efficient extraction of proteins from bacterial samples without introducing bias toward extraction of particular protein classes. While no single method can recover 100% of the bacterial proteins, selected protocols can improve overall protein isolation, peptide recovery, or enrich for certain classes of proteins. The method presented here is technically simple and does not require specialized equipment such as a mechanical disrupter. Our data reveal that for particularly challenging samples, such as B. anthracis Sterne spores, trichloroacetic acid extraction improved the number of proteins identified within a sample compared to bead beating (714 vs 660, respectively). Further, TCA extraction enriched for 103 known spore specific proteins whereas bead beating resulted in 49 unique proteins. Analysis of C. botulinum samples grown to 5 days, composed of vegetative biomass and spores, showed a similar trend with improved protein yields and identification using our method compared to bead beating. Interestingly, easily lysed samples, such as B. anthracis vegetative cells, were equally as effectively processed via TCA and bead beating, but TCA extraction remains the easiest and most cost effective option. As with all assays, supplemental methods such as implementation of an alternative preparation method may provide additional insight to the protein biology of the bacteria being studied.

  3. Genome-Based Bioinformatic Selection of Chromosomal Bacillus anthracis Putative Vaccine Candidates Coupled with Proteomic Identification of Surface-Associated Antigens

    PubMed Central

    Ariel, N.; Zvi, A.; Makarova, K. S.; Chitlaru, T.; Elhanany, E.; Velan, B.; Cohen, S.; Friedlander, A. M.; Shafferman, A.

    2003-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis (Ames strain) chromosome-derived open reading frames (ORFs), predicted to code for surface exposed or virulence related proteins, were selected as B. anthracis-specific vaccine candidates by a multistep computational screen of the entire draft chromosome sequence (February 2001 version, 460 contigs, The Institute for Genomic Research, Rockville, Md.). The selection procedure combined preliminary annotation (sequence similarity searches and domain assignments), prediction of cellular localization, taxonomical and functional screen and additional filtering criteria (size, number of paralogs). The reductive strategy, combined with manual curation, resulted in selection of 240 candidate ORFs encoding proteins with putative known function, as well as 280 proteins of unknown function. Proteomic analysis of two-dimensional gels of a B. anthracis membrane fraction, verified the expression of some gene products. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry analyses allowed identification of 38 spots cross-reacting with sera from B. anthracis immunized animals. These spots were found to represent eight in vivo immunogens, comprising of EA1, Sap, and 6 proteins whose expression and immunogenicity was not reported before. Five of these 8 immunogens were preselected by the bioinformatic analysis (EA1, Sap, 2 novel SLH proteins and peroxiredoxin/AhpC), as vaccine candidates. This study demonstrates that a combination of the bioinformatic and proteomic strategies may be useful in promoting the development of next generation anthrax vaccine. PMID:12874336

  4. Bacillus anthracis acetyltransferases PatA1 and PatA2 modify the secondary cell wall polysaccharide and affect the assembly of S-layer proteins.

    PubMed

    Lunderberg, J Mark; Nguyen-Mau, Sao-Mai; Richter, G Stefan; Wang, Ya-Ting; Dworkin, Jonathan; Missiakas, Dominique M; Schneewind, Olaf

    2013-03-01

    The envelope of Bacillus anthracis encompasses a proteinaceous S-layer with two S-layer proteins (Sap and EA1). Protein assembly in the envelope of B. anthracis requires S-layer homology domains (SLH) within S-layer proteins and S-layer-associated proteins (BSLs), which associate with the secondary cell wall polysaccharide (SCWP), an acetylated carbohydrate that is tethered to peptidoglycan. Here, we investigated the contributions of two putative acetyltransferases, PatA1 and PatA2, on SCWP acetylation and S-layer assembly. We show that mutations in patA1 and patA2 affect the chain lengths of B. anthracis vegetative forms and perturb the deposition of the BslO murein hydrolase at cell division septa. The patA1 and patA2 mutants are defective for the assembly of EA1 in the envelope but retain the ability of S-layer formation with Sap. SCWP isolated from the patA1 patA2 mutant lacked acetyl moieties identified in wild-type polysaccharide and failed to associate with the SLH domains of EA1. A model is discussed whereby patA1- and patA2-mediated acetylation of SCWP enables the deposition of EA1 as well as BslO near the septal region of the B. anthracis envelope.

  5. Identification of stringent response-related and potential serological proteins released from Bacillus anthracis overexpressing the RelA/SpoT homolog, Rsh Bant.

    PubMed

    Kim, Se Kye; Park, Moon Kyoo; Kim, Sang Hoon; Oh, Kwang Gun; Jung, Kyoung Hwa; Hong, Chong-Hae; Yoon, Jang W; Chai, Young Gyu

    2014-10-01

    RelA and SpoT synthesize ppGpp, a key effector molecule that facilitates the adaptation of bacteria to nutrient starvation and other stresses, known as the stringent response. To investigate the role of Rsh Bant , a putative RelA/SpoT homolog (encoded by BAS4302) in Bacillus anthracis, we examined the alteration of the secretome profiles after the overexpression of a functional His-Rsh Bant protein in the B. anthracis strain Sterne at the stationary growth phase. In the ppGpp-deficient E. coli mutant strain CF1693, overexpression of Rsh Bant restored a ppGpp-dependent growth defect on minimal glucose media. The secretome profiles obtained using a two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) analysis were altered by overexpression of Rsh Bant in B. anthracis. Among the 66 protein spots differentially expressed >1.5-fold, the 29 proteins were abundant for further identification using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). Functional categorization of those proteins implicated their involvement in various biological activities. Taken together, our results imply that overexpression of a functional His-Rsh Bant can lead to the increased levels of intracellular ppGpp in B. anthracis, resulting in the significant changes in its secretome profiling. The stringent response-controlled proteins identified are likely useful as potential targets for serodiagnostic applications.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  7. Different Roles of N-Terminal and C-Terminal Domains in Calmodulin for Activation of Bacillus anthracis Edema Factor

    PubMed Central

    Lübker, Carolin; Dove, Stefan; Tang, Wei-Jen; Urbauer, Ramona J. Bieber; Moskovitz, Jackob; Urbauer, Jeffrey L.; Seifert, Roland

    2015-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis adenylyl cyclase toxin edema factor (EF) is one component of the anthrax toxin and is essential for establishing anthrax disease. EF activation by the eukaryotic Ca2+-sensor calmodulin (CaM) leads to massive cAMP production resulting in edema. cAMP also inhibits the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH)-oxidase, thus reducing production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) used for host defense in activated neutrophils and thereby facilitating bacterial growth. Methionine (Met) residues in CaM, important for interactions between CaM and its binding partners, can be oxidized by ROS. We investigated the impact of site-specific oxidation of Met in CaM on EF activation using thirteen CaM-mutants (CaM-mut) with Met to leucine (Leu) substitutions. EF activation shows high resistance to oxidative modifications in CaM. An intact structure in the C-terminal region of oxidized CaM is sufficient for major EF activation despite altered secondary structure in the N-terminal region associated with Met oxidation. The secondary structures of CaM-mut were determined and described in previous studies from our group. Thus, excess cAMP production and the associated impairment of host defence may be afforded even under oxidative conditions in activated neutrophils. PMID:26184312

  8. Cellular Functions and X-ray Structure of Anthrolysin O, a Cholesterol-dependent Cytolysin Secreted by Bacillus anthracis

    SciTech Connect

    Bourdeau, Raymond W.; Malito, Enrico; Chenal, Alexandre; Bishop, Brian L.; Musch, Mark W.; Villereal, Mitch L.; Chang, Eugene B.; Mosser, Elise M.; Rest, Richard F.; Tang, Wei-Jen

    2009-06-02

    Anthrolysin O (ALO) is a pore-forming, cholesterol-dependent cytolysin (CDC) secreted by Bacillus anthracis, the etiologic agent for anthrax. Growing evidence suggests the involvement of ALO in anthrax pathogenesis. Here, we show that the apical application of ALO decreases the barrier function of human polarized epithelial cells as well as increases intracellular calcium and the internalization of the tight junction protein occludin. Using pharmacological agents, we also found that barrier function disruption requires increased intracellular calcium and protein degradation. We also report a crystal structure of the soluble state of ALO. Based on our analytical ultracentrifugation and light scattering studies, ALO exists as a monomer. Our ALO structure provides the molecular basis as to how ALO is locked in a monomeric state, in contrast to other CDCs that undergo antiparallel dimerization or higher order oligomerization in solution. ALO has four domains and is globally similar to perfringolysin O (PFO) and intermedilysin (ILY), yet the highly conserved undecapeptide region in domain 4 (D4) adopts a completely different conformation in all three CDCs. Consistent with the differences within D4 and at the D2-D4 interface, we found that ALO D4 plays a key role in affecting the barrier function of C2BBE cells, whereas PFO domain 4 cannot substitute for this role. Novel structural elements and unique cellular functions of ALO revealed by our studies provide new insight into the molecular basis for the diverse nature of the CDC family.

  9. Obiltoxaximab Prevents Disseminated Bacillus anthracis Infection and Improves Survival during Pre- and Postexposure Prophylaxis in Animal Models of Inhalational Anthrax

    PubMed Central

    Yamamoto, Brent J.; Shadiack, Annette M.; Carpenter, Sarah; Sanford, Daniel; Henning, Lisa N.; Gonzales, Nestor; O'Connor, Edward; Casey, Leslie S.

    2016-01-01

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend adjunctive antitoxins when systemic anthrax is suspected. Obiltoxaximab, a monoclonal antibody against protective antigen (PA), is approved for treatment of inhalational anthrax in combination with antibiotics and for prophylaxis when alternative therapies are not available. The impact of toxin neutralization with obiltoxaximab during pre- and postexposure prophylaxis was explored, and efficacy results that supported the prophylaxis indication are presented here. New Zealand White rabbits and cynomolgus macaques received obiltoxaximab as a single intramuscular or intravenous dose of 2 to 16 mg/kg of body weight at various times relative to Bacillus anthracis aerosol spore challenge. The primary endpoint was survival, and effect of treatment timing was explored. In rabbits, obiltoxaximab administration 9 h postchallenge singly or combined with a 5-day levofloxacin regimen protected 89% to 100% of animals compared to 33% with levofloxacin monotherapy. In cynomolgus macaques, a single intramuscular dose of 16 mg/kg obiltoxaximab led to 100% survival when given 1 to 3 days preexposure and 83% to 100% survival when given 18 to 24 h postexposure and prior to systemic bacteremia onset. Obiltoxaximab administration after bacteremia onset resulted in lower (25% to 50%) survival rates reflective of treatment setting. Prophylactic administration of obiltoxaximab before spore challenge or to spore-challenged animals before systemic bacterial dissemination is efficacious in promoting survival, ameliorating toxemia, and inhibiting bacterial spread to the periphery. PMID:27431219

  10. Neutralizing antibody and functional mapping of Bacillus anthracis protective antigen-The first step toward a rationally designed anthrax vaccine.

    PubMed

    McComb, Ryan C; Martchenko, Mikhail

    2016-01-02

    Anthrax is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a Category A pathogen for its potential use as a bioweapon. Current prevention treatments include Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AVA). AVA is an undefined formulation of Bacillus anthracis culture supernatant adsorbed to aluminum hydroxide. It has an onerous vaccination schedule, is slow and cumbersome to produce and is slightly reactogenic. Next-generation vaccines are focused on producing recombinant forms of anthrax toxin in a well-defined formulation but these vaccines have been shown to lose potency as they are stored. In addition, studies have shown that a proportion of the antibody response against these vaccines is focused on non-functional, non-neutralizing regions of the anthrax toxin while some essential functional regions are shielded from eliciting an antibody response. Rational vaccinology is a developing field that focuses on designing vaccine antigens based on structural information provided by neutralizing antibody epitope mapping, crystal structure analysis, and functional mapping through amino acid mutations. This information provides an opportunity to design antigens that target only functionally important and conserved regions of a pathogen in order to make a more optimal vaccine product. This review provides an overview of the literature related to functional and neutralizing antibody epitope mapping of the Protective Antigen (PA) component of anthrax toxin.

  11. Evaluation of peracetic acid fog for the inactivation of Bacillus anthracis spore surrogates in a large decontamination chamber.

    PubMed

    Wood, Joseph P; Calfee, Michael Worth; Clayton, Matthew; Griffin-Gatchalian, Nicole; Touati, Abderrahmane; Egler, Kim

    2013-04-15

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the sporicidal (inactivation of bacterial spores) effectiveness and operation of a fogging device utilizing peracetic acid/hydrogen peroxide (PAA). Experiments were conducted in a pilot-scale 24 m(3) stainless steel chamber using either biological indicators (BIs) or bacterial spores deposited onto surfaces via aerosolization. Wipe sampling was used to recover aerosol-deposited spores from chamber surfaces and coupon materials before and after fogging to assess decontamination efficacy. Temperature, relative humidity, and hydrogen peroxide vapor levels were measured during testing to characterize the fog environment. The fog completely inactivated all BIs in a test using a 60 mL solution of PAA (22% hydrogen peroxide/4.5% peracetic acid). In tests using aerosol-deposited bacterial spores, the majority of the post-fogging spore levels per sample were less than 1 log colony forming units, with a number of samples having no detectable spores. In terms of decontamination efficacy, a 4.78 log reduction of viable spores was achieved on wood and stainless steel. Fogging of PAA solutions shows potential as a relatively easy to use decontamination technology in the event of contamination with Bacillus anthracis or other spore-forming infectious disease agents, although additional research is needed to enhance sporicidal efficacy.

  12. EsxB, a secreted protein from Bacillus anthracis forms two distinct helical bundles

    SciTech Connect

    Fan, Yao; Tan, Kemin; Chhor, Gekleng; Butler, Emily K.; Jedrzejczak, Robert P.; Missiakas, Dominique; Joachimiak, Andrzej

    2015-07-03

    The EsxB protein from Bacillus anthracis belongs to the WXG100 family, a group of proteins secreted by a specialized secretion system. We have determined the crystal structures of recombinant EsxB and discovered that the small protein (~10 kDa), comprised of a helix-loop-helix (HLH) hairpin, is capable of associating into two different helical bundles. The two basic quaternary assemblies of EsxB are an antiparallel (AP) dimer and a rarely observed bisecting U (BU) dimer. This structural duality of EsxB is believed to originate from the heptad repeat sequence diversity of the first helix of its HLH hairpin, which allows for two alternative helix packing. The flexibility of EsxB and the ability to form alternative helical bundles underscore the possibility that this protein can serve as an adaptor in secretion and can form hetero-oligomeric helix bundle(s) with other secreted members of the WXG100 family, such as EsxW. The highly conserved WXG motif is located within the loop of the HLH hairpin and is mostly buried within the helix bundle suggesting that its role is mainly structural. The exact functions of the motif, including a proposed role as a secretion signal, remain unknown.

  13. Differential Binding of Co(II) and Zn(II) to Metallo-beta-Lactamase Bla2 from Bacillus anthracis

    SciTech Connect

    Hawk, M.; Breece, R; Hajdin, C; Bender, K; Hu, Z; Costello, A; Bennett, B; Tierney, D; Crowder, M

    2009-01-01

    In an effort to probe the structure, mechanism, and biochemical properties of metallo-{beta}-lactamase Bla2 from Bacillus anthracis, the enzyme was overexpressed, purified, and characterized. Metal analyses demonstrated that recombinant Bla2 tightly binds 1 equiv of Zn(II). Steady-state kinetic studies showed that mono-Zn(II) Bla2 (1Zn-Bla2) is active, while di-Zn(II) Bla2 (ZnZn-Bla2) was unstable. Catalytically, 1Zn-Bla2 behaves like the related enzymes CcrA and L1. In contrast, di-Co(II) Bla2 (CoCo-Bla2) is substantially more active than the mono-Co(II) analogue. Rapid kinetics and UV-vis, 1H NMR, EPR, and EXAFS spectroscopic studies show that Co(II) binding to Bla2 is distributed, while EXAFS shows that Zn(II) binding is sequential. To our knowledge, this is the first documented example of a Zn enzyme that binds Co(II) and Zn(II) via distinct mechanisms, underscoring the need to demonstrate transferability when extrapolating results on Co(II)-substituted proteins to the native Zn(II)-containing forms.

  14. Constant domains influence binding of mouse–human chimeric antibodies to the capsular polypeptide of Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Hubbard, Mark A; Thorkildson, Peter; Kozel, Thomas R; AuCoin, David P

    2013-01-01

    Our laboratory previously described the binding characteristics of the murine IgG3 monoclonal antibody (MuAb) F26G3. This antibody binds the poly-glutamic acid capsule (PGA) of Bacillus anthracis, an essential virulence factor in the progression of anthrax. F26G3 IgG3 MuAb binds PGA with a relatively high functional affinity (10 nM), produces a distinct “rim” quellung reaction, and is protective in a murine model of pulmonary anthrax. This study engineered an IgG subclass family of F26G3 mouse–human chimeric antibodies (ChAb). The F26G3 ChAbs displayed 9- to 20-fold decreases in functional affinity, as compared with the parent IgG3 MuAb. Additionally, the quellung reactions that were produced by the ChAbs all differed from the parent IgG3 MuAb in that they appeared “puffy” in nature. This study demonstrates that human constant domains may influence multiple facets of antibody binding to microbial capsular antigens despite their spatial separation from the traditional antigen-binding site. PMID:23863605

  15. Constant domains influence binding of mouse-human chimeric antibodies to the capsular polypeptide of Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Hubbard, Mark A; Thorkildson, Peter; Kozel, Thomas R; AuCoin, David P

    2013-08-15

    Our laboratory previously described the binding characteristics of the murine IgG3 monoclonal antibody (MuAb) F26G3. This antibody binds the poly-glutamic acid capsule (PGA) of Bacillus anthracis, an essential virulence factor in the progression of anthrax. F26G3 IgG3 MuAb binds PGA with a relatively high functional affinity (10 nM), produces a distinct "rim" quellung reaction, and is protective in a murine model of pulmonary anthrax. This study engineered an IgG subclass family of F26G3 mouse-human chimeric antibodies (ChAb). The F26G3 ChAbs displayed 9- to 20-fold decreases in functional affinity, as compared with the parent IgG3 MuAb. Additionally, the quellung reactions that were produced by the ChAbs all differed from the parent IgG3 MuAb in that they appeared "puffy" in nature. This study demonstrates that human constant domains may influence multiple facets of antibody binding to microbial capsular antigens despite their spatial separation from the traditional antigen-binding site.

  16. Achieving Consistent Multiple Daily Low-Dose Bacillus anthracis Spore Inhalation Exposures in the Rabbit Model

    PubMed Central

    Barnewall, Roy E.; Comer, Jason E.; Miller, Brian D.; Gutting, Bradford W.; Wolfe, Daniel N.; Director-Myska, Alison E.; Nichols, Tonya L.; Taft, Sarah C.

    2012-01-01

    Repeated low-level exposures to biological agents could occur before or after the remediation of an environmental release. This is especially true for persistent agents such as B. anthracis spores, the causative agent of anthrax. Studies were conducted to examine aerosol methods needed for consistent daily low aerosol concentrations to deliver a low-dose (less than 106 colony forming units (CFU) of B. anthracis spores) and included a pilot feasibility characterization study, acute exposure study, and a multiple 15 day exposure study. This manuscript focuses on the state-of-the-science aerosol methodologies used to generate and aerosolize consistent daily low aerosol concentrations and resultant low inhalation doses to rabbits. The pilot feasibility characterization study determined that the aerosol system was consistent and capable of producing very low aerosol concentrations. In the acute, single day exposure experiment, targeted inhaled doses of 1 × 102, 1 × 103, 1 × 104, and 1 × 105 CFU were used. In the multiple daily exposure experiment, rabbits were exposed multiple days to targeted inhaled doses of 1 × 102, 1 × 103, and 1 × 104 CFU. In all studies, targeted inhaled doses remained consistent from rabbit-to-rabbit and day-to-day. The aerosol system produced aerosolized spores within the optimal mass median aerodynamic diameter particle size range to reach deep lung alveoli. Consistency of the inhaled dose was aided by monitoring and recording respiratory parameters during the exposure with real-time plethysmography. Overall, the presented results show that the animal aerosol system was stable and highly reproducible between different studies and over multiple exposure days. PMID:22919662

  17. Structure of the Type III Pantothenate Kinase from Bacillus Anthracis at 2.0 A Resolution: Implications for Coenzyme A-Dependent Redox Biology

    SciTech Connect

    Nicely,N.; Parsonage, D.; Paige, C.; Newton, G.; Fahey, R.; Leonardi, R.; Jackowski, S.; Mallett, T.; Claiborne, A.

    2007-01-01

    Coenzyme A (CoASH) is the major low-molecular weight thiol in Staphylococcus aureus and a number of other bacteria; the crystal structure of the S. aureus coenzyme A-disulfide reductase (CoADR), which maintains the reduced intracellular state of CoASH, has recently been reported [Mallett, T.C., Wallen, J.R., Karplus, P.A., Sakai, H., Tsukihara, T., and Claiborne, A. (2006) Biochemistry 45, 11278-89]. In this report we demonstrate that CoASH is the major thiol in Bacillus anthracis; a bioinformatics analysis indicates that three of the four proteins responsible for the conversion of pantothenate (Pan) to CoASH in Escherichia coli are conserved in B. anthracis. In contrast, a novel type III pantothenate kinase (PanK) catalyzes the first committed step in the biosynthetic pathway in B. anthracis; unlike the E. coli type I PanK, this enzyme is not subject to feedback inhibition by CoASH. The crystal structure of B. anthracis PanK (BaPanK), solved using multiwavelength anomalous dispersion data and refined at a resolution of 2.0 {angstrom}, demonstrates that BaPanK is a new member of the Acetate and Sugar Kinase/Hsc70/Actin (ASKHA) superfamily. The Pan and ATP substrates have been modeled into the active-site cleft; in addition to providing a clear rationale for the absence of CoASH inhibition, analysis of the Pan-binding pocket has led to the development of two new structure-based motifs (the PAN and INTERFACE motifs). Our analyses also suggest that the type III PanK in the spore-forming B. anthracis plays an essential role in the novel thiol/disulfide redox biology of this category A biodefense pathogen.

  18. Microevolution of Anthrax from a Young Ancestor (M.A.Y.A.) Suggests a Soil-Borne Life Cycle of Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Braun, Peter; Grass, Gregor; Aceti, Angela; Serrecchia, Luigina; Affuso, Alessia; Marino, Leonardo; Grimaldi, Stefania; Pagano, Stefania; Hanczaruk, Matthias; Georgi, Enrico; Northoff, Bernd; Schöler, Anne; Schloter, Michael; Antwerpen, Markus; Fasanella, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    During an anthrax outbreak at the Pollino National Park (Basilicata, Italy) in 2004, diseased cattle were buried and from these anthrax-foci Bacillus anthracis endospores still diffuse to the surface resulting in local accumulations. Recent data suggest that B. anthracis multiplies in soil outside the animal-host body. This notion is supported by the frequent isolation of B. anthracis from soil lacking one or both virulence plasmids. Such strains represent an evolutionary dead end, as they are likely no longer able to successfully infect new hosts. This loss of virulence plasmids is explained most simply by postulating a soil-borne life cycle of the pathogen. To test this hypothesis we investigated possible microevolution at two natural anthrax foci from the 2004 outbreak. If valid, then genotypes of strains isolated from near the surface at these foci should be on a different evolutionary trajectory from those below residing in deeper-laying horizons close to the carcass. Thus, the genetic diversity of B. anthracis isolates was compared conducting Progressive Hierarchical Resolving Assays using Nucleic Acids (PHRANA) and next generation Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS). PHRANA was not discriminatory enough to resolve the fine genetic relationships between the isolates. Conversely, WGS of nine isolates from near-surface and nine from near-carcass revealed five isolate specific SNPs, four of which were found only in different near-surface isolates. In support of our hypothesis, one surface-isolate lacked plasmid pXO1 and also harbored one of the unique SNPs. Taken together, our results suggest a limited soil-borne life cycle of B. anthracis. PMID:26266934

  19. Antimicrobial effects of gold/copper sulphide (Gold/Copper monosulfide) core/shell nanoparticles on Bacillus anthracis spores and cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Addae, Ebenezer

    Bacillus anthracis is a gram positive, rod shaped and spore forming bacteria. It causes anthrax, a deadly human and animal disease that can kill its victims in three days. The spores of B. anthracis can survive extreme environmental conditions for decades and germinate when exposed to proper conditions. Due to its potential as a bio-weapon, effective disinfectants that pose less harm to the environment and animals are urgently needed. Metal nanoparticles have the potential of killing microbial cells and spores. We present here the effect of Gold/Copper Sulphide core/shell (Au/CuS) nanoparticles on B. anthracis cells and spores. The results indicated that the continuous presence of 0.83 microM during the spore growth in nutrient medium completely inhibited spore outgrowth. Au/CuS nanoparticles at concentration of 4.15 μM completely inactivated B. anthracis cells (x 107) after 30 min of pre-treatment in any of the three buffers including water, PBS, and nutrient broth. However, the same and even higher concentrations of nanoparticles produce no significant spore (x 105) killing after 24 h of pre-treatment. SEM imaging, EDS analysis, and DNA extrusion experiments revealed that nanoparticles damaged the cell membrane causing DNA and cytosolic content efflux and eventually cell death. The study demonstrated the strong antimicrobial activity of Au/CuS nanoparticles to B. anthracis cells and revealed that Au/CuS NPs showed more effective inactivation effect against the cells than they did against the spores.

  20. Microevolution of Anthrax from a Young Ancestor (M.A.Y.A.) Suggests a Soil-Borne Life Cycle of Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Braun, Peter; Grass, Gregor; Aceti, Angela; Serrecchia, Luigina; Affuso, Alessia; Marino, Leonardo; Grimaldi, Stefania; Pagano, Stefania; Hanczaruk, Matthias; Georgi, Enrico; Northoff, Bernd; Schöler, Anne; Schloter, Michael; Antwerpen, Markus; Fasanella, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    During an anthrax outbreak at the Pollino National Park (Basilicata, Italy) in 2004, diseased cattle were buried and from these anthrax-foci Bacillus anthracis endospores still diffuse to the surface resulting in local accumulations. Recent data suggest that B. anthracis multiplies in soil outside the animal-host body. This notion is supported by the frequent isolation of B. anthracis from soil lacking one or both virulence plasmids. Such strains represent an evolutionary dead end, as they are likely no longer able to successfully infect new hosts. This loss of virulence plasmids is explained most simply by postulating a soil-borne life cycle of the pathogen. To test this hypothesis we investigated possible microevolution at two natural anthrax foci from the 2004 outbreak. If valid, then genotypes of strains isolated from near the surface at these foci should be on a different evolutionary trajectory from those below residing in deeper-laying horizons close to the carcass. Thus, the genetic diversity of B. anthracis isolates was compared conducting Progressive Hierarchical Resolving Assays using Nucleic Acids (PHRANA) and next generation Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS). PHRANA was not discriminatory enough to resolve the fine genetic relationships between the isolates. Conversely, WGS of nine isolates from near-surface and nine from near-carcass revealed five isolate specific SNPs, four of which were found only in different near-surface isolates. In support of our hypothesis, one surface-isolate lacked plasmid pXO1 and also harbored one of the unique SNPs. Taken together, our results suggest a limited soil-borne life cycle of B. anthracis.

  1. GneZ, a UDP-GlcNAc 2-epimerase, is required for S-layer assembly and vegetative growth of Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ya-Ting; Missiakas, Dominique; Schneewind, Olaf

    2014-08-15

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, forms an S-layer atop its peptidoglycan envelope and displays S-layer proteins and Bacillus S-layer-associated (BSL) proteins with specific functions to support cell separation of vegetative bacilli and growth in infected mammalian hosts. S-layer and BSL proteins bind via the S-layer homology (SLH) domain to the pyruvylated secondary cell wall polysaccharide (SCWP) with the repeat structure [→4)-β-ManNAc-(1→4)-β-GlcNAc-(1→6)-α-GlcNAc-(1→]n, where α-GlcNAc and β-GlcNAc are substituted with two and one galactosyl residues, respectively. B. anthracis gneY (BAS5048) and gneZ (BAS5117) encode nearly identical UDP-GlcNAc 2-epimerase enzymes that catalyze the reversible conversion of UDP-GlcNAc and UDP-ManNAc. UDP-GlcNAc 2-epimerase enzymes have been shown to be required for the attachment of the phage lysin PlyG with the bacterial envelope and for bacterial growth. Here, we asked whether gneY and gneZ are required for the synthesis of the pyruvylated SCWP and for S-layer assembly. We show that gneZ, but not gneY, is required for B. anthracis vegetative growth, rod cell shape, S-layer assembly, and synthesis of pyruvylated SCWP. Nevertheless, inducible expression of gneY alleviated all the defects associated with the gneZ mutant. In contrast to vegetative growth, neither germination of B. anthracis spores nor the formation of spores in mother cells required UDP-GlcNAc 2-epimerase activity.

  2. Novel Yersinia Pestis Toxin that Resembles Bacillus Anthracis Edema Factor: Study of Activity and Structural Modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Motin, V; Garcia, E; Barsky, D; Zemla, A

    2003-02-05

    The goal of this project was to begin both experimental and computational studies of the novel plague toxin to establish its biological properties and create its 3D-model. The project was divided into two parts. (1) Experimental--This part was devoted to determine distribution of the genes encoding novel plague toxin among different isolates of Y.pestis. If the EF-like activity is important for Y.pestis pathogenicity, it is anticipated that all highly virulent strains will contain the toxin genes. Also, they proposed to initiate research to investigate the functionality of the novel Y.pestis toxin that they hypothesize is likely to significantly contribute to the virulence of this dangerous microbe. this research design consisted of amplification, cloning and expression in E.coli the toxin genes followed by affinity purification of the recombinant protein that can be further used for testing of enzymatic activity. (2) Computational--The structural modeling of the putative EF of Y.pestis was based on multiple sequence alignments, secondary structure predictions, and comparison with 3D models of the EF of B. anthracis. The x-ray structure of the last has been recently published [Nature. 2002. 415(Jan):396-402]. The final model was selected after detailed analysis to determine if the structure is consistent with the biological function.

  3. Applications of docking and molecular dynamic studies on the search for new drugs against the biological warfare agents Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    França, Tanos Celmar Costa; Guimarães, Ana Paula; Cortopassi, Wilian Augusto; Oliveira, Aline Alves; Ramalho, Teodorico Castro

    2013-12-01

    The fear of biological warfare agents (BWA) use by terrorists is the major concern of the security agencies and health authorities worldwide today. The non-existence of vaccines or drugs against most BWA and the possibility of genetic modified strains has turned the search for new drugs to a state of urgency. Fast in silico techniques are, therefore, perfect tools for this task once they can quickly provide structures of several new lead compounds for further experimental work. Here we try to present a mini-review on docking and molecular dynamics simulations studies applied to the drug design against the BWA Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis.

  4. Anthrax, Toxins and Vaccines: A 125-Year Journey Targeting Bacillus anthracis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-01-01

    anthrax. J Appl. Microbiol. 101 (3), Am. J Pathol. 35, 1055-1065 (1959). Antiinflammarory cAMP signaling and cell 594-606 (2006). 29 Albrink WS, Brooks SM ...e466 (2007). Anthrax lethal factor cleaves the 104 Alileche A, Serfass ER, Muehlbauer SM , 115 Gladstone GP. Immunity to anthrax: N-terminus ofMAPKKs... Ferriter MS et al. Dominant-negative mutants of a toxin accelerate and boost the immune response Intranasal administration of dry powder subunit

  5. Measurements of DNA Damage and Repair in Bacillus anthracis Sterne Spores by UV Radiation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-18

    individual organisms sporulate/germinate simultaneously. Spores are shown as light orange and ovular. Cells are rod-shaped and form long chains. Figure... inhalational ) [1]. Of greatest interest to the military is inhalational exposure which causes the most lethal disease. Typically pulmonary disease requires... inhalation of approximately 1000 separate spores into the lungs of a healthy person. So dissemination of respirable, dry spores by aerosol methods is

  6. Reverse-Phase Microarray Analysis Reveals Novel Targets in Lymph Nodes of Bacillus anthracis Spore-Challenged Mice.

    PubMed

    Popova, Taissia G; Espina, Virginia; Liotta, Lance A; Popov, Serguei G

    2015-01-01

    Anthrax is a frequently fatal infection of many animal species and men. The causative agent Bacillus anthracis propagates through the lymphatic system of the infected host; however, the specific interactions of the host and microbe within the lymphatics are incompletely understood. We report the first description of the phosphoprotein signaling in the lymph nodes of DBA/2 mice using a novel technique combining the reverse-phase microarray with the laser capture microdissection. Mice were challenged into foot pads with spores of toxinogenic, unencapsulated Sterne strain. The spores quickly migrated to the regional popliteal lymph nodes and spread to the bloodstream as early as 3 h post challenge. All mice died before 72 h post challenge from the systemic disease accompanied by a widespread LN tissue damage by bacteria, including the hemorrhagic necrotizing lymphadenitis, infiltration of CD11b+ and CD3+ cells, and massive proliferation of bacteria in lymph nodes. A macrophage scavenger receptor CD68/macrosialin was upregulated and found in association with vegetative bacteria likely as a marker of their prior interaction with macrophages. The major signaling findings among the 65 tested proteins included the reduced MAPK signaling, upregulation of STAT transcriptional factors, and altered abundance of a number of pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins with signaling properties opposing each other. Downregulation of ERK1/2 was associated with the response of CD11b+ macrophages/dendritic cells, while upregulation of the pro-apoptotic Puma indicated a targeting of CD3+ T-cells. A robust upregulation of the anti-apoptotic survivin was unexpected because generally it is not observed in adult tissues. Taken together with the activation of STATs it may reflect a new pathogenic mechanism aimed to delay the onset of apoptosis. Our data emphasize a notion that the net biological outcome of disease is determined by a cumulative impact of factors representing the microbial insult and

  7. Reverse-Phase Microarray Analysis Reveals Novel Targets in Lymph Nodes of Bacillus anthracis Spore-Challenged Mice

    PubMed Central

    Popova, Taissia G.; Espina, Virginia; Liotta, Lance A.; Popov, Serguei G.

    2015-01-01

    Anthrax is a frequently fatal infection of many animal species and men. The causative agent Bacillus anthracis propagates through the lymphatic system of the infected host; however, the specific interactions of the host and microbe within the lymphatics are incompletely understood. We report the first description of the phosphoprotein signaling in the lymph nodes of DBA/2 mice using a novel technique combining the reverse-phase microarray with the laser capture microdissesction. Mice were challenged into foot pads with spores of toxinogenic, unencapsulated Sterne strain. The spores quickly migrated to the regional popliteal lymph nodes and spread to the bloodstream as early as 3 h post challenge. All mice died before 72 h post challenge from the systemic disease accompanied by a widespread LN tissue damage by bacteria, including the hemorrhagic necrotizing lymphadenitis, infiltration of CD11b+ and CD3+ cells, and massive proliferation of bacteria in lymph nodes. A macrophage scavenger receptor CD68/macrosialin was upregulated and found in association with vegetative bacteria likely as a marker of their prior interaction with macrophages. The major signaling findings among the 65 tested proteins included the reduced MAPK signaling, upregulation of STAT transcriptional factors, and altered abundance of a number of pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins with signaling properties opposing each other. Downregulation of ERK1/2 was associated with the response of CD11b+ macrophages/dendritic cells, while upregulation of the pro-apoptotic Puma indicated a targeting of CD3+ T-cells. A robust upregulation of the anti-apoptotic survivin was unexpected because generally it is not observed in adult tissues. Taken together with the activation of STATs it may reflect a new pathogenic mechanism aimed to delay the onset of apoptosis. Our data emphasize a notion that the net biological outcome of disease is determined by a cumulative impact of factors representing the microbial insult and