Science.gov

Sample records for molecular virulence determinants

  1. Listeria Pathogenesis and Molecular Virulence Determinants

    PubMed Central

    Vázquez-Boland, José A.; Kuhn, Michael; Berche, Patrick; Chakraborty, Trinad; Domínguez-Bernal, Gustavo; Goebel, Werner; González-Zorn, Bruno; Wehland, Jürgen; Kreft, Jürgen

    2001-01-01

    , rapid intracytoplasmic multiplication, bacterially induced actin-based motility, and direct spread to neighboring cells, in which they reinitiate the cycle. In this way, listeriae disseminate in host tissues sheltered from the humoral arm of the immune system. Over the last 15 years, a number of virulence factors involved in key steps of this intracellular life cycle have been identified. This review describes in detail the molecular determinants of Listeria virulence and their mechanism of action and summarizes the current knowledge on the pathophysiology of listeriosis and the cell biology and host cell responses to Listeria infection. This article provides an updated perspective of the development of our understanding of Listeria pathogenesis from the first molecular genetic analyses of virulence mechanisms reported in 1985 until the start of the genomic era of Listeria research. PMID:11432815

  2. Exploiting molecular virulence determinants in Burkholderia to develop vaccine antigens.

    PubMed

    Casey, William Thomas; McClean, Siobhán

    2015-01-01

    The Burkholderia genus is a highly diverse group of species that are distributed throughout a wide range of environments and habitats. Among this group, which is remarkable for its adaptability to a wider range of environmental conditions including disinfectants and organic solvents, are a subgroup that represents some of the most difficult to treat infections. This subgroup includes Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis; B. mallei, the causative agent of glanders and B. cepacia complex (Bcc) which causes opportunistic infections in people with cystic fibrosis and immunocompromised patients. The latter pathogen is itself a group of 18 distinct, but, closely related species. The adaptability of this group allows the expression of a rich selection of molecular virulence determinants to facilitate its survival in the diverse habitats that it colonises. This review will describe a selection of these associated with human infection; comparing them across the three pathogens and highlighting their potential roles as vaccine candidates. Better integration of the knowledge on the pathogenesis and molecular determinants of virulence for these Burkholderia spp may allow the development of more efficacious vaccines.

  3. Virulence Determination

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This chapter reviews the in vitro and in vivo assays that are available for determination of pathogenic potential of Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, highlighting the value of using multiplex PCR for rapid and accurate assessment of listerial virulence....

  4. Molecular analysis of virulent determinants of enterovirus 71.

    PubMed

    Li, Renqing; Zou, Qinghua; Chen, Lijuan; Zhang, Herun; Wang, Yumei

    2011-01-01

    Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is the most important causative agent of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in children. In most cases, it is a self-limiting illness. However some EV71 infectious cases can develop severe clinical outcomes, such as encephalitis, meningitis, poliomyelitis like paralysis, and even death. To identify the determinants of virulence, the deduced amino acid sequence of polyprotein and nucleotide sequence of 5'-NTR and 3'-NTR in 25 SC-EV71 strains (strains from severe cases) and 31 MC-EV71 strains (strains from mild cases) were analyzed. Results showed four amino acids on two positions (Gly(P710)/Gln(P710)/Arg(P710) and Glu(P729)) on the DE and EF loop of VP1, one (Lys(P930)) on the surface of protease 2A and four nucleotides on three positions (G(P272), U(P488) and A(P700)/U(P700)) in the 5'-NTR region are associated with EV71 virulent phenotype. Predicted secondary structure of RNA using the consensus sequence of 5'-NTR by RNAStructure showed the mutation of nucleotide at position 488 in strain BJ08-Z004-3 (position 491 in prototype strain BrCr) can result in the discrepancy of an additional pair of nucleotides and thus change the stability of the second structure of IRES. Fragment base content analysis showed that in the region 696 to 714 bp at the 5'-NTR, where the A(P700)/U(P700) was located, the nucleotide constitution ratios differed significantly between SC-EV71 and MC-EV71 strains. In conclusion, comparative genomic analysis showed that virulence of EV71 strains are mainly determined by the amino acids on two positions of VP1, one position of protease 2A and the nucleotides on three positions in 5'-NTR.

  5. Mycobacterium tuberculosis Pathogenesis and Molecular Determinants of Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Issar

    2003-01-01

    Tuberculosis (TB), one of the oldest known human diseases. is still is one of the major causes of mortality, since two million people die each year from this malady. TB has many manifestations, affecting bone, the central nervous system, and many other organ systems, but it is primarily a pulmonary disease that is initiated by the deposition of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, contained in aerosol droplets, onto lung alveolar surfaces. From this point, the progression of the disease can have several outcomes, determined largely by the response of the host immune system. The efficacy of this response is affected by intrinsic factors such as the genetics of the immune system as well as extrinsic factors, e.g., insults to the immune system and the nutritional and physiological state of the host. In addition, the pathogen may play a role in disease progression since some M. tuberculosis strains are reportedly more virulent than others, as defined by increased transmissibility as well as being associated with higher morbidity and mortality in infected individuals. Despite the widespread use of an attenuated live vaccine and several antibiotics, there is more TB than ever before, requiring new vaccines and drugs and more specific and rapid diagnostics. Researchers are utilizing information obtained from the complete sequence of the M. tuberculosis genome and from new genetic and physiological methods to identify targets in M. tuberculosis that will aid in the development of these sorely needed antitubercular agents. PMID:12857778

  6. Molecular Screening of Enterococcus Virulence Determinants and Potential for Genetic Exchange between Food and Medical Isolates

    PubMed Central

    Eaton, Tracy J.; Gasson, Michael J.

    2001-01-01

    Enterococci are used as starter and probiotic cultures in foods, and they occur as natural food contaminants. The genus Enterococcus is of increased significance as a cause of nosocomial infections, and this trend is exacerbated by the development of antibiotic resistance. In this study, we investigated the incidence of known virulence determinants in starter, food, and medical strains of Enterococcus faecalis, E. faecium, and E. durans. PCR and gene probe strategies were used to screen enterococcal isolates from both food and medical sources. Different and distinct patterns of incidence of virulence determinants were found for the E. faecalis and E. faecium strains. Medical E. faecalis strains had more virulence determinants than did food strains, which, in turn, had more than did starter strains. All of the E. faecalis strains tested possessed multiple determinants (between 6 and 11). E. faecium strains were generally free of virulence determinants, with notable exceptions. Significantly, esp and gelE determinants were identified in E. faecium medical strains. These virulence determinants have not previously been identified in E. faecium strains and may result from regional differences or the evolution of pathogenic E. faecium. Phenotypic testing revealed the existence of apparently silent gelE and cyl genes. In E. faecalis, the trend in these silent genes mirrors that of the expressed determinants. The potential for starter strains to acquire virulence determinants by natural conjugation mechanisms was investigated. Transconjugation in which starter strains acquired additional virulence determinants from medical strains was demonstrated. In addition, multiple pheromone-encoding genes were identified in both food and starter strains, indicating their potential to acquire other sex pheromone plasmids. These results suggest that the use of Enterococcus spp. in foods requires careful safety evaluation. PMID:11282615

  7. Antimicrobial susceptibility, virulence determinant carriage and molecular characteristics of Staphylococcus aureus isolates associated with skin and soft tissue infections.

    PubMed

    Yu, Fangyou; Liu, Yunling; Lv, Jinnan; Qi, Xiuqin; Lu, Chaohui; Ding, Yu; Li, Dan; Liu, Huanle; Wang, Liangxing

    2015-01-01

    A better understanding of the antimicrobial susceptibility, carriage of virulence determinants and molecular characteristics of Staphylococcus aureus isolates associated with skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) may provide further insights related to clinical outcomes with these infections. From January 2012 to September 2013, a total of 128 non-duplicate S. aureus isolates were recovered from patients with SSTIs. All 128 S. aureus SSTI isolates carried at least five virulence genes tested. Virulence genes detected among at least 70% of all tested isolates included hld (100%), hla (95.3%), icaA (96.9%), clf (99.2%), sdrC (79.7%), sdrD (70.3%), and sdrE (72.7%). The prevalence of MRSA isolates with 10 virulence genes tested (54.4%, 31/56) was significantly higher than that among MSSA isolates (35.2%, 25/71) (p<0.05). The positive rates of seb, sen, sem, sdrE and pvl among MRSA isolates were significantly higher than among MSSA isolates (p<0.05). ST7 and ST630 accounting for 10.9% were found to be the predominant STs. The most prevalent spa type was t091 (8.6%). MRSA-ST59-SCCmec IV was the most common clone (12.3%) among MRSA isolates whereas among MSSA isolates the dominant clone was MSSA-ST7 (15.5%). Six main clonal complexes (CCs) were found, including CC5 (52.3%), CC7 (11.7%), CC59 (8.6%), CC88 (6.3%), CC398 (4.7%), and CC121 (3.1%). A higher carriage of seb and sec was found among CC59 isolates. In comparison to CC5 and CC7 isolates, those with the highest carriage rates (>80.0%) of sdrC and sdrD, CC59 isolates had lower prevalence of these two virulence genes. All CC59 isolates were susceptible to gentamicin and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, while CC5 and CC7 isolates had resistance rates to these two antimicrobials of 25.4% and 20.9%, and 40.0% and 40.0%, respectively. The resistance rates for tetracycline, clindamycin, and erythromycin among CC5 isolates were lower than among CC7 and CC59 isolates. In conclusion, the molecular typing of S. aureus SSTI

  8. Molecular Determinants of Virulence and Stability of a Reporter-Expressing H5N1 Influenza A Virus

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Dongming; Fukuyama, Satoshi; Yamada, Shinya; Lopes, Tiago J. S.; Maemura, Tadashi; Katsura, Hiroaki; Ozawa, Makoto; Watanabe, Shinji; Neumann, Gabriele

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT We previously reported that an H5N1 virus carrying the Venus reporter gene, which was inserted into the NS gene segment from the A/Puerto Rico/8/1934(H1N1) virus (Venus-H5N1 virus), became more lethal to mice, and the reporter gene was stably maintained after mouse adaptation compared with the wild-type Venus-H5N1 (WT-Venus-H5N1) virus. However, the basis for this difference in virulence and Venus stability was unclear. Here, we investigated the molecular determinants behind this virulence and reporter stability by comparing WT-Venus-H5N1 virus with a mouse-adapted Venus-H5N1 (MA-Venus-H5N1) virus. To determine the genetic basis for these differences, we used reverse genetics to generate a series of reassortants of these two viruses. We found that reassortants with PB2 from MA-Venus-H5N1 (MA-PB2), MA-PA, or MA-NS expressed Venus more stably than did WT-Venus-H5N1 virus. We also found that a single mutation in PB2 (V25A) or in PA (R443K) increased the virulence of the WT-Venus-H5N1 virus in mice and that the presence of both of these mutations substantially enhanced the pathogenicity of the virus. Our results suggest roles for PB2 and PA in the stable maintenance of a foreign protein as an NS1 fusion protein in influenza A virus. IMPORTANCE The ability to visualize influenza viruses has far-reaching benefits in influenza virus research. Previously, we reported that an H5N1 virus bearing the Venus reporter gene became more pathogenic to mice and that its reporter gene was more highly expressed and more stably maintained after mouse adaptation. Here, we investigated the molecular determinants behind this enhanced virulence and reporter stability. We found that mutations in PB2 (V25A) and PA (R443K) play crucial roles in the stable maintenance of a foreign protein as an NS1 fusion protein in influenza A virus and in the virulence of influenza virus in mice. Our findings further our knowledge of the pathogenicity of influenza virus in mammals and will help

  9. Molecular nature of virulence in Entamoeba histolytica.

    PubMed

    Olivos-García, Alfonso; Saavedra, Emma; Ramos-Martínez, Espiridión; Nequiz, Mario; Pérez-Tamayo, Ruy

    2009-12-01

    For many years virulence of pathogenic Entamoeba histolytica has been attributed to the capacity of the parasite to destroy tissues through the expression and/or secretion of various molecules. Such view is supported mainly by in vitro experimentation, whereas data obtained by using animal models of the disease have clearly demonstrated that the host's inflammatory response is primarily responsible for tissue damage. This review analyzes the content and/or activity of some of the presumed toxic amebic molecules present in amebic strains with different degrees of virulence compared to various parasite in vitro functions that are supposed to correlate with in vivo virulence. The analysis suggests that amebic virulence is primarily determined by the parasite's capacity to adapt and survive the aerobic conditions present in animal tissues. This initial episode in the host-parasite relationship is an absolute requirement for the further development of tissue lesions, which result from the concerted action of many molecules derived from both, the host and the parasite.

  10. [Molecular bases of virulence in Neisseria gonorrhoeae].

    PubMed

    Marchal, C; Taha, M K; Larribe, M; Seifert, H S; So, M

    1991-01-01

    Gonorrhea remains of clinical concern, due to its frequency, complications, sequelae, increasing prevalence of antibiotic-resistant strains and absence of vaccine. A better understanding of the first stages of infection as well as of mechanisms of escape to immune response appears important. Many pathogenic bacteria express pili on their all surfaces. These structures mediate binding of bacteria to host tissues. Furthermore, gonococcal pili are submitted to a high rate antigenic variation, allowing the escape to host immune response. Pilin antigenic variation occurs by DNA recombination between one of the silent partial variant gene segments and an expressed pilin genes. We have shown that transformation of living bacteria by DNA liberated from lysed cells is a critical strep for antigenic variation. This constitutes the first specific function for a DNA transformation system. Piliation and virulence can change with culture conditions. This observation suggests that pilin expression would be subjected to an adaptative response. We have identified and characterized two genes which act in trans to regulate pilus expression. They determine synthesis of a response regulator and a membrane located sensor. They appear to regulate expression of other genes, possibly also involved in virulence. We present evidence for several environmental factors which may control the degree of piliation.

  11. Hantavirus interferon regulation and virulence determinants.

    PubMed

    Mackow, Erich R; Dalrymple, Nadine A; Cimica, Velasco; Matthys, Valery; Gorbunova, Elena; Gavrilovskaya, Irina

    2014-07-17

    Hantaviruses predominantly replicate in primary human endothelial cells and cause 2 diseases characterized by altered barrier functions of vascular endothelium. Most hantaviruses restrict the early induction of interferon-β (IFNβ) and interferon stimulated genes (ISGs) within human endothelial cells to permit their successful replication. PHV fails to regulate IFN induction within human endothelial cells which self-limits PHV replication and its potential as a human pathogen. These findings, and the altered regulation of endothelial cell barrier functions by pathogenic hantaviruses, suggest that virulence is determined by the ability of hantaviruses to alter key signaling pathways within human endothelial cells. Our findings indicate that the Gn protein from ANDV, but not PHV, inhibits TBK1 directed ISRE, kB and IFNβ induction through virulence determinants in the Gn cytoplasmic tail (GnT) that inhibit TBK1 directed IRF3 phosphorylation. Further studies indicate that in response to hypoxia induced VEGF, ANDV infection enhances the permeability and adherens junction internalization of microvascular and lymphatic endothelial cells. These hypoxia/VEGF directed responses are rapamycin sensitive and directed by mTOR signaling pathways. These results demonstrate the presence of at least two hantavirus virulence determinants that act on endothelial cell signaling pathways: one that regulates antiviral IFN signaling responses, and a second that enhances normal hypoxia-VEGF-mTOR signaling pathways to facilitate endothelial cell permeability. These findings suggest signaling pathways as potential targets for therapeutic regulation of vascular deficits that contribute to hantavirus diseases and viral protein targets for attenuating pathogenic hantaviruses.

  12. Molecular epidemiologic evaluation of transmissibility and virulence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Rhee, J T; Piatek, A S; Small, P M; Harris, L M; Chaparro, S V; Kramer, F R; Alland, D

    1999-06-01

    Discovery of genotypic markers associated with increased transmissibility in Mycobacterium tuberculosis would represent an important step in advancing mycobacterial virulence studies. M. tuberculosis strains may be classified into one of three genotypes on the basis of the presence of specific nucleotide substitutions in codon 463 of the katG gene (katG-463) and codon 95 of the gyrA gene (gyrA-95). It has previously been reported that two of these three genotypes are associated with increased IS6110-based clustering, a potential proxy of virulence. We designed a case-control analysis of U.S.-born patients with tuberculosis in San Francisco, Calif., between 1991 and 1997 to investigate associations between katG-463 and gyrA-95 genotypes and epidemiologically determined measures of strain-specific infectivity and pathogenicity and IS6110-based clustering status. We used a new class of molecular probes called molecular beacons to genotype the isolates rapidly. Infectivity was defined as the propensity of isolates to cause tuberculin skin test conversions among named contacts, and pathogenicity was defined as their propensity to cause active disease among named contacts. The molecular beacon assay was a simple and reproducible method for the detection of known single nucleotide polymorphisms in large numbers of clinical M. tuberculosis isolates. The results showed that no genotype of the katG-463- and gyrA-95-based classification system was associated with increased infectivity and pathogenicity or with increased IS6110-based clustering in San Francisco during the study period. We speculate that molecular epidemiologic studies investigating clinically relevant outcomes may contribute to the knowledge of the significance of laboratory-derived virulence factors in the propagation of tuberculosis in human communities.

  13. Candida albicans mutant construction and characterization of selected virulence determinants.

    PubMed

    Motaung, T E; Albertyn, J; Pohl, C H; Köhler, Gerwald

    2015-08-01

    Candida albicans is a diploid, polymorphic yeast, associated with humans, where it mostly causes no harm. However, under certain conditions it can cause infections ranging from superficial to life threatening. This ability to become pathogenic is often linked to the immune status of the host as well as the expression of certain virulence factors by the yeast. Due to the importance of C. albicans as a pathogen, determination of the molecular mechanisms that allow this yeast to cause disease is important. These studies rely on the ability of researchers to create deletion mutants of specific genes in order to study their function. This article provides a critical review of the important techniques used to create deletion mutants in C. albicans and highlights how these deletion mutants can be used to determine the role of genes in the expression of virulence factors in vitro.

  14. Multiple Genome Segments Determine Virulence of Bluetongue Virus Serotype 8

    PubMed Central

    Janowicz, Anna; Caporale, Marco; Shaw, Andrew; Gulletta, Salvatore; Di Gialleonardo, Luigina; Ratinier, Maxime

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bluetongue virus (BTV) causes bluetongue, a major hemorrhagic disease of ruminants. In order to investigate the molecular determinants of BTV virulence, we used a BTV8 strain minimally passaged in tissue culture (termed BTV8L in this study) and a derivative strain passaged extensively in tissue culture (BTV8H) in in vitro and in vivo studies. BTV8L was pathogenic in both IFNAR−/− mice and in sheep, while BTV8H was attenuated in both species. To identify genetic changes which led to BTV8H attenuation, we generated 34 reassortants between BTV8L and BTV8H. We found that partial attenuation of BTV8L in IFNAR−/− mice was achieved by simply replacing genomic segment 2 (Seg2, encoding VP2) or Seg10 (encoding NS3) with the BTV8H homologous segments. Fully attenuated viruses required at least two genome segments from BTV8H, including Seg2 with either Seg1 (encoding VP1), Seg6 (encoding VP6 and NS4), or Seg10 (encoding NS3). Conversely, full reversion of virulence of BTV8H required at least five genomic segments of BTV8L. We also demonstrated that BTV8H acquired an increased affinity for glycosaminoglycan receptors during passaging in cell culture due to mutations in its VP2 protein. Replication of BTV8H was relatively poor in interferon (IFN)-competent primary ovine endothelial cells compared to replication of BTV8L, and this phenotype was determined by several viral genomic segments, including Seg4 and Seg9. This study demonstrated that multiple viral proteins contribute to BTV8 virulence. VP2 and NS3 are primary determinants of BTV pathogenesis, but VP1, VP5, VP4, VP6, and VP7 also contribute to virulence. IMPORTANCE Bluetongue is one of the major infectious diseases of ruminants, and it is listed as a notifiable disease by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The clinical outcome of BTV infection varies considerably and depends on environmental and host- and virus-specific factors. Over the years, BTV serotypes/strains with various degrees of

  15. Virulence and Fitness Determinants of Uropathogenic Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Subashchandrabose, Sargurunathan; Mobley, Harry L T.

    2015-01-01

    Urinary tract infection (UTI) caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) is a major global public health concern. Increasing antibiotic resistance found in clinical UPEC isolates underscores the immediate need for development of novel therapeutics against this pathogen. Better understanding of the fitness and virulence mechanisms that are integral to the pathogenesis of UTI will facilitate identification of novel strategies to prevent and treat infection with UPEC. Working towards that goal, the global UPEC research community has made great strides at unraveling various virulence and fitness genes. Here, we summarize major findings on virulence and fitness determinants that enable UPEC to successfully survive and colonize the urinary tract of mammalian hosts. Major sections of this chapter are devoted to the role of iron acquisition systems, metabolic pathways, fimbriae, flagella, toxins, biofilm formation, capsule, and strain-specific genes in the initiation and progression of UTIs. Transcriptomes of UPEC during experimental UTI in a murine model and naturally occurring UTI in women are compared to elucidate virulence mechanisms specifically involved in human UTI. Capitalizing on the advances in molecular pathogenesis research by translating these findings will help develop better clinical strategies for prevention and management of UTIs. PMID:26350328

  16. Virulence and Fitness Determinants of Uropathogenic Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Subashchandrabose, Sargurunathan; Mobley, Harry L T

    2015-08-01

    Urinary tract infection (UTI) caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) is a major global public health concern. Increasing antibiotic resistance found in clinical UPEC isolates underscores the immediate need for development of novel therapeutics against this pathogen. Better understanding of the fitness and virulence mechanisms that are integral to the pathogenesis of UTI will facilitate identification of novel strategies to prevent and treat infection with UPEC. Working towards that goal, the global UPEC research community has made great strides at unraveling various virulence and fitness genes. Here, we summarize major findings on virulence and fitness determinants that enable UPEC to successfully survive and colonize the urinary tract of mammalian hosts. Major sections of this chapter are devoted to the role of iron acquisition systems, metabolic pathways, fimbriae, flagella, toxins, biofilm formation, capsule, and strain-specific genes in the initiation and progression of UTIs. Transcriptomes of UPEC during experimental UTI in a murine model and naturally occurring UTI in women are compared to elucidate virulence mechanisms specifically involved in human UTI. Capitalizing on the advances in molecular pathogenesis research by translating these findings will help develop better clinical strategies for prevention and management of UTIs.

  17. Virulence determinants of pandemic influenza viruses

    PubMed Central

    Tscherne, Donna M.; García-Sastre, Adolfo

    2011-01-01

    Influenza A viruses cause recurrent, seasonal epidemics and occasional global pandemics with devastating levels of morbidity and mortality. The ability of influenza A viruses to adapt to various hosts and undergo reassortment events ensures constant generation of new strains with unpredictable degrees of pathogenicity, transmissibility, and pandemic potential. Currently, the combination of factors that drives the emergence of pandemic influenza is unclear, making it impossible to foresee the details of a future outbreak. Identification and characterization of influenza A virus virulence determinants may provide insight into genotypic signatures of pathogenicity as well as a more thorough understanding of the factors that give rise to pandemics. PMID:21206092

  18. Dengue virus virulence and transmission determinants.

    PubMed

    Rico-Hesse, R

    2010-01-01

    The mechanisms of dengue virus (DENV) pathogenesis are little understood because we have no models of disease; only humans develop symptoms (dengue fever, DF, or dengue hemorrhagic fever, DHF) and research has been limited to studies involving patients. DENV is very diverse: there are four antigenic groups (serotypes) and three to five genetic groups (genotypes) within each serotype. Thus, it has been difficult to evaluate the relative virulence or transmissibility of each DENV genotype; both of these factors are important determinants of epidemiology and their measurement is complex because the natural cycle of this disease involves human-mosquito-human transmission. Although epidemiological and evolutionary studies have pointed to viral factors in determining disease outcome, only recently developed models could prove the importance of specific viral genotypes in causing severe epidemics and their potential to spread to other continents. These new models involve infection of primary human cell cultures, "humanized" mice and field-collected mosquitoes; also, new mathematical models can estimate the impact of viral replication, human immunity and mosquito transmission on epidemic behavior. DENV evolution does not seem to be rapid and the transmission and dispersal of stable, replication-fit genotypes has been more important in the causation of more severe epidemics. Controversy regarding viral determinants of DENV pathogenesis and epidemiology will continue until virulence and transmissibility can be measured under various conditions.

  19. Enhanced IRES activity by the 3’UTR element determines the virulence of FMDV isolates

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A reverse genetics approach was used to identify viral genetic determinants of the differential virulence displayed by two field foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) strains (A/Arg/00 and A/Arg/01) isolated in Argentina during the 2000-2001 epidemics. A molecular clone of A/Arg/01 strain and viral ch...

  20. Virulence determinants associated with the Asian community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus lineage ST59.

    PubMed

    Li, Min; Dai, Yingxin; Zhu, Yuanjun; Fu, Chih-Lung; Tan, Vee Y; Wang, Yanan; Wang, Xing; Hong, Xufen; Liu, Qian; Li, Tianming; Qin, Juanxiu; Ma, Xiaowei; Fang, Jingyuan; Otto, Michael

    2016-06-14

    Understanding virulence is vital for the development of novel therapeutics to target infections with community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA), which cause an ongoing epidemic in the United States and are on a global rise. However, what defines virulence particularly of global CA-MRSA lineages is poorly understood. Threatening a vast population, the predominant Asian CA-MRSA lineage ST59 is of major epidemiological importance. However, there have been no molecular analyses using defined virulence gene deletion mutants in that lineage as of yet. Here, we compared virulence in skin, lung, and blood infection models of ST59 CA-MRSA isolates with geographically matched hospital-associated MRSA isolates. We selected a representative ST59 CA-MRSA isolate based on toxin expression and virulence characteristics, and produced isogenic gene deletion mutants of important CA-MRSA virulence determinants (α-toxin, PSM α, Agr) in that isolate for in-vitro and in-vivo analyses. Our results demonstrate strongly enhanced virulence of ST59 CA-MRSA over hospital-associated lineages, supporting the notion that enhanced virulence is characteristic for CA-MRSA. Furthermore, they show strong and significant contribution of Agr, α-toxin, and PSMα to pathogenesis of ST59 CA-MRSA skin, lung, and blood infection, emphasizing the value of drug development efforts targeted toward those virulence determinants.

  1. Virulence determinants associated with the Asian community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus lineage ST59

    PubMed Central

    Li, Min; Dai, Yingxin; Zhu, Yuanjun; Fu, Chih-Lung; Tan, Vee Y.; Wang, Yanan; Wang, Xing; Hong, Xufen; Liu, Qian; Li, Tianming; Qin, Juanxiu; Ma, Xiaowei; Fang, Jingyuan; Otto, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Understanding virulence is vital for the development of novel therapeutics to target infections with community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA), which cause an ongoing epidemic in the United States and are on a global rise. However, what defines virulence particularly of global CA-MRSA lineages is poorly understood. Threatening a vast population, the predominant Asian CA-MRSA lineage ST59 is of major epidemiological importance. However, there have been no molecular analyses using defined virulence gene deletion mutants in that lineage as of yet. Here, we compared virulence in skin, lung, and blood infection models of ST59 CA-MRSA isolates with geographically matched hospital-associated MRSA isolates. We selected a representative ST59 CA-MRSA isolate based on toxin expression and virulence characteristics, and produced isogenic gene deletion mutants of important CA-MRSA virulence determinants (α-toxin, PSM α, Agr) in that isolate for in-vitro and in-vivo analyses. Our results demonstrate strongly enhanced virulence of ST59 CA-MRSA over hospital-associated lineages, supporting the notion that enhanced virulence is characteristic for CA-MRSA. Furthermore, they show strong and significant contribution of Agr, α-toxin, and PSMα to pathogenesis of ST59 CA-MRSA skin, lung, and blood infection, emphasizing the value of drug development efforts targeted toward those virulence determinants. PMID:27296890

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

    PubMed

    Singh, Niharika; Goel, Gunjan; Raghav, Mamta

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Anatomical site-specific contributions of pneumococcal virulence determinants

    PubMed Central

    Shenoy, Anukul T.; Orihuela, Carlos J.

    2016-01-01

    Streptococcus pneumoniae is an opportunistic pathogen globally associated with significant morbidity and mortality. It is capable of causing a wide range of diseases including sinusitis, conjunctivitis, otitis media, pneumonia, bacteraemia, sepsis, and meningitis. While its capsular polysaccharide is indispensible for invasive disease, and opsonising antibodies against the capsule are the basis for the current vaccines, a long history of biomedical research indicates that other components of this Gram-positive bacterium are also critical for virulence. Herein we review the contribution of pneumococcal virulence determinants to survival and persistence in the context of distinct anatomical sites. We discuss how these determinants allow the pneumococcus to evade mucociliary clearance during colonisation, establish lower respiratory tract infection, resist complement deposition and opsonophagocytosis in the bloodstream, and invade secondary tissues such as the central nervous system leading to meningitis. We do so in a manner that highlights both the critical role of the capsular polysaccharide and the accompanying and necessary protein determinants. Understanding the complex interplay between host and pathogen is necessary to find new ways to prevent pneumococcal infection. This review is an attempt to do so with consideration for the latest research findings. PMID:27635368

  5. Anatomical site-specific contributions of pneumococcal virulence determinants

    PubMed Central

    Shenoy, Anukul T.; Orihuela, Carlos J.

    2016-01-01

    Streptococcus pneumoniae is an opportunistic pathogen globally associated with significant morbidity and mortality. It is capable of causing a wide range of diseases including sinusitis, conjunctivitis, otitis media, pneumonia, bacteraemia, sepsis, and meningitis. While its capsular polysaccharide is indispensible for invasive disease, and opsonising antibodies against the capsule are the basis for the current vaccines, a long history of biomedical research indicates that other components of this Gram-positive bacterium are also critical for virulence. Herein we review the contribution of pneumococcal virulence determinants to survival and persistence in the context of distinct anatomical sites. We discuss how these determinants allow the pneumococcus to evade mucociliary clearance during colonisation, establish lower respiratory tract infection, resist complement deposition and opsonophagocytosis in the bloodstream, and invade secondary tissues such as the central nervous system leading to meningitis. We do so in a manner that highlights both the critical role of the capsular polysaccharide and the accompanying and necessary protein determinants. Understanding the complex interplay between host and pathogen is necessary to find new ways to prevent pneumococcal infection. This review is an attempt to do so with consideration for the latest research findings.

  6. Molecular characterization of the virulent infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) strain 220-90

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) is the type species of the genus Novirhabdovirus, within the family Rhabdoviridae, infecting several species of wild and hatchery reared salmonids. Similar to other rhabdoviruses, IHNV has a linear single-stranded, negative-sense RNA genome of approximately 11,000 nucleotides. The IHNV genome encodes six genes; the nucleocapsid, phosphoprotein, matrix protein, glycoprotein, non-virion protein and polymerase protein genes, respectively. This study describes molecular characterization of the virulent IHNV strain 220-90, belonging to the M genogroup, and its phylogenetic relationships with available sequences of IHNV isolates worldwide. Results The complete genomic sequence of IHNV strain 220-90 was determined from the DNA of six overlapping clones obtained by RT-PCR amplification of genomic RNA. The complete genome sequence of 220-90 comprises 11,133 nucleotides (GenBank GQ413939) with the gene order of 3'-N-P-M-G-NV-L-5'. These genes are separated by conserved gene junctions, with di-nucleotide gene spacers. An additional uracil nucleotide was found at the end of the 5'-trailer region, which was not reported before in other IHNV strains. The first 15 of the 16 nucleotides at the 3'- and 5'-termini of the genome are complementary, and the first 4 nucleotides at 3'-ends of the IHNV are identical to other novirhadoviruses. Sequence homology and phylogenetic analysis of the glycoprotein genes show that 220-90 strain is 97% identical to most of the IHNV strains. Comparison of the virulent 220-90 genomic sequences with less virulent WRAC isolate shows more than 300 nucleotides changes in the genome, which doesn't allow one to speculate putative residues involved in the virulence of IHNV. Conclusion We have molecularly characterized one of the well studied IHNV isolates, 220-90 of genogroup M, which is virulent for rainbow trout, and compared phylogenetic relationship with North American and other strains

  7. Pathogenicity islands: a molecular toolbox for bacterial virulence.

    PubMed

    Gal-Mor, Ohad; Finlay, B Brett

    2006-11-01

    Pathogenicity islands (PAIs) are distinct genetic elements on the chromosomes of a large number of bacterial pathogens. PAIs encode various virulence factors and are normally absent from non-pathogenic strains of the same or closely related species. PAIs are considered to be a subclass of genomic islands that are acquired by horizontal gene transfer via transduction, conjugation and transformation, and provide 'quantum leaps' in microbial evolution. Data based on numerous sequenced bacterial genomes demonstrate that PAIs are present in a wide range of both gram-positive and gram-negative bacterial pathogens of humans, animals and plants. Recent research focused on PAIs has not only led to the identification of many novel virulence factors used by these species during infection of their respective hosts, but also dramatically changed our way of thinking about the evolution of bacterial virulence.

  8. The Salmonella typhimurium mar locus: molecular and genetic analyses and assessment of its role in virulence.

    PubMed Central

    Sulavik, M C; Dazer, M; Miller, P F

    1997-01-01

    The marRAB operon is a regulatory locus that controls multiple drug resistance in Escherichia coli. marA encodes a positive regulator of the antibiotic resistance response, acting by altering the expression of unlinked genes. marR encodes a repressor of marRAB transcription and controls the production of MarA in response to environmental signals. A molecular and genetic study of the homologous operon in Salmonella typhimurium was undertaken, and the role of marA in virulence in a murine model was assessed. Expression of E. coli marA (marAEC) present on a multicopy plasmid in S. typhimurium resulted in a multiple antibiotic resistance (Mar) phenotype, suggesting that a similar regulon exists in this organism. A genomic plasmid library containing S. typhimurium chromosomal sequences was introduced into an E. coli strain that was deleted for the mar locus and contained a single-copy marR'-'lacZ translational fusion. Plasmid clones that contained both S. typhimurium marR (marRSt) and marA (marASt) genes were identified as those that were capable of repressing expression of the fusion and which resulted in a Mar phenotype. The predicted amino acid sequences of MarRSt, MarASt, and MarBSt were 91, 86, and 42% identical, respectively, to the same genes from E. coli, while the operator/promoter region of the operon was 86% identical to the same 98-nucleotide-upstream region in E. coli. The marRAB transcriptional start sites for both organisms were determined by primer extension, and a marRABSt transcript of approximately 1.1 kb was identified by Northern blot analysis. Its accumulation was shown to be inducible by sodium salicylate. Open reading frames flanking the marRAB operon were also conserved. An S. typhimurium marA disruption strain was constructed by an allelic exchange method and compared to the wild-type strain for virulence in a murine BALB/c infection model. No effect on virulence was noted. The endogenous S. typhimurium plasmid that is associated with virulence

  9. Deciphering the Molecular Variations of Pine Wood Nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus with Different Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Xiaolei; Ye, Jianren; Lin, Sixi; Wu, Xiaoqin; Li, Dewei; Nian, Bo

    2016-01-01

    Bursaphelenchus xylophilus is the causative agent of pine wilt disease which has caused huge economic losses in many countries. It has been reported that two forms of pine wood nematodes existed in its native region, i.e., with strong virulence and weak virulence. However, little is known about the molecular differences between the two forms. To better understand their molecular variations, transcriptome and genome sequences of three strongly virulent and one weakly virulent strains were analyzed. We found 238 transcripts and 84 exons which showed notable changes between the two virulent forms. Functional analyses of both differentially expressed transcripts and exons indicated that different virulence strains showed dissimilar nematode growth, reproduction, and oxidoreductase activities. In addition, we also detected a small number of exon-skipping events in B. xylophilus. Meanwhile, 117 SNPs were identified as potential genetic markers in distinguishing the two forms. Four of them were further proved to have undergone allele specific expressions and possibly interrupted the target site of evolutionary conserved B. xylophilus miR-47. These particular SNPs were experimentally verified by including eight additional strains to ensure the validity of our sequencing results. These results could help researchers to better diagnose nematode species with different virulence and facilitate the control of pine wilt disease. PMID:27224277

  10. FDA Escherichia coli Identification (FDA-ECID) Microarray: a Pangenome Molecular Toolbox for Serotyping, Virulence Profiling, Molecular Epidemiology, and Phylogeny

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Isha R.; Gangiredla, Jayanthi; Lacher, David W.; Mammel, Mark K.; Jackson, Scott A.; Lampel, Keith A.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Most Escherichia coli strains are nonpathogenic. However, for clinical diagnosis and food safety analysis, current identification methods for pathogenic E. coli either are time-consuming and/or provide limited information. Here, we utilized a custom DNA microarray with informative genetic features extracted from 368 sequence sets for rapid and high-throughput pathogen identification. The FDA Escherichia coli Identification (FDA-ECID) platform contains three sets of molecularly informative features that together stratify strain identification and relatedness. First, 53 known flagellin alleles, 103 alleles of wzx and wzy, and 5 alleles of wzm provide molecular serotyping utility. Second, 41,932 probe sets representing the pan-genome of E. coli provide strain-level gene content information. Third, approximately 125,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of available whole-genome sequences (WGS) were distilled to 9,984 SNPs capable of recapitulating the E. coli phylogeny. We analyzed 103 diverse E. coli strains with available WGS data, including those associated with past foodborne illnesses, to determine robustness and accuracy. The array was able to accurately identify the molecular O and H serotypes, potentially correcting serological failures and providing better resolution for H-nontypeable/nonmotile phenotypes. In addition, molecular risk assessment was possible with key virulence marker identifications. Epidemiologically, each strain had a unique comparative genomic fingerprint that was extended to an additional 507 food and clinical isolates. Finally, a 99.7% phylogenetic concordance was established between microarray analysis and WGS using SNP-level data for advanced genome typing. Our study demonstrates FDA-ECID as a powerful tool for epidemiology and molecular risk assessment with the capacity to profile the global landscape and diversity of E. coli. IMPORTANCE This study describes a robust, state-of-the-art platform developed from available

  11. Virulence Phenotypes and Molecular Genotypes of Puccinia triticina Isolates from Italy

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Twenty-four isolates of Puccinia triticina from Italy were characterized for virulence to seedlings of 22 common wheat cv. Thatcher isolines each with a different leaf rust resistance gene, and for molecular genotypes at 15 simple sequence repeat (SSR) loci. The isolates were compared with a set of ...

  12. PSM-Mec—A Virulence Determinant that Connects Transcriptional Regulation, Virulence, and Antibiotic Resistance in Staphylococci

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Li; McCausland, Joshua W.; Cheung, Gordon Y. C.; Otto, Michael

    2016-01-01

    PSM-mec is a secreted virulence factor that belongs to the phenol-soluble modulin (PSM) family of amphipathic, alpha-helical peptide toxins produced by Staphylococcus species. All known PSMs are core genome-encoded with the exception of PSM-mec, whose gene is found in specific sub-types of SCCmec methicillin resistance mobile genetic elements present in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase-negative staphylococci. In addition to the cytolytic translational product, PSM-mec, the psm-mec locus encodes a regulatory RNA. In S. aureus, the psm-mec locus influences cytolytic capacity, methicillin resistance, biofilm formation, cell spreading, and the expression of other virulence factors, such as other PSMs, which results in a significant impact on immune evasion and disease. However, these effects are highly strain-dependent, which is possibly due to differences in PSM-mec peptide vs. psm-mec RNA-controlled effects. Here, we summarize the functional properties of PSM-mec and the psm-mec RNA molecule and their roles in staphylococcal pathogenesis and physiology. PMID:27597849

  13. PSM-Mec—A Virulence Determinant that Connects Transcriptional Regulation, Virulence, and Antibiotic Resistance in Staphylococci

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Li; McCausland, Joshua W.; Cheung, Gordon Y. C.; Otto, Michael

    2016-01-01

    PSM-mec is a secreted virulence factor that belongs to the phenol-soluble modulin (PSM) family of amphipathic, alpha-helical peptide toxins produced by Staphylococcus species. All known PSMs are core genome-encoded with the exception of PSM-mec, whose gene is found in specific sub-types of SCCmec methicillin resistance mobile genetic elements present in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase-negative staphylococci. In addition to the cytolytic translational product, PSM-mec, the psm-mec locus encodes a regulatory RNA. In S. aureus, the psm-mec locus influences cytolytic capacity, methicillin resistance, biofilm formation, cell spreading, and the expression of other virulence factors, such as other PSMs, which results in a significant impact on immune evasion and disease. However, these effects are highly strain-dependent, which is possibly due to differences in PSM-mec peptide vs. psm-mec RNA-controlled effects. Here, we summarize the functional properties of PSM-mec and the psm-mec RNA molecule and their roles in staphylococcal pathogenesis and physiology.

  14. PSM-Mec-A Virulence Determinant that Connects Transcriptional Regulation, Virulence, and Antibiotic Resistance in Staphylococci.

    PubMed

    Qin, Li; McCausland, Joshua W; Cheung, Gordon Y C; Otto, Michael

    2016-01-01

    PSM-mec is a secreted virulence factor that belongs to the phenol-soluble modulin (PSM) family of amphipathic, alpha-helical peptide toxins produced by Staphylococcus species. All known PSMs are core genome-encoded with the exception of PSM-mec, whose gene is found in specific sub-types of SCCmec methicillin resistance mobile genetic elements present in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase-negative staphylococci. In addition to the cytolytic translational product, PSM-mec, the psm-mec locus encodes a regulatory RNA. In S. aureus, the psm-mec locus influences cytolytic capacity, methicillin resistance, biofilm formation, cell spreading, and the expression of other virulence factors, such as other PSMs, which results in a significant impact on immune evasion and disease. However, these effects are highly strain-dependent, which is possibly due to differences in PSM-mec peptide vs. psm-mec RNA-controlled effects. Here, we summarize the functional properties of PSM-mec and the psm-mec RNA molecule and their roles in staphylococcal pathogenesis and physiology. PMID:27597849

  15. A dynamic and intricate regulatory network determines Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence

    PubMed Central

    Balasubramanian, Deepak; Schneper, Lisa; Kumari, Hansi; Mathee, Kalai

    2013-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a metabolically versatile bacterium that is found in a wide range of biotic and abiotic habitats. It is a major human opportunistic pathogen causing numerous acute and chronic infections. The critical traits contributing to the pathogenic potential of P. aeruginosa are the production of a myriad of virulence factors, formation of biofilms and antibiotic resistance. Expression of these traits is under stringent regulation, and it responds to largely unidentified environmental signals. This review is focused on providing a global picture of virulence gene regulation in P. aeruginosa. In addition to key regulatory pathways that control the transition from acute to chronic infection phenotypes, some regulators have been identified that modulate multiple virulence mechanisms. Despite of a propensity for chaotic behaviour, no chaotic motifs were readily observed in the P. aeruginosa virulence regulatory network. Having a ‘birds-eye’ view of the regulatory cascades provides the forum opportunities to pose questions, formulate hypotheses and evaluate theories in elucidating P. aeruginosa pathogenesis. Understanding the mechanisms involved in making P. aeruginosa a successful pathogen is essential in helping devise control strategies. PMID:23143271

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Phenol-soluble modulins – critical determinants of staphylococcal virulence

    PubMed Central

    Cheung, Gordon Y. C.; Joo, Hwang-Soo; Chatterjee, Som S.; Otto, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Phenol-soluble modulins (PSMs) are a recently discovered family of amphipathic, alpha-helical peptides that have multiple roles in staphylococcal pathogenesis and contribute to a large extent to the pathogenic success of virulent staphylococci, such as Staphylococcus aureus. PSMs may cause lysis of many human cell types including leukocytes and erythrocytes, stimulate inflammatory responses, and contribute to biofilm development. PSMs appear to have an original role in the commensal lifestyle of staphylococci, where they facilitate growth and spreading on epithelial surfaces. Aggressive, cytolytic PSMs seem to have evolved from that original role and are mainly expressed in highly virulent S. aureus. Here we will review the biochemistry, genetics and role of PSMs in the commensal and pathogenic lifestyles of staphylococci, discuss how diversification of PSMs defines the aggressiveness of staphylococcal species, and evaluate potential avenues to target PSMs for drug development against staphylococcal infections. PMID:24372362

  19. [Determination of the phenomenon of autoagglutination of virulent Yersinia].

    PubMed

    Smirnov, I V

    1989-01-01

    The agglutination test in wells of polystyrene plates has been tried for the detection of virulent Yersinia. Glucose-peptone medium has been employed in the test; the results have been recorded in standard periods from the type of the precipitate. The method has been employed to detect the virulence plasmids in 138 strains of Y. enterocolitica, Y. frederiksenii, Y. kristensenii, Y. intermedia, Y. pseudotuberculosis, and to assess the heterogeneity of various populations of Yersinia in respect of this plasmid presence. Positive results of autoagglutination in the plates (with Y. pseudotuberculosis serovariants 03 and 09) as a rule correlated with Ca-dependence of the strains. The suggested method is not inferior to the tube method in its sensitivity and may be used in screening examinations.

  20. Molecular mechanisms of hookworm disease: stealth, virulence, and vaccines.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Mark S; Tribolet, Leon; Cantacessi, Cinzia; Periago, Maria Victoria; Valero, Maria Adela; Valerio, Maria Adela; Jariwala, Amar R; Hotez, Peter; Diemert, David; Loukas, Alex; Bethony, Jeffrey

    2012-07-01

    Hookworms produce a vast repertoire of structurally and functionally diverse molecules that mediate their long-term survival and pathogenesis within a human host. Many of these molecules are secreted by the parasite, after which they interact with critical components of host biology, including processes that are key to host survival. The most important of these interactions is the hookworm's interruption of nutrient acquisition by the host through its ingestion and digestion of host blood. This results in iron deficiency and eventually the microcytic hypochromic anemia or iron deficiency anemia that is the clinical hallmark of hookworm infection. Other molecular mechanisms of hookworm infection cause a systematic suppression of the host immune response to both the parasite and to bystander antigens (eg, vaccines or allergens). This is achieved by a series of molecules that assist the parasite in the stealthy evasion of the host immune response. This review will summarize the current knowledge of the molecular mechanisms used by hookworms to survive for extended periods in the human host (up to 7 years or longer) and examine the pivotal contributions of these molecular mechanisms to chronic hookworm parasitism and host clinical outcomes.

  1. Virulence and Molecular Analyses Support Asexual Reproduction of Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

    PubMed

    Cheng, P; Chen, X M

    2014-11-01

    Wheat stripe rust, caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici, occurs every year and causes significant yield losses in the U.S. Pacific Northwest (PNW). A large number of P. striiformis f. tritici races are identified every year and predominant races have changed rapidly. Barberry and mahonia plants, which have been identified under controlled conditions as alternate hosts for the fungus, are found in the region. However, whether sexual reproduction occurs in the P. striiformis f. sp. tritici population under natural conditions is not clear. To determine the reproduction mode of the P. striiformis f. sp. tritici population using virulence and molecular markers, a systematic collection of leaf samples with a single stripe of uredia was made in 26 fields in the PNW in 2010. In total, 270 isolates obtained from the PNW collection, together with 66 isolates from 20 other states collected in the same year, were characterized by virulence tests and simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. In total, 21 races and 66 multilocus genotypes (MLGs) were detected, of which 15 races and 32 MLGs were found in the PNW. Cluster analysis with the SSR marker data revealed two genetic groups, which were significantly correlated to the two virulence groups. The analyses of genotype/individual ratio, multilocus linkage disequilibrium, and heterozygosity strongly supported asexual reproduction for the pathogen population in the PNW, as well as other regions of the United States.

  2. In vivo correlates of molecularly inferred virulence among extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) in the wax moth Galleria mellonella model system

    PubMed Central

    Williamson, Deborah A; Mills, Grant; Johnson, James R; Porter, Stephen; Wiles, Siouxsie

    2014-01-01

    In contrast to commensal Escherichia coli, extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC) strains possess an array of virulence-associated genes. We sought to establish the feasibility of using the invertebrate Galleria mellonella (greater wax moth) for assessing ExPEC virulence and to investigate the correlation between genotypic determinants of virulence and in vivo pathogenicity. We observed a correlation between the number of virulence genes and larval survival, such that ExPEC isolates with higher virulence scores killed larvae significantly faster than isolates with lower virulence scores. By correlating genotypic and phenotypic virulence, we provide preliminary validation of this model for future studies investigating ExPEC virulence. PMID:24518442

  3. Environmental regulation of expression of virulence determinants in Bordetella pertussis.

    PubMed Central

    Melton, A R; Weiss, A A

    1989-01-01

    The trans-activator vir is required for expression of all virulence-associated genes in Bordetella pertussis. The nature of the global regulation of these factors by vir and environmental signals was examined by Northern blot analysis and with beta-galactosidase transcriptional fusions in five vir-regulated genes. Northern blots suggested that vir regulates at the level of transcription since Vir- organisms did not exhibit detectable mRNA from vir-regulated loci. Environmental signals such as high levels of salts, nicotinic acid, and 6-chloronicotinic acid or growth at low temperatures were examined. Of all of the cations and anions examined, only SO4 ions eliminated transcription of vir-regulated genes and reduced transcription of vir itself, suggesting that global regulation is obtained by modifying expression of the essential component, vir. Organisms grown on 6-chloronicotinic acid or quinaldic acid did not have detectable transcription from vir-regulated loci. Modulation by nicotinic acid, on the other hand, was strain dependent, acting at the level of transcription in strain 18-323 but not in Tohama I derivatives. Growth at lower temperatures reduced, but did not eliminate, transcription from vir-regulated loci. At 28 degrees C the ratio of pertussis toxin mRNA to recA mRNA (a non-vir-regulated factor) was equivalent to that at 37 degrees C, suggesting that transcription at low temperatures is reduced in a proportional manner and need not involve vir. Images PMID:2478524

  4. Virulence determinants and production of extracellular enzymes in Enterococcus spp. from surface water sources.

    PubMed

    Molale, Lesego Gertrude; Bezuidenhout, Cornelius Carlos

    2016-01-01

    Virulence factors in Enterococcus may be indicative of potential pathogenicity. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between the presence of clinically relevant virulence genes, in Enterococcus spp. from environmental water, and their in vitro expression. One hundred and twenty-four Enterococcus isolates (seven species), from five surface water systems in the North West Province, South Africa, were screened for the presence of asa1, cylA, esp, gelE and hyl using polymerase chain reaction. The expression of cylA, hyl and gelE was determined by phenotypic assessments. Sixty-five percent of the isolates were positive for one virulence gene and 13% for two or more. Most frequently detected genes were gelE (32%) and cylA (28%). Enterococcal surface protein was absent in all isolates screened. The presence of virulence genes was correlated with their extracellular enzyme production. The results show that a large percentage of these environmental Enterococcus spp. possess virulence factors that could be expressed in vitro. This is a cause for concern and could have implications for individuals using this water for recreational and cultural purposes. Further investigation is required into the sources of these potential pathogenic Enterococcus isolates and measures to minimize their presence in water sources.

  5. New virulence determinants contribute to the enhanced immune response and reduced virulence of an influenza A virus A/PR8/34 variant.

    PubMed

    Liedmann, Swantje; Hrincius, Eike R; Anhlan, Darisuren; McCullers, Jonathan A; Ludwig, Stephan; Ehrhardt, Christina

    2014-02-15

    The identification of amino acid motifs responsible for increased virulence and/or transmission of influenza viruses is of enormous importance to predict pathogenicity of upcoming influenza strains. We phenotypically and genotypically compared 2 variants of influenza virus A/PR/8/34 with different passage histories. The analysis revealed differences in virulence due to an altered type I interferon (IFN) induction, as evidenced by experiments using IFNAR(-/-) mice. Interestingly, these differences were not due to altered functions of the well-known viral IFN antagonists NS1 or PB1-F2. Using reassortant viruses, we showed that differences in the polymerase proteins and nucleoprotein determined the altered virulence. In particular, changes in PB1 and PA contributed to an altered host type I IFN response, indicating IFN antagonistic properties of these proteins. Thus, PB1 and PA appear to harbor previously unknown virulence markers, which may prove helpful in assessing the risk potential of emerging influenza viruses.

  6. Generation of a molecular clone of an attenuated lentivirus, a first step in understanding cytopathogenicity and virulence.

    PubMed

    Blatti-Cardinaux, Laure; Pisoni, Giuliano; Stoffel, Michael H; Zanoni, Reto; Zahno, Marie-Luise; Bertoni, Giuseppe

    2016-01-01

    Small ruminant lentiviruses infect goats and sheep, inducing clinical disease in a minority of infected animals. Following an eradication campaign, clinical cases may disappear in a population. The complete elimination of these lentiviruses is however difficult to achieve and the spreading of less virulent strains often parallels the elimination of their virulent counterparts. Here, we characterized three such strains isolated from a flock in the post-eradication phase. We completely sequenced their genomes, showing that one of the isolates was most probably the product of a recombination event between the other two viruses. By comparing the sequences of these isolates with those of virulent strains, we found evidence that particular LTR mutations may explain their attenuated phenotype. Finally, we constructed an infectious molecular clone representative of these viruses, analyzing its replication characteristics in different target cells. This clone will permit us to explore the molecular correlates of cytopathogenicity and virulence.

  7. Molecular characterization of virulence genes of Streptococcus equi subsp. equi and Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus in equines

    PubMed Central

    Javed, R.; Taku, A. K.; Gangil, Rakhi; Sharma, R. K.

    2016-01-01

    Aim: The aim was to determine the occurrence of streptococci in equines in Jammu (R. S. Pura, Katra), characterization of Streptococci equi subsp. equi and Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus with respect to their virulence traits and to determine antibiotic sensitivity pattern of virulent Streptococcus isolates. Materials and Methods: A total of 96 samples were collected from both clinically affected animals (exhibiting signs of respiratory tract disease) and apparently healthy animals and were sent to laboratory. The organisms were isolated on Columbia nalidixic acid agar containing 5% sheep blood as well as on sheep blood agar and confirmed by cultural characteristics and biochemical tests. Molecular detection of Streptococcus was done directly from cultures using sodA and seM gene-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Antibiogram was performed against five antibiotics such as amoxicillin, penicillin G, streptomycin, rifampicin, and methicillin. Results: During this study, a total 40 streptococcal isolates were obtained out of which 2 isolates were of S. equi subsp. equi, 12 isolates were from S. equi subsp. zooepidemicus. In the PCR-based detection, we revealed amplicons of 235 bp and 679 bp for confirmation of sodA and seM gene, respectively. In antibiogram, two isolates of S. equi subsp. equi were found resistant to penicillin G, and all other isolates were found sensitive to amoxicillin and streptomycin. Conclusion: The majority of streptococcal infections was due to S. equi subsp. Zooepidemicus, and thus was recognized as a potential pathogen of diseases of equines besides S. equi subsp. equi.

  8. VIRULENCE RELATIONSHIPS OF AEROMONAS SPECIES AS DETERMINED BY EXPOSURES TO IMMUNOCOMPROMISED MICE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Our laboratory is currently determining the virulence of opportunistic pathogens reported in treated drinking water and drinking water sources. Aeromonas hydrophila is currently on the EPA's Contaminant Candidate List (CCL) and is an example of those types of bacteria that conta...

  9. Streptococcus agalactiae in Brazil: serotype distribution, virulence determinants and antimicrobial susceptibility

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Group B Streptococcus (GBS) remains a major cause of neonatal sepsis and is also associated with invasive and noninvasive infections in pregnant women and non-pregnant adults, elderly and patients with underlying medical conditions. Ten capsular serotypes have been recognized, and determination of their distribution within a specific population or geographical region is important as they are major targets for the development of vaccine strategies. We have evaluated the characteristics of GBS isolates recovered from individuals with infections or colonization by this microorganism, living in different geographic regions of Brazil. Methods A total of 434 isolates were identified and serotyped by conventional phenotypic tests. The determination of antimicrobial susceptibility was performed by the disk diffusion method. Genes associated with resistance to erythromycin (ermA, ermB, mefA) and tetracycline (tetK, tetL, tetM, tetO) as well as virulence-associated genes (bac, bca, lmb, scpB) were investigated using PCR. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) was used to examine the genetic diversity of macrolide-resistant and of a number of selected macrolide-susceptible isolates. Results Overall, serotypes Ia (27.6%), II (19.1%), Ib (18.7%) and V (13.6%) were the most predominant, followed by serotypes IV (8.1%) and III (6.7%). All the isolates were susceptible to the beta-lactam antimicrobials tested and 97% were resistant to tetracycline. Resistance to erythromycin and clindamycin were found in 4.1% and 3% of the isolates, respectively. Among the resistance genes investigated, tetM (99.3%) and tetO (1.8%) were detected among tetracycline-resistant isolates and ermA (39%) and ermB (27.6%) were found among macrolide-resistant isolates. The lmb and scpB virulence genes were detected in all isolates, while bac and bca were detected in 57 (13.1%) and 237 (54.6%) isolates, respectively. Molecular typing by PFGE showed that resistance to erythromycin was associated

  10. Molecular Typing and Virulence Characteristic of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Isolates from Pediatric Patients in Bucaramanga, Colombia

    PubMed Central

    Machuca, Mayra Alejandra; Sosa, Luis Miguel; González, Clara Isabel

    2013-01-01

    Background Staphylococcus aureus is among the most common global nosocomial pathogens. The emergence and spread of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a public health problem worldwide that causes nosocomial and community infections. The goals of this study were to establish the clonal complexes (CC) of the isolates of MRSA obtained from pediatric patients in a university hospital in Colombia and to investigate its molecular characteristics based on the virulence genes and the genes of staphylococcal toxins and adhesins. Methods A total of 53 MRSA isolates from pediatric patients with local or systemic infections were collected. The MRSA isolates were typed based on the SCCmec, MLST, spa and agr genes. The molecular characterization included the detection of Panton-Valentine Leukocidin, superantigenic and exfoliative toxins, and adhesin genes. The correlation between the molecular types identified and the profile of virulence factors was determined for all isolates. Results Four CC were identified, including CC8, CC5, CC80 and CC78. The ST8-MRSA-IVc-agrI was the predominant clone among the isolates, followed by the ST5-MRSA-I-agrII and ST5-MRSA-IVc-agrII clones. Twelve spa types were identified, of which t10796 and t10799 were new repeat sequences. The isolates were carriers of toxin genes, and hlg (100%), sek (92%) and pvl (88%) were the most frequent. Ten toxin gene profiles were observed, and the most frequent were seq-sek-hlg (22.6%), sek-hlg (22.6%), seb-seq-sek-hlg (18.9%) and seb-sek-hlg (15.1%). The adhesion genes were present in most of the MRSA isolates, including the following: clf-A (89%), clf-B (87%), fnb-A (83%) and ica (83%). The majority of the strains carried SCCmec-IVc and were identified as causing nosocomial infection. No significant association between a molecular type and the virulence factors was found. Conclusion Four major MRSA clone complexes were identified among the isolates. ST8-MRSA-IVc-agrI pvl+ (USA300-LV) was the

  11. Low-shear modelled microgravity alters expression of virulence determinants of Staphylococcus aureus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosado, Helena; Doyle, Marie; Hinds, Jason; Taylor, Peter W.

    2010-02-01

    Microbiological monitoring of air and surfaces within the ISS indicate that bacteria of the genus Staphylococcus are found with high frequency. Staphylococcus aureus, an opportunistic pathogen with the capacity to cause severe debilitating infection, constitutes a significant proportion of these isolates. Experiments conducted during short-term flight suggest that growth in microgravity leads to increases in bacterial antibiotic resistance and to cell wall changes. Growth under low-shear modelled microgravity (LSMMG) indicated that a reduced gravitational field acts as an environmental signal for expression of enhanced bacterial virulence in gram-negative pathogens. We therefore examined the effect of simulated microgravity on parameters of antibiotic susceptibility and virulence in methicillin-susceptible S. aureus isolates RF1, RF6 and RF11; these strains were grown in a high aspect ratio vessel under LSMMG and compared with cells grown under normal gravity (NG). There were no significant differences in antibiotic susceptibility of staphylococci grown under LSMMG compared to NG. LSMMG-induced reductions in synthesis of the pigment staphyloxanthin and the major virulence determinant α-toxin were noted. Significant changes in global gene expression were identified by DNA microarray analysis; with isolate RF6, the expression of hla and genes of the regulatory system saeR/saeS were reduced approximately two-fold. These data provide strong evidence that growth of S. aureus under modelled microgravity leads to a reduction in expression of virulence determinants.

  12. Differential Expression and Roles of Staphylococcus aureus Virulence Determinants during Colonization and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Jenkins, Amy; Diep, Binh An; Mai, Thuy T.; Vo, Nhung H.; Warrener, Paul; Suzich, Joann; Stover, C. Kendall

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Staphylococcus aureus is a Gram-positive, commensal bacterium known to asymptomatically colonize the human skin, nares, and gastrointestinal tract. Colonized individuals are at increased risk for developing S. aureus infections, which range from mild skin and soft tissue infections to more severe diseases, such as endocarditis, bacteremia, sepsis, and osteomyelitis. Different virulence factors are required for S. aureus to infect different body sites. In this study, virulence gene expression was analyzed in two S. aureus isolates during nasal colonization, bacteremia and in the heart during sepsis. These models were chosen to represent the stepwise progression of S. aureus from an asymptomatic colonizer to an invasive pathogen. Expression of 23 putative S. aureus virulence determinants, representing protein and carbohydrate adhesins, secreted toxins, and proteins involved in metal cation acquisition and immune evasion were analyzed. Consistent upregulation of sdrC, fnbA, fhuD, sstD, and hla was observed in the shift between colonization and invasive pathogen, suggesting a prominent role for these genes in staphylococcal pathogenesis. Finally, gene expression data were correlated to the roles of the genes in pathogenesis by using knockout mutants in the animal models. These results provide insights into how S. aureus modifies virulence gene expression between commensal and invasive pathogens. PMID:25691592

  13. Insights into Entamoeba histolytica virulence modulation.

    PubMed

    Padilla-Vaca, F; Anaya-Velázquez, F

    2010-08-01

    Entamoeba histolytica is able to invade human tissues by means of several molecules and biological properties related to the virulence. Pathogenic amebas use three major virulence factors, Gal/GalNAc lectin, amebapore and proteases, for lyse, phagocytose, kill and destroy a variety of cells and tissues in the host. Responses of the parasite to host components such as mucins and bacterial flora influence the behavior of pathogenic amebas altering their expression of virulence factors. The relative virulence of different strains of E. histolytica has been shown to vary as a consequence of changes in conditions of in vitro cultivation which implies substantial changes in basic metabolic aspects and factors directly and indirectly related to amebic virulence. Comparison of E. histolytica strains with different virulence phenotypes and under different conditions of growth will help to identify new virulence factor candidates and define the interplay between virulence factors and invasive phenotype. Virulence attenuate mutants of E. histolytica are useful also to uncover novel virulence determinants. The comparison of biological properties and virulence factors between E. histolytica and E. dispar, a non-pathogenic species, has been a useful approach to investigate the key factors involved in the experimental presentation of amebiasis and its complex regulation. The molecular mechanisms that regulate these variations in virulence are not yet known. Their elucidation will help us to better understand the gene expression plasticity that enables the effective adaptation of the ameba to changes in growth culture conditions and host factors.

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

    PubMed Central

    Schild, Hedwig-Annabell; Fuchs, Sebastian W.

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Temperature control of molecular circuit switch responsible for virulent phenotype expression in uropathogenic Escherichia coli

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samoilov, Michael

    2010-03-01

    The behavior and fate of biological organisms are to a large extent dictated by their environment, which can be often viewed as a collection of features and constraints governed by physics laws. Since biological systems comprise networks of molecular interactions, one such key physical property is temperature, whose variations directly affect the rates of biochemical reactions involved. For instance, temperature is known to control many gene regulatory circuits responsible for pathogenicity in bacteria. One such example is type 1 fimbriae (T1F) -- the foremost virulence factor in uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC), which accounts for 80-90% of all community-acquired urinary tract infections (UTIs). The expression of T1F is randomly `phase variable', i.e. individual cells switch between virulent/fimbriate and avirulent/afimbriate phenotypes, with rates regulated by temperature. Our computational investigation of this process, which is based on FimB/FimE recombinase-mediated inversion of fimS DNA element, offers new insights into its discrete-stochastic kinetics. In particular, it elucidates the logic of T1F control optimization to the host temperature and contributes further understanding toward the development of novel therapeutic approaches to UPEC-caused UTIs.

  16. Associations between the presence of virulence determinants and the epidemiology and ecology of zoonotic Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    O'Reilly, K M; Low, J C; Denwood, M J; Gally, D L; Evans, J; Gunn, G J; Mellor, D J; Reid, S W J; Matthews, L

    2010-12-01

    The severity of human infection with pathogenic Escherichia coli depends on two major virulence determinants (eae and stx) that, respectively, produce intimin and Shiga toxin. In cattle, both may enhance colonization, but whether this increases fitness by enhancing cattle-to-cattle transmission in the field is unknown. In E. coli O157, the almost uniform presence of the virulence determinants in cattle isolates prevents comparative analysis. The availability to this study of extensive non-O157 E. coli data, with much greater diversity in carriage of virulence determinants, provides the opportunity to gain insight into their potential impact on transmission. Dynamic models were used to simulate expected prevalence distributions for serogroups O26 and O103. Transmission parameters were estimated by fitting model outputs to prevalence data from Scottish cattle using a Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) approach. Despite similar prevalence distributions for O26 and O103, their transmission dynamics were distinct. Serogroup O26 strains appear well adapted to the cattle host. The dynamics are characterized by a basic reproduction ratio (R(0)) of >1 (allowing sustained cattle-to-cattle transmission), a relatively low transmission rate from environmental reservoirs, and substantial association with eae on transmission. The presence of stx(2) was associated with reduced transmission. In contrast, serogroup O103 appears better adapted to the noncattle environment, characterized by an R(0) value of <1 for plausible test sensitivities, a significantly higher transmission rate from noncattle sources than serogroup O26, and an absence of fitness benefits associated with the carriage of eae. Thus, the association of eae with enhanced transmission depends on the E. coli serogroup. Our results suggest that the capacity of E. coli strains to derive fitness benefits from virulence determinants influences the prevalence in the cattle population and the ecology and epidemiology

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

  18. Comparative virulence and molecular diversity of stripe rust (Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici) collections from Pakistan and United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Information on virulence and molecular diversity of Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst) is a pre-requisite for mitigating the substantial yield losses caused by the stripe rust pathogen in Pakistan, the United States and other countries of the world. This study was undertaken to analyze both v...

  19. Quantitative Trait Locus Based Virulence Determinant Mapping of the HSV-1 Genome in Murine Ocular Infection: Genes Involved in Viral Regulatory and Innate Immune Networks Contribute to Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Larsen, Inna; Craven, Mark; Brandt, Curtis R.

    2016-01-01

    Herpes simplex virus type 1 causes mucocutaneous lesions, and is the leading cause of infectious blindness in the United States. Animal studies have shown that the severity of HSV-1 ocular disease is influenced by three main factors; innate immunity, host immune response and viral strain. We previously showed that mixed infection with two avirulent HSV-1 strains (OD4 and CJ994) resulted in recombinants that exhibit a range of disease phenotypes from severe to avirulent, suggesting epistatic interactions were involved. The goal of this study was to develop a quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis of HSV-1 ocular virulence determinants and to identify virulence associated SNPs. Blepharitis and stromal keratitis quantitative scores were characterized for 40 OD4:CJ994 recombinants. Viral titers in the eye were also measured. Virulence quantitative trait locus mapping (vQTLmap) was performed using the Lasso, Random Forest, and Ridge regression methods to identify significant phenotypically meaningful regions for each ocular disease parameter. The most predictive Ridge regression model identified several phenotypically meaningful SNPs for blepharitis and stromal keratitis. Notably, phenotypically meaningful nonsynonymous variations were detected in the UL24, UL29 (ICP8), UL41 (VHS), UL53 (gK), UL54 (ICP27), UL56, ICP4, US1 (ICP22), US3 and gG genes. Network analysis revealed that many of these variations were in HSV-1 regulatory networks and viral genes that affect innate immunity. Several genes previously implicated in virulence were identified, validating this approach, while other genes were novel. Several novel polymorphisms were also identified in these genes. This approach provides a framework that will be useful for identifying virulence genes in other pathogenic viruses, as well as epistatic effects that affect HSV-1 ocular virulence. PMID:26962864

  20. Quantitative Trait Locus Based Virulence Determinant Mapping of the HSV-1 Genome in Murine Ocular Infection: Genes Involved in Viral Regulatory and Innate Immune Networks Contribute to Virulence.

    PubMed

    Kolb, Aaron W; Lee, Kyubin; Larsen, Inna; Craven, Mark; Brandt, Curtis R

    2016-03-01

    Herpes simplex virus type 1 causes mucocutaneous lesions, and is the leading cause of infectious blindness in the United States. Animal studies have shown that the severity of HSV-1 ocular disease is influenced by three main factors; innate immunity, host immune response and viral strain. We previously showed that mixed infection with two avirulent HSV-1 strains (OD4 and CJ994) resulted in recombinants that exhibit a range of disease phenotypes from severe to avirulent, suggesting epistatic interactions were involved. The goal of this study was to develop a quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis of HSV-1 ocular virulence determinants and to identify virulence associated SNPs. Blepharitis and stromal keratitis quantitative scores were characterized for 40 OD4:CJ994 recombinants. Viral titers in the eye were also measured. Virulence quantitative trait locus mapping (vQTLmap) was performed using the Lasso, Random Forest, and Ridge regression methods to identify significant phenotypically meaningful regions for each ocular disease parameter. The most predictive Ridge regression model identified several phenotypically meaningful SNPs for blepharitis and stromal keratitis. Notably, phenotypically meaningful nonsynonymous variations were detected in the UL24, UL29 (ICP8), UL41 (VHS), UL53 (gK), UL54 (ICP27), UL56, ICP4, US1 (ICP22), US3 and gG genes. Network analysis revealed that many of these variations were in HSV-1 regulatory networks and viral genes that affect innate immunity. Several genes previously implicated in virulence were identified, validating this approach, while other genes were novel. Several novel polymorphisms were also identified in these genes. This approach provides a framework that will be useful for identifying virulence genes in other pathogenic viruses, as well as epistatic effects that affect HSV-1 ocular virulence. PMID:26962864

  1. The lux autoinducer regulates the production of exoenzyme virulence determinants in Erwinia carotovora and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Jones, S; Yu, B; Bainton, N J; Birdsall, M; Bycroft, B W; Chhabra, S R; Cox, A J; Golby, P; Reeves, P J; Stephens, S

    1993-06-01

    Erwinia carotovora and Pseudomonas aeruginosa secrete exoenzymes that contribute to the pathogenesis of plant and mammalian infections respectively. E.carotovora mutants defective in synthesis of the pectinase, cellulase and protease exoenzymes were isolated and classified into two groups. Group 2 mutants were found to be defective in the production of a small freely diffusible molecule, N-3-(oxohexanoyl)-L-homoserine, lactone (HSL), and were avirulent. Addition of exogenous HSL to these group 2 mutants restores synthesis of the exoenzymes and virulence in planta. Of the exoenzymes of P.aeruginosa the metalloprotease, elastase, is an established virulence determinant. Mutants of P.aeruginosa that are defective in elastase production have been isolated and were again found to fall into two groups. Analogous to the group 2 mutants of E.carotovora, group 2 mutants of P. aeruginosa are defective in the synthesis of HSL and exogenous HSL restores elastase production. HSL has now been linked to the control of bioluminescence in Vibrio fischeri, carbapenem antibiotic production of E.carotovora and the above exoenzyme virulence determinants. This information significantly enhances our understanding of the extent and nature of pheromone mediated gene expression control in prokaryotes.

  2. The lux autoinducer regulates the production of exoenzyme virulence determinants in Erwinia carotovora and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed Central

    Jones, S; Yu, B; Bainton, N J; Birdsall, M; Bycroft, B W; Chhabra, S R; Cox, A J; Golby, P; Reeves, P J; Stephens, S

    1993-01-01

    Erwinia carotovora and Pseudomonas aeruginosa secrete exoenzymes that contribute to the pathogenesis of plant and mammalian infections respectively. E.carotovora mutants defective in synthesis of the pectinase, cellulase and protease exoenzymes were isolated and classified into two groups. Group 2 mutants were found to be defective in the production of a small freely diffusible molecule, N-3-(oxohexanoyl)-L-homoserine, lactone (HSL), and were avirulent. Addition of exogenous HSL to these group 2 mutants restores synthesis of the exoenzymes and virulence in planta. Of the exoenzymes of P.aeruginosa the metalloprotease, elastase, is an established virulence determinant. Mutants of P.aeruginosa that are defective in elastase production have been isolated and were again found to fall into two groups. Analogous to the group 2 mutants of E.carotovora, group 2 mutants of P. aeruginosa are defective in the synthesis of HSL and exogenous HSL restores elastase production. HSL has now been linked to the control of bioluminescence in Vibrio fischeri, carbapenem antibiotic production of E.carotovora and the above exoenzyme virulence determinants. This information significantly enhances our understanding of the extent and nature of pheromone mediated gene expression control in prokaryotes. Images PMID:8508773

  3. Characterization of virulence-associated determinants in the envelope glycoprotein of Pichinde virus.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Naveen; Wang, Jialong; Lan, Shuiyun; Danzy, Shamika; McLay Schelde, Lisa; Seladi-Schulman, Jill; Ly, Hinh; Liang, Yuying

    2012-11-10

    We use a small animal model, based on guinea pigs infected with a non-pathogenic Pichinde virus (PICV), to understand the virulence mechanisms of arenavirus infections in the hosts. PICV P2 strain causes a mild febrile reaction in guinea pigs, while P18 causes severe disease with clinical and pathological features reminiscent of Lassa hemorrhagic fever in humans. The envelope glycoproteins (GPC) of P2 and P18 viruses differ at positions 119, 140, and 164, all localized to the receptor-binding G1 subunit. We found that lentiviral pseudotyped virions (VLPs) bearing P18 GPC show more efficient cell entry than those with P2 GPC, and that the E140 residue plays a critical role in this process. Infection of guinea pigs with the recombinant viruses containing the E140K change demonstrated that E140 of GPC is a necessary virulence determinant of P18 infections, possibly by enhancing the ability of virus to enter target cells.

  4. Molecular characterization of virulence genes of Streptococcus equi subsp. equi and Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus in equines

    PubMed Central

    Javed, R.; Taku, A. K.; Gangil, Rakhi; Sharma, R. K.

    2016-01-01

    Aim: The aim was to determine the occurrence of streptococci in equines in Jammu (R. S. Pura, Katra), characterization of Streptococci equi subsp. equi and Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus with respect to their virulence traits and to determine antibiotic sensitivity pattern of virulent Streptococcus isolates. Materials and Methods: A total of 96 samples were collected from both clinically affected animals (exhibiting signs of respiratory tract disease) and apparently healthy animals and were sent to laboratory. The organisms were isolated on Columbia nalidixic acid agar containing 5% sheep blood as well as on sheep blood agar and confirmed by cultural characteristics and biochemical tests. Molecular detection of Streptococcus was done directly from cultures using sodA and seM gene-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Antibiogram was performed against five antibiotics such as amoxicillin, penicillin G, streptomycin, rifampicin, and methicillin. Results: During this study, a total 40 streptococcal isolates were obtained out of which 2 isolates were of S. equi subsp. equi, 12 isolates were from S. equi subsp. zooepidemicus. In the PCR-based detection, we revealed amplicons of 235 bp and 679 bp for confirmation of sodA and seM gene, respectively. In antibiogram, two isolates of S. equi subsp. equi were found resistant to penicillin G, and all other isolates were found sensitive to amoxicillin and streptomycin. Conclusion: The majority of streptococcal infections was due to S. equi subsp. Zooepidemicus, and thus was recognized as a potential pathogen of diseases of equines besides S. equi subsp. equi. PMID:27651677

  5. Virulence and resistance determinants of German Staphylococcus aureus ST398 isolates from nonhuman sources.

    PubMed

    Argudín, M A; Tenhagen, B-A; Fetsch, A; Sachsenröder, J; Käsbohrer, A; Schroeter, A; Hammerl, J A; Hertwig, S; Helmuth, R; Bräunig, J; Mendoza, M C; Appel, B; Rodicio, M R; Guerra, B

    2011-05-01

    A series of 100 Staphylococcus aureus isolates ascribed to sequence type 398 (ST398) and recovered from different sources (healthy carrier and diseased pigs, dust from pig farms, milk, and meat) in Germany were investigated for their virulence and antimicrobial resistance genetic background. Antimicrobial resistance was determined by the disk diffusion method. Virulence and resistance determinants (37 and 31 genes, respectively) were tested by PCR. Only two virulence profiles, including the accessory gene regulator agrI and three or four hemolysin-encoding genes, were detected. In contrast, 33 resistance profiles were distinguished (only 11 were shown by more than one isolate). Fifty-nine isolates were multiresistant (four or more antimicrobial classes), and 98 were methicillin resistant (mecA positive). All of the ST398 isolates showed resistance to tetracycline [encoded by tet(M) alone or together with tet(K) and/or tet(L)]. In addition, 98% were resistant to other antimicrobials, including macrolide-lincosamine-streptogramin B (70%, encoded by ermA, ermB, and ermC, alone or in combination), trimethoprim (65%, mostly due to dfrK and dfrG), kanamycin and gentamicin [29% and 14%, respectively, mainly related to aac(6')-Ie-aph(2″)-Ia and/or ant(4')-Ia but also to aph(3')-IIIa], chloramphenicol (9%, fexA or cfr), quinupristin-dalfopristin (9%), ciprofloxacin (8%), and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (4%). The heterogeneity of the resistance profiles underlines the ability of the ST398 clone to acquire multiple antimicrobial resistance genes. However, the virulence gene content of the tested isolates was low. Continuous surveillance is needed to clarify whether its pathogenicity potential for animals and humans will increase over time.

  6. Antimicrobial Resistance, Virulence Profile, and Molecular Characterization of Listeria monocytogenes Isolated from Ready-to-eat Food in China, 2013-2014.

    PubMed

    Yan, Shao Fei; Wang, Wei; Bai, Li; Hu, Yu Jie; Dong, Yin Ping; Xu, Jin; Li, Feng Qin

    2016-06-01

    We aimed to investigate the potential pathogenic profile and antibiotic resistance of Listeria monocytogenes isolated from ready-to-eat food in China. Antimicrobial resistance was determined by broth microdilution following the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute protocol. Molecular serotyping, virulence, and resistance genes were identified using PCR. Multi-locus sequence typing was performed on resistant strains. A total of 11.53% (113/980) isolates were resistant, from which 82.3% (93/113) harbored all the virulence genes tested. The resistant strains were subtyped into 18 sequence types (STs), from which ST2, ST5, ST8, and ST9 were involved in listeriosis. This study indicated that several L. monocytogenes isolates from ready-to-eat foods in China have pathogenic potential and are resistant to antibiotics, including antibiotics used as medicines by humans for listeriosis treatment. PMID:27470106

  7. Virulence and plasmidic resistance determinants of Escherichia coli isolated from municipal and hospital wastewater treatment plants.

    PubMed

    Calhau, Vera; Mendes, Catarina; Pena, Angelina; Mendonça, Nuno; Da Silva, Gabriela Jorge

    2015-06-01

    Escherichia coli is simultaneously an indicator of water contamination and a human pathogen. This study aimed to characterize the virulence and resistance of E. coli from municipal and hospital wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in central Portugal. From a total of 193 isolates showing reduced susceptibility to cefotaxime and/or nalidixic acid, 20 E. coli with genetically distinct fingerprint profiles were selected and characterized. Resistance to antimicrobials was determined using the disc diffusion method. Extended spectrum β-lactamase and plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance genes, phylogroups, pathogenicity islands (PAIs) and virulence genes were screened by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). CTX-M producers were typed by multilocus sequence typing. Resistance to beta-lactams was associated with the presence of bla(TEM), bla(SHV), bla(CTX-M-15) and bla(CTX-M-32). Plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance was associated with qnrA, qnrS and aac(6')-Ib-cr. Aminoglycoside resistance and multidrug-resistant phenotypes were also detected. PAI IV(536), PAI II(CFT073), PAI II(536) and PAI I(CFT073), and uropathogenic genes iutA, papAH and sfa/foc were detected. With regard to the clinical ST131 clone, it carried bla(CTX-M-15), blaTEM-type, qnrS and aac(6')-lb-cr; IncF and IncP plasmids, and virulence factors PAI IV(536), PAI I(CFT073), PAI II(CFT073), iutA, sfa/foc and papAH were identified in the effluent of a hospital plant. WWTPs contribute to the dissemination of virulent and resistant bacteria in water ecosystems, constituting an environmental and public health risk.

  8. Virulence, serotype, and molecular characteristics of environmental strains of Cryptococcus neoformans var. gattii.

    PubMed Central

    Kwon-Chung, K J; Wickes, B L; Stockman, L; Roberts, G D; Ellis, D; Howard, D H

    1992-01-01

    Four strains of Cryptococcus neoformans var. gattii originating from Eucalyptus camaldulensis, three from Australia and one from San Francisco, were tested for their serotype, virulence for mice, and a number of genetic and molecular characteristics. All were found to be serotype B and showed significantly higher virulence for mice than did the type strains of C. neoformans var. gattii and Filobasidiella neoformans var. bacillispora, which were obtained from human cryptococcosis cases. Electrophoretic karyotypes of the strains from Australia were identical, although they were collected from sites at least 15 to 500 km apart. The electrophoretic karyotype of the strain from San Francisco was the same as that of the Australian isolates except for the mobility of one chromosome. On the contrary, no two isolates of serotype B (of a total of 11) from clinical sources were the same, regardless of their geographic origin. Furthermore, none of the clinical isolates showed a chromosomal banding pattern identical to that of Eucalyptus-originated strains. The Eucalyptus-originated strains failed to form dikaryons when crossed with the tester strains of the two varieties of F. neoformans. Hybridization analysis with a nucleic acid probe (AccuProbe C. neoformans Culture Confirmation Test; Gen-Probe Inc., San Diego, Calif.), however, showed signals of equal intensity for clinical strains and the Eucalyptus-originated strains. Various fungi phylogenetically related to C. neoformans, including a phenol oxidase-positive strain of Cryptococcus laurentii obtained from E. camaldulensis, were negative in the nucleic acid hybridization test. These observations confirm that, in spite of karyotypic differences and the lack of dikaryon formation with the tester strains of F. neoformans, Eucalyptus-originated C. neoformans var. gattii is the same organism as those isolated from cases of human infection. Furthermore, the C. neoformans culture confirmation test using a commercial nucleic acid

  9. Antimicrobial susceptibility, virulence gene profiles and molecular subtypes of Salmonella Newport isolated from humans and other sources.

    PubMed

    Kuang, Dai; Xu, Xuebin; Meng, Jianghong; Yang, Xiaowei; Jin, Huiming; Shi, Weimin; Pan, Haijian; Liao, Ming; Su, Xudong; Shi, Xianmin; Zhang, Jianmin

    2015-12-01

    Salmonella Newport (S. Newport) is a major serotype associated with human salmonellosis. A total of 79 S. Newport recovered from humans and other sources in China were characterized for antimicrobial susceptibility, virulence gene profiles and molecular subtypes using pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Approximately 63.3% of the isolates were susceptible to all of 16 antimicrobials tested. Nearly one third of the isolates (31.6%) were resistant to sulfisoxazole, 20.3% to tetracycline and 13.9% to nalidixic acid. Twelve isolates (15.2%) were resistant to three or more antimicrobials. Among 10 virulence genes detected, Salmonella pathogenicity island genes avrA, ssaQ, mgtC, siiD, and sopB and fimbrial gene bcfC were present in most of the isolates (93.7% to 100%). Overall, we observed nine distinct virulence gene profiles, three of which (VP1, VP2 and VP3) were most common (86.1%). A total of 56 PFGE patterns were identified and mainly grouped into seven clusters (A to G) with 80% pattern similarity. Isolates from aquatic product shared a high similarity with those from humans in several clusters, highlighting a potential risk of aquatic product as a source of S. Newport that infect humans. Furthermore, there was a strong association between certain PFGE clusters and virulence gene profiles, suggesting virulence subtyping can be a useful epidemiological tool to discriminate S. Newport isolates.

  10. Intracellular membrane association of the N-terminal domain of classical swine fever virus NS4B determines viral genome replication and virulence.

    PubMed

    Tamura, Tomokazu; Ruggli, Nicolas; Nagashima, Naofumi; Okamatsu, Masatoshi; Igarashi, Manabu; Mine, Junki; Hofmann, Martin A; Liniger, Matthias; Summerfield, Artur; Kida, Hiroshi; Sakoda, Yoshihiro

    2015-09-01

    Classical swine fever virus (CSFV) causes a highly contagious disease in pigs that can range from a severe haemorrhagic fever to a nearly unapparent disease, depending on the virulence of the virus strain. Little is known about the viral molecular determinants of CSFV virulence. The nonstructural protein NS4B is essential for viral replication. However, the roles of CSFV NS4B in viral genome replication and pathogenesis have not yet been elucidated. NS4B of the GPE-  vaccine strain and of the highly virulent Eystrup strain differ by a total of seven amino acid residues, two of which are located in the predicted trans-membrane domains of NS4B and were described previously to relate to virulence, and five residues clustering in the N-terminal part. In the present study, we examined the potential role of these five amino acids in modulating genome replication and determining pathogenicity in pigs. A chimeric low virulent GPE- -derived virus carrying the complete Eystrup NS4B showed enhanced pathogenicity in pigs. The in vitro replication efficiency of the NS4B chimeric GPE-  replicon was significantly higher than that of the replicon carrying only the two Eystrup-specific amino acids in NS4B. In silico and in vitro data suggest that the N-terminal part of NS4B forms an amphipathic α-helix structure. The N-terminal NS4B with these five amino acid residues is associated with the intracellular membranes. Taken together, this is the first gain-of-function study showing that the N-terminal domain of NS4B can determine CSFV genome replication in cell culture and viral pathogenicity in pigs. PMID:26018962

  11. Tyrosine phosphate hydrolysis of host proteins by an essential Yersinia virulence determinant

    SciTech Connect

    Bliska, J.B.; Falkow, S. ); Guan, Kunliang; Dixon, J.E. )

    1991-02-15

    The plasmid-encoded YopH protein is a protein-tyrosine phosphatase that is essential for Yersinia virulence. The authors have investigated the molecular basis for the role of PTPase activity in Yersinia pathogenesis. Allelic recombination was employed to introduce a defined mutation in to the yopH plasmid gene. Conversion of the essential Cys-403 to Ala in the catalytic domain of the protein abolished YopH PTPase activity and significantly reduced the virulence of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis in a murine infection model. {sup 32}P-labeled phosphotyrosine-containing proteins were immunoprecipitated from extracts of Y. pseudotuberculosis-infected cell monolayers and analyzed by SDS/PAGE to assess the impact of YopH on host protein phosphorylation. Major proteins of 200, 120, and 60 kDa were dephosphorylated in macrophages associated with wild-type Y.pseydotuberculosis. Selective removal of phosphate from the 120- and 60-kDa proteins was shown to be specific to the YopH PTPase activity. These observations indicate that the essential function of YopH in Yersinia pathogenesis is host-protein dephosphorylation.

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

    PubMed

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

    1989-02-01

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

  13. Antimicrobial resistance, virulence determinants and genetic profiles of clinical and nonclinical Enterococcus cecorum from poultry.

    PubMed

    Jackson, C R; Kariyawasam, S; Borst, L B; Frye, J G; Barrett, J B; Hiott, L M; Woodley, T A

    2015-02-01

    Enterococcus cecorum has been implicated as a possible cause of disease in poultry. However, the characteristics that contribute to pathogenesis of Ent. cecorum in poultry have not been defined. In this study, Ent. cecorum from carcass rinsates (n = 75) and diseased broilers and broiler breeders (n = 30) were compared based upon antimicrobial resistance phenotype, the presence of virulence determinants and genetic relatedness using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Of the 16 antimicrobials tested, Ent. cecorum from carcass rinsates and clinical cases were resistant to ten and six of the antimicrobials, respectively. The majority of Ent. cecorum from carcass rinsates was resistant to lincomycin (54/75; 72%) and tetracycline (46/75; 61.3%) while the highest level of resistance among clinical Ent. cecorum was to tetracycline (22/30; 73.3%) and erythromycin (11/30; 36.7%). Multidrug resistance (resistance to ≥2 antimicrobials) was identified in Ent. cecorum from carcass rinsates (53/75; 70.7%) and diseased poultry (18/30; 60%). Of the virulence determinants tested, efaAfm was present in almost all of the isolates (104/105; 99%). Using PFGE, the majority of clinical isolates clustered together; however, a few clinical isolates grouped with Ent. cecorum from carcass rinsates. These data suggest that distinguishing the two groups of isolates is difficult based upon the characterization criteria used.

  14. A study on association of virulence determinants of verotoxic Escherichia coli isolated from cattle calves

    PubMed Central

    Parul, Singh; Bist, Basanti; Sharma, Barkha; Jain, Udit; Yadav, Janardan K.

    2016-01-01

    Aim: The present study was conducted to find the association among virulence determinants of verotoxic Escherichia coli (VTEC) isolated from cattle calf feces. Materials and Methods: A total of 216 cattle calf fecal samples were collected aseptically and processed under required conditions for the isolation of E. coli. The isolates were further subjected to multiplex polymerase chain reaction (mPCR) for the detection of virulent genes. All the VTEC isolates were serotyped at the Central Research Institute, Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh. The VTEC isolates were observed for the enterohemolysin production on washed sheep blood agar (wSBA). Results: A total of 177 presumptive E. coli were isolated from 216 calf fecal samples revealing an overall prevalence of E. coli to be 81.94%. A total of 32 (14.81%) isolates were detected as VTEC through mPCR. The prevalence of verotoxin genes vt1, vt2, and combination of vt1+vt2 in the VTEC isolates was found to be 12 (37.5%), 14 (43.75%), and 6 (18.75%), respectively. Other virulent genes eaeA and hlyA were found in 6 and 11 VTEC strains with prevalence values of 18.75% and 34.37%, respectively. A total of 13 different O serogroups were revealed in serotyping of 32 VTEC isolates. Out of 32 VTEC strains, only 26 (81.25%) were enterohemolytic on wSBA as they produced the characteristic small, turbid zone of hemolysis around the streaking line. Although enterohemolysin production has been attributed to the presence of hlyA gene, only 11 of 26 enterohemolysin producing VTEC were found to be harboring the hlyA gene (11/26) 42.03%. Conclusion: The present study concludes that there might be an association between the presence of verotoxin genes and enterohemolysin production in VTEC group of E. coli.

  15. A study on association of virulence determinants of verotoxic Escherichia coli isolated from cattle calves

    PubMed Central

    Parul, Singh; Bist, Basanti; Sharma, Barkha; Jain, Udit; Yadav, Janardan K.

    2016-01-01

    Aim: The present study was conducted to find the association among virulence determinants of verotoxic Escherichia coli (VTEC) isolated from cattle calf feces. Materials and Methods: A total of 216 cattle calf fecal samples were collected aseptically and processed under required conditions for the isolation of E. coli. The isolates were further subjected to multiplex polymerase chain reaction (mPCR) for the detection of virulent genes. All the VTEC isolates were serotyped at the Central Research Institute, Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh. The VTEC isolates were observed for the enterohemolysin production on washed sheep blood agar (wSBA). Results: A total of 177 presumptive E. coli were isolated from 216 calf fecal samples revealing an overall prevalence of E. coli to be 81.94%. A total of 32 (14.81%) isolates were detected as VTEC through mPCR. The prevalence of verotoxin genes vt1, vt2, and combination of vt1+vt2 in the VTEC isolates was found to be 12 (37.5%), 14 (43.75%), and 6 (18.75%), respectively. Other virulent genes eaeA and hlyA were found in 6 and 11 VTEC strains with prevalence values of 18.75% and 34.37%, respectively. A total of 13 different O serogroups were revealed in serotyping of 32 VTEC isolates. Out of 32 VTEC strains, only 26 (81.25%) were enterohemolytic on wSBA as they produced the characteristic small, turbid zone of hemolysis around the streaking line. Although enterohemolysin production has been attributed to the presence of hlyA gene, only 11 of 26 enterohemolysin producing VTEC were found to be harboring the hlyA gene (11/26) 42.03%. Conclusion: The present study concludes that there might be an association between the presence of verotoxin genes and enterohemolysin production in VTEC group of E. coli. PMID:27651684

  16. Antibiotic Resistance, Virulence Gene, and Molecular Profiles of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli Isolates from Diverse Sources in Calcutta, India

    PubMed Central

    Khan, Asis; Das, S. C.; Ramamurthy, T.; Sikdar, A.; Khanam, J.; Yamasaki, S.; Takeda, Y.; Nair, G. Balakrish

    2002-01-01

    Antibiotic resistance, virulence gene, and molecular profiles of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) non-O157 strains isolated from human stool samples, cow stool samples, and beef samples over a period of 2 years in Calcutta, India, were determined. Resistance to one or more antibiotics was observed in 49.2% of the STEC strains, with some of the strains exhibiting multidrug resistance. The dominant combinations of virulence genes present in the strains studied were stx1 and stx2 (44.5% of strains) and stx1, stx2, and hlyA (enterohemorrhagic E. coli hemolysin gene) (19% of strains). Only 6.4% of the STEC strains harbored eae. The diversity of STEC strains from various sources was assessed by random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD). STEC strains that gave identical or nearly similar DNA fingerprints in RAPD-PCR and had similar virulence genotypes were further characterized by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Identical RAPD and PFGE profiles were observed in four sets of strains, with each set comprising two strains. There was no match in the RAPD and PFGE profiles between strains of STEC isolated from cows and those isolated from humans. It appears that the clones present in bovine sources are not transmitted to humans in the Calcutta setting although these strains showed evolutionary relatedness. Maybe for this reason, STEC has still not become a major problem in India. PMID:12037056

  17. NMR Structure of Francisella tularensis Virulence Determinant Reveals Structural Homology to Bet v1 Allergen Proteins.

    PubMed

    Zook, James; Mo, Gina; Sisco, Nicholas J; Craciunescu, Felicia M; Hansen, Debra T; Baravati, Bobby; Cherry, Brian R; Sykes, Kathryn; Wachter, Rebekka; Van Horn, Wade D; Fromme, Petra

    2015-06-01

    Tularemia is a potentially fatal bacterial infection caused by Francisella tularensis, and is endemic to North America and many parts of northern Europe and Asia. The outer membrane lipoprotein, Flpp3, has been identified as a virulence determinant as well as a potential subunit template for vaccine development. Here we present the first structure for the soluble domain of Flpp3 from the highly infectious Type A SCHU S4 strain, derived through high-resolution solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy; the first structure of a lipoprotein from the genus Francisella. The Flpp3 structure demonstrates a globular protein with an electrostatically polarized surface containing an internal cavity-a putative binding site based on the structurally homologous Bet v1 protein family of allergens. NMR-based relaxation studies suggest loop regions that potentially modulate access to the internal cavity. The Flpp3 structure may add to the understanding of F. tularensis virulence and contribute to the development of effective vaccines.

  18. Yersinia enterocolitica: Mode of Transmission, Molecular Insights of Virulence, and Pathogenesis of Infection

    PubMed Central

    Sabina, Yeasmin; Rahman, Atiqur; Ray, Ramesh Chandra; Montet, Didier

    2011-01-01

    Although Yersinia enterocolitica is usually transmitted through contaminated food and untreated water, occasional transmission such as human-to-human, animal-to-human and blood transfusion associated transmission have also identified in human disease. Of the six Y. enterocolitica biotypes, the virulence of the pathogenic biotypes, namely, 1B and 2–5 is attributed to the presence of a highly conserved 70-kb virulence plasmid, termed pYV/pCD and certain chromosomal genes. Some biotype 1A strains, despite lacking virulence plasmid (pYV) and traditional chromosomal virulence genes, are isolated frequently from humans with gastrointestinal diseases similar to that produced by isolates belonging known pathogenic biotypes. Y. enterocolitica pathogenic biotypes have evolved two major properties: the ability to penetrate the intestinal wall, which is thought to be controlled by plasmid genes, and the production of heat-stable enterotoxin, which is controlled by chromosomal genes. PMID:22567333

  19. Potential virulence determinants in terminal regions of variola smallpox virus genome.

    PubMed

    Massung, R F; Esposito, J J; Liu, L I; Qi, J; Utterback, T R; Knight, J C; Aubin, L; Yuran, T E; Parsons, J M; Loparev, V N

    Smallpox eradication culminated the most successful antimicrobial campaign in medical history. To characterize further the linear double-stranded DNA genome of the aetiological agent of smallpox, we have determined the entire nucleotide sequence of the highly virulent variola major virus, strain Bangladesh-1975 (VAR-BSH; 186,102 base pairs, 33.7% G + C; Genbank accession number, L22579). Here we highlight features of the molecule and focus on a few of the 187 putative proteins that probably contribute to pathogenicity and virus host-range properties. One hundred and fifty proteins were markedly similar to those of vaccinia virus (smallpox vaccine), for which a complete sequence has been reported for strain Copenhagen (VAC-CPN; 191,636 base pairs, 33.3% G + C). The remaining 37 proteins reflected variola-specific sequences or open reading frame divergences for variant proteins, which are often truncated or elongated compared with their vaccinia counterparts.

  20. Microsecond Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Influenza Neuraminidase Suggest a Mechanism for the Increased Virulence of Stalk-Deletion Mutants

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Deletions in the stalk of the influenza neuraminidase (NA) surface protein are associated with increased virulence, but the mechanisms responsible for this enhanced virulence are unclear. Here we use microsecond molecular dynamics simulations to explore the effect of stalk deletion on enzymatic activity, contrasting NA proteins from the A/swine/Shandong/N1/2009 strain both with and without a stalk deletion. By modeling and simulating neuraminidase apo glycoproteins embedded in complex-mixture lipid bilayers, we show that the geometry and dynamics of the neuraminidase enzymatic pocket may differ depending on stalk length, with possible repercussions on the binding of the endogenous sialylated-oligosaccharide receptors. We also use these simulations to predict previously unrecognized druggable “hotspots” on the neuraminidase surface that may prove useful for future efforts aimed at structure-based drug design. PMID:27141956

  1. The enhancin gene: One of the genetic determinants of population variation in baculoviral virulence.

    PubMed

    Martemyanov, V V; Kabilov, M R; Tupikin, A E; Baturina, O A; Belousova, I A; Podgwaite, J D; Ilynykh, A V; Vlassov, V V

    2015-01-01

    It was established that the virulence of the North American baculovirus strain LdMNPV-45 is almost two orders of magnitude higher than the virulence of the Asian strain LdMNPV-27 and does not depend on the test host population (gypsy moth). The Asian strain carries deletions in bro-p and vef-1 genes (82 and 91%, respectively). In accordance with the published data, the product of the latter can greatly increase the virulence of the virus. This result indicates that the population polymorphism of the virulence of baculoviruses can be explained by the vef-1 gene deletion. PMID:26728722

  2. Molecular characterization and functional analysis of a specific secreted protein from highly virulent defoliating Verticillium dahliae.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shao-Yan; Chen, Jie-Yin; Wang, Jin-Long; Li, Lei; Xiao, Hong-Li; Adam, Sami M; Dai, Xiao-Feng

    2013-10-25

    Verticillium dahliae Kleb. is a phytopathogenic fungus that causes wilt diseases in hundreds of dicotyledonous plant species. Previous research has demonstrated that the secretome plays an important role in the pathogenicity of V. dahliae. In this study, the specific secreted protein gene (VdSSP1) in highly virulent defoliating V. dahliae strain VDG1 was cloned, and considered to be a secreted protein by signal peptide activity assay. VdSSP1 deletion mutants in VDG1 significantly compromised virulence, and the fungal growth decreased in media with pectin and starch as carbon sources. Pathogenicity and carbon utilization were restored upon complementation of the VdSSP1 deletion strains or low virulence non-defoliating strain VDG2, which lacks VdSSP1. It is indicated that the virulence role of VdSSP1 is associated with plant cell wall degradation. In conclusion, our data suggested that VdSSP1 is a secreted protein that is engaged in the pathogenicity of the highly virulent defoliating V. dahliae.

  3. Virulence determinants in enteroaggregative Escherichia coli from North India and their interaction in in vitro organ culture system.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Deepika; Sharma, Monica; Sarkar, Subendu; Thapa, B R; Chakraborti, Anuradha

    2016-09-01

    Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) is an important diarrhoeal pathogen causing diseases in multiple epidemiological and clinical settings. In developing countries like India, diarrhoeal diseases are one of the major killers among paediatric population and oddly, few studies are available from Indian paediatric population on the variability of EAEC virulence genes. In this study, we examined the distribution of plasmid and chromosomal-encoded virulence determinants in EAEC isolates, and analysed cytokines response generated against EAEC with specific aggregative adherence fimbriae (AAF) type in duodenal biopsies using in vitro organ culture (IVOC) mimicking in vivo conditions. Different virulence marker combinations among strains were reflected as a function of specific adhesins signifying EAEC heterogeneity. fis gene emerged as an important genetic marker apart from aggA and aap Further, EAEC infection in IVOC showed upregulation of IL-8, IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α and TLR-5 expression. EAEC with AAFII induced significant TLR-5 and IL-8 response, conceivably owing to more pathogenicity markers. This study sheds light on the pattern of EAEC pathotypes prevalent in North Indian paediatric population and highlights the presence of unique virulence combinations in pathogenic strains. Thus, evident diversity in EAEC virulence and multifaceted bacteria-host crosstalk can provide useful insights for the strategic management of diarrhoeal diseases in India, where diarrhoeal outbreaks are more frequent. PMID:27493010

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-12-01

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

  5. Roadmap to new virulence determinants in Pseudomonas syringae: Insights from Comparative Genomics and Genome Organization

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Systematic comparison of the current repertoire of virulence and host-association genes for three Pseudomonas syringae strains with complete genome sequences P. syringae pv. tomato DC3000, P. syringae pv. phaseolicola 1448A, and P. syringae pv. syringae B728a, is prompted by recent advances in virul...

  6. Molecular characteristics and virulence potential of Listeria monocytogenes isolates from Chinese food systems.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jianshun; Luo, Xiaokai; Jiang, Lingli; Jin, Peijie; Wei, Wei; Liu, Dongyou; Fang, Weihuan

    2009-02-01

    In this study, we examined Listeria monocytogenes isolates from Chinese food sources in an attempt to gain further insights on the molecular characteristics and virulence potential of this important foodborne pathogen. Of the 88 L. monocytogenes food isolates recovered, 42 (47.7%) were of serovars 1/2a or 3a; 23 (26.1%) of serovars 1/2b or 3b; 15 (17.0%) of 1/2c or 3c; 6 (6.8%) of serovars 4b, 4d or 4e; and 2 (2.2%) of serovars 4a or 4c. In contrast to inlAB locus conserved in all serovars, internalin cluster between ascB and dapE varies with different serovars, with inlC2DE, inlGC2DE and inlGHE predominantly in serovars 1/2b or 4b, serovar 1/2a and serovar 1/2c. While inlF existed in all the inlGHE- and inlGC2DE-containing isolates but 17.4% of those having inlC2DE, lmo2026 existed in all the inlGHE-containing isolates but 20.0% of those bearing inlGC2DE, suggesting that inlF might have co-evolved with inlGC2DE and inlGHE while lmo2026 with inlGHE only. With the exception of serovar 4a isolate, most serovar isolates demonstrated remarkable ability to form plaques on L929 cells and produced significant mouse mortality irrespective of the internalin gene organization and whether an intact actA gene is present or not. These results indicate that majority of these food isolates may have the potential to cause human diseases if ingested via contaminated foods. Given that serovar 4b accounts for nearly half of human clinical listeriosis cases documented, the relative low proportion of serovar 4b food isolates suggests that this serovar is probably more tolerant of the adverse conditions in the host's stomach and/or more efficient in entering host cells than serovars 1/2a, 1/2b and 1/2c.

  7. Molecular mechanisms of bacterial virulence: type III secretion and pathogenicity islands.

    PubMed

    Mecsas, J J; Strauss, E J

    1996-01-01

    Recently, two novel but widespread themes have emerged in the field of bacterial virulence: type III secretion systems and pathogenicity islands. Type III secretion systems, which are found in various gram-negative organisms, are specialized for the export of virulence factors delivered directly to host cells. These factors subvert normal host cell functions in ways that seem beneficial to invading bacteria. The genes encoding several type III secretion systems reside on pathogenicity islands, which are inserted DNA segments within the chromosome that confer upon the host bacterium a variety of virulence traits, such as the ability to acquire iron and to adhere to or enter host cells. Many of these segments of DNA appear to have been acquired in a single step from a foreign source. The ability to obtain complex virulence traits in one genetic event, rather than by undergoing natural selection for many generations, provides a mechanism for sudden radical changes in bacterial-host interactions. Type III secretion systems and pathogenicity islands must have played critical roles in the evolution of known pathogens and are likely to lead to the emergence of novel infectious diseases in the future.

  8. Virulence and molecular variation of Flavobacterium columnare affecting rainbow trout in ID, USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Columnaris disease is an emerging problem in the rainbow trout (Oncorhychus mykiss) aquaculture industry of Idaho. The epidemiology of this pathogen in the area, and for rainbow trout, is all isolates taken from disease outbreaks are genomovar I and similar based on basic typing protocols. Virulence...

  9. Virulence Attributes of Low-Virulence Organisms

    PubMed Central

    1994-01-01

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

  10. Bluetongue Virus NS4 Protein Is an Interferon Antagonist and a Determinant of Virus Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Ratinier, Maxime; Shaw, Andrew E.; Barry, Gerald; Gu, Quan; Di Gialleonardo, Luigina; Janowicz, Anna; Varela, Mariana; Randall, Richard E.; Caporale, Marco

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bluetongue virus (BTV) is the causative agent of bluetongue, a major infectious disease of ruminants with serious consequences to both animal health and the economy. The clinical outcome of BTV infection is highly variable and dependent on a variety of factors related to both the virus and the host. In this study, we show that the BTV nonstructural protein NS4 favors viral replication in sheep, the animal species most affected by bluetongue. In addition, NS4 confers a replication advantage on the virus in interferon (IFN)-competent primary sheep endothelial cells and immortalized cell lines. We determined that in cells infected with an NS4 deletion mutant (BTV8ΔNS4), there is increased synthesis of type I IFN compared to cells infected with wild-type BTV-8. In addition, using RNA sequencing (RNA-seq), we show that NS4 modulates the host IFN response and downregulates mRNA levels of type I IFN and interferon-stimulated genes. Moreover, using reporter assays and protein synthesis assays, we show that NS4 downregulates the activities of a variety of promoters, such as the cytomegalovirus immediate-early promoter, the IFN-β promoter, and a promoter containing interferon-stimulated response elements (ISRE). We also show that the NS4 inhibitory activity on gene expression is related to its nucleolar localization. Furthermore, NS4 does not affect mRNA splicing or cellular translation. The data obtained in this study strongly suggest that BTV NS4 is an IFN antagonist and a key determinant of viral virulence. IMPORTANCE Bluetongue is one of the main infectious diseases of ruminants and is caused by bluetongue virus (BTV), an arthropod-borne virus transmitted from infected to susceptible animals by Culicoides biting midges. Bluetongue has a variable clinical outcome that can be related to both virus and host factors. It is therefore critical to understand the interplay between BTV and the host immune responses. In this study, we show that a nonstructural protein

  11. Molecular epidemiology and virulence markers of Salmonella Infantis isolated over 25 years in São Paulo State, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Fernanda; Pitondo-Silva, André; Oliveira, Maria Aparecida; Falcão, Juliana Pfrimer

    2013-10-01

    Infection of humans and animals caused by Salmonella is a major public health problem worldwide. Among the more than 2500 serovars, S. Infantis has been one of the 15 most isolated serovars in the world. Despite its clinical importance, little is known about the molecular characteristics of S. Infantis strains from Brazil. The aims of this study were to type S. Infantis isolates of this country and to assess their pathogenic potential. The molecular epidemiology of 35 S. Infantis strains, isolated from human sources (25) and food items (10) between 1984 and 2009 in São Paulo State, Brazil, were investigated using ERIC-PCR, PFGE and MLST. Furthermore, the presence of some virulence markers from Salmonella pathogenicity islands (SPIs) SPI-1 and SPI-2 and from the virulence plasmid was assessed by PCR. Using ERIC-PCR, 34 S. Infantis strains exhibited a high genetic similarity (≥ 93.7%) and using PFGE, 32 strains exhibited a similarity ≥ 80.6%. Additionally, MLST showed a high clonal similarity among strains that all presented the same ST32. Thirty-two isolates under investigation contained the virulence markers invA, sopB, sopD, sipA, sipD, ssaR, sifA, flgK, fljB and flgL. In conclusion, the S. Infantis strains studied were genetically similar, suggesting that a prevalent subtype has been causing disease and food contamination during a 25year period in São Paulo State, an important metropolitan region in Brazil. Furthermore, the contamination between strains from food items and sick humans indicates that better control measures for S. Infantis may be needed in this country. PMID:23860124

  12. Molecular epidemiology and virulence markers of Salmonella Infantis isolated over 25 years in São Paulo State, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Fernanda; Pitondo-Silva, André; Oliveira, Maria Aparecida; Falcão, Juliana Pfrimer

    2013-10-01

    Infection of humans and animals caused by Salmonella is a major public health problem worldwide. Among the more than 2500 serovars, S. Infantis has been one of the 15 most isolated serovars in the world. Despite its clinical importance, little is known about the molecular characteristics of S. Infantis strains from Brazil. The aims of this study were to type S. Infantis isolates of this country and to assess their pathogenic potential. The molecular epidemiology of 35 S. Infantis strains, isolated from human sources (25) and food items (10) between 1984 and 2009 in São Paulo State, Brazil, were investigated using ERIC-PCR, PFGE and MLST. Furthermore, the presence of some virulence markers from Salmonella pathogenicity islands (SPIs) SPI-1 and SPI-2 and from the virulence plasmid was assessed by PCR. Using ERIC-PCR, 34 S. Infantis strains exhibited a high genetic similarity (≥ 93.7%) and using PFGE, 32 strains exhibited a similarity ≥ 80.6%. Additionally, MLST showed a high clonal similarity among strains that all presented the same ST32. Thirty-two isolates under investigation contained the virulence markers invA, sopB, sopD, sipA, sipD, ssaR, sifA, flgK, fljB and flgL. In conclusion, the S. Infantis strains studied were genetically similar, suggesting that a prevalent subtype has been causing disease and food contamination during a 25year period in São Paulo State, an important metropolitan region in Brazil. Furthermore, the contamination between strains from food items and sick humans indicates that better control measures for S. Infantis may be needed in this country.

  13. Diversity of Antimicrobial Resistance and Virulence Determinants in Pseudomonas aeruginosa Associated with Fresh Vegetables

    PubMed Central

    Allydice-Francis, Kashina; Brown, Paul D.

    2012-01-01

    With the increased focus on healthy eating and consuming raw vegetables, this study assessed the extent of contamination of fresh vegetables by Pseudomonas aeruginosa in Jamaica and examined the antibiotic susceptibility profiles and the presence of various virulence associated determinants of P. aeruginosa. Analyses indicated that vegetables from retail markets and supermarkets were widely contaminated by P. aeruginosa; produce from markets were more frequently contaminated, but the difference was not significant. Lettuce and carrots were the most frequently contaminated vegetables, while tomatoes were the least. Pigment production (Pyoverdine, pyocyanin, pyomelanin and pyorubin), fluorescein and alginate were common in these isolates. Imipenem, gentamicin and ciprofloxacin were the most inhibitory antimicrobial agents. However, isolates were resistant or showed reduced susceptibility to ampicillin, chloramphenicol, sulphamethoxazole/trimethoprim and aztreonam, and up to 35% of the isolates were resistant to four antimicrobial agents. As many as 30% of the isolates were positive for the fpv1 gene, and 13% had multiple genes. Sixty-four percent of the isolates harboured an exoenzyme gene (exoS, exoT, exoU or exoY), and multiple exo genes were common. We conclude that P. aeruginosa is a major contaminant of fresh vegetables, which might be a source of infection for susceptible persons within the community. PMID:23213336

  14. Molecular anatomy of mouse hepatitis virus persistence: coevolution of increased host cell resistance and virus virulence.

    PubMed Central

    Chen, W; Baric, R S

    1996-01-01

    Persistent infection of murine astrocytoma (DBT) cells with mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) has been established. From this in vitro virus-host system, persistence is mediated at the level of cellular MHV receptor (MHVR) expression and increased virus virulence. MHV persistence selects for resistant host cell populations which abate virus replication. Reductions in MHVR expression were significantly associated with increased host resistance, and transfection of MHVR into resistant host cells completely restored the capacity of cells to support efficient replication of MHV strain A59. The emergence of resistant host cells coselected for variant viruses that had increased avidity for MHVR and also recognized different receptors for entry into resistant cells. These data illustrate that MHV persistence in vitro provides a model to identify critical sites of virus-host interaction at the cellular level which are altered during the evolution of host cell resistance to viral infection and the coevolution of virus virulence. PMID:8648732

  15. Molecular characterization of a lipid-modified virulence-associated protein of Rhodococcus equi and its potential in protective immunity.

    PubMed

    Tan, C; Prescott, J F; Patterson, M C; Nicholson, V M

    1995-01-01

    Virulent strains of Rhodococcus equi produce plasmid-mediated 15- and 17-kDa proteins, which are thermoregulated and apparently surface-expressed. We demonstrated by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) that R. equi produce three antigenically-related virulence-associated proteins, a diffuse 18-22-kDa, a 17.5-kDa and a 15-kDa protein. Phase partitioning of whole cells of R. equi strain 103 with Triton X-114 (TX-114) and labelling with [3H]-labelled palmitic acid showed that the two higher molecular weight proteins are hydrophobic and lipid modified. The 15-kDa protein did not partition into TX-114 and was not lipid modified. Cloning and expression of a fragment of the R. equi virulence plasmid in Escherichia coli showed that the three proteins were expressed from a single gene. Sequence analysis of this gene (designated vapA) revealed a 570-bp open reading frame encoding a polypeptide of 189 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 19,175 Da. The mature, nonlipid modified protein had a calculated mass of 16,246 Da. The 17.5- and 18-22-kDa forms of the protein are therefore due to lipid modification. No significant sequence homology of the vapA gene with other reported nucleotide sequences were found. Opsonization of virulent R. equi with an IgG1 mouse monoclonal antibody (MAb103) to the VapA protein significantly enhanced uptake in the murine macrophage cell line IC-21. Intraperitoneal injection of mice with Mab103 enhanced initial clearance from the liver of mice challenged intravenously with R. equi. Immunization of mice with the lipid-modified VapA purified by SDS-PAGE fractionation or with acetone precipitated VapA protein following TX-114 extraction resulted in significantly enhanced clearance from the liver and spleen following intravenous challenge. The VapA protein of R. equi appears therefore to be a protective immunogen. PMID:7704843

  16. Molecular methods for serovar determination of Salmonella.

    PubMed

    Shi, Chunlei; Singh, Pranjal; Ranieri, Matthew Louis; Wiedmann, Martin; Moreno Switt, Andrea Isabel

    2015-01-01

    Salmonella is a diverse foodborne pathogen, which has more than 2600 recognized serovars. Classification of Salmonella isolates into serovars is essential for surveillance and epidemiological investigations; however, determination of Salmonella serovars, by traditional serotyping, has some important limitations (e.g. labor intensive, time consuming). To overcome these limitations, multiple methods have been investigated to develop molecular serotyping schemes. Currently, molecular methods to predict Salmonella serovars include (i) molecular subtyping methods (e.g. PFGE, MLST), (ii) classification using serovar-specific genomic markers and (iii) direct methods, which identify genes encoding antigens or biosynthesis of antigens used for serotyping. Here, we reviewed reported methodologies for Salmonella molecular serotyping and determined the "serovar-prediction accuracy", as the percentage of isolates for which the serovar was correctly classified by a given method. Serovar-prediction accuracy ranged from 0 to 100%, 51 to 100% and 33 to 100% for molecular subtyping, serovar-specific genomic markers and direct methods, respectively. Major limitations of available schemes are errors in predicting closely related serovars (e.g. Typhimurium and 4,5,12:i:-), and polyphyletic serovars (e.g. Newport, Saintpaul). The high diversity of Salmonella serovars represents a considerable challenge for molecular serotyping approaches. With the recent improvement in sequencing technologies, full genome sequencing could be developed into a promising molecular approach to serotype Salmonella.

  17. Chlamydial virulence determinants in atherogenesis: the role of chlamydial lipopolysaccharide and heat shock protein 60 in macrophage-lipoprotein interactions.

    PubMed

    Kalayoglu, M V; Indrawati; Morrison, R P; Morrison, S G; Yuan, Y; Byrne, G I

    2000-06-01

    Data from a spectrum of epidemiologic, pathologic, and animal model studies show that Chlamydia pneumoniae infection is associated with coronary artery disease, but it is not clear how the organism may initiate or promote atherosclerosis. It is postulated that C. pneumoniae triggers key atherogenic events through specific virulence determinants. C. pneumoniae induces mononuclear phagocyte foam cell formation by chlamydial lipopolysaccharide (cLPS) and low-density lipoprotein oxidation by chlamydial hsp60 (chsp60). Thus, different chlamydial components may promote distinct events implicated in the development of atherosclerosis. Data implicating cLPS and chsp60 in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis are discussed and novel approaches are presented for attempting to elucidate how these putative virulence determinants signal mononuclear phagocytes to modulate lipoprotein influx and modification.

  18. Sequence determination of a mildly virulent strain (CU-2) of Gallid herpesvirus type 2 using 454 pyrosequencing.

    PubMed

    Spatz, Stephen J; Rue, Cary A

    2008-06-01

    The complete DNA sequence of the mildly virulent Gallid herpesvirus type 2 strain CU-2 was determined and consists of 176,922 bp with an overall gene organization typical of class E herpesviruses. Phylogenetically, this strain partitions in its own branch between the virulent strains RB-1B, Md11, and Md5, and the vaccine strain CVI988. Overall, the genome of CU-2 is more similar to that of CVI988, with identically sized unique short regions of 11,651 bp. As in CVI988, an insertion of 177 bp was identified in the overlapping genes encoding the Meq, RLORF6, and 23 kDa proteins within the repeat long region of the genome. A total of 15 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) common to both CU-2 and CVI988, and not occurring in virulent strains, were identified in the genes encoding UL29, UL45, UL50, UL52, LORF10, RLORF14a, RLORF12, Meq(RLORF7), 23kDa, ICP4, US3, and two hypothetical proteins MDV071.4 and MDV076.4. Each gene encoding UL29 and Meq contained two SNPs. Only one major open reading frame (ORF) encoding UL41, the virus host shutoff (VHS) ribonuclease, was disrupted in the CU-2 genome. An additional cytosine after the 25 codon is predicted to produce a truncated protein of 97 aa. Since GaHV-2 mutants lacking UL41 have been reported to retain their virulence, other factors are likely responsible for the low virulence of CU-2. It is largely suspected that SNPs in common with CVI988 along with the insertions in the Meq loci are responsible for its phenotype. Conversely, we identified 43 nonsynonymous mutations (within 23 genes) that may contribute to the virulence of CU-2. These SNPs are shared exclusively with all sequenced virulent strains (Md5, Md11, and RB-1B) and not present within the CVI988 genome. Although most occur in proteins of unknown function, a significant percentage is in proteins involved in virion assembly.

  19. Molecular characterization and virulence gene profiling of pathogenic Streptococcus agalactiae populations from tilapia (Oreochromis sp.) farms in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Kayansamruaj, Pattanapon; Pirarat, Nopadon; Katagiri, Takayuki; Hirono, Ikuo; Rodkhum, Channarong

    2014-05-19

    Streptococcus spp. were recovered from diseased tilapia in Thailand during 2009-2010 (n = 33), and were also continually collected from environmental samples (sediment and water) from tilapia farms for 9 months in 2011 (n = 25). The relative percent recovery of streptococci from environmental samples was 13-67%. All streptococcal isolates were identified as S. agalactiae (group B streptococci [GBS]) by a species-specific polymerase chain reaction. In molecular characterization assays, 4 genotypic categories comprised of 1) molecular serotypes, 2) the infB allele, 3) virulence gene profiling patterns (cylE, hylB, scpB, lmb, cspA, dltA, fbsA, fbsB, bibA, gap, and pili backbone-encoded genes), and 4) randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) fingerprinting patterns, were used to describe the genotypic diversity of the GBS isolates. There was only 1 isolate identified as molecular serotype III, while the others were serotype Ia. Most GBS serotype Ia isolates had an identical infB allele and virulence gene profiling patterns, but a large diversity was established by RAPD analysis with diversity tending to be geographically dependent. Experimental infection of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) revealed that the GBS serotype III isolate was nonpathogenic in the fish, while all 5 serotype Ia isolates (3 fish and 2 environmental isolates) were pathogenic, with a median lethal dose of 6.25-7.56 log10 colony-forming units. In conclusion, GBS isolates from tilapia farms in Thailand showed a large genetic diversity, which was associated with the geographical origins of the bacteria. PMID:24842288

  20. Identification of a Virulence-Associated Determinant, Dihydrolipoamide Dehydrogenase (lpd), in Mycoplasma gallisepticum through In Vivo Screening of Transposon Mutants

    PubMed Central

    Hudson, P.; Gorton, T. S.; Papazisi, L.; Cecchini, K.; Frasca, S.; Geary, S. J.

    2006-01-01

    To effectively analyze Mycoplasma gallisepticum for virulence-associated determinants, the ability to create stable genetic mutations is essential. Global M. gallisepticum mutagenesis is currently limited to the use of transposons. Using the gram-positive transposon Tn4001mod, a mutant library of 110 transformants was constructed and all insertion sites were mapped. To identify transposon insertion points, a unique primer directed outward from the end of Tn4001mod was used to sequence flanking genomic regions. By comparing sequences obtained in this manner to the annotated M. gallisepticum genome, the precise locations of transposon insertions were discerned. After determining the transposon insertion site for each mutant, unique reverse primers were synthesized based on the specific sequences, and PCR was performed. The resultant amplicons were used as unique Tn4001mod mutant identifiers. This procedure is referred to as signature sequence mutagenesis (SSM). SSM permits the comprehensive screening of the M. gallisepticum genome for the identification of novel virulence-associated determinants from a mixed mutant population. To this end, chickens were challenged with a pool of 27 unique Tn4001mod mutants. Two weeks postinfection, the birds were sacrificed, and organisms were recovered from respiratory tract tissues and screened for the presence or absence of various mutants. SSM is a negative-selection screening technique whereby those mutants possessing transposon insertions in genes essential for in vivo survival are not recovered from the host. We have identified a virulence-associated gene encoding dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase (lpd). A transposon insertion in the middle of the coding sequence resulted in diminished biologic function and reduced virulence of the mutant designated Mg 7. PMID:16428737

  1. Carriage of Staphylococcus species in the veterinary visiting dog population in mainland UK: molecular characterisation of resistance and virulence.

    PubMed

    Wedley, Amy L; Dawson, Susan; Maddox, Thomas W; Coyne, Karen P; Pinchbeck, Gina L; Clegg, Peter; Jamrozy, Dorota; Fielder, Mark D; Donovan, David; Nuttall, Tim; Williams, Nicola J

    2014-05-14

    This study investigated the prevalence of nasal carriage of staphylococci in dogs and determined the characteristics of the isolates. A total of 724 dogs from 87 veterinary practices across the mainland UK were screened for carriage of Staphylococcus spp. All isolates were examined for meticillin resistance (MR) and the presence of the mecA gene investigated in those isolates showing resistance. All coagulase-positive staphylococci and MR coagulase-negative staphylococci (MRCoNS) were subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Spa typing and DNA microarray analysis of resistance and virulence genes was carried out on all MR S. aureus (MRSA) and a subset of meticillin susceptible S. aureus (MSSA). Staphylococci were isolated from 399 (55.1%) of the dogs; only seven (1%) carried MRSA, all of which were identified as the dominant UK healthcare-associated strain (EMRSA-15, ST22). MSSA was identified in 47 (6.5%) dogs, the sequence types of which have been suggested as precursors to successful MRSA clones. Forty (5.5%) dogs carried MRCoNS, while no dogs carried MR S. pseudintermedius, although this is increasingly reported in mainland Europe. Resistance to antimicrobials among the isolates varied between species, with multidrug resistance (MDR) in 87.5% of MRCoNS and 21.8% of coagulase positive staphylococci. Microarray analysis of MRSA and a subset of MSSA isolates identified numerous virulence genes associated with pathogenesis, which are commonly identified in isolates of human origin. However, no isolates carried Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) genes. This study suggests that MRSA carriage is low in the vet visiting dog population, but there is a diverse range of virulence and resistance determinants in canine S. aureus and MRCoNS isolates.

  2. Variations in virulence and molecular biology among emerging strains of Clostridium difficile.

    PubMed

    Hunt, Jonathan J; Ballard, Jimmy D

    2013-12-01

    Clostridium difficile is a Gram-positive, spore-forming organism which infects and colonizes the large intestine, produces potent toxins, triggers inflammation, and causes significant systemic complications. Treating C. difficile infection (CDI) has always been difficult, because the disease is both caused and resolved by antibiotic treatment. For three and a half decades, C. difficile has presented a treatment challenge to clinicians, and the situation took a turn for the worse about 10 years ago. An increase in epidemic outbreaks related to CDI was first noticed around 2003, and these outbreaks correlated with a sudden increase in the mortality rate of this illness. Further studies discovered that these changes in CDI epidemiology were associated with the rapid emergence of hypervirulent strains of C. difficile, now collectively referred to as NAP1/BI/027 strains. The discovery of new epidemic strains of C. difficile has provided a unique opportunity for retrospective and prospective studies that have sought to understand how these strains have essentially replaced more historical strains as a major cause of CDI. Moreover, detailed studies on the pathogenesis of NAP1/BI/027 strains are leading to new hypotheses on how this emerging strain causes severe disease and is more commonly associated with epidemics. In this review, we provide an overview of CDI, discuss critical mechanisms of C. difficile virulence, and explain how differences in virulence-associated factors between historical and newly emerging strains might explain the hypervirulence exhibited by this pathogen during the past decade. PMID:24296572

  3. Variations in Virulence and Molecular Biology among Emerging Strains of Clostridium difficile

    PubMed Central

    Hunt, Jonathan J.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Clostridium difficile is a Gram-positive, spore-forming organism which infects and colonizes the large intestine, produces potent toxins, triggers inflammation, and causes significant systemic complications. Treating C. difficile infection (CDI) has always been difficult, because the disease is both caused and resolved by antibiotic treatment. For three and a half decades, C. difficile has presented a treatment challenge to clinicians, and the situation took a turn for the worse about 10 years ago. An increase in epidemic outbreaks related to CDI was first noticed around 2003, and these outbreaks correlated with a sudden increase in the mortality rate of this illness. Further studies discovered that these changes in CDI epidemiology were associated with the rapid emergence of hypervirulent strains of C. difficile, now collectively referred to as NAP1/BI/027 strains. The discovery of new epidemic strains of C. difficile has provided a unique opportunity for retrospective and prospective studies that have sought to understand how these strains have essentially replaced more historical strains as a major cause of CDI. Moreover, detailed studies on the pathogenesis of NAP1/BI/027 strains are leading to new hypotheses on how this emerging strain causes severe disease and is more commonly associated with epidemics. In this review, we provide an overview of CDI, discuss critical mechanisms of C. difficile virulence, and explain how differences in virulence-associated factors between historical and newly emerging strains might explain the hypervirulence exhibited by this pathogen during the past decade. PMID:24296572

  4. Molecular characterization of a genomic region associated with virulence in Dichelobacter nodosus.

    PubMed Central

    Katz, M E; Strugnell, R A; Rood, J I

    1992-01-01

    The major pathogen implicated in footrot, a highly contagious disease of sheep, is the strict anaerobe Dichelobacter nodosus (formerly Bacteroides nodosus). Sequence analysis of a 2,262-bp segment of the D. nodosus genome which is more prevalent in virulent isolates than in other isolates showed the presence of four open reading frames which appeared to have consensus transcriptional and translational start signals. These virulence-associated genes have been designated vapABCD. Two of the three copies of the vap region in the genome of the reference strain D. nodosus A198 were shown to carry all of the vap genes, whereas one copy contained only the vapD gene. The VapD protein was gel purified, shown to contain the predicted amino-terminal sequence, and used to raise rabbit antibodies. Western blots (immunoblots) showed that all of the D. nodosus strains tested that contained the vap region produced the VapD protein. The VapD protein had significant amino acid sequence identity with open reading frame 5 from the cryptic plasmid of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and the vapBC operon had sequence similarity with the trbH region of the Escherichia coli F plasmid. It is proposed that these gene regions evolved from the integration of a conjugative plasmid from another bacterial species into the D. nodosus chromosome. Images PMID:1398971

  5. Human Hemorrhagic Fever Causing Arenaviruses: Molecular Mechanisms Contributing to Virus Virulence and Disease Pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Shao, Junjie; Liang, Yuying; Ly, Hinh

    2015-01-01

    Arenaviruses include multiple human pathogens ranging from the low-risk lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) to highly virulent hemorrhagic fever (HF) causing viruses such as Lassa (LASV), Junin (JUNV), Machupo (MACV), Lujo (LUJV), Sabia (SABV), Guanarito (GTOV), and Chapare (CHPV), for which there are limited preventative and therapeutic measures. Why some arenaviruses can cause virulent human infections while others cannot, even though they are isolated from the same rodent hosts, is an enigma. Recent studies have revealed several potential pathogenic mechanisms of arenaviruses, including factors that increase viral replication capacity and suppress host innate immunity, which leads to high viremia and generalized immune suppression as the hallmarks of severe and lethal arenaviral HF diseases. This review summarizes current knowledge of the roles of each of the four viral proteins and some known cellular factors in the pathogenesis of arenaviral HF as well as of some human primary cell-culture and animal models that lend themselves to studying arenavirus-induced HF disease pathogenesis. Knowledge gained from these studies can be applied towards the development of novel therapeutics and vaccines against these deadly human pathogens. PMID:26011826

  6. Human hemorrhagic Fever causing arenaviruses: molecular mechanisms contributing to virus virulence and disease pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Shao, Junjie; Liang, Yuying; Ly, Hinh

    2015-05-21

    Arenaviruses include multiple human pathogens ranging from the low-risk lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) to highly virulent hemorrhagic fever (HF) causing viruses such as Lassa (LASV), Junin (JUNV), Machupo (MACV), Lujo (LUJV), Sabia (SABV), Guanarito (GTOV), and Chapare (CHPV), for which there are limited preventative and therapeutic measures. Why some arenaviruses can cause virulent human infections while others cannot, even though they are isolated from the same rodent hosts, is an enigma. Recent studies have revealed several potential pathogenic mechanisms of arenaviruses, including factors that increase viral replication capacity and suppress host innate immunity, which leads to high viremia and generalized immune suppression as the hallmarks of severe and lethal arenaviral HF diseases. This review summarizes current knowledge of the roles of each of the four viral proteins and some known cellular factors in the pathogenesis of arenaviral HF as well as of some human primary cell-culture and animal models that lend themselves to studying arenavirus-induced HF disease pathogenesis. Knowledge gained from these studies can be applied towards the development of novel therapeutics and vaccines against these deadly human pathogens.

  7. Determining the Overpotential for a Molecular Electrocatalyst

    SciTech Connect

    Appel, Aaron M.; Helm, Monte L.

    2014-02-07

    “The additional potential (beyond the thermodynamic requirement) needed to drive a reaction at a certain rate is called the overpotential.”1 Over the last decade there has been considerable interest in the design and testing of molecular electrocatalysis for the interconversion of renewable energy and chemical fuels.2-5 One of the primary motivations for such research is the replacement of expensive and rare precious metal catalysts, such as platinum, with cheaper, more abundant metals.2,6-8 To become competitive with current electrocatalytic energy conversion technologies, new catalysts must be robust, fast, and energy-efficient. This last feature, the energy-efficiency, is dependent upon the overpotential. For molecular catalysts, the determination and reporting of overpotentials can be complicated by the frequent dependence on assumptions, especially when working in nonaqueous solvents. As overpotentials become lower, the meaningful comparison of molecular catalysts will require improved accuracy and precision. The intended purpose of this viewpoint is to provide a clear and concise description of overpotential and recommendation for its determination in molecular electrocatalysis. This material is based upon work supported as part of the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences.

  8. Structure and Interactions of a Dimeric Variant of sHIP, a Novel Virulence Determinant of Streptococcus pyogenes.

    PubMed

    Diehl, Carl; Wisniewska, Magdalena; Frick, Inga-Maria; Streicher, Werner; Björck, Lars; Malmström, Johan; Wikström, Mats

    2016-01-01

    Streptococcus pyogenes is one of the most significant bacterial pathogens in the human population mostly causing superficial and uncomplicated infections (pharyngitis and impetigo) but also invasive and life-threatening disease. We have previously identified a virulence determinant, protein sHIP, which is secreted at higher levels by an invasive compared to a non-invasive strain of S. pyogenes. The present work presents a further characterization of the structural and functional properties of this bacterial protein. Biophysical and structural studies have shown that protein sHIP forms stable tetramers both in the crystal and in solution. The tetramers are composed of four helix-loop-helix motifs with the loop regions connecting the helices displaying a high degree of flexibility. Owing to interactions at the tetramer interface, the observed tetramer can be described as a dimer of dimers. We identified three residues at the tetramer interface (Leu84, Leu88, Tyr95), which due to largely non-polar side-chains, could be important determinants for protein oligomerization. Based on these observations, we produced a sHIP variant in which these residues were mutated to alanines. Biophysical experiments clearly indicated that the sHIP mutant appear only as dimers in solution confirming the importance of the interfacial residues for protein oligomerisation. Furthermore, we could show that the sHIP mutant interacts with intact histidine-rich glycoprotein (HRG) and the histidine-rich repeats in HRG, and inhibits their antibacterial activity to the same or even higher extent as compared to the wild type protein sHIP. We determined the crystal structure of the sHIP mutant, which, as a result of the high quality of the data, allowed us to improve the existing structural model of the protein. Finally, by employing NMR spectroscopy in solution, we generated a model for the complex between the sHIP mutant and an HRG-derived heparin-binding peptide, providing further molecular

  9. Structure and Interactions of a Dimeric Variant of sHIP, a Novel Virulence Determinant of Streptococcus pyogenes

    PubMed Central

    Diehl, Carl; Wisniewska, Magdalena; Frick, Inga-Maria; Streicher, Werner; Björck, Lars; Malmström, Johan; Wikström, Mats

    2016-01-01

    Streptococcus pyogenes is one of the most significant bacterial pathogens in the human population mostly causing superficial and uncomplicated infections (pharyngitis and impetigo) but also invasive and life-threatening disease. We have previously identified a virulence determinant, protein sHIP, which is secreted at higher levels by an invasive compared to a non-invasive strain of S. pyogenes. The present work presents a further characterization of the structural and functional properties of this bacterial protein. Biophysical and structural studies have shown that protein sHIP forms stable tetramers both in the crystal and in solution. The tetramers are composed of four helix-loop-helix motifs with the loop regions connecting the helices displaying a high degree of flexibility. Owing to interactions at the tetramer interface, the observed tetramer can be described as a dimer of dimers. We identified three residues at the tetramer interface (Leu84, Leu88, Tyr95), which due to largely non-polar side-chains, could be important determinants for protein oligomerization. Based on these observations, we produced a sHIP variant in which these residues were mutated to alanines. Biophysical experiments clearly indicated that the sHIP mutant appear only as dimers in solution confirming the importance of the interfacial residues for protein oligomerisation. Furthermore, we could show that the sHIP mutant interacts with intact histidine-rich glycoprotein (HRG) and the histidine-rich repeats in HRG, and inhibits their antibacterial activity to the same or even higher extent as compared to the wild type protein sHIP. We determined the crystal structure of the sHIP mutant, which, as a result of the high quality of the data, allowed us to improve the existing structural model of the protein. Finally, by employing NMR spectroscopy in solution, we generated a model for the complex between the sHIP mutant and an HRG-derived heparin-binding peptide, providing further molecular

  10. Structure and Interactions of a Dimeric Variant of sHIP, a Novel Virulence Determinant of Streptococcus pyogenes.

    PubMed

    Diehl, Carl; Wisniewska, Magdalena; Frick, Inga-Maria; Streicher, Werner; Björck, Lars; Malmström, Johan; Wikström, Mats

    2016-01-01

    Streptococcus pyogenes is one of the most significant bacterial pathogens in the human population mostly causing superficial and uncomplicated infections (pharyngitis and impetigo) but also invasive and life-threatening disease. We have previously identified a virulence determinant, protein sHIP, which is secreted at higher levels by an invasive compared to a non-invasive strain of S. pyogenes. The present work presents a further characterization of the structural and functional properties of this bacterial protein. Biophysical and structural studies have shown that protein sHIP forms stable tetramers both in the crystal and in solution. The tetramers are composed of four helix-loop-helix motifs with the loop regions connecting the helices displaying a high degree of flexibility. Owing to interactions at the tetramer interface, the observed tetramer can be described as a dimer of dimers. We identified three residues at the tetramer interface (Leu84, Leu88, Tyr95), which due to largely non-polar side-chains, could be important determinants for protein oligomerization. Based on these observations, we produced a sHIP variant in which these residues were mutated to alanines. Biophysical experiments clearly indicated that the sHIP mutant appear only as dimers in solution confirming the importance of the interfacial residues for protein oligomerisation. Furthermore, we could show that the sHIP mutant interacts with intact histidine-rich glycoprotein (HRG) and the histidine-rich repeats in HRG, and inhibits their antibacterial activity to the same or even higher extent as compared to the wild type protein sHIP. We determined the crystal structure of the sHIP mutant, which, as a result of the high quality of the data, allowed us to improve the existing structural model of the protein. Finally, by employing NMR spectroscopy in solution, we generated a model for the complex between the sHIP mutant and an HRG-derived heparin-binding peptide, providing further molecular

  11. Serogroup, virulence, and molecular traits of Vibrio parahaemolyticus isolated from clinical and cockle sources in northeastern Thailand.

    PubMed

    Mala, Wanida; Alam, Munirul; Angkititrakul, Sunpetch; Wongwajana, Suwin; Lulitanond, Viraphong; Huttayananont, Sriwanna; Kaewkes, Wanlop; Faksri, Kiatichai; Chomvarin, Chariya

    2016-04-01

    Vibrio parahaemolyticus is responsible for seafood-borne gastroenteritis worldwide. Isolates of V. parahaemolyticus from clinical samples (n=74) and cockles (Anadara granosa) (n=74) in Thailand were analyzed by serotyping, determination of virulence and related marker genes present, response to antimicrobial agents, and genetic relatedness. Serological analysis revealed 31 different serotypes, 10 of which occurred among both clinical and cockle samples. The clinical isolates commonly included the pandemic serogroup O3:K6, while a few of the cockle isolates exhibited likely pandemic serovariants such as O3:KUT and O4:KUT, but not O3:K6. The pandemic (orf8 gene-positive) strains were more frequently found among clinical isolates (78.4%) than cockle isolates (28.4%) (p<0.001). Likewise, the virulence and related marker genes were more commonly detected among clinical than cockle isolates; i.e., tdh gene (93.2% versus 29.7%), vcrD2 (97.3% versus 23.0%), vopB2 (89.2% versus 13.5%), vopT (98.6% versus 36.5%) (all p<0.001) and trh (10.8% versus 1.4%) (p<0.05). Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of NotI-digested genomic DNA of 41 randomly selected V. parahaemolyticus isolates representing different serotypes produced 33 pulsotypes that formed 5 different clusters (clonal complexes) (A-E) in a dendrogram. Vibrio parahaemolyticus O3:K6 and likely related pandemic serotypes were especially common among the numerous clinical isolates in cluster C, suggesting a close clonal link among many of these isolates. Most clinical and cockle isolates were resistant to ampicillin. This study indicates that O3:K6 and its likely serovariants based on the PFGE clusters, are causative agents. Seafoods such as cockles potentially serve as a source of virulent V. parahaemolyticus, but further work is required to identify possible additional sources.

  12. Serogroup, virulence, and molecular traits of Vibrio parahaemolyticus isolated from clinical and cockle sources in northeastern Thailand.

    PubMed

    Mala, Wanida; Alam, Munirul; Angkititrakul, Sunpetch; Wongwajana, Suwin; Lulitanond, Viraphong; Huttayananont, Sriwanna; Kaewkes, Wanlop; Faksri, Kiatichai; Chomvarin, Chariya

    2016-04-01

    Vibrio parahaemolyticus is responsible for seafood-borne gastroenteritis worldwide. Isolates of V. parahaemolyticus from clinical samples (n=74) and cockles (Anadara granosa) (n=74) in Thailand were analyzed by serotyping, determination of virulence and related marker genes present, response to antimicrobial agents, and genetic relatedness. Serological analysis revealed 31 different serotypes, 10 of which occurred among both clinical and cockle samples. The clinical isolates commonly included the pandemic serogroup O3:K6, while a few of the cockle isolates exhibited likely pandemic serovariants such as O3:KUT and O4:KUT, but not O3:K6. The pandemic (orf8 gene-positive) strains were more frequently found among clinical isolates (78.4%) than cockle isolates (28.4%) (p<0.001). Likewise, the virulence and related marker genes were more commonly detected among clinical than cockle isolates; i.e., tdh gene (93.2% versus 29.7%), vcrD2 (97.3% versus 23.0%), vopB2 (89.2% versus 13.5%), vopT (98.6% versus 36.5%) (all p<0.001) and trh (10.8% versus 1.4%) (p<0.05). Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of NotI-digested genomic DNA of 41 randomly selected V. parahaemolyticus isolates representing different serotypes produced 33 pulsotypes that formed 5 different clusters (clonal complexes) (A-E) in a dendrogram. Vibrio parahaemolyticus O3:K6 and likely related pandemic serotypes were especially common among the numerous clinical isolates in cluster C, suggesting a close clonal link among many of these isolates. Most clinical and cockle isolates were resistant to ampicillin. This study indicates that O3:K6 and its likely serovariants based on the PFGE clusters, are causative agents. Seafoods such as cockles potentially serve as a source of virulent V. parahaemolyticus, but further work is required to identify possible additional sources. PMID:26773828

  13. Regulation of Virulence in Staphylococcus aureus: Molecular Mechanisms and Remaining Puzzles.

    PubMed

    Wang, Boyuan; Muir, Tom W

    2016-02-18

    The agr locus encodes a quorum-sensing (QS) circuit required for the virulence of a spectrum of Gram-positive pathogens and is, therefore, regarded as an important target for the development of chemotherapeutics. In recent years, many of the biochemical events in the Staphylococcus aureus agr circuit have been reconstituted and subject to quantitative analysis in vitro. This work, in conjunction with structural studies on several key players in the signaling circuit, has furnished mechanistic insights into the regulation and evolution of the agr QS system. Here, we review this progress and discuss the remaining open questions in the area. We also highlight advances in the discovery of small-molecule agr modulators and how the newly available biochemical and structural information might be leveraged for the design of next-generation therapeutics targeting the agr system. PMID:26971873

  14. A correlative analysis of epidemiologic and molecular characteristics of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus clones from diverse geographic locations with virulence measured by a Caenorhabditis elegans host model.

    PubMed

    Wu, K; Zhang, K; McClure, J; Zhang, J; Schrenzel, J; Francois, P; Harbarth, S; Conly, J

    2013-01-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains from different geographic areas have different genetic backgrounds, suggesting independent clonal evolutions. To better understand the virulence of MRSA strains and the relationship to their clonal and geographic origins, we undertook an analysis of epidemiologic, molecular, and virulence characteristics of a large number of MRSA isolates from geographically diverse origins, in a Caenorhabditis elegans infection model. A total of 99 MRSA isolates collected between 1993 and 2010 at the Geneva University Hospitals from diverse global origins were characterized with Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), toxic shock syndrome toxin (TSST), accessory gene regulator (agr) group, staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec), S. aureus protein A (spa), multilocus sequence typing (MLST), and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) typing. Epidemiologic data were provided from clinical records. The bacterial virulence was tested in a C. elegans host model. The inter-relationships of epidemiological/molecular characteristics in association with nematocidal activities were analyzed with univariate and two-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA). Community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) strains were more virulent than hospital-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA), with higher nematocidal activities in CA-MRSA strains (0.776 vs. 0.506, p = 0.0005). All molecular characteristics (PVL, TSST, spa, SCCmec, MLST, and PFGE types) showed a significant association with nematocidal activities on univariate analysis (p < 0.005). PVL was not a significant predictor after adjusting for genomic backgrounds using spa, MLST, or PFGE typing. The dominant CA-MRSA strains in North America showed higher nematocidal activities than strains from other regions (p < 0.0001). Strains with global origins containing distinct genetic backgrounds have different virulence in the C. elegans model. Nematocidal activities were most highly correlated with SCCmec, spa, MLST

  15. Use of molecular beacons and multi-allelic real-time PCR for detection of and discrimination between virulent Bacillus anthracis and other Bacillus isolates.

    PubMed

    Hadjinicolaou, Andreas V; Demetriou, Victoria L; Hezka, Johana; Beyer, Wolfgang; Hadfield, Ted L; Kostrikis, Leondios G

    2009-07-01

    The awareness of the threat of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of the disease anthrax, as a biowarfare and bioterrorism weapon has revived the development of new technologies for rapid and accurate detection of virulent isolates in environmental and clinical samples. Here we explore the utility of molecular beacon real-time PCR technology for detection of virulent Bacillus anthracis strains. Molecular beacons are nucleic acid probes with high specificity, that act as switches by emitting fluorescence when bound to their nucleotide sequence targets by means of altering their conformation. In this study, five molecular beacons targeting Bacillus anthracis capA, capB, capC, lef, and pag alleles were designed and used in five uniplex assays. Another molecular beacon targeting the Bacillus group chromosomal 16s rRNA allele was designed for use in a duplex assay with an internal PCR amplification control. The molecular beacons were used in a real-time PCR assay for the detection of and differentiation between virulent B. anthracis and other members of the B. cereus group at the molecular level. Various B. anthracis samples as well as other bacterial and human samples were used to demonstrate the sensitivity and specificity of this assay. Use of the molecular beacon real-time PCR technology should accelerate current efforts to swiftly detect B. anthracis strains and its virulence plasmids in clinical and environmental samples and may extend to the development of additional molecular beacon-based assays for the identification of other pathogenic agents or the identification of B. anthracis directly from clinical samples. PMID:19379778

  16. Use of molecular beacons and multi-allelic real-time PCR for detection of and discrimination between virulent Bacillus anthracis and other Bacillus isolates.

    PubMed

    Hadjinicolaou, Andreas V; Demetriou, Victoria L; Hezka, Johana; Beyer, Wolfgang; Hadfield, Ted L; Kostrikis, Leondios G

    2009-07-01

    The awareness of the threat of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of the disease anthrax, as a biowarfare and bioterrorism weapon has revived the development of new technologies for rapid and accurate detection of virulent isolates in environmental and clinical samples. Here we explore the utility of molecular beacon real-time PCR technology for detection of virulent Bacillus anthracis strains. Molecular beacons are nucleic acid probes with high specificity, that act as switches by emitting fluorescence when bound to their nucleotide sequence targets by means of altering their conformation. In this study, five molecular beacons targeting Bacillus anthracis capA, capB, capC, lef, and pag alleles were designed and used in five uniplex assays. Another molecular beacon targeting the Bacillus group chromosomal 16s rRNA allele was designed for use in a duplex assay with an internal PCR amplification control. The molecular beacons were used in a real-time PCR assay for the detection of and differentiation between virulent B. anthracis and other members of the B. cereus group at the molecular level. Various B. anthracis samples as well as other bacterial and human samples were used to demonstrate the sensitivity and specificity of this assay. Use of the molecular beacon real-time PCR technology should accelerate current efforts to swiftly detect B. anthracis strains and its virulence plasmids in clinical and environmental samples and may extend to the development of additional molecular beacon-based assays for the identification of other pathogenic agents or the identification of B. anthracis directly from clinical samples.

  17. Mutations in potato virus Y genome-linked protein determine virulence toward recessive resistances in Capsicum annuum and Lycopersicon hirsutum.

    PubMed

    Moury, Benoît; Morel, Caroline; Johansen, Elisabeth; Guilbaud, Laurent; Souche, Sylvie; Ayme, Valérie; Caranta, Carole; Palloix, Alain; Jacquemond, Mireille

    2004-03-01

    The recessive resistance genes pot-1 and pvr2 in Lycopersicon hirsutum and Capsicum annuum, respectively, control Potato virus Y (PVY) accumulation in the inoculated leaves. Infectious cDNA molecules from two PVY isolates differing in their virulence toward these resistances were obtained using two different strategies. Chimeras constructed with these cDNA clones showed that a single nucleotide change corresponding to an amino acid substitution (Arg119His) in the central part of the viral protein genome-linked (VPg) was involved in virulence toward the pot-1 resistance. On the other hand, 15 nucleotide changes corresponding to five putative amino acid differences in the same region of the VPg affected virulence toward the pvr2(1) and pvr2(2) resistances. Substitution models identified six and five codons within the central and C terminal parts of the VPg for PVY and for the related potyvirus Potato virus A, respectively, which undergo positive selection. This suggests that the role of the VPg-encoding region is determined by the protein and not by the viral RNA apart from its protein-encoding capacity.

  18. yadBC of Yersinia pestis, a New Virulence Determinant for Bubonic Plague▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Forman, Stanislav; Wulff, Christine R.; Myers-Morales, Tanya; Cowan, Clarissa; Perry, Robert D.; Straley, Susan C.

    2008-01-01

    In all Yersinia pestis strains examined, the adhesin/invasin yadA gene is a pseudogene, yet Y. pestis is invasive for epithelial cells. To identify potential surface proteins that are structurally and functionally similar to YadA, we searched the Y. pestis genome for open reading frames with homology to yadA and found three: the bicistronic operon yadBC (YPO1387 and YPO1388 of Y. pestis CO92; y2786 and y2785 of Y. pestis KIM5), which encodes two putative surface proteins, and YPO0902, which lacks a signal sequence and likely is nonfunctional. In this study we characterized yadBC regulation and tested the importance of this operon for Y. pestis adherence, invasion, and virulence. We found that loss of yadBC caused a modest loss of invasiveness for epithelioid cells and a large decrease in virulence for bubonic plague but not for pneumonic plague in mice. PMID:18025093

  19. Molecular determinants for a cardiovascular collapse in anthrax.

    PubMed

    Brojatsch, Jurgen; Casadevall, Arturo; Goldman, David L

    2014-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis releases two bipartite proteins, lethal toxin and edema factor, that contribute significantly to the progression of anthrax-associated shock. As blocking the anthrax toxins prevents disease, the toxins are considered the main virulence factors of the bacterium. The anthrax bacterium and the anthrax toxins trigger multi-organ failure associated with enhanced vascular permeability, hemorrhage and cardiac dysfunction in animal challenge models. A recent study using mice that either lacked the anthrax toxin receptor in specific cells and corresponding mice expressing the receptor in specific cell types demonstrated that cardiovascular cells are critical for disease mediated by anthrax lethal toxin. These studies are consistent with involvement of the cardiovascular system, and with an increase of cardiac failure markers observed in human anthrax and in animal models using B. anthracis and anthrax toxins. This review discusses the current state of knowledge regarding the pathophysiology of anthrax and tries to provide a mechanistic model and molecular determinants for the circulatory shock in anthrax.

  20. Virulence determinants of the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus protect against soil amoeba predation.

    PubMed

    Hillmann, Falk; Novohradská, Silvia; Mattern, Derek J; Forberger, Tilmann; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Westermann, Martin; Winckler, Thomas; Brakhage, Axel A

    2015-08-01

    Filamentous fungi represent classical examples for environmentally acquired human pathogens whose major virulence mechanisms are likely to have emerged long before the appearance of innate immune systems. In natural habitats, amoeba predation could impose a major selection pressure towards the acquisition of virulence attributes. To test this hypothesis, we exploited the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum to study its interaction with Aspergillus fumigatus, two abundant soil inhabitants for which we found co-occurrence in various sites. Fungal conidia were efficiently taken up by D. discoideum, but ingestion was higher when conidia were devoid of the green fungal spore pigment dihydroxynaphtalene melanin, in line with earlier results obtained for immune cells. Conidia were able to survive phagocytic processing, and intracellular germination was initiated only after several hours of co-incubation which eventually led to a lethal disruption of the host cell. Besides phagocytic interactions, both amoeba and fungus secreted cross inhibitory factors which suppressed fungal growth or induced amoeba aggregation with subsequent cell lysis, respectively. On the fungal side, we identified gliotoxin as the major fungal factor killing Dictyostelium, supporting the idea that major virulence attributes, such as escape from phagocytosis and the secretion of mycotoxins are beneficial to escape from environmental predators.

  1. Virulence determinants of the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus protect against soil amoeba predation.

    PubMed

    Hillmann, Falk; Novohradská, Silvia; Mattern, Derek J; Forberger, Tilmann; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Westermann, Martin; Winckler, Thomas; Brakhage, Axel A

    2015-08-01

    Filamentous fungi represent classical examples for environmentally acquired human pathogens whose major virulence mechanisms are likely to have emerged long before the appearance of innate immune systems. In natural habitats, amoeba predation could impose a major selection pressure towards the acquisition of virulence attributes. To test this hypothesis, we exploited the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum to study its interaction with Aspergillus fumigatus, two abundant soil inhabitants for which we found co-occurrence in various sites. Fungal conidia were efficiently taken up by D. discoideum, but ingestion was higher when conidia were devoid of the green fungal spore pigment dihydroxynaphtalene melanin, in line with earlier results obtained for immune cells. Conidia were able to survive phagocytic processing, and intracellular germination was initiated only after several hours of co-incubation which eventually led to a lethal disruption of the host cell. Besides phagocytic interactions, both amoeba and fungus secreted cross inhibitory factors which suppressed fungal growth or induced amoeba aggregation with subsequent cell lysis, respectively. On the fungal side, we identified gliotoxin as the major fungal factor killing Dictyostelium, supporting the idea that major virulence attributes, such as escape from phagocytosis and the secretion of mycotoxins are beneficial to escape from environmental predators. PMID:25684622

  2. Molecular Mechanisms of Sex Determination in Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Rhen, T.; Schroeder, A.

    2010-01-01

    Charles Darwin first provided a lucid explanation of how gender differences evolve nearly 140 years ago. Yet, a disconnect remains between his theory of sexual selection and the mechanisms that underlie the development of males and females. In particular, comparisons between representatives of different phyla (i.e., flies and mice) reveal distinct genetic mechanisms for sexual differentiation. Such differences are hard to comprehend unless we study organisms that bridge the phylogenetic gap. Analysis of variation within monophyletic groups (i.e., amniotes) is just as important if we hope to elucidate the evolution of mechanisms underlying sexual differentiation. Here we review the molecular, cellular, morphological, and physiological changes associated with sex determination in reptiles. Most research on the molecular biology of sex determination in reptiles describes expression patterns for orthologs of mammalian sex-determining genes. Many of these genes have evolutionarily conserved expression profiles (i.e., DMRT1 and SOX9 are expressed at a higher level in developing testes vs. developing ovaries in all species), which suggests functional conservation. However, expression profiling alone does not test gene function and will not identify novel sex-determining genes or gene interactions. For that reason, we provide a prospectus on various techniques that promise to reveal new sex-determining genes and regulatory interactions among these genes. We offer specific examples of novel candidate genes and a new signaling pathway in support of these techniques. PMID:20145384

  3. Molecular mechanisms of sex determination in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Rhen, T; Schroeder, A

    2010-01-01

    Charles Darwin first provided a lucid explanation of how gender differences evolve nearly 140 years ago. Yet, a disconnect remains between his theory of sexual selection and the mechanisms that underlie the development of males and females. In particular, comparisons between representatives of different phyla (i.e., flies and mice) reveal distinct genetic mechanisms for sexual differentiation. Such differences are hard to comprehend unless we study organisms that bridge the phylogenetic gap. Analysis of variation within monophyletic groups (i.e., amniotes) is just as important if we hope to elucidate the evolution of mechanisms underlying sexual differentiation. Here we review the molecular, cellular, morphological, and physiological changes associated with sex determination in reptiles. Most research on the molecular biology of sex determination in reptiles describes expression patterns for orthologs of mammalian sex-determining genes. Many of these genes have evolutionarily conserved expression profiles (i.e., DMRT1 and SOX9 are expressed at a higher level in developing testes vs. developing ovaries in all species), which suggests functional conservation. However, expression profiling alone does not test gene function and will not identify novel sex-determining genes or gene interactions. For that reason, we provide a prospectus on various techniques that promise to reveal new sex-determining genes and regulatory interactions among these genes. We offer specific examples of novel candidate genes and a new signaling pathway in support of these techniques.

  4. Description, molecular characterisation, diagnostics and life cycle of Plasmodium elongatum (lineage pERIRUB01), the virulent avian malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Palinauskas, Vaidas; Žiegytė, Rita; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Ilgūnas, Mikas; Bernotienė, Rasa; Valkiūnas, Gediminas

    2016-10-01

    Plasmodium elongatum causes severe avian malaria and is distributed worldwide. This parasite is of particular importance due to its ability to develop and cause lethal malaria not only in natural hosts, but also in non-adapted endemic birds such as the brown kiwi and different species of penguins. Information on vectors of this infection is available but is contradictory. PCR-based analysis indicated the possible existence of a cluster of closely related P. elongatum lineages which might differ in their ability to develop in certain mosquitoes and birds. This experimental study provides information about molecular and morphological characterisation of a virulent P. elongatum strain (lineage pERIRUB01) isolated from a naturally infected European robin, Erithacus rubecula. Phylogenetic analysis based on partial cytochrome b gene sequences showed that this parasite lineage is closely related to P. elongatum (lineage pGRW6). Blood stages of both parasite lineages are indistinguishable, indicating that they belong to the same species. Both pathogens develop in experimentally infected canaries, Serinus canaria, causing death of the hosts. In both these lineages, trophozoites and erythrocytic meronts develop in polychromatic erythrocytes and erythroblasts, gametocytes parasitize mature erythrocytes, exoerythrocytic stages develop in cells of the erythrocytic series in bone marrow and are occasionally reported in spleen and liver. Massive infestation of bone marrow cells is the main reason for bird mortality. We report here on syncytium-like remnants of tissue meronts, which slip out of the bone marrow into the peripheral circulation, providing evidence that the syncytia can be a template for PCR amplification. This finding contributes to better understanding positive PCR amplifications in birds when parasitemia is invisible and improved diagnostics of abortive haemosporidian infections. Sporogony of P. elongatum (pERIRUB01) completes the cycle and sporozoites develop in

  5. Molecular profiling of Mycobacterium tuberculosis identifies tuberculosinyl nucleoside products of the virulence-associated enzyme Rv3378c

    PubMed Central

    Layre, Emilie; Lee, Ho Jun; Young, David C.; Jezek Martinot, Amanda; Buter, Jeffrey; Minnaard, Adriaan J.; Annand, John W.; Fortune, Sarah M.; Snider, Barry B.; Matsunaga, Isamu; Rubin, Eric J.; Alber, Tom; Moody, D. Branch

    2014-01-01

    To identify lipids with roles in tuberculosis disease, we systematically compared the lipid content of virulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis with the attenuated vaccine strain Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette–Guérin. Comparative lipidomics analysis identified more than 1,000 molecular differences, including a previously unknown, Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific lipid that is composed of a diterpene unit linked to adenosine. We established the complete structure of the natural product as 1-tuberculosinyladenosine (1-TbAd) using mass spectrometry and NMR spectroscopy. A screen for 1-TbAd mutants, complementation studies, and gene transfer identified Rv3378c as necessary for 1-TbAd biosynthesis. Whereas Rv3378c was previously thought to function as a phosphatase, these studies establish its role as a tuberculosinyl transferase and suggest a revised biosynthetic pathway for the sequential action of Rv3377c-Rv3378c. In agreement with this model, recombinant Rv3378c protein produced 1-TbAd, and its crystal structure revealed a cis-prenyl transferase fold with hydrophobic residues for isoprenoid binding and a second binding pocket suitable for the nucleoside substrate. The dual-substrate pocket distinguishes Rv3378c from classical cis-prenyl transferases, providing a unique model for the prenylation of diverse metabolites. Terpene nucleosides are rare in nature, and 1-TbAd is known only in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Thus, this intersection of nucleoside and terpene pathways likely arose late in the evolution of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex; 1-TbAd serves as an abundant chemical marker of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and the extracellular export of this amphipathic molecule likely accounts for the known virulence-promoting effects of the Rv3378c enzyme. PMID:24516143

  6. Virulence plasmid (pYV)-associated expression of phenotypic virulent determinants in pathogenic Yersinia species: a convenient method for monitoring the presence of pYV under culture conditions and its application for...food

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In Yersinia pestis, Y. pseudotuberculosis, and Y, enterocolitica, phenotypic expression of virulence plasmid (pYV: 70-kb)-associated genetic determinants may include low calcium response (Lcr, pin point colony, size = 0.36 mm), colony morphology (size = 1.13 mm), crystal violet (CV) binding (dark-v...

  7. Virulence plasmid (pYV)-associated expression of phenotypic virulent determinants in pathogenic Yersinia species: a convenient method for monitoring the presence of pYV under culture conditions and its application for....food

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In Yersinia pestis, Y. pseudotuberculosis, and Y, enterocolitica, phenotypic expression of several virulence plasmid (pYV: 70-kb)-associated genetic determinants may include low calcium response (Lcr, pin point colony, size = 0.36 mm), colony morphology (size = 1.13 mm), crystal violet (CV) binding...

  8. Physiological and molecular determinants of embryo implantation

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shuang; Lin, Haiyan; Kong, Shuangbo; Wang, Shumin; Wang, Hongmei; Wang, Haibin; Armant, D. Randall

    2014-01-01

    Embryo implantation involves the intimate interaction between an implantation-competent blastocyst and a receptive uterus, which occurs in a limited time period known as the window of implantation. Emerging evidence shows that defects originating during embryo implantation induce ripple effects with adverse consequences on later gestation events, highlighting the significance of this event for pregnancy success. Although a multitude of cellular events and molecular pathways involved in embryo-uterine crosstalk during implantation have been identified through gene expression studies and genetically engineered mouse models, a comprehensive understanding of the nature of embryo implantation is still missing. This review focuses on recent progress with particular attention to physiological and molecular determinants of blastocyst activation, uterine receptivity, blastocyst attachment and uterine decidualization. A better understanding of underlying mechanisms governing embryo implantation should generate new strategies to rectify implantation failure and improve pregnancy rates in women. PMID:23290997

  9. Chromosomal islands of Streptococcus pyogenes and related streptococci: molecular switches for survival and virulence.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Scott V; McShan, William M

    2014-01-01

    Streptococcus pyogenes is a significant pathogen of humans, annually causing over 700,000,000 infections and 500,000 deaths. Virulence in S. pyogenes is closely linked to mobile genetic elements like phages and chromosomal islands (CI). S. pyogenes phage-like chromosomal islands (SpyCI) confer a complex mutator phenotype on their host. SpyCI integrate into the 5' end of DNA mismatch repair (MMR) gene mutL, which also disrupts downstream operon genes lmrP, ruvA, and tag. During early logarithmic growth, SpyCI excise from the bacterial chromosome and replicate as episomes, relieving the mutator phenotype. As growth slows and the cells enter stationary phase, SpyCI reintegrate into the chromosome, again silencing the MMR operon. This system creates a unique growth-dependent and reversible mutator phenotype. Additional CI using the identical attachment site in mutL have been identified in related species, including Streptococcus dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis, Streptococcus anginosus, Streptococcus intermedius, Streptococcus parauberis, and Streptococcus canis. These CI have small genomes, which range from 13 to 20 kB, conserved integrase and DNA replication genes, and no identifiable genes encoding capsid proteins. SpyCI may employ a helper phage for packaging and dissemination in a fashion similar to the Staphylococcus aureus pathogenicity islands (SaPI). Outside of the core replication and integration genes, SpyCI and related CI show considerable diversity with the presence of many indels that may contribute to the host cell phenotype or fitness. SpyCI are a subset of a larger family of streptococcal CI who potentially regulate the expression of other host genes. The biological and phylogenetic analysis of streptococcal chromosomal islands provides important clues as to how these chromosomal islands help S. pyogenes and other streptococcal species persist in human populations in spite of antibiotic therapy and immune challenges.

  10. Chromosomal islands of Streptococcus pyogenes and related streptococci: molecular switches for survival and virulence.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Scott V; McShan, William M

    2014-01-01

    Streptococcus pyogenes is a significant pathogen of humans, annually causing over 700,000,000 infections and 500,000 deaths. Virulence in S. pyogenes is closely linked to mobile genetic elements like phages and chromosomal islands (CI). S. pyogenes phage-like chromosomal islands (SpyCI) confer a complex mutator phenotype on their host. SpyCI integrate into the 5' end of DNA mismatch repair (MMR) gene mutL, which also disrupts downstream operon genes lmrP, ruvA, and tag. During early logarithmic growth, SpyCI excise from the bacterial chromosome and replicate as episomes, relieving the mutator phenotype. As growth slows and the cells enter stationary phase, SpyCI reintegrate into the chromosome, again silencing the MMR operon. This system creates a unique growth-dependent and reversible mutator phenotype. Additional CI using the identical attachment site in mutL have been identified in related species, including Streptococcus dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis, Streptococcus anginosus, Streptococcus intermedius, Streptococcus parauberis, and Streptococcus canis. These CI have small genomes, which range from 13 to 20 kB, conserved integrase and DNA replication genes, and no identifiable genes encoding capsid proteins. SpyCI may employ a helper phage for packaging and dissemination in a fashion similar to the Staphylococcus aureus pathogenicity islands (SaPI). Outside of the core replication and integration genes, SpyCI and related CI show considerable diversity with the presence of many indels that may contribute to the host cell phenotype or fitness. SpyCI are a subset of a larger family of streptococcal CI who potentially regulate the expression of other host genes. The biological and phylogenetic analysis of streptococcal chromosomal islands provides important clues as to how these chromosomal islands help S. pyogenes and other streptococcal species persist in human populations in spite of antibiotic therapy and immune challenges. PMID:25161960

  11. Virulence Attributes and Host Response Assays for Determining Pathogenic Potential of Pseudomonas Strains Used in Biotechnology

    PubMed Central

    Tayabali, Azam F.; Coleman, Gordon; Nguyen, Kathy C.

    2015-01-01

    Pseudomonas species are opportunistically pathogenic to humans, yet closely related species are used in biotechnology applications. In order to screen for the pathogenic potential of strains considered for biotechnology applications, several Pseudomonas strains (P.aeruginosa (Pa), P.fluorescens (Pf), P.putida (Pp), P.stutzeri (Ps)) were compared using functional virulence and toxicity assays. Most Pa strains and Ps grew at temperatures between 28°C and 42°C. However, Pf and Pp strains were the most antibiotic resistant, with ciprofloxacin and colistin being the most effective of those tested. No strain was haemolytic on sheep blood agar. Almost all Pa, but not other test strains, produced a pyocyanin-like chromophore, and caused cytotoxicity towards cultured human HT29 cells. Murine endotracheal exposures indicated that the laboratory reference strain, PAO1, was most persistent in the lungs. Only Pa strains induced pro-inflammatory and inflammatory responses, as measured by elevated cytokines and pulmonary Gr-1 -positive cells. Serum amyloid A was elevated at ≥ 48 h post-exposure by only some Pa strains. No relationship was observed between strains and levels of peripheral leukocytes. The species designation or isolation source may not accurately reflect pathogenic potential, since the clinical strain Pa10752 was relatively nonvirulent, but the industrial strain Pa31480 showed comparable virulence to PAO1. Functional assays involving microbial growth, cytotoxicity and murine immunological responses may be most useful for identifying problematic Pseudomonas strains being considered for biotechnology applications. PMID:26619347

  12. Molecular characterization of protease activity in Serratia sp. strain SCBI and its importance in cytotoxicity and virulence.

    PubMed

    Petersen, Lauren M; Tisa, Louis S

    2014-11-01

    A newly recognized Serratia species, termed South African Caenorhabditis briggsae isolate (SCBI), is both a mutualist of the nematode Caenorhabditis briggsae KT0001 and a pathogen of lepidopteran insects. Serratia sp. strain SCBI displays high proteolytic activity, and because secreted proteases are known virulence factors for many pathogens, the purpose of this study was to identify genes essential for extracellular protease activity in Serratia sp. strain SCBI and to determine what role proteases play in insect pathogenesis and cytotoxicity. A bank of 2,100 transposon mutants was generated, and six SCBI mutants with defective proteolytic activity were identified. These mutants were also defective in cytotoxicity. The mutants were found defective in genes encoding the following proteins: alkaline metalloprotease secretion protein AprE, a BglB family transcriptional antiterminator, an inosine/xanthosine triphosphatase, GidA, a methyl-accepting chemotaxis protein, and a PIN domain protein. Gene expression analysis on these six mutants showed significant downregulation in mRNA levels of several different types of predicted protease genes. In addition, transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis provided insight into how inactivation of AprE, GidA, and a PIN domain protein influences motility and virulence, as well as protease activity. Using quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) to further characterize expression of predicted protease genes in wild-type Serratia sp. SCBI, the highest mRNA levels for the alkaline metalloprotease genes (termed prtA1 to prtA4) occurred following the death of an insect host, while two serine protease and two metalloprotease genes had their highest mRNA levels during active infection. Overall, these results indicate that proteolytic activity is essential for cytotoxicity in Serratia sp. SCBI and that its regulation appears to be highly complex.

  13. Molecular Characterization of Protease Activity in Serratia sp. Strain SCBI and Its Importance in Cytotoxicity and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Petersen, Lauren M.

    2014-01-01

    A newly recognized Serratia species, termed South African Caenorhabditis briggsae isolate (SCBI), is both a mutualist of the nematode Caenorhabditis briggsae KT0001 and a pathogen of lepidopteran insects. Serratia sp. strain SCBI displays high proteolytic activity, and because secreted proteases are known virulence factors for many pathogens, the purpose of this study was to identify genes essential for extracellular protease activity in Serratia sp. strain SCBI and to determine what role proteases play in insect pathogenesis and cytotoxicity. A bank of 2,100 transposon mutants was generated, and six SCBI mutants with defective proteolytic activity were identified. These mutants were also defective in cytotoxicity. The mutants were found defective in genes encoding the following proteins: alkaline metalloprotease secretion protein AprE, a BglB family transcriptional antiterminator, an inosine/xanthosine triphosphatase, GidA, a methyl-accepting chemotaxis protein, and a PIN domain protein. Gene expression analysis on these six mutants showed significant downregulation in mRNA levels of several different types of predicted protease genes. In addition, transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis provided insight into how inactivation of AprE, GidA, and a PIN domain protein influences motility and virulence, as well as protease activity. Using quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) to further characterize expression of predicted protease genes in wild-type Serratia sp. SCBI, the highest mRNA levels for the alkaline metalloprotease genes (termed prtA1 to prtA4) occurred following the death of an insect host, while two serine protease and two metalloprotease genes had their highest mRNA levels during active infection. Overall, these results indicate that proteolytic activity is essential for cytotoxicity in Serratia sp. SCBI and that its regulation appears to be highly complex. PMID:25182493

  14. Molecular Characterization of Gβ-Like Protein CpcB Involved in Antifungal Drug Susceptibility and Virulence in A. fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Zhendong; Chai, Yanfei; Zhang, Caiyun; Feng, Ruoyun; Sang, Hong; Lu, Ling

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an airborne human fungal pathogen that can survive in a wide range of environmental condition. G protein complex transduces external signals from a variety of stimuli outside a cell to its interior effectors in all eukaryotes. Gβ-like CpcB (cross pathway control B) belongs to a WD40 repeat protein family with the conserved G–H and W–D residues. Previous studies have demonstrated that Gβ-like proteins cooperate with related signal transduction proteins to function during many important developmental processes in A. fumigatus. However, the molecular characteristics of Gβ-like CpcB have not yet been identified. In this study, we demonstrated that the G–H residues in WD repeat 1, 2, 3, and the W–D residue in WD repeat 2 of CpcB are required not only to control normal hyphal growth and conidiation but also to affect antifungal drug susceptibility. The enhanced drug resistance might be due to reduced intracellular drug accumulation and altered ergosterol component. Moreover, we find that the first G–H residue of CpcB plays an important role in the virulence of A. fumigatus. To our knowledge, this is the first report for finding the importance of the conserved G–H and W–D residues for a Gβ-like protein in understanding of G protein functions. PMID:26903985

  15. Recent advances in understanding the molecular basis of group B Streptococcus virulence

    PubMed Central

    Maisey, Heather C.; Doran, Kelly S.; Nizet, Victor

    2009-01-01

    Group B Streptococcus commonly colonises healthy adults without symptoms, yet under certain circumstances displays the ability to invade host tissues, evade immune detection and cause serious invasive disease. Consequently, Group B Streptococcus remains a leading cause of neonatal pneumonia, sepsis and meningitis. Here we review recent information on the bacterial factors and mechanisms that direct host–pathogen interactions involved in the pathogenesis of Group B Streptococcus infection. New research on host signalling and inflammatory responses to Group B Streptococcus infection is summarised. An understanding of the complex interplay between Group B Streptococcus and host provides valuable insight into pathogen evolution and highlights molecular targets for therapeutic intervention. PMID:18803886

  16. The contribution of group A streptococcal virulence determinants to the pathogenesis of sepsis.

    PubMed

    Reglinski, Mark; Sriskandan, Shiranee

    2014-01-01

    Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococcus, GAS) is responsible for a wide range of pathologies ranging from mild pharyngitis and impetigo to severe invasive soft tissue infections. Despite the continuing susceptibility of the bacterium to β-lactam antibiotics there has been an unexplained resurgence in the prevalence of invasive GAS infection over the past 30 years. Of particular importance was the emergence of a GAS-associated sepsis syndrome that is analogous to the systemic toxicosis associated with TSST-1 producing strains of Staphylococcus aureus. Despite being recognized for over 20 years, the etiology of GAS associated sepsis and the streptococcal toxic shock syndrome remains poorly understood. Here we review the virulence factors that contribute to the etiology of GAS associated sepsis with a particular focus on coagulation system interactions and the role of the superantigens in the development of streptococcal toxic shock syndrome. PMID:24157731

  17. The contribution of group A streptococcal virulence determinants to the pathogenesis of sepsis

    PubMed Central

    Reglinski, Mark; Sriskandan, Shiranee

    2014-01-01

    Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococcus, GAS) is responsible for a wide range of pathologies ranging from mild pharyngitis and impetigo to severe invasive soft tissue infections. Despite the continuing susceptibility of the bacterium to β-lactam antibiotics there has been an unexplained resurgence in the prevalence of invasive GAS infection over the past 30 years. Of particular importance was the emergence of a GAS-associated sepsis syndrome that is analogous to the systemic toxicosis associated with TSST-1 producing strains of Staphylococcus aureus. Despite being recognized for over 20 years, the etiology of GAS associated sepsis and the streptococcal toxic shock syndrome remains poorly understood. Here we review the virulence factors that contribute to the etiology of GAS associated sepsis with a particular focus on coagulation system interactions and the role of the superantigens in the development of streptococcal toxic shock syndrome. PMID:24157731

  18. Computational Analysis Reveals a Key Regulator of Cryptococcal Virulence and Determinant of Host Response

    PubMed Central

    Gish, Stacey R.; Maier, Ezekiel J.; Haynes, Brian C.; Santiago-Tirado, Felipe H.; Srikanta, Deepa L.; Ma, Cynthia Z.; Li, Lucy X.; Williams, Matthew; Crouch, Erika C.; Khader, Shabaana A.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Cryptococcus neoformans is a ubiquitous, opportunistic fungal pathogen that kills over 600,000 people annually. Here, we report integrated computational and experimental investigations of the role and mechanisms of transcriptional regulation in cryptococcal infection. Major cryptococcal virulence traits include melanin production and the development of a large polysaccharide capsule upon host entry; shed capsule polysaccharides also impair host defenses. We found that both transcription and translation are required for capsule growth and that Usv101 is a master regulator of pathogenesis, regulating melanin production, capsule growth, and capsule shedding. It does this by directly regulating genes encoding glycoactive enzymes and genes encoding three other transcription factors that are essential for capsule growth: GAT201, RIM101, and SP1. Murine infection with cryptococci lacking Usv101 significantly alters the kinetics and pathogenesis of disease, with extended survival and, unexpectedly, death by pneumonia rather than meningitis. Our approaches and findings will inform studies of other pathogenic microbes. PMID:27094327

  19. Molecular evolution of the two-component system BvgAS involved in virulence regulation in Bordetella.

    PubMed

    Herrou, Julien; Debrie, Anne-Sophie; Willery, Eve; Renauld-Mongénie, Geneviève; Renaud-Mongénie, Geneviève; Locht, Camille; Mooi, Frits; Jacob-Dubuisson, Françoise; Antoine, Rudy

    2009-09-14

    The whooping cough agent Bordetella pertussis is closely related to Bordetella bronchiseptica, which is responsible for chronic respiratory infections in various mammals and is occasionally found in humans, and to Bordetella parapertussis, one lineage of which causes mild whooping cough in humans and the other ovine respiratory infections. All three species produce similar sets of virulence factors that are co-regulated by the two-component system BvgAS. We characterized the molecular diversity of BvgAS in Bordetella by sequencing the two genes from a large number of diverse isolates. The response regulator BvgA is virtually invariant, indicating strong functional constraints. In contrast, the multi-domain sensor kinase BvgS has evolved into two different types. The pertussis type is found in B. pertussis and in a lineage of essentially human-associated B. bronchiseptica, while the bronchiseptica type is associated with the majority of B. bronchiseptica and both ovine and human B. parapertussis. BvgS is monomorphic in B. pertussis, suggesting optimal adaptation or a recent population bottleneck. The degree of diversity of the bronchiseptica type BvgS is markedly different between domains, indicating distinct evolutionary pressures. Thus, absolute conservation of the putative solute-binding cavities of the two periplasmic Venus Fly Trap (VFT) domains suggests that common signals are perceived in all three species, while the external surfaces of these domains vary more extensively. Co-evolution of the surfaces of the two VFT domains in each type and domain swapping experiments indicate that signal transduction in the periplasmic region may be type-specific. The two distinct evolutionary solutions for BvgS confirm that B. pertussis has emerged from a specific B. bronchiseptica lineage. The invariant regions of BvgS point to essential parts for its molecular mechanism, while the variable regions may indicate adaptations to different lifestyles. The repertoire of Bvg

  20. Molecular Evolution of the Two-Component System BvgAS Involved in Virulence Regulation in Bordetella

    PubMed Central

    Herrou, Julien; Debrie, Anne-Sophie; Willery, Eve; Renaud-Mongénie, Geneviève; Locht, Camille; Mooi, Frits

    2009-01-01

    The whooping cough agent Bordetella pertussis is closely related to Bordetella bronchiseptica, which is responsible for chronic respiratory infections in various mammals and is occasionally found in humans, and to Bordetella parapertussis, one lineage of which causes mild whooping cough in humans and the other ovine respiratory infections. All three species produce similar sets of virulence factors that are co-regulated by the two-component system BvgAS. We characterized the molecular diversity of BvgAS in Bordetella by sequencing the two genes from a large number of diverse isolates. The response regulator BvgA is virtually invariant, indicating strong functional constraints. In contrast, the multi-domain sensor kinase BvgS has evolved into two different types. The pertussis type is found in B. pertussis and in a lineage of essentially human-associated B. bronchiseptica, while the bronchiseptica type is associated with the majority of B. bronchiseptica and both ovine and human B. parapertussis. BvgS is monomorphic in B. pertussis, suggesting optimal adaptation or a recent population bottleneck. The degree of diversity of the bronchiseptica type BvgS is markedly different between domains, indicating distinct evolutionary pressures. Thus, absolute conservation of the putative solute-binding cavities of the two periplasmic Venus Fly Trap (VFT) domains suggests that common signals are perceived in all three species, while the external surfaces of these domains vary more extensively. Co-evolution of the surfaces of the two VFT domains in each type and domain swapping experiments indicate that signal transduction in the periplasmic region may be type-specific. The two distinct evolutionary solutions for BvgS confirm that B. pertussis has emerged from a specific B. bronchiseptica lineage. The invariant regions of BvgS point to essential parts for its molecular mechanism, while the variable regions may indicate adaptations to different lifestyles. The repertoire of Bvg

  1. NPS6, Encoding a Nonribosomal Peptide Synthetase Involved in Siderophore-Mediated Iron Metabolism, Is a Conserved Virulence Determinant of Plant Pathogenic Ascomycetes[W

    PubMed Central

    Oide, Shinichi; Moeder, Wolfgang; Krasnoff, Stuart; Gibson, Donna; Haas, Hubertus; Yoshioka, Keiko; Turgeon, B. Gillian

    2006-01-01

    NPS6, encoding a nonribosomal peptide synthetase, is a virulence determinant in the maize (Zea mays) pathogen Cochliobolus heterostrophus and is involved in tolerance to H2O2. Deletion of NPS6 orthologs in the rice (Oryza sativa) pathogen, Cochliobolus miyabeanus, the wheat (Triticum aestivum) pathogen, Fusarium graminearum, and the Arabidopsis thaliana pathogen, Alternaria brassicicola, resulted in reduced virulence and hypersensitivity to H2O2. Introduction of the NPS6 ortholog from the saprobe Neurospora crassa to the Δnps6 strain of C. heterostrophus restored wild-type virulence to maize and tolerance to H2O2, demonstrating functional conservation in filamentous ascomycete phytopathogens and saprobes. Increased sensitivity to iron depletion was identified as a conserved phenotype of Δnps6 strains. Exogenous application of iron enhanced the virulence of Δnps6 strains of C. heterostrophus, C. miyabeanus, F. graminearum, and A. brassicicola to each host. NPS6 is responsible for the biosynthesis of extracellular siderophores by C. heterostrophus, F. graminearum, and A. brassicicola. Application of the extracellular siderophore of A. brassicicola restored wild-type virulence of the ΔAbnps6 strain to Arabidopsis. It is proposed that the role of extracellular siderophores in fungal virulence to plants is to supply an essential nutrient, iron, to their producers in planta and not to act as phytotoxins, depriving their hosts of iron. PMID:17056706

  2. Antimicrobial Resistance, Virulence Profiles and Molecular Subtypes of Salmonella enterica Serovars Typhi and Paratyphi A Blood Isolates from Kolkata, India during 2009-2013

    PubMed Central

    Dutta, Shanta; Das, Surojit; Mitra, Utpala; Jain, Priyanka; Roy, Indranil; Ganguly, Shelley S.; Ray, Ujjwayini; Dutta, Phalguni; Paul, Dilip Kumar

    2014-01-01

    Enteric fever, caused by Salmonella enterica, remains an unresolved public health problem in India and antimicrobial therapy is the main mode of treatment. The objective of this study was to characterize the Salmonella enterica isolates from Kolkata with respect to their antimicrobial resistance (AMR), virulence profiles and molecular subtypes. Salmonella enterica blood isolates were collected from clinically suspected enteric fever patients attending various hospitals in Kolkata, India from January 2009 to June 2013 and were tested for AMR profiles by standard protocols; for resistance gene transfer by conjugation; for resistance and virulence genes profiles by PCR; and for molecular subtypes by Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE). A total of 77 Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi) and 25 Salmonella enterica serovar Paratyphi A (S. Paratyphi A) from Kolkata were included in this study. Although multidrug resistance (resistance to chloramphenicol, ampicillin, co-trimoxazole) was decreasing in S. Typhi (18.2%) and absent in S. Paratyphi A, increased resistance to fluoroquinolone, the current drug of choice, caused growing concern for typhoid treatment. A single, non-conjugative non-IncHI1 plasmid of 180 kb was found in 71.4% multidrug resistant (MDR) S. Typhi; the remaining 28.6% isolates were without plasmid. Various AMR markers (blaTEM-1, catA, sul1, sul2, dfrA15, strA-strB) and class 1 integron with dfrA7 gene were detected in MDR S. Typhi by PCR and sequencing. Most of the study isolates were likely to be virulent due to the presence of virulence markers. Major diversity was not noticed among S. Typhi and S. Paratyphi A from Kolkata by PFGE. The observed association between AMR profiles and S. Typhi pulsotypes might be useful in controlling the spread of the organism by appropriate intervention. The study reiterated the importance of continuous monitoring of AMR and molecular subtypes of Salmonella isolates from endemic regions for better

  3. Molecular method for determining sex of walruses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fischbach, A.S.; Jay, C.V.; Jackson, J.V.; Andersen, L.W.; Sage, G.K.; Talbot, S.L.

    2008-01-01

    We evaluated the ability of a set of published trans-species molecular sexing primers and a set of walrus-specific primers, which we developed, to accurately identify sex of 235 Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). The trans-species primers were developed for mammals and targeted the X- and Y-gametologs of the zinc finger protein genes (ZFX, ZFY). We extended this method by using these primers to obtain sequence from Pacific and Atlantic walrus (0. r. rosmarus) ZFX and ZFY genes to develop new walrus-specific primers, which yield polymerase chain reaction products of distinct lengths (327 and 288 base pairs from the X- and Y-chromosome, respectively), allowing them to be used for sex determination. Both methods yielded a determination of sex in all but 1-2% of samples with an accuracy of 99.6-100%. Our walrus-specific primers offer the advantage of small fragment size and facile application to automated electrophoresis and visualization.

  4. The Staphylococcus aureus collagen adhesin is a virulence determinant in experimental septic arthritis.

    PubMed Central

    Patti, J M; Bremell, T; Krajewska-Pietrasik, D; Abdelnour, A; Tarkowski, A; Rydén, C; Höök, M

    1994-01-01

    The importance of a collagen-binding adhesin in the pathogenesis of septic arthritis has been examined by comparing the virulence of two sets of Staphylococcus aureus mutants in an animal model. Collagen adhesin-negative mutant PH100 was constructed by replacing the chromosomal collagen adhesin gene (cna) in a clinical strain, Phillips, with an inactivated copy of the gene. Collagen adhesin-positive mutant S. aureus CYL574 was generated by introducing the cna gene into CYL316, a strain that normally lacks the cna gene. Biochemical, immunological, and functional analyses of the generated mutants and their respective parent strains showed that binding of 125I-labeled collagen, expression of an immunoreactive collagen adhesin, and bacterial adherence to cartilage were directly correlated with the presence of a functional cna gene. Greater than 70% of the mice injected with the Cna+ strains developed clinical signs of arthritis, whereas less than 27% of the animals injected with Cna- strains showed symptoms of disease. Furthermore, mice injected with the Cna+ strain Phillips had remarkably elevated levels of immunoglobulin G1 and interleukin-6 compared with mice injected with the Cna- mutant PH100. Taken together, these results demonstrate that collagen adhesin plays an important role in the pathogenesis of septic arthritis induced by S. aureus. Images PMID:8262622

  5. Prevalence of Virulence-Related Determinants in Clinical Isolates of Staphylococcus epidermidis

    PubMed Central

    Najar Peerayeh, Shahin; Jazayeri Moghadas, Ali; Behmanesh, Mehrdad

    2016-01-01

    Background Staphylococcus epidermidis, a member of the human flora, is recognized as an opportunistic pathogen and cause of nosocomial infections. Staphylococcus epidermidis surface components are able to establish bacteria on the host surface, and cause infection. Objectives The frequency of icaA, IS256, aap, fbe and bhp in clinical isolates of S. epidermidis were investigated in this study. Materials and Methods Fifty-nine S. epidermidis isolates were collected from blood (50), wound (1), urine (4) and tracheal (4) samples (Tehran, Iran). Staphylococcus epidermidis isolates were identified with conventional bacteriological tests. Virulence-associated genes were detected by specific polymerase chain reactions (PCRs). Results Of the 59 S. epidermidis, fbe was found in 89.8%, while aap and bhp were observed in 64.4% and 15.3% of the samples, respectively. Coexistence of aap and fbe was found in 32 isolates, while coexistence of bhp and fbe was observed in five isolates. Two isolates were negative for the investigated genes. Conclusions Prevalence of fbe and aap was significantly different from similar studies, yet frequency of bhp was in accordance with other studies. Prevalence of icaA and IS256 was not significantly different from some studies while a significant difference was observed when results were compared with some other studies. PMID:27800129

  6. A link between gut community metabolism and pathogenesis: molecular hydrogen-stimulated glucarate catabolism aids Salmonella virulence

    PubMed Central

    Lamichhane-Khadka, Reena; Benoit, Stéphane L.; Maier, Susan E.; Maier, Robert J.

    2013-01-01

    Glucarate, an oxidized product of glucose, is a major serum organic acid in humans. Still, its role as a carbon source for a pathogen colonizing hosts has not been studied. We detected high-level expression of a potential glucarate permease encoding gene gudT when Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium are exposed to hydrogen gas (H2), a gaseous by-product of gut commensal metabolism. A gudT strain of Salmonella is deficient in glucarate-dependent growth, however, it can still use other monosaccharides, such as glucose or galactose. Complementation of the gudT mutant with a plasmid harbouring gudT restored glucarate-dependent growth to wild-type (WT) levels. The gudT mutant exhibits attenuated virulence: the mean time of death for mice inoculated with WT strain was 2 days earlier than for mice inoculated with the gudT strain. At 4 days postinoculation, liver and spleen homogenates from mice inoculated with a gudT strain contained significantly fewer viable Salmonella than homogenates from animals inoculated with the parent. The parent strain grew well H2-dependently in a minimal medium with amino acids and glucarate provided as the sole carbon sources, whereas the gudT strain achieved approximately 30% of the parent strain's yield. Glucarate-mediated growth of a mutant strain unable to produce H2 was stimulated by H2 addition, presumably owing to the positive transcriptional response to H2. Gut microbiota-produced molecular hydrogen apparently signals Salmonella to catabolize an alternative carbon source available in the host. Our results link a gut microbiome-produced diffusible metabolite to augmenting bacterial pathogenesis. PMID:24307595

  7. Type 3 Secretion System Cluster 3 Is a Critical Virulence Determinant for Lung-Specific Melioidosis

    PubMed Central

    Gutierrez, Maria G.; Pfeffer, Tia L.; Warawa, Jonathan M.

    2015-01-01

    Burkholderia pseudomallei, the bacterial agent of melioidosis, causes disease through inhalation of infectious particles, and is classified as a Tier 1 Select Agent. Optical diagnostic imaging has demonstrated that murine respiratory disease models are subject to significant upper respiratory tract (URT) colonization. Because human melioidosis is not associated with URT colonization as a prominent presentation, we hypothesized that lung-specific delivery of B. pseudomallei may enhance our ability to study respiratory melioidosis in mice. We compared intranasal and intubation-mediated intratracheal (IMIT) instillation of bacteria and found that the absence of URT colonization correlates with an increased bacterial pneumonia and systemic disease progression. Comparison of the LD50 of luminescent B. pseudomallei strain, JW280, in intranasal and IMIT challenges of albino C57BL/6J mice identified a significant decrease in the LD50 using IMIT. We subsequently examined the LD50 of both capsular polysaccharide and Type 3 Secretion System cluster 3 (T3SS3) mutants by IMIT challenge of mice and found that the capsule mutant was attenuated 6.8 fold, while the T3SS3 mutant was attenuated 290 fold, demonstrating that T3SS3 is critical to respiratory melioidosis. Our previously reported intranasal challenge studies, which involve significant URT colonization, did not identify a dissemination defect for capsule mutants; however, we now report that capsule mutants exhibit significantly reduced dissemination from the lung following lung-specific instillation, suggesting that capsule mutants are competent to spread from the URT, but not the lung. We also report that a T3SS3 mutant is defective for dissemination following lung-specific delivery, and also exhibits in vivo growth defects in the lung. These findings highlight the T3SS3 as a critical virulence system for respiratory melioidosis, not only in the lung, but also for subsequent spread beyond the lung using a model system

  8. Antifungal Susceptibility in Serum and Virulence Determinants of Candida Bloodstream Isolates from Hong Kong

    PubMed Central

    Seneviratne, Chaminda J.; Rajan, Suhasini; Wong, Sarah S. W.; Tsang, Dominic N. C.; Lai, Christopher K. C.; Samaranayake, Lakshman P.; Jin, Lijian

    2016-01-01

    Candida bloodstream infections (CBI) are one of the most common nosocomial infections globally, and they account for a high mortality rate. The increasing global prevalence of drug-resistant Candida strains has also been posing a challenge to clinicians. In this study, we comprehensively evaluated the biofilm formation and production of hemolysin and proteinase of 63 CBI isolates derived from a hospital setting in Hong Kong as well as their antifungal susceptibility both in the presence and in the absence of human serum, using standard methodology. Candida albicans was the predominant species among the 63 CBI isolates collected, and non-albicans Candida species accounted for approximately one third of the isolates (36.5%). Of them, Candida tropicalis was the most common non-albicans Candida species. A high proportion (31.7%) of the CBI isolates (40% of C. albicans isolates, 10% of C. tropicalis isolates, 11% of C. parapsilosis isolates, and 100% of C. glabrata isolates) were found to be resistant to fluconazole. One of the isolates (C. tropicalis) was resistant to amphotericin B. A rising prevalence of drug-resistance CBI isolates in Hong Kong was observed with reference to a previous study. Notably, all non-albicans Candida species, showed increased hemolytic activity relative to C. albicans, whilst C. albicans, C. tropicalis, and C. parapsilosis exhibited proteinase activities. Majority of the isolates were capable of forming mature biofilms. Interestingly, the presence of serum distorted the yeast sensitivity to fluconazole, but not amphotericin B. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that CBI isolates of Candida have the potential to express to varying extent their virulence attributes (e.g., biofilm formation, hemolysin production, and proteinase activity) and these, together with perturbations in their antifungal sensitivity in the presence of serum, may contribute to treatment complication in candidemia. The effect of serum on antifungal activity

  9. Molecular characterization of mammalian-adapted Korean-type avian H9N2 virus and evaluation of its virulence in mice.

    PubMed

    Park, Kuk Jin; Song, Min-Suk; Kim, Eun-Ha; Kwon, Hyeok-Il; Baek, Yun Hee; Choi, Eun-Hye; Park, Su-Jin; Kim, Se Mi; Kim, Young-Il; Choi, Won-Suk; Yoo, Dae-Won; Kim, Chul-Joong; Choi, Young Ki

    2015-08-01

    Avian influenza A virus (AIV) is commonly isolated from domestic poultry and wild migratory birds, and the H9N2 subtype is the most prevalent and the major cause of severe disease in poultry in Korea. In addition to the veterinary concerns regarding the H9N2 subtype, it is also considered to be the next potential human pandemic strain due to its rapid evolution and interspecies transmission. In this study, we utilize serial lung-to-lung passage of a low pathogenic avian influenza virus (LPAI) H9N2 (A/Ck/Korea/163/04, WT163) (Y439-lineage) in mice to increase pathogenicity and investigate the potential virulence marker. Mouse-adapted H9N2 virus obtained high virulence (100% mortality) in mice after 98 serial passages. Sequence results show that the mouse adaptation (ma163) possesses several mutations within seven gene segments (PB2, PA, HA, NP, NA, M, and NS) relative to the wild-type strain. The HA gene showed the most mutations (at least 11) with one resulting in the loss of an N-glycosylation site (at amino acid 166). Moreover, reverse genetic studies established that an E627K substitution in PB2 and the loss of the N-glycosylation site in the HA protein (aa166) are critical virulence markers in the mouse-adapted H9N2 virus. Thus, these results add to the increasing body of mutational analysis data defining the function of the viral polymerase and HA genes and their roles in mammalian host adaptation. To our knowledge, this is first report of the generation of a mammalian-adapted Korea H9N2 virus (Y493-lineages). Therefore, this study offers valuable insights into the molecular evolution of the LPAI Korean H9N2 in a new host and adds to the current knowledge of the molecular markers associated with increased virulence. PMID:26224460

  10. Dynamic fracture toughness determined using molecular dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Swadener, J. G.; Baskes, M. I.; Nastasi, Michael Anthony,

    2004-01-01

    Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of fracture in crystalline silicon are conducted in order to determine the dynamic fracture toughness. The MD simulations show how the potential energy released during fracture is partitioned into surface energy, energy stored in defects and kinetic energy. First, the MD fracture simulations are shown to produce brittle fracture and be in reasonable agreement with experimental results. Then dynamic hcture toughness is calculated as the sum of the surface energy and the energy stored as defects directly from the MD models. Models oriented to produce fracture on either (111) or (101) planes are used. For the (101) fracture orientation, equilibrium crack speeds of greater than 80% of the Rayleigh wave speed are obtained. Crack speeds initially show a steep increase with increasing energy release rate followed by a much more gradual increase. No plateau in crack speed is observed for static energy release rates up to 20 J/m{sup 2}. At the point where the change in crack speed behavior occur, the dynamic fracture toughness (J{sub d}) is still within 10% of two times the surface energy (2{gamma}{sub 0}) and changing very slowly. From these MD simulations, it appears that the change in crack speed behavior is due to a change in the kinetic energy generation during dynamic fracture. In addition, MD simulations of facture in silicon with defects were conducted. The addition of defects increases the inelastic dissipation and the energy stored in defects.

  11. Molecular Characterization, Morphological Characteristics, Virulence, and Geographic Distribution of Rhizoctonia spp. in Washington State.

    PubMed

    Jaaffar, Ahmad Kamil Mohd; Paulitz, Timothy C; Schroeder, Kurtis L; Thomashow, Linda S; Weller, David M

    2016-05-01

    Rhizoctonia root rot and bare patch, caused by Rhizoctonia solani anastomosis group (AG)-8 and R. oryzae, are chronic and important yield-limiting diseases of wheat and barley in the Inland Pacific Northwest (PNW) of the United States. Major gaps remain in our understanding of the epidemiology of these diseases, in part because multiple Rhizoctonia AGs and species can be isolated from the same cereal roots from the field, contributing to the challenge of identifying the causal agents correctly. In this study, a collection totaling 498 isolates of Rhizoctonia was assembled from surveys conducted from 2000 to 2009, 2010, and 2011 over a wide range of cereal production fields throughout Washington State in the PNW. To determine the identity of the isolates, PCR with AG- or species-specific primers and/or DNA sequence analysis of the internal transcribed spacers was performed. R. solani AG-2-1, AG-8, AG-10, AG-3, AG-4, and AG-11 comprised 157 (32%), 70 (14%), 21 (4%), 20 (4%), 1 (0.2%), and 1 (0.2%), respectively, of the total isolates. AG-I-like binucleate Rhizoctonia sp. comprised 44 (9%) of the total; and 53 (11%), 80 (16%), and 51 (10%) were identified as R. oryzae genotypes I, II, and III, respectively. Isolates of AG-2-1, the dominant Rhizoctonia, occurred in all six agronomic zones defined by annual precipitation and temperature within the region sampled. Isolates of AG-8 also were cosmopolitan in their distribution but the frequency of isolation varied among years, and they were most abundant in zones of low and moderate precipitation. R. oryzae was cosmopolitan, and collectively the three genotypes comprised 37% of the isolates. Only isolates of R. solani AG-8 and R. oryzae genotypes II and III (but not genotype I) caused symptoms typically associated with Rhizoctonia root rot and bare patch of wheat. Isolates of AG-2-1 caused only mild root rot and AG-I-like binucleate isolates and members of groups AG-3, AG-4, and AG-11 showed only slight or no discoloration

  12. Antibiotic resistance, virulence determinants and production of biogenic amines among enterococci from ovine, feline, canine, porcine and human milk

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Recent studies have shown that mammalian milk represents a continuous supply of commensal bacteria, including enterococci. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the presence of enterococci in milk of different species and to screen them for several genetic and phenotypic traits of clinical significance among enterococci. Results Samples were obtained from, at least, nine porcine, canine, ovine, feline and human healthy hosts. Enterococci could be isolated, at a concentration of 1.00 × 102 -1.16 × 103 CFU/ml, from all the porcine samples and, also from 85, 50, 25 and 25% of the human, canine, feline and ovine ones, respectively. They were identified as Enterococcus faecalis, Enterococcus faecium, Enterococcus hirae, Enterococcus casseliflavus and Enterococcus durans. Among the 120 initial enterococcal isolates, 36 were selected on the basis of their different PFGE profiles and further characterized. MLST analysis revealed a wide diversity of STs among the E. faecalis and E. faecium strains, including some frequently associated to hospital infections and novel STs. All the E. faecalis strains possessed some of the potential virulence determinants (cad, ccf, cob, cpd, efaAfs, agg2, gelE, cylA, espfs) assayed while the E. faecium ones only harboured the efaAfm gene. All the tested strains were susceptible to tigecycline, linezolid and vancomycin, and produced tyramine. Their susceptibility to the rest of the antimicrobials and their ability to produce other biogenic amines varied depending on the strain. Enterococci strains isolated from porcine samples showed the widest spectrum of antibiotic resistance. Conclusions Enterococci isolated from milk of different mammals showed a great genetic diversity. The wide distribution of virulence genes and/or antibiotic resistance among the E. faecalis and E. faecium isolates indicates that they can constitute a reservoir of such traits and a risk to animal and human health. PMID:24325647

  13. Prevalence of virulence determinants and antimicrobial resistance among commensal Escherichia coli derived from dairy and beef cattle.

    PubMed

    Bok, Ewa; Mazurek, Justyna; Stosik, Michał; Wojciech, Magdalena; Baldy-Chudzik, Katarzyna

    2015-01-01

    Cattle is a reservoir of potentially pathogenic E. coli, bacteria that can represent a significant threat to public health, hence it is crucial to monitor the prevalence of the genetic determinants of virulence and antimicrobial resistance among the E. coli population. The aim of this study was the analysis of the phylogenetic structure, distribution of virulence factors (VFs) and prevalence of antimicrobial resistance among E. coli isolated from two groups of healthy cattle: 50 cows housed in the conventional barn (147 isolates) and 42 cows living on the ecological pasture (118 isolates). The phylogenetic analysis, identification of VFs and antimicrobial resistance genes were based on either multiplex or simplex PCR. The antimicrobial susceptibilities of E. coli were examined using the broth microdilution method. Two statistical approaches were used to analyse the results obtained for two groups of cattle. The relations between the dependent (VFs profiles, antibiotics) and the independent variables were described using the two models. The mixed logit model was used to characterise the prevalence of the analysed factors in the sets of isolates. The univariate logistic regression model was used to characterise the prevalence of these factors in particular animals. Given each model, the odds ratio (OR) and the 95% confidence interval for the population were estimated. The phylogroup B1 was predominant among isolates from beef cattle, while the phylogroups A, B1 and D occurred with equal frequency among isolates from dairy cattle. The frequency of VFs-positive isolates was significantly higher among isolates from beef cattle. E. coli from dairy cattle revealed significantly higher resistance to antibiotics. Some of the tested resistance genes were present among isolates from dairy cattle. Our study showed that the habitat and diet may affect the genetic diversity of commensal E. coli in the cattle. The results suggest that the ecological pasture habitat is related to

  14. Prevalence of Virulence Determinants and Antimicrobial Resistance among Commensal Escherichia coli Derived from Dairy and Beef Cattle

    PubMed Central

    Bok, Ewa; Mazurek, Justyna; Stosik, Michał; Wojciech, Magdalena; Baldy-Chudzik, Katarzyna

    2015-01-01

    Cattle is a reservoir of potentially pathogenic E. coli, bacteria that can represent a significant threat to public health, hence it is crucial to monitor the prevalence of the genetic determinants of virulence and antimicrobial resistance among the E. coli population. The aim of this study was the analysis of the phylogenetic structure, distribution of virulence factors (VFs) and prevalence of antimicrobial resistance among E. coli isolated from two groups of healthy cattle: 50 cows housed in the conventional barn (147 isolates) and 42 cows living on the ecological pasture (118 isolates). The phylogenetic analysis, identification of VFs and antimicrobial resistance genes were based on either multiplex or simplex PCR. The antimicrobial susceptibilities of E. coli were examined using the broth microdilution method. Two statistical approaches were used to analyse the results obtained for two groups of cattle. The relations between the dependent (VFs profiles, antibiotics) and the independent variables were described using the two models. The mixed logit model was used to characterise the prevalence of the analysed factors in the sets of isolates. The univariate logistic regression model was used to characterise the prevalence of these factors in particular animals. Given each model, the odds ratio (OR) and the 95% confidence interval for the population were estimated. The phylogroup B1 was predominant among isolates from beef cattle, while the phylogroups A, B1 and D occurred with equal frequency among isolates from dairy cattle. The frequency of VFs-positive isolates was significantly higher among isolates from beef cattle. E. coli from dairy cattle revealed significantly higher resistance to antibiotics. Some of the tested resistance genes were present among isolates from dairy cattle. Our study showed that the habitat and diet may affect the genetic diversity of commensal E. coli in the cattle. The results suggest that the ecological pasture habitat is related to

  15. Prevalence of virulence determinants and antimicrobial resistance among commensal Escherichia coli derived from dairy and beef cattle.

    PubMed

    Bok, Ewa; Mazurek, Justyna; Stosik, Michał; Wojciech, Magdalena; Baldy-Chudzik, Katarzyna

    2015-01-19

    Cattle is a reservoir of potentially pathogenic E. coli, bacteria that can represent a significant threat to public health, hence it is crucial to monitor the prevalence of the genetic determinants of virulence and antimicrobial resistance among the E. coli population. The aim of this study was the analysis of the phylogenetic structure, distribution of virulence factors (VFs) and prevalence of antimicrobial resistance among E. coli isolated from two groups of healthy cattle: 50 cows housed in the conventional barn (147 isolates) and 42 cows living on the ecological pasture (118 isolates). The phylogenetic analysis, identification of VFs and antimicrobial resistance genes were based on either multiplex or simplex PCR. The antimicrobial susceptibilities of E. coli were examined using the broth microdilution method. Two statistical approaches were used to analyse the results obtained for two groups of cattle. The relations between the dependent (VFs profiles, antibiotics) and the independent variables were described using the two models. The mixed logit model was used to characterise the prevalence of the analysed factors in the sets of isolates. The univariate logistic regression model was used to characterise the prevalence of these factors in particular animals. Given each model, the odds ratio (OR) and the 95% confidence interval for the population were estimated. The phylogroup B1 was predominant among isolates from beef cattle, while the phylogroups A, B1 and D occurred with equal frequency among isolates from dairy cattle. The frequency of VFs-positive isolates was significantly higher among isolates from beef cattle. E. coli from dairy cattle revealed significantly higher resistance to antibiotics. Some of the tested resistance genes were present among isolates from dairy cattle. Our study showed that the habitat and diet may affect the genetic diversity of commensal E. coli in the cattle. The results suggest that the ecological pasture habitat is related to

  16. Fob1 and Fob2 Proteins Are Virulence Determinants of Rhizopus oryzae via Facilitating Iron Uptake from Ferrioxamine

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Mingfu; Lin, Lin; Gebremariam, Teclegiorgis; Luo, Guanpingsheng; Skory, Christopher D.; French, Samuel W.; Chou, Tsui-Fen; Edwards, John E.; Ibrahim, Ashraf S.

    2015-01-01

    Dialysis patients with chronic renal failure receiving deferoxamine for treating iron overload are uniquely predisposed for mucormycosis, which is most often caused by Rhizopus oryzae. Although the deferoxamine siderophore is not secreted by Mucorales, previous studies established that Rhizopus species utilize iron from ferrioxamine (iron-rich form of deferoxamine). Here we determined that the CBS domain proteins of Fob1 and Fob2 act as receptors on the cell surface of R. oryzae during iron uptake from ferrioxamine. Fob1 and Fob2 cell surface expression was induced in the presence of ferrioxamine and bound radiolabeled ferrioxamine. A R. oryzae strain with targeted reduced Fob1/Fob2 expression was impaired for iron uptake, germinating, and growing on medium with ferrioxamine as the sole source of iron. This strain also exhibited reduced virulence in a deferoxamine-treated, but not the diabetic ketoacidotic (DKA), mouse model of mucormycosis. The mechanism by which R. oryzae obtains iron from ferrioxamine involves the reductase/permease uptake system since the growth on ferrioxamine supplemented medium is associated with elevated reductase activity and the use of the ferrous chelator bathophenanthroline disulfonate abrogates iron uptake and growth on medium supplemented with ferrioxamine as a sole source of iron. Finally, R. oryzae mutants with reduced copies of the high affinity iron permease (FTR1) or with decreased FTR1 expression had an impaired iron uptake from ferrioxamine in vitro and reduced virulence in the deferoxamine-treated mouse model of mucormycosis. These two receptors appear to be conserved in Mucorales, and can be the subject of future novel therapy to maintain the use of deferoxamine for treating iron-overload. PMID:25974051

  17. Characterization of shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli recovered from domestic animals to determine stx variants, virulence genes, and cytotoxicity in mammalian cells

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) can cause foodborne illnesses ranging from diarrhea to severe diseases such as hemorrhagic colitis (HC), and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) in humans. In this study, we determined virulence genes, stx subtypes and we evaluated the cytotoxicity in mammal...

  18. Genetic diversity and virulence gene determinants of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella isolated from preharvest turkey production sources.

    PubMed

    Nayak, R; Stewart, T; Wang, R-F; Lin, J; Cerniglia, C E; Kenney, P B

    2004-02-15

    This study evaluated the molecular diversity of 29 Salmonella serotypes isolated from turkey ceca and the production environment. Isolates were resistant to bacitracin (100%), erythromycin (100%), novobiocin (100%), rifampin (100%), streptomycin (62%), gentamicin (52%), spectinomycin (48%), tetracycline (31%), sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (SXT) (3%) and tobramycin (3%). The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values ranged from 32 to >/=1024 microg/ml. The pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and ribotyping patterns were identical within each of the serotypes Heidelberg, Worthington and Muenster. The plasmid profiles were identical within each of the Salmonella serotypes. Two different clones of Salmonella anatum were differentiated by PFGE typing but not by ribotyping. Heidelberg isolates from nine turkey ceca and three drinker samples had identical antibiotic resistance, PFGE, ribotype and plasmid patterns, suggesting that transmission of this particular clone may have occurred between the birds and the drinkers. Identical PFGE, ribotype and plasmid patterns were observed in one Salmonella worthington isolate from turkey ceca in one flock and two S. worthington isolates from feeder contents and drinkers from a subsequent flock, suggesting transmission of this pathogen between flocks. Individual and multiple polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analyses revealed the presence of the virulence genes invA, aceK and sopB and the absence of the h-1i gene in all isolates. A combination of genotypic and phenotypic markers can be useful in studying genetic variation among natural salmonellae populations in turkey production and delineating possible transmission pathways.

  19. Molecular screening of virulence genes in extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli isolated from human blood culture in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Koga, Vanessa L; Tomazetto, Geizecler; Cyoia, Paula S; Neves, Meiriele S; Vidotto, Marilda C; Nakazato, Gerson; Kobayashi, Renata K T

    2014-01-01

    Extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) is one of the main etiological agents of bloodstream infections caused by Gram-negative bacilli. In the present study, 20 E. coli isolates from human hemocultures were characterized to identify genetic features associated with virulence (pathogenicity islands markers, phylogenetic group, virulence genes, plasmid profiles, and conjugative plasmids) and these results were compared with commensal isolates. The most prevalent pathogenicity island, in strains from hemoculture, were PAI IV536, described by many researchers as a stable island in enterobacteria. Among virulence genes, iutA gene was found more frequently and this gene enconding the aerobactin siderophore receptor. According to the phylogenetic classification, group B2 was the most commonly found. Additionally, through plasmid analysis, 14 isolates showed plasmids and 3 of these were shown to be conjugative. Although in stool samples of healthy people the presence of commensal strains is common, human intestinal tract may serve as a reservoir for ExPEC.

  20. Comparative analysis of virulence determinants, antibiotic susceptibility patterns and serogrouping of atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli versus typical enteropathogenic E. coli in India.

    PubMed

    Malvi, Supriya; Appannanavar, Suma; Mohan, Balvinder; Kaur, Harsimran; Gautam, Neha; Bharti, Bhavneet; Kumar, Yashwant; Taneja, Neelam

    2015-10-01

    The epidemiology of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) and the significance of isolation of atypical EPEC (aEPEC) in childhood diarrhoea have not been well studied in an Indian context. A comparative study was undertaken to investigate virulence determinants, antibiotic susceptibility patterns and serogrouping of typical EPEC (tEPEC) versus aEPEC causing diarrhoea in children. A total of 400 prospective and 500 retrospective E. coli isolates were included. PCR was performed for eae, bfpA, efa, nleB, nleE, cdt, ehxA and paa genes. The Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute's disc diffusion test was used to determine the antimicrobial susceptibility. Phenotypic screening of extended spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs), AmpC and Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) production, and molecular detection of bla(NDM-1), bla(VIM), bla(CTX-M-15), bla(IMP) and bla(KPC) were performed. aEPEC (57.6 %) were more common as compared with tEPEC (42.3 %). The occurrence of virulence genes was observed to be three times higher in aEPEC as compared with tEPEC, efa1 (14.7 % of aEPEC, 4 % of tEPEC) being the most common. Most of the isolates did not belong to the classical EPEC O-serogroups. The highest resistance was observed against amoxicillin (93.22 %) followed by quinolones (83 %), cephalosporins (37.28 %), cotrimoxazole (35.59 %) and carbapenems (30.5 %). Overall equal numbers of aEPEC (41.17 %) and tEPEC (40 %) were observed to be multidrug-resistant. Fifteen EPEC strains demonstrated presence of ESBLs, five produced AmpC and four each produced metallo-β-lactamases and KPC-type carbapenemases; eight, seven and one isolate(s) each were positive for bla(VIM), bla(CTX-M-15) and bla(NDM-1), respectively. Here, to the best of our knowledge, we report for the first time on carbapenem resistance and the presence of bla(NDM-1) and bla(CTX-M-15) in EPEC isolates from India. PMID:26233663

  1. Comparative analysis of virulence determinants, antibiotic susceptibility patterns and serogrouping of atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli versus typical enteropathogenic E. coli in India.

    PubMed

    Malvi, Supriya; Appannanavar, Suma; Mohan, Balvinder; Kaur, Harsimran; Gautam, Neha; Bharti, Bhavneet; Kumar, Yashwant; Taneja, Neelam

    2015-10-01

    The epidemiology of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) and the significance of isolation of atypical EPEC (aEPEC) in childhood diarrhoea have not been well studied in an Indian context. A comparative study was undertaken to investigate virulence determinants, antibiotic susceptibility patterns and serogrouping of typical EPEC (tEPEC) versus aEPEC causing diarrhoea in children. A total of 400 prospective and 500 retrospective E. coli isolates were included. PCR was performed for eae, bfpA, efa, nleB, nleE, cdt, ehxA and paa genes. The Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute's disc diffusion test was used to determine the antimicrobial susceptibility. Phenotypic screening of extended spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs), AmpC and Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) production, and molecular detection of bla(NDM-1), bla(VIM), bla(CTX-M-15), bla(IMP) and bla(KPC) were performed. aEPEC (57.6 %) were more common as compared with tEPEC (42.3 %). The occurrence of virulence genes was observed to be three times higher in aEPEC as compared with tEPEC, efa1 (14.7 % of aEPEC, 4 % of tEPEC) being the most common. Most of the isolates did not belong to the classical EPEC O-serogroups. The highest resistance was observed against amoxicillin (93.22 %) followed by quinolones (83 %), cephalosporins (37.28 %), cotrimoxazole (35.59 %) and carbapenems (30.5 %). Overall equal numbers of aEPEC (41.17 %) and tEPEC (40 %) were observed to be multidrug-resistant. Fifteen EPEC strains demonstrated presence of ESBLs, five produced AmpC and four each produced metallo-β-lactamases and KPC-type carbapenemases; eight, seven and one isolate(s) each were positive for bla(VIM), bla(CTX-M-15) and bla(NDM-1), respectively. Here, to the best of our knowledge, we report for the first time on carbapenem resistance and the presence of bla(NDM-1) and bla(CTX-M-15) in EPEC isolates from India.

  2. The Determination of Molecular Structure from Rotational Spectra

    DOE R&D Accomplishments Database

    Laurie, V. W.; Herschbach, D. R.

    1962-07-01

    An analysis is presented concerning the average molecular configuration variations and their effects on molecular structure determinations. It is noted that the isotopic dependence of the zero-point is often primarily governed by the isotopic variation of the average molecular configuration. (J.R.D.)

  3. Virulence determinants invA and spvC in salmonellae isolated from poultry products, wastewater, and human sources.

    PubMed

    Swamy, S C; Barnhart, H M; Lee, M D; Dreesen, D W

    1996-10-01

    The presence of two virulence foci, invA and spvC, in Salmonella isolates obtained from poultry, wastewater, and human sources was determined. All isolates (n = 245) were positive for the invA gene sequence. Differences in degree of invasiveness were apparent with the Madin Darby canine kidney cell line, as only 79 of 159 randomly selected isolates (49.7%) tested were invasive at > 0.1% of the inoculum. 25% were invasive between 0.1 and 1.0% of the inoculum, and 24.5% were invasive at > 1.0% of the inoculum. There was a significant correlation between degree of invasion and source from which the isolate was recovered but no correlation between geographic origin of poultry isolates and degree of invasion. Only 37 of 245 isolates (15.1%) hybridized with the spvC DNA probe. All isolates that were recovered from a commercial egg production environment and chicken eggs and whose sequences exhibited homology with the spvC gene sequence were determined to be either Salmonella enteritidis PT 23 or PT 13. The sequences of few isolates from ceca and none from wastewater or humans demonstrated homology with the spvC gene.

  4. Collections of Puccinia triticina in different provinces of China are highly related for virulence and molecular genotype

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Collections of Puccinia triticina, the wheat leaf rust pathogen, were obtained from seven provinces in China from 2009 and 2010. Single uredinial isolates were derived and tested for virulence phenotype to 20 lines of Thatcher wheat that differ for single leaf rust resistance genes, and for molecula...

  5. Bladder cancer: molecular determinants of personalized therapy.

    PubMed

    Lopez-Beltran, Antonio; Santoni, Matteo; Massari, Francesco; Ciccarese, Chiara; Tortora, Giampaolo; Cheng, Liang; Moch, Holger; Scarpelli, Marina; Reymundo, Carlos; Montironi, Rodolfo

    2015-01-01

    Several molecular and genetic studies have provided new perspectives on the histologic classification of bladder tumors. Recent developments in the field of molecular mutational pathway analyses based on next generation sequencing technology together with classic data derived from the description of mutations in the FGFR3 (fibroblast growth factor receptor 3) gene, mutations on TP53 gene, and cDNA technology profiling data gives support to a differentiated taxonomy of bladder cancer. All these changes are behind the use of non-traditional approach to therapy of bladder cancer patients and are ready to change our daily practice of uro-oncology. The observed correlation of some molecular alterations with tumor behavior and the identification of their targets at cellular level might support the use of molecular changes together with morphological data to develop new clinical and biological strategies to manage patients with urothelial cancer. The current review provides comprehensive data to support personalized therapy for bladder cancer based on an integrated approach including pathologic and clinical features and molecular biology.

  6. A novel flagellar sheath protein, FcpA, determines filament coiling, translational motility and virulence for the Leptospira spirochete.

    PubMed

    Wunder, Elsio A; Figueira, Cláudio P; Benaroudj, Nadia; Hu, Bo; Tong, Brian A; Trajtenberg, Felipe; Liu, Jun; Reis, Mitermayer G; Charon, Nyles W; Buschiazzo, Alejandro; Picardeau, Mathieu; Ko, Albert I

    2016-08-01

    Leptospira are unique among bacteria based on their helical cell morphology with hook-shaped ends and the presence of periplasmic flagella (PF) with pronounced spontaneous supercoiling. The factors that provoke such supercoiling, as well as the role that PF coiling plays in generating the characteristic hook-end cell morphology and motility, have not been elucidated. We have now identified an abundant protein from the pathogen L. interrogans, exposed on the PF surface, and named it Flagellar-coiling protein A (FcpA). The gene encoding FcpA is highly conserved among Leptospira and was not found in other bacteria. fcpA(-) mutants, obtained from clinical isolates or by allelic exchange, had relatively straight, smaller-diameter PF, and were not able to produce translational motility. These mutants lost their ability to cause disease in the standard hamster model of leptospirosis. Complementation of fcpA restored the wild-type morphology, motility and virulence phenotypes. In summary, we identified a novel Leptospira 36-kDa protein, the main component of the spirochete's PF sheath, and a key determinant of the flagella's coiled structure. FcpA is essential for bacterial translational motility and to enable the spirochete to penetrate the host, traverse tissue barriers, disseminate to cause systemic infection and reach target organs. PMID:27113476

  7. A novel flagellar sheath protein, FcpA, determines filament coiling, translational motility and virulence for the Leptospira spirochete.

    PubMed

    Wunder, Elsio A; Figueira, Cláudio P; Benaroudj, Nadia; Hu, Bo; Tong, Brian A; Trajtenberg, Felipe; Liu, Jun; Reis, Mitermayer G; Charon, Nyles W; Buschiazzo, Alejandro; Picardeau, Mathieu; Ko, Albert I

    2016-08-01

    Leptospira are unique among bacteria based on their helical cell morphology with hook-shaped ends and the presence of periplasmic flagella (PF) with pronounced spontaneous supercoiling. The factors that provoke such supercoiling, as well as the role that PF coiling plays in generating the characteristic hook-end cell morphology and motility, have not been elucidated. We have now identified an abundant protein from the pathogen L. interrogans, exposed on the PF surface, and named it Flagellar-coiling protein A (FcpA). The gene encoding FcpA is highly conserved among Leptospira and was not found in other bacteria. fcpA(-) mutants, obtained from clinical isolates or by allelic exchange, had relatively straight, smaller-diameter PF, and were not able to produce translational motility. These mutants lost their ability to cause disease in the standard hamster model of leptospirosis. Complementation of fcpA restored the wild-type morphology, motility and virulence phenotypes. In summary, we identified a novel Leptospira 36-kDa protein, the main component of the spirochete's PF sheath, and a key determinant of the flagella's coiled structure. FcpA is essential for bacterial translational motility and to enable the spirochete to penetrate the host, traverse tissue barriers, disseminate to cause systemic infection and reach target organs.

  8. Detection of chromosomal and plasmid--encoded virulence determinants in Yersinia enterocolitica and other Yersinia spp. isolated from food animals in Greece.

    PubMed

    Kechagia, Nektaria; Nicolaou, Chryssoula; Ioannidou, Vasiliki; Kourti, Erieta; Ioannidis, Anastassios; Legakis, Nicolaos John; Chatzipanagiotou, Stylianos

    2007-09-30

    The distribution of Yersinia strains in animal reservoirs was examined in 835 food animals (pigs, chickens, sheep, cows) from different Greek departments (Attica, Fthiotida, Viotia and Evia) over a one year period. The isolated strains were characterized with respect to the presence of chromosomal (yst) and plasmid-encoded virulence determinants (virF, yadA) and their antimicrobial susceptibility was tested. In total, Yersiniaspp. were obtained from 9.94% of the 835 food animals at slaughter that were sampled in this study. There was no statistically significant seasonal distribution, nor was any significant departmental distribution observed. From the 83 isolated Yersinia strains, 76 (91,57%) belonged to Y. enterocolitica (58 were of serotype O:3/biotype 4 and 18 strains were non O:3, non O:9), 3 belonged to Y. pseudotuberculosis, 2 to Y. kristensenii and 2 to Y. intermedia. Y. enterocolitica O:3/4 was mainly isolated from the pigs, while Y. enterocolitica non O:3, non O:9 was from the chickens. The strains were grouped into 5 genotypes, with respect to the presence or absence of the virulence genes. A significant predominance of genotype V, the one carrying all the three virulence genes, was observed in the strains isolated from the pigs. Complete susceptibility to most of the 3rd and to the 4th generation cephalosporins and to ciprofloxacin, was observed among the isolates. Remarkable was the association between the presence of each virulence gene separately and resistance to some antimicrobials, a matter of further investigation.

  9. Preparation, characterization, and immunogenicity of conjugate vaccines directed against Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae virulence determinants.

    PubMed Central

    Byrd, W; Kadis, S

    1992-01-01

    Conjugate vaccines were prepared in an attempt to protect pigs against swine pleuropneumonia induced by Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae (SPAP). Two subunit conjugates were prepared by coupling the A. pleuropneumoniae 4074 serotype 1 capsular polysaccharide (CP) to the hemolysin protein (HP) and the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to the HP. Adipic acid dihydrazide was used as a spacer to facilitate the conjugation in a carbodiimide-mediated reaction. The CP and the LPS were found to be covalently coupled to the HP in the conjugates as determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and detergent gel chromatography analyses. Following a booster vaccination, pigs exhibited significantly high (P less than 0.05) immunoglobulin G antibodies against CP, LPS, and HP. The anti-CP and anti-LPS immunoglobulin G antibodies were found to function as opsonins in the phagocytosis of A. pleuropneumoniae by polymorphonuclear leukocytes, whereas antibodies to the HP neutralized the cytotoxic effect of the HP on polymorphonuclear leukocytes. No killing of A. pleuropneumoniae was observed when the effects of the antibodies were tested in the presence of complement. Thus, polysaccharide-protein A. pleuropneumoniae conjugates elicit significant antibody responses against each component of each conjugate, which could be instrumental in protecting swine against SPAP. Images PMID:1639471

  10. Preparation, characterization, and immunogenicity of conjugate vaccines directed against Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae virulence determinants.

    PubMed

    Byrd, W; Kadis, S

    1992-08-01

    Conjugate vaccines were prepared in an attempt to protect pigs against swine pleuropneumonia induced by Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae (SPAP). Two subunit conjugates were prepared by coupling the A. pleuropneumoniae 4074 serotype 1 capsular polysaccharide (CP) to the hemolysin protein (HP) and the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to the HP. Adipic acid dihydrazide was used as a spacer to facilitate the conjugation in a carbodiimide-mediated reaction. The CP and the LPS were found to be covalently coupled to the HP in the conjugates as determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and detergent gel chromatography analyses. Following a booster vaccination, pigs exhibited significantly high (P less than 0.05) immunoglobulin G antibodies against CP, LPS, and HP. The anti-CP and anti-LPS immunoglobulin G antibodies were found to function as opsonins in the phagocytosis of A. pleuropneumoniae by polymorphonuclear leukocytes, whereas antibodies to the HP neutralized the cytotoxic effect of the HP on polymorphonuclear leukocytes. No killing of A. pleuropneumoniae was observed when the effects of the antibodies were tested in the presence of complement. Thus, polysaccharide-protein A. pleuropneumoniae conjugates elicit significant antibody responses against each component of each conjugate, which could be instrumental in protecting swine against SPAP. PMID:1639471

  11. Cryptosporidium Pathogenicity and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Bouzid, Maha; Chalmers, Rachel M.; Tyler, Kevin M.

    2013-01-01

    Cryptosporidium is a protozoan parasite of medical and veterinary importance that causes gastroenteritis in a variety of vertebrate hosts. Several studies have reported different degrees of pathogenicity and virulence among Cryptosporidium species and isolates of the same species as well as evidence of variation in host susceptibility to infection. The identification and validation of Cryptosporidium virulence factors have been hindered by the renowned difficulties pertaining to the in vitro culture and genetic manipulation of this parasite. Nevertheless, substantial progress has been made in identifying putative virulence factors for Cryptosporidium. This progress has been accelerated since the publication of the Cryptosporidium parvum and C. hominis genomes, with the characterization of over 25 putative virulence factors identified by using a variety of immunological and molecular techniques and which are proposed to be involved in aspects of host-pathogen interactions from adhesion and locomotion to invasion and proliferation. Progress has also been made in the contribution of host factors that are associated with variations in both the severity and risk of infection. Here we provide a review comprised of the current state of knowledge on Cryptosporidium infectivity, pathogenesis, and transmissibility in light of our contemporary understanding of microbial virulence. PMID:23297262

  12. Parasitoid wasp virulence

    PubMed Central

    Mortimer, Nathan T

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Molecular determinants of acute kidney injury

    PubMed Central

    Husi, Holger; Human, Christin

    2015-01-01

    Abstract: Background: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a condition that leads to a rapid deterioration of renal function associated with impairment to maintain electrolyte and acid balance, and, if left untreated, ultimately irreversible kidney damage and renal necrosis. There are a number of causes that can trigger AKI, ranging from underlying conditions as well as trauma and surgery. Specifically, the global rise in surgical procedures led to a substantial increase of AKI incidence rates, which in turn impacts on mortality rates, quality of life and economic costs to the healthcare system. However, no effective therapy for AKI exists. Current approaches, such as pharmacological intervention, help in alleviating symptoms in slowing down the progression, but do not prevent or reverse AKI-induced organ damage. Methods: An in-depth understanding of the molecular machinery involved in and modulated by AKI induction and progression is necessary to specifically pharmacologically target key molecules. A major hurdle to devise a successful strategy is the multifactorial and complex nature of the disorder itself, whereby the activation of a number of seemingly independent molecular pathways in the kidney leads to apoptotic and necrotic events. Results: The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone-system (RAAS) axis appears to be a common element, leading to downstream events such as triggers of immune responses via the NFB pathway. Other pathways intricately linked with AKI-induction and progression are the tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF α) and transforming growth factor beta (TGF β) signaling cascades, as well as a number of other modulators. Surprisingly, it has been shown that the involvement of the glutamatergic axis, believed to be mainly a component of the neurological system, is also a major contributor. Conclusions: Here we address the current understanding of the molecular pathways evoked in AKI, their interplay, and the potential to pharmacologically intervene in the

  14. CovRS-Regulated Transcriptome Analysis of a Hypervirulent M23 Strain of Group A Streptococcus pyogenes Provides New Insights into Virulence Determinants

    PubMed Central

    Bao, Yun-Juan; Liang, Zhong; Mayfield, Jeffrey A.; Lee, Shaun W.; Ploplis, Victoria A.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The two-component control of virulence (Cov) regulator (R)-sensor (S) (CovRS) regulates the virulence of Streptococcus pyogenes (group A Streptococcus [GAS]). Inactivation of CovS during infection switches the pathogenicity of GAS to a more invasive form by regulating transcription of diverse virulence genes via CovR. However, the manner in which CovRS controls virulence through expression of extended gene families has not been fully determined. In the current study, the CovS-regulated gene expression profiles of a hypervirulent emm23 GAS strain (M23ND/CovS negative [M23ND/CovS−]) and a noninvasive isogenic strain (M23ND/CovS+), under different growth conditions, were investigated. RNA sequencing identified altered expression of ∼349 genes (18% of the chromosome). The data demonstrated that M23ND/CovS− achieved hypervirulence by allowing enhanced expression of genes responsible for antiphagocytosis (e.g., hasABC), by abrogating expression of toxin genes (e.g., speB), and by compromising gene products with dispensable functions (e.g., sfb1). Among these genes, several (e.g., parE and parC) were not previously reported to be regulated by CovRS. Furthermore, the study revealed that CovS also modulated the expression of a broad spectrum of metabolic genes that maximized nutrient utilization and energy metabolism during growth and dissemination, where the bacteria encounter large variations in available nutrients, thus restructuring metabolism of GAS for adaption to diverse growth environments. From constructing a genome-scale metabolic model, we identified 16 nonredundant metabolic gene modules that constitute unique nutrient sources. These genes were proposed to be essential for pathogen growth and are likely associated with GAS virulence. The genome-wide prediction of genes associated with virulence identifies new candidate genes that potentially contribute to GAS virulence. IMPORTANCE The CovRS system modulates transcription of ∼18% of the genes in

  15. Identification of a virulence determinant that is conserved in the Jawetz and Heyl biotypes of [Pasteurella] pneumotropica.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Hiraku; Ishikawa, Hiroki; Terayama, Hayato; Asano, Ryoki; Kawamoto, Eiichi; Ishibashi, Hidetoshi; Boot, Ron

    2016-08-01

    [Pasteurella] pneumotropica is a ubiquitous bacterium frequently isolated from laboratory rodents. Although this bacterium causes various diseases in immunosuppressed animals, little is known about major virulence factors and their roles in pathogenicity. To identify virulence factors, we sequenced the genome of [P.] pneumotropica biotype Heyl strain ATCC 12555, and compared the resulting non-contiguous draft genome sequence with the genome of biotype Jawetz strain ATCC 35149. Among a large number of genes encoding virulence-associated factors in both strains, four genes encoding for YadA-like proteins, which are known virulence factors that function in host cell adherence and invasion in many pathogens. In this study, we assessed YadA distribution and biological activity as an example of one of virulence-associated factor shared, with biotype Jawetz and Heyl. More than half of mouse isolates were found to have at least one of these genes; whereas, the majority of rat isolates did not. Autoagglutination activity, and ability to bind to mouse collagen type IV and mouse fibroblast cells, was significantly higher in YadA-positive than YadA-negative strains. To conclude, we identified a large number of candidate genes predicted to influence [P.] pneumotropica pathogenesis. PMID:27402782

  16. Development of a DNA Microarray for Enterococcal Species, Virulence, and Antibiotic Resistance Gene Determinations among Isolates from Poultry▿

    PubMed Central

    Champagne, J.; Diarra, M. S.; Rempel, H.; Topp, E.; Greer, C. W.; Harel, J.; Masson, L.

    2011-01-01

    A DNA microarray (Enteroarray) was designed with probes targeting four species-specific taxonomic identifiers to discriminate among 18 different enterococcal species, while other probes were designed to identify 18 virulence factors and 174 antibiotic resistance genes. In total, 262 genes were utilized for rapid species identification of enterococcal isolates, while characterizing their virulence potential through the simultaneous identification of endogenous antibiotic resistance and virulence genes. Enterococcal isolates from broiler chicken farms were initially identified by using the API 20 Strep system, and the results were compared to those obtained with the taxonomic genes atpA, recA, pheS, and ddl represented on our microarray. Among the 171 isolates studied, five different enterococcal species were identified by using the API 20 Strep system: Enterococcus faecium, E. faecalis, E. durans, E. gallinarum, and E. avium. The Enteroarray detected the same species as API 20 Strep, as well as two more: E. casseliflavus and E. hirae. Species comparisons resulted in 15% (27 isolates) disagreement between the two methods among the five API 20 Strep identifiable species and 24% (42 isolates) disagreement when considering the seven Enteroarray identified species. The species specificity of key antibiotic and virulence genes identified by the Enteroarray were consistent with the literature adding further robustness to the redundant taxonomic probe data. Sequencing of the cpn60 gene further confirmed the complete accuracy of the microarray results. The new Enteroarray should prove to be a useful tool to accurately genotype strains of enterococci and assess their virulence potential. PMID:21335389

  17. Virulence determinants, antimicrobial susceptibility, and molecular profiles of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae strains isolated from China.

    PubMed

    Ding, Yi; Zhu, Dongmei; Zhang, Jianmin; Yang, Longsheng; Wang, Xiangru; Chen, Huanchun; Tan, Chen

    2015-11-01

    The aim of this study was to understand the epidemiology, serotype, antibiotic sensitivity, and clonal structure of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae strains in China. Forty-eight strains were collected from seven provinces during the period from 2012 to 2013. Pulse-field electrophoresis identified 32 different patterns which were classified into clonal groups A–D. Most pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns were observed in clonal complex A and B, suggesting high diversity of genetic characterization in these two predominant clonal complexes. Antibiotic sensitivity test shows that all the stains were susceptible to ampicillin, erythromycin, and cefotaxime, and resistant to kanamycin, cefazolin, sulfadiazine, and amikacin. Erythromycin and ampicillin are recommended as first-line antibiotics for treatment of E. rhusiopathiae in China. The high variation in PFGE pattern among the main clonal groups shows that the E. rhusiopathiae in China may originate from different lineages and sources instead of from expansion of a single clonal lineage across different regions. PMID:26975059

  18. Virulence determinants, antimicrobial susceptibility, and molecular profiles of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae strains isolated from China

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Yi; Zhu, Dongmei; Zhang, Jianmin; Yang, Longsheng; Wang, Xiangru; Chen, Huanchun; Tan, Chen

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to understand the epidemiology, serotype, antibiotic sensitivity, and clonal structure of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae strains in China. Forty-eight strains were collected from seven provinces during the period from 2012 to 2013. Pulse-field electrophoresis identified 32 different patterns which were classified into clonal groups A–D. Most pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns were observed in clonal complex A and B, suggesting high diversity of genetic characterization in these two predominant clonal complexes. Antibiotic sensitivity test shows that all the stains were susceptible to ampicillin, erythromycin, and cefotaxime, and resistant to kanamycin, cefazolin, sulfadiazine, and amikacin. Erythromycin and ampicillin are recommended as first-line antibiotics for treatment of E. rhusiopathiae in China. The high variation in PFGE pattern among the main clonal groups shows that the E. rhusiopathiae in China may originate from different lineages and sources instead of from expansion of a single clonal lineage across different regions. PMID:26975059

  19. Molecular Determinants in Phagocyte-Bacteria Interactions.

    PubMed

    Kaufmann, Stefan H E; Dorhoi, Anca

    2016-03-15

    Phagocytes are crucial for host defense against bacterial pathogens. As first demonstrated by Metchnikoff, neutrophils and mononuclear phagocytes share the capacity to engulf, kill, and digest microbial invaders. Generally, neutrophils focus on extracellular, and mononuclear phagocytes on intracellular, pathogens. Reciprocally, extracellular pathogens often capitalize on hindering phagocytosis and killing of phagocytes, whereas intracellular bacteria frequently allow their engulfment and then block intracellular killing. As foreseen by Metchnikoff, phagocytes become highly versatile by acquiring diverse phenotypes, but still retaining some plasticity. Further, phagocytes engage in active crosstalk with parenchymal and immune cells to promote adjunctive reactions, including inflammation, tissue healing, and remodeling. This dynamic network allows the host to cope with different types of microbial invaders. Here we present an update of molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying phagocyte functions in antibacterial defense. We focus on four exemplary bacteria ranging from an opportunistic extracellular to a persistent intracellular pathogen. PMID:26982355

  20. Presynaptic Molecular Determinants of Quantal Size

    PubMed Central

    Takamori, Shigeo

    2016-01-01

    The quantal hypothesis for the release of neurotransmitters at the chemical synapse has gained wide acceptance since it was first worked out at the motor endplate in frog skeletal muscle in the 1950’s. Considering the morphological identification of synaptic vesicles (SVs) at the nerve terminals that appeared to be homogeneous in size, the hypothesis proposed that signal transduction at synapses is mediated by the release of neurotransmitters packed in SVs that are individually uniform in size; the amount of transmitter in a synaptic vesicle is called a quantum. Although quantal size—the amplitude of the postsynaptic response elicited by the release of neurotransmitters from a single vesicle—clearly depends on the number and sensitivity of the postsynaptic receptors, accumulating evidence has also indicated that the amount of neurotransmitters stored in SVs can be altered by various presynaptic factors. Here, I provide an overview of the concepts and underlying presynaptic molecular underpinnings that may regulate quantal size. PMID:26903855

  1. Tobacco etch virus infectivity in Capsicum spp. is determined by a maximum of three amino acids in the viral virulence determinant VPg.

    PubMed

    Perez, Kari; Yeam, Inhwa; Kang, Byoung-Cheorl; Ripoll, Daniel R; Kim, Jinhee; Murphy, John F; Jahn, Molly M

    2012-12-01

    Potyvirus resistance in Capsicum spp. has been attributed to amino acid substitutions at the pvr1 locus that cause conformational shifts in eukaryotic translation initiation factor eIF4E. The viral genome-linked protein (VPg) sequence was isolated and compared from three Tobacco etch virus (TEV) strains, highly aphid-transmissible (HAT), Mex21, and N, which differentially infect Capsicum genotypes encoding Pvr1(+), pvr1, and pvr1(2). Viral chimeras were synthesized using the TEV-HAT genome, replacing HAT VPg with Mex21 or N VPg. TEV HAT did not infect pepper plants homozygous for either the pvr1 or pvr1(2) allele. However, the novel chimeric TEV strains, TEVHAT(Mex21-VPg) and TEV-HAT(N-VPg), infected pvr1 and pvr1(2) pepper plants, respectively, demonstrating that VPg is the virulence determinant in this pathosystem. Three dimensional structural models predicted interaction between VPg and the susceptible eIF4E genotype in every case, while resistant genotypes were never predicted to interact. To determine whether there is a correlation between physical interaction of VPg with eIF4E and infectivity, the effects of amino acid variation within VPg were assessed. Interaction between pvr1(2) eIF4E and N VPg was detected in planta, implying that the six amino acid differences in N VPg relative to HAT VPg are responsible for restoring the physical interaction and infectivity.

  2. Molecular Diffusion Coefficients: Experimental Determination and Demonstration.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fate, Gwendolyn; Lynn, David G.

    1990-01-01

    Presented are laboratory methods which allow the demonstration and determination of the diffusion coefficients of compounds ranging in size from water to small proteins. Included are the procedures involving the use of a spectrometer, UV cell, triterated agar, and oxygen diffusion. Results including quantification are described. (CW)

  3. Molecular characterization of resistance, virulence and clonality in vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium and Enterococcus faecalis: A hospital-based study in Beijing, China.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jing-xian; Li, Tong; Ning, Yong-zhong; Shao, Dong-hua; Liu, Jing; Wang, Shu-qin; Liang, Guo-wei

    2015-07-01

    The incidence of vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE) in China is increasing, the molecular epidemiology of VRE in China is only partly known. This study was conducted to assess the molecular characterization of resistance, virulence and clonality of 69 vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREfm) and seven vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VREfs) isolates obtained from a Chinese hospital between July 2011 and July 2013. The glycopeptide resistance genes (VanA and VanB) were screened by multiplex PCR. The presence of five putative virulence genes (esp, gelE, asa1, hyl and cylA) were evaluated by another multiplex PCR. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) scheme was used to assess the clonality. All 76 VRE isolates exhibited VanA phenotype and harbored VanA gene. Esp was the only gene detected both in VREfm and VREfs strains, accounting for 89.9% and 42.9%, respectively. The hyl gene was merely positive in 27.5% of VREfm strains. MLST analysis demonstrated three STs (ST6, ST4 and ST470) in VREfs and twelve STs (ST78, ST571, ST17, ST564, ST389, ST18, ST547, ST341, ST414, ST343, ST262 and ST203) in VREfm, which were all designated as CC17 by eBURST algorithm. An outbreak of VREfm belonging to ST571 was found to happen within the neurology ward in this hospital. To our knowledge, this is the first report of ST6 (CC2) VREfs strains in China and the first outbreak report of VREfm strains belonging to ST571 around the world. Our data could offer important information for understanding the molecular features of VRE in China.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. MOLECULAR CHARACTERIZATION OF VIRULENCE AND ANTIMICROBIAL SUSCEPTIBILITY PROFILES OF UROPATHOGENIC ESCHERICHIA COLI FROM PATIENTS IN A TERTIARY HOSPITAL, SOUTHERN THAILAND.

    PubMed

    Themphachanal, Monchanok; Kongpheng, Suttiporn; Rattanachuay, Pattamarat; Khianngam, Saowapar; Singkhamanan, Kamonnut; Sukhumungoon, Pharanai

    2015-11-01

    Among uropathogens, uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) is the most common cause of urinary tract infection (UTI) worldwide, but clinical aspects due to this bacterial species is not fully understood in southern Thailand. Two hundred fifty-four UPEC isolates from patients admitted to Maharaj Nakhon Si Thammarat Hospital, southern Thailand were examined for crucial virulence genes, showing that 33.5% contained at least one of the virulence, genes tested. Genes encoding P fimbria, cytotoxic necrotizing factor-1 and α-hemolysin constituted the majority (15.8%) carried by UPEC isolates. Phylogenetic group classification revealed that 57.5% of UPEC belonged to group D. Antimicrobial susceptibility tests showed that 70.5% and 65.1% of the isolates were resistant to ciprofloxacin and norfloxacin, respectively. Moreover, 50.0% of UPEC were capable of producing extended spectrum beta-lactamases. These findings should be of benefit for more appropriate treatment of UTI patients in this region of Thailand. Keywords: uropathogenic Escherichia coli, antibiotics resistance, cnfl, hlyA, pap, Thailand PMID:26867360

  6. Molecular characterization reveals similar virulence gene content in unrelated clonal groups of Escherichia coli of serogroup O174 (OX3).

    PubMed

    Tarr, Cheryl L; Nelson, Adam M; Beutin, Lothar; Olsen, Katharina E P; Whittam, Thomas S

    2008-02-01

    Most severe illnesses that are attributed to Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli are caused by isolates that also carry a pathogenicity island called the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE). However, many cases of severe disease are associated with LEE-negative strains. We characterized the virulence gene content and the evolutionary relationships of Escherichia coli isolates of serogroup O174 (formerly OX3), strains of which have been implicated in cases of hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome. A total of 56 isolates from humans, farm animals, and food were subjected to multilocus virulence gene profiling (MVGP), and a subset of 16 isolates was subjected to multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA). The MLSA revealed that the O174 isolates fall into four separate evolutionary clusters within the E. coli phylogeny and are related to a diverse array of clonal groups, including enteropathogenic E. coli 2 (EPEC 2), enterohemorrhagic E. coli 2 (EHEC 2), and EHEC-O121. Of the 15 genes that we surveyed with MVGP, only 6 are common in the O174 strains. The different clonal groups within the O174 serogroup appear to have independently acquired and maintained similar sets of genes that include the Shiga toxins (stx1 and stx2) and two adhesins (saa and iha). The absence of certain O island (OI) genes, such as those found on OI-122, is consistent with the notion that certain pathogenicity islands act cooperatively with the LEE island.

  7. MOLECULAR CHARACTERIZATION OF VIRULENCE AND ANTIMICROBIAL SUSCEPTIBILITY PROFILES OF UROPATHOGENIC ESCHERICHIA COLI FROM PATIENTS IN A TERTIARY HOSPITAL, SOUTHERN THAILAND.

    PubMed

    Themphachanal, Monchanok; Kongpheng, Suttiporn; Rattanachuay, Pattamarat; Khianngam, Saowapar; Singkhamanan, Kamonnut; Sukhumungoon, Pharanai

    2015-11-01

    Among uropathogens, uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) is the most common cause of urinary tract infection (UTI) worldwide, but clinical aspects due to this bacterial species is not fully understood in southern Thailand. Two hundred fifty-four UPEC isolates from patients admitted to Maharaj Nakhon Si Thammarat Hospital, southern Thailand were examined for crucial virulence genes, showing that 33.5% contained at least one of the virulence, genes tested. Genes encoding P fimbria, cytotoxic necrotizing factor-1 and α-hemolysin constituted the majority (15.8%) carried by UPEC isolates. Phylogenetic group classification revealed that 57.5% of UPEC belonged to group D. Antimicrobial susceptibility tests showed that 70.5% and 65.1% of the isolates were resistant to ciprofloxacin and norfloxacin, respectively. Moreover, 50.0% of UPEC were capable of producing extended spectrum beta-lactamases. These findings should be of benefit for more appropriate treatment of UTI patients in this region of Thailand. Keywords: uropathogenic Escherichia coli, antibiotics resistance, cnfl, hlyA, pap, Thailand

  8. Virulence determinants of Salmonella Gallinarum biovar Pullorum identified by PCR signature-tagged mutagenesis and the spiC mutant as a candidate live attenuated vaccine.

    PubMed

    Geng, Shizhong; Jiao, Xinan; Barrow, Paul; Pan, Zhiming; Chen, Xiang

    2014-01-31

    Salmonella Gallinarum biovar Pullorum (S. Gallinarum biovar Pullorum) is the causative agent of pullorum disease (PD) in chickens which results in considerable economic losses to the poultry industries in developing countries. PCR-Signature Tagged Mutagenesis was used to identify virulence determinants of S. Gallinarum biovar Pullorum and novel attenuated live vaccine candidates for use against this disease. A library of 1800 signature-tagged S. Gallinarum biovar Pullorum mutants was constructed and screened for virulence-associated genes in chickens. The attenuation of 10 mutants was confirmed by in vivo and in vitro competitive index (CI) studies. The transposons were found to be located in SPI-1 (2/10 mutants), SPI-2 (3/10), the virulence plasmid (1/10) and non-SPI genes (4/10). One highly attenuated spiC mutant persisted in spleen and liver for less than 10 days and induced high levels of circulating antibody and protective immunity against oral challenge in young broiler chickens. The spiC mutant is a potential new vaccine candidate for use with chickens against this disease.

  9. Glucose- but not rice-based oral rehydration therapy enhances the production of virulence determinants in the human pathogen Vibrio cholerae.

    PubMed

    Kühn, Juliane; Finger, Flavio; Bertuzzo, Enrico; Borgeaud, Sandrine; Gatto, Marino; Rinaldo, Andrea; Blokesch, Melanie

    2014-12-01

    Despite major attempts to prevent cholera transmission, millions of people worldwide still must address this devastating disease. Cholera research has so far mainly focused on the causative agent, the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, or on disease treatment, but rarely were results from both fields interconnected. Indeed, the treatment of this severe diarrheal disease is mostly accomplished by oral rehydration therapy (ORT), whereby water and electrolytes are replenished. Commonly distributed oral rehydration salts also contain glucose. Here, we analyzed the effects of glucose and alternative carbon sources on the production of virulence determinants in the causative agent of cholera, the bacterium Vibrio cholerae during in vitro experimentation. We demonstrate that virulence gene expression and the production of cholera toxin are enhanced in the presence of glucose or similarly transported sugars in a ToxR-, TcpP- and ToxT-dependent manner. The virulence genes were significantly less expressed if alternative non-PTS carbon sources, including rice-based starch, were utilized. Notably, even though glucose-based ORT is commonly used, field studies indicated that rice-based ORT performs better. We therefore used a spatially explicit epidemiological model to demonstrate that the better performing rice-based ORT could have a significant impact on epidemic progression based on the recent outbreak of cholera in Haiti. Our results strongly support a change of carbon source for the treatment of cholera, especially in epidemic settings. PMID:25474211

  10. Molecular architecture of the regulatory Locus sae of Staphylococcus aureus and its impact on expression of virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Steinhuber, Andrea; Goerke, Christiane; Bayer, Manfred G; Döring, Gerd; Wolz, Christiane

    2003-11-01

    We characterized the sae operon, a global regulator for virulence gene expression in Staphylococcus aureus. A Tn917 sae mutant was obtained by screening a Tn917 library of the agr mutant ISP479Mu for clones with altered hemolytic activity. Sequence analysis of the sae operon revealed two additional open reading frames (ORFs) (ORF3 and ORF4) upstream of the two-component regulatory genes saeR and saeS. Four overlapping sae-specific transcripts (T1 to T4) were detected by Northern blot analysis, and the transcriptional initiation points were mapped by primer extension analysis. The T1, T2, and T3 mRNAs are probably terminated at the same stem-loop sequence downstream of saeS. The T1 message (3.1 kb) initiates upstream of ORF4, T2 (2.4 kb) initiates upstream of ORF3, and T3 (2.0 kb) initiates in front of saeR. T4 (0.7 kb) represents a monocistronic mRNA encompassing ORF4 only. sae-specific transcripts were detectable in all of the 40 different clinical S. aureus isolates investigated. Transcript levels were at maximum during the post-exponential growth phase. The sae mutant showed a significantly reduced rate of invasion of human endothelial cells, consistent with diminished transcription and expression of fnbA. The expression of type 5 capsular polysaccharide is activated in the sae mutant of strain Newman, as shown by immunofluorescence and promoter-reporter fusion experiments. In summary, the sae operon constitutes a four-component regulator system which acts on virulence gene expression in S. aureus.

  11. Structural and Molecular Mechanism of CdpR Involved in Quorum-Sensing and Bacterial Virulence in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Miao; Kang, Huaping; Ma, Jinbiao; Wu, Min; Gan, Jianhua; Deng, Xin; Liang, Haihua

    2016-01-01

    Although quorum-sensing (QS) systems are important regulators of virulence gene expression in the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, their detailed regulatory mechanisms have not been fully characterized. Here, we show that deletion of PA2588 resulted in increased production of pyocyanin and biofilm, as well as enhanced pathogenicity in a mouse model. To gain insights into the function of PA2588, we performed a ChIP-seq assay and identified 28 targets of PA2588, including the intergenic region between PA2588 and pqsH, which encodes the key synthase of Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS). Though the C-terminal domain was similar to DNA-binding regions of other AraC family members, structural studies revealed that PA2588 has a novel fold at the N-terminal region (NTR), and its C-terminal HTH (helix-turn-helix) domain is also unique in DNA recognition. We also demonstrated that the adaptor protein ClpS, an essential regulator of ATP-dependent protease ClpAP, directly interacted with PA2588 before delivering CdpR to ClpAP for degradation. We named PA2588 as CdpR (ClpAP-degradation and pathogenicity Regulator). Moreover, deletion of clpP or clpS/clpA promotes bacterial survival in a mouse model of acute pneumonia infection. Taken together, this study uncovered that CdpR is an important QS regulator, which can interact with the ClpAS-P system to regulate the expression of virulence factors and pathogenicity. PMID:27119725

  12. Structural and Molecular Mechanism of CdpR Involved in Quorum-Sensing and Bacterial Virulence in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jingru; Yu, Xiang; Zhu, Miao; Kang, Huaping; Ma, Jinbiao; Wu, Min; Gan, Jianhua; Deng, Xin; Liang, Haihua

    2016-04-01

    Although quorum-sensing (QS) systems are important regulators of virulence gene expression in the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, their detailed regulatory mechanisms have not been fully characterized. Here, we show that deletion of PA2588 resulted in increased production of pyocyanin and biofilm, as well as enhanced pathogenicity in a mouse model. To gain insights into the function of PA2588, we performed a ChIP-seq assay and identified 28 targets of PA2588, including the intergenic region between PA2588 and pqsH, which encodes the key synthase of Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS). Though the C-terminal domain was similar to DNA-binding regions of other AraC family members, structural studies revealed that PA2588 has a novel fold at the N-terminal region (NTR), and its C-terminal HTH (helix-turn-helix) domain is also unique in DNA recognition. We also demonstrated that the adaptor protein ClpS, an essential regulator of ATP-dependent protease ClpAP, directly interacted with PA2588 before delivering CdpR to ClpAP for degradation. We named PA2588 as CdpR (ClpAP-degradation and pathogenicity Regulator). Moreover, deletion of clpP or clpS/clpA promotes bacterial survival in a mouse model of acute pneumonia infection. Taken together, this study uncovered that CdpR is an important QS regulator, which can interact with the ClpAS-P system to regulate the expression of virulence factors and pathogenicity. PMID:27119725

  13. Exploration of Sulfur Assimilation of Aspergillus fumigatus Reveals Biosynthesis of Sulfur-Containing Amino Acids as a Virulence Determinant

    PubMed Central

    Dümig, Michaela; O'Keeffe, Gráinne; Binder, Jasmin; Doyle, Sean; Beilhack, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Fungal infections are of major relevance due to the increased numbers of immunocompromised patients, frequently delayed diagnosis, and limited therapeutics. To date, the growth and nutritional requirements of fungi during infection, which are relevant for invasion of the host, are poorly understood. This is particularly true for invasive pulmonary aspergillosis, as so far, sources of (macro)elements that are exploited during infection have been identified to only a limited extent. Here, we have investigated sulfur (S) utilization by the human-pathogenic mold Aspergillus fumigatus during invasive growth. Our data reveal that inorganic S compounds or taurine is unlikely to serve as an S source during invasive pulmonary aspergillosis since a sulfate transporter mutant strain and a sulfite reductase mutant strain are fully virulent. In contrast, the S-containing amino acid cysteine is limiting for fungal growth, as proven by the reduced virulence of a cysteine auxotroph. Moreover, phenotypic characterization of this strain further revealed the robustness of the subordinate glutathione redox system. Interestingly, we demonstrate that methionine synthase is essential for A. fumigatus virulence, defining the biosynthetic route of this proteinogenic amino acid as a potential antifungal target. In conclusion, we provide novel insights into the nutritional requirements of A. fumigatus during pathogenesis, a prerequisite to understanding and fighting infection. PMID:26787716

  14. Phylogroups, virulence determinants and antimicrobial resistance in stx(2) gene-carrying Escherichia coli isolated from aquatic environments.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Aljaro, Cristina; Moreno, Eva; Andreu, Antònia; Prats, Guillem; Blanch, Anicet R

    2009-10-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant stx(2) gene-carrying Escherichia coli isolated from human and animal wastewater with regard to their animal/human origin, serotype, phylogenetic background and virulence factors. The isolates were characterized by PCR in relation to stx variant, phylogenetic group and other virulence genes (stx(1), ehxA and saa). Antibiotic resistance was found in 92% of the stx(2) gene-carrying E. coli strains, with 77% showing intermediate resistance or full resistance to more than one antibiotic. High levels of resistance were observed to chloramphenicol, tetracycline, sulfamethoxazole, streptomycin, trimethoprim, and trimethoprim + sulfamethoxazole, with resistance values of 79%, 69%, 63%, 58%, 47% and 42%, respectively, and a higher prevalence among those strains isolated from animal wastewater. There was no association between the E. coli serotype and/or phylogroup and the antimicrobial resistance profile displayed. However, those strains carrying the stx(2) gene variant alone or in combination with other virulence factors (stx(1), ehxA or saa gene) were susceptible to most of the tested antibiotics.

  15. Bacillus anthracis-Like Bacteria and Other B. cereus Group Members in a Microbial Community Within the International Space Station: A Challenge for Rapid and Easy Molecular Detection of Virulent B. anthracis

    PubMed Central

    van Tongeren, Sandra P.; Roest, Hendrik I. J.; Degener, John E.; Harmsen, Hermie J. M.

    2014-01-01

    For some microbial species, such as Bacillus anthracis, the etiologic agent of the disease anthrax, correct detection and identification by molecular methods can be problematic. The detection of virulent B. anthracis is challenging due to multiple virulence markers that need to be present in order for B. anthracis to be virulent and its close relationship to Bacillus cereus and other members of the B. cereus group. This is especially the case in environments where build-up of Bacillus spores can occur and several representatives of the B. cereus group may be present, which increases the chance for false-positives. In this study we show the presence of B. anthracis-like bacteria and other members of the B. cereus group in a microbial community within the human environment of the International Space Station and their preliminary identification by using conventional culturing as well as molecular techniques including 16S rDNA sequencing, PCR and real-time PCR. Our study shows that when monitoring the microbial hygiene in a given human environment, health risk assessment is troublesome in the case of virulent B. anthracis, especially if this should be done with rapid, easy to apply and on-site molecular methods. PMID:24945323

  16. Bacillus anthracis-like bacteria and other B. cereus group members in a microbial community within the International Space Station: a challenge for rapid and easy molecular detection of virulent B. anthracis.

    PubMed

    van Tongeren, Sandra P; Roest, Hendrik I J; Degener, John E; Harmsen, Hermie J M

    2014-01-01

    For some microbial species, such as Bacillus anthracis, the etiologic agent of the disease anthrax, correct detection and identification by molecular methods can be problematic. The detection of virulent B. anthracis is challenging due to multiple virulence markers that need to be present in order for B. anthracis to be virulent and its close relationship to Bacillus cereus and other members of the B. cereus group. This is especially the case in environments where build-up of Bacillus spores can occur and several representatives of the B. cereus group may be present, which increases the chance for false-positives. In this study we show the presence of B. anthracis-like bacteria and other members of the B. cereus group in a microbial community within the human environment of the International Space Station and their preliminary identification by using conventional culturing as well as molecular techniques including 16S rDNA sequencing, PCR and real-time PCR. Our study shows that when monitoring the microbial hygiene in a given human environment, health risk assessment is troublesome in the case of virulent B. anthracis, especially if this should be done with rapid, easy to apply and on-site molecular methods.

  17. Molecular detection of the Aeromonas virulence aerolysin gene in retail meats from different animal sources in Egypt.

    PubMed

    Osman, Kamelia; Aly, Magdy; Kheader, Afaf; Mabrok, Khaled

    2012-05-01

    Meat commonly contain the same Aeromonas spp. which occur in human diarrhoeal and non-diarrhoeal faecal samples. Motile Aeromonas were isolated from 5.6% of total 302 samples. The distribution of the isolates were 5.9 and 5.2% in fresh and frozen samples, respectively. Of the 302 samples taken of the four animal meat species investigated, the genus Aeromonas were isolated in 12.3% of the fresh samples collected from buffalo meat, in 6.5% of the samples collected from sheep meat and 14.0% from the samples collected from the cattle frozen meat samples. The camel meat did not reveal any Aeromonas isolates. Aeromonas hydrophila was isolated as the most prevalent species with 6.8%, followed by Aeromonas caviae with 2.7% and Aeromonas sobria with 2.1% from the total meat samples. Aerolysin toxin gene (aerA) was detected in 3/17 isolates of A. hydrophila isolated from contaminated meat. Infection due to bacterial pathogen with such virulent factor through contact with contaminated meat while handling them, poses health hazards to humans.

  18. Molecular Evolution of Typical Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli: Clonal Analysis by Multilocus Sequence Typing and Virulence Gene Allelic Profiling▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Lacher, David W.; Steinsland, Hans; Blank, T. Eric; Donnenberg, Michael S.; Whittam, Thomas S.

    2007-01-01

    Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) infections are a leading cause of infantile diarrhea in developing nations. Typical EPEC isolates are differentiated from other types of pathogenic E. coli by two distinctive phenotypes, attaching effacement and localized adherence. The genes specifying these phenotypes are found on the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) and the EPEC adherence factor (EAF) plasmid. To describe how typical EPEC has evolved, we characterized a diverse collection of strains by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and performed restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of three virulence genes (eae, bfpA, and perA) to assess allelic variation. Among 129 strains representing 20 O-serogroups, 21 clonal genotypes were identified using MLST. RFLP analysis resolved nine eae, nine bfpA, and four perA alleles. Each bfpA allele was associated with only one perA allele class, suggesting that recombination has not played a large role in shuffling the bfpA and perA loci between separate EAF plasmids. The distribution of eae alleles among typical EPEC strains is more concordant with the clonal relationships than the distribution of the EAF plasmid types. These results provide further support for the hypothesis that the EPEC pathotype has evolved multiple times within E. coli through separate acquisitions of the LEE island and EAF plasmid. PMID:17098897

  19. Virulence Potential of Fusogenic Orthoreoviruses

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Peter K.C.; Lai, Mary Y.Y.; Leung, Peter C.K.; Wong, Kitty K.Y.; Lee, W.Y.; Lim, Wilina W.L.

    2012-01-01

    Several severe respiratory virus infections that have emerged during the past decade originated in animals, including bats. In Indonesia, exposure to bats has been associated with increased risk of acquiring orthoreovirus infection. Although orthoreovirus infections are mild and self-limiting, we explored their potential for evolution into a more virulent form. We used conventional virus culture, electron microscopy, and molecular sequencing to isolate and identify orthoreoviruses from 3 patients in whom respiratory tract infection developed after travel to Indonesia. Virus characterization by plaque-reduction neutralization testing showed antigenic similarity, but sequencing of the small segment genes suggested virus reassortment, which could lead to increased virulence. Bats as a reservoir might contribute to virus evolution and genetic diversity, giving orthoreoviruses the potential to become more virulent. Evolution of this virus should be closely monitored so that prevention and control measures can be taken should it become more virulent. PMID:22608100

  20. Role of iron in regulation of virulence genes.

    PubMed Central

    Litwin, C M; Calderwood, S B

    1993-01-01

    The abilities of bacterial pathogens to adapt to the environment within the host are essential to their virulence. Microorganisms have adapted to the iron limitation present in mammalian hosts by evolving diverse mechanisms for the assimilation of iron sufficient for growth. In addition, many bacterial pathogens have used the low concentration of iron present in the host as an important signal to enhance the expression of a wide variety of bacterial toxins and other virulence determinants. The molecular basis of coordinate regulation by iron has been most thoroughly studied in Escherichia coli. In this organism, coordinate regulation of gene expression by iron depends on the regulatory gene, fur. Regulation of gene expression by iron in a number of pathogenic organisms is coordinated by proteins homologous to the Fur protein of E. coli. Additional regulatory proteins may be superimposed on the Fur repressor to provide the fine-tuning necessary for the precise regulation of individual virulence genes in response to iron and other environmental signals. Studies of the mechanisms of regulation of iron acquisition systems and virulence determinants by iron should lead to a better understanding of the adaptive response of bacteria to the low-iron environment of the host and its importance in virulence. PMID:8472246

  1. Molecular characterization of Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis isolates from humans by antimicrobial resistance, virulence genes, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.

    PubMed

    Zou, Ming; Keelara, Shivaramu; Thakur, Siddhartha

    2012-03-01

    Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis) is a major serovar associated with human salmonellosis. A total of 425 clinical S. Enteritidis isolates of human origin were collected between June 2009 and September 2010 from North Carolina. The isolates were further characterized for antimicrobial susceptibility, antimicrobial resistance coding determinants, virulence genes, and fingerprint profiles to determine whether they were similar or different to the S. Enteritidis strain responsible for the human outbreak due to consumption of contaminated eggs. Ten different antimicrobial resistance phenotypes were observed with the highest frequency of resistance exhibited to ampicillin (n=10; 2.35%). The isolates were predominantly pansusceptible (n=409; 96.23%); however, seven isolates were multidrug resistant (MDR; i.e., resistant to three or more antimicrobials). Extended spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) coding genes (bla(TEM) and bla(PSE)) were detected in the ampicillin-resistant isolates, whereas a single MDR isolate tested positive for class 1 integron (1 kb). The majority of the isolates (n=422; 99.3%) carried the invA, mgtC, stn, sopB, sopE1, and sefA virulence genes. However, 37 (8.7%) and 46 (10.82%) S. Enteritidis isolates tested negative for the plasmid encoded genes spvC and rck, respectively. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) typing of 118 S. Enteritidis isolates by restriction enzymes XbaI and BlnI resulted in seven clusters, each with a discriminatory index (DI) of 0.715 and 0.785, respectively. The combination of XbaI-BlnI patterns generated a dendrogram with 14 clusters and a higher DI of 0.914. The PFGE profile of 80 isolates matched 100% with the S. Enteritidis strain that has been cited for the recent outbreak in the United States due to consumption of contaminated eggs. In conclusion, we identified a genotypic similar S. Enteritidis population in our study based on antimicrobial susceptibility, virulence gene, and PFGE fingerprint

  2. Rapid and Specific Detection, Molecular Epidemiology, and Experimental Virulence of the O16 Subgroup within Escherichia coli Sequence Type 131

    PubMed Central

    Clermont, Olivier; Johnston, Brian; Clabots, Connie; Tchesnokova, Veronika; Sokurenko, Evgeni; Junka, Adam F.; Maczynska, Beata; Denamur, Erick

    2014-01-01

    Escherichia coli sequence type 131 (ST131), a widely disseminated multidrug-resistant extraintestinal pathogen, typically exhibits serotype O25b:H4. However, certain ST131 isolates exhibit serotype O16:H5 and derive from a phylogenetic clade that is distinct from the classic O25b:H4 ST131 clade. Both clades are assigned to ST131 by the Achtman multilocus sequence typing (MLST) system and a screening PCR assay that targets ST131-specific sequence polymorphisms in the mdh and gyrB genes. However, they are classified as separate STs by the Pasteur Institute MLST system, and an ST131 PCR method that targets the O25b rfb region and an ST131-specific polymorphism in pabB detects only the O25b-associated clade. Here, we describe a novel PCR-based method that allows for rapid and specific detection of the O16-associated ST131 clade. The clade members uniformly contained allele 41 of fimH (type 1 fimbrial adhesin) and a narrow range of alleles of gyrA and parC (fluoroquinolone target genes). The virulence genotypes of the clade members resembled those of classic O25b:H4 ST131 isolates; representative isolates were variably lethal in a mouse subcutaneous sepsis model. Several pulsotypes spanned multiple sources (adults, children, pets, and human fecal samples) and locales. An analysis of recent clinical E. coli collections showed that the O16 ST131 clade is globally distributed, accounts for 1 to 5% of E. coli isolates overall, and, when compared with other ST131 isolates, it is associated with resistance to ampicillin, gentamicin, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and with susceptibility to fluoroquinolones and extended-spectrum cephalosporins. Attention to this O16-associated ST131 clade, which is facilitated by our novel PCR-based assay, is warranted in future epidemiological studies of ST131 and, conceivably, in clinical applications. PMID:24501035

  3. Molecular characterization of podoviral bacteriophages virulent for Clostridium perfringens and their comparison with members of the Picovirinae.

    PubMed

    Volozhantsev, Nikolay V; Oakley, Brian B; Morales, Cesar A; Verevkin, Vladimir V; Bannov, Vasily A; Krasilnikova, Valentina M; Popova, Anastasia V; Zhilenkov, Eugeni L; Garrish, Johnna K; Schegg, Kathleen M; Woolsey, Rebekah; Quilici, David R; Line, J Eric; Hiett, Kelli L; Siragusa, Gregory R; Svetoch, Edward A; Seal, Bruce S

    2012-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens is a Gram-positive, spore-forming anaerobic bacterium responsible for human food-borne disease as well as non-food-borne human, animal and poultry diseases. Because bacteriophages or their gene products could be applied to control bacterial diseases in a species-specific manner, they are potential important alternatives to antibiotics. Consequently, poultry intestinal material, soil, sewage and poultry processing drainage water were screened for virulent bacteriophages that lysed C. perfringens. Two bacteriophages, designated ΦCPV4 and ΦZP2, were isolated in the Moscow Region of the Russian Federation while another closely related virus, named ΦCP7R, was isolated in the southeastern USA. The viruses were identified as members of the order Caudovirales in the family Podoviridae with short, non-contractile tails of the C1 morphotype. The genomes of the three bacteriophages were 17.972, 18.078 and 18.397 kbp respectively; encoding twenty-six to twenty-eight ORF's with inverted terminal repeats and an average GC content of 34.6%. Structural proteins identified by mass spectrometry in the purified ΦCP7R virion included a pre-neck/appendage with putative lyase activity, major head, tail, connector/upper collar, lower collar and a structural protein with putative lysozyme-peptidase activity. All three podoviral bacteriophage genomes encoded a predicted N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidase and a putative stage V sporulation protein. Each putative amidase contained a predicted bacterial SH3 domain at the C-terminal end of the protein, presumably involved with binding the C. perfringens cell wall. The predicted DNA polymerase type B protein sequences were closely related to other members of the Podoviridae including Bacillus phage Φ29. Whole-genome comparisons supported this relationship, but also indicated that the Russian and USA viruses may be unique members of the sub-family Picovirinae. PMID:22666499

  4. Identification of Brucella melitensis Rev.1 vaccine-strain genetic markers: Towards understanding the molecular mechanism behind virulence attenuation.

    PubMed

    Issa, Mohammad Nouh; Ashhab, Yaqoub

    2016-09-22

    Brucella melitensis Rev.1 is an avirulent strain that is widely used as a live vaccine to control brucellosis in small ruminants. Although an assembled draft version of Rev.1 genome has been available since 2009, this genome has not been investigated to characterize this important vaccine. In the present work, we used the draft genome of Rev.1 to perform a thorough genomic comparison and sequence analysis to identify and characterize the panel of its unique genetic markers. The draft genome of Rev.1 was compared with genome sequences of 36 different Brucella melitensis strains from the Brucella project of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. The comparative analyses revealed 32 genetic alterations (30 SNPs, 1 single-bp insertion and 1 single-bp deletion) that are exclusively present in the Rev.1 genome. In silico analyses showed that 9 out of the 17 non-synonymous mutations are deleterious. Three ABC transporters are among the disrupted genes that can be linked to virulence attenuation. Out of the 32 mutations, 11 Rev.1 specific markers were selected to test their potential to discriminate Rev.1 using a bi-directional allele-specific PCR assay. Six markers were able to distinguish between Rev.1 and a set of control strains. We succeeded in identifying a panel of 32 genome-specific markers of the B. melitensis Rev.1 vaccine strain. Extensive in silico analysis showed that a considerable number of these mutations could severely affect the function of the associated genes. In addition, some of the discovered markers were able to discriminate Rev.1 strain from a group of control strains using practical PCR tests that can be applied in resource-limited settings. PMID:27595444

  5. Molecular analysis of a novel Toll/interleukin-1 receptor (TIR)-domain containing virulence protein of Y. pseudotuberculosis among Far East scarlet-like fever serotype I strains.

    PubMed

    Nörenberg, Dominik; Wieser, Andreas; Magistro, Giuseppe; Hoffmann, Christiane; Meyer, Christian; Messerer, Maxim; Schubert, Sören

    2013-12-01

    Pathogenicity of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis is determined by an arsenal of virulence factors. Particularly, the Yersinia outer proteins (Yops) and the Type III secretion system (T3SS) encoded on the pYV virulence plasmid are required for Yersinia pathogenicity. A specific group of Y. pseudotuberculosis, responsible for the clinical syndrome described as Far East scarlet-like fever (FESLF), is known to have an altered virulence gene cluster. Far East strains cause unique clinical symptoms for which the pYV virulence plasmid plays apparently a rather secondary role. Here, we characterize a previously unknown protein of Y. pseudotuberculosis serotype I strains (TcpYI) which can be found particularly among the FESLF strain group. The TcpYI protein shares considerable sequence homology to members of the Toll/IL-1 receptor family. Bacterial TIR domain containing proteins (Tcps) interact with the innate immune system by TIR-TIR interactions and subvert host defenses via individual, multifaceted mechanisms. In terms of virulence, it appears that the TcpYI protein of Y. pseudotuberculosis displays its own virulence phenotype compared to the previously characterized bacterial Tcps. Our results clearly demonstrate that TcpYI increases the intracellular survival of the respective strains in vitro. Furthermore, we show here that the intracellular survival benefit of the wild-type strain correlates with an increase in tcpYI gene expression inside murine macrophages. In support of this, we found that TcpYI enhances the survival inside the spleens of mice in a mouse model of peritonitis. Our results may point toward involvement of the TcpYI protein in inhibition of phagocytosis, particularly in distinct Y. pseudotuberculosis strains of the FESLF strain group where the pYV virulence plasmid is absent.

  6. Virulence Factors of the Oral Spirochete Treponema denticola

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  7. Stress tolerance and virulence of insect-pathogenic fungi are determined by environmental conditions during conidial formation.

    PubMed

    Rangel, Drauzio E N; Braga, Gilberto U L; Fernandes, Éverton K K; Keyser, Chad A; Hallsworth, John E; Roberts, Donald W

    2015-08-01

    The virulence to insects and tolerance to heat and UV-B radiation of conidia of entomopathogenic fungi are greatly influenced by physical, chemical, and nutritional conditions during mycelial growth. This is evidenced, for example, by the stress phenotypes of Metarhizium robertsii produced on various substrates. Conidia from minimal medium (Czapek's medium without sucrose), complex medium, and insect (Lepidoptera and Coleoptera) cadavers had high, moderate, and poor tolerance to UV-B radiation, respectively. Furthermore, conidia from minimal medium germinated faster and had increased heat tolerance and were more virulent to insects than those from complex medium. Low water-activity or alkaline culture conditions also resulted in production of conidia with high tolerance to heat or UV-B radiation. Conidia produced on complex media exhibited lower stress tolerance, whereas those from complex media supplemented with NaCl or KCl (to reduce water activity) were more tolerant to heat and UV-B than those from the unmodified complex medium. Osmotic and nutritive stresses resulted in production of conidia with a robust stress phenotype, but also were associated with low conidial yield. Physical conditions such as growth under illumination, hypoxic conditions, and heat shock before conidial production also induced both higher UV-B and heat tolerance; but conidial production was not decreased. In conclusion, physical and chemical parameters, as well as nutrition source, can induce great variability in conidial tolerance to stress for entomopathogenic fungi. Implications are discussed in relation to the ecology of entomopathogenic fungi in the field, and to their use for biological control. This review will cover recent technologies on improving stress tolerance of entomopathogenic fungi for biological control of insects. PMID:25791499

  8. Stress tolerance and virulence of insect-pathogenic fungi are determined by environmental conditions during conidial formation.

    PubMed

    Rangel, Drauzio E N; Braga, Gilberto U L; Fernandes, Éverton K K; Keyser, Chad A; Hallsworth, John E; Roberts, Donald W

    2015-08-01

    The virulence to insects and tolerance to heat and UV-B radiation of conidia of entomopathogenic fungi are greatly influenced by physical, chemical, and nutritional conditions during mycelial growth. This is evidenced, for example, by the stress phenotypes of Metarhizium robertsii produced on various substrates. Conidia from minimal medium (Czapek's medium without sucrose), complex medium, and insect (Lepidoptera and Coleoptera) cadavers had high, moderate, and poor tolerance to UV-B radiation, respectively. Furthermore, conidia from minimal medium germinated faster and had increased heat tolerance and were more virulent to insects than those from complex medium. Low water-activity or alkaline culture conditions also resulted in production of conidia with high tolerance to heat or UV-B radiation. Conidia produced on complex media exhibited lower stress tolerance, whereas those from complex media supplemented with NaCl or KCl (to reduce water activity) were more tolerant to heat and UV-B than those from the unmodified complex medium. Osmotic and nutritive stresses resulted in production of conidia with a robust stress phenotype, but also were associated with low conidial yield. Physical conditions such as growth under illumination, hypoxic conditions, and heat shock before conidial production also induced both higher UV-B and heat tolerance; but conidial production was not decreased. In conclusion, physical and chemical parameters, as well as nutrition source, can induce great variability in conidial tolerance to stress for entomopathogenic fungi. Implications are discussed in relation to the ecology of entomopathogenic fungi in the field, and to their use for biological control. This review will cover recent technologies on improving stress tolerance of entomopathogenic fungi for biological control of insects.

  9. Analysis of the Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae ArcA regulon identifies fumarate reductase as a determinant of virulence.

    PubMed

    Buettner, Falk F R; Bendallah, Ibrahim M; Bosse, Janine T; Dreckmann, Karla; Nash, John H E; Langford, Paul R; Gerlach, Gerald-F

    2008-06-01

    The ability of the bacterial pathogen Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae to grow anaerobically allows the bacterium to persist in the lung. The ArcAB two-component system is crucial for metabolic adaptation in response to anaerobic conditions, and we recently showed that an A. pleuropneumoniae arcA mutant had reduced virulence compared to the wild type (F. F. Buettner, A. Maas, and G.-F. Gerlach, Vet. Microbiol. 127:106-115, 2008). In order to understand the attenuated phenotype, we investigated the ArcA regulon of A. pleuropneumoniae by using a combination of transcriptome (microarray) and proteome (two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis and subsequent mass spectrometry) analyses. We show that ArcA negatively regulates the expression of many genes, including those encoding enzymes which consume intermediates during fumarate synthesis. Simultaneously, the expression of glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, a component of the respiratory chain serving as a direct reduction equivalent for fumarate reductase, was upregulated. This result, together with the in silico analysis finding that A. pleuropneumoniae has no oxidative branch of the citric acid cycle, led to the hypothesis that fumarate reductase might be crucial for virulence by providing (i) energy via fumarate respiration and (ii) succinate and other essential metabolic intermediates via the reductive branch of the citric acid cycle. To test this hypothesis, an isogenic A. pleuropneumoniae fumarate reductase deletion mutant was constructed and studied by using a pig aerosol infection model. The mutant was shown to be significantly attenuated, thereby strongly supporting a crucial role for fumarate reductase in the pathogenesis of A. pleuropneumoniae infection.

  10. Molecular diversity and high virulence of Legionella pneumophila strains isolated from biofilms developed within a warm spring of a thermal spa

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Several cases of legionellosis have been diagnosed in the same French thermal spa in 1986, 1994 and 1997. L. pneumophila serogroup 1 (Lp1) strains have been isolated from several patients, but the source of contamination was not identified despite the presence of different Lp1 in water samples of the three natural springs feeding the spa at this period. Results Our strategy was to investigate L. pneumophila (Lp) strains from natural biofilms developed in a sulphur-rich warm spring of this contaminated site. Biofilm analysis revealed the presence of three Lp serogroups (Lp1, Lp10 and Lp12). Surprisingly, Lp10 and Lp12 were not reported in the previous described studies from water samples. Besides, the new seven Lp1 we isolated exhibit a high molecular diversity and have been differentiated in five classes according to their DNA genome patterns obtained by PFGE and mip sequences. It must be noted that these DNA patterns are original and unknown in databases. Interestingly, the 27 Lp environmental strains we isolated display a higher cytotoxicity and virulence towards the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii than those of known Lp1 epidemic strains. Conclusion The characteristics of Legionella pneumophila Lp1 strains isolated from the warm spring are in agreement with their presence in biofilms and their probable long-term persistence in this ecosystem. PMID:23350929

  11. Virulence of Escherichia coli Clinical Isolates in a Murine Sepsis Model in Relation to Sequence Type ST131 Status, Fluoroquinolone Resistance, and Virulence Genotype

    PubMed Central

    Porter, Stephen B.; Zhanel, George; Kuskowski, Michael A.; Denamur, Erick

    2012-01-01

    Escherichia coli sequence type ST131 (O25b:H4) has emerged over the past decade as a globally disseminated, multidrug-resistant pathogen. Unlike traditional antimicrobial-resistant E. coli, ST131 derives from virulence-associated phylogenetic group B2 and exhibits extraintestinal virulence factors. This, plus preliminary evidence of virulence in experimental animals, has suggested that ST131's epidemic emergence may be due to high virulence potential, compared with other E. coli types. To test this hypothesis, we compared a large number of matched ST131 and non-ST131 E. coli clinical isolates, both fluoroquinolone resistant and susceptible, plus isolates from classic extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC) sequence types (STs) and case report ST131 household transmission isolates, for virulence in a mouse subcutaneous sepsis model. Overall, in mice, the study isolates produced a wide range of lethality and clinical illness. However, neither ST131 status nor fluoroquinolone phenotype correlated with this diversity of illness severity, which occurred within each of the 6 study groups. In contrast, multiple known or suspected ExPEC virulence genes, including pap (P fimbriae), vat (vacuolating toxin), kpsM II (group 2 capsule), ibeA (invasion of brain endothelium), and clbB/N (colibactin synthesis), plus molecularly defined ExPEC status, were significantly associated with virulence. These findings point away from ST131 isolates as having higher virulence potential compared with other E. coli types in causing invasive extraintestinal infections and suggest instead that ST131's epidemiological success may reflect enhanced fitness for upstream steps in pathogenesis or in colonization and transmission. Additionally, the extensive within-ST virulence diversity suggests an opportunity to compare closely related strains to identify the responsible genetic determinants. PMID:22311928

  12. Surface proteins of Bordetella pertussis: comparison of virulent and avirulent strains and effects of phenotypic modulation.

    PubMed Central

    Armstrong, S K; Parker, C D

    1986-01-01

    The surface proteins of several Bordetella strains and their modulated derivatives were examined by surface radioiodination, cell fractionation, and Western blotting. A surface protein with a high Mr, missing in a mutant lacking the filamentous hemagglutinin, was identified in virulent Bordetella pertussis and Bordetella parapertussis cells and was absent in avirulent B. pertussis strains. The electrophoretic profiles of lipopolysaccharide and the 40,000-Mr anion-selective porin were not determinants which correlated with phase variation or phenotypic modulation. At least three envelope proteins (91,000, 32,000, and 30,000 molecular weight) were found only in virulent B. pertussis strains and were absent or diminished in the avirulent phase and most phenotypically modulated strains. Two transposon-induced mutants unable to produce hemolysin, dermonecrotic toxin, pertussis toxin, and filamentous hemagglutinin also lacked these three envelope proteins, confirming that virulence-associated envelope proteins were genetically regulated with other virulence-associated traits. Images PMID:2876957

  13. Sel1 repeat protein LpnE is a Legionella pneumophila virulence determinant that influences vacuolar trafficking.

    PubMed

    Newton, Hayley J; Sansom, Fiona M; Dao, Jenny; McAlister, Adrian D; Sloan, Joan; Cianciotto, Nicholas P; Hartland, Elizabeth L

    2007-12-01

    The environmental pathogen Legionella pneumophila possesses five proteins with Sel1 repeats (SLRs) from the tetratricopeptide repeat protein family. Three of these proteins, LpnE, EnhC, and LidL, have been implicated in the ability of L. pneumophila to efficiently establish infection and/or manipulate host cell trafficking events. Previously, we showed that LpnE is important for L. pneumophila entry into macrophages and epithelial cells. In further virulence studies here, we show that LpnE is also required for efficient infection of Acanthamoeba castellanii by L. pneumophila and for replication of L. pneumophila in the lungs of A/J mice. In addition, we found that the role of LpnE in host cell invasion is dependent on the eight SLR regions of the protein. A truncated form of LpnE lacking the two C-terminal SLR domains was unable to complement the invasion defect of an lpnE mutant of L. pneumophila 130b in both the A549 and THP-1 cell lines. The lpnE mutant displayed impaired avoidance of LAMP-1 association, suggesting that LpnE influenced trafficking of the L. pneumophila vacuole, similar to the case for EnhC and LidL. We also found that LpnE was present in L. pneumophila culture supernatants and that its export was independent of both the Lsp type II secretion system and the Dot/Icm type IV secretion system. The fact that LpnE was exported suggested that the protein may interact with a eukaryotic protein. Using LpnE as bait, we screened a HeLa cell cDNA library for interacting partners, using the yeast two-hybrid system. Examination of the protein-protein interaction between LpnE and a eukaryotic protein, obscurin-like protein 1, suggested that LpnE can interact with eukaryotic proteins containing immunoglobulin-like folds via the SLR regions. This investigation has further characterized the contribution of LpnE to L. pneumophila virulence and, more specifically, the importance of the SLR regions to LpnE function.

  14. Molecular characterization of the hemolysin determinant of Serratia marcescens.

    PubMed Central

    Poole, K; Schiebel, E; Braun, V

    1988-01-01

    The nucleotide sequence of a 7.3-kilobase-pair fragment of DNA encoding a hemolytic activity from Serratia marcescens was determined. Two large open reading frames were identified, designated shlA (Serratia hemolysin) and shlB, capable of encoding polypeptides of 165, 056 and 61,897 molecular weight, respectively. Both reading frames were expressed in vivo. The shlB gene product was localized to the outer membrane of Escherichia coli cells harboring the S. marcescens hemolysin determinant. Consistent with this location, a signallike sequence was identified at the N terminus of the polypeptide predicted from the nucleotide sequence of the shlB gene. Hyperexpression of the shlB locus permitted the identification of two shlB-encoded polypeptides of 65,000 and 62,000 molecular weight, respectively. Determination of the N-terminal amino acid sequence of the purified 62,000-molecular-weight protein confirmed that it was the mature form of the ShlB protein initially synthesized as a precursor (65,000-molecular-weight protein). By using polyclonal antisera raised against the purified proteins, ShlA and ShlB were identified in the outer membrane of S. marcescens. The shlA gene product was shown to interact with erythrocyte membranes, confirming it as the hemolysin proper. Both hemolysis and the interaction of ShlA with erythrocyte membranes did, however, require the ShlB function. Progressive deletion of the C terminus of the ShlA protein gradually reduced hemolytic activity until 37% of the amino acids had been removed. Elimination of 54% of the amino acids produced a nonhemolytic protein which, however, was still capable of associating with erythrocyte membranes. Images PMID:3290200

  15. Mutations in the bvgA gene of Bordetella pertussis that differentially affect regulation of virulence determinants.

    PubMed Central

    Stibitz, S

    1994-01-01

    By using chemical mutagenesis and genetic mapping, a search was undertaken for previously undescribed genes which may be involved in different regulatory mechanisms governing different virulence factors of Bordetella pertussis. Previous studies have shown that the fha locus encoding filamentous hemagglutinin is regulated directly by the bvgAS two component system, while regulation of ptx encoding pertussis toxin is less direct or occurs by a different mechanism. With a strain containing gene fusions to each of these regulated loci, screening was done for mutations which were defective for ptx expression but maintained normal or nearly normal levels of fha expression. Two mutations which had such a phenotype and were also deficient in adenylate cyclase toxin/hemolysin expression were found and characterized more fully. Both were found to affect residues in the C-terminal portion of the BvgA response regulator protein, a domain which shares sequence similarity with a family of regulatory proteins including FixJ, UhpA, MalT, RcsA, RcsB, and LuxR. The residues affected are within a region which, by extension from studies on the LuxR protein, may be involved in transcriptional activation. Images PMID:8083156

  16. Resistance to alpha/beta interferon is a determinant of West Nile virus replication fitness and virulence.

    PubMed

    Keller, Brian C; Fredericksen, Brenda L; Samuel, Melanie A; Mock, Richard E; Mason, Peter W; Diamond, Michael S; Gale, Michael

    2006-10-01

    The emergence of West Nile virus (WNV) in the Western Hemisphere is marked by the spread of pathogenic lineage I strains, which differ from typically avirulent lineage II strains. To begin to understand the virus-host interactions that may influence the phenotypic properties of divergent lineage I and II viruses, we compared the genetic, pathogenic, and alpha/beta interferon (IFN-alpha/beta)-regulatory properties of a lineage II isolate from Madagascar (MAD78) with those of a new lineage I isolate from Texas (TX02). Full genome sequence analysis revealed that MAD78 clustered, albeit distantly, with other lineage II strains, while TX02 clustered with emergent North American isolates, more specifically with other Texas strains. Compared to TX02, MAD78 replicated at low levels in cultured human cells, was highly sensitive to the antiviral actions of IFN in vitro, and demonstrated a completely avirulent phenotype in wild-type mice. In contrast to TX02 and other pathogenic forms of WNV, MAD78 was defective in its ability to disrupt IFN-induced JAK-STAT signaling, including the activation of Tyk2 and downstream phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of STAT1 and STAT2. However, replication of MAD78 was rescued in cells with a nonfunctional IFN-alpha/beta receptor (IFNAR). Consistent with this finding, the virulence of MAD78 was unmasked upon infection of mice lacking IFNAR. Thus, control of the innate host response and IFN actions is a key feature of WNV pathogenesis and replication fitness.

  17. Evolution of virulence in epidemic community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Li, Min; Diep, Binh An; Villaruz, Amer E; Braughton, Kevin R; Jiang, Xiaofei; DeLeo, Frank R; Chambers, Henry F; Lu, Yuan; Otto, Michael

    2009-04-01

    Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) has recently emerged worldwide. The United States, in particular, is experiencing a serious epidemic of CA-MRSA that is almost entirely caused by an extraordinarily infectious strain named USA300. However, the molecular determinants underlying the pathogenic success of CA-MRSA are mostly unknown. To gain insight into the evolution of the exceptional potential of USA300 to cause disease, we compared the phylogeny and virulence of USA300 with that of closely related MRSA clones. We discovered that the sublineage from which USA300 evolved is characterized by a phenotype of high virulence that is clearly distinct from other MRSA strains. Namely, USA300 and its progenitor, USA500, had high virulence in animal infection models and the capacity to evade innate host defense mechanisms. Furthermore, our results indicate that increased virulence in the USA300/USA500 sublineage is attributable to differential expression of core genome-encoded virulence determinants, such as phenol-soluble modulins and alpha-toxin. Notably, the fact that the virulence phenotype of USA300 was already established in its progenitor indicates that acquisition of mobile genetic elements has played a limited role in the evolution of USA300 virulence and points to a possibly different role of those elements. Thus, our results highlight the importance of differential gene expression in the evolution of USA300 virulence. This finding calls for a profound revision of our notion about CA-MRSA pathogenesis at the molecular level and has important implications for design of therapeutics directed against CA-MRSA.

  18. Virulence and Genomic Feature of Multidrug Resistant Campylobacter jejuni Isolated from Broiler Chicken

    PubMed Central

    Hao, Haihong; Ren, Ni; Han, Jing; Foley, Steven L.; Iqbal, Zahid; Cheng, Guyue; Kuang, Xiuhua; Liu, Jie; Liu, Zhenli; Dai, Menghong; Wang, Yulian; Yuan, Zonghui

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to reveal the molecular mechanism involved in multidrug resistance and virulence of Campylobacter jejuni isolated from broiler chickens. The virulence of six multidrug resistant C. jejuni was determined by in vitro and in vivo methods. The de novo whole genome sequencing technology and molecular biology methods were used to analyze the genomic features associated with the multidrug resistance and virulence of a selected isolate (C. jejuni 1655). The comparative genomic analyses revealed a large number of single nucleotide polymorphisms, deletions, rearrangements, and inversions in C. jejuni 1655 compared to reference C. jejuni genomes. The co-emergence of Thr-86-Ile mutation in gyrA gene, A2075G mutation in 23S rRNA gene, tetO, aphA and aadE genes and pTet plasmid in C. jejuni 1655 contributed its multidrug resistance to fluoroquinolones, macrolides, tetracycline, and aminoglycosides. The combination of multiple virulence genes may work together to confer the relative higher virulence in C. jejuni 1655. The co-existence of mobile gene elements (e.g., pTet) and CRISPR-Cas system in C. jejuni 1655 may play an important role in the gene transfer and immune defense. The present study provides basic information of phenotypic and genomic features of C. jejuni 1655, a strain recently isolated from a chicken displaying multidrug resistance and relatively high level of virulence. PMID:27790202

  19. Molecular evolution of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and pathogenic Escherichia coli: from pathogenesis to therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Lavigne, Jean-Philippe; Blanc-Potard, Anne-Béatrice

    2008-03-01

    Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) and certain Escherichia coli are human pathogens that have evolved through the acquisition of multiple virulence determinants by horizontal gene transfer. Similar genetic elements, as pathogenicity islands and virulence plasmids, have driven molecular evolution of virulence in both species. In addition, the contribution of prophages has been recently highlighted as a reservoir for pathogenic diversity. Characterization of horizontally acquired virulence genes has several clinical implications. First, identification of virulence determinants that have a sporadic distribution and are specifically associated with a pathotype and/or a pathology can be useful markers for risk assessment and diagnosis. Secondly, virulence factors widely distributed in pathogenic strains, but absent from non-pathogenic bacteria, are interesting targets for the development of novel antimicrobial chemotherapies and vaccines. Here, we summarize the horizontally acquired virulence factors of S. Typhimurium, enterohemorrhagic E. coli O157:H7 and uropathogenic E. coli, and we describe their use in novel therapeutic approaches.

  20. Nonorthogonal molecular orbital method: single-determinant theory.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Yoshihiro; Matsuoka, Osamu

    2014-05-28

    Using the variational principle, we have derived a variant of the Adams-Gilbert equation for nonorthogonal orbitals of a single-determinant wave function, which we name the modified Adams-Gilbert equation. If we divide the molecular system into several subsystems, such as bonds, lone pairs, and residues, we can solve the equations for the subsystems one by one. Thus, this procedure has linear scaling. We have presented a practical procedure for solving the equations that is also applicable to macromolecular calculations. The numerical examples show that the procedure yields, with reasonable effort, results comparable with those of the Hartree-Fock-Roothaan method for orthogonal orbitals. To resolve the convergence difficulty in the self-consistent-field iterations, we have found that virtual molecular-orbital shifts are very effective.

  1. Direct experimental determination of spectral densities of molecular complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pachón, Leonardo A.; Brumer, Paul

    2014-11-01

    Determining the spectral density of a molecular system immersed in a proteomic scaffold and in contact to a solvent is a fundamental challenge in the coarse-grained description of, e.g., electron and energy transfer dynamics. Once the spectral density is characterized, all the time scales are captured and no artificial separation between fast and slow processes need to be invoked. Based on the fluorescence Stokes shift function, we utilize a simple and robust strategy to extract the spectral density of a number of molecular complexes from available experimental data. Specifically, we show that experimental data for dye molecules in several solvents, amino acid proteins in water, and some photochemical systems (e.g., rhodopsin and green fluorescence proteins), are well described by a three-parameter family of sub-Ohmic spectral densities that are characterized by a fast initial Gaussian-like decay followed by a slow algebraic-like decay rate at long times.

  2. Direct experimental determination of spectral densities of molecular complexes

    SciTech Connect

    Pachón, Leonardo A.; Brumer, Paul

    2014-11-07

    Determining the spectral density of a molecular system immersed in a proteomic scaffold and in contact to a solvent is a fundamental challenge in the coarse-grained description of, e.g., electron and energy transfer dynamics. Once the spectral density is characterized, all the time scales are captured and no artificial separation between fast and slow processes need to be invoked. Based on the fluorescence Stokes shift function, we utilize a simple and robust strategy to extract the spectral density of a number of molecular complexes from available experimental data. Specifically, we show that experimental data for dye molecules in several solvents, amino acid proteins in water, and some photochemical systems (e.g., rhodopsin and green fluorescence proteins), are well described by a three-parameter family of sub-Ohmic spectral densities that are characterized by a fast initial Gaussian-like decay followed by a slow algebraic-like decay rate at long times.

  3. Morphological, molecular and virulence characterization of three Lencanicillium species infecting Asian citrus psyllids in Huangyan citrus groves.

    PubMed

    Lu, Lianming; Cheng, Baoping; Du, Danchao; Hu, Xiurong; Peng, Aitian; Pu, Zhanxu; Zhang, Xiaoya; Huang, Zhendong; Chen, Guoqing

    2015-02-01

    Citrus greening or Huanglongbing (HLB) is caused by the infection of Candidatus Liberibacter spp. in citrus plants. Since Asian citrus psyllid is the primary vector of this bacterial pathogen, the spread of HLB can be mitigated by suppressing Asian citrus psyllid populations in citrus groves using entomopathogens. To expand the current data on entomopathogens infecting Asian citrus psyllids, we isolated and characterized three different entomopathogens. Strains ZJLSP07, ZJLA08, and ZJLP09 infected the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, in Huangyan citrus groves. Based on molecular and morphological analyses, two were identified as Lecanicillium attenuatum and Lecanicillium psalliotae, and the third was recognized as an unidentified species of the genus, Lecanicillium. The corrected mortalities caused by strains ZJLSP07, ZJLA08 were 100% at 7days post-inoculation, while by ZJLP09 complete mortality occurred at 6days after inoculation, with 1.0×10(8)conidia/ml at 25°C and a relative humidity of 90% in the laboratory. Under the same condition, the corrected mortalities caused by strains ZJLSP07, ZJLA08 and ZJLP09 were 100%, 92.55% and 100%, respectively at 9days post-inoculation in the greenhouse. Our findings also revealed that these fungal strains infected D. citri using hyphae that penetrated deep into the insect tissues. Further, all three strains secreted the enzymes proteinases, chitinases and lipases with a potential to destroy insect tissues. Interestingly, strain ZJLP09 had an earlier invasion time and the highest levels of enzyme activities when compared to the other two strains. These findings have expanded the existing pool of entomopathogenic fungi that infect D. citri and can be potentially used for the management of D. citri populations. PMID:25593036

  4. Morphological, molecular and virulence characterization of three Lencanicillium species infecting Asian citrus psyllids in Huangyan citrus groves.

    PubMed

    Lu, Lianming; Cheng, Baoping; Du, Danchao; Hu, Xiurong; Peng, Aitian; Pu, Zhanxu; Zhang, Xiaoya; Huang, Zhendong; Chen, Guoqing

    2015-02-01

    Citrus greening or Huanglongbing (HLB) is caused by the infection of Candidatus Liberibacter spp. in citrus plants. Since Asian citrus psyllid is the primary vector of this bacterial pathogen, the spread of HLB can be mitigated by suppressing Asian citrus psyllid populations in citrus groves using entomopathogens. To expand the current data on entomopathogens infecting Asian citrus psyllids, we isolated and characterized three different entomopathogens. Strains ZJLSP07, ZJLA08, and ZJLP09 infected the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, in Huangyan citrus groves. Based on molecular and morphological analyses, two were identified as Lecanicillium attenuatum and Lecanicillium psalliotae, and the third was recognized as an unidentified species of the genus, Lecanicillium. The corrected mortalities caused by strains ZJLSP07, ZJLA08 were 100% at 7days post-inoculation, while by ZJLP09 complete mortality occurred at 6days after inoculation, with 1.0×10(8)conidia/ml at 25°C and a relative humidity of 90% in the laboratory. Under the same condition, the corrected mortalities caused by strains ZJLSP07, ZJLA08 and ZJLP09 were 100%, 92.55% and 100%, respectively at 9days post-inoculation in the greenhouse. Our findings also revealed that these fungal strains infected D. citri using hyphae that penetrated deep into the insect tissues. Further, all three strains secreted the enzymes proteinases, chitinases and lipases with a potential to destroy insect tissues. Interestingly, strain ZJLP09 had an earlier invasion time and the highest levels of enzyme activities when compared to the other two strains. These findings have expanded the existing pool of entomopathogenic fungi that infect D. citri and can be potentially used for the management of D. citri populations.

  5. Molecular characterization and virus neutralization patterns of severe, non-epizootic forms of feline calicivirus infections resembling virulent systemic disease in cats in Switzerland and in Liechtenstein.

    PubMed

    Willi, Barbara; Spiri, Andrea M; Meli, Marina L; Samman, Ayman; Hoffmann, Karolin; Sydler, Titus; Cattori, Valentino; Graf, Felix; Diserens, Kevin A; Padrutt, Isabelle; Nesina, Stefanie; Berger, Alice; Ruetten, Maja; Riond, Barbara; Hosie, Margaret J; Hofmann-Lehmann, Regina

    2016-01-15

    Feline calicivirus (FCV) infections are associated with oral ulceration, chronic stomatitis and a limping syndrome. Epizootic outbreaks of virulent systemic disease (VSD) have been reported in the USA and Europe. Here, the molecular characterization and neutralization patterns of FCV isolates from cases of severe, non-epizootic infection associated with skin ulceration and edema are presented. Samples from eleven symptomatic cats, four in-contact cats and 27 cats with no contact with symptomatic cats were collected and tested for FCV, feline herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1), feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Phylogenetic analyses based on the capsid (VP1) gene of FCV and virus neutralization with antisera raised against four FCV vaccine strains were performed. Nine kittens and two adult cats in two shelters and two veterinary clinics in four geographically distinct locations in Switzerland and Liechtenstein were affected. The cats showed fever, tongue and skin ulceration, head and paw edema, and occasionally jaundice, generalized edema and dyspnea. All symptomatic cats tested FCV-positive but were negative for FHV-1, FeLV and FIV, with the exception of one FIV-positive kitten. All kittens of one litter and both adult cats died. The disease did not spread to cats in the environment. Cats in the environment displayed phylogenetically distinct, but related, FCV strains. Virus neutralization patterns suggested that some cases might have been potentially prevented by vaccination with the optimal vaccine strain. In conclusion, clinicians should be aware of severe, non-epizootic forms of FCV infections with initial clinical presentations similar to VSD.

  6. Molecular characterization and virus neutralization patterns of severe, non-epizootic forms of feline calicivirus infections resembling virulent systemic disease in cats in Switzerland and in Liechtenstein.

    PubMed

    Willi, Barbara; Spiri, Andrea M; Meli, Marina L; Samman, Ayman; Hoffmann, Karolin; Sydler, Titus; Cattori, Valentino; Graf, Felix; Diserens, Kevin A; Padrutt, Isabelle; Nesina, Stefanie; Berger, Alice; Ruetten, Maja; Riond, Barbara; Hosie, Margaret J; Hofmann-Lehmann, Regina

    2016-01-15

    Feline calicivirus (FCV) infections are associated with oral ulceration, chronic stomatitis and a limping syndrome. Epizootic outbreaks of virulent systemic disease (VSD) have been reported in the USA and Europe. Here, the molecular characterization and neutralization patterns of FCV isolates from cases of severe, non-epizootic infection associated with skin ulceration and edema are presented. Samples from eleven symptomatic cats, four in-contact cats and 27 cats with no contact with symptomatic cats were collected and tested for FCV, feline herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1), feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Phylogenetic analyses based on the capsid (VP1) gene of FCV and virus neutralization with antisera raised against four FCV vaccine strains were performed. Nine kittens and two adult cats in two shelters and two veterinary clinics in four geographically distinct locations in Switzerland and Liechtenstein were affected. The cats showed fever, tongue and skin ulceration, head and paw edema, and occasionally jaundice, generalized edema and dyspnea. All symptomatic cats tested FCV-positive but were negative for FHV-1, FeLV and FIV, with the exception of one FIV-positive kitten. All kittens of one litter and both adult cats died. The disease did not spread to cats in the environment. Cats in the environment displayed phylogenetically distinct, but related, FCV strains. Virus neutralization patterns suggested that some cases might have been potentially prevented by vaccination with the optimal vaccine strain. In conclusion, clinicians should be aware of severe, non-epizootic forms of FCV infections with initial clinical presentations similar to VSD. PMID:26711049

  7. Block of Death-Receptor Apoptosis Protects Mouse Cytomegalovirus from Macrophages and Is a Determinant of Virulence in Immunodeficient Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Ebermann, Linda; Ruzsics, Zsolt; Guzmán, Carlos A.; van Rooijen, Nico; Casalegno-Garduño, Rosaely; Koszinowski, Ulrich; Čičin-Šain, Luka

    2012-01-01

    The inhibition of death-receptor apoptosis is a conserved viral function. The murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) gene M36 is a sequence and functional homologue of the human cytomegalovirus gene UL36, and it encodes an inhibitor of apoptosis that binds to caspase-8, blocks downstream signaling and thus contributes to viral fitness in macrophages and in vivo. Here we show a direct link between the inability of mutants lacking the M36 gene (ΔM36) to inhibit apoptosis, poor viral growth in macrophage cell cultures and viral in vivo fitness and virulence. ΔM36 grew poorly in RAG1 knockout mice and in RAG/IL-2-receptor common gamma chain double knockout mice (RAGγC−/−), but the depletion of macrophages in either mouse strain rescued the growth of ΔM36 to almost wild-type levels. This was consistent with the observation that activated macrophages were sufficient to impair ΔM36 growth in vitro. Namely, spiking fibroblast cell cultures with activated macrophages had a suppressive effect on ΔM36 growth, which could be reverted by z-VAD-fmk, a chemical apoptosis inhibitor. TNFα from activated macrophages synergized with IFNγ in target cells to inhibit ΔM36 growth. Hence, our data show that poor ΔM36 growth in macrophages does not reflect a defect in tropism, but rather a defect in the suppression of antiviral mediators secreted by macrophages. To the best of our knowledge, this shows for the first time an immune evasion mechanism that protects MCMV selectively from the antiviral activity of macrophages, and thus critically contributes to viral pathogenicity in the immunocompromised host devoid of the adaptive immune system. PMID:23271968

  8. Determination of the anastomosis grouping and virulence of Rhizoctonia spp. associated with potato tubers grown in Lincoln, New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Farrokhi-Nejad, Reza; Cromey, Matthew G; Moosawi-Jorf, S Ali

    2007-11-01

    A total of 58 isolates of Rhizoctonia spp. (46 R. solani and 12 binucleate Rhizoctonia) were recovered from potato tubers showing black scurf disease symptom during the 2004 growing season in Lincoln, New Zealand. The isolates were assigned to 5 Anastomosis Groups (AG) ofR. solani AG-3 (54.34%), AG-5 (28.26%), AG-8 (8.69%), AG-4 (6.52%) and AG-2-2 IIIB (2.17%) and six anastomosis groups ofbinucleate Rhizoctonia, AG-K (25%), AG-Bi (25%), AG-Ba (8.33%), AG-C (8.33%), AG-D (8.33%) and AG-E (8.33%). Two isolates of BNR did not anastomose with any of the tester strains and remain unidentified. In pathogenicity tests that were carried out on radish, carrot, lettuce, onion, tomato and hemp, it was found that all the isolates of both R. solani and binucleate Rhizoctonia to be virulent at varying degrees to these 6 plants species from different families. In these tests, isolates of AG-3 and AG-8 from R. solani population caused the highest and lowest disease severity on all 6 plant species, respectively. In population of binucleate Rhizoctonia, on the other hand, the highest and lowest disease severities were caused by the isolates of AG-D and AG-Ba on all test plants, respectively. When the results of the pathogenicity tests were examined in terms of the susceptibility levels of the plants, the most resistant plant was tomato against different AGs of R. solani and BNR. On the other hand, radish was the most susceptible plant species tested in this study against both R. solani and BNR isolates.

  9. Molecular mechanisms of mutagenesis determined by the recombinant DNA technology

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, W.R.

    1985-01-01

    A study of the alteration of the DNA in the mutant gene can determine mechanisms of mutation by distinguishing between mutations induced by transition, transversion, frameshifts of a single base and deletions involving many base pairs. The association of a specific pattern of response with a mutagen will permit detecting mutants induced by the mutagen with a reduced background by removing mutations induced by other mechanisms from the pool of potential mutants. From analyses of studies that have been conducted, it is quite apparent that there are substantial differences among mutagens in their modes of action. Of 31 x-ray induced mutants, 20 were large deletions while only 3 showed normal Southern blots. Only one mutant produced a sub-unit polypeptide of normal molecular weight and charge in the in vivo test whereas in vitro synthesis produced a second one. In contrast, nine of thirteen EMS induced mutants produced cross-reacting proteins with sub-unit polypeptide molecular weights equivalent to wild type. Two of three ENU induced mutants recently analyzed in our laboratory produced protein with sub-unit polypeptide molecular weight and electrical charge similar to the wild type stock in which the mutants were induced. One ENU induced mutation is a large deletion. 21 refs., 1 fig.

  10. Four sequence positions of the movement protein of Cucumber mosaic virus determine the virulence against cmv1-mediated resistance in melon.

    PubMed

    Guiu-Aragonés, Cèlia; Díaz-Pendón, Juan Antonio; Martín-Hernández, Ana Montserrat

    2015-09-01

    The resistance to a set of strains of Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) in the melon accession PI 161375, cultivar 'Songwhan Charmi', is dependent on one recessive gene, cmv1, which confers total resistance, whereas a second set of strains is able to overcome it. We tested 11 strains of CMV subgroups I and II in the melon line SC12-1-99, which carries the gene cmv1, and showed that this gene confers resistance to strains of subgroup II only and that restriction is not related to either viral replication or cell-to-cell movement. This is the first time that a resistant trait has been correlated with CMV subgroups. Using infectious clones of the CMV strains LS (subgroup II) and FNY (subgroup I), we generated rearrangements and viral chimaeras between both strains and established that the determinant of virulence against the gene cmv1 resides in the first 209 amino acids of the movement protein, as this region from FNY is sufficient to confer virulence to the LS clone in the line SC12-1-99. A comparison of the sequences of the strains of both subgroups in this region shows that there are five main positions shared by all strains of subgroup II, which are different from those of subgroup I. Site-directed mutagenesis of the CMV-LS clone to substitute these residues for those of CMV-FNY revealed that a combination of four of these changes [the group 64-68 (SNNLL to HGRIA), and the point mutations R81C, G171T and A195I] was required for a complete gain of function of the LS MP in the resistant melon plant.

  11. Fungal virulence genes as targets for antifungal chemotherapy.

    PubMed Central

    Perfect, J R

    1996-01-01

    Fungal virulence genes have now met the age of molecular pathogenesis. The definition of virulence genes needs to be broad so that it encompasses the focus on molecular antifungal targets and vaccine epitopes. However, in the broad but simple definition of a virulence gene, there will be many complex genetic and host interactions which investigators will need to carefully define. Nevertheless, with the increasing numbers of serious fungal infections produced by old and newly reported organisms, the paucity of present antifungal drugs, and the likelihood of increasing drug resistance, the need for investigations into understanding fungal virulence at the molecular level has never been more important. PMID:8807043

  12. Complete Genome Sequences of Eight Helicobacter pylori Strains with Different Virulence Factor Genotypes and Methylation Profiles, Isolated from Patients with Diverse Gastrointestinal Diseases on Okinawa Island, Japan, Determined Using PacBio Single-Molecule Real-Time Technology.

    PubMed

    Satou, Kazuhito; Shiroma, Akino; Teruya, Kuniko; Shimoji, Makiko; Nakano, Kazuma; Juan, Ayaka; Tamotsu, Hinako; Terabayashi, Yasunobu; Aoyama, Misako; Teruya, Morimi; Suzuki, Rumiko; Matsuda, Miyuki; Sekine, Akihiro; Kinjo, Nagisa; Kinjo, Fukunori; Yamaoka, Yoshio; Hirano, Takashi

    2014-04-17

    We report the complete genome sequences of eight Helicobacter pylori strains isolated from patients with gastrointestinal diseases in Okinawa, Japan. Whole-genome sequencing and DNA methylation detection were performed using the PacBio platform. De novo assembly determined a single, complete contig for each strain. Furthermore, methylation analysis identified virulence factor genotype-dependent motifs.

  13. Determinations of molecular weight and molecular weight distribution of high polymers by the rheological properties

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huang, J. Y.; Hou, T. H.; Tiwari, S. N.

    1989-01-01

    Several methods are reviewed by which the molecular weight (MW) and the molecular weight distribution (MWD) of polymeric material were determined from the rheological properties. A poly(arylene ether) polymer with six different molecular weights was used in this investigation. Experimentally measured MW and MWD were conducted by GPC/LALLS (gel permeation chromatography/low angle laser light scattering), and the rheological properties of the melts were measured by a Rheometric System Four rheometer. It was found that qualitative information of the MW and MWD of these polymers could be derived from the viscoelastic properties, with the methods proposed by Zeichner and Patel, and by Dormier et al., by shifting the master curves of the dynamic storage modulus, G', and the loss modulus, G'', along the frequency axis. Efforts were also made to calculate quantitative profiles of MW and MWD for these polymers from their rheological properties. The technique recently proposed by Wu was evaluated. It was found that satisfactory results could only be obtained for polymers with single modal distribution in the molecular weight.

  14. Pathogenicity islands and virulence evolution in Listeria.

    PubMed

    Vázquez-Boland, J A; Domínguez-Bernal, G; González-Zorn, B; Kreft, J; Goebel, W

    2001-06-01

    As in other bacterial pathogens, the virulence determinants of Listeria species are clustered in genomic islands scattered along the chromosome. This review summarizes current knowledge about the structure, distribution and role in pathogenesis of Listeria virulence loci. Hypotheses about the mode of acquisition and evolution of these loci in this group of Gram-positive bacteria are presented and discussed.

  15. Species differences and molecular determinant of TRPA1 cold sensitivity

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jun; Kang, Dawon; Xu, Jing; Lake, Marc; Hogan, James O.; Sun, Chaohong; Walter, Karl; Yao, Betty; Kim, Donghee

    2013-01-01

    TRPA1 is an ion channel and has been proposed as a thermosensor across species. In invertebrate and ancestral vertebrates such as fly, mosquito, frog, lizard and snakes, TRPA1 serves as a heat receptor, a sensory input utilized for heat avoidance or infrared detection. However, in mammals, whether TRPA1 is a receptor for noxious cold is highly controversial, as channel activation by cold was observed by some groups but disputed by others. Here we attribute the discrepancy to species differences. We show that cold activates rat and mouse TRPA1 but not human or rhesus monkey TRPA1. At the molecular level, a single residue within the S5 transmembrane domain (G878 in rodent but V875 in primate) accounts for the observed difference in cold sensitivity. This residue difference also underlies the species-specific effects of menthol. Together, our findings identify the species-specific cold activation of TRPA1 and reveal a molecular determinant of cold-sensitive gating. PMID:24071625

  16. Comparative genomic analysis of Brucella abortus vaccine strain 104M reveals a set of candidate genes associated with its virulence attenuation.

    PubMed

    Yu, Dong; Hui, Yiming; Zai, Xiaodong; Xu, Junjie; Liang, Long; Wang, Bingxiang; Yue, Junjie; Li, Shanhu

    2015-01-01

    The Brucella abortus strain 104M, a spontaneously attenuated strain, has been used as a vaccine strain in humans against brucellosis for 6 decades in China. Despite many studies, the molecular mechanisms that cause the attenuation are still unclear. Here, we determined the whole-genome sequence of 104M and conducted a comprehensive comparative analysis against the whole genome sequences of the virulent strain, A13334, and other reference strains. This analysis revealed a highly similar genome structure between 104M and A13334. The further comparative genomic analysis between 104M and A13334 revealed a set of genes missing in 104M. Some of these genes were identified to be directly or indirectly associated with virulence. Similarly, a set of mutations in the virulence-related genes was also identified, which may be related to virulence alteration. This study provides a set of candidate genes associated with virulence attenuation in B.abortus vaccine strain 104M.

  17. Comparative genomic analysis of Brucella abortus vaccine strain 104M reveals a set of candidate genes associated with its virulence attenuation

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Dong; Hui, Yiming; Zai, Xiaodong; Xu, Junjie; Liang, Long; Wang, Bingxiang; Yue, Junjie; Li, Shanhu

    2015-01-01

    The Brucella abortus strain 104M, a spontaneously attenuated strain, has been used as a vaccine strain in humans against brucellosis for 6 decades in China. Despite many studies, the molecular mechanisms that cause the attenuation are still unclear. Here, we determined the whole-genome sequence of 104M and conducted a comprehensive comparative analysis against the whole genome sequences of the virulent strain, A13334, and other reference strains. This analysis revealed a highly similar genome structure between 104M and A13334. The further comparative genomic analysis between 104M and A13334 revealed a set of genes missing in 104M. Some of these genes were identified to be directly or indirectly associated with virulence. Similarly, a set of mutations in the virulence-related genes was also identified, which may be related to virulence alteration. This study provides a set of candidate genes associated with virulence attenuation in B.abortus vaccine strain 104M. PMID:26039674

  18. Apparatus and method of determining molecular weight of large molecules

    DOEpatents

    Fuerstenau, S.; Benner, W.H.; Madden, N.M.; Searles, W.

    1998-06-23

    A mass spectrometer determines the mass of multiply charged high molecular weight molecules. This spectrometer utilizes an ion detector which is capable of simultaneously measuring the charge z and transit time of a single ion as it passes through the detector. From this transit time, the velocity of the single ion may then be derived, thus providing the mass-to-charge ratio m/z for a single ion which has been accelerated through a known potential. Given z and m/z, the mass m of the single ion can then be calculated. Electrospray ions with masses in excess of 1 MDa and charge numbers greater than 425 e{sup {minus}} are readily detected. The on-axis single ion detection configuration enables a duty cycle of nearly 100% and extends the practical application of electrospray mass spectrometry to the analysis of very large molecules with relatively inexpensive instrumentation. 14 figs.

  19. Apparatus and method of determining molecular weight of large molecules

    DOEpatents

    Fuerstenau, Stephen; Benner, W. Henry; Madden, Norman; Searles, William

    1998-01-01

    A mass spectrometer determines the mass of multiply charged high molecular weight molecules. This spectrometer utilizes an ion detector which is capable of simultaneously measuring the charge z and transit time of a single ion as it passes through the detector. From this transit time, the velocity of the single ion may then be derived, thus providing the mass-to-charge ratio m/z for a single ion which has been accelerated through a known potential. Given z and m/z, the mass m of the single ion can then be calculated. Electrospray ions with masses in excess of 1 MDa and charge numbers greater than 425 e.sup.- are readily detected. The on-axis single ion detection configuration enables a duty cycle of nearly 100% and extends the practical application of electrospray mass spectrometry to the analysis of very large molecules with relatively inexpensive instrumentation.

  20. Chemical state determination of molecular gallium compounds using XPS.

    PubMed

    Bourque, Jeremy L; Biesinger, Mark C; Baines, Kim M

    2016-05-01

    A series of molecular gallium compounds were analyzed using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Specifically, the Ga 2p3/2 and Ga 3d5/2 photoelectron binding energies and the Ga L3M45M45 Auger electron kinetic energies of compounds with gallium in a range of assigned oxidation numbers and with different stabilizing ligands were measured. Auger parameters were calculated and used to generate multiple chemical speciation (or Wagner) plots that were subsequently used to characterize the novel gallium-cryptand[2.2.2] complexes that possess ambiguous oxidation numbers for gallium. The results presented demonstrate the ability of widely accessible XPS instruments to experimentally determine the chemical state of gallium centers and, as a consequence, provide deeper insights into reactivity compared to assigned oxidation and valence numbers.

  1. [Molecular genetics and determination of time since death - short communication].

    PubMed

    Šaňková, Markéta; Račanská, Michaela

    2016-01-01

    Estimation of time since death, i.e. the post-mortem interval (PMI), is one of the most problematic issues in forensic practice. Accurate determination of the PMI still remains very complicated task even for an experienced forensic pathologist.Physical changes including algor, livor and rigor mortis can be observed already during the first hours after death of an individual. Unfortunately, the estimation of PMI on the basis of these changes is often burdened with a certain degree of inaccuracy, which is caused by the temperature of surrounding environment, constitution of the body, cause of the death, location of the body, drug abuse etc.Accurate PMI estimation requires assessment of such parameters, which change constantly from the moment of death, but independently on ambient factors. According to current research in the field of molecular biology, it appears that a post-mortem degradation of nucleic acids (both DNA and RNA) will correspond to this definition. PMID:27526264

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

  3. Campylobacter virulence and survival factors.

    PubMed

    Bolton, Declan J

    2015-06-01

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

  4. A single nucleotide polymorphism at the right terminal region of Mexican papita viroid is a virulent determinant factor on tomato

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mexican papita viroid (MPVd), a pospiviroid, causes serious disease outbreaks on greenhouse tomato in North America. Two dominant genotypes (MPV-S and MPV-M), sharing 93.8% sequence identity, incited striking different symptom expression (severe and mild) on tomato ‘Rutgers’. To determine genetic ...

  5. Oscillator Strength Determinations of Diatomic Molecular Transitions of Astrophysical Interest.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stark, Glenn

    Lifetimes of six individual rotational levels in the (nu) = 0 vibrational level of the d('3)(PI)(,g) state of C(,2) were measured by monitoring the fluorescent decay after pulsed laser excitation. A value of 92 (+OR -) 5 nanoseconds was obtained, 25% lower than previous measurements. The corresponding oscillator strength for the Swan (0-0) band is f(,0,0) = 0.032 (+OR-) 0.002, in agreement with recent theoretical work. Attempts were made to measure the oscillator strengths of transitions in the C(,2)D('1)(SIGMA)(,u)('+) - X('1)(SIGMA)(,g)('+) Mulliken system. Absorption measurements were unsuccessful, primarily due to low number densities in the C(,2) absorption cell (a high temperature King-type furnace) and to the inadequacies of continuum radiation sources in the 230 nm region. The Mulliken system was photographed in emission from a vacuum carbon arc. A rotational analysis of the 0-0, 1-1, and 2-2 bands yielded improved molecular constants for the D('1)(SIGMA)(,u)('+) state. The radiative lifetime of a single rotational level in the (nu) = 0 vibrational level of the B('2)(SIGMA)('+) state of the CN molecule was determined by observation of fluorescent decay following pulsed laser excitation. A value of 62 (+OR-) 6 nanoseconds was obtained, consistent with previous experimental determinations.

  6. Map-based comparative genomic analysis of virulent haemophilus parasuis serovars 4 and 5.

    PubMed

    Lawrence, Paulraj; Bey, Russell

    2015-01-01

    Haemophilus parasuis is a commensal bacterium of the upper respiratory tract of healthy pigs. However, in conjunction with viral infections in immunocompromised animals H. parasuis can transform into a pathogen that is responsible for causing Glasser's disease which is typically characterized by fibrinous polyserositis, polyarthritis, meningitis and sometimes acute pneumonia and septicemia in pigs. Haemophilus parasuis serovar 5 is highly virulent and more frequently isolated from respiratory and systemic infection in pigs. Recently a highly virulent H. parasuis serovar 4 was isolated from the tissues of diseased pigs. To understand the differences in virulence and virulence-associated genes between H. parasuis serovar 5 and highly virulent H. parasuis serovar 4 strains, a genomic library was generated by TruSeq preparation and sequenced on Illumina HiSeq 2000 obtaining 50 bp PE reads. A three-way comparative genomic analysis was conducted between two highly virulent H. parasuis serovar 4 strains and H. parasuis serovar 5. Haemophilus parasuis serovar 5 GenBank isolate SH0165 (GenBank accession number CP001321.1) was used as reference strain for assembly. Results of these analysis revealed the highly virulent H. parasuis serovar 4 lacks genes encoding for, glycosyl transferases, polysaccharide biosynthesis protein capD, spore coat polysaccharide biosynthesis protein C, polysaccharide export protein and sialyltransferase which can modify the lipopolysaccharide forming a short-chain LPS lacking O-specific polysaccharide chains often referred to as lipooligosaccharide (LOS). In addition, it can modify the outer membrane protein (OMP) structure. The lack of sialyltransferase significantly reduced the amount of sialic acid incorporated into LOS, a major and essential component of the cell wall and an important virulence determinant. These molecules may be involved in various stages of pathogenesis through molecular mimicry and by causing host cell cytotoxicity, reduced

  7. Map-Based Comparative Genomic Analysis of Virulent Haemophilus Parasuis Serovars 4 and 5

    PubMed Central

    Lawrence, Paulraj; Bey, Russell

    2015-01-01

    Haemophilus parasuis is a commensal bacterium of the upper respiratory tract of healthy pigs. However, in conjunction with viral infections in immunocompromised animals H. parasuis can transform into a pathogen that is responsible for causing Glasser's disease which is typically characterized by fibrinous polyserositis, polyarthritis, meningitis and sometimes acute pneumonia and septicemia in pigs. Haemophilus parasuis serovar 5 is highly virulent and more frequently isolated from respiratory and systemic infection in pigs. Recently a highly virulent H. parasuis serovar 4 was isolated from the tissues of diseased pigs. To understand the differences in virulence and virulence-associated genes between H. parasuis serovar 5 and highly virulent H. parasuis serovar 4 strains, a genomic library was generated by TruSeq preparation and sequenced on Illumina HiSeq 2000 obtaining 50 bp PE reads. A three-way comparative genomic analysis was conducted between two highly virulent H. parasuis serovar 4 strains and H. parasuis serovar 5. Haemophilus parasuis serovar 5 GenBank isolate SH0165 (GenBank accession number CP001321.1) was used as reference strain for assembly. Results of these analysis revealed the highly virulent H. parasuis serovar 4 lacks genes encoding for, glycosyl transferases, polysaccharide biosynthesis protein capD, spore coat polysaccharide biosynthesis protein C, polysaccharide export protein and sialyltransferase which can modify the lipopolysaccharide forming a short-chain LPS lacking O-specific polysaccharide chains often referred to as lipooligosaccharide (LOS). In addition, it can modify the outer membrane protein (OMP) structure. The lack of sialyltransferase significantly reduced the amount of sialic acid incorporated into LOS, a major and essential component of the cell wall and an important virulence determinant. These molecules may be involved in various stages of pathogenesis through molecular mimicry and by causing host cell cytotoxicity, reduced

  8. Klebsiella pneumoniae Asparagine tDNAs Are Integration Hotspots for Different Genomic Islands Encoding Microcin E492 Production Determinants and Other Putative Virulence Factors Present in Hypervirulent Strains

    PubMed Central

    Marcoleta, Andrés E.; Berríos-Pastén, Camilo; Nuñez, Gonzalo; Monasterio, Octavio; Lagos, Rosalba

    2016-01-01

    Due to the developing of multi-resistant and invasive hypervirulent strains, Klebsiella pneumoniae has become one of the most urgent bacterial pathogen threats in the last years. Genomic comparison of a growing number of sequenced isolates has allowed the identification of putative virulence factors, proposed to be acquirable mainly through horizontal gene transfer. In particular, those related with synthesizing the antibacterial peptide microcin E492 (MccE492) and salmochelin siderophores were found to be highly prevalent among hypervirulent strains. The determinants for the production of both molecules were first reported as part of a 13-kbp segment of K. pneumoniae RYC492 chromosome, and were cloned and characterized in E. coli. However, the genomic context of this segment in K. pneumoniae remained uncharacterized. In this work, we provided experimental and bioinformatics evidence indicating that the MccE492 cluster is part of a highly conserved 23-kbp genomic island (GI) named GIE492, that was integrated in a specific asparagine-tRNA gene (asn-tDNA) and was found in a high proportion of isolates from liver abscesses sampled around the world. This element resulted to be unstable and its excision frequency increased after treating bacteria with mitomycin C and upon the overexpression of the island-encoded integrase. Besides the MccE492 genetic cluster, it invariably included an integrase-coding gene, at least seven protein-coding genes of unknown function, and a putative transfer origin that possibly allows this GI to be mobilized through conjugation. In addition, we analyzed the asn-tDNA loci of all the available K. pneumoniae assembled chromosomes to evaluate them as GI-integration sites. Remarkably, 73% of the strains harbored at least one GI integrated in one of the four asn-tDNA present in this species, confirming them as integration hotspots. Each of these tDNAs was occupied with different frequencies, although they were 100% identical. Also, we identified

  9. [Investigation of pathogenic phenotypes and virulence determinants of food-borne Salmonella enterica strains in Caenorhabditis elegans animal model].

    PubMed

    Aksoy, Deniz; Şen, Ece

    2015-10-01

    Salmonellosis, caused by non-typhoidal Salmonella enterica serovars with the consumption of contaminated food, is one of the leading food-borne disease that makes microbial food safety an important public health issue. This study was performed in order to determine the antibiotic resistance, serotyping, plasmid profiles and pathogenicity potentials of food-borne Salmonella isolates in Caenorhabditis elegans animal model system in Edirne province, located at Thrace region of Turkey. In this study, 32 Salmonella isolates, of which 26 belonged to Infantis, four to Enteritidis, one to Telaviv and one to Kentucky serovars, isolated from chicken carcasses were used. Antibiotic resistance profiles were determined by disc diffusion and broth microdilution methods. A new C.elegans nematode animal model system was used to determine the pathogenicity potential of the isolates. The antibiotic resistance profiles revealed that one (3.1%) isolate was resistant to gentamicin, two (6.2%) to ciprofloxacin, three (9.4%) to ampicillin, 18 (56.3%) to kanamycin, 19 (60.8%) to neomycin, 25 (78.1%) to tetracycline, 25 (78.1%) to trimethoprim, 26 (81.25%) to nalidixic acid, 27 (84.4%) to streptomycin and 32 (100%) to sulfonamide. All of the 32 strains were susceptible to chloramphenicol and ampicillin/sulbactam. High levels of resistance to streptomycin, nalidixic acid, tetracycline, trimethoprim, sulfonamide, kanamycin and neomycin was determined. According to the plasmid analysis, six isolates (18.75%) harboured 1-3 plasmids with sizes between 1.2 and 42.4 kb. In C.elegans nematode animal model system, the time (in days) required to kill 50% (TD50) of nematodes was calculated for each experimental group. TD50 values of the nematode group fed with S.Typhimurium ATCC 14028 that was used as the positive control and another group fed with E.coli OP50 as the negative control were 4.2 ± 0.5 days and 8.0 ± 0.02 days, respectively. TD50 of the groups fed with Salmonella isolates ranged

  10. A Rapid Molecular Test for Determining Yersinia pestis Susceptibility to Ciprofloxacin by the Quantification of Differentially Expressed Marker Genes

    PubMed Central

    Steinberger-Levy, Ida; Shifman, Ohad; Zvi, Anat; Ariel, Naomi; Beth-Din, Adi; Israeli, Ofir; Gur, David; Aftalion, Moshe; Maoz, Sharon; Ber, Raphael

    2016-01-01

    Standard antimicrobial susceptibility tests used to determine bacterial susceptibility to antibiotics are growth dependent and time consuming. The long incubation time required for standard tests may render susceptibility results irrelevant, particularly for patients infected with lethal bacteria that are slow growing on agar but progress rapidly in vivo, such as Yersinia pestis. Here, we present an alternative approach for the rapid determination of antimicrobial susceptibility, based on the quantification of the changes in the expression levels of specific marker genes following exposure to growth-inhibiting concentrations of the antibiotic, using Y. pestis and ciprofloxacin as a model. The marker genes were identified by transcriptomic DNA microarray analysis of the virulent Y. pestis Kimberley53 strain after exposure to specific concentrations of ciprofloxacin for various time periods. We identified several marker genes that were induced following exposure to growth-inhibitory concentrations of ciprofloxacin, and we confirmed the marker expression profiles at additional ciprofloxacin concentrations using quantitative RT-PCR. Eleven candidate marker transcripts were identified, of which four mRNA markers were selected for a rapid quantitative RT-PCR susceptibility test that correctly determined the Minimal Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) values and the categories of susceptibility of several Y. pestis strains and isolates harboring various ciprofloxacin MIC values. The novel molecular susceptibility test requires just 2 h of antibiotic exposure in a 7-h overall test time, in contrast to the 24 h of antibiotic exposure required for a standard microdilution test. PMID:27242774

  11. A Rapid Molecular Test for Determining Yersinia pestis Susceptibility to Ciprofloxacin by the Quantification of Differentially Expressed Marker Genes.

    PubMed

    Steinberger-Levy, Ida; Shifman, Ohad; Zvi, Anat; Ariel, Naomi; Beth-Din, Adi; Israeli, Ofir; Gur, David; Aftalion, Moshe; Maoz, Sharon; Ber, Raphael

    2016-01-01

    Standard antimicrobial susceptibility tests used to determine bacterial susceptibility to antibiotics are growth dependent and time consuming. The long incubation time required for standard tests may render susceptibility results irrelevant, particularly for patients infected with lethal bacteria that are slow growing on agar but progress rapidly in vivo, such as Yersinia pestis. Here, we present an alternative approach for the rapid determination of antimicrobial susceptibility, based on the quantification of the changes in the expression levels of specific marker genes following exposure to growth-inhibiting concentrations of the antibiotic, using Y. pestis and ciprofloxacin as a model. The marker genes were identified by transcriptomic DNA microarray analysis of the virulent Y. pestis Kimberley53 strain after exposure to specific concentrations of ciprofloxacin for various time periods. We identified several marker genes that were induced following exposure to growth-inhibitory concentrations of ciprofloxacin, and we confirmed the marker expression profiles at additional ciprofloxacin concentrations using quantitative RT-PCR. Eleven candidate marker transcripts were identified, of which four mRNA markers were selected for a rapid quantitative RT-PCR susceptibility test that correctly determined the Minimal Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) values and the categories of susceptibility of several Y. pestis strains and isolates harboring various ciprofloxacin MIC values. The novel molecular susceptibility test requires just 2 h of antibiotic exposure in a 7-h overall test time, in contrast to the 24 h of antibiotic exposure required for a standard microdilution test. PMID:27242774

  12. Metabolism and virulence in Neisseria meningitidis.

    PubMed

    Schoen, Christoph; Kischkies, Laura; Elias, Johannes; Ampattu, Biju Joseph

    2014-01-01

    A longstanding question in infection biology addresses the genetic basis for invasive behavior in commensal pathogens. A prime example for such a pathogen is Neisseria meningitidis. On the one hand it is a harmless commensal bacterium exquisitely adapted to humans, and on the other hand it sometimes behaves like a ferocious pathogen causing potentially lethal disease such as sepsis and acute bacterial meningitis. Despite the lack of a classical repertoire of virulence genes in N. meningitidis separating commensal from invasive strains, molecular epidemiology suggests that carriage and invasive strains belong to genetically distinct populations. In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that metabolic adaptation enables meningococci to exploit host resources, supporting the concept of nutritional virulence as a crucial determinant of invasive capability. Here, we discuss the contribution of core metabolic pathways in the context of colonization and invasion with special emphasis on results from genome-wide surveys. The metabolism of lactate, the oxidative stress response, and, in particular, glutathione metabolism as well as the denitrification pathway provide examples of how meningococcal metabolism is intimately linked to pathogenesis. We further discuss evidence from genome-wide approaches regarding potential metabolic differences between strains from hyperinvasive and carriage lineages and present new data assessing in vitro growth differences of strains from these two populations. We hypothesize that strains from carriage and hyperinvasive lineages differ in the expression of regulatory genes involved particularly in stress responses and amino acid metabolism under infection conditions. PMID:25191646

  13. Virulence in malaria: an evolutionary viewpoint.

    PubMed Central

    Mackinnon, Margaret J; Read, Andrew F

    2004-01-01

    Malaria parasites cause much morbidity and mortality to their human hosts. From our evolutionary perspective, this is because virulence is positively associated with parasite transmission rate. Natural selection therefore drives virulence upwards, but only to the point where the cost to transmission caused by host death begins to outweigh the transmission benefits. In this review, we summarize data from the laboratory rodent malaria model, Plasmodium chabaudi, and field data on the human malaria parasite, P. falciparum, in relation to this virulence trade-off hypothesis. The data from both species show strong positive correlations between asexual multiplication, transmission rate, infection length, morbidity and mortality, and therefore support the underlying assumptions of the hypothesis. Moreover, the P. falciparum data show that expected total lifetime transmission of the parasite is maximized in young children in whom the fitness cost of host mortality balances the fitness benefits of higher transmission rates and slower clearance rates, thus exhibiting the hypothesized virulence trade-off. This evolutionary explanation of virulence appears to accord well with the clinical and molecular explanations of pathogenesis that involve cytoadherence, red cell invasion and immune evasion, although direct evidence of the fitness advantages of these mechanisms is scarce. One implication of this evolutionary view of virulence is that parasite populations are expected to evolve new levels of virulence in response to medical interventions such as vaccines and drugs. PMID:15306410

  14. Sensitive determination of citrinin based on molecular imprinted electrochemical sensor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atar, Necip; Yola, Mehmet Lütfi; Eren, Tanju

    2016-01-01

    In this report, a novel molecular imprinted voltammetric sensor based on glassy carbon electrode (GCE) modified with platinum nanoparticles (PtNPs) involved in a polyoxometalate (H3PW12O40, POM) functionalized reduced graphene oxide (rGO) was prepared for the determination of citrinin (CIT). The developed surfaces were characterized by using scanning electron microscope (SEM), transmission electron microscope (TEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) method. CIT imprinted GCE was prepared via electropolymerization process of 80.0 mM pyrrole as monomer in the presence of phosphate buffer solution (pH 6.0) containing 20.0 mM CIT. The linearity range and the detection limit of the developed method were calculated as 1.0 × 10-12-1.0 × 10-10 M and 2.0 × 10-13 M, respectively. In addition, the voltammetric sensor was applied to rye samples. The stability and selectivity of the voltammetric sensor were also reported.

  15. Method for determination of polyethylene glycol molecular weight.

    PubMed

    Pihlasalo, Sari; Hänninen, Pekka; Härmä, Harri

    2015-04-01

    A method utilizing competitive adsorption between polyethylene glycols (PEGs) and labeled protein to nanoparticles was developed for the determination of PEG molecular weight (MW) in a microtiter plate format. Two mix-and-measure systems, time-resolved luminescence resonance energy transfer (TR-LRET) with donor europium(III) polystyrene nanoparticles and acceptor-labeled protein and quenching with quencher gold nanoparticles and fluorescently labeled protein were compared for their performance. MW is estimated from the PEG MW dependent changes in the competitive adsorption properties, which are presented as the luminescence signal vs PEG mass concentration. The curves obtained with the TR-LRET system overlapped for PEGs larger than 400 g/mol providing no information on MW. Distinctly different curves were obtained with the quenching system enabling the assessment of PEG MW within a broad dynamic range. The data was processed with and without prior knowledge of the PEG concentration to measure PEGs over a MW range from 62 to 35,000 g/mol. The demonstration of the measurement independent of the PEG concentration suggests that the estimation of MW is possible with quenching nanoparticle system for neutrally charged and relatively hydrophilic polymeric molecules widening the applicability of the simple and cost-effective nanoparticle-based methods.

  16. Molecular determinants of nucleolar translocation of RNA helicase A

    SciTech Connect

    Liu Zhe; Kenworthy, Rachael; Green, Christopher; Tang, Hengli

    2007-10-15

    RNA helicase A (RHA) is a member of the DEAH-box family of DNA/RNA helicases involved in multiple cellular processes and the life cycles of many viruses. The subcellular localization of RHA is dynamic despite its steady-state concentration in the nucleoplasm. We have previously shown that it shuttles rapidly between the nucleus and the cytoplasm by virtue of a bidirectional nuclear transport domain (NTD) located in its carboxyl terminus. Here, we investigate the molecular determinants for its translocation within the nucleus and, more specifically, its redistribution from the nucleoplasm to nucleolus or the perinucleolar region. We found that low temperature treatment, transcription inhibition or replication of hepatitis C virus caused the intranuclear redistribution of the protein, suggesting that RHA shuttles between the nucleolus and nucleoplasm and becomes trapped in the nucleolus or the perinucleolar region upon blockade of transport to the nucleoplasm. Both the NTD and ATPase activity were essential for RHA's transport to the nucleolus or perinucleolar region. One of the double-stranded RNA binding domains (dsRBD II) was also required for this nucleolar translocation (NoT) phenotype. RNA interference studies revealed that RHA is essential for survival of cultured hepatoma cells and the ATPase activity appears to be important for this critical role.

  17. Mechanical Properties of Nanostructured Materials Determined Through Molecular Modeling Techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clancy, Thomas C.; Gates, Thomas S.

    2005-01-01

    The potential for gains in material properties over conventional materials has motivated an effort to develop novel nanostructured materials for aerospace applications. These novel materials typically consist of a polymer matrix reinforced with particles on the nanometer length scale. In this study, molecular modeling is used to construct fully atomistic models of a carbon nanotube embedded in an epoxy polymer matrix. Functionalization of the nanotube which consists of the introduction of direct chemical bonding between the polymer matrix and the nanotube, hence providing a load transfer mechanism, is systematically varied. The relative effectiveness of functionalization in a nanostructured material may depend on a variety of factors related to the details of the chemical bonding and the polymer structure at the nanotube-polymer interface. The objective of this modeling is to determine what influence the details of functionalization of the carbon nanotube with the polymer matrix has on the resulting mechanical properties. By considering a range of degree of functionalization, the structure-property relationships of these materials is examined and mechanical properties of these models are calculated using standard techniques.

  18. Virulence associated proteins of Brucella abortus identified by paired two-dimensional gel electrophoretic comparisons of virulent, vaccine and LPS deficient strains.

    PubMed

    Sowa, B A; Kelly, K A; Ficht, T A; Adams, L G

    1992-01-01

    To identify molecular determinants of virulence, the proteins of Brucella abortus strains 2308 (virulent), S19 (vaccine) and lipopolysaccharide deficient rough mutants derived from each (RB51 and S19M3 respectively) were compared by 2-D gel electrophoresis. A total of 996 proteins were identified on autoradiographs of 2-D gels containing [35S]-labeled proteins from these four strains. Proteins differing qualitatively or quantitatively (greater than or equal to 10X) between 2308 and S19 are implicated in virulence and are identified by Mr and pI. Paired comparisons of proteins present in both 2308 and RB51 and missing in both S19 and M3 were used to make tentative identification of 14 putative virulence proteins representing primary expression of genetic differences between virulent and vaccine strains. 28 proteins and/or core lipopolysaccharide-protein complexes involved in the biosynthesis of lipopolysaccharide were identified by paired comparisons of proteins present in both smooth strains and missing in both rough strains.

  19. Molecular cloning and characterization of cgt, the Brucella abortus cyclic beta-1,2-glucan transporter gene, and its role in virulence.

    PubMed

    Roset, Mara S; Ciocchini, Andrés E; Ugalde, Rodolfo A; Iñón de Iannino, Nora

    2004-04-01

    The animal pathogen Brucella abortus contains a gene cgt, which complemented Sinorhizobium meliloti nodule development (ndvA) and Agrobacterium tumefaciens chromosomal virulence (chvA) mutants. Complemented strains recovered the presence of anionic cyclic beta-1,2-glucan, motility, tumor induction in A. tumefaciens, and nodule occupancy in S. meliloti, all traits strictly associated with the presence of cyclic beta-1,2-glucan in the periplasm. Nucleotide sequencing revealed that B. abortus cgt contains a 1,797-bp open reading frame coding for a predicted membrane protein of 599 amino acids (65.9 kDa) that is 58.5 and 59.9% identical to S. meliloti NdvA and A. tumefaciens ChvA, respectively. Additionally, B. abortus cgt, like S. meliloti ndvA and A. tumefaciens chvA possesses ATP-binding motifs and the ABC signature domain features of a typical ABC transporter. Characterization of Cgt was carried out by the construction of null mutants in B. abortus 2308 and S19 backgrounds. Both mutants do not transport cyclic beta-1,2-glucan to the periplasm, as shown by the absence of anionic cyclic glucan, and they display reduced virulence in mice and defective intracellular multiplication in HeLa cells. These results suggest that cyclic beta-1,2-glucan must be transported into the periplasmatic space to exert its action as a virulence factor. PMID:15039351

  20. Molecular identification and virulence of three Aeromonas hydrophila isolates cultured from infected channel catfish during a disease outbreak in west Alabama (USA) in 2009.

    PubMed

    Pridgeon, Julia W; Klesius, Phillip H

    2011-05-01

    Three isolates (AL09-71, AL09-72, and AL09-73) of Aeromonas hydrophila were cultured from infected channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus during a disease outbreak in west Alabama, USA, in August 2009. Sequence analysis of the 16S-23S rDNA intergenic spacer region (ISR), cpn60, gyrB, and rpoD genes of the 3 strains revealed that the 3 strains were closely related to each other, sharing 97 to 99% nucleotide sequence similarities. However, ISR sequences of the 3 isolates from 2009 shared only 64% nucleotide sequences with AL98-C1B, a 1998 isolate of A. hydrophila cultured from diseased fish in Alabama. Sequences of cpn60, gyrB, and rpoD from the 3 isolates from 2009 shared 91 to 95% homologies with AL98-C1B. Based on both LD50 and LD95 values of intraperitoneal injection assays, the virulences of the 3 isolates from 2009 were not significantly different from each other, but were at least 200-fold more virulent than AL98-C1B, indicating that the 3 west Alabama isolates of A. hydrophila from 2009 were highly virulent to channel catfish.

  1. Toward an improved laboratory definition of Listeria monocytogenes virulence.

    PubMed

    Liu, Dongyou; Lawrence, Mark L; Ainsworth, A Jerald; Austin, Frank W

    2007-09-15

    Listeria monocytogenes is an opportunistic foodborne pathogen that encompasses a diversity of strains with varied virulence. The ability to rapidly determine the pathogenic potential of L. monocytogenes strains is integral to the control and prevention campaign against listeriosis. Early methods for assessing L. monocytogenes virulence include in vivo bioassays and in vitro cell assays. While in vivo bioassays provide a measurement of all virulence determinants of L. monocytogenes, they are not applied routinely due to their reliance on experimental animals whose costs have become increasingly prohibitive. As a low cost alternative, in vitro cell assays are useful for estimating the virulence of L. monocytogenes strains. However, these assays are often slow, and at times variable. Prior attempts to ascertain L. monocytogenes virulence by targeting virulence-associated proteins and genes have been largely unsuccessful, since many of the assay targets are present in both virulent and avirulent strains. Recent identification of novel virulence-specific genes (particularly internalin gene inlJ) has opened a new avenue for rapid, sensitive, and precise differentiation of virulent L. monocytogenes strains from avirulent strains. The application of DNA sequencing technique also offers an additional tool for assessing L. monocytogenes virulence potential. By providing an update on the laboratory methods that have been reported for the determination of L. monocytogenes pathogenicity, this review discusses future research needs that may help achieve an improved laboratory definition of L. monocytogenes virulence.

  2. The effect of milk components and storage conditions on the virulence of Listeria monocytogenes as determined by a Caco-2 cell assay.

    PubMed

    Pricope-Ciolacu, Luminita; Nicolau, Anca Ioana; Wagner, Martin; Rychli, Kathrin

    2013-08-16

    Nearly all cases of human listeriosis have been associated with consumption of contaminated food, therefore the investigation of the virulence of Listeria (L.) monocytogenes after exposure to environmental conditions in food matrices is critical in order to understand and control its impact on public health. As milk and dairy products have been implicated in more than half of the listeriosis outbreaks, we investigated the in vitro virulence of L. monocytogenes incubated in different milk types at various storage conditions. Incubation in pasteurized milk at refrigeration conditions (4°C) revealed a higher invasion and intracellular proliferation of four different L. monocytogenes strains compared to raw milk using human intestinal epithelial Caco-2 cells. Furthermore the period of storage, which increased L. monocytogenes cell numbers, decreased in vitro virulence. However, L. monocytogenes stored for 3weeks at 4°C in milk are still able to invade and proliferate into the host cell. Interestingly abused storage temperatures (25°C and 30°C) for a short time period (2h) revealed an attenuated impact on the in vitro virulence of L. monocytogenes compared to the storage temperature of 4°C. Regarding the major milk compounds, the level of milk fat significantly affected the in vitro virulence of L. monocytogenes. Pre-incubation in milk with high fat content (3.6%) resulted in a lower invasion capability compared to milk with low fat content. In contrast casein and lactose did not influence the invasiveness of L. monocytogenes into the host cell. In conclusion our study shows that the milk environment and different storage conditions influence the in vitro virulence of L. monocytogenes, both of which have to be considered in the risk assessment of contaminated food.

  3. The Main Virulence Determinant of Yersinia entomophaga MH96 Is a Broad-Host-Range Toxin Complex Active against Insects▿†

    PubMed Central

    Hurst, Mark R. H.; Jones, Sandra A.; Binglin, Tan; Harper, Lincoln A.; Jackson, Trevor A.; Glare, Travis R.

    2011-01-01

    Through transposon mutagenesis and DNA sequence analysis, the main disease determinant of the entomopathogenic bacterium Yersinia entomophaga MH96 was localized to an ∼32-kb pathogenicity island (PAI) designated PAIYe96. Residing within PAIYe96 are seven open reading frames that encode an insecticidal toxin complex (TC), comprising not only the readily recognized toxin complex A (TCA), TCB, and TCC components but also two chitinase proteins that form a composite TC molecule. The central TC gene-associated region (∼19 kb) of PAIYe96 was deleted from the Y. entomophaga MH96 genome, and a subsequent bioassay of the ΔTC derivative toward Costelytra zealandica larvae showed it to be innocuous. Virulence of the ΔTC mutant strain could be restored by the introduction of a clone containing the entire PAIYe96 TC gene region. As much as 0.5 mg of the TC is released per 100 ml of Luria-Bertani broth at 25°C, while at 30 or 37°C, no TC could be detected in the culture supernatant. Filter-sterilized culture supernatants derived from Y. entomophaga MH96, but not from the ΔTC strain grown at temperatures of 25°C or less, were able to cause mortality. The 50% lethal doses (LD50s) of the TC toward diamondback moth Plutella xylostella and C. zealandica larvae were defined as 30 ng and 50 ng, respectively, at 5 days after ingestion. Histological analysis of the effect of the TC toward P. xylostella larva showed that within 48 h after ingestion of the TC, there was a general dissolution of the larval midgut. PMID:21278295

  4. Determination of microbial diversity of Aeromonas strains on the basis of multilocus sequence typing, phenotype, and presence of putative virulence genes.

    PubMed

    Martino, Maria Elena; Fasolato, Luca; Montemurro, Filomena; Rosteghin, Marina; Manfrin, Amedeo; Patarnello, Tomaso; Novelli, Enrico; Cardazzo, Barbara

    2011-07-01

    The genus Aeromonas has been described as comprising several species associated with the aquatic environment, which represents their principal reservoir. Aeromonas spp. are commonly isolated from diseased and healthy fish, but the involvement of such bacteria in human infection and gastroenteritis has frequently been reported. The primary challenge in establishing an unequivocal link between the Aeromonas genus and pathogenesis in humans is the extremely complicated taxonomy. With the aim of clarifying taxonomic relationships among the strains and phenotypes, a multilocus sequencing approach was developed and applied to characterize 23 type and reference strains of Aeromonas spp. and a collection of 77 field strains isolated from fish, crustaceans, and mollusks. All strains were also screened for putative determinants of virulence by PCR (ast, ahh1, act, asa1, eno, ascV, and aexT) and the production of acylated homoserine lactones (AHLs). In addition, the phenotypic fingerprinting obtained from 29 biochemical tests was submitted to the nonparametric combination (NPC) test methodology to define the statistical differences among the identified genetic clusters. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) achieved precise strain genotyping, and the phylogenetic analysis of concatenated sequences delineated the relationship among the taxa belonging to the genus Aeromonas, providing a powerful tool for outbreak traceability, host range diffusion, and ecological studies. The NPC test showed the feasibility of phenotypic differentiation among the majority of the MLST clusters by using a selection of tests or the entire biochemical fingerprinting. A Web-based MLST sequence database (http://pubmlst.org/aeromonas) specific for the Aeromonas genus was developed and implemented with all the results.

  5. Proteomic Characterization of Yersinia pestis Virulence

    SciTech Connect

    Chromy, B; Murphy, G; Gonzales, A; Fitch, J P; McCutchen-Maloney, S L

    2005-01-05

    Yersinia pestis, the etiological agent of plague, functions via the Type III secretion mechanism whereby virulence factors are induced upon interactions with a mammalian host. Here, the Y. pestis proteome was studied by two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis (2-D DIGE) under physiologically relevant growth conditions mimicking the calcium concentrations and temperatures that the pathogen would encounter in the flea vector and upon interaction with the mammalian host. Over 4100 individual protein spots were detected of which hundreds were differentially expressed in the entire comparative experiment. A total of 43 proteins that were differentially expressed between the vector and host growth conditions were identified by mass spectrometry. Expected differences in expression were observed for several known virulence factors including catalase-peroxidase (KatY), murine toxin (Ymt), plasminogen activator (Pla), and F1 capsule antigen (Caf1), as well as putative virulence factors. Chaperone proteins and signaling molecules hypothesized to be involved in virulence due to their role in Type III secretion were also identified. Other differentially expressed proteins not previously reported to contribute to virulence are candidates for more detailed mechanistic studies, representing potential new virulence determinants. For example, several sugar metabolism proteins were differentially regulated in response to lower calcium and higher temperature, suggesting these proteins, while not directly connected to virulence, either represent a metabolic switch for survival in the host environment or may facilitate production of virulence factors. Results presented here contribute to a more thorough understanding of the virulence mechanism of Y. pestis through proteomic characterization of the pathogen under induced virulence.

  6. Determination of molecular contamination performance for space chamber tests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scialdone, J. J.

    1973-01-01

    The limitations of chamber tests with regard to the molecular contamination of a spacecraft undergoing vacuum test were examined. The molecular flow conditions existing in the chamber and the parameters dictating the degree of contamination were analyzed. Equations and graphs were developed to show the fraction of molecules returning to the spacecraft out of those emitted and to show other chamber flow parameters as a function of chamber and spacecraft surface molecular pumping and geometric configuration. Type and location of instruments required to measure the outgassing, the degree of contamination, and the returning flows are also discussed.

  7. Phase equilibrium calculations of ternary liquid mixtures with binary interaction parameters and molecular size parameters determined from molecular dynamics.

    PubMed

    Oh, Suk Yung; Bae, Young Chan

    2010-07-15

    The method presented in this paper was developed to predict liquid-liquid equilibria in ternary liquid mixtures by using a combination of a thermodynamic model and molecular dynamics simulations. In general, common classical thermodynamic models have many parameters which are determined by fitting a model with experimental data. This proposed method, however, provides a simple procedure for calculating liquid-liquid equilibria utilizing binary interaction parameters and molecular size parameters determined from molecular dynamics simulations. This method was applied to mixtures containing water, hydrocarbons, alcohols, chlorides, ketones, acids, and other organic liquids over various temperature ranges. The predicted results agree well with the experimental data without the use of adjustable parameters.

  8. Virulence characterization and molecular subtyping of typical and atypical Escherichia coli O157:H7 and O157:H(-) isolated from fecal samples and beef carcasses in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Narváez-Bravo, Claudia; Echeverry, Alejandro; Miller, Markus F; Rodas-González, Argenis; Brashears, M Todd; Aslam, Mueen; Brashears, Mindy M

    2015-02-01

    The objective of the study was to characterize virulence genes and subtype Escherichia coli O157:H7 and O157:H( 2 ) isolates obtained from a vertically integrated feedlot slaughter plant in Mexico. A total of 1,695 samples were collected from feedlots, holding pens, colon contents, hides, and carcasses. E. coli O157:H7 detection and confirmation was carried out using conventional microbiology techniques, immunomagnetic separation, latex agglutination, and the BAX system. A total of 97 E. coli O157 strains were recovered and screened for key virulence and metabolic genes using multiplex and conventional PCR. Eighty-eight (91.72%) of the strains carried stx2, eae, and ehxA genes. Ten isolates (8.25%) were atypical sorbitol-fermenting strains, and nine were negative for the flicH7 gene and lacked eae, stx1, stx2, and ehxA. One sorbitol-positive strain carried stx2, eae, tir, toxB, and iha genes but was negative for stx1 and ehxA. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis yielded 49 different PFGE subtypes, showing a high genetic diversity; however, the majority of the typical isolates were closely related (80 to 90% cutoff). Atypical O157 isolates were not closely related within them or to typical E. coli O157:H7 isolates. Identical PFGE subtypes were found in samples obtained from colon contents, feedlots, holding pens, and carcasses. Isolation of a sorbitolfermenting E. coli O157 positive for a number of virulence genes is a novel finding in Mexico. These data showed that genetically similar strains of E. coli O157:H7 can be found at various stages of beef production and highlights the importance of preventing cross-contamination at the pre- and postharvest stages of processing.

  9. The vacuolar-sorting protein Snf7 is required for export of virulence determinants in members of the Cryptococcus neoformans complex.

    PubMed Central

    da C. Godinho, Rodrigo M.; Crestani, Juliana; Kmetzsch, Lívia; de S. Araujo, Glauber; Frases, Susana; Staats, Charley C.; Schrank, Augusto; Vainstein, Marilene H.; Rodrigues, Marcio L.

    2014-01-01

    Fungal pathogenesis requires a number of extracellularly released virulence factors. Recent studies demonstrating that most fungal extracellular molecules lack secretory tags suggest that unconventional secretion mechanisms and fungal virulence are strictly connected. Proteins of the endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) have been recently associated with polysaccharide export in the yeast-like human pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans. Snf7 is a key ESCRT operator required for unconventional secretion in Eukaryotes. In this study we generated snf7Δ mutant strains of C. neoformans and its sibling species C. gattii. Lack of Snf7 resulted in important alterations in polysaccharide secretion, capsular formation and pigmentation. This phenotype culminated with loss of virulence in an intranasal model of murine infection in both species. Our data support the notion that Snf7 expression regulates virulence in C. neoformans and C. gattii by ablating polysaccharide and melanin traffic. These results are in agreement with the observation that unconventional secretion is essential for cryptococcal pathogenesis and strongly suggest the occurrence of still obscure mechanisms of exportation of non-protein molecules in Eukaryotes. PMID:25178636

  10. The vacuolar-sorting protein Snf7 is required for export of virulence determinants in members of the Cryptococcus neoformans complex.

    PubMed

    Godinho, Rodrigo M da C; Crestani, Juliana; Kmetzsch, Lívia; Araujo, Glauber de S; Frases, Susana; Staats, Charley C; Schrank, Augusto; Vainstein, Marilene H; Rodrigues, Marcio L

    2014-09-02

    Fungal pathogenesis requires a number of extracellularly released virulence factors. Recent studies demonstrating that most fungal extracellular molecules lack secretory tags suggest that unconventional secretion mechanisms and fungal virulence are strictly connected. Proteins of the endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) have been recently associated with polysaccharide export in the yeast-like human pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans. Snf7 is a key ESCRT operator required for unconventional secretion in Eukaryotes. In this study we generated snf7Δ mutant strains of C. neoformans and its sibling species C. gattii. Lack of Snf7 resulted in important alterations in polysaccharide secretion, capsular formation and pigmentation. This phenotype culminated with loss of virulence in an intranasal model of murine infection in both species. Our data support the notion that Snf7 expression regulates virulence in C. neoformans and C. gattii by ablating polysaccharide and melanin traffic. These results are in agreement with the observation that unconventional secretion is essential for cryptococcal pathogenesis and strongly suggest the occurrence of still obscure mechanisms of exportation of non-protein molecules in Eukaryotes.

  11. The minimal gene set member msrA, encoding peptide methionine sulfoxide reductase, is a virulence determinant of the plant pathogen Erwinia chrysanthemi.

    PubMed

    Hassouni, M E; Chambost, J P; Expert, D; Van Gijsegem, F; Barras, F

    1999-02-01

    Peptide methionine sulfoxide reductase (MsrA), which repairs oxidized proteins, is present in most living organisms, and the cognate structural gene belongs to the so-called minimum gene set [Mushegian, A. R. & Koonin, E. V., (1996) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 93, 10268-10273]. In this work, we report that MsrA is required for full virulence of the plant pathogen Erwinia chrysanthemi. The following differences were observed between the wild-type and a MsrA- mutant: (i) the MsrA- mutant was more sensitive to oxidative stress; (ii) the MsrA- mutant was less motile on solid surface; (iii) the MsrA- mutant exhibited reduced virulence on chicory leaves; and (iv) no systemic invasion was observed when the MsrA- mutant was inoculated into whole Saintpaulia ionantha plants. These results suggest that plants respond to virulent pathogens by producing active oxygen species, and that enzymes repairing oxidative damage allow virulent pathogens to survive the host environment, thereby supporting the theory that active oxygen species play a key role in plant defense. PMID:9927663

  12. The hexA gene of Erwinia carotovora encodes a LysR homologue and regulates motility and the expression of multiple virulence determinants.

    PubMed

    Harris, S J; Shih, Y L; Bentley, S D; Salmond, G P

    1998-05-01

    We have identified a gene important for the regulation of exoenzyme virulence factor synthesis in the plant pathogen Erwinia carotovora ssp. carotovora (Ecc) and virulence and motility in Erwinia carotovora ssp. atroseptica (Eca). This gene, hexA (hyperproduction of exoenzymes), is a close relative of the Erwinia chrysanthemi (Echr) gene pecT and encodes a member of the LysR family of transcriptional regulators. hexA mutants in both Ecc and Eca produce abnormally high levels of the exoenzyme virulence factors pectate lyase, cellulase and protease. In addition, Eca hexA mutants show increased expression of the fliA and fliC genes and hypermotility. Consistent with a role as a global regulator, expression of hexA from even a low-copy plasmid can suppress exoenzyme production in Ecc and Eca and motility in Eca. Production of the quorum-sensing pheromone OHHL in Ecc hexA is higher throughout the growth curve compared with the wild-type strain. Overexpression of Ecc hexA also caused widespread effects in several strains of the opportunistic human pathogen, Serratia. Low-copy hexA expression resulted in repression of exoenzyme, pigment and antibiotic production and repression of the spreading phenotype. Finally, mutations in hexA were shown to increase Ecc or Eca virulence in planta.

  13. Cranberry-derived proanthocyanidins impair virulence and inhibit quorum sensing of Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    Maisuria, Vimal B.; Los Santos, Yossef Lopez-de; Tufenkji, Nathalie; Déziel, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria have evolved multiple strategies for causing infections that include producing virulence factors, undertaking motility, developing biofilms, and invading host cells. N-acylhomoserine lactone (AHL)-mediated quorum sensing (QS) tightly regulates the expression of multiple virulence factors in the opportunistic pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Thus, inhibiting QS could lead to health benefits. In this study, we demonstrate an anti-virulence activity of a cranberry extract rich in proanthocyanidins (cerPAC) against P. aeruginosa in the model host Drosophila melanogaster and show this is mediated by QS interference. cerPAC reduced the production of QS-regulated virulence determinants and protected D. melanogaster from fatal infection by P. aeruginosa PA14. Quantification of AHL production using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry confirmed that cerPAC effectively reduced the level of AHLs produced by the bacteria. Furthermore, monitoring QS signaling gene expression revealed that AHL synthases LasI/RhlI and QS transcriptional regulators LasR/RhlR genes were inhibited and antagonized, respectively, by cerPAC. Molecular docking studies suggest that cranberry-derived proanthocyanidin binds to QS transcriptional regulators, mainly interacting with their ligand binding sites. These findings provide insights into the underlying mechanisms of action of a cerPAC to restrict the virulence of P. aeruginosa and can have implications in the development of alternative approaches to control infections. PMID:27503003

  14. Cranberry-derived proanthocyanidins impair virulence and inhibit quorum sensing of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Maisuria, Vimal B; Los Santos, Yossef Lopez-de; Tufenkji, Nathalie; Déziel, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria have evolved multiple strategies for causing infections that include producing virulence factors, undertaking motility, developing biofilms, and invading host cells. N-acylhomoserine lactone (AHL)-mediated quorum sensing (QS) tightly regulates the expression of multiple virulence factors in the opportunistic pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Thus, inhibiting QS could lead to health benefits. In this study, we demonstrate an anti-virulence activity of a cranberry extract rich in proanthocyanidins (cerPAC) against P. aeruginosa in the model host Drosophila melanogaster and show this is mediated by QS interference. cerPAC reduced the production of QS-regulated virulence determinants and protected D. melanogaster from fatal infection by P. aeruginosa PA14. Quantification of AHL production using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry confirmed that cerPAC effectively reduced the level of AHLs produced by the bacteria. Furthermore, monitoring QS signaling gene expression revealed that AHL synthases LasI/RhlI and QS transcriptional regulators LasR/RhlR genes were inhibited and antagonized, respectively, by cerPAC. Molecular docking studies suggest that cranberry-derived proanthocyanidin binds to QS transcriptional regulators, mainly interacting with their ligand binding sites. These findings provide insights into the underlying mechanisms of action of a cerPAC to restrict the virulence of P. aeruginosa and can have implications in the development of alternative approaches to control infections. PMID:27503003

  15. Virulence and antimicrobial resistance determinants of verotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC) and of multidrug-resistant E. coli from foods of animal origin illegally imported to the EU by flight passengers.

    PubMed

    Nagy, B; Szmolka, A; Smole Možina, S; Kovač, J; Strauss, A; Schlager, S; Beutlich, J; Appel, B; Lušicky, M; Aprikian, P; Pászti, J; Tóth, I; Kugler, R; Wagner, M

    2015-09-16

    The aim of this study was to reveal phenotype/genotype characteristics of verotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC) and multidrug resistant E. coli in food products of animal origin confiscated as illegal import at Austrian, German and Slovenian airports. VTEC isolates were obtained by using ISO guidelines 16654:2001 for O157 VTEC or ISO/ TS13136:2012 for non-O157 VTEC, with additional use of the RIDASCREEN® Verotoxin immunoassay. The testing of 1526 samples resulted in 15 VTEC isolates (1.0%) primarily isolated from hard cheese from Turkey and Balkan countries. Genotyping for virulence by using a miniaturized microarray identified a wide range of virulence determinants. One VTEC isolate (O26:H46) possessing intimin (eae) and all other essential genes of Locus of Enterocyte Effacement (LEE) was designated as enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC). None of the other VTEC strains belonged to serogroups O157, O145, O111, O104 or O103. VTEC strains harbored either stx(1) (variants stx1(a) or stx(1c)) or st(x2) (variants stx(2a), stx(2b), stx(2a/d) or stx(2c/d)) genes. Pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) demonstrated high genetic diversity and identified three new sequence types (STs): 4505, 4506 and 4507. Food samples collected from the Vienna airport were also tested for E. coli quantities using the ISO 16649:2001, and for detection of multidrug resistant phenotypes and genotypes. The resulting 113 commensal E. coli isolates were first tested in a pre-screening against 6 selected antimicrobials to demonstrate multidrug resistance. The resulting 14 multidrug resistant (MDR) E. coli isolates, representing 0.9% of the samples, were subjected to further resistance phenotyping and to microarray analyses targeting genetic markers of antimicrobial resistance and virulence. Genotyping revealed various combinations of resistance determinants as well as the presence of class 1, class 2 integrons. The isolates harbored 6 to 11 antibiotic

  16. Determination of Molecular Size and Avogadro's Number: A Student Experiment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alexandrakis, George C.

    1978-01-01

    Describes an experiment for estimating molecular size and Avogadro's number. Uses the diffusion length of iodine in air at 100 degrees Celsius as a function of time, and the change in volume of a small quantity of carbon dioxide as it goes from the solid to the gaseous state. (GA)

  17. Molecular Weight Determination by an Improved Temperature-Monitored Vapor-Density Method.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grider, Douglas J.; And Others

    1988-01-01

    Recommends determining molecular weights of liquids by use of a thermocouple. Utilizing a mathematical gas equation, the molecular weight can be determined from the measurement of the vapor temperature upon complete evaporation. Lists benefits as reduced time and cost, and improved safety factors. (ML)

  18. Candida Virulence Properties and Adverse Clinical Outcomes in Neonatal Candidiasis

    PubMed Central

    Bliss, Joseph M.; Wong, Angela Y.; Bhak, Grace; Laforce-Nesbitt, Sonia S.; Taylor, Sarah; Tan, Sylvia; Stoll, Barbara J.; Higgins, Rosemary D.; Shankaran, Seetha; Benjamin, Daniel K.

    2012-01-01

    Objective To determine if premature infants with invasive Candida infection caused by strains with increased virulence properties have worse clinical outcomes than those infected with less virulent strains. Study design Clinical isolates were studied from 2 populations; premature infants colonized with Candida (commensal, n=27), and those with invasive candidiasis (n=81). Individual isolates of C. albicans and C. parapsilosis were tested for virulence in each of 3 assays: phenotypic switching, adhesion, and cytotoxicity. Invasive isolates were considered to have enhanced virulence if they measured more than 1 SD above the mean for the commensal isolates in at least 1 assay. Outcomes of patients with invasive isolates with enhanced virulence were compared with those with invasive isolates lacking enhanced virulence characteristics. Results 61% of invasive isolates of C. albicans and 42% of invasive isolates of C. parapsilosis had enhanced virulence. All C. albicans cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) isolates (n=6) and 90% of urine isolates (n=10) had enhanced virulence, compared with 48% of blood isolates (n=40). Infants with more virulent isolates were younger at the time of positive culture and had higher serum creatinine. Conclusions Individual isolates of Candida species vary in their virulence properties. Strains with higher virulence are associated with certain clinical outcomes. PMID:22504098

  19. Role of Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli Virulence Factors in Uropathogenesis

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    A multiresistant clonal Escherichia coli O78:H10 strain qualifying molecularly as enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) was recently shown to be the cause of a community-acquired outbreak of urinary tract infection (UTI) in greater Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1991. This marks the first time EAEC has been associated with an extraintestinal disease outbreak. Importantly, the outbreak isolates were recovered from the urine of patients with symptomatic UTI, strongly implying urovirulence. Here, we sought to determine the uropathogenic properties of the Copenhagen outbreak strain and whether these properties are conferred by the EAEC-specific virulence factors. We demonstrated that through expression of aggregative adherence fimbriae, the principal adhesins of EAEC, the outbreak strain exhibited pronouncedly increased adherence to human bladder epithelial cells compared to prototype uropathogenic strains. Moreover, the strain was able to produce distinct biofilms on abiotic surfaces, including urethral catheters. These findings suggest that EAEC-specific virulence factors increase uropathogenicity and may have played a significant role in the ability of the strain to cause a community-acquired outbreak of UTI. Thus, inclusion of EAEC-specific virulence factors is warranted in future detection and characterization of uropathogenic E. coli. PMID:23357383

  20. Basis of virulence in a Panton-Valentine leukocidin-negative community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strain.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yan; Yeh, Anthony J; Cheung, Gordon Y C; Villaruz, Amer E; Tan, Vee Y; Joo, Hwang-Soo; Chatterjee, Som S; Yu, Yunsong; Otto, Michael

    2015-02-01

    Community-associated (CA) infections with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are on a global rise. However, analysis of virulence characteristics has been limited almost exclusively to the US endemic strain USA300. CA-MRSA strains that do not produce Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) have not been investigated on a molecular level. Therefore, we analyzed virulence determinants in a PVL-negative CA-MRSA strain, ST72, from Korea. Genome-wide analysis identified 3 loci that are unique to that strain, but did not affect virulence. In contrast, phenol-soluble modulins (PSMs) and the global virulence regulator Agr strongly affected lysis of neutrophils and erythrocytes, while α-toxin and Agr had a major impact on in vivo virulence. Our findings substantiate the general key roles these factors play in CA-MRSA virulence. However, our analyses also showed noticeable differences to strain USA300, inasmuch as α-toxin emerged as a much more important factor than PSMs in experimental skin infection caused by ST72.

  1. Identification of Secreted Exoproteome Fingerprints of Highly-Virulent and Non-Virulent Staphylococcus aureus Strains

    PubMed Central

    Bonar, Emilia; Wojcik, Iwona; Jankowska, Urszula; Kedracka-Krok, Sylwia; Bukowski, Michal; Polakowska, Klaudia; Lis, Marcin W.; Kosecka-Strojek, Maja; Sabat, Artur J.; Dubin, Grzegorz; Friedrich, Alexander W.; Miedzobrodzki, Jacek; Dubin, Adam; Wladyka, Benedykt

    2016-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a commensal inhabitant of skin and mucous membranes in nose vestibule but also an important opportunistic pathogen of humans and livestock. The extracellular proteome as a whole constitutes its major virulence determinant; however, the involvement of particular proteins is still relatively poorly understood. In this study, we compared the extracellular proteomes of poultry-derived S. aureus strains exhibiting a virulent (VIR) and non-virulent (NVIR) phenotype in a chicken embryo experimental infection model with the aim to identify proteomic signatures associated with the particular phenotypes. Despite significant heterogeneity within the analyzed proteomes, we identified alpha-haemolysin and bifunctional autolysin as indicators of virulence, whereas glutamylendopeptidase production was characteristic for non-virulent strains. Staphopain C (StpC) was identified in both the VIR and NVIR proteomes and the latter fact contradicted previous findings suggesting its involvement in virulence. By supplementing NVIR, StpC-negative strains with StpC, and comparing the virulence of parental and supplemented strains, we demonstrated that staphopain C alone does not affect staphylococcal virulence in a chicken embryo model. PMID:27242969

  2. Bacterial Reductionism: Host Thiols Enhance Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Sperandio, Vanessa

    2016-01-01

    Intracellular bacteria exploit host cytosolic signals to upregulate virulence genes. In this issue of Cell Host & Microbe, Wong et al. (2015) show that Burkholderia pseudomallei senses host cytosolic glutathione, a low-molecular-weight thiol, through the membrane-bound histidine sensor kinase VirA, highlighting the importance of inter-kingdom signaling in bacterial pathogenesis. PMID:26159714

  3. Characterization of Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor biotype variant clinical isolates from Bangladesh and Haiti, including a molecular genetic analysis of virulence genes.

    PubMed

    Son, Mike S; Megli, Christina J; Kovacikova, Gabriela; Qadri, Firdausi; Taylor, Ronald K

    2011-11-01

    Vibrio cholerae serogroup O1, the causative agent of the diarrheal disease cholera, is divided into two biotypes: classical and El Tor. Both biotypes produce the major virulence factors toxin-coregulated pilus (TCP) and cholera toxin (CT). Although possessing genotypic and phenotypic differences, El Tor biotype strains displaying classical biotype traits have been reported and subsequently were dubbed El Tor variants. Of particular interest are reports of El Tor variants that produce various levels of CT, including levels typical of classical biotype strains. Here, we report the characterization of 10 clinical isolates from the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, and a representative strain from the 2010 Haiti cholera outbreak. We observed that all 11 strains produced increased CT (2- to 10-fold) compared to that of wild-type El Tor strains under in vitro inducing conditions, but they possessed various TcpA and ToxT expression profiles. Particularly, El Tor variant MQ1795, which produced the highest level of CT and very high levels of TcpA and ToxT, demonstrated hypervirulence compared to the virulence of El Tor wild-type strains in the infant mouse cholera model. Additional genotypic and phenotypic tests were conducted to characterize the variants, including an assessment of biotype-distinguishing characteristics. Notably, the sequencing of ctxB in some El Tor variants revealed two copies of classical ctxB, one per chromosome, contrary to previous reports that located ctxAB only on the large chromosome of El Tor biotype strains.

  4. Genotypic diversity, antimicrobial resistance and screening of Vibrio cholerae molecular virulence markers in Vibrio alginolyticus strains recovered from a Tunisian Ruditapes decussatus hatchery.

    PubMed

    Mechri, Badreddine; Medhioub, Amel; Medhioub, Mohamed Nejib; Aouni, Mahjoub

    2013-01-01

    In this study, a total of 54 Vibrio alginolyticus strains were analyzed. The isolates were recovered from different compartments of the Ruditapes decussatus hatchery in the National Institute of Marine Sciences and Technologies, Monastir, Tunisia. All isolates were biochemically identified (API 20E and API ZYM strips), characterized by amplification of the Hsp-40 gene polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and analyzed by enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus (ERIC)-based genotyping to evaluate genetic relationship between the isolated strains. We also looked for the presence of ten V cholera virulence genes (toxRS, toxR, toxT toxS, tcpP, tcpA, ace, vpi, zot and ctxA) in the genomes of Vibrio isolates. The antibiotics susceptibility, exoenzymes production and in vitro cytotoxic activitiy against HeLa cell line were also carried out for all tested bacteria. Most of V alginolyticus isolates showed significant antimicrobial resistance rates to at least ten antibacterial agents. For most isolates, the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) data showed that tetracydclin and streptomycin were the most effective antibiotics. Construction of the phylogenetic dendogram showed that studied isolates were in general genetically heterogeneous; however some Vibrio strains were present in different structures of the R. decussatus hatchery. The V cholerae virulence genes investigation showed a wild distribution of toxS (49/54), toxaR (45/54) and toxT (22/54) genes among V alginolyticus strains isolated from the R. decussatus rearing system. Cytotoxic effects of several Vibrio extracellular products (28154) were also observed on HeLa cells.

  5. Genes necessary for expression of a virulence determinant and for transmission of Plasmodium falciparum are located on a 0.3-megabase region of chromosome 9.

    PubMed Central

    Day, K P; Karamalis, F; Thompson, J; Barnes, D A; Peterson, C; Brown, H; Brown, G V; Kemp, D J

    1993-01-01

    Virulence of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is believed to relate to adhesion of parasitized erythrocytes to postcapillary venular endothelium (asexual cytoadherence). Transmission of malaria to the mosquito vector involves a switch from asexual to sexual development (gametocytogenesis). Continuous in vitro culture of P. falciparum frequently results in irreversible loss of asexual cytoadherence and gametocytogenesis. Field isolates and cloned lines differing in expression of these phenotypes were karyotyped by pulse-field gel electrophoresis. This analysis showed that expression of both phenotypes mapped to a 0.3-Mb subtelomeric deletion of chromosome 9. This deletion frequently occurs during adaptation of parasite isolates to in vitro culture. Parasites with this deletion did not express the variant surface agglutination phenotype and the putative asexual cytoadherence ligand designated P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1, which has recently been shown to undergo antigenic variation. The syntenic relationship between asexual cytoadherence and gametocytogenesis suggests that expression of these phenotypes is genetically linked. One explanation for this linkage is that both developmental pathways share a common cytoadherence mechanism. This proposed biological and genetic linkage between a virulence factor (asexual cytoadherence) and transmissibility (gametocytogenesis) would help explain why a high degree of virulence has evolved and been maintained in falciparum malaria. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 PMID:8367496

  6. Structural features of lipoarabinomannan from Mycobacterium bovis BCG. Determination of molecular mass by laser desorption mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Venisse, A; Berjeaud, J M; Chaurand, P; Gilleron, M; Puzo, G

    1993-06-15

    It was recently shown that mycobacterial lipoarabinomannan (LAM) can be classified into two types (Chatterjee, D., Lowell, K., Rivoire B., McNeil M. R., and Brennan, P. J. (1992) J. Biol. Chem. 267, 6234-6239) according to the presence or absence of mannosyl residues (Manp) located at the nonreducing end of the oligoarabinosyl side chains. These two types of LAM were found in a pathogenic Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain and in an avirulent M. tuberculosis strain, respectively, suggesting that LAM with Manp characterizes virulent and "disease-inducing strains." We now report the structure of the LAM from Mycobacterium bovis Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) strain Pasteur, largely used throughout the world as vaccine against tuberculosis. Using an up-to-date analytical approach, we found that the LAM of M. bovis BCG belongs to the class of LAMs capped with Manp. By means of two-dimensional homonuclear and heteronuclear scalar coupling NMR analysis and methylation data, the sugar spin system assignments were partially established, revealing that the LAM contained two types of terminal Manp and 2-O-linked Manp. From the following four-step process: (i) partial hydrolysis of deacylated LAM (dLAM), (ii) oligosaccharide derivatization with aminobenzoic ethyl ester, (iii) HPLC purification, (iv) FAB/MS-MS analysis; it was shown that the dimannosyl unit alpha-D-Manp-(1-->2)-alpha-D-Manp is the major residue capping the termini of the arabinan of the LAM. In this report, LAM molecular mass determination was established using matrix-assisted UV-laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry which reveals that the LAM molecular mass is around 17.4 kDa. The similarity of the LAM structures between M. bovis BCG and M. tuberculosis H37Rv is discussed in regard to their function in the immunopathology of mycobacterial infection.

  7. Determining Geometrically Stable Domains in Molecular Conformation Sets.

    PubMed

    Romanowska, Julia; Nowiński, Krzysztof S; Trylska, Joanna

    2012-08-14

    Detecting significant conformational changes occurring in biomolecules is a challenging task, especially when considering tens to hundreds of thousands of conformations. Conformational variability can be described by dividing a biomolecule into dynamic domains, i.e., by finding compact fragments that move as coherent units. Typical approaches, based on calculating a dynamical cross-correlation matrix, are limited by their inability to reveal correlated rotations and anticorrelated motions. We propose a geometric approach for finding dynamic domains, where we compare traces of atomic movements in a pairwise manner, and search for their best superposition. A quaternion representation of rotation is used to simplify the complex calculations. The algorithm was implemented in a Java graphical program: Geometrically Stable Substructures (GeoStaS). The program processes PDB and DCD binary files with large structural sets for proteins, nucleic acids, and their complexes. We demonstrate its efficiency in analyzing (a) ensembles of structures generated by NMR experiments and (b) conformation sets from biomolecular simulations, such as molecular dynamics. The results provide a clear description of the molecular movements even for large biomolecules. Compared to a standard dynamic cross-correlation matrix, our algorithm detects the correlations in both translational and rotational motions. PMID:26592104

  8. How can we determine the molecular clock of malaria parasites?

    PubMed

    Bensch, Staffan; Hellgren, Olof; Križanauskienė, Asta; Palinauskas, Vaidas; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Outlaw, Diana; Ricklefs, Robert E

    2013-08-01

    The association of contemporary hosts and their parasites might reflect either cospeciation or more recent shifts among existing hosts. Cospeciation implies that lineages of hosts and parasites diverge in parallel at the same time, but testing this prediction requires time-calibrated phylogenies, which are particularly difficult to obtain in organisms that leave few fossils. It has successively become clear that host shifts have been frequent in the evolutionary history of malaria parasites, but dating these host shifts cannot be done without calibrated phylogenies. Hence, it remains unresolved how long contemporary hosts and vectors have been coevolving with their malaria parasites. This review addresses conflicting rate estimates of molecular evolution and suggests research directions to aid dating diversification events in malaria parasites.

  9. Molecular players involved in temperature-dependent sex determination and sex differentiation in Teleost fish

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The molecular mechanisms that underlie sex determination and differentiation are conserved and diversified. In fish species, temperature-dependent sex determination and differentiation seem to be ubiquitous and molecular players involved in these mechanisms may be conserved. Although how the ambient temperature transduces signals to the undifferentiated gonads remains to be elucidated, the genes downstream in the sex differentiation pathway are shared between sex-determining mechanisms. In this paper, we review recent advances on the molecular players that participate in the sex determination and differentiation in fish species, by putting emphasis on temperature-dependent sex determination and differentiation, which include temperature-dependent sex determination and genetic sex determination plus temperature effects. Application of temperature-dependent sex differentiation in farmed fish and the consequences of temperature-induced sex reversal are discussed. PMID:24735220

  10. Molecular determinants of blood–brain barrier permeation

    PubMed Central

    Geldenhuys, Werner J; Mohammad, Afroz S; Adkins, Chris E; Lockman, Paul R

    2015-01-01

    The blood–brain barrier (BBB) is a microvascular unit which selectively regulates the permeability of drugs to the brain. With the rise in CNS drug targets and diseases, there is a need to be able to accurately predict a priori which compounds in a company database should be pursued for favorable properties. In this review, we will explore the different computational tools available today, as well as underpin these to the experimental methods used to determine BBB permeability. These include in vitro models and the in vivo models that yield the dataset we use to generate predictive models. Understanding of how these models were experimentally derived determines our accurate and predicted use for determining a balance between activity and BBB distribution. PMID:26305616

  11. Determining the prevalence of SCCmec polymorphism, virulence and antibiotic resistance genes among methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolates collected from selected hospitals in west of Iran.

    PubMed

    Taherikalani, Morovat; Mohammadzad, Mohammad Reza; Soroush, Setareh; Maleki, Mohammad Hossein; Azizi-Jalilian, Farid; Pakzad, Iraj; Sadeghifard, Nourkhoda; Asadollahi, Parisa; Emaneini, Mohammad; Monjezi, Aazam; Alikhani, Mohammad Yousef

    2016-04-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is one of the most important pathogens worldwide and compared to other staphylococcal species that are associated with higher mortality rate. A total of 500 Staphylococcus spp. was collected from selected hospitals in Ilam, Kermanshah, Khorram Abad and Hamadan cities and, via phenotypic and genotypic methods, was assessed to find MRSA. The presence or absence of prevalent antibiotic resistance genes and virulence genes was evaluated among MRSA isolates, using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method, and then the SCCmec typing of these isolates was assayed by multiplex PCR. A total of 372 (74.4%) Stapylococcus spp. isolates were identified as S. aureus, among which 200 (53.8%) possessed the mecA gene and were distinguished as MRSA. All of MRSA isolates contained blaZ gene. The frequency of ermA and ermC genes among erythromycin-resistant MRSA isolates was 21.6% and 66.7%, respectively. The frequency of the virulence genes eta, hla and sea among MRSA isolates was 10%, 80.5% and 100%, respectively. SCCmec type IV accounted for 30.6% of the MRSA isolates and SCCmec type III, SCCmec type II and SCCmec type I accounted for 30%, 22% and 17.5% of the isolates, respectively. The antibiotic resistance genes and the virulence genes of blaZ, hla, sea, eta and ermC had high frequencies among the MRSA isolates. This study showed that the antibiotic resistance genes had higher frequencies among SCCmec types I and IV, which confirms the previous reports in this field.

  12. Prevalence of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in food products of animal origin as determined by molecular methods.

    PubMed

    Rantsiou, Kalliopi; Alessandria, Valentina; Cocolin, Luca

    2012-03-01

    In this study we report on the prevalence and distribution of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in food products of animal origin, collected in the Piedmont region of Italy, as determined by a combination of quantitative PCR (qPCR) protocols, applied directly to the samples, and of culture-dependent isolation and subsequent molecular identification and characterization of isolates. The qPCR protocols were developed and optimized in this study and targeted the rpoB gene (as a marker for total E. coli) and the stx₁, stx₂ and eaeA genes (as markers for potentially virulent E.coli). They were then used to test for STEC in 101 food samples, before and after enrichment. A STEC prevalence of 42% (21/50) for dairy products and 70% (36/51) for meat products was obtained. A total of 54 STEC isolates were recovered from dairy and meat samples, resulting in a prevalence of 36% and 27% in dairy and meat products, respectively, by the culture method. A large number of strains carried the stx₂ gene (39 out of the 54 STEC strains) compared to strains that carried stx₁ (30 out of 54); only 11 out of 54 strains contained the eaeA gene, while 14 strains contained both stx₁ and stx₂. Eight of the 54 isolates belonged to the O157 serogroup, and none belonged to serogroups O26, O145, O111 or O103. Strains isolated from meat products were diverse, as determined by Enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus-PCR (ERIC), while those isolated from dairy products were more similar and grouped together by cluster analysis. The results of the qPCR approach showed a high prevalence of STEC in dairy and meat based products, mainly fermented, indicating a possible safety risk for these types of food commodities.

  13. A Francisella Virulence Factor Catalyzes an Essential Reaction of Biotin Synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Youjun; Napier, Brooke A.; Manandhar, Miglena; Henke, Sarah K; Weiss, David S.; Cronan, John E.

    2014-01-01

    Summary We recently identified a gene (FTN_0818) required for Francisella virulence that seemed likely involved in biotin metabolism. However, the molecular function of this virulence determinant was unclear. Here we show that this protein named BioJ is the enzyme of the biotin biosynthesis pathway that determines the chain length of the biotin valeryl side chain. Expression of bioJ allows growth of an E. coli bioH strain on biotin-free medium, indicating functional equivalence of BioJ to the paradigm pimeloyl-ACP methyl ester carboxyl-esterase, BioH. BioJ was purified to homogeneity, shown to be monomeric and capable of hydrolysis of its physiological substrate methyl pimeloyl-ACP to pimeloyl-ACP, the precursor required to begin formation of the fused heterocyclic rings of biotin. Phylogenetic analyses confirmed that distinct from BioH, BioJ represents a novel sub-clade of the α/β-hydrolase family. Structure-guided mapping combined with site-directed mutagenesis revealed that the BioJ catalytic triad consists of Ser151, Asp248 and His278, all of which are essential for activity and virulence. The biotin synthesis pathway was reconstituted in vitro and the physiological role of BioJ directly assayed. To the best of our knowledge, these data represent further evidence linking biotin synthesis to bacterial virulence. PMID:24313380

  14. A Francisella virulence factor catalyses an essential reaction of biotin synthesis.

    PubMed

    Feng, Youjun; Napier, Brooke A; Manandhar, Miglena; Henke, Sarah K; Weiss, David S; Cronan, John E

    2014-01-01

    We recently identified a gene (FTN_0818) required for Francisella virulence that seemed likely involved in biotin metabolism. However, the molecular function of this virulence determinant was unclear. Here we show that this protein named BioJ is the enzyme of the biotin biosynthesis pathway that determines the chain length of the biotin valeryl side-chain. Expression of bioJ allows growth of an Escherichia coli bioH strain on biotin-free medium, indicating functional equivalence of BioJ to the paradigm pimeloyl-ACP methyl ester carboxyl-esterase, BioH. BioJ was purified to homogeneity, shown to be monomeric and capable of hydrolysis of its physiological substrate methyl pimeloyl-ACP to pimeloyl-ACP, the precursor required to begin formation of the fused heterocyclic rings of biotin. Phylogenetic analyses confirmed that distinct from BioH, BioJ represents a novel subclade of the α/β-hydrolase family. Structure-guided mapping combined with site-directed mutagenesis revealed that the BioJ catalytic triad consists of Ser151, Asp248 and His278, all of which are essential for activity and virulence. The biotin synthesis pathway was reconstituted reaction in vitro and the physiological role of BioJ directly assayed. To the best of our knowledge, these data represent further evidence linking biotin synthesis to bacterial virulence. PMID:24313380

  15. Molecular determinants of phospholipid synergy in blood clotting.

    PubMed

    Tavoosi, Narjes; Davis-Harrison, Rebecca L; Pogorelov, Taras V; Ohkubo, Y Zenmei; Arcario, Mark J; Clay, Mary C; Rienstra, Chad M; Tajkhorshid, Emad; Morrissey, James H

    2011-07-01

    Many regulatory processes in biology involve reversible association of proteins with membranes. Clotting proteins bind to phosphatidylserine (PS) on cell surfaces, but a clear picture of this interaction has yet to emerge. We present a novel explanation for membrane binding by GLA domains of clotting proteins, supported by biochemical studies, solid-state NMR analyses, and molecular dynamics simulations. The model invokes a single "phospho-L-serine-specific" interaction and multiple "phosphate-specific" interactions. In the latter, the phosphates in phospholipids interact with tightly bound Ca(2+) in GLA domains. We show that phospholipids with any headgroup other than choline strongly synergize with PS to enhance factor X activation. We propose that phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin (the major external phospholipids of healthy cells) are anticoagulant primarily because their bulky choline headgroups sterically hinder access to their phosphates. Following cell damage or activation, exposed PS and phosphatidylethanolamine collaborate to bind GLA domains by providing phospho-L-serine-specific and phosphate-specific interactions, respectively. PMID:21561861

  16. Molecular Determinants of Phospholipid Synergy in Blood Clotting*

    PubMed Central

    Tavoosi, Narjes; Davis-Harrison, Rebecca L.; Pogorelov, Taras V.; Ohkubo, Y. Zenmei; Arcario, Mark J.; Clay, Mary C.; Rienstra, Chad M.; Tajkhorshid, Emad; Morrissey, James H.

    2011-01-01

    Many regulatory processes in biology involve reversible association of proteins with membranes. Clotting proteins bind to phosphatidylserine (PS) on cell surfaces, but a clear picture of this interaction has yet to emerge. We present a novel explanation for membrane binding by GLA domains of clotting proteins, supported by biochemical studies, solid-state NMR analyses, and molecular dynamics simulations. The model invokes a single “phospho-l-serine-specific” interaction and multiple “phosphate-specific” interactions. In the latter, the phosphates in phospholipids interact with tightly bound Ca2+ in GLA domains. We show that phospholipids with any headgroup other than choline strongly synergize with PS to enhance factor X activation. We propose that phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin (the major external phospholipids of healthy cells) are anticoagulant primarily because their bulky choline headgroups sterically hinder access to their phosphates. Following cell damage or activation, exposed PS and phosphatidylethanolamine collaborate to bind GLA domains by providing phospho-l-serine-specific and phosphate-specific interactions, respectively. PMID:21561861

  17. Determination of Hyaluronan Molecular Mass Distribution in Human Breast Milk

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Han; Amin, Ripal; Ye, Xin; De La Motte, Carol A.; Cowman, Mary K.

    2015-01-01

    Hyaluronan (HA) in human milk mediates host responses to microbial infection, via TLR4- and CD44-dependent signaling. Signaling by HA is generally size-specific. Because pure HA with average molecular mass (M) of 35 kDa can elicit a protective response in intestinal epithelial cells, it has been proposed that human milk HA may have a bioactive low M component. Here we report the size distribution of HA in human milk samples from twenty unique donors. A new method for HA analysis, employingion exchange (IEX) chromatography to fractionate HA by size, and specific quantification of each size fraction by competitive Enzyme Linked Sorbent Assay (ELSA), was developed. When separated into four fractions, milk HA with M ≤ 20 kDa, M ≈20-60 kDa, and M ≈ 60-110 kDa comprised an average of 1.5%, 1.4% and 2% of the total HA, respectively. The remaining 95% was HA with M≥110 kDa. Electrophoretic analysis of the higher M HA from thirteen samples showed nearly identical M distributions, with an average M of ∼440 kDa. This higher M HA component in human milk is proposed to bind to CD44 and to enhance human beta defensin 2 (HBD2) induction by the low M HA components. PMID:25579786

  18. The Molecular Structure of a Phosphatidylserine Bilayer Determined by Scattering and Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Pan, Jianjun; Cheng, Xiaolin; Monticelli, Luca; Heberle, Frederick A; Kucerka, Norbert; Tieleman, D. Peter; Katsaras, John

    2014-01-01

    Phosphatidylserine (PS) lipids play essential roles in biological processes, including enzyme activation and apoptosis. We report on the molecular structure and atomic scale interactions of a fluid bilayer composed of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidylserine (POPS). A scattering density profile model, aided by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, was developed to jointly refine different contrast small-angle neutron and X-ray scattering data, which yielded a lipid area of 62.7 A2 at 25 C. MD simulations with POPS lipid area constrained at different values were also performed using all-atom and aliphatic united-atom models. The optimal simulated bilayer was obtained using a model-free comparison approach. Examination of the simulated bilayer, which agrees best with the experimental scattering data, reveals a preferential interaction between Na+ ions and the terminal serine and phosphate moieties. Long-range inter-lipid interactions were identified, primarily between the positively charged ammonium, and the negatively charged carboxylic and phosphate oxygens. The area compressibility modulus KA of the POPS bilayer was derived by quantifying lipid area as a function of surface tension from area-constrained MD simulations. It was found that POPS bilayers possess a much larger KA than that of neutral phosphatidylcholine lipid bilayers. We propose that the unique molecular features of POPS bilayers may play an important role in certain physiological functions.

  19. Genetic homogeneity among Listeria monocytogenes strains from infected patients and meat products from two geographic locations determined by phenotyping, ribotyping and PCR analysis of virulence genes.

    PubMed

    Jaradat, Z W; Schutze, G E; Bhunia, A K

    2002-06-01

    Thirty Listeria monocytogenes isolates from human patients and foods originated from two different geographic locations without any epidemiological relations were analyzed for their genotypic and phenotypic virulence gene expressions and genetic relatedness. All strains contained virulence genes, inlA, inlB, actA, hlyA, plcA and plcB, with expected product size in PCR assay except for the actA gene. Some strains produced actA gene product of 268 and others 385 bp. Phenotypically, all were hemolytic but showed variable expressions of phospholipase activity. Ribotyping classified isolates into 12 different groups based on the similarity to DuPont Identification numbers (DID), which consisted primarily of clinical or food isolates or both. Cluster analysis also indicated possible existence of clones of L. monocytogenes that are found in food or human hosts or are evenly distributed between these two. Two isolates (F1 from food and CHL1250 from patient) had unique ribotype patterns that were not previously reported in the RiboPrinter database. This study indicates distribution of diverse L. monocytogenes strains in clinical and food environments. The isolates showed 92-99% genetic homogeneity, in spite of their origins from two different geographic locations and environments.

  20. The Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. salmonicida exoproteome: determination of the complete repertoire of Type-Three Secretion System effectors and identification of other virulence factors

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. salmonicida, the etiologic agent of furunculosis, is a major pathogen of fisheries worldwide. Several virulence factors have been described, but the type-three secretion system (T3SS) is recognized as having a major effect on virulence by injecting effectors directly into fish cells. In this study we used high-throughput proteomics to display the differences between in vitro secretome of A. salmonicida wild-type (wt, hypervirulent, JF2267) and T3SS-deficient (isogenic ΔascV, extremely low-virulent, JF2747) strains in exponential and stationary phases of growth. Results Results confirmed the secretion of effectors AopH, AexT, AopP and AopO via T3SS, and for the first time demonstrated the impact of T3SS in secretion of Ati2, AopN and ExsE that are known as effectors in other pathogens. Translocators, needle subunits, Ati1, and AscX were also secreted in supernatants (SNs) dependent on T3SS. AopH, Ati2, AexT, AopB and AopD were in the top seven most abundant excreted proteins. EF-G, EF-Tu, DnaK, HtpG, PNPase, PepN and MdeA were moderately secreted in wt SNs and predicted to be putative T3 effectors by bioinformatics. Pta and ASA_P5G088 were increased in wt SNs and T3-associated in other bacteria. Ten conserved cytoplasmic proteins were more abundant in wt SNs than in the ΔascV mutant, but without any clear association to a secretion system. T1-secreted proteins were predominantly found in wt SNs: OmpAI, OmpK40, DegQ, insulinase ASA_0716, hypothetical ASA_0852 and ASA_3619. Presence of T3SS components in pellets was clearly decreased by ascV deletion, while no impact was observed on T1- and T2SS. Our results demonstrated that the ΔascV mutant strain excreted well-described (VapA, AerA, AerB, GCAT, Pla1, PlaC, TagA, Ahe2, GbpA and enolase) and yet uncharacterized potential toxins, adhesins and enzymes as much as or even more than the wt strain. Other putative important virulence factors were not detected. Conclusions We

  1. A Japanese Encephalitis Virus Genotype 5 Molecular Clone Is Highly Neuropathogenic in a Mouse Model: Impact of the Structural Protein Region on Virulence

    PubMed Central

    de Wispelaere, Mélissanne; Frenkiel, Marie-Pascale

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) strains can be separated into 5 genotypes (g1 to g5) based on sequence similarity. JEV g5 strains have been rarely isolated and are poorly characterized. We report here the full characterization of a g5 virus generated using a cDNA-based technology and its comparison with a widely studied g3 strain. We did not observe any major differences between those viruses when their infectious cycles were studied in various cell lines in vitro. Interestingly, the JEV g5 strain was highly pathogenic when inoculated to BALB/c mice, which are known to be largely resistant to JEV g3 infection. The study of chimeric viruses between JEV g3 and g5 showed that there was a poor viral clearance of viruses that express JEV g5 structural proteins in BALB/c mice blood, which correlated with viral invasion of the central nervous system and encephalitis. In addition, using an in vitro model of the blood-brain barrier, we were able to show that JEV g5 does not have an enhanced capacity for entering the central nervous system, compared to JEV g3. Overall, in addition to providing a first characterization of the understudied JEV g5, our work highlights the importance of sustaining an early viremia in the development of JEV encephalitis. IMPORTANCE Genotype 5 viruses are genetically and serologically distinct from other JEV genotypes and can been associated with human encephalitis, which warrants the need for their characterization. In this study, we characterized the in vitro and in vivo properties of a JEV g5 strain and showed that it was more neuropathogenic in a mouse model than a well-characterized JEV g3 strain. The enhanced virulence of JEV g5 was associated with poor viral clearance but not with enhanced crossing of the blood-brain barrier, thus providing new insights into JEV pathogenesis. PMID:25787283

  2. A molecular determinant of phosphoinositide affinity in mammalian TRPV channels

    PubMed Central

    Velisetty, Phanindra; Borbiro, Istvan; Kasimova, Marina A.; Liu, Luyu; Badheka, Doreen; Carnevale, Vincenzo; Rohacs, Tibor

    2016-01-01

    Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P2] is an important cofactor for ion channels. Affinity for this lipid is a major determinant of channel inhibition by depletion of PI(4,5)P2 upon phospholipase C (PLC) activation. Little is known about what determines PI(4,5)P2 affinity in mammalian ion channels. Here we report that two members of the Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid (TRPV) ion channel family, TRPV5 and TRPV6 lack a positively charged residue in the TM4-TM5 loop that was shown to interact with PI(4,5)P2 in TRPV1, which shows high affinity for this lipid. When this positively charged residue was introduced to either TRPV6 or TRPV5, they displayed markedly higher affinities for PI(4,5)P2, and were largely resistant to inhibition by PI(4,5)P2 depletion. Furthermore, Ca2+-induced inactivation of TRPV6 was essentially eliminated in the G488R mutant, showing the importance of PLC-mediated PI(4,5)P2 depletion in this process. Computational modeling shows that the introduced positive charge interacts with PI(4,5)P2 in TRPV6. PMID:27291418

  3. Virulence factors of medically important fungi.

    PubMed Central

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

    1996-01-01

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

  4. Regulatory principles governing Salmonella and Yersinia virulence

    PubMed Central

    Erhardt, Marc; Dersch, Petra

    2015-01-01

    Enteric pathogens such as Salmonella and Yersinia evolved numerous strategies to survive and proliferate in different environmental reservoirs and mammalian hosts. Deciphering common and pathogen-specific principles for how these bacteria adjust and coordinate spatiotemporal expression of virulence determinants, stress adaptation, and metabolic functions is fundamental to understand microbial pathogenesis. In order to manage sudden environmental changes, attacks by the host immune systems and microbial competition, the pathogens employ a plethora of transcriptional and post-transcriptional control elements, including transcription factors, sensory and regulatory RNAs, RNAses, and proteases, to fine-tune and control complex gene regulatory networks. Many of the contributing global regulators and the molecular mechanisms of regulation are frequently conserved between Yersinia and Salmonella. However, the interplay, arrangement, and composition of the control elements vary between these closely related enteric pathogens, which generate phenotypic differences leading to distinct pathogenic properties. In this overview we present common and different regulatory networks used by Salmonella and Yersinia to coordinate the expression of crucial motility, cell adhesion and invasion determinants, immune defense strategies, and metabolic adaptation processes. We highlight evolutionary changes of the gene regulatory circuits that result in different properties of the regulatory elements and how this influences the overall outcome of the infection process. PMID:26441883

  5. Molecular Determinants of Mutant Phenotypes, Inferred from Saturation Mutagenesis Data

    PubMed Central

    Tripathi, Arti; Gupta, Kritika; Khare, Shruti; Jain, Pankaj C.; Patel, Siddharth; Kumar, Prasanth; Pulianmackal, Ajai J.; Aghera, Nilesh; Varadarajan, Raghavan

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how mutations affect protein activity and organismal fitness is a major challenge. We used saturation mutagenesis combined with deep sequencing to determine mutational sensitivity scores for 1,664 single-site mutants of the 101 residue Escherichia coli cytotoxin, CcdB at seven different expression levels. Active-site residues could be distinguished from buried ones, based on their differential tolerance to aliphatic and charged amino acid substitutions. At nonactive-site positions, the average mutational tolerance correlated better with depth from the protein surface than with accessibility. Remarkably, similar results were observed for two other small proteins, PDZ domain (PSD95pdz3) and IgG-binding domain of protein G (GB1). Mutational sensitivity data obtained with CcdB were used to derive a procedure for predicting functional effects of mutations. Results compared favorably with those of two widely used computational predictors. In vitro characterization of 80 single, nonactive-site mutants of CcdB showed that activity in vivo correlates moderately with thermal stability and solubility. The inability to refold reversibly, as well as a decreased folding rate in vitro, is associated with decreased activity in vivo. Upon probing the effect of modulating expression of various proteases and chaperones on mutant phenotypes, most deleterious mutants showed an increased in vivo activity and solubility only upon over-expression of either Trigger factor or SecB ATP-independent chaperones. Collectively, these data suggest that folding kinetics rather than protein stability is the primary determinant of activity in vivo. This study enhances our understanding of how mutations affect phenotype, as well as the ability to predict fitness effects of point mutations. PMID:27563054

  6. Salmonella promotes virulence by repressing cellulose production.

    PubMed

    Pontes, Mauricio H; Lee, Eun-Jin; Choi, Jeongjoon; Groisman, Eduardo A

    2015-04-21

    Cellulose is the most abundant organic polymer on Earth. In bacteria, cellulose confers protection against environmental insults and is a constituent of biofilms typically formed on abiotic surfaces. We report that, surprisingly, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium makes cellulose when inside macrophages. We determine that preventing cellulose synthesis increases virulence, whereas stimulation of cellulose synthesis inside macrophages decreases virulence. An attenuated mutant lacking the mgtC gene exhibited increased cellulose levels due to increased expression of the cellulose synthase gene bcsA and of cyclic diguanylate, the allosteric activator of the BcsA protein. Inactivation of bcsA restored wild-type virulence to the Salmonella mgtC mutant, but not to other attenuated mutants displaying a wild-type phenotype regarding cellulose. Our findings indicate that a virulence determinant can promote pathogenicity by repressing a pathogen's antivirulence trait. Moreover, they suggest that controlling antivirulence traits increases long-term pathogen fitness by mediating a trade-off between acute virulence and transmission.

  7. Salmonella promotes virulence by repressing cellulose production

    PubMed Central

    Pontes, Mauricio H.; Lee, Eun-Jin; Choi, Jeongjoon; Groisman, Eduardo A.

    2015-01-01

    Cellulose is the most abundant organic polymer on Earth. In bacteria, cellulose confers protection against environmental insults and is a constituent of biofilms typically formed on abiotic surfaces. We report that, surprisingly, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium makes cellulose when inside macrophages. We determine that preventing cellulose synthesis increases virulence, whereas stimulation of cellulose synthesis inside macrophages decreases virulence. An attenuated mutant lacking the mgtC gene exhibited increased cellulose levels due to increased expression of the cellulose synthase gene bcsA and of cyclic diguanylate, the allosteric activator of the BcsA protein. Inactivation of bcsA restored wild-type virulence to the Salmonella mgtC mutant, but not to other attenuated mutants displaying a wild-type phenotype regarding cellulose. Our findings indicate that a virulence determinant can promote pathogenicity by repressing a pathogen's antivirulence trait. Moreover, they suggest that controlling antivirulence traits increases long-term pathogen fitness by mediating a trade-off between acute virulence and transmission. PMID:25848006

  8. Salmonella promotes virulence by repressing cellulose production.

    PubMed

    Pontes, Mauricio H; Lee, Eun-Jin; Choi, Jeongjoon; Groisman, Eduardo A

    2015-04-21

    Cellulose is the most abundant organic polymer on Earth. In bacteria, cellulose confers protection against environmental insults and is a constituent of biofilms typically formed on abiotic surfaces. We report that, surprisingly, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium makes cellulose when inside macrophages. We determine that preventing cellulose synthesis increases virulence, whereas stimulation of cellulose synthesis inside macrophages decreases virulence. An attenuated mutant lacking the mgtC gene exhibited increased cellulose levels due to increased expression of the cellulose synthase gene bcsA and of cyclic diguanylate, the allosteric activator of the BcsA protein. Inactivation of bcsA restored wild-type virulence to the Salmonella mgtC mutant, but not to other attenuated mutants displaying a wild-type phenotype regarding cellulose. Our findings indicate that a virulence determinant can promote pathogenicity by repressing a pathogen's antivirulence trait. Moreover, they suggest that controlling antivirulence traits increases long-term pathogen fitness by mediating a trade-off between acute virulence and transmission. PMID:25848006

  9. Simple nanoparticle-based luminometric method for molecular weight determination of polymeric compounds.

    PubMed

    Pihlasalo, Sari; Virtamo, Maria; Legrand, Nicolas; Hänninen, Pekka; Härmä, Harri

    2014-01-21

    A nanoparticle-based method utilizing time-resolved luminescence resonance energy transfer (TR-LRET) was developed for molecular weight determination. This mix-and-measure nanoparticle method is based on the competitive adsorption between the analyte and the acceptor-labeled protein to donor Eu(III) nanoparticles. The size-dependent adsorption of molecules enables the molecular weight determination of differently sized polymeric compounds down to a concentration level of micrograms per liter. The molecular weight determination from 1 to 10 kDa for polyamino acids and from 0.3 to 70 kDa for polyethylene imines is demonstrated. The simple and cost-effective nanoparticle method as microtiter plate assay format shows great potential for the detection of the changes in molecular weight or for quantification of differently sized molecules in biochemical laboratories and in industrial polymeric processes.

  10. Molecular Determinants of Substrate Specificity in Plant 5-Methylthioadenosine Nucleosidases

    SciTech Connect

    Siu,K.; Lee, J.; Sufrin, J.; Moffatt, B.; McMillan, M.; Cornell, K.; Isom, C.; Howell, L.

    2008-01-01

    5?-Methylthioadenosine (MTA)/S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) nucleosidase (MTAN) is essential for cellular metabolism and development in many bacterial species. While the enzyme is found in plants, plant MTANs appear to select for MTA preferentially, with little or no affinity for SAH. To understand what determines substrate specificity in this enzyme, MTAN homologues from Arabidopsis thaliana (AtMTAN1 and AtMTAN2, which are referred to as AtMTN1 and AtMTN2 in the plant literature) have been characterized kinetically. While both homologues hydrolyze MTA with comparable kinetic parameters, only AtMTAN2 shows activity towards SAH. AtMTAN2 also has higher catalytic activity towards other substrate analogues with longer 5?-substituents. The structures of apo AtMTAN1 and its complexes with the substrate- and transition-state-analogues, 5?-methylthiotubercidin and formycin A, respectively, have been determined at 2.0-1.8 Angstroms resolution. A homology model of AtMTAN2 was generated using the AtMTAN1 structures. Comparison of the AtMTAN1 and AtMTAN2 structures reveals that only three residues in the active site differ between the two enzymes. Our analysis suggests that two of these residues, Leu181/Met168 and Phe148/Leu135 in AtMTAN1/AtMTAN2, likely account for the divergence in specificity of the enzymes. Comparison of the AtMTAN1 and available Escherichia coli MTAN (EcMTAN) structures suggests that a combination of differences in the 5?-alkylthio binding region and reduced conformational flexibility in the AtMTAN1 active site likely contribute to its reduced efficiency in binding substrate analogues with longer 5?-substituents. In addition, in contrast to EcMTAN, the active site of AtMTAN1 remains solvated in its ligand-bound forms. As the apparent pKa of an amino acid depends on its local environment, the putative catalytic acid Asp225 in AtMTAN1 may not be protonated at physiological pH and this suggests the transition state of AtMTAN1, like human MTA phosphorylase and

  11. Virulence Characteristics and Antibiotic Resistance Patterns among Various Phylogenetic Groups of Uropathogenic Escherichia coli Isolates.

    PubMed

    Derakhshandeh, Abdollah; Firouzi, Roya; Motamedifar, Mohammad; Arabshahi, Sina; Novinrooz, Aytak; Boroojeni, Azar Motamedi; Bahadori, Maryam; Heidari, Susan

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the resistance patterns of uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) isolates and to investigate the frequency of several virulence genes, including fimH, papA, hlyD, cnf-1, sitA, and tsh, among various phylogenetic groups of UPEC isolates. A total of 85 E. coli isolates were recovered from urine samples from outpatients with a clinical diagnosis of uncomplicated urinary tract infections. A molecular approach to examine the antimicrobial resistance patterns was employed using PCR and the disc diffusion method. The detected frequencies of the virulence factor genes determined using PCR were: fimH (34.1%), papA (9.4%), hlyD (21.2%), cnf-1 (3.5%), sitA (15.3%), and tsh (27.1%). These results revealed that the isolates were resistant to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (SXT) (74.1%), cefotaxime (CTX) (68.2%), and amoxicillin-clavulanic acid (AMC) (94.1%), and they were relatively less resistant to N (56.5%). According to these results, further investigation is needed to determine exactly whether or not SXT, CTX, and AMC are appropriate antibiotics for the treatment of UPEC infections in southern Iran. Although these results demonstrate that fimH is the most frequent virulence gene among UPEC isolates, the high prevalence of isolates that do not encode fimH (75.9%) and the relatively low frequency of isolates that carry other virulence genes require further investigation to clarify the role of the other potential virulence factors in the pathogenesis of these isolates.

  12. Internal Energy Dependence of Molecular Condensation Coefficients Determined from Molecular Beam Surface Scattering Experiments

    DOE R&D Accomplishments Database

    Sibener, S. J.; Lee, Y. T.

    1978-05-01

    An experiment was performed which confirms the existence of an internal mode dependence of molecular sticking probabilities for collisions of molecules with a cold surface. The scattering of a velocity selected effusive beam of CCl{sub 4} from a 90 K CC1{sub 4} ice surface has been studied at five translational velocities and for two different internal temperatures. At a surface temperature of 90 K (approx. 99% sticking probability) a four fold increase in reflected intensity was observed for the internally excited (560 K) CC1{sub 4} relative to the room temperature (298 K) CC1{sub 4} at a translational velocity of 2.5 X 10{sup 4} cm/sec. For a surface temperature of 90 K all angular distributions were found to peak 15{sup 0} superspecularly independent of incident velocity.

  13. The highly virulent variola and monkeypox viruses express secreted inhibitors of type I interferon.

    PubMed

    Fernández de Marco, María del Mar; Alejo, Alí; Hudson, Paul; Damon, Inger K; Alcami, Antonio

    2010-05-01

    Variola virus (VARV) caused smallpox, one of the most devastating human diseases and the first to be eradicated, but its deliberate release represents a dangerous threat. Virulent orthopoxviruses infecting humans, such as monkeypox virus (MPXV), could fill the niche left by smallpox eradication and the cessation of vaccination. However, immunomodulatory activities and virulence determinants of VARV and MPXV remain largely unexplored. We report the molecular characterization of the VARV- and MPXV-secreted type I interferon-binding proteins, which interact with the cell surface after secretion and prevent type I interferon responses. The proteins expressed in the baculovirus system have been purified, and their interferon-binding properties characterized by surface plasmon resonance. The ability of these proteins to inhibit a broad range of interferons was investigated to identify potential adaptation to the human immune system. Furthermore, we demonstrate by Western blot and activity assays the expression of the type I interferon inhibitor during VARV and MPXV infections. These findings are relevant for the design of new vaccines and therapeutics to smallpox and emergent virulent orthopoxviruses because the type I interferon-binding protein is a major virulence factor in animal models, vaccination with this protein induces protective immunity, and its neutralization prevents disease progression.

  14. Determination of the presence of hyaluronic acid in preparations containing amino acids: the molecular weight characterization.

    PubMed

    Bellomaria, A; Nepravishta, R; Mazzanti, U; Marchetti, M; Piccioli, P; Paci, M

    2014-10-15

    Several pharmaceutical preparations contain hyaluronic acid in the presence of a large variety of low molecular weight charged molecules like amino acids. In these mixtures, it is particularly difficult to determine the concentration and the molecular weight of the hyaluronic acid fragments. In fact zwitterionic compounds in high concentration behave by masking the hyaluronic acid due to the electrostatic interactions between amino acids and hyaluronic acid. In such conditions the common colorimetric test of the hyaluronic acid determination appears ineffective and in the (1)H NMR spectra the peaks of the polymer disappear completely. By a simple separation procedure the presence of hyaluronic acid was revealed by the DMAB test and (1)H NMR while its average molecular weight in the final product was determined by DOSY NMR spectroscopy alone. The latter determination is very important due to the healthy effects of some sizes of this polymer's fragments. PMID:25078662

  15. Inactivation of thyA in Staphylococcus aureus Attenuates Virulence and Has a Strong Impact on Metabolism and Virulence Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    Kriegeskorte, Andre; Block, Desiree; Drescher, Mike; Windmüller, Nadine; Mellmann, Alexander; Baum, Cathrin; Neumann, Claudia; Lorè, Nicola Ivan; Bragonzi, Alessandra; Liebau, Eva; Hertel, Patrick; Seggewiss, Jochen; Becker, Karsten; Proctor, Richard A.; Peters, Georg

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Staphylococcus aureus thymidine-dependent small-colony variants (TD-SCVs) are frequently isolated from patients with chronic S. aureus infections after long-term treatment with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX). While it has been shown that TD-SCVs were associated with mutations in thymidylate synthase (TS; thyA), the impact of such mutations on protein function is lacking. In this study, we showed that mutations in thyA were leading to inactivity of TS proteins, and TS inactivity led to tremendous impact on S. aureus physiology and virulence. Whole DNA microarray analysis of the constructed ΔthyA mutant identified severe alterations compared to the wild type. Important virulence regulators (agr, arlRS, sarA) and major virulence determinants (hla, hlb, sspAB, and geh) were downregulated, while genes important for colonization (fnbA, fnbB, spa, clfB, sdrC, and sdrD) were upregulated. The expression of genes involved in pyrimidine and purine metabolism and nucleotide interconversion changed significantly. NupC was identified as a major nucleoside transporter, which supported growth of the mutant during TMP-SMX exposure by uptake of extracellular thymidine. The ΔthyA mutant was strongly attenuated in virulence models, including a Caenorhabditis elegans killing model and an acute pneumonia mouse model. This study identified inactivation of TS as the molecular basis of clinical TD-SCV and showed that thyA activity has a major role for S. aureus virulence and physiology. PMID:25073642

  16. Determination of prevalence and economic impact of ovine footrot in central Kashmir India with isolation and molecular characterization of Dichelobacter nodosus.

    PubMed

    Rather, M A; Wani, S A; Hussain, I; Bhat, M A; Kabli, Z A; Magray, S N

    2011-04-01

    The present study determines the prevalence, economic impact of virulent footrot in central Kashmir, India, along with isolation and molecular characterization of Dichelobacter nodosus (D. nodosus) where so far no such work has been carried out. Over all 12.54% prevalence of footrot was recorded in central Kashmir with highest (15.84%) in district Srinagar, and least (10.89%) in district Budgam, while it was 13.28% in district Ganderbal. Overall economic impact of footrot was estimated to the tune of Rs 15.82 million annually to the sheep farming in central Kashmir. Out of 370 samples collected from footrot lesions of naturally infected sheep, 200 (54.05%) detected D. nodosus positive by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Out of these, 132 (66.00%) samples carried serogroup B of D. nodosus, five (2.50%) serogroup E, one (0.50%) serogroup I, while, 53 (26.50%) had mixed infection of serogroups B and E, four (2.00%) of serogroups B and I, two (1.00%) of serogroups B and G and the remaining three (1.50%) samples harboured the mixed infection of serogroups B, E and I. Serogroup G was detected for the first time in India. Over all serogroup B was most frequent (97.0%) followed by E (30.5%), while serogoups I (4.0%) and G (1.0%) were least prevalent. A total of 265 D.nodosus strains were isolated out of which 194 (73.20%) were typed as serogroup B, 61 (23.01%) as serogroup E, eight (3.01%) as serogroup I and remaining two (0.75%) belonged to serogroup G. Out of 265 D. nodosus isolates, 164 (61.88%) possessed intA (integrase) gene, thus were considered as virulent strains. Serogroup wise intA gene was found in 121(62.37%) isolates of serogroup B, 36 (59.01%) of E, two (100%) of G and five (62.50%) of I. Out of 20 randomly selected isolates subjected to gelatin gel test, 16 isolates with intA gene produced thermostable protease while four isolates without intA gene revealed the production of thermolabile protease. This indicated a good co-relation between presence of int

  17. The PA-gene-mediated lethal dissemination and excessive innate immune response contribute to the high virulence of H5N1 avian influenza virus in mice.

    PubMed

    Hu, Jiao; Hu, Zenglei; Song, Qingqing; Gu, Min; Liu, Xiaowen; Wang, Xiaoquan; Hu, Shunlin; Chen, Chaoyang; Liu, Huimou; Liu, Wenbo; Chen, Sujuan; Peng, Daxin; Liu, Xiufan

    2013-03-01

    Highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza A virus remains a substantial threat to public health. To understand the molecular basis and host mechanism for the high virulence of H5N1 viruses in mammals, we compared two H5N1 isolates which have similar genetic backgrounds but greatly differ in their virulence in mice. A/Chicken/Jiangsu/k0402/2010 (CK10) is highly pathogenic, whereas A/Goose/Jiangsu/k0403/2010 (GS10) is nonpathogenic. We first showed that CK10 elicited a more potent innate immune response than did GS10 in mouse lungs by increasing the number and expression levels of activated genes. We then generated a series of reassortants between the two viruses and evaluated their virulence in mice. Inclusion of the CK10 PA gene in the GS10 background resulted in a dramatic increase in virulence. Conversely, expression of the GS10 PA gene in the CK10 background significantly attenuated the virulence. These results demonstrated that the PA gene mainly determines the pathogenicity discrepancy between CK10 and GS10 in mice. We further determined that arginine (R) at position 353 of the PA gene contributes to the high virulence of CK10 in mice. The reciprocal substitution at position 353 in PA or the exchange of the entire PA gene largely caused the transfer of viral phenotypes, including virus replication, polymerase activity, and manipulation of the innate response, between CK10 and GS10. We therefore defined a novel molecular marker associated with the high virulence of H5N1 influenza viruses, providing further insights into the pathogenesis of H5N1 viruses in mammals.

  18. Chemical modification of proteins to improve the accuracy of their relative molecular mass determination by electrophoresis.

    PubMed

    Dolnik, Vladislav; Gurske, William A

    2011-10-01

    We studied the electrophoretic behavior of basic proteins (cytochrome c and histone III) and developed a carbamylation method that normalizes their electrophoretic size separation and improves the accuracy of their relative molecular mass determined electrophoretically. In capillary zone electrophoresis with cationic hitchhiking, native cytochrome c does not sufficiently bind cationic surfactants due to electrostatic repulsion between the basic protein and cationic surfactant. Carbamylation suppresses the strong positive charge of the basic proteins and results in more accurate relative molecular masses.

  19. A sensitive and selective molecularly imprinted sensor combined with magnetic molecularly imprinted solid phase extraction for determination of dibutyl phthalate.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhaohui; Luo, Lijuan; Cai, Rong; Chen, Hongjun

    2013-11-15

    A highly sensitive and selective molecularly imprinted (MIP) sensor combined with magnetic molecularly imprinted solid phase extraction (MMISPE) was developed for the determination of dibutyl phthalate (DBP) in complex matrixes. The magnetic molecularly imprinted polymer (MMIP) was synthesized as solid phase extraction (SPE) sorbet to extract DBP from complex matrixes and as sensing element to improve the selectivity of the imprinted sensor. The morphologies of MMIP and MIP-sensor were characterized by using scanning electron microscope (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The electrochemical performances of MIP-sensor were investigated by cyclic voltammetry (CV) and differential pulse voltammetry (DPV). The conditions of preconcentration, elution and electrochemical determination were studied in detail. Under the optimized experimental conditions, the response currents of the MIP-sensor exhibited a linear relationship towards DBP concentrations ranging from 1.0 × 10(-8)g/L to 1.0 × 10(-3)g/L. The limit of detection of the MMIP-sensor coupled with the MMISPE was calculated as 0.052 ng/L. The MMIP-sensor coupled with the MMISPE was applied to detect DBP in complex samples successfully.

  20. [Genetic virulence markers of opportunistic bacteria].

    PubMed

    Bondarenko, V M

    2011-01-01

    The analysis of opportunistic bacteria phenotypic and genetic virulence markers indicates that pathogenicity formation is based on a structural modification of bacterial DNA which is linked with migration of interbacterial pathogenicity "islands" genetic determinants. Structural organization features of these mobile genetic elements determine high expression probability, and PCR detection of pathogenicity "islands" determinants that control adhesins, invasins, cytotoxic and cytolitic toxines synthesis may indicate etiopathogenetic significance of clinical isolates.

  1. Molecular Basis of Ligand-Dependent Regulation of NadR, the Transcriptional Repressor of Meningococcal Virulence Factor NadA.

    PubMed

    Liguori, Alessia; Malito, Enrico; Lo Surdo, Paola; Fagnocchi, Luca; Cantini, Francesca; Haag, Andreas F; Brier, Sébastien; Pizza, Mariagrazia; Delany, Isabel; Bottomley, Matthew J

    2016-04-01

    Neisseria adhesin A (NadA) is present on the meningococcal surface and contributes to adhesion to and invasion of human cells. NadA is also one of three recombinant antigens in the recently-approved Bexsero vaccine, which protects against serogroup B meningococcus. The amount of NadA on the bacterial surface is of direct relevance in the constant battle of host-pathogen interactions: it influences the ability of the pathogen to engage human cell surface-exposed receptors and, conversely, the bacterial susceptibility to the antibody-mediated immune response. It is therefore important to understand the mechanisms which regulate nadA expression levels, which are predominantly controlled by the transcriptional regulator NadR (Neisseria adhesin A Regulator) both in vitro and in vivo. NadR binds the nadA promoter and represses gene transcription. In the presence of 4-hydroxyphenylacetate (4-HPA), a catabolite present in human saliva both under physiological conditions and during bacterial infection, the binding of NadR to the nadA promoter is attenuated and nadA expression is induced. NadR also mediates ligand-dependent regulation of many other meningococcal genes, for example the highly-conserved multiple adhesin family (maf) genes, which encode proteins emerging with important roles in host-pathogen interactions, immune evasion and niche adaptation. To gain insights into the regulation of NadR mediated by 4-HPA, we combined structural, biochemical, and mutagenesis studies. In particular, two new crystal structures of ligand-free and ligand-bound NadR revealed (i) the molecular basis of 'conformational selection' by which a single molecule of 4-HPA binds and stabilizes dimeric NadR in a conformation unsuitable for DNA-binding, (ii) molecular explanations for the binding specificities of different hydroxyphenylacetate ligands, including 3Cl,4-HPA which is produced during inflammation, (iii) the presence of a leucine residue essential for dimerization and conserved in

  2. Molecular Basis of Ligand-Dependent Regulation of NadR, the Transcriptional Repressor of Meningococcal Virulence Factor NadA

    PubMed Central

    Liguori, Alessia; Malito, Enrico; Lo Surdo, Paola; Fagnocchi, Luca; Cantini, Francesca; Haag, Andreas F.; Brier, Sébastien; Pizza, Mariagrazia; Delany, Isabel; Bottomley, Matthew J.

    2016-01-01

    Neisseria adhesin A (NadA) is present on the meningococcal surface and contributes to adhesion to and invasion of human cells. NadA is also one of three recombinant antigens in the recently-approved Bexsero vaccine, which protects against serogroup B meningococcus. The amount of NadA on the bacterial surface is of direct relevance in the constant battle of host-pathogen interactions: it influences the ability of the pathogen to engage human cell surface-exposed receptors and, conversely, the bacterial susceptibility to the antibody-mediated immune response. It is therefore important to understand the mechanisms which regulate nadA expression levels, which are predominantly controlled by the transcriptional regulator NadR (Neisseria adhesin A Regulator) both in vitro and in vivo. NadR binds the nadA promoter and represses gene transcription. In the presence of 4-hydroxyphenylacetate (4-HPA), a catabolite present in human saliva both under physiological conditions and during bacterial infection, the binding of NadR to the nadA promoter is attenuated and nadA expression is induced. NadR also mediates ligand-dependent regulation of many other meningococcal genes, for example the highly-conserved multiple adhesin family (maf) genes, which encode proteins emerging with important roles in host-pathogen interactions, immune evasion and niche adaptation. To gain insights into the regulation of NadR mediated by 4-HPA, we combined structural, biochemical, and mutagenesis studies. In particular, two new crystal structures of ligand-free and ligand-bound NadR revealed (i) the molecular basis of ‘conformational selection’ by which a single molecule of 4-HPA binds and stabilizes dimeric NadR in a conformation unsuitable for DNA-binding, (ii) molecular explanations for the binding specificities of different hydroxyphenylacetate ligands, including 3Cl,4-HPA which is produced during inflammation, (iii) the presence of a leucine residue essential for dimerization and conserved in

  3. Entamoeba histolytica: oxygen resistance and virulence.

    PubMed

    Ramos-Martínez, Espiridión; Olivos-García, Alfonso; Saavedra, Emma; Nequiz, Mario; Sánchez, Ernesto C; Tello, Eusebio; El-Hafidi, Mohamed; Saralegui, Andrés; Pineda, Erika; Delgado, José; Montfort, Irmgard; Pérez-Tamayo, Ruy

    2009-05-01

    Entamoeba histolytica virulence has been attributed to several amoebic molecules such as adhesins, amoebapores and cysteine proteinases, but supporting evidence is either partial or indirect. In this work we compared several in vitro and in vivo features of both virulent E. histolytica (vEh) and non-virulent E. histolytica (nvEh) axenic HM-1 IMSS strains, such as complement resistance, proteinase activity, haemolytic, phagocytic and cytotoxic capacities, survival in mice caecum, and susceptibility to O(2). The only difference observed was a higher in vitro susceptibility of nvEh to O(2). The molecular mechanism of that difference was analyzed in both groups of amoebae after high O(2) exposure. vEh O(2) resistance correlated with: (i) higher O(2) reduction (O(2)(-) and H(2)O(2) production); (ii) increased H(2)O(2) resistance and thiol peroxidase activity, and (iii) reversible pyruvate: ferredoxin oxidoreductase (PFOR) inhibition. Despite the high level of carbonylated proteins in nvEh after O(2) exposure, membrane oxidation by reactive oxygen species was not observed. These results suggest that the virulent phenotype of E. histolytica is related to the greater ability to reduce O(2) and H(2)O(2) as well as PFOR reactivation, whereas nvEh undergoes irreversible PFOR inhibition resulting in metabolic failure and amoebic death.

  4. Entamoeba histolytica: oxygen resistance and virulence.

    PubMed

    Ramos-Martínez, Espiridión; Olivos-García, Alfonso; Saavedra, Emma; Nequiz, Mario; Sánchez, Ernesto C; Tello, Eusebio; El-Hafidi, Mohamed; Saralegui, Andrés; Pineda, Erika; Delgado, José; Montfort, Irmgard; Pérez-Tamayo, Ruy

    2009-05-01

    Entamoeba histolytica virulence has been attributed to several amoebic molecules such as adhesins, amoebapores and cysteine proteinases, but supporting evidence is either partial or indirect. In this work we compared several in vitro and in vivo features of both virulent E. histolytica (vEh) and non-virulent E. histolytica (nvEh) axenic HM-1 IMSS strains, such as complement resistance, proteinase activity, haemolytic, phagocytic and cytotoxic capacities, survival in mice caecum, and susceptibility to O(2). The only difference observed was a higher in vitro susceptibility of nvEh to O(2). The molecular mechanism of that difference was analyzed in both groups of amoebae after high O(2) exposure. vEh O(2) resistance correlated with: (i) higher O(2) reduction (O(2)(-) and H(2)O(2) production); (ii) increased H(2)O(2) resistance and thiol peroxidase activity, and (iii) reversible pyruvate: ferredoxin oxidoreductase (PFOR) inhibition. Despite the high level of carbonylated proteins in nvEh after O(2) exposure, membrane oxidation by reactive oxygen species was not observed. These results suggest that the virulent phenotype of E. histolytica is related to the greater ability to reduce O(2) and H(2)O(2) as well as PFOR reactivation, whereas nvEh undergoes irreversible PFOR inhibition resulting in metabolic failure and amoebic death. PMID:19073188

  5. Live Imaging of Host-Parasite Interactions in a Zebrafish Infection Model Reveals Cryptococcal Determinants of Virulence and Central Nervous System Invasion

    PubMed Central

    Tenor, Jennifer L.; Oehlers, Stefan H.; Yang, Jialu L.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans is capable of infecting a broad range of hosts, from invertebrates like amoebas and nematodes to standard vertebrate models such as mice and rabbits. Here we have taken advantage of a zebrafish model to investigate host-pathogen interactions of Cryptococcus with the zebrafish innate immune system, which shares a highly conserved framework with that of mammals. Through live-imaging observations and genetic knockdown, we establish that macrophages are the primary immune cells responsible for responding to and containing acute cryptococcal infections. By interrogating survival and cryptococcal burden following infection with a panel of Cryptococcus mutants, we find that virulence factors initially identified as important in causing disease in mice are also necessary for pathogenesis in zebrafish larvae. Live imaging of the cranial blood vessels of infected larvae reveals that C. neoformans is able to penetrate the zebrafish brain following intravenous infection. By studying a C. neoformans FNX1 gene mutant, we find that blood-brain barrier invasion is dependent on a known cryptococcal invasion-promoting pathway previously identified in a murine model of central nervous system invasion. The zebrafish-C. neoformans platform provides a visually and genetically accessible vertebrate model system for cryptococcal pathogenesis with many of the advantages of small invertebrates. This model is well suited for higher-throughput screening of mutants, mechanistic dissection of cryptococcal pathogenesis in live animals, and use in the evaluation of therapeutic agents. PMID:26419880

  6. virF, the host-range-determining virulence gene of Agrobacterium tumefaciens, affects T-DNA transfer to Zea mays.

    PubMed

    Jarchow, E; Grimsley, N H; Hohn, B

    1991-12-01

    The monocotyledonous plant Zea mays does not develop tumors after inoculation with Agrobacterium tumefaciens and is thus defined as nonhost. Agroinfection, Agrobacterium-mediated delivery of maize streak virus, demonstrates that transferred DNA (T-DNA) transfer to the plant does occur. Nopaline-type Agrobacterium strains such as C58 are efficient in the transfer process whereas the octopine-type strain A6 is unable to transfer T-DNA to maize. This phenotypic difference maps to the tumor-inducing (Ti) plasmid but not to the T-DNA. Steps preceding T-DNA transfer, such as attachment and induction of the virulence genes, were shown to take place in the octopine strain. The nopaline-plasmid-specific locus tzs and the octopine-plasmid-specific locus pinF (virH) are not involved in the strain specificity. However, mutations in the virF locus rendered the octopine strain agroinfectious on maize, whereas such virF-defective octopine strains, when complemented by virF on a plasmid, completely lost their agroinfectivity. We propose that VirF, known to increase the host range of the bacteria in other systems, acts as an inhibitor of T-DNA transfer to maize. PMID:11607242

  7. Foot-and-mouth disease virus virulence in cattle is co-determined by viral replication dynamics and route of infection.

    PubMed

    Arzt, Jonathan; Pacheco, Juan M; Smoliga, George R; Tucker, Meghan T; Bishop, Elizabeth; Pauszek, Steven J; Hartwig, Ethan J; de los Santos, Teresa; Rodriguez, Luis L

    2014-03-01

    Early events in the pathogenesis of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) infection in cattle were investigated through aerosol and intraepithelial lingual (IEL) inoculations of a cDNA-derived FMDV-A24 wild type virus (FMDV-WT) or a mutant derived from the same clone (FMDV-Mut). After aerosolization of FMDV-WT, primary infection sites had significantly greater quantities of FMDV, viral RNA, and type I/III interferon (IFN) activity compared to corresponding tissues from cattle infected with FMDV-Mut. Additionally, FMDV-WT-infected cattle had marked induction of systemic IFN activity in serum. In contrast, FMDV-Mut aerosol-infected cattle did not manifest systemic IFN response nor had viremia. Interestingly, IEL inoculation of FMDV-Mut in cattle restored the virulent phenotype and systemic IFN response. These data indicate that the attenuated phenotype in cattle is associated with decreased replicative efficiency, reflected by decreased innate response. However, attenuation is abrogated by bypassing the common primary infection sites, inducing accelerated viral replication at the inoculation site.

  8. Characterization of a virulent Leptospira interrogans strain isolated from an abandoned swimming pool.

    PubMed

    Forster, Karine M; Hartwig, Daiane D; Seixas, Fabiana K; McBride, Alan J A; Monte, Leonardo G; Recuero, Ana Lúcia C; Brod, Claudiomar S; Hartleben, Cláudia P; Amaral, Marta; Dellagostin, Odir A

    2013-01-01

    Pathogenic Leptospira spp. are the etiological agents of leptospirosis, an important disease of both humans and animals. In urban settings, L. interrogans serovars are the predominant cause of disease in humans. The purpose of this study was to characterize a novel Leptospira isolate recovered from an abandoned swimming pool. Molecular characterization through sequencing of the rpoB gene revealed 100% identity with L. interrogans and variable-number tandem-repeat (VNTR) analysis resulted in a banding pattern identical to L. interrogans serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae, serovar Copenhageni or Icterohaemorrhagiae. The virulence of the strain was determined in a hamster model of lethal leptospirosis. The lethal dose 50% (LD50) was calculated to be two leptospires in female hamsters and a histopathological examination of infected animals found typical lesions associated with severe leptospirosis, including renal epithelium degeneration, hepatic karyomegaly, liver-plate disarray and lymphocyte infiltration. This highly virulent strain is now available for use in further studies, especially evaluation of vaccine candidates.

  9. Virulence and molecular diversity of the Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici population in Xinjiang in relation to other regions of western China

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In recent years, wheat stripe rust caused severe yield losses in western China, especially the Xinjiang Autonomous Region. The population of the stripe rust fungus, Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst), in the vast region had not been well studied. To determine the population structure and comp...

  10. Application of potential constants: Empirical determination of molecular energy components for diatomic molecules—II

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohwada, Ken

    The harmonic and anharmonic potential (force) constants which are usually available from a normal coordinate analysis for a diatomic molecule are applied to determine the molecular energy components such as the electronic kinetic energy, the total electrostatic potential energy, the electron—nuclear attraction energy, the electron—electron repulsion energy, the nuclear—nuclear repulsion energy, and the Hartree—Fock eigen-value sum. The method developed here is based on an inhomogeneous linear third-order differential equation derived from the quantum mechanical virial theorem, and a homogeneity hypothesis of the molecular energy with respect to the atomic number. To confirm the utility of the method, the calculated molecular energy components of diatomic molecules are compared with available Hartree—Fock data. It is concluded from this data that the present method is simple and useful for evaluating the molecular energy components of various diatomic molecules.

  11. Determination of glyphosate in foodstuff by one novel chemiluminescence-molecular imprinting sensor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Peini; Yan, Mei; Zhang, Congcong; Peng, Ruixue; Ma, Dongsheng; Yu, Jinghua

    2011-05-01

    A novel chemiluminescence (CL) sensor for the determination of glyphosate (GLY) was made up based on molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP). The molecularly imprinted microspheres (MIMs) with a small dimension which possess extremely high surface-to-volume ratio were synthesized using precipitation polymerization with GLY as template. And then the MIMs were modified on glass sheets, which were placed at the bottom of wells of microplate as the recognizer. Subsequently, a highly selective and high throughput chemiluminescence (CL)-molecular imprinting (MI) sensor for detection of GLY was achieved. Influencing factors were investigated and optimized in detail. The method can perform 96 independent measurements sequentially in 10 min and the limit of detection (LOD) for GLY was 0.046 μg mL -1. The relative standard deviation (RSD) for 11 parallel measurements of GLY was 4.68%. The results show that CL-MI sensor can become a useful analytical technology for quick molecular recognition.

  12. Structural and functional analysis of RopB: a major virulence regulator in S treptococcus pyogenes

    PubMed Central

    Makthal, Nishanth; Gavagan, Maire; Do, Hackwon; Olsen, Randall J.; Musser, James M.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is an exclusive human pathogen that causes significant disease burden. Global regulator RopB of GAS controls the expression of several major virulence factors including secreted protease SpeB during high cell density. However, the molecular mechanism for RopB‐dependent speB expression remains unclear. To understand the mechanism of transcription activation by RopB, we determined the crystal structure of the C‐terminal domain of RopB. RopB‐CTD has the TPR motif, a signature motif involved in protein–peptide interactions and shares significant structural homology with the quorum sensing RRNPP family regulators. Characterization of the high cell density‐specific cell‐free growth medium demonstrated the presence of a low molecular weight proteinaceous secreted factor that upregulates RopB‐dependent speB expression. Together, these results suggest that RopB and its cognate peptide signals constitute an intercellular signalling machinery that controls the virulence gene expression in concert with population density. Structure‐guided mutational analyses of RopB dimer interface demonstrated that single alanine substitutions at this critical interface significantly altered RopB‐dependent speB expression and attenuated GAS virulence. Results presented here suggested that a properly aligned RopB dimer interface is important for GAS pathogenesis and highlighted the dimerization interactions as a plausible therapeutic target for the development of novel antimicrobials. PMID:26714274

  13. The Colletotrichum acutatum gene encoding a putative pH-responsive transcription regulator is a key virulence determinant during fungal pathogenesis on citrus.

    PubMed

    You, Bang-Jau; Choquer, Mathias; Chung, Kuang-Ren

    2007-09-01

    Postbloom fruit drop of citrus and Key lime anthracnose (KLA) are caused by different pathotypes of Colletotrichum acutatum. Both pathotypes are pathogenic to citrus flowers, resulting in blossom blight and induction of young fruit abscission. Two fungal mutants defective in pathogenicity were recovered from a KLA pathotype after Agrobacterium-mediated mutagenesis. A PacC(KLAP2) gene encoding a polypeptide that resembles many pH-responsive PacC/ Rim101 transcription regulators in fungi was identified from one of the mutants, and functionally characterized to play a crucial role in pathogenesis to both Key lime leaves and citrus flowers. Gene disruption at the Pac(KLAP2) locus created fungal mutants that were hypersensitive to alkaline pH, altered in conidium and appressorium production and germination, and concomitant with reduced virulence to both tissues. The pacC(KLAP2) null mutants had lower alkaline phosphatase and protease activities, but increased pectolytic and lipolytic activities. The mutants initiated penetration and incited lesion formation on Key lime, indistinguishable from the wild type, when a functional copy of PacC(KLAP2) was reintroduced or the leaves were wounded prior to inoculation. The null mutants were blocked at the penetration stage and, thus, failed to initiate the necrotrophic phase. The PacC(KLAP2) transcript was barely detectable when the fungus was grown on medium buffered to pH 3 or 4, yet accumulated to high levels at a pH between 5 and 7. The Pac(KLAP2) transcript was detected 2 days postinoculation on Key lime leaves, correlating with the time of lesion formation. We conclude that PacC(KLAP2) is essential for C. acutatum pathogenesis by regulating multiple physiological and developmental processes. PMID:17849717

  14. Fitness, Stress Resistance, and Extraintestinal Virulence in Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Bleibtreu, Alexandre; Gros, Pierre-Alexis; Laouénan, Cédric; Clermont, Olivier; Le Nagard, Hervé; Picard, Bertrand; Tenaillon, Olivier

    2013-01-01

    The extraintestinal virulence of Escherichia coli is dependent on numerous virulence genes. However, there is growing evidence for a role of the metabolic properties and stress responses of strains in pathogenesis. We assessed the respective roles of these factors in strain virulence by developing phenotypic assays for measuring in vitro individual and competitive fitness and the general stress response, which we applied to 82 commensal and extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli strains previously tested in a mouse model of sepsis. Individual fitness properties, in terms of maximum growth rates in various media (Luria-Bertani broth with and without iron chelator, minimal medium supplemented with gluconate, and human urine) and competitive fitness properties, estimated as the mean relative growth rate per generation in mixed cultures with a reference fluorescent E. coli strain, were highly diverse between strains. The activity of the main general stress response regulator, RpoS, as determined by iodine staining of the colonies, H2O2 resistance, and rpoS sequencing, was also highly variable. No correlation between strain fitness and stress resistance and virulence in the mouse model was found, except that the maximum growth rate in urine was higher for virulent strains. Multivariate analysis showed that the number of virulence factors was the only independent factor explaining the virulence in mice. At the species level, growth capacity and stress resistance are heterogeneous properties that do not contribute significantly to the intrinsic virulence of the strains. PMID:23690401

  15. VIRULENCE CHARACTERISTICS OF HETEROTROPHIC BACTERIA COMMONLY ISOLATED FROM POTABLE WATER

    EPA Science Inventory

    Heterotrophic bacteria isolated from drinking water distribution systems were examined to determine if they possessed putative virulence factors such as hemolysins, proteases, or cytotoxins. Representative samples of colonies from several different distribution systems indicated ...

  16. Agrobacterium virulence gene induction.

    PubMed

    Gelvin, Stanton B

    2006-01-01

    The ability of Agrobacterium to transform plants and other organisms is under highly regulated genetic control. Two Virulence (Vir) proteins, VirA and VirG, function as a two-component regulatory system to sense particular phenolic compounds synthesized by wounded plant tissues. Induction by these phenolic compounds, in the presence of certain neutral or acid sugars, results in activation of other vir genes, leading to the processing of T-DNA from the Ti-plasmid and transfer of T-DNA to recipient host cells. Many plant, and most nonplant, species do not provide sufficient quantities of the correct phenolic compounds to permit efficient Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation to occur. In order to transform these species, phenolic inducing compounds must be added to agrobacteria before and/or during cocultivation of recipient cells with the bacteria. This chapter discusses conditions for efficient induction of Agrobacterium virulence genes by phenolic compounds. PMID:16988335

  17. Mycobacterium tuberculosis virulence: insights and impact on vaccine development.

    PubMed

    Delogu, Giovanni; Provvedi, Roberta; Sali, Michela; Manganelli, Riccardo

    2015-01-01

    The existing TB vaccine, the attenuated Mycobacterium bovis strain BCG, is effective in protecting infants from severe forms of the disease, while its efficacy in protecting adults from pulmonary TB is poor. In the last two decades, a renewed interest in TB resulted in the development of several candidate vaccines that are now entering clinical trials. However, most of these vaccines are based on a common rationale and aim to induce a strong T-cell response against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Recent advancements in the understanding of M. tuberculosis virulence determinants and associated pathogenic strategies are opening a new and broader view of the complex interaction between this remarkable pathogen and the human host, providing insights at molecular level that could lead to a new rationale for the design of novel antitubercular vaccines. A vaccination strategy that simultaneously targets different steps in TB pathogenesis may result in improved protection and reduced TB transmission.

  18. Determination of the Subunit Molecular Mass and Composition of Alcohol Dehydrogenase by SDS-PAGE

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nash, Barbara T.

    2007-01-01

    SDS-PAGE is a simple, rapid technique that has many uses in biochemistry and is readily adaptable to the undergraduate laboratory. It is, however, a technique prone to several types of procedural pitfalls. This article describes the use of SDS-PAGE to determine the subunit molecular mass and composition of yeast alcohol dehydrogenase employing…

  19. Mating types in Paramecium and a molecular approach to their determination.

    PubMed

    Sawka, Natalia

    2012-01-01

    Mating types are expressed in ciliates for the duration of the mature period of their clonal cycle. During cell conjugation the reciprocal fertilization of complementary mating types takes place. Models of mating type determination in the Paramecium aurelia species complex based on classical genetics are reviewed including molecular aspects of the studies. PMID:22428300

  20. Microfluidics Meets Dilute Solution Viscometry: An Undergraduate Laboratory to Determine Polymer Molecular Weight Using a Microviscometer

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pety, Stephen J.; Lu, Hang; Thio, Yonathan S.

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes a student laboratory experiment to determine the molecular weight of a polymer sample by measuring the viscosity of dilute polymer solutions in a PDMS microfluidic viscometer. Sample data are given for aqueous solutions of poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO). A demonstration of shear thinning behavior using the microviscometer is…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-28

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Dengue Virus NS Proteins Inhibit RIG-I/MAVS Signaling by Blocking TBK1/IRF3 Phosphorylation: Dengue Virus Serotype 1 NS4A Is a Unique Interferon-Regulating Virulence Determinant

    PubMed Central

    Dalrymple, Nadine A.; Cimica, Velasco

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Dengue virus (DENV) replication is inhibited by the prior addition of type I interferon or by RIG-I agonists that elicit RIG-I/MAVS/TBK1/IRF3-dependent protective responses. DENV infection of primary human endothelial cells (ECs) results in a rapid increase in viral titer, which suggests that DENV inhibits replication-restrictive RIG-I/interferon beta (IFN-β) induction pathways within ECs. Our findings demonstrate that DENV serotype 4 (DENV4) nonstructural (NS) proteins NS2A and NS4B inhibited RIG-I-, MDA5-, MAVS-, and TBK1/IKKε-directed IFN-β transcription (>80%) but failed to inhibit IFN-β induction directed by STING or constitutively active IRF3-5D. Expression of NS2A and NS4B dose dependently inhibited the phosphorylation of TBK1 and IRF3, which suggests that they function at the level of TBK1 complex activation. NS2A and NS4B from DENV1/2/4, as well as the West Nile virus NS4B protein, commonly inhibited TBK1 phosphorylation and IFN-β induction. A comparative analysis of NS4A proteins across DENVs demonstrated that DENV1, but not DENV2 or DENV4, NS4A proteins uniquely inhibited TBK1. These findings indicate that DENVs contain conserved (NS2A/NS4B) and DENV1-specific (NS4A) mechanisms for inhibiting RIG-I/TBK1-directed IFN responses. Collectively, our results define DENV NS proteins that restrict IRF3 and IFN responses and thereby facilitate DENV replication and virulence. Unique DENV1-specific NS4A regulation of IFN induction has the potential to be a virulence determinant that contributes to the increased severity of DENV1 infections and the immunodominance of DENV1 responses during tetravalent DENV1-4 vaccination. PMID:25968648

  4. Identification of a nucleotide in 5' untranslated region contributing to virus replication and virulence of Coxsackievirus A16.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhaolong; Liu, Xin; Wang, Shaohua; Li, Jingliang; Hou, Min; Liu, Guanchen; Zhang, Wenyan; Yu, Xiao-Fang

    2016-01-01

    Coxsackievirus A16 (CA16) and enterovirus 71 (EV71) are two main causative pathogens of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD). Unlike EV71, virulence determinants of CA16, particularly within 5' untranslated region (5'UTR), have not been investigated until now. Here, a series of nucleotides present in 5'UTR of lethal but not in non-lethal CA16 strains were screened by aligning nucleotide sequences of lethal circulating Changchun CA16 and the prototype G10 as well as non-lethal SHZH05 strains. A representative infectious clone based on a lethal Changchun024 sequence and infectious mutants with various nucleotide alterations in 5'UTR were constructed and further investigated by assessing virus replication in vitro and virulence in neonatal mice. Compared to the lethal infectious clone, the M2 mutant with a change from cytosine to uracil at nucleotide 104 showed weaker virulence and lower replication capacity. The predicted secondary structure of the 5'UTR of CA16 RNA showed that M2 mutant located between the cloverleaf and stem-loop II, affected interactions between the 5'UTR and the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K (hnRNP K) and A1 (hnRNP A1) that are important for translational activity. Thus, our research determined a virulence-associated site in the 5'UTR of CA16, providing a crucial molecular target for antiviral drug development.

  5. Identification of a nucleotide in 5′ untranslated region contributing to virus replication and virulence of Coxsackievirus A16

    PubMed Central

    Li, Zhaolong; Liu, Xin; Wang, Shaohua; Li, Jingliang; Hou, Min; Liu, Guanchen; Zhang, Wenyan; Yu, Xiao-Fang

    2016-01-01

    Coxsackievirus A16 (CA16) and enterovirus 71 (EV71) are two main causative pathogens of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD). Unlike EV71, virulence determinants of CA16, particularly within 5′ untranslated region (5′UTR), have not been investigated until now. Here, a series of nucleotides present in 5′UTR of lethal but not in non-lethal CA16 strains were screened by aligning nucleotide sequences of lethal circulating Changchun CA16 and the prototype G10 as well as non-lethal SHZH05 strains. A representative infectious clone based on a lethal Changchun024 sequence and infectious mutants with various nucleotide alterations in 5′UTR were constructed and further investigated by assessing virus replication in vitro and virulence in neonatal mice. Compared to the lethal infectious clone, the M2 mutant with a change from cytosine to uracil at nucleotide 104 showed weaker virulence and lower replication capacity. The predicted secondary structure of the 5′UTR of CA16 RNA showed that M2 mutant located between the cloverleaf and stem-loop II, affected interactions between the 5′UTR and the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K (hnRNP K) and A1 (hnRNP A1) that are important for translational activity. Thus, our research determined a virulence-associated site in the 5′UTR of CA16, providing a crucial molecular target for antiviral drug development. PMID:26861413

  6. Orientation of molecular groups of fibers in nonoriented samples determined by polarized ATR-FTIR spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Belbachir, Karima; Lecomte, Sophie; Ta, Ha-Phuong; Petibois, Cyril; Desbat, Bernard

    2011-12-01

    A method based on polarized attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy is proposed for determining the infrared dichroic absorption ratio of a single fiber from a sample deposited flat on a germanium crystal without the requirement of fiber orientation. The method shows its efficiency on cellulose fibers of paper and has been applied to protein fibers (type I collagen and β-amyloid) and polysaccharide fibers (cellulose and starch). The method gives access to the dichroic ratio of strong absorptions bands, which is not easily accessible with conventional absorption techniques. Then, the orientation of the molecular groups of organic fibers can be easily determined by polarized ATR-FTIR spectroscopy. By extension, this method will be useful to determine the molecular orientation of fibers in structured complex samples, such as biological tissues and plants. Spatially resolved information on the organization of the fiber network will be easily extracted by utilizing a focal plane array detector for imaging measurements.

  7. ALMOST: an all atom molecular simulation toolkit for protein structure determination.

    PubMed

    Fu, Biao; Sahakyan, Aleksandr B; Camilloni, Carlo; Tartaglia, Gian Gaetano; Paci, Emanuele; Caflisch, Amedeo; Vendruscolo, Michele; Cavalli, Andrea

    2014-05-30

    Almost (all atom molecular simulation toolkit) is an open source computational package for structure determination and analysis of complex molecular systems including proteins, and nucleic acids. Almost has been designed with two primary goals: to provide tools for molecular structure determination using various types of experimental measurements as conformational restraints, and to provide methods for the analysis and assessment of structural and dynamical properties of complex molecular systems. The methods incorporated in Almost include the determination of structural and dynamical features of proteins using distance restraints derived from nuclear Overhauser effect measurements, orientational restraints obtained from residual dipolar couplings and the structural restraints from chemical shifts. Here, we present the first public release of Almost, highlight the key aspects of its computational design and discuss the main features currently implemented. Almost is available for the most common Unix-based operating systems, including Linux and Mac OS X. Almost is distributed free of charge under the GNU Public License, and is available both as a source code and as a binary executable from the project web site at http://www.open-almost.org. Interested users can follow and contribute to the further development of Almost on http://sourceforge.net/projects/almost.

  8. A molecular-gap device for specific determination of mercury ions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Zheng; Liu, Zhong-Gang; Yao, Xian-Zhi; Zhang, Kai-Sheng; Chen, Xing; Liu, Jin-Huai; Huang, Xing-Jiu

    2013-11-01

    Specific determination/monitoring of trace mercury ions (Hg2+) in environmental water is of significant importance for drinking safety. Complementarily to conventional inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and atomic emission/absorption spectroscopy, several methods, i.e., electrochemical, fluorescent, colorimetric, and surface enhanced Raman scattering approaches, have been developed recently. Despite great success, many inevitably encounter the interferences from other metal ions besides the complicated procedures and sophisticated equipments. Here we present a molecular-gap device for specific determination of trace Hg2+ in both standardized solutions and environmental samples based on conductivity-modulated glutathione dimer. Through a self-assembling technique, a thin film of glutathione monolayer capped Au nanoparticles is introduced into 2.5 μm-gap-electrodes, forming numerous double molecular layer gaps. Notably, the fabricated molecular-gap device shows a specific response toward Hg2+ with a low detection limit actually measured down to 1 nM. Theoretical calculations demonstrate that the specific sensing mechanism greatly depends on the electron transport ability of glutathione dimer bridged by heavy metal ions, which is determined by its frontier molecular orbital, not the binding energy.

  9. A molecular-gap device for specific determination of mercury ions

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Zheng; Liu, Zhong-Gang; Yao, Xian-Zhi; Zhang, Kai-Sheng; Chen, Xing; Liu, Jin-Huai; Huang, Xing-Jiu

    2013-01-01

    Specific determination/monitoring of trace mercury ions (Hg2+) in environmental water is of significant importance for drinking safety. Complementarily to conventional inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and atomic emission/absorption spectroscopy, several methods, i.e., electrochemical, fluorescent, colorimetric, and surface enhanced Raman scattering approaches, have been developed recently. Despite great success, many inevitably encounter the interferences from other metal ions besides the complicated procedures and sophisticated equipments. Here we present a molecular-gap device for specific determination of trace Hg2+ in both standardized solutions and environmental samples based on conductivity-modulated glutathione dimer. Through a self-assembling technique, a thin film of glutathione monolayer capped Au nanoparticles is introduced into 2.5 μm-gap-electrodes, forming numerous double molecular layer gaps. Notably, the fabricated molecular-gap device shows a specific response toward Hg2+ with a low detection limit actually measured down to 1 nM. Theoretical calculations demonstrate that the specific sensing mechanism greatly depends on the electron transport ability of glutathione dimer bridged by heavy metal ions, which is determined by its frontier molecular orbital, not the binding energy. PMID:24178058

  10. ALMOST: an all atom molecular simulation toolkit for protein structure determination.

    PubMed

    Fu, Biao; Sahakyan, Aleksandr B; Camilloni, Carlo; Tartaglia, Gian Gaetano; Paci, Emanuele; Caflisch, Amedeo; Vendruscolo, Michele; Cavalli, Andrea

    2014-05-30

    Almost (all atom molecular simulation toolkit) is an open source computational package for structure determination and analysis of complex molecular systems including proteins, and nucleic acids. Almost has been designed with two primary goals: to provide tools for molecular structure determination using various types of experimental measurements as conformational restraints, and to provide methods for the analysis and assessment of structural and dynamical properties of complex molecular systems. The methods incorporated in Almost include the determination of structural and dynamical features of proteins using distance restraints derived from nuclear Overhauser effect measurements, orientational restraints obtained from residual dipolar couplings and the structural restraints from chemical shifts. Here, we present the first public release of Almost, highlight the key aspects of its computational design and discuss the main features currently implemented. Almost is available for the most common Unix-based operating systems, including Linux and Mac OS X. Almost is distributed free of charge under the GNU Public License, and is available both as a source code and as a binary executable from the project web site at http://www.open-almost.org. Interested users can follow and contribute to the further development of Almost on http://sourceforge.net/projects/almost. PMID:24676684

  11. Molecular/genetic determinants of repolarization and their modification by environmental stress.

    PubMed

    Rosen, M R; Cohen, I S

    2006-01-01

    Although a variety of factors, inherited or environmental, can influence expression of ion channel proteins to impact on repolarization, that environment can affect genetic determinants of repolarization for intervals of varying duration is a concept that is not as generally appreciated as it should be. In the following pages we review the molecular/genetic determinants of cardiac repolarization and summarize how pathologic events and environmental intrusions can affect these determinants. Understanding the chains of events involved should yield insights into both the causes and potential avenues of treatment for abnormalities of repolarization.

  12. Fluorophore-assisted carbohydrate electrophoresis for the determination of molecular mass of heparins and low-molecular-weight (LMW) heparins.

    PubMed

    Buzzega, Dania; Maccari, Francesca; Volpi, Nicola

    2008-11-01

    We report the use of fluorophore-assisted carbohydrate electrophoresis (FACE) to determine the molecular mass (M) values of heparins (Heps) and low-molecular-weight (LMW)-Hep derivatives. Hep are labeled with 8-aminonaphthalene-1,3,6-trisulfonic acid and FACE is able to resolve each fraction as a discrete band depending on their M. After densitometric acquisition, the migration distance of each Hep standard is acquired and the third-grade polynomial calibration standard curve is determined by plotting the logarithms of the M values as a function of migration ratio. Purified Hep samples having different properties, pharmaceutical Heps and various LMW-Heps were analyzed by both FACE and conventional high-performance size-exclusion liquid chromatography (HPSEC) methods. The molecular weight value on the top of the chromatographic peak (Mp), the number-average Mn, weight-average Mw and polydispersity (Mw/Mn) were examined by both techniques and found to be similar. This approach offers certain advantages over the HPSEC method. The derivatization process with 8-aminonaphthalene-1,3,6-trisulfonic acid is complete after 4 h so that many samples may be analyzed in a day also considering that multiple samples can be run simultaneously and in parallel and that a single FACE analysis requires approx. 15 min. Furthermore, FACE is a very sensitive method as it requires approx. 5-10 microg of Heps, about 10-100-fold lower than samples and standards used in HPSEC evaluation. Finally, the utilization of mini-gels allows the use of very low amounts of reagents with neither expensive equipment nor any complicated procedures having to be applied. This study demonstrates that FACE analysis is a sensitive method for the determination of the M values of Heps and LMW-Heps with possible utilization in virtually any kind of research and development such as quality control laboratories due to its rapid, parallel analysis of multiple samples by means of common and simple largely used

  13. Molecular Simulation of the Free Energy for the Accurate Determination of Phase Transition Properties of Molecular Solids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sellers, Michael; Lisal, Martin; Brennan, John

    2015-06-01

    Investigating the ability of a molecular model to accurately represent a real material is crucial to model development and use. When the model simulates materials in extreme conditions, one such property worth evaluating is the phase transition point. However, phase transitions are often overlooked or approximated because of difficulty or inaccuracy when simulating them. Techniques such as super-heating or super-squeezing a material to induce a phase change suffer from inherent timescale limitations leading to ``over-driving,'' and dual-phase simulations require many long-time runs to seek out what frequently results in an inexact location of phase-coexistence. We present a compilation of methods for the determination of solid-solid and solid-liquid phase transition points through the accurate calculation of the chemical potential. The methods are applied to the Smith-Bharadwaj atomistic potential's representation of cyclotrimethylene trinitramine (RDX) to accurately determine its melting point (Tm) and the alpha to gamma solid phase transition pressure. We also determine Tm for a coarse-grain model of RDX, and compare its value to experiment and atomistic counterpart. All methods are employed via the LAMMPS simulator, resulting in 60-70 simulations that total 30-50 ns. Approved for public release. Distribution is unlimited.

  14. A molecular ruler determines the repeat length in eukaryotic cilia and flagella.

    PubMed

    Oda, Toshiyuki; Yanagisawa, Haruaki; Kamiya, Ritsu; Kikkawa, Masahide

    2014-11-14

    Existence of cellular structures with specific size raises a fundamental question in biology: How do cells measure length? One conceptual answer to this question is by a molecular ruler, but examples of such rulers in eukaryotes are lacking. In this work, we identified a molecular ruler in eukaryotic cilia and flagella. Using cryo-electron tomography, we found that FAP59 and FAP172 form a 96-nanometer (nm)-long complex in Chlamydomonas flagella and that the absence of the complex disrupted 96-nm repeats of axonemes. Furthermore, lengthening of the FAP59/172 complex by domain duplication resulted in extension of the repeats up to 128 nm, as well as duplication of specific axonemal components. Thus, the FAP59/172 complex is the molecular ruler that determines the 96-nm repeat length and arrangements of components in cilia and flagella.

  15. Incidence and Virulence Determinants of Verocytotoxin-Producing Escherichia coli Infections in the Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium, in 2008–2010

    PubMed Central

    De Gheldre, Yves; Dediste, Anne; de Moreau, Anne-Isabelle; Mascart, Georges; Simon, Anne; Allemeersch, Daniël; Scheutz, Flemming; Lauwers, Sabine; Piérard, Denis

    2012-01-01

    The incidence of verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) was investigated by PCR in all human stools from Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel (UZB) and in selected stools from six other hospital laboratories in the Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium, collected between April 2008 and October 2010. The stools selected to be included in this study were those from patients with hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), patients with a history of bloody diarrhea, patients linked to clusters of diarrhea, children up to the age of 6 years, and stools containing macroscopic blood. Verocytotoxin genes (vtx) were detected significantly more frequently in stools from patients with the selected conditions (2.04%) than in unselected stools from UZB (1.20%) (P = 0.001). VTEC was detected most frequently in patients with HUS (35.3%), a history of bloody diarrhea (5.15%), or stools containing macroscopic blood (1.85%). Stools from patients up to the age of 17 years were significantly more frequently vtx positive than those from adult patients between the ages of 18 and 65 years (P = 0.022). Although stools from patients older than 65 years were also more frequently positive for vtx than those from patients between 18 and 65 years, this trend was not significant. VTEC was isolated from 140 (67.9%) vtx-positive stools. One sample yielded two different serotypes; thus, 141 isolates could be characterized. Sixty different O:H serotypes harboring 85 different virulence profiles were identified. Serotypes O157:H7/H− (n = 34), O26:H11/H− (n = 21), O63:H6 (n = 8), O111:H8/H− (n = 7), and O146:H21/H− (n = 6) accounted for 53.9% of isolates. All O157 isolates carried vtx2, eae, and a complete O island 122 (COI-122); 15 also carried vtx1. Non-O157 isolates (n = 107), however, accounted for the bulk (75.9%) of isolates. Fifty-nine (55.1%) isolates were positive for vtx1, 36 (33.6%) were positive for vtx2, and 12 (11.2%) carried both vtx1 and vtx2. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis revealed

  16. ATOMIC AND MOLECULAR PHYSICS: Triatomic wake effect and the determination of the molecular structure of HD2+ from the Coulomb explosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Zhou-Sen; Miao, Jing-Wei; Liao, Xue-Hua; Miao, Lei; Yuan, Xue-Dong; Shi, Mian-Gong

    2009-11-01

    A new theoretical model of the triatomic molecular wake effect is proposed and applied to molecular ions D3+ and HD2+ while passing through a solid. The wake effects resulting from the reactions of the two similar ions with thin carbon foil are also investigated by using the Coulomb explosion technique. The experimental results are in good agreement with theoretical estimates and the molecular structure of HD2+ is determined by using the model.

  17. From the H II Region to the Molecular Cloud: Determining Physical Conditions in Star Forming Regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abel, N. P.

    2004-12-01

    Infrared missions such as Spitzer offer new insights into the chemical evolution and star formation history of the universe. Although objects such as starburst galaxies, which are among the most luminous objects in the universe, are the primary focus, OMC-1, a lower luminosity region with superb spatial resolution, serves as a benchmark to test the physics of newly formed O stars interacting with the surrounding molecular environment. The classical approach in determining conditions in the ionized, photodissociated, and molecular regions is to treat each problem separately. In actuality, however, this is a single continuous phenomenon, linked through the transport of gas and radiation. Here we self-consistently calculate the physical conditions and emission from the hot HII region to the cold, molecular gas as a continuous hydrostatic layer. The ion states of the first 30 elements, along with the abundances of 70 molecules, are determined with the temperature and electron density. The grain physics is treated self-consistently, with grain charge transfer, single photon heating, and PAH effects all included. Additionally, level populations of all the rotational/vibrational levels of the ground electronic state of molecular hydrogen are determined (see the dissertation talk of Gargi Shaw). As a benchmark, we consider the physical conditions through OMC-1 1' west of the Trapezium, where emission-line observations of the HII region and the PDR/molecular cloud all exist. Accurately interpreting this spectrum will give us confidence that we can apply our calculations to more luminous and distant starburst galaxies. We predict the sometimes significant contribution of the HII region to important PDR emission-line diagnostics. This has consequences for the interpretation of IR observations, the deduced values of n(H) and G0 in PDRs, and hence the overall conditions in star forming regions. All calculations were developed with the spectral synthesis code Cloudy, which is

  18. Electrochemical Molecular Imprinted Sensors Based on Electrospun Nanofiber and Determination of Ascorbic Acid.

    PubMed

    Zhai, Yunyun; Wang, Dandan; Liu, Haiqing; Zeng, Yanbo; Yin, Zhengzhi; Li, Lei

    2015-01-01

    In this study, electrochemical molecularly imprinted sensors were fabricated and used for the determination of ascorbic acid (AA). Nanofiber membranes of cellulose acetate (CA)/multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs)/polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) (CA/MWCNTs/PVP) were prepared by electrospinning technique. After being transferred to a glass carbon electrode (GC), the nanofiber interface was further polymerized with pyrrole through electrochemical cyclic voltammetry (CV) technique. Meanwhile, target molecules (such as AA) were embedded into the polypyrrole through the hydrogen bond. The effects of monomer concentration (pyrrole), the number of scan cycles and scan rates of polymerization were optimized. Differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) tests indicated that the oxidation current of AA (the selected target) were higher than that of the structural analogues, which illustrated the selective recognition of AA by molecularly imprinted sensors. Simultaneously, the molecularly imprinted sensors had larger oxidation current of AA than non-imprinted sensors in the processes of rebinding. The electrochemical measurements showed that the molecularly imprinted sensors demonstrated good identification behavior for the detection of AA with a linear range of 10.0 - 1000 μM, a low detection limit down to 3 μM (S/N = 3), and a recovery rate range from 94.0 to 108.8%. Therefore, the electrochemical molecularly imprinted sensors can be used for the recognition and detection of AA without any time-consuming elution. The method presented here demonstrates the great potential for electrospun nanofibers and MWCNTs to construct electrochemical sensors. PMID:26256603

  19. Electrochemical Molecular Imprinted Sensors Based on Electrospun Nanofiber and Determination of Ascorbic Acid.

    PubMed

    Zhai, Yunyun; Wang, Dandan; Liu, Haiqing; Zeng, Yanbo; Yin, Zhengzhi; Li, Lei

    2015-01-01

    In this study, electrochemical molecularly imprinted sensors were fabricated and used for the determination of ascorbic acid (AA). Nanofiber membranes of cellulose acetate (CA)/multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs)/polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) (CA/MWCNTs/PVP) were prepared by electrospinning technique. After being transferred to a glass carbon electrode (GC), the nanofiber interface was further polymerized with pyrrole through electrochemical cyclic voltammetry (CV) technique. Meanwhile, target molecules (such as AA) were embedded into the polypyrrole through the hydrogen bond. The effects of monomer concentration (pyrrole), the number of scan cycles and scan rates of polymerization were optimized. Differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) tests indicated that the oxidation current of AA (the selected target) were higher than that of the structural analogues, which illustrated the selective recognition of AA by molecularly imprinted sensors. Simultaneously, the molecularly imprinted sensors had larger oxidation current of AA than non-imprinted sensors in the processes of rebinding. The electrochemical measurements showed that the molecularly imprinted sensors demonstrated good identification behavior for the detection of AA with a linear range of 10.0 - 1000 μM, a low detection limit down to 3 μM (S/N = 3), and a recovery rate range from 94.0 to 108.8%. Therefore, the electrochemical molecularly imprinted sensors can be used for the recognition and detection of AA without any time-consuming elution. The method presented here demonstrates the great potential for electrospun nanofibers and MWCNTs to construct electrochemical sensors.

  20. Determining the Molecular Packing Arrangements on Protein Crystal Faces by Atomic Force Microscopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Li, Huayu; Perozzo, Mary A.; Konnert, John H.; Nadarajan, Arunan; Pusey, Marc L.

    1998-01-01

    Periodic Bond Chain (PBC) analysis of the packing of tetragonal lysozyme crystals have revealed that there are two possible molecular packing arrangements for the crystal faces. The analysis also predicted that only one of these, involving the formation of helices about the 4(sub 3) axes, would prevail during crystal growth. In this study high resolution atomic force microscopy (AFM) was employed to verify these predictions for the (110) crystal face. A computer program was developed which constructs the expected AFM image for a given tip shape for each possible molecular packing arrangement. By comparing the actual AFM image with the predicted images the correct packing arrangement was determined. The prediction of an arrangement involving 4(sub 3) helices was confirmed in this manner,"while the alternate arrangement was not observed. The investigation also showed the protein molecules were packed slightly closer about the 4(sub 3) axes than in the crystallographic arrangement of the crystal interior. This study demonstrates a new approach for determining the molecular packing arrangements on protein crystal faces. It also shows the power of combining a theoretical PBC analysis with experimental high resolution AFM techniques in probing protein crystal growth processes at the molecular level.

  1. Microevolution and virulence of dengue viruses.

    PubMed

    Rico-Hesse, Rebeca

    2003-01-01

    The evolution of dengue viruses has had a major impact on their virulence for humans and on the epidemiology of dengue disease around the world. Although antigenic and genetic differences in virus strains had become evident, it is mainly due to the lack of animal models of disease that has made it difficult to detect differences in virulence of dengue viruses. However, phylogenetic studies of many different dengue virus samples have led to the association between specific genotypes (within serotypes) and the presentation of more or less severe disease. Currently, dengue viruses can be classified as being of epidemiologically low, medium, or high impact; i.e., some viruses may remain in sylvatic cycles of little or low transmissibility to humans, others produce dengue fever (DF) only, and some genotypes have been associated with the potential to cause the more severe dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS) in addition to DF. Although the factors that contribute to dengue virus epidemiology are complex, studies have suggested that specific viral structures may contribute to increased replication in human target cells and to increased transmission by the mosquito vector; however, the immune status and possibly the genetic background of the host are also determinants of virulence or disease presentation. As to the question of whether dengue viruses are evolving toward virulence as they continue to spread throughout the world, phylogenetic and epidemiological analyses suggest that the more virulent genotypes are now displacing those that have lower epidemiological impact; there is no evidence for the transmission of antigenically aberrant, new strains.

  2. Virulence of enterococci.

    PubMed Central

    Jett, B D; Huycke, M M; Gilmore, M S

    1994-01-01

    Enterococci are commensal organisms well suited to survival in intestinal and vaginal tracts and the oral cavity. However, as for most bacteria described as causing human disease, enterococci also possess properties that can be ascribed roles in pathogenesis. The natural ability of enterococci to readily acquire, accumulate, and share extrachromosomal elements encoding virulence traits or antibiotic resistance genes lends advantages to their survival under unusual environmental stresses and in part explains their increasing importance as nosocomial pathogens. This review discusses the current understanding of enterococcal virulence relating to (i) adherence to host tissues, (ii) invasion and abscess formation, (iii) factors potentially relevant to modulation of host inflammatory responses, and (iv) potentially toxic secreted products. Aggregation substance, surface carbohydrates, or fibronectin-binding moieties may facilitate adherence to host tissues. Enterococcus faecalis appears to have the capacity to translocate across intact intestinal mucosa in models of antibiotic-induced superinfection. Extracellular toxins such as cytolysin can induce tissue damage as shown in an endophthalmitis model, increase mortality in combination with aggregation substance in an endocarditis model, and cause systemic toxicity in a murine peritonitis model. Finally, lipoteichoic acid, superoxide production, or pheromones and corresponding peptide inhibitors each may modulate local inflammatory reactions. Images PMID:7834601

  3. Gradual molecular evolution of a sex determination switch through incomplete penetrance of femaleness.

    PubMed

    Beye, Martin; Seelmann, Christine; Gempe, Tanja; Hasselmann, Martin; Vekemans, Xavier; Fondrk, M Kim; Page, Robert E

    2013-12-16

    Some genes regulate phenotypes that are either present or absent. They are often important regulators of developmental switches and are involved in morphological evolution. We have little understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which these absence/presence gene functions have evolved, because the phenotype and fitness of molecular intermediate forms are unknown. Here, we studied the sex-determining switch of 14 natural sequence variants of the csd gene among 76 genotypes of the honeybee (Apis mellifera). Heterozygous genotypes (different specificities) of the csd gene determine femaleness, while hemizygous genotypes (single specificity) determine maleness. Homozygous genotypes of the csd gene (same specificity) are lethal. We found that at least five amino acid differences and length variation between Csd specificities in the specifying domain (PSD) were sufficient to regularly induce femaleness. We estimated that, on average, six pairwise amino acid differences evolved under positive selection. We also identified a natural evolutionary intermediate that showed only three amino acid length differences in the PSD relative to its parental allele. This genotype showed an intermediate fitness because it implemented lethality regularly and induced femaleness infrequently (i.e., incomplete penetrance). We suggest incomplete penetrance as a mechanism through which new molecular switches can gradually and adaptively evolve.

  4. Interactions between Ether Phospholipids and Cholesterol as Determined by Scattering and Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Pan, Jianjun; Cheng, Xiaolin; Heberle, Frederick A; Mostofian, Barmak; Kucerka, Norbert; Drazba, Paul; Katsaras, John

    2012-01-01

    Cholesterol and ether lipids are ubiquitous in mammalian cell membranes, and their interactions are crucial in ether lipid mediated cholesterol trafficking. We report on cholesterol s molecular interactions with ether lipids as determined using a combination of small-angle neutron and Xray scattering, and all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. A scattering density profile model for an ether lipid bilayer was developed using MD simulations, which was then used to simultaneously fit the different experimental scattering data. From analysis of the data the various bilayer structural parameters were obtained. Surface area constrained MD simulations were also performed to reproduce the experimental data. This iterative analysis approach resulted in good agreement between the experimental and simulated form factors. The molecular interactions taking place between cholesterol and ether lipids were then determined from the validated MD simulations. We found that in ether membranes cholesterol primarily hydrogen bonds with the lipid headgroup phosphate oxygen, while in their ester membrane counterparts cholesterol hydrogen bonds with the backbone ester carbonyls. This different mode of interaction between ether lipids and cholesterol induces cholesterol to reside closer to the bilayer surface, dehydrating the headgroup s phosphate moiety. Moreover, the three-dimensional lipid chain spatial density distribution around cholesterol indicates anisotropic chain packing, causing cholesterol to tilt. These insights lend a better understanding of ether lipid-mediated cholesterol trafficking and the roles that the different lipid species have in determining the structural and dynamical properties of membrane associated biomolecules.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Poxviruses and the Evolution of Host Range and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Haller, Sherry L.; Peng, Chen; McFadden, Grant; Rothenburg, Stefan

    2013-01-01

    Poxviruses as a group can infect a large number of animals. However, at the level of individual viruses, even closely related poxviruses display highly diverse host ranges and virulence. For example, variola virus, the causative agent of smallpox, is human-specific and highly virulent only to humans, whereas related cowpox viruses naturally infect a broad spectrum of animals and only cause relatively mild disease in humans. The successful replication of poxviruses depends on their effective manipulation of the host antiviral responses, at the cellular-, tissue- and species-specific levels, which constitutes a molecular basis for differences in poxvirus host range and virulence. A number of poxvirus genes have been identified that possess host range function in experimental settings, and many of these host range genes target specific antiviral host pathways. Herein, we review the biology of poxviruses with a focus on host range, zoonotic infections, virulence, genomics and host range genes as well as the current knowledge about the function of poxvirus host range factors and how their interaction with the host innate immune system contributes to poxvirus host range and virulence. We further discuss the evolution of host range and virulence in poxviruses as well as host switches and potential poxvirus threats for human and animal health. PMID:24161410

  7. Identification of unique DNA sequences present in highly virulent 2009 Alabama isolates of Aeromonas hydrophila.

    PubMed

    Pridgeon, Julia W; Klesius, Phillip H; Mu, Xingjiang; Carter, Dominique; Fleming, Kristen; Xu, Dehai; Srivastava, Kunwar; Reddy, Gopal

    2011-08-26

    In 2009, a disease outbreak caused by Aeromonas hydrophila occurred in 48 catfish farms in West Alabama, causing an estimated loss of more than 3 million pounds of food size channel catfish. Virulence studies have revealed that the 2009 isolates of A. hydrophila are at least 200-fold more virulent than a 1998 Alabama isolate AL98-C1B. However, up to now, no molecular markers have been identified to differentiate the highly virulent 2009 isolates from other isolates of A. hydrophila. To understand the genetic differences between the highly virulent 2009 isolates and the less virulent AL98-C1B at molecular level, PCR-select bacterial genome subtractive hybridization was used in this study. A total of 96 clones were selected from the subtractive genomic DNA library. Sequencing results revealed that the 96 clones represented 64 unique A. hydrophila sequences. Of the 64 sequences, three (hypothetical protein XAUC_13870, structural toxin protein RtxA, and putative methyltransferase) were confirmed to be present in the three virulent 2009 Alabama isolates but absent in the less virulent AL98-C1B. Using genomic DNAs from nine field isolates of A. hydrophila with different virulence as templates, two sequences (hypothetical protein XAUC_13870 and putative methyltransferase) were found to be only present in highly virulent A. hydrophila isolates, but absent in avirulent isolates.

  8. Epidemiology and Virulence of Klebsiella pneumoniae.

    PubMed

    Clegg, Steven; Murphy, Caitlin N

    2016-02-01

    Strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae are frequently opportunistic pathogens implicated in urinary tract and catheter-associated urinary-tract infections of hospitalized patients and compromised individuals. Infections are particularly difficult to treat since most clinical isolates exhibit resistance to several antibiotics leading to treatment failure and the possibility of systemic dissemination. Infections of medical devices such as urinary catheters is a major site of K. pneumoniae infections and has been suggested to involve the formation of biofilms on these surfaces. Over the last decade there has been an increase in research activity designed to investigate the pathogenesis of K. pneumoniae in the urinary tract. These investigations have begun to define the bacterial factors that contribute to growth and biofilm formation. Several virulence factors have been demonstrated to mediate K. pneumoniae infectivity and include, but are most likely not limited to, adherence factors, capsule production, lipopolysaccharide presence, and siderophore activity. The development of both in vitro and in vivo models of infection will lead to further elucidation of the molecular pathogenesis of K. pneumoniae. As for most opportunistic infections, the role of host factors as well as bacterial traits are crucial in determining the outcome of infections. In addition, multidrug-resistant strains of these bacteria have become a serious problem in the treatment of Klebsiella infections and novel strategies to prevent and inhibit bacterial growth need to be developed. Overall, the frequency, significance, and morbidity associated with K. pneumoniae urinary tract infections have increased over many years. The emergence of these bacteria as sources of antibiotic resistance and pathogens of the urinary tract present a challenging problem for the clinician in terms of management and treatment of individuals.

  9. Potential Role of Phospholipases in Virulence and Fungal Pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Ghannoum, Mahmoud A.

    2000-01-01

    Microbial pathogens use a number of genetic strategies to invade the host and cause infection. These common themes are found throughout microbial systems. Secretion of enzymes, such as phospholipase, has been proposed as one of these themes that are used by bacteria, parasites, and pathogenic fungi. The role of extracellular phospholipase as a potential virulence factor in pathogenic fungi, including Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans, and Aspergillus, has gained credence recently. In this review, data implicating phospholipase as a virulence factor in C. albicans, Candida glabrata, C. neoformans, and A. fumigatus are presented. A detailed description of the molecular and biochemical approaches used to more definitively delineate the role of phospholipase in the virulence of C. albicans is also covered. These approaches resulted in cloning of three genes encoding candidal phospholipases (caPLP1, caPLB2, and PLD). By using targeted gene disruption, C. albicans null mutants that failed to secrete phospholipase B, encoded by caPLB1, were constructed. When these isogenic strain pairs were tested in two clinically relevant murine models of candidiasis, deletion of caPLB1 was shown to lead to attenuation of candidal virulence. Importantly, immunogold electron microscopy studies showed that C. albicans secretes this enzyme during the infectious process. These data indicate that phospholipase B is essential for candidal virulence. Although the mechanism(s) through which phospholipase modulates fungal virulence is still under investigations, early data suggest that direct host cell damage and lysis are the main mechanisms contributing to fungal virulence. Since the importance of phospholipases in fungal virulence is already known, the next challenge will be to utilize these lytic enzymes as therapeutic and diagnostic targets. PMID:10627494

  10. Investigating the ?Trojan Horse? Mechanism of Yersinia pestis Virulence

    SciTech Connect

    McCutchen-Maloney, S L; Fitch, J P

    2005-02-08

    Yersinia pestis, the etiological agent of plague, is a Gram-negative, highly communicable, enteric bacterium that has been responsible for three historic plague pandemics. Currently, several thousand cases of plague are reported worldwide annually, and Y. pestis remains a considerable threat from a biodefense perspective. Y. pestis infection can manifest in three forms: bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic plague. Of these three forms, pneumonic plague has the highest fatality rate ({approx}100% if left untreated), the shortest intervention time ({approx}24 hours), and is highly contagious. Currently, there are no rapid, widely available vaccines for plague and though plague may be treated with antibiotics, the emergence of both naturally occurring and potentially engineered antibiotic resistant strains makes the search for more effective therapies and vaccines for plague of pressing concern. The virulence mechanism of this deadly bacterium involves induction of a Type III secretion system, a syringe-like apparatus that facilitates the injection of virulence factors, termed Yersinia outer membrane proteins (Yops), into the host cell. These virulence factors inhibit phagocytosis and cytokine secretion, and trigger apoptosis of the host cell. Y. pestis virulence factors and the Type III secretion system are induced thermally, when the bacterium enters the mammalian host from the flea vector, and through host cell contact (or conditions of low Ca{sup 2+} in vitro). Apart from the temperature increase from 26 C to 37 C and host cell contact (or low Ca{sup 2+} conditions), other molecular mechanisms that influence virulence induction in Y. pestis are largely uncharacterized. This project focused on characterizing two novel mechanisms that regulate virulence factor induction in Y. pestis, immunoglobulin G (IgG) binding and quorum sensing, using a real-time reporter system to monitor induction of virulence. Incorporating a better understanding of the mechanisms of virulence

  11. First-Principles Determination of Molecular Conformations of Indolizidine (−)-235B′ in Solution

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Fang; Dwoskin, Linda P.; Crooks, Peter A.; Zhan, Chang-Guo

    2009-01-01

    Indolizidine (−)-235B′ is a particularly interesting natural product, as it is the currently known, most potent and subtype-selective open-channel blocker of the α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR). In the current study, extensive first-principles electronic structure calculations have been carried out in order to determine the stable molecular conformations and their relative free energies of the protonated and deprotonated states of (−)-235B′ in the gas phase, in chloroform, and in aqueous solution. The 1H and 13C NMR chemical shifts calculated using the computationally determined dominant molecular conformation of the deprotonated state are all consistent with available experimental NMR spectra of (−)-235B′ in chloroform, which suggests that the computationally determined molecular conformations are reasonable. Our computational results reveal for the first time that two geminal H atoms on carbon-3 (C3) of (−)-235B′ have remarkably different chemical shifts (i.e. 3.24 and 2.03 ppm). The computational results help one to better understand and analyze the experimental 1H NMR spectra of (−)-235B′. The finding of remarkably different chemical shifts of two C3 geminal H atoms in a certain molecular conformation of (−)-235B′ may also be valuable in analysis of NMR spectra of other related ring-containing compounds. In addition, the pKa of (−)-235B′ in aqueous solution is predicted to be ~9.7. All of the computational results provide a solid basis for future studies of the microscopic and phenomenological binding of various receptor proteins with the protonated and deprotonated structures of this unique open-channel blocker of α4β2 nAChRs. This computational study also demonstrates how one can appropriately use computational modeling and spectroscopic analysis to address the structural and spectroscopic problems that cannot be addressed by experiments alone. PMID:20161506

  12. Molecular species composition of plant cardiolipin determined by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yonghong; Peisker, Helga; Dörmann, Peter

    2016-07-01

    Cardiolipin (CL), an anionic phospholipid of the inner mitochondrial membrane, provides essential functions for stabilizing respiratory complexes and is involved in mitochondrial morphogenesis and programmed cell death in animals. The role of CL and its metabolism in plants are less well understood. The measurement of CL in plants, including its molecular species composition, is hampered by the fact that CL is of extremely low abundance, and that plants contain large amounts of interfering compounds including galactolipids, neutral lipids, and pigments. We used solid phase extraction by anion exchange chromatography to purify CL from crude plant lipid extracts. LC/MS was used to determine the content and molecular species composition of CL. Thus, up to 23 different molecular species of CL were detected in different plant species, including Arabidopsis, mung bean, spinach, barley, and tobacco. Similar to animals, plant CL is dominated by highly unsaturated species, mostly containing linoleic and linolenic acid. During phosphate deprivation or exposure to an extended dark period, the amount of CL decreased in Arabidopsis, accompanied with an increased degree in unsaturation. The mechanism of CL remodeling during stress, and the function of highly unsaturated CL molecular species, remains to be defined. PMID:27179363

  13. Determination of melamine in aquaculture feed samples based on molecularly imprinted solid-phase extraction.

    PubMed

    Lian, Ziru; Liang, Zhenlin; Wang, Jiangtao

    2015-10-01

    This research highlights the application of highly efficient molecularly imprinted solid-phase extraction for the preconcentration and analysis of melamine in aquaculture feed samples. Melamine-imprinted polymers were synthesized employing methacrylic acid and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate as functional monomer and cross-linker, respectively. The characteristics of obtained polymers were evaluated by scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and binding experiments. The imprinted polymers showed an excellent adsorption ability for melamine and were applied as special solid-phase extraction sorbents for the selective cleanup of melamine. An off-line molecularly imprinted solid-phase extraction procedure was developed for the separation and enrichment of melamine from aquaculture feed samples prior to high-performance liquid chromatography analysis. Optimum molecularly imprinted solid-phase extraction conditions led to recoveries of the target in spiked feed samples in the range 84.6-96.6% and the relative standard deviation less than 3.38% (n = 3). The aquaculture feed sample was determined, and there was no melamine found. The results showed that the molecularly imprinted solid-phase extraction protocols permitted the sensitive, uncomplicated and inexpensive separation and pre-treatment of melamine in aquaculture feed samples.

  14. Joint Transcriptional Control of Virulence and Resistance to Antibiotic and Environmental Stress in Acinetobacter baumannii

    PubMed Central

    Gallagher, Larry A.; Jacobson, Rachael K.; Usacheva, Elena A.; Peterson, Lance R.; Zurawski, Daniel V.; Shuman, Howard A.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The increasing emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens represents a serious risk to human health and the entire health care system. Many currently circulating strains of Acinetobacter baumannii exhibit resistance to multiple antibiotics. A key limitation in combating A. baumannii is that our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of A. baumannii is lacking. To identify potential virulence determinants of a contemporary multidrug-resistant isolate of A. baumannii, we used transposon insertion sequencing (TnSeq) of strain AB5075. A collection of 250,000 A. baumannii transposon mutants was analyzed for growth within Galleria mellonella larvae, an insect-based infection model. The screen identified 300 genes that were specifically required for survival and/or growth of A. baumannii inside G. mellonella larvae. These genes encompass both known, established virulence factors and several novel genes. Among these were more than 30 transcription factors required for growth in G. mellonella. A subset of the transcription factors was also found to be required for resistance to antibiotics and environmental stress. This work thus establishes a novel connection between virulence and resistance to both antibiotics and environmental stress in A. baumannii. PMID:26556274

  15. Bacteriological and virulence study of a Mycobacterium chimaera isolate from a patient in China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Guan; Chen, Su-Ting; Yu, Xia; Li, Yu-Xun; Ling, Ying; Dong, Ling-Ling; Zheng, Su-Hua; Huang, Hai-Rong

    2015-04-01

    A clinical isolate from a patient was identified as Mycobacterium chimaera, a recently identified species of nontuberculous Mycobacteria. The biochemical and molecular identity, drug sensitivity and virulence of this isolated strain were investigated. 16S rRNA, the 16S-23S ITS, hsp65 and rpoB were amplified, and their sequence similarities with other mycobacteria were analyzed. The minimum inhibitory concentrations of 22 anti-microbial agents against this isolate were established, and the virulence of the isolate was evaluated by intravenous injection into C57BL/6 mice using Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv as a control strain. Growth and morphological characteristics and mycolic acid profile analysis revealed that this isolated strain was a member of the Mycobacterium avium complex. BLAST analysis of the amplified sequences showed that the isolated strain was closely related to M. chimaera. Susceptibility testing showed that the isolate was sensitive to rifabutin, rifapentine, clarithromycin, azithromycin, imipenem and cefoxitin. Bacterial load determination and tissue histopathology of the infected mice indicated that the isolate was highly virulent. The first case of M. chimaera infection in China was evaluated. The information derived from this case may offer valuable guidance for clinical diagnosis and treatment.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  17. Fungal Skn7 Stress Responses and Their Relationship to Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Fassler, Jan S.; West, Ann H.

    2011-01-01

    The histidine kinase-based phosphorelay has emerged as a common strategy among bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and plants for triggering important stress responses and interpreting developmental cues in response to environmental as well as chemical, nutritional, and hormone signals. The absence of this type of signaling mechanism in animals makes the so-called “two-component” pathway an attractive target for development of antimicrobial agents. The best-studied eukaryotic example of a two-component pathway is the SLN1 pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which responds to turgor and other physical properties associated with the fungal cell wall. One of the two phosphoreceiver proteins known as response regulators in this pathway is Skn7, a highly conserved stress-responsive transcription factor with a subset of activities that are dependent on SLN1 pathway phosphorylation and another subset that are independent. Interest in Skn7as a determinant in fungal virulence stems primarily from its well-established role in the oxidative stress response; however, the involvement of Skn7 in maintenance of cell wall integrity may also be relevant. Since the cell wall is crucial for fungal survival, structural and biosynthetic proteins affecting wall composition and signaling pathways that respond to wall stress are likely to play key roles in virulence. Here we review the molecular and phenotypic characteristics of different fungal Skn7 proteins and consider how each of these properties may contribute to fungal virulence. PMID:21131436

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Biochemical and molecular characterization of the novobiocin and rifampicin resistant Aeromonas hydrophila vaccine strain AL09-71 N+R compared to its virulent parent strain AL90-71

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To understand the fitness cost of novobiocin- and rifampicin- resistance in an attenuated Aeromonas hydrophiila vaccine strain AL09-71 N+R compared to its virulent parent strain AL09-71, colony size, cell size, cell proliferation rate, chemotactic response, and the ability to invade catfish gill cel...

  1. Some observations on the pathogenicity of a molecular clone of a very virulent strain of Marek’s disease virus containing an insert of long terminal repeat of reticuloendotheliosis virus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We recently artificially inserted REV LTR into a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clone of a very virulent strain of Marek’s disease (MD) virus (MDV), Md5; the virus was designated rMd5-RM1-LTR (Kim et al., 2011). In the present study, susceptible chickens of ADOL line 15I5 X 71 with and witho...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

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

  3. Accurate determination of the nuclear quadrupole moment of xenon from the molecular method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canella, Guilherme A.; Santiago, Régis T.; Haiduke, Roberto L. A.

    2016-09-01

    This study provides a new determination of the nuclear electric quadrupole moment (NQM) for 131Xe, which is achieved by the molecular method. Dirac-Coulomb Coupled Cluster calculations with a Gaunt correction (DC+G-CC) of electric field gradients (EFGs) and experimental nuclear quadrupole coupling constants of six molecular systems (XeH+, XeCuF, XeCuCl, XeAgF, XeAgCl and XeAuF) were considered. The best NQM obtained by our DC+G-CCSD-T EFGs was -114.6(1.1) mbarn, which is recommended as the new reference value for this nuclide given the high level electron structure calculations done here.

  4. Molecular ruler determines needle length for the Salmonella Spi-1 injectisome.

    PubMed

    Wee, Daniel H; Hughes, Kelly T

    2015-03-31

    The type-III secretion (T3S) systems of bacteria are part of self-assembling nanomachines: the bacterial flagellum that enables cells to propel themselves through liquid and across hydrated surfaces, and the injectisome that delivers pathogenic effector proteins into eukaryotic host cells. Although the flagellum and injectisome serve different purposes, they are evolutionarily related and share many structural similarities. Core features to these T3S systems are intrinsic length control mechanisms for external cellular projections: the hook of the flagellum and the injectisome needle. We present evidence that the Spi-1 injectisome, like the Salmonella flagellar hook, uses a secreted molecular ruler, InvJ, to determine needle length. This result supports a universal length control mechanism using molecular rulers for T3S systems. PMID:25775540

  5. Affinity and competition for TBP are molecular determinants of gene expression noise

    PubMed Central

    Ravarani, Charles N. J.; Chalancon, Guilhem; Breker, Michal; de Groot, Natalia Sanchez; Babu, M. Madan

    2016-01-01

    Cell-to-cell variation in gene expression levels (noise) generates phenotypic diversity and is an important phenomenon in evolution, development and disease. TATA-box binding protein (TBP) is an essential factor that is required at virtually every eukaryotic promoter to initiate transcription. While the presence of a TATA-box motif in the promoter has been strongly linked with noise, the molecular mechanism driving this relationship is less well understood. Through an integrated analysis of multiple large-scale data sets, computer simulation and experimental validation in yeast, we provide molecular insights into how noise arises as an emergent property of variable binding affinity of TBP for different promoter sequences, competition between interaction partners to bind the same surface on TBP (to either promote or disrupt transcription initiation) and variable residence times of TBP complexes at a promoter. These determinants may be fine-tuned under different conditions and during evolution to modulate eukaryotic gene expression noise. PMID:26832815

  6. Conformational analysis of environmental agents: use of X-ray crystallographic data to determine molecular reactivity.

    PubMed Central

    Cody, V

    1985-01-01

    This paper explores the use of crystallographic techniques as an aid in understanding the molecular reactivities of a number of agents that are of concern to pharmacologists and toxicologists. The selected examples demonstrate the role of structural data in the determination of absolute configuration, configurational flexibility and active-site topology for a reactive species. For example, the role of absolute stereochemistry in understanding synthetic pyrethroid structure-activity relationships is shown from analysis of their crystal structures; conformational flexibility among DDT analogues, and the importance of conformational and electronic properties in phenylalkanoic acid herbicides are shown from systematic analysis of their crystal structures; and interpretation of active-site stereochemistry is made by study of computer modeling of enzyme inhibitors in the active sites of related protein crystal structures. Thus, the observed patterns in conformational flexibility and their resultant effects on substrate pharmacological profile can be interpreted in understanding the molecular level events that influence biological reactivity. PMID:3905372

  7. Determination of molecular weight distributions of large water soluble macromolecules using dynamic light scattering

    SciTech Connect

    Mettille, M.J.; Hester, R.D.

    1988-05-01

    Characterization of polymer molecular weight is an extremely important aspect of polymer research, and a vast number of analytical techniques has been used to determine molecular weights. One method is dynamic light scattering (DLS). DLS is also referred to as photon correlation spectroscopy (PCS), quasi-elastic light scattering (QLS), and may other appellations. The phenomenon that gives rise to the DLS technique was first observed in the early 1930's. In the mid 1950's, measurement techniques similar to modern dynamic light scattering were developed. Two major technical developments have greatly enhanced the use of DLS. The first was the development of the laser. This provided a light source with very high intensity at a single frequency. Also, major advances in digital electronics have allowed better data acquisition and faster data analysis than were previously available.

  8. Determination of Quantum Chemistry Based Force Fields for Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Aromatic Polymers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jaffe, Richard; Langhoff, Stephen R. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    Ab initio quantum chemistry calculations for model molecules can be used to parameterize force fields for molecular dynamics simulations of polymers. Emphasis in our research group is on using quantum chemistry-based force fields for molecular dynamics simulations of organic polymers in the melt and glassy states, but the methodology is applicable to simulations of small molecules, multicomponent systems and solutions. Special attention is paid to deriving reliable descriptions of the non-bonded and electrostatic interactions. Several procedures have been developed for deriving and calibrating these parameters. Our force fields for aromatic polyimide simulations will be described. In this application, the intermolecular interactions are the critical factor in determining many properties of the polymer (including its color).

  9. Molecular ruler determines needle length for the Salmonella Spi-1 injectisome.

    PubMed

    Wee, Daniel H; Hughes, Kelly T

    2015-03-31

    The type-III secretion (T3S) systems of bacteria are part of self-assembling nanomachines: the bacterial flagellum that enables cells to propel themselves through liquid and across hydrated surfaces, and the injectisome that delivers pathogenic effector proteins into eukaryotic host cells. Although the flagellum and injectisome serve different purposes, they are evolutionarily related and share many structural similarities. Core features to these T3S systems are intrinsic length control mechanisms for external cellular projections: the hook of the flagellum and the injectisome needle. We present evidence that the Spi-1 injectisome, like the Salmonella flagellar hook, uses a secreted molecular ruler, InvJ, to determine needle length. This result supports a universal length control mechanism using molecular rulers for T3S systems.

  10. The role of a small-scale cutoff in determining molecular layers at fluid interfaces.

    PubMed

    Sega, Marcello

    2016-08-17

    The existence of molecular layers at liquid/vapour interfaces has been a long debated issue. More than ten years ago it was shown, using computer simulations, that correlations at the liquid/vapour interface resemble those of bulk liquids, even though they can be detected in experiments only in a few cases, where they are so strong that they cannot be concealed by the geometrical smearing of capillary fluctuations. The results of the intrinsic analysis techniques used in computer experiments, however, are still often questioned because of their dependence on a free parameter that usually represents a small-scale cutoff used to determine the interface. In this work I show that there is only one value of the cutoff that can ensure a quantitative explanation of the intrinsic density correlation peaks in terms of successive layer contributions. The value of the cutoff coincides, with a high accuracy, with the molecular diameter. PMID:27499039

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

    PubMed Central

    Moxon, R; Tang, C

    2000-01-01

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

  12. Regulation of virulence of Entamoeba histolytica.

    PubMed

    Marie, Chelsea; Petri, William A

    2014-01-01

    Entamoeba histolytica is the third-leading cause of parasitic mortality globally. E. histolytica infection generally does not cause symptoms, but the parasite has potent pathogenic potential. The origins, benefits, and triggers of amoebic virulence are complex. Amoebic pathogenesis entails depletion of the host mucosal barrier, adherence to the colonic lumen, cytotoxicity, and invasion of the colonic epithelium. Parasite damage results in colitis and, in some cases, disseminated disease. Both host and parasite genotypes influence the development of disease, as do the regulatory responses they govern at the host-pathogen interface. Host environmental factors determine parasite transmission and shape the colonic microenvironment E. histolytica infects. Here we highlight research that illuminates novel links between host, parasite, and environmental factors in the regulation of E. histolytica virulence.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Photoresponsive hollow molecularly imprinted polymer for the determination of trace bisphenol A in water.

    PubMed

    Gong, Cheng-Bin; Yang, Yu-Zhu; Yang, Yue-Hong; Zheng, An-Xun; Liu, Song; Tang, Qian

    2016-11-01

    A photoresponsive hollow molecularly imprinted polymer (PHMIP) was fabricated for photoresponsive recognition and determination of trace bisphenol A (BPA) in aqueous media using a water-soluble azo compound as the functional monomer. The PHMIP was prepared on sacrificial silica microspheres by surface imprinting and subsequent removal of the silica core. The PHMIP displayed photocontrolled recognition for BPA. SEM, TEM, FT-IR, TGA and N2 adsorption-desorption analyses confirmed successful formation of the hollow structure. The PHMIP displayed higher binding capacity, a larger specific area, and faster mass transfer rate than its corresponding surface molecularly imprinted polymer. The PHMIP was used to determine trace BPA in real samples with a limit of detection of 0.5ppm. For samples spiked at 0-10ppm, the BPA recoveries were in the range of 93.0%-99.0%. This PHMIP-based method provides convenient and inexpensive detection method for trace BPA in environmental samples. This method is especially suitable for determining materials that do not possess specific spectroscopic or luminescent properties. PMID:27478978

  15. Advanced Structural Determination of Diterpene Esters Using Molecular Modeling and NMR Spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Nothias-Scaglia, Louis-Félix; Gallard, Jean-François; Dumontet, Vincent; Roussi, Fanny; Costa, Jean; Iorga, Bogdan I; Paolini, Julien; Litaudon, Marc

    2015-10-23

    Three new jatrophane esters (1-3) were isolated from Euphorbia amygdaloides ssp. semiperfoliata, including an unprecedented macrocyclic jatrophane ester bearing a hemiketal substructure, named jatrohemiketal (3). The chemical structures of compounds 1-3 and their relative configurations were determined by spectroscopic analysis. The absolute configuration of compound 3 was determined unambiguously through an original strategy combining NMR spectroscopy and molecular modeling. Conformational search calculations were performed for the four possible diastereomers 3a-3d differing in their C-6 and C-9 stereocenters, and the lowest energy conformer was used as input structure for geometry optimization. The prediction of NMR parameters ((1)H and (13)C chemical shifts and (1)H-(1)H coupling constants) by density functional theory (DFT) calculations allowed identifying the most plausible diastereomer. Finally, the stereostructure of 3 was solved by comparison of the structural features obtained by molecular modeling for 3a-3d with NMR-derived data (the values of dihedral angles deduced from the vicinal proton-proton coupling constants ((3)JHH) and interproton distances determined by ROESY). The methodology described herein provides an efficient way to solve or confirm structural elucidation of new macrocyclic diterpene esters, in particular when no crystal structure is available.

  16. Molecular Machines Determining the Fate of Endocytosed Synaptic Vesicles in Nerve Terminals

    PubMed Central

    Fassio, Anna; Fadda, Manuela; Benfenati, Fabio

    2016-01-01

    The cycle of a synaptic vesicle (SV) within the nerve terminal is a step-by-step journey with the final goal of ensuring the proper synaptic strength under changing environmental conditions. The SV cycle is a precisely regulated membrane traffic event in cells and, because of this, a plethora of membrane-bound and cytosolic proteins are devoted to assist SVs in each step of the journey. The cycling fate of endocytosed SVs determines both the availability for subsequent rounds of release and the lifetime of SVs in the terminal and is therefore crucial for synaptic function and plasticity. Molecular players that determine the destiny of SVs in nerve terminals after a round of exo-endocytosis are largely unknown. Here we review the functional role in SV fate of phosphorylation/dephosphorylation of SV proteins and of small GTPases acting on membrane trafficking at the synapse, as they are emerging as key molecules in determining the recycling route of SVs within the nerve terminal. In particular, we focus on: (i) the cyclin-dependent kinase-5 (cdk5) and calcineurin (CN) control of the recycling pool of SVs; (ii) the role of small GTPases of the Rab and ADP-ribosylation factor (Arf) families in defining the route followed by SV in their nerve terminal cycle. These regulatory proteins together with their synaptic regulators and effectors, are molecular nanomachines mediating homeostatic responses in synaptic plasticity and potential targets of drugs modulating the efficiency of synaptic transmission. PMID:27242505

  17. Molecular Machines Determining the Fate of Endocytosed Synaptic Vesicles in Nerve Terminals.

    PubMed

    Fassio, Anna; Fadda, Manuela; Benfenati, Fabio

    2016-01-01

    The cycle of a synaptic vesicle (SV) within the nerve terminal is a step-by-step journey with the final goal of ensuring the proper synaptic strength under changing environmental conditions. The SV cycle is a precisely regulated membrane traffic event in cells and, because of this, a plethora of membrane-bound and cytosolic proteins are devoted to assist SVs in each step of the journey. The cycling fate of endocytosed SVs determines both the availability for subsequent rounds of release and the lifetime of SVs in the terminal and is therefore crucial for synaptic function and plasticity. Molecular players that determine the destiny of SVs in nerve terminals after a round of exo-endocytosis are largely unknown. Here we review the functional role in SV fate of phosphorylation/dephosphorylation of SV proteins and of small GTPases acting on membrane trafficking at the synapse, as they are emerging as key molecules in determining the recycling route of SVs within the nerve terminal. In particular, we focus on: (i) the cyclin-dependent kinase-5 (cdk5) and calcineurin (CN) control of the recycling pool of SVs; (ii) the role of small GTPases of the Rab and ADP-ribosylation factor (Arf) families in defining the route followed by SV in their nerve terminal cycle. These regulatory proteins together with their synaptic regulators and effectors, are molecular nanomachines mediating homeostatic responses in synaptic plasticity and potential targets of drugs modulating the efficiency of synaptic transmission.

  18. Fabrication of surface plasmon resonance nanosensor for the selective determination of erythromycin via molecular imprinted nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Sari, Esma; Üzek, Recep; Duman, Memed; Denizli, Adil

    2016-04-01

    The main objective of this study was to develop a novel surface plasmon resonance (SPR) nanosensor method based on a more rapid and selective determination of erythromycin (ERY) in the aqueous solution. This study is a combination of three techniques, which are miniemulsion polymerization, molecular imprinting and surface plasmon resonance techniques. In the first part, nanoparticles prepared with methacryl groups of functional monomer at surface acted as reactive sites for erythromycin as a template molecule. The molecularly imprinted nanoparticles were characterized by FTIR, SEM and zetasizer. After immobilization of nanoparticles on gold surface of SPR chip, nanosensor was characterized with contact angle measurements. This nanosensor was then used for selective determination of erythromycin. The linearity range and detection limit were obtained as 0.99 (r(2)) and 0.29 ppm, respectively. Association kinetic analysis, Scatchard, Langmuir, Freundlich and Freundlich-Langmuir isotherms were applied data. The selectivity of the SPR nanosensor was determined by using competitor agents (kanamycin sulfate, neomycin sulfate, spiramycin). The non-imprinted nanosensor was also used to evaluate the selectivity of ERY imprinted nanosensor. Finally, the nanosensor was tested for repeatability and it gave satisfactory response. These results demonstrate a method which is of low cost, rapid and provide reliable results in order to be used in detection of erythromycin from aqueous solution.

  19. Rapid determination of total hardness in water using fluorescent molecular aptamer beacon.

    PubMed

    Lerga, T Mairal; O'Sullivan, Ciara K

    2008-03-01

    A double-labelled synthetic oligonucleotide is used as a fluorescent molecular aptamer beacon for the reagentless determination of total hardness in tap and bottled waters. Modified thrombin binding aptamer (5'-NH-C3-GGTTGGTGTGGTTGG-C3-SH-3') carrying 6-carboxyfluorescein (FAM) and 7-amino-4-methyl-coumarin labels at 5' and 3', respectively, was used for the simultaneous combined measurement of Mg2+ and Ca2+ cations. Interference from the K+ cation is eliminated via selective tuning of the assay conditions, increasing the temperature beyond the melting point of the potassium-stabilised quadruplex facilitating its liberation from the quadruplex, whilst maintaining the integrity of the magnesium/calcium-stabilised structure. No interference from other cations found in tap or bottled water was observed. The detection limit of the aptamer beacon is 0.04 mmol L(-1), with a dynamic linear range of 0-0.5 microM and is very reproducible, with an R.S.D.=8%, n=3. The fluorescent molecular beacon is applied to the determination of total hardness in tap and bottled waters and its' performance compared to that of the standard method of complexiometric titration and atomic absorption spectroscopy, with an excellent correlation observed. Further work is focused on the immobilization of the aptamer for the development of a re-usable fluorescent/electrochemical aptasensor, for the determination of water hardness.

  20. Molecular Machines Determining the Fate of Endocytosed Synaptic Vesicles in Nerve Terminals.

    PubMed

    Fassio, Anna; Fadda, Manuela; Benfenati, Fabio

    2016-01-01

    The cycle of a synaptic vesicle (SV) within the nerve terminal is a step-by-step journey with the final goal of ensuring the proper synaptic strength under changing environmental conditions. The SV cycle is a precisely regulated membrane traffic event in cells and, because of this, a plethora of membrane-bound and cytosolic proteins are devoted to assist SVs in each step of the journey. The cycling fate of endocytosed SVs determines both the availability for subsequent rounds of release and the lifetime of SVs in the terminal and is therefore crucial for synaptic function and plasticity. Molecular players that determine the destiny of SVs in nerve terminals after a round of exo-endocytosis are largely unknown. Here we review the functional role in SV fate of phosphorylation/dephosphorylation of SV proteins and of small GTPases acting on membrane trafficking at the synapse, as they are emerging as key molecules in determining the recycling route of SVs within the nerve terminal. In particular, we focus on: (i) the cyclin-dependent kinase-5 (cdk5) and calcineurin (CN) control of the recycling pool of SVs; (ii) the role of small GTPases of the Rab and ADP-ribosylation factor (Arf) families in defining the route followed by SV in their nerve terminal cycle. These regulatory proteins together with their synaptic regulators and effectors, are molecular nanomachines mediating homeostatic responses in synaptic plasticity and potential targets of drugs modulating the efficiency of synaptic transmission. PMID:27242505

  1. Occurrence of virulent genes among environmental isolates of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 strains from various parts of peninsular Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Arushothy, Revathy; Ahmad, Norazah

    2008-12-01

    Legionella pneumophila are intracellular pathogens, associated with human disease, attributed to the presence and absence of certain virulent genes. In this study, virulent gene loci (lvh and rtxA regions) associated with human disease were determined. Thirty-three cooling tower water isolates, isolated between 2004 to 2006, were analyzed for the presence of these genes by PCR method. Results showed that 19 of 33 (57.5%) of the L. pneumophila serogroup 1 isolates have both the genes. Six (18.2%) of the isolates have only the lvh gene and 2 (6.1%) of the isolates have only the rtxA gene. However, both genes were absent in 6 (18.2%) of the L. pneumophila isolates. The result of our study provides some insight into the presence of the disease causing L. pneumophila serogroup 1 in the environment. Molecular epidemiological studies will provide better understanding of the prevalence of the disease in Malaysia. PMID:19287368

  2. Expression of iron-regulated proteins in Yersinia species and their relation to virulence.

    PubMed

    Carniel, E; Mazigh, D; Mollaret, H H

    1987-01-01

    Under iron-starvation conditions, the different Yersinia species expressed various iron-regulated proteins. Among them, two high-molecular-weight outer membrane proteins were synthesized in high-virulence-phenotype Y. pestis, Y. pseudotuberculosis, and Y. enterocolitica serovars O:8 and O:Tacoma but were present neither in low-virulence phenotype Y. enterocolitica serovars O:3 and O:9 nor in avirulent Y. frederiksenii, Y. kristensenii, Y. intermedia, and Y. enterocolitica serovar O:39. Thus, the degree of virulence correlates with the presence of the two high-molecular-weight proteins in Yersinia species.

  3. [The determination of molecular sulphur in Matsesta mineral water and its analog Novonukutskaya mineral water].

    PubMed

    Khutorianskiĭ, V A; Smirnov, A I; Matveev, D A

    2014-01-01

    The method of microcolumn reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography (rp-HPLC) was employed to determine the content of elemental sulphur in mineral waters. The study envisaged the analysis of the samples of sulphide-containing mineral waters Novonukutskaya and Matsesta obtained by the solid phase extraction technique. Based on these data, the authors discuss the origin and the circulation of sulphur in the hydrogen sulphide sources. The elution conditions selected in this study ensured the high-resolution separation of the octasulphur peak from the peaks of allotropic components of the extract whereas the two-wave detection technique allowed to identify the peaks of molecular sulphur.

  4. Proposed Molecular Beam Determination of Energy Partition in the Photodissociation of Polyatomic Molecules

    DOE R&D Accomplishments Database

    Zare, P. N.; Herschbach, D. R.

    1964-01-29

    Conventional photochemical experiments give no information about the partitioning of energy between translational recoil and internal excitation of the fragment molecules formed in photodissociation of a polyatomic molecule. In a molecular beam experiment, it becomes possible to determine the energy partition from the form of the laboratory angular distribution of one of the photodissociation products. A general kinematic analysis is worked out in detail, and the uncertainty introduced by the finite angular resolution of the apparatus and the velocity spread in the parent beam is examined. The experimental requirements are evaluated for he photolysis of methyl iodide by the 2537 angstrom Hg line.

  5. Molecular Assays for Determining Mycobacterium leprae Viability in Tissues of Experimentally Infected Mice

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Grace L.; Ray, Nashone A.; Lahiri, Ramanuj; Gillis, Thomas P.; Krahenbuhl, James L.; Williams, Diana L.; Adams, Linda B.

    2013-01-01

    Background The inability of Mycobacterium leprae to grow on axenic media has necessitated specialized techniques in order to determine viability of this organism. The purpose of this study was to develop a simple and sensitive molecular assay for determining M. leprae viability directly from infected tissues. Methodology/Principle Findings Two M. leprae-specific quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) assays based on the expression levels of esxA, encoding the ESAT-6 protein, and hsp18, encoding the heat shock 18 kDa protein, were developed and tested using infected footpad (FP) tissues of both immunocompetent and immunocompromised (athymic nu/nu) mice. In addition, the ability of these assays to detect the effects of anti-leprosy drug treatment on M. leprae viability was determined using rifampin and rifapentine, each at 10 mg/kg for 1, 5, or 20 daily doses, in the athymic nu/nu FP model. Molecular enumeration (RLEP PCR) and viability determinations (qRT-PCR) were performed via Taqman methodology on DNA and RNA, respectively, purified from ethanol-fixed FP tissue and compared with conventional enumeration (microscopic counting of acid fast bacilli) and viability assays (radiorespirometry, viability staining) which utilized bacilli freshly harvested from the contralateral FP. Both molecular and conventional assays demonstrated growth and high viability of M. leprae in nu/nu FPs over a 4 month infection period. In contrast, viability was markedly decreased by 8 weeks in immunocompetent mice. Rifapentine significantly reduced bacterial viability after 5 treatments, whereas rifampin required up to 20 treatments for the same efficacy. Neither drug was effective after a single treatment. In addition, host gene expression was monitored with the same RNA preparations. Conclusions hsp18 and esxA qRT-PCR are sensitive molecular indicators, reliably detecting viability of M. leprae in tissues without the need for bacterial isolation or immediate processing, making

  6. Thickness determination of molecularly thin lubricant films by angle-dependent X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pang, Chongjun; Bai, Mingwu

    2007-03-01

    An angle-dependent X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) method used to measure the thickness of molecularly thin lubricants was developed. The method was built based on an island model of patched overlayer on a flat substrate by using the photoemission signal solely from the lubricant film. Typical molecularly thin Zdol films on the CHx overcoat of unused commercial magnetic disks were measured to verify the metrology. The lubricant thickness determined by the metrology was equal to the recent result by thermostatic high vacuum atomic force microscopy. The measured deduction in the thickness of the molecularly thin lubricant films, successively irradiated by the monochromatic source operated at 14 kV/250 W, was as low as 1 Ǻ during the first irradiation hour. XPS spectra showed that no hydrocarbons, water or oxygen were adsorbed over the Zdol outer surfaces in the tested XPS conditions. The inelastic mean free path (IMFP) of C 1s in Zdol or in CHx was found to be independent of take off angle (TOA) when TOA < 40°. The IMFP of C 1s in Zdol was ˜63.5 Ǻ and the lubricant island thickness was ˜35 Ǻ.

  7. Determination of domoic acid in shellfish extracted by molecularly imprinted polymers.

    PubMed

    Lin, Zhengzhong; Wang, Dan; Peng, Aihong; Huang, Zhiyong; Lin, Yuhui

    2016-08-01

    A selective sample cleanup method using molecularly imprinted polymers was developed for the separation of domoic acid (a shellfish toxin) from shellfish samples. The molecularly imprinted polymers for domoic acid was prepared by emulsion polymerization using 1,3,5-pentanetricarboxylic acid as the template molecule, 4-vinyl pyridine as the functional monomer, ethylene glycol dimethacrylate as the crosslinker, and Span80/Tween-80 (1:1 v/v) as the composite emulsifiers. The molecularly imprinted polymer showed high affinity to domoic acid with a dissociation constant of 13.5 μg/mL and apparent maximum adsorption capacity of 1249 μg/g. They were used as a selective sorbent for the detection of domoic acid from seafood samples coupled with high-performance liquid chromatography. The detection limit of 0.17 μg/g was lower than the maximum level permitted by several authorities. The mean recoveries of domoic acid from clam samples were 93.0-98.7%. It was demonstrated that the proposed method could be applied to the determination of domoic acid from shellfish samples. PMID:27311699

  8. Geometry-independent Determination of Radial Density Distributions in Molecular Cloud Cores and Other Astronomical Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krčo, Marko; Goldsmith, Paul F.

    2016-05-01

    We present a geometry-independent method for determining the shapes of radial volume density profiles of astronomical objects whose geometries are unknown, based on a single column density map. Such profiles are often critical to understand the physics and chemistry of molecular cloud cores, in which star formation takes place. The method presented here does not assume any geometry for the object being studied, thus removing a significant source of bias. Instead, it exploits contour self-similarity in column density maps, which appears to be common in data for astronomical objects. Our method may be applied to many types of astronomical objects and observable quantities so long as they satisfy a limited set of conditions, which we describe in detail. We derive the method analytically, test it numerically, and illustrate its utility using 2MASS-derived dust extinction in molecular cloud cores. While not having made an extensive comparison of different density profiles, we find that the overall radial density distribution within molecular cloud cores is adequately described by an attenuated power law.

  9. Molecular features determining different partitioning patterns of papain and bromelain in aqueous two-phase systems.

    PubMed

    Rocha, Maria Victoria; Nerli, Bibiana Beatriz

    2013-10-01

    The partitioning patterns of papain (PAP) and bromelain (BR), two well-known cysteine-proteases, in polyethyleneglycol/sodium citrate aqueous two-phase systems (ATPSs) were determined. Polyethyleneglycols of different molecular weight (600, 1000, 2000, 4600 and 8000) were assayed. Thermodynamic characterization of partitioning process, spectroscopy measurements and computational calculations of protein surface properties were also carried out in order to explain their differential partitioning behavior. PAP was observed to be displaced to the salt-enriched phase in all the assayed systems with partition coefficients (KpPAP) values between 0.2 and 0.9, while BR exhibited a high affinity for the polymer phase in systems formed by PEGs of low molecular weight (600 and 1000) with partition coefficients (KpBR) values close to 3. KpBR values resulted higher than KpPAP in all the cases. This difference could be assigned neither to the charge nor to the size of the partitioned biomolecules since PAP and BR possess similar molecular weight (23,000) and isoelectric point (9.60). The presence of highly exposed tryptophans and positively charged residues (Lys, Arg and His) in BR molecule would be responsible for a charge transfer interaction between PEG and the protein and, therefore, the uneven distribution of BR in these systems.

  10. Virulence factors of the family Legionellaceae.

    PubMed Central

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

    1992-01-01

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

  11. Molecularly imprinted polymer-based bulk optode for the determination of itopride hydrochloride in physiological fluids.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Haleem, F M; Madbouly, Adel; El Nashar, R M; Abdel-Ghani, N T

    2016-11-15

    We report here for the first time on the use of Molecularly Imprinted Polymers as modifiers in bulk optodes, Miptode, for the determination of a pharmaceutical compound, itopride hydrochloride as an example in a concentration range of 1×10(-1)-1×10(-4)molL(-1). In comparison to the optode containing the ion exchanger only (Miptode 3), the optode containing the ion exchanger and the MIP particles (Miptode 2) showed improved selectivity over the most lipophilic species, Na(+) and K(+), by more than two orders of magnitude. For instance, the optical selectivity coefficients using Miptode 2, [Formula: see text] , were as follow: NH4(+)˂-6; Na(+)=-4.0, which were greatly enhanced in comparison with that obtained by Miptode 3. This work opens a new avenue for using miptodes for the determination of all the pharmaceutical preparations without the need for the development of new ionophores. PMID:27266658

  12. Direct determination of three-phase contact line properties on nearly molecular scale

    PubMed Central

    Winkler, P. M.; McGraw, R. L.; Bauer, P. S.; Rentenberger, C.; Wagner, P. E.

    2016-01-01

    Wetting phenomena in multi-phase systems govern the shape of the contact line which separates the different phases. For liquids in contact with solid surfaces wetting is typically described in terms of contact angle. While in macroscopic systems the contact angle can be determined experimentally, on the molecular scale contact angles are hardly accessible. Here we report the first direct experimental determination of contact angles as well as contact line curvature on a scale of the order of 1nm. For water nucleating heterogeneously on Ag nanoparticles we find contact angles around 15 degrees compared to 90 degrees for the corresponding macroscopically measured equilibrium angle. The obtained microscopic contact angles can be attributed to negative line tension in the order of −10−10 J/m that becomes increasingly dominant with increasing curvature of the contact line. These results enable a consistent theoretical description of heterogeneous nucleation and provide firm insight to the wetting of nanosized objects. PMID:27183880

  13. A Molecularly Imprinted Polymer with Incorporated Graphene Oxide for Electrochemical Determination of Quercetin

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Si; Zhang, Mengqi; Li, Yijun; He, Xiwen

    2013-01-01

    The molecularly imprinted polymer based on polypyrrole film with incorporated graphene oxide was fabricated and used for electrochemical determination of quercetin. The electrochemical behavior of quercetin on the modified electrode was studied in detail using differential pulse voltammetry. The oxidation peak current of quercetin in B-R buffer solution (pH = 3.5) at the modified electrode was regressed with the concentration in the range from 6.0 × 10−7 to 1.5 × 10−5 mol/L (r2 = 0.997) with a detection limit of 4.8 × 10−8 mol/L (S/N = 3). This electrode showed good stability and reproducibility. In the above mentioned range, rutin or morin which has similar structures and at the same concentration as quercetin did not interfere with the determination of quercetin. The applicability of the method for complex matrix analysis was also evaluated. PMID:23698263

  14. The Determination of Molecular Quantities from Measurements on Macroscopic Systems IV. Phases with Chemical Reactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liptay, Wolfgang; Wehning, Detlev; Becker, Jürgen; Rehm, Torsten

    1982-12-01

    A general method for the determination of molecular quantities from measurements in dense phases without chemical reactions has been presented in a previous paper [1], The method is extended to phases where chemical reactions may occur. The intimate relationship between the investigation of chemical equilibria and the determination of model molar quantities is shown. Some particular reactions have to be assumed as hypothesis. A scheme is developed, by which in favorable cases it is possible to falsify the assumed hypothesis or to estimate corresponding equilibrium constants and model molar quantities. Some special chemical reactions are treated, where observable quantities are insensitive to any variation of the concentrations of solutions and therefore such methods cannot contribute to the investigation of the systems.

  15. Characterization of molecular determinants for nucleocytoplasmic shuttling of PRV UL54

    SciTech Connect

    Li Meili; Wang Shuai; Cai Mingsheng; Guo Hong; Zheng Chunfu

    2011-09-01

    The pseudorabies virus (PRV) early protein UL54 is a homologue of the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) immediate-early protein ICP27, which is a multifunctional protein and essential for HSV-1 infection. To determine if UL54 might shuttle between the nucleus and cytoplasm, as has been shown for its homologues in human herpesviruses, the molecular determinants for its nucleocytoplasmic shuttling were investigated. Heterokaryon assays demonstrated that UL54 was a nucleocytoplasmic shuttling protein and this property could not be blocked by leptomycin B, an inhibitor of chromosome region maintenance 1 (CRM1). However, TAP/NXF1 promoted the nuclear export of UL54 and interacted with UL54, suggesting that UL54 shuttles between the nucleus and the cytoplasm via a TAP/NXF1, but not CRM1, dependent nuclear export pathway. Furthermore, UL54 was demonstrated to target to the nucleus through a classic Ran-, importin {beta}1- and {alpha}5-dependent nuclear import mechanism.

  16. Direct determination of three-phase contact line properties on nearly molecular scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winkler, P. M.; McGraw, R. L.; Bauer, P. S.; Rentenberger, C.; Wagner, P. E.

    2016-05-01

    Wetting phenomena in multi-phase systems govern the shape of the contact line which separates the different phases. For liquids in contact with solid surfaces wetting is typically described in terms of contact angle. While in macroscopic systems the contact angle can be determined experimentally, on the molecular scale contact angles are hardly accessible. Here we report the first direct experimental determination of contact angles as well as contact line curvature on a scale of the order of 1nm. For water nucleating heterogeneously on Ag nanoparticles we find contact angles around 15 degrees compared to 90 degrees for the corresponding macroscopically measured equilibrium angle. The obtained microscopic contact angles can be attributed to negative line tension in the order of -10-10 J/m that becomes increasingly dominant with increasing curvature of the contact line. These results enable a consistent theoretical description of heterogeneous nucleation and provide firm insight to the wetting of nanosized objects.

  17. Tracking bacterial virulence: global modulators as indicators

    PubMed Central

    Prieto, Alejandro; Urcola, Imanol; Blanco, Jorge; Dahbi, Ghizlane; Muniesa, Maite; Quirós, Pablo; Falgenhauer, Linda; Chakraborty, Trinad; Hüttener, Mário; Juárez, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    The genomes of Gram-negative bacteria encode paralogues and/or orthologues of global modulators. The nucleoid-associated H-NS and Hha proteins are an example: several enterobacteria such as Escherichia coli or Salmonella harbor H-NS, Hha and their corresponding paralogues, StpA and YdgT proteins, respectively. Remarkably, the genome of the pathogenic enteroaggregative E. coli strain 042 encodes, in addition to the hha and ydgT genes, two additional hha paralogues, hha2 and hha3. We show in this report that there exists a strong correlation between the presence of these paralogues and the virulence phenotype of several E. coli strains. hha2 and hha3 predominate in some groups of intestinal pathogenic E. coli strains (enteroaggregative and shiga toxin-producing isolates), as well as in the widely distributed extraintestinal ST131 isolates. Because of the relationship between the presence of hha2/hha3 and some virulence factors, we have been able to provide evidence for Hha2/Hha3 modulating the expression of the antigen 43 pathogenic determinants. We show that tracking global modulators or their paralogues/orthologues can be a new strategy to identify bacterial pathogenic clones and propose PCR amplification of hha2 and hha3 as a virulence indicator in environmental and clinical E. coli isolates. PMID:27169404

  18. Effects of zinc transporters on Cryptococcus gattii virulence

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Rafael de Oliveira; Diehl, Camila; dos Santos, Francine Melise; Piffer, Alícia Corbellini; Garcia, Ane Wichine Acosta; Kulmann, Marcos Iuri Roos; Schrank, Augusto; Kmetzsch, Lívia; Vainstein, Marilene Henning; Staats, Charley C.

    2015-01-01

    Zinc is an essential nutrient for all living organisms because it is a co-factor of several important proteins. Furthermore, zinc may play an essential role in the infectiousness of microorganisms. Previously, we determined that functional zinc metabolism is associated with Cryptococcus gattii virulence. Here, we characterized the ZIP zinc transporters in this human pathogen. Transcriptional profiling revealed that zinc levels regulated the expression of the ZIP1, ZIP2 and ZIP3 genes, although only the C. gattii zinc transporter Zip1 was required for yeast growth under zinc-limiting conditions. To associate zinc uptake defects with virulence, the most studied cryptococcal virulence factors (i.e., capsule, melanin and growth at 37 °C) were assessed in ZIP mutant strains; however, no differences were detected in these classical virulence-associated traits among the mutant and WT strains. Interestingly, higher levels of reactive oxygen species were detected in the zip1Δ and in the zip1Δ zip2Δ double mutants. In line with these phenotypic alterations, the zip1Δ zip2Δ double mutant displayed attenuated virulence in a murine model of cryptococcosis. Together, these results indicate that adequate zinc uptake is necessary for cryptococcal fitness and virulence. PMID:25951314

  19. Cooperation, quorum sensing, and evolution of virulence in Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Pollitt, Eric J G; West, Stuart A; Crusz, Shanika A; Burton-Chellew, Maxwell N; Diggle, Stephen P

    2014-03-01

    The virulence and fitness in vivo of the major human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus are associated with a cell-to-cell signaling mechanism known as quorum sensing (QS). QS coordinates the production of virulence factors via the production and sensing of autoinducing peptide (AIP) signal molecules by the agr locus. Here we show, in a wax moth larva virulence model, that (i) QS in S. aureus is a cooperative social trait that provides a benefit to the local population of cells, (ii) agr mutants, which do not produce or respond to QS signal, are able to exploit the benefits provided by the QS of others ("cheat"), allowing them to increase in frequency when in mixed populations with cooperators, (iii) these social interactions between cells determine virulence, with the host mortality rate being negatively correlated to the percentage of agr mutants ("cheats") in a population, and (iv) a higher within-host relatedness (lower strain diversity) selects for QS and hence higher virulence. Our results provide an explanation for why agr mutants show reduced virulence in animal models but can be isolated from infections of humans. More generally, by providing the first evidence that QS is a cooperative social behavior in a Gram-positive bacterium, our results suggest convergent, and potentially widespread, evolution for signaling to coordinate cooperation in bacteria. PMID:24343650

  20. Challenges in determining causation in structure-function studies using molecular biological techniques.

    PubMed

    de los Reyes, Francis L

    2010-09-01

    The use of molecular biological techniques for determining the levels and types of different microbial populations in bioreactors has led to the emergence of the microbial community 'structure-function' paradigm that is often used in research. Typically, lab- or full-scale systems are monitored for the relevant parameters, and these parameters are related to the changes in microbial populations. Research in activated sludge phenomena, such as filamentous bulking, filamentous foaming, nitrogen removal, and phosphorus removal, are replete with many examples of this 'structure-function' paradigm, most commonly those that involve 16S rRNA gene-based analysis of the microbial populations. In many cases, such studies assume a causal microbial population (e.g., a species that causes bulking or foaming), or conclude in identifying a causal population. However, assigning cause to specific organisms and populations is problematic in a complex environment such as wastewater bioreactors. The Koch-Henle postulates, the gold standard in evaluating causation of disease, have limitations when applied to systems with mixed microbial communities with complex interactions, particularly if pure cultures are not available. Molecular techniques that allow specific identification and quantification of organisms have been used by researchers to overcome the limitations of culture-based techniques, and at the same time, raised new questions on the applicability of causation postulates in environmental systems. In this paper, various causation criteria improving on the Koch-Henle postulates are presented. Complicating issues in assigning cause in wastewater bioreactors are identified. Approaches for determining cause-effect relationships are illustrated using 16S rDNA-based investigations of filaments that cause bulking and foaming in activated sludge. The hope is that a causation framework that accounts for the assumptions in molecular studies, as applied to wastewater treatment research

  1. The Multiple Signaling Systems Regulating Virulence in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    Nadal Jimenez, Pol; Koch, Gudrun; Thompson, Jessica A.; Xavier, Karina B.; Cool, Robbert H.

    2012-01-01

    Summary: Cell-to-cell communication is a major process that allows bacteria to sense and coordinately react to the fluctuating conditions of the surrounding environment. In several pathogens, this process triggers the production of virulence factors and/or a switch in bacterial lifestyle that is a major determining factor in the outcome and severity of the infection. Understanding how bacteria control these signaling systems is crucial to the development of novel antimicrobial agents capable of reducing virulence while allowing the immune system of the host to clear bacterial infection, an approach likely to reduce the selective pressures for development of resistance. We provide here an up-to-date overview of the molecular basis and physiological implications of cell-to-cell signaling systems in Gram-negative bacteria, focusing on the well-studied bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. All of the known cell-to-cell signaling systems in this bacterium are described, from the most-studied systems, i.e., N-acyl homoserine lactones (AHLs), the 4-quinolones, the global activator of antibiotic and cyanide synthesis (GAC), the cyclic di-GMP (c-di-GMP) and cyclic AMP (cAMP) systems, and the alarmones guanosine tetraphosphate (ppGpp) and guanosine pentaphosphate (pppGpp), to less-well-studied signaling molecules, including diketopiperazines, fatty acids (diffusible signal factor [DSF]-like factors), pyoverdine, and pyocyanin. This overview clearly illustrates that bacterial communication is far more complex than initially thought and delivers a clear distinction between signals that are quorum sensing dependent and those relying on alternative factors for their production. PMID:22390972

  2. In vivo confocal Raman microspectroscopy of the skin: noninvasive determination of molecular concentration profiles.

    PubMed

    Caspers, P J; Lucassen, G W; Carter, E A; Bruining, H A; Puppels, G J

    2001-03-01

    Confocal Raman spectroscopy is introduced as a noninvasive in vivo optical method to measure molecular concentration profiles in the skin. It is shown how it can be applied to determine the water concentration in the stratum corneum as a function of distance to the skin surface, with a depth resolution of 5 microm. The resulting in vivo concentration profiles are in qualitative and quantitative agreement with published data, obtained by in vitro X-ray microanalysis of skin samples. Semi-quantitative concentration profiles were determined for the major constituents of natural moisturizing factor (serine, glycine, pyrrolidone-5-carboxylic acid, arginine, ornithine, citrulline, alanine, histidine, urocanic acid) and for the sweat constituents lactate and urea. A detailed description is given of the signal analysis methodology that enables the extraction of this information from the skin Raman spectra. No other noninvasive in vivo method exists that enables an analysis of skin molecular composition as a function of distance to the skin surface with similar detail and spatial resolution. Therefore, it may be expected that in vivo confocal Raman spectroscopy will find many applications in basic and applied dermatologic research. PMID:11231318

  3. Structure determination of an 11-subunit exosome in complex with RNA by molecular replacement

    SciTech Connect

    Makino, Debora Lika Conti, Elena

    2013-11-01

    The crystallographic steps towards the structure determination of a complete eukaryotic exosome complex bound to RNA are presented. Phasing of this 11-protein subunit complex was carried out via molecular replacement. The RNA exosome is an evolutionarily conserved multi-protein complex involved in the 3′ degradation of a variety of RNA transcripts. In the nucleus, the exosome participates in the maturation of structured RNAs, in the surveillance of pre-mRNAs and in the decay of a variety of noncoding transcripts. In the cytoplasm, the exosome degrades mRNAs in constitutive and regulated turnover pathways. Several structures of subcomplexes of eukaryotic exosomes or related prokaryotic exosome-like complexes are known, but how the complete assembly is organized to fulfil processive RNA degradation has been unclear. An atomic snapshot of a Saccharomyces cerevisiae 420 kDa exosome complex bound to an RNA substrate in the pre-cleavage state of a hydrolytic reaction has been determined. Here, the crystallographic steps towards the structural elucidation, which was carried out by molecular replacement, are presented.

  4. In vitro assessment of virulence in Yersinia enterocolitica and related species.

    PubMed

    Prpic, J K; Robins-Browne, R M; Davey, R B

    1985-07-01

    We have examined 136 isolates of Yersinia species, comprising 112 strains of Yersinia enterocolitica, 12 of Y. frederiksenii, 8 of Y. intermedia, and 5 of Y. kristensenii, for the presence of 40- to 50-megadalton virulence-associated plasmids and expression of the following plasmid-associated characteristics: Congo red pigmentation (CR), calcium dependence, autoagglutination, hydrophobicity, resistance to normal human serum, and pathogenicity in mice. All 136 strains yielded both pigmented (CR+) and nonpigmented (CR-) variants. Only CR+ variants, however, were virulent for iron-overloaded, desferrioxamine B-treated mice (R. M. Robins-Browne and J. K. Prpic, Infect. Immun. 47:744-779, 1985). Although the in vitro virulence-associated characteristics generally occurred together, each one could be expressed independently. Strains of Y. frederiksenii, Y. intermedia, and Y. kristensenii also expressed individual virulence-associated properties. Of 53 Y. enterocolitica strains which were virulent for iron-overloaded, desferrioxamine-treated mice, all but one expressed every virulence-associated characteristic. Several strains which were avirulent for mice, however, demonstrated these characteristics in various combinations. Because many Yersinia strains, particularly environmental isolates, carried plasmids of 40 to 50 megadaltons, detection of plasmids provided little information about bacterial pathogenicity unless virulence-associated properties were also sought. The best in vitro predictor of virulence was autoagglutination, followed by calcium dependence. Because only CR+ variants expressed virulence-associated determinants, Congo red pigmentation is useful for selecting potentially virulent strains.

  5. Virulence Factors of Erwinia amylovora: A Review.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-05

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

  6. Virulence Factors of Erwinia amylovora: A Review

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Erwinia amylovora, a Gram negative bacteria of the Enterobacteriaceae family, is the causal agent of fire blight, a devastating plant disease affecting a wide range of host species within Rosaceae and a major global threat to commercial apple and pear production. Among the limited number of control options currently available, prophylactic application of antibiotics during the bloom period appears the most effective. Pathogen cells enter plants through the nectarthodes of flowers and other natural openings, such as wounds, and are capable of rapid movement within plants and the establishment of systemic infections. Many virulence determinants of E. amylovora have been characterized, including the Type III secretion system (T3SS), the exopolysaccharide (EPS) amylovoran, biofilm formation, and motility. To successfully establish an infection, E. amylovora uses a complex regulatory network to sense the relevant environmental signals and coordinate the expression of early and late stage virulence factors involving two component signal transduction systems, bis-(3′-5′)-cyclic di-GMP (c-di-GMP) and quorum sensing. The LPS biosynthetic gene cluster is one of the relatively few genetic differences observed between Rubus- and Spiraeoideae-infecting genotypes of E. amylovora. Other differential factors, such as the presence and composition of an integrative conjugative element associated with the Hrp T3SS (hrp genes encoding the T3SS apparatus), have been recently described. In the present review, we present the recent findings on virulence factors research, focusing on their role in bacterial pathogenesis and indicating other virulence factors that deserve future research to characterize them. PMID:26057748

  7. Pathogenicity and virulence: another view.

    PubMed Central

    Isenberg, H D

    1988-01-01

    The concepts of pathogenicity and virulence have governed our perception of microbial harmfulness since the time of Pasteur and Koch. These concepts resulted in the recognition and identification of numerous etiological agents and provided natural and synthetic agents effective in therapy and prevention of diseases. However, Koch's postulates--the premier product of this view--place the onus of harmfulness solely on the microbial world. Our recent experiences with polymicrobic and nosocomial infections, legionellosis, and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome point to the host as the major determinant of disease. The principles of parasitism, enunciated by Theobold Smith, approximate more accurately the disturbances of the host-parasite equilibrium we designate as infection. Many complex attributes of microbial anatomy and physiology have been obscured by our dependency on the pure-culture technique. For example, bacterial attachment organelles and the production of exopolysaccharides enable microorganisms to interact with mammalian glycocalyces and specific receptors. In addition, selection, through the use of therapeutic agents, aids in the progression of environmental organisms to members of the intimate human biosphere, with the potential to complicate the recovery of patients. These factors emphasize further the pivotal significance of host reactions in infections. Parasitism, in its negative aspects, explains the emergence of "new" infections that involve harm to more than host organs and cells: we may encounter subtler infections that reveal parasitic and host cell nucleic acid interactions in a form of genomic parasitism. PMID:3060244

  8. Importance of Molecular Methods to Determine Whether a Probiotic is the Source of Lactobacillus Bacteremia.

    PubMed

    Aroutcheva, Alla; Auclair, Julie; Frappier, Martin; Millette, Mathieu; Lolans, Karen; de Montigny, Danielle; Carrière, Serge; Sokalski, Stephen; Trick, William E; Weinstein, Robert A

    2016-03-01

    There has been an increasing interest in the use of probiotic products for the prevention of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). Bio-K+(®) is a commercial probiotic product comprising three strains of lactobacilli--Lactobacillus acidophilus CL1285(®), Lact. casei LBC80R(®) and Lact. rhamnosus CLR2(®)--that have been applied to prevent CDI. Generally considered as safe, lactobacilli have potential to cause bacteremia, endocarditis and other infections. The source of Lactobacillus bacteremia can be normal human flora or lactobacilli-containing probiotic. The aim of this study was to assess whether probiotic lactobacilli caused bacteremia and to show the value of molecular identification and typing techniques to determine probiotic and patient strain relatedness. We report an episode of Lactobacillus bacteremia in a 69-year-old man admitted to a hospital with severe congestive heart failure. During his hospitalization, he required long-term antibiotic therapy. Additionally, the patient received Bio-K+(®) probiotic as part of a quality improvement project to prevent CDI. Subsequently, Lactobacillus bacteremia occurred. Two independent blinded laboratory evaluations, using pulse field gel electrophoresis, 16S rRNA gene sequencing and DNA fingerprint analysis (rep-PCR), were performed to determine whether the recovered Lact. acidophilus originated from the probiotic product. Ultimately, the patient strain was identified as Lact. casei and both laboratories found no genetic relation between the patient's strain and any of the probiotic lactobacilli. This clinical case of lactobacillus bacteremia in the setting of probiotic exposure demonstrates the value of using discriminatory molecular methods to clearly determine whether there were a link between the patient's isolate and the probiotic strains.

  9. Importance of Molecular Methods to Determine Whether a Probiotic is the Source of Lactobacillus Bacteremia.

    PubMed

    Aroutcheva, Alla; Auclair, Julie; Frappier, Martin; Millette, Mathieu; Lolans, Karen; de Montigny, Danielle; Carrière, Serge; Sokalski, Stephen; Trick, William E; Weinstein, Robert A

    2016-03-01

    There has been an increasing interest in the use of probiotic products for the prevention of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). Bio-K+(®) is a commercial probiotic product comprising three strains of lactobacilli--Lactobacillus acidophilus CL1285(®), Lact. casei LBC80R(®) and Lact. rhamnosus CLR2(®)--that have been applied to prevent CDI. Generally considered as safe, lactobacilli have potential to cause bacteremia, endocarditis and other infections. The source of Lactobacillus bacteremia can be normal human flora or lactobacilli-containing probiotic. The aim of this study was to assess whether probiotic lactobacilli caused bacteremia and to show the value of molecular identification and typing techniques to determine probiotic and patient strain relatedness. We report an episode of Lactobacillus bacteremia in a 69-year-old man admitted to a hospital with severe congestive heart failure. During his hospitalization, he required long-term antibiotic therapy. Additionally, the patient received Bio-K+(®) probiotic as part of a quality improvement project to prevent CDI. Subsequently, Lactobacillus bacteremia occurred. Two independent blinded laboratory evaluations, using pulse field gel electrophoresis, 16S rRNA gene sequencing and DNA fingerprint analysis (rep-PCR), were performed to determine whether the recovered Lact. acidophilus originated from the probiotic product. Ultimately, the patient strain was identified as Lact. casei and both laboratories found no genetic relation between the patient's strain and any of the probiotic lactobacilli. This clinical case of lactobacillus bacteremia in the setting of probiotic exposure demonstrates the value of using discriminatory molecular methods to clearly determine whether there were a link between the patient's isolate and the probiotic strains. PMID:26915093

  10. Towards the elucidation of molecular determinants of cooperativity in the liver bile acid binding protein.

    PubMed

    Pedò, Massimo; D'Onofrio, Mariapina; Ferranti, Pasquale; Molinari, Henriette; Assfalg, Michael

    2009-11-15

    Bile acid binding proteins (BABPs) are cytosolic lipid chaperones contributing to the maintenance of bile acid homeostasis and functional distribution within the cell. Liver BABPs act in parallel with ileal transporters to ensure vectorial transport of bile salts in hepatocytes and enterocytes, respectively. We describe the investigation of ligand binding to liver BABP, an essential step in the understanding of intracellular bile salt transport. Binding site occupancies were monitored in NMR titration experiments using (15)N-labelled ligand, while the relative populations of differently bound BABP forms were assessed by mass spectrometry. This site-specific information allowed the determination of intrinsic thermodynamic parameters and the identification of an extremely high cooperativity between two binding sites. Protein-observed NMR experiments revealed a global structural rearrangement which suggests an allosteric mechanism at the basis of the observed cooperativity. The view of a molecular tool capable of buffering against significant concentrations of free bile salts in a large range of solution conditions emerges from the observed pH-dependence of binding. We set to determine the molecular determinants of cooperativity by analysing the binding properties of a protein containing a mutated internal histidine. Both mass spectrometry and NMR experiments are consistent with an overall decreased binding affinity of the mutant, while the measured diffusion coefficients of ligand species reveal that the affinity loss concerns essentially one of the two binding sites. We therefore identified a mutation able to disrupt energetic communication functional to efficient binding and conclude that the buried histidine establishes contacts that stabilize the ternary complex. PMID:19603488

  11. A general protocol for determining the structures of molecularly ordered but noncrystalline silicate frameworks.

    PubMed

    Brouwer, Darren H; Cadars, Sylvian; Eckert, Juergen; Liu, Zheng; Terasaki, Osamu; Chmelka, Bradley F

    2013-04-17

    A general protocol is demonstrated for determining the structures of molecularly ordered but noncrystalline solids, which combines constraints provided by X-ray diffraction (XRD), one- and two-dimensional solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and first-principles quantum chemical calculations. The approach is used to determine the structure(s) of a surfactant-directed layered silicate with short-range order in two dimensions but without long-range periodicity in three-dimensions (3D). The absence of long-range 3D molecular order and corresponding indexable XRD reflections precludes determination of a space group for this layered silicate. Nevertheless, by combining structural constraints obtained from solid-state (29)Si NMR analyses, including the types and relative populations of distinct (29)Si sites, their respective (29)Si-O-(29)Si connectivities and separation distances, with unit cell parameters (though not space group symmetry) provided by XRD, a comprehensive search of candidate framework structures leads to the identification of a small number of candidate structures that are each compatible with all of the experimental data. Subsequent refinement of the candidate structures using density functional theory calculations allows their evaluation and identification of "best" framework representations, based on their respective lattice energies and quantitative comparisons between experimental and calculated (29)Si isotropic chemical shifts and (2)J((29)Si-O-(29)Si) scalar couplings. The comprehensive analysis identifies three closely related and topologically equivalent framework configurations that are in close agreement with all experimental and theoretical structural constraints. The subtle differences among such similar structural models embody the complexity of the actual framework(s), which likely contain coexisting or subtle distributions of structural order that are intrinsic to the material. PMID:23560776

  12. Towards the elucidation of molecular determinants of cooperativity in the liver bile acid binding protein.

    PubMed

    Pedò, Massimo; D'Onofrio, Mariapina; Ferranti, Pasquale; Molinari, Henriette; Assfalg, Michael

    2009-11-15

    Bile acid binding proteins (BABPs) are cytosolic lipid chaperones contributing to the maintenance of bile acid homeostasis and functional distribution within the cell. Liver BABPs act in parallel with ileal transporters to ensure vectorial transport of bile salts in hepatocytes and enterocytes, respectively. We describe the investigation of ligand binding to liver BABP, an essential step in the understanding of intracellular bile salt transport. Binding site occupancies were monitored in NMR titration experiments using (15)N-labelled ligand, while the relative populations of differently bound BABP forms were assessed by mass spectrometry. This site-specific information allowed the determination of intrinsic thermodynamic parameters and the identification of an extremely high cooperativity between two binding sites. Protein-observed NMR experiments revealed a global structural rearrangement which suggests an allosteric mechanism at the basis of the observed cooperativity. The view of a molecular tool capable of buffering against significant concentrations of free bile salts in a large range of solution conditions emerges from the observed pH-dependence of binding. We set to determine the molecular determinants of cooperativity by analysing the binding properties of a protein containing a mutated internal histidine. Both mass spectrometry and NMR experiments are consistent with an overall decreased binding affinity of the mutant, while the measured diffusion coefficients of ligand species reveal that the affinity loss concerns essentially one of the two binding sites. We therefore identified a mutation able to disrupt energetic communication functional to efficient binding and conclude that the buried histidine establishes contacts that stabilize the ternary complex.

  13. Determination of sulfur in food by high resolution continuum source flame molecular absorption spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zambrzycka, Elżbieta; Godlewska-Żyłkiewicz, Beata

    2014-11-01

    In the present work, a fast, simple and sensitive analytical method for determination of sulfur in food and beverages by high resolution continuum source flame molecular absorption spectrometry was developed. The determination was performed via molecular absorption of carbon monosulfide, CS. Different CS rotational lines (257.959 nm, 258.033 nm, 258.055 nm), number of pixels and types of standard solution of sulfur, namely: sulfuric acid, sodium sulfate, ammonium sulfate, sodium sulfite, sodium sulfide, DL-cysteine, and L-cystine, were studied in terms of sensitivity, repeatability of results as well as limit of detection and limit of quantification. The best results were obtained for measurements of absorption of the CS molecule at 258.055 nm at the wavelength range covering 3 pixels and DL-cysteine in 0.2 mol L- 1 HNO3 solution as a calibration standard. Under optimized conditions the limit of detection and the limit of quantification achieved for sulfur were 10.9 mg L- 1 and 36.4 mg L- 1, respectively. The repeatability of the results expressed as relative standard deviation was typically < 5%. The accuracy of the method was tested by analysis of digested biological certified reference materials (soya bean flour, corn flour and herbs) and recovery experiment for beverage samples with added known amount of sulfur standard. The recovery of analyte from such samples was in the range of 93-105% with the repeatability in the range of 4.1-5.0%. The developed method was applied for the determination of sulfur in milk (194 ± 10 mg kg- 1), egg white (2188 ± 29 mg kg- 1), mineral water (31.0 ± 0.9 mg L- 1), white wine (260 ± 4 mg L- 1) and red wine (82 ± 2 mg L- 1), as well as in sample rich in ions, such as bitter mineral water (6900 ± 100 mg L- 1).

  14. Final Report: Tolerance to phytoalexins and its implication for the evolution of host specific virulence traits, July 1, 1996 - June 30, 1998

    SciTech Connect

    VanEtten, Hans

    1998-06-30

    This research focused on determining the importance of non-degradative tolerance (NDT) to pisatin for the virulence of N. haematococca MPVI on pea. An attempt was also made to determine the importance of pda for virulence of F. oxysporum f.sp.pisi,A. pisi and M. pinodes. This research aided in refining the author's understanding of those characteristics of the pda genes that contribute to virulence and the role of non-degradative tolerance in the virulence of other pea pathogens.

  15. Molecular Determinants Defining the Triggering Range of Prefusion F Complexes of Canine Distemper Virus

    PubMed Central

    Avila, Mislay; Alves, Lisa; Khosravi, Mojtaba; Ader-Ebert, Nadine; Origgi, Francesco; Schneider-Schaulies, Jürgen; Zurbriggen, Andreas; Plemper, Richard K.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT The morbillivirus cell entry machinery consists of a fusion (F) protein trimer that refolds to mediate membrane fusion following receptor-induced conformational changes in its binding partner, the tetrameric attachment (H) protein. To identify molecular determinants that control F refolding, we generated F chimeras between measles virus (MeV) and canine distemper virus (CDV). We located a central pocket in the globular head domain of CDV F that regulates the stability of the metastable, prefusion conformational state of the F trimer. Most mutations introduced into this “pocket'” appeared to mediate a destabilizing effect, a phenotype associated with enhanced membrane fusion activity. Strikingly, under specific triggering conditions (i.e., variation of receptor type and H protein origin), some F mutants also exhibited resistance to a potent morbillivirus entry inhibitor, which is known to block F triggering by enhancing the stability of prefusion F trimers. Our data reveal that the molecular nature of the F stimulus and the intrinsic stability of metastable prefusion F both regulate the efficiency of F refolding and escape from small-molecule refolding blockers. IMPORTANCE With the aim to better characterize the thermodynamic basis of morbillivirus membrane fusion for cell entry and spread, we report here that the activation energy barrier of prefusion F trimers together with the molecular nature of the triggering “stimulus” (attachment protein and receptor types) define a “triggering range,” which governs the initiation of the membrane fusion process. A central “pocket” microdomain in the globular F head contributes substantially to the regulation of the conformational stability of the prefusion complexes. The triggering range also defines the mechanism of viral escape from entry inhibitors and describes how the cellular environment can affect membrane fusion efficiency. PMID:24371057

  16. Determination of theophylline in serum by molecularly imprinted solid-phase extraction with pulsed elution.

    PubMed

    Mullett, W M; Lai, E P

    1998-09-01

    The technique of molecular imprinting is used to produce an extensively cross-linked poly(methacrylic acid-co-ethylene dimethacrylate) material that contains theophylline as a print molecule. After Soxhlet extraction of the theophylline, binding sites are formed in the polymer with complementary size, shape, and positioning of chemical functionalities. The molecularly imprinted polymer's (MIP) high theophylline selectivity, chemical stability, and physically robust nature make it an ideal stationary-phase material in columns for HPLC separation of theophylline from other structurally related drug compounds. Mobile-phase tests confirm that a retention mechanism typical of normal-phase chromatography governs the separation, and selectivity of the MIP column can be controlled by a combination of the mobile phase and the sample solvent. Under optimal conditions, the MIP column functions like a solid-phase sorbent for theophylline extraction. Rapid elution of the bound theophylline can be accomplished in a pulsed format through injection of 20 μL of a solvent that has the proper polarity and protic nature to disrupt the electrostatic interactions and hydrogen bonding between theophylline and binding sites. A concentration detection limit of 120 ng/mL is obtained using direct UV absorption detection at 270 nm, which corresponds to a mass detection limit of 2.4 ng. This new technique, molecularly imprinted solid-phase extraction with pulsed elution (MISPE-PE), permits on-line preconcentration of theophylline from a large volume of dilute sample solution. Using a sample volume of 300 μL, a 40 ng/mL standard solution produces a detectable peak signal. Application of MISPE-PE in serum analysis further demonstrates the high capability of the MIP column to selectively isolate theophylline from other matrix components for fast, accurate determination.

  17. Molecular determinants of humoral immune specificity for the occupational allergen, methylene diphenyl diisocyanate.

    PubMed

    Wisnewski, Adam V; Liu, Jian

    2013-06-01

    Methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), a low molecular weight chemical important for producing polyurethane foam, coatings, and elastomers is a major cause of occupational asthma, however, mechanisms of disease pathogenesis remain poorly understood. This study characterizes the rearranged germline and hypervariable region cDNA of new anti-MDI secreting hybridomas derived from mice immunized with MDI-conjugated to autologous serum proteins. Six IgG1 secreting clones were identified in initial screening ELISAs, based on differential binding to MDI conjugated human albumin vs. mock exposed albumin. The mAbs secreted by the hybridomas also recognized MDI conjugated to other model proteins (e.g. ovalbumin, transferrin), but did not bind unconjugated proteins, or protein conjugates prepared with other isocyanates (e.g. TDI, HDI). The mAbs displayed MDI-dose dependent binding in ELISA and Western blot, and exhibited varying degrees of cross-competition, suggesting differences in epitope specificity. The cDNA encoding the monoclonal antibodies reveal clonal differences in the CDR3 regions, germline gene usage, and patterns of somatic hypermutation related to epitope specificity. Together, the data provide new insight into the molecular determinants of humoral MDI specificity, and characterize anti-MDI IgG1 mAbs that may be developed into useful diagnostic reagents.

  18. Determination of cyproheptadine in feeds using molecularly imprinted solid-phase extraction coupled with HPLC.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jianwen; Wang, Zongnan; Zhou, Tong; Song, Xuqin; Liu, Qingyong; Zhang, Yuman; He, Limin

    2015-05-15

    A novel method was developed for the determination of cyproheptadine in feeds using molecularly imprinted solid-phase extraction coupled with high-performance liquid chromatography. The polymers were prepared using cyproheptadine as a template molecule, methacrylic acid as a functional monomer, ethylene glycol dimethacrylate as a cross-linking agent, and dichloromethane as a solvent by bulk polymerization. Under the optimum solid-phase extraction conditions, the molecular imprinting cartridge can selectively extract and enrich cyproheptadine from a variety of feeds. Mean recoveries of cyproheptadine from four kinds of feeds spiked at 0.1, 1.0 and 10mgkg(-1) ranged from 85.5% to 96.2%, with intra-day and inter-day relative standard deviation less than 10%. The calibration curve of cyproheptadine was good linear relationship (r>0.9993) within the range of 0.1-50μgmL(-1). The limit of detection (LOD) and the limit of quantification (LOQ) were 0.04 and 0.1mgkg(-1), respectively.

  19. [Genetic singularity coefficients of common vetch Vicia sativa L. accessions determined with molecular markers].

    PubMed

    Potokina, E K; Aleksandrova, T G

    2008-11-01

    Organization and practical application of ex situ collections require estimation of genetic differences between numerous accessions of local cultivars and field weed forms collected from the same ecological and geographical region and similar in their morphophysiological characteristics. A mathematical algorithm for estimating the degree of genetic singularity of a specimen in the system of local gene pool determined with the help of molecular markers is described. The utility of this algorithm is demonstrated by the example of classification of 677 common vetch accessions from the collection of the Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry from 11 ecological-geographic regions of Russia analyzed using AFLP. The proposed classification of accessions is the result of processing the AFLP data by weighting the marker traits based on their frequency in particular regions. This allowed each accession to be characterized according to the ratio of rare and frequent alleles as a genetic singularity coefficient. The proposed method is appropriate for any types of molecular markers. A practical result of its application is the classification of accessions using a five-point score scale, which can be added to descriptors of certificate databases and used for optimization of the work with collections.

  20. Determination triazine pesticides in cereal samples based on single-hole hollow molecularly imprinted microspheres.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Qi; Li, Huiyu; Xu, Yang; Zhang, Fengshuang; Zhao, Jiahui; Wang, Long; Hou, Juan; Ding, Hong; Li, Yi; Jin, Haiyan; Ding, Lan

    2015-01-01

    Single-hole hollow molecularly imprinted microspheres (h-MIMs) were prepared by hard template method and applied to extract six triazine pesticides in cereal samples, followed by HPLC-MS/MS detection. The synthesis mechanism of the h-MIMs has been studied. The h-MIMs exhibited bigger specific surface area and much higher binding capacity than the molecularly imprinted polymers prepared by precipitation polymerization (p-MIPs) and surface polymerization (s-MIPs). Besides, the adsorption rate of h-MIMs to prometryn was significantly higher than that of p-MIPs and s-MIPs. Owing to the hollow structure of the h-MIMs, more binding cavities were located on the inner and outer surfaces of the h-MIMs, which could facilitate the removal of template molecules from the polymers and the rebinding of the target molecules to the polymers. Under the optimal conditions, the detection limits of triazines are in the range of 0.08-0.16ngg(-1). At the spiked level (5ngg(-1)), the recoveries of triazines are in the range of 81±4% to 96±4%. The proposed method was successfully applied to determine six triazines in five cereal samples. Atrazine was found in two rice samples and a wheat sample with the contents of 5.1, 6.7 and 5.6ngg(-1), respectively. Ametryn and prometryn were found in a maize sample with the contents of 7.6 and 7.3ngg(-1), respectively.

  1. Molecular weight determination of an active photosystem I preparation from a thermophilic cyanobacterium, Synechococcus elongatus.

    PubMed

    Schafheutle, M E; Setliková, E; Timmins, P A; Johner, H; Gutgesell, P; Setlik, I; Welte, W

    1990-02-01

    An active photosystem I (PSI) complex was isolated from the thermophilic cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus by a procedure consisting of three steps: First, extraction of photosystem II from the thylakoids by a sulfobetaine detergent yields PSI-enriched membranes. Second, the latter are treated with Triton X-100 to extract PSI particles, which are further purified by preparative isoelectric focusing. Third, anion-exchange chromatography is used to remove contaminating phycobilisome polypeptides. The purified particles show three major bands in sodium dodecyl sulfate gel electrophoresis of apparent molecular mass of 110, 15, and 10 kDa. Charge separation was monitored by the kinetics of flash-induced absorption changes at 820 nm. A chlorophyll/P700 ratio of 60 was found. When the particles are stored at 4 degrees C, charge separation was stable for weeks. The molecular mass of the PSI particles, determined by measurement of zero-angle neutron scattering intensity, was 217,000 Da. The PSI particles thus consist of one heterodimer of the 60-80-kDa polypeptides and presumably one copy of the 15- and 10-kDa polypeptides, respectively.

  2. Macrolide, glycopeptide resistance and virulence genes in Enterococcus species isolates from dairy cattle.

    PubMed

    Iweriebor, Benson C; Obi, Larry C; Okoh, Anthony I

    2016-07-01

    The genus Enterococcus is known to possess the capacity to acquire and disseminate antimicrobial resistant determinants alongside the ability to produce various virulence genes that enables it to establish infections. We assessed the prevalence and antibiogram profiles of Enterococcus spp. in faecal samples of dairy cattle. Faecal swab samples were collected from 400 dairy cattle from two commercial cattle farms in two rural communities in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Confirmation of enterococci isolates was carried out by PCR targeting of the tuf gene. Species delineation was by species-specific primers targeting the superoxide dismutase (sod A) gene in a multiplex PCR assay. Isolates were screened for the presence of the following virulence genes (ace, gel E, esp, efa A, cyl A and hyl E) and antimicrobial resistance determinants to erythromycin, vancomycin and streptomycin were evaluated molecularly. A total of 340 isolates were confirmed as belonging to the genus Enterococcus . Species distribution among the isolates consisted of Enterococcus faecium (52.94 %) and Enterococcus durans (23.53 %) in preponderance compared to the three other species, namely Enterococcus faecalis (8.8 %), Enterococcus hirae (8.6 %) and Enterococcus casseliflavus (5.9 %). All were resistant to vancomycin, while 99 % showed resistance to aminoglycoside and 94 % to macrolide. Three virulence genes (ace, gel E and esp) were detected in almost all the confirmed isolates. The resistance determinants van B (19.7 %), van C1 (25 %), van C2/3 (26.3 %) erm B (40.29 %) and str A (50.88 %) were detected among the isolates. A high prevalence of multidrug-resistant enterococci isolates was detected in this study and the genetic repertoire to survive in the presence of antimicrobial agents was present in these organisms.

  3. Macrolide, glycopeptide resistance and virulence genes in Enterococcus species isolates from dairy cattle.

    PubMed

    Iweriebor, Benson C; Obi, Larry C; Okoh, Anthony I

    2016-07-01

    The genus Enterococcus is known to possess the capacity to acquire and disseminate antimicrobial resistant determinants alongside the ability to produce various virulence genes that enables it to establish infections. We assessed the prevalence and antibiogram profiles of Enterococcus spp. in faecal samples of dairy cattle. Faecal swab samples were collected from 400 dairy cattle from two commercial cattle farms in two rural communities in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Confirmation of enterococci isolates was carried out by PCR targeting of the tuf gene. Species delineation was by species-specific primers targeting the superoxide dismutase (sod A) gene in a multiplex PCR assay. Isolates were screened for the presence of the following virulence genes (ace, gel E, esp, efa A, cyl A and hyl E) and antimicrobial resistance determinants to erythromycin, vancomycin and streptomycin were evaluated molecularly. A total of 340 isolates were confirmed as belonging to the genus Enterococcus . Species distribution among the isolates consisted of Enterococcus faecium (52.94 %) and Enterococcus durans (23.53 %) in preponderance compared to the three other species, namely Enterococcus faecalis (8.8 %), Enterococcus hirae (8.6 %) and Enterococcus casseliflavus (5.9 %). All were resistant to vancomycin, while 99 % showed resistance to aminoglycoside and 94 % to macrolide. Three virulence genes (ace, gel E and esp) were detected in almost all the confirmed isolates. The resistance determinants van B (19.7 %), van C1 (25 %), van C2/3 (26.3 %) erm B (40.29 %) and str A (50.88 %) were detected among the isolates. A high prevalence of multidrug-resistant enterococci isolates was detected in this study and the genetic repertoire to survive in the presence of antimicrobial agents was present in these organisms. PMID:27166215

  4. Structural characterisation of the virulence-associated protein VapG from the horse pathogen Rhodococcus equi

    PubMed Central

    Okoko, Tebekeme; Blagova, Elena V.; Whittingham, Jean L.; Dover, Lynn G.; Wilkinson, Anthony J.

    2015-01-01

    Virulence and host range in Rhodococcus equi depends on the variable pathogenicity island of their virulence plasmids. Notable gene products are a family of small secreted virulence-associated proteins (Vaps) that are critical to intramacrophagic proliferation. Equine-adapted strains, which cause severe pyogranulomatous pneumonia in foals, produce a cell-associated VapA that is necessary for virulence, alongside five other secreted homologues. In the absence of biochemical insight, attention has turned to the structures of these proteins to develop a functional hypothesis. Recent studies have described crystal structures for VapD and a truncate of the VapA orthologue of porcine-adapted strains, VapB. Here, we crystallised the full-length VapG and determined its structure by molecular replacement. Electron density corresponding to the N-terminal domain was not visible suggesting that it is disordered. The protein core adopted a compact elliptical, anti-parallel β-barrel fold with β1–β2–β3–β8–β5–β6–β7–β4 topology decorated by a single peripheral α-helix unique to this family. The high glycine content of the protein allows close packing of secondary structural elements. Topologically, the surface has no indentations that indicate a nexus for molecular interactions. The distribution of polar and apolar groups on the surface of VapG is markedly uneven. One-third of the surface is dominated by exposed apolar side-chains, with no ionisable and only four polar side-chains exposed, giving rise to an expansive flat hydrophobic surface. Other surface regions are more polar, especially on or near the α-helix and a belt around the centre of the β-barrel. Possible functional significance of these recent structures is discussed. PMID:25746683

  5. Determination of the protonation state of the Asp dyad: conventional molecular dynamics versus thermodynamic integration.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jinfeng; Zhu, Yali; Sun, Bin; Yao, Yuan; Liu, Junjun

    2016-03-01

    The protonation state of the Asp dyad is important as it can reveal enzymatic mechanisms, and the information this provides can be used in the development of drugs for proteins such as memapsin 2 (BACE-1), HIV-1 protease, and rennin. Conventional molecular dynamics (MD) simulations have been successfully used to determine the preferred protonation state of the Asp dyad. In the present work, we demonstrate that the results obtained from conventional MD simulations can be greatly influenced by the particular force field applied or the values used for control parameters. In principle, free-energy changes between possible protonation states can be used to determine the protonation state. We show that protonation state prediction by the thermodynamic integration (TI) method is insensitive to force field version or to the cutoff for calculating nonbonded interactions (a control parameter). In the present study, the protonation state of the Asp dyad predicted by TI calculations was the same regardless of the force field and cutoff value applied. Contrary to the intuition that conventional MD is more efficient, our results clearly show that the TI method is actually more efficient and more reliable for determining the protonation state of the Asp dyad.

  6. A biomimetic potentiometric sensor based on molecularly imprinted polymer for the determination of memantine in tablets.

    PubMed

    Arvand, Majid; Samie, Hedyeh Asadi

    2013-06-01

    Memantine hydrochloride is one of the first novel class medications for treatment of Alzheimer's disease. In this work, a biomimetic potentiometric sensor, based on a non-covalent imprinted polymer, was fabricated for the recognition and determination of memantine in pure drug and tablet pharmaceutical form. The molecularly imprinted polymer was synthesized by precipitation polymerization, using memantine hydrochloride as a template molecule, methacrylic acid as a functional monomer, and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate as a cross-linking agent. The sensor was developed by dispersing the memantine imprinted polymer particles in dibutyl sebacate plasticizer and embedding in poly(vinyl chloride) matrix. The wide linear range (10(-5) -10(-1)  M), with a near Nernstian response of 57.4 mV/decade, a limit of detection 6.0 × 10(-6)  M, fast response time (~15 s) and a satisfactory long-term stability (4 months) are characterizations of the proposed sensor. The sensor showed a high selectivity and a sensitive response to the template in aqueous system. The standard electrode potentials were determined at different temperatures and used to calculate the isothermal coefficient of the electrode. It was used as indicator electrode in potentiometric determination of memantine in pharmaceutical formulations.

  7. Determination of sulphur in various vegetables by solid sampling high-resolution electrothermal molecular absorption spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Gunduz, Sema; Akman, Suleyman

    2015-04-01

    Sulphur was determined in various vegetables via molecular absorption of carbon monosulphide (CS) at 258.056 nm using a solid sampling high resolution continuum source electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometer (SS HR-CS ETAAS). Samples were dried, ground and directly introduced into the ruthenium coated graphite furnace as 0.05 to 0.50mg. All determinations were performed using palladium+citric acid modifier and applying a pyrolysis temperature of 1000 °C and a volatilisation temperature of 2400 °C. The results were in good agreement with certified sulphur concentrations of various vegetal CRM samples applying linear calibration technique prepared from thioacetamide. The limit of detection and characteristic mass of the method were 7.5 and 8.7 ng of S, respectively. The concentrations of S in various spinach, leek, lettuce, radish, Brussels sprouts, zucchini and chard samples were determined. It was showed that distribution of sulphur in CRM and grinded food samples were homogeneous even in micro-scale. PMID:25442545

  8. Determination of malachite green in fish based on magnetic molecularly imprinted polymer extraction followed by electrochemiluminescence.

    PubMed

    Huang, Baomei; Zhou, Xibin; Chen, Jing; Wu, Guofan; Lu, Xiaoquan

    2015-09-01

    A novel procedure for selective extraction of malachite green (MG) from fish samples was set up by using magnetic molecularly imprinted polymers (MMIP) as the solid phase extraction material followed by electrochemiluminescence (ECL) determination. MMIP was prepared by using Fe3O4 magnetite as magnetic component, MG as template molecule, methacrylic acid (MAA) as functional monomer and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA) as crosslinking agent. MMIP was characterized by SEM, TEM, FT-IR, VSM and XRD. Leucomalachite green (LMG) was oxidized in situ to MG by 2,3-dichloro-5,6-dicyano-1,4-benzoquinone (DDQ). And then MMIP was successfully used to selectively enrich MG from fish samples. Adsorbed MG was desorbed and determined by ECL. Under the optimal conditions, calibration curve was good linear in the range of 0.29-290 μg/kg and the limit of detection (LOD) was 7.3 ng/kg (S/N=3). The recoveries of MMIP extraction were 77.1-101.2%. In addition, MMIP could be regenerated. To the best of our knowledge, MMIP coupling with ECL quenching of Ru(bpy)3(2+)/TPA for the determination of MG has not yet been developed. PMID:26003716

  9. Determination of sulphur in various vegetables by solid sampling high-resolution electrothermal molecular absorption spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Gunduz, Sema; Akman, Suleyman

    2015-04-01

    Sulphur was determined in various vegetables via molecular absorption of carbon monosulphide (CS) at 258.056 nm using a solid sampling high resolution continuum source electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometer (SS HR-CS ETAAS). Samples were dried, ground and directly introduced into the ruthenium coated graphite furnace as 0.05 to 0.50mg. All determinations were performed using palladium+citric acid modifier and applying a pyrolysis temperature of 1000 °C and a volatilisation temperature of 2400 °C. The results were in good agreement with certified sulphur concentrations of various vegetal CRM samples applying linear calibration technique prepared from thioacetamide. The limit of detection and characteristic mass of the method were 7.5 and 8.7 ng of S, respectively. The concentrations of S in various spinach, leek, lettuce, radish, Brussels sprouts, zucchini and chard samples were determined. It was showed that distribution of sulphur in CRM and grinded food samples were homogeneous even in micro-scale.

  10. Molecular determinants of plaque size as an indicator of dengue virus attenuation

    PubMed Central

    Goh, Kenneth Choon Meng; Tang, Choon Kit; Norton, Diana Catherine; Gan, Esther Shuyi; Tan, Hwee Cheng; Sun, Bo; Syenina, Ayesa; Yousuf, Amjad; Ong, Xin Mei; Kamaraj, Uma Sangumathi; Cheung, Yin Bun; Gubler, Duane J; Davidson, Andrew; St John, Ashley Lauren; Sessions, October Michael; Ooi, Eng Eong

    2016-01-01

    The development of live viral vaccines relies on empirically derived phenotypic criteria, especially small plaque sizes, to indicate attenuation. However, while some candidate vaccines successfully translated into licensed applications, others have failed safety trials, placing vaccine development on a hit-or-miss trajectory. We examined the determinants of small plaque phenotype in two dengue virus (DENV) vaccine candidates, DENV-3 PGMK30FRhL3, which produced acute febrile illness in vaccine recipients, and DENV-2 PDK53, which has a good clinical safety profile. The reasons behind the failure of PGMK30FRhL3 during phase 1 clinical trial, despite meeting the empirically derived criteria of attenuation, have never been systematically investigated. Using in vitro, in vivo and functional genomics approaches, we examined infections by the vaccine and wild-type DENVs, in order to ascertain the different determinants of plaque size. We show that PGMK30FRhL3 produces small plaques on BHK-21 cells due to its slow in vitro growth rate. In contrast, PDK53 replicates rapidly, but is unable to evade antiviral responses that constrain its spread hence also giving rise to small plaques. Therefore, at least two different molecular mechanisms govern the plaque phenotype; determining which mechanism operates to constrain plaque size may be more informative on the safety of live-attenuated vaccines. PMID:27185466

  11. Determination of L-tryptophan based on graphene oxide-magnetite-molecularly imprinted polymers and chemiluminescence.

    PubMed

    Qiu, Huamin; Luo, Chuannan; Sun, Min; Lu, Fuguang; Fan, Lulu; Li, Xiangjun

    2012-08-30

    A new method for determination of L-tryptophan (L-try) using the flow injection chemiluminescence (FI-CL) system of KMnO(4)-SnCl(2)-CHOH based on a graphene oxide-magnetite-molecularly imprinted polymer (GM-MIP) is described. The L-try GM-MIP was synthesized using graphene oxide (G) which improved the adsorption capacity as carrier, and magnetite nanoparticles which made the polymers easier to use in the sensor. The adsorption performance and properties were characterized. The GM-MIP was used in CL analysis to increase the selectivity and the possible mechanism was also discussed. The CL sensor responded linearly to the concentration of L-try over the range from 2.10×10(-7) to 7.09×10(-4) M with a detection limit of 2.11×10(-8) M (3σ). The relative standard deviation (RSD) for the determination of 3.0×10(-5) M L-try was 2.40% (n=11). On the basis of speediness and sensitivity, the sensor is reusable and shows a great improvement in selectivity and adsorption capacity over other sensors. The sensor has been used for the determination of L-try in drug samples.

  12. Determination of malachite green in fish based on magnetic molecularly imprinted polymer extraction followed by electrochemiluminescence.

    PubMed

    Huang, Baomei; Zhou, Xibin; Chen, Jing; Wu, Guofan; Lu, Xiaoquan

    2015-09-01

    A novel procedure for selective extraction of malachite green (MG) from fish samples was set up by using magnetic molecularly imprinted polymers (MMIP) as the solid phase extraction material followed by electrochemiluminescence (ECL) determination. MMIP was prepared by using Fe3O4 magnetite as magnetic component, MG as template molecule, methacrylic acid (MAA) as functional monomer and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA) as crosslinking agent. MMIP was characterized by SEM, TEM, FT-IR, VSM and XRD. Leucomalachite green (LMG) was oxidized in situ to MG by 2,3-dichloro-5,6-dicyano-1,4-benzoquinone (DDQ). And then MMIP was successfully used to selectively enrich MG from fish samples. Adsorbed MG was desorbed and determined by ECL. Under the optimal conditions, calibration curve was good linear in the range of 0.29-290 μg/kg and the limit of detection (LOD) was 7.3 ng/kg (S/N=3). The recoveries of MMIP extraction were 77.1-101.2%. In addition, MMIP could be regenerated. To the best of our knowledge, MMIP coupling with ECL quenching of Ru(bpy)3(2+)/TPA for the determination of MG has not yet been developed.

  13. Preparation, Purification, and Secondary Structure Determination of Bacillus Circulans Xylanase. A Molecular Laboratory Incorporating Aspects of Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Biophysical Chemistry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Russo, Sal; Gentile, Lisa

    2006-01-01

    A project module designed for biochemistry or cellular and molecular biology student which involves determining the secondary structure of Bacillus circulans xylanase (BCX) by circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy under conditions that compromise its stabilizing intramolecular forces is described. The lab model enhanced students knowledge of the…

  14. Virulence Plasmids of Spore-Forming Bacteria.

    PubMed

    Adams, Vicki; Li, Jihong; Wisniewski, Jessica A; Uzal, Francisco A; Moore, Robert J; McClane, Bruce A; Rood, Julian I

    2014-12-01

    Plasmid-encoded virulence factors are important in the pathogenesis of diseases caused by spore-forming bacteria. Unlike many other bacteria, the most common virulence factors encoded by plasmids in Clostridium and Bacillus species are protein toxins. Clostridium perfringens causes several histotoxic and enterotoxin diseases in both humans and animals and produces a broad range of toxins, including many pore-forming toxins such as C. perfringens enterotoxin, epsilon-toxin, beta-toxin, and NetB. Genetic studies have led to the determination of the role of these toxins in disease pathogenesis. The genes for these toxins are generally carried on large conjugative plasmids that have common core replication, maintenance, and conjugation regions. There is considerable functional information available about the unique tcp conjugation locus carried by these plasmids, but less is known about plasmid maintenance. The latter is intriguing because many C. perfringens isolates stably maintain up to four different, but closely related, toxin plasmids. Toxin genes may also be plasmid-encoded in the neurotoxic clostridia. The tetanus toxin gene is located on a plasmid in Clostridium tetani, but the botulinum toxin genes may be chromosomal, plasmid-determined, or located on bacteriophages in Clostridium botulinum. In Bacillus anthracis it is well established that virulence is plasmid determined, with anthrax toxin genes located on pXO1 and capsule genes on a separate plasmid, pXO2. Orthologs of these plasmids are also found in other members of the Bacillus cereus group such as B. cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis. In B. thuringiensis these plasmids may carry genes encoding one or more insecticidal toxins.

  15. Repeat Size Determination by Two Molecular Rulers in the Type I-E CRISPR Array.

    PubMed

    Goren, Moran G; Doron, Shany; Globus, Rea; Amitai, Gil; Sorek, Rotem; Qimron, Udi

    2016-09-13

    Prokaryotic adaptive immune systems are composed of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins. These systems adapt to new threats by integrating short nucleic acids, termed spacers, into the CRISPR array. The functional motifs in the repeat and the mechanism by which a constant repeat size is maintained are still elusive. Here, through a series of mutations within the repeat of the CRISPR-Cas type I-E, we identify motifs that are crucial for adaptation and show that they serve as anchor sites for two molecular rulers determining the size of the new repeat. Adaptation products from various repeat mutants support a model in which two motifs in the repeat bind to two different sites in the adaptation complex that are 8 and 16 bp away from the active site. This model significantly extends our understanding of the adaptation process and broadens the scope of its applications. PMID:27626652

  16. Voltammetric Determination of Flunixin on Molecularly Imprinted Polypyrrole Modified Glassy Carbon Electrode

    PubMed Central

    Radi, Abd-Elgawad; Abd El-Ghany, Nadia; Wahdan, Tarek

    2016-01-01

    A novel electrochemical sensing approach, based on electropolymerization of a molecularly imprinted polypyrrole (MIPpy) film onto a glassy carbon electrode (GCE) surface, was developed for the detection of flunixin (FXN). The sensing conditions and the performance of the constructed sensor were assessed by cyclic, differential pulse and (DPV) square wave voltammetry (SWV). The sensor exhibited high sensitivity, with linear responses in the range of 5.0 to 50.0 µM with detection limits of 1.5 and 1.0 µM for DPV and SWV, respectively. In addition, the sensor showed high selectivity towards FXN in comparison to other interferents. The sensor was successfully utilized for the direct determination of FXN in buffalo raw milk samples. PMID:27242945

  17. A novel approach for determining the minimum feed in nanochannels processing via molecular dynamics simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ren, Jiaqi; Dong, Zeguang; Zhao, Jinsheng; Liu, Pinkuan

    2016-04-01

    A novel approach based on molecular dynamics (MD) simulation has been proposed for the first time with the focus on quantifying the minimum feed (MF) in atomic force microscope (AFM) based nanochannel fabrication. This approach involves a coarse-to-fine criterion to determine MF so that regular nanochannel patterns can be obtained. The method is first introduced step by step and then confirmatory test is performed to demonstrate the capability of this contour-based method. MF judging studies are also performed systematically in which they vary in the aspects of scratching depth, tip angles, and tip shapes. Dislocations generation, surface quality, and scratching forces in the initial and subsequent scratches are investigated in detail. This method can overcome the drawbacks of high cost and low efficiency in experimental studies. Furthermore, our method sheds light on the manufacturing technique of nanochannels, which can help to obtain the surface morphologies with higher quality than traditional approaches.

  18. Determination of phosphorus using high-resolution diphosphorus molecular absorption spectra produced in the graphite furnace

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Mao Dong; Becker-Ross, Helmut; Okruss, Michael; Geisler, Sebastian; Florek, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    Molecular absorption of diphosphorus was produced in a graphite furnace and evaluated in view of its suitability for phosphorus determination. Measurements were performed with two different high-resolution continuum source absorption spectrometers. The first system is a newly in-house developed simultaneous broad-range spectrograph, which was mainly used for recording overview absorption spectra of P2 between 193 nm and 245 nm. The region covers the main part of the C 1Σu+ ← X 1Σg+ electronic transition and shows a complex structure with many vibrational bands, each consisting of a multitude of sharp rotational lines. With the help of molecular data available for P2, an assignment of the vibrational bands was possible and the rotational structure could be compared with simulated spectra. The second system is a commercial sequential continuum source spectrometer, which was used for the basic analytical measurements. The P2 rotational line at 204.205 nm was selected and systematically evaluated with regard to phosphorus determination. The conditions for P2 generation were optimized and it was found that the combination of a ZrC modified graphite tube and borate as a chemical modifier were essential for a good production of P2. Serious interferences were found in the case of nitrate and sulfuric acid, although the nitrate interference can be eliminated by a higher pyrolysis temperature. The reliability of the method was proved by analysis of certified samples. Using standard tubes, a characteristic mass of 10 ng and a limit of detection of 7 ng were found. The values could further be improved by a factor of ten using a miniaturized tube with an internal diameter of 2 mm. Compared to the conventional method based on the phosphorus absorption line at 213.618 nm, the advantages of using P2 are the gentle temperature conditions and the potential of performing a simultaneous multi-line evaluation to further improve the limit of detection.

  19. The History of Molecular Structure Determination Viewed through the Nobel Prizes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jensen, William P.; Palenik, Gus J.; Suh, Il-Hwan

    2003-07-01

    For the past 100 years, with only a few exceptions during war times, Nobel Prizes have been awarded annually to men and women who have made exceptionally important discoveries in science. In thirteen of those years, prizes were awarded to individuals whose contributions helped explain the molecular world of matter through interactions of waves or particles with atoms. From William C. Röntgen, who received the very first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901 for his work with X-rays, to von Laue and the father-and-son Bragg team in the second decade of the century, who used X-rays to understand atomic arrangements, much progress had been made revealing secrets at the molecular level of matter. In the 1930s Debye, Davisson, and Thomson revealed further information using, among other techniques, diffraction of electrons by matter. In the 1960s Crick, Watson, Wilkins, Perutz, Kendrew, and Hodgkin received Nobel Prizes for revealing structures of significantly more complex molecules including the DNA double helix, myoglobin, hemoglobin, and vitamin B12. In the 1970s and 1980s Lipscomb would be recognized for organizing our picture of boron hydrides, Klug would use electron diffraction to determine structures of important nucleic acid protein complexes, Hauptman and Karle would bring us a powerful new way to solve structures, and Deisenhofer, Huber, and Michel would determine the three-dimensional structure of a photosynthetic reaction center. Finally, in 1994 Brockhouse and Shull were recognized for their work with neutrons. Crystallography has been used to answer increasingly complex questions in the past, and will certainly remain an important tool in the future.

  20. Interference competition and parasite virulence.

    PubMed Central

    Massey, Ruth C.; Buckling, Angus; ffrench-Constant, Richard

    2004-01-01

    Within-host competition between parasites, a consequence of infection by multiple strains, is predicted to favour rapid host exploitation and greater damage to hosts (virulence). However, the inclusion of biological variables can drastically change this relationship. For example, if competing parasite strains produce toxins that kill each other (interference competition), their growth rates and virulence may be reduced relative to single-strain infections. Bacteriocins are antimicrobial toxins produced by bacteria that target closely related strains and species, and to which the producing strain is immune. We investigated competition between bacteriocin-producing, insect-killing bacteria (Photorhabdus and Xenorhabdus) and how this competition affected virulence in caterpillars. Where one strain could kill the other, and not vice versa, the non-killing strain was competitively excluded, and insect mortality was the same as that of the killing strain alone. However, when caterpillars were multiply infected by strains that could kill each other, we did not observe competitive exclusion and their virulence was less than single-strain infections. The ubiquity and diversity of bacteriocins among pathogenic bacteria suggest mixed infections will be, on average, less virulent than single infections. PMID:15255095

  1. Pseudomonas aeruginosa Virulence and Therapy: Evolving Translational Strategies

    PubMed Central

    Veesenmeyer, Jeffrey L.; Lisboa, Thiago; Rello, Jordi

    2009-01-01

    Structured abstract Objective Although most reviews of Pseudomonas aeruginosa therapeutics focus on antibiotics currently in use or in the pipeline, we review evolving translational strategies aimed at using virulence factor antagonists as adjuvant therapies. Data Source Current literature regarding P. aeruginosa virulence determinants and approaches that target them, with an emphasis on type III secretion, quorum-sensing, biofilms, and flagella. Data Extraction and Synthesis P. aeruginosa remains one of the most important pathogens in nosocomial infections, with high associated morbidity and mortality. Its predilection to develop resistance to antibiotics and expression of multiple virulence factors contributes to the frequent ineffectiveness of current therapies. Among the many P. aeruginosa virulence determinants that impact infections, type III secretion, quorum sensing, biofilm formation, and flagella have been the focus of much recent investigation. Here we review how increased understanding of these important bacterial structures and processes has enabled the development of novel approaches to inhibit each. These promising translational strategies may lead to the development of adjuvant therapies capable of improving outcomes. Conclusions Adjuvant therapies directed against virulence factors have the potential to improve outcomes in P. aeruginosa infections. PMID:19325463

  2. Determination of specific molecular markers of biomass burning in lake sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirchgeorg, Torben; Schüpbach, Simon; Kehrwald, Natalie; McWethy, David; Barbante, Carlo

    2014-05-01

    Fire influences regional to global atmospheric chemistry and climate. Molecular markers of biomass burning archived in lake sediments are becoming increasingly important in paleoenvironmental reconstruction and may help determine interactions between climate and fire activity. One group of these molecular markers is the monosaccharide anhydrides levoglucosan, mannosan and galactosan. Several aerosol studies and recent ice core research use these compounds as a marker for biomass burning, but studies from lake sediment cores are rare. Previous sediment methods used gas chromatography - mass spectrometry and required derivatization of samples. Here, we present a high performance anion exchange chromatography-mass spectrometry method to allow separation and detection of the three monosaccharide anhydrides in lake sediments with implications for reconstructing past biomass burning events. We validated the method by quantifying levoglucosan, mannosan and galactosan in selected sediment core samples from Lake Kirkpatrick, New Zealand. The freeze-dried, milled and homogenized sediment samples were first extracted with methanol by pressurized solvent extraction, pre-concentrated and finally separated and analyzed by high performance anion exchange chromatography-mass spectrometry. We compared these isomers with macroscopic charcoal concentrations, as charcoal is a well-known proxy for biomass burning. In addition, we applied the method to a sediment core from Lake Petén Itzá, Guatemala to prove the suitability of these markers for reconstructing biomass burning history over the entire Holocene. In the Lake Kirkpatrick samples, levoglucosan, mannosan and galactosan concentrations significantly correlate with macroscopic charcoal concentrations. The three isomers are present in samples without any macroscopic charcoal, and may reflect the presence of microscopic charcoal. Levoglucosan/mannosan and levoglucosan/(mannosan+galactosan) ratios differ between samples with high

  3. Molecular Structure and Chirality Determination from Pulsed-Jet Fourier Transform Microwave Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lobsiger, Simon; Perez, Cristobal; Evangelisti, Luca; Seifert, Nathan A.; Pate, Brooks; Lehmann, Kevin

    2014-06-01

    Fourier transform microwave (FTMW) spectroscopy has been used for many years as one of the most accurate methods to determine gas-phase structures of molecules and small molecular clusters. In the last years two pioneering works ushered in a new era applications. First, by exploiting the reduced measurement time and the high sensitivity, the development of chirped-pulse CP-FTMW spectrometers enabled the full structural determination of molecules of increasing size as well as molecular clusters. Second, and more recently, Patterson et al. showed that rotational spectroscopy can also be used for enantiomer-specific detection. Here we present an experimental approach that combines both in a single spectrometer. This set-up is capable to rapidly obtain the full heavy-atom substitution structure using the CP-FTMW features. The inclusion of an extra set of broadband horns allows for a chirality-sensitive measurement of the sample. The measurement we implement is a three-wave mixing experiment that uses time-separated pulses to optimally create the chiral coherence - an approach that was proposed recently. Using samples of R-, S- and racemic Solketal, the physical properties of the three-wave mixing experiment were studied. This involved the measurement of the corresponding nutation curves (molecular signal intensity vs excitation pulse duration) to demonstrate the optimal pulse sequence. The phase stability of the chiral signal, required to assign the absolute stereochemistry, has been studied as a function of the measurement signal-to-noise ratio using a "phasogram" method. G. G. Brown, B. C. Dian, K. O. Douglass, S. M. Geyer, S. T. Shipman, B. H. Pate, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 2008, 79, 053103. D. Patterson, M. Schnell, J. M. Doyle, Nature 2013, 497, 475-477. D. Patterson, J. M. Doyle, Phys. Rev. Lett. 2013, 111, 023008. V. A. Shubert, D. Schmitz, D. Patterson, J. M. Doyle, M. Schnell, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 1152-1155. J.-U. Grabow, Angew. Chem. 2013, 125, 11914

  4. Growth rates of atmospheric molecular clusters determined from cluster appearance times and collision-evaporation fluxes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kontkanen, Jenni; Olenius, Tinja; Lehtipalo, Katrianne; Vehkamäki, Hanna; Kulmala, Markku

    2015-04-01

    The probability of freshly formed particles to survive to climatically relevant sizes is determined by the competition between the coagulation loss rate and the particle growth rate. Therefore, various methods have been developed to deduce the growth rates from measured particle size distributions. Recently, the growth rates of sub-3nm clusters have been determined based on the appearance times of different cluster sizes. However, it is not clear to what extent these growth rates are consistent with the growth rates corresponding to molecular fluxes between clusters. In this work, we simulated the time evolution of a population of sub-3 nm molecular clusters and compared the growth rates determined (1) from the cluster appearance times and (2) from the collision-evaporation fluxes between different cluster sizes. We performed a number of simulations by varying the ambient conditions and the properties of the model substance. In the first simulation set, the Gibbs free energy of the formation of the clusters was assumed to have a single maximum and no minima, corresponding to a monotonically increasing stability as a function of cluster size. The saturation vapor pressure was selected so that the growth proceeded solely via monomer additions. The growth rates were determined separately for each cluster. However, to see the effect of finite size resolution, we also performed simulations where the clusters were grouped into size bins, for which we determined the growth rates. In the second simulation set, the saturation vapor pressure was lowered so that the collisions of small clusters significantly contributed to the growth. As the growth rate of a single cluster is ambiguous in this case, the growth rates were determined only for different size bins. We performed simulations using a similar free energy profile as in other simulations but we also used a free energy profile containing a local minimum, corresponding to small stable clusters. Our simulations show that

  5. Trichomonas vaginalis virulence factors: an integrative overview

    PubMed Central

    Hirt, Robert P

    2013-01-01

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

  6. A colorimetric method for the molecular weight determination of polyethylene glycol using gold nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ling, Kai; Jiang, Hongyan; Zhang, Qiqing

    2013-12-01

    A gold nanoparticle (AuNP)-based colorimetric method was developed for the molecular weight (MW) determination of polyethylene glycol (PEG), a commonly used hydrophilic polymer. Addition of a salt solution to PEG-coated AuNP solutions helps in screening the electrostatic repulsion between nanoparticles and generating a color change of the solutions from wine red to blue in 10 min in accordance with the MW of PEG, which illustrates the different stability degrees (SDs) of the AuNPs. The SDs are calculated by the absorbance ratios of the stable to the aggregated AuNPs in the solution. The root mean square end-to-end length (< h 2>1/2) of PEG molecules shows a linear fit to the SDs of the PEG-coated AuNPs in a range of 1.938 ± 0.156 to 10.151 ± 0.176 nm. According to the Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek theory, the reason for this linear relationship is that the thickness of the PEG adlayer is roughly equivalent to the < h 2>1/2 of the PEG molecules in solution, which determines the SDs of the AuNPs. Subsequently, the MW of the PEG can be obtained from its < h 2>1/2 using a mathematical relationship between < h 2>1/2 and MW of PEG molecule. Applying this approach, we determined the < h 2>1/2 and the MW of four PEG samples according to their absorbance values from the ordinary ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometric measurements. Therefore, the MW of PEG can be distinguished straightforwardly by visual inspection and determined by spectrophotometry. This novel approach is simple, rapid, and sensitive.

  7. Microevolution During Serial Mouse Passage Demonstrates FRE3 as a Virulence Adaptation Gene in Cryptococcus neoformans

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Guowu; Chen, Shu Hui; Qiu, Jin; Bennett, John E.; Myers, Timothy G.; Williamson, Peter R.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Passage in mice of opportunistic pathogens such as Cryptococcus neoformans is known to increase virulence, but little is known about the molecular mechanisms involved in virulence adaptation. Serial mouse passage of nine environmental strains of serotype A C. neoformans identified two highly adapted virulent strains that showed a 4-fold reduction in time to death after four passages. Transcriptome sequencing expression studies demonstrated increased expression of a FRE3-encoded iron reductase in the two strains but not in a control strain that did not demonstrate increased virulence during mouse passage. FRE3 was shown to express an iron reductase activity and to play a role in iron-dependent growth of C. neoformans. Overexpression of FRE3 in the two original environmental strains increased growth in the macrophage cell line J774.16 and increased virulence. These data demonstrate a role for FRE3 in the virulence of C. neoformans and demonstrate how the increased expression of such a “virulence acquisition gene” during the environment-to-mammal transition, can optimize the virulence of environmental strains in mammalian hosts. PMID:24692633

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-06-28

    Background: Systemic bacterial infections are highly regulated and complex processes that are orchestrated by numerous virulence factors. Genes that are coordinately controlled by the set of regulators required for systemic infection are potentially required for pathogenicity. Results: In this study we present a systems biology approach in which sample-matched multi-omic measurements of fourteen