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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. Molecular Determinants of Ebola Virus Virulence in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Ebihara, Hideki; Takada, Ayato; Kobasa, Darwyn; Jones, Steven; Neumann, Gabriele; Theriault, Steven; Bray, Mike; Feldmann, Heinz; Kawaoka, Yoshihiro

    2006-01-01

    Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV) causes severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates, with fatality rates in humans of up to 90%. The molecular basis for the extreme virulence of ZEBOV remains elusive. While adult mice resist ZEBOV infection, the Mayinga strain of the virus has been adapted to cause lethal infection in these animals. To understand the pathogenesis underlying the extreme virulence of Ebola virus (EBOV), here we identified the mutations responsible for the acquisition of the high virulence of the adapted Mayinga strain in mice, by using reverse genetics. We found that mutations in viral protein 24 and in the nucleoprotein were primarily responsible for the acquisition of high virulence. Moreover, the role of these proteins in virulence correlated with their ability to evade type I interferon-stimulated antiviral responses. These findings suggest a critical role for overcoming the interferon-induced antiviral state in the pathogenicity of EBOV and offer new insights into the pathogenesis of EBOV infection. PMID:16848640

  3. Virulence Determination

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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. 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

  5. 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

  6. Stenotrophomonas maltophilia strains from cystic fibrosis patients: genomic variability and molecular characterization of some virulence determinants.

    PubMed

    Nicoletti, Mauro; Iacobino, Angelo; Prosseda, Gianni; Fiscarelli, Ersilia; Zarrilli, Raffaele; De Carolis, Elena; Petrucca, Andrea; Nencioni, Lucia; Colonna, Bianca; Casalino, Mariassunta

    2011-01-01

    The genetic relatedness of 52 Stenotrophomonas maltophilia strains, collected from various environmental and clinical sources, including cystic fibrosis (CF) patients, as well as the presence and the expression of some virulence-associated genes were studied. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis identified 47 profiles and three clusters of isolates with an identical PFGE pattern considered to be indistinguishable strains. Restriction fragment length polymorphism of the gyrB gene grouped the 52 strains into nine different profiles. Most CF clinical isolates (29 out of 41) showed profile 1, while the analysis of the hypervariable regions of the 16S rRNA gene revealed five distinct allelic variations, with the majority of CF isolates (23 out of 41) belonging to sequence group 1. Furthermore, the strains were characterized for motility and expression of virulence-associated genes, including genes encoding type-1 fimbriae, proteases (StmPr1 and StmPr2) and esterase. All S. maltophilia strains exhibited a very broad range of swimming and twitching motility, while none showed swarming motility. A complete smf-1 gene was PCR-amplified only from clinically derived S. maltophilia strains. Finally, the virulence of representative S. maltophilia strains impaired in the expression of proteases and esterase activities was evaluated by infecting larvae of the wax moth Galleria mellonella. The results obtained strongly indicate that the major extracellular protease StmPr1 may be a relevant virulence factor of S. maltophilia.

  7. Bluetongue virus genetic and phenotypic diversity: towards identifying the molecular determinants that influence virulence and transmission potential.

    PubMed

    Coetzee, Peter; Van Vuuren, Moritz; Stokstad, Maria; Myrmel, Mette; Venter, Estelle H

    2012-12-28

    Bluetongue virus (BTV) is the prototype member of the Orbivirus genus in the family Reoviridae and is the aetiological agent of the arthropod transmitted disease bluetongue (BT) that affects both ruminant and camelid species. The disease is of significant global importance due to its economic impact and effect on animal welfare. Bluetongue virus, a dsRNA virus, evolves through a process of quasispecies evolution that is driven by genetic drift and shift as well as intragenic recombination. Quasispecies evolution coupled with founder effect and evolutionary selective pressures has over time led to the establishment of genetically distinct strains of the virus in different epidemiological systems throughout the world. Bluetongue virus field strains may differ substantially from each other with regards to their phenotypic properties (i.e. virulence and/or transmission potential). The intrinsic molecular determinants that influence the phenotype of BTV have not clearly been characterized. It is currently unclear what contribution each of the viral genome segments have in determining the phenotypic properties of the virus and it is also unknown how genetic variability in the individual viral genes and their functional domains relate to differences in phenotype. In order to understand how genetic variation in particular viral genes could potentially influence the phenotypic properties of the virus; a closer understanding of the BTV virion, its encoded proteins and the evolutionary mechanisms that shape the diversity of the virus is required. This review provides a synopsis of these issues and highlights some of the studies that have been conducted on BTV and the closely related African horse sickness virus (AHSV) that have contributed to ongoing attempts to identify the molecular determinants that influence the virus' phenotype. Different strategies that can be used to generate BTV mutants in vitro and methods through which the causality between particular genetic

  8. [Virulence determinant of Chromobacterium violaceum].

    PubMed

    Miki, Tsuyoshi

    2014-01-01

    Chromobacterium violaceum is a Gram-negative bacterium that infects humans and animals with fatal sepsis. The infection with C. violaceum is rare in case of those who are healthy, but once established, C. violaceum causes sever disease accompanied by abscess formation in the lungs, liver and spleen. Furthermore, C. violaceum is resistant to a broad range of antibiotics, which in some cases renders the antimicrobial therapy for this infection difficult. Thus, the infection with C. violaceum displays high mortality rates unless initial proper antimicrobial therapy. In contrast, the infection mechanism had completely remained unknown. To this end, we have tried to identify virulence factors-associated with C. violaceum infection. Two distinct type III secretion systems (TTSSs) were thought to be one of the most important virulence factors, which are encoded by Chromobacterium pathogenicity island 1/1a and 2 (Cpi-1/-1a and -2) respectively. Our results have shown that Cpi-1/-1a-encoded TTSS, but not Cpi-2, is indispensable for the virulence in a mouse infection model. C. violaceum caused fulminant hepatitis in a Cpi-1/-1a-encoded TTSS-dependent manner. We next have identified 16 novel effectors secreted from Cpi-1/-1a-encoded TTS machinery. From these effectors, we found that CopE (Chromobacterium outer protein E) has similarities to a guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) for Rho GTPases. CopE acts as GEF for Rac1 and Cdc42, leading to induction of actin cytoskeletal rearrangement. Interestingly, C. violaceum invades cultured human epithelial cells in a CopE-dependent manner. Finally, an inactivation of CopE by disruption of copE gene or amino acid point mutation leading to loss of GEF activity attenuates significantly the mouse virulence of C. violaceum. These results suggest that Cpi-1/-1a-encoded TTSS is a major virulence determinant for C. violaceum infection, and that CopE contributes to the virulence in part of this pathogen.

  9. Molecular Determinants of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Pathogenesis and Virulence in Young and Aged Mouse Models of Human Disease

    PubMed Central

    Yount, Boyd; Agnihothram, Sudhakar; Page, Carly; Donaldson, Eric; Roberts, Anjeanette; Vogel, Leatrice; Woodruff, Becky; Scorpio, Diana; Subbarao, Kanta; Baric, Ralph S.

    2012-01-01

    SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) causes severe acute respiratory tract disease characterized by diffuse alveolar damage and hyaline membrane formation. This pathology often progresses to acute respiratory distress (such as acute respiratory distress syndrome [ARDS]) and atypical pneumonia in humans, with characteristic age-related mortality rates approaching 50% or more in immunosenescent populations. The molecular basis for the extreme virulence of SARS-CoV remains elusive. Since young and aged (1-year-old) mice do not develop severe clinical disease following infection with wild-type SARS-CoV, a mouse-adapted strain of SARS-CoV (called MA15) was developed and was shown to cause lethal infection in these animals. To understand the genetic contributions to the increased pathogenesis of MA15 in rodents, we used reverse genetics and evaluated the virulence of panels of derivative viruses encoding various combinations of mouse-adapted mutations. We found that mutations in the viral spike (S) glycoprotein and, to a much less rigorous extent, in the nsp9 nonstructural protein, were primarily associated with the acquisition of virulence in young animals. The mutations in S likely increase recognition of the mouse angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor not only in MA15 but also in two additional, independently isolated mouse-adapted SARS-CoVs. In contrast to the findings for young animals, mutations to revert to the wild-type sequence in nsp9 and the S glycoprotein were not sufficient to significantly attenuate the virus compared to other combinations of mouse-adapted mutations in 12-month-old mice. This panel of SARS-CoVs provides novel reagents that we have used to further our understanding of differential, age-related pathogenic mechanisms in mouse models of human disease. PMID:22072787

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Genetic determinants of virulence - Candida parapsilosis.

    PubMed

    Singaravelu, Kumara; Gácser, Attila; Nosanchuk, Joshua D

    2014-01-01

    The global epidemiology of fungal infections is changing. While overall, Candida albicans remains the most common pathogen; several institutions in Europe, Asia and South America have reported the rapid emergence to predominance of Candida parapsilosis. This mini-review examines the impact of gene deletions achieved in C. parapsilosis that have been published to date. The molecular approaches to gene disruption in C. parapsilosis and the molecularly characterized genes to date are reviewed. Similar to C. albicans, factors influencing virulence in C. parapsilosis include adherence, biofilm formation, lipid metabolism, and secretion of hydrolytic enzymes such as lipases, phospholipases and secreted aspartyl proteinases. Development of a targeted gene deletion method has enabled the identification of several unique aspects of C. parapsilosis genes that play a role in host-pathogen interactions - CpLIP1, CpLIP2, SAPP1a, SAPP1b, BCR1, RBT1, CpFAS2, OLE1, FIT-2. This manuscript is part of the series of works presented at the "V International Workshop: Molecular genetic approaches to the study of human pathogenic fungi" (Oaxaca, Mexico, 2012).

  15. The virulence phenotypes and molecular epidemiological characteristics of Vibrio fluvialis in China

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Vibrio fluvialis is considered to be an emerging foodborne pathogen and has been becoming a high human public health hazard all over the world, especially in coastal areas of developing countries and regions with poor sanitation. The distribution of virulence factors, microbiological and molecular epidemiological features of V. fluvialis isolates in China remains to be examined. Methods and results PCR targeted at the virulence determinants and phenotype tests including metabolism, virulence and antibiotic susceptibility were performed. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis was used to access the relatedness of isolates. A strain with deletion of the arginine dihydrolase system was first reported and proved in molecular level by PCR. Virulence genes vfh, hupO and vfpA were detected in all strains, the ability to produce hemolysin, cytotxin, protease and biofilm formation varied with strains. High resistance rate to β-lactams, azithromycin and sulfamethoxazole were observed. Twenty-seven percent of test strains showed resistant to two and three antibiotics. PFGE analysis demonstrated great genetic heterogeneity of test V. fluvialis strains. Conclusion This study evaluated firstly the biological characteristics and molecular epidemiological features of V. fluvialis in China. Some uncommon biochemical characteristics were found. Virulence genes were widely distributed in the isolates from patient and seafood sources, and the occurrence of virulence phenotypes varied with strains. Continued and enhanced laboratory based-surveillance is needed in the future together with systematically collection of the epidemiological information of the cases or the outbreaks. PMID:23522652

  16. Molecular assessment of virulence determinants, hospital associated marker (IS16gene) and prevalence of antibiotic resistance in soil borne Enterococcus species.

    PubMed

    Ali, Syed Abid; Bin-Asif, Hassan; Hasan, Khwaja Ali; Rehman, Marium; Abbasi, Atiya

    2017-04-01

    Enterococci, no more regarded as GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) organism, are emerging as an important source of nosocomial infections worldwide. The main contributors in pathogenesis of enterococci are the presence of various virulent factors and antibiotic resistance genes. We aimed to examine the prevalence, dissemination, antibiotic resistance and virulent factors associated with enterococci from bulk soil (BS). A total of 372 enterococci were isolated from 500 soil samples. PCR was used to identify the isolates up to species level and for carriage of 16 virulence genes including hospital associated marker (i.e. IS16). E. faecium (77%), E. faecalis (10%), E. hirae (4%) and E. casseliflavus (1%) were the major species isolated. The efaAfs was the most dominant gene (100%), followed by gelE (78.9%), sprE (76.3%) and esp (13%) in E. faecalis isolates. The E. faecium carried largely efaAfm (86.8%) and acm (50.3%) genes. Presence of entP (10%), entA (8.3%) and entB (6.9%) genes was detected mostly in E. faecium, while enlA (18%) and ef1097 (2.6%) was only detected in E. faecalis isolates. 50% E. faecalis and 2% E. faecium isolates harbored IS16, while five E. faecalis harbored both IS16 and espTIM genes providing strong evidence about the presence of espTIM gene on 64 Kb pathogenicity island. BOX and RAPD PCR analysis revealed high degree of genetic variation within the species. Degree of resistance against 12 major antibiotics showed chloramphenicol as the most effective and meropenom as the least effective antibiotic. Presence of multiple antibiotic resistant, virulent and hospital associated enterococci in bulk soil represents a potential source for further dissemination to humans and animals and poses potential impact on public health.

  17. Identification of Virulence Determinants in Influenza Viruses

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    To date there is no rapid method to screen for highly pathogenic avian influenza strains that may be indicators of future pandemics. We report here the first development of an oligonucleotide-based spectroscopic assay to rapidly and sensitively detect a N66S mutation in the gene coding for the PB1-F2 protein associated with increased virulence in highly pathogenic pandemic influenza viruses. 5′-Thiolated ssDNA oligonucleotides were employed as probes to capture RNA isolated from six influenza viruses, three having N66S mutations, two without the N66S mutation, and one deletion mutant not encoding the PB1-F2 protein. Hybridization was detected without amplification or labeling using the intrinsic surfaced-enhanced Raman spectrum of the DNA-RNA complex. Multivariate analysis identified target RNA binding from noncomplementary sequences with 100% sensitivity, 100% selectivity, and 100% correct classification in the test data set. These results establish that optical-based diagnostic methods are able to directly identify diagnostic indicators of virulence linked to highly pathogenic pandemic influenza viruses without amplification or labeling. PMID:24937567

  18. Virulence determinants of equine infectious anemia virus.

    PubMed

    Payne, Susan L; Fuller, Frederick J

    2010-01-01

    Equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) is a macrophage-tropic lentivirus that rapidly Induces disease in experimentally infected horses. Because EIAV infection and replication is centered on the monocyte/macrophage and has a pronounced acute disease stage, it is a useful model system for understanding the contribution of monocyte/macrophages to other lentivirus-induced diseases. Genetic mapping studies utilizing chimeric proviruses in which parental viruses are acutely virulent or avirulent have allowed the identification of important regions that influence acute virulence. U3 regions in the viral LTR, surface envelope (SU) protein and the accessory S2 gene strongly influence acute disease expression. While the chimeric proviruses provide insight into genes or genome regions that affect viral pathogenesis, it is then necessary to further dissect those regions to focus on specific virus-host mechanisms that lead to disease expression. The V6 region of the viral env protein is an example of one identified region that may interact with the ELR-1 receptor in an important way and we are currently identifying S2 protein motifs required for disease expression.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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. On the determination of Toxoplasma gondii virulence in mice.

    PubMed

    Saraf, Pooja; Shwab, E Keats; Dubey, Jitender P; Su, Chunlei

    2017-03-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most successful pathogens on earth, capable of infecting an extremely broad range of mammals and birds and causing potentially fatal disease in humans. The house mouse (Mus musculus) has been used as the primary laboratory animal model for determining the virulence of T. gondii strains. Epidemiological evidence also suggests a potential association between virulence in mice and disease severity in human toxoplasmosis. However, many factors can affect virulence measurements, including route of infection, life stage of the parasite, number of passages of the parasite in mice or cell culture, and the mouse host line used. Variability among these factors makes it difficult to compare results between different studies in different laboratories. Here, we discuss important factors that should be considered when carrying out T. gondii murine virulence assays and propose a standardized methodology that should facilitate integration of T. gondii virulence data throughout the research community in future studies and thereby enable more efficient and effective analysis of genetic and virulence patterns for this important parasite. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Virulence and molecular diversity in Colletotrichum graminicola from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Valèrio, H M; Rèsende, M A; Weikert-Oliveira, R C B; Casela, C R

    2005-04-01

    Genetic diversity among 37 isolates of the sorghum anthracnose pathogen Colletotrichum graminicola, from four geographically distinct regions of Brazil, was evaluated by RAPD and RFLP-PCR markers and virulence characters on a set of 10 differential sorghum genotypes. Twenty-two races were identified and race 13B was the most frequent, but present in only two regions. RAPD analysis revealed 143 polymorphic bands that grouped the isolates according to their geographic origin, but not by their virulence phenotypes. RFLP with HaeIII, MspI, HinfI, HhaI, HpaII, EcoRI, HindIII, PstI, RsaI, Taq alphaI, and AluI enzymes over ITS domains and 5.8 rDNA genes of C. graminicola did not show differences among the isolates, indicating high conservation of these restriction sites. Molecular polymorphism was observed among isolates belonging to the same race. No association between virulence phenotypes and molecular profiles was observed.

  2. Dissecting novel virulent determinants in the Burkholderia cepacia complex

    PubMed Central

    Tegos, George P.; Haynes, Mark K.; Schweizer, Herbert P.

    2012-01-01

    Prevention and control of infectious diseases remains a major public health challenge and a number of highly virulent pathogens are emerging both in and beyond the hospital setting. Despite beneficial aspects such as use in biocontrol and bioremediation exhibited by members of the Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) some members of this group have recently gained attention as significant bacterial pathogens due to their high levels of intrinsic antibiotic resistance, transmissibility in nosocomial settings, persistence in the presence of antimicrobials and intracellular survival capabilities. The Bcc are opportunistic pathogens and their arsenal of virulence factors includes proteases, lipases and other secreted exoproducts, including secretion system-associated effectors. Deciphering the function of virulence factors and assessment of novel therapeutic strategies has been facilitated by use of diverse non-vertebrate hosts (the fly Drosophila melanogaster, the microscopic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the zebrafish and the greater Galleria mellonella wax moth caterpillar larvae). Researchers are now employing sophisticated approaches to dissect the virulence determinants of Bcc with the ultimate goal being the development of novel anti-infective countermeasures. This editorial will highlight selected recent research endeavors aimed at dissecting adaptive responses and the virulence factor portfolio of Burkholderia species. PMID:22546904

  3. Screening of Molecular Virulence Markers in Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa Strains Isolated from Clinical Infections

    PubMed Central

    Cotar, Ani-Ioana; Chifiriuc, Mariana-Carmen; Dinu, Sorin; Bucur, Marcela; Iordache, Carmen; Banu, Otilia; Dracea, Olguta; Larion, Cristina; Lazar, Veronica

    2010-01-01

    Staphylococcus (S.) aureus and Pseudomonas (Ps.) aeruginosa are two of the most frequently opportunistic pathogens isolated in nosocomial infections, responsible for severe infections in immunocompromised hosts. The frequent emergence of antibiotic-resistant S. aureus and Ps. aeruginosa strains has determined the development of new strategies in order to elucidate the different mechanisms used by these bacteria at different stages of the infectious process, providing the scientists with new procedures for preventing, or at least improving, the control of S. aureus and Ps. aeruginosa infections. The purpose of this study was to characterize the molecular markers of virulence in S. aureus and Ps. aeruginosa strains isolated from different clinical specimens. We used multiplex and uniplex PCR assays to detect the genes encoding different cell-wall associated and extracellular virulence factors, in order to evaluate potential associations between the presence of putative virulence genes and the outcome of infections caused by these bacteria. Our results demonstrate that all the studied S. aureus and Ps. aeruginosa strains synthesize the majority of the investigated virulence determinants, probably responsible for different types of infections. PMID:21614207

  4. Commonly used molecular epidemiology markers of Streptococcus agalactiae do not appear to predict virulence.

    PubMed

    Lin, Frank; Sintchenko, Vitali; Kong, Fanrong; Gilbert, Gwendolyn L; Coiera, Enrico

    2009-01-01

    Several virulent clones of group B streptococcus (GBS) are known to be associated with certain serotypes and molecular epidemiological markers. It is unclear, however, whether the clinical significance of GBS can be predicted based solely on such molecular markers. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that GBS virulence can be predicted by using the molecular epidemiology markers. We examined 912 human GBS isolates in which 18 distinct molecular markers (including virulence-associated mobile genetic elements, polysaccharide capsule determinants, variants of a surface antigen and invasin, and antibiotic resistance-related genes) were characterised using multiplex PCR based reverse line blot assay. All strains were classified in clinically relevant invasive and colonising categories. Relationships between molecular markers and clinical phenotypes were tested using statistical and machine learning analyses. Classifier performance was evaluated by the area under receiver operator characteristic curve (AUC). The distribution of serotypes was comparable with those in previous reports (Ia, 22.1%; III, 34.7%; V, 17.7%). From single marker analyses, only alp3 (which encodes a surface protein antigen, commonly associated with serotype V) showed an increased association with invasive diseases (OR = 2.93, p = 0.0003). Molecular serotype (MS) II (OR = 10.0, p = 0.0007) had a significant association with early-onset neonatal disease when compared with late-onset diseases. Predictive analysis with logistic regression and machine learning classifiers, however, only yielded weak predictive power (AUC 0.56-0.71, stratified 10-fold cross-validation) across all the subgroups. While some molecular epidemiological markers are important in defining GBS clusters, a definitive predictive relationship between the molecular markers and clinical outcomes may be lacking.

  5. A molecular survey of Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli virulence and diversity.

    PubMed

    Ghorbanalizadgan, Mahdi; Bakhshi, Bita; Kazemnejad Lili, Anoshirvan; Najar-Peerayeh, Shahin; Nikmanesh, Bahram

    2014-07-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of virulence-associated genes and enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus PCR (ERIC-PCR) analysis of Campylobacter spp. isolated from children with diarrhea in Iran. A total of 200 stool specimens were obtained from children under 5 years during July 2012 to July 2013. Detection of C. jejuni and C. coli was performed by standard biochemical and molecular methods. The presence of virulence-associated genes and genetic diversity of isolates was examined using PCR and ERIC-PCR analyses. A total of 12 (6%) Campylobacter spp. were isolated from patients including 10 (4.5%) C. jejuni and 2 (1.5%) C.coli. The flaA, cadF and ciaB genes were present in 100% of isolates, while no plasmid of virB11 gene was present in their genome. The prevalence of invasion-associated marker was 100% among C. coli and was not detected in C. jejuni isolates. The distribution of both pldA and the genes associated with cytolethal distending toxin (CDT) was 58.3% in C. jejuni isolates. Seven distinct ERIC-PCR profiles were distinguished in three clusters using ERIC-PCR analysis. Genotyping analysis showed a relative correlation with geographic location of patients and virulence gene content of isolates. To our knowledge, this is the first molecular survey of Campylobacter spp. in Iran concerning genotyping and virulence gene content of both C. jejuni and C. coli. ERIC-PCR revealed appropriate discriminatory power for clustering C. jejuni isolates with identical virulence gene content. However, more studies are needed to clearly understand the pathogenesis properties of specific genotypes.

  6. Virulence and Molecular Characterization of Experimental Isolates of the Stripe Rust Pathogen (Puccinia striiformis) Indicate Somatic Recombination.

    PubMed

    Lei, Yu; Wang, Meinan; Wan, Anmin; Xia, Chongjing; See, Deven R; Zhang, Min; Chen, Xianming

    2017-03-01

    Puccinia striiformis causes stripe rust on wheat, barley, and grasses. Natural population studies have indicated that somatic recombination plays a possible role in P. striiformis variation. To determine whether somatic recombination can occur, susceptible wheat or barley plants were inoculated with mixed urediniospores of paired isolates of P. striiformis. Progeny isolates were selected by passing through a series of inoculations of wheat or barley genotypes. Potential recombinant isolates were compared with the parental isolates on the set of 18 wheat or 12 barley genotypes that are used to differentiate races of P. striiformis f. sp. tritici (the wheat stripe rust pathogen) and P. striiformis f. sp. hordei (the barley stripe rust pathogen), respectively, for virulence changes. They were also tested with 51 simple-sequence repeat and 90 single-nucleotide polymorphism markers for genotype changes. From 68 possible recombinant isolates obtained from nine combinations of isolates based on virulence tests, 66 were proven to be recombinant isolates by molecular markers. Various types of recombinants were determined, including lost virulence from both virulent parental isolates, gained virulence from both avirulent isolates, combined virulences from both parents, and inherited virulence from one parent and avirulence from another. Marker data indicate that most of the recombinants were produced through chromosome reassortment and crossover after the hybridization of two parental isolates. The results demonstrate that somatic recombination is a mechanism by which new variants can be generated in P. striiformis.

  7. Molecular Basis of Coronavirus Virulence and Vaccine Development.

    PubMed

    Enjuanes, L; Zuñiga, S; Castaño-Rodriguez, C; Gutierrez-Alvarez, J; Canton, J; Sola, I

    2016-01-01

    Virus vaccines have to be immunogenic, sufficiently stable, safe, and suitable to induce long-lasting immunity. To meet these requirements, vaccine studies need to provide a comprehensive understanding of (i) the protective roles of antiviral B and T-cell-mediated immune responses, (ii) the complexity and plasticity of major viral antigens, and (iii) virus molecular biology and pathogenesis. There are many types of vaccines including subunit vaccines, whole-inactivated virus, vectored, and live-attenuated virus vaccines, each of which featuring specific advantages and limitations. While nonliving virus vaccines have clear advantages in being safe and stable, they may cause side effects and be less efficacious compared to live-attenuated virus vaccines. In most cases, the latter induce long-lasting immunity but they may require special safety measures to prevent reversion to highly virulent viruses following vaccination. The chapter summarizes the recent progress in the development of coronavirus (CoV) vaccines, focusing on two zoonotic CoVs, the severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV (SARS-CoV), and the Middle East respiratory syndrome CoV, both of which cause deadly disease and epidemics in humans. The development of attenuated virus vaccines to combat infections caused by highly pathogenic CoVs was largely based on the identification and characterization of viral virulence proteins that, for example, interfere with the innate and adaptive immune response or are involved in interactions with specific cell types, such as macrophages, dendritic and epithelial cells, and T lymphocytes, thereby modulating antiviral host responses and viral pathogenesis and potentially resulting in deleterious side effects following vaccination. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Flagellar biosynthesis exerts temporal regulation of secretion of specific Campylobacter jejuni colonization and virulence determinants.

    PubMed

    Barrero-Tobon, Angelica M; Hendrixson, David R

    2014-09-01

    The Campylobacter jejuni flagellum exports both proteins that form the flagellar organelle for swimming motility and colonization and virulence factors that promote commensal colonization of the avian intestinal tract or invasion of human intestinal cells respectively. We explored how the C. jejuni flagellum is a versatile secretory organelle by examining molecular determinants that allow colonization and virulence factors to exploit the flagellum for their own secretion. Flagellar biogenesis was observed to exert temporal control of secretion of these proteins, indicating that a bolus of secretion of colonization and virulence factors occurs during hook biogenesis with filament polymerization itself reducing secretion of these factors. Furthermore, we found that intramolecular and intermolecular requirements for flagellar-dependent secretion of these proteins were most reminiscent to those for flagellin secretion. Importantly, we discovered that secretion of one colonization and virulence factor, CiaI, was not required for invasion of human colonic cells, which counters previous hypotheses for how this protein functions during invasion. Instead, secretion of CiaI was essential for C. jejuni to facilitate commensal colonization of the natural avian host. Our work provides insight into the versatility of the bacterial flagellum as a secretory machine that can export proteins promoting diverse biological processes.

  9. Molecular typing and virulence analysis of multidrug resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae clinical isolates recovered from Egyptian hospitals

    PubMed Central

    Wasfi, Reham; Elkhatib, Walid F.; Ashour, Hossam M.

    2016-01-01

    Klebsiella pneumonia infection rates have increased dramatically. Molecular typing and virulence analysis are powerful tools that can shed light on Klebsiella pneumonia infections. Whereas 77.7% (28/36) of clinical isolates indicated multidrug resistant (MDR) patterns, 50% (18/36) indicated carpabenem resistance. Gene prevalence for the AcrAB efflux pump (82.14%) was more than that of the mdtK efflux pump (32.14%) in the MDR isolates. FimH-1 and mrkD genes were prevalent in wound and blood isolates. FimH-1 gene was prevalent in sputum while mrkD gene was prevalent in urine. Serum resistance associated with outer membrane protein coding gene (traT) was found in all blood isolates. IucC, entB, and Irp-1 were detected in 32.14%, 78.5% and 10.7% of MDR isolates, respectively. We used two Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) analyses: Enterobacterial Repetitive Intergenic Consensus (ERIC) and Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD). ERIC-PCR revealed 21 and RAPD-PCR revealed 18 distinct patterns of isolates with similarity ≥80%. ERIC genotyping significantly correlated with resistance patterns and virulence determinants. RAPD genotyping significantly correlated with resistance patterns but not with virulence determinants. Both RAPD and ERIC genotyping methods had no correlation with the capsule types. These findings can help up better predict MDR Klebsiella pneumoniae outbreaks associated with specific genotyping patterns. PMID:28004732

  10. Drug resistance & virulence determinants in clinical isolatesof Enterococcus species

    PubMed Central

    Fernandes, Sanal C.; Dhanashree, B.

    2013-01-01

    Background & objectives: Enterococci are the leading cause of nosocomial infections, and are thus a persisting clinical problem globally. We undertook this study to determine the virulence factors and the antibiotic resistance in Enterococcus clinical isolates. Methods: One hundred and fifty Enterococcus isolates obtained from various clinical specimens were speciated biochemically and subjected to antibiotic susceptibility testing using Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion method. Resistance to vancomycin was determined by using agar screen method. Haemolysin and gelatinase productions were detected using 5 per cent sheep blood agar and 12 per cent gelatin agar, respectively. Results: Among the 150 Enterococcus isolates, 84 (56%) were E. faecalis. 51(34%) E. faecium, and 15 (10%) were other Enterococcus spp. Haemolysin production was seen among 123 (82%) isolates while 61 (40.6%) isolates produced gelatinase. Nearly 50 per cent of the isolates showed high level aminoglycoside resistance (HLAR). A total of 13 (8.6%) isolates showed vancomycin resistance, of which 11(7.3%) had an MIC >8 μg/ml. Interpretation & conclusions: Presence of VRE was found to be low among the isolates studied. However, occurrence of VRE along with HLAR calls for regular detection of vancomycin resistance promptly and accurately to recognize VRE colonization and infection. Early detection of VRE and HLAR along with their virulence trait will help in preventing the establishment and spread of multidrug resistant Enterococcus species. PMID:23760387

  11. 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

  12. Identifying potential virulence determinants in viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV) for rainbow trout.

    PubMed

    Campbell, S; Collet, B; Einer-Jensen, K; Secombes, C J; Snow, M

    2009-11-09

    We identified viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV) isolates classified within Genotype Ib which are genetically similar (>99.4% glycoprotein amino acid identity) yet, based on their isolation history, were suspected to differ in virulence in juvenile rainbow trout. The virulence of an isolate recovered in 2000 from a viral haemorrhagic septicaemia disease episode in a marine rainbow trout farm in Sweden (SE-SVA-1033) was evaluated in juvenile rainbow trout via intraperitoneal injection and immersion challenge alongside 3 isolates recovered from wild-caught marine fish (DK-4p37, DK-5e59 and UKMLA98/6HE1) suspected of being of low pathogenicity to trout. Mortality data revealed that isolate SE-SVA-1033 caused VHSV-specific mortality in both intraperitoneal and immersion challenges (75.0 and 15.4%, respectively). The remaining Genotype Ib isolates caused significantly lower mortalities using the same experimental infection routes (<35.0 and <2.0%, respectively). Having identified VHSV isolates with clear differences in their pathogenicity, coding and inter-genic non-coding regions of 2 isolates (SE-SVA-1033 and DK-4p37) were determined and compared in order to identify potential markers responsible for the observed differences in virulence. Only 4 predicted amino acid substitutions were identified across the genome sequenced; these occurred in the N (R46G), G (S113G), NV (L12F) and L (S56A) proteins. These findings form the basis for further studies aimed at determining the biological significance of these mutations and suggest that small changes at the molecular level can cause significant changes in the virulence properties of VHSV isolates.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Lineage-specific Virulence Determinants of Haemophilus influenzae Biogroup aegyptius

    PubMed Central

    Strouts, Fiona R.; Power, Peter; Croucher, Nicholas J.; Corton, Nicola; van Tonder, Andries; Quail, Michael A.; Langford, Paul R.; Hudson, Michael J.; Parkhill, Julian; Bentley, Stephen D.

    2012-01-01

    An emergent clone of Haemophilus influenzae biogroup aegyptius (Hae) is responsible for outbreaks of Brazilian purpuric fever (BPF). First recorded in Brazil in 1984, the so-called BPF clone of Hae caused a fulminant disease that started with conjunctivitis but developed into septicemic shock; mortality rates were as high as 70%. To identify virulence determinants, we conducted a pan-genomic analysis. Sequencing of the genomes of the BPF clone strain F3031 and a noninvasive conjunctivitis strain, F3047, and comparison of these sequences with 5 other complete H. influenzae genomes showed that >77% of the F3031 genome is shared among all H. influenzae strains. Delineation of the Hae accessory genome enabled characterization of 163 predicted protein-coding genes; identified differences in established autotransporter adhesins; and revealed a suite of novel adhesins unique to Hae, including novel trimeric autotransporter adhesins and 4 new fimbrial operons. These novel adhesins might play a critical role in host–pathogen interactions. PMID:22377449

  16. Virulence and transferability of resistance determinants in a novel Klebsiella pneumoniae sequence type 1137 in China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yang; Li, Xiang-Yang; Wan, La-Gen; Jiang, Wei-Yan; Yang, Jing-Hong; Li, Fang-Qu

    2014-04-01

    A study was designed to characterize three carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae isolated from pediatric patients in China. Molecular characterization was done using polymerase chain reaction and sequencing for blaVIM, blaNDM, blaIMP, blaKPC, blaCTX-Ms, blaOXAs, blaTEMs, and blaSHV; plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance determinants; aminoglycoside resistance determinants; multilocus sequencing typing; plasmid replicon typing; addiction; and virulence factors. Kp32 belonged to the newly described sequence type 1137, were positive for aac(6')-Ib-suzhou, qnrA1, qnrB4, qnrS1, aac(6')-Ib, rmtB, armA, blaSHV-12, blaCTX-M-15, blaKPC-2, and blaIMP-4; contained IncA/C plasmids that tested positive for K1 capsular antigens, the ccdAB (coupled cell division locus) addiction system and the wabG, ureA, rmpA, magA, allS, fimH, and the aerobactin virulence factors. However, the others belonged to clone ST11, and were positive for aac(6')-Ib-cr, qnrB4, blaCTX-M-14, blaSHV-11, aac(6')-Ib, rmtB, and blaKPC-2; contained IncFIA plasmids that tested positive for K2 capsular antigens, the vagCD addiction system and the uge, wabG, ureA, kfuBC, rpmA, and fimH virulence factors. ST1137 had more virulence factors than the comparative strains ST11. The blaKPC-2 gene was located on the IncFIA and IncA/C replicon groups of plasmids. An analysis of the genetic environment of blaKPC-2 gene has demonstrated that the blaKPC-2 gene was always associated with one of the Tn4401 isoforms (a or b). Our study suggested that K. pneumoniae carbapenemases being found in virulent K. pneumoniae should be emphasized, as this will eventually become a global health threat.

  17. Molecular cloning of genes that specify virulence in Pseudomonas solanacearum.

    PubMed

    Xu, P L; Leong, S; Sequeira, L

    1988-02-01

    The suicide plasmid pSUP2021 was used to introduce Tn5 into the Pseudomonas solanacearum wild-type strain K60. We isolated eight avirulent mutants after screening 6,000 kanamycin-resistant transconjugants by inoculating eggplant (Solanum melongena L. cv. Black Beauty) and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L. cv. Bottom Special) seedlings. The Tn5-containing EcoRI fragments from the eight mutants were unique, suggesting that numerous genes specify virulence in this species. These EcoRI fragments were cloned into pBR322 or pUC12, and one of the clones, pKD810, was transformed into K60. All of the kanamycin-resistant, ampicillin-sensitive transformants were avirulent. Three randomly selected avirulent transformants were shown to carry the Tn5-containing fragment in place of the wild-type fragment and to exhibit the same hybridization pattern as the original KD810 mutant did. With pKD810 as a probe, we identified cosmids carrying the wild-type virulence genes by using a genomic library of K60 prepared in pLAFR3. Two of the homologous cosmids, pL810A and pL810C, when introduced into KD810 by transformation, restored virulence and normal growth of this mutant in tobacco. Altogether, these data indicate that the gene(s) interrupted by Tn5 insertion in KD810 is essential for the virulence of P. solanacearum. Further characterization of this gene is now being completed by subcloning, transposon mutagenesis, and complementation analysis.

  18. Tuberculous Granuloma Formation Is Enhanced by a Mycobacterium Virulence Determinant

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Jennifer C. W; Sherman, David R

    2004-01-01

    Granulomas are organized host immune structures composed of tightly interposed macrophages and other cells that form in response to a variety of persistent stimuli, both infectious and noninfectious. The tuberculous granuloma is essential for host containment of mycobacterial infection, although it does not always eradicate it. Therefore, it is considered a host-beneficial, if incompletely efficacious, immune response. The Mycobacterium RD1 locus encodes a specialized secretion system that promotes mycobacterial virulence by an unknown mechanism. Using transparent zebrafish embryos to monitor the infection process in real time, we found that RD1-deficient bacteria fail to elicit efficient granuloma formation despite their ability to grow inside of infected macrophages. We showed that macrophages infected with virulent mycobacteria produce an RD1-dependent signal that directs macrophages to aggregate into granulomas. This Mycobacterium-induced macrophage aggregation in turn is tightly linked to intercellular bacterial dissemination and increased bacterial numbers. Thus, mycobacteria co-opt host granulomas for their virulence. PMID:15510227

  19. Determinants for persistence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in hospitals: interplay between resistance, virulence and biofilm formation.

    PubMed

    Kaiser, S J; Mutters, N T; DeRosa, A; Ewers, C; Frank, U; Günther, F

    2017-02-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) is one of the major bacterial pathogens causing nosocomial infections. During the past few decades, multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) lineages of Pa have emerged in hospital settings with increasing numbers. However, it remains unclear which determinants of Pa facilitated this spread. A total of 211 clinical XDR and 38 susceptible clinical Pa isolates (nonXDR), as well as 47 environmental isolates (EI), were collected at the Heidelberg University Hospital. We used RAPD PCR to identify genetic clusters. Carriage of carbapenamases (CPM) and virulence genes were analyzed by PCR, biofilm formation capacity was assessed, in vitro fitness was evaluated using competitive growth assays, and interaction with the host's immune system was analyzed using serum killing and neutrophil killing assays. XDR isolates showed significantly elevated biofilm formation (p < 0.05) and higher competitive fitness compared to nonXDR and EI isolates. Thirty percent (62/205) of the XDR isolates carried a CPM. Similarities in distribution of virulence factors, as well as biofilm formation properties, between CPM+ Pa isolates and EI and between CPM- and nonXDR isolates were detected. Molecular typing revealed two distinct genetic clusters within the XDR population, which were characterized by even higher biofilm formation. In contrast, XDR isolates were more susceptible to the immune response than nonXDR isolates. Our study provides evidence that the ability to form biofilms is an outstanding determinant for persistence and endemic spread of Pa in the hospital setting.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-07

    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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. RNAi-Based Functional Genomics Identifies New Virulence Determinants in Mucormycosis

    PubMed Central

    Sanchis, Marta; Lopez-Fernandez, Loida; Torres-Martínez, Santiago; Garre, Victoriano; Ruiz-Vázquez, Rosa María

    2017-01-01

    Mucorales are an emerging group of human pathogens that are responsible for the lethal disease mucormycosis. Unfortunately, functional studies on the genetic factors behind the virulence of these organisms are hampered by their limited genetic tractability, since they are reluctant to classical genetic tools like transposable elements or gene mapping. Here, we describe an RNAi-based functional genomic platform that allows the identification of new virulence factors through a forward genetic approach firstly described in Mucorales. This platform contains a whole-genome collection of Mucor circinelloides silenced transformants that presented a broad assortment of phenotypes related to the main physiological processes in fungi, including virulence, hyphae morphology, mycelial and yeast growth, carotenogenesis and asexual sporulation. Selection of transformants with reduced virulence allowed the identification of mcplD, which encodes a Phospholipase D, and mcmyo5, encoding a probably essential cargo transporter of the Myosin V family, as required for a fully virulent phenotype of M. circinelloides. Knock-out mutants for those genes showed reduced virulence in both Galleria mellonella and Mus musculus models, probably due to a delayed germination and polarized growth within macrophages. This study provides a robust approach to study virulence in Mucorales and as a proof of concept identified new virulence determinants in M. circinelloides that could represent promising targets for future antifungal therapies. PMID:28107502

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  6. 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

  7. Molecular Basis of Virulence in Staphylococcus aureus Mastitis

    PubMed Central

    Le Maréchal, Caroline; Seyffert, Nubia; Jardin, Julien; Hernandez, David; Jan, Gwenaël; Rault, Lucie; Azevedo, Vasco; François, Patrice; Schrenzel, Jacques; van de Guchte, Maarten; Even, Sergine; Berkova, Nadia; Thiéry, Richard; Fitzgerald, J. Ross

    2011-01-01

    Background S. aureus is one of the main pathogens involved in ruminant mastitis worldwide. The severity of staphylococcal infection is highly variable, ranging from subclinical to gangrenous mastitis. This work represents an in-depth characterization of S. aureus mastitis isolates to identify bacterial factors involved in severity of mastitis infection. Methodology/Principal Findings We employed genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic approaches to comprehensively compare two clonally related S. aureus strains that reproducibly induce severe (strain O11) and milder (strain O46) mastitis in ewes. Variation in the content of mobile genetic elements, iron acquisition and metabolism, transcriptional regulation and exoprotein production was observed. In particular, O11 produced relatively high levels of exoproteins, including toxins and proteases known to be important in virulence. A characteristic we observed in other S. aureus strains isolated from clinical mastitis cases. Conclusions/Significance Our data are consistent with a dose-dependant role of some staphylococcal factors in the hypervirulence of strains isolated from severe mastitis. Mobile genetic elements, transcriptional regulators, exoproteins and iron acquisition pathways constitute good targets for further research to define the underlying mechanisms of mastitis severity. PMID:22096559

  8. Molecular Detection of the Virulent ExoU Genotype of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Isolated from Infected Surgical Incisions.

    PubMed

    Hassuna, Noha A

    2016-10-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one of the major pathogens responsible for hospital-acquired infections, which harbor a wide array of virulence factors. The main aim of this study was to determine the frequency of the virulent ExoU genotype in relation to the ExoS genotype among isolated P. aeruginosa from infected surgical incisions, followed by phylogenetic analysis. A total of 66 P. aeruginosa isolates were identified by cultural and biochemical characteristics. All isolates were tested for antimicrobial susceptibility against the following antimicrobial agents: imipenem, amikacin, gentamicin, amoxycillin, cefotaxime, cefepime, and levofloxacin. Molecular detection of the ExoS and ExoU as well as two other virulence genes was done by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Sequencing of ExoU gene and phylogenetic analysis was performed. Approximately 81% of the isolated P. aeruginosa were multi-drug resistant. The ExoS genotype was more prevalent (63%) among the isolates than the ExoU genotype (18%), with 9% of the isolates possessing both toxins. LasB and AprA were detected in 63.6% and 27.2% of the isolates, respectively. An association was observed between the number of virulence genes and the presence of multi-drug resistance. All the ExoU were multi-drug resistant (MDR), whereas 71% of the ExoS were MDR. Phylogenetic analysis of ExoU gene showed a 99% similarity with four different strains. Despite the greater frequency of the ExoS genotype, the presence of the virulent MDR ExoU genotype isolates from surgical site infections is an alarming sign requiring further intervention and investigations.

  9. Molecular characterization of very virulent infectious bursal disease virus strains circulating in Egypt from 2003 to 2014.

    PubMed

    Shehata, Awad A; Sultan, Hesham; Halami, Mohammed Y; Talaat, Shaimaa; Vahlenkamp, Thomas W

    2017-09-18

    In the present study, four very virulent infectious bursal disease virus (vvIBDV) isolates from flocks of chickens with vaccination failure in Egypt in 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2014 were characterized. The four viruses, designated USC2003, USC2007, USC2010 and USC2014, were detected by reverse transcription PCR, subjected to sequencing of both genomic segments (A and B) and compared with geographically and phylogenetically diverse IBDV strains. Phylogenetic analysis of segment A (complete) and B (partial) revealed a close relationship between Egyptian and vvIBDV reference strains of European and Asian origin. The sequences of segments of A and B the current Egyptian isolates were 96.1-98.2% and 96.5-98.7% identical, respectively, to those of other known vvIBDV isolates. The deduced amino acid sequences of VP1, polyprotein (pVP2-VP4-VP3) and VP5 revealed the presence of putative virulence determinants of Egyptian isolates compared with vvIBDV and less virulent (classical and variant) strains. The Egyptian isolates also possess unique amino acids substitutions within the hypervariable region of VP2 that differ from those of other reference IBDV strains. Further studies may be necessary to determine the pathogenic significance of these amino acid substitutions to fully understand the molecular epidemiology and evolution of IBDV.

  10. Virulence and Molecular Diversity in Colletotrichum lindemuthianum from South, Central, and North America.

    PubMed

    Balardin, R S; Jarosz, A M; Kelly, J D

    1997-12-01

    ABSTRACT Isolates of Colletotrichum lindemuthianum (138 total) from Argentina, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Mexico, and the United States were characterized into 41 races based on virulence to 12 differential cultivars of Phaseolus vulgaris. These 41 races were categorized into two groups: those found over a wide geographic area and those restricted to a single country. Races 7, 65, and 73 were widespread. Race 73 was the most common (28%). Race 7 was found once in Argentina and Mexico but at a higher frequency in the United States. Race 65 was found repeatedly in Brazil and the United States. Although 39% of the races were detected repeatedly and three races were widespread, no race was isolated from both P. vulgaris gene pools. Phenetic analyses showed no obvious patterns correlated with virulence clusters. No geographic pattern was evident. Molecular polymorphism generated by random amplified polymorphic DNA confirmed the extensive variability in virulence of C. lindemuthianum. Virulence phenotypes were grouped into 15 clusters. The two largest clusters contained isolates from all the geographic regions sampled. Molecular polymorphism was observed among isolates from races 65 and 73 within and among countries, except among Bra-zilian isolates of race 65. The genetic diversity of C. lindemuthianum was greatest in Mexico and Honduras. Our data suggest that C. lindemuthianum may not be highly structured to specific Phaseolus gene pools.

  11. Molecular signature of differential virulence in natural isolates of Erwinia amylovora.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dongping; Korban, Schuyler S; Zhao, Youfu

    2010-02-01

    ABSTRACT Erwinia amylovora, the causal agent of fire blight, is considered to be a genetically homogeneous species based on physiological, biochemical, phylogenetic, and genetic analysis. However, E. amylovora strains exhibiting differential virulence are isolated from nature. The exopolysaccharide amylovoran and type III secretion system (T3SS) are two major yet separate virulence factors in E. amylovora. The objective of this study was to investigate whether there is a correlation between E. amylovora virulence and levels of virulence gene expression. Four wild-type strains (Ea1189, Ea273, Ea110, and CFBP1430), widely used in studies of E. amylovora pathogenesis, have been analyzed and compared. E. amylovora strains Ea273 and Ea110 elicited higher severity of disease symptoms than those of Ea1189 and CFBP1430 on apple cv. Golden Delicious and G16 apple root stock plants but not on susceptible Gala plants. In addition, Ea273 and Ea110 elicited severe hypersensitive responses within shorter periods of time at lower inoculum concentrations than those of Ea1189 and CFBP1430 on tobacco plants. Further molecular analyses have revealed that amylovoran production and expression of both amylovoran (amsG) and T3SS (dspE and hrpL) genes were significantly higher in Ea273 and Ea110 than those in Ea1189 and CFBP1430. Other phenotypes such as swarming motility in these four strains also differed significantly. These results indicate that E. amylovora strains of different origin can be divided into subgroups based on molecular signatures of virulence gene expression. Therefore, these molecular signatures may be used to differentiate E. amylovora strains, which may have taxonomical and evolutionary implications.

  12. Single amino acid substitution in Plasmodium yoelii erythrocyte ligand determines its localization and controls parasite virulence

    PubMed Central

    Otsuki, Hitoshi; Kaneko, Osamu; Thongkukiatkul, Amporn; Tachibana, Mayumi; Iriko, Hideyuki; Takeo, Satoru; Tsuboi, Takafumi; Torii, Motomi

    2009-01-01

    The major virulence determinant of the rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium yoelii, has remained unresolved since the discovery of the lethal line in the 1970s. Because virulence in this parasite correlates with the ability to invade different types of erythrocytes, we evaluated the potential role of the parasite erythrocyte binding ligand, PyEBL. We found 1 amino acid substitution in a domain responsible for intracellular trafficking between the lethal and nonlethal parasite lines and, furthermore, that the intracellular localization of PyEBL was distinct between these lines. Genetic modification showed that this substitution was responsible not only for PyEBL localization but also the erythrocyte-type invasion preference of the parasite and subsequently its virulence in mice. This previously unrecognized mechanism for altering an invasion phenotype indicates that subtle alterations of a malaria parasite ligand can dramatically affect host–pathogen interactions and malaria virulence. PMID:19346470

  13. Molecular basis of reovirus virulence: Role of the S1 gene

    PubMed Central

    Weiner, Howard L.; Drayna, Dennis; Averill, Damon R.; Fields, Bernard N.

    1977-01-01

    A genetic approach has been used to define the molecular basis for the different patterns of virulence and central nervous system cell tropism exhibited by reovirus types 1 and 3. Intracerebral inoculation of reovirus type 3 into newborn mice causes a necrotizing encephalitis (without ependymal damage) that is uniformly fatal. Animal inoculated with reovirus type 1 generally survive and may develop epedymal cell damage (without neuronal necrosis) and hydrocephalus. Using recombinant clones derived from crosses between reovirus types 1 and 3, we have been able to determine that the S1 genome segment is responsible for the differing cell tropism of reovirus serotypes and is the major determinant of neurovirulence. The type 1 S1 genome segment is responsible for ependymal damage with subsequent hydrocephalus; the type 3 S1 genome segment is responsible for neuronal necrosis and neurovirulence. We postulate that these differences are due to the specific interaction of the σ1 outer capsid polypeptide (the protein coded for by the S1 genome segment) with receptors on the surface of either ependymal cells or neuronal cells. Images PMID:271999

  14. Use of signature-tagged mutagenesis to identify virulence determinants in Haemophilus ducreyi responsible for ulcer formation.

    PubMed

    Yeung, Angela; Cameron, D William; Desjardins, Marc; Lee, B Craig

    2011-02-01

    Elucidating the molecular mechanisms responsible for chancroid, a genital ulcer disease caused by Haemophilus ducreyi, has been hampered in part by the relative genetic intractability of the organism. A whole genome screen using signature-tagged mutagenesis in the temperature-dependent rabbit model (TDRM) of H. ducreyi infection uncovered 26 mutants with a presumptive attenuated phenotype. Insertions in two previously recognized virulence determinants, hgbA and lspA1, validated this genome scanning technique. Database interrogation allowed assignment of 24 mutants to several functional classes, including transport, metabolism, DNA repair, stress response and gene regulation. The attenuated virulence for a 3 strain with a mutation in hicB was confirmed by individual infection in the TDRM. The results from this preliminary study indicate that this high throughput strategy will further the understanding of the pathogenesis of H. ducreyi infection.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Molecular Mechanism of Quorum-Sensing in Enterococcus faecalis: Its Role in Virulence and Therapeutic Approaches.

    PubMed

    Ali, Liaqat; Goraya, Mohsan Ullah; Arafat, Yasir; Ajmal, Muhammad; Chen, Ji-Long; Yu, Daojin

    2017-05-03

    Quorum-sensing systems control major virulence determinants in Enterococcusfaecalis, which causes nosocomial infections. The E. faecalis quorum-sensing systems include several virulence factors that are regulated by the cytolysin operon, which encodes the cytolysin toxin. In addition, the E. faecalis Fsr regulator system controls the expression of gelatinase, serine protease, and enterocin O16. The cytolysin and Fsr virulence factor systems are linked to enterococcal diseases that affect the health of humans and other host models. Therefore, there is substantial interest in understanding and targeting these regulatory pathways to develop novel therapies for enterococcal infection control. Quorum-sensing inhibitors could be potential therapeutic agents for attenuating the pathogenic effects of E. faecalis. Here, we discuss the regulation of cytolysin, the LuxS system, and the Fsr system, their role in E. faecalis-mediated infections, and possible therapeutic approaches to prevent E. faecalis infection.

  18. Molecular Mechanism of Quorum-Sensing in Enterococcus faecalis: Its Role in Virulence and Therapeutic Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Ali, Liaqat; Goraya, Mohsan Ullah; Arafat, Yasir; Ajmal, Muhammad; Chen, Ji-Long; Yu, Daojin

    2017-01-01

    Quorum-sensing systems control major virulence determinants in Enterococcus faecalis, which causes nosocomial infections. The E. faecalis quorum-sensing systems include several virulence factors that are regulated by the cytolysin operon, which encodes the cytolysin toxin. In addition, the E. faecalis Fsr regulator system controls the expression of gelatinase, serine protease, and enterocin O16. The cytolysin and Fsr virulence factor systems are linked to enterococcal diseases that affect the health of humans and other host models. Therefore, there is substantial interest in understanding and targeting these regulatory pathways to develop novel therapies for enterococcal infection control. Quorum-sensing inhibitors could be potential therapeutic agents for attenuating the pathogenic effects of E. faecalis. Here, we discuss the regulation of cytolysin, the LuxS system, and the Fsr system, their role in E. faecalis-mediated infections, and possible therapeutic approaches to prevent E. faecalis infection. PMID:28467378

  19. Identification of virulence determinants for endocarditis in Streptococcus sanguinis by signature-tagged mutagenesis.

    PubMed

    Paik, Sehmi; Senty, Lauren; Das, Sankar; Noe, Jody C; Munro, Cindy L; Kitten, Todd

    2005-09-01

    Streptococcus sanguinis is a gram-positive, facultative anaerobe and a normal inhabitant of the human oral cavity. It is also one of the most common agents of infective endocarditis, a serious endovascular infection. To identify virulence factors for infective endocarditis, signature-tagged mutagenesis (STM) was applied to the SK36 strain of S. sanguinis, whose genome is being sequenced. STM allows the large-scale creation, in vivo screening, and recovery of a series of mutants with altered virulence. Screening of 800 mutants by STM identified 38 putative avirulent and 5 putative hypervirulent mutants. Subsequent molecular analysis of a subset of these mutants identified genes encoding undecaprenol kinase, homoserine kinase, anaerobic ribonucleotide reductase, adenylosuccinate lyase, and a hypothetical protein. Virulence reductions ranging from 2-to 150-fold were confirmed by competitive index assays. One putatively hypervirulent strain with a transposon insertion in an intergenic region was identified, though increased virulence was not confirmed in competitive index assays. All mutants grew comparably to SK36 in aerobic broth culture except for the homoserine kinase mutant. Growth of this mutant was restored by the addition of threonine to the medium. Mutants containing an insertion or in-frame deletion in the anaerobic ribonucleotide reductase gene failed to grow under strictly anaerobic conditions. The results suggest that housekeeping functions such as cell wall synthesis, amino acid and nucleic acid synthesis, and the ability to survive under anaerobic conditions are important virulence factors in S. sanguinis endocarditis.

  20. Identification of Virulence Determinants for Endocarditis in Streptococcus sanguinis by Signature-Tagged Mutagenesis†

    PubMed Central

    Paik, Sehmi; Senty, Lauren; Das, Sankar; Noe, Jody C.; Munro, Cindy L.; Kitten, Todd

    2005-01-01

    Streptococcus sanguinis is a gram-positive, facultative anaerobe and a normal inhabitant of the human oral cavity. It is also one of the most common agents of infective endocarditis, a serious endovascular infection. To identify virulence factors for infective endocarditis, signature-tagged mutagenesis (STM) was applied to the SK36 strain of S. sanguinis, whose genome is being sequenced. STM allows the large-scale creation, in vivo screening, and recovery of a series of mutants with altered virulence. Screening of 800 mutants by STM identified 38 putative avirulent and 5 putative hypervirulent mutants. Subsequent molecular analysis of a subset of these mutants identified genes encoding undecaprenol kinase, homoserine kinase, anaerobic ribonucleotide reductase, adenylosuccinate lyase, and a hypothetical protein. Virulence reductions ranging from 2-to 150-fold were confirmed by competitive index assays. One putatively hypervirulent strain with a transposon insertion in an intergenic region was identified, though increased virulence was not confirmed in competitive index assays. All mutants grew comparably to SK36 in aerobic broth culture except for the homoserine kinase mutant. Growth of this mutant was restored by the addition of threonine to the medium. Mutants containing an insertion or in-frame deletion in the anaerobic ribonucleotide reductase gene failed to grow under strictly anaerobic conditions. The results suggest that housekeeping functions such as cell wall synthesis, amino acid and nucleic acid synthesis, and the ability to survive under anaerobic conditions are important virulence factors in S. sanguinis endocarditis. PMID:16113327

  1. Antibiotic resistance, efflux pump genes and virulence determinants in Enterococcus spp. from surface water systems.

    PubMed

    Molale, L G; Bezuidenhout, Cornelius Carlos

    2016-11-01

    The aim of this study was to report on antibiotic susceptibility patterns as well as highlight the presence of efflux pump genes and virulence genetic determinants in Enterococcus spp. isolated from South African surface water systems. One hundred and twenty-four Enterococcus isolates consisting of seven species were identified. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing revealed a high percentage of isolates was resistant to β-lactams and vancomycin. Many were also resistant to other antibiotic groups. These isolates were screened by PCR, for the presence of four efflux pump genes (mefA, tetK, tetL and msrC). Efflux genes mefA and tetK were not detected in any of the Enterococcus spp. However, tetL and msrC were detected in 17 % of the Enterococcus spp. The presence of virulence factors in the Enterococcus spp. harbouring efflux pump genes was determined. Virulence determinants were detected in 86 % of the Enterococcus spp. harbouring efflux pump genes. Four (asa1, cylA, gel and hyl) of the five virulence factors were detected. The findings of this study have demonstrated that Enterococcus from South African surface water systems are resistant to multiple antibiotics, some of which are frequently used for therapy. Furthermore, these isolates harbour efflux pump genes coding for resistance to antibiotics and virulence factors which enhance their pathogenic potential.

  2. Molecular adaptation of a plant-bacterium outer membrane protease towards plague virulence factor Pla

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Omptins are a family of outer membrane proteases that have spread by horizontal gene transfer in Gram-negative bacteria that infect vertebrates or plants. Despite structural similarity, the molecular functions of omptins differ in a manner that reflects the life style of their host bacteria. To simulate the molecular adaptation of omptins, we applied site-specific mutagenesis to make Epo of the plant pathogenic Erwinia pyrifoliae exhibit virulence-associated functions of its close homolog, the plasminogen activator Pla of Yersinia pestis. We addressed three virulence-associated functions exhibited by Pla, i.e., proteolytic activation of plasminogen, proteolytic degradation of serine protease inhibitors, and invasion into human cells. Results Pla and Epo expressed in Escherichia coli are both functional endopeptidases and cleave human serine protease inhibitors, but Epo failed to activate plasminogen and to mediate invasion into a human endothelial-like cell line. Swapping of ten amino acid residues at two surface loops of Pla and Epo introduced plasminogen activation capacity in Epo and inactivated the function in Pla. We also compared the structure of Pla and the modeled structure of Epo to analyze the structural variations that could rationalize the different proteolytic activities. Epo-expressing bacteria managed to invade human cells only after all extramembranous residues that differ between Pla and Epo and the first transmembrane β-strand had been changed. Conclusions We describe molecular adaptation of a protease from an environmental setting towards a virulence factor detrimental for humans. Our results stress the evolvability of bacterial β-barrel surface structures and the environment as a source of progenitor virulence molecules of human pathogens. PMID:21310089

  3. 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.

  4. First Streptococcus pyogenes signature-tagged mutagenesis screen identifies novel virulence determinants.

    PubMed

    Kizy, Anne E; Neely, Melody N

    2009-05-01

    The virulence of bacterial pathogens is a complex process that requires the dynamic expression of many genes for the pathogens to invade and circumvent host defenses, as well as to proliferate in vivo. In this study, we employed a large-scale screen, signature-tagged mutagenesis (STM), to identify Streptococcus pyogenes virulence genes important for pathogenesis within the host. Approximately 1,200 STM mutants were created and screened using the zebrafish infectious disease model. The transposon insertion site was identified for 29 of the 150 mutants that were considered attenuated for virulence. Previously reported streptococcal virulence genes, such as mga, hasA, amrA, smeZ, and two genes in the sil locus, were identified, confirming the utility of the model for revealing genes important for virulence. Multiple genes not previously implicated in virulence were also identified, including genes encoding putative transporters, hypothetical cytosolic proteins, and macrolide efflux pumps. The STM mutant strains display various levels of attenuation, and multiple separate insertions were identified in either the same gene or the same locus, suggesting that these factors are important for this type of acute, invasive infection. We further examined two such genes, silB and silC of a putative quorum-sensing regulon, and determined that they are significant virulence factors in our model of necrotizing fasciitis. sil locus promoter expression was examined under various in vitro conditions, as well as in zebrafish tissues, and was found to be differentially induced. This study was a unique investigation of S. pyogenes factors required for successful invasive infection.

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. Near-atomic structure of Japanese encephalitis virus reveals critical determinants of virulence and stability.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiangxi; Li, Shi-Hua; Zhu, Ling; Nian, Qing-Gong; Yuan, Shuai; Gao, Qiang; Hu, Zhongyu; Ye, Qing; Li, Xiao-Feng; Xie, Dong-Yang; Shaw, Neil; Wang, Junzhi; Walter, Thomas S; Huiskonen, Juha T; Fry, Elizabeth E; Qin, Cheng-Feng; Stuart, David I; Rao, Zihe

    2017-04-26

    Although several different flaviviruses may cause encephalitis, Japanese encephalitis virus is the most significant, being responsible for thousands of deaths each year in Asia. The structural and molecular basis of this encephalitis is not fully understood. Here, we report the cryo-electron microscopy structure of mature Japanese encephalitis virus at near-atomic resolution, which reveals an unusual "hole" on the surface, surrounded by five encephalitic-specific motifs implicated in receptor binding. Glu138 of E, which is highly conserved in encephalitic flaviviruses, maps onto one of these motifs and is essential for binding to neuroblastoma cells, with the E138K mutation abrogating the neurovirulence and neuroinvasiveness of Japanese encephalitis virus in mice. We also identify structural elements modulating viral stability, notably Gln264 of E, which, when replaced by His264 strengthens a hydrogen-bonding network, leading to a more stable virus. These studies unveil determinants of neurovirulence and stability in Japanese encephalitis virus, opening up new avenues for therapeutic interventions against neurotropic flaviviruses.Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is a Flavivirus responsible for thousands of deaths every year for which there are no specific anti-virals. Here, Wang et al. report the cryo-EM structure of mature JEV at near-atomic resolution and identify structural elements that modulate stability and virulence.

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

    PubMed

    Dutra, Vanusa G; Alves, Valéria M N; Olendzki, André N; Dias, Cicero A G; de Bastos, Alessandra F A; Santos, Gianni O; de Amorin, Efigênia L T; Sousa, Meireille  B; Santos, Rosemary; Ribeiro, Patricia C S; Fontes, Cleuber F; Andrey, Marco; Magalhães, Kedma; Araujo, Ana A; Paffadore, Lilian F; Marconi, Camila; Murta, Eddie F C; Fernandes, Paulo C; Raddi, Maria S G; Marinho, Penélope S; Bornia, Rita B G; Palmeiro, Jussara K; Dalla-Costa, Libera M; Pinto, Tatiana C A; Botelho, Ana Caroline N; Teixeira, Lúcia M; Fracalanzza, Sérgio Eduardo L

    2014-06-12

    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. 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. 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 with a variety of clones

  9. Metacyclogenesis is a major determinant of Leishmania promastigote virulence and attenuation.

    PubMed

    da Silva, R; Sacks, D L

    1987-11-01

    The in vivo virulence patterns of promastigote populations defined on the basis of agglutination by the lectin peanut agglutinin (PNA) were studied for various cloned lines of Leishmania major. Promastigotes derived from logarithmic-phase cultures, which were routinely 100% agglutinated at 100 micrograms of PNA per ml, were relatively avirulent for BALB/c mice. The relative virulence of stationary-phase promastigotes appeared to be attributable to the proportion of nonagglutinable (PNA-) promastigotes contained within these populations. Purification of PNA- organisms from stationary cultures provided for each clone the most virulent inoculum, supporting the view that this change in lectin binding accurately reflects the development of infective metacyclic stage promastigotes. By studying this marker, we found that there was considerable variation in the degree to which different strains and clones underwent metacyclogenesis during growth. Examination of a reportedly avirulent L. major clone revealed that metacyclogenesis was unusually delayed and inefficient for this clone, but that those PNA- promastigotes which could be recovered from late-stationary-phase cultures were virulent for BALB/c mice. The loss of virulence associated with frequent subculture could also be attributed to a drastic diminution in metacyclogenesis potential over time. A clone which yielded over 90% PNA- promastigotes during growth within passage 1 generated fewer than 10% PNA- promastigotes during growth by passage 94. Subcloning of late-passage attenuated promastigotes yielded a clone for which no PNA- promastigotes could be generated during growth, and an infective population could not be derived from this clone. Thus, metacyclogenesis does not appear to be stable for even cloned lines of Leishmania promastigotes, and virulence comparisons between different strains and clones can be meaningfully made only if the metacyclic populations contained within the respective inocula are determined.

  10. 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.

  11. Candida Species From Eye Infections: Drug Susceptibility, Virulence Factors, and Molecular Characterization.

    PubMed

    Ranjith, Konduri; Sontam, Bhavani; Sharma, Savitri; Joseph, Joveeta; Chathoth, Kanchana N; Sama, Kalyana C; Murthy, Somasheila I; Shivaji, Sisinthy

    2017-08-01

    To determine the type of Candida species in ocular infections and to investigate the relationship of antifungal susceptibility profile to virulence factors. Fifty isolates of yeast-like fungi from patients with keratitis, endophthalmitis, and orbital cellulitis were identified by Vitek-2 compact system and DNA sequencing of ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 regions of the rRNA gene, followed by phylogenetic analysis for phenotypic and genotypic identification, respectively. Minimum inhibitory concentration of six antifungal drugs was determined by E test/microbroth dilution methods. Phenotypic and genotypic methods were used to determine the virulence factors. Phylogenetic analysis showed the clustering of all isolates into eight distinct groups with a major cluster formed Candida parapsilosis (n = 21), which was the most common species by both Vitek 2 and DNA sequencing. Using χ2 test no significant difference was noted between the techniques except that Vitek 2 did not identify C. viswanathii, C. orthopsilosis, and two non-Candida genera. Of 43 tested Candida isolates high susceptibility to amphotericin B (39/43, 90.6%) and natamycin (43/43, 100%) was noted. While none of the isolates produced coagulase, all produced esterase and catalase. The potential to form biofilm was detected in 23/43 (53.4%) isolates. Distribution of virulence factors by heat map analysis showed difference in metabolic activity of biofilm producers from nonbiofilm producers. Identified by Vitek 2 and DNA sequencing methods C. parapsilosis was the most common species associated with eye infections. Irrespective of the virulence factors elaborated, the Candida isolates were susceptible to commonly used antifungal drugs such as amphotericin B and natamycin.

  12. Molecular typing, virulence traits and antimicrobial resistance of diabetic foot staphylococci.

    PubMed

    Mottola, Carla; Semedo-Lemsaddek, Teresa; Mendes, João J; Melo-Cristino, José; Tavares, Luís; Cavaco-Silva, Patrícia; Oliveira, Manuela

    2016-03-08

    Diabetes mellitus is a major chronic disease that continues to increase significantly. One of the most important and costly complications of diabetes are foot infections that may be colonized by pathogenic and antimicrobial resistant bacteria, harboring several virulence factors, that could impair its successful treatment. Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most prevalent isolate in diabetic foot infections, together with aerobes and anaerobes. In this study, conducted in the Lisbon area, staphylococci isolated (n = 53) from diabetic foot ulcers were identified, genotyped and screened for virulence and antimicrobial resistance traits. Genetic relationship amongst isolates was evaluated by pulsed-field-gel-electrophoresis with further multilocus sequence typing of the identified pulsotypes. PCR was applied for detection of 12 virulence genes and e-test technique was performed to determine minimal inhibitory concentration of ten antibiotics. Among the 53 isolates included in this study, 41 Staphylococcus aureus were identified. Staphylococcal isolates were positive for intercellular adhesins icaA and icaD, negative for biofilm associated protein bap and pantone-valentine leucocidin pvl. S. aureus quorum sensing genes agrI and agrII were identified and only one isolate was positive for toxic shock syndrome toxin tst. 36 % of staphylococci tested were multiresistant and higher rates of resistance were obtained for ciprofloxacin and erythromycin. Clonality analysis revealed high genomic diversity and numerous S. aureus sequence types, both community- and hospital-acquired, belonging mostly to clonal complexes CC5 and C22, widely diffused in Portugal nowadays. This study shows that diabetic foot ulcer staphylococci are genomically diverse, present resistance to medically important antibiotics and harbour virulence determinants. These properties suggest staphylococci can contribute to persistence and severity of these infections, leading to treatment failure and to

  13. 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

  14. Molecular identification, antifungal resistance and virulence of Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus deneoformans isolated in Seville, Spain.

    PubMed

    Gago, Sara; Serrano, Carmen; Alastruey-Izquierdo, Ana; Cuesta, Isabel; Martín-Mazuelos, Estrella; Aller, Ana Isabel; Gómez-López, Alicia; Mellado, Emilia

    2017-01-01

    Cryptococcal meningitis is one of the leading causes of death in HIV/AIDS patients. Our aim was to in order to characterise the epidemiology, antifungal susceptibility pattern and virulence of 28 Cyptococcus sp. strains recovered from 12 AIDS patients during two years in a Spanish single institution. Antifungal susceptibility testing was performed according to the CLSI protocols. Clinical strains were molecularly characterised by serotyping, mating type, PCR fingerprinting (M13 and GACA4 microsatellites) and analysis of two rDNA regions (IGS1 and ITS). Sequencing of the ERG11 gene was used to explore mechanisms of fluconazole resistance. Differences in virulence between species were studied in a Galleria mellonella infection model. Cryptococcus deneoformans and C. deneoformans x Cryptococcus neoformans hybrids were the most frequent variety (65%) followed by C. neoformans (35%). Strains were categorised according to 13 microsatellite genotypes and mixed infections could be detected in three patients. Twenty-nine per cent of the strains were fluconazole resistant. In one of the patients, the fluconazole resistance phenotype was associated with a point mutation in the ERG11 gene responsible for the amino acid substitution G470R. C. neoformans strains were able to kill G. mellonella larvae more efficiently than C. deneoformans and hybrids between both species. Precisely molecular characterisation of C. neoformans species is important for an accurate patient's management.

  15. Virulence determinants, phylogenetic groups and fluoroquinolone resistance in Escherichia coli isolated from cystitis and pyelonephritis.

    PubMed

    Ferjani, S; Saidani, M; Ennigrou, S; Hsairi, M; Ben Redjeb, S

    2012-10-01

    The aim of this study is to assess the relation between virulence genotype, phylogenetic group and susceptibility to fluoroquinolones and the urinary tract infection type including pyelonephritis and cystitis due to Escherichia coli. Between 2006 and 2007, 129 non-duplicate E. coli isolates from pyelonephritis (n=56) and cystitis (n=73) were prospectively collected. The antibiotic susceptibility was done by disk diffusion method. The phylogenetic groups, A, B1, B2 and D and 18 virulence genes were determined by multiplex PCR. Statistical analysis was done with the Pearson χ2 test, Mann-Whitney U-test, Kruskal-Wallis test and stepwise multivariable logistic regression analysis, P values below 0.05 were considered statistically significant. For the pyelonephritis group, sex ratio was 0.3, the median age for women was 30 years and for men it was 54 years. For the cystitis group, sex ratio was 0.4, the median age for women was 41.5 years and for men it was 67.8 years. Significant statistical correlations were found between pyelonephritis isolates and susceptibility to ciprofloxacin (P=4 10(-5)), papG allele II (P=2 10(-6)), hlyA (P=10(-03)), iroN (P=0.04), iha (P=0.03) and ompT (P=0.03) virulence genes, high virulence score (P=0.008) and B2 phylogenetic group (P=0.03). In multivariate logistic regression analysis, papG II as predictor of pyelonephritis, no correlation could be established for the cystitis group. Our findings argue for a direct link between pyelonephritis, virulence factors, susceptibility to fluroquinolones and B2 phylogenetic group among uropthogenic E. coli. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Schild, Hedwig-Annabell; Fuchs, Sebastian W.

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Transcriptional regulation of bacterial virulence gene expression by molecular oxygen and nitric oxide

    PubMed Central

    Green, Jeffrey; Rolfe, Matthew D; Smith, Laura J

    2014-01-01

    Molecular oxygen (O2) and nitric oxide (NO) are diatomic gases that play major roles in infection. The host innate immune system generates reactive oxygen species and NO as bacteriocidal agents and both require O2 for their production. Furthermore, the ability to adapt to changes in O2 availability is crucial for many bacterial pathogens, as many niches within a host are hypoxic. Pathogenic bacteria have evolved transcriptional regulatory systems that perceive these gases and respond by reprogramming gene expression. Direct sensors possess iron-containing co-factors (iron–sulfur clusters, mononuclear iron, heme) or reactive cysteine thiols that react with O2 and/or NO. Indirect sensors perceive the physiological effects of O2 starvation. Thus, O2 and NO act as environmental cues that trigger the coordinated expression of virulence genes and metabolic adaptations necessary for survival within a host. Here, the mechanisms of signal perception by key O2- and NO-responsive bacterial transcription factors and the effects on virulence gene expression are reviewed, followed by consideration of these aspects of gene regulation in two major pathogens, Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. PMID:25603427

  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 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

  1. Comparative Whole-Genome Mapping To Determine Staphylococcus aureus Genome Size, Virulence Motifs, and Clonality

    PubMed Central

    Pantrang, Madhulatha; Stahl, Buffy; Briska, Adam M.; Stemper, Mary E.; Wagner, Trevor K.; Zentz, Emily B.; Callister, Steven M.; Lovrich, Steven D.; Henkhaus, John K.; Dykes, Colin W.

    2012-01-01

    Despite being a clonal pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus continues to acquire virulence and antibiotic-resistant genes located on mobile genetic elements such as genomic islands, prophages, pathogenicity islands, and the staphylococcal chromosomal cassette mec (SCCmec) by horizontal gene transfer from other staphylococci. The potential virulence of a S. aureus strain is often determined by comparing its pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) or multilocus sequence typing profiles to that of known epidemic or virulent clones and by PCR of the toxin genes. Whole-genome mapping (formerly optical mapping), which is a high-resolution ordered restriction mapping of a bacterial genome, is a relatively new genomic tool that allows comparative analysis across entire bacterial genomes to identify regions of genomic similarities and dissimilarities, including small and large insertions and deletions. We explored whether whole-genome maps (WGMs) of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) could be used to predict the presence of methicillin resistance, SCCmec type, and Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL)-producing genes on an S. aureus genome. We determined the WGMs of 47 diverse clinical isolates of S. aureus, including well-characterized reference MRSA strains, and annotated the signature restriction pattern in SCCmec types, arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME), and PVL-carrying prophage, PhiSa2 or PhiSa2-like regions on the genome. WGMs of these isolates accurately characterized them as MRSA or methicillin-sensitive S. aureus based on the presence or absence of the SCCmec motif, ACME and the unique signature pattern for the prophage insertion that harbored the PVL genes. Susceptibility to methicillin resistance and the presence of mecA, SCCmec types, and PVL genes were confirmed by PCR. A WGM clustering approach was further able to discriminate isolates within the same PFGE clonal group. These results showed that WGMs could be used not only to genotype S. aureus but also to

  2. Virulence and Resistance Determinants of German Staphylococcus aureus ST398 Isolates from Nonhuman Sources▿†

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21378035

  3. The SCID Mouse Model for Identifying Virulence Determinants in Coxiella burnetii

    PubMed Central

    van Schaik, Erin J.; Case, Elizabeth D.; Martinez, Eric; Bonazzi, Matteo; Samuel, James E.

    2017-01-01

    Coxiella burnetii is an intracellular, zoonotic pathogen that is the causative agent of Q fever. Infection most frequently occurs after inhalation of contaminated aerosols, which can lead to acute, self-limiting febrile illness or more serve chronic infections such as hepatitis or endocarditis. Macrophages are the principal target cells during infection where C. burnetii resides and replicates within a unique phagolysosome-like compartment, the Coxiella-containing vacuole (CCV). The first virulence determinant described as necessary for infection was full-length lipopolysaccarride (LPS); spontaneous rough mutants (phase II) arise after passage in immuno-incompetent hosts. Phase II C. burnetii are attenuated in immuno-competent animals, but are fully capable of infecting a variety of host cells in vitro. A clonal strain of the Nine Mile isolate (RSA439, clone 4), has a 26 KDa chromosomal deletion that includes LPS biosynthetic genes and is uniquely approved for use in BL2/ABL2 conditions. With the advances of axenic media and genetic tools for C. burnetii research, the characterization of novel virulence determinants is ongoing and almost exclusively performed using this attenuated clone. A major problem with predicting essential virulence loci with RSA439 is that, although some cell-autonomous phenotypes can be assessed in tissue culture, no animal model for assessing pathogenesis has been defined. Here we describe the use of SCID mice for predicting virulence factors of C. burnetii, in either independent or competitive infections. We propose that this model allows for the identification of mutations that are competent for intracellular replication in vitro, but attenuated for growth in vivo and predict essential innate immune responses modulated by the pathogen during infection as a central pathogenic strategy. PMID:28217558

  4. The SCID Mouse Model for Identifying Virulence Determinants in Coxiella burnetii.

    PubMed

    van Schaik, Erin J; Case, Elizabeth D; Martinez, Eric; Bonazzi, Matteo; Samuel, James E

    2017-01-01

    Coxiella burnetii is an intracellular, zoonotic pathogen that is the causative agent of Q fever. Infection most frequently occurs after inhalation of contaminated aerosols, which can lead to acute, self-limiting febrile illness or more serve chronic infections such as hepatitis or endocarditis. Macrophages are the principal target cells during infection where C. burnetii resides and replicates within a unique phagolysosome-like compartment, the Coxiella-containing vacuole (CCV). The first virulence determinant described as necessary for infection was full-length lipopolysaccarride (LPS); spontaneous rough mutants (phase II) arise after passage in immuno-incompetent hosts. Phase II C. burnetii are attenuated in immuno-competent animals, but are fully capable of infecting a variety of host cells in vitro. A clonal strain of the Nine Mile isolate (RSA439, clone 4), has a 26 KDa chromosomal deletion that includes LPS biosynthetic genes and is uniquely approved for use in BL2/ABL2 conditions. With the advances of axenic media and genetic tools for C. burnetii research, the characterization of novel virulence determinants is ongoing and almost exclusively performed using this attenuated clone. A major problem with predicting essential virulence loci with RSA439 is that, although some cell-autonomous phenotypes can be assessed in tissue culture, no animal model for assessing pathogenesis has been defined. Here we describe the use of SCID mice for predicting virulence factors of C. burnetii, in either independent or competitive infections. We propose that this model allows for the identification of mutations that are competent for intracellular replication in vitro, but attenuated for growth in vivo and predict essential innate immune responses modulated by the pathogen during infection as a central pathogenic strategy.

  5. Comparative whole-genome mapping to determine Staphylococcus aureus genome size, virulence motifs, and clonality.

    PubMed

    Shukla, Sanjay K; Pantrangi, Madhulatha; Stahl, Buffy; Briska, Adam M; Stemper, Mary E; Wagner, Trevor K; Zentz, Emily B; Callister, Steven M; Lovrich, Steven D; Henkhaus, John K; Dykes, Colin W

    2012-11-01

    Despite being a clonal pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus continues to acquire virulence and antibiotic-resistant genes located on mobile genetic elements such as genomic islands, prophages, pathogenicity islands, and the staphylococcal chromosomal cassette mec (SCCmec) by horizontal gene transfer from other staphylococci. The potential virulence of a S. aureus strain is often determined by comparing its pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) or multilocus sequence typing profiles to that of known epidemic or virulent clones and by PCR of the toxin genes. Whole-genome mapping (formerly optical mapping), which is a high-resolution ordered restriction mapping of a bacterial genome, is a relatively new genomic tool that allows comparative analysis across entire bacterial genomes to identify regions of genomic similarities and dissimilarities, including small and large insertions and deletions. We explored whether whole-genome maps (WGMs) of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) could be used to predict the presence of methicillin resistance, SCCmec type, and Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL)-producing genes on an S. aureus genome. We determined the WGMs of 47 diverse clinical isolates of S. aureus, including well-characterized reference MRSA strains, and annotated the signature restriction pattern in SCCmec types, arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME), and PVL-carrying prophage, PhiSa2 or PhiSa2-like regions on the genome. WGMs of these isolates accurately characterized them as MRSA or methicillin-sensitive S. aureus based on the presence or absence of the SCCmec motif, ACME and the unique signature pattern for the prophage insertion that harbored the PVL genes. Susceptibility to methicillin resistance and the presence of mecA, SCCmec types, and PVL genes were confirmed by PCR. A WGM clustering approach was further able to discriminate isolates within the same PFGE clonal group. These results showed that WGMs could be used not only to genotype S. aureus but also to

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Burkholderia cenocepacia in cystic fibrosis: epidemiology and molecular mechanisms of virulence.

    PubMed

    Drevinek, P; Mahenthiralingam, E

    2010-07-01

    Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) bacteria have gained notoriety as pathogens in cystic fibrosis (CF) because they are difficult to identify and treat, and also have the ability to spread between CF individuals. Of the 17 formally named species within the complex, Burkholderia multivorans and Burkholderia cenocepacia dominate in CF. Multilocus sequence typing has proven to be a very useful tool for tracing the global epidemiology of Bcc bacteria and has shown that B. cenocepacia strains with high transmissibility, such as the ET-12 strain (ST-28) and the Czech strain (ST-32), have spread epidemically within CF populations in Canada and Europe. The majority of research on the molecular pathogenesis of Bcc bacteria has focused on the B. cenocepacia ET-12 epidemic lineage, with gene mutation, genome sequence analysis and, most recently, global gene expression studies shedding considerable light on the virulence and antimicrobial resistance of this pathogen. These studies demonstrate that the ability of B. cenocepacia to acquire foreign DNA (genomic islands, insertion sequences and other mobile elements), regulate gene expression via quorum sensing, compete for iron during infection, and mediate antimicrobial resistance and inflammation via its membrane and surface polysaccharides are key features that underpin the virulence of different strains. With the wealth of molecular knowledge acquired in the last decade on B. cenocepacia strains, we are now in a much better position to develop strategies for the treatment of pathogenic colonization with Bcc and to answer key questions on pathogenesis concerning, for example, the factors that trigger the rapid clinical decline in CF patients.

  9. Chicken embryo lethality assay for determining the lethal dose and virulence of Enterococcus faecalis.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Ana E; Barz, Martin; Icken, Wiebke; Cavero, David; Sharifi, A Reza; Voss, Matthias; Preisinger, Rudolf; Buxadé, Carlos

    2017-10-01

    Enterococcus faecalis is the major pathogen found in field cases of amyloid arthropathy in chickens. Given the need for a better understanding of the virulence mechanisms of the causative strains, the embryo lethality assay (ELA) is proposed in the present study as a model to evaluate the virulence of E. faecalis strains, specifically the pathogenic avian strain K923/96, which was previously related with amyloid arthropathy. Hence, 0.2 ml of five doses of the cited strain (from 2.5 to 2500 colony-forming units (CFU) per ml) were inoculated into the allantoic cavity of 10-day-old embryos. The embryo mortality rate (EMR) was determined by daily candling of the eggs over a period of seven days and based on this information the median lethal dose (LD50) was calculated. The ELA was repeated four times on a sample of 3443 eggs. The infectious dose showed a significant effect on the EMR. The EMR with the doses of 2.5, 5, 25, 250 and 2500 CFU/ml was 43%, 45%, 63%, 90% and 93%, respectively. The estimated dose at LD50 was 6.6 CFU/ml. As expected, the higher the infectious dose, the greater the EMR and the lower the embryo survival time. The highest EMR was recorded after three and four days post-inoculation in all doses. In conclusion, these results can be used as a basis for further researches on the E. faecalis virulence. In order to corroborate its model capacity to predict the virulence of this bacterium, more ELAs with different E. faecalis strains are required.

  10. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  12. 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

  13. Molecular analysis of Helicobacter pylori virulent-associated genes in hepatobiliary patients

    PubMed Central

    Boonyanugomol, Wongwarut; Chomvarin, Chariya; Sripa, Banchob; Chau-in, Siri; Pugkhem, Ake; Namwat, Wises; Wongboot, Warawan; Khampoosa, Bandit

    2012-01-01

    Objectives The Helicobacter pylori virulence-associated genes in hepatobiliary patients, including vacA, iceA, babA2, cagA and cagE, have not been reported. The aim of this study was to investigate these genes and the association of those and the clinical outcomes in hepatobiliary diseases. Methods Eighty H. pylori-PCR-positive cases were obtained from hepatobiliary patients, representing both cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) (n = 58) and cholelithiasis (n = 22). The diversity of virulence genes was examined by polymerase chain reaction and DNA sequencing. Phylogenetic analysis of cagA was determined using the maximum parsimony method. Results The vacAs1a + c/m1, iceA1 and babA2 genes were the most predominant genotypes in both CCA and cholelithiasis patients. The cagA and cagE genes were found significantly more frequently in patients with CCA than those with cholelithiasis (P < 0.05). The cagA positive samples were the Western-type cagA and showed that almost all of the detected sequences in Thai hepatobiliary and Thai gastric cancer patients were classified in the same cluster but separated from the cluster of Japan and other countries. Conclusions The cagA and cagE genes may be associated in the pathogenesis of hepatobiliary diseases, especially of CCA. Besides the bacterial variation, other host factors may be involved in the pathogenesis of hepatobiliary cancer. PMID:23043664

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  15. Molecular determinants of alphavirus neuropathogenesis in mice.

    PubMed

    Atkins, Gregory J; Sheahan, Brian J

    2016-06-01

    Alphaviruses are enveloped viruses with a positive-stranded RNA genome, of the family Togaviridae. In mammals and birds they are mosquito-transmitted and are of veterinary and medical importance. They cause primarily two types of disease: encephalitis and polyarthritis. Here we review attempts to understand the molecular basis of encephalitis and virulence for the central nervous system (CNS) in mouse models. Sindbis virus (SINV) was the first virus to be studied in this way. Other viruses analysed are Semliki Forest virus (SFV), Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Eastern equine encephalitis virus and Western equine encephalitis virus. Neurovirulence was found to be associated with damage to neurons in the CNS. It mapped mainly to the E2 region of the genome, and to the nsP3 gene. Also, avirulent natural isolates of both SINV and SFV have been found to have more rapid cleavage of nonstructural proteins due to mutations in the nsP1-nsP2 cleavage site. Immune-mediated demyelination for avirulent SFV has been shown to be associated with infection of oligodendrocytes. For Chikungunya virus, an emerging alphavirus that uncommonly causes encephalitis, analysis of the molecular basis of CNS pathogenicity is beginning. Experiments on SINV and SFV have indicated that virulence may be related to the resistance of virulent virus to interferon action. Although the E2 protein may be involved in tropism for neurons and passage across the blood-brain barrier, the role of the nsP3 protein during infection of neurons is unknown. More information in these areas may help to further explain the neurovirulence of alphaviruses.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  18. Molecular detection of virulence genes in Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolated from children with Cystic Fibrosis and burn wounds in Iran.

    PubMed

    Faraji, Fatemeh; Mahzounieh, Mohammadreza; Ebrahimi, Azizollah; Fallah, Fatemeh; Teymournejad, Omid; Lajevardi, Behnaz

    2016-10-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa possesses various virulence factors which contribute to the bacterial invasion and toxicity. Moreover, children suffered from Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and burn wounds are at a high risk of various bacterial infections. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of virulent genes in P. aeruginosa isolated from children with CF and burn wounds and comparing their virulence genes to figure out the role of every virulent factor in the infections. P. aeruginosa were isolated from sputum, oropharyngeal swabs, and broncho-alveolar lavage (BAL) specimens from CF and burn wounds between June 2013 and June 2014 in Tehran's hospitals. Bacterial genomic DNAs were extracted and uniplex, duplex and multiplex PCR were performed for detection of toxA, algD and plcN, exoS, lasB, plcH genes, respectively. The prevalence rate of virulence genes in P. aeruginosa isolated from CF was; toxA (63.1%), algD (64.6%), plcH (87.7%), plcN (60%), lasB (95.4%) and exoS (70.8%) and virulence genes in P. aeruginosa from burn patients were: toxA (36.9%), algD (70.1%), plcH (79%), plcN (63.1%), lasB (82%) and exoS (21.1%). The prevalence of three virulent genes in P. aeruginosa was higher in CF comparing to burn wound infections. We found that the number of toxA, lasB and exoS were significantly higher in the bacteria which were isolated from children with CF. This finding shows that these virulence factors play an important role in CF infections by P. aeroginosa. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  1. 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

  2. RpiRc Is a Pleiotropic Effector of Virulence Determinant Synthesis and Attenuates Pathogenicity in Staphylococcus aureus

    PubMed Central

    Wirf, Jessica; Wonnenberg, B.; Biegel, Tanja; Eisenbeis, J.; Graham, J.; Herrmann, M.; Lee, C. Y.; Beisswenger, C.; Wolz, C.; Tschernig, T.; Bischoff, M.; Somerville, G. A.

    2016-01-01

    In Staphylococcus aureus, metabolism is intimately linked with virulence determinant biosynthesis, and several metabolite-responsive regulators have been reported to mediate this linkage. S. aureus possesses at least three members of the RpiR family of transcriptional regulators. Of the three RpiR homologs, RpiRc is a potential regulator of the pentose phosphate pathway, which also regulates RNAIII levels. RNAIII is the regulatory RNA of the agr quorum-sensing system that controls virulence determinant synthesis. The effect of RpiRc on RNAIII likely involves other regulators, as the regulators that bind the RNAIII promoter have been intensely studied. To determine which regulators might bridge the gap between RpiRc and RNAIII, sarA, sigB, mgrA, and acnA mutations were introduced into an rpiRc mutant background, and the effects on RNAIII were determined. Additionally, phenotypic and genotypic differences were examined in the single and double mutant strains, and the virulence of select strains was examined using two different murine infection models. The data suggest that RpiRc affects RNAIII transcription and the synthesis of virulence determinants in concert with σB, SarA, and the bacterial metabolic status to negatively affect virulence. PMID:27113358

  3. Molecular and virulence characterization of Toxoplasma gondii strains isolated from humans in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Vilares, Anabela; Gargaté, Maria João; Ferreira, Idalina; Martins, Susana; Gomes, João Paulo

    2017-03-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an apicomplexan parasite responsible for toxoplasmosis which infects all warm-blooded vertebrates, including mammals and birds. The majority of studies conducted in Europe have revealed that more than 80 % of strains isolated from human infections belong to genotype II, whereas genotypes I and III are responsible for a small number of cases. Atypical and recombinant strains are generally associated with more severe infections. In Portugal, there is a lack of data concerning genetic diversity as the classical typing studies in humans have never been performed. We aimed to determine the Sag2 and microsatellite-based (TUB2, TgM-A, W35, B17, B18) genotypes of T. gondii isolated from humans in Portugal, as well as to study their virulence in mice. We analyzed 48 strains from congenital and acquired toxoplasmosis collected during the last two decades. Sag2-based genotyping of T. gondii was achieved in all 48 strains where 35 (73 %) were classified as type II and 13 (27 %) were type I. The multilocus PCR of five microsatellites allowed the classification of 10 strains (21 %) as recombinant strains that had been previously identified as type II or I by Sag2 typing. Seven out of the 48 strains, including three type I, three recombinant, and one type I, were virulent in mice. This study constitutes the first evidence of recombinant strains circulating in Portugal in humans from congenital infection, highlighting the need for a better evaluation of these strains as their phenotype is still barely understood.

  4. Activation of CpxRA in Haemophilus ducreyi primarily inhibits the expression of its targets, including major virulence determinants.

    PubMed

    Gangaiah, Dharanesh; Zhang, Xinjun; Fortney, Kate R; Baker, Beth; Liu, Yunlong; Munson, Robert S; Spinola, Stanley M

    2013-08-01

    Haemophilus ducreyi causes chancroid, a genital ulcer disease that facilitates the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1. In humans, H. ducreyi is surrounded by phagocytes and must adapt to a hostile environment to survive. To sense and respond to environmental cues, bacteria frequently use two-component signal transduction (2CST) systems. The only obvious 2CST system in H. ducreyi is CpxRA; CpxR is a response regulator, and CpxA is a sensor kinase. Previous studies by Hansen and coworkers showed that CpxR directly represses the expression of dsrA, the lspB-lspA2 operon, and the flp operon, which are required for virulence in humans. They further showed that CpxA functions predominantly as a phosphatase in vitro to maintain the expression of virulence determinants. Since a cpxA mutant is avirulent while a cpxR mutant is fully virulent in humans, CpxA also likely functions predominantly as a phosphatase in vivo. To better understand the role of H. ducreyi CpxRA in controlling virulence determinants, here we defined genes potentially regulated by CpxRA by using RNA-Seq. Activation of CpxR by deletion of cpxA repressed nearly 70% of its targets, including seven established virulence determinants. Inactivation of CpxR by deletion of cpxR differentially regulated few genes and increased the expression of one virulence determinant. We identified a CpxR binding motif that was enriched in downregulated but not upregulated targets. These data reinforce the hypothesis that CpxA phosphatase activity plays a critical role in controlling H. ducreyi virulence in vivo. Characterization of the downregulated genes may offer new insights into pathogenesis.

  5. 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

    2015-06-02

    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.

  6. Biofilm formation as a virulence determinant of uropathogenic Escherichia coli Dr+ strains.

    PubMed

    Zalewska-Piatek, Beata M; Wilkanowicz, Sabina I; Piatek, Rafał J; Kur, Józef W

    2009-01-01

    Urinary tract infections are the most common health problem affecting millions of people each year. Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) strains are the major factor causing lower and upper urinary tract infections. UPEC produce several virulence factors among which are surface exposed adhesive organelldes (pili/fimbriae) responsible for colonization, invasion and amplification within uroepithelial cells. The virulence of the uropathogenic E. coli Dr IH11128 is associated with Dr fimbriae belonging to the Dr family of adhesins (associated with diarrhea and urinary tract infections) and a DraD protein capping the linear fiber at the bacterial cell surface. In this study we revealed that biofilm development can be another urovirulence determinant allowing pathogenic E. coli Dr+ to survive within the urinary tract. E. coli strains were grown in rich or minimal media, allowed to adhere to abiotic surfaces and analyzed microscopically by staining of cells with cristal violet. We found that both Dr fimbriae and DraD, exposed at the cell surface in two forms, fimbria-associated or fimbria non-associated, (DraE+/DraD+, DraE+/DraD- or DraE-/DraD+ E. coli strains) are required for biofilm formation. Additionally, we demonstrated the biofilm formation capacity of E. coli strains deficient in the surface secretion or production of the DraE adhesin.

  7. Determination of resistance and virulence genes in Enterococcus faecalis and E. faecium strains isolated from poultry and their genotypic characterization by ADSRRS-fingerprinting.

    PubMed

    Nowakiewicz, A; Ziólkowska, G; Troscianczyk, A; Zieba, P; Gnat, S

    2017-04-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the antimicrobial resistance of E. faecalis and E. faecium strains isolated from poultry and to carry out genotypic characterization thereof with the ADSRRS-fingerprinting method (amplification of DNA fragments surrounding rare restriction sites) and analysis of the genetic relatedness between the isolates with different resistance and virulence determinants. Samples were collected from 70 4-week-old chickens and tested for Enterococcus. Minimum inhibitory concentrations of 11 antimicrobials were determined using the broth microdilution method. Detection of antibiotic resistance and virulence genes was performed using PCR, and molecular analysis was carried out using the ADSRRS-fingerprinting method. The highest percentage of strains was resistant to tetracycline (60.5%) and erythromycin (54.4%), and a large number exhibited high-level resistance to both kanamycin (42.1%) and streptomycin (34.2%). Among 8 genes encoding AME, the tested strains showed mainly the presence of [aph(3΄)-IIIa], [ant(6)-Ia], [aac(6΄)-Ie-aph(2΄΄)-Ia], and [ant(9)-Ia] genes. Phenotypic resistance to erythromycin was encoded in 98.4% strains by the ermB gene. Genotypic resistance to tetracycline in E. faecium was associated with the presence of tetM and tetL (respectively, in 95.5 and 57.7% of the isolates); in contrast, E. faecalis strains were characterized mainly by the presence of tetO (83.3%). The virulence profile was homogenous for all E. faecium strains and included only efaAfm and ccf genes. All E. faecalis strains exhibited efaAfs, gelE, and genes encoding sex pheromones. The strains tested exhibited 34 genotypic profiles. Comparative analysis of phenotypic and genotypic resistance and virulence profiles and confrontation thereof with the genotypes of the strains tested showed that strains assigned to a particular genotype have an identical phenotypic resistance profile and a panel of resistance and virulence genes. The results of this

  8. Streptococcus pneumoniae in biofilms are unable to cause invasive disease due to altered virulence determinant production.

    PubMed

    Sanchez, Carlos J; Kumar, Nikhil; Lizcano, Anel; Shivshankar, Pooja; Dunning Hotopp, Julie C; Jorgensen, James H; Tettelin, Hervé; Orihuela, Carlos J

    2011-01-01

    It is unclear whether Streptococcus pneumoniae in biofilms are virulent and contribute to development of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD). Using electron microscopy we confirmed the development of mature pneumococcal biofilms in a continuous-flow-through line model and determined that biofilm formation occurred in discrete stages with mature biofilms composed primarily of dead pneumococci. Challenge of mice with equal colony forming units of biofilm and planktonic pneumococci determined that biofilm bacteria were highly attenuated for invasive disease but not nasopharyngeal colonization. Biofilm pneumococci of numerous serotypes were hyper-adhesive and bound to A549 type II pneumocytes and Detroit 562 pharyngeal epithelial cells at levels 2 to 11-fold greater than planktonic counterparts. Using genomic microarrays we examined the pneumococcal transcriptome and determined that during biofilm formation S. pneumoniae down-regulated genes involved in protein synthesis, energy production, metabolism, capsular polysaccharide (CPS) production, and virulence. We confirmed these changes by measuring CPS by ELISA and immunoblotting for the toxin pneumolysin and the bacterial adhesins phosphorylcholine (ChoP), choline-binding protein A (CbpA), and Pneumococcal serine-rich repeat protein (PsrP). We conclude that biofilm pneumococci were avirulent due to reduced CPS and pneumolysin production along with increased ChoP, which is known to bind C-reactive protein and is opsonizing. Likewise, biofilm pneumococci were hyper-adhesive due to selection for the transparent phase variant, reduced CPS, and enhanced production of PsrP, CbpA, and ChoP. These studies suggest that biofilms do not directly contribute to development of IPD and may instead confer a quiescent mode of growth during colonization.

  9. Molecular detection of virulence genes as markers in Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolated from urinary tract infections.

    PubMed

    Sabharwal, Neha; Dhall, Shriya; Chhibber, Sanjay; Harjai, Kusum

    2014-01-01

    Catheter associated urinary tract infections by P. aeruginosa are related to variety of complications. Quorum sensing and related circuitry guard its virulence potential. Though P. aeruginosa accounts for an appreciable amount of virulence factors, this organism is highly unstable phenotypically. Thus, genotyping of clinical isolates of P. aeruginosa is of utmost importance for understanding the epidemiology of infection. This may contribute towards development of immunotherapeutic approaches against this multi drug resistant pathogen. Moreover, no epidemiological study has been reported yet on uroisolates of P. aeruginosa. Thus this study was planned to obtain information regarding presence, distribution and rate of occurrence of quorum sensing and some associated virulence genes at genetic level. The profiling of quorum sensing genes lasI, lasR, rhlI, rhlR and virulence genes like toxA, aprA, rhlAB, plcH, lasB and fliC of twelve strains of P. aeruginosa isolated from patients with UTIs was done by direct PCR. The results showed variable distribution of quorum sensing genes and virulence genes. Their percentage occurrence may be specifically associated with different levels of intrinsic virulence and pathogenicity in urinary tract. Such information can help in identifying these virulence genes as useful diagnostic markers for clinical P. aeruginosa strains isolated from UTIs.

  10. Beta-lactamase-producing Pseudomonas aeruginosa: Phenotypic characteristics and molecular identification of virulence genes.

    PubMed

    Ullah, Waheed; Qasim, Muhammad; Rahman, Hazir; Jie, Yan; Muhammad, Noor

    2017-03-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa causes common infections in immunocompromised and cystic fibrosis patients. However, drug resistance capability and release of virulence factors play a key role in bacterial pathogenicity. Beta-lactamase-producing clinical isolates of P. aeruginosa were screened for biofilm formation and pigment production. Subsequently, all the isolates were subjected to the detection of six virulence genes (OprI, OprL, LasB, PlcH, ExoS, and ToxA). Among beta-lactamase-producing isolates (n=54), about 85.18% (n=46) were biofilm producers. Pigment production was observed in 92.59% (n=50) isolates. Clinical samples were subsequently screened for detection of virulence factors. Among them, 40.74% (n=22) isolates were found to be OprI positive, while 29.62% (n=16) were OprL producers. In the case of LasB and PlcH, 24% (n=13) and 18.5% (n=10) isolates produced these virulence genes, respectively. Among the isolates, 37.03% (n=20) and 33.33% (n=18) expressed virulence factors ExoS and ToxA, respectively. Furthermore, 42.59% (n=23) isolates coproduced more than one type of virulence factors. In the current study, pigment display, biofilm formation, and virulence genes were detected in P. aeruginosa clinical isolates. Such factors could be crucial in the development of drug resistance. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Taiwan LLC.

  11. Molecular genetics of sex determination.

    PubMed

    Cotinot, Corinne; Pailhoux, Eric; Jaubert, Francis; Fellous, Marc

    2002-08-01

    In humans, the choice between male or female development is genetically determined. Sex determination take place when the bipotential embryonic gonad becomes either testis or ovary. This process is directed by genes that have been discovered by genetic analysis of sex-reversed patients and confirmed by knockout experiments in mice. The testis-determining pathway is better known than the ovary pathway. SRY, a gene located on the Y chromosome, triggers a complex genetic cascade leading to testicular differentiation. In this cascade, two genes play a crucial role in male differentiation, SOX9 and FGF9, which contribute to testicular cord formation. However, only a minority of 46,XY sex-reversed patients can be explained by mutations in known genes such as SRY, SOX9, WTI, and SF1, suggesting that other genes influencing sex determination are yet to be discovered. In females, some rare genes that induce ovarian failure or female-to-male sex reversal have been found through gene-targeted inactivation in mice or positional cloning of mutations in humans and goats. In both sexes, genetic analysis of sex-reversed individuals (XX males, XX and XY hermaphrodites, and XY with complete or partial dysgenesis) remains an approach of choice to isolate new genes involved in sex determination.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  13. Streptococcus suis in invasive human infections in Poland: clonality and determinants of virulence and antimicrobial resistance.

    PubMed

    Bojarska, A; Molska, E; Janas, K; Skoczyńska, A; Stefaniuk, E; Hryniewicz, W; Sadowy, E

    2016-06-01

    The purpose of this study was to perform an analysis of Streptococcus suis human invasive isolates, collected in Poland by the National Reference Centre for Bacterial Meningitis. Isolates obtained from 21 patients during 2000-2013 were investigated by phenotypic tests, multilocus sequence typing (MLST), analysis of the TR9 locus from the multilocus variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) analysis (MLVA) scheme and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) of SmaI-digested DNA. Determinants of virulence and antimicrobial resistance were detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and analysed by sequencing. All isolates represented sequence type 1 (ST1) and were suggested to be serotype 2. PFGE and analysis of the TR9 locus allowed the discrimination of four and 17 types, respectively. Most of the isolates were haemolysis- and DNase-positive, and around half of them formed biofilm. Genes encoding suilysin, extracellular protein factor, fibronectin-binding protein, muramidase-released protein, surface antigen one, enolase, serum opacity factor and pili were ubiquitous in the studied group, while none of the isolates carried sequences characteristic for the 89K pathogenicity island. All isolates were susceptible to penicillin, cefotaxime, imipenem, moxifloxacin, chloramphenicol, rifampicin, gentamicin, linezolid, vancomycin and daptomycin. Five isolates (24 %) were concomitantly non-susceptible to erythromycin, clindamycin and tetracycline, and harboured the tet(O) and erm(B) genes; for one isolate, lsa(E) and lnu(B) were additionally detected. Streptococcus suis isolated in Poland from human invasive infections belongs to a globally distributed clonal complex of this pathogen, enriched in virulence markers. This is the first report of the lsa(E) and lnu(B) resistance genes in S. suis.

  14. Identification of a Novel Virulence Determinant with Serum Opacification Activity in Streptococcus suis

    PubMed Central

    Baums, Christoph G.; Kaim, Ute; Fulde, Marcus; Ramachandran, Girish; Goethe, Ralph; Valentin-Weigand, Peter

    2006-01-01

    Streptococcus suis serotype 2 is a porcine and human pathogen with adhesive and invasive properties. In other streptococci, large surface-associated proteins (>100 kDa) of the MSCRAMM family (microbial surface components recognizing adhesive matrix molecules) are key players in interactions with host tissue. In this study, we identified a novel opacity factor of S. suis (OFS) with structural homology to members of the MSCRAMM family. The N-terminal region of OFS is homologous to the respective regions of fibronectin-binding protein A (FnBA) of Streptococcus dysgalactiae and the serum opacity factor (SOF) of Streptococcus pyogenes. Similar to these two proteins, the N-terminal domain of OFS opacified horse serum. Serum opacification activity was detectable in sodium dodecyl sulfate extracts of wild-type S. suis but not in extracts of isogenic ofs knockout mutants. Heterologous expression of OFS in Lactococcus lactis demonstrated that a high level of expression of OFS is sufficient to provide surface-associated serum opacification activity. Furthermore, serum opacification could be inhibited by an antiserum against recombinant OFS. The C-terminal repetitive sequence elements of OFS differed significantly from the respective repeat regions of FnBA and SOF as well as from the consensus sequence of the fibronectin-binding repeats of MSCRAMMs. Accordingly, fibronectin binding was not detectable in recombinant OFS. To investigate the putative function of OFS in the pathogenesis of invasive S. suis diseases, piglets were experimentally infected with an isogenic mutant strain in which the ofs gene had been knocked out by an in-frame deletion. The mutant was severely attenuated in virulence but not in colonization, demonstrating that OFS represents a novel virulence determinant of S. suis. PMID:17057090

  15. A Novel Enterovirus 71 (EV71) Virulence Determinant: The 69th Residue of 3C Protease Modulates Pathogenicity

    PubMed Central

    Li, Bingqing; Yue, Yingying; Zhang, Yajie; Yuan, Zenglin; Li, Peng; Song, Nannan; Lin, Wei; Liu, Yan; Gu, Lichuan; Meng, Hong

    2017-01-01

    Human enterovirus type 71 (EV71), the major causative agent of hand-foot-and-mouth disease, has been known to cause fatal neurological complications. Unfortunately, the reason for neurological complications that have been seen in fatal cases of the disease and the relationship between EV71 virulence and viral genetic sequences remains largely undefined. The 3C protease (3Cpro) of EV71 plays an irreplaceable role in segmenting the precursor polyprotein during viral replication, and intervening with host life activity during viral infection. In this study, for the first time, the 69th residue of 3C protease has been identified as a novel virulence determinant of EV71. The recombinant virus with single point variation, in the 69th of 3Cpro, exhibited obvious decline in replication, and virulence. We further determined the crystal structure of 3C N69D at 1.39 Ǻ resolution and found that conformation of 3C N69D demonstrated significant changes compared with a normal 3C protein, in the substrate-binding site and catalytic active site. Strikingly, one of the switch loops, essential in fixing substrates, adopts an open conformation in the 3C N69D-rupintrivir complex. Consistent with this apparent structural disruption, the catalytic activity of 3C N69D decreased sharply for host derived and viral derived substrates, detected for both in vitro and in vivo. Interestingly, in addition to EV71, Asp69 was also found in 3C proteases of other virus strains, such as CAV16, and was conserved in nearly all C type human rhinovirus. Overall, we identified a natural virulence determinant of 3C protease and revealed the mechanism of attenuated virulence is mediated by N69D substitution. Our data provides new insight into the enzymatic mechanism of a subdued 3C protease and suggests a theoretical basis for virulence determinantion of picornaviridae. PMID:28217559

  16. A Novel Enterovirus 71 (EV71) Virulence Determinant: The 69th Residue of 3C Protease Modulates Pathogenicity.

    PubMed

    Li, Bingqing; Yue, Yingying; Zhang, Yajie; Yuan, Zenglin; Li, Peng; Song, Nannan; Lin, Wei; Liu, Yan; Gu, Lichuan; Meng, Hong

    2017-01-01

    Human enterovirus type 71 (EV71), the major causative agent of hand-foot-and-mouth disease, has been known to cause fatal neurological complications. Unfortunately, the reason for neurological complications that have been seen in fatal cases of the disease and the relationship between EV71 virulence and viral genetic sequences remains largely undefined. The 3C protease (3C(pro)) of EV71 plays an irreplaceable role in segmenting the precursor polyprotein during viral replication, and intervening with host life activity during viral infection. In this study, for the first time, the 69th residue of 3C protease has been identified as a novel virulence determinant of EV71. The recombinant virus with single point variation, in the 69th of 3C(pro), exhibited obvious decline in replication, and virulence. We further determined the crystal structure of 3C N69D at 1.39 Ǻ resolution and found that conformation of 3C N69D demonstrated significant changes compared with a normal 3C protein, in the substrate-binding site and catalytic active site. Strikingly, one of the switch loops, essential in fixing substrates, adopts an open conformation in the 3C N69D-rupintrivir complex. Consistent with this apparent structural disruption, the catalytic activity of 3C N69D decreased sharply for host derived and viral derived substrates, detected for both in vitro and in vivo. Interestingly, in addition to EV71, Asp69 was also found in 3C proteases of other virus strains, such as CAV16, and was conserved in nearly all C type human rhinovirus. Overall, we identified a natural virulence determinant of 3C protease and revealed the mechanism of attenuated virulence is mediated by N69D substitution. Our data provides new insight into the enzymatic mechanism of a subdued 3C protease and suggests a theoretical basis for virulence determinantion of picornaviridae.

  17. Selection of Classical Swine Fever Virus with Enhanced Pathogenicity Reveals Synergistic Virulence Determinants in E2 and NS4B

    PubMed Central

    Tamura, Tomokazu; Yoshino, Fumi; Nomura, Takushi; Yamamoto, Naoki; Sato, Yuka; Okamatsu, Masatoshi; Ruggli, Nicolas; Kida, Hiroshi

    2012-01-01

    Classical swine fever virus (CSFV) is the causative agent of classical swine fever (CSF), a highly contagious disease of pigs. There are numerous CSFV strains that differ in virulence, resulting in clinical disease with different degrees of severity. Low-virulent and moderately virulent isolates cause a mild and often chronic disease, while highly virulent isolates cause an acute and mostly lethal hemorrhagic fever. The live attenuated vaccine strain GPE− was produced by multiple passages of the virulent ALD strain in cells of swine, bovine, and guinea pig origin. With the aim of identifying the determinants responsible for the attenuation, the GPE− vaccine virus was readapted to pigs by serial passages of infected tonsil homogenates until prolonged viremia and typical signs of CSF were observed. The GPE−/P-11 virus isolated from the tonsils after the 11th passage in vivo had acquired 3 amino acid substitutions in E2 (T830A) and NS4B (V2475A and A2563V) compared with the virus before passages. Experimental infection of pigs with the mutants reconstructed by reverse genetics confirmed that these amino acid substitutions were responsible for the acquisition of pathogenicity. Studies in vitro indicated that the substitution in E2 influenced virus spreading and that the changes in NS4B enhanced the viral RNA replication. In conclusion, the present study identified residues in E2 and NS4B of CSFV that can act synergistically to influence virus replication efficiency in vitro and pathogenicity in pigs. PMID:22674973

  18. Enterococci from Tolminc cheese: population structure, antibiotic susceptibility and incidence of virulence determinants.

    PubMed

    Canzek Majhenic, Andreja; Rogelj, Irena; Perko, Bogdan

    2005-07-15

    Microbiological analysis of ripened artisanal Tolminc cheese revealed the presence of an enterococcal population in numbers of up to 10(6) per g. All colonies, isolated from the citrate azide tween carbonate (CATC) enterococcal selective medium were Gram positive and coccal-shaped and were analysed with PhenePlate FS system. This system discriminated 10 PhP clusters among the 90 enterococcal isolates. From each cluster the most representative isolate for that particular type was selected for further study. The 10 representative enterococci were catalase negative and grew in the presence of NaCl (2%, 4% and 6.5%) and bile salts (0.06%). Genus specific primers confirmed all 10 enterococcal representatives as Enterococcus members, while species specific primers determined them further as strains of Enterococcus faecalis species. PCR for vanA and vanB genes detection, respectively, amplified no PCR products. The absence of van genes was confirmed with both disc and E-test, as isolates were susceptible to vancomycin according to the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards (NCCLS). The results of disc tests with other antimicrobial agents (ampicillin, vancomycin, kanamycin, penicillin, erythromycin, neomycin, chloramphenicol, clindamycin, rifampin) did not differ much among the tested enterococci: they were all very resistant to clindamycin only. The incidence of enterococcus virulence determinants was as expected: all of the 10 E. faecalis strains tested possessed multiple determinants (between 7 and 11).

  19. Identification of a vertically transmitted strain from Anaplasma marginale (UFMG3): Molecular and phylogenetic characterization, and evaluation of virulence.

    PubMed

    Silvestre, Bruna T; Silveira, Júlia A G; Meneses, Rodrigo M; Facury-Filho, Elias J; Carvalho, Antônio U; Ribeiro, Múcio F B

    2016-02-01

    Bovine anaplasmosis is a disease caused by the intraerythrocytic rickettsia species Anaplasma marginale and results in great economic losses in tropical and subtropical regions. Vertical transmission is an important phenomenon that contributes to the persistence of different strains of the agent within the same herd. The identification of new strains and genetic characterization studies are essential to understanding their epidemiology and virulence and for vaccine development. The aim of this study was to perform molecular and phylogenetic characterizations of a new vertically transmitted strain from A. marginale and to evaluate its virulence by experimental inoculation of rickettsia-free calves. Thirty newborn Holstein calves were subjected to molecular tests for the detection of A. marginale, Babesia bovis and Babesia bigemina. Calves positive for A. marginale (n=3) were splenectomized and monitored for the clinical manifestations of anaplasmosis. Blood samples from one of the calves that presented rickettsemia of 42.8% and spontaneous recovery of clinical parameters were used for molecular and phylogenetic characterization (msp1a gene), and inoculum production was used for the evaluation of virulence. This strain was identified as UFMG3. Three tandem repeat forms (13 and MGI19) were identified from the analysis of the msp1a gene, in which the form MGI19 appeared twice. Analysis of these repeats revealed the presence of the sequences QASTSS and SSASGQQQESS and of aspartic acid (D) at position 20 of both repeats. Phylogenetic analysis showed a close relationship among the UFMG3, MGI19 and UFMG2 strains. For virulence evaluation, six Holstein calves were inoculated intravenously with 2×10(7)A. marginale UFMG3-infected erythrocytes. The calves showed maximum rickettsemia of 5.1%, a moderate decrease in packed cell volume and spontaneous recovery of clinical parameters without the need for treatment. The results of experimental inoculation suggest that the strain A

  20. Differences in accumulation and virulence determine the outcome of competition during Tobacco etch virus coinfection.

    PubMed

    Lafforgue, Guillaume; Sardanyés, Josep; Elena, Santiago F

    2011-03-15

    Understanding the evolution of virulence for RNA viruses is essential for developing appropriate control strategies. Although it has been usually assumed that virulence is a consequence of within-host replication of the parasite, viral strains may be highly virulent without experiencing large accumulation as a consequence of immunopathological host responses. Using two strains of Tobacco etch potyvirus (TEV) that show a negative relationship between virulence and accumulation rate, we first explored the evolution of virulence and fitness traits during simple and mixed infections. Short-term evolution experiments initiated with each strain independently confirmed the genetic and evolutionary stability of virulence and viral load, although infectivity significantly increased for both strains. Second, competition experiments between hypo- and hypervirulent TEV strains have shown that the outcome of competition is driven by differences in replication rate. A simple mathematical model has been developed to analyze the dynamics of these two strains during coinfection. The model qualitatively reproduced the experimental results using biologically meaningful parameters. Further analyses of the model also revealed a wide parametric region in which a low-fitness but hypovirulent virus can still outcompete a high-fitness but hypervirulent one. These results provide additional support to the observation that virulence and within-host replication may not necessarily be strongly tied in plant RNA viruses.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  2. Molecular analysis and frequency of Staphylococcus aureus virulence genes isolated from bloodstream infections in a teaching hospital in Tianjin, China.

    PubMed

    Wang, L X; Hu, Z D; Hu, Y M; Tian, B; Li, Jing; Wang, F X; Yang, H; Xu, H R; Li, Y C; Li, J

    2013-03-11

    Staphylococcus aureus is an important cause of bloodstream infections worldwide. We examined the prevalence of genes that encode erythromycin ribosome methylase and bacterial toxins in S. aureus collected from bloodstream infections. Sixty different S. aureus isolates were obtained from blood cultures of patients who were admitted to a Teaching Hospital in Tianjin from January 2006 to August 2011. The susceptibility of the isolates to 16 antibiotics was tested. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) was identified using the disk diffusion method with cefoxitin. PCR was used to detect genes that encode the staphylococcal enterotoxins, Panton-Valentine leukocidin, toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 and erythromycin ribosome methylase. Molecular analysis of the MRSA strains was done using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) typing. The positivity rates of mecA, ermA, ermB, and ermC in the isolates were 13/60, 10/60, 18/60, and 18/60, respectively. Among the 60 isolates, 30 harbored enterotoxin genes, with sea as the most frequent toxin gene (33%), followed by sec (15%), sed (12%), and seb (5%). The see and tst genes were not found in any of the isolates. The pvl gene was detected in four strains. Eleven MRSA isolates were of the SCCmec type III; two MRSA isolates could not be determined through SCCmec typing. PFGE analysis of the 13 MRSA isolates produced 8 distinct pulsotypes. Virulence genes and erythromycin ribosome methylase genes were highly prevalent in these isolates. The PFGE results demonstrated that the MRSA spread through cloning, mainly involving SCCmec type III.

  3. The Catabolite Control Protein E (CcpE) Affects Virulence Determinant Production and Pathogenesis of Staphylococcus aureus*

    PubMed Central

    Hartmann, Torsten; Baronian, Grégory; Nippe, Nadine; Voss, Meike; Schulthess, Bettina; Wolz, Christiane; Eisenbeis, Janina; Schmidt-Hohagen, Kerstin; Gaupp, Rosmarie; Sunderkötter, Cord; Beisswenger, Christoph; Bals, Robert; Somerville, Greg A.; Herrmann, Mathias; Molle, Virginie; Bischoff, Markus

    2014-01-01

    Carbon metabolism and virulence determinant production are often linked in pathogenic bacteria, and several regulatory elements have been reported to mediate this linkage in Staphylococcus aureus. Previously, we described a novel protein, catabolite control protein E (CcpE) that functions as a regulator of the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Here we demonstrate that CcpE also regulates virulence determinant biosynthesis and pathogenesis. Specifically, deletion of ccpE in S. aureus strain Newman revealed that CcpE affects transcription of virulence factors such as capA, the first gene in the capsule biosynthetic operon; hla, encoding α-toxin; and psmα, encoding the phenol-soluble modulin cluster α. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays demonstrated that CcpE binds to the hla promoter. Mice challenged with S. aureus strain Newman or its isogenic ΔccpE derivative revealed increased disease severity in the ΔccpE mutant using two animal models; an acute lung infection model and a skin infection model. Complementation of the mutant with the ccpE wild-type allele restored all phenotypes, demonstrating that CcpE is negative regulator of virulence in S. aureus. PMID:25193664

  4. Complement activation by polysaccharide of lipopolysaccharide: an important virulence determinant of salmonellae.

    PubMed Central

    Liang-Takasaki, C J; Saxén, H; Mäkelä, P H; Leive, L

    1983-01-01

    Salmonellae with differences only in the O-antigenic polysaccharide of their lipopolysaccharide were previously shown to differentially activate complement via the alternative pathway, causing them to be ingested at different rates by the mouse macrophage-like cell line J774. We now show that this mechanism could explain the different virulence of these strains in vivo. Mouse peritoneal macrophages (thioglycolate induced) ingest these salmonellae at rates that are inversely proportional to the known virulence of the organisms and virtually identical to the rates observed with J774. As with J774, complement is required for this differential uptake, since serum was required and heating (56 degrees C for 30 min) or zymosan treatment of the serum destroyed activity. The known receptor for nonreducing terminal mannose-, fucose-, N-acetylglucosamine, and glucose-containing glyco-proteins did not participate, since uptake was not inhibited by high concentrations of mannan. When clearance of bacteria from the bloodstream of mice was measured, the least virulent organism was cleared very much faster than the most virulent organism, in confirmation of earlier data. When complement in the mice was destroyed by pretreatment with cobra venom factor, the clearance of the least virulent strain was greatly reduced, whereas the very slow clearance of the most virulent strain was unaffected. These data strongly support the hypothesis that when bacteria have polysaccharide in lipopolysaccharide that activates complement efficiently, the bacteria will be phagocytosed, whereas if the polysaccharide activates complement poorly, the bacteria escape ingestion and may cause disease. PMID:6347890

  5. Colony types and virulence traits of Legionella feeleii determined by exopolysaccharide materials.

    PubMed

    Wang, Changle; Saito, Mitsumasa; Ogawa, Midori; Yoshida, Shin-Ichi

    2016-05-01

    Legionella feeleii is a Gram-negative pathogenic bacterium that causes Pontiac fever and pneumonia in humans. When L. feeleii serogroup 1 (ATCC 35072) was cultured on BCYE agar plates, two types of colonies were observed and exhibited differences in color, opacity and morphology. Since the two colony types are white rugose and brown translucent, they were termed as white rugose L. feeleii (WRLf) and brown translucent L. feeleii (BTLf), respectively. They exhibited different growth capacities in BYE broth in vitro, and it was found that WRLf could transform to BTLf. Under the electron microscope, it was observed that WRLf secreted materials which could be stained with ruthenium red, which was absent in BTLf. When U937 macrophages and HeLa cells were infected with the bacteria, WRLf manifested stronger internalization ability than BTLf. Intracellular growth in murine macrophages and Acanthamoeba cells was affected by the level of initial phagocytosis. WRLf was more resistant to human serum bactericidal action than BTLf. After being inoculated to guinea pigs, both organisms caused fever in the animals. These results suggest that ruthenium red-stained materials secreted in the surroundings may play a crucial role in determining L. feeleii colony morphology and virulence traits. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Virulence and molecular genotyping studies of Sporisorium reilianum isolates in sorghum

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Head smut, caused by the fungal pathogen Sporisorium reilianum, has been reported with increasing frequency in the grain sorghum growing areas of Texas. To facilitate analysis of changes in pathogen virulence, four inoculation techniques were examined: soil and teliospore mixture, seed coating, me...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  8. Baculovirus-encoded protein BV/ODV-E26 determines tissue tropism and virulence in lepidopteran insects.

    PubMed

    Katsuma, Susumu; Kobayashi, Jun; Koyano, Yasue; Matsuda-Imai, Noriko; Kang, WonKyung; Shimada, Toru

    2012-03-01

    Lepidopteran nucleopolyhedroviruses (NPVs) show distinct tissue tropism in host insect larvae. However, the molecular mechanism of this tropism is largely unknown. We quantitatively investigated NPV tissue tropism by measuring mRNA levels of viral genes in 16 tissues from Bombyx mori NPV (BmNPV)-infected B. mori larvae and found clear tissue tropism, i.e., BmNPV replicates poorly in the silk glands, midgut, and Malpighian tubule compared with other larval tissues. We next identified the viral genes determining tissue tropism in NPV infection by investigating the phenotypes of larvae infected with 44 BmNPV mutants in which one gene was functionally disrupted by a LacZ cassette insertion. We found that occlusion body (OB) production was markedly enhanced compared with that of the wild type in the middle silk glands (MSGs) of larvae infected with three mutants in which one of three tandemly arrayed genes (Bm7, Bm8, and Bm9) was disrupted. We generated additional mutants in which one or two genes of this gene cluster were partially deleted and showed that Bm8, also known as BV/ODV-E26, was solely required for the suppression of OB production in the MSGs of BmNPV-infected B. mori larvae. Western blotting showed that a LacZ cassette insertion in Bm7 or Bm9 resulted in aberrant expression of Bm8, presumably leading to abnormal OB production in the MSGs. Larval bioassays also revealed that disruption of Bm8 accelerated the death of B. mori larvae. These results suggest that the group I NPV-specific protein BV/ODV-E26 determines tissue tropism and virulence in host lepidopteran insects.

  9. PB2 and Hemagglutinin Mutations Are Major Determinants of Host Range and Virulence in Mouse-Adapted Influenza A Virus▿

    PubMed Central

    Ping, Jihui; Dankar, Samar K.; Forbes, Nicole E.; Keleta, Liya; Zhou, Yan; Tyler, Shaun; Brown, Earl G.

    2010-01-01

    Serial mouse lung passage of a human influenza A virus, A/Hong Kong/1/68 (H3N2) (HK-wt), produced a mouse-adapted variant, MA, with nine mutations that was >103.8-fold more virulent. In this study, we demonstrate that MA mutations of the PB2 (D701N) and hemagglutinin (HA) (G218W in HA1 and T156N in HA2) genes were the most adaptive genetic determinants for increased growth and virulence in the mouse model. Recombinant viruses expressing each of the mutated MA genome segments on the HK-wt backbone showed significantly increased disease severity, whereas only the mouse-adapted PB2 gene increased virulence, as determined by the 50% lethal dose ([LD50] >101.4-fold). The converse comparisons of recombinant MA viruses expressing each of the HK-wt genome segments showed the greatest decrease in virulence due to the HA gene (102-fold), with lesser decreases due to the M1, NS1, NA, and PB1 genes (100.3- to 100.8-fold), and undetectable effects on the LD50 for the PB2 and NP genes. The HK PB2 gene did, however, attenuate MA infection, as measured by weight loss and time to death. Replication of adaptive mutations in vivo and in vitro showed both viral gene backbone and host range effects. Minigenome transcription assays showed that PB1 and PB2 mutations increased polymerase activity and that the PB2 D701N mutation was comparable in effect to the mammalian adaptive PB2 E627K mutation. Our results demonstrate that host range and virulence are controlled by multiple genes, with major roles for mutations in PB2 and HA. PMID:20702632

  10. Comparison of guinea pig and protozoan models for determining virulence of Legionella species.

    PubMed Central

    Fields, B S; Barbaree, J M; Shotts, E B; Feeley, J C; Morrill, W E; Sanden, G N; Dykstra, M J

    1986-01-01

    Legionella pneumophila organisms are able to infect and multiply within the ciliated protozoan Tetrahymena pyriformis. This ability may be associated with virulence, because an attenuated strain of L. pneumophila fails to multiply within this protozoan, whereas a virulent strain increases 10,000-fold in number when coincubated with T. pyriformis. Seventeen strains (11 species) of legionellae were evaluated for virulence by intraperitoneal injection of guinea pigs and inoculation of protozoan cultures. Analysis of the data indicates that there are four categories of legionellae with respect to virulence as follows: organisms that infect and kill guinea pigs and multiply in T. pyriformis; organisms that infect but do not kill guinea pigs and multiply in T. pyriformis; organisms that do not infect guinea pigs but are lethal at high concentrations and multiply in T. pyriformis; and organisms that neither infect nor kill guinea pigs and fail to multiply in T. pyriformis. Evidence suggests that these distinctions are based on two virulence factors: intracellular multiplication in a host and toxic activity. Images PMID:3744550

  11. Molecular mechanisms for the subversion of MyD88 signaling by TcpC from virulent uropathogenic Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Snyder, Greg A.; Cirl, Christine; Jiang, Jiansheng; Chen, Kang; Waldhuber, Anna; Smith, Patrick; Römmler, Franziska; Snyder, Nathaniel; Fresquez, Theresa; Dürr, Susanne; Tjandra, Nico; Miethke, Thomas; Xiao, Tsan Sam

    2013-01-01

    The Toll/IL-1 receptor (TIR) domains are crucial signaling modules during innate immune responses involving the Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and IL-1 receptor (IL-1R). Myeloid differential factor 88 (MyD88) is a central TIR domain-containing adapter molecule responsible for nearly all TLR-mediated signaling and is targeted by a TIR domain-containing protein C (TcpC) from virulent uropathogenic Escherichia coli, a common human pathogen. The mechanism of such molecular antagonism has remained elusive. We present the crystal structure of the MyD88 TIR domain with distinct loop conformations that underscore the functional specialization of the adapter, receptor, and microbial TIR domains. Our structural analyses shed light on the genetic mutations at these loops as well as the Poc site. We demonstrate that TcpC directly associates with MyD88 and TLR4 through its predicted DD and BB loops to impair the TLR-induced cytokine induction. Furthermore, NMR titration experiments identify the unique CD, DE, and EE loops from MyD88 at the TcpC-interacting surface, suggesting that TcpC specifically engages these MyD88 structural elements for immune suppression. These findings thus provide a molecular basis for the subversion of TLR signaling by the uropathogenic E. coli virulence factor TcpC and furnish a framework for the design of novel therapeutic agents that modulate immune activation. PMID:23569230

  12. Revised phylogeny and novel horizontally acquired virulence determinants of the model soft rot phytopathogen Pectobacterium wasabiae SCC3193.

    PubMed

    Nykyri, Johanna; Niemi, Outi; Koskinen, Patrik; Nokso-Koivisto, Jussi; Pasanen, Miia; Broberg, Martin; Plyusnin, Ilja; Törönen, Petri; Holm, Liisa; Pirhonen, Minna; Palva, E Tapio

    2012-01-01

    Soft rot disease is economically one of the most devastating bacterial diseases affecting plants worldwide. In this study, we present novel insights into the phylogeny and virulence of the soft rot model Pectobacterium sp. SCC3193, which was isolated from a diseased potato stem in Finland in the early 1980s. Genomic approaches, including proteome and genome comparisons of all sequenced soft rot bacteria, revealed that SCC3193, previously included in the species Pectobacterium carotovorum, can now be more accurately classified as Pectobacterium wasabiae. Together with the recently revised phylogeny of a few P. carotovorum strains and an increasing number of studies on P. wasabiae, our work indicates that P. wasabiae has been unnoticed but present in potato fields worldwide. A combination of genomic approaches and in planta experiments identified features that separate SCC3193 and other P. wasabiae strains from the rest of soft rot bacteria, such as the absence of a type III secretion system that contributes to virulence of other soft rot species. Experimentally established virulence determinants include the putative transcriptional regulator SirB, two partially redundant type VI secretion systems and two horizontally acquired clusters (Vic1 and Vic2), which contain predicted virulence genes. Genome comparison also revealed other interesting traits that may be related to life in planta or other specific environmental conditions. These traits include a predicted benzoic acid/salicylic acid carboxyl methyltransferase of eukaryotic origin. The novelties found in this work indicate that soft rot bacteria have a reservoir of unknown traits that may be utilized in the poorly understood latent stage in planta. The genomic approaches and the comparison of the model strain SCC3193 to other sequenced Pectobacterium strains, including the type strain of P. wasabiae, provides a solid basis for further investigation of the virulence, distribution and phylogeny of soft rot

  13. Revised Phylogeny and Novel Horizontally Acquired Virulence Determinants of the Model Soft Rot Phytopathogen Pectobacterium wasabiae SCC3193

    PubMed Central

    Koskinen, Patrik; Nokso-Koivisto, Jussi; Pasanen, Miia; Broberg, Martin; Plyusnin, Ilja; Törönen, Petri; Holm, Liisa; Pirhonen, Minna; Palva, E. Tapio

    2012-01-01

    Soft rot disease is economically one of the most devastating bacterial diseases affecting plants worldwide. In this study, we present novel insights into the phylogeny and virulence of the soft rot model Pectobacterium sp. SCC3193, which was isolated from a diseased potato stem in Finland in the early 1980s. Genomic approaches, including proteome and genome comparisons of all sequenced soft rot bacteria, revealed that SCC3193, previously included in the species Pectobacterium carotovorum, can now be more accurately classified as Pectobacterium wasabiae. Together with the recently revised phylogeny of a few P. carotovorum strains and an increasing number of studies on P. wasabiae, our work indicates that P. wasabiae has been unnoticed but present in potato fields worldwide. A combination of genomic approaches and in planta experiments identified features that separate SCC3193 and other P. wasabiae strains from the rest of soft rot bacteria, such as the absence of a type III secretion system that contributes to virulence of other soft rot species. Experimentally established virulence determinants include the putative transcriptional regulator SirB, two partially redundant type VI secretion systems and two horizontally acquired clusters (Vic1 and Vic2), which contain predicted virulence genes. Genome comparison also revealed other interesting traits that may be related to life in planta or other specific environmental conditions. These traits include a predicted benzoic acid/salicylic acid carboxyl methyltransferase of eukaryotic origin. The novelties found in this work indicate that soft rot bacteria have a reservoir of unknown traits that may be utilized in the poorly understood latent stage in planta. The genomic approaches and the comparison of the model strain SCC3193 to other sequenced Pectobacterium strains, including the type strain of P. wasabiae, provides a solid basis for further investigation of the virulence, distribution and phylogeny of soft rot

  14. A Botrytis cinerea KLP-7 Kinesin acts as a Virulence Determinant during Plant Infection.

    PubMed

    Tayal, Pamil; Raj, Sumit; Sharma, Esha; Kumar, Manoj; Dayaman, Vikram; Verma, Nidhi; Jogawat, Abhimanyu; Dua, Meenakshi; Kapoor, Rupam; Johri, Atul Kumar

    2017-09-06

    Botrytis cinerea is a necrotrophic pathogen that infects many important crops. In an attempt to unravel some novel factors that govern pathogenicity in B. cinerea, Agrobacterium tumefaciens mediated transformation (ATMT) was deployed, and a number of tagged transformants were generated. Among these, a mutant, BCM-29 exhibited slower growth rate, reduced conidia size, conidiation and penetration. The mutant was also defective in secretion of oxalic acid (OA) and exhibited reduced activities of polygalacturonase (PG) and pectin methyl esterases (PME). TAIL-PCR followed by BLAST search identified the tagged gene as KLP-7 that encodes for kinesin. Targeted deletion of KLP-7 resulted in several folds decrease in virulence of mutants as compared to WT, while complementation of the gene helped in rescue of virulence traits. This is the first time when a unique kinesin KLP-7 that is mainly found in the phylum Pezizomycotina has been linked to virulence in B. cinerea.

  15. Production of monoclonal antibodies to Listeria monocytogenes and their application to determine the virulence of isolates from channel catfish.

    PubMed

    Erdenlig, S; Ainsworth, A J; Austin, F W

    1999-07-01

    We produced monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to the extracellular proteins of Listeria monocytogenes EGD grown in Chelex-treated improved minimal medium. Ten of the positive hybridomas generated were chosen for further characterization. Seven of the MAbs reacted with a protein having a molecular mass of 60 kDa. These MAbs inhibited listeriolysin (LLO)-mediated hemolysis, and two of them were specific for LLO and none of the other thiol-activated toxins tested. In an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blot analysis, five of the anti-LLO MAbs reacted with ivanolysin from Listeria ivanovii. Three of the 10 MAbs reacted with a 29-kDa protein on Western blots and neutralized the phosphatidylcholine-specific phospholipase C (PC-PLC) activity of L. monocytogenes. These three anti-PC-PLC MAbs did not react with phospholipases from five different gram-positive bacteria. However, the anti-PC-PLC MAbs recognized a 27-kDa extracellular protein from L. ivanovii and neutralized sphingomyelinase activity in a hemolysis test that demonstrates the antigenic relatedness of listerial phospholipases. These data indicate that listerial thiol-activated toxins possess species-specific epitopes and share group-specific epitopes. This is the first description of MAbs that neutralize listerial PC-PLC, and the data suggest that there is antigenic similarity between L. monocytogenes PC-PLC and L. ivanovii sphingomyelinase. The reactions of the MAbs with catfish isolates of L. monocytogenes suggested that some of the isolates examined lack the LLO and/or PC-PLC required for pathogenicity. The MAbs described here differentiated some catfish isolates from previously described type strain-pathogenic isolates and could be useful for detecting and determining the virulence of L. monocytogenes in food and clinical samples and for detecting L. ivanovii in veterinary clinical samples.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. Images Fig. 1. Fig. 4. PMID:7704843

  17. 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.

  18. Molecular population genetic analysis differentiates two virulence mechanisms of the fungal avirulence gene NIP1.

    PubMed

    Schürch, Stéphanie; Linde, Celeste C; Knogge, Wolfgang; Jackson, Lee F; McDonald, Bruce A

    2004-10-01

    Deletion or alteration of an avirulence gene are two mechanisms that allow pathogens to escape recognition mediated by the corresponding resistance gene in the host. We studied these two mechanisms for the NIP1 avirulence gene in field populations of the fungal barley pathogen Rhynchosporium secalis. The product of the avirulence gene, NIP1, causes leaf necrosis and elicits a defense response on plants with the Rrs1 resistance gene. A high NIP1 deletion frequency (45%) was found among 614 isolates from different geographic populations on four continents. NIP1 was also sequenced for 196 isolates, to identify DNA polymorphisms and corresponding NIP1 types. Positive diversifying selection was found to act on NIP1. A total of 14 NIP1 types were found, 11 of which had not been described previously. The virulence of the NIP1 types was tested on Rrs1 and rrs1 barley lines. Isolates carrying three of these types were virulent on the Rrs1 cultivar. One type each was found in California, Western Europe, and Jordan. Additionally, a field experiment with one pair of near-isogenic lines was conducted to study the selection pressure imposed by Rrs1 on field populations of R. secalis. Deletion of NIP1 was the only mechanism used to infect the Rrs1 cultivar in the field experiment. In this first comprehensive study on the population genetics of a fungal avirulence gene, virulence to Rrs1 in R. secalis was commonly achieved through deletion of the NIP1 avirulence gene but rarely also through point mutations in NIP1.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Molecular characterization of serogrouping and virulence genes of Malaysian Vibrio cholerae isolated from different sources.

    PubMed

    Shuan Ju Teh, Cindy; Lin Thong, Kwai; Tein Ngoi, Soo; Ahmad, Norazah; Balakrish Nair, Gopinath; Ramamurthy, Thandavarayan

    2009-12-01

    A pair of primers targeting the hlyA gene for Vibrio cholerae which could distinguish the classical from El Tor biotypes was designed and combined with other specific primers for ompW, rfb complex, and virulence genes such as ctxA, toxR, and tcpI in a multiplex PCR (m-PCR) assay. This m-PCR correctly identified 39 V. cholerae from clinical, water and seafood samples. The efficiency of this multiplex PCR (m-PCR) was compared with conventional biochemical and serogrouping methods. One O139 and 25 O1 V. cholerae strains including 10 environmental strains harbored all virulence-associated genes except 1 clinical strain which only had toxR and hlyA genes. Thirteen environmental strains were classified as non-O1/non-O139 and had the toxR and hlyA genes only. The detection limit of m-PCR was 7 x 10(4) cfu/ml. The m-PCR test was reliable and rapid and reduced the identification time to 4 h.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Probing the molecular determinants of fluorinase specificity.

    PubMed

    Yeo, W L; Chew, X; Smith, D J; Chan, K P; Sun, H; Zhao, H; Lim, Y H; Ang, E L

    2017-02-23

    Molecular determinants of FlA1 fluorinase specificity were probed using 5'-chloro-5'-deoxyadenosine (5'-ClDA) analogs as substrates and FlA1 active site mutants. Modifications at F213 or A279 residues are beneficial towards these modified substrates, including 5'-chloro-5'-deoxy-2-ethynyladenosine, ClDEA (>10-fold activity improvement), and conferred novel activity towards substrates not readily accepted by wild-type FlA1.

  7. yadBC of Yersinia pestis, a new virulence determinant for bubonic plague.

    PubMed

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

    2008-02-01

    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.

  8. Deletion analysis of Streptococcus pneumoniae late competence genes distinguishes virulence determinants that are dependent or independent of competence induction

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Luchang; Lin, Jingjun; Kuang, Zhizhou; Vidal, Jorge E.; Lau, Gee W.

    2015-01-01

    virulence determinants regulated by ComX. PMID:25846124

  9. Genetic Diversity and Virulence Determinants of Escherichia coli Strains Isolated from Patients with Crohn's Disease in Spain and Chile.

    PubMed

    Céspedes, Sandra; Saitz, Waleska; Del Canto, Felipe; De la Fuente, Marjorie; Quera, Rodrigo; Hermoso, Marcela; Muñoz, Rául; Ginard, Daniel; Khorrami, Sam; Girón, Jorge; Assar, Rodrigo; Rosselló-Mora, Ramón; Vidal, Roberto M

    2017-01-01

    Adherent-invasive Escherichia coli (AIEC) strains are genetically variable and virulence factors for AIEC are non-specific. FimH is the most studied pathogenicity-related protein, and there have been few studies on other proteins, such as Serine Protease Autotransporters of Enterobacteriacea (SPATEs). The goal of this study is to characterize E. coli strains isolated from patients with Crohn's disease (CD) in Chile and Spain, and identify genetic differences between strains associated with virulence markers and clonality. We characterized virulence factors and genetic variability by pulse field electrophoresis (PFGE) in 50 E. coli strains isolated from Chilean and Spanish patients with CD, and also determined which of these strains presented an AIEC phenotype. Twenty-six E. coli strains from control patients were also included. PFGE patterns were heterogeneous and we also observed a highly diverse profile of virulence genes among all E. coli strains obtained from patients with CD, including those strains defined as AIEC. Two iron transporter genes chuA, and irp2, were detected in various combinations in 68-84% of CD strains. We found that the most significant individual E. coli genetic marker associated with CD E. coli strains was chuA. In addition, patho-adaptative fimH mutations were absent in some of the highly adherent and invasive strains. The fimH adhesin, the iron transporter irp2, and Class-2 SPATEs did not show a significant association with CD strains. The V27A fimH mutation was detected in the most CD strains. This study highlights the genetic variability of E. coli CD strains from two distinct geographic origins, most of them affiliated with the B2 or D E. coli phylogroups and also reveals that nearly 40% of Chilean and Spanish CD patients are colonized with E.coli with a characteristic AIEC phenotype.

  10. 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

  11. Virulence determinants in clinical Staphylococcus aureus from monomicrobial and polymicrobial infections of diabetic foot ulcers.

    PubMed

    Shettigar, Kavitha; Jain, Spoorthi; Bhat, Deepika V; Acharya, Raviraj; Ramachandra, Lingadakai; Satyamoorthy, Kapaettu; Murali, Thokur Sreepathy

    2016-12-01

    Antibiotic resistance in Staphylococcus aureus is a major public health concern, and methicillin-resistant S. aureus has emerged as an important pathogen. We characterized S. aureus isolates from monomicrobial and polymicrobial wound infections from 200 diabetic individuals with foot ulcers to understand their underlying diversity and pathogenicity. Staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec typing was performed, and genes coding for production of biofilm, Panton-Valentine leukocidin, toxic shock syndrome toxin and leukotoxins DE and M were screened. Biofilm production was also quantified by the tissue culture plate method. Strains were genotyped using multilocus sequence typing, multiple-locus variable number tandem repeat analysis and repetitive sequence PCR methods. Polymicrobial infections were present in 115 samples, 61 samples showed monomicrobial infection and 24 samples were culture negative. Polymicrobial infections were significantly higher in patients with previous amputation history. Of the 86 samples infected with S. aureus, virulence genes were found in 81 isolates, and 41 isolates possessed more than one virulence gene. Strains which contained pvl gene alone or luk-DE alone were significantly higher in polymicrobial wounds. Based on biofilm production, 18.6 % of isolates were classified as high, 24.4 % as moderate and 57 % as low biofilm producers. Genotyping of 30 strains revealed 10 different sequence types with a strong association among sequence types, specific virulence markers and antibiotic resistance profiles. Moreover, isolates from monomicrobial and polymicrobial wounds differed significantly in their virulence potential and the sequence types to which they belonged, and these are helpful in mapping the evolution of the identified strains of S. aureus.

  12. Molecular determinants for a cardiovascular collapse in anthrax

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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 multiorgan 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. PMID:24389148

  13. Molecular Determinants of Influenza Virus Pathogenesis in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Katz, Jaqueline M.; York, Ian A.

    2015-01-01

    Mice are widely used for studying influenza virus pathogenesis and immunology because of their low cost, the wide availability of mouse-specific reagents, and the large number of mouse strains available, including knockout and transgenic strains. However, mice do not fully recapitulate the signs of influenza infection of humans: transmission of influenza between mice is much less efficient than in humans, and influenza viruses often require adaptation before they are able to efficiently replicate in mice. In the process of mouse adaptation, influenza viruses acquire mutations that enhance their ability to attach to mouse cells, replicate within the cells, and suppress immunity, among other functions. Many such mouse-adaptive mutations have been identified, covering all 8 genomic segments of the virus. Identification and analysis of these mutations have provided insight into the molecular determinants of influenza virulence and pathogenesis, not only in mice but also in humans and other species. In particular, several mouse-adaptive mutations of avian influenza viruses have proved to be general mammalian-adaptive changes that are potential markers of pre-pandemic viruses. As well as evaluating influenza pathogenesis, mice have also been used as models for evaluation of novel vaccines and anti-viral therapies. Mice can be a useful animal model for studying influenza biology as long as differences between human and mice infections are taken into account. PMID:25038937

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Evaluation of the experimental inoculation of Cryptococcus albidus and Cryptococcus laurentii in normal mice: virulence factors and molecular profile before and after animal passage.

    PubMed

    Pedroso, Reginaldo dos Santos; Ferreira, Joseane Cristina; Lavrador, Marco Aurélio Sicchiroli; Maffei, Claudia Maria Leite; Candido, Regina Celia

    2009-08-01

    The genus Cryptococcus includes free-developing species, a few of which are of medical importance. Some, such as C. neoformans and C. gattii, cause infections in man frequently and C. albidus and C. laurentii cause less so. The aims of this study were to evaluate organ colonization after inoculation of C. albidus and C. laurentii isolates in normal BALB/c mice, the virulence factors (growth at 37 degrees C, capsule, melanin, proteinase, and phospholipase production) and the molecular profile (PCR-fingerprinting) of the yeasts before and after infection. The importance of different profiles (virulence and molecular) was considered in relation to the distribution in different organs and to the time intervals of isolation from organs. C. albidus was isolated from animal organs 2 to 10 days after inoculation and C. laurentii from 2 to 120 days. Most isolates of the two species kept the virulence factors showed before inoculation. The high homogeneity of the molecular profile of C. albidus and the high heterogeneity of C. laurentii were kept through the passages in animals. It is concluded that most isolates of both species were recovered from the animal organs after 5 or more days, and phenotypes were not altered by inoculation. No molecular alteration was detected and the virulence factors were not related to the time intervals before isolation from organs.

  17. Virulence and molecular aspects of Bordetella avium isolated from cockatiel chicks (Nymphicus hollandicus) in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Grespan, A; Camera, O; Knöbl, T; Gomes, C R; Felizardo, M R; Ferreira, T S P; Gobbi, D D S; Moreno, M; Sanches, A A; Ferreira, C S A; Ferreira, A J P; Moreno, A M

    2012-12-07

    Bordetella avium is an opportunistic pathogen that presents tropism for ciliated epithelia, leading to upper respiratory tract disease in turkeys. This agent has also been associated with Lockjaw Syndrome in psittacine birds, but literatures describing the importance of this agent in such species are rare. The purpose of the present study was to report the first outbreak of B. avium infection in juvenile cockatiels demonstrating the Lockjaw Syndrome in Brazil and to investigate the antimicrobial resistance profile and phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of these strains. Surprising, the strains obtained from five infected cockatiel chicks from three different breeders from different Brazilian states showed a clonal relationship using the Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis and Single Enzyme Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism techniques. The virulence potentials of the B. avium strains were assessed using tracheal adherence and cytotoxic effects on a VERO cell monolayer. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Regulation of virulence in Staphylococcus aureus: molecular mechanisms and remaining puzzles

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Boyuan; Muir, Tom W.

    2016-01-01

    Summary 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 quorum sensing system. Herein, 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

  19. 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.

  20. The Molecular Circuitry Governing Retinal Determination

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Justin P.

    2009-01-01

    The developing eye of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has become a premier model system for studying the genetic and molecular mechanisms that govern tissue determination. Over the last fifteen years a regulatory circuit consisting of the members of the Pax, Six, Eya and Dach gene families has been identified and shown to govern the specification of a wide range of tissues including the retina of both insects and mammals. These genes are not organized in a simple developmental pathway or cascade in which there is a unidirectional flow of information. Rather, there are multiple feedback loops built into the system rendering its appearance and functionality more in line with the workings of a network. In this review I will attempt to describe the genetic, molecular and biochemical interactions that govern the specification of the Drosophila compound eye. In particular, the primary focus will be on the interactions that have been experimentally verified at the molecular and biochemical levels. During the course of this description I will also attempt to place each discovery in its own historical context. While a number of signaling pathways play significant roles in early eye development this review will focus on the network of nuclear factors that promote retinal determination. PMID:19013263

  1. Resistance to alpha/beta interferons correlates with the epizootic and virulence potential of Venezuelan equine encephalitis viruses and is determined by the 5' noncoding region and glycoproteins.

    PubMed

    Spotts, D R; Reich, R M; Kalkhan, M A; Kinney, R M; Roehrig, J T

    1998-12-01

    We compared the alpha/beta interferon (IFN-alpha/beta) sensitivities of the TC-83 vaccine strain and 24 enzootic and epizootic Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE) isolates. The IFN-resistant or -sensitive phenotype correlated well with epizootic or enzootic potential. IFN-alpha/beta resistance of Trinidad donkey (TRD) virus correlated with virulence determinants in the 5' noncoding region and glycoproteins. Infection of mice lacking a functional IFN system with the IFN-sensitive TC-83 virus resulted in disease equivalent to that produced by the virulent, IFN-resistant TRD virus, further demonstrating that IFN resistance contributes to VEE virus virulence and is a biological marker of epizootic potential.

  2. 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

  3. Complement resistance, as determined by viable count and flow cytometric methods, and its association with the presence of iss and the virulence of avian Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Nolan, Lisa K; Giddings, Catherine W; Horne, Shelley M; Doetkott, Curt; Gibbs, Penelope S; Wooley, Richard E; Foley, Steven L

    2002-01-01

    Previous work in our labs has shown that avian Escherichia coli virulence is correlated with resistance to complement. Also, our studies have revealed that the presence of the increased serum survival gene (iss), known to contribute to the complement resistance and virulence of mammalian E. coli, may predict the virulent nature of an avian E. coli isolate. This relationship warrants further research, but further clarification of the relationship among virulence, complement resistance, and iss sequences requires use of complement susceptibility assays. Such assays, unfortunately, are labor-intensive, expensive, and difficult to perform. In the present study, the results of two complement susceptibility assays for 20 E. coli isolates, 10 incriminated in avian colibacillosis and 10 from the intestinal tracts of apparently healthy birds, were compared in an attempt to determine if flow cytometric analysis was a reasonable alternative to a viable count assay. In addition, the virulence of these isolates for chick embryos was determined, and each isolate was examined for the presence of iss using amplification techniques. The flow cytometric method was found to be repeatable for most isolates, and its results showed moderate agreement with those obtained through viable counts. All intestinal isolates of healthy birds proved avirulent using the embryo lethality assay; however, not all isolates from sick birds were demonstrated to be virulent. Possible explanations of these results include that the methods originally used to isolate these organisms failed to detect the illness-inciting strains or that the virulence of these strains had declined following initial isolation. Additionally, we must consider the possibility that the embryo lethality assay of virulence used here might not be sensitive enough to detect differences between these two groups of isolates. Also, it should be noted that virulence assays, such as the one used here, fail to account for predisposing host

  4. 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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  5. 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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  7. A Molecular Study on the Prevalence and Virulence Potential of Aeromonas spp. Recovered from Patients Suffering from Diarrhea in Israel

    PubMed Central

    Senderovich, Yigal; Ken-Dror, Shifra; Vainblat, Irina; Blau, Dvora; Izhaki, Ido; Halpern, Malka

    2012-01-01

    Background Species of the genus Aeromonas are native inhabitants of aquatic environments and have recently been considered emerging human pathogens. Although the gastrointestinal tract is by far the most common anatomic site from which aeromonads are recovered, their role as etiologic agents of bacterial diarrhea is still disputed. Aeromonas-associated diarrhea is a phenomenon occurring worldwide; however, the exact prevalence of Aeromonas infections on a global scale is unknown. Methodology/Principal Findings The prevalence and virulence potential of Aeromonas in patients suffering from diarrhea in Israel was studied using molecular methods. 1,033 diarrheal stools were sampled between April and September 2010 and Aeromonas species were identified in 17 (∼2%) patients by sequencing the rpoD gene. Aeromonas species identity and abundance was: A. caviae (65%), A. veronii (29%) and Aeromonas taiwanensis (6%). This is the first clinical record of A. taiwanensis as a diarrheal causative since its recent discovery from a wound infection in a patient in Taiwan. Most of the patients (77%) from which Aeromonas species were isolated were negative for any other pathogens. The patients ranged from 1 to 92 years in age. Aeromonas isolates were found to possess different virulence-associated genes: ahpB (88%), pla/lip/lipH3/apl-1 (71%), act/hlyA/aerA (35%), alt (18%), ast (6%), fla (65%), lafA (41%), TTSS ascV (12%), TTSS ascF-ascG (12%), TTSS-dependent ADP-ribosylating toxins aexU (41%) and aexT (6%) in various combinations. Most of the identified strains were resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics but susceptible to third-generation cephalosporin antibiotics. Conclusions Aeromonas may be a causative agent of diarrhea in patients in Israel and therefore should be included in routine bacteriological screenings. PMID:22355306

  8. 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

  9. Identification of Virulence Determinants within the L Genomic Segment of the Pichinde Arenavirus

    PubMed Central

    McLay, Lisa; Lan, Shuiyun; Ansari, Aftab

    2013-01-01

    Several arenaviruses are responsible for causing viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHF) in humans. Lassa virus (LASV), the causative agent of Lassa fever, is a biosafety level 4 (BSL4) pathogen that requires handling in BSL4 facilities. In contrast, the Pichinde arenavirus (PICV) is a BSL2 pathogen that can cause hemorrhagic fever-like symptoms in guinea pigs that resemble those observed in human Lassa fever. Comparative sequence analysis of the avirulent P2 strain of PICV and the virulent P18 strain shows a high degree of sequence homology in the bisegmented genome between the two strains despite the polarized clinical outcomes noted for the infected animals. Using reverse genetics systems that we have recently developed, we have mapped the sequence changes in the large (L) segment of the PICV genome that are responsible for the heightened virulence phenotype of the P18 strain. By monitoring the degree of disease severity and lethality caused by the different mutant viruses, we have identified specific residues located within the viral L polymerase gene encoded on the L segment essential for mediating disease pathogenesis. Through quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) analysis, we have confirmed that the same set of residues is responsible for the increased viral replicative potential of the P18 strain and its heightened disease severity in vivo. Our laboratory findings serve to reinforce field observations that a high level of viremia often correlates with severe disease outcomes in LASV-infected patients. PMID:23552411

  10. Detection of antibiotic resistance, virulence gene determinants and biofilm formation in Aeromonas species isolated from cattle.

    PubMed

    Igbinosa, Isoken H; Igbinosa, Etinosa O; Okoh, Anthony I

    2015-11-01

    This study aimed to assess the antibiogram of Aeromonas strains recovered from cattle faeces and the potential pathogenic status of the isolates. The antibiogram of the Aeromonas isolates demonstrated total resistance to clindamycin oxacillin, trimethoprim, novobiocin and ticarcillin. However, Aeromonas strains were sensitive to cefotaxime, oxytetracycline and tobramycin. The Aeromonas strains from Lovedale and Fort Cox farms were found to possess some virulence genes. The percentage distribution was aer 71.4%, ast 35.7%, fla 60.7%, lip 35.7% and hlyA 25% for Lovedale farm and aer 63.1%, alt 10.5%, ast 55.2%, fla 78.9%, lip 21% and hlyA 35.9% for Fort Cox farm. Class 1 integron was present in 27% of Aeromonas isolates; the bla TEM gene was present in 34.8%, while the blaP1 class A β-lactamase gene was detected in 12.1% of the isolates. Approximately 86% of the isolates formed a biofilm on microtitre plates. The presence of multiple antibiotic resistance and virulence genes in Aeromonas isolates from cattle faeces reveals the pathogenic and infectious importance of these isolates and is of great significance to public health. The possession of a biofilm-forming capability by such isolates may lead to difficulty during the management of infection related to Aeromonas species.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  14. Identification of Pectin Degrading Enzymes Secreted by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae and Determination of Their Role in Virulence on Rice

    PubMed Central

    Tayi, Lavanya; Maku, Roshan V.; Patel, Hitendra Kumar; Sonti, Ramesh V.

    2016-01-01

    Xanthomonas oryzae pv.oryzae (Xoo) causes the serious bacterial blight disease of rice. Xoo secretes a repertoire of plant cell wall degrading enzymes (CWDEs) like cellulases, xylanases, esterases etc., which act on various components of the rice cell wall. The major cellulases and xylanases secreted by Xoo have been identified and their role in virulence has been determined. In this study, we have identified some of the pectin degrading enzymes of Xoo and assessed their role in virulence. Bioinformatics analysis indicated the presence of four pectin homogalacturonan (HG) degrading genes in the genome of Xoo. The four HG degrading genes include one polygalacturonase (pglA), one pectin methyl esterase (pmt) and two pectate lyases (pel and pelL). There was no difference in the expression of pglA, pmt and pel genes by laboratory wild type Xoo strain (BXO43) grown in either nutrient rich PS medium or in plant mimic XOM2 medium whereas the expression of pelL gene was induced in XOM2 medium as indicated by qRT-PCR experiments. Gene disruption mutations were generated in each of these four genes. The polygalacturonase mutant pglA- was completely deficient in degrading the substrate Na-polygalacturonicacid (PGA). Strains carrying mutations in the pmt, pel and pelL genes were as efficient as wild type Xoo (BXO43) in cleaving PGA. These observations clearly indicate that PglA is the major pectin degrading enzyme produced by Xoo. The pectin methyl esterase, Pmt, is the pectin de-esterifying enzyme secreted by Xoo as evident from the enzymatic activity assay performed using pectin as the substrate. Mutations in the pglA, pmt, pel and pelL genes have minimal effects on virulence. This suggests that, as compared to cellulases and xylanases, the HG degrading enzymes may not have a major role in the pathogenicity of Xoo. PMID:27907079

  15. 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

  16. Identification of Klebsiella pneumoniae virulence determinants using an intranasal infection model.

    PubMed

    Lawlor, Matthew S; Hsu, James; Rick, Paul D; Miller, Virginia L

    2005-11-01

    Klebsiella pneumoniae is a Gram-negative enterobacterium that has historically been, and currently remains, a significant cause of human disease. It is a frequent cause of urinary tract infections and pneumonia, and subsequent systemic infections can have mortality rates as high as 60%. Despite its clinical significance, few virulence factors of K. pneumoniae have been identified or characterized. In this study we present a mouse model of acute K. pneumoniae respiratory infection using an intranasal inoculation method, and examine the progression of both pulmonary and systemic disease. Wild-type infection recapitulates many aspects of clinical disease, including significant bacterial growth in both the trachea and lungs, an inflammatory immune response characterized by dramatic neutrophil influx, and a steady progression to systemic disease with ensuing mortality. These observations are contrasted with an infection by an isogenic capsule-deficient strain that shows an inability to cause disease in either pulmonary or systemic tissues. The consistency and clinical accuracy of the intranasal mouse model proved to be a useful tool as we conducted a genetic screen to identify novel virulence factors of K. pneumoniae. A total of 4800 independent insertional mutants were evaluated using a signature-tagged mutagenesis protocol. A total of 106 independent mutants failed to be recovered from either the lungs or spleens of infected mice. Small scale independent infections proved to be helpful as a secondary screening method, as opposed to the more traditional competitive index assay. Those mutants showing verified attenuation contained insertions in loci with a variety of putative functions, including a large number of hypothetical open reading frames. Subsequent experiments support the premise that the central mechanism of K. pneumoniae pathogenesis is the production of a polysaccharide-rich cell surface that provides protection from the inflammatory response.

  17. Streptogramin resistance patterns and virulence determinants in vancomycin-susceptible enterococci isolated from multi-component deli salads.

    PubMed

    Christensen, E A; Joho, K; Matthews, K R

    2008-05-01

    This study examined vancomycin-susceptible Enterococcus (VSE) from deli salads for streptogramin resistance and presence of cpd, agg and gelE genes. Fifteen VSE from retail salads were isolated for identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing by MicroScan, Etest and agar diffusion. Clinical vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (n = 32) and animal VSE (n = 17) were included for comparative purposes. Multiplex PCR was used to detect the following genes: agg, gelE, cpd, vatD, vatE and sodA. Results showed fewer streptogramin-susceptible Enterococcus faecium isolated from salad (1/6, 17%) and animals (6/10, 60%) than from clinical (26/29, 90%) sources. A low level of erythromycin susceptibility was detected among salad (2/6, 33%) and animal (3/10, 30%) Ent. faecium isolates. Food and animal VSE demonstrated similarities in antimicrobial resistance profiles. All Enterococcus faecalis carried one or more of the selected genes cpd (40%), gelE (33%) and agg (27%). The vatD or vatE genes were not detected in any of the isolates. Experiments demonstrated that streptogramin resistance and virulence genes agg, cpd and gelE are present in enterococci isolated from deli salads. This study provides useful information regarding streptogramin resistance and virulence determinants in enterococci from foods associated with multi-component ingredients.

  18. Approaches to define the viral genetic basis of classical swine fever virus virulence.

    PubMed

    Leifer, Immanuel; Ruggli, Nicolas; Blome, Sandra

    2013-04-10

    Classical swine fever (CSF), a highly contagious disease of pigs caused by the classical swine fever virus (CSFV), can lead to important economic losses in the pig industry. Numerous CSFV isolates with various degrees of virulence have been isolated worldwide, ranging from low virulent strains that do not result in any apparent clinical signs to highly virulent strains that cause a severe peracute hemorrhagic fever with nearly 100% mortality. Knowledge of the molecular determinants of CSFV virulence is an important issue for effective disease control and development of safe and effective marker vaccines. In this review, the latest studies in the field of CSFV virulence are discussed. The topic of virulence is addressed from different angles; nonconventional approaches like codon pair usage and quasispecies are considered. Future research approaches in the field of CSFV virulence are proposed.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. The Escherichia coli BarA-UvrY two-component system is a virulence determinant in the urinary tract

    PubMed Central

    Tomenius, Henrik; Pernestig, Anna-Karin; Jonas, Kristina; Georgellis, Dimitris; Möllby, Roland; Normark, Staffan; Melefors, Öjar

    2006-01-01

    Background The Salmonella enterica BarA-SirA, the Erwinia carotovora ExpS-ExpA, the Vibrio cholerae BarA-VarA and the Pseudomonas spp GacS-GacA all belong to the same orthologous family of two-component systems as the Escherichia coli BarA-UvrY. In the first four species it has been demonstrated that disruption of this two-component system leads to a clear reduction in virulence of the bacteria. Our aim was to determine if the Escherichia coli BarA-UvrY two-component system is connected with virulence using a monkey cystitis model. Results Cystitis was generated in Macaque fascularis monkeys by infecting the bladder with a 1:1 mixture of the uropathogenic Escherichia coli isolate DS17 and a derivative where the uvrY gene had been disrupted with a kanamycin resistance gene. Urine was collected through bladder punctuation at subsequent time intervals and the relative amount of uvrY mutant was determined. This showed that inactivation of the UvrY response regulator leads to a reduced fitness. In similar competitions in culture flasks with Luria Broth (LB) the uvrY mutant rather had a higher fitness than the wild type. When the competitions were done in flasks with human urine the uvrY mutant initially had a lower fitness. This was followed by a fluctuation in the level of mutant in the long-term culture, with a pattern that was specific for the individual urines that were tested. Addition of LB to the different urine competition cultures however clearly led to a consistently higher fitness of the uvrY mutant. Conclusion This paper demonstrates that the BarA-UvrY two-component system is a determinant for virulence in a monkey cystitis model. The observed competition profiles strengthen our previous hypothesis that disruption of the BarA-UvrY two-component system impairs the ability of the bacteria to switch between different carbon sources. The urine in the bladder contains several different carbon sources and its composition changes over time. Inability to efficiently

  2. Molecular determinants archetypical to the phylum Nematoda

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Nematoda diverged from other animals between 600–1,200 million years ago and has become one of the most diverse animal phyla on earth. Most nematodes are free-living animals, but many are parasites of plants and animals including humans, posing major ecological and economical challenges around the world. Results We investigated phylum-specific molecular characteristics in Nematoda by exploring over 214,000 polypeptides from 32 nematode species including 27 parasites. Over 50,000 nematode protein families were identified based on primary sequence, including ~10% with members from at least three different species. Nearly 1,600 of the multi-species families did not share homology to Pfam domains, including a total of 758 restricted to Nematoda. Majority of the 462 families that were conserved among both free-living and parasitic species contained members from multiple nematode clades, yet ~90% of the 296 parasite-specific families originated only from a single clade. Features of these protein families were revealed through extrapolation of essential functions from observed RNAi phenotypes in C. elegans, bioinformatics-based functional annotations, identification of distant homology based on protein folds, and prediction of expression at accessible nematode surfaces. In addition, we identified a group of nematode-restricted sequence features in energy-generating electron transfer complexes as potential targets for new chemicals with minimal or no toxicity to the host. Conclusion This study identified and characterized the molecular determinants that help in defining the phylum Nematoda, and therefore improved our understanding of nematode protein evolution and provided novel insights for the development of next generation parasite control strategies. PMID:19296854

  3. Molecular determinants archetypical to the phylum Nematoda.

    PubMed

    Yin, Yong; Martin, John; Abubucker, Sahar; Wang, Zhengyuan; Wyrwicz, Lucjan; Rychlewski, Leszek; McCarter, James P; Wilson, Richard K; Mitreva, Makedonka

    2009-03-18

    Nematoda diverged from other animals between 600-1,200 million years ago and has become one of the most diverse animal phyla on earth. Most nematodes are free-living animals, but many are parasites of plants and animals including humans, posing major ecological and economical challenges around the world. We investigated phylum-specific molecular characteristics in Nematoda by exploring over 214,000 polypeptides from 32 nematode species including 27 parasites. Over 50,000 nematode protein families were identified based on primary sequence, including approximately 10% with members from at least three different species. Nearly 1,600 of the multi-species families did not share homology to Pfam domains, including a total of 758 restricted to Nematoda. Majority of the 462 families that were conserved among both free-living and parasitic species contained members from multiple nematode clades, yet approximately 90% of the 296 parasite-specific families originated only from a single clade. Features of these protein families were revealed through extrapolation of essential functions from observed RNAi phenotypes in C. elegans, bioinformatics-based functional annotations, identification of distant homology based on protein folds, and prediction of expression at accessible nematode surfaces. In addition, we identified a group of nematode-restricted sequence features in energy-generating electron transfer complexes as potential targets for new chemicals with minimal or no toxicity to the host. This study identified and characterized the molecular determinants that help in defining the phylum Nematoda, and therefore improved our understanding of nematode protein evolution and provided novel insights for the development of next generation parasite control strategies.

  4. 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

  5. Recognition of Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli Virulence Determinants by Human Colostrum and Serum Antibodies

    PubMed Central

    Parissi-Crivelli, Aurora; Parissi-Crivelli, Joaquín M.; Girón, Jorge A.

    2000-01-01

    Human colostra and sera collected from Mexican mothers and their children at birth and 6 months thereafter were studied for the presence of antibodies against the bundle-forming pilus and several chromosomal virulence gene products (intimin and secreted proteins EspA and EspB) of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC). Among 21 colostrum samples studied, 76, 71.5, 57, and 47% of them contained immunoglobulin A (IgA) antibodies against EspA, intimin, EspB, and BfpA, respectively. Interestingly, there was a difference in IgG response to EPEC antigens between the sera from neonates and sera from the same children 6 months later. While the number of neonates reacting to Esps and intimin diminished when they reached 6 months of age, those reacting with BfpA increased from 9 to 71%. Intimin from an enterohemorrhagic E. coli strain was also recognized by most of the samples reacting with EPEC intimin. These data suggest that Bfp and Esps elicit an antibody response during the early days of life of neonates and support the value of breast-feeding in areas of the world where bacterial diarrheal infections are endemic. PMID:10878066

  6. Determination of Helicobacter pylori virulence by analysis of the cag pathogenicity island isolated from Iranian population

    PubMed Central

    Baghaei, Kaveh; Shokrzadeh, Leila; Jafari, Fereshteh; Dabiri, Hossein; Yamaoka, Yoshio; Bolfion, Mehdi; Zojaji, Homayon; Aslani, Mehdi; Zali, Mohammad Reza

    2009-01-01

    Background The cag pathogenicity island (PAI), which can divide into two parts: cagI and cagII, is the most well-known virulence factor of Helicobacter pylori. Aims We investigated the association between genetic variations within the cag PAI (cagA and cagE in the cagI and cagT in the cagII) and clinical outcomes in Iranian population. Subjects A total of 231 patients including 182 patients with gastritis, 41 with peptic ulcer and 8 with gastric cancer. Methods The presences of the cagA, cagE and cagT genes were measured by polymerase chain reaction and the results were compared with clinical outcomes and gastric histology. Results The cagA, cagE and cagT genes were found in 154 (66.7%), 90 (39.0%) and 70 (30.3%) of clinical isolates. At least 144 (62.3%) strains possessed partially deleted cag PAI (e.g., 69 [29.9%] strains were cagA-positive, but cagE and cagT-negative). Conclusion The simple gene as well as the combination of the genes in the cag PAI appeared not to be useful markers to predict H. pylori-related diseases in Iranian population. The genomic sequences of the cag PAI in Iranian strains might be considerably different from those in other geographic locations. PMID:19261552

  7. Heterodimerization of the Entamoeba histolytica EhCPADH virulence complex through molecular dynamics and protein-protein docking.

    PubMed

    Montaño, Sarita; Orozco, Esther; Correa-Basurto, José; Bello, Martiniano; Chávez-Munguía, Bibiana; Betanzos, Abigail

    2017-02-01

    EhCPADH is a protein complex involved in the virulence of Entamoeba histolytica, the protozoan responsible for human amebiasis. It is formed by the EhCP112 cysteine protease and the EhADH adhesin. To explore the molecular basis of the complex formation, three-dimensional models were built for both proteins and molecular dynamics simulations (MDS) and docking calculations were performed. Results predicted that the pEhCP112 proenzyme and the mEhCP112 mature enzyme were globular and peripheral membrane proteins. Interestingly, in pEhCP112, the propeptide appeared hiding the catalytic site (C167, H329, N348); while in mEhCP112, this site was exposed and its residues were found structurally closer than in pEhCP112. EhADH emerged as an extended peripheral membrane protein with high fluctuation in Bro1 and V shape domains. 500 ns-long MDS and protein-protein docking predictions evidenced different heterodimeric complexes with the lowest free energy. pEhCP112 interacted with EhADH by the propeptide and C-terminal regions and mEhCP112 by the C-terminal through hydrogen bonds. In contrast, EhADH bound to mEhCP112 by 442-479 residues, adjacent to the target cell-adherence region (480-600 residues), and by the Bro1 domain (9-349 residues). Calculations of the effective binding free energy and per residue free energy decomposition showed that EhADH binds to mEhCP112 with a higher binding energy than to pEhCP112, mainly through van der Waals interactions and the nonpolar part of solvation energy. The EhADH and EhCP112 structural relationship was validated in trophozoites by immunofluorescence, TEM, and immunoprecipitation assays. Experimental findings fair agreed with in silico results.

  8. 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

  9. Sample pooling for real-time PCR detection and virulence determination of the footrot pathogen Dichelobacter nodosus.

    PubMed

    Frosth, Sara; König, Ulrika; Nyman, Ann-Kristin; Aspán, Anna

    2017-09-01

    Dichelobacter nodosus is the principal cause of ovine footrot and strain virulence is an important factor in disease severity. Therefore, detection and virulence determination of D. nodosus is important for proper diagnosis of the disease. Today this is possible by real-time PCR analysis. Analysis of large numbers of samples is costly and laborious; therefore, pooling of individual samples is common in surveillance programs. However, pooling can reduce the sensitivity of the method. The aim of this study was to develop a pooling method for real-time PCR analysis that would allow sensitive detection and simultaneous virulence determination of D. nodosus. A total of 225 sheep from 17 flocks were sampled using ESwabs within the Swedish Footrot Control Program in 2014. Samples were first analysed individually and then in pools of five by real-time PCR assays targeting the 16S rRNA and aprV2/B2 genes of D. nodosus. Each pool consisted of four negative and one positive D. nodosus samples with varying amounts of the bacterium. In the individual analysis, 61 (27.1%) samples were positive in the 16S rRNA and the aprV2/B2 PCR assays and 164 (72.9%) samples were negative. All samples positive in the aprV2/B2 PCR-assay were of aprB2 variant. The pooled analysis showed that all 41 pools were also positive for D. nodosus 16S rRNA and the aprB2 variant. The diagnostic sensitivity for pooled and individual samples was therefore similar. Our method includes concentration of the bacteria before DNA-extraction. This may account for the maintenance of diagnostic sensitivity. Diagnostic sensitivity in the real-time PCR assays of the pooled samples were comparable to the sensitivity obtained for individually analysed samples. Even sub-clinical infections were able to be detected in the pooled PCR samples which is important for control of the disease. This method may therefore be implemented in footrot control programs where it can replace analysis of individual samples.

  10. Oligonucleotide microarrays for identification of microbial pathogens and detection of their virulence-associated or drug-resistance determinants.

    PubMed

    Volokhov, Dmitriy V; Kong, Hyesuk; Herold, Keith; Chizhikov, Vladimir E; Rasooly, Avraham

    2011-01-01

    Microarrays are spatially ordered arrays with ligands chemically immobilized in discrete spots on a solid matrix, usually a microscope slide. Microarrays are a high-throughput large-scale screening system enabling simultaneous identification of a large number of labeled target molecules (up to several hundred thousand) that bind specifically to the immobilized ligands of the array. DNA microarrays represent a promising tool for clinical, environmental, and industrial microbiology since the technology allows relatively rapid identification of large number of genetic determinants simultaneously, providing detailed genomic level information regarding the pathogen species, including identification of their virulence-associated factors and the presence of antibiotic resistance genes. In this chapter, we describe key aspects and methodologies important for the development and use of DNA microarrays for microbial diagnostics.

  11. Yersinia pseudotuberculosis virulence determinants invasin, YopE, and YopT modulate RhoG activity and localization.

    PubMed

    Mohammadi, Sina; Isberg, Ralph R

    2009-11-01

    The Yersinia pseudotuberculosis surface protein invasin binds to multiple beta1 integrins with high affinity, leading to misregulation of Rac1 activity. Upon host cell binding, alteration of Rho GTPase activity results from the action of several Yersinia outer proteins (Yops) that are translocated into the cytoplasm. We report here that three virulence determinants encoded by Y. pseudotuberculosis manipulate the Rho GTPase RhoG. Y. pseudotuberculosis binding to cells caused robust recruitment of RhoG to the site of attachment, which required high-affinity invasin-beta1 integrin association. Furthermore, inactivation of RhoG significantly reduced the efficiency of invasin-mediated bacterial internalization. To investigate the activation state of RhoG, a fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based activation biosensor was developed and used to show distinct spatial activation of RhoG at the site of bacterial attachment. The biosensor was also used to show efficient RhoG inactivation by Y. pseudotuberculosis YopE, a potent Rho GTPase activating protein. Additionally, RhoG mislocalization by the prenylcysteine endoprotease YopT was demonstrated by two independent assays. Functional bacterial uptake experiments demonstrated that RhoG activation can bypass a deficit in Rac1 activity. Interestingly, increasing the size of the particle gave results more consistent with a linear pathway, in which RhoG acts as an upstream activator of Rac1, indicating that increased surface area introduces constraints on the signaling pathways required for efficient internalization. Taken together, these data demonstrate the misregulation of RhoG by multiple Y. pseudotuberculosis virulence determinants. Since RhoG is imperative for proper neutrophil function, this misregulation may represent a unique mechanism by which Yersinia species dampen the immune response.

  12. Bordetella pertussis TonB, a Bvg-Independent Virulence Determinant

    PubMed Central

    Pradel, Elizabeth; Guiso, Nicole; Menozzi, Franco D.; Locht, Camille

    2000-01-01

    In gram-negative bacteria, high-affinity iron uptake requires the TonB/ExbB/ExbD envelope complex to release iron chelates from their specific outer membrane receptors into the periplasm. Based on sequence similarities, the Bordetella pertussis tonB exbB exbD locus was identified on a cloned DNA fragment. The tight organization of the three genes suggests that they are cotranscribed. A putative Fur-binding sequence located upstream from tonB was detected in a Fur titration assay, indicating that the tonB exbB exbD operon may be Fur-repressed in high-iron growth conditions. Putative structural genes of the β-subunit of the histone-like protein HU and of a new two-component regulatory system were identified upstream from tonB and downstream from exbD, respectively. A B. pertussis ΔtonB exbB::Kmr mutant was constructed by allelic exchange and characterized. The mutant was impaired for growth in low-iron medium in vitro and could not use ferrichrome, desferal, or hemin as iron sources. Levels of production of the major bacterial toxins and adhesins were similar in the TonB+/TonB− pair. The ΔtonB exbB mutant was still responsive to chemical modulators of virulence; thus, the BvgA/BvgS two-component system is not TonB dependent. Nevertheless, in vivo in the mouse respiratory infection model, the colonization ability of the mutant was reduced compared to the parental strain. PMID:10722583

  13. 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

  14. Potential virulence determinants of Salmonella serovars from poultry and human sources in Spain.

    PubMed

    Carramiñana, J J; Yangüela, J; Blanco, D; Rota, C; Agustín, A I; Herrera, A

    1997-03-01

    A total of 173 Salmonella strains of different serovars isolated during 1992 from poultry and human sources in Zaragoza (NE Spain) were investigated for potential virulence factors. Parameters studied included production of aerobactin, enterobactin, colicin (including colicin V) and hemolysin, serum resistance against serum from man, sheep, cattle and chicken, binding of Congo red and crystal violet, auto-agglutination and calcium dependency at 37 degrees C and double colony morphology. Preliminary studies showed tests with completely negative results (colicins and hemolysin production, double colony morphology, auto-agglutination and calcium dependency at 37 degrees C) and tests with completely positive results (enterobactin production and binding of Congo red). The tests with variability of results were production of aerobactin, serum resistance and crystal violet binding. Aerobactin production was detected in 80% of Salmonella strains of clinical human origin and in 30% of Salmonella strains isolated from healthy slaughtered chickens. Sixty-five per cent of patient isolates were human serum resistant, 73% were ovine serum resistant, 85% were bovine serum resistant and 98% were chicken serum resistant. The percentages of poultry isolates serum resistant were 61, 86, 60 and 89% in human, ovine, bovine and chicken serum, respectively. Crystal violet binding was detected in 22.5% of Salmonella isolates from human origin and in 32.3% of Salmonella strains from poultry origin. This study can form a marker for the prevalence of strains with various characteristics (production of aerobactin, serum resistance and crystal violet binding) for comparison in future epidemiological studies. Furthermore, the data of this work suggested that strains causing enteric salmonellosis in man are partially identical to strains isolated from carrier broilers.

  15. Russian populations of Puccinia triticina in distant regions are not differentiated for virulence and molecular genotype

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The objective of this study was to determine whether genetically distinct groups of Puccinia triticina are present in four regions of Russia. Collections of P. triticina were obtained from the Central, North Caucasus, Volga, and West Siberia regions of Russia from 2006 to 2010. Ninety-nine single ur...

  16. Amino acid sequence of bacterial microbe-associated molecular pattern flg22 is required for virulence.

    PubMed

    Naito, Kana; Taguchi, Fumiko; Suzuki, Tomoko; Inagaki, Yoshishige; Toyoda, Kazuhiro; Shiraishi, Tomonori; Ichinose, Yuki

    2008-09-01

    Flagellin proteins derived from Pseudomonas syringae pv. tabaci 6605 and flg22Pa (QRLSTGSRINSAKDDAAGLQIA), one of the microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMP) in bacterial flagellin, induce cell death and growth inhibition in Arabidopsis thaliana. To examine the importance of aspartic acid (D) at position 43 from the N-terminus of a flagellin in its elicitor activity, D43 was replaced with valine (V) and alanine (A) in P. syringae pv. tabaci flagellin and flg22Pta. The abilities of flagellins from P. syringae pv. tabaci D43V and D43A to induce cell death and growth inhibition were reduced, whereas the abilities of flg22PtaD43V and flg22PtaD43A were abolished. These results indicate that D43 is important for elicitor activity in P. syringae pv. tabaci. When tobacco plants were inoculated with each bacterium by the spray method, both P. syringae pv. tabaci D43V and D43A mutants had remarkably reduced ability to cause disease symptoms. Both mutants had reduced or no swimming and swarming motilities and adhesion ability. In P. syringae pv. tabaci D43V, little flagellin protein was detected and few flagella were observed by electron microscopy. These results indicate that mutant flagella are unstable and that flagellar motility is impaired. Thus, the amino acid residue required for MAMP activity is important for the intrinsic flagellar function.

  17. A safe and molecular-tagged Brucella canis ghosts confers protection against virulent challenge in mice.

    PubMed

    Qian, Jing; Bu, Zhaoyang; Lang, Xulong; Yan, Guangmou; Yang, Yanling; Wang, Xiuran; Wang, Xinglong

    2017-05-01

    Canine brucellosis, caused by Brucella canis, is a persistent infectious reproductive disease in dogs. The absence of effective treatment to the intracellular pathogen and the irreversible consequence of infection makes the need of a specific vaccine urgent. Bacterial ghosts (BGs) are the empty envelopes of bacteria with no genome content inside, which emerge as a proper vaccine candidate due to its intact outer antigen. It is generally derived from a genetically engineered strain, through the expression of Bacteriophage phiX174 lysis E gene upon induction. In this study, we combined the homologous recombination (HR) and bacterial ghost technologies, generating a genetically stable B. canis ghost strain which bears no drug resistance gene. When the ghost strain grows to OD600 of 0.6, 100% inactivation can be achieved under 42°C in 60h. The resultant BGs showed guaranteed safety and comparable immunogenicity to a live vaccine. The bacterial B0419 protein was depleted during HR process, which is subsequently proved to work as a molecular tag in distinguishing natural infection and BGs immunization through ELISA. Additionally, the BGs also conferred protection against B. canis RM6/66 and B. melitensis 16M. Therefore, the application of current BGs as a vaccine candidate and the corresponding serological diagnostic approach may provide better B. canis prevention strategy. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Antimicrobial resistance, virulence profiles and molecular subtypes of Salmonella enterica serovars Typhi and Paratyphi A blood isolates from Kolkata, India during 2009-2013.

    PubMed

    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

  19. Biochemical, Structural and Molecular Dynamics Analyses of the Potential Virulence Factor RipA from Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Torres, Rodrigo; Swift, Robert V.; Chim, Nicholas; Wheatley, Nicole; Lan, Benson; Atwood, Brian R.; Pujol, Céline; Sankaran, Banu; Bliska, James B.; Amaro, Rommie E.; Goulding, Celia W.

    2011-01-01

    Human diseases are attributed in part to the ability of pathogens to evade the eukaryotic immune systems. A subset of these pathogens has developed mechanisms to survive in human macrophages. Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of the bubonic plague, is a predominately extracellular pathogen with the ability to survive and replicate intracellularly. A previous study has shown that a novel rip (required for intracellular proliferation) operon (ripA, ripB and ripC) is essential for replication and survival of Y. pestis in postactivated macrophages, by playing a role in lowering macrophage-produced nitric oxide (NO) levels. A bioinformatics analysis indicates that the rip operon is conserved among a distally related subset of macrophage-residing pathogens, including Burkholderia and Salmonella species, and suggests that this previously uncharacterized pathway is also required for intracellular survival of these pathogens. The focus of this study is ripA, which encodes for a protein highly homologous to 4-hydroxybutyrate-CoA transferase; however, biochemical analysis suggests that RipA functions as a butyryl-CoA transferase. The 1.9 Å X-ray crystal structure reveals that RipA belongs to the class of Family I CoA transferases and exhibits a unique tetrameric state. Molecular dynamics simulations are consistent with RipA tetramer formation and suggest a possible gating mechanism for CoA binding mediated by Val227. Together, our structural characterization and molecular dynamic simulations offer insights into acyl-CoA specificity within the active site binding pocket, and support biochemical results that RipA is a butyryl-CoA transferase. We hypothesize that the end product of the rip operon is butyrate, a known anti-inflammatory, which has been shown to lower NO levels in macrophages. Thus, the results of this molecular study of Y. pestis RipA provide a structural platform for rational inhibitor design, which may lead to a greater understanding of the role of RipA in

  20. Molecular insight into the activity of LasR protein from Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the regulation of virulence gene expression by this organism.

    PubMed

    Chowdhury, Nilkanta; Bagchi, Angshuman

    2016-04-10

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic human pathogen. This organism attacks human patients suffering from diseases like AIDS, cancer, cystic fibrosis, etc. One of the important virulent factors produced by this organism is Hydrogen Cyanide. This is expressed from the genes encoded by the hcnABC operon. The expressions of the genes encoded by hcnABC operon are mediated mainly by the interactions of LasR protein with the corresponding promoter region of the hcnABC operon. The LasR protein acts as a dimer and binds to the promoter DNA with the help of an autoinducer ligand. However, till date the detailed molecular mechanism of how the LasR protein interacts with the promoter DNA is not clearly known. Therefore, in this work, an attempt has been made to analyze the mode of interactions of the LasR protein with the promoter DNA region of the hcnABC operon. We analyzed the three dimensional structure of the LasR protein from Pseudomonas aeruginosa and docked the protein with the autoinducer ligand. We then docked the ligand-bound-LasR-protein as well the LasR-protein-without-the-autoinducer-ligand on to the promoter DNA region of hcnABC operon. We analyzed the details of the interaction profiles of LasR protein with the autoinducer ligand. We also deciphered the details of the LasR promoter-DNA interactions. We compared the modes of DNA bindings by the LasR protein in presence and absence of the autoinducer ligand and tried to analyze the molecular details of the binding of LasR protein with the promoter DNA region of hcnABC operon during hcnABC gene expression. This study may therefore pave the pathway for future experiments to determine the relative effects of the amino acid residues of LasR protein in DNA binding during the transcription of hcnABC operon.

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

    PubMed

    Jiménez, Esther; Ladero, Victor; Chico, Irene; Maldonado-Barragán, Antonio; López, María; Martín, Virginia; Fernández, Leonides; Fernández, María; Álvarez, Miguel A; Torres, Carmen; Rodríguez, Juan M

    2013-12-10

    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. 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 × 10(2) -1.16 × 10(3) 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, efaA(fs), agg2, gelE, cylA, esp(fs)) assayed while the E. faecium ones only harboured the efaA(fm) 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. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-04

    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 (H(2)), 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 H(2)-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 H(2) was stimulated by H(2) addition, presumably owing to the positive transcriptional response to H(2). 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.

  7. 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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  9. Molecular Analysis of Sucrose Metabolism of Erwinia amylovora and Influence on Bacterial Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Bogs, Jochen; Geider, Klaus

    2000-01-01

    Sucrose is an important storage and transport sugar of plants and an energy source for many phytopathogenic bacteria. To analyze regulation and biochemistry of sucrose metabolism of the fire blight pathogen Erwinia amylovora, a chromosomal fragment which enabled Escherichia coli to utilize sucrose as sole carbon source was cloned. By transposon mutagenesis, the scr regulon of E. amylovora was tagged, and its nucleotide sequence was determined. Five open reading frames, with the genes scrK, scrY, scrA, scrB, and scrR, had high homology to genes of the scr regulons from Klebsiella pneumoniae and plasmid pUR400. scrB and scrR of E. amylovora were fused to a histidine tag and to the maltose-binding protein (MalE) of E. coli, respectively. ScrB (53 kDa) catalyzed the hydrolysis of sucrose with a Km of 125 mM. Binding of a MalE-ScrR fusion protein to an scrYAB promoter fragment was shown by gel mobility shifts. This complex dissociated in the presence of fructose but not after addition of sucrose. Expression of the scr regulon was studied with an scrYAB promoter-green fluorescent protein gene fusion and measured by flow cytometry and spectrofluorometry. The operon was affected by catabolite repression and induced by sucrose or fructose. The level of gene induction correlated to the sucrose concentration in plant tissue, as shown by flow cytometry. Sucrose mutants created by site-directed mutagenesis did not produce significant fire blight symptoms on apple seedlings, indicating the importance of sucrose metabolism for colonization of host plants by E. amylovora. PMID:10986236

  10. Determination of virulence and antibiotic resistance pattern of biofilm producing Listeria species isolated from retail raw milk.

    PubMed

    Osman, Kamelia M; Samir, Ahmed; Abo-Shama, Usama H; Mohamed, Essam H; Orabi, Ahmed; Zolnikov, Tara

    2016-11-08

    One of the foodborne pathogens is Listeria monocytogenes, which causes serious invasive illness in elderly and immunocompromised patients, pregnant women, newborns and infants ranking second after salmonellosis because of its high case fatality rate. Listerial cow mastitis marked by abnormal milk, increased cell counts and reduced production has not been reported. Therefore, apparently healthy cows can be reservoirs of L. monocytogenes. A number of 203 udder milk samples from apparently healthy animals (buffalo, n = 100; cow, n = 103) were collected and tested for Listeria. Isolated colonies on the PALCAM agar were Listeria species confirmed according to their biochemical and the Christie-Atkins-Munch-Petersen (CAMP) reactions. The Listeria species pathogenicity of was tested by phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C, DL-alanine-β-naphthylamide HCl, Dalanine-p-nitroanilide tests, chick embryo, mice inoculation tests, Vero cell cytotoxicity and biofilm formation. The virulence-associated genes, hlyA, plcB, actA and iap associated with Listeria were molecularly assayed. The 17 isolated Listeria spp. represented a prevalence rate of 8.4 %. Of these 3 (1.4 %), 2 (1 %), 5 (2.5 %), 4 (2 %) and 3 (1.5 %) were confirmed as L. monocytogenes, L. innocua, L. welshimeri, L. seelegeri, respectively. While the L. monocytogenes isolate displayed all the four virulence-associated genes, L. seelegeri carried the hlyA gene only. The L. monocytogenes had a strong in vitro affinity to form a biofilm, in particular serotype 4 which is associated with human infections. L. monocytogenes showed resistance for 9/27 antibiotics. The biofilm forming capability of the Listeria spps. makes them particularly successful in colonizing surfaces within the host thus being responsible for persistence infections and due to their antimicrobial resistant phenotype that this structure confers. In addition, strains belonging to serotypes associated with human infections and

  11. Aquabirnavirus polyploidy: A new strategy to modulate virulence?

    PubMed

    Lago, M; Rodríguez, José F; Bandín, I; Dopazo, C P

    2016-05-01

    One of the main research issues regarding the infectious pancreatic necrosis virus (IPNV) is its virulence mechanisms. The bases for understanding the molecular virulence determinants of this virus were established over the last decade when it was demonstrated that certain aa domains in the VP2 and VP2-NS inter-region determined the level of virulence of IPNV. However, certain variability was still inexplicable and, therefore, other factors might also have been involved. To this regard, it has recently been demonstrated that the infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV), a virus of a different genus of the same family as IPNV, can package more than 2 dsRNA segments, and that polyploidy may be associated to virulence. In the present report, we analyze the viral fractions obtained after gradient centrifugation to demonstrate that IPNV virions can also package more than 2 segments, thus indicating that polyploidy is a common birnavirus trait. The differential replication ex vivo and virulence in vivo additionally suggest that such a characteristic is involved in the modulation of viral infectivity. However, although the ex vivo results clearly demonstrated that the replication capacity is enhanced as the viral ploidy increases, the in vivo results could not strongly support a direct relationship between ploidy and virulence to the host, thus suggesting that other virulence determinants are also involved.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.)

  17. Systematic Mutational Analysis of the Putative Hydrolase PqsE: Toward a Deeper Molecular Understanding of Virulence Acquisition in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    Folch, Benjamin; Déziel, Eric; Doucet, Nicolas

    2013-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an important opportunistic human pathogen that can establish bacterial communication by synchronizing the behavior of individual cells in a molecular phenomenon known as “quorum sensing”. Through an elusive mechanism involving gene products of the pqs operon, the PqsE enzyme is absolutely required for the synthesis of extracellular phenazines, including the toxic blue pigment pyocyanin, effectively allowing cells to achieve full-fledged virulence. Despite several functional and structural attempts at deciphering the role of this relevant enzymatic drug target, no molecular function has yet been ascribed to PqsE. In the present study, we report a series of alanine scanning experiments aimed at altering the biological function of PqsE, allowing us to uncover key amino acid positions involved in the molecular function of this enzyme. We use sequence analysis and structural overlays with members of homologous folds to pinpoint critical positions located in the vicinity of the ligand binding cleft and surrounding environment, revealing the importance of a unique C-terminal α-helical motif in the molecular function of PqsE. Our results suggest that the active site of the enzyme involves residues that extend further into the hydrophobic core of the protein, advocating for a lid-like movement of the two terminal helices. This information should help design virtual libraries of PqsE inhibitors, providing means to counter P. aeruginosa virulence acquisition and helping to reduce nosocomial infections. PMID:24040042

  18. Genitourinary cancers: molecular determinants for personalized therapies.

    PubMed

    Mazzucchelli, Roberta; Gasparrini, Silvia; Galosi, Andrea B; Massari, Francesco; Raspollini, Maria Rosaria; Scarpelli, Marina; Lopez-Beltran, Antonio; Cheng, Liang; Montironi, Rodolfo

    2016-09-26

    Recent insights and emerging strategies for individualized therapeutic approaches in patients with genitourinary (GU) cancers are based on patient's genomic and cancer's molecular profiles. This depends on the significant advances made in molecular biology technologies, such as next-generation sequencing and whole-exome sequencing. The rise of such novel techniques has grayly increased our knowledge on cancer cell biology and development, thus allowing to identify complex abnormalities at the genomic level. These findings have paved the way toward what is called precision medicine, thus providing healthcare from an individual perspective in patients with GU tumors.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1996-01-01

    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. PMID:8837432

  20. Biofilm is a Major Virulence Determinant in Bacterial Colonization of Chronic Skin Ulcers Independently from the Multidrug Resistant Phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Di Domenico, Enea Gino; Farulla, Ilaria; Prignano, Grazia; Gallo, Maria Teresa; Vespaziani, Matteo; Cavallo, Ilaria; Sperduti, Isabella; Pontone, Martina; Bordignon, Valentina; Cilli, Laura; De Santis, Alessandra; Di Salvo, Fabiola; Pimpinelli, Fulvia; Lesnoni La Parola, Ilaria; Toma, Luigi; Ensoli, Fabrizio

    2017-01-01

    Bacterial biofilm is a major factor in delayed wound healing and high levels of biofilm production have been repeatedly described in multidrug resistant organisms (MDROs). Nevertheless, a quantitative correlation between biofilm production and the profile of antimicrobial drug resistance in delayed wound healing remains to be determined. Microbial identification, antibiotic susceptibility and biofilm production were assessed in 135 clinical isolates from 87 patients. Gram-negative bacteria were the most represented microorganisms (60.8%) with MDROs accounting for 31.8% of the total isolates. Assessment of biofilm production revealed that 80% of the strains were able to form biofilm. A comparable level of biofilm production was found with both MDRO and not-MDRO with no significant differences between groups. All the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and 80% of Pseudomonas aeruginosa MDR strains were found as moderate/high biofilm producers. Conversely, less than 17% of Klebsiella pneumoniae extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL), Escherichia coli-ESBL and Acinetobacter baumannii were moderate/high biofilm producers. Notably, those strains classified as non-biofilm producers, were always associated with biofilm producer bacteria in polymicrobial colonization. This study shows that biofilm producers were present in all chronic skin ulcers, suggesting that biofilm represents a key virulence determinant in promoting bacterial persistence and chronicity of ulcerative lesions independently from the MDRO phenotype. PMID:28513576

  1. Evaluation of ultrafiltration for determining molecular weight of fulvic acid

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Aiken, G.R.

    1984-01-01

    Two commonly used ultrafiltration membranes are evaluated for the determination of molecular weights of humic substances. Polyacrylic acids of Mr 2000 and 5000 and two well-characterized fulvic acids are used as standards. Molecular size characteristics of standards, as determined by small-angle X-ray scattering, are presented. Great care in evaluating molecular weight data obtained by ultrafiltration is needed because of broad nominal cutoffs and membrane-solute interactions.

  2. Anthrax SET protein: a potential virulence determinant that epigenetically represses NF-κB activation in infected macrophages.

    PubMed

    Mujtaba, Shiraz; Winer, Benjamin Y; Jaganathan, Anbalagan; Patel, Jigneshkumar; Sgobba, Miriam; Schuch, Raymond; Gupta, Yogesh K; Haider, Shozeb; Wang, Rong; Fischetti, Vincent A

    2013-08-09

    Toxins play a major role in the pathogenesis of Bacillus anthracis by subverting the host defenses. However, besides toxins, B. anthracis expresses effector proteins, whose role in pathogenesis are yet to be investigated. Here we present that suppressor-of-variegation, enhancer-of-zeste, trithorax protein from B. anthracis (BaSET) methylates human histone H1, resulting in repression of NF-κB functions. Notably, BaSET is secreted and undergoes nuclear translocation to enhance H1 methylation in B. anthracis-infected macrophages. Compared with wild type Sterne, delayed growth kinetics and altered septum formation were observed in the BaSET knock-out (BaΔSET) bacilli. Uncontrolled BaSET expression during complementation of the BaSET gene in BaΔSET partially restored growth during stationary phase but resulted in substantially shorter bacilli throughout the growth cycle. Importantly, in contrast to Sterne, the BaΔSET B. anthracis is avirulent in a lethal murine bacteremia model of infection. Collectively, BaSET is required for repression of host transcription as well as proper B. anthracis growth, making it a potentially unique virulence determinant.

  3. Molecular prevalence of putative virulence-associated genes in Brucella melitensis and Brucella abortus isolates from human and livestock specimens in Iran.

    PubMed

    Hashemifar, Iman; Yadegar, Abbas; Jazi, Faramarz Masjedian; Amirmozafari, Nour

    2017-04-01

    Molecular prevalence of nine putative virulence factors in two more prevalent Brucella species in Iranian patients and livestock was investigated. During five years (2010-2015), 120 human and animal specimens were collected from three geographical areas of Iran. All samples were cultured in blood culture media and subcultured into Brucella agar medium. Nine primer pairs were designed for detection of VirB2, VirB5, VceC, BtpA, BtpB, PrpA, BetB, BPE275 and BSPB virulence factors using PCR and sequence analysis. Totally, 68 Brucella isolates including 60 B. melitensis and 8 B. abortus were isolated from the human and animal specimens examined. Approximately, all B. melitensis and B. abortus strains were positive (100%) regarding btpA, btpB, virB5, vceC, bpe275, bspB, and virB2 genes except for prpA and betB that were detected in 86% and 97% of the strains, respectively. Significant relationships were found between the presence of prpA and human B. melitensis isolates (P = 0.04), and also between the presence of betB and human isolates of B. abortus (P = 0.03). In conclusion, our results revealed that Iranian Brucella strains, regardless of human or animal sources, are extremely virulent due to high prevalence of virulence attributes in almost all strains studied.

  4. Vru (Sub0144) controls expression of proven and putative virulence determinants and alters the ability of Streptococcus uberis to cause disease in dairy cattle

    PubMed Central

    Egan, Sharon A.; Ward, Philip N.; Watson, Michael; Field, Terence R.

    2012-01-01

    The regulation and control of gene expression in response to differing environmental stimuli is crucial for successful pathogen adaptation and persistence. The regulatory gene vru of Streptococcus uberis encodes a stand-alone response regulator with similarity to the Mga of group A Streptococcus. Mga controls expression of a number of important virulence determinants. Experimental intramammary challenge of dairy cattle with a mutant of S. uberis carrying an inactivating lesion in vru showed reduced ability to colonize the mammary gland and an inability to induce clinical signs of mastitis compared with the wild-type strain. Analysis of transcriptional differences of gene expression in the mutant, determined by microarray analysis, identified a number of coding sequences with altered expression in the absence of Vru. These consisted of known and putative virulence determinants, including Lbp (Sub0145), SclB (Sub1095), PauA (Sub1785) and hasA (Sub1696). PMID:22383474

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  6. Bacterial virulence phenotypes of Escherichia coli and host susceptibility determine risk for urinary tract infections.

    PubMed

    Schreiber, Henry L; Conover, Matt S; Chou, Wen-Chi; Hibbing, Michael E; Manson, Abigail L; Dodson, Karen W; Hannan, Thomas J; Roberts, Pacita L; Stapleton, Ann E; Hooton, Thomas M; Livny, Jonathan; Earl, Ashlee M; Hultgren, Scott J

    2017-03-22

    Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) strains. In contrast to many enteric E. coli pathogroups, no genetic signature has been identified for UPEC strains. We conducted a high-resolution comparative genomic study using E. coli isolates collected from the urine of women suffering from frequent recurrent UTIs. These isolates were genetically diverse and varied in their urovirulence, that is, their ability to infect the bladder in a mouse model of cystitis. We found no set of genes, including previously defined putative urovirulence factors (PUFs), that were predictive of urovirulence. In addition, in some patients, the E. coli strain causing a recurrent UTI had fewer PUFs than the supplanted strain. In competitive experimental infections in mice, the supplanting strain was more efficient at colonizing the mouse bladder than the supplanted strain. Despite the lack of a clear genomic signature for urovirulence, comparative transcriptomic and phenotypic analyses revealed that the expression of key conserved functions during culture, such as motility and metabolism, could be used to predict subsequent colonization of the mouse bladder. Together, our findings suggest that UTI risk and outcome may be determined by complex interactions between host susceptibility and the urovirulence potential of diverse bacterial strains.

  7. Molecular mechanisms involved in mammalian primary sex determination.

    PubMed

    She, Zhen-Yu; Yang, Wan-Xi

    2014-08-01

    Sex determination refers to the developmental decision that directs the bipotential genital ridge to develop as a testis or an ovary. Genetic studies on mice and humans have led to crucial advances in understanding the molecular fundamentals of sex determination and the mutually antagonistic signaling pathway. In this review, we summarize the current molecular mechanisms of sex determination by focusing on the known critical sex determining genes and their related signaling pathways in mammalian vertebrates from mice to humans. We also discuss the underlying delicate balance between testis and ovary sex determination pathways, concentrating on the antagonisms between major sex determining genes.

  8. CodY orchestrates the expression of virulence determinants in emetic Bacillus cereus by impacting key regulatory circuits.

    PubMed

    Frenzel, Elrike; Doll, Viktoria; Pauthner, Matthias; Lücking, Genia; Scherer, Siegfried; Ehling-Schulz, Monika

    2012-07-01

    Bacillus cereus causes gastrointestinal diseases and local and systemic infections elicited by the depsipeptide cereulide, enterotoxins, phospholipases, cytolysins and proteases. The PlcR-PapR quorum sensing system activates the expression of several virulence factors, whereas the Spo0A-AbrB regulatory circuit partially controls the plasmid-borne cereulide synthetase (ces) operon. Here, we show that CodY, a nutrient-responsive regulator of Gram-positive bacteria, has a profound effect on both regulatory systems, which have been assumed to operate independently of each other. Deletion of codY resulted in downregulation of virulence genes belonging to the PlcR regulon and a concomitant upregulation of the ces genes. CodY was found to be a repressor of the ces operon, but did not interact with the promoter regions of PlcR-dependent virulence genes in vitro, suggesting an indirect regulation of the latter. Furthermore, CodY binds to the promoter of the immune inhibitor metalloprotease InhA1, demonstrating that CodY directly links B. cereus metabolism to virulence. In vivo studies using a Galleria mellonella infection model, showed that the codY mutant was substantially attenuated, highlighting the importance of CodY as a key regulator of pathogenicity. Our results demonstrate that CodY profoundly modulates the virulence of B. cereus, possibly controlling the development of pathogenic traits in suitable host environments.

  9. 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

  10. 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. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. 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

  12. 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)

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Molecular Characteristic and Virulence Gene Profiles of Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Isolates from Pediatric Patients in Shanghai, China

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xing; Li, Xia; Liu, Wei; Huang, Weichun; Fu, Qihua; Li, Min

    2016-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a globally important human pathogen, especially among children and immunocompromised patients. The emergence and spread of community-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus (CA-MRSA) has become a serious public health problem worldwide. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence, molecular characteristics and virulence profiles of CA-MRSA infections from pediatric patients in a university hospital in Shanghai, China. A total of 80 CA-MRSA isolates were collected from July 2012 to December 2013 in Shanghai Children's Medical Center and analyzed by multilocus sequence typing, staphylococcus chromosomal cassette mec (SCCmec) typing, and spa typing. The detection of Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (pvl), superantigenic and exfoliative toxins, and adhesin genes was also performed. Overall, 16 distinct sequence types (STs) were identified among the 80 isolates. Among them, ST59 was found to be the most prevalent, followed by ST398 (11.3%, 9/80) and ST88 (8.8%, 7/80). SCCmec types IV and V were observed, at 60 and 40%, respectively. Thirty spa types were identified, spa t437 (23.8%) was the most predominant type. All 80 isolates exhibited carriage of at least four virulence genes. Thirty-four (42.5%, 34/80) isolates harbored ≥10 tested virulence genes. Adhesion genes were present in most of the MRSA isolates, including the following: icaA (100%), clfA (100%), sdrC (95%), and sdrE (63.8%). The prevalence of pvl gene was 20%, and multidrug resistance was observed in 36% of all strains. In addition, ST59-MRSA-IV with t437 accounted for 21.3% of occurrences, making it the most prevalent clone. Isolates that were carriers of toxin genes, and hla (100%) and hlg (87.5%) were the most frequent. In conclusion, simultaneous carriage of multiple virulence genes and genetically considerable diversity were very common among CA-MRSA from pediatric patients in Shanghai. ST59-MRSA-IV with t437 was still the most predominant type. The combination of

  16. 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.

  17. Vancomycin-resistant enterococci among haemodialysis patients in Portugal: prevalence and molecular characterization of resistance, virulence and clonality.

    PubMed

    Correia, Susana; Ponce, Pedro; Jones-Dias, Daniela; Caniça, Manuela; Igrejas, Gilberto; Poeta, Patrícia

    2014-03-01

    Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) among haemodialysis patients has increased rapidly and, to date, there is no report of this incidence in Portugal. A total of 121 faecal samples were collected from haemodialysis patients, and then tested for VRE. Antimicrobial resistance, virulence and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) were studied. VRE prevalence was 3.3%. Three VRE isolates, Enterococcus faecium, Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus raffinosus, were multi-resistant and vanA-positive. E. faecium and E. faecalis belonged to CC17 and CC2, respectively. Haemodialysis patients in Portugal are colonized with virulent, multi-resistant enterococci from high-risk clonal complexes, representing a public health concern. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier España, S.L. y Sociedad Española de Enfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiología Clínica. All rights reserved.

  18. Proteomic profiling of Pseudomonas aeruginosa AES-1R, PAO1 and PA14 reveals potential virulence determinants associated with a transmissible cystic fibrosis-associated strain

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that is the major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). While most CF patients are thought to acquire P. aeruginosa from the environment, person-person transmissible strains have been identified in CF clinics worldwide. The molecular basis for transmissibility and colonization of the CF lung remains poorly understood. Results A dual proteomics approach consisting of gel-based and gel-free comparisons were undertaken to analyse protein profiles in a transmissible, early (acute) isolate of the Australian epidemic strain 1 (AES-1R), the virulent burns/wound isolate PA14, and the poorly virulent, laboratory-associated strain PAO1. Over 1700 P. aeruginosa proteins were confidently identified. AES-1R protein profiles revealed elevated abundance of proteins associated with virulence and siderophore biosynthesis and acquisition, antibiotic resistance and lipopolysaccharide and fatty acid biosynthesis. The most abundant protein in AES-1R was confirmed as a previously hypothetical protein with sequence similarity to carbohydrate-binding proteins and database search revealed this gene is only found in the CF-associated strain PA2192. The link with CF infection may suggest that transmissible strains have acquired an ability to rapidly interact with host mucosal glycoproteins. Conclusions Our data suggest that AES-1R expresses higher levels of proteins, such as those involved in antibiotic resistance, iron acquisition and virulence that may provide a competitive advantage during early infection in the CF lung. Identification of novel proteins associated with transmissibility and acute infection may aid in deciphering new strategies for intervention to limit P. aeruginosa infections in CF patients. PMID:22264352

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. NDV HN gene C-terminal extension is not the determinant of the enteric tropism but influences the virus virulence

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Many asymptomatic enteric Newcastle disease virus (NDV) strains contain a larger hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) protein (616 amino acids, aa) than that (571 aa) of virulent respirotropic NDV strains. Therefore, it has been suspected that the 45 aa extension at the C-terminus of HN influences the v...

  2. 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

  3. Knots Untie: Molecular Determinants Involved in Knot Formation Induced by Pseudomonas savastanoi in Woody Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Caballo-Ponce, Eloy; Murillo, Jesús; Martínez-Gil, Marta; Moreno-Pérez, Alba; Pintado, Adrián; Ramos, Cayo

    2017-01-01

    The study of the molecular basis of tree diseases is lately receiving a renewed attention, especially with the emerging perception that pathogens require specific pathogenicity and virulence factors to successfully colonize woody hosts. Pathosystems involving woody plants are notoriously difficult to study, although the use of model bacterial strains together with genetically homogeneous micropropagated plant material is providing a significant impetus to our understanding of the molecular determinants leading to disease. The gammaproteobacterium Pseudomonas savastanoi belongs to the intensively studied Pseudomonas syringae complex, and includes three pathogenic lineages causing tumorous overgrowths (knots) in diverse economically relevant trees and shrubs. As it occurs with many other bacteria, pathogenicity of P. savastanoi is dependent on a type III secretion system, which is accompanied by a core set of at least 20 effector genes shared among strains isolated from olive, oleander, and ash. The induction of knots of wild-type size requires that the pathogen maintains adequate levels of diverse metabolites, including the phytohormones indole-3-acetic acid and cytokinins, as well as cyclic-di-GMP, some of which can also regulate the expression of other pathogenicity and virulence genes and participate in bacterial competitiveness. In a remarkable example of social networking, quorum sensing molecules allow for the communication among P. savastanoi and other members of the knot microbiome, while at the same time are essential for tumor formation. Additionally, a distinguishing feature of bacteria from the P. syringae complex isolated from woody organs is the possession of a 15 kb genomic island (WHOP) carrying four operons and three other genes involved in degradation of phenolic compounds. Two of these operons mediate the catabolism of anthranilate and catechol and, together with another operon, are required for the induction of full-size tumors in woody hosts

  4. Molecular Typing of Escherichia coli O157:H7 Isolates from Swedish Cattle and Human Cases: Population Dynamics and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Jernberg, C.; Ivarsson, S.; Hedenström, I.; Eriksson, E.; Bongcam-Rudloff, E.; Aspán, A.

    2014-01-01

    While all verotoxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 bacteria are considered potential pathogens, their genetic subtypes appear to differ in their levels of virulence. The aim of this study was to compare the distribution of subtypes of E. coli O157:H7 in the cattle reservoir and in human cases with and without severe complications in order to gain clues about the relationship between subtype and relative virulence. A lineage-specific polymorphism assay (LSPA-6), multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA), and a novel real-time PCR assay to identify clade 8 were applied to a large and representative set of isolates from cattle from 1996 to 2009 (n = 381) and human cases from 2008 to 2011 (n = 197) in Sweden. Draft genome sequences were produced for four selected isolates. The E. coli O157:H7 isolates in Swedish cattle generally belonged to four groups with the LSPA-6 profiles 211111 (clade 8/non-clade 8), 213111, and 223323. The subtype composition of the cattle isolates changed dramatically during the study period with the introduction and rapid spread of the low-virulence 223323 subtype. The human cases presumed to have been infected within the country predominantly carried isolates with the profiles 211111 (clade 8) and 213111. Cases progressing to hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) were mostly caused by clade 8, with MLVA profiles consistent with Swedish cattle as the source. In contrast, infections contracted abroad were caused by diverse subtypes, some of which were associated with a particular region. The work presented here confirms the high risk posed by the clade 8 variant of E. coli O157:H7. It also highlights the dynamic nature of the E. coli O157:H7 subtype composition in animal reservoirs and the importance of this composition for the human burden of disease. PMID:25143581

  5. 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.

  6. Molecular architecture of Streptococcus pneumoniae surface thioredoxin-fold lipoproteins crucial for extracellular oxidative stress resistance and maintenance of virulence

    PubMed Central

    Saleh, Malek; Bartual, Sergio G; Abdullah, Mohammed R; Jensch, Inga; Asmat, Tauseef M; Petruschka, Lothar; Pribyl, Thomas; Gellert, Manuela; Lillig, Christopher H; Antelmann, Haike; Hermoso, Juan A; Hammerschmidt, Sven

    2013-01-01

    The respiratory pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae has evolved efficient mechanisms to resist oxidative stress conditions and to displace other bacteria in the nasopharynx. Here we characterize at physiological, functional and structural levels two novel surface-exposed thioredoxin-family lipoproteins, Etrx1 and Etrx2. The impact of both Etrx proteins and their redox partner methionine sulfoxide reductase SpMsrAB2 on pneumococcal pathogenesis was assessed in mouse virulence studies and phagocytosis assays. The results demonstrate that loss of function of either both Etrx proteins or SpMsrAB2 dramatically attenuated pneumococcal virulence in the acute mouse pneumonia model and that Etrx proteins compensate each other. The deficiency of Etrx proteins or SpMsrAB2 further enhanced bacterial uptake by macrophages, and accelerated pneumococcal killing by H2O2 or free methionine sulfoxides (MetSO). Moreover, the absence of both Etrx redox pathways provokes an accumulation of oxidized SpMsrAB2 in vivo. Taken together our results reveal insights into the role of two extracellular electron pathways required for reduction of SpMsrAB2 and surface-exposed MetSO. Identification of this system and its target proteins paves the way for the design of novel antimicrobials. PMID:24136784

  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. Glucose- but Not Rice-Based Oral Rehydration Therapy Enhances the Production of Virulence Determinants in the Human Pathogen Vibrio cholerae

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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

  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.

  10. A simplified electrophoretic system for determining molecular weights of proteins.

    PubMed

    Manwell, C

    1977-09-01

    Electrophoresis of 31 different proteins in commercially prepared polyacrylamide gradient gels, Gradipore, yields a linear relationship between a hypothetical limiting pore size (the reciprocal of a limiting gel concentration, GL) and the cube root of the mol.wt., over the range 13 500-9000 000. A regression analysis of these data reveals that 98.6% of all variability in 1/GL is explained by the molecular weight, and this degree of accuracy compares favourably with existing methods for the determination of molecular weight by retardation of mobility in polyacrylamide. This new procedure has the additional advantages that molecular-weight standards can be obtained from readily available body fluids or tissue extracts by localizing enzymes and other proteins by standard histochemical methods, and that the same electrophoretic system can be used in determining molecular weights as is used in routine surveys of populations for individual and species variation in protein heterogeneity.

  11. 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

  12. Targeted Recombination Demonstrates that the Spike Gene of Transmissible Gastroenteritis Coronavirus Is a Determinant of Its Enteric Tropism and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez, Carlos M.; Izeta, Ander; Sánchez-Morgado, Jose M.; Alonso, Sara; Sola, Isabel; Balasch, Mónica; Plana-Durán, Juan; Enjuanes, Luis

    1999-01-01

    Targeted recombination within the S (spike) gene of transmissible gastroenteritis coronavirus (TGEV) was promoted by passage of helper respiratory virus isolates in cells transfected with a TGEV-derived defective minigenome carrying the S gene from an enteric isolate. The minigenome was efficiently replicated in trans and packaged by the helper virus, leading to the formation of true recombinant and pseudorecombinant viruses containing the S proteins of both enteric and respiratory TGEV strains in their envelopes. The recombinants acquired an enteric tropism, and their analysis showed that they were generated by homologous recombination that implied a double crossover in the S gene resulting in replacement of most of the respiratory, attenuated strain S gene (nucleotides 96 to 3700) by the S gene of the enteric, virulent isolate. The recombinant virus was virulent and rapidly evolved in swine testis cells by the introduction of point mutations and in-phase codon deletions in a domain of the S gene (nucleotides 217 to 665) previously implicated in the tropism of TGEV. The helper virus, with an original respiratory tropism, was also found in the enteric tract, probably because pseudorecombinant viruses carrying the spike proteins from the respiratory strain and the enteric virus in their envelopes were formed. These results demonstrated that a change in the tropism and virulence of TGEV can be engineered by sequence changes in the S gene. PMID:10438851

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

    PubMed

    Amich, Jorge; Dümig, Michaela; O'Keeffe, Gráinne; Binder, Jasmin; Doyle, Sean; Beilhack, Andreas; Krappmann, Sven

    2016-04-01

    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 ofA. fumigatus during pathogenesis, a prerequisite to understanding and fighting infection. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  14. Molecular Characterization of N-glycan Degradation and Transport in Streptococcus pneumoniae and Its Contribution to Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Robb, Melissa; Hobbs, Joanne K.; Suits, Michael D. L.; McGregor, Nicholas; Brumer, Harry; Yesilkaya, Hasan; Boraston, Alisdair B.

    2017-01-01

    The carbohydrate-rich coating of human tissues and cells provide a first point of contact for colonizing and invading bacteria. Commensurate with N-glycosylation being an abundant form of protein glycosylation that has critical functional roles in the host, some host-adapted bacteria possess the machinery to process N-linked glycans. The human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae depolymerizes complex N-glycans with enzymes that sequentially trim a complex N-glycan down to the Man3GlcNAc2 core prior to the release of the glycan from the protein by endo-β-N-acetylglucosaminidase (EndoD), which cleaves between the two GlcNAc residues. Here we examine the capacity of S. pneumoniae to process high-mannose N-glycans and transport the products. Through biochemical and structural analyses we demonstrate that S. pneumoniae also possesses an α-(1,2)-mannosidase (SpGH92). This enzyme has the ability to trim the terminal α-(1,2)-linked mannose residues of high-mannose N-glycans to generate Man5GlcNAc2. Through this activity SpGH92 is able to produce a substrate for EndoD, which is not active on high-mannose glycans with α-(1,2)-linked mannose residues. Binding studies and X-ray crystallography show that NgtS, the solute binding protein of an ABC transporter (ABCNG), is able to bind Man5GlcNAc, a product of EndoD activity, with high affinity. Finally, we evaluated the contribution of EndoD and ABCNG to growth of S. pneumoniae on a model N-glycosylated glycoprotein, and the contribution of these enzymes and SpGH92 to virulence in a mouse model. We found that both EndoD and ABCNG contribute to growth of S. pneumoniae, but that only SpGH92 and EndoD contribute to virulence. Therefore, N-glycan processing, but not transport of the released glycan, is required for full virulence in S. pneumoniae. To conclude, we synthesize our findings into a model of N-glycan processing by S. pneumoniae in which both complex and high-mannose N-glycans are targeted, and in which the two arms of

  15. Distribution of Virulence Factors and Molecular Fingerprinting of Aeromonas Species Isolates from Water and Clinical Samples: Suggestive Evidence of Water-to-Human Transmission ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Khajanchi, Bijay K.; Fadl, Amin A.; Borchardt, Mark A.; Berg, Richard L.; Horneman, Amy J.; Stemper, Mary E.; Joseph, Sam W.; Moyer, Nelson P.; Sha, Jian; Chopra, Ashok K.

    2010-01-01

    A total of 227 isolates of Aeromonas obtained from different geographical locations in the United States and different parts of the world, including 28 reference strains, were analyzed to determine the presence of various virulence factors. These isolates were also fingerprinted using biochemical identification and pulse-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Of these 227 isolates, 199 that were collected from water and clinical samples belonged to three major groups or complexes, namely, the A. hydrophila group, the A. caviae-A. media group, and the A. veronii-A. sobria group, based on biochemical profiles, and they had various pulsotypes. When virulence factor activities were examined, Aeromonas isolates obtained from clinical sources had higher cytotoxic activities than isolates obtained from water sources for all three Aeromonas species groups. Likewise, the production of quorum-sensing signaling molecules, such as N-acyl homoserine lactone, was greater in clinical isolates than in isolates from water for the A. caviae-A. media and A. hydrophila groups. Based on colony blot DNA hybridization, the heat-labile cytotonic enterotoxin gene and the DNA adenosine methyltransferase gene were more prevalent in clinical isolates than in water isolates for all three Aeromonas groups. Using colony blot DNA hybridization and PFGE, we obtained three sets of water and clinical isolates that had the same virulence signature and had indistinguishable PFGE patterns. In addition, all of these isolates belonged to the A. caviae-A. media group. The findings of the present study provide the first suggestive evidence of successful colonization and infection by particular strains of certain Aeromonas species after transmission from water to humans. PMID:20154106

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Molecular and Functional Characterization of Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium poxA Gene: Effect on Attenuation of Virulence and Protection

    PubMed Central

    Kaniga, Koné; Compton, Melissa S.; Curtiss, Roy; Sundaram, Preeti

    1998-01-01

    Salmonella enterica poxA mutants exhibit a pleiotropic phenotype, including reduced pyruvate oxidase activity; reduced growth rate; and hypersensitivity to the herbicide sulfometuron methyl, α-ketobutyrate, and amino acid analogs. These mutants also failed to grow in the presence of the host antimicrobial peptide, protamine. In this study, PoxA− mutants of S. enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. typhimurium) were found to be 10,000-fold attenuated in orally inoculated BALB/c mice and 1,000-fold attenuated in intraperitoneally inoculated BALB/c mice, compared to wild-type S. typhimurium UK-1. In addition, poxA mutants were found to be capable of colonizing the spleen, mesenteric lymph nodes, and Peyer’s patches; to induce strong humoral immune responses; and to protect mice against a lethal wild-type Salmonella challenge. A 2-kb DNA fragment was isolated from wild-type S. typhimurium UK-1 based on its ability to complement an isogenic poxA mutant. The nucleotide sequence of this DNA fragment revealed an open reading frame of 325 amino acids capable of encoding a polypeptide of 36.8 kDa that was confirmed in the bacteriophage T7 expression system. Comparison of the translated sequence to the available databases indicated high homology to a family of lysyl-tRNA synthetases. Our results indicate that a mutation of poxA has an attenuating effect on Salmonella virulence. Further, poxA mutants are immunogenic and could be useful in designing live vaccines with a variety of bacterial species. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the effect of poxA mutation on bacterial virulence. PMID:9826331

  19. Molecular evolution of the substrate utilization strategies and putative virulence factors in mosquito-associated Spiroplasma species.

    PubMed

    Chang, Tean-Hsu; Lo, Wen-Sui; Ku, Chuan; Chen, Ling-Ling; Kuo, Chih-Horng

    2014-03-01

    Comparative genomics provides a powerful tool to characterize the genetic differences among species that may be linked to their phenotypic variations. In the case of mosquito-associated Spiroplasma species, such approach is useful for the investigation of their differentiations in substrate utilization strategies and putative virulence factors. Among the four species that have been assessed for pathogenicity by artificial infection experiments, Spiroplasma culicicola and S. taiwanense were found to be pathogenic, whereas S. diminutum and S. sabaudiense were not. Intriguingly, based on the species phylogeny, the association with mosquito hosts and the gain or loss of pathogenicity in these species appears to have evolved independently. Through comparison of their complete genome sequences, we identified the genes and pathways that are shared by all or specific to one of these four species. Notably, we found that a glycerol-3-phosphate oxidase gene (glpO) is present in S. culicicola and S. taiwanense but not in S. diminutum or S. sabaudiense. Because this gene is involved in the production of reactive oxygen species and has been demonstrated as a major virulence factor in Mycoplasma, this distribution pattern suggests that it may be linked to the observed differences in pathogenicity among these species as well. Moreover, through comparative analysis with other Spiroplasma, Mycoplasma, and Mesoplasma species, we found that the absence of glpO in S. diminutum and S. sabaudiense is best explained by independent losses. Finally, our phylogenetic analyses revealed possible recombination of glpO between distantly related lineages and local rearrangements of adjacent genes.

  20. Absolute configuration determination using enantiomeric pairs of molecularly imprinted polymers.

    PubMed

    Meador, Danielle S; Spivak, David A

    2014-03-07

    A new method for determination of absolute configuration (AC) is demonstrated using an enantiomeric pair of molecularly imprinted polymers, referred to as "DuoMIPs". The ratio of HPLC capacity factors (k') for the analyte on each of the DuoMIPs is defined as the γ factor and can be used to determine AC when above 1.2. A mnemonic based on the complementary binding geometry of the DuoMIPs was used to aid in understanding and prediction of AC.

  1. A single base pair in the right terminal domain of tomato planta macho viroid is a virulence determinant factor on tomato.

    PubMed

    Li, Rugang; Padmanabhan, Chellappan; Ling, Kai-Shu

    2017-01-01

    Tomato planta macho viroid (TPMVd), including isolates previously designated as Mexican papita viroid (MPVd), causes serious disease on tomatoes in North America. Two predominant variants, sharing 93.8% sequence identity, incited distinct severe (MPVd-S) or mild (MPVd-M) symptoms on tomato. To identify virulence determinant factor, a series of chimeric infectious clones were generated using synthetic DNA approach to progressively replace each structural domain between the two variants. In bioassays on tomato 'Rutgers', three chimeras containing Terminal Left and Pathogenicity (MPVd-H1), Central (MPVd-H2), or Variable (MPVd-H3) of MPVd-S, incited mild to intermediate symptoms. However, a chimera containing Terminal Right (TR) of MPVd-S (MPVd-H4) incited severe symptoms. Only one base-pair mutation in the TR domain between MPVd-M (176U:A185) and MPVd-S (174G:C183) was identified. A reciprocal mutant (MPVd-H5) rendered the chimeric viroid mild on tomato. This single base-pair in the TR domain was determined as the virulence determinant factor for TPMVd. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  2. Modulation of HIV-1 virulence via the host glucocorticoid receptor: towards further understanding the molecular mechanisms of HIV-1 pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Hapgood, Janet Patricia; Tomasicchio, Michele

    2010-07-01

    The glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is a steroid receptor that regulates diverse functions, which include the immune response. In humans, the GR acts via binding to cortisol, resulting in the transcriptional modulation of key host genes. Several lines of evidence suggest that the host GR could be a key protein exploited by HIV at multiple levels to ensure its pathogenic success. Endogenous and therapeutic glucocorticoids play important roles in patients with HIV due to their well-established effects on immune function. AIDS patients develop glucocorticoid hypersensitivity, consistent with a mechanism involving an HIV-1-induced increase in expression or activity of the GR. Both the HIV-1 accessory protein Vpr and the host GR affect transcription of viral proteins from the long terminal repeat (LTR) region of the HIV-1 promoter. In addition, Vpr modulates host GR function to affect transcription of host genes, most likely via direct interaction with the GR. Vpr appears to regulate GR function by acting as a co-activator for the GR. Since both the GR and Vpr are involved in apoptosis in T cells and dendritic cells, crosstalk between these proteins may also regulate apoptosis in these and other cells. Given that cortisol is not the only ligand that activates the GR, other endogenous as well as synthetic GR ligands such as progestins may also modulate HIV pathogenesis, in particular in the cervicovaginal environment. Investigating the molecular determinants, ligand-selectivity and role in HIV pathogenesis of the GR-Vpr interaction may lead to new strategies for development of anti-HIV drugs.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Genomics-Based Exploration of Virulence Determinants and Host-Specific Adaptations of Pseudomonas syringae Strains Isolated from Grasses

    PubMed Central

    Dudnik, Alexey; Dudler, Robert

    2014-01-01

    The Pseudomonas syringae species complex has recently been named the number one plant pathogen, due to its economic and environmental impacts, as well as for its role in scientific research. The bacterium has been repeatedly reported to cause outbreaks on bean, cucumber, stone fruit, kiwi and olive tree, as well as on other crop and non-crop plants. It also serves as a model organism for research on the Type III secretion system (T3SS) and plant-pathogen interactions. While most of the current work on this pathogen is either carried out on one of three model strains found on dicot plants with completely sequenced genomes or on isolates obtained from recent outbreaks, not much is known about strains isolated from grasses (Poaceae). Here, we use comparative genomics in order to identify putative virulence-associated genes and other Poaceae-specific adaptations in several newly available genome sequences of strains isolated from grass species. All strains possess only a small number of known Type III effectors, therefore pointing to the importance of non-Type III secreted virulence factors. The implications of this finding are discussed. PMID:25437611

  6. Molecular Interaction of the Shigella Flexneri Protein H-NS and Its Significance in the Temperature Regulation of Virulence

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1999-01-22

    many bacteria. In E. coli, Proteus vulgaris , S. typhimurium, Serratia marcescens and S. flexneri, there is a high degree of homology both at the...seems to increase as we learn more about the biochemistry and molecular biology of this protein. Thus, we know that hn s is a highly conserved...implications for bac terial pathogens. In C. E. Hormaeche, C. w. 56 Penn, and C. J. Smyth, (eds.), Molecular Biology of Bacterial Infection: Current

  7. Molecular epidemiology of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli in Tunisia and characterization of their virulence factors and plasmid addiction systems

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs), particularly CTX-M- type ESBLs, are among the most important resistance determinants spreading worldwide in Enterobacteriaceae. The aim of this study was to characterize a collection of 163 ESBL-producing Escherichia coli collected in Tunisia, their ESBL-encoding plasmids and plasmid associated addiction systems. Results The collection comprised 163 ESBL producers collected from two university hospitals of Sfax between 1989 and 2009. 118 isolates harbored blaCTX-M gene (101 blaCTX-M-15 gene and 17 blaCTX-M-14 gene). 49 isolates carried blaSHV-12 gene, 9 blaSHV-2a gene and only 3 blaTEM-26 gene. 16 isolates produced both CTX-M and SHV-12. The 101 CTX-M-15-producing isolates were significantly associated to phylogroup B2 and exhibiting a high number of virulence factors. 24 (23.7%) of the group B2 isolates belonged to clonal complex ST131. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) typing revealed a genetic diversity of the isolates. 144 ESBL determinants were transferable mostly by conjugation. The majority of plasmid carrying blaCTX-M-15 genes (72/88) were assigned to various single replicon or multireplicon IncF types and had significantly a higher frequency of addiction systems, notably the VagCD module. Conclusion This study demonstrates that the dissemination of CTX-M-15 producing E. coli in our setting was due to the spread of various IncF-type plasmids harboring multiple addiction systems, into related clones with high frequency of virulence determinants. PMID:23800277

  8. SarA, a global regulator of virulence determinants in Staphylococcus aureus, binds to a conserved motif essential for sar-dependent gene regulation.

    PubMed

    Chien, Y; Manna, A C; Projan, S J; Cheung, A L

    1999-12-24

    The expression of many virulence determinants in Staphylococcus aureus including alpha-hemolysin-, protein A-, and fibronectin-binding proteins is controlled by global regulatory loci such as sar and agr. In addition to controlling target gene expression via agr (e.g. alpha-hemolysin), the sar locus can also regulate target gene transcription via agr-independent mechanisms. In particular, we have found that SarA, the major regulatory protein encoded within sar, binds to a conserved sequence, homologous to the SarA-binding site on the agr promoter, upstream of the -35 promoter boxes of several target genes including hla (alpha-hemolysin gene), spa (protein A gene), fnb (fibronectin-binding protein genes), and sec (enterotoxin C gene). Deletion of the SarA recognition motif in the promoter regions of agr and hla in shuttle plasmids rendered the transcription of these genes undetectable in agr and hla mutants, respectively. Likewise, the transcription activity of spa (a gene normally repressed by sar), as measured by a XylE reporter fusion assay, became derepressed in a wild type strain containing a shuttle plasmid in which the SarA recognition site had been deleted from the spa promoter region. However, DNase I footprinting assays demonstrated that the SarA-binding region on the spa and hla promoter is more extensive than the predicted consensus sequence, thus raising the possibility that the consensus sequence is an activation site within a larger binding region. Because the sar and agr regulate an assortment of virulence factors in S. aureus, we propose, based on our data, a unifying hypothesis for virulence gene activation in S. aureus whereby SarA is a regulatory protein that binds to its consensus SarA recognition motif to activate (e.g. hla) or repress (e.g. spa) the transcription of sar target genes, thus accounting for both agr-dependent and agr-independent mode of regulation.

  9. Molecular Characterization of Podoviral Bacteriophages Virulent for Clostridium perfringens and Their Comparison with Members of the Picovirinae

    PubMed Central

    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

  10. 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.

  11. A low-virulence Eimeria intestinalis isolate from rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in China: molecular identification, pathogenicity, and immunogenicity.

    PubMed

    Shi, Tuanyuan; Bao, Guolian; Fu, Yuan; Suo, Xun; Hao, Lili

    2014-03-01

    An Eimeria intestinalis isolated from a rabbit in China was first identified by amplifying the 18S small subunit (SSU) ribosomal RNA gene. The size of the amplified fragment was 1521 bp. The 18S SSU RNA gene of the E. intestinalis isolate shared 99% sequence identity with E. intestinalis isolates from France and the Czech Republic, with 100 and 96% coverage, respectively. Then, the pathogenicity and immunogenicity of the E. intestinalis isolate were evaluated in specific pathogen free (SPF) rabbits. In the pathogenicity assay, SPF rabbits in four groups were infected with 5 × 10(3), 5 × 10(4), 5 × 10(5), and 0 sporulated oocysts, respectively. Clinical signs including diarrhoea, constipation, loss of appetite, and reduction of body weight gain were observed in rabbits inoculated with 5 × 10(4) and 5 × 10(5) oocysts. And one rabbit (25 %) inoculated with 5 × 10(5) oocysts died 15 days after the inoculation. In the immunogenicity assay, SPF rabbits in five groups (named B1, B2, B3, B4, and B5) were immunised with 5 × 10(1), 5 × 10(2), 5 × 10(3), 0, and 0 sporulated oocysts, respectively. All rabbits but the B5 group were challenged with 1 × 10(6) oocysts. After the challenge, no or slight clinical signs were seen in rabbits of the B2 and B3 groups. Compared with the control, a 69.6 and 84.5% reduction of oocyst output was observed in the B2 and B3 groups, respectively. The body weight gain of the two groups was obviously higher than that of the challenge control group. All the results show that the E. intestinalis isolate has low virulence but immunogenicity in rabbit.

  12. 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.

  13. Streptolysin O: Sedimentation Coefficient and Molecular Weight Determinations

    PubMed Central

    Van Epps, Dennis E.; Andersen, Burton R.

    1969-01-01

    The sedimentation coefficient of streptolysin O as determined by sucrose density gradient ultracentrifugation is 3.7S. An approximate molecular weight of 60,500 was calculated from the sedimentation velocity, and a similar value was obtained by Sephadex gel filtration. There was no measurable difference in the sedimentation coefficient of streptolysin O in either the active or reversibly inactive forms, indicating that there were at most only minor conformational differences between the two forms. PMID:5344112

  14. Molecular Determinants Fundamental to Axon Regeneration after SCI

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-10-01

    adult zebrafish (Specific Aim 1). We also will examine in vivo the role of PTP σ in inhibition of axon regeneration (Specific Aim 2). In addition, we...AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-11-1-0645 TITLE: Molecular Determinants Fundamental to Axon Regeneration ... Regeneration after SCI 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-11-1-0645 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) 5d. PROJECT NUMBER Jeffrey Alan Plunkett, Ph.D

  15. Chromobacterium pathogenicity island 1 type III secretion system is a major virulence determinant for Chromobacterium violaceum-induced cell death in hepatocytes.

    PubMed

    Miki, Tsuyoshi; Iguchi, Mirei; Akiba, Kinari; Hosono, Masato; Sobue, Tomoyoshi; Danbara, Hirofumi; Okada, Nobuhiko

    2010-08-01

    Chromobacterium violaceum is a Gram-negative bacterium that causes fatal septicaemia in humans and animals. C. violaceum ATCC 12472 possesses genes associated with two distinct type III secretion systems (T3SSs). One of these systems is encoded by Chromobacterium pathogenicity islands 1 and 1a (Cpi-1/-1a), another is encoded by Chromobacterium pathogenicity island 2 (Cpi-2). Here we show that C. violaceum causes fulminant hepatitis in a mouse infection model, and Cpi-1/-1a-encoded T3SS is required for its virulence. In addition, using C. violaceum strains with defined mutations in the genes that encode the Cpi-1/-1a or Cpi-2 locus in combination with cultured mammalian cell lines, we found that C. violaceum is able to induce cytotoxicity in a Cpi-1/-1a-dependent manner. Characterization of Chromobacterium-induced cytotoxicity revealed that cell lysis by C. violaceum infection involves the formation of pore structures on the host cell membrane, as demonstrated by protection by cytotoxicity in the presence of osmoprotectants. Finally, we demonstrated that CipB, a Cpi-1/-1a effector, is implicated in translocator-mediated pore formation and the ability of CipB to form a pore is essential for Chromobacterium-induced cytotoxicity. These results strongly suggest that Cpi-1/-1a-encoded T3SS is a virulence determinant that causes fatal infection by the induction of cell death in hepatocytes.

  16. Distribution of antimicrobial resistance determinants, virulence-associated factors and clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats loci in isolates of Enterococcus faecalis from various settings and genetic lineages.

    PubMed

    Gawryszewska, Iwona; Malinowska, Katarzyna; Kuch, Alicja; Chrobak-Chmiel, Dorota; Trokenheim, Lucja Laniewska-; Hryniewicz, Waleria; Sadowy, Ewa

    2017-03-01

    Enterococcus faecalis represents an important factor of hospital-associated infections (HAIs). The knowledge on its evolution from a commensal to an opportunistic pathogen is still limited; thus, we performed a study to characterise distribution of factors that may contribute to this adaptation. Using a collection obtained from various settings (hospitalised patients, community carriers, animals, fresh food, sewage, water), we investigated differences in antimicrobial susceptibility, distribution of antimicrobial resistance genes, virulence-associated determinants and phenotypes, and CRISPR loci in the context of the clonal relatedness of isolates. Bayesian Analysis of Population Structure revealed the presence of three major groups; two subgroups comprised almost exclusively HAI isolates, belonging to previously proposed enterococcal high-risk clonal complexes (HiRECCs) 6 and 28. Isolates of these two subgroups were significantly enriched in antimicrobial resistance genes, presumably produced a polysaccharide capsule and often carried the aggregation substance asa1; distribution of other virulence-associated genes, such as esp and cyl, formation of a biofilm and gelatinase production were more variable. Moreover, both subgroups showed a low prevalence of CRISPR-Cas 1 and 3 and presence of small CRISPR2 variants. Our study confirms the importance of HiRECCs in the population of E. faecalis and their confinement to the hospital settings. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Evaluation of North American isolates of Soybean mosaic virus for gain of virulence on Rsv-genotype soybeans with special emphasis on resistance-breaking determinants on Rsv4.

    PubMed

    Khatabi, B; Fajolu, O L; Wen, R-H; Hajimorad, M R

    2012-12-01

    Resistance to Soybean mosaic virus (SMV) in soybean is conferred by three dominant genes: Rsv1, Rsv3 and Rsv4. Over the years, scientists in the USA have utilized a set of standard pathotypes, SMV-G1 to SMV-G7, to study interaction with Rsv-genotype soybeans. However, these pathotypes were isolated from a collection of imported soybean germplasm over 30 years ago. In this study, 35 SMV field isolates collected in recent years from 11 states were evaluated for gain of virulence on soybean genotypes containing individual Rsv genes. All isolates were avirulent on L78-379 (Rsv1), whereas 19 were virulent on L29 (Rsv3). On PI88788 (Rsv4), 14 of 15 isolates tested were virulent; however, only one was capable of systemically infecting all of the inoculated V94-5152 (Rsv4). Nevertheless, virulent variants from 11 other field isolates were rapidly selected on initial inoculation onto V94-5152 (Rsv4). The P3 cistrons of the original isolates and their variants on Rsv4-genotype soybeans were sequenced. Analysis showed that virulence on PI88788 (Rsv4) was not associated, in general, with selection of any new amino acid, whereas Q1033K and G1054R substitutions were consistently selected on V94-5152 (Rsv4). The role of Q1033K and G1054R substitutions, individually or in combination, in virulence on V94-5152 (Rsv4) was confirmed on reconstruction in the P3 cistron of avirulent SMV-N, followed by biolistic inoculation. Collectively, our data demonstrate that SMV has evolved virulence towards Rsv3 and Rsv4, but not Rsv1, in the USA. Furthermore, they confirm that SMV virulence determinants on V94-5152 (Rsv4) reside on P3.

  18. Genetic Determinants of Japanese Encephalitis Virus Vaccine Strain SA14-14-2 That Govern Attenuation of Virulence in Mice.

    PubMed

    Gromowski, Gregory D; Firestone, Cai-Yen; Whitehead, Stephen S

    2015-06-01

    The safety and efficacy of the live-attenuated Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) SA14-14-2 vaccine are attributed to mutations that accumulated in the viral genome during its derivation. However, little is known about the contribution that is made by most of these mutations to virulence attenuation and vaccine immunogenicity. Here, we generated recombinant JEV (rJEV) strains containing JEV SA14-14-2 vaccine-specific mutations that are located in the untranslated regions (UTRs) and seven protein genes or are introduced from PCR-amplified regions of the JEV SA14-14-2 genome. The resulting mutant viruses were evaluated in tissue culture and in mice. The authentic JEV SA14-14-2 (E) protein, with amino acid substitutions L107F, E138K, I176V, T177A, E244G, Q264H, K279M, A315V, S366A, and K439R relative to the wild-type rJEV clone, was essential and sufficient for complete attenuation of neurovirulence. Individually, the nucleotide substitution T39A in the 5' UTR (5'-UTR-T39A), the capsid (C) protein amino acid substitution L66S (C-L66S), and the complete NS1/2A genome region containing 10 mutations each significantly reduced virus neuroinvasion but not neurovirulence. The levels of peripheral virulence attenuation imposed by the 5'-UTR-T39A and C-L66S mutations, individually, were somewhat mitigated in combination with other vaccine strain-specific mutations, which might be compensatory, and together did not affect immunogenicity. However, a marked reduction in immunogenicity was observed with the addition of the NS1/2A and NS5 vaccine virus genome regions. These results suggest that a second-generation recombinant vaccine can be rationally engineered to maximize levels of immunogenicity without compromising safety. The live-attenuated JEV SA14-14-2 vaccine has been vital for controlling the incidence of disease caused by JEV, particularly in rural areas of Asia where it is endemic. The vaccine was developed >25 years ago by passaging wild-type JEV strain SA14 in tissue

  19. Antimicrobial resistance and molecular characterization of virulence genes, phylogenetic groups of Escherichia coli isolated from diarrheic and healthy camel-calves in Tunisia.

    PubMed

    Bessalah, Salma; Fairbrother, John Morris; Salhi, Imed; Vanier, Ghyslaine; Khorchani, Touhami; Seddik, Mouldi Mabrouk; Hammadi, Mohamed

    2016-12-01

    This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of virulence genes, serogroups, antimicrobial resistance and phylogenetic groups of Escherichia coli strains isolated from diarrheic and healthy camel calves in Tunisia. From 120 fecal samples (62 healthy and 58 diarrheic camel calves aged less than 3 months), 70 E. coli isolates (53 from diarrheic herds and 17 from healthy herds) were examined by PCR for detection of the virulence genes associated with pathogenic E. coli in animals. A significantly greater frequency of the f17 gene was observed in individual camels and in herds with diarrhea, this gene being found in 44.7% and 41.5% of isolates from camels and herds with diarrhea versus 22.5% and 11.7% in camels (p=0.05) and herds without diarrhea (p=0.02). The aida, cnf1/2, f18, stx2 and paa genes were found only in isolates from camels with diarrhea, although at a low prevalence, 1.8%, 3.7%, 1.8%, 3.7% and 11.3%, respectively. Prevalence of afa8, cdtB, eae, east1, iroN, iss, kpsMTII, paa, sfa, tsh and papC genes did not differ significantly between herds with or without diarrhea. Genes coding for faeG, fanC, f41, estI, estII, CS31a and eltA were not detected in any isolates. All isolates were sensitive to amikacin, chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, gentamicin and ceftiofur and the highest frequency of resistance was observed to tetracycline, and ampicillin (52.8% and 37.1% respectively). The phylogenetic groups were identified by conventional triplex PCR. Results showed that E. coli strains segregated mainly in phylogenetic group B1, 52.8% in diarrheic herds and 52.9% in healthy herds. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  1. Local structure in anisotropic systems determined by molecular dynamics simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komolkin, Andrei V.; Maliniak, Arnold

    In the present communication we describe the investigation of local structure using a new visualization technique. The approach is based on two-dimensional pair correlation functions derived from a molecular dynamics computer simulation. We have used this method to analyse a trajectory produced in a simulation of a nematic liquid crystal of 4-n-pentyl-4'-cyanobiphenyl (5CB) (Komolkin et al., 1994, J. chem. Phys., 101, 4103). The molecule is assumed to have cylindrical symmetry, and the liquid crystalline phase is treated as uniaxial. The pair correlation functions or cylindrical distribution functions (CDFs) are calculated in the molecular (m) and laboratory (l) frames, gm2(z1 2, d1 2) and g12(Z1 2, D1 2). Anisotropic molecular organization in the liquid crystal is reflected in laboratory frame CDFs. The molecular excluded volume is determined and the effect of the fast motion in the alkyl chain is observed. The intramolecular distributions are included in the CDFs and indicate the size of the motional amplitude in the chain. Absence of long range order was confirmed, a feature typical for a nematic liquid crystal.

  2. Determination Quantification of Molecular Interactions in Protein Films: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Hammann, Felicia; Schmid, Markus

    2014-01-01

    Protein based films are nowadays also prepared with the aim of replacing expensive, crude oil-based polymers as environmentally friendly and renewable alternatives. The protein structure determines the ability of protein chains to form intra- and intermolecular bonds, whereas the degree of cross-linking depends on the amino acid composition and molecular weight of the protein, besides the conditions used in film preparation and processing. The functionality varies significantly depending on the type of protein and affects the resulting film quality and properties. This paper reviews the methods used in examination of molecular interactions in protein films and discusses how these intermolecular interactions can be quantified. The qualitative determination methods can be distinguished by structural analysis of solutions (electrophoretic analysis, size exclusion chromatography) and analysis of solid films (spectroscopy techniques, X-ray scattering methods). To quantify molecular interactions involved, two methods were found to be the most suitable: protein film swelling and solubility. The importance of non-covalent and covalent interactions in protein films can be investigated using different solvents. The research was focused on whey protein, whereas soy protein and wheat gluten were included as further examples of proteins. PMID:28788285

  3. Poxvirus targeting of E3 ligase β-TrCP by molecular mimicry: a mechanism to inhibit NF-κB activation and promote immune evasion and virulence.

    PubMed

    Mansur, Daniel S; Maluquer de Motes, Carlos; Unterholzner, Leonie; Sumner, Rebecca P; Ferguson, Brian J; Ren, Hongwei; Strnadova, Pavla; Bowie, Andrew G; Smith, Geoffrey L

    2013-02-01

    The transcription factor NF-κB is essential for immune responses against pathogens and its activation requires the phosphorylation, ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation of IκBα. Here we describe an inhibitor of NF-κB from vaccinia virus that has a closely related counterpart in variola virus, the cause of smallpox, and mechanistic similarity with the HIV protein Vpu. Protein A49 blocks NF-κB activation by molecular mimicry and contains a motif conserved in IκBα which, in IκBα, is phosphorylated by IKKβ causing ubiquitination and degradation. Like IκBα, A49 binds the E3 ligase β-TrCP, thereby preventing ubiquitination and degradation of IκBα. Consequently, A49 stabilised phosphorylated IκBα (p-IκBα) and its interaction with p65, so preventing p65 nuclear translocation. Serine-to-alanine mutagenesis within the IκBα-like motif of A49 abolished β-TrCP binding, stabilisation of p-IκBα and inhibition of NF-κB activation. Remarkably, despite encoding nine other inhibitors of NF-κB, a VACV lacking A49 showed reduced virulence in vivo.

  4. Molecular and proteomic analyses highlight the importance of ubiquitination for the stress resistance, metabolic adaptation, morphogenetic regulation and virulence of Candida albicans

    PubMed Central

    Leach, Michelle D; Stead, David A; Argo, Evelyn; MacCallum, Donna M; Brown, Alistair J P

    2011-01-01

    Post-translational modifications of proteins play key roles in eukaryotic growth, differentiation and environmental adaptation. In model systems the ubiquitination of specific proteins contributes to the control of cell cycle progression, stress adaptation and metabolic reprogramming. We have combined molecular, cellular and proteomic approaches to examine the roles of ubiquitination in Candida albicans, because little is known about ubiquitination in this major fungal pathogen of humans. Independent null (ubi4/ubi4) and conditional (MET3p-UBI4/ubi4) mutations were constructed at the C. albicans polyubiquitin-encoding locus. These mutants displayed morphological and cell cycle defects, as well as sensitivity to thermal, oxidative and cell wall stresses. Furthermore, ubi4/ubi4 cells rapidly lost viability under starvation conditions. Consistent with these phenotypes, proteins with roles in stress responses (Gnd1, Pst2, Ssb1), metabolism (Acs2, Eno1, Fba1, Gpd2, Pdx3, Pgk1, Tkl1) and ubiquitination (Ubi4, Ubi3, Pre1, Pre3, Rpt5) were among the ubiquitination targets we identified, further indicating that ubiquitination plays key roles in growth, stress responses and metabolic adaptation in C. albicans. Clearly ubiquitination plays key roles in the regulation of fundamental cellular processes that underpin the pathogenicity of this medically important fungus. This was confirmed by the observation that the virulence of C. albicans ubi4/ubi4 cells is significantly attenuated. PMID:21269335

  5. The Classical Lancefield Antigen of Group A Streptococcus is a Virulence Determinant with Implications for Vaccine Design

    PubMed Central

    Kuipers, Kirsten; Henningham, Anna; Aziz, Ramy K.; Kasirer-Friede, Ana; Lin, Leo; Berends, Evelien T.M.; Davies, Mark R.; Dougan, Gordon; Zhang, Fan; Dahesh, Samira; Shaw, Laura; Gin, Jennifer; Cunningham, Madeleine; Merriman, Joseph A.; Hütter, Julia; Lepenies, Bernd; Rooijakkers, Suzan H.M.; Malley, Richard; Walker, Mark J.; Shattil, Sanford J.; Schlievert, Patrick M.; Choudhury, Biswa; Nizet, Victor

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is a leading cause of infection-related mortality in humans. All GAS serotypes express the Lancefield group A carbohydrate (GAC), comprising a polyrhamnose backbone with an immunodominant N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) side chain, which is the basis of rapid diagnostic tests. No biological function has been attributed to this conserved antigen. Here we identify and characterize the GAC biosynthesis genes,gacA-L. An isogenic mutant of the glycosyltransferase gacI, which is defective for GlcNAcside chain addition, is attenuated for virulence in two infection models, in association with increased sensitivity to neutrophil killing, platelet-derived antimicrobials in serum and the cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide LL-37. Antibodies to GAC lacking the GlcNAc side chain and containing only polyrhamnose promoted opsonophagocytic killing of multiple GAS serotypes and protected against systemic GAS challenge after passive immunization. Thus, the Lancefield antigen plays a functional role in GAS pathogenesis and its understanding has implications for vaccine development. PMID:24922575

  6. Genomic Insights and Its Comparative Analysis with Yersinia enterocolitica Reveals the Potential Virulence Determinants and Further Pathogenicity for Foodborne Outbreaks.

    PubMed

    Gnanasekaran, Gopalsamy; Na, Eun Jung; Chung, Han Young; Kim, Suyeon; Kim, You-Tae; Kwak, Woori; Kim, Heebal; Ryu, Sangryeol; Choi, Sang Ho; Lee, Ju-Hoon

    2017-02-28

    Yersinia enterocolitica is a well-known foodborne pathogen causing gastrointestinal infections worldwide. The strain Y. enterocolitica FORC_002 was isolated from the gill of flatfish (plaice) and its genome was sequenced. The genomic DNA consists of 4,837,317 bp with a GC content of 47.1%, and is predicted to contain 4,221 open reading frames, 81 tRNA genes, and 26 rRNA genes. Interestingly, genomic analysis revealed pathogenesis and host immune evasion-associated genes encoding guanylate cyclase (Yst), invasin (Ail and Inv), outer membrane protein (Yops), autotransporter adhesin A (YadA), RTX-like toxins, and a type III secretion system. In particular, guanylate cyclase is a heat-stable enterotoxin causing Yersinia-associated diarrhea, and RTX-like toxins are responsible for attachment to integrin on the target cell for cytotoxic action. This genome can be used to identify virulence factors that can be applied for the development of novel biomarkers for the rapid detection of this pathogen in foods.

  7. Lack of a type-2 glycosyltransferase in the fish pathogen Flavobacterium psychrophilum determines pleiotropic changes and loss of virulence.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Pascual, David; Gómez, Esther; Guijarro, José A

    2015-01-13

    Flavobacterium psychrophilum is an important fish pathogen, responsible for Cold Water Disease, with a significant economic impact on salmonid farms worldwide. In spite of this, little is known about the bacterial physiology and pathogenesis mechanisms, maybe because it is difficult to manipulate, being considered a fastidious microorganism. Mutants obtained using a Tn4351 transposon were screened in order to identify those with alteration in colony morphology, colony spreading and extracellular proteolytic activity, amongst other phenotypes. A F. psychrophilum mutant lacking gliding motility showed interruption of the FP1638 locus that encodes a putative type-2 glycosyltransferase (from here on referred to as fpgA gene, Flavobacterium psychrophilum glycosyltransferase). Additionally, the mutant also showed a decrease in the extracellular proteolytic activity as a consequence of down regulation in the fpgA mutant background of the fpp2-fpp1 operon promoter, responsible for the major extracellular proteolytic activity of the bacterium. The protein glycosylation profile of the parental strain showed the presence of a 22 kDa glycosylated protein which is lost in the mutant. Complementation with the fpgA gene led to the recovery of the wild-type phenotype. LD50 experiments in the rainbow trout infection model show that the mutant was highly attenuated. The pleiotropic phenotype of the mutant demonstrated the importance of this glycosyltranferase in the physiology and virulence of the bacterium. Moreover, the fpgA mutant strain could be considered a good candidate for the design of an attenuated vaccine.

  8. 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.

  9. Molecular determinants of pathogenesis and clinical phenotype in myeloproliferative neoplasms

    PubMed Central

    Grinfeld, Jacob; Nangalia, Jyoti; Green, Anthony R.

    2017-01-01

    The myeloproliferative neoplasms are a heterogeneous group of clonal disorders characterized by the overproduction of mature cells in the peripheral blood, together with an increased risk of thrombosis and progression to acute myeloid leukemia. The majority of patients with Philadelphia-chromosome negative myeloproliferative neoplasms harbor somatic mutations in Janus kinase 2, leading to constitutive activation. Acquired mutations in calreticulin or myeloproliferative leukemia virus oncogene are found in a significant number of patients with essential thrombocythemia or myelofibrosis, and mutations in numerous epigenetic regulators and spliceosome components are also seen. Although the cellular and molecular consequences of many of these mutations remain unclear, it seems likely that they interact with germline and microenvironmental factors to influence disease pathogenesis. This review will focus on the determinants of specific myeloproliferative neoplasm phenotypes as well as on how an improved understanding of molecular mechanisms can inform our understanding of the disease entities themselves. PMID:27909216

  10. Virulence determinants of pandemic A(H1N1)2009 influenza virus in a mouse model.

    PubMed

    Uraki, Ryuta; Kiso, Maki; Shinya, Kyoko; Goto, Hideo; Takano, Ryo; Iwatsuki-Horimoto, Kiyoko; Takahashi, Kazuo; Daniels, Rod S; Hungnes, Olav; Watanabe, Tokiko; Kawaoka, Yoshihiro

    2013-02-01

    A novel swine-origin H1N1 influenza virus [A(H1N1)pdm09 virus] caused the 2009 influenza pandemic. Most patients exhibited mild symptoms similar to seasonal influenza, but some experienced severe clinical signs and, in the worst cases, died. Such differences in symptoms are generally associated with preexisting medical conditions, but recent reports indicate the possible involvement of viral factors in clinical severity. To better understand the mechanism of pathogenicity of the A(H1N1)pdm09 virus, here, we compared five viruses that are genetically similar but were isolated from patients with either severe or mild symptoms. In a mouse model, A/Norway/3487/2009 (Norway3487) virus exhibited greater pathogenicity than did A/Osaka/164/2009 (Osaka164) virus. By exploiting reassortant viruses between these two viruses, we found that viruses possessing the hemagglutinin (HA) gene of Norway3487 in the genetic background of Osaka164 were more pathogenic in mice than other reassortant viruses, indicating a role for HA in the high virulence of Norway3487 virus. Intriguingly, a virus possessing HA, NA, and NS derived from Norway3487 exhibited greater pathogenicity in mice in concert with PB2 and PB1 derived from Osaka164 than did the parental Norway3487 virus. These findings demonstrate that reassortment between A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses can lead to increased pathogenicity and highlight the need for continued surveillance of A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses.

  11. Determination of the full-genome sequence of hepatitis E virus (HEV) SAAS-FX17 and use as a reference to identify putative HEV genotype 4 virulence determinants.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Yumin; Yu, Xiaoming; Huang, Fenfen; Yu, Ruisong; Dong, Shijuan; Si, Fusheng; Zhang, Yuanshu; Li, Zhen

    2012-11-08

    Four major genotypes of hepatitis E virus (HEV), the causative agent of hepatitis E, have so far been recognized. While genotypes 3 and 4 are both zoonotic, the disease symptoms caused by the latter tend to be more severe. To examine if specific nucleotide/amino acid variations between genotypes 3 and 4 play a role in determining the severity of hepatitis E disease, the complete genome of one swine HEV genotype 4 isolate, SAAS-FX17, was determined and compared with other genotype 4 and genotype 3 genomes to identify putative HEV genotype 4 virulence determinants. A total of 42 conformable nt/aa variations between genotype 3 and 4 HEVs were detected, of which 19 were proposed to be potential disease severity determinants for genotype 4 strains. One potential determinant was located in each of the 5'-UTR and 3'-UTR, 3 and 12 within ORF1 and ORF2 respectively, and 2 in the junction region.

  12. 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.

  13. Virulence and Genomic Feature of a Virulent Klebsiella pneumoniae Sequence Type 14 Strain of Serotype K2 Harboring blaNDM-5 in China.

    PubMed

    Mei, Yan-Fang; Liu, Pan-Pan; Wan, La-Gen; Liu, Yang; Wang, Lian-Hui; Wei, Dan-Dan; Deng, Qiong; Cao, Xian-Wei

    2017-01-01

    The objective of this study was to reveal the molecular mechanism involved in carbapenem resistance and virulence of a K2 Klebsiella pneumoniae clinical isolate 24835. The virulence of the strain 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 carbapenem resistance and virulence of K. pneumoniae 24835. Strain 24835 was highly resistant to carbapenems and belonged to ST14, exhibited hypermucoviscous and unique K2-aerobactin-kfu-rmpA positive phenotype. As the only carbapenemase gene in strain 24835, blaNDM-5 was located on a 46-kb IncX3 self-transmissible plasmid, which is a very close relation of pNDM-MGR194 from India. Genetic context of blaNDM-5 in strain 24835 was closely related to those on IncX3 plasmids in various Enterobacteriaceae species in China. The combination of multiple virulence genes may work together to confer the relative higher virulence in K. pneumoniae 24835. Significantly increased resistance to serum killing and mice mortality were found in the virulent New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase (NDM)-producing K. pneumoniae strain compared to the other NDM-producing K. pneumoniae strain. Our study provides basic information of phenotypic and genomic features of K. pneumoniae 24835, a strain displaying carbapenem resistance and relatively high level of virulence. These findings are concerning for the potential of NDM-like genes to disseminate among virulent K. pneumoniae isolates.

  14. Virulence and Genomic Feature of a Virulent Klebsiella pneumoniae Sequence Type 14 Strain of Serotype K2 Harboring blaNDM–5 in China

    PubMed Central

    Mei, Yan-fang; Liu, Pan-pan; Wan, La-Gen; Liu, Yang; Wang, Lian-hui; Wei, Dan-dan; Deng, Qiong; Cao, Xian-wei

    2017-01-01

    The objective of this study was to reveal the molecular mechanism involved in carbapenem resistance and virulence of a K2 Klebsiella pneumoniae clinical isolate 24835. The virulence of the strain 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 carbapenem resistance and virulence of K. pneumoniae 24835. Strain 24835 was highly resistant to carbapenems and belonged to ST14, exhibited hypermucoviscous and unique K2-aerobactin-kfu-rmpA positive phenotype. As the only carbapenemase gene in strain 24835, blaNDM–5 was located on a 46-kb IncX3 self-transmissible plasmid, which is a very close relation of pNDM-MGR194 from India. Genetic context of blaNDM–5 in strain 24835 was closely related to those on IncX3 plasmids in various Enterobacteriaceae species in China. The combination of multiple virulence genes may work together to confer the relative higher virulence in K. pneumoniae 24835. Significantly increased resistance to serum killing and mice mortality were found in the virulent New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase (NDM)-producing K. pneumoniae strain compared to the other NDM-producing K. pneumoniae strain. Our study provides basic information of phenotypic and genomic features of K. pneumoniae 24835, a strain displaying carbapenem resistance and relatively high level of virulence. These findings are concerning for the potential of NDM-like genes to disseminate among virulent K. pneumoniae isolates. PMID:28386246

  15. Capsular Serotype K1 or K2, Rather than magA and rmpA, Is a Major Virulence Determinant for Klebsiella pneumoniae Liver Abscess in Singapore and Taiwan▿

    PubMed Central

    Yeh, Kuo-Ming; Kurup, A.; Siu, L. K.; Koh, Y. L.; Fung, Chang-Phone; Lin, Jung-Chung; Chen, Te-Li; Chang, Feng-Yee; Koh, Tse-Hsien

    2007-01-01

    Capsular serotypes, magA, and rmpA have been documented in high prevalence for Klebsiella pneumoniae liver abscess. To investigate the regional difference and the correlation of capsular serotype, magA, and rmpA with virulence, 73 isolates were collected in Singapore and Taiwan. Capsular serotypes were determined by countercurrent immunoelectrophoresis, the presence of magA and rmpA was determined by PCR, and virulence was determined by phagocytosis and mouse inoculation. Isolates from Singapore were similar to those from Taiwan in genomic heterogeneity, prevalence of serotype, and the presence of magA and rmpA. The most common serotype was K1 (34/73; 46.6%), followed by K2 (15/73; 20.5%). magA was restricted to serotype K1. All K1 or K2 isolates and 66.7% (16/24) of isolates that were neither serotype K1 nor serotype K2 (non-K1/K2) carried rmpA. Serotype K1 or K2 isolates demonstrated significantly more phagocytic resistance and virulence than did rmpA-positive and -negative groups of non-K1/K2 isolates. In the non-K1/K2 group, the virulence profiles of rmpA-positive strains from Taiwan and Singapore were different by phagocytosis assay and in the mouse model, indicating that factors other than rmpA contributed to virulence. The characteristics of K. pneumoniae liver abscess in Singapore and Taiwan are similar. Capsular serotype K1 or K2 plays a more important role than magA and rmpA in determining virulence in K. pneumoniae liver abscess. PMID:17151209

  16. Deletion of Vacuolar Proton-translocating ATPase Voa Isoforms Clarifies the Role of Vacuolar pH as a Determinant of Virulence-associated Traits in Candida albicans*

    PubMed Central

    Raines, Summer M.; Rane, Hallie S.; Bernardo, Stella M.; Binder, Jessica L.; Lee, Samuel A.; Parra, Karlett J.

    2013-01-01

    Vacuolar proton-translocating ATPase (V-ATPase) is a central regulator of cellular pH homeostasis, and inactivation of all V-ATPase function has been shown to prevent infectivity in Candida albicans. V-ATPase subunit a of the Vo domain (Voa) is present as two fungal isoforms: Stv1p (Golgi) and Vph1p (vacuole). To delineate the individual contribution of Stv1p and Vph1p to C. albicans physiology, we created stv1Δ/Δ and vph1Δ/Δ mutants and compared them to the corresponding reintegrant strains (stv1Δ/ΔR and vph1Δ/ΔR). V-ATPase activity, vacuolar physiology, and in vitro virulence-related phenotypes were unaffected in the stv1Δ/Δ mutant. The vph1Δ/Δ mutant exhibited defective V1Vo assembly and a 90% reduction in concanamycin A-sensitive ATPase activity and proton transport in purified vacuolar membranes, suggesting that the Vph1p isoform is essential for vacuolar V-ATPase activity in C. albicans. The vph1Δ/Δ cells also had abnormal endocytosis and vacuolar morphology and an alkalinized vacuolar lumen (pHvph1Δ/Δ = 6.8 versus pHvph1Δ/ΔR = 5.8) in both yeast cells and hyphae. Secreted protease and lipase activities were significantly reduced, and M199-induced filamentation was impaired in the vph1Δ/Δ mutant. However, the vph1Δ/Δ cells remained competent for filamentation induced by Spider media and YPD, 10% FCS, and biofilm formation and macrophage killing were unaffected in vitro. These studies suggest that different virulence mechanisms differentially rely on acidified vacuoles and that the loss of both vacuolar (Vph1p) and non-vacuolar (Stv1p) V-ATPase activity is necessary to affect in vitro virulence-related phenotypes. As a determinant of C. albicans pathogenesis, vacuolar pH alone may prove less critical than originally assumed. PMID:23316054

  17. Virulence and molecular characterization of experimental isolates of the stripe rust pathogen (Puccinia striiformis) indicate somatic recombination

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Puccinia striiformis causes stripe rust on wheat, barley, and grasses. Natural population studies have indicated that somatic recombination plays a possible role in the pathogen variation. To determine if somatic recombination can occur, susceptible wheat or barley plants were inoculated with mixe...

  18. Modulation of the enterohemorrhagic E. coli virulence program through the human gastrointestinal tract

    PubMed Central

    Barnett Foster, Debora

    2013-01-01

    Enteric pathogens must not only survive passage through the gastrointestinal tract but must also coordinate expression of virulence determinants in response to localized microenvironments with the host. Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), a serious food and waterborne human pathogen, is well equipped with an arsenal of molecular factors that allows it to survive passage through the gastrointestinal tract and successfully colonize the large intestine. This review will explore how EHEC responds to various environmental cues associated with particular microenvironments within the host and how it employs these cues to modulate virulence factor expression, with a view to developing a conceptual framework for understanding modulation of EHEC’s virulence program in response to the host. In vitro studies offer significant insights into the role of individual environmental cues but in vivo studies using animal models as well as data from natural infections will ultimately provide a more comprehensive picture of the highly regulated virulence program of this pathogen. PMID:23552827

  19. Identification of potential virulence determinants associated H9N2 avian influenza virus PB2 E627K mutation by comparative proteomics.

    PubMed

    Qi, Wenbao; Tian, Jin; Su, Shuo; Huang, Lihong; Li, Huanan; Liao, Ming

    2015-05-01

    Some highly pathogenic H5N1, H7N9, and H10N8 isolated from China carried six internal genes from H9N2 avian influenza viruses (AIV) and the key amino acids at 627 in PB2 of these viruses had mutated to K. To investigate the mechanism of increased pathogenicity for H9N2 AIV PB2 627K, we analyzed the difference in mouse lung proteins expression response to PB2 K627E. By iTRAQ method, we found that the mutated K627E contributed to a set of differentially expressed lung proteins, including five upregulated proteins and nine downregulated proteins at 12 h postinfection; ten upregulated proteins and 25 downregulated proteins at 72 h postinfection. These proteins were chiefly involved within the cytoskeleton and motor proteins, antiviral proteins, regulation of glucocorticoids signal-associated proteins, pro- and anti-inflammatory proteins. Alteration of moesin, FKBP4, Hsp70, ezrin, and pulmonary surfactant protein A (sp-A) may play important roles in increasing virulence and decreasing lungs antiviral response. Further, three upregulated proteins (moesin, ezrin, and sp-A) caused by PB2 K627E were also confirmed in A549 cells. Moreover, overexpression of sp-A in A549 inhibited virus replication and downregulation promoted virus replication. In this study, sp-A as a potential virulence determinant associated H9N2 AIV PB2 E627K mutation was identified using comparative proteomics. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  20. A nine-base nucleotide sequence in the porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) nucleocapsid gene determines viral replication and virulence.

    PubMed

    Krakowka, Steven; Allan, Gordon; Ellis, John; Hamberg, Alexander; Charreyre, Catherine; Kaufmann, Eva; Brooks, Charles; Meehan, Brian

    2012-03-01

    Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) was retrospectively identified by serology in swine populations as an asymptomatic infection at least 25 years prior to the first reported case of PCV2-associated postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS). To investigate the sudden emergence of PMWS, viral sequences were amplified from frozen archived (1970-1971) porcine tissues and the complete genome of archival PCV2 was determined. The ORF1 gene product (viral DNA replicase) was homologous to contemporary PCV2 ORF1. In ORF2 (viral nucleocapsid gene) archival PCV2, a consistent linear nine-base sequence difference at base positions 1331 through 1339 was observed. The deduced amino acid sequence from these base changes alters the nucleocapsid conformation within the second immunogenic epitope from a hydrophobic (contemporary PCV2) to a hydrophilic (archival PCV2) configuration. To test the hypothesis that archival PCV2 was avirulent, cloned engineered archival and contemporary PCV2 genomes were constructed wherein the ORF1 gene was identical in each clone and the ORF2 gene (nucleocapsid protein) was sequence-identical in both clones except for the nine-base difference (bases 1331-1339), corresponding to archival and contemporary PCV2 viruses respectively. Clones were transfected into porcine kidney (PK) 15 cells and, after sequence confirmation, further passed in PK15 and 3D4/2 porcine alveolar macrophage cell cultures. Virulence trials in gnotobiotic piglets were conducted with cloned PCV2s. The data show that archival PCV2 is avirulent when compared to contemporary PCV2 and supports the hypothesis that the emergence of virulent contemporary PCV2 was a result of mutational events within this critical epitope after 1971.

  1. Determination of the distribution of lentogenic vaccine and virulent Newcastle disease virus antigen in the oviduct of SPF and commercial hen using immunohistochemistry.

    PubMed

    Bwala, Dauda G; Clift, Sarah; Duncan, Neil M; Bisschop, Shahn P R; Oludayo, Fasina F

    2012-08-01

    The control of Newcastle disease (ND) in South Africa has proved difficult since 2002 following the introduction of lineage 5d/VIId Newcastle disease virus (NDV) strain ("goose paramyxovirus" - GPMV) to which commercially available ND vaccines appeared less effective. Most of the ND infections, even in fully vaccinated hens were characterized consistently by a drop in egg production. In this study, commercial and SPF hens-in-lay were vaccinated with La Sota vaccine and challenged with a GPMV isolate. Immunohistochemical labeling was used to determine the distribution of viral antigen in the oviduct of the hens. Following reports that cloacal vaccination offered better protection against egg production losses than the oro-nasal route, the efficacy of cloacal and ocular routes of vaccination against challenge were compared. Results showed that La Sota vaccine offered birds 100% protection against the virulent ND (GPMV) virus challenge from clinical disease and death, but not against infection and replication of the GPMV, as birds showed varying degrees of macropathology. Histopathology of the oviduct of infected birds revealed multifocal lymphocytic inflammation in the interstitium as well as mild glandular ectasia and mild edema. Finely granular NDV-specific immunolabeling was demonstrated in the cytoplasm of epithelial cells and mononuclear (lymphohistiocytic) cells in the interstitium of the oviduct. Both vaccine and virulent GPMV showed greatest tropism for the uterus (versus the magnum and isthmus). There was no clear difference in the protection of the oviduct and in the distribution of oviductal GPMV antigens between the two routes of vaccination. Crown Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier India Pvt Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. Clinical characteristics, virulence factors and molecular typing of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections in Shenzhen City, China.

    PubMed

    Hu, L; Li, Y; Lu, Y; Klena, J D; Qiu, Y; Lin, Y; Jiang, M; Shi, X; Chen, L; Liu, X; Ma, H; Cheng, J; Wu, S; Kan, B; Hu, Q

    2016-10-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has emerged as a serious hospital and community-acquired infection and some strains are associated with greater severity. We investigated the clinical variability and molecular characteristics of MRSA infections in Shenzhen, China through a study at nine sentinel hospitals from January to December 2014. MRSA infections were classified as community-associated (CA-MRSA), healthcare-associated (HA-MRSA), and healthcare-associated community-onset (HACO-MRSA). In total, 812 MRSA isolates were collected and 183 of these were selected for further study. Patients with HA-MRSA infections were generally of greater age compared to other groups. Distinct body site and clinical presentations were evident in infected patients, e.g. CA-MRSA (skin and soft tissue, 53%), HA-MRSA (respiratory tract, 22%; surgical site, 20%; trauma wounds, 20%) and HACO-MRSA (mastitis, 47%). In contrast to HA-MRSA, other categories of strains were significantly more susceptible to gentamicin, sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim, and tetracycline. No resistance to vancomycin or linezolid was recorded. The predominant clonal lineage within each strain category was CC59-t437-SCCmec IV/V-agr I (CA, 51·4%; HA, 28·9%; HACO, 52·9%) which exhibited characteristics of a traditional CA clone together with agr I which is more often associated with HA clones. In conclusion, for the three categories of MRSA infections, there were significant differences in clinical characteristics of patients, but the predominant clone in each category shared a similar genetic background which suggests that transmission of MRSA strains has occurred between the community and hospitals in Shenzhen.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. XacFhaB adhesin, an important Xanthomonas citri ssp. citri virulence factor, is recognized as a pathogen-associated molecular pattern.

    PubMed

    Garavaglia, Betiana S; Zimaro, Tamara; Abriata, Luciano A; Ottado, Jorgelina; Gottig, Natalia

    2016-12-01

    Adhesion to host tissue is one of the key steps of the bacterial pathogenic process. Xanthomonas citri ssp. citri possesses a non-fimbrial adhesin protein, XacFhaB, required for bacterial attachment, which we have previously demonstrated to be an important virulence factor for the development of citrus canker. XacFhaB is a 4753-residue-long protein with a predicted β-helical fold structure, involved in bacterial aggregation, biofilm formation and adhesion to the host. In this work, to further characterize this protein and considering its large size, XacFhaB was dissected into three regions based on bioinformatic and structural analyses for functional studies. First, the capacity of these protein regions to aggregate bacterial cells was analysed. Two of these regions were able to form bacterial aggregates, with the most amino-terminal region being dispensable for this activity. Moreover, XacFhaB shows features resembling pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), which are recognized by plants. As PAMPs activate plant basal immune responses, the role of the three XacFhaB regions as elicitors of these responses was investigated. All adhesin regions were able to induce basal immune responses in host and non-host plants, with a stronger activation by the carboxyl-terminal region. Furthermore, pre-infiltration of citrus leaves with XacFhaB regions impaired X. citri ssp. citri growth, confirming the induction of defence responses and restraint of citrus canker. This work reveals that adhesins from plant pathogens trigger plant defence responses, opening up new pathways for the development of protective strategies for disease control. © 2016 BSPP and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. 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.

  9. Determining equilibrium constants for dimerization reactions from molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    De Jong, Djurre H; Schäfer, Lars V; De Vries, Alex H; Marrink, Siewert J; Berendsen, Herman J C; Grubmüller, Helmut

    2011-07-15

    With today's available computer power, free energy calculations from equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations "via counting" become feasible for an increasing number of reactions. An example is the dimerization reaction of transmembrane alpha-helices. If an extended simulation of the two helices covers sufficiently many dimerization and dissociation events, their binding free energy is readily derived from the fraction of time during which the two helices are observed in dimeric form. Exactly how the correct value for the free energy is to be calculated, however, is unclear, and indeed several different and contradictory approaches have been used. In particular, results obtained via Boltzmann statistics differ from those determined via the law of mass action. Here, we develop a theory that resolves this discrepancy. We show that for simulation systems containing two molecules, the dimerization free energy is given by a formula of the form ΔG ∝ ln(P(1) /P(0) ). Our theory is also applicable to high concentrations that typically have to be used in molecular dynamics simulations to keep the simulation system small, where the textbook dilute approximations fail. It also covers simulations with an arbitrary number of monomers and dimers and provides rigorous error estimates. Comparison with test simulations of a simple Lennard Jones system with various particle numbers as well as with reference free energy values obtained from radial distribution functions show full agreement for both binding free energies and dimerization statistics.

  10. Determination of molecular weight distributions in native and pretreated wood.

    PubMed

    Leskinen, Timo; Kelley, Stephen S; Argyropoulos, Dimitris S

    2015-03-30

    The analysis of native wood components by size-exclusion chromatography (SEC) is challenging. Isolation, derivatization and solubilization of wood polymers is required prior to the analysis. The present approach allowed the determination of molecular weight distributions of the carbohydrates and of lignin in native and processed woods, without preparative component isolation steps. For the first time a component selective SEC analysis of sawdust preparations was made possible by the combination of two selective derivatization methods, namely; ionic liquid assisted benzoylation of the carbohydrate fraction and acetobromination of the lignin in acetic acid media. These were optimized for wood samples. The developed method was thus used to examine changes in softwood samples after degradative mechanical and/or chemical treatments, such as ball milling, steam explosion, green liquor pulping, and chemical oxidation with 2,3-dichloro-5,6-dicyano-1,4-benzoquinone (DDQ). The methodology can also be applied to examine changes in molecular weight and lignin-carbohydrate linkages that occur during wood-based biorefinery operations, such as pretreatments, and enzymatic saccharification. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Structural Determinations and Dynamics on Floppy Molecular Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pietraperzia, G.; Becucci, M.; Zoppi, A.; Pasquini, M.; Piani, G.; Castellucci, E.

    2005-05-01

    We discuss on the central role of very high resolution spectroscopy for the study of molecular systems weakly bonded or flexible. It will appear evident how the lack of high resolution results can lead to wrong conclusions. The paper will focalize the attention in particular on two different cases: one involving the hydrogen bonded complex anisole-water, the other involving the very floppy 1,3-benzodioxole (BDO) molecule. In the first case the issue is the determination of the structure of the complex that cannot be correctly inferred from resonance enhanced multi photon ionization (REMPI) data and ab initio calculations. In the second case the non-rigidity of the molecule and the possibility of the interaction of two low frequency modes (ring-puckering and ring-butterfly) have lead to a wrong assignment of the laser induced fluorescence (LIF) vibronic spectrum.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  16. Molecular determinants of disease in Coxsackievirus B1 murine infection

    PubMed Central

    Cifuente, Javier O.; Ferrer, María F.; de Giusti, Carolina Jaquenod; Song, Wen-Chao; Romanowski, Víctor; Hafenstein, Susan L.; Gómez, Ricardo M.

    2013-01-01

    To understand better how different genomic regions may confer pathogenicity for the coxsackievirus B (CVB), two intratypic CVB1 variants and a number of recombinant viruses were studied. Sequencing analysis showed 23 nucleotide changes between the parental non-pathogenic CVB1N and the pathogenic CVB1Nm. Mutations present in CVB1Nm were more conserved than those in CVB1N when compared to other CVB sequences. Inoculation in C3H/HeJ mice showed that the P1 region is critical for pathogenicity in murine pancreas and heart. The molecular determinants of disease for these organs partially overlap. Several P1 region amino acid differences appear to be located in the decay accelerating factor (DAF) footprint CVBs. CVB1N and CVB1Nm interacted with human CAR, but only CVB1N seemed to interact with human DAF, as determined using soluble receptors in a plaque reduction assay. However, the murine homologue Daf-1 did not interact with any virus assessed by haemagglutination. The results of this study suggest that an unknown receptor interaction with the virus play an important role in the pathogenicity of CVB1Nm. Further in vivo studies may clarify this issue. PMID:21739448

  17. Molecular determinants of disease in coxsackievirus B1 murine infection.

    PubMed

    Cifuente, Javier O; Ferrer, María F; Jaquenod de Giusti, Carolina; Song, Wen-Chao; Romanowski, Víctor; Hafenstein, Susan L; Gómez, Ricardo M

    2011-09-01

    To understand better how different genomic regions may confer pathogenicity for the coxsackievirus B (CVB), two intratypic CVB1 variants, and a number of recombinant viruses were studied. Sequencing analysis showed 23 nucleotide changes between the parental non-pathogenic CVB1N and the pathogenic CVB1Nm. Mutations present in CVB1Nm were more conserved than those in CVB1N when compared to other CVB sequences. Inoculation in C3H/HeJ mice showed that the P1 region is critical for pathogenicity in murine pancreas and heart. The molecular determinants of disease for these organs partially overlap. Several P1 region amino acid differences appear to be located in the decay-accelerating factor (DAF) footprint CVBs. CVB1N and CVB1Nm interacted with human CAR, but only CVB1N seemed to interact with human DAF, as determined using soluble receptors in a plaque-reduction assay. However, the murine homolog Daf-1 did not interact with any virus assessed by hemagglutination. The results of this study suggest that an unknown receptor interaction with the virus play an important role in the pathogenicity of CVB1Nm. Further in vivo studies may clarify this issue.

  18. The Pathogenicity Island-Associated K15 Capsule Determinant Exhibits a Novel Genetic Structure and Correlates with Virulence in Uropathogenic Escherichia coli Strain 536

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, György; Dobrindt, Ulrich; Brüggemann, Holger; Nagy, Gábor; Janke, Britta; Blum-Oehler, Gabriele; Buchrieser, Carmen; Gottschalk, Gerhard; Emödy, Levente; Hacker, Jörg

    2004-01-01

    The K15 capsule determinant of uropathogenic Escherichia coli strain 536 (O6:K15:H31) is part of a novel 79.6-kb pathogenicity island (PAI) designated PAI V536 that is absent from the genome of nonpathogenic E. coli K-12 strain MG1655. PAI V536 shows typical characteristics of a composite PAI that is associated with the pheV tRNA gene and contains the pix fimbriae determinant as well as genes coding for a putative phosphoglycerate transport system, an autotransporter protein, and hypothetical open reading frames. A gene cluster coding for a putative general secretion pathway system, together with a kpsK15 determinant, is localized downstream of a truncated pheV gene (′pheV) also present in this chromosomal region. The distribution of genes present on PAI V536 was studied by PCR in different pathogenic and nonpathogenic E. coli isolates of various sources. Analysis of the 20-kb kps locus revealed a so far unknown genetic organization. Generally, the kpsK15 gene cluster resembles that of group 2 and 3 capsules, where two conserved regions (regions 1 and 3) are located up- or downstream of a highly variable serotype-specific region (region 2). Interestingly, recombination of a group 2 and 3 determinant may have been involved in the evolution of the K15 capsule-encoding gene cluster. Expression of the K15 capsule is important for virulence in a murine model of ascending urinary tract infection but not for serum resistance of E. coli strain 536. PMID:15385503

  19. Determination of the infectious titer and virulence of an original US porcine epidemic diarrhea virus PC22A strain.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xinsheng; Lin, Chun-Ming; Annamalai, Thavamathi; Gao, Xiang; Lu, Zhongyan; Esseili, Malak A; Jung, Kwonil; El-Tholoth, Mohamed; Saif, Linda J; Wang, Qiuhong

    2015-09-25

    The infectious dose of a virus pool of original US PEDV strain PC22A was determined in 4-day-old, cesarean-derived, colostrum-deprived (CDCD) piglets. The median pig diarrhea dose (PDD50) of the virus pool was determined as 7.35 log10 PDD50/mL, similar to the cell culture infectious titer, 7.75 log10 plaque-forming units (PFU)/mL. 100 PDD50 caused watery diarrhea in all conventional suckling piglets (n = 12) derived from a PEDV-naive sow, whereas 1000 and 10 000 PDD50 did not cause diarrhea in piglets derived from two PEDV-field exposed-recovered sows. This information is important for future PEDV challenge studies and validation of PEDV vaccines.

  20. Molecular determinants of emerging excitability in rat embryonic motoneurons

    PubMed Central

    Alessandri-Haber, Nicole; Alcaraz, Giséle; Deleuze, Charlotte; Jullien, Florence; Manrique, Christine; Couraud, François; Crest, Marcel; Giraud, Pierre

    2002-01-01

    Molecular determinants of excitability were studied in pure cultures of rat embryonic motoneurons. Using RT-PCR, we have shown here that the spike-generating Na+ current is supported by Nav1.2 and/or Nav1.3 α-subunits. Nav1.1 and Nav1.6 transcripts were also identified. We have demonstrated that alternatively spliced isoforms of Nav1.1 and Nav1.6, resulting in truncated proteins, were predominant during the first week in culture. However, Nav1.6 protein could be detected after 12 days in vitro. The Navβ2.1 transcript was not detected, whereas the Nav β1.1 transcript was present. Even in the absence of Navβ2.1, α-subunits were correctly inserted into the initial segment. RT-PCR (at semi-quantitative and single-cell levels) and immunocytochemistry showed that transient K+ currents result from the expression of Kv4.2 and Kv4.3 subunits. This is the first identification of subunits responsible for a transient K+ current in spinal motoneurons. The blockage of Kv4.2/Kv4.3 using a specific toxin modified the shape of the action potential demonstrating the involvement of these conductance channels in regulating spike repolarization and the discharge frequency. Among the other Kv α-subunits (Kv1.3, 1.4, 1.6, 2.1, 3.1 and 3.3), we showed that the Kv1.6 subunit was partly responsible for the sustained K+ current. In conclusion, this study has established the first correlation between the molecular nature of voltage-dependent Na+ and K+ channels expressed in embryonic rat motoneurons in culture and their electrophysiological characteristics in the period when excitability appears. PMID:12015418

  1. [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

  2. Molecular and phylogenetic characterization based on the complete genome of a virulent pathotype of Newcastle disease virus isolated in the 1970s in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, Camila C; Varani, Alessandro M; Lemos, Eliana G M; de Miranda, Vitor Fernandes O; Silva, Ketherson R; Fernando, Filipe S; Montassier, Maria F S; Montassier, Helio J

    2014-08-01

    Newcastle disease (ND) is caused by the avian paramyxovirus type 1 (APMV-1) or Newcastle disease virus (NDV) that comprises a diverse group of viruses with a single-stranded, negative-sense RNA genome. ND is one of the most important diseases of chickens, because it severely affects poultry production worldwide. In the 1970s, outbreaks of virulent ND were recorded in Brazil, and the strain APMV-1/Chicken/Brazil/SJM/75 (SJM) of NDV was isolated. This strain was characterized as highly pathogenic for chickens but not pathogenic for other bird species. Here we present the complete genome of NDV strain SJM and investigate the phylogenetic relationships of this virus with other NDV strains in terms of genome and proteins composition, as well as characterizing its evolution process. The NDV strain SJM is categorized as a velogenic virus and the complete genome is 15,192 nucleotides in length, consisting of six genes in the order 3'-NP-P-M-F-HN-L-5'. The presence of the major pathogenic determinant of NDV strains ((112)R-R-Q-K-R↓F(117)) was identified in the Fusion protein of the NDV strain SJM. In addition, phylogenetic analysis classified the NDV strain SJM as a member of class II, genotype V, and indicates that this virus help us in the understanding of the evolutionary process of strains belonging to this genotype. This study contributes to the growing interest involving the characterization of NDV isolates to improve our current understanding about the epidemiology, surveillance and evolution of the pathogenic strains. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Genome-Wide Gene Expression Analysis Identifies the Proto-oncogene Tyrosine-Protein Kinase Src as a Crucial Virulence Determinant of Infectious Laryngotracheitis Virus in Chicken Cells

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hai; Wang, Fengjie; Han, Zongxi; Gao, Qi; Li, Huixin; Shao, Yuhao; Sun, Nana

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Given the side effects of vaccination against infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT), novel strategies for ILT control and therapy are urgently needed. The modulation of host-virus interactions is a promising strategy to combat the virus; however, the interactions between the host and avian ILT herpesvirus (ILTV) are unclear. Using genome-wide transcriptome studies in combination with a bioinformatic analysis, we identified proto-oncogene tyrosine-protein kinase Src (Src) to be an important modulator of ILTV infection. Src controls the virulence of ILTV and is phosphorylated upon ILTV infection. Functional studies revealed that Src prolongs the survival of host cells by increasing the threshold of virus-induced cell death. Therefore, Src is essential for viral replication in vitro and in ovo but is not required for ILTV-induced cell death. Furthermore, our results identify a positive-feedback loop between Src and the tyrosine kinase focal adhesion kinase (FAK), which is necessary for the phosphorylation of either Src or FAK and is required for Src to modulate ILTV infection. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to identify a key host regulator controlling host-ILTV interactions. We believe that our findings have revealed a new potential therapeutic target for ILT control and therapy. IMPORTANCE Despite the extensive administration of live attenuated vaccines starting from the mid-20th century and the administration of recombinant vaccines in recent years, infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT) outbreaks due to avian ILT herpesvirus (ILTV) occur worldwide annually. Presently, there are no drugs or control strategies that effectively treat ILT. Targeting of host-virus interactions is considered to be a promising strategy for controlling ILTV infections. However, little is known about the mechanisms governing host-ILTV interactions. The results from our study advance our understanding of host-ILTV interactions on a molecular level and provide experimental

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. The S2 Gene of Equine Infectious Anemia Virus Is a Highly Conserved Determinant of Viral Replication and Virulence Properties in Experimentally Infected Ponies

    PubMed Central

    Li, Feng; Leroux, Caroline; Craigo, Jodi K.; Cook, Sheila J.; Issel, Charles J.; Montelaro, Ronald C.

    2000-01-01

    Equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) is genetically one of the simplest lentiviruses in that the viral genome encodes only three accessory genes, tat, rev, and S2. Although serological analyses demonstrate the expression of the S2 protein in persistently infected horses, the role of this viral gene remains undefined. We recently reported that the S2 gene is not essential for EIAV replication in primary equine macrophages, as EIAV mutants lacking the S2 gene replicate to levels similar to those of the parental virus (F. Li, B. A. Puffer, and R. C. Montelaro, J. Virol. 72:8344–8348, 1998). We now describe in vivo studies that examine the evolution and role of the S2 gene in ponies experimentally infected with EIAV. The results of these studies reveal for the first time that the S2 gene is highly conserved during persistent infection and that deletion of the S2 gene reduces viral virulence and virus replication levels compared to those of the parental virus containing a functional S2 gene. These data indicate that the EIAV S2 gene is in fact an important determinant of viral replication and pathogenic properties in vivo, despite the evident lack of S2 influence on viral replication levels in vitro. Thus, these observations suggest in vivo functions of EIAV S2 that are not adequately reflected in simple infections of cultured cells, including natural target macrophages. PMID:10590152

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

  8. Molecular factors that determine Curie spin relaxation in dysprosium complexes.

    PubMed

    Caravan, P; Greenfield, M T; Bulte, J W

    2001-11-01

    Dysprosium complexes can serve as transverse relaxation (T(2)) agents for water protons through chemical exchange and the Curie spin relaxation mechanism. Using a pair of matched dysprosium(III) complexes, Dy-L1 (contains one inner-sphere water) and Dy-L2 (no inner-sphere water), it is shown that the transverse relaxation of bulk water is predominantly an inner-sphere effect. The kinetics of water exchange at Dy-L1 were determined by (17)O NMR. Proton transverse relaxation by Dy-L1 at high fields is governed primarily through a large chemical shift difference between free and bound water. Dy-L1 forms a noncovalent adduct with human serum albumin which dramatically lengthens the rotational correlation time, tau(R), causing the dipole-dipole component of the Curie spin mechanism to become significant and transverse relaxivity to increase by 3-8 times that of the unbound chelate. These findings aid in the design of new molecular species as efficient r(2) agents.

  9. 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.

  10. Method for determination of polyethylene glycol molecular weight.

    PubMed

    Pihlasalo, Sari; Hänninen, Pekka; Härmä, Harri

    2015-04-07

    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.

  11. Molecular Bases and Phenotypic Determinants of Aromatase Excess Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Fukami, Maki; Shozu, Makio; Ogata, Tsutomu

    2012-01-01

    Aromatase excess syndrome (AEXS) is a rare autosomal dominant disorder characterized by gynecomastia. This condition is caused by overexpression of CYP19A1 encoding aromatase, and three types of cryptic genomic rearrangement around CYP19A1, that is, duplications, deletions, and inversions, have been identified in AEXS. Duplications appear to have caused CYP19A1 overexpression because of an increased number of physiological promoters, whereas deletions and inversions would have induced wide CYP19A1 expression due to the formation of chimeric genes consisting of a noncoding exon(s) of a neighboring gene and CYP19A1 coding exons. Genotype-phenotype analysis implies that phenotypic severity of AEXS is primarily determined by the expression pattern of CYP19A1 and the chimeric genes and by the structural property of the fused exons with a promoter function (i.e., the presence or the absence of a natural translation start codon). These results provide novel information about molecular mechanisms of human genetic disorders and biological function of estrogens. PMID:22319526

  12. Crustacean muscle plasticity: molecular mechanisms determining mass and contractile properties.

    PubMed

    Mykles, D L

    1997-07-01

    Two crustacean models for understanding molecular mechanisms of muscle plasticity are reviewed. Metabolic changes underlying muscle protein synthesis and degradation have been examined in the Bermuda land crab, Gecarcinus lateralis. During proecdysis, the claw closer muscle undergoes a programmed atrophy, which results from a highly controlled breakdown of myofibrillar proteins by Ca(2+)-dependent and, possibly, ATP/ubiquitin-dependent proteolytic enzymes. The advantage of this model is that there is neither fiber degeneration nor contractile-type switching, which often occurs in mammalian skeletal muscles. The second model uses American lobster, Homarus americanus, to understand the genetic regulation of fiber-type switching. Fibers in the claw closer muscles undergo a developmentally-regulated transformation as the isomorphic claws of larvae and juveniles differentiate into the heteromorphic cutter and crusher claws of adults. This switching occurs at the boundary between fast- and slow-fiber regions, and thus the transformation of a specific fiber is determined by its position within the muscle. The ability to predict fiber switching can be exploited to isolate and identify putative master regulatory factors that initiate and coordinate the expression of contractile proteins.

  13. Cocaine abuse determination by ion mobility spectrometry using molecular imprinting.

    PubMed

    Sorribes-Soriano, A; Esteve-Turrillas, F A; Armenta, S; de la Guardia, M; Herrero-Martínez, J M

    2017-01-20

    A cocaine-based molecular imprinted polymer (MIP) has been produced by bulk polymerization and employed as selective solid-phase extraction support for the determination of cocaine in saliva samples by ion mobility spectrometry (IMS). The most appropriate conditions for washing and elution of cocaine from MIPs were studied and MIPs were characterized in terms of analyte binding capacity, reusability in water and saliva analysis, imprinting factor and selectivity were established and compared with non-imprinted polymers. The proposed MIP-IMS method provided a LOD of 18μgL(-1) and quantitative recoveries for blank saliva samples spiked from 75 to 500μgL(-1) cocaine. Oral fluid samples were collected from cocaine consumers and analysed by the proposed MIP-IMS methodology. Results, ranging from below the LOD to 51±2mgL(-1), were statistically comparable to those obtained by a confirmatory gas chromatography-mass spectrometry method. Moreover, results were compared to a qualitative lateral flow immunoassay procedure providing similar classification of the samples. Thus, MIP-IMS can be considered an useful alternative that provided fast, selective and sensitive results with a cost affordable instrumentation that does not require skilled operators. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  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. Integrating historical, clinical and molecular genetic data in order to explain the origin and virulence of the 1918 Spanish influenza virus.

    PubMed Central

    Taubenberger, J K; Reid, A H; Janczewski, T A; Fanning, T G

    2001-01-01

    The Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 caused acute illness in 25-30% of the world's population and resulted in the death of 40 million people. The complete genomic sequence of the 1918 influenza virus will be deduced using fixed and frozen tissues of 1918 influenza victims. Sequence and phylogenetic analyses of the complete 1918 haemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes show them to be the most avian-like of mammalian sequences and support the hypothesis that the pandemic virus contained surface protein-encoding genes derived from an avian influenza strain and that the 1918 virus is very similar to the common ancestor of human and classical swine H1N1 influenza strains. Neither the 1918 HA genes nor the NA genes possessed mutations that are known to increase tissue tropicity, which accounts for the virulence of other influenza strains such as A/WSN/33 or fowl plague viruses. The complete sequence of the nonstructural (NS) gene segment of the 1918 virus was deduced and tested for the hypothesis that the enhanced virulence in 1918 could have been due to type I interferon inhibition by the NS1 protein. The results from these experiments were inconclusive. Sequence analysis of the 1918 pandemic influenza virus is allowing us to test hypotheses as to the origin and virulence of this strain. This information should help to elucidate how pandemic influenza strains emerge and what genetic features contribute to their virulence. PMID:11779381

  18. Integrating historical, clinical and molecular genetic data in order to explain the origin and virulence of the 1918 Spanish influenza virus.

    PubMed

    Taubenberger, J K; Reid, A H; Janczewski, T A; Fanning, T G

    2001-12-29

    The Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 caused acute illness in 25-30% of the world's population and resulted in the death of 40 million people. The complete genomic sequence of the 1918 influenza virus will be deduced using fixed and frozen tissues of 1918 influenza victims. Sequence and phylogenetic analyses of the complete 1918 haemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes show them to be the most avian-like of mammalian sequences and support the hypothesis that the pandemic virus contained surface protein-encoding genes derived from an avian influenza strain and that the 1918 virus is very similar to the common ancestor of human and classical swine H1N1 influenza strains. Neither the 1918 HA genes nor the NA genes possessed mutations that are known to increase tissue tropicity, which accounts for the virulence of other influenza strains such as A/WSN/33 or fowl plague viruses. The complete sequence of the nonstructural (NS) gene segment of the 1918 virus was deduced and tested for the hypothesis that the enhanced virulence in 1918 could have been due to type I interferon inhibition by the NS1 protein. The results from these experiments were inconclusive. Sequence analysis of the 1918 pandemic influenza virus is allowing us to test hypotheses as to the origin and virulence of this strain. This information should help to elucidate how pandemic influenza strains emerge and what genetic features contribute to their virulence.

  19. 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

  20. Microbiota-Derived Short-Chain Fatty Acids Modulate Expression of Campylobacter jejuni Determinants Required for Commensalism and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Luethy, Paul M.; Huynh, Steven; Ribardo, Deborah A.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Campylobacter jejuni promotes commensalism in the intestinal tracts of avian hosts and diarrheal disease in humans, yet components of intestinal environments recognized as spatial cues specific for different intestinal regions by the bacterium to initiate interactions in either host are mostly unknown. By analyzing a C. jejuni acetogenesis mutant defective in converting acetyl coenzyme A (Ac-CoA) to acetate and commensal colonization of young chicks, we discovered evidence for in vivo microbiota-derived short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and organic acids as cues recognized by C. jejuni that modulate expression of determinants required for commensalism. We identified a set of C. jejuni genes encoding catabolic enzymes and transport systems for amino acids required for in vivo growth whose expression was modulated by SCFAs. Transcription of these genes was reduced in the acetogenesis mutant but was restored upon supplementation with physiological concentrations of the SCFAs acetate and butyrate present in the lower intestinal tracts of avian and human hosts. Conversely, the organic acid lactate, which is abundant in the upper intestinal tract where C. jejuni colonizes less efficiently, reduced expression of these genes. We propose that microbiota-generated SCFAs and lactate are cues for C. jejuni to discriminate between different intestinal regions. Spatial gradients of these metabolites likely allow C. jejuni to locate preferred niches in the lower intestinal tract and induce expression of factors required for intestinal growth and commensal colonization. Our findings provide insights into the types of cues C. jejuni monitors in the avian host for commensalism and likely in humans to promote diarrheal disease. PMID:28487428

  1. Molecular Determinants of Epidermal Growth Factor Binding: A Molecular Dynamics Study

    PubMed Central

    Sanders, Jeffrey M.; Wampole, Matthew E.; Thakur, Mathew L.; Wickstrom, Eric

    2013-01-01

    The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a member of the receptor tyrosine kinase family that plays a role in multiple cellular processes. Activation of EGFR requires binding of a ligand on the extracellular domain to promote conformational changes leading to dimerization and transphosphorylation of intracellular kinase domains. Seven ligands are known to bind EGFR with affinities ranging from sub-nanomolar to near micromolar dissociation constants. In the case of EGFR, distinct conformational states assumed upon binding a ligand is thought to be a determining factor in activation of a downstream signaling network. Previous biochemical studies suggest the existence of both low affinity and high affinity EGFR ligands. While these studies have identified functional effects of ligand binding, high-resolution structural data are lacking. To gain a better understanding of the molecular basis of EGFR binding affinities, we docked each EGFR ligand to the putative active state extracellular domain dimer and 25.0 ns molecular dynamics simulations were performed. MM-PBSA/GBSA are efficient computational approaches to approximate free energies of protein-protein interactions and decompose the free energy at the amino acid level. We applied these methods to the last 6.0 ns of each ligand-receptor simulation. MM-PBSA calculations were able to successfully rank all seven of the EGFR ligands based on the two affinity classes: EGF>HB-EGF>TGF-α>BTC>EPR>EPG>AR. Results from energy decomposition identified several interactions that are common among binding ligands. These findings reveal that while several residues are conserved among the EGFR ligand family, no single set of residues determines the affinity class. Instead we found heterogeneous sets of interactions that were driven primarily by electrostatic and Van der Waals forces. These results not only illustrate the complexity of EGFR dynamics but also pave the way for structure-based design of therapeutics targeting EGF

  2. Internal photoemission in molecular junctions: parameters for interfacial barrier determinations.

    PubMed

    Fereiro, Jerry A; Kondratenko, Mykola; Bergren, Adam Johan; McCreery, Richard L

    2015-01-28

    The photocurrent spectra for large-area molecular junctions are reported, where partially transparent copper top contacts permit illumination by UV-vis light. The effect of variation of the molecular structure and thickness are discussed. Internal photoemission (IPE), a process involving optical excitation of hot carriers in the contacts followed by transport across internal system barriers, is dominant when the molecular component does not absorb light. The IPE spectrum contains information regarding energy level alignment within a complete, working molecular junction, with the photocurrent sign indicating transport through either the occupied or unoccupied molecular orbitals. At photon energies where the molecular layer absorbs, a secondary phenomenon is operative in addition to IPE. In order to distinguish IPE from this secondary mechanism, we show the effect of the source intensity as well as the thickness of the molecular layer on the observed photocurrent. Our results clearly show that the IPE mechanism can be differentiated from the secondary mechanism by the effects of variation of experimental parameters. We conclude that IPE can provide valuable information regarding interfacial energetics in intact, working molecular junctions, including clear discrimination of charge transport mediated by electrons through unoccupied system orbitals from that mediated by hole transport through occupied system orbitals.

  3. P3N-PIPO, a Frameshift Product from the P3 Gene, Pleiotropically Determines the Virulence of Clover Yellow Vein Virus in both Resistant and Susceptible Peas

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Haruka; Miyashita, Yuri; Choi, Sun Hee; Hisa, Yusuke; Rihei, Shunsuke; Shimada, Ryoko; Jeon, Eun Jin; Abe, Junya; Uyeda, Ichiro

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Peas carrying the cyv1 recessive resistance gene are resistant to clover yellow vein virus (ClYVV) isolates No.30 (Cl-No.30) and 90-1 (Cl-90-1) but can be infected by a derivative of Cl-90-1 (Cl-90-1 Br2). The main determinant for the breaking of cyv1 resistance by Cl-90-1 Br2 is P3N-PIPO produced from the P3 gene via transcriptional slippage, and the higher level of P3N-PIPO produced by Cl-90-1 Br2 than by Cl-No.30 contributes to the breaking of resistance. Here we show that P3N-PIPO is also a major virulence determinant in susceptible peas that possess another resistance gene, Cyn1, which does not inhibit systemic infection with ClYVV but causes hypersensitive reaction-like lethal systemic cell death. We previously assumed that the susceptible pea cultivar PI 226564 has a weak allele of Cyn1. Cl-No.30 did not induce cell death, but Cl-90-1 Br2 killed the plants. Our results suggest that P3N-PIPO is recognized by Cyn1 and induces cell death. Unexpectedly, heterologously strongly expressed P3N-PIPO of Cl-No.30 appears to be recognized by Cyn1 in PI 226564. The level of P3N-PIPO accumulation from the P3 gene of Cl-No.30 was significantly lower than that of Cl-90-1 Br2 in a Nicotiana benthamiana transient assay. Therefore, Cyn1-mediated cell death also appears to be determined by the level of P3N-PIPO. The more efficiently a ClYVV isolate broke cyv1 resistance, the more it induced cell death systemically (resulting in a loss of the environment for virus accumulation) in susceptible peas carrying Cyn1, suggesting that antagonistic pleiotropy of P3N-PIPO controls the resistance breaking of ClYVV. IMPORTANCE Control of plant viral disease has relied on the use of resistant cultivars; however, emerging mutant viruses have broken many types of resistance. Recently, we revealed that Cl-90-1 Br2 breaks the recessive resistance conferred by cyv1, mainly by accumulating a higher level of P3N-PIPO than that of the nonbreaking isolate Cl-No.30. Here we show that a

  4. P3N-PIPO, a Frameshift Product from the P3 Gene, Pleiotropically Determines the Virulence of Clover Yellow Vein Virus in both Resistant and Susceptible Peas.

    PubMed

    Atsumi, Go; Suzuki, Haruka; Miyashita, Yuri; Choi, Sun Hee; Hisa, Yusuke; Rihei, Shunsuke; Shimada, Ryoko; Jeon, Eun Jin; Abe, Junya; Nakahara, Kenji S; Uyeda, Ichiro

    2016-08-15

    Peas carrying the cyv1 recessive resistance gene are resistant to clover yellow vein virus (ClYVV) isolates No.30 (Cl-No.30) and 90-1 (Cl-90-1) but can be infected by a derivative of Cl-90-1 (Cl-90-1 Br2). The main determinant for the breaking of cyv1 resistance by Cl-90-1 Br2 is P3N-PIPO produced from the P3 gene via transcriptional slippage, and the higher level of P3N-PIPO produced by Cl-90-1 Br2 than by Cl-No.30 contributes to the breaking of resistance. Here we show that P3N-PIPO is also a major virulence determinant in susceptible peas that possess another resistance gene, Cyn1, which does not inhibit systemic infection with ClYVV but causes hypersensitive reaction-like lethal systemic cell death. We previously assumed that the susceptible pea cultivar PI 226564 has a weak allele of Cyn1 Cl-No.30 did not induce cell death, but Cl-90-1 Br2 killed the plants. Our results suggest that P3N-PIPO is recognized by Cyn1 and induces cell death. Unexpectedly, heterologously strongly expressed P3N-PIPO of Cl-No.30 appears to be recognized by Cyn1 in PI 226564. The level of P3N-PIPO accumulation from the P3 gene of Cl-No.30 was significantly lower than that of Cl-90-1 Br2 in a Nicotiana benthamiana transient assay. Therefore, Cyn1-mediated cell death also appears to be determined by the level of P3N-PIPO. The more efficiently a ClYVV isolate broke cyv1 resistance, the more it induced cell death systemically (resulting in a loss of the environment for virus accumulation) in susceptible peas carrying Cyn1, suggesting that antagonistic pleiotropy of P3N-PIPO controls the resistance breaking of ClYVV. Control of plant viral disease has relied on the use of resistant cultivars; however, emerging mutant viruses have broken many types of resistance. Recently, we revealed that Cl-90-1 Br2 breaks the recessive resistance conferred by cyv1, mainly by accumulating a higher level of P3N-PIPO than that of the nonbreaking isolate Cl-No.30. Here we show that a susceptible pea line

  5. 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

  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. 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.

  8. Assessment of Listeria monocytogenes virulence in the Galleria mellonella insect larvae model.

    PubMed

    Rakic Martinez, Mira; Wiedmann, Martin; Ferguson, Martine; Datta, Atin R

    2017-01-01

    Several animal models have been used to understand the molecular basis of the pathogenicity, infectious dose and strain to strain variation of Listeria monocytogenes. The greater wax worm Galleria mellonella, as an alternative model, provides some useful advantages not available with other models and has already been described as suitable for the virulence assessment of various pathogens including L. monocytogenes. The objectives of this study are: 1) confirming the usefulness of this model with a wide panel of Listeria spp. including non-pathogenic L. innocua, L. seeligeri, L. welshimeri and animal pathogen L. ivanovii; 2) assessment of virulence of several isogenic in-frame deletion mutants in virulence and stress related genes of L. monocytogenes and 3) virulence assessment of paired food and clinical isolates of L. monocytogenes from 14 major listeriosis outbreaks occurred worldwide between 1980 and 2015. Larvae injected with different concentrations of Listeria were incubated at 37°C and monitored over seven days for time needed to kill 50% of larvae (LT50) and to determine change of bacterial population in G. mellonella, 2 and 24 hours post-inoculation. Non-pathogenic members of Listeria and L. ivanovii showed significantly (P < 0.05) higher LT50 (lower virulence) than the wild type L. monocytogenes strains. Isogenic mutants of L. monocytogenes with the deletions in prfA, plcA, hly, actA and virR genes, also showed significantly (P < 0.05) higher LT50 than the wild type strain at the inoculum of 106CFU/larva. Food isolates had significantly (P < 0.05) lower virulence than the paired clinical isolates, at all three inoculum concentrations. L. monocytogenes strains related to non-invasive (gastroenteritis) outbreaks of listeriosis showed significantly (P < 0.05) lower virulence than isolates of the same serotype obtained from outbreaks with invasive symptoms. The difference, however, was dose and strain- dependent. No significant differences in virulence were

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Characterization of virulence factors and phylogenetic group determination of Escherichia coli isolated from diarrheic and non-diarrheic calves from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Coura, Fernanda Morcatti; de Araújo Diniz, Soraia; Mussi, Jamili Maria Suhet; Silva, Marcos Xavier; Lage, Andrey Pereira; Heinemann, Marcos Bryan

    2017-03-01

    This study aimed to detect virulence factors, pathovars, and phylogenetic groups of Escherichia coli strains obtained from feces of calves with and without diarrhea up to 70 days old and to determine the association between occurrence of diarrhea, phylogenetic groups, and pathovars. Phylo-typing analysis of the 336 E. coli strains isolated from calves with Clermont method showed that 21 (6.25 %) belong to phylogroup A, 228 (67.85 %) to phylogroup B1, 2 (0.6 %) to phylogroup B2, 5 (1.49 %) to phylogroup C, 57 (16.96 %) to phylogroup E, and 3 (0.9 %) to phylogroup F. Phylogroup D was not identified and 20 strains (5.95 %) were assigned as "unknown." The distribution of phylogenetic groups among pathovars showed that NTEC belong to phylogroups B1 (17) and C (4); EPEC to phylogroups B1 (6) and E (8); STEC to phylogroups A (5), B1 (56), B2 (2), C (1), and E (15); EHEC to phylogroups B1 (95) and E (5); and ETEC to phylogroups A (3), B1 (7), and E (10). The EAST-1 strains were phylogroups A (13), B1 (47), E (19), and F (3); E. coli strains of "unknown" phylogroups belonged to pathovars EPEC (1), EHEC (2), STEC (7), and EAST-1 strains (6). ETEC was associated with diarrhea (P = 0.002). Our study did not find association between the phylogenetic background and occurrence of diarrhea (P = 0.164) but did find some relationship in phylogenetic group and pathovar. The study showed that EHEC and STEC are classified as phylogroup B1, EAST-1 phylogroup A, ETEC, and EPEC phylogroup E.

  12. Determination of structure parameters in molecular tunnelling ionisation model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jun-Ping; Zhao, Song-Feng; Zhang, Cai-Rong; Li, Wei; Zhou, Xiao-Xin

    2014-04-01

    We extracted the accurate structure parameters in a molecular tunnelling ionisation model (the so-called MO-ADK model) for 23 selected linear molecules including some inner orbitals. The molecular wave functions with the correct asymptotic behaviour are obtained by solving the time-independent Schrödinger equation with B-spline functions and molecular potentials numerically constructed using the modified Leeuwen-Baerends (LBα) model. We show that the orientation-dependent ionisation rate reflects the shape of the ionising orbitals in general. The influences of the Stark shifts of the energy levels on the orientation-dependent ionisation rates of the polar molecules are studied. We also examine the angle-dependent ionisation rates (or probabilities) based on the MO-ADK model by comparing with the molecular strong-field approximation calculations and with recent experimental measurements.

  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. Metabolism and virulence in Neisseria meningitidis

    PubMed Central

    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

  15. 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.

  16. Molecular determinants of the platelet aggregation inhibitory activity of carbamoylpiperidines.

    PubMed

    Feng, Z; Gollamudi, R; Dillingham, E O; Bond, S E; Lyman, B A; Purcell, W P; Hill, R J; Korfmacher, W A

    1992-08-07

    A series of alpha,alpha'-bis[3-(N,N-dialkylcarbamoyl)piperidino]-p- xylenes were synthesized and tested for their inhibitory activity on ADP-induced aggregation of human platelets. A parabolic curve was obtained when log 1/C (activity) was plotted against log P (octanol/water partition coefficient). Using this as a model, a new analogue, alpha,alpha'-bis-[3-(N-methyl-N-butylcarbamoyl)piperidino]-p-xylen e (3g), was synthesized with a predicted IC50 of 25 microM. When this compound was subsequently evaluated, the IC50 was 22.1 +/- 5.5 microM, demonstrating the applicability of this model. The amide oxygen of the carbamoyl substituent appeared necessary for activity. Thus, for example, when the amide carbonyl group of 3a (IC50 = 44.5 microM) was reduced to CH2, the resulting compound 4 had a dramatically reduced activity, IC50 = 1565 microM. Compound 3a was resolved into (+) and (-) enantiomers and a meso (0) diastereomer using fractional crystallization, diastereomeric tartrate formation, and chiral HPLC. Compared to (-)-3a, the (+) isomer was 15 times more potent when ADP was the agonist and 19 times more active when collagen was used as the agonist. Molecular modeling of R,R- and S,S-3a using the SYBYL program was used to examine their interactions with phosphatidylinositol (PI). There was a better fit between PI and the R,R-3a with the energy of interaction being 17.6 kcal/mol less than that of the S,S-3a/PI complex. Although the absolute stereochemistry of individual enantiomers is not known, this study shows that R,R-3a interacts more favorably with PI than does S,S-3a and that (+)-3a is a more potent inhibitor of human platelet aggregation than (-)-3a. It is postulated that because of their lipophilicity, these compounds penetrate the platelet membrane and are then protonated at the pH of the cytosol. The protonated N then neutralizes the anionic charge on the membrane phosphoinositides, thereby rendering them less susceptible to hydrolysis by phospholipase C

  17. Polyarginine Molecular Weight Determines Transfection Efficiency of Calcium Condensed Complexes

    PubMed Central

    Alhakamy, Nabil A.; Berkland, Cory J.

    2014-01-01

    Cell penetrating peptides (CPPs) have been extensively studied in polyelectrolyte complexes as a means to enhance the transfection efficiency of plasmid DNA (pDNA). Increasing the molecular weight of CPPs often enhances gene expression, but poses a risk of increased cytotoxicity and immunogenicity compared to low molecular weight CCPs. Conversely, low molecular weight CPPs typically have low transfection efficiency due to large complex size. Complexes made using low molecular weight CPPs were found to be condensed to a small size by adding calcium. In this study, complexes of low molecular weight polyarginine and pDNA were condensed with calcium. These complexes showed high transfection efficiency and low cytotoxicity in A549 carcinomic human alveolar basal epithelial cells. The relationship between transfection efficiency and polyarginine size (5, 7, 9 or 11 amino acids), polyarginine/pDNA charge ratios, and calcium concentrations were studied. Polyarginine 7 was significantly more effective than other polyarginines under most formulation conditions suggesting a link between cell penetration ability and transfection efficiency. PMID:23534410

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Molecular determinants of glucocorticoid actions in inflammatory joint diseases.

    PubMed

    Baschant, Ulrike; Culemann, Stephan; Tuckermann, Jan

    2013-11-05

    Since their discovery in 1948, glucocorticoids have been widely used clinically to treat inflammatory disorders like rheumatoid arthritis. However, their usefulness, especially in rheumatoid arthritis therapy, is hampered by severe side effects on bone leading to glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis. The molecular and cellular mechanisms mediating the beneficial and adverse effects remain poorly understood. Nevertheless, advanced molecular biological analyses and in vivo approaches using conditional mutant mice have helped to unravel in part the underlying mechanisms of immunosuppression and side effects of glucocorticoid therapy in arthritis, thereby contributing to an improved understanding of these therapeutically important hormones.

  1. Development of Infectious Clones for Virulent and Avirulent Pichinde Viruses: a Model Virus To Study Arenavirus-Induced Hemorrhagic Fevers ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Lan, Shuiyun; McLay Schelde, Lisa; Wang, Jialong; Kumar, Naveen; Ly, Hinh; Liang, Yuying

    2009-01-01

    Several arenaviruses can cause hemorrhagic fever diseases (VHFs) in humans, the pathogenic mechanism of which is poorly understood due to their virulent nature and the lack of molecular clones. A safe, convenient, and economical small animal model of arenavirus hemorrhagic fever is based on guinea pigs infected by the arenavirus Pichinde (PICV). PICV does not cause disease in humans, but an adapted strain of PICV (P18) causes a disease in guinea pigs that mimics arenavirus hemorrhagic fever in humans in many aspects, while a low-passaged strain (P2) remains avirulent in infected animals. In order to identify the virulence determinants within the PICV genome, we developed the molecular clones for both the avirulent P2 and virulent P18 viruses. Recombinant viruses were generated by transfecting plasmids that contain the antigenomic L and S RNA segments of PICV under the control of the T7 promoter into BSRT7-5 cells, which constitutively express T7 RNA polymerase. By analyzing viral growth kinetics in vitro and virulence in vivo, we show that the recombinant viruses accurately recapitulate the replication and virulence natures of their respective parental viruses. Both parental and recombinant virulent viruses led to high levels of viremia and titers in different organs of the infected animals, whereas the avirulent viruses were effectively controlled and cleared by the hosts. These novel infectious clones for the PICV provide essential tools to identify the virulence factors that are responsible for the severe VHF-like disease in infected animals. PMID:19386714

  2. 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.

  3. 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)

  4. Determination of Physical Properties of Ionic Liquids Using Molecular Simulations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-08-20

    may be only local and not global. Thus, a proper simulation should be for longer than the longest relevant relaxation process . To overcome this, the...and Diffusion in Ionic Liquids Via Molecular Simulation”, Fakultät für Chemie und Mineralogie, Wilhelm- Ostwald -Institut für Physikalische und

  5. 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)

  6. Determining the Molecular and Genetic Basis for Diabetes in Navy Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-01-12

    3. DATES COVERED (From Jul 2012-Sep 2013 To) 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Determining the molecular and genetic basis for diabetes in Navy bottlenose...thereby reduces hepatic glucose production. 15. SUBJECT TERMS Gluconeogenesis, CREB ZF, Fasting, Diabetes 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: a...Number: N000141210617 Award Title: Determining the molecular and genetic basis for diabetes in Navy bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncates

  7. 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)

  8. 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)

  9. Screening of virulence-associated genes as a molecular typing method for characterization of Streptococcus suis isolates recovered from wild boars and pigs.

    PubMed

    Sánchez del Rey, Verónica; Fernández-Garayzábal, José F; Domínguez, Lucas; Gottschalk, Marcelo; Vela, Ana I

    2016-03-01

    Streptococcus suis is an important zoonotic pathogen associated with a wide range of diseases in pigs, but has also been isolated from wild animals such as rabbits and wild boars. In the current study, 126 S. suis isolates recovered from pigs (n = 85) and wild boars (n = 41) were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the presence of nine virulence-associated genes. S. suis isolates from wild boars were differentiated by the lower detection rates of the epf, sly, mrp, sao and dltA genes (0%, 2.4%, 2.4%, 4.8% and 21.9%, respectively) compared with the isolates from pigs (56.5%, 75.3%, 56.5%, 88.2.0% and 88.2%, respectively). The differences in the content of these virulence-associated genes were statistically significant (P < 0.05). There was a correlation between the variants saoM and saoL and serotypes 2 and 9, respectively (P < 0.05). Isolates were classified into 31 virulence-associated gene profiles (VPs). Ten VPs were detected among wild boar isolates and 22 VPs among pig isolates, with only two VPs common to wild boars and pigs. The predominant VPs among isolates from wild boars (VP1, VP7) were different from those observed in pig isolates (VP16 and VP26). VP16 was detected exclusively in clinical pig isolates of serotype 9 and VP26 was detected in 71.4% of the serotype 2 clinical pig isolates. Further multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis showed a significant correlation association between certain VPs and STs (VP16 and VP17 with ST123 and ST125 and VP26 with ST1). In conclusion, the current study showed that combination of virulence-associated gene profiling and MLST analysis may provide more information of the relatedness of the S. suis strains from different animal species that could be useful for epidemiological purposes.

  10. 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

  11. Virulence determinants in vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium vanB: clonal distribution, prevalence and significance of esp and hyl in Australian patients with haematological disorders.

    PubMed

    Worth, L J; Slavin, M A; Vankerckhoven, V; Goossens, H; Grabsch, E A; Thursky, K A

    2008-02-01

    European studies have suggested that the esp gene and other virulence factors have roles in vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREfm) infections. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between the spectrum of clinical disease and putative virulence factors in vanB VREfm isolates. A multiplex polymerase chain reaction was used to amplify potential virulence genes (asa1, gel E, cylA, esp and hyl) in VREfm isolates obtained from an Australian population of haematology patients. Clonality was assessed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and automated ribotyping. Infection, requirement for intensive care unit (ICU) admission and all-cause 30-day mortality were used as clinical indicators of organism virulence. Forty-one VREfm vanB isolates (41 patients; 14 infected and 27 colonised only) were analysed. Thirty-five of these isolates were typed by PFGE, 31 of which were represented by three clusters. The esp gene was identified in 22 of 27 (81.5%) screening and 11 of 14 (78.6%) infection-associated isolates. One isolate was hyl gene positive, and no isolate contained asa1, gel E or cylA genes. VREfm infection was independently associated with host factors (underlying diagnosis of acute myeloid leukaemia, age

  12. Molecular characterization of the virulent microorganisms along with their drug-resistance traits associated with the export quality frozen shrimps in Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Noor, Rashed; Hasan, Md Faqrul; Rahman, M Majibur

    2014-01-01

    Current investigation characterized export quality shrimp samples in terms of pathogenic load along with the drug-resistance traits of the isolates, and detected the major virulent genes present in those isolates. Among the 30 such shrimp samples (15 each of Macrobrachium rosenbergi or Golda and Penaeus monodon or Bagda) studied, almost all were found to be contaminated with a huge load of bacteria (10(6)-10(8) cfu/g) and fungi (10(4)-10(5) cfu/g). Among the specific pathogens, presence of Escherichia coli, Vibrio spp., Aeromonas spp., Klebsiella spp., Shigella spp., Staphylococcus spp. and Listeria spp. were detected, of which most were likely to be resistant against commonly used antibiotics. Gene specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) study revealed the presence of eae gene in E. coli, aero specific gene in Aeromonas spp., and sodB gene in Vibrio spp. Together with the huge extent of microbial contamination with a drug-resistance attribute, presence of such virulent genes further projects the probable public health risk upon consumption of the export quality shrimps.

  13. Virulence determines beneficial trade-offs in the response of virus-infected plants to drought via induction of salicylic acid.

    PubMed

    Aguilar, Emmanuel; Cutrona, Carmen; Del Toro, Francisco J; Vallarino, José G; Osorio, Sonia; Pérez-Bueno, María Luisa; Barón, Matilde; Chung, Bong-Nam; Canto, Tomás; Tenllado, Francisco

    2017-07-18

    It has been hypothesized that plants can get beneficial trade-offs from viral infections when grown under drought conditions. However, experimental support for a positive correlation between virus-induced drought tolerance and increased host fitness is scarce. We investigated whether increased virulence exhibited by the synergistic interaction involving Potato virus X (PVX) and Plum pox virus (PPV) improves tolerance to drought and host fitness in Nicotiana benthamiana and Arabidopsis thaliana. Infection by the pair PPV/PVX and by PPV expressing the virulence protein P25 of PVX conferred an enhanced drought-tolerant phenotype compared with single infections with either PPV or PVX. Decreased transpiration rates in virus-infected plants were correlated with drought tolerance in N. benthamiana but not in Arabidopsis. Metabolite and hormonal profiles of Arabidopsis plants infected with the different viruses showed a range of changes that positively correlated with a greater impact on drought tolerance. Virus infection enhanced drought tolerance in both species by increasing salicylic acid accumulation in an abscisic acid-independent manner. Viable offspring derived from Arabidopsis plants infected with PPV increased relative to non-infected plants, when exposed to drought. By contrast, the detrimental effect caused by the more virulent viruses overcame potential benefits associated with increased drought tolerance on host fitness. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Molecular determinants of odorant receptor function in insects.

    PubMed

    Ray, Anandasankar; van Naters, Wynand Goes; Carlson, John R

    2014-09-01

    The olfactory system of Drosophila melanogaster provides a powerful model to study molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying function of a sensory system. In the 1970s Siddiqi and colleagues pioneered the application of genetics to olfactory research and isolated several mutant Drosophila with odorant-specific defects in olfactory behaviour, suggesting that odorants are detected differentially by the olfactory system. Since then basic principles of olfactory system function and development have emerged using Drosophila as a model. Nearly four decades later we can add computational methods to further our understanding of how specific odorants are detected by receptors. Using a comparative approach we identify two categories of short amino acid sequence motifs: ones that are conserved family-wide predominantly in the C-terminal half of most receptors, and ones that are present in receptors that detect a specific odorant, 4-methylphenol, found predominantly in the N-terminal half. The odorant-specific sequence motifs are predictors of phenol detection in Anopheles gambiae and other insects, suggesting they are likely to participate in odorant binding. Conversely, the family-wide motifs are expected to participate in shared functions across all receptors and a mutation in the most conserved motif leads to a reduction in odor response. These findings lay a foundation for investigating functional domains within odorant receptors that can lead to a molecular understanding of odor detection.

  15. Molecular determinants of resistance to Verticillium dahliae in potato

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    A constant evolutionary arms race between host resistance genes and pathogen effectors determine adaptive fitness. Therefore, identification of both host resistance genes and pathogen effectors is important in devising effective strategies to control disease. In tomato, resistance to Verticillium da...

  16. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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.—Fernández de Marco, M. M., Alejo, A., Hudson, P., Damon, I. K., Alcami, A. The highly virulent variola and monkeypox viruses express secreted inhibitors of type I interferon. PMID:20019241

  18. 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.

  19. Virulence Gene Profiles and Clonal Relationships of Escherichia coli O26:H11 Isolates from Feedlot Cattle as Determined by Whole-Genome Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Rump, Lydia V.; Cao, Guojie; Nagaraja, T. G.; Meng, Jianghong

    2016-01-01

    Shiga toxigenic (STEC) carrying the stx gene, responsible for more severe outcomes. However, there are currently problems in distinguishing one group from the other. Furthermore, several O26 stx-negative strains are consistently misidentified as either EHEC-like or EPEC. The use of whole-genome sequence (WGS) analysis of O26 strains from cattle in the United States (i) allowed identification of O26 strains present in U.S. cattle, (ii) determined O26 strain diversity, (iii) solved the misidentification problem, and (iv) screened for the presence of antimicrobial resistance and virulence genes in the strains. This study provided a framework showing how to easily and rapidly use WGS information to identify and genetically characterize E. coli O26:H11, which is important for food safety and public health. PMID:27107118

  20. 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

  1. Determinant molecular markers for peri-gastrulating bovine embryo development.

    PubMed

    Hue, Isabelle

    2016-01-01

    Peri-gastrulation defines the time frame between blastocyst formation and implantation that also corresponds in cattle to elongation, pregnancy recognition and uterine secretion. Optimally, this developmental window prepares the conceptus for implantation, placenta formation and fetal development. However, this is a highly sensitive period, as evidenced by the incidence of embryo loss or early post-implantation mortality after AI, embryo transfer or somatic cell nuclear transfer. Elongation markers have often been used within this time frame to assess developmental defects or delays, originating either from the embryo, the uterus or the dam. Comparatively, gastrulation markers have not received great attention, although elongation and gastrulation are linked by reciprocal interactions at the molecular and cellular levels. To make this clearer, this peri-gastrulating period is described herein with a focus on its main developmental landmarks, and the resilience of the landmarks in the face of biotechnologies is questioned.

  2. Cyclic AMP Signaling: A Molecular Determinant of Peripheral Nerve Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Knott, Eric P.; Assi, Mazen; Pearse, Damien D.

    2014-01-01

    Disruption of axonal integrity during injury to the peripheral nerve system (PNS) sets into motion a cascade of responses that includes inflammation, Schwann cell mobilization, and the degeneration of the nerve fibers distal to the injury site. Yet, the injured PNS differentiates itself from the injured central nervous system (CNS) in its remarkable capacity for self-recovery, which, depending upon the length and type of nerve injury, involves a series of molecular events in both the injured neuron and associated Schwann cells that leads to axon regeneration, remyelination repair, and functional restitution. Herein we discuss the essential function of the second messenger, cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cyclic AMP), in the PNS repair process, highlighting the important role the conditioning lesion paradigm has played in understanding the mechanism(s) by which cyclic AMP exerts its proregenerative action. Furthermore, we review the studies that have therapeutically targeted cyclic AMP to enhance endogenous nerve repair. PMID:25177696

  3. Molecular basis of NDM-1, a new antibiotic resistance determinant.

    PubMed

    Liang, Zhongjie; Li, Lianchun; Wang, Yuanyuan; Chen, Limin; Kong, Xiangqian; Hong, Yao; Lan, Lefu; Zheng, Mingyue; Guang-Yang, Cai; Liu, Hong; Shen, Xu; Luo, Cheng; Li, Keqin Kathy; Chen, Kaixian; Jiang, Hualiang

    2011-01-01

    The New Delhi Metallo-β-lactamase (NDM-1) was first reported in 2009 in a Swedish patient. A recent study reported that Klebsiella pneumonia NDM-1 positive strain or Escherichia coli NDM-1 positive strain was highly resistant to all antibiotics tested except tigecycline and colistin. These can no longer be relied on to treat infections and therefore, NDM-1 now becomes potentially a major global health threat.In this study, we performed modeling studies to obtain its 3D structure and NDM-1/antibiotics complex. It revealed that the hydrolytic mechanisms are highly conserved. In addition, the detailed analysis indicates that the more flexible and hydrophobic loop1, together with the evolution of more positive-charged loop2 leads to NDM-1 positive strain more potent and extensive in antibiotics resistance compared with other MBLs. Furthermore, through biological experiments, we revealed the molecular basis for antibiotics catalysis of NDM-1 on the enzymatic level. We found that NDM-1 enzyme was highly potent to degrade carbapenem antibiotics, while mostly susceptible to tigecycline, which had the ability to slow down the hydrolysis velocity of meropenem by NDM-1. Meanwhile, the mutagenesis experiments, including D124A, C208A, K211A and K211E, which displayed down-regulation on meropenem catalysis, proved the accuracy of our model.At present, there are no effective antibiotics against NDM-1 positive pathogen. Our study will provide clues to investigate the molecular basis of extended antibiotics resistance of NDM-1 and then accelerate the search for new antibiotics against NDM-1 positive strain in clinical studies.

  4. Advanced synchrotron-based and globar-sourced molecular (micro) spectroscopy contributions to advances in food and feed research on molecular structure, mycotoxin determination, and molecular nutrition.

    PubMed

    Shi, Haitao; Yu, Peiqiang

    2017-04-17

    Mycotoxin contamination has been a worldwide problem for food and feeds production for a long time. There is an obviously increased focus of the food and feed industry toward the reduction of mycotoxin concentration in both the raw materials and finished products. Therefore, both effective qualitative and quantitative techniques for the determination of mycotoxins are required to minimize their harmful effects. Conventional wet chemical methods usually are time-consuming, expensive, and rely on complex extraction and cleanup pretreatments. Synchrotron-based and globar-based molecular spectroscopy have shown great potential to be developed as rapid and nondestructive tools for the determination of molecular structure, molecular nutrition and mycotoxins in feed and food. This article reviews the common types of mycotoxins in feed and food, their toxicity, as well as the conventional detection methods. The principle of advanced molecular spectroscopy techniques and their application prospects for mycotoxin detection are discussed. Recent progress in food and feed research with molecular spectroscopy techniques is highlighted. This review provides a potential and insight into how to determine the structure and mycotoxins of feed and food on a molecular basis with advanced Synchrotron-based and globar-based molecular (micro) spectroscopy.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Molecular Typing and Virulence Analysis of Serotype K1 Klebsiella pneumoniae Strains Isolated from Liver Abscess Patients and Stool Samples from Noninfectious Subjects in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan ▿

    PubMed Central

    Siu, L. Kristopher; Fung, Chang-Phone; Chang, Feng-Yee; Lee, Nelson; Yeh, Kuo-Ming; Koh, Tse Hsien; Ip, Margaret

    2011-01-01

    Serotype K1 Klebsiella pneumoniae with multilocus sequence type 23 (ST23) has been strongly associated with liver abscess in Taiwan. Few data regarding the strain types and virulence of this serotype from other Asian countries are available. Serotype K1 K. pneumoniae strains isolated from liver abscess and stool samples from subjects hospitalized in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan hospitals were examined. Forty-seven serotype K1 isolates were identified: 26 from liver abscess samples and 21 from stool samples. MLST revealed 7 sequence types: 85.1% (40 of 47 isolates) belonged to ST23, 1 isolate belonged to ST163 (a single-locus variant of ST23), and 2 isolates were ST249 (a 3-locus variant of ST23). New STs, namely, ST367, ST425, and ST426, were allocated to 3 of 4 isolates from stool samples. The virulence of these strains was determined by neutrophil phagocytosis and mouse infection models. Except for two ST23 isolates, all Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates were resistant to phagocytosis. Resistance to serum killing varied in isolates of ST23, while all non-ST23 strains were susceptible to serum killing except one with ST249 from a liver abscess. All hypervirulent isolates with a 50% lethal dose of <102 CFU were from ST23, were resistant to phagocytosis and serum killing, and also carried both virulence-associated genes, rmpA and aerobactin. Multilocus sequence typing genotype 23 was the most prevalent sequence type among serotype K1 K. pneumoniae isolates from both liver abscess and stool samples in the Asia Pacific region. Serotype K1 K. pneumoniae isolates with capsule expression leading to phagocytic resistance and with the aerobactin gene were associated with hypervirulence. PMID:21900521

  9. Characterization of Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor Biotype Variant Clinical Isolates from Bangladesh and Haiti, Including a Molecular Genetic Analysis of Virulence Genes ▿

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21880975

  10. Whole genome sequencing, molecular typing and in vivo virulence of OXA-48-producing Escherichia coli isolates including ST131 H30-Rx, H22 and H41 subclones.

    PubMed

    de Toro, María; Fernández, Javier; García, Vanesa; Mora, Azucena; Blanco, Jorge; de la Cruz, Fernando; Rodicio, M Rosario

    2017-09-21

    Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, including the increasingly reported OXA-48 Escherichia coli producers, are an emerging public health threat worldwide. Due to their alarming detection in our healthcare setting and their possible presence in the community, seven OXA-48-producing, extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli were analysed by whole genome sequencing as well as conventional tools, and tested for in vivo virulence. As a result, five E. coli OXA-48-producing subclones were detected (O25:H4-ST131/PST43-fimH30-virotype E; O25:H4-ST131/PST9-fimH22-virotype D5, O16:H5-ST131/PST506-fimH41; O25:H5-ST83/PST207 and O9:H25-ST58/PST24). Four ST131 and one ST83 isolates satisfied the ExPEC status, and all except the O16:H5 ST131 isolate were UPEC. All isolates exhibited local inflammatory response with extensive subcutaneous necrosis but low lethality when tested in a mouse sepsis model. The bla OXA-48 gene was located in MOBP131/IncL plasmids (four isolates) or within the chromosome (three ST131 H30-Rx isolates), carried by Tn1999-like elements. All, except the ST83 isolate, were multidrug-resistant, with additional plasmids acting as vehicles for the spread of various resistance genes. This is the first study to analyse the whole genome sequences of bla OXA-48-positive ST131, ST58 and ST83 E. coli isolates in conjunction with experimental data, and to evaluate the in vivo virulence of bla OXA-48 isolates, which pose an important challenge to patient management.

  11. Molecular Typing and Virulence Gene Profiles of Enterotoxin Gene Cluster (egc)-Positive Staphylococcus aureus Isolates Obtained from Various Food and Clinical Specimens.

    PubMed

    Song, Minghui; Shi, Chunlei; Xu, Xuebing; Shi, Xianming

    2016-11-01

    The enterotoxin gene cluster (egc) has been proposed to contribute to the Staphylococcus aureus colonization, which highlights the need to evaluate genetic diversity and virulence gene profiles of the egc-positive population. Here, a total of 43 egc-positive isolates (16.2%) were identified from 266 S. aureus isolates that were obtained from various food and clinical specimens in Shanghai. Seven different egc profiles were found based on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) result for egc genes. Then, these 43 egc-positive isolates were further typed by multilocus sequence typing, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA), and accessory gene regulatory (agr) typing. It showed that the 43 egc-positive isolates displayed 17 sequence types, 28 PFGE patterns, 29 MLVA types, and 4 agr types, respectively. Among them, the dominant clonal lineage was CC5-agr II (48.84%). Thirty toxin and 20 adhesion-associated genes were detected by PCR in egc-positive isolates. Notably, invasive toxin genes showed a high prevalence, such as 76.7% for Panton-Valentine leukocidin encoding genes, 27.9% for sec, and 23.3% for tsst-1. Most of the examined adhesion-associated genes were found to be conserved (76.7-100%), whereas the fnbB gene was only found in 8 (18.6%) isolates. In addition, 33 toxin gene profiles and 13 adhesion gene profiles were identified, respectively. Our results imply that isolates belonging to the same clonal lineage harbored similar adhesion gene profiles but diverse toxin gene profiles. Overall, the high prevalence of invasive virulence genes increases the potential risk of egc-positive isolates in S. aureus infection.

  12. 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.

  13. Determining the Molecular Growth Mechanisms of Tetragonal Lysozyme Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Li, Huayu; Nadarajah, Arunan; Konnert, John H.; Pusey, Marc L.

    1998-01-01

    Studies of the growth of tetragonal lysozyme crystals employing atomic force microscopy (AFM) have shown the advantages of this technique in investigating the growth mechanisms of protein crystals [1]. The resolution of these studies was in the micron range, which revealed surface features such as the occurrence of dislocations and 2D nucleation islands, similar to those found in inorganic systems. They clearly showed that the crystals grew by these surface growth mechanisms. However, the studies also revealed some surprising features, such as bimolecular growth step heights and pronounced growth anisotropies on the (110) face, which could not be explained. In previous studies we employed Periodic Bond Chain (PBC) theory to tetragonal lysozyme crystal growth and found that the crystals were constructed by strongly bonded molecular chains forming helices about the 43 axes [2,3]. The helices were connected to each other with weaker bonds. The growth process was shown to proceed by the formation of these 43 helices, resulting in bimolecular growth steps on the (110) face. It was also shown to explain many other observations on tetragonal lysozyme crystal growth. Although PBC analysis is not a new technique [4], it has not been widely used as the mechanisms predicted from it could not be experimentally verified. In this study the growth process of these crystals was investigated, particularly for the (110) face, employing some newly developed high resolution AFM techniques. These techniques allowed individual lysozyme molecules on the crystal faces to be resolved and predictions from PBC analyses to be tested. The analyses had shown that of the two possible packing arrangements on (110) faces, only one would actually occur. Employing the first of the newly developed techniques, these faces were scanned by high resolution AFM. The resulting images were then compared with the theoretically constructed images for the two possible packing arrangements on the (110) face

  14. Manganese uptake and streptococcal virulence.

    PubMed

    Eijkelkamp, Bart A; McDevitt, Christopher A; Kitten, Todd

    2015-06-01

    Streptococcal solute-binding proteins (SBPs) associated with ATP-binding cassette transporters gained widespread attention first as ostensible adhesins, next as virulence determinants, and finally as metal ion transporters. In this mini-review, we will examine our current understanding of the cellular roles of these proteins, their contribution to metal ion homeostasis, and their crucial involvement in mediating streptococcal virulence. There are now more than 35 studies that have collected structural, biochemical and/or physiological data on the functions of SBPs across a broad range of bacteria. This offers a wealth of data to clarify the formerly puzzling and contentious findings regarding the metal specificity amongst this group of essential bacterial transporters. In particular we will focus on recent findings related to biological roles for manganese in streptococci. These advances will inform efforts aimed at exploiting the importance of manganese and manganese acquisition for the design of new approaches to combat serious streptococcal diseases.

  15. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Protective effect of exposure to non-virulent Trypanosoma cruzi clones on the course of subsequent infections with highly virulent clones in mice.

    PubMed

    Lauria-Pires, L; Teixeira, A R

    1997-08-01

    The protective effect of primary infection with non-virulent Trypanosoma cruzi clones against subsequent infection with highly virulent clones was determined in groups of BALB/c mice. All mice inoculated with the highly virulent m3 and m4 clones succumbed in < or = 16 days. Mice inoculated with the non-virulent h1 and h2 clones survived and were superinfected with the m3 and m4 clones. Low degrees of parasitaemia were observed in mice challenged with the highly virulent clones. The survival ratios of the superinfected mice were not statistically different from those seen in mice that received a single injection of non-virulent T. cruzi. Mice given a non-virulent infection and subsequently challenged with a virulent clone differed from those given only a non-virulent infection in showing more frequently an inflammatory infiltrate in the heart, skeletal muscle and intestines.

  20. Molecular Determinants of S100B Oligomer Formation

    PubMed Central

    Thulin, Eva; Kesvatera, Tõnu; Linse, Sara

    2011-01-01

    Background S100B is a dimeric protein that can form tetramers, hexamers and higher order oligomers. These forms have been suggested to play a role in RAGE activation. Methodology/Principal Findings Oligomerization was found to require a low molecular weight trigger/cofactor and could not be detected for highly pure dimer, irrespective of handling. Imidazol was identified as a substance that can serve this role. Oligomerization is dependent on both the imidazol concentration and pH, with optima around 90 mM imidazol and pH 7, respectively. No oligomerization was observed above pH 8, thus the protonated form of imidazol is the active species in promoting assembly of dimers to higher species. However, disulfide bonds are not involved and the process is independent of redox potential. The process was also found to be independent of whether Ca2+ is bound to the protein or not. Tetramers that are purified from dimers and imidazol by gel filtration are kinetically stable, but dissociate into dimers upon heating. Dimers do not revert to tetramer and higher oligomer unless imidazol is again added. Both tetramers and hexamers bind the target peptide from p53 with retained stoichiometry of one peptide per S100B monomer, and with high affinity (lgK = 7.3±0.2 and 7.2±0.2, respectively in 10 mM BisTris, 5 mM CaCl2, pH 7.0), which is less than one order of magnitude reduced compared to dimer under the same buffer conditions. Conclusion/Significance S100B oligomerization requires protonated imidazol as a trigger/cofactor. Oligomers are kinetically stable after imidazol is removed but revert back to dimer if heated. The results underscore the importance of kinetic versus thermodynamic control of S100B protein aggregation. PMID:21445240

  1. Molecular Determinants of BK Channel Functional Diversity and Functioning.

    PubMed

    Latorre, Ramon; Castillo, Karen; Carrasquel-Ursulaez, Willy; Sepulveda, Romina V; Gonzalez-Nilo, Fernando; Gonzalez, Carlos; Alvarez, Osvaldo

    2017-01-01

    Large-conductance Ca(2+)- and voltage-activated K(+) (BK) channels play many physiological roles ranging from the maintenance of smooth muscle tone to hearing and neurosecretion. BK channels are tetramers in which the pore-forming α subunit is coded by a single gene (Slowpoke, KCNMA1). In this review, we first highlight the physiological importance of this ubiquitous channel, emphasizing the role that BK channels play in different channelopathies. We next discuss the modular nature of BK channel-forming protein, in which the different modules (the voltage sensor and the Ca(2+) binding sites) communicate with the pore gates allosterically. In this regard, we review in detail the allosteric models proposed to explain channel activation and how the models are related to channel structure. Considering their extremely large conductance and unique selectivity to K(+), we also offer an account of how these two apparently paradoxical characteristics can be understood consistently in unison, and what we have learned about the conduction system and the activation gates using ions, blockers, and toxins. Attention is paid here to the molecular nature of the voltage sensor and the Ca(2+) binding sites that are located in a gating ring of known crystal structure and constituted by four COOH termini. Despite the fact that BK channels are coded by a single gene, diversity is obtained by means of alternative splicing and modulatory β and γ subunits. We finish this review by describing how the association of the α subunit with β or with γ subunits can change the BK channel phenotype and pharmacology.

  2. Molecular structural characteristics as determinants of estrogen receptor selectivity.

    PubMed

    Agatonovic-Kustrin, S; Turner, J V; Glass, B D

    2008-09-29

    Recent reports that a wide variety of natural and man-made compounds are capable of competing with natural hormones for estrogen receptors serve as timely examples of the need to advance screening techniques to support human health and ascertain ecological risk. Quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs) can potentially serve as screening tools to identify and prioritize untested compounds for further empirical evaluations. Computer-based QSAR molecular models have been used to describe ligand-receptor interactions and to predict chemical structures that possess desired pharmacological characteristics. These have recently included combined and differential relative binding affinities of potential estrogenic compounds at estrogen receptors (ER) alpha and beta. In the present study, artificial neural network (ANN) QSAR models were developed that were able to predict differential relative binding affinities of a series of structurally diverse compounds with estrogenic activity. The models were constructed with a dataset of 93 compounds and tested with an additional dataset of 30 independent compounds. High training correlations (r2=0.83-0.91) were observed while validation results for the external compounds were encouraging (r2=0.62-0.86). The models were used to identify structural features of phytoestrogens that are responsible for selective ligand binding to ERalpha and ERbeta. Numerous structural characteristics are required for complexation with receptors. In particular, size, shape and polarity of ligands, heterocyclic rings, lipophilicity, hydrogen bonding, presence of quaternary carbon atom, presence, position, length and configuration of a bulky side chain, were identified as the most significant structural features responsible for selective binding to ERalpha and ERbeta.

  3. Determination of shear viscosity of molecular nitrogen (N2): molecular dynamic hard rotor methodology and the results.

    PubMed

    Strak, Paweł; Krukowski, Stanisław

    2011-04-21

    Determination of shear viscosity of molecular nitrogen (N(2)) by molecular dynamics (MD) in the high density range needs explicit incorporation of the rotational motion and therefore precise knowledge of angular dependence of N(2)-N(2) intermolecular potential. Newly designed Couette flow nonequilibrium molecular dynamic (NEMD) simulation procedure employs corrugated moving boundary, coupling the moving walls to translational and rotational motion exactly. Low density data on nitrogen viscosity show good agreement between MD data and experiment, confirming the radial dependence of the potential derived from quantum mechanical (QM) high precision calculations (coupled-cluster singles-and-doubles with a perturbative triples corrections [CCSD(T)]). Additionally, the angular dependence of the potential is verified using shear viscosity data for high density region, obtained from newly developed molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. It was demonstrated that the corrugated wall flow simulations provide results that are independent of the details of wall potential, fulfilling a basic requirement for application of MD simulations. These results are in good agreement with the equilibrium molecular dynamics (EMD) viscosity, derived from the Green-Kubo formula. Derived analytical dependence of the shear viscosity on the density and temperature shows that the MD data are in good agreement with experiment. Thus, MD simulations indicate that the CCSD(T) potential angular form is sufficiently precise for determination of the viscosity in a wide range of temperature and pressure.

  4. Evaluation of Jacobian determinants by Monte Carlo methods - Application to the quasiclassical approximation in molecular scattering.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    La Budde, R. A.

    1972-01-01

    Sampling techniques have been used previously to evaluate Jacobian determinants that occur in classical mechanical descriptions of molecular scattering. These determinants also occur in the quasiclassical approximation. A new technique is described which can be used to evaluate Jacobian determinants which occur in either description. This method is expected to be valuable in the study of reactive scattering using the quasiclassical approximation.

  5. Molecular Determinants of Prostate Cancer Progression Across Race-Ethnicity

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-05-01

    angiogenesis, and the ability of a tumor to enter the cell death (apoptotic) pathway. Similarly, inactivation of cdk-inhibitors (p27, p21, p16 ) is...analysis due to technical issues. The additional markers that we still plan to assess include bcl-2, E-cadherin p53, Rb, CD34, p21, p16 , Ki67, PCNA...to suit each individual antibody used in this study. This system can determine the percentage and intensity of immuno -positivity in specific areas

  6. A comparison of molecular mass determination of hyaluronic acid using SEC/MALLS and sedimentation equilibrium.

    PubMed

    Hokputsa, Sanya; Jumel, Kornelia; Alexander, Catherine; Harding, Stephen E

    2003-08-01

    Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a natural polysaccharide with importance in the pharmaceutical, medical and cosmetic industries. Determining factors in its final applications are its physicochemical properties, particularly molecular mass. A high molecular mass HA was degraded using five different hydroxyl free-radical starting concentrations chemically produced from ascorbic acid and hydrogen peroxide. The aims of the study were to investigate the effect of different hydroxyl free-radical concentrations on the chain length of HA and compare the molecular masses obtained from analytical ultracentrifugation using sedimentation equilibrium experiments and size exclusion chromatography/multi-angle laser light scattering (SEC/MALLS). The results indicated that their molecular masses varied, depending on the degree of hydroxyl free-radical starting concentration. Molecular mass values obtained from sedimentation equilibrium experiments for each sample showed the same trend as those obtained from the SEC/MALLS in the range of molecular masses studied. The molecular masses obtained from sedimentation equilibrium for high molecular mass samples from reciprocal plots of apparent weight average molecular mass against concentration gave values similar to those obtained by SEC/MALLS. In contrast, the molecular mass from conventional plots for high molecular mass samples were much lower than those from SEC/MALLS, even when high ionic strength buffers were used.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

    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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Vanden Bergh, Philippe; Heller, Manfred; Braga-Lagache, Sophie; Frey, Joachim

    2013-09-27

    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 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. We demonstrated the whole in vitro

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. The ROP18 and ROP5 gene allele types are highly predictive of virulence in mice across globally distributed strains of Toxoplasma gondii.

    PubMed

    Shwab, Elliot Keats; Jiang, Tiantian; Pena, Hilda F J; Gennari, Solange M; Dubey, Jitender P; Su, Chunlei

    2016-02-01

    The protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most successful known eukaryotic pathogens on Earth. Virulence of T. gondii strains varies greatly in mice, and mounting evidence suggests that such variations may be relevant to the manifestation of human toxoplasmosis. Polymorphic rhoptry-secreted kinases and pseudokinases (ROP) have been demonstrated to account for murine virulence among the archetypal clonal parasite lineages that dominate the populations of North America and Europe. However, the distribution of virulence gene alleles in natural populations and the broad influence of these allele combinations on T. gondii virulence have not been examined in depth. In the present study, we performed PCR-RFLP genotyping analysis on a diverse array of globally distributed T. gondii strains at four ROP gene loci including ROP18, ROP5, ROP16 and ROP17 that were previously implicated in influencing T. gondii virulence and pathogenesis. We demonstrated through correlation with published virulence data that the combination of ROP18 and ROP5 allele types is highly predictive of T. gondii virulence across a broad range of global T. gondii isolates. These findings indicate that the importance of ROP18 and ROP5 in determining strain virulence is not limited to the North American/European archetypal lineages most commonly used in molecular studies, but also appears to apply to diverse isolates from South/central America and Asia. Restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of these loci may thus serve as a valuable tool in determining the potential virulence of uncharacterized T. gondii strains in future studies.

  14. 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

  15. Cancer pharmacogenomics: DNA genotyping and gene expression profiling to identify molecular determinants of chemosensitivity.

    PubMed

    Auman, J Todd; McLeod, Howard L

    2008-01-01

    Cancer patients exhibit a wide heterogeneity in their responses to chemotherapy. Improvement in chemotherapeutic responses could be achieved by gaining more detailed information on the molecular determinants (i.e., DNA, RNA or protein) underlying this heterogeneity. Pharmacogenomics approaches can be used to integrate information on drug responsiveness with alterations in molecular entities, often on a genome-wide scale. By using information gleaned from pharmacogenomics studies, it is anticipated that cancer chemotherapy can be tailored to the individual patient or tumor phenotype. This review focuses on pharmacogenomics studies conducted to gain insight into the molecular determinants of chemosensitivity to cancer chemotherapeutics.

  16. Molecular determinants of bacterial adhesion monitored by atomic force microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Razatos, Anneta; Ong, Yea-Ling; Sharma, Mukul M.; Georgiou, George

    1998-01-01

    Bacterial adhesion and the subsequent formation of biofilm are major concerns in biotechnology and medicine. The initial step in bacterial adhesion is the interaction of cells with a surface, a process governed by long-range forces, primarily van der Waals and electrostatic interactions. The precise manner in which the force of interaction is affected by cell surface components and by the physiochemical properties of materials is not well understood. Here, we show that atomic force microscopy can be used to analyze the initial events in bacterial adhesion with unprecedented resolution. Interactions between the cantilever tip and confluent monolayers of isogenic strains of Escherichia coli mutants exhibiting subtle differences in cell surface composition were measured. It was shown that the adhesion force is affected by the length of core lipopolysaccharide molecules on the E. coli cell surface and by the production of the capsular polysaccharide, colanic acid. Furthermore, by modifying the atomic force microscope tip we developed a method for determining whether bacteria are attracted or repelled by virtually any biomaterial of interest. This information will be critical for the design of materials that are resistant to bacterial adhesion. PMID:9736689

  17. Identification and Manipulation of the Molecular Determinants Influencing Poliovirus Recombination

    PubMed Central

    Runckel, Charles; Westesson, Oscar; Andino, Raul; DeRisi, Joseph L.

    2013-01-01

    The control and prevention of communicable disease is directly impacted by the genetic mutability of the underlying etiological agents. In the case of RNA viruses, genetic recombination may impact public health by facilitating the generation of new viral strains with altered phenotypes and by compromising the genetic stability of live attenuated vaccines. The landscape of homologous recombination within a given RNA viral genome is thought to be influenced by several factors; however, a complete understanding of the genetic determinants of recombination is lacking. Here, we utilize gene synthesis and deep sequencing to create a detailed recombination map of the poliovirus 1 coding region. We identified over 50 thousand breakpoints throughout the genome, and we show the majority of breakpoints to be concentrated in a small number of specific “hotspots,” including those associated with known or predicted RNA secondary structures. Nucleotide base composition was also found to be associated with recombination frequency, suggesting that recombination is modulated across the genome by predictable and alterable motifs. We tested the predictive utility of the nucleotide base composition association by generating an artificial hotspot in the poliovirus genome. Our results imply that modification of these motifs could be extended to whole genome re-designs for the development of recombination-deficient, genetically stable live vaccine strains. PMID:23408891

  18. Unifying model for molecular determinants of the preselection Vβ repertoire.

    PubMed

    Gopalakrishnan, Suhasni; Majumder, Kinjal; Predeus, Alexander; Huang, Yue; Koues, Olivia I; Verma-Gaur, Jiyoti; Loguercio, Salvatore; Su, Andrew I; Feeney, Ann J; Artyomov, Maxim N; Oltz, Eugene M

    2013-08-20

    The primary antigen receptor repertoire is sculpted by the process of V(D)J recombination, which must strike a balance between diversification and favoring gene segments with specialized functions. The precise determinants of how often gene segments are chosen to complete variable region coding exons remain elusive. We quantified Vβ use in the preselection Tcrb repertoire and report relative contributions of 13 distinct features that may shape their recombination efficiencies, including transcription, chromatin environment, spatial proximity to their DβJβ targets, and predicted quality of recombination signal sequences (RSSs). We show that, in contrast to functional Vβ gene segments, all pseudo-Vβ segments are sequestered in transcriptionally silent chromatin, which effectively suppresses wasteful recombination. Importantly, computational analyses provide a unifying model, revealing a minimum set of five parameters that are predictive of Vβ use, dominated by chromatin modifications associated with transcription, but largely independent of precise spatial proximity to DβJβ clusters. This learned model-building strategy may be useful in predicting the relative contributions of epigenetic, spatial, and RSS features in shaping preselection V repertoires at other antigen receptor loci. Ultimately, such models may also predict how designed or naturally occurring alterations of these loci perturb the preselection use of variable gene segments.

  19. Unifying model for molecular determinants of the preselection Vβ repertoire

    PubMed Central

    Gopalakrishnan, Suhasni; Majumder, Kinjal; Predeus, Alexander; Huang, Yue; Koues, Olivia I.; Verma-Gaur, Jiyoti; Loguercio, Salvatore; Su, Andrew I.; Feeney, Ann J.; Artyomov, Maxim N.; Oltz, Eugene M.

    2013-01-01

    The primary antigen receptor repertoire is sculpted by the process of V(D)J recombination, which must strike a balance between diversification and favoring gene segments with specialized functions. The precise determinants of how often gene segments are chosen to complete variable region coding exons remain elusive. We quantified Vβ use in the preselection Tcrb repertoire and report relative contributions of 13 distinct features that may shape their recombination efficiencies, including transcription, chromatin environment, spatial proximity to their DβJβ targets, and predicted quality of recombination signal sequences (RSSs). We show that, in contrast to functional Vβ gene segments, all pseudo-Vβ segments are sequestered in transcriptionally silent chromatin, which effectively suppresses wasteful recombination. Importantly, computational analyses provide a unifying model, revealing a minimum set of five parameters that are predictive of Vβ use, dominated by chromatin modifications associated with transcription, but largely independent of precise spatial proximity to DβJβ clusters. This learned model-building strategy may be useful in predicting the relative contributions of epigenetic, spatial, and RSS features in shaping preselection V repertoires at other antigen receptor loci. Ultimately, such models may also predict how designed or naturally occurring alterations of these loci perturb the preselection use of variable gene segments. PMID:23918392

  20. Determination of a PAF antagonist pharmacophore using combined Molecular Electrostatic Potential and Molecular Lipophilicity Potential.

    PubMed

    Le Solleu, H; Langlois, M H; Kummer, E; Dubost, J P

    1994-11-01

    PAF is a potent lipid mediator involved in many pathological disorders, such as platelet aggregation, immuno-inflammatory reactions, vascular disorders, septic shock and bronchoconstriction. We chose to study the electronic and lipophilic properties of eleven PAF antagonists, comprising five tetrahydrofuran derivatives, four hetrazepines, the ginkgolide BN-52021 and the pyrrolo-thiazole derivative RP-59227. A Molecular Electrostatic Potential (MEP) contour drawn at -25 kCal/Mol shows three electronegative areas in most compounds. Two areas can be considered as analogous to those described in the so-called "Cache-Oreille" (Earmuff) Model. Molecular Lipophilicity Potential (MLP) analysis allows us to characterise one hydrophilic area, localised at the same place as one of the electronegative areas, and two lipophilic areas, of which the biggest draws a typical "sock" contour. These three areas represent the minimal requirements for a high affinity to the PAF receptor. MEP and MLP results are here combined to propose a pharmacophore for PAF antagonists, including two lipophilic areas, two hydrophilic and electronegative areas and an electronegative zone with no particular hydrophilic behaviour.

  1. 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.

  2. Determination of the experimental equilibrium structure of solid nitromethane using path-integral molecular dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reilly, Anthony M.; Habershon, Scott; Morrison, Carole A.; Rankin, David W. H.

    2010-03-01

    Path-integral molecular dynamics (PIMD) simulations with an empirical interaction potential have been used to determine the experimental equilibrium structure of solid nitromethane at 4.2 and 15 K. By comparing the time-averaged molecular structure determined in a PIMD simulation to the calculated minimum-energy (zero-temperature) molecular structure, we have derived structural corrections that describe the effects of thermal motion. These corrections were subsequently used to determine the equilibrium structure of nitromethane from the experimental time-averaged structure. We find that the corrections to the intramolecular and intermolecular bond distances, as well as to the torsion angles, are quite significant, particularly for those atoms participating in the anharmonic motion of the methyl group. Our results demonstrate that simple harmonic models of thermal motion may not be sufficiently accurate, even at low temperatures, while molecular simulations employing more realistic potential-energy surfaces can provide important insight into the role and magnitude of anharmonic atomic motions.

  3. Mechanisms Controlling Virulence Thresholds of Mixed Viral Populations ▿

    PubMed Central

    Lancaster, Karen Z.; Pfeiffer, Julie K.

    2011-01-01

    The propensity of RNA viruses to revert attenuating mutations contributes to disease and complicates vaccine development. Despite the presence of virulent revertant viruses in some live-attenuated vaccines, disease from vaccination is rare. This suggests that in mixed viral populations, attenuated viruses may limit the pathogenesis of virulent viruses, thus establishing a virulence threshold. Here we examined virulence thresholds using mixtures of virulent and attenuated viruses in a transgenic mouse model of poliovirus infection. We determined that a 1,000-fold excess of the attenuated Sabin strain of poliovirus was protective against disease induced by the virulent Mahoney strain. Protection was induced locally, and inactivated virus conferred protection. Treatment with a poliovirus receptor-blocking antibody phenocopied the protective effect of inactivated viruses in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that one mechanism controlling virulence thresholds may be competition for a viral receptor. Additionally, the type I interferon response reduces poliovirus pathogenesis; therefore, we examined virulence thresholds in mice lacking the alpha/beta interferon receptor. We found that the attenuated virus was virulent in immunodeficient mice due to the enhanced replication and reversion of attenuating mutations. Therefore, while the type I interferon response limits the virulence of the attenuated strain by reducing replication, protection from disease conferred by the attenuated strain in immunocompetent mice can occur independently of replication. Our results identified mechanisms controlling the virulence of mixed viral populations and indicate that live-attenuated vaccines containing virulent virus may be safe, as long as virulent viruses are present at levels below a critical threshold. PMID:21795346

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. A Japanese encephalitis virus genotype 5 molecular clone is highly neuropathogenic in a mouse model: impact of the structural protein region on virulence.

    PubMed

    de Wispelaere, Mélissanne; Frenkiel, Marie-Pascale; Desprès, Philippe

    2015-06-01

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

  8. A Longitudinal Study Simultaneously Exploring the Carriage of APEC Virulence Associated Genes and the Molecular Epidemiology of Faecal and Systemic E. coli in Commercial Broiler Chickens

    PubMed Central

    Kemmett, Kirsty; Humphrey, Tom; Rushton, Steven; Close, Andrew; Wigley, Paul; Williams, Nicola J.

    2013-01-01

    Colibacillosis is an economically important syndromic disease of poultry caused by extra-intestinal avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) but the pathotype remains poorly defined. Combinations of virulence-associated genes (VAGs) have aided APEC identification. The intestinal microbiota is a potential APEC reservoir. Broiler chickens are selectively bred for fast, uniform growth. Here we simultaneously investigate intestinal E. coli VAG carriage in apparently healthy birds and characterise systemic E. coli from diseased broiler chickens from the same flocks. Four flocks were sampled longitudinally from chick placement until slaughter. Phylogrouping, macro-restriction pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) were performed on an isolate subset from one flock to investigate the population structure of faecal and systemic E. coli. Early in production, VAG carriage among chick intestinal E. coli populations was diverse (average Simpson's D value  = 0.73); 24.05% of intestinal E. coli (n = 160) from 1 day old chicks were carrying ≥5 VAGs. Generalised Linear models demonstrated VAG prevalence in potential APEC populations declined with age; 1% of E. coli carrying ≥5 VAGs at slaughter and demonstrated high strain diversity. A variety of VAG profiles and high strain diversity were observed among systemic E. coli. Thirty three new MLST sequence types were identified among 50 isolates and a new sequence type representing 22.2% (ST-2999) of the systemic population was found, differing from the pre-defined pathogenic ST-117 at a single locus. For the first time, this study takes a longitudinal approach to unravelling the APEC paradigm. Our findings, supported by other studies, highlight the difficulty in defining the APEC pathotype. Here we report a high genetic diversity among systemic E. coli between and within diseased broilers, harbouring diverse VAG profiles rather than single and/or highly related pathogenic clones

  9. A longitudinal study simultaneously exploring the carriage of APEC virulence associated genes and the molecular epidemiology of faecal and systemic E. coli in commercial broiler chickens.

    PubMed

    Kemmett, Kirsty; Humphrey, Tom; Rushton, Steven; Close, Andrew; Wigley, Paul; Williams, Nicola J

    2013-01-01

    Colibacillosis is an economically important syndromic disease of poultry caused by extra-intestinal avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) but the pathotype remains poorly defined. Combinations of virulence-associated genes (VAGs) have aided APEC identification. The intestinal microbiota is a potential APEC reservoir. Broiler chickens are selectively bred for fast, uniform growth. Here we simultaneously investigate intestinal E. coli VAG carriage in apparently healthy birds and characterise systemic E. coli from diseased broiler chickens from the same flocks. Four flocks were sampled longitudinally from chick placement until slaughter. Phylogrouping, macro-restriction pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) were performed on an isolate subset from one flock to investigate the population structure of faecal and systemic E. coli. Early in production, VAG carriage among chick intestinal E. coli populations was diverse (average Simpson's D value  = 0.73); 24.05% of intestinal E. coli (n = 160) from 1 day old chicks were carrying ≥5 VAGs. Generalised Linear models demonstrated VAG prevalence in potential APEC populations declined with age; 1% of E. coli carrying ≥5 VAGs at slaughter and demonstrated high strain diversity. A variety of VAG profiles and high strain diversity were observed among systemic E. coli. Thirty three new MLST sequence types were identified among 50 isolates and a new sequence type representing 22.2% (ST-2999) of the systemic population was found, differing from the pre-defined pathogenic ST-117 at a single locus. For the first time, this study takes a longitudinal approach to unravelling the APEC paradigm. Our findings, supported by other studies, highlight the difficulty in defining the APEC pathotype. Here we report a high genetic diversity among systemic E. coli between and within diseased broilers, harbouring diverse VAG profiles rather than single and/or highly related pathogenic clones

  10. Proteomic-Biostatistic Integrated Approach for Finding the Underlying Molecular Determinants of Hypertension in Human Plasma.

    PubMed

    Gajjala, Prathibha R; Jankowski, Vera; Heinze, Georg; Bilo, Grzegorz; Zanchetti, Alberto; Noels, Heidi; Liehn, Elisa; Perco, Paul; Schulz, Anna; Delles, Christian; Kork, Felix; Biessen, Erik; Narkiewicz, Krzysztof; Kawecka-Jaszcz, Kalina; Floege, Juergen; Soranna, Davide; Zidek, Walter; Jankowski, Joachim

    2017-08-01

    Despite advancements in lowering blood pressure, the best approach to lower it remains controversial because of the lack of information on the molecular basis of hypertension. We, therefore, performed plasma proteomics of plasma from patients with hypertension to identify molecular determinants detectable in these subjects but not in controls and vice versa. Plasma samples from hypertensive subjects (cases; n=118) and controls (n=85) from the InGenious HyperCare cohort were used for this study and performed mass spectrometric analysis. Using biostatistical methods, plasma peptides specific for hypertension were identified, and a model was developed using least absolute shrinkage and selection operator logistic regression. The underlying peptides were identified and sequenced off-line using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization orbitrap mass spectrometry. By comparison of the molecular composition of the plasma samples, 27 molecular determinants were identified differently expressed in cases from controls. Seventy percent of the molecular determinants selected were found to occur less likely in hypertensive patients. In cross-validation, the overall R(2) was 0.434, and the area under the curve was 0.891 with 95% confidence interval 0.8482 to 0.9349, P<0.0001. The mean values of the cross-validated proteomic score of normotensive and hypertensive patients were found to be -2.007±0.3568 and 3.383±0.2643, respectively, P<0.0001. The molecular determinants were successfully identified, and the proteomic model developed shows an excellent discriminatory ability between hypertensives and normotensives. The identified molecular determinants may be the starting point for further studies to clarify the molecular causes of hypertension. © 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.

  11. 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.

  12. Cellulose production, activated by cyclic di-GMP through BcsA and BcsZ, is a virulence factor and an essential determinant of the three-dimensional architectures of biofilms formed by Erwinia amylovora Ea1189.

    PubMed

    Castiblanco, Luisa F; Sundin, George W

    2016-10-18

    Bacterial biofilms are multicellular aggregates encased in an extracellular matrix mainly composed of exopolysaccharides (EPSs), protein and nucleic acids, which determines the architecture of the biofilm. Erwinia amylovora Ea1189 forms a biofilm inside the xylem of its host, which results in vessel plugging and water transport impairment. The production of the EPSs amylovoran and levan is critical for the formation of a mature biofilm. In addition, cyclic dimeric GMP (c-di-GMP) has been reported to positively regulate amylovoran biosynthesis and biofilm formation in E. amylovora Ea1189. In this study, we demonstrate that cellulose is synthesized by E. amylovora Ea1189 and is a major modulator of the three-dimensional characteristics of biofilms formed by this bacterium, and also contributes to virulence during systemic host invasion. In addition, we demonstrate that the activation of cellulose biosynthesis in E. amylovora is a c-di-GMP-dependent process, through allosteric binding to the cellulose catalytic subunit BcsA. We also report that the endoglucanase BcsZ is a key player in c-di-GMP activation of cellulose biosynthesis. Our results provide evidence of the complex composition of the extracellular matrix produced by E. amylovora and the implications of cellulose biosynthesis in shaping the architecture of the biofilm and in the expression of one of the main virulence phenotypes of this pathogen.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Reproducible challenge model to investigate the virulence of Flavobacterium columnare genomovars in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss.

    PubMed

    Lafrentz, B R; Lapatra, S E; Shoemaker, C A; Klesius, P H

    2012-11-08

    Flavobacterium columnare is a Gram-negative bacterium that causes columnaris disease and has significant economic impacts on aquaculture production worldwide. Molecular analyses have demonstrated that there is genetic diversity among F. columnare isolates. A review of the published literature that used restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the 16S rRNA gene revealed that all isolates typed from salmonids were Genomovar I. Our objective was to develop a laboratory challenge model for F. columnare in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum) and use the model to determine the virulence of Genomovar I and II isolates. Six F. columnare isolates were obtained from rainbow trout experiencing losses due to columnaris disease and were determined to be Genomovar I. Three of these were chosen for a preliminary assessment of virulence, and isolate 051-10-S5 was chosen for additional experiments to determine the reproducibility of the waterborne challenge model. In 2 independent experiments, cumulative percent mortalities (CPM) were 49 ± 10% and 50 ± 19%. Challenge of rainbow trout with Genomovar I and II isolates demonstrated a difference in the CPM, with the Genomovar II isolates inducing significantly higher CPM. This reproducible waterborne challenge model for columnaris disease in rainbow trout will be useful to investigate host-pathogen interactions, vaccine development, and other potential control strategies. This research also provides a basis for further defining the molecular diversity and virulence associated with F. columnare genomovars in rainbow trout and other salmonid species.

  16. 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

  17. Manipulation of arthropod sex determination by endosymbionts: diversity and molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Ma, W-J; Vavre, F; Beukeboom, L W

    2014-01-01

    Arthropods exhibit a large variety of sex determination systems both at the chromosomal and molecular level. Male heterogamety, female heterogamety, and haplodiploidy occur frequently, but partially different genes are involved. Endosymbionts, such as Wolbachia, Cardinium,Rickettsia, and Spiroplasma, can manipulate host reproduction and sex determination. Four major reproductive manipulation types are distinguished: cytoplasmic incompatibility, thelytokous parthenogenesis, male killing, and feminization. In this review, the effects of these manipulation types and how they interfere with arthropod sex determination in terms of host developmental timing, alteration of sex determination, and modification of sexual differentiation pathways are summarized. Transitions between different manipulation types occur frequently which suggests that they are based on similar molecular processes. It is also discussed how mechanisms of reproductive manipulation and host sex determination can be informative on each other, with a special focus on haplodiploidy. Future directions on how the study of endosymbiotic manipulation of host reproduction can be key to further studies of arthropod sex determination are shown.

  18. Direct optical determination of interfacial transport barriers in molecular tunnel junctions.

    PubMed

    Fereiro, Jerry A; McCreery, Richard L; Bergren, Adam Johan

    2013-07-03

    Molecular electronics seeks to build circuitry using organic components with at least one dimension in the nanoscale domain. Progress in the field has been inhibited by the difficulty in determining the energy levels of molecules after being perturbed by interactions with the conducting contacts. We measured the photocurrent spectra for large-area aliphatic and aromatic molecular tunnel junctions with partially transparent copper top contacts. Where no molecular absorption takes place, the photocurrent is dominated by internal photoemission, which exhibits energy thresholds corresponding to interfacial transport barriers, enabling their direct measurement in a functioning junction.

  19. Development of a multiplex PCR for the detection of asa1, gelE, cylA, esp, and hyl genes in enterococci and survey for virulence determinants among European hospital isolates of Enterococcus faecium.

    PubMed

    Vankerckhoven, Vanessa; Van Autgaerden, Tim; Vael, Carl; Lammens, Christine; Chapelle, Sabine; Rossi, Rosaria; Jabes, Daniela; Goossens, Herman

    2004-10-01

    A multiplex PCR for the simultaneous detection of five virulence genes (asa1, gelE, cylA, esp, and hyl) in enterococci was developed. The presence of these genes was investigated in 153 clinical and 118 fecal Enterococcus faecium isolates from inpatients at an increased risk of developing infections (such as patients in intensive care units and hematology wards) from 13 hospitals in eight European countries. Of the 271 E. faecium isolates, 135 were vancomycin resistant E. faecium (VREF) isolates and 136 were vancomycin susceptible E. faecium (VSEF) isolates. Susceptibilities to ampicillin, gentamicin, streptomycin, vancomycin, teicoplanin, ramoplanin, quinupristin-dalfopristin, and linezolid were tested by the microdilution method. Overall, the prevalence of esp was significantly higher (P = 0.03) in clinical VREF isolates (92%) than in fecal VREF isolates (73%). In Italy, the prevalence of esp was significantly higher (P = 0.02) in VREF isolates (91%) than in VSEF isolates (68%), whereas in the United Kingdom, hyl was significantly more prevalent (P = 0.01) in VREF isolates (71%) than in VSEF isolates (29%). No significant differences were found for the other countries. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis was used to check the clonality among the strains tested and showed the spread of two center-specific (esp-positive) VREF clones in Italy and one center-specific (hyl-positive) clone in the United Kingdom. These clones were resistant to ampicillin, gentamicin, and streptomycin. The multiplex PCR reported in this study is a convenient and rapid method for the simultaneous detection of the virulence genes asa1, gelE, cylA, esp, and hyl in enterococci. Molecular analysis showed the intrahospital spread of esp-positive VREF clones (in Italy) and hyl-posi