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Sample records for bacillus anthracis strains

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Genetic Characterization of Bacillus anthracis 17 JB strain.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    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. This work describes genetic characterization of B. anthracis 17 JB strain using the SNPs and MLVA genotyping. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  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. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Characterization of Bacillus cereus Isolates Associated with Fatal Pneumonias: Strains Are Closely Related to Bacillus anthracis and Harbor B. anthracis Virulence Genes†

    PubMed Central

    Hoffmaster, Alex R.; Hill, Karen K.; Gee, Jay E.; Marston, Chung K.; De, Barun K.; Popovic, Tanja; Sue, David; Wilkins, Patricia P.; Avashia, Swati B.; Drumgoole, Rahsaan; Helma, Charles H.; Ticknor, Lawrence O.; Okinaka, Richard T.; Jackson, Paul J.

    2006-01-01

    Bacillus cereus is ubiquitous in nature, and while most isolates appear to be harmless, some are associated with food-borne illnesses, periodontal diseases, and other more serious infections. In one such infection, B. cereus G9241 was identified as the causative agent of a severe pneumonia in a Louisiana welder in 1994. This isolate was found to harbor most of the B. anthracis virulence plasmid pXO1 (13). Here we report the characterization of two clinical and one environmental B. cereus isolate collected during an investigation of two fatal pneumonia cases in Texas metal workers. Molecular subtyping revealed that the two cases were not caused by the same strain. However, one of the three isolates was indistinguishable from B. cereus G9241. PCR analysis demonstrated that both clinical isolates contained B. anthracis pXO1 toxin genes. One clinical isolate and the environmental isolate collected from that victim's worksite contained the cap A, B, and C genes required for capsule biosynthesis in B. anthracis. Both clinical isolates expressed a capsule; however, neither was composed of poly-d-glutamic acid. Although most B. cereus isolates are not opportunistic pathogens and only a limited number cause food-borne illnesses, these results demonstrate that some B. cereus strains can cause severe and even fatal infections in patients who appear to be otherwise healthy. PMID:16954272

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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 Central

    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

    2009-01-01

    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. PMID:19270075

  11. 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.

  12. The survivability of Bacillus anthracis (Sterne strain) in processed liquid eggs.

    PubMed

    Khan, Saeed A; Sung, Kidon; Nawaz, Mohamed S; Cerniglia, Carl E; Tamplin, Mark L; Phillips, Robert W; Kelley, Lynda Collins

    2009-04-01

    In this study, we investigated the survival and inactivation kinetics of a surrogate strain of Bacillus anthracis (Sterne strain) in whole egg (WE), egg white (EW), sugared egg yolk (YSU), and salted egg yolk (YSA) at low (-20, 0, and 5 degrees C), moderate (15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40 degrees C), and high storage temperatures (45, 50, 55, and 60 degrees C). Outgrowth of the spores was measured as lag phase duration (LPD). Replication of vegetative cells was measured in terms of growth rate (GR) and maximum population density (MPD). Spore inactivation was recorded as inactivation rate and percent reduction in viable count. In general, spore viability decreased at low and high temperatures and increased at moderate temperatures. At 0 and 5 degrees C, a 60-100% reduction in spore viability was seen within 2-3 weeks in WE and YSU, 0-30% in YSA, and 50-100% in EW. At -20 degrees C, however, no drop in spore titer was observed in YSU and EW but a 20% drop in titer was seen in YSA and 50% in WE within 2-3 weeks. At high temperatures, WE, EW, and YSA produced a 20-50% drop in the spore titer within 1-4h whereas YSU showed 100% inactivation within 0.75 h. At moderate storage temperatures, as the temperature increased from 15 to 40 degrees C, LPD decreased from 13.5 to 0.75 h and MPD reached 0.27-2.2 x1 0(9) CFU/ml in YSU and WE, respectively. Markedly lower growth was observed in YSA (LPD=24-270 h, MPD=9 x 10(5) CFU/ml) and spores were inactivated completely within 1-6h in EW. The survivability and inactivation data of B. anthracis in liquid egg products reported in this investigation will be helpful in developing risk assessment models on food biosecurity.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Inactivation of Bacillus anthracis Spores

    PubMed Central

    Whitney, Ellen A. Spotts; Beatty, Mark E.; Taylor, Thomas H.; Weyant, Robbin; Sobel, Jeremy; Arduino, Matthew J.

    2003-01-01

    After the intentional release of Bacillus anthracis through the U.S. Postal Service in the fall of 2001, many environments were contaminated with B. anthracis spores, and frequent inquiries were made regarding the science of destroying these spores. We conducted a survey of the literature that had potential application to the inactivation of B. anthracis spores. This article provides a tabular summary of the results. PMID:12780999

  16. Morphogenesis of the Bacillus anthracis Spore

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-02-01

    major layers: a darkly staining outer layer and a lighter- staining inner layer (1, 86). In contrast, the Bacillus anthracis coat appears thin and...pyruvate. Spore survival was measured by in vitro assays, and spores were observed within macrophages by staining as described previously by Welkos et al...proteins. Spore extracts were fractionated on 15% polyacrylamide gels and stained with Coomassie brilliant blue. Lanes: 1, Sterne strain of B. anthracis

  17. Demonstration of a Capsule Plasmid in Bacillus anthracis,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-11-16

    certain avirulent strains of Bacillus anthracis harbor a plasmid, designated pXO2, which is involved in the synthesis of capsules. Two classes of rougv...ABSTRACT (cont’d) acquired pXO2 produced capsules under the same conditions required for capsule synthesis by B. anthracis. SEUIYCASFCTO.FTMSP4~e mmEtrd a...4 ABSTRACT irulent and certain avirulent strains of Bacillus anthracis harbor a plasmid, designated pXO2, which is involved in the synthesis of

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Genomic analysis of three African strains of Bacillus anthracis demonstrates that they are part of the clonal expansion of an exclusively pathogenic bacterium

    PubMed Central

    Rouli, L; MBengue, M; Robert, C; Ndiaye, M; La Scola, B; Raoult, D

    2014-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax and is classified as a ‘Category A’ biological weapon. Six complete genomes of B. anthracis (A0248, Ames, Ames Ancestor, CDC684, H0491, and Sterne) are currently available. In this report, we add three African strain genomes: Sen2Col2, Sen3 and Gmb1. To study the pan-genome of B. anthracis, we used bioinformatics tools, such as Cluster of Orthologous Groups, and performed phylogenetic analysis. We found that the three African strains contained the pX01 and pX02 plasmids, the nonsense mutation in the plcR gene and the four known prophages. These strains are most similar to the CDC684 strain and belong to the A cluster. We estimated that the B. anthracis pan-genome has 2893 core genes (99% of the genome size) and 85 accessory genes. We validated the hypothesis that B. anthracis has a closed pan-genome and found that the three African strains carry the two plasmids associated with bacterial virulence. The pan-genome nature of B. anthracis confirms its lack of exchange (similar to Clostridium tetani) and supports its exclusively pathogenic role, despite its survival in the environment. Moreover, thanks to the study of the core content single nucleotide polymorphisms, we can see that our three African strains diverged very recently from the other B. anthracis strains. PMID:25566394

  4. Transposon Tn916 mutagenesis in Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed Central

    Ivins, B E; Welkos, S L; Knudson, G B; Leblanc, D J

    1988-01-01

    Mutagenesis of Bacillus anthracis by the streptococcal tetracycline resistance transposon Tn916 is described. Tn916 was transferred from Streptococcus faecalis DS16C1 to B. anthracis VNR-1 by conjugation in a standard filter mating procedure. Tetracycline-resistant (Tcr) transconjugants were obtained at a frequency of 1.6 X 10(-8) per donor CFU. When donor and recipient cells were treated with nafcillin before conjugation, the frequency was increased nearly 10-fold. Nafcillin pretreatment of donor and recipient strains was used in all subsequent conjugation experiments. S.faecalis CG110, containing multiple chromosomal insertions of Tn916, transferred the transposon to B. anthracis VNR-1 at a frequency of 9.3 x 10(-5). A Tcr B. anthracis transconjugant, strain VNR-1-tet-1, transferred Tn916 to B. anthracis UM23-1 and Bacillus subtilis BST1 at frequencies of 2.1 x 10(-4) and 5.8 X 10(-6), respectively. The transfer of Tn916 occurred only on membrane filters, since no Tcr transconjugants were obtained when strains VNR-1-tet-1 and UM23-1 were mixed and incubated in broth culture. The presence of the Tn916-associated tetM gene in Tcr B. anthracis and B. subtilis transconjugants was confirmed in hybridization experiments by using a 5-kilobase-pair DNA fragment containing the tetM gene as a probe. Of 3,000 B. anthracis UM23-1 Tcr transconjugants tested, 21 were phenylalanine auxotrophs and 2 were auxotrophic for phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan. Images PMID:2826334

  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. 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

  7. 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.

  8. The efficacy and safety of nine South African medicinal plants in controlling Bacillus anthracis Sterne vaccine strain.

    PubMed

    Elisha, Ishaku Leo; Dzoyem, Jean-Paul; Botha, Francien S; Eloff, Jacobus Nicolaas

    2016-01-08

    Anthrax is a zoonotic disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, a Gram-positive spore-forming bacterium. The presence of the bacteria and the toxins in the blood of infected hosts trigger a cascade of pathological events leading to death. Nine medicinal plants with good activities against other bacteria were selected to determine their in vitro antibacterial activity against Bacillus anthracis Sterne strain. The cytotoxicity of the extracts on Vero kidney cells was also determined. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of the extracts against Bacillus anthracis Sterne strain ranged from 0.02 to 0.31 mg/ml. Excellent MIC values were observed for the following plant species: Maesa lanceolata (0.02 mg/ml), Bolusanthus speciosus, Hypericum roeperianum, Morus mesozygia (0.04 mg/ml) and Pittosporum viridiflorum (0.08 mg/ml). The total antibacterial activity of the extracts ranged from 92 to 5562 ml/g. Total activity presents the volume to which the extract from 1 g of plant material can be diluted and still inhibit microbial growth. Maesa lanceolata and Hypericum roeperianum had the highest total activity with values of 5562 and 2999 ml/g respectively. The extracts of Calpurnia aurea had the lowest total activity (92 ml/g). The cytotoxicity determined on Vero cells indicated that most of the extracts were relatively non-toxic compared to doxorubicin (LC50 8.3 ± 1.76 μg/ml), except for the extracts of Maesa lanceolata, Elaeodendron croceum and Calpurnia aurea with LC50 values at 2.38 ± 0.25, 5.20 ± 0.24 and 13 ± 2.26 μg/ml respectively. The selectivity index (SI) ranged from 0.02 to 1.66. Hypericum roeperianum had the best selectivity index, (SI = 1.66) and Elaeodendron croceum had lowest value (SI = 0.02). The crude acetone extracts of the selected plant species had promising antibacterial activity against Bacillus anthracis. Maesa lanceolata extracts could be useful as a disinfectant and Hypericum roeperianum could be

  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. 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.

  11. Genetic variability of Bacillus anthracis and related species.

    PubMed Central

    Harrell, L J; Andersen, G L; Wilson, K H

    1995-01-01

    We evaluated the abilities of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and sequences of intergenic spacer regions (ISRs) between two highly conserved genes, 16S-23S rDNA and gyrB-gyrA ISRs, to detect variation in strains of Bacillus anthracis as well as two closely related species, B. cereus ATCC 14579 and B. mycoides ATCC 6462. For each restriction enzyme, (NotI, SfiI, and SmaI), the PFGE banding patterns for three B. anthracis strains (Ames, Vollum, and Sterne) were identical. However, closely related species could be differentiated from B. anthracis and from each other. PCR amplification of the 16S-23S rDNA ISR yielded a 143- to 144-bp fragment, showing identical sequences for B. anthracis strains, one nucleotide deletion between B. cerus and B. anthracis, and 13 nucleotide differences between B. mycoides and B. anthracis. The gyrase ISR sequences (121 bp) in B. anthracis strains were also identical, but those in B. cereus and B. mycoides differed from that in B. anthracis by 1 and 2 nucleotides, respectively, and from each other by only 1 nucleotide. Given the diverse geographic origins of these B. anthracis strains, this species is very homogenous. We conclude that methods such as PFGE and sequences of ISRs may be useful in separating B. anthracis from closely related species, but more sensitive methods are needed for strain identification of B. anthracis. PMID:7665658

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. [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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Bacillus anthracis spore decontamination in food grease.

    PubMed

    Amoako, Kingsley K; Santiago-Mateo, Kristina; Shields, Michael J; Rohonczy, Elizabeth

    2013-04-01

    Bacillus anthracis Sterne strain spores were analyzed for their resistance against five disinfectants: commercial sodium hypochlorite, Spor-Klenz Ready-to-Use Cold Sterilant, accelerated hydrogen peroxide (AHP), Virkon, and surface decontamination foam (SDF). The aim of this study was to find an effective disinfectant that would reduce the viability of B. anthracis Sterne spores at ≥6 log in the presence of variables such as animal grease and fat, stainless steel, and temperature (room temperature and 4 °C). SDF and 10% sodium hypochlorite consistently reduced the growth of viable B. anthracis Sterne spores after 5 min in the presence of stainless steel at room temperature. It took at least 10 min of contact time for AHP to consistently reduce spore growth by ≥6 log, while it took at least 20 min for 5% bleach and Spor-Klenz to consistently inactivate ≥6 log spores in the presence of stainless steel at room temperature. AHP was the only disinfectant that reduced the viability of B. anthracis Sterne spores at ≥6 log in the presence of stainless steel and animal grease, both at room temperature and 4 °C after 24 h of contact time.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Milk-originated Bacillus cereus sensu lato strains harbouring Bacillus anthracis-like plasmids are genetically and phenotypically diverse.

    PubMed

    Bartoszewicz, Marek; Marjańska, Paulina Sylwia

    2017-10-01

    Bacillus cereus sensu lato is widely distributed in food products, including raw and processed milk. Plasmids often determine bacterial virulence and toxicity, but their role in the evolution of B. cereus sensu lato is only partly known. Here, we observed that nearly 8% of B. cereus sensu lato isolates were positive for pXO1-like plasmids and 12% for pXO2-like plasmids in raw and ultra-heat-treated (UHT) milk from one dairy plant. However, pXO1-like plasmids were significantly more frequent in raw milk, while pXO2-like plasmids were more frequent in processed milk. Strains from raw and UHT milk were enterotoxigenic, with up to one-fifth of the isolates being psychrotolerant. Phylogenetic assessment using multi-locus sequence typing revealed a polyphyletic structure for these bacilli, with distinct groups of cold-adapted isolates and pathogenic strains (including emetic B. cereus). Populations corresponding to both sampling sites exhibited significant linkage disequilibrium and the presence of purifying selection. The far-from-clonal population structure indicated the presence of sequence types or ecotypes adapted to specific conditions in the dairy industry. A high recombination-to-mutation ratio suggested an important role for horizontal gene transfer among B. cereus sensu lato isolates in milk. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Non-Toxin-Producing Bacillus cereus Strains Belonging to the B. anthracis Clade Isolated from the International Space Station.

    PubMed

    Venkateswaran, Kasthuri; Singh, Nitin K; Checinska Sielaff, Aleksandra; Pope, Robert K; Bergman, Nicholas H; van Tongeren, Sandra P; Patel, Nisha B; Lawson, Paul A; Satomi, Masataka; Williamson, Charles H D; Sahl, Jason W; Keim, Paul; Pierson, Duane; Perry, Jay

    2017-01-01

    In an ongoing Microbial Observatory investigation of the International Space Station (ISS), 11 Bacillus strains (2 from the Kibo Japanese experimental module, 4 from the U.S. segment, and 5 from the Russian module) were isolated and their whole genomes were sequenced. A comparative analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequences of these isolates showed the highest similarity (>99%) to the Bacillus anthracis-B. cereus-B. thuringiensis group. The fatty acid composition, polar lipid profile, peptidoglycan type, and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight profiles were consistent with the B. cereus sensu lato group. The phenotypic traits such as motile rods, enterotoxin production, lack of capsule, and resistance to gamma phage/penicillin observed in ISS isolates were not characteristics of B. anthracis. Whole-genome sequence characterizations showed that ISS strains had the plcR non-B. anthracis ancestral "C" allele and lacked anthrax toxin-encoding plasmids pXO1 and pXO2, excluding their identification as B. anthracis. The genetic identities of all 11 ISS isolates characterized via gyrB analyses arbitrarily identified them as members of the B. cereus group, but traditional DNA-DNA hybridization (DDH) showed that the ISS isolates are similar to B. anthracis (88% to 90%) but distant from the B. cereus (42%) and B. thuringiensis (48%) type strains. The DDH results were supported by average nucleotide identity (>98.5%) and digital DDH (>86%) analyses. However, the collective phenotypic traits and genomic evidence were the reasons to exclude the ISS isolates from B. anthracis. Nevertheless, multilocus sequence typing and whole-genome single nucleotide polymorphism analyses placed these isolates in a clade that is distinct from previously described members of the B. cereus sensu lato group but closely related to B. anthracis. IMPORTANCE The International Space Station Microbial Observatory (Microbial Tracking-1) study is generating a microbial

  7. Non-Toxin-Producing Bacillus cereus Strains Belonging to the B. anthracis Clade Isolated from the International Space Station

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Nitin K.; Checinska Sielaff, Aleksandra; Pope, Robert K.; Bergman, Nicholas H.; van Tongeren, Sandra P.; Patel, Nisha B.; Lawson, Paul A.; Satomi, Masataka; Williamson, Charles H. D.; Sahl, Jason W.; Pierson, Duane; Perry, Jay

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT In an ongoing Microbial Observatory investigation of the International Space Station (ISS), 11 Bacillus strains (2 from the Kibo Japanese experimental module, 4 from the U.S. segment, and 5 from the Russian module) were isolated and their whole genomes were sequenced. A comparative analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequences of these isolates showed the highest similarity (>99%) to the Bacillus anthracis-B. cereus-B. thuringiensis group. The fatty acid composition, polar lipid profile, peptidoglycan type, and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization–time of flight profiles were consistent with the B. cereus sensu lato group. The phenotypic traits such as motile rods, enterotoxin production, lack of capsule, and resistance to gamma phage/penicillin observed in ISS isolates were not characteristics of B. anthracis. Whole-genome sequence characterizations showed that ISS strains had the plcR non-B. anthracis ancestral “C” allele and lacked anthrax toxin-encoding plasmids pXO1 and pXO2, excluding their identification as B. anthracis. The genetic identities of all 11 ISS isolates characterized via gyrB analyses arbitrarily identified them as members of the B. cereus group, but traditional DNA-DNA hybridization (DDH) showed that the ISS isolates are similar to B. anthracis (88% to 90%) but distant from the B. cereus (42%) and B. thuringiensis (48%) type strains. The DDH results were supported by average nucleotide identity (>98.5%) and digital DDH (>86%) analyses. However, the collective phenotypic traits and genomic evidence were the reasons to exclude the ISS isolates from B. anthracis. Nevertheless, multilocus sequence typing and whole-genome single nucleotide polymorphism analyses placed these isolates in a clade that is distinct from previously described members of the B. cereus sensu lato group but closely related to B. anthracis. IMPORTANCE The International Space Station Microbial Observatory (Microbial Tracking-1) study is generating a

  8. Germination and persistence of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus thuringiensis in soil microcosms.

    PubMed

    Bishop, A H

    2014-11-01

    Decontaminating large, outdoor spaces of Bacillus anthracis spores presents significant problems, particularly in soil. Proof was sought that the addition of germinant chemicals could cause spores of B. anthracis and Bacillus thuringiensis, a commonly used simulant of the threat agent, to convert to the less resistant vegetative form in a microcosm. Nonsterile plant/soil microcosms were inoculated with spores of B. thuringiensis and two nonpathogenic strains of B. anthracis. A combination of L-alanine (100 mmol l(-1)) and inosine (10 mmol l(-1)) resulted in a 6 log decrease in spore numbers in both strains of B. anthracis over 2 weeks at 22°C; a 3 log decrease in B. anthracis Sterne spore numbers was observed after incubation for 2 weeks at 10°C. Negligible germination nor a decrease in viable count occurred in either strain when the concentration of L-alanine was decreased to 5 mmol l(-1). Germinated spores of B. thuringiensis were able to persist in vegetative form in the microcosms, whereas those of B. anthracis rapidly disappeared. The pleiotropic regulator PlcR, which B. anthracis lacks, does not contribute to the persistence of B. thuringiensis in vegetative form in soil. The principle of adding germinants to soil to trigger the conversion of spores to vegetative form has been demonstrated. Bacillus anthracis failed to persist in vegetative form or resporulate in the microcosms after it had been induced to germinate. The large scale, outdoor decontamination of B. anthracis spores may be facilitated by the application of simple, defined combinations of germinants. © 2014 Crown Copyright. Journal of Applied Microbiology © 2014 Society for Applied Microbiology This article is Published with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and Queen's Printer for Scotland.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Anthrax among heroin users in Europe possibly caused by same Bacillus anthracis strain since 2000.

    PubMed

    Grunow, R; Klee, S R; Beyer, W; George, M; Grunow, D; Barduhn, A; Klar, S; Jacob, D; Elschner, M; Sandven, P; Kjerulf, A; Jensen, J S; Cai, W; Zimmermann, R; Schaade, L

    2013-03-28

    Injection anthrax was described first in 2000 in a heroin-injecting drug user in Norway. New anthrax cases among heroin consumers were detected in the United Kingdom (52 cases) and Germany (3 cases) in 2009-10. In June 2012, a fatal case occurred in Regensburg, Bavaria. As of December 2012, 13 cases had been reported in this new outbreak from Germany, Denmark, France and the United Kingdom. We analysed isolates from 2009-10 and 2012 as well as from the first injection anthrax case in Norway in 2000 by comparative molecular typing using a high resolution 31 marker multilocus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) and a broad single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis. Our results show that all cases may be traced back to the same outbreak strain. They also indicate the probability of a single source contaminating heroin and that the outbreak could have lasted for at least a decade. However, an additional serological pilot study in two German regions conducted in 2011 failed to discover additional anthrax cases among 288 heroin users.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Proteomic Profiling and Identification of Immunodominant Spore Antigens of Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis‡

    PubMed Central

    DelVecchio, Vito G.; Connolly, Joseph P.; Alefantis, Timothy G.; Walz, Alexander; Quan, Marian A.; Patra, Guy; Ashton, John M.; Whittington, Jessica T.; Chafin, Ryan D.; Liang, Xudong; Grewal, Paul; Khan, Akbar S.; Mujer, Cesar V.

    2006-01-01

    Differentially expressed and immunogenic spore proteins of the Bacillus cereus group of bacteria, which includes Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis, were identified. Comparative proteomic profiling of their spore proteins distinguished the three species from each other as well as the virulent from the avirulent strains. A total of 458 proteins encoded by 232 open reading frames were identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry analysis for all the species. A number of highly expressed proteins, including elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu), elongation factor G, 60-kDa chaperonin, enolase, pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, and others exist as charge variants on two-dimensional gels. These charge variants have similar masses but different isoelectric points. The majority of identified proteins have cellular roles associated with energy production, carbohydrate transport and metabolism, amino acid transport and metabolism, posttranslational modifications, and translation. Novel vaccine candidate proteins were identified using B. anthracis polyclonal antisera from humans postinfected with cutaneous anthrax. Fifteen immunoreactive proteins were identified in B. anthracis spores, whereas 7, 14, and 7 immunoreactive proteins were identified for B. cereus and in the virulent and avirulent strains of B. thuringiensis spores, respectively. Some of the immunodominant antigens include charge variants of EF-Tu, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, dihydrolipoamide acetyltransferase, Δ-1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate dehydrogenase, and a dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase. Alanine racemase and neutral protease were uniquely immunogenic to B. anthracis. Comparative analysis of the spore immunome will be of significance for further nucleic acid- and immuno-based detection systems as well as next-generation vaccine development. PMID:16957262

  15. Proteomic profiling and identification of immunodominant spore antigens of Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis.

    PubMed

    Delvecchio, Vito G; Connolly, Joseph P; Alefantis, Timothy G; Walz, Alexander; Quan, Marian A; Patra, Guy; Ashton, John M; Whittington, Jessica T; Chafin, Ryan D; Liang, Xudong; Grewal, Paul; Khan, Akbar S; Mujer, Cesar V

    2006-09-01

    Differentially expressed and immunogenic spore proteins of the Bacillus cereus group of bacteria, which includes Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis, were identified. Comparative proteomic profiling of their spore proteins distinguished the three species from each other as well as the virulent from the avirulent strains. A total of 458 proteins encoded by 232 open reading frames were identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry analysis for all the species. A number of highly expressed proteins, including elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu), elongation factor G, 60-kDa chaperonin, enolase, pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, and others exist as charge variants on two-dimensional gels. These charge variants have similar masses but different isoelectric points. The majority of identified proteins have cellular roles associated with energy production, carbohydrate transport and metabolism, amino acid transport and metabolism, posttranslational modifications, and translation. Novel vaccine candidate proteins were identified using B. anthracis polyclonal antisera from humans postinfected with cutaneous anthrax. Fifteen immunoreactive proteins were identified in B. anthracis spores, whereas 7, 14, and 7 immunoreactive proteins were identified for B. cereus and in the virulent and avirulent strains of B. thuringiensis spores, respectively. Some of the immunodominant antigens include charge variants of EF-Tu, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, dihydrolipoamide acetyltransferase, Delta-1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate dehydrogenase, and a dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase. Alanine racemase and neutral protease were uniquely immunogenic to B. anthracis. Comparative analysis of the spore immunome will be of significance for further nucleic acid- and immuno-based detection systems as well as next-generation vaccine development.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Finished Genome Sequence of Bacillus cereus Strain 03BB87, a Clinical Isolate with B. anthracis Virulence Genes

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, Shannon L.; Minogue, Timothy D.; Teshima, Hazuki; Davenport, Karen W.; Shea, April A.; Miner, Haven L.; Wolcott, Mark J.; Chain, Patrick S.G.

    2015-01-15

    Bacillus cereus strain 03BB87, a blood culture isolate, originated in a 56-year-old male muller operator with a fatal case of pneumonia in 2003. Here we present the finished genome sequence of that pathogen, including a 5.46-Mb chromosome and two plasmids (209 and 52 Kb, respectively).

  19. Finished Genome Sequence of Bacillus cereus Strain 03BB87, a Clinical Isolate with B. anthracis Virulence Genes.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Shannon L; Minogue, Timothy D; Teshima, Hazuki; Davenport, Karen W; Shea, April A; Miner, Haven L; Wolcott, Mark J; Chain, Patrick S G

    2015-01-15

    Bacillus cereus strain 03BB87, a blood culture isolate, originated in a 56-year-old male muller operator with a fatal case of pneumonia in 2003. Here we present the finished genome sequence of that pathogen, including a 5.46-Mb chromosome and two plasmids (209 and 52 Kb, respectively).

  20. Finished Genome Sequence of Bacillus cereus Strain 03BB87, a Clinical Isolate with B. anthracis Virulence Genes

    DOE PAGES

    Johnson, Shannon L.; Minogue, Timothy D.; Teshima, Hazuki; ...

    2015-01-15

    Bacillus cereus strain 03BB87, a blood culture isolate, originated in a 56-year-old male muller operator with a fatal case of pneumonia in 2003. Here we present the finished genome sequence of that pathogen, including a 5.46-Mb chromosome and two plasmids (209 and 52 Kb, respectively).

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Assembly and Function of the Bacillus anthracis S-Layer.

    PubMed

    Missiakas, Dominique; Schneewind, Olaf

    2017-09-08

    Bacillus anthracis, the anthrax agent, is a member of the Bacillus cereus sensu lato group, which includes invasive pathogens of mammals or insects as well as nonpathogenic environmental strains. The genes for anthrax pathogenesis are located on two large virulence plasmids. Similar virulence plasmids have been acquired by other B. cereus strains and enable the pathogenesis of anthrax-like diseases. Among the virulence factors of B. anthracis is the S-layer-associated protein BslA, which endows bacilli with invasive attributes for mammalian hosts. BslA surface display and function are dependent on the bacterial S-layer, whose constituents assemble by binding to the secondary cell wall polysaccharide (SCWP) via S-layer homology (SLH) domains. B. anthracis and other pathogenic B. cereus isolates harbor genes for the secretion of S-layer proteins, for S-layer assembly, and for synthesis of the SCWP. We review here recent insights into the assembly and function of the S-layer and the SCWP.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-07-01

    Unidentified 0/5 Bacillus licheniformis B. licheniformis 2/2 Bacillus mycoides Unidentified 0/5 Bacillus pumilus B. pumilus 2/6 Bacillus ...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

  5. 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.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1983-07-18

    TITL9 fAnd Subtfitle) S.TypeO REPORT gi PZRCC rvt 4 DIFFERENTIATION OF BACIL-LUSg’ ANTHRAtgACIS D OTHER BACILLUS , SPECIES BY-USE OYLECTINS" Inter[im...Ricinus communis. Some strains of Bacillus cer-eus var. m-ycoides (B. Mycoides) were strongly reactive with the lectin from Helbi pomtia and weakly reacti...ve with the Glycine max lectin. The differential iCnteractions between Bacillus species and lectins af forded a means of distinguishing B. anthracis

  7. 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

  8. Role of superoxide in the germination of Bacillus anthracis endospores.

    PubMed

    Baillie, Les; Hibbs, Stephen; Tsai, Pei; Cao, Guan-Liang; Rosen, Gerald M

    2005-04-01

    The spore forming Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, has achieved notoriety due to its use as a bioterror agent. In the environment, B. anthracis exists as a dormant endospore. Germination of endospores during their internalization within the myeloid phagocyte, and the ability of those endospores to survive exposure to antibacterial killing mechanisms such as superoxide (O(2)*-, is a key initial event in the infective process. We report herein that endospores exposed to fluxes of O(2)*- typically found in stimulated phagocytes had no effect on viability. Further endospores of the Sterne strain of B. anthracis were found to scavenge O(2)*-, which may enhance the ability of the bacterium to survive within the hostile environment of the phagolysosome. Most intriguing was the observation that endospore germination was stimulated by a flux of O(2)*- as low as 1 microM/min. Data presented herein suggest that B. anthracis may co-opt O(2)*- which is produced by stimulated myeloid phagocytes and is an essential element of host immunity, as a necessary step in productive infection of the host.

  9. 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.

  10. Historical Distribution and Molecular Diversity of Bacillus anthracis, Kazakhstan

    PubMed Central

    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.; Hadfield, Ted

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20409368

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Identification and Classification of bcl Genes and Proteins of Bacillus cereus Group Organisms and Their Application in Bacillus anthracis Detection and Fingerprinting▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Leski, Tomasz A.; Caswell, Clayton C.; Pawlowski, Marcin; Klinke, David J.; Bujnicki, Janusz M.; Hart, Sean J.; Lukomski, Slawomir

    2009-01-01

    The Bacillus cereus group includes three closely related species, B. anthracis, B. cereus, and B. thuringiensis, which form a highly homogeneous subdivision of the genus Bacillus. One of these species, B. anthracis, has been identified as one of the most probable bacterial biowarfare agents. Here, we evaluate the sequence and length polymorphisms of the Bacillus collagen-like protein bcl genes as a basis for B. anthracis detection and fingerprinting. Five genes, designated bclA to bclE, are present in B. anthracis strains. Examination of bclABCDE sequences identified polymorphisms in bclB alleles of the B. cereus group organisms. These sequence polymorphisms allowed specific detection of B. anthracis strains by PCR using both genomic DNA and purified Bacillus spores in reactions. By exploiting the length variation of the bcl alleles it was demonstrated that the combined bclABCDE PCR products generate markedly different fingerprints for the B. anthracis Ames and Sterne strains. Moreover, we predict that bclABCDE length polymorphism creates unique signatures for B. anthracis strains, which facilitates identification of strains with specificity and confidence. Thus, we present a new diagnostic concept for B. anthracis detection and fingerprinting, which can be used alone or in combination with previously established typing platforms. PMID:19767469

  15. Agar Diffusion Method for the Differentiation of Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Angelety, Lorell H.; Wright, George G.

    1971-01-01

    A method was developed for identification of Bacillus anthracis based on elaboration of protective antigen by individual colonies and its detection by double-diffusion precipitation in agar plates. Images PMID:4993230

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-01-01

    burden, to Washington Headquarters Services , Directorate for Information Operations and Reports, 1215 Jefferson Davis Highway, Suite 1204, Arlington VA...2003). The genome sequence of Bacillus anthracis Ames and comparison to closely related bacteria . Nature 423, 81–86. Redmond, C., Baillie, L. W., Hibbs...Sylvestre, P., Couture -Tosi, E. & Mock, M. (2003). Polymorphism in the collagen-like region of the Bacillus anthracis BclA protein leads to variation in

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  9. Improvements to a Markerless Allelic Exchange System for Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Plaut, Roger D.; Stibitz, Scott

    2015-01-01

    A system was previously developed for conducting I-SceI-mediated allelic exchange in Bacillus anthracis. In this system, recombinational loss of a chromosomally-integrated allelic exchange vector is stimulated by creation of a double-stranded break within the vector by the homing endonuclease I-SceI. Although this system is reasonably efficient and represents an improvement in the tools available for allelic exchange in B. anthracis, researchers are nonetheless required to “pick and patch” colonies in order to identify candidate "exchangeants." In the present study, a number of improvements have been made to this system: 1) an improved I-SceI-producing plasmid includes oriT so that both plasmids can now be introduced by conjugation, thus avoiding the need for preparing electro-competent cells of each integration intermediate; 2) antibiotic markers have been changed to allow the use of the system in select agent strains; and 3) both plasmids have been marked with fluorescent proteins, allowing the visualization of plasmid segregation on a plate and obviating the need for “picking and patching.” These modifications have made the process easier, faster, and more efficient, allowing for parallel construction of larger numbers of mutant strains. Using this improved system, the genes encoding the tripartite anthrax toxin were deleted singly and in combination from plasmid pXO1 of Sterne strain 34F2. In the course of this study, we determined that DNA transfer to B. anthracis could be accomplished by conjugation directly from a methylation-competent E. coli strain. PMID:26624016

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Application of In Vivo Induced Antigen Technology (IVIAT) to Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Rollins, Sean M.; Peppercorn, Amanda; Young, John S.; Drysdale, Melissa; Baresch, Andrea; Bikowski, Margaret V.; Ashford, David A.; Quinn, Conrad P.; Handfield, Martin; Hillman, Jeffrey D.; Lyons, C. Rick; Koehler, Theresa M.; Calderwood, Stephen B.; Ryan, Edward T.

    2008-01-01

    In vivo induced antigen technology (IVIAT) is an immuno-screening technique that identifies bacterial antigens expressed during infection and not during standard in vitro culturing conditions. We applied IVIAT to Bacillus anthracis and identified PagA, seven members of a N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidase autolysin family, three P60 family lipoproteins, two transporters, spore cortex lytic protein SleB, a penicillin binding protein, a putative prophage holin, respiratory nitrate reductase NarG, and three proteins of unknown function. Using quantitative real-time PCR comparing RNA isolated from in vitro cultured B. anthracis to RNA isolated from BALB/c mice infected with virulent Ames strain B. anthracis, we confirmed induced expression in vivo for a subset of B. anthracis genes identified by IVIAT, including L-alanine amidases BA3767, BA4073, and amiA (pXO2-42); the bacteriophage holin gene BA4074; and pagA (pXO1-110). The exogenous addition of two purified putative autolysins identified by IVIAT, N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidases BA0485 and BA2446, to vegetative B. anthracis cell suspensions induced a species-specific change in bacterial morphology and reduction in viable bacterial cells. Many of the proteins identified in our screen are predicted to affect peptidoglycan re-modeling, and our results support significant cell wall structural remodeling activity during B. anthracis infection. Identification of L-alanine amidases with B. anthracis specificity may suggest new potential therapeutic targets. PMID:18350160

  13. Application of in vivo induced antigen technology (IVIAT) to Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Rollins, Sean M; Peppercorn, Amanda; Young, John S; Drysdale, Melissa; Baresch, Andrea; Bikowski, Margaret V; Ashford, David A; Quinn, Conrad P; Handfield, Martin; Hillman, Jeffrey D; Lyons, C Rick; Koehler, Theresa M; Calderwood, Stephen B; Ryan, Edward T

    2008-03-19

    In vivo induced antigen technology (IVIAT) is an immuno-screening technique that identifies bacterial antigens expressed during infection and not during standard in vitro culturing conditions. We applied IVIAT to Bacillus anthracis and identified PagA, seven members of a N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidase autolysin family, three P60 family lipoproteins, two transporters, spore cortex lytic protein SleB, a penicillin binding protein, a putative prophage holin, respiratory nitrate reductase NarG, and three proteins of unknown function. Using quantitative real-time PCR comparing RNA isolated from in vitro cultured B. anthracis to RNA isolated from BALB/c mice infected with virulent Ames strain B. anthracis, we confirmed induced expression in vivo for a subset of B. anthracis genes identified by IVIAT, including L-alanine amidases BA3767, BA4073, and amiA (pXO2-42); the bacteriophage holin gene BA4074; and pagA (pXO1-110). The exogenous addition of two purified putative autolysins identified by IVIAT, N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidases BA0485 and BA2446, to vegetative B. anthracis cell suspensions induced a species-specific change in bacterial morphology and reduction in viable bacterial cells. Many of the proteins identified in our screen are predicted to affect peptidoglycan re-modeling, and our results support significant cell wall structural remodeling activity during B. anthracis infection. Identification of L-alanine amidases with B. anthracis specificity may suggest new potential therapeutic targets.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. [Changes in fine morphological structures of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and spores of Bacillus anthracis vaccine strain STI under the action of the disinfectant "Veltolen"].

    PubMed

    Ivanova, E B; Kurilov, V Ia; Andrus, V N

    2004-01-01

    Changes in fine morphological structures of E. coli, S. aureus and spores of B. anthracis vaccine strain STI under the action of the disinfectant "Veltolen" manufactured by the Closed Joint-Stock Company "Velt", were evaluated. When used at concentrations of 0.0025-0.025%, the preparation induced the loosening of the cell wall in all microorganisms under study, the intensive formation of bubbles on the cell wall surface with their subsequent separation from the cell wall and the formation of "rosettes". In case of more prolonged exposure (up to 60 minutes) and higher concentrations of the preparation these phenomena became more intensive and finally led to the destruction of bacterial cells.

  19. 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.

    PubMed

    Turnbull, Peter C B; Sirianni, Nicky M; LeBron, Carlos I; Samaan, Marian N; Sutton, Felicia N; Reyes, Anatalio E; Peruski, Leonard F

    2004-08-01

    This paper presents Etest determinations of MICs of selected antimicrobial agents for 76 isolates of Bacillus anthracis chosen for their diverse histories and 67, 12, and 4 cultures, respectively, of its close relatives B. cereus, B. thuringiensis, and B. mycoides derived from a range of clinical and environmental sources. NCCLS breakpoints are now available for B. anthracis and ciprofloxacin, penicillin, and tetracycline; based on these breakpoints, the B. anthracis isolates were all fully susceptible to ciprofloxacin and tetracycline, and all except four cultures, three of which had a known history of penicillin resistance and were thought to originate from the same original parent, were susceptible to penicillin. Based on NCCLS interpretive standards for gram-positive and/or aerobic bacteria, all cultures were susceptible to amoxicillin-clavulanic acid and gentamicin and 99% (one with intermediate sensitivity) of cultures were susceptible to vancomycin. No group trends were apparent among the different categories of B. cereus (isolates from food poisoning incidents and nongastrointestinal infections and food and environmental specimens not associated with illness). Differences between B. anthracis and the other species were as expected for amoxicillin and penicillin, with all B. anthracis cultures, apart from the four referred to above, being susceptible versus high proportions of resistant isolates for the other three species. Four of the B. cereus and one of the B. thuringiensis cultures were resistant to tetracycline and a further six B. cereus and one B. thuringiensis cultures fell into the intermediate category. There was a slightly higher resistance to azithromycin among the B. anthracis strains than for the other species. The proportion of B. anthracis strains fully susceptible to erythromycin was also substantially lower than for the other species, although just a single B. cereus strain was fully resistant. The Etest compared favorably with agar

  20. 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

    PubMed Central

    Turnbull, Peter C. B.; Sirianni, Nicky M.; LeBron, Carlos I.; Samaan, Marian N.; Sutton, Felicia N.; Reyes, Anatalio E.; Peruski, Jr., Leonard F.

    2004-01-01

    This paper presents Etest determinations of MICs of selected antimicrobial agents for 76 isolates of Bacillus anthracis chosen for their diverse histories and 67, 12, and 4 cultures, respectively, of its close relatives B. cereus, B. thuringiensis, and B. mycoides derived from a range of clinical and environmental sources. NCCLS breakpoints are now available for B. anthracis and ciprofloxacin, penicillin, and tetracycline; based on these breakpoints, the B. anthracis isolates were all fully susceptible to ciprofloxacin and tetracycline, and all except four cultures, three of which had a known history of penicillin resistance and were thought to originate from the same original parent, were susceptible to penicillin. Based on NCCLS interpretive standards for gram-positive and/or aerobic bacteria, all cultures were susceptible to amoxicillin-clavulanic acid and gentamicin and 99% (one with intermediate sensitivity) of cultures were susceptible to vancomycin. No group trends were apparent among the different categories of B. cereus (isolates from food poisoning incidents and nongastrointestinal infections and food and environmental specimens not associated with illness). Differences between B. anthracis and the other species were as expected for amoxicillin and penicillin, with all B. anthracis cultures, apart from the four referred to above, being susceptible versus high proportions of resistant isolates for the other three species. Four of the B. cereus and one of the B. thuringiensis cultures were resistant to tetracycline and a further six B. cereus and one B. thuringiensis cultures fell into the intermediate category. There was a slightly higher resistance to azithromycin among the B. anthracis strains than for the other species. The proportion of B. anthracis strains fully susceptible to erythromycin was also substantially lower than for the other species, although just a single B. cereus strain was fully resistant. The Etest compared favorably with agar

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Bacillus weihenstephanensis characteristics are present in Bacillus cereus and Bacillus mycoides strains.

    PubMed

    Soufiane, Brahim; Côté, Jean-Charles

    2013-04-01

    The Bacillus cereus group comprises seven bacterial species: Bacillus cereus, Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus thuringiensis, Bacillus mycoides, Bacillus pseudomycoides, Bacillus cytotoxicus, and Bacillus weihenstephanensis. Bacillus weihenstephanensis is distinguished based on its capability to grow at 7 °C but not at 43 °C, and the presence of specific signature sequences in the 16S rRNA and cspA genes and in several housekeeping genes: glpF, gmK, purH, and tpi. Bacillus weihenstephanensis-specific signature sequences were found in some B. cereus and B. mycoides strains suggesting psychrotolerance. This was confirmed by growth at 7 °C but not at 43 °C. The other B. cereus and B. mycoides strains and all B. anthracis, B. thuringiensis, and B. pseudomycoides harbored the mesophilic signature sequences. The strains tested grew at 43 °C but did not grow at 7 °C. A maximum-likelihood phylogenetic tree was inferred from comparisons of the concatenated nucleotide sequences. Three groups and one branch were revealed. Group I, II, and III comprised the mesophilic B. cereus, some mesophilic B. mycoides, and all B. anthracis and B. thuringiensis strains; the psychrotolerant B. cereus and B. mycoides, and all B. weihenstephanensis strains; and some mesophilic B. mycoides and all B. pseudomycoides strains, respectively. The branch corresponds to the single B. cytotoxicus strain. Based on psychrotolerance and multilocus sequence analysis, further confirmed by comparisons of amino acid sequences, we show that some B. cereus and B. mycoides strains should be reclassified as B. weihenstephanensis. © 2013 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. Hot, humid air decontamination of a C-130 aircraft contaminated with spores of two acrystalliferous Bacillus thuringiensis strains, surrogates for Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Buhr, T L; Young, A A; Bensman, M; Minter, Z A; Kennihan, N L; Johnson, C A; Bohmke, M D; Borgers-Klonkowski, E; Osborn, E B; Avila, S D; Theys, A M G; Jackson, P J

    2016-04-01

    To develop test methods and evaluate survival of Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki cry(-) HD-1 and B. thuringiensis Al Hakam spores after exposure to hot, humid air inside of a C-130 aircraft. Bacillus thuringiensis spores were either pre-inoculated on 1 × 2 or 2 × 2 cm substrates or aerosolized inside the cargo hold of a C-130 and allowed to dry. Dirty, complex surfaces (10 × 10 cm) swabbed after spore dispersal showed a deposition of 8-10 log10 m(-2) through the entire cargo hold. After hot, humid air decontamination at 75-80°C, 70-90% relative humidity for 7 days, 87 of 98 test swabs covering 0·98 m(2) , showed complete spore inactivation. There was a total of 1·67 log10 live CFU detected in 11 of the test swabs. Spore inactivation in the 98 test swabs was measured at 7·06 log10 m(-2) . Laboratory test methods for hot, humid air decontamination were scaled for a large-scale aircraft field test. The C-130 field test demonstrated that hot, humid air can be successfully used to decontaminate an aircraft. Transition of a new technology from research and development to acquisition at a Technology Readiness Level 7 is unprecedented. Published 2016. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Sequencing of 16S rRNA Gene: A Rapid Tool for Identification of Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Whitney, Anne M.; Mayer, Leonard W.; Morey, Roger; Steigerwalt, Arnold; Boras, Ariana; Weyant, Robin S.; Popovic, Tanja

    2002-01-01

    In a bioterrorism event, a tool is needed to rapidly differentiate Bacillus anthracis from other closely related spore-forming Bacillus species. During the recent outbreak of bioterrorism-associated anthrax, we sequenced the 16S rRNA generom these species to evaluate the potential of 16S rRNA gene sequencing as a diagnostic tool. We found eight distinct 16S types among all 107 16S rRNA gene seqs fuences that differed from each other at 1 to 8 positions (0.06% to 0.5%). All 86 B. anthracis had an identical 16S gene sequence, designated type 6; 16S type 10 was seen in all B. thuringiensis strains; six other 16S types were found among the 10 B. cereus strains. This report describes the first demonstration of an exclusive association of a distinct 16S sequence with B. anthracis. Consequently, we were able to rapidly identify suspected isolates and to detect the B. anthracis 16S rRNA gene directly from culture-negative clinical specimens from seven patients with laboratory-confirmed anthrax. PMID:12396926

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Morphology of the type strain of Bacillus anthracis EY 3169T=ATCC 14578T grown either aerobically or anaerobically on agar plates--observation by light and laser microscopes.

    PubMed

    Yabuuchi, Eiko; Koseki, Masayuki

    2003-01-01

    Growth characteristics including cell-arrangement of the type strain of Bacillus anthracis EY 3169T=ATCC 14578T grown on agar plates in level 3 laboratory were observed by both light and laser microscopes. Small daughter colonies appeared on parent colonies grown on 5% sheep blood or chocolate agar plates after 12 days incubation at room temperature. Daughter colonies, stained by Wirtz-Conklin method, were composed with vegetative cells and spores. Growth of daughter colonies might be supported by the debris of cells in the parent colony. Colonies grown under anaerobic conditions were flat with smooth edges, and the cells neither formed chains of any length, nor produced any spores after 25 days incubation at room temperature. It was thought that spores of B. anthracis were produced at the terminal stage of individual cell life instead of under unfavorable conditions for the organism. Air is needed for spore formation and cell-chain formation. More nutrients, probably amino acids, are needed for anaerobic growth rather than aerobic.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Natural Dissemination of Bacillus anthracis Spores in Northern Canada

    PubMed Central

    Dragon, D. C.; Bader, D. E.; Mitchell, J.; Woollen, N.

    2005-01-01

    Soil samples were collected from around fresh and year-old bison carcasses and areas not associated with known carcasses in Wood Buffalo National Park during an active anthrax outbreak in the summer of 2001. Sample selection with a grid provided the most complete coverage of a site. Soil samples were screened for viable Bacillus anthracis spores via selective culture, phenotypic analysis, and PCR. Bacillus anthracis spores were isolated from 28.4% of the samples. The highest concentrations of B. anthracis spores were found directly adjacent to fresh carcasses and invariably corresponded to locations where the soil had been saturated with body fluids escaping the carcass through either natural body orifices or holes torn by scavengers. The majority of positive samples were found within 2 m of both year-old and fresh carcasses and probably originated from scavengers churning up and spreading the body fluid-saturated soil as they fed. Trails of lesser contamination radiating from the carcasses probably resulted from spore dissemination through adhesion to scavengers and through larger scavengers dragging away disarticulated limbs. Comparison of samples from minimally scavenged and fully necropsied carcass sites revealed no statistically significant difference in the level of B. anthracis spore contamination. Therefore, the immediate area around a suspected anthrax carcass should be considered substantially contaminated regardless of the condition of the carcass. PMID:15746366

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Inactivation of Bacillus Anthracis Spores Using Carbon Nanotubes

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-10-30

    Institute of Biological Engineering (IBE) 2013 Annual Meeting , March 7-9, Cary, NC. (poster) 3. Liju Yang. 2013.Carbon Nanotubes Interfacing...Bacillus anthracis Spores The Institute of Biological Engineering (IBE) 2013 Annual Meeting , March 7-9, Cary, NC. (Oral) 4. Xiuli Dong1, Yongan...2013 Annual Meeting , March 7-9, Cary, NC. 5. Xiuli Dong1, Yongan Tang2, Marvin Wu2, Branislav Vlahovic2, Liju Yang1. 2012. Dual effects of Single

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Hydrophobic properties and extraction of Bacillus anthracis spores from liquid foods.

    PubMed

    Leishman, Oriana N; Labuza, Theodore P; Diez-Gonzalez, Francisco

    2010-08-01

    The objectives of this study were to characterize the hydrophobic properties of three strains of Bacillus anthracis using the microbial adherence to hydrocarbons (MATH) assay and determine the recovery of spores by hexadecane extraction from water, milk and orange juice using a modified version of this assay. In water mixtures, the hydrophobicity of B. anthracis spores ranged from 5 to 80% as the concentration of hexadecane and the mixing time increased. Two of the three strains showed significantly different hydrophobicity values. Increased pre-incubation temperature of the spore suspension had inconsistent effects on hydrophobicity across the three strains. The hydrophobicity of spores did not change significantly during storage at 4 degrees C. However, recovery of spores in the hexadecane fraction from aqueous mixtures was always less than 5% even at conditions in which the hydrophobicity values were greater than 40%. The recovery of spores in the hexadecane fraction increased to almost 20% when the hexadecane was mixed with milk or orange juice, although the majority of spores remained in the aqueous phase. The B. anthracis spores were relatively hydrophobic according to the MATH assay, but this test was not a good predictor of the partitioning of B. anthracis spores to hexadecane. The separation of B. anthracis from food matrices using hexadecane extraction was ineffective. Although the modified MATH assay was not able to efficiently extract B. anthracis from various food media, development of methods for rapid concentration and separation of this and other select agents from food remains vital to food defense. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  10. 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

  11. Genotyping of Bacillus cereus strains by microarray-based resequencing.

    PubMed

    Zwick, Michael E; Kiley, Maureen P; Stewart, Andrew C; Mateczun, Alfred; Read, Timothy D

    2008-07-02

    The ability to distinguish microbial pathogens from closely related but nonpathogenic strains is key to understanding the population biology of these organisms. In this regard, Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes inhalational anthrax, is of interest because it is closely related and often difficult to distinguish from other members of the B. cereus group that can cause diverse diseases. We employed custom-designed resequencing arrays (RAs) based on the genome sequence of Bacillus anthracis to generate 422 kb of genomic sequence from a panel of 41 Bacillus cereus sensu lato strains. Here we show that RAs represent a "one reaction" genotyping technology with the ability to discriminate between highly similar B. anthracis isolates and more divergent strains of the B. cereus s.l. Clade 1. Our data show that RAs can be an efficient genotyping technology for pre-screening the genetic diversity of large strain collections to selected the best candidates for whole genome sequencing.

  12. Genotyping of Bacillus cereus Strains by Microarray-Based Resequencing

    PubMed Central

    Zwick, Michael E.; Kiley, Maureen P.; Stewart, Andrew C.; Mateczun, Alfred; Read, Timothy D.

    2008-01-01

    The ability to distinguish microbial pathogens from closely related but nonpathogenic strains is key to understanding the population biology of these organisms. In this regard, Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes inhalational anthrax, is of interest because it is closely related and often difficult to distinguish from other members of the B. cereus group that can cause diverse diseases. We employed custom-designed resequencing arrays (RAs) based on the genome sequence of Bacillus anthracis to generate 422 kb of genomic sequence from a panel of 41 Bacillus cereus sensu lato strains. Here we show that RAs represent a “one reaction” genotyping technology with the ability to discriminate between highly similar B. anthracis isolates and more divergent strains of the B. cereus s.l. Clade 1. Our data show that RAs can be an efficient genotyping technology for pre-screening the genetic diversity of large strain collections to selected the best candidates for whole genome sequencing. PMID:18596941

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Bacillus anthracis lcp Genes Support Vegetative Growth, Envelope Assembly, and Spore Formation

    PubMed Central

    Liszewski Zilla, Megan; Lunderberg, J. Mark; Schneewind, Olaf

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bacillus anthracis, a spore-forming pathogen, replicates as chains of vegetative cells by regulating the separation of septal peptidoglycan. Surface (S)-layer proteins and B. anthracis S-layer-associated proteins (BSLs) function as chain length determinants and are assembled in the envelope by binding to the secondary cell wall polysaccharide (SCWP). B. anthracis expresses six different genes encoding LytR-CpsA-Psr (LCP) enzymes (lcpB1 to -4, lcpC, and lcpD), which when expressed in Staphylococcus aureus promote attachment of wall teichoic acid to peptidoglycan. Mutations in B. anthracis lcpB3 and lcpD cause aberrations in cell size and chain length that can be explained as discrete defects in SCWP assembly; however, the function of the other lcp genes is not known. By deleting combinations of lcp genes from the B. anthracis genome, we generated variants with single lcp genes. B. anthracis expressing lcpB3 alone displayed physiological cell size, vegetative growth, spore formation, and S-layer assembly. Strains expressing lcpB1 or lcpB4 displayed defects in cell size and shape, S-layer assembly, and spore formation yet sustained vegetative growth. In contrast, the lcpB2 strain was unable to grow unless the gene was expressed from a multicopy plasmid (lcpB2++), and variants expressing lcpC or lcpD displayed severe defects in growth and cell shape. The lcpB2++, lcpC, or lcpD strains supported neither S-layer assembly nor spore formation. We propose a model whereby LCP enzymes fulfill partially overlapping functions in transferring SCWP molecules to discrete sites within the bacterial envelope. IMPORTANCE Products of genes essential for bacterial envelope assembly represent targets for antibiotic development. The LytR-CpsA-Psr (LCP) enzymes tether bactoprenol-linked intermediates of secondary cell wall polymers to the C6 hydroxyl of N-acetylmuramic acid in peptidoglycan; however, the role of LCPs as a target for antibiotic therapy is not defined. We show here

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Structure and Composition of the Bacillus anthracis Capsule

    PubMed Central

    Avakyan, A. A.; Katz, L. N.; Levina, K. N.; Pavlova, I. B.

    1965-01-01

    Avakyan, A. A. (Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow, USSR), L. N. Katz, K. N. Levina, and I. B. Pavlova. Structure and composition of the Bacillus anthracis capsule. J. Bacteriol. 90:1082–1095. 1965.—Observations by various methods of light microscopy (phase contrast, dark-field, and fluorescence) revealed the complex structure of the Bacillus anthracis capsule, which changes regularly during the growth cycle of the culture. Special cytological methods of staining the capsule made it possible to study its fine structure, which is not revealed by negative staining with India ink. For example, the capsule shows a membranelike outline, fine transverse lines, and interruptions and transverse septa traversing the entire capsule. By using cytochemical methods, it was found that the capsule has a stratified structure and that the various layers of the capsule differ as to the value of the isoelectric point, metachromatic ability, sensitivity to various enzymes, and, consequently, chemical composition. It was thus shown that the membranelike outline of the capsule consists of peptides and neutral mucopolysaccharides. The middle part of the capsule consists of a complex of substances of both polysaccharide and protein nature, and the inner part consists of acid mucopolysaccharides. Observation of the capsular forms of B. anthracis by means of an electron microscope revealed differences in the osmiophilia and submicroscopic structure of the membranelike outline and the middle and inner parts of the capsule. Immunochemical studies conducted by the fluorescent-antibody method revealed localization of antigens in different parts of the capsule, and made it possible to differentiate the capsular antigens according to their serum-staining ability and according of their relations to enzymes, i.e., their chemical composition. This paper concerns the possibility of studying the fine structure of bacterial capsules in fixed preparations, and the differences and similarities of

  7. Transient lipopolysaccharide-induced resistance to aerosolized Bacillus anthracis in New Zealand white rabbits.

    PubMed

    Yee, Steven B; Dyer, David N; Twenhafel, Nancy A; Pitt, M Louise M

    2013-06-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that prior infection by various bacterial pathogens induces nonspecific resistance to subsequent infection by other gram-negative and gram-positive bacterial pathogens. In the present study, we evaluated whether underlying inflammation enhanced host resistance to inhalational Bacillus anthracis infection in New Zealand White rabbits (SPF; Bordetella- and Pasteurella-free). Accordingly, rabbits were pretreated with either the inflammagen bacterial LPS (60,000 EU/kg), a component of the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria, or saline (vehicle). Administration of LPS resulted in brief pyrexia and a significant increase in the proinflammatory cytokine TNFα, thus confirming LPS-induced inflammation. At 24 h after LPS treatment, rabbits were exposed to aerosolized B. anthracis spores (Ames strain; approximately 300 LD50). Blood samples collected at various times after challenge were cultured. Compared with their saline-pretreated counterparts, LPS-pretreated, B. anthracis challenged rabbits exhibited delays in 2 biomarkers of B. anthracis infection-anthrax-induced pyrexia (25 h versus 66 h after challenge, respectively) and bacteremia (26 h versus 63 h, respectively)-and survived longer (41 h versus 90 h, respectively). Similar to control animals, all LPS-pretreated, B. anthracis-challenged rabbits exhibited pathology consistent with inhalational anthrax. Taken together, these results suggest that prior or underlying stimulation of the innate immune system induces transient host resistance to subsequent B. anthracis infection in SPF New Zealand white rabbits. In particular, our results emphasize the importance of using animals that are free of underlying infections to prevent confounding data in studies for inhalational anthrax characterization and medical countermeasure evaluation.

  8. Transient Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Resistance to Aerosolized Bacillus anthracis in New Zealand White Rabbits

    PubMed Central

    Yee, Steven B; Dyer, David N; Twenhafel, Nancy A; Pitt, M Louise M

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that prior infection by various bacterial pathogens induces nonspecific resistance to subsequent infection by other gram-negative and gram-positive bacterial pathogens. In the present study, we evaluated whether underlying inflammation enhanced host resistance to inhalational Bacillus anthracis infection in New Zealand White rabbits (SPF; Bordetella- and Pasteurella-free). Accordingly, rabbits were pretreated with either the inflammagen bacterial LPS (60,000 EU/kg), a component of the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria, or saline (vehicle). Administration of LPS resulted in brief pyrexia and a significant increase in the proinflammatory cytokine TNFα, thus confirming LPS-induced inflammation. At 24 h after LPS treatment, rabbits were exposed to aerosolized B. anthracis spores (Ames strain; approximately 300 LD50). Blood samples collected at various times after challenge were cultured. Compared with their saline-pretreated counterparts, LPS-pretreated, B. anthracis-challenged rabbits exhibited delays in 2 biomarkers of B. anthracis infection—anthrax-induced pyrexia (25 h versus 66 h after challenge, respectively) and bacteremia (26 h versus 63 h, respectively)—and survived longer (41 h versus 90 h, respectively). Similar to control animals, all LPS-pretreated, B. anthracis-challenged rabbits exhibited pathology consistent with inhalational anthrax. Taken together, these results suggest that prior or underlying stimulation of the innate immune system induces transient host resistance to subsequent B. anthracis infection in SPF New Zealand white rabbits. In particular, our results emphasize the importance of using animals that are free of underlying infections to prevent confounding data in studies for inhalational anthrax characterization and medical countermeasure evaluation. PMID:23759528

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. [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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Deletion of dnaN1 generates a mutator phenotype in Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Hanjing; Miller, Jeffrey H.

    2008-01-01

    The dnaN gene in eubacteria is an essential gene that encodes the β subunit of replicative DNA polymerase. Nearly all eubacterial genomes sequenced to date predict a single copy of the dnaN gene in a well-conserved neighboring gene context. However, 19 genomes out of 348 scanned, including Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, Bacillus thuringiensis, and Bacillus weihenstephanensis, predict more than one dnaN gene. In most cases, these genomes appear to maintain a copy of the dnaN homolog in its usual neighboring gene context (designated as dnaN1) in addition to a second copy (designated as dnaN2) in an entirely different gene context. We used B. anthracis as our model system to investigate the role of these DnaNs. We constructed a single knockout mutant of dnaN1 and of dnaN2; however, we could not make a viable double knockout mutant of dnaN1 and dnaN2. The dnaN1 knockout mutant displays a markedly reduced colony size. It also displays a significantly increased mutation rate, which is similar to that of a mismatch repair deficient strain and to a strain deficient both in dnaN1 and mismatch repair. The dnaN2 knockout mutant, however, has a similar growth rate and a comparable mutation rate to that of the wild type. This is the first study demonstrating the existence of two functional DnaN homologs in the B. anthracis genome, with DnaN1 appearing to be more crucial than DnaN2. Our results also suggest the direct involvement of DnaN1 in the DNA mismatch repair process, which is consistent with previous findings. PMID:18242150

  17. Deletion of dnaN1 generates a mutator phenotype in Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Yang, Hanjing; Miller, Jeffrey H

    2008-03-01

    The dnaN gene in eubacteria is an essential gene that encodes the beta subunit of replicative DNA polymerase. Nearly all eubacterial genomes sequenced to date predict a single copy of the dnaN gene in a well-conserved neighboring gene context. However, 19 genomes out of 348 scanned, including Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, Bacillus thuringiensis, and Bacillus weihenstephanensis, predict more than one dnaN gene. In most cases, these genomes appear to maintain a copy of the dnaN homolog in its usual neighboring gene context (designated as dnaN1) in addition to a second copy (designated as dnaN2) in an entirely different gene context. We used B. anthracis as our model system to investigate the role of these DnaNs. We constructed a single knockout mutant of dnaN1 and of dnaN2; however, we could not make a viable double knockout mutant of dnaN1 and dnaN2. The dnaN1 knockout mutant displays a markedly reduced colony size. It also displays a significantly increased mutation rate, which is similar to that of a mismatch repair deficient strain and to a strain deficient both in dnaN1 and mismatch repair. The dnaN2 knockout mutant, however, has a similar growth rate and a comparable mutation rate to that of the wild type. This is the first study demonstrating the existence of two functional DnaN homologs in the B. anthracis genome, with DnaN1 appearing to be more crucial than DnaN2. Our results also suggest the direct involvement of DnaN1 in the DNA mismatch repair process, which is consistent with previous findings.

  18. Protection of rhesus macaques against inhalational anthrax with a Bacillus anthracis capsule conjugate vaccine.

    PubMed

    Chabot, Donald J; Ribot, Wilson J; Joyce, Joseph; Cook, James; Hepler, Robert; Nahas, Debbie; Chua, Jennifer; Friedlander, Arthur M

    2016-07-25

    The efficacy of currently licensed anthrax vaccines is largely attributable to a single Bacillus anthracis immunogen, protective antigen. To broaden protection against possible strains resistant to protective antigen-based vaccines, we previously developed a vaccine in which the anthrax polyglutamic acid capsule was covalently conjugated to the outer membrane protein complex of Neisseria meningitidis serotype B and demonstrated that two doses of 2.5μg of this vaccine conferred partial protection of rhesus macaques against inhalational anthrax . Here, we demonstrate complete protection of rhesus macaques against inhalational anthrax with a higher 50μg dose of the same capsule conjugate vaccine. These results indicate that B. anthracis capsule is a highly effective vaccine component that should be considered for incorporation in future generation anthrax vaccines. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Inactivation of Bacillus anthracis in water by photocatalytic, photolytic and sonochemical treatment.

    PubMed

    Venieri, Danae; Markogiannaki, Evangelia; Chatzisymeon, Efthalia; Diamadopoulos, Evan; Mantzavinos, Dionissios

    2013-04-01

    Bacillus anthracis is one of the most dangerous and pathogenic bacterial species and its intrusion in aquatic environments is a serious threat to public health. The aim of the present study was to investigate inactivation rates of B. anthracis in water by means of photocatalytic (UVA/TiO2), photolytic (UVC) and sonochemical treatment. The effect of various operating conditions such as bacterial concentration, TiO2 loading, UV irradiation source, ultrasound power and treatment time was examined. The reference strain of B. anthracis proved to be highly resistant during photocatalytic and sonochemical treatment of aquatic samples, even in the presence of hydrogen peroxide solution, which is considered among the chemical disinfectants recommended for B. anthracis removal from aqueous suspensions. UVC irradiation was far more effective, as it achieved total inactivation in short treatment time (10 min) and at high initial concentrations (10(6) CFU mL(-1)). The effectiveness of UVC irradiation is also reinforced by the fact that no photoreactivation occurred even after 72 h of exposure under sunlight after the end of the treatment. Furthermore, the virulence of residual cells was investigated, targeting two genes carried in the plasmids pXO1 and pXO2, respectively, which are required for a fully virulent type. Interestingly, the plasmid pXO2 seems to be lost from the host after photocatalytic and photolytic disinfection, resulting in apathogenic residual strains contained in the treated sample. Overall, our results highlight the importance of B. anthracis efficient inactivation in water, as it shows considerable resistance towards effective and reliable disinfection techniques.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  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. Genes Required for Bacillus anthracis Secondary Cell Wall Polysaccharide Synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Oh, So-Young; Lunderberg, J. Mark; Chateau, Alice; Schneewind, Olaf

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The secondary cell wall polysaccharide (SCWP) is thought to be essential for vegetative growth and surface (S)-layer assembly in Bacillus anthracis; however, the genetic determinants for the assembly of its trisaccharide repeat structure are not known. Here, we report that WpaA (BAS0847) and WpaB (BAS5274) share features with membrane proteins involved in the assembly of O-antigen lipopolysaccharide in Gram-negative bacteria and propose that WpaA and WpaB contribute to the assembly of the SCWP in B. anthracis. Vegetative forms of the B. anthracis wpaA mutant displayed increased lengths of cell chains, a cell separation defect that was attributed to mislocalization of the S-layer-associated murein hydrolases BslO, BslS, and BslT. The wpaB mutant was defective in vegetative replication during early logarithmic growth and formed smaller colonies. Deletion of both genes, wpaA and wpaB, did not yield viable bacilli, and when depleted of both wpaA and wpaB, B. anthracis could not maintain cell shape, support vegetative growth, or assemble SCWP. We propose that WpaA and WpaB fulfill overlapping glycosyltransferase functions of either polymerizing repeat units or transferring SCWP polymers to linkage units prior to LCP-mediated anchoring of the polysaccharide to peptidoglycan. IMPORTANCE The secondary cell wall polysaccharide (SCWP) is essential for Bacillus anthracis growth, cell shape, and division. SCWP is comprised of trisaccharide repeats (→4)-β-ManNAc-(1→4)-β-GlcNAc-(1→6)-α-GlcNAc-(1→) with α-Gal and β-Gal substitutions; however, the genetic determinants and enzymes for SCWP synthesis are not known. Here, we identify WpaA and WpaB and report that depletion of these factors affects vegetative growth, cell shape, and S-layer assembly. We hypothesize that WpaA and WpaB are involved in the assembly of SCWP prior to transfer of this polymer onto peptidoglycan. PMID:27795328

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Rapid Detection of Bacillus anthracis Bloodstream Infections by Use of a Novel Assay in the GeneXpert System.

    PubMed

    Banada, Padmapriya P; Deshpande, Srinidhi; Russo, Riccardo; Singleton, Eric; Shah, Darshini; Patel, Bhavana; Burday, Michele; Koshy, Ranie; Wang, Qing; Jones, Martin; Gall, Alexander; Lokhov, Sergey; Kwiatkowski, Robert; Persing, David; Connell, Nancy; Alland, David

    2017-10-01

    Bacillus anthracis is a tier 1 select agent with the potential to quickly cause severe disease. Rapid identification of this pathogen may accelerate treatment and reduce mortality in the event of a bioterrorism attack. We developed a rapid and sensitive assay to detect B. anthracis bacteremia using a system that is suitable for point-of-care testing. A filter-based cartridge that included both sample processing and PCR amplification functions was loaded with all reagents needed for sample processing and multiplex nested PCR. The assay limit of detection (LOD) and dynamic range were determined by spiking B. anthracis DNA into individual PCR mixtures and B. anthracis CFU into human blood. One-milliliter blood samples were added to the filter-based detection cartridge and tested for B. anthracis on a GeneXpert instrument. Assay specificity was determined by testing blood spiked with non-anthrax bacterial isolates or by testing blood samples drawn from patients with concurrent non-B. anthracis bacteremia or nonbacteremic controls. The assay LODs were 5 genome equivalents per reaction and 10 CFU/ml blood for both the B. anthracis Sterne and V1B strains. There was a 6-log10 dynamic range. Assay specificity was 100% for tests of non-B. anthracis bacterial isolates and patient blood samples. Assay time was less than 90 min. This automated system suitable for point-of-care detection rapidly identifies B. anthracis directly from blood with high sensitivity. This assay might lead to early detection and more rapid therapy in the event of a bioterrorism attack. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  12. Mechanism of killing of spores of Bacillus anthracis in a high-temperature gas environment, and analysis of DNA damage generated by various decontamination treatments of spores of Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus thuringiensis.

    PubMed

    Setlow, B; Parish, S; Zhang, P; Li, Y-Q; Neely, W C; Setlow, P

    2014-04-01

    To determine how hydrated Bacillus anthracis spores are killed in a high-temperature gas environment (HTGE), and how spores of several Bacillus species including B. anthracis are killed by UV radiation, dry heat, wet heat and desiccation. Hydrated B. anthracis spores were HTGE treated at c. 220°C for 50 ms, and the treated spores were tested for germination, mutagenesis, rupture and loss of dipicolinic acid. Spores of this and other Bacillus species were also examined for mutagenesis by UV, wet and dry heat and desiccation. There was no rupture of HTGE-treated B. anthracis spores killed 90-99·9%, no mutagenesis, and release of DPA and loss of germination were much slower than spore killing. However, killing of spores of B. anthracis, Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus subtilis by UV radiation or dry heat, but not wet heat in water or ethanol, was accompanied by mutagenesis. It appears likely that HTGE treatment kills B. anthracis spores by damage to spore core proteins. In addition, various killing regimens inactivate spores of a number of Bacillus species by the same mechanisms. This work indicates how hydrated spores treated in a HTGE such as might be used to destroy biological warfare agent stocks are killed. The work also indicates that mechanisms whereby different agents kill spores are similar with spores of different Bacillus species. © 2013 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.).

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. [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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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 ...

  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. Unveiling the Novel Dual Specificity Protein Kinases in Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Arora, Gunjan; Sajid, Andaleeb; Arulanandh, Mary Diana; Singhal, Anshika; Mattoo, Abid R.; Pomerantsev, Andrei P.; Leppla, Stephen H.; Maiti, Souvik; Singh, Yogendra

    2012-01-01

    Dual specificity protein kinases (DSPKs) are unique enzymes that can execute multiple functions in the cell, which are otherwise performed exclusively by serine/threonine and tyrosine protein kinases. In this study, we have characterized the protein kinases Bas2152 (PrkD) and Bas2037 (PrkG) from Bacillus anthracis. Transcriptional analyses of these kinases showed that they are expressed in all phases of growth. In a serendipitous discovery, both kinases were found to be DSPKs. PrkD was found to be similar to the eukaryotic dual specificity Tyr phosphorylation-regulated kinase class of dual specificity kinases, which autophosphorylates on Ser, Thr, and Tyr residues and phosphorylates Ser and Thr residues on substrates. PrkG was found to be a bona fide dual specificity protein kinase that mediates autophosphorylation and substrate phosphorylation on Ser, Thr, and Tyr residues. The sites of phosphorylation in both of the kinases were identified through mass spectrometry. Phosphorylation on Tyr residues regulates the kinase activity of PrkD and PrkG. PrpC, the only known Ser/Thr protein phosphatase, was also found to possess dual specificity. Genistein, a known Tyr kinase inhibitor, was found to inhibit the activities of PrkD and PrkG and affect the growth of B. anthracis cells, indicating a possible role of these kinases in cell growth and development. In addition, the glycolytic enzyme pyruvate kinase was found to be phosphorylated by PrkD on Ser and Thr residues but not by PrkG. Thus, this study provides the first evidence of DSPKs in B. anthracis that belong to different classes and have different modes of regulation. PMID:22711536

  10. Bacillus anthracis phospholipases C facilitate macrophage-associated growth and contribute to virulence in a murine model of inhalation anthrax.

    PubMed

    Heffernan, Brian J; Thomason, Brendan; Herring-Palmer, Amy; Shaughnessy, Lee; McDonald, Rod; Fisher, Nathan; Huffnagle, Gary B; Hanna, Philip

    2006-07-01

    Several models of anthrax pathogenesis suggest that early in the infectious process Bacillus anthracis endospores germinate and outgrow into vegetative bacilli within phagocytes before being released into the blood. Here, we define the respective contributions of three phospholipases C (PLCs) to the pathogenesis of B. anthracis. Genetic deletions of the PLCs were made in the Sterne 7702 background, resulting in the respective loss of their activities. The PLCs were redundant both in tissue culture and in murine models of anthrax. Deletion of all three PLC genes was required for attenuation of virulence in mice after intratracheal inoculation. This attenuation may be attributed to the inability of the PLC-null strain to grow in association with the macrophage. Complementation of these defects in both models of anthrax was achieved by expression of the PLC genes in trans. The functional redundancy between PLCs in the virulence of B. anthracis implies that their activities are important for anthrax pathogenesis.

  11. Bacillus anthracis Phospholipases C Facilitate Macrophage-Associated Growth and Contribute to Virulence in a Murine Model of Inhalation Anthrax

    PubMed Central

    Heffernan, Brian J.; Thomason, Brendan; Herring-Palmer, Amy; Shaughnessy, Lee; McDonald, Rod; Fisher, Nathan; Huffnagle, Gary B.; Hanna, Philip

    2006-01-01

    Several models of anthrax pathogenesis suggest that early in the infectious process Bacillus anthracis endospores germinate and outgrow into vegetative bacilli within phagocytes before being released into the blood. Here, we define the respective contributions of three phospholipases C (PLCs) to the pathogenesis of B. anthracis. Genetic deletions of the PLCs were made in the Sterne 7702 background, resulting in the respective loss of their activities. The PLCs were redundant both in tissue culture and in murine models of anthrax. Deletion of all three PLC genes was required for attenuation of virulence in mice after intratracheal inoculation. This attenuation may be attributed to the inability of the PLC-null strain to grow in association with the macrophage. Complementation of these defects in both models of anthrax was achieved by expression of the PLC genes in trans. The functional redundancy between PLCs in the virulence of B. anthracis implies that their activities are important for anthrax pathogenesis. PMID:16790747

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. The Genome of a Bacillus Isolate Causing Anthrax in Chimpanzees Combines Chromosomal Properties of B. cereus with B. anthracis Virulence Plasmids

    PubMed Central

    Nattermann, Herbert; Brüggemann, Holger; Dupke, Susann; Wollherr, Antje; Franz, Tatjana; Pauli, Georg; Appel, Bernd; Liebl, Wolfgang; Couacy-Hymann, Emmanuel; Boesch, Christophe; Meyer, Frauke-Dorothee; Leendertz, Fabian H.; Ellerbrok, Heinz; Gottschalk, Gerhard; Grunow, Roland; Liesegang, Heiko

    2010-01-01

    Anthrax is a fatal disease caused by strains of Bacillus anthracis. Members of this monophyletic species are non motile and are all characterized by the presence of four prophages and a nonsense mutation in the plcR regulator gene. Here we report the complete genome sequence of a Bacillus strain isolated from a chimpanzee that had died with clinical symptoms of anthrax. Unlike classic B. anthracis, this strain was motile and lacked the four prohages and the nonsense mutation. Four replicons were identified, a chromosome and three plasmids. Comparative genome analysis revealed that the chromosome resembles those of non-B. anthracis members of the Bacillus cereus group, whereas two plasmids were identical to the anthrax virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2. The function of the newly discovered third plasmid with a length of 14 kbp is unknown. A detailed comparison of genomic loci encoding key features confirmed a higher similarity to B. thuringiensis serovar konkukian strain 97-27 and B. cereus E33L than to B. anthracis strains. For the first time we describe the sequence of an anthrax causing bacterium possessing both anthrax plasmids that apparently does not belong to the monophyletic group of all so far known B. anthracis strains and that differs in important diagnostic features. The data suggest that this bacterium has evolved from a B. cereus strain independently from the classic B. anthracis strains and established a B. anthracis lifestyle. Therefore we suggest to designate this isolate as “B. cereus variety (var.) anthracis”. PMID:20634886

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Changes in Bacillus anthracis CodY regulation under host-specific environmental factor deprived conditions.

    PubMed

    Kim, Se Kye; Jung, Kyoung Hwa; Chai, Young Gyu

    2016-08-17

    Host-specific environmental factors induce changes in Bacillus anthracis gene transcription during infection. A global transcription regulator, CodY, plays a pivotal role in regulating central metabolism, biosynthesis, and virulence in B. anthracis. In this study, we utilized RNA-sequencing to assess changes in the transcriptional patterns of CodY-regulated B. anthracis genes in response to three conditions of environmental starvation: iron, CO2, or glucose deprivation. In addition, we performed chromatin immunoprecipitation on newly identified CodY-mediated genes. Environmental deprivation induced transcriptional changes in CodY-regulated genes in both wild-type and codY null strains, and both CodY-specific and environment-specific patterns were observed. In the iron-depleted condition, overexpression of iron homeostasis genes was observed independent of codY deletion; however, transcription of siderophore and amino acid biosynthesis genes was CodY dependent. Although CodY has a significant regulatory role in central metabolism and the carbon overflow pathway, metabolism-associated genes exhibited CodY-independent expression patterns under glucose starvation. Genes that were differentially expressed in response to CO2 availability showed CodY-dependent regulation, though their maximal expression did require a supply of CO2/bicarbonate. We speculate that CodY regulates the expression of environmental-responsive genes in a hierarchical manner and is likely associated with other transcription regulators that are specific for a particular environmental change.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  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. 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.

  5. [Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) site in Bacillus anthracis].

    PubMed

    Gao, Zhiqi; Wang, Dongshu; Feng, Erling; Wang, Bingxiang; Hui, Yiming; Han, Shaobo; Jiao, Lei; Liu, Xiankai; Wang, Hengliang

    2014-11-04

    To investigate the polymorphism of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) in Bacillu santhracis and the application to molecular typing based on the polymorphism of CRISPR in B. anthracis. We downloaded the whole genome sequence of 6 B. anthracis strains and extracted the CRISPR sites. We designed the primers of CRISPR sites and amplified the CRISPR fragments in 193 B. anthracis strains by PCR and sequenced these fragments. In order to reveal the polymorphism of CRISPR in B. anthracis, wealigned all the extracted sequences and sequenced results by local blasting. At the same time, we also analyzed the CRISPR sites in B. cereus and B. thuringiensis. We did not find any polymorphism of CRISPR in B. anthracis. The molecular typing approach based on CRISPR polymorphism is not suitable for B. anthracis, but it is possible for us to distinguish B. anthracis from B. cereus and B. thuringiensis.

  6. 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.

  7. Antimicrobial Effects of Gold/Copper Sulphide (Au/Cus) Core/Shell Nanoparticles on Bacillus Anthracis Spores and Cells

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-01-01

    SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: Bacillus anthracis is a gram positive, rod shaped and spore forming bacteria. It causes anthrax, a deadly human and animal...BACILLUS ANTHRACIS SPORES AND CELLS Report Title Bacillus anthracis is a gram positive, rod shaped and spore forming bacteria. It causes anthrax, a...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

  8. Differential Effects of Linezolid and Ciprofloxacin on Toxin Production by Bacillus anthracis in an In Vitro Pharmacodynamic System

    PubMed Central

    VanScoy, Brian D.; Heine, Henry S.; Liu, Weiguo; Abshire, Terry; Holman, Kari; Kulawy, Robert; Brown, David L.; Drusano, George L.

    2012-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis causes anthrax. Ciprofloxacin is a gold standard for the treatment of anthrax. Previously, using the non-toxin-producing ΔSterne strain of B. anthracis, we demonstrated that linezolid was equivalent to ciprofloxacin for reducing the total (vegetative and spore) bacterial population. With ciprofloxacin therapy, the total population consisted of spores. With linezolid therapy, the population consisted primarily of vegetative bacteria. Linezolid is a protein synthesis inhibitor, while ciprofloxacin is not. Since toxins are produced only by vegetative B. anthracis, the effect of linezolid and ciprofloxacin on toxin production is of interest. The effect of simulated clinical regimens of ciprofloxacin and linezolid on the vegetative and spore populations and on toxin production was examined in an in vitro pharmacodynamic model over 15 days by using the toxin-producing Sterne strain of B. anthracis. Ciprofloxacin and linezolid reduced the total Sterne population at similar rates. With ciprofloxacin therapy, the total Sterne population consisted of spores. With linezolid therapy, >90% of the population was vegetative B. anthracis. With ciprofloxacin therapy, toxin was first detectable at 3 h and remained detectable for at least 5 h. Toxin was never detected with linezolid therapy. Ciprofloxacin and linezolid reduced the total Sterne population at similar rates. However, the B. anthracis population was primarily spores with ciprofloxacin therapy and was primarily vegetative bacteria with linezolid therapy. Toxin production was detected for at least 5 h with ciprofloxacin therapy but was never detected with linezolid treatment. Linezolid may have an advantage over ciprofloxacin for the treatment of B. anthracis infections. PMID:22064542

  9. 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

  10. Aerosolized Bacillus anthracis Infection in New Zealand White Rabbits: Natural History and Intravenous Levofloxacin Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Yee, Steven B; Hatkin, Joshua M; Dyer, David N; Orr, Steven A; Pitt, M Louise M

    2010-01-01

    The natural history for inhalational Bacillus anthracis (Ames strain) exposure in New Zealand white rabbits was investigated to better identify potential, early biomarkers of anthrax. Twelve SPF Bordetella-free rabbits were exposed to 150 LD50 aerosolized B. anthracis spores, and clinical signs, body temperature, complete blood count, bacteremia, and presence of protective antigen in the blood (that is, antigenemia) were examined. The development of antigenemia and bacteremia coincided and preceded both pyrexia and inversion of the heterophil:lymphocyte ratio, an indicator of infection. Antigenemia was determined within 1 h by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay, compared with the 24-h traditional culture needed for bacteremia determination. Rabbits appeared clinically normal until shortly before succumbing to anthrax approximately 47 h after challenge or approximately 22 h after antigenemia, which suggests a relatively narrow therapeutic window of opportunity. To evaluate the therapeutic rabbit model, B. anthracis-exposed rabbits were treated (after determination of antigenemia and later confirmed to be bacteremic) intravenously with the fluoroquinolone antibiotic levofloxacin for 5 d at a total daily dose of 25 or 12.5 mg/kg, resulting in nearly 90% and 70% survival, respectively, to the study end (28 d after challenge). The peak level for 12.5 mg/kg was equivalent to that observed for a 500-mg daily levofloxacin dose in humans. These results suggest that intravenous levofloxacin is an effective therapeutic against inhalational anthrax. Taken together, our findings indicate that antigenemia is a viable and early biomarker for B. anthracis infection that can be used as a treatment trigger to allow for timely intervention against this highly pathogenic disease. PMID:21262133

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  18. MyD88-dependent signaling contributes to protection following Bacillus anthracis spore challenge of mice: implications for Toll-like receptor signaling.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Molly A; Green, Candace S; Lowchyj, Lisa; Lee, Gloria M; Grippe, Vanessa K; Smith, Michael F; Huang, Li-Yun; Harvill, Eric T; Merkel, Tod J

    2005-11-01

    Bacillus anthracis is a spore-forming, gram-positive organism that is the causative agent of the disease anthrax. Recognition of Bacillus anthracis by the host innate immune system likely plays a key protective role following infection. In the present study, we examined the role of TLR2, TLR4, and MyD88 in the response to B. anthracis. Heat-killed Bacillus anthracis stimulated TLR2, but not TLR4, signaling in HEK293 cells and stimulated tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) production in C3H/HeN, C3H/HeJ, and C57BL/6J bone marrow-derived macrophages. The ability of heat-killed B. anthracis to induce a TNF-alpha response was preserved in TLR2-/- but not in MyD88-/- macrophages. In vivo studies revealed that TLR2-/- mice and TLR4-deficient mice were resistant to challenge with aerosolized Sterne strain spores but MyD88-/- mice were as susceptible as A/J mice. We conclude that, although recognition of B. anthracis occurs via TLR2, additional MyD88-dependent pathways contribute to the host innate immune response to anthrax infection.

  19. Distribution and Molecular Evolution of Bacillus anthracis Genotypes in Namibia

    PubMed Central

    Beyer, Wolfgang; Bellan, Steve; Eberle, Gisela; Ganz, Holly H.; Getz, Wayne M.; Haumacher, Renate; Hilss, Karen A.; Kilian, Werner; Lazak, Judith; Turner, Wendy C.; Turnbull, Peter C. B.

    2012-01-01

    The recent development of genetic markers for Bacillus anthracis has made it possible to monitor the spread and distribution of this pathogen during and between anthrax outbreaks. In Namibia, anthrax outbreaks occur annually in the Etosha National Park (ENP) and on private game and livestock farms. We genotyped 384 B. anthracis isolates collected between 1983–2010 to identify the possible epidemiological correlations of anthrax outbreaks within and outside the ENP and to analyze genetic relationships between isolates from domestic and wild animals. The isolates came from 20 animal species and from the environment and were genotyped using a 31-marker multi-locus-VNTR-analysis (MLVA) and, in part, by twelve single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers and four single nucleotide repeat (SNR) markers. A total of 37 genotypes (GT) were identified by MLVA, belonging to four SNP-groups. All GTs belonged to the A-branch in the cluster- and SNP-analyses. Thirteen GTs were found only outside the ENP, 18 only within the ENP and 6 both inside and outside. Genetic distances between isolates increased with increasing time between isolations. However, genetic distance between isolates at the beginning and end of the study period was relatively small, indicating that while the majority of GTs were only found sporadically, three genetically close GTs, accounting for more than four fifths of all the ENP isolates, appeared dominant throughout the study period. Genetic distances among isolates were significantly greater for isolates from different host species, but this effect was small, suggesting that while species-specific ecological factors may affect exposure processes, transmission cycles in different host species are still highly interrelated. The MLVA data were further used to establish a model of the probable evolution of GTs within the endemic region of the ENP. SNR-analysis was helpful in correlating an isolate with its source but did not elucidate epidemiological

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Comparison of sampling methods to recover germinated Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus thuringiensis endospores from surface coupons.

    PubMed

    Mott, T M; Shoe, J L; Hunter, M; Woodson, A M; Fritts, K A; Klimko, C P; Quirk, A V; Welkos, S L; Cote, C K

    2017-05-01

    In an attempt to devise decontamination methods that are both effective and minimally detrimental to the environment, we evaluated germination induction as an enhancement to strategies for Bacillus anthracis spore decontamination. To determine an optimal method for the recovery of germinating spores from different matrices, it was critical to ensure that the sampling procedures did not negatively impact the viability of the germinating spores possibly confounding the results and downstream analyses of field trial data. Therefore, the two main objectives of this study were the following: (i) development of an effective processing protocol capable of recovering the maximum number of viable germinating or germinated spores from different surface materials; and (ii) using a model system of spore contamination, employ this protocol to evaluate the potential applicability of germination induction to wide-area decontamination of B. anthracis spores. We examined parameters affecting the sampling efficiencies of B. anthracis and the surrogate species Bacillus thuringiensis on nonporous and porous materials. The most efficient extraction from all matrices was observed using PBS with 0·01% Tween 80 extraction buffer. The addition of a sonication and/or extended vortex treatment did not yield significant increases in spore or germinated spore recovery. Our data demonstrate that previous germination-induction experiments performed in suspension can be reproduced when Bacillus spores are deposited onto reference surfaces materials. Our proof of concept experiment illustrated that a germination pretreatment step significantly improves conventional secondary decontamination strategies and remediation plans. Published 2017. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  3. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Bacillus anthracis Peptidoglycan Integrity Is Disrupted by the Chemokine CXCL10 through the FtsE/X Complex.

    PubMed

    Margulieux, Katie R; Liebov, Benjamin K; Tirumala, Venkata S K K S; Singh, Arpita; Bushweller, John H; Nakamoto, Robert K; Hughes, Molly A

    2017-01-01

    The antimicrobial activity of the chemokine CXCL10 against vegetative cells of Bacillus anthracis occurs via both bacterial FtsE/X-dependent and-independent pathways. Previous studies established that the FtsE/X-dependent pathway was mediated through interaction of the N-terminal region(s) of CXCL10 with a functional FtsE/X complex, while the FtsE/X-independent pathway was mediated through the C-terminal α-helix of CXCL10. Both pathways result in cell lysis and death of B. anthracis. In other bacterial species, it has been shown that FtsE/X is involved in cellular elongation though activation of complex-associated peptidoglycan hydrolases. Thus, we hypothesized that the CXCL10-mediated killing of vegetative cells of B. anthracis through the FtsE/X-dependent pathway resulted from the disruption of peptidoglycan processing. Immunofluorescence microscopy studies using fluorescent peptidoglycan probes revealed that incubation of B. anthracis Sterne (parent) strain with CXCL10 or a C-terminal truncated CXCL10 (CTTC) affected peptidoglycan processing and/or incorporation of precursors into the cell wall. B. anthracis ΔftsX or ftsE(K123A/D481N) mutant strains, which lacked a functional FtsE/X complex, exhibited little to no evidence of disruption in peptidoglycan processing by either CXCL10 or CTTC. Additional studies demonstrated that the B. anthracis parent strain exhibited a statistically significant increase in peptidoglycan release in the presence of either CXCL10 or CTTC. While B. anthracis ΔftsX strain showed increased peptidoglycan release in the presence of CXCL10, no increase was observed with CTTC, suggesting that the FtsE/X-independent pathway was responsible for the activity observed with CXCL10. These results indicate that FtsE/X-dependent killing of vegetative cells of B. anthracis results from a loss of cell wall integrity due to disruption of peptidoglycan processing and suggest that FtsE/X may be an important antimicrobial target to study in the

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

    PubMed Central

    Popovici, Jonathan; Lytle, Darren A.; Adcock, Noreen J.; Rice, Eugene W.

    2012-01-01

    The electrophoretic mobility (EPM) of endospores of Bacillus anthracis and surrogates was 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 provide new insight for Bacillus anthracis surrogate selection and for attachment/detachment and transport studies. PMID:23001659

  9. 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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-12-01

    plasmid-negative variants of Bacillus pumilus . II. Is the presence of a plasmid or prophage related to toxin synthesis? (1) Isolation of plasmid-negative...genes and the control of spontaneous mutation. Ann. Rev. Genet. 10:135(1976). 5. Lovett, P.S. Plasmid in Bacillus pumilus and the enhanced sporulation...Unclassified AD REPORT NUMBER TWO GENETIC AND PHYSIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF PROTECTIVE ANTIGEN SYNTHESIS BY BACILLUS ANTHRACIS ANNUAL PROGRESS REPORT

  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. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Lipoprotein biosynthesis by prolipoprotein diacylglyceryl transferase is required for efficient spore germination and full virulence of Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Okugawa, Shu; Moayeri, Mahtab; Pomerantsev, Andrei P.; Sastalla, Inka; Crown, Devorah; Gupta, Pradeep K.; Leppla, Stephen H.

    2011-01-01

    Bacterial lipoproteins play a crucial role in virulence in some Gram-positive bacteria. However, the role of lipoprotein biosynthesis in Bacillus anthracis is unknown. We created a B. anthracis mutant strain altered in lipoproteins by deleting the lgt gene encoding the enzyme prolipoprotein diacylglyceryl transferase, which attaches the lipid anchor to prolipoproteins. 14C-palmitate labeling confirmed that the mutant strain lacked lipoproteins, and hydrocarbon partitioning showed it to have decreased surface hydrophobicity. The anthrax toxin proteins were secreted from the mutant strain at nearly the same levels as from the wild-type strain. The TLR2-dependent TNF-α response of macrophages to heat-killed lgt mutant bacteria was reduced. Spores of the lgt mutant germinated inefficiently in vitro and in mouse skin. As a result, in a murine subcutaneous infection model, lgt mutant spores had markedly attenuated virulence. In contrast, vegetative cells of the lgt mutant were as virulent as those of the wild-type strain. Thus, lipoprotein biosynthesis in B. anthracis is required for full virulence in a murine infection model. PMID:22103323

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Bacillus anthracis secretome time course under host-simulated conditions and identification of immunogenic proteins

    PubMed Central

    Walz, Alexander; Mujer, Cesar V; Connolly, Joseph P; Alefantis, Tim; Chafin, Ryan; Dake, Clarissa; Whittington, Jessica; Kumar, Srikanta P; Khan, Akbar S; DelVecchio, Vito G

    2007-01-01

    Background The secretion time course of Bacillus anthracis strain RA3R (pXO1+/pXO2-) during early, mid, and late log phase were investigated under conditions that simulate those encountered in the host. All of the identified proteins were analyzed by different software algorithms to characterize their predicted mode of secretion and cellular localization. In addition, immunogenic proteins were identified using sera from humans with cutaneous anthrax. Results A total of 275 extracellular proteins were identified by a combination of LC MS/MS and MALDI-TOF MS. All of the identified proteins were analyzed by SignalP, SecretomeP, PSORT, LipoP, TMHMM, and PROSITE to characterize their predicted mode of secretion, cellular localization, and protein domains. Fifty-three proteins were predicted by SignalP to harbor the cleavable N-terminal signal peptides and were therefore secreted via the classical Sec pathway. Twenty-three proteins were predicted by SecretomeP for secretion by the alternative Sec pathway characterized by the lack of typical export signal. In contrast to SignalP and SecretomeP predictions, PSORT predicted 171 extracellular proteins, 7 cell wall-associated proteins, and 6 cytoplasmic proteins. Moreover, 51 proteins were predicted by LipoP to contain putative Sec signal peptides (38 have SpI sites), lipoprotein signal peptides (13 have SpII sites), and N-terminal membrane helices (9 have transmembrane helices). The TMHMM algorithm predicted 25 membrane-associated proteins with one to ten transmembrane helices. Immunogenic proteins were also identified using sera from patients who have recovered from anthrax. The charge variants (83 and 63 kDa) of protective antigen (PA) were the most immunodominant secreted antigens, followed by charge variants of enolase and transketolase. Conclusion This is the first description of the time course of protein secretion for the pathogen Bacillus anthracis. Time course studies of protein secretion and accumulation may be

  20. Bacillus anthracis secretome time course under host-simulated conditions and identification of immunogenic proteins.

    PubMed

    Walz, Alexander; Mujer, Cesar V; Connolly, Joseph P; Alefantis, Tim; Chafin, Ryan; Dake, Clarissa; Whittington, Jessica; Kumar, Srikanta P; Khan, Akbar S; DelVecchio, Vito G

    2007-07-27

    The secretion time course of Bacillus anthracis strain RA3R (pXO1+/pXO2-) during early, mid, and late log phase were investigated under conditions that simulate those encountered in the host. All of the identified proteins were analyzed by different software algorithms to characterize their predicted mode of secretion and cellular localization. In addition, immunogenic proteins were identified using sera from humans with cutaneous anthrax. A total of 275 extracellular proteins were identified by a combination of LC MS/MS and MALDI-TOF MS. All of the identified proteins were analyzed by SignalP, SecretomeP, PSORT, LipoP, TMHMM, and PROSITE to characterize their predicted mode of secretion, cellular localization, and protein domains. Fifty-three proteins were predicted by SignalP to harbor the cleavable N-terminal signal peptides and were therefore secreted via the classical Sec pathway. Twenty-three proteins were predicted by SecretomeP for secretion by the alternative Sec pathway characterized by the lack of typical export signal. In contrast to SignalP and SecretomeP predictions, PSORT predicted 171 extracellular proteins, 7 cell wall-associated proteins, and 6 cytoplasmic proteins. Moreover, 51 proteins were predicted by LipoP to contain putative Sec signal peptides (38 have SpI sites), lipoprotein signal peptides (13 have SpII sites), and N-terminal membrane helices (9 have transmembrane helices). The TMHMM algorithm predicted 25 membrane-associated proteins with one to ten transmembrane helices. Immunogenic proteins were also identified using sera from patients who have recovered from anthrax. The charge variants (83 and 63 kDa) of protective antigen (PA) were the most immunodominant secreted antigens, followed by charge variants of enolase and transketolase. This is the first description of the time course of protein secretion for the pathogen Bacillus anthracis. Time course studies of protein secretion and accumulation may be relevant in elucidation of the

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Identification of an African Bacillus anthracis Lineage That Lacks Expression of the Spore Surface-Associated Anthrose-Containing Oligosaccharide▿

    PubMed Central

    Tamborrini, Marco; Bauer, Mark; Bolz, Miriam; Maho, Angaya; Oberli, Matthias A.; Werz, Daniel B.; Schelling, Esther; Zinsstag, Jakob; Seeberger, Peter H.; Frey, Joachim; Pluschke, Gerd

    2011-01-01

    The surfaces of Bacillus anthracis endospores expose a pentasaccharide containing the monosaccharide anthrose, which has been considered for use as a vaccine or target for specific detection of the spores. In this study B. anthracis strains isolated from cattle carcasses in African countries where anthrax is endemic were tested for their cross-reactivity with monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) specific for anthrose-containing oligosaccharides. Unexpectedly, none of the isolates collected in Chad, Cameroon, and Mali were recognized by the MAbs. Sequencing of the four-gene operon encoding anthrose biosynthetic enzymes revealed the presence of premature stop codons in the aminotransferase and glycosyltransferase genes in all isolates from Chad, Cameroon, and Mali. Both immunological and genetic findings suggest that the West African isolates are unable to produce anthrose. The anthrose-deficient strains from West Africa belong to a particular genetic lineage. Immunization of cattle in Chad with a locally produced vaccine based on anthrose-positive spores of the B. anthracis strain Sterne elicited an anti-carbohydrate IgG response specific for a synthetic anthrose-containing tetrasaccharide as demonstrated by glycan microarray analysis. Competition immunoblots with synthetic pentasaccharide derivatives suggested an immunodominant role of the anthrose-containing carbohydrate in cattle. In West Africa anthrax is highly endemic. Massive vaccination of livestock in this area has taken place over long periods of time using spores of the anthrose-positive vaccine strain Sterne. The spread of anthrose-deficient strains in this region may represent an escape strategy of B. anthracis. PMID:21571994

  9. Draft Genome Sequences from a Novel Clade of Bacillus cereus Sensu Lato Strains, Isolated from the International Space Station.

    PubMed

    Venkateswaran, Kasthuri; Checinska Sielaff, Aleksandra; Ratnayake, Shashikala; Pope, Robert K; Blank, Thomas E; Stepanov, Victor G; Fox, George E; van Tongeren, Sandra P; Torres, Clinton; Allen, Jonathan; Jaing, Crystal; Pierson, Duane; Perry, Jay; Koren, Sergey; Phillippy, Adam; Klubnik, Joy; Treangen, Todd J; Rosovitz, M J; Bergman, Nicholas H

    2017-08-10

    The draft genome sequences of six Bacillus strains, isolated from the International Space Station and belonging to the Bacillus anthracis-B. cereus-B. thuringiensis group, are presented here. These strains were isolated from the Japanese Experiment Module (one strain), U.S. Harmony Node 2 (three strains), and Russian Segment Zvezda Module (two strains). Copyright © 2017 Venkateswaran et al.

  10. 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.

  11. 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 Central

    van der Laaken, Anton L.; Blatny, Janet Martha; Paauw, Armand

    2013-01-01

    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 × 106 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. PMID:23811517

  12. 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.

  13. Exoproteome analysis of a novel strain of Bacillus cereus implicated in disease resembling cutaneous anthrax.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Neha; Goel, Ajay Kumar; Alam, Syed Imteyaz

    2014-03-01

    Bacillus cereus belongs to B. cereus sensu lato group, shared by six other related species including Bacillus anthracis. B. anthracis is the causative agent for serious illness affecting a wide range of animals as well as humans and is a category A Biological and Toxin Warfare (BTW) agent. Recent studies indicate that a Bacillus species other than B. anthracis can cause anthrax-like disease and role of anthrax virulence plasmids (pXO1 and pXO2) on the pathogenicity of B. cereus has been documented. B. cereus strain TF5 was isolated from the tissue fluid of cutaneous anthrax-like skin lesions of a human patient from an anthrax endemic area in India. The strain harboured a PA gene, however, presence of pXO1 or pXO2-like plasmids could not be ascertained using reported primers. Abundant exoproteome of the strain in the early stationary phase was elucidated using a 2-DE MS approach and compared with that from a reference B. cereus strain. Analysis of proteins showing qualitative and quantitative differences between the two strains indicated an altered regulatory mechanism and putative role of S-layer protein and sphingomyelinase in the pathogenesis of strain TF5. Phylogenetic analysis of the S-layer protein indicated close affiliation of the strain with anthracis-like B. cereus strains such as B. cereus var. anthracis strain CI; whereas sphingomyelinase exhibited specific relationship with all the strains of B. anthracis apart from that with anthracis-like B. cereus strains. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-01-22

    surface of dormant Bacillus anthracis spores consists of a multilayer of protein coats and a thick peptidoglycan layer that allow the cells to resist...spore coat and the peptidoglycan cortex that protects the spore core, which would change the mechanical properties of the cell. Spores treated with lower

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-10-01

    must intersect the treated dose response surface at a population response level representing 0 percent on the Y-axis. Zero (0) percent was conservatively...Against Bacillus anthracis as a Biological W eapon .......................................................................... 6 3.0 METHODOLOGY ...onset of symptoms. The methodology in this study is based on computer simulations of a range of attack scenarios and world-wide climates. Weapon

  18. Antibiotic Susceptibilities of 96 Isolates of Bacillus anthracis Isolated in France between 1994 and 2000

    PubMed Central

    Cavallo, Jean-Didier; Ramisse, Francoise; Girardet, Monique; Vaissaire, Josée; Mock, Michelle; Hernandez, Eric

    2002-01-01

    Ninety-six isolates of Bacillus anthracis recovered in France between 1994 and 2000 were tested for their susceptibilities to 25 different antibiotics. Resistance to penicillin G and amoxicillin was 11.5%. All of the isolates were resistant to cotrimoxazole and susceptible to doxycycline, ciprofloxacin, pefloxacin, levofloxacin, teicoplanin, vancomycin, clindamycin, imipenem, and rifampin. PMID:12069996

  19. 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

  20. D isomer Composition of Bacillus anthracis Poly-Gamma-Glutamic Acid Capsule Reduces Host Immune Responses

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-12-12

    amounts that were 222 significantly greater than those elicited by Ba capsule (P range < 0.01 - < 0.0001 for both IL-8 223 and IL-6). Ch-k-j also...degrading enzyme treatment enhances 493 phagocytosis and killing of encapsulated Bacillus anthracis. Antimicrob. Agents 494 Chemother. 51:215- 222 . 495

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. A simple decontamination approach using hydrogen peroxide vapour for Bacillus anthracis spore inactivation.

    PubMed

    Wood, J P; Calfee, M W; Clayton, M; Griffin-Gatchalian, N; Touati, A; Ryan, S; Mickelsen, L; Smith, L; Rastogi, V

    2016-12-01

    To evaluate the use of relatively low levels of hydrogen peroxide vapour (HPV) for the inactivation of Bacillus anthracis spores within an indoor environment. Laboratory-scale decontamination tests were conducted using bacterial spores of both B. anthracis Ames and Bacillus atrophaeus inoculated onto several types of materials. Pilot-scale tests were also conducted using a larger chamber furnished as an indoor office. Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) humidifiers filled with aqueous solutions of 3 or 8% hydrogen peroxide (H2 O2 ) were used to generate the HPV inside the mock office. The spores were exposed to HPV for periods ranging from 8 h up to 1 week. Four- to seven-day exposures to low levels of HPV (average air concentrations of approx. 5-10 parts per million) were effective in inactivating B. anthracis spores on multiple materials. The HPV can be generated with COTS humidifiers and household H2 O2 solutions. With the exception of one test/material, B. atrophaeus spores were equally or more resistant to HPV inactivation compared to those from B. anthracis Ames. This simple and effective decontamination method is another option that could be widely applied in the event of a B. anthracis spore release. Published 2016. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Ecological Niche Modelling of the Bacillus anthracis A1.a sub-lineage in Kazakhstan

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a globally distributed zoonotic pathogen that continues to be a veterinary and human health problem in Central Asia. We used a database of anthrax outbreak locations in Kazakhstan and a subset of genotyped isolates to model the geographic distribution and ecological associations of B. anthracis in Kazakhstan. The aims of the study were to test the influence of soil variables on a previous ecological niche based prediction of B. anthracis in Kazakhstan and to determine if a single sub-lineage of B. anthracis occupies a unique ecological niche. Results The addition of soil variables to the previously developed ecological niche model did not appreciably alter the limits of the predicted geographic or ecological distribution of B. anthracis in Kazakhstan. The A1.a experiment predicted the sub-lineage to be present over a larger geographic area than did the outbreak based experiment containing multiple lineages. Within the geographic area predicted to be suitable for B. anthracis by all ten best subset models, the A1.a sub-lineage was associated with a wider range of ecological tolerances than the outbreak-soil experiment. Analysis of rule types showed that logit rules predominate in the outbreak-soil experiment and range rules in the A1.a sub-lineage experiment. Random sub-setting of locality points suggests that models of B. anthracis distribution may be sensitive to sample size. Conclusions Our analysis supports careful consideration of the taxonomic resolution of data used to create ecological niche models. Further investigations into the environmental affinities of individual lineages and sub-lineages of B. anthracis will be useful in understanding the ecology of the disease at large and small scales. With model based predictions serving as approximations of disease risk, these efforts will improve the efficacy of public health interventions for anthrax prevention and control. PMID:22152056

  8. 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.

  9. Confirmation of Bacillus anthracis from flesh-eating flies collected during a West Texas anthrax season.

    PubMed

    Blackburn, Jason K; Curtis, Andrew; Hadfield, Ted L; O'Shea, Bob; Mitchell, Mark A; Hugh-Jones, Martin E

    2010-07-01

    This case study confirms the interaction between necrophilic flies and white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus, during an anthrax outbreak in West Texas (summer 2005). Bacillus anthracis was identified by culture and PCR from one of eight pooled fly collections from deer carcasses on a deer ranch with a well-documented history of anthrax. These results provide the first known isolation of B. anthracis from flesh-eating flies associated with a wildlife anthrax outbreak in North America and are discussed in the context of wildlife ecology and anthrax epizootics.

  10. 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

  11. Decontamination of materials contaminated with Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus thuringiensis Al Hakam spores using PES-Solid, a solid source of peracetic acid.

    PubMed

    Buhr, T L; Wells, C M; Young, A A; Minter, Z A; Johnson, C A; Payne, A N; McPherson, D C

    2013-08-01

    To develop test methods and evaluate survival of Bacillus anthracis Ames, B. anthracis ∆Sterne and B. thuringiensis Al Hakam spores after exposure to PES-Solid (a solid source of peracetic acid), including PES-Solid formulations with bacteriostatic surfactants. Spores (≥ 7 logs) were dried on seven different test materials and treated with three different PES-Solid formulations (or preneutralized controls) at room temperature for 15 min. There was either no spore survival or less than 1 log (<10 spores) of spore survival in 56 of 63 test combinations (strain, formulation and substrate). Less than 2.7 logs (<180 spores) survived in the remaining seven test combinations. The highest spore survival rates were seen on water-dispersible chemical agent resistant coating (CARC-W) and Naval ship topcoat (NTC). Electron microscopy and Coulter analysis showed that all spore structures were intact after spore inactivation with PES-Solid. Three PES-Solid formulations inactivated Bacillus spores that were dried on seven different materials. A test method was developed to show that PES-Solid formulations effectively inactivate Bacillus spores on different materials. Published 2013. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Cloning of the Protective Antigen Gene of Bacillus anthracis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1983-09-01

    homologous system as B. anthracis Vector (W=R22 and anthrax plasmid (pSAl) DNAs were digested to can produce up to 10 jig PA/mid culture supernatant...of B. anthracis. At least two oflus. These proteins interact in animal test systems in the recombinant E. coli clones in the library code for...chal- determined by electron microscopy. For purposes of clon- leIge by Wre organisms. In later reports PA has been ing, a Barn HI digest with a pattern

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-02-01

    following modifications . B. anthracis genomic DNA that was partially digested with Tsp509I and ranged from 700 to 2,000 bp long was ligated to linker DNA ...Gilois, M. Rose, and D. Lereclus. 2001. Oligopep- tide permease is required for expression of the Bacillus thuringiensis plcR regulon and for...Microbiology. All Rights Reserved. Microarray Analysis of Transposon Insertion Mutations in Bacillus anthracis: Global Identification of Genes

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  3. 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.

  4. Whole-building decontamination of Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores by methyl bromide fumigation.

    PubMed

    Serre, S; Mickelsen, L; Calfee, M W; Wood, J P; Gray, M S; Scheffrahn, R H; Perez, R; Kern, W H; Daniell, N

    2016-01-01

    To evaluate the field inactivation of Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores with methyl bromide (MB) using commercial fumigation techniques. Eighty-seven wood and 87 glass coupons each containing ca. 1 × 10(6) B. anthracis Sterne spores, were placed in 22 locations inside a 1444 m(3) conference building. Four additional 12-coupon sets (six wood, six glass) were removed from the building at 16, 24, 32 and 40 h during fumigation. The building was sealed under two tarpaulins and fumigated with MB at ≥225 g m(-3) mean concentration for 48 h at 28°C and 83% RH. All B. anthracis spores fumigated for more than 16 h were inactivated. A single wood coupon from the 16-h set yielded ca. 2 × 10(3)  CFU. No damage to the building or its contents was observed. MB fumigation is a rapid, economical and effective whole-structure decontamination method for B. anthracis spores. MB fumigation offers a method of whole-structure B. anthracis decontamination without removal of materials, damage to sensitive electronics, costly indoor retrofitting. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  5. 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.

  6. Bacillus anthracis Interacts with Plasmin(ogen) to Evade C3b-Dependent Innate Immunity

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21464960

  7. Carbohydrates and glycoproteins of Bacillus anthracis and related bacilli: targets for biodetection.

    PubMed

    Fox, Alvin; Stewart, George C; Waller, Lashanda N; Fox, Karen F; Harley, William M; Price, Robert L

    2003-08-01

    The spore is the form released in a bioterrorism attack. There is a real need for definition of new targets for Bacillus anthracis that might be incorporated into emerging biodetection technologies. Particularly of interest are macromolecules found in B. anthracis that are (1) spore-specific, (2) readily accessible on the spore surface and (3) distinct from those present in related organisms. One of the few biochemical methods to identify the spores of B. anthracis is based on the presence of rhamnose and 3-O-methyl rhamnose as determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Related organisms additionally contain 2-O-methyl rhamnose and fucose. Carbohydrates and glycoproteins of the B. cereus group of organisms and the related B. subilis group are reviewed here. It is hypothesized that the spore-specific carbohydrate is a component of the newly described glycoprotein of the exosporium of B. anthracis. Further work to define the protein and carbohydrate components of the glycoprotein of B. anthracis could be highly useful in developing new technologies for rapid biodetection.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-09-01

    circulation. PA binds to anthrax toxin receptors on the endosomal membrane to form oligomeric pores that mediate transport of LF (and EF) into the cytosol...macrophage, immune system, Bacillus anthracis, anthrax 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: U 17. LIMITATION OF ABSTRACT SAR 18. NUMBER OF PAGES 36 19a. NAME...understanding the impact of anthrax on the host system and how the host system’s defense mechanisms are disrupted for the benefit of the invading

  15. Association of Bacillus anthracis Capsule with Lethal Toxin during Experimental Infection

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-02-01

    detected in the plasma. No uncut PA with a molecular mass of 83 kDa was detected in plasma from toxemic animals during the terminal stage of infection. PA63...facilities are fully accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care. Blood analysis. During the terminal stages of...Microbiology. All Rights Reserved. Association of Bacillus anthracis Capsule with Lethal Toxin during Experimental Infection J. W. Ezzell,1 T. G

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-12-01

    acids (Difco) and 10 mg of thiamine hydrochloride . Minimal M: To Minimal I was added 10 mg of thiamine hydrochloride , 200 mg of glycine, and 40 mg of L...methionine and L-proline. Minimal 0: To Minimal I was added 10 mg of thiamine hydrochloride , 200 mg of glycine, and 40 mg of L-methionine, L-serine, L...Unclassified SAD M REPORT NUMBER FIVE A GENETIC AND PHYSIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF PROTECTIVE ANTIGEN SYNTHESIS BY BACILLUS ANTHRACIS ANNUAL PROGRESS

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1985-07-01

    Minimal I with 5 g of vitamin-free Casamino acids (Difco) and 10 mg of thiamine hydrochloride . Antisera. All antisera were kindly supplied by personnel of...Q0. Unclassified AD___________ REPORT NUM3ER SIX GENETIC AND PHYSIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF PROTECTIVE ANTIGEN SYNTHESIS BY BACILLUS ANTHRACIS ANNUAL...Proof that pX02 is involved in cap3ule synthesis came from experiments in which the plasmid was transferred by CP-51-mediated transduction and by a

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1983-12-01

    with 5 g of vitamin-free Casamino acids (Difco) and 10 mg of thiamine hydrochloride . Minimal M: To Minimal I was added 10 mg of thiamine hvdrochloride...200 mg of glycine, and 40 mg of L-iaethionine and L-proline. Minimal 0: To Minimal I was added 10 mg of thiamine hydrochloride , 200 mg of glycine, and...AD GENETIC AND PHYSIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF PROTECTIVE ANTIGEN SYNTHESIS BY BACILLUS ANTHRACIS ANNUAL PROGRESS REPORT CURTIS B.THORNE SDECEMBER 1983

  19. Impedance Measurements Could Accelerate Phage-Based Identification of Bacillus anthracis and Other Bacteria

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-09-01

    Impedance Measurements Could Accelerate Phage-Based Identification of Bacillus anthracis And Other Bacteria Thomas Brown, Salwa Shan, Teresa...infection can be detected as early as one hour after exposing as few as 105 CFU bacteria to the stressor. We predicted that similar responses could be used... bacteria to form confluent growth and for phage-induced plaques to appear. Techniques that permit faster detection of species-specific bacteria /phage

  20. Evaluation of five commercial nucleic acid extraction kits for their ability to inactivate Bacillus anthracis spores and comparison of DNA yields from spores and spiked environmental samples.

    PubMed

    Dauphin, Leslie A; Moser, Benjamin D; Bowen, Michael D

    2009-01-01

    This study evaluated five commercial extraction kits for their ability to recover DNA from Bacillus anthracis spores and spiked environmental samples. The kits evaluated represent the major types of methodologies which are commercially available for DNA or total nucleic acid extraction, and included the ChargeSwitch gDNA Mini Bacteria Kit, NucliSens Isolation Kit, Puregene Genomic DNA Purification Kit, QIAamp DNA Blood Mini Kit, and the UltraClean Microbial DNA Isolation Kit. Extraction methods were performed using the spores of eight virulent strains of B. anthracis. Viability testing of nucleic acid extracts showed that the UltraClean kit was the most efficient at depleting samples of live B. anthracis spores. TaqMan real-time PCR analysis revealed that the NucliSens, QIAamp and UltraClean kits yielded the best level of detection from spore suspensions. Comparisons of processed samples from spiked swabs and three powder types indicated that DNA extraction using the UltraClean kit resulted in the most consistently positive results and the lowest limit of detection. This study demonstrated that different nucleic extraction methodologies, represented here by various commercial extraction kits, differ in their ability to inactivate live B. anthracis spores as well as DNA yield and purity. In addition, the extraction method used can influence the sensitivity of real-time PCR assays for B. anthracis.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-07-01

    acids (Difco) and 10 mg of thiamine hydrochloride .• SG medium: This medium for polyglutamate production by B. subtilis (natto) was described by Hara...replaced with pX02 from capsulated strains. The M strain of S anthracis is unusual in’ that it does not require added CO2 for synthesis of capsule. Plasmid...designation for strains that require CO2 for capsule synthesis ; Cap+a is the phenotypic designation for strains that synthesize capsules in air

  5. Bacillus anthracis pXO1 Plasmid Sequence Conservation among Closely Related Bacterial Species

    PubMed Central

    Pannucci, James; Okinaka, Richard T.; Sabin, Robert; Kuske, Cheryl R.

    2002-01-01

    The complete sequencing and annotation of the 181.7-kb Bacillus anthracis virulence plasmid pXO1 predicted 143 genes but could only assign putative functions to 45. Hybridization assays, PCR amplification, and DNA sequencing were used to determine whether pXO1 open reading frame (ORF) sequences were present in other bacilli and more distantly related bacterial genera. Eighteen Bacillus species isolates and four other bacterial species were tested for the presence of 106 pXO1 ORFs. Three ORFs were conserved in most of the bacteria tested. Many of the pXO1 ORFs were detected in closely related Bacillus species, and some were detected only in B. anthracis isolates. Three isolates, Bacillus cereus D-17, B. cereus 43881, and Bacillus thuringiensis 33679, contained sequences that were similar to more than one-half of the pXO1 ORF sequences examined. The majority of the DNA fragments that were amplified by PCR from these organisms had DNA sequences between 80 and 98% similar to that of pXO1. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis revealed large potential plasmids present in both B. cereus 43881 (341 kb) and B. thuringiensis ATCC 33679 (327 kb) that hybridized with a DNA probe composed of six pXO1 ORFs. PMID:11741853

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Evaluation of DNA extraction methods for Bacillus anthracis spores isolated from spiked food samples.

    PubMed

    Thomas, M C; Shields, M J; Hahn, K R; Janzen, T W; Goji, N; Amoako, K K

    2013-07-01

    Nine commercial DNA extraction kits were evaluated for the isolation of DNA from 10-fold serial dilutions of Bacillus anthracis spores using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). The three kits determined by qPCR to yield the most sensitive and consistent detection (Epicenter MasterPure Gram Positive; MoBio PowerFood; ABI PrepSeq) were subsequently tested for their ability to isolate DNA from trace amounts of B. anthracis spores (approx. 6·5 × 10(1) and 1·3 × 10(2)  CFU in 25 ml or 50 g of food sample) spiked into complex food samples including apple juice, ham, whole milk and bagged salad and recovered with immunomagnetic separation (IMS). The MasterPure kit effectively and consistently isolated DNA from low amounts of B. anthracis spores captured from food samples. Detection was achieved from apple juice, ham, whole milk and bagged salad from as few as 65 ± 14, 68 ± 8, 66 ± 4 and 52 ± 16 CFU, respectively, and IMS samples were demonstrated to be free of PCR inhibitors. Detection of B. anthracis spores isolated from food by IMS differs substantially between commercial DNA extraction kits; however, sensitive results can be obtained with the MasterPure Gram Positive kit. The extraction protocol identified herein combined with IMS is novel for B. anthracis and allows detection of low levels of B. anthracis spores from contaminated food samples. © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada [2013]. Reproduced with the permission of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-02-23

    information, including suggestions for reducing this burden to Department of Defense, Washington Headquarters Services , Directorate for Information...agent of the potentially fatal 49 disease “anthrax” (9,7). B. anthracis is the gram-positive, non-motile, non-chemolytic, spore-50 forming bacteria ...Sterne, lacks both the pXO1 and 93 the pXO2 plasmids (11) (pXO1 - , pXO2 - ), and is a spore forming bacteria of the B. cereus group. 94 5 The

  12. 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. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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).

  16. 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.

  17. Identification of Proteins in the Exosporium of Bacillus Anthracis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-01-01

    aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to Washington Headquarters Services , Directorate for...composi- tion of exosporium from spores of Bacillus cereus. J Bacteriol 101, 196–201. Mesnage, S., Couture -Tosi, E., Mock, M., Gounon, P. & Fouet, A...23, 1147–1155. Mignot, T., Mesnage, S., Couture -Tosi, E., Mock, M. & Fouet, A. (2002). Developmental switch of S-layer protein synthesis in Bacillus

  18. 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.

  19. Characterization of Genetic Diversity of Bacillus anthracis in France by Using High-Resolution Melting Assays and Multilocus Variable-Number Tandem-Repeat Analysis ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Derzelle, S.; Laroche, S.; Le Flèche, P.; Hauck, Y.; Thierry, S.; Vergnaud, G.; Madani, N.

    2011-01-01

    Using high-resolution melting (HRM) analysis, we developed a cost-effective method to genotype a set of 13 phylogenetically informative single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the genome of Bacillus anthracis. SNP discrimination assays were performed in monoplex or duplex and applied to 100 B. anthracis isolates collected in France from 1953 to 2009 and a few reference strains. HRM provided a reliable and cheap alternative to subtype B. anthracis into one of the 12 major sublineages or subgroups. All strains could be correctly positioned on the canonical SNP (canSNP) phylogenetic tree, except the divergent Pasteur vaccine strain ATCC 4229. We detected the cooccurrence of three canSNP subgroups in France. The dominant B.Br.CNEVA sublineage was found to be prevalent in the Alps, the Pyrenees, the Auvergne region, and the Saône-et-Loire department. Strains affiliated with the A.Br.008/009 subgroup were observed throughout most of the country. The minor A.Br.001/002 subgroup was restricted to northeastern France. Multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis using 24 markers further resolved French strains into 60 unique profiles and identified some regional patterns. Diversity found within the A.Br.008/009 and B.Br.CNEVA subgroups suggests that these represent old, ecologically established clades in France. Phylogenetic relationships with strains from other parts of the world are discussed. PMID:21998431

  20. Molecular Characterization of Bacillus Strains Involved in Outbreaks of Anthrax in France in 1997

    PubMed Central

    Patra, Guy; Vaissaire, Josée; Weber-Levy, Martine; Le Doujet, Claudine; Mock, Michèle

    1998-01-01

    Outbreaks of anthrax zoonose occurred in two regions of France in 1997. Ninety-four animals died, and there were three nonfatal cases in humans. The diagnosis of anthrax was rapidly confirmed by bacteriological and molecular biological methods. The strains of Bacillus anthracis in animal and soil samples were identified by a multiplex PCR assay. They all belonged to the variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) group (VNTR)3. A penicillin-resistant strain was detected. Nonvirulent bacilli related to B. anthracis, of all VNTR types, were also found in the soil. PMID:9774609

  1. 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.

  2. Bacillus anthracis SlaQ Promotes S-Layer Protein Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen-Mau, Sao-Mai; Oh, So-Young; Schneewind, Daphne I.; Missiakas, Dominique

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bacillus anthracis vegetative forms assemble an S-layer comprised of two S-layer proteins, Sap and EA1. A hallmark of S-layer proteins are their C-terminal crystallization domains, which assemble into a crystalline lattice once these polypeptides are deposited on the bacterial surface via association between their N-terminal S-layer homology domains and the secondary cell wall polysaccharide. Here we show that slaQ, encoding a small cytoplasmic protein conserved among pathogenic bacilli elaborating S-layers, is required for the efficient secretion and assembly of Sap and EA1. S-layer protein precursors cosediment with SlaQ, and SlaQ appears to facilitate Sap assembly. Purified SlaQ polymerizes and when mixed with purified Sap promotes the in vitro formation of tubular S-layer structures. A model is discussed whereby SlaQ, in conjunction with S-layer secretion factors SecA2 and SlaP, promotes localized secretion and S-layer assembly in B. anthracis. IMPORTANCE S-layer proteins are endowed with the propensity for self-assembly into crystalline arrays. Factors promoting S-layer protein assembly have heretofore not been reported. We identified Bacillus anthracis SlaQ, a small cytoplasmic protein that facilitates S-layer protein assembly in vivo and in vitro. PMID:26216847

  3. 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.

  4. Bacillus anthracis SlaQ Promotes S-Layer Protein Assembly.

    PubMed

    Nguyen-Mau, Sao-Mai; Oh, So-Young; Schneewind, Daphne I; Missiakas, Dominique; Schneewind, Olaf

    2015-10-01

    Bacillus anthracis vegetative forms assemble an S-layer comprised of two S-layer proteins, Sap and EA1. A hallmark of S-layer proteins are their C-terminal crystallization domains, which assemble into a crystalline lattice once these polypeptides are deposited on the bacterial surface via association between their N-terminal S-layer homology domains and the secondary cell wall polysaccharide. Here we show that slaQ, encoding a small cytoplasmic protein conserved among pathogenic bacilli elaborating S-layers, is required for the efficient secretion and assembly of Sap and EA1. S-layer protein precursors cosediment with SlaQ, and SlaQ appears to facilitate Sap assembly. Purified SlaQ polymerizes and when mixed with purified Sap promotes the in vitro formation of tubular S-layer structures. A model is discussed whereby SlaQ, in conjunction with S-layer secretion factors SecA2 and SlaP, promotes localized secretion and S-layer assembly in B. anthracis. S-layer proteins are endowed with the propensity for self-assembly into crystalline arrays. Factors promoting S-layer protein assembly have heretofore not been reported. We identified Bacillus anthracis SlaQ, a small cytoplasmic protein that facilitates S-layer protein assembly in vivo and in vitro. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin induces complex changes in sympathetic nerve discharge regulation.

    PubMed

    Kenney, M J; Mosher, L J; Fels, R J

    2012-09-25

    Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin (LeTx) alters blood pressure and visceral sympathetic nerve discharge (SND) regulation (Garcia et al., 2012). The present results indicate that LeTx infusions produce similar response profiles in peripheral (lumbar) and visceral (renal) SND; an initial widespread activation of sympathetic nerve outflow, followed by a generalized reduction in lumbar and renal SND from peak levels, although the sympathoinhibition tended to be attenuated in lumbar SND. Combined hypoxia+hypercapnia during the hypotensive phase of LeTx infusions increased lumbar and renal SND, indicating that sympathetic neural circuits can be activated during the circulatory shock phase of B. anthracis septicemia. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Spo0B of Bacillus anthracis - a protein with pleiotropic functions.

    PubMed

    Mattoo, Abid R; Saif Zaman, Mohd; Dubey, Gyanendra P; Arora, Amit; Narayan, Azeet; Jailkhani, Noor; Rathore, Kusum; Maiti, Souvik; Singh, Yogendra

    2008-02-01

    Spo0B is an important component of the phosphorelay signal transduction pathway, the pathway involved in the initiation of sporulation in Bacillus subtilis. Bioinformatic, phylogenetic and biochemical studies showed that Spo0B of Bacillus anthracis has evolved from citrate/malate kinases. During the course of evolution, Spo0B has retained the characteristic histidine kinase boxes H, N, F, G(1) and G(2), and has acquired nucleotide-binding domains, Walker A and Walker B, of ATPases. Owing to the presence of these domains, autophosphorylation and ATPase activity was observed in Spo0B of B. anthracis. Mutational studies showed that among the six histidine residues, His13 of the H-box is involved in the autophosphorylation activity of Spo0B, whereas Lys33 of the Walker A domain is associated with the ATPase activity of the protein. Thermodynamic and binding studies of the binding of Mg-ATP to Spo0B using isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) suggested that the binding is driven by favorable entropy changes and that the reaction is exothermic, with an apparent dissociation constant (K(d)) equal to 0.02 mm. The value of the dissociation constant (K(d) = 0.05 mm) determined by the intrinsic fluorescence of trytophan of Spo0B was similar to that obtained by ITC studies. The purified Spo0B of B. anthracis also showed nucleoside diphosphate kinase-like activity of phosphate transfer from nucleoside triphosphate to nucleoside diphosphate. This is the first evidence for Spo0B of B. anthracis as an enzyme with histidine kinase and ATPase activities, which may have important roles to play in sporulation and pathogenesis.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-01-01

    suggestions for reducing this burden, to Washington Headquarters Services , Directorate for Information Operations and Reports, 1215 Jefferson Davis...241–245. [7] Sylvestre, P., Couture -Tosi, E. and Mock, M. (2002) A collagen- like surface glycoprotein is a structural component of the Bacillus

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Revisiting the Concept of Targeting Only Bacillus anthracis Toxins as a Treatment for Anthrax.

    PubMed

    Glinert, Itai; Bar-David, Elad; Sittner, Assa; Weiss, Shay; Schlomovitz, Josef; Ben-Shmuel, Amir; Mechaly, Adva; Altboum, Zeev; Kobiler, David; Levy, Haim

    2016-08-01

    Protective antigen (PA)-based vaccines are effective in preventing the development of fatal anthrax disease both in humans and in relevant animal models. The Bacillus anthracis toxins lethal toxin (lethal factor [LF] plus PA) and edema toxin (edema factor [EF] plus PA) are essential for the establishment of the infection, as inactivation of these toxins results in attenuation of the pathogen. Since the toxins reach high toxemia levels at the bacteremic stages of the disease, the CDC's recommendations include combining antibiotic treatment with antitoxin (anti-PA) immunotherapy. We demonstrate here that while treatment with a highly potent neutralizing monoclonal antibody was highly efficient as postexposure prophylaxis treatment, it failed to protect rabbits with any detectable bacteremia (≥10 CFU/ml). In addition, we show that while PA vaccination was effective against a subcutaneous spore challenge, it failed to protect rabbits against systemic challenges (intravenous injection of vegetative bacteria) with the wild-type Vollum strain or a toxin-deficient mutant. To test the possibility that additional proteins, which are secreted by the bacteria under pathogenicity-stimulating conditions in vitro, may contribute to the vaccine's potency, we immunized rabbits with a secreted protein fraction from a toxin-null mutant. The antiserum raised against the secreted fraction reacts with the bacteria in an immunofluorescence assay. Immunization with the secreted protein fraction did not protect the rabbits against a systemic challenge with the fully pathogenic bacteria. Full protection was obtained only by a combined vaccination with PA and the secreted protein fraction. Therefore, these results indicate that an effective antiserum treatment in advanced stages of anthrax must include toxin-neutralizing antibodies in combination with antibodies against bacterial cell targets. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  2. Structural and functional characterization of microcin C resistance peptidase MccF from Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Nocek, Boguslaw; Tikhonov, Anton; Babnigg, Gyorgy; Gu, Minyi; Zhou, Min; Makarova, Kira S.; Vondenhoff, Gaston; Van Aerschot, Arthur; Kwon, Keehwan; Anderson, Wayne F.; Severinov, Konstantin; Joachimiak, Andrzej

    2012-01-01

    Microcin C (McC) is heptapeptide-adenylate antibiotic produced by Escherichia coli strains carrying the mccABCDEF gene cluster encoding enzymes, in addition to the heptapeptide structural gene mccA, necessary for McC biosynthesis and self-immunity of the producing cell. The heptapeptide facilitates McC transport into susceptible cells, where it is processed releasing a non-hydrolyzable aminoacyl adenylate that inhibits an essential aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase. The self-immunity gene mccF encodes a specialized serine-peptidase that cleaves an amide bond connecting the peptidyl or aminoacyl moieties of, respectively, intact and processed McC with the nucleotidyl moiety. Most mccF orthologs from organisms other than E. coli are not linked to the McC biosynthesis gene cluster. Here, we show that a protein product of one such gene, MccF from Bacillus anthracis (BaMccF), is able to cleave intact and processed McC and we present a series of structures of this protein. Structural analysis of apo-BaMccF and its AMP-complex reveal specific features of MccF-like peptidases that allow them to interact with substrates containing nucleotidyl moieties. Sequence analyses and phylogenetic reconstructions suggest that several distinct subfamilies form the MccF clade of the large S66 family of bacterial serine peptidases. We show that various representatives of the MccF clade can specifically detoxify non-hydrolyzable aminoacyl adenylates differing in their aminoacyl moieties. We hypothesize that bacterial mccF genes serve as a source of bacterial antibiotic resistance. PMID:22516613

  3. Revisiting the Concept of Targeting Only Bacillus anthracis Toxins as a Treatment for Anthrax

    PubMed Central

    Glinert, Itai; Bar-David, Elad; Sittner, Assa; Weiss, Shay; Schlomovitz, Josef; Ben-Shmuel, Amir; Mechaly, Adva; Altboum, Zeev; Kobiler, David

    2016-01-01

    Protective antigen (PA)-based vaccines are effective in preventing the development of fatal anthrax disease both in humans and in relevant animal models. The Bacillus anthracis toxins lethal toxin (lethal factor [LF] plus PA) and edema toxin (edema factor [EF] plus PA) are essential for the establishment of the infection, as inactivation of these toxins results in attenuation of the pathogen. Since the toxins reach high toxemia levels at the bacteremic stages of the disease, the CDC's recommendations include combining antibiotic treatment with antitoxin (anti-PA) immunotherapy. We demonstrate here that while treatment with a highly potent neutralizing monoclonal antibody was highly efficient as postexposure prophylaxis treatment, it failed to protect rabbits with any detectable bacteremia (≥10 CFU/ml). In addition, we show that while PA vaccination was effective against a subcutaneous spore challenge, it failed to protect rabbits against systemic challenges (intravenous injection of vegetative bacteria) with the wild-type Vollum strain or a toxin-deficient mutant. To test the possibility that additional proteins, which are secreted by the bacteria under pathogenicity-stimulating conditions in vitro, may contribute to the vaccine's potency, we immunized rabbits with a secreted protein fraction from a toxin-null mutant. The antiserum raised against the secreted fraction reacts with the bacteria in an immunofluorescence assay. Immunization with the secreted protein fraction did not protect the rabbits against a systemic challenge with the fully pathogenic bacteria. Full protection was obtained only by a combined vaccination with PA and the secreted protein fraction. Therefore, these results indicate that an effective antiserum treatment in advanced stages of anthrax must include toxin-neutralizing antibodies in combination with antibodies against bacterial cell targets. PMID:27270276

  4. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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, 102, 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. PMID:27213119

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Multilocus sequence typing reveals that Bacillus cereus strains isolated from clinical infections have distinct phylogenetic origins.

    PubMed

    Barker, Margaret; Thakker, Bishan; Priest, Fergus G

    2005-04-01

    Eight strains of Bacillus cereus isolated from bacteremia and soft tissue infections were assigned to seven sequence types (STs) by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Two strains from different locations had identical STs. The concatenated sequences of the seven STs were aligned with 65 concatenated sequences from reference STs and a neighbor-joining tree was constructed. Two strains were distantly related to all reference STs. Three strains were recovered in a clade that included Bacillus anthracis, B. cereus and rare Bacillus thuringiensis strains while the other three strains were assigned to two STs that were more closely affiliated to most of the B. thuringiensis STs. We conclude that invasive B. cereus strains do not form a single clone or clonal complex of highly virulent strains.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    Silvestri, Erin E; Feldhake, David; Griffin, Dale; Lisle, John; Nichols, Tonya L; Shah, Sanjiv R; Pemberton, Adin; Schaefer, Frank W

    2016-11-01

    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 14spores/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. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  16. 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.

  17. Toxin Inhibition of Antimicrobial Factors Induced by Bacillus anthracis Peptidoglycan in Human Blood

    PubMed Central

    Barua, Soumitra; Iyer, Janaki K.; Larabee, Jason L.; Raisley, Brent; Hughes, Molly A.; Coggeshall, K. Mark

    2013-01-01

    Here, we describe the capacity of Bacillus anthracis peptidoglycan (BaPGN) to trigger an antimicrobial response in human white blood cells (WBCs). Analysis of freshly isolated human blood cells found that monocytes and neutrophils, but not B and T cells, were highly responsive to BaPGN and produced a variety of cytokines and chemokines. This BaPGN-induced response was suppressed by anthrax lethal toxin (LT) and edema toxin (ET), with the most pronounced effect on human monocytes, and this corresponded with the higher levels of anthrax toxin receptor 1 (ANTXR1) in these cells than in neutrophils. The supernatant from BaPGN-treated cells altered the growth of B. anthracis Sterne, and this effect was blocked by LT, but not by ET. An FtsX mutant of B. anthracis known to be resistant to the antimicrobial effects of interferon-inducible Glu-Leu-Arg (ELR)-negative CXC chemokines was not affected by the BaPGN-induced antimicrobial effects. Collectively, these findings describe a system in which BaPGN triggers expression of antimicrobial factors in human WBCs and reveal a distinctive role, not shared with ET, in LT's capacity to suppress this response. PMID:23876807

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-02-02

    which appear to encode a sIgnal peptide having characteristics in common with those of other secreted proteins. A consensus TATAAT sequence was located ...UNCLASSIFIED 4144MIT? @.MICATION OF TWOS Ph" r~ .Ewa ..4 20. ABSTRACT (cont) was located seven bp upstream of the ATG initiation codon. The codon usage f.’r...TATAAT seqc. e was located at the putative -10 promoter site. A Shine-Dalgarno site similar to that found in genes of other Bacillus sp. was located seven

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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. Copyright © 2016 Wood et al.

  4. 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.

  5. Structural and immunochemical relatedness suggests a conserved pathogenicity motif for secondary cell wall polysaccharides in Bacillus anthracis and infection-associated Bacillus cereus

    PubMed Central

    Saile, Elke; Klee, Silke R.; Hoffmaster, Alex; Kannenberg, Elmar L.

    2017-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis (Ba) and human infection-associated Bacillus cereus (Bc) strains Bc G9241 and Bc 03BB87 have secondary cell wall polysaccharides (SCWPs) comprising an aminoglycosyl trisaccharide repeat: →4)-β-d-ManpNAc-(1→4)-β-d-GlcpNAc-(1→6)-α-d-GlcpNAc-(1→, substituted at GlcNAc residues with both α- and β-Galp. In Bc G9241 and Bc 03BB87, an additional α-Galp is attached to O-3 of ManNAc. Using NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and immunochemical methods, we compared these structures to SCWPs from Bc biovar anthracis strains isolated from great apes displaying “anthrax-like” symptoms in Cameroon (Bc CA) and Côte d’Ivoire (Bc CI). The SCWPs of Bc CA/CI contained the identical HexNAc trisaccharide backbone and Gal modifications found in Ba, together with the α-Gal-(1→3) substitution observed previously at ManNAc residues only in Bc G9241/03BB87. Interestingly, the great ape derived strains displayed a unique α-Gal-(1→3)-α-Gal-(1→3) disaccharide substitution at some ManNAc residues, a modification not found in any previously examined Ba or Bc strain. Immuno-analysis with specific polyclonal anti-Ba SCWP antiserum demonstrated a reactivity hierarchy: high reactivity with SCWPs from Ba 7702 and Ba Sterne 34F2, and Bc G9241 and Bc 03BB87; intermediate reactivity with SCWPs from Bc CI/CA; and low reactivity with the SCWPs from structurally distinct Ba CDC684 (a unique strain producing an SCWP lacking all Gal substitutions) and non-infection-associated Bc ATCC10987 and Bc 14579 SCWPs. Ba-specific monoclonal antibody EAII-6G6-2-3 demonstrated a 10–20 fold reduced reactivity to Bc G9241 and Bc 03BB87 SCWPs compared to Ba 7702/34F2, and low/undetectable reactivity to SCWPs from Bc CI, Bc CA, Ba CDC684, and non-infection-associated Bc strains. Our data indicate that the HexNAc motif is conserved among infection-associated Ba and Bc isolates (regardless of human or great ape origin), and that the number, positions and structures of Gal

  6. 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.

  7. 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. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  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. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. Surface Layer Protein EA1 is Not a Component of Bacillus anthracis Spores but is a Persistent Contaminant in Spore Preparations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-10-16

    analysis of the spore coats of Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus anthracis. J. Bacteriol. 185:1443–1454. 3. Mesnage, S., E. Tosi- Couture , M. Mock, P. Gounon...anthracis Ames and comparison to closely related bacteria . Nature 423:81– 86. 7. Read, T. D., S. L. Salzberg, M. Pop, M. Shumway, L. Umayam, L. Jiang, E...Bacillus anthracis exosporium. J. Bacteriol. 185:1903–1910. 11. Sylvestre, P., E. Couture -Tosi, and M. Mock. 2003. Polymorphism in the collagen-like

  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. Evidence for Plasmid-Mediated Toxin Production in Bacillus anthracis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1983-01-01

    concentrated 10-fold, from heat-treated and untreated cultures were tested for soluble antigen by the Ouchterlony doublc- diffusion assay (Fig. 4). With each...offer a reasonable explanation for a FIG. 4. Ouchterlony double-diffusion assay of antigens in supernatants of parent and heat-treated strains of B

  3. Construction and characterization of stable, constitutively expressed, chromosomal green and red fluorescent transcriptional fusions in the select agents, Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Burkholderia mallei, and Burkholderia pseudomallei.

    PubMed

    Su, Shengchang; Bangar, Hansraj; Saldanha, Roland; Pemberton, Adin; Aronow, Bruce; Dean, Gary E; Lamkin, Thomas J; Hassett, Daniel J

    2014-10-01

    Here, we constructed stable, chromosomal, constitutively expressed, green and red fluorescent protein (GFP and RFP) as reporters in the select agents, Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Burkholderia mallei, and Burkholderia pseudomallei. Using bioinformatic approaches and other experimental analyses, we identified P0253 and P1 as potent promoters that drive the optimal expression of fluorescent reporters in single copy in B. anthracis and Burkholderia spp. as well as their surrogate strains, respectively. In comparison, Y. pestis and its surrogate strain need two chromosomal copies of cysZK promoter (P2cysZK) for optimal fluorescence. The P0253-, P2cysZK-, and P1-driven GFP and RFP fusions were first cloned into the vectors pRP1028, pUC18R6KT-mini-Tn7T-Km, pmini-Tn7-gat, or their derivatives. The resultant constructs were delivered into the respective surrogates and subsequently into the select agent strains. The chromosomal GFP- and RFP-tagged strains exhibited bright fluorescence at an exposure time of less than 200 msec and displayed the same virulence traits as their wild-type parental strains. The utility of the tagged strains was proven by the macrophage infection assays and lactate dehydrogenase release analysis. Such strains will be extremely useful in high-throughput screens for novel compounds that could either kill these organisms, or interfere with critical virulence processes in these important bioweapon agents and during infection of alveolar macrophages.

  4. Construction and characterization of stable, constitutively expressed, chromosomal green and red fluorescent transcriptional fusions in the select agents, Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Burkholderia mallei, and Burkholderia pseudomallei

    PubMed Central

    Su, Shengchang; Bangar, Hansraj; Saldanha, Roland; Pemberton, Adin; Aronow, Bruce; Dean, Gary E; Lamkin, Thomas J; Hassett, Daniel J

    2014-01-01

    Here, we constructed stable, chromosomal, constitutively expressed, green and red fluorescent protein (GFP and RFP) as reporters in the select agents, Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Burkholderia mallei, and Burkholderia pseudomallei. Using bioinformatic approaches and other experimental analyses, we identified P0253 and P1 as potent promoters that drive the optimal expression of fluorescent reporters in single copy in B. anthracis and Burkholderia spp. as well as their surrogate strains, respectively. In comparison, Y. pestis and its surrogate strain need two chromosomal copies of cysZK promoter (P2cysZK) for optimal fluorescence. The P0253-, P2cysZK-, and P1-driven GFP and RFP fusions were first cloned into the vectors pRP1028, pUC18R6KT-mini-Tn7T-Km, pmini-Tn7-gat, or their derivatives. The resultant constructs were delivered into the respective surrogates and subsequently into the select agent strains. The chromosomal GFP- and RFP-tagged strains exhibited bright fluorescence at an exposure time of less than 200 msec and displayed the same virulence traits as their wild-type parental strains. The utility of the tagged strains was proven by the macrophage infection assays and lactate dehydrogenase release analysis. Such strains will be extremely useful in high-throughput screens for novel compounds that could either kill these organisms, or interfere with critical virulence processes in these important bioweapon agents and during infection of alveolar macrophages. PMID:25044501

  5. Molecular diversity of Bacillus anthracis in the Netherlands: investigating the relationship to the worldwide population using whole-genome SNP discovery.

    PubMed

    Derzelle, Sylviane; Girault, Guillaume; Roest, Hendrik Ido Jan; Koene, Miriam

    2015-06-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, has been widely described as a clonal species. Here we report the use of both canonical SNP analysis and whole-genome sequencing to characterize the phylogenetic lineages of B. anthracis from the Netherlands. Eleven strains isolated over a 25-years period (1968-1993) were paired-end sequenced using parallel sequencing technology. Five canSNP groups or lineages, i.e. A.Br.001/002 (n=6), A.Br.Aust94 (n=2), A.Br.008/011 (n=1), A.Br.011/009 (n=1) and A.Br.Vollum (n=1) were identified. Comparative analyses, with a focus on SNPs discovery, were carried out using a total of 52 B. anthracis genomes. A phylogeographic "Dutch" cluster within the dominant A.Br.001/002 group was discovered, involving isolates from a single outbreak. Diagnostic SNPs specific to the newly identified sub-groups were developed into high-resolution melting SNP discriminative assays for the purpose of rapid molecular epidemiology. Phylogenetic relationships with strains from other parts of the world are discussed.

  6. Comprehensive Laboratory Evaluation of a Highly Specific Lateral Flow Assay for the Presumptive Identification of Bacillus anthracis Spores in Suspicious White Powders and Environmental Samples.

    PubMed

    Ramage, Jason G; Prentice, Kristin W; DePalma, Lindsay; Venkateswaran, Kodumudi S; Chivukula, Sruti; Chapman, Carol; Bell, Melissa; Datta, Shomik; Singh, Ajay; Hoffmaster, Alex; Sarwar, Jawad; Parameswaran, Nishanth; Joshi, Mrinmayi; Thirunavkkarasu, Nagarajan; Krishnan, Viswanathan; Morse, Stephen; Avila, Julie R; Sharma, Shashi; Estacio, Peter L; Stanker, Larry; Hodge, David R; Pillai, Segaran P

    2016-01-01

    We conducted a comprehensive, multiphase laboratory evaluation of the Anthrax BioThreat Alert(®) test strip, a lateral flow immunoassay (LFA) for the rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis spores. The study, conducted at 2 sites, evaluated this assay for the detection of spores from the Ames and Sterne strains of B. anthracis, as well as those from an additional 22 strains. Phylogenetic near neighbors, environmental background organisms, white powders, and environmental samples were also tested. The Anthrax LFA demonstrated a limit of detection of about 10(6) spores/mL (ca. 1.5 × 10(5) spores/assay). In this study, overall sensitivity of the LFA was 99.3%, and the specificity was 98.6%. The results indicated that the specificity, sensitivity, limit of detection, dynamic range, and repeatability of the assay support its use in the field for the purpose of qualitatively evaluating suspicious white powders and environmental samples for the presumptive presence of B. anthracis spores.

  7. Comprehensive Laboratory Evaluation of a Highly Specific Lateral Flow Assay for the Presumptive Identification of Bacillus anthracis Spores in Suspicious White Powders and Environmental Samples

    PubMed Central

    Ramage, Jason G.; Prentice, Kristin W.; DePalma, Lindsay; Venkateswaran, Kodumudi S.; Chivukula, Sruti; Chapman, Carol; Bell, Melissa; Datta, Shomik; Singh, Ajay; Hoffmaster, Alex; Sarwar, Jawad; Parameswaran, Nishanth; Joshi, Mrinmayi; Thirunavkkarasu, Nagarajan; Krishnan, Viswanathan; Morse, Stephen; Avila, Julie R.; Sharma, Shashi; Estacio, Peter L.; Stanker, Larry; Hodge, David R.

    2016-01-01

    We conducted a comprehensive, multiphase laboratory evaluation of the Anthrax BioThreat Alert® test strip, a lateral flow immunoassay (LFA) for the rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis spores. The study, conducted at 2 sites, evaluated this assay for the detection of spores from the Ames and Sterne strains of B. anthracis, as well as those from an additional 22 strains. Phylogenetic near neighbors, environmental background organisms, white powders, and environmental samples were also tested. The Anthrax LFA demonstrated a limit of detection of about 106 spores/mL (ca. 1.5 × 105 spores/assay). In this study, overall sensitivity of the LFA was 99.3%, and the specificity was 98.6%. The results indicated that the specificity, sensitivity, limit of detection, dynamic range, and repeatability of the assay support its use in the field for the purpose of qualitatively evaluating suspicious white powders and environmental samples for the presumptive presence of B. anthracis spores. PMID:27661796

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

    PubMed

    Antonation, Kym S; Grützmacher, Kim; Dupke, Susann; 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

    2016-09-01

    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.

  9. 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

  10. Existence of Separate Domains in Lysin PlyG for Recognizing Bacillus anthracis Spores and Vegetative Cells

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Hang; Wang, Dian-Bing; Dong, Qiuhua; Zhang, Zhiping; Cui, Zongqiang; Deng, Jiaoyu; Yu, Junping

    2012-01-01

    As a potential antimicrobial, the bacteriophage lysin PlyG has been reported to specifically recognize Bacillus anthracis vegetative cells only and to kill B. anthracis vegetative cells and its germinating spores. However, how PlyG interacts with B. anthracis spores remains unclear. Herein, a 60-amino-acid domain in PlyG (residues 106 to 165), located mainly in the previously identified catalytic domain, was found able to specifically recognize B. anthracis spores but not vegetative cells. The exosporium of the spores was found to be the most probable binding target of this domain. This is the first time that a lysin for spore-forming bacteria has been found to have separate domains to recognize spores and vegetative cells, which might help in understanding the coevolution of phages with spore-forming bacteria. Besides providing new biomarkers for developing better assays for identifying B. anthracis spores, the newly found domain may be helpful in developing PlyG as a preventive antibiotic to reduce the threat of anthrax in suspected exposures to B. anthracis spores. PMID:22802245

  11. Conjugative Transfer of Insecticidal Plasmid pHT73 from Bacillus thuringiensis to B. anthracis and Compatibility of This Plasmid with pXO1 and pXO2 ▿

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Yongming; Zheng, Dasheng; Hu, Xiaomin; Cai, Quanxin; Yuan, Zhiming

    2010-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the etiologic agent of anthrax, is genetically close to and commonly shares a giant gene pool with B. cereus and B. thuringiensis. In view of the human pathogenicity and the long persistence in the environment of B. anthracis, there is growing concern about the effects of genetic exchange with B. anthracis on public health. In this work, we demonstrate that an insecticidal plasmid, pHT73, from B. thuringiensis strain KT0 could be efficiently transferred into two attenuated B. anthracis strains, Ba63002R (pXO1+ pXO2−) and Ba63605R (pXO1− pXO2+), by conjugation in liquid medium in the laboratory, with transfer rates of 2.3 × 10−4 and 1.6 × 10−4 CFU/donor, respectively. The B. anthracis transconjugants containing both pHT73 and pXO1 or pXO2 could produce crystal protein Cry1Ac encoded by plasmid pHT73 and had high toxicity to Helicoverpa armigera larvae. Furthermore, the compatibility and stability of pHT73 with pXO1/pXO2 were demonstrated. The data are informative for further investigation of the safety of B. thuringiensis and closely related strains in food and in the environment. PMID:19948871

  12. The Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745 strain shows protective effects against the B. anthracis LT toxin.

    PubMed

    Pontier-Bres, Rodolphe; Rampal, Patrick; Peyron, Jean-François; Munro, Patrick; Lemichez, Emmanuel; Czerucka, Dorota

    2015-10-30

    The probiotic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii (S. boulardii) has been prescribed for the prophylaxis and treatment of several infectious diarrheal diseases. Gastrointestinal anthrax causes fatal systemic disease. In the present study, we investigated the protective effects conferred by Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745 strain on polarized T84 columnar epithelial cells intoxicated by the lethal toxin (LT) of Bacillus anthracis. Exposure of polarized T84 cells to LT affected cell monolayer integrity, modified the morphology of tight junctions and induced the formation of actin stress fibers. Overnight treatment of cells with S. boulardii before incubation with LT maintained the integrity of the monolayers, prevented morphological modification of tight junctions, restricted the effects of LT on actin remodeling and delayed LT-induced MEK-2 cleavage. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that in the presence of S. boulardii, the medium is depleted of both LF and PA sub-units of LT and the appearance of a cleaved form of PA. Our study highlights the potential of the S. boulardii CNCM I-745 strain as a prophylactic agent against the gastrointestinal form of anthrax.

  13. The Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745 Strain Shows Protective Effects against the B. anthracis LT Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Pontier-Bres, Rodolphe; Rampal, Patrick; Peyron, Jean-François; Munro, Patrick; Lemichez, Emmanuel; Czerucka, Dorota

    2015-01-01

    The probiotic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii (S. boulardii) has been prescribed for the prophylaxis and treatment of several infectious diarrheal diseases. Gastrointestinal anthrax causes fatal systemic disease. In the present study, we investigated the protective effects conferred by Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745 strain on polarized T84 columnar epithelial cells intoxicated by the lethal toxin (LT) of Bacillus anthracis. Exposure of polarized T84 cells to LT affected cell monolayer integrity, modified the morphology of tight junctions and induced the formation of actin stress fibers. Overnight treatment of cells with S. boulardii before incubation with LT maintained the integrity of the monolayers, prevented morphological modification of tight junctions, restricted the effects of LT on actin remodeling and delayed LT-induced MEK-2 cleavage. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that in the presence of S. boulardii, the medium is depleted of both LF and PA sub-units of LT and the appearance of a cleaved form of PA. Our study highlights the potential of the S. boulardii CNCM I-745 strain as a prophylactic agent against the gastrointestinal form of anthrax. PMID:26529015

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-03-01

    for sporulation was made by Gram staining before spores were harvested from the plates an by using phase contrast microscopy. The following...The final spore solution was checked by Gram staining to determine whether any cellular debris was present and if further wash were needed and...are gram -positive, aerobic, endospore forming, rod shaped bacteria. B. anthracis and B. thuringiensis belong to the group 1 bacilli, which also

  15. 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

  16. 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%.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Novel strategies for enhanced removal of persistent Bacillus anthracis surrogates and Clostridium difficile spores from skin.

    PubMed

    Nerandzic, Michelle M; Rackaityte, Elze; Jury, Lucy A; Eckart, Kevin; Donskey, Curtis J

    2013-01-01

    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. 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. 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. 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.

  20. Differential contribution of Bacillus anthracis toxins to pathogenicity in two animal models.

    PubMed

    Levy, Haim; Weiss, Shay; Altboum, Zeev; Schlomovitz, Josef; Glinert, Itai; Sittner, Assa; Shafferman, Avigdor; Kobiler, David

    2012-08-01

    The virulence of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, stems from its antiphagocytic capsule, encoded by pXO2, and the tripartite toxins encoded by pXO1. The accepted paradigm states that anthrax is both an invasive and toxinogenic disease and that the toxins play major roles in pathogenicity. We tested this assumption by a systematic study of mutants with combined deletions of the pag, lef, and cya genes, encoding protective antigen (PA), lethal factor (LF), and edema factor (EF), respectively. The resulting seven mutants (single, double, and triple) were evaluated following subcutaneous (s.c.) and intranasal (i.n.) inoculation in rabbits and guinea pigs. In the rabbit model, virulence is completely dependent on the presence of PA. Any mutant bearing a pag deletion behaved like a pXO1-cured mutant, exhibiting complete loss of virulence with attenuation indices of over 2,500,000 or 1,250 in the s.c. or i.n. route of infection, respectively. In marked contrast, in guinea pigs, deletion of pag or even of all three toxin components resulted in relatively moderate attenuation, whereas the pXO1-cured bacteria showed complete attenuation. The results indicate that a pXO1-encoded factor(s), other than the toxins, has a major contribution to the virulence mechanism of B. anthracis in the guinea pig model. These unexpected toxin-dependent and toxin-independent manifestations of pathogenicity in different animal models emphasize the importance and need for a comprehensive evaluation of B. anthracis virulence in general and in particular for the design of relevant next-generation anthrax vaccines.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. The Central Nervous System as Target of Bacillus anthracis Toxin Independent Virulence in Rabbits and Guinea Pigs

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25375158

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Modeling the Ecological Niche of Bacillus anthracis to Map Anthrax Risk in Kyrgyzstan.

    PubMed

    Blackburn, Jason K; Matakarimov, Saitbek; Kozhokeeva, Sabira; Tagaeva, Zhyldyz; Bell, Lindsay K; Kracalik, Ian T; Zhunushov, Asankadyr

    2017-03-01

    AbstractAnthrax, caused by the environmental bacterium Bacillus anthracis, is an important zoonosis nearly worldwide. In Central Asia, anthrax represents a major veterinary and public health concern. In the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, ongoing anthrax outbreaks have been reported in humans associated with handling infected livestock and contaminated animal by-products such as meat or hides. The current anthrax situation has prompted calls for improved insights into the epidemiology, ecology, and spatial distribution of the disease in Kyrgyzstan to better inform control and surveillance. Disease control for both humans and livestock relies on annual livestock vaccination ahead of outbreaks. Toward this, we used a historic database of livestock anthrax reported from 1932 to 2006 mapped at high resolution to develop an ecological niche model-based prediction of B. anthracis across Kyrgyzstan and identified spatial clusters of livestock anthrax using a cluster morphology statistic. We also defined the seasonality of outbreaks in livestock. Cattle were the most frequently reported across the time period, with the greatest number of cases in late summer months. Our niche models defined four areas as suitable to support pathogen persistence, the plateaus near Talas and Bishkek, the valleys of western Kyrgyzstan along the Fergana Valley, and the low-lying areas along the shore of Lake Isyk-Kul. These areas should be considered "at risk" for livestock anthrax and subsequent human cases. Areas defined by the niche models can be used to prioritize anthrax surveillance and inform efforts to target livestock vaccination campaigns.

  9. 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.

  10. Discovery, characterization and comparison of inhibitors of Bacillus anthracis and Staphylococcus aureus replicative DNA helicases.

    PubMed

    Aiello, Daniel; Barnes, Marjorie H; Biswas, Esther E; Biswas, Subhasis B; Gu, Shen; Williams, John D; Bowlin, Terry L; Moir, Donald T

    2009-07-01

    Antibacterial compounds with new mechanisms of action are needed for effective therapy against drug-resistant pathogens in the clinic and in biodefense. Screens for inhibitors of the essential replicative helicases of Bacillus anthracis and Staphylococcus aureus yielded 18 confirmed hits (IC(50)25 microM). Several (5 of 18) of the inhibitors were also shown to inhibit DNA replication in permeabilized polA-deficient B. anthracis cells. One of the most potent inhibitors also displayed antibacterial activity (MIC approximately 5 microg/ml against a range of Gram-positive species including bacilli and staphylococci) together with good selectivity for bacterial versus mammalian cells (CC(50)/MIC>16) suitable for further optimization. This compound shares the bicyclic ring of the clinically proven aminocoumarin scaffold, but is not a gyrase inhibitor. It exhibits a mixed mode of helicase inhibition including a component of competitive inhibition with the DNA substrate (K(i)=8 microM) and is rapidly bactericidal at 4 x MIC.

  11. Interactions between Quinolones and Bacillus anthracis Gyrase and the Basis of Drug Resistance.

    PubMed

    Ashley, Rachel E; Lindsey, R Hunter; McPherson, Sylvia A; Turnbough, Charles L; Kerns, Robert J; Osheroff, Neil

    2017-08-15

    Gyrase appears to be the primary cellular target for quinolone antibacterials in multiple pathogenic bacteria, including Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax. Given the significance of this type II topoisomerase as a drug target, it is critical to understand how quinolones interact with gyrase and how specific mutations lead to resistance. However, these important issues have yet to be addressed for a canonical gyrase. Therefore, we utilized a mechanistic approach to characterize interactions of quinolones with wild-type B. anthracis gyrase and enzymes containing the most common quinolone resistance mutations. Results indicate that clinically relevant quinolones interact with the enzyme through a water-metal ion bridge in which a noncatalytic divalent metal ion is chelated by the C3/C4 keto acid of the drug. In contrast to other bacterial type II topoisomerases that have been examined, the bridge is anchored to gyrase primarily through a single residue (Ser85). Substitution of groups at the quinolone C7 and C8 positions generated drugs that were less dependent on the water-metal ion bridge and overcame resistance. Thus, by analyzing the interactions of drugs with type II topoisomerases from individual bacteria, it may be possible to identify specific quinolone derivatives that can overcome target-mediated resistance in important pathogenic species.

  12. Forensic Application of Microbiological Culture Analysis To Identify Mail Intentionally Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis Spores†

    PubMed Central

    Beecher, Douglas J.

    2006-01-01

    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 × 106 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. PMID:16885280

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Decontamination Options for Bacillus anthracis-Contaminated Drinking Water Determined from Spore Surrogate Studies ▿

    PubMed Central

    Raber, Ellen; Burklund, Alison

    2010-01-01

    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 (102 and 106 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 102 spores/ml. Differences in methods and procedures reported by other investigators make quantitative comparisons among studies difficult. PMID:20709855

  17. 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.

  18. Nanoscale structural and mechanical analysis of Bacillus anthracis spores inactivated with rapid dry heating.

    PubMed

    Xing, Yun; Li, Alex; Felker, Daniel L; Burggraf, Larry W

    2014-03-01

    Effective killing of Bacillus anthracis spores is of paramount importance to antibioterrorism, food safety, environmental protection, and the medical device industry. Thus, a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of spore resistance and inactivation is highly desired for developing new strategies or improving the known methods for spore destruction. Previous studies have shown that spore inactivation mechanisms differ considerably depending upon the killing agents, such as heat (wet heat, dry heat), UV, ionizing radiation, and chemicals. It is believed that wet heat kills spores by inactivating critical enzymes, while dry heat kills spores by damaging their DNA. Many studies have focused on the biochemical aspects of spore inactivation by dry heat; few have investigated structural damages and changes in spore mechanical properties. In this study, we have inactivated Bacillus anthracis spores with rapid dry heating and performed nanoscale topographical and mechanical analysis of inactivated spores using atomic force microscopy (AFM). Our results revealed significant changes in spore morphology and nanomechanical properties after heat inactivation. In addition, we also found that these changes were different under different heating conditions that produced similar inactivation probabilities (high temperature for short exposure time versus low temperature for long exposure time). We attributed the differences to the differential thermal and mechanical stresses in the spore. The buildup of internal thermal and mechanical stresses may become prominent only in ultrafast, high-temperature heat inactivation when the experimental timescale is too short for heat-generated vapor to efficiently escape from the spore. Our results thus provide direct, visual evidences of the importance of thermal stresses and heat and mass transfer to spore inactivation by very rapid dry heating.

  19. Nanoscale Structural and Mechanical Analysis of Bacillus anthracis Spores Inactivated with Rapid Dry Heating

    PubMed Central

    Felker, Daniel L.; Burggraf, Larry W.

    2014-01-01

    Effective killing of Bacillus anthracis spores is of paramount importance to antibioterrorism, food safety, environmental protection, and the medical device industry. Thus, a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of spore resistance and inactivation is highly desired for developing new strategies or improving the known methods for spore destruction. Previous studies have shown that spore inactivation mechanisms differ considerably depending upon the killing agents, such as heat (wet heat, dry heat), UV, ionizing radiation, and chemicals. It is believed that wet heat kills spores by inactivating critical enzymes, while dry heat kills spores by damaging their DNA. Many studies have focused on the biochemical aspects of spore inactivation by dry heat; few have investigated structural damages and changes in spore mechanical properties. In this study, we have inactivated Bacillus anthracis spores with rapid dry heating and performed nanoscale topographical and mechanical analysis of inactivated spores using atomic force microscopy (AFM). Our results revealed significant changes in spore morphology and nanomechanical properties after heat inactivation. In addition, we also found that these changes were different under different heating conditions that produced similar inactivation probabilities (high temperature for short exposure time versus low temperature for long exposure time). We attributed the differences to the differential thermal and mechanical stresses in the spore. The buildup of internal thermal and mechanical stresses may become prominent only in ultrafast, high-temperature heat inactivation when the experimental timescale is too short for heat-generated vapor to efficiently escape from the spore. Our results thus provide direct, visual evidences of the importance of thermal stresses and heat and mass transfer to spore inactivation by very rapid dry heating. PMID:24375142

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Bacillus anthracis Has Two Independent Bottlenecks That Are Dependent on the Portal of Entry in an Intranasal Model of Inhalational Infection

    PubMed Central

    Lowe, David E.; Erns