Science.gov

Sample records for mycobacterial virulence genes

  1. Mycobacterial gene cuvA is required for optimal nutrient utilization and virulence.

    PubMed

    Mir, Mushtaq; Prisic, Sladjana; Kang, Choong-Min; Lun, Shichun; Guo, Haidan; Murry, Jeffrey P; Rubin, Eric J; Husson, Robert N

    2014-10-01

    To persist and cause disease in the host, Mycobacterium tuberculosis must adapt to its environment during infection. Adaptations include changes in nutrient utilization and alterations in growth rate. M. tuberculosis Rv1422 is a conserved gene of unknown function that was found in a genetic screen to interact with the mce4 cholesterol uptake locus. The Rv1422 protein is phosphorylated by the M. tuberculosis Ser/Thr kinases PknA and PknB, which regulate cell growth and cell wall synthesis. Bacillus subtilis strains lacking the Rv1422 homologue yvcK grow poorly on several carbon sources, and yvcK is required for proper localization of peptidoglycan synthesis. Here we show that Mycobacterium smegmatis and M. tuberculosis strains lacking Rv1422 have growth defects in minimal medium containing limiting amounts of several different carbon sources. These strains also have morphological abnormalities, including shortened and bulging cells, suggesting a cell wall defect. In both mycobacterial species, the Rv1422 protein localizes uniquely to the growing cell pole, the site of peptidoglycan synthesis in mycobacteria. An M. tuberculosis ΔRv1422 strain is markedly attenuated for virulence in a mouse infection model, where it elicits decreased inflammation in the lungs and shows impaired bacterial persistence. These findings led us to name this gene cuvA (carbon utilization and virulence protein A) and to suggest a model in which deletion of cuvA leads to changes in nutrient uptake and/or metabolism that affect cell wall structure, morphology, and virulence. Its role in virulence suggests that CuvA may be a useful target for novel inhibitors of M. tuberculosis during infection.

  2. Evaluation of mycobacterial virulence using rabbit skin liquefaction model

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Guoping; Shi, Wanliang; Wang, Mingzhu; Da, Zejiao

    2010-01-01

    Liquefaction is an important pathological process that can subsequently lead to cavitation where large numbers of bacilli can be coughed up which in turn causes spread of tuberculosis in humans. Current animal models to study the liquefaction process and to evaluate virulence of mycobacteria are tedious. In this study, we evaluated a rabbit skin model as a rapid model for liquefaction and virulence assessment using M. bovis BCG, M. tuberculosis avirulent strain H37Ra, M. smegmatis, and the H37Ra strains complemented with selected genes from virulent M. tuberculosis strain H37Rv. We found that with prime and/or boosting immunization, all of these live bacteria at enough high number could induce liquefaction, and the boosting induced stronger liquefaction and more severe lesions in shorter time compared with the prime injection. The skin lesions caused by high dose live BCG (5 × 106 CFU) were the most severe followed by live M. tuberculosis H37Ra with M. smegmatis being the least pathogenic. It is of interest to note that none of the above heat-killed mycobacteria induced liquefaction. When H37Ra was complemented with certain wild type genes of H37Rv, some of the complemented H37Ra strains produced more severe skin lesions than H37Ra. These results suggest that the rabbit skin liquefaction model can be a more visual, convenient, rapid and useful model to evaluate virulence of different mycobacteria and to study the mechanisms of liquefaction. PMID:21178434

  3. Evaluation of mycobacterial virulence using rabbit skin liquefaction model.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Guoping; Zhu, Bingdong; Shi, Wanliang; Wang, Mingzhu; Da, Zejiao; Zhang, Ying

    2010-01-01

    Liquefaction is an important pathological process that can subsequently lead to cavitation where large numbers of bacilli can be coughed up which in turn causes spread of tuberculosis in humans. Current animal models to study the liquefaction process and to evaluate virulence of mycobacteria are tedious. In this study, we evaluated a rabbit skin model as a rapid model for liquefaction and virulence assessment using M. bovis BCG, M. tuberculosis avirulent strain H37Ra, M. smegmatis, and the H37Ra strains complemented with selected genes from virulent M. tuberculosis strain H37Rv. We found that with prime and/or boosting immunization, all of these live bacteria at enough high number could induce liquefaction, and the boosting induced stronger liquefaction and more severe lesions in shorter time compared with the prime injection. The skin lesions caused by high dose live BCG (5×10 (6) ) were the most severe followed by live M. tuberculosis H37Ra with M. smegmatis being the least pathogenic. It is of interest to note that none of the above heat-killed mycobacteria induced liquefaction. When H37Ra was complemented with certain wild type genes of H37Rv, some of the complemented H37Ra strains produced more severe skin lesions than H37Ra. These results suggest that the rabbit skin liquefaction model can be a more visual, convenient, rapid and useful model to evaluate virulence of different mycobacteria and to study the mechanisms of liquefaction.

  4. Network Analysis of Human Genes Influencing Susceptibility to Mycobacterial Infections

    PubMed Central

    Lipner, Ettie M.; Garcia, Benjamin J.; Strong, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Tuberculosis and nontuberculous mycobacterial infections constitute a high burden of pulmonary disease in humans, resulting in over 1.5 million deaths per year. Building on the premise that genetic factors influence the instance, progression, and defense of infectious disease, we undertook a systems biology approach to investigate relationships among genetic factors that may play a role in increased susceptibility or control of mycobacterial infections. We combined literature and database mining with network analysis and pathway enrichment analysis to examine genes, pathways, and networks, involved in the human response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis and nontuberculous mycobacterial infections. This approach allowed us to examine functional relationships among reported genes, and to identify novel genes and enriched pathways that may play a role in mycobacterial susceptibility or control. Our findings suggest that the primary pathways and genes influencing mycobacterial infection control involve an interplay between innate and adaptive immune proteins and pathways. Signaling pathways involved in autoimmune disease were significantly enriched as revealed in our networks. Mycobacterial disease susceptibility networks were also examined within the context of gene-chemical relationships, in order to identify putative drugs and nutrients with potential beneficial immunomodulatory or anti-mycobacterial effects. PMID:26751573

  5. A potential target gene for the host-directed therapy of mycobacterial infection in murine macrophages.

    PubMed

    Bao, Zhang; Chen, Ran; Zhang, Pei; Lu, Shan; Chen, Xing; Yao, Yake; Jin, Xiaozheng; Sun, Yilan; Zhou, Jianying

    2016-09-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), one of the major bacterial pathogens for lethal infectious diseases, is capable of surviving within the phagosomes of host alveolar macrophages; therefore, host genetic variations may alter the susceptibility to MTB. In this study, to identify host genes exploited by MTB during infection, genes were non-selectively inactivated using lentivirus-based antisense RNA methods in Raw264.7 macrophages, and the cells that survived virulent MTB infection were then screened. Following DNA sequencing of the surviving cell clones, 26 host genes affecting susceptibility to MTB were identified and their pathways were analyzed by bioinformatics analysis. In total, 9 of these genes were confirmed as positive regulators of collagen α-5(IV) chain (Col4a5) expression, a gene encoding a type IV collagen subunit present on the cell surface. The knockdown of Col4a5 consistently suppressed intracellular mycobacterial viability, promoting the survival of Raw264.7 macrophages following mycobacterial infection. Furthermore, Col4a5 deficiency lowered the pH levels of intracellular vesicles, including endosomes, lysosomes and phagosomes in the Raw264.7 cells. Finally, the knockdown of Col4a5 post-translationally increased microsomal vacuolar-type H+-ATPase activity in macrophages, leading to the acidification of intracellular vesicles. Our findings reveal a novel role for Col4a5 in the regulation of macrophage responses to mycobacterial infection and identify Col4a5 as a potential target for the host-directed anti-mycobacterial therapy.

  6. Species of environmental mycobacteria differ in their abilities to grow in human, mouse, and carp macrophages and with regard to the presence of mycobacterial virulence genes, as observed by DNA microarray hybridization.

    PubMed

    Harriff, Melanie J; Wu, Martin; Kent, Michael L; Bermudez, Luiz E

    2008-01-01

    There are many species of environmental mycobacteria (EM) that infect animals that are important to the economy and research and that also have zoonotic potential. The genomes of very few of these bacterial species have been sequenced, and little is known about the molecular mechanisms by which most of these opportunistic pathogens cause disease. In this study, 18 isolates of EM isolated from fish and humans (including strains of Mycobacterium avium, Mycobacterium peregrinum, Mycobacterium chelonae, and Mycobacterium salmoniphilum) were examined for their abilities to grow in macrophage lines from humans, mice, and carp. Genomic DNA from 14 of these isolates was then hybridized against DNA from an M. avium reference strain, with a custom microarray containing virulence genes of mycobacteria and a selection of representative genes from metabolic pathways. The strains of EM had different abilities to grow within the three types of cell lines, which grouped largely according to the host from which they were isolated. Genes identified as being putatively absent in some of the strains included those with response regulatory functions, cell wall compositions, and fatty acid metabolisms as well as a recently identified pathogenicity island important to macrophage uptake. Further understanding of the role these genes play in host specificity and pathogenicity will be important to gain insight into the zoonotic potential of certain EM as well as their mechanisms of virulence.

  7. The effect of Toxoplasma cell fractions and mycobacterial immunostimulants against virulent Toxoplasma gondii in mice.

    PubMed

    Masihi, K N; Brehmer, W; Werner, H

    1979-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites were disrupted in a Ribi cell fractionator and separated into cell walls and protoplasm by differential centrifugation. These products were used alone or combined with a mycobacterial glycolipid (P3) and injected either as oil-in-water emulsions or incorporated in Freund's incomplete adjuvant. Mice were vaccinated by intravenous or intradermal routes and challenged intraperitoneally with a highly virulent strain of Toxoplasma gondii. A local granuloma formation was induced after i.d. inoculation of Toxoplasma vaccines containing P3 as this glycolipid enabled an adherence of the antigens on the mineral oil droplets. The adjuvant effect of P3 on antibody formation was also observed. Most of the fractions showed a low, but statistically significant prolongation of survival time. Vaccination by the i.v. route with homologous or heterologous antigens, including Trypanosoma cruzi, were not significantly effective, with the exception of a high dose of Toxoplasma protoplasm associated with P3.

  8. Mutational and Phylogenetic Analyses of the Mycobacterial mbt Gene Cluster ▿§

    PubMed Central

    Chavadi, Sivagami Sundaram; Stirrett, Karen L.; Edupuganti, Uthamaphani R.; Vergnolle, Olivia; Sadhanandan, Gigani; Marchiano, Emily; Martin, Che; Qiu, Wei-Gang; Soll, Clifford E.; Quadri, Luis E. N.

    2011-01-01

    The mycobactin siderophore system is present in many Mycobacterium species, including M. tuberculosis and other clinically relevant mycobacteria. This siderophore system is believed to be utilized by both pathogenic and nonpathogenic mycobacteria for iron acquisition in both in vivo and ex vivo iron-limiting environments, respectively. Several M. tuberculosis genes located in a so-called mbt gene cluster have been predicted to be required for the biosynthesis of the core scaffold of mycobactin based on sequence analysis. A systematic and controlled mutational analysis probing the hypothesized essential nature of each of these genes for mycobactin production has been lacking. The degree of conservation of mbt gene cluster orthologs remains to be investigated as well. In this study, we sought to conclusively establish whether each of nine mbt genes was required for mycobactin production and to examine the conservation of gene clusters orthologous to the M. tuberculosis mbt gene cluster in other bacteria. We report a systematic mutational analysis of the mbt gene cluster ortholog found in Mycobacterium smegmatis. This mutational analysis demonstrates that eight of the nine mbt genes investigated are essential for mycobactin production. Our genome mining and phylogenetic analyses reveal the presence of orthologous mbt gene clusters in several bacterial species. These gene clusters display significant organizational differences originating from an intricate evolutionary path that might have included horizontal gene transfers. Altogether, the findings reported herein advance our understanding of the genetic requirements for the biosynthesis of an important mycobacterial secondary metabolite with relevance to virulence. PMID:21873494

  9. Identifying novel mycobacterial stress associated genes using a random mutagenesis screen in Mycobacterium smegmatis.

    PubMed

    Viswanathan, Gopinath; Joshi, Shrilaxmi V; Sridhar, Aditi; Dutta, Sayantanee; Raghunand, Tirumalai R

    2015-12-10

    Cell envelope associated components of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) have been implicated in stress response, immune modulation and in vivo survival of the pathogen. Although many such factors have been identified, there is a large disparity between the number of genes predicted to be involved in functions linked to the envelope and those described in the literature. To identify and characterise novel stress related factors associated with the mycobacterial cell envelope, we isolated colony morphotype mutants of Mycobacterium smegmatis (M. smegmatis), based on the hypothesis that mutants with unusual colony morphology may have defects in the biosynthesis of cell envelope components. On testing their susceptibility to stress conditions relevant to M.tb physiology, multiple mutants were found to be sensitive to Isoniazid, Diamide and H2O2, indicative of altered permeability due to changes in cell envelope composition. Two mutants showed defects in biofilm formation implying possible roles for the target genes in antibiotic tolerance and/or virulence. These assays identified novel stress associated roles for several mycobacterial genes including sahH, tatB and aceE. Complementation analysis of selected mutants with the M. smegmatis genes and their M.tb homologues showed phenotypic restoration, validating their link to the observed phenotypes. A mutant carrying an insertion in fhaA encoding a forkhead associated domain containing protein, showed reduced survival in THP-1 macrophages, providing in vivo validation to this screen. Taken together, these results suggest that the M.tb homologues of a majority of the identified genes may play significant roles in the pathogenesis of tuberculosis.

  10. Novel Mutation of Interferon-γ Receptor 1 Gene Presenting as Early Life Mycobacterial Bronchial Disease.

    PubMed

    Gutierrez, Maria J; Kalra, Neelu; Horwitz, Alexandra; Nino, Gustavo

    2016-01-01

    Mendelian susceptibility to mycobacterial diseases (MSMD) are a spectrum of inherited disorders characterized by localized or disseminated infections caused by atypical mycobacteria. Interferon-γ receptor 1 (IFNGR1) deficiency was the first identified genetic disorder recognized as MSMD. Mutations in the genes encoding IFNGR1 can be recessive or dominant and cause complete or partial receptor deficiency. We present the case of a 2½-year-old boy with a history of recurrent wheezing, diagnosed with endobronchial mycobacterial infection. Immunological workup revealed a homozygous nonsense mutation in the IFNGR1 gene, a novel mutation predicted in silico to cause complete IFNGR1 deficiency. This case demonstrates that (a) Interferon-γ receptor deficiency can present resembling common disorders of the lung; (b) mycobacterial infections should be suspected when parenchymal lung disease, hilar lymphadenopathy, and endobronchial disease are present; and (c) high index of suspicion for immunodeficiency should be maintained in patients with disseminated nontubercular mycobacterial infection.

  11. Novel Mutation of Interferon-γ Receptor 1 Gene Presenting as Early Life Mycobacterial Bronchial Disease

    PubMed Central

    Gutierrez, Maria J.; Kalra, Neelu; Horwitz, Alexandra; Nino, Gustavo

    2016-01-01

    Mendelian susceptibility to mycobacterial diseases (MSMD) are a spectrum of inherited disorders characterized by localized or disseminated infections caused by atypical mycobacteria. Interferon-γ receptor 1 (IFNGR1) deficiency was the first identified genetic disorder recognized as MSMD. Mutations in the genes encoding IFNGR1 can be recessive or dominant and cause complete or partial receptor deficiency. We present the case of a 2½-year-old boy with a history of recurrent wheezing, diagnosed with endobronchial mycobacterial infection. Immunological workup revealed a homozygous nonsense mutation in the IFNGR1 gene, a novel mutation predicted in silico to cause complete IFNGR1 deficiency. This case demonstrates that (a) Interferon-γ receptor deficiency can present resembling common disorders of the lung; (b) mycobacterial infections should be suspected when parenchymal lung disease, hilar lymphadenopathy, and endobronchial disease are present; and (c) high index of suspicion for immunodeficiency should be maintained in patients with disseminated nontubercular mycobacterial infection. PMID:27868075

  12. Zebrafish embryo screen for mycobacterial genes involved in the initiation of granuloma formation reveals a newly identified ESX-1 component.

    PubMed

    Stoop, Esther J M; Schipper, Tim; Rosendahl Huber, Sietske K; Nezhinsky, Alexander E; Verbeek, Fons J; Gurcha, Sudagar S; Besra, Gurdyal S; Vandenbroucke-Grauls, Christina M J E; Bitter, Wilbert; van der Sar, Astrid M

    2011-07-01

    The hallmark of tuberculosis (TB) is the formation of granulomas, which are clusters of infected macrophages surrounded by additional macrophages, neutrophils and lymphocytes. Although it has long been thought that granulomas are beneficial for the host, there is evidence that mycobacteria also promote the formation of these structures. In this study, we aimed to identify new mycobacterial factors involved in the initial stages of granuloma formation. We exploited the zebrafish embryo Mycobacterium marinum infection model to study initiation of granuloma formation and developed an in vivo screen to select for random M. marinum mutants that were unable to induce granuloma formation efficiently. Upon screening 200 mutants, three mutants repeatedly initiated reduced granuloma formation. One of the mutants was found to be defective in the espL gene, which is located in the ESX-1 cluster. The ESX-1 cluster is disrupted in the Mycobacterium bovis BCG vaccine strain and encodes a specialized secretion system known to be important for granuloma formation and virulence. Although espL has not been implicated in protein secretion before, we observed a strong effect on the secretion of the ESX-1 substrates ESAT-6 and EspE. We conclude that our zebrafish embryo M. marinum screen is a useful tool to identify mycobacterial genes involved in the initial stages of granuloma formation and that we have identified a new component of the ESX-1 secretion system. We are confident that our approach will contribute to the knowledge of mycobacterial virulence and could be helpful for the development of new TB vaccines.

  13. EsxA membrane-permeabilizing activity plays a key role in mycobacterial cytosolic translocation and virulence: effects of single-residue mutations at glutamine 5

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Qi; Wang, Decheng; Jiang, Guozhong; Liu, Wei; Deng, Qing; Li, Xiujun; Qian, Wei; Ouellet, Hugues; Sun, Jianjun

    2016-01-01

    EsxA is required for virulence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) and plays an essential role in phagosome rupture and translocation to the cytosol of macrophages. Recent biochemical studies have demonstrated that EsxA is a membrane-permeabilizing protein. However, evidence that link EsxA membrane-permeabilizing activity to Mtb cytosolic translocation and virulence is lacking. Here we found that mutations at glutamine 5 (Q5) could up or down regulate EsxA membrane-permeabilizing activity. The mutation Q5K significantly diminished the membrane-permeabilizing activity, while Q5V enhanced the activity. By taking advantage of the single-residue mutations, we tested the effects of EsxA membrane-permeabilizing activity on mycobacterial virulence and cytosolic translocation using the esxA/esxB knockout strains of Mycobacterium marinum (Mm) and Mtb. Compared to wild type (WT), the Q5K mutant exhibited significantly attenuated virulence, evidenced by intracellular survival and cytotoxicity in mouse macrophages as well as infection of zebra fish embryos. The attenuated virulence of the Q5K mutant was correlated to the impaired cytosolic translocation. On the contrary, the Q5V mutant had a significantly increased cytosolic translocation and showed an overall increased virulence. This study provides convincing evidence that EsxA contributes to mycobacterial virulence with its membrane-permeabilizing activity that is required for cytosolic translocation. PMID:27600772

  14. Structure and function of RNase AS, a polyadenylate-specific exoribonuclease affecting mycobacterial virulence in vivo.

    PubMed

    Romano, Maria; van de Weerd, Robert; Brouwer, Femke C C; Roviello, Giovanni N; Lacroix, Ruben; Sparrius, Marion; van den Brink-van Stempvoort, Gunny; Maaskant, Janneke J; van der Sar, Astrid M; Appelmelk, Ben J; Geurtsen, Jeroen J; Berisio, Rita

    2014-05-06

    The cell-envelope of Mycobacterium tuberculosis plays a key role in bacterial virulence and antibiotic resistance. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms of regulation of cell-envelope formation. Here, we elucidate functional and structural properties of RNase AS, which modulates M. tuberculosis cell-envelope properties and strongly impacts bacterial virulence in vivo. The structure of RNase AS reveals a resemblance to RNase T from Escherichia coli, an RNase of the DEDD family involved in RNA maturation. We show that RNase AS acts as a 3'-5'-exoribonuclease that specifically hydrolyzes adenylate-containing RNA sequences. Also, crystal structures of complexes with AMP and UMP reveal the structural basis for the observed enzyme specificity. Notably, RNase AS shows a mechanism of substrate recruitment, based on the recognition of the hydrogen bond donor NH2 group of adenine. Our work opens a field for the design of drugs able to reduce bacterial virulence in vivo.

  15. Insights into horizontal acquisition patterns of dormancy and reactivation regulon genes in mycobacterial species using a partitioning-based framework.

    PubMed

    Mehra, Varun; Ghosh, Tarini Shankar; Mande, Sharmila S

    2016-09-01

    Horizontal Gene Transfer (HGT) events, initially thought to be rare in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, have recently been shown to be involved in the acquisition of virulence operons in M. tuberculosis. We have developed a new partitioning framework based HGT prediction algorithm, called Grid3M, and applied the same for the prediction of HGTs in Mycobacteria. Validation and testing using simulated and real microbial genomes indicated better performance of Grid3M as compared with other widely used HGT prediction methods. Specific analysis of the genes belonging to dormancy/reactivation regulons across 14 mycobacterial genomes indicated that horizontal acquisition is specifically restricted to important accessory proteins. The results also revealed Burkholderia species to be a probable source of HGT genes belonging to these regulons. The current study provides a basis for similar analyses investigating the functional/evolutionary aspects of HGT genes in other pathogens. A database of Grid3M predicted HGTs in completely sequenced genomes is available at https://metagenomics.atc.tcs.com/Grid3M/.

  16. Identification of Mycobacterial Species by Comparative Sequence Analysis of the RNA Polymerase Gene (rpoB)

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Bum-Joon; Lee, Seung-Hyun; Lyu, Mi-Ae; Kim, Seo-Jeong; Bai, Gill-Han; Kim, Sang-Jae; Chae, Gue-Tae; Kim, Eui-Chong; Cha, Chang-Yong; Kook, Yoon-Hoh

    1999-01-01

    For the differentiation and identification of mycobacterial species, the rpoB gene, encoding the β subunit of RNA polymerase, was investigated. rpoB DNAs (342 bp) were amplified from 44 reference strains of mycobacteria and clinical isolates (107 strains) by PCR. The nucleotide sequences were directly determined (306 bp) and aligned by using the multiple alignment algorithm in the MegAlign package (DNASTAR) and the MEGA program. A phylogenetic tree was constructed by the neighbor-joining method. Comparative sequence analysis of rpoB DNAs provided the basis for species differentiation within the genus Mycobacterium. Slowly and rapidly growing groups of mycobacteria were clearly separated, and each mycobacterial species was differentiated as a distinct entity in the phylogenetic tree. Pathogenic Mycobacterium kansasii was easily differentiated from nonpathogenic M. gastri; this differentiation cannot be achieved by using 16S rRNA gene (rDNA) sequences. By being grouped into species-specific clusters with low-level sequence divergence among strains of the same species, all of the clinical isolates could be easily identified. These results suggest that comparative sequence analysis of amplified rpoB DNAs can be used efficiently to identify clinical isolates of mycobacteria in parallel with traditional culture methods and as a supplement to 16S rDNA gene analysis. Furthermore, in the case of M. tuberculosis, rifampin resistance can be simultaneously determined. PMID:10325313

  17. whmD is an essential mycobacterial gene required for proper septation and cell division

    PubMed Central

    Gomez, James E.; Bishai, William R.

    2000-01-01

    A study of potential mycobacterial regulatory genes led to the isolation of the Mycobacterium smegmatis whmD gene, which encodes a homologue of WhiB, a Streptomyces coelicolor protein required for sporulation. Unlike its Streptomyces homologue, WhmD is essential in M. smegmatis. The whmD gene could be disrupted only in the presence of a plasmid supplying whmD in trans. A plasmid that allowed chemically regulated expression of the WhmD protein was used to generate a conditional whmD mutant. On withdrawal of the inducer, the conditional whmD mutant exhibited irreversible, filamentous, branched growth with diminished septum formation and aberrant septal placement, whereas WhmD overexpression resulted in growth retardation and hyperseptation. Nucleic acid synthesis and levels of the essential cell division protein FtsZ were unaltered by WhmD deficiency. Together, these phenotypes indicate a role for WhmD in mycobacterial septum formation and cell division. PMID:10880571

  18. A 1,100-year-old founder effect mutation in IL12B gene is responsible for Mendelian susceptibility to mycobacterial disease in Tunisian patients.

    PubMed

    Ben-Mustapha, Imen; Ben-Ali, Meriem; Mekki, Najla; Patin, Etienne; Harmant, Christine; Bouguila, Jihène; Elloumi-Zghal, Houda; Harbi, Abdelaziz; Béjaoui, Mohamed; Boughammoura, Lamia; Chemli, Jalel; Barbouche, Mohamed-Ridha

    2014-01-01

    Mendelian susceptibility to mycobacterial disease (MSMD) is a rare disorder predisposing apparently healthy individuals to infections caused by weakly virulent mycobacteria such as bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG), environmental mycobacteria, and poorly virulent Salmonella strains. IL-12p40 deficiency is the first reported human disease due to a cytokine gene defect and is one of the deficiencies that cause MSMD. Nine mutant alleles only have been identified in the IL12B gene, and three of them are recurrent mutations due to a founder effect in specific populations. IL-12p40 deficiency has been identified especially in countries where consanguinity is high and where BCG vaccination at birth is universal. We investigated, in such settings, the clinical, cellular, and molecular features of six IL-12p40-deficient Tunisian patients having the same mutation in IL12B gene (c.298_305del). We found that this mutation is inherited as a common founder mutation arousing ~1,100 years ago. This finding facilitates the development of a preventive approach by genetic counseling and prenatal diagnosis especially in affected families.

  19. Massive gene acquisitions in Mycobacterium indicus pranii provide a perspective on mycobacterial evolution

    PubMed Central

    Saini, Vikram; Raghuvanshi, Saurabh; Khurana, Jitendra P.; Ahmed, Niyaz; Hasnain, Seyed E.; Tyagi, Akhilesh K.; Tyagi, Anil K.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the evolutionary and genomic mechanisms responsible for turning the soil-derived saprophytic mycobacteria into lethal intracellular pathogens is a critical step towards the development of strategies for the control of mycobacterial diseases. In this context, Mycobacterium indicus pranii (MIP) is of specific interest because of its unique immunological and evolutionary significance. Evolutionarily, it is the progenitor of opportunistic pathogens belonging to M. avium complex and is endowed with features that place it between saprophytic and pathogenic species. Herein, we have sequenced the complete MIP genome to understand its unique life style, basis of immunomodulation and habitat diversification in mycobacteria. As a case of massive gene acquisitions, 50.5% of MIP open reading frames (ORFs) are laterally acquired. We show, for the first time for Mycobacterium, that MIP genome has mosaic architecture. These gene acquisitions have led to the enrichment of selected gene families critical to MIP physiology. Comparative genomic analysis indicates a higher antigenic potential of MIP imparting it a unique ability for immunomodulation. Besides, it also suggests an important role of genomic fluidity in habitat diversification within mycobacteria and provides a unique view of evolutionary divergence and putative bottlenecks that might have eventually led to intracellular survival and pathogenic attributes in mycobacteria. PMID:22965120

  20. 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

  1. Two different 16S rRNA genes in a mycobacterial strain.

    PubMed Central

    Ninet, B; Monod, M; Emler, S; Pawlowski, J; Metral, C; Rohner, P; Auckenthaler, R; Hirschel, B

    1996-01-01

    Sequencing of the gene coding for 16S rRNA (16S rDNA) is a well-established method used to identify bacteria, particularly mycobacteria. Unique sequences allow identification of a particular genus and species. If more than one 16S rDNA is present on one mycobacterial genome, their sequences are assumed to be strictly or almost identical. We have isolated a slowly growing Mycobacterium strain, "X", identified by conventional biochemical tests as Mycobacterium terrae. Identification by amplification and direct sequencing of 16S rDNA yielded ambiguous results in two variable regions, suggesting the presence of different copies of the sequenced gene. Total DNA was digested by restriction enzymes and hybridized after Southern blotting to a probe representing about two-thirds of the 16S rDNA. Two copies of 16S rDNA were identified and cloned. By sequencing, the clones were of two different types, A and B, differing in 18 positions. Oligonucleotides specific to each copy of the 16S rDNA were used to distinguish the positions of the two genes observed in the Southern blot. We conclude that Mycobacterium strain "X" has two different copies of 16S rDNA. Variations in the sequence between two copies of 16S rDNA gene have been described in archaeobacteria, but not in mycobacteria. When placed in a phylogenetic tree together with other slowly growing mycobacteria gene A shows a common root with M. terrae, whereas gene B is placed separately. PMID:8880515

  2. Mycobacterial Caseinolytic Protease Gene Regulator ClgR Is a Substrate of Caseinolytic Protease

    PubMed Central

    Yamada, Yoshiyuki

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT The mycobacterial caseinolytic protease ClpP1P2 is a degradative protease that recently gained interest as a genetically and pharmacologically validated drug target for tuberculosis. The first whole-cell active ClpP1P2 inhibitor, the human proteasome inhibitor bortezomib, is currently undergoing lead optimization to introduce selectivity for the bacterial target. How inhibition of ClpP1P2 translates into whole-cell antimicrobial activity is little understood. Previous work has shown that the caseinolytic protease gene regulator ClgR is an activator of the clpP1P2 genes and also suggested that this transcription factor may be a substrate of the protease. Here, we employ promoter activity reporters and direct mRNA level measurements showing that bortezomib treatment of Mycobacterium bovis BCG increased transcription of clpP1P2 and other ClgR-dependent promoters, suggesting that inhibition of ClpP1P2 increases cellular ClgR levels. Then, we carried out red fluorescent protein-ClgR fusion analyses to show that ClgR is indeed a substrate of ClpP1P2 and to identify ClgR’s C-terminal nonapeptide APVVSLAVA as the signal sufficient for recognition and efficient protein degradation by ClpP1P2. Interestingly, accumulation of ClgR appears to be toxic for bacilli, suggesting a mechanism for how pharmacological inhibition of ClpP1P2 protease activity by bortezomib translates into whole-cell antibacterial activity. IMPORTANCE With 9 million new cases and more than 1 million deaths per year, tuberculosis, caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is the biggest infectious disease killer globally. New drugs for the treatment of the drug-resistant forms of the disease are needed. Recently, a new target-lead couple, the mycobacterial protease ClpP1P2 and the human anticancer drug bortezomib, was identified. However, we know little about how expression of this protease is regulated, which proteins in the bacterium it degrades, how the protease recognizes its target proteins

  3. The Mycobacterial Transcriptional Regulator whiB7 Gene Links Redox Homeostasis and Intrinsic Antibiotic Resistance*

    PubMed Central

    Burian, Ján; Ramón-García, Santiago; Sweet, Gaye; Gómez-Velasco, Anaximandro; Av-Gay, Yossef; Thompson, Charles J.

    2012-01-01

    Intrinsic drug resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis limits therapeutic options for treating tuberculosis. The mycobacterial transcriptional regulator whiB7 contributes to intrinsic resistance by activating its own expression and many drug resistance genes in response to antibiotics. To investigate whiB7 activation, we constructed a GFP reporter to monitor its expression, and we used it to investigate the whiB7 promoter and to screen our custom library of almost 600 bioactive compounds, including the majority of clinical antibiotics. Results showed whiB7 was transcribed from a promoter that was conserved across mycobacteria and other actinomycetes, including an AT-rich sequence that was likely targeted by WhiB7. Expression was induced by compounds having diverse structures and targets, independent of the ability of whiB7 to mediate resistance, and was dependent on media composition. Pretreatment with whiB7 activators resulted in clinically relevant increases in intrinsic drug resistance. Antibiotic-induced transcription was synergistically increased by the reductant dithiothreitol, an effect mirrored by a whiB7-dependent shift to a highly reduced cytoplasm reflected by the ratio of reduced/oxidized mycothiol. These data provided evidence that intrinsic resistance resulting from whiB7 activation is linked to fundamental changes in cell metabolism. PMID:22069311

  4. Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae: virulence and gene cloning.

    PubMed

    Negrete-Abascal, E; Tenorio, V; García, C; Godínez, D; Serrano, J J; de la Cuadra, J A; de la Garza, M A

    1994-01-01

    Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae is the causal agent of porcine contagious pleuropneumonia (PCP). The infection produces important economic losses in porciculture due to its high morbidity and mortality. Survivors are asymptomatic carriers infectious to other pigs and have low alimentary conversion. The causative agent possesses several virulence factors: adhesion fimbriae, lipopolysaccharide of the outer membrane, capsule, and cytolysins. In addition, our group has reported secretion proteases of a wide pH range of activity. These proteases degrade different substrates such as porcine gelatin, hemoglobin and IgA, and bovine or human hemoglobin. To control PCP dissemination, farmers require serodiagnostic tests which detect carriers and discriminate between vaccinated and infected animals. Bacterines used as immunogens are serotype specific and do not prevent the infection. Genes have been cloned that codify a cohemolysin, cytolysins, and an iron-binding protein. We have cloned A. pleuropneumoniae genes using the expression plasmids pUC19 and Bluescript, in Escherichia coli Q358 and DH5 alpha; the screening for antigen production was made in four groups of pigs (vaccinated, experimentally infected, naturally infected, and from slaughterhouses); two E. coli clones expressed polypeptides recognized by sera from all the groups.

  5. High-resolution phenotypic profiling defines genes essential for mycobacterial growth and cholesterol catabolism.

    PubMed

    Griffin, Jennifer E; Gawronski, Jeffrey D; Dejesus, Michael A; Ioerger, Thomas R; Akerley, Brian J; Sassetti, Christopher M

    2011-09-01

    The pathways that comprise cellular metabolism are highly interconnected, and alterations in individual enzymes can have far-reaching effects. As a result, global profiling methods that measure gene expression are of limited value in predicting how the loss of an individual function will affect the cell. In this work, we employed a new method of global phenotypic profiling to directly define the genes required for the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. A combination of high-density mutagenesis and deep-sequencing was used to characterize the composition of complex mutant libraries exposed to different conditions. This allowed the unambiguous identification of the genes that are essential for Mtb to grow in vitro, and proved to be a significant improvement over previous approaches. To further explore functions that are required for persistence in the host, we defined the pathways necessary for the utilization of cholesterol, a critical carbon source during infection. Few of the genes we identified had previously been implicated in this adaptation by transcriptional profiling, and only a fraction were encoded in the chromosomal region known to encode sterol catabolic functions. These genes comprise an unexpectedly large percentage of those previously shown to be required for bacterial growth in mouse tissue. Thus, this single nutritional change accounts for a significant fraction of the adaption to the host. This work provides the most comprehensive genetic characterization of a sterol catabolic pathway to date, suggests putative roles for uncharacterized virulence genes, and precisely maps genes encoding potential drug targets.

  6. Systemic Approach to Virulence Gene Network Analysis for Gaining New Insight into Cryptococcal Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Malachowski, Antoni N.; Yosri, Mohamed; Park, Goun; Bahn, Yong-Sun; He, Yongqun; Olszewski, Michal A.

    2016-01-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans is pathogenic yeast, responsible for highly lethal infections in compromised patients around the globe. C. neoformans typically initiates infections in mammalian lung tissue and subsequently disseminates to the central nervous system where it causes significant pathologies. Virulence genes of C. neoformans are being characterized at an increasing rate, however, we are far from a comprehensive understanding of their roles and genetic interactions. Some of these reported virulence genes are scattered throughout different databases, while others are not yet included. This study gathered and analyzed 150 reported virulence associated factors (VAFs) of C. neoformans. Using the web resource STRING database, our study identified different interactions between the total VAFs and those involved specifically in lung and brain infections and identified a new strain specific virulence gene, SHO1, involved in the mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway. As predicted by our analysis, SHO1 expression enhanced C. neoformans virulence in a mouse model of pulmonary infection, contributing to enhanced non-protective immune Th2 bias and progressively enhancing fungal growth in the infected lungs. Sequence analysis indicated 77.4% (116) of total studied VAFs are soluble proteins, and 22.7% (34) are transmembrane proteins. Motifs involved in regulation and signaling such as protein kinases and transcription factors are highly enriched in Cryptococcus VAFs. Altogether, this study represents a pioneering effort in analysis of the virulence composite network of C. neoformans using a systems biology approach. PMID:27833589

  7. Genes involved in virulence of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana.

    PubMed

    Valero-Jiménez, Claudio A; Wiegers, Harm; Zwaan, Bas J; Koenraadt, Constantianus J M; van Kan, Jan A L

    2016-01-01

    Pest insects cause severe damage to global crop production and pose a threat to human health by transmitting diseases. Traditionally, chemical pesticides (insecticides) have been used to control such pests and have proven to be effective only for a limited amount of time because of the rapid spread of genetic insecticide resistance. The basis of this resistance is mostly caused by (co)dominant mutations in single genes, which explains why insecticide use alone is an unsustainable solution. Therefore, robust solutions for insect pest control need to be sought in alternative methods such as biological control agents for which single-gene resistance is less likely to evolve. The entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana has shown potential as a biological control agent of insects, and insight into the mechanisms of virulence is essential to show the robustness of its use. With the recent availability of the whole genome sequence of B. bassiana, progress in understanding the genetics that constitute virulence toward insects can be made more quickly. In this review we divide the infection process into distinct steps and provide an overview of what is currently known about genes and mechanisms influencing virulence in B. bassiana. We also discuss the need for novel strategies and experimental methods to better understand the infection mechanisms deployed by entomopathogenic fungi. Such knowledge can help improve biocontrol agents, not only by selecting the most virulent genotypes, but also by selecting the genotypes that use combinations of virulence mechanisms for which resistance in the insect host is least likely to develop.

  8. L-glutamine Induces Expression of Listeria monocytogenes Virulence Genes.

    PubMed

    Haber, Adi; Friedman, Sivan; Lobel, Lior; Burg-Golani, Tamar; Sigal, Nadejda; Rose, Jessica; Livnat-Levanon, Nurit; Lewinson, Oded; Herskovits, Anat A

    2017-01-01

    The high environmental adaptability of bacteria is contingent upon their ability to sense changes in their surroundings. Bacterial pathogen entry into host poses an abrupt and dramatic environmental change, during which successful pathogens gauge multiple parameters that signal host localization. The facultative human pathogen Listeria monocytogenes flourishes in soil, water and food, and in ~50 different animals, and serves as a model for intracellular infection. L. monocytogenes identifies host entry by sensing both physical (e.g., temperature) and chemical (e.g., metabolite concentrations) factors. We report here that L-glutamine, an abundant nitrogen source in host serum and cells, serves as an environmental indicator and inducer of virulence gene expression. In contrast, ammonia, which is the most abundant nitrogen source in soil and water, fully supports growth, but fails to activate virulence gene transcription. We demonstrate that induction of virulence genes only occurs when the Listerial intracellular concentration of L-glutamine crosses a certain threshold, acting as an on/off switch: off when L-glutamine concentrations are below the threshold, and fully on when the threshold is crossed. To turn on the switch, L-glutamine must be present, and the L-glutamine high affinity ABC transporter, GlnPQ, must be active. Inactivation of GlnPQ led to complete arrest of L-glutamine uptake, reduced type I interferon response in infected macrophages, dramatic reduction in expression of virulence genes, and attenuated virulence in a mouse infection model. These results may explain observations made with other pathogens correlating nitrogen metabolism and virulence, and suggest that gauging of L-glutamine as a means of ascertaining host localization may be a general mechanism.

  9. L-glutamine Induces Expression of Listeria monocytogenes Virulence Genes

    PubMed Central

    Lobel, Lior; Burg-Golani, Tamar; Sigal, Nadejda; Rose, Jessica; Livnat-Levanon, Nurit; Lewinson, Oded; Herskovits, Anat A.

    2017-01-01

    The high environmental adaptability of bacteria is contingent upon their ability to sense changes in their surroundings. Bacterial pathogen entry into host poses an abrupt and dramatic environmental change, during which successful pathogens gauge multiple parameters that signal host localization. The facultative human pathogen Listeria monocytogenes flourishes in soil, water and food, and in ~50 different animals, and serves as a model for intracellular infection. L. monocytogenes identifies host entry by sensing both physical (e.g., temperature) and chemical (e.g., metabolite concentrations) factors. We report here that L-glutamine, an abundant nitrogen source in host serum and cells, serves as an environmental indicator and inducer of virulence gene expression. In contrast, ammonia, which is the most abundant nitrogen source in soil and water, fully supports growth, but fails to activate virulence gene transcription. We demonstrate that induction of virulence genes only occurs when the Listerial intracellular concentration of L-glutamine crosses a certain threshold, acting as an on/off switch: off when L-glutamine concentrations are below the threshold, and fully on when the threshold is crossed. To turn on the switch, L-glutamine must be present, and the L-glutamine high affinity ABC transporter, GlnPQ, must be active. Inactivation of GlnPQ led to complete arrest of L-glutamine uptake, reduced type I interferon response in infected macrophages, dramatic reduction in expression of virulence genes, and attenuated virulence in a mouse infection model. These results may explain observations made with other pathogens correlating nitrogen metabolism and virulence, and suggest that gauging of L-glutamine as a means of ascertaining host localization may be a general mechanism. PMID:28114430

  10. Carbohydrate Availability Regulates Virulence Gene Expression in Streptococcus suis

    PubMed Central

    Ferrando, M. Laura; van Baarlen, Peter; Orrù, Germano; Piga, Rosaria; Bongers, Roger S.; Wels, Michiel; De Greeff, Astrid; Smith, Hilde E.; Wells, Jerry M.

    2014-01-01

    Streptococcus suis is a major bacterial pathogen of young pigs causing worldwide economic problems for the pig industry. S. suis is also an emerging pathogen of humans. Colonization of porcine oropharynx by S. suis is considered to be a high risk factor for invasive disease. In the oropharyngeal cavity, where glucose is rapidly absorbed but dietary α-glucans persist, there is a profound effect of carbohydrate availability on the expression of virulence genes. Nineteen predicted or confirmed S. suis virulence genes that promote adhesion to and invasion of epithelial cells were expressed at higher levels when S. suis was supplied with the α-glucan starch/pullulan compared to glucose as the single carbon source. Additionally the production of suilysin, a toxin that damages epithelial cells, was increased more than ten-fold when glucose levels were low and S. suis was growing on pullulan. Based on biochemical, bioinformatics and in vitro and in vivo gene expression studies, we developed a biological model that postulates the effect of carbon catabolite repression on expression of virulence genes in the mucosa, organs and blood. This research increases our understanding of S. suis virulence mechanisms and has important implications for the design of future control strategies including the development of anti-infective strategies by modulating animal feed composition. PMID:24642967

  11. Virulence factors genes in enterococci isolated from beavers (Castor fiber).

    PubMed

    Lauková, Andrea; Strompfová, Viola; Kandričáková, Anna; Ščerbová, Jana; Semedo-Lemsaddek, Teresa; Miltko, Renata; Belzecki, Grzegorz

    2015-03-01

    Only limited information exists concerning the microbiota in beaver (Castor fiber). This study has been focused on the virulence factors genes detection in enterococci from beavers. In general, animals are not affected by enterococcal infections, but they can be a reservoir of, e.g. pathogenic strains. Moreover, detection of virulence factors genes in enterococci from beavers was never tested before. Free-living beavers (12), male and female (age 4-5 years) were caught in the north-east part of Poland. Sampling of lower gut and faeces was provided according to all ethical rules for animal handling. Samples were treated using a standard microbiological method. Pure bacterial colonies were identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) identification system. Virulence factors genes-gelE (gelatinase), agg (aggregation), cylA (cytolysin A), efaAfs (adhesin Enterococcus faecalis), efaAfm (adhesin Enterococcus faecium) and esp (surface protein) were tested by PCR. Moreover, gelatinase and antibiotic phenotypes were tested. Species detected were Enterococcus thailandicus, E. faecium, E. faecalis and Enterococcus durans. In literature, enterococcal species distribution was never reported yet up to now. Strains were mostly sensitive to antibiotics. Vancomycin-resistant E. faecalis EE9Tr1 possess cylA, efaAfs, esp and gelE genes. Strains were aggregation substance genes absent. Adhesin E. faecium (efaAfm) gene was detected in two of three E. faecium strains, but it was present also in E. thailandicus. Esp gene was present in EE9Tr1 and E. durans EDTr92. The most detected were gelE, efaAfm genes; in EF 4Hc1 also gelatinase phenotype was found. Strains with virulence factors genes will be tested for their sensitivity to antimicrobial enterocins.

  12. Virulence Genes and Antibiotic Susceptibilities of Uropathogenic E. coli Strains.

    PubMed

    Uzun, Cengiz; Oncül, Oral; Gümüş, Defne; Alan, Servet; Dayioğlu, Nurten; Küçüker, Mine Anğ

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study is to detect the presence of and possible relation between virulence genes and antibiotic resistance in E. coli strains isolated from patients with acute, uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTI). 62 E. coli strains isolated from patients with acute, uncomplicated urinary tract infections (50 strains isolated from acute uncomplicated cystitis cases (AUC); 12 strains from acute uncomplicated pyelonephritis cases (AUP)) were screened for virulence genes [pap (pyelonephritis-associated pili), sfa/foc (S and F1C fimbriae), afa (afimbrial adhesins), hly (hemolysin), cnf1 (cytotoxic necrotizing factor), aer (aerobactin), PAI (pathogenicity island marker), iroN (catecholate siderophore receptor), ompT (outer membrane protein T), usp (uropathogenic specific protein)] by PCR and for antimicrobial resistance by disk diffusion method according to CLSI criteria. It was found that 56 strains (90.3%) carried at least one virulence gene. The most common virulence genes were ompT (79%), aer (51.6%), PAI (51.6%) and usp (56.5%). 60% of the strains were resistant to at least one antibiotic. The highest resistance rates were against ampicillin (79%) and co-trimoxazole (41.9%). Fifty percent of the E. coli strains (31 strains) were found to be multiple resistant. Eight (12.9%) out of 62 strains were found to be ESBL positive. Statistically significant relationships were found between the absence of usp and AMP - SXT resistance, iroN and OFX - CIP resistance, PAI and SXT resistance, cnf1 and AMP resistance, and a significant relationship was also found between the presence of the afa and OFX resistance. No difference between E. coli strains isolated from two different clinical presentations was found in terms of virulence genes and antibiotic susceptibility.

  13. Regulation of virulence gene expression in pathogenic Listeria.

    PubMed

    Brehm, K; Kreft, J; Ripio, M T; Vázquez-Boland, J A

    1996-06-01

    Dynamic interactions between host and pathogen are characteristic of infections caused by intracellular bacteria. This has favoured the evolution of highly effective control systems by which these pathogens regulate the expression of different virulence factors during sequential steps of the infection process. In the case of the facultative intracellular bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, these steps involve internalization by eukaryotic cells, lysis of the resulting phagosome, replication as well as movement within the host cytoplasm, direct cell-to-cell spread, and subsequent lysis of a double-membrane vacuole when entering neighbouring cells. Virulence factors which are involved in each of these steps have been identified and the expression of these factors is subject to a co-ordinate and differential control exerted by the major listerial virulence regulator PrfA. This protein belongs to the Crp/Fnr-family of transcriptional activators and recognizes specific target sequences in promoter regions of several listerial virulence genes. Differential expression of these genes during sequential steps of the infection seems to be at least partially mediated by different binding affinities of PrfA to its target sequences. Activity of PrfA-dependent genes and of prfA itself is under the control of several environmental variables which are used by the pathogen to recognize its transition from the free environment into a eukaryotic host.

  14. Aspergillus fumigatus: virulence genes in a street-smart mold.

    PubMed

    Askew, David S

    2008-08-01

    Infections with the filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus are among the most devastating of the systemic mycoses. Unlike most primary pathogens, which possess virulence traits that developed in association with a host organism, evidence suggests that the virulence of A. fumigatus entails a collection of 'street-smart' attributes that have evolved to resist the adverse selection pressures encountered in decaying vegetation. These features enhance the overall competitiveness of the organism in its environmental niche but are also thought to promote growth and survival in a human host. Although many of the genes that are responsible for these characteristics do not fit into the classical definition of a virulence factor, they are nonetheless important to the pathogenesis of aspergillosis and may therefore provide novel opportunities for antifungal development.

  15. Differential activation of virulence gene expression by PrfA, the Listeria monocytogenes virulence regulator.

    PubMed Central

    Sheehan, B; Klarsfeld, A; Msadek, T; Cossart, P

    1995-01-01

    PrfA is a pleiotropic activator of virulence gene expression in the pathogenic bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. Several lines of evidence have suggested that a hierarchy of virulence gene activation by PrfA exists. This hypothesis was investigated by assessing the ability of PrfA to activate the expression of virulence gene fusions to lacZ in Bacillus subtilis. Expression of PrfA in this heterologous host was sufficient for activation of transcription at the hly, plcA, mpl, and actA promoters. Activation was most efficient at the divergently transcribed hly and plcA promoters. The putative PrfA binding site shared by these promoters is perfectly symmetrical and appears to represent the optimum sequence for target gene activation by PrfA. The activation of actA and mpl expression was considerably weaker and occurred more slowly than that observed at the hly and plcA promoters, suggesting that greater quantities of PrfA are required for productive interaction at these promoters. Interestingly, expression of an inlA-lacZ transcriptional fusion was very poorly activated by PrfA in B. subtilis, suggesting that other Listeria factors, in addition to PrfA, are required for PrfA-mediated activation at this promoter. Further support for the involvement of such factors was obtained by constructing and analyzing a prfA deletion mutant of L. monocytogenes. We observed that, in contrast to that of the other genes of the PrfA regulon, expression of inlA is only partially dependent on PrfA. PMID:7592422

  16. A functional gene array for detection of bacterial virulence elements

    SciTech Connect

    Jaing, C

    2007-11-01

    We report our development of the first of a series of microarrays designed to detect pathogens with known mechanisms of virulence and antibiotic resistance. By targeting virulence gene families as well as genes unique to specific biothreat agents, these arrays will provide important data about the pathogenic potential and drug resistance profiles of unknown organisms in environmental samples. To validate our approach, we developed a first generation array targeting genes from Escherichia coli strains K12 and CFT073, Enterococcus faecalis and Staphylococcus aureus. We determined optimal probe design parameters for microorganism detection and discrimination, measured the required target concentration, and assessed tolerance for mismatches between probe and target sequences. Mismatch tolerance is a priority for this application, due to DNA sequence variability among members of gene families. Arrays were created using the NimbleGen Maskless Array Synthesizer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Purified genomic DNA from combinations of one or more of the four target organisms, pure cultures of four related organisms, and environmental aerosol samples with spiked-in genomic DNA were hybridized to the arrays. Based on the success of this prototype, we plan to design further arrays in this series, with the goal of detecting all known virulence and antibiotic resistance gene families in a greatly expanded set of organisms.

  17. Small Molecule Control of Virulence Gene Expression in Francisella tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Charity, James C.; Blalock, LeeAnn T.; Costante-Hamm, Michelle M.; Kasper, Dennis L.; Dove, Simon L.

    2009-01-01

    In Francisella tularensis, the SspA protein family members MglA and SspA form a complex that associates with RNA polymerase (RNAP) to positively control the expression of virulence genes critical for the intramacrophage growth and survival of the organism. Although the association of the MglA-SspA complex with RNAP is evidently central to its role in controlling gene expression, the molecular details of how MglA and SspA exert their effects are not known. Here we show that in the live vaccine strain of F. tularensis (LVS), the MglA-SspA complex works in concert with a putative DNA-binding protein we have called PigR, together with the alarmone guanosine tetraphosphate (ppGpp), to regulate the expression of target genes. In particular, we present evidence that MglA, SspA, PigR and ppGpp regulate expression of the same set of genes, and show that mglA, sspA, pigR and ppGpp null mutants exhibit similar intramacrophage growth defects and are strongly attenuated for virulence in mice. We show further that PigR interacts directly with the MglA-SspA complex, suggesting that the central role of the MglA and SspA proteins in the control of virulence gene expression is to serve as a target for a transcription activator. Finally, we present evidence that ppGpp exerts its effects by promoting the interaction between PigR and the RNAP-associated MglA-SspA complex. Through its responsiveness to ppGpp, the contact between PigR and the MglA-SspA complex allows the integration of nutritional cues into the regulatory network governing virulence gene expression. PMID:19876386

  18. 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.

  19. Virulence and immunity orchestrated by the global gene regulator sigL in Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Pallab; Steinberg, Howard; Talaat, Adel M

    2014-07-01

    Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis causes Johne's disease in ruminants, a chronic enteric disease responsible for severe economic losses in the dairy industry. Global gene regulators, including sigma factors are important in regulating mycobacterial virulence. However, the biological significance of such regulators in M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis rremains elusive. To better decipher the role of sigma factors in M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis pathogenesis, we targeted a key sigma factor gene, sigL, activated in mycobacterium-infected macrophages. We interrogated an M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis ΔsigL mutant against a selected list of stressors that mimic the host microenvironments. Our data showed that sigL was important in maintaining bacterial survival under such stress conditions. Survival levels further reflected the inability of the ΔsigL mutant to persist inside the macrophage microenvironments. Additionally, mouse infection studies suggested a substantial role for sigL in M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis virulence, as indicated by the significant attenuation of the ΔsigL-deficient mutant compared to the parental strain. More importantly, when the sigL mutant was tested for its vaccine potential, protective immunity was generated in a vaccine/challenge model of murine paratuberculosis. Overall, our study highlights critical role of sigL in the pathogenesis and immunity of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection, a potential role that could be shared by similar proteins in other intracellular pathogens.

  20. Antibiotic resistance and virulence genes in coliform water isolates.

    PubMed

    Stange, C; Sidhu, J P S; Tiehm, A; Toze, S

    2016-11-01

    Widespread fecal pollution of surface water may present a major health risk and a significant pathway for dissemination of antibiotic resistance bacteria. The River Rhine is one of the longest and most important rivers in Europe and an important raw water source for drinking water production. A total of 100 coliform isolates obtained from River Rhine (Germany) were examined for their susceptibility to seven antimicrobial agents. Resistances against amoxicillin, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole and tetracycline were detected in 48%, 11% and 9% of isolates respectively. The antibiotic resistance could be traced back to the resistance genes blaTEM, blaSHV, ampC, sul1, sul2, dfrA1, tet(A) and tet(B). Whereby, the ampC gene represents a special case, because its presence is not inevitably linked to a phenotypic antibiotic resistance. Multiple antibiotics resistance was often accompanied by the occurrence of class 1 or 2 integrons. E. coli isolates belonging to phylogenetic groups A and B1 (commensal) were more predominant (57%) compared to B2 and D groups (43%) which are known to carry virulent genes. Additionally, six E. coli virulence genes were also detected. However, the prevalence of virulence genes in the E. coli isolates was low (not exceeding 4.3% per gene) and no diarrheagenic E. coli pathotypes were detected. This study demonstrates that surface water is an important reservoir of ARGs for a number of antibiotic classes such as sulfonamide, trimethoprim, beta-lactam-antibiotics and tetracycline. The occurrence of antibiotic resistance in coliform bacteria isolated from River Rhine provides evidence for the need to develop management strategies to limit the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria in aquatic environment. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  1. Expression of virulence genes in luminescent and nonluminescent isogenic vibrios and virulence towards gnotobiotic brine shrimp (Artemia franciscana).

    PubMed

    Ruwandeepika, H A D; Defoirdt, T; Bhowmick, P P; Karunasagar, I; Bossier, P

    2011-02-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the expression levels of virulence gene regulators (luxR and toxR) and virulence factors (serine protease, metalloprotease and haemolysin) in luminescent and nonluminescent isogenic Vibrio harveyi and Vibrio campbellii. Nonluminescent variants have been reported before to become dominant in cultures of luminescent vibrios when grown under static conditions in the dark. Wild-type V. harveyi BB120, V. campbellii LMG 21363, quorum sensing mutants of V. harveyi BB120 and their previously reported nonluminescent isogenic counterparts were used in this study. The expression level of the virulence genes srp serine protease, vhp metalloprotease and vhh haemolysin, the quorum sensing master regulator gene luxR and the virulence regulator gene toxR in isogenic luminescent and nonluminescent strains were quantified using reverse transcriptase real-time PCR. These experiments revealed that the nonluminescent strains produced lower levels of the quorum sensing master regulator gene luxR and the vhp metalloprotease gene (which is known to be regulated by quorum sensing). Finally, challenge tests with gnotobiotic brine shrimp (Artemia franciscana) larvae revealed that the nonluminescent strains are less virulent than their luminescent isogenic counterparts. Nonluminescent variants of V. harveyi and V. campbellii strains produce lower levels of the quorum sensing master regulator gene luxR and the vhp metalloprotease gene and are less virulent to brine shrimp than their isogenic luminescent counterparts. These results indicate that adaptation of luminescent vibrios to specific growth conditions that result in a dominant nonluminescent phenotype is accompanied by a decreased adaptation to a host environment because of altered virulence gene regulation. © 2010 The Authors. Journal of Applied Microbiology © 2010 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  2. Virulence genes in clinical and environmental Stenotrophomas maltophilia isolates: a genome sequencing and gene expression approach.

    PubMed

    Adamek, Martina; Linke, Burkhard; Schwartz, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    The rate of nosocomial infections with the opportunistic pathogen Stenotrophomonas maltophilia has remarkably increased in the last decade. To determine S. maltophilia virulence genes, the complete genome sequences of two S. maltophilia isolates were compared. The clinical strain SKK35 was proved virulent in an amoeba host-pathogen model, and wastewater strain RA8 was determined as non-virulent in the amoeba model. The genome sequences of three additional S. maltophilia strains, K279a (clinical, non-virulent against amoeba), R511-3 and SKA14 (both environmental, non-virulent against amoeba) were taken into account as reference strains. We were able to show that all clinical and environmental S. maltophilia strains presented comparable distribution of so far identified potential virulence genes, regardless to their virulence potential against amoebae. Aside from that, strain SKK35 was found harboring a putative, strain specific pathogenicity island, encoding two proteins from the RTX (repeats-in-toxin) family. The actual expression of the RTX genes was verified in growth experiments in different culture media containing blood or blood components and in co-cultures with amoeba.

  3. Transcriptional activation of virulence genes of Rhizobium etli.

    PubMed

    Wang, Luyao; Lacroix, Benoît; Guo, Jianhua; Citovsky, Vitaly

    2017-01-09

    Recently, Rhizobium etli has emerged, in addition to Agrobacterium spp., as a prokaryotic species that encodes a functional machinery for DNA transfer to plant cells. To understand this R. etli-mediated genetic transformation, it would be useful to define how its vir genes respond to the host plants. Here, we explored the transcriptional activation of the vir genes contained on the R. etli p42a plasmid. Using a reporter construct harboring lacZ under the control of the R. etli virE promoter, we showed that the signal phenolic molecule acetosyringone (AS) induced R. etli vir gene expression both in R. etli and in A. tumefaciens background. Furthermore, in both bacterial backgrounds, the p42a plasmid also promoted plant genetic transformation with a reporter T-DNA. Importantly, the R. etli vir genes were transcriptionally activated by AS in a bacterial species-specific fashion in regard to the VirA/VirG signal sensor system, and this activation was induced by signals from the natural host species of this bacterium, but not from non-host plants. Early kinetics of transcriptional activation of the major vir genes of R. etli also revealed several features distinct from those known for A. tumefaciens: the expression of the virG gene reached saturation relatively quickly, and virB2, which in R. etli is located outside of the virB operon, was expressed only at low levels and did not respond to AS. These differences in vir gene transcription may contribute to the lower efficiency of T-DNA transfer of R. etli p42a versus pTiC58 of A. tumefaciens IMPORTANCE: The region encoding homologs of Agrobacterium tumefaciens virulence genes in the Rhizobium etli CE3 p42a plasmid was the first endogenous virulence system encoded by a non-Agrobacterium species demonstrated to be functional in DNA transfer and stable integration into plant cell genome. In this study, we explore the transcriptional regulation and induction of virulence genes in R. etli and show similarities and differences

  4. Specific recognition of mycobacterial protein and peptide antigens by gamma-delta T cell subsets following infection with virulent Mycobacterium bovis

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Promoting effective immunity to Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex pathogens is a challenge that is of interest to the fields of human and veterinary medicine alike. We report that gamma delta T cells from virulent Mycobacterium bovis-infected cattle respond specifically and directly to complex, pro...

  5. Bacterial Human Virulence Genes across Diverse Habitats As Assessed by In silico Analysis of Environmental Metagenomes

    PubMed Central

    Søborg, Ditte A.; Hendriksen, Niels B.; Kilian, Mogens; Christensen, Jan H.; Kroer, Niels

    2016-01-01

    The occurrence and distribution of clinically relevant bacterial virulence genes across natural (non-human) environments is not well understood. We aimed to investigate the occurrence of homologs to bacterial human virulence genes in a variety of ecological niches to better understand the role of natural environments in the evolution of bacterial virulence. Twenty four bacterial virulence genes were analyzed in 46 diverse environmental metagenomic datasets, representing various soils, seawater, freshwater, marine sediments, hot springs, the deep-sea, hypersaline mats, microbialites, gutless worms and glacial ice. Homologs to 16 bacterial human virulence genes, involved in urinary tract infections, gastrointestinal diseases, skin diseases, and wound and systemic infections, showed global ubiquity. A principal component analysis did not demonstrate clear trends across the metagenomes with respect to occurrence and frequency of observed gene homologs. Full-length (>95%) homologs of several virulence genes were identified, and translated sequences of the environmental and clinical genes were up to 50–100% identical. Furthermore, phylogenetic analyses indicated deep branching positions of some of the environmental gene homologs, suggesting that they represent ancient lineages in the phylogeny of the clinical genes. Fifteen virulence gene homologs were detected in metatranscriptomes, providing evidence of environmental expression. The ubiquitous presence and transcription of the virulence gene homologs in non-human environments point to an important ecological role of the genes for the activity and survival of environmental bacteria. Furthermore, the high degree of sequence conservation between several of the environmental and clinical genes suggests common ancestral origins. PMID:27857707

  6. [Influence of spv plasmid genes group in Salmonella Enteritidis virulence for chickens. I. Occurrence of spv plasmid genes group in Salmonella Enteritidis large virulence plasmid].

    PubMed

    Madajczak, Grzegorz; Binek, Marian

    2005-01-01

    Many Salmonella Enteritidis virulence factors are encoded by genes localized on plasmids, especially large virulence plasmid, in highly conserved fragment, they create spv plasmid gene group. The aims of realized researches were spv genes occurrence evaluation and composition analysis among Salmonella Enteritidis strains caused infection in chickens. Researches were realized on 107 isolates, where in every cases large virulence plasmid 59 kbp size were detected. Specific nucleotides sequences of spv genes (spvRABCD) were detected in 47.7% of isolates. In the rest of examined bacteria spv genes occurred variably. Most often extreme genes of spv group, like spvR and spvD were absent, what could indicate that factors encoded by them are not most important for Salmonella Enteritidis live and their expressed virulence.

  7. Malonate inhibits virulence gene expression in Vibrio cholerae.

    PubMed

    Minato, Yusuke; Fassio, Sara R; Häse, Claudia C

    2013-01-01

    We previously found that inhibition of the TCA cycle, either through mutations or chemical inhibition, increased toxT transcription in Vibrio cholerae. In this study, we found that the addition of malonate, an inhibitor of succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), decreased toxT transcription in V. cholerae, an observation inconsistent with the previous pattern observed. Unlike another SDH inhibitor, 2-thenoyltrifluoroacetone (TTFA), which increased toxT transcription and slightly inhibited V. cholerae growth, malonate inhibited toxT transcription in both the wild-type strain and TCA cycle mutants, suggesting malonate-mediated inhibition of virulence gene expression is independent to TCA cycle activity. Addition of malonate also inhibited ctxB and tcpA expressions but did not affect aphA, aphB, tcpP and toxR expressions. Malonate inhibited cholera toxin (CT) production in both V. cholerae classical biotype strains O395N1 and CA401, and El Tor biotype strain, N16961. Consistent with previous reports, we confirmed that these strains of V. cholerae did not utilize malonate as a primary carbon source. However, we found that the addition of malonate to the growth medium stimulated V. cholerae growth. All together, these results suggest that metabolizing malonate as a nutrient source negatively affects virulence gene expression in V. cholerae.

  8. Molecular Characterization of Heterologous HIV-1gp120 Gene Expression Disruption in Mycobacterium bovis BCG Host Strain: A Critical Issue for Engineering Mycobacterial Based-Vaccine Vectors

    PubMed Central

    Joseph, Joan; Fernández-Lloris, Raquel; Pezzat, Elías; Saubi, Narcís; Cardona, Pere-Joan; Mothe, Beatriz; Gatell, Josep Maria

    2010-01-01

    Mycobacterium bovis Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) as a live vector of recombinant bacterial vaccine is a promising system to be used. In this study, we evaluate the disrupted expression of heterologous HIV-1gp120 gene in BCG Pasteur host strain using replicative vectors pMV261 and pJH222. pJH222 carries a lysine complementing gene in BCG lysine auxotrophs. The HIV-1 gp120 gene expression was regulated by BCG hsp60 promoter (in plasmid pMV261) and Mycobacteria spp. α-antigen promoter (in plasmid pJH222). Among 14 rBCG:HIV-1gp120 (pMV261) colonies screened, 12 showed a partial deletion and two showed a complete deletion. However, deletion was not observed in all 10 rBCG:HIV-1gp120 (pJH222) colonies screened. In this study, we demonstrated that E. coli/Mycobacterial expression vectors bearing a weak promoter and lysine complementing gene in a recombinant lysine auxotroph of BCG could prevent genetic rearrangements and disruption of HIV 1gp120 gene expression, a key issue for engineering Mycobacterial based vaccine vectors. PMID:20617151

  9. Roles of the Polymerase-Associated Protein Genes in Newcastle Disease Virus Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Xiao-hui; Cheng, Jin-long; Xue, Jia; Jin, Ji-hui; Song, Yang; Zhao, Jing; Zhang, Guo-zhong

    2017-01-01

    The virulence of Newcastle disease virus varies greatly and is determined by multiple genetic factors. In this study, we systematically evaluated the roles of the polymerase-associated (NP, P and L) protein genes in genotype VII NDV virulence after confirming the envelope-associated (F and HN) proteins contributed greatly to NDV virulence. The results revealed that the polymerase-associated protein genes individually had certain effect on virulence, while transfer of these three genes in combination significantly affected the chimeric virus virulence, especially when the L gene was involved. These results indicated that the L protein was a major contributor to NDV virulence when combined with the homologous NP and P proteins. We also investigated viral RNA synthesis using NDV minigenome systems to assess the interaction between the NP, P, and L proteins, which showed that the activity of the polymerase-associated proteins were directly related to viral RNA transcription and replication. PMID:28220114

  10. Cryptococcus neoformans Virulence Gene Discovery through Insertional Mutagenesis

    PubMed Central

    Idnurm, Alexander; Reedy, Jennifer L.; Nussbaum, Jesse C.; Heitman, Joseph

    2004-01-01

    Insertional mutagenesis was applied to Cryptococcus neoformans to identify genes associated with virulence attributes. Using biolistic transformation, we generated 4,300 nourseothricin (NAT)-resistant strains, of which 590 exhibited stable resistance. We focused on mutants with defects in established virulence factors and identified two with reduced growth at 37°C, four with reduced production of the antioxidant pigment melanin, and two with an increased sensitivity to nitric oxide (NO). The NAT insertion and mutant phenotypes were genetically linked in five of eight mutants, and the DNA flanking the insertions was characterized. For the strains with altered growth at 37°C and altered melanin production, mutations were in previously uncharacterized genes, while the two NO-sensitive strains bore insertions in the flavohemoglobin gene FHB1, whose product counters NO stress. Because of the frequent instability of nourseothricin resistance associated with biolistic transformation, Agrobacterium-mediated transformation was tested. This transkingdom DNA delivery approach produced 100% stable nourseothricin-resistant transformants, and three melanin-defective strains were identified from 576 transformants, of which 2 were linked to NAT in segregation analysis. One of these mutants contained a T-DNA insertion in the promoter of the LAC1 (laccase) gene, which encodes a key enzyme required for melanin production, while the second contained an insertion in the promoter of the CLC1 gene, encoding a voltage-gated chloride channel. Clc1 and its homologs are required for ion homeostasis, and in their absence Cu+ transport into the secretory pathway is compromised, depriving laccase and other Cu+-dependent proteins of their essential cofactor. The NAT resistance cassette was optimized for cryptococcal codon usage and GC content and was then used to disrupt a mitogen-activated protein kinase gene, a predicted gene, and two putative chloride channel genes to analyze their

  11. Identification of Bicarbonate as a Trigger and Genes Involved with Extracellular DNA Export in Mycobacterial Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Rose, Sasha J.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Extracellular DNA (eDNA) is an integral biofilm matrix component of numerous pathogens, including nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM). Cell lysis is the source of eDNA in certain bacteria, but the source of eDNA remains unidentified for NTM, as well as for other eDNA-containing bacterial species. In this study, conditions affecting eDNA export were examined, and genes involved with the eDNA export mechanism were identified. After a method for monitoring eDNA in real time in undisturbed biofilms was established, different conditions affecting eDNA were investigated. Bicarbonate positively influenced eDNA export in a pH-independent manner in Mycobacterium avium, M. abscessus, and M. chelonae. The surface-exposed proteome of M. avium in eDNA-containing biofilms revealed abundant carbonic anhydrases. Chemical inhibition of carbonic anhydrases with ethoxzolamide significantly reduced eDNA export. An unbiased transposon mutant library screen for eDNA export in M. avium identified many severely eDNA-attenuated mutants, including one not expressing a unique FtsK/SpoIIIE-like DNA-transporting pore, two with inactivation of carbonic anhydrases, and nine with inactivation of genes belonging to a unique genomic region, as well as numerous mutants involved in metabolism and energy production. Complementation of nine mutants that included the FtsK/SpoIIIE and carbonic anhydrase significantly restored eDNA export. Interestingly, several attenuated eDNA mutants have mutations in genes encoding proteins that were found with the surface proteomics, and many more mutations are localized in operons potentially encoding surface proteins. Collectively, our data strengthen the evidence of eDNA export being an active mechanism that is activated by the bacterium responding to bicarbonate. PMID:27923918

  12. Identification of Bicarbonate as a Trigger and Genes Involved with Extracellular DNA Export in Mycobacterial Biofilms.

    PubMed

    Rose, Sasha J; Bermudez, Luiz E

    2016-12-06

    Extracellular DNA (eDNA) is an integral biofilm matrix component of numerous pathogens, including nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM). Cell lysis is the source of eDNA in certain bacteria, but the source of eDNA remains unidentified for NTM, as well as for other eDNA-containing bacterial species. In this study, conditions affecting eDNA export were examined, and genes involved with the eDNA export mechanism were identified. After a method for monitoring eDNA in real time in undisturbed biofilms was established, different conditions affecting eDNA were investigated. Bicarbonate positively influenced eDNA export in a pH-independent manner in Mycobacterium avium, M. abscessus, and M. chelonae The surface-exposed proteome of M. avium in eDNA-containing biofilms revealed abundant carbonic anhydrases. Chemical inhibition of carbonic anhydrases with ethoxzolamide significantly reduced eDNA export. An unbiased transposon mutant library screen for eDNA export in M. avium identified many severely eDNA-attenuated mutants, including one not expressing a unique FtsK/SpoIIIE-like DNA-transporting pore, two with inactivation of carbonic anhydrases, and nine with inactivation of genes belonging to a unique genomic region, as well as numerous mutants involved in metabolism and energy production. Complementation of nine mutants that included the FtsK/SpoIIIE and carbonic anhydrase significantly restored eDNA export. Interestingly, several attenuated eDNA mutants have mutations in genes encoding proteins that were found with the surface proteomics, and many more mutations are localized in operons potentially encoding surface proteins. Collectively, our data strengthen the evidence of eDNA export being an active mechanism that is activated by the bacterium responding to bicarbonate.

  13. The Cpx System Regulates Virulence Gene Expression in Vibrio cholerae

    PubMed Central

    Acosta, Nicole; Pukatzki, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    Bacteria possess signal transduction pathways capable of sensing and responding to a wide variety of signals. The Cpx envelope stress response, composed of the sensor histidine kinase CpxA and the response regulator CpxR, senses and mediates adaptation to insults to the bacterial envelope. The Cpx response has been implicated in the regulation of a number of envelope-localized virulence determinants across bacterial species. Here, we show that activation of the Cpx pathway in Vibrio cholerae El Tor strain C6706 leads to a decrease in expression of the major virulence factors in this organism, cholera toxin (CT) and the toxin-coregulated pilus (TCP). Our results indicate that this occurs through the repression of production of the ToxT regulator and an additional upstream transcription factor, TcpP. The effect of the Cpx response on CT and TCP expression is mostly abrogated in a cyclic AMP receptor protein (CRP) mutant, although expression of the crp gene is unaltered. Since TcpP production is controlled by CRP, our data suggest a model whereby the Cpx response affects CRP function, which leads to diminished TcpP, ToxT, CT, and TCP production. PMID:25824837

  14. In Silico Detection of Virulence Gene Homologues in the Human Pathogen Sphingomonas Spp.

    PubMed Central

    Saeb, Amr TM; David, Satish Kumar; Al-Brahim, Hissa

    2014-01-01

    There is an ongoing debate about the clinical significance of Sphingomonas paucimobilis as a virulent bacterial pathogen. In the present study, we investigated the presence of different virulence factors and genes in Sphingomonas bacteria. We utilized phylogenetic, comparative genomics and bioinformatics analysis to investigate the potentiality of Sphingomonas bacteria as virulent pathogenic bacteria. The 16S ribosomal RNA gene (16S rDNA) phylogenetic tree showed that the closest bacterial taxon to Sphingomonas is Brucella with a bootstrap value of 87 followed by Helicobacter, Campylobacter, Pseudomonas, and then Legionella. Sphingomonas shared no virulence factors with Helicobacter or Campylobacter, despite their close phylogenic relationship. In spite of the phylogenetic divergence between Sphingomonas and Pseudomonas, they shared many major virulence factors, such as adherence, antiphagocytosis, iron uptake, proteases, and quorum sensing. In conclusion, Sphingomonas spp. contains several major virulence factors resembling Pseudomonas sp., Legionella sp., Brucella sp., and Bordetella sp. virulence factors. Similarity of virulence factors did not match phylogenetic relationships. These findings suggest horizontal gene transfer of virulence factors rather than sharing a common pathogenic ancestor. Sphingomonas spp. is potential virulent bacterial pathogen. PMID:25574122

  15. Ape parasite origins of human malaria virulence genes

    PubMed Central

    Larremore, Daniel B.; Sundararaman, Sesh A.; Liu, Weimin; Proto, William R.; Clauset, Aaron; Loy, Dorothy E.; Speede, Sheri; Plenderleith, Lindsey J.; Sharp, Paul M.; Hahn, Beatrice H.; Rayner, Julian C.; Buckee, Caroline O.

    2015-01-01

    Antigens encoded by the var gene family are major virulence factors of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, exhibiting enormous intra- and interstrain diversity. Here we use network analysis to show that var architecture and mosaicism are conserved at multiple levels across the Laverania subgenus, based on var-like sequences from eight single-species and three multi-species Plasmodium infections of wild-living or sanctuary African apes. Using select whole-genome amplification, we also find evidence of multi-domain var structure and synteny in Plasmodium gaboni, one of the ape Laverania species most distantly related to P. falciparum, as well as a new class of Duffy-binding-like domains. These findings indicate that the modular genetic architecture and sequence diversity underlying var-mediated host-parasite interactions evolved before the radiation of the Laverania subgenus, long before the emergence of P. falciparum. PMID:26456841

  16. Burkholderia cepacia Complex Regulation of Virulence Gene Expression: A Review.

    PubMed

    Sousa, Sílvia A; Feliciano, Joana R; Pita, Tiago; Guerreiro, Soraia I; Leitão, Jorge H

    2017-01-19

    Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) bacteria emerged as opportunistic pathogens in cystic fibrosis and immunocompromised patients. Their eradication is very difficult due to the high level of intrinsic resistance to clinically relevant antibiotics. Bcc bacteria have large and complex genomes, composed of two to four replicons, with variable numbers of insertion sequences. The complexity of Bcc genomes confers a high genomic plasticity to these bacteria, allowing their adaptation and survival to diverse habitats, including the human host. In this work, we review results from recent studies using omics approaches to elucidate in vivo adaptive strategies and virulence gene regulation expression of Bcc bacteria when infecting the human host or subject to conditions mimicking the stressful environment of the cystic fibrosis lung.

  17. Burkholderia cepacia Complex Regulation of Virulence Gene Expression: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Sousa, Sílvia A.; Feliciano, Joana R.; Pita, Tiago; Guerreiro, Soraia I.; Leitão, Jorge H.

    2017-01-01

    Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) bacteria emerged as opportunistic pathogens in cystic fibrosis and immunocompromised patients. Their eradication is very difficult due to the high level of intrinsic resistance to clinically relevant antibiotics. Bcc bacteria have large and complex genomes, composed of two to four replicons, with variable numbers of insertion sequences. The complexity of Bcc genomes confers a high genomic plasticity to these bacteria, allowing their adaptation and survival to diverse habitats, including the human host. In this work, we review results from recent studies using omics approaches to elucidate in vivo adaptive strategies and virulence gene regulation expression of Bcc bacteria when infecting the human host or subject to conditions mimicking the stressful environment of the cystic fibrosis lung. PMID:28106859

  18. Salmonella plasmid virulence gene spvB enhances bacterial virulence by inhibiting autophagy in a zebrafish infection model.

    PubMed

    Li, Yuan-Yuan; Wang, Ting; Gao, Song; Xu, Guang-Mei; Niu, Hua; Huang, Rui; Wu, Shu-Yan

    2016-02-01

    Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium (S. typhimurium) is a facultative intracellular pathogen that can cause gastroenteritis and systemic infection in a wide range of hosts. Salmonella plasmid virulence gene spvB is closely related to bacterial virulence in different cells and animal models, and the encoded protein acts as an intracellular toxin required for ADP-ribosyl transferase activity. However, until now there is no report about the pathogenecity of spvB gene on zebrafish. Due to the outstanding advantages of zebrafish in analyzing bacteria-host interactions, a S. typhimurium infected zebrafish model was set up here to study the effect of spvB on autophagy and intestinal pathogenesis in vivo. We found that spvB gene could decrease the LD50 of S. typhimurium, and the strain carrying spvB promoted bacterial proliferation and aggravated the intestinal damage manifested by the narrowed intestines, fallen microvilli, blurred epithelium cell structure and infiltration of inflammatory cells. Results demonstrated the enhanced virulence induced by spvB in zebrafish. In spvB-mutant strain infected zebrafish, the levels of Lc3 turnover and Beclin1 expression increased, and the double-membraned autophagosome structures were observed, suggesting that spvB can inhibit autophagy activity. In summary, our results indicate that S. typhimurium strain containing spvB displays more virulence, triggering an increase in bacterial survival and intestine injuries by suppressing autophagy for the first time. This model provides novel insights into the role of Salmonella plasmid virulence gene in bacterial pathogenesis, and can help to further elucidate the relationship between bacteria and host immune response.

  19. Main functions and taxonomic distribution of virulence genes in Brucella melitensis 16 M.

    PubMed

    Brambila-Tapia, Aniel Jessica Leticia; Armenta-Medina, Dagoberto; Rivera-Gomez, Nancy; Perez-Rueda, Ernesto

    2014-01-01

    Many virulence genes have been detected in attenuated mutants of Brucella melitensis 16 M; nevertheless, a complete report of these genes, including the main Cluster of Orthologous Groups (COG) represented as well as the taxonomical distribution among all complete bacterial and archaeal genomes, has not been analyzed. In this work a total of 160 virulence genes that have been reported in attenuated mutants in B. melitensis were included and analyzed. Additionally, we obtained 250 B. melitensis randomly selected genes as a reference group for the taxonomical comparisons. The COGs and the taxonomical distribution profile for 789 nonredundant bacterial and archaeal genomes were obtained and compared with the whole-genome COG distribution and with the 250 randomly selected genes, respectively. The main COGs associated with virulence genes corresponded to the following: intracellular trafficking, secretion and vesicular transport (U); cell motility (N); nucleotide transport and metabolism (F); transcription (K); and cell wall/membrane/envelope biogenesis (M). In addition, we found that virulence genes presented a higher proportion of orthologs in the Euryarchaeota and Proteobacteria phyla, with a significant decrease in Chlamydiae, Bacteroidetes, Tenericutes, Firmicutes and Thermotogae. In conclusion, we found that genes related to specific functions are more relevant to B. melitensis virulence, with the COG U the most significant. Additionally, the taxonomical distribution of virulence genes highlights the importance of these genes in the related Proteobacteria, being less relevant in distant groups of organisms with the exception of Euryarchaeota.

  20. Main Functions and Taxonomic Distribution of Virulence Genes in Brucella melitensis 16 M

    PubMed Central

    Brambila-Tapia, Aniel Jessica Leticia; Armenta-Medina, Dagoberto; Rivera-Gomez, Nancy; Perez-Rueda, Ernesto

    2014-01-01

    Many virulence genes have been detected in attenuated mutants of Brucella melitensis 16 M; nevertheless, a complete report of these genes, including the main Cluster of Orthologous Groups (COG) represented as well as the taxonomical distribution among all complete bacterial and archaeal genomes, has not been analyzed. In this work a total of 160 virulence genes that have been reported in attenuated mutants in B. melitensis were included and analyzed. Additionally, we obtained 250 B. melitensis randomly selected genes as a reference group for the taxonomical comparisons. The COGs and the taxonomical distribution profile for 789 nonredundant bacterial and archaeal genomes were obtained and compared with the whole-genome COG distribution and with the 250 randomly selected genes, respectively. The main COGs associated with virulence genes corresponded to the following: intracellular trafficking, secretion and vesicular transport (U); cell motility (N); nucleotide transport and metabolism (F); transcription (K); and cell wall/membrane/envelope biogenesis (M). In addition, we found that virulence genes presented a higher proportion of orthologs in the Euryarchaeota and Proteobacteria phyla, with a significant decrease in Chlamydiae, Bacteroidetes, Tenericutes, Firmicutes and Thermotogae. In conclusion, we found that genes related to specific functions are more relevant to B. melitensis virulence, with the COG U the most significant. Additionally, the taxonomical distribution of virulence genes highlights the importance of these genes in the related Proteobacteria, being less relevant in distant groups of organisms with the exception of Euryarchaeota. PMID:24964015

  1. Influence of Sublethal Concentrations of Common Disinfectants on Expression of Virulence Genes in Listeria monocytogenes ▿

    PubMed Central

    Kastbjerg, Vicky G.; Larsen, Marianne Halberg; Gram, Lone; Ingmer, Hanne

    2010-01-01

    Listeria monocytogenes is a food-borne human pathogen that causes listeriosis, a relatively rare infection with a high fatality rate. The regulation of virulence gene expression is influenced by several environmental factors, and the aim of the present study was to determine how disinfectants used routinely in the food industry affect the expression of different virulence genes in L. monocytogenes when added at sublethal concentrations. An agar-based assay was developed to screen the effect of disinfectants on virulence gene promoter expression and was validated at the transcriptional level by Northern blot analysis. Eleven disinfectants representing four different groups of active components were evaluated in this study. Disinfectants with the same active ingredients had a similar effect on gene expression. Peroxy and chlorine compounds reduced the expression of the virulence genes, and quaternary ammonium compounds (QAC) induced the expression of the virulence genes. In general, a disinfectant had similar effects on the expression of all four virulence genes examined. Northern blot analyses confirmed the downregulation of prfA and inlA expression by Incimaxx DES (a peroxy compound) and their upregulation by Triquart Super (a QAC) in L. monocytogenes EGD. Hence, sublethal concentrations of disinfectants routinely used in the food industry affect virulence gene expression in the human pathogen L. monocytogenes, and the effect depends on the active components of the disinfectant. From a practical perspective, the study underlines that disinfectants should be used at the lethal concentrations recommended by the manufacturers. Further studies are needed to elucidate whether the changes in virulence gene expression induced by the disinfectants have impact on virulence or other biological properties, such as antibiotic resistance. PMID:19897753

  2. [Identification of 23 mycobacterial species by Invader assay with targeting 16S rRNA gene and ITS-1 region--comparison with DDH method in clinical isolates].

    PubMed

    Nagano, Makoto; Ichimura, Sadahiro; Ito, Nobuko; Tomii, Takayuki; Kazumi, Yuko; Takei, Katsuaki; Abe, Chiyoji; Sugawara, Isamu

    2008-07-01

    The Invader assay was developed to identify 23 mycobacterial species using probes derived from the species-specific region of the 16S rRNA gene and the 16S-23S rRNA internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS-1) region, with minor modifications of our previous study. In the present study, we compared the identification capability between the Invader assay and DNA-DNA hybridization (DDH) method. DDH is commonly used to identify non-tuberculosis mycobacterium in Japan and 636 clinical mycobacterial strains cultured on Ogawa slants were tested. The Invader assay could identify 615 (96.7%) of the 636 strains. The results contained 14 M.lentiflavum, 3 M. parascrofulaceum and 1 M. intermedium, which were undetectable with DDH method. On the other hand, DDH method could identify 580 (91.2%) strains with duplicate assay. Of 628 strains except 8 strains identified as a few species by Invader assay, 551 (87.7%) strains were identified as the same species by two methods. Discordant results were mainly recognized for the identification of M. gordonae, M. avium, M. lentiflavum and M. intracellurare. The results of other methods targeting 16S rRNA indicated correctness of the Invader assay. These results indicate that Invader assay could identify more correctly than DDH method and could identify about 97% of clinically important mycobacterium.

  3. 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.

  4. Presence of Bacterial Virulence Gene Homologues in the dibenzo-p-dioxins degrading bacterium Sphingomonas wittichii

    PubMed Central

    Saeb, Amr T. M.

    2016-01-01

    Sphingomonas wittichii, a close relative of the human pathogen Sphingomonas paucimobilis, is a microorganism of great interest to the bioremediation community for its ability of biodegradation to a large number of toxic polychlorinated dioxins. In the present study we investigated the presence of different virulence factors and genes in S. wittichii. We utilized phylogenetic, comparative genomics and bioinformatics analysis to investigate the potentiality of S. wittichii as a potential virulent pathogen. The 16SrDNA phylogenetic tree showed that the closest bacterial taxon to S. wittichii is Brucella followed by Helicobacter, Campylobacter, Pseudomonas then Legionella. Despite their close phylogenetic relationship, S. wittichii did not share any virulence factors with Helicobacter or Campylobacter. On the contrary, in spite of the phylogenetic divergence between S. wittichii and Pseudomonas spp., they shared many major virulence factors, such as, adherence, antiphagocytosis, Iron uptake, proteases and quorum sensing. S. wittichii contains several major virulence factors resembling Pseudomonas sp., Legionella sp., Brucella sp. and Bordetella sp. virulence factors. Similarity of virulence factors did not match phylogenetic relationships. These findings suggest horizontal gene transfer of virulence factors rather than sharing a common pathogenic ancestor. S. wittichii is a potential virulent bacterium. Another possibility is that reductive evolution process attenuated S. wittichii pathogenic capabilities. Thus plenty of care must be taken when using this bacterium in soil remediation purposes. PMID:28197061

  5. A DinB Ortholog Enables Mycobacterial Growth under dTTP-Limiting Conditions Induced by the Expression of a Mycobacteriophage-Derived Ribonucleotide Reductase Gene.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Shreya; Samaddar, Sourabh; Kirtania, Prithwiraj; Das Gupta, Sujoy K

    2015-11-02

    Mycobacterium species such as M. smegmatis and M. tuberculosis encode at least two translesion synthesis (TLS) polymerases, DinB1 and DinB2, respectively. Although predicted to be linked to DNA repair, their role in vivo remains enigmatic. M. smegmatis mc(2)155, a strain commonly used to investigate mycobacterial genetics, has two copies of dinB2, the gene that codes for DinB2, by virtue of a 56-kb chromosomal duplication. Expression of a mycobacteriophage D29 gene (gene 50) encoding a class II ribonucleotide reductase in M. smegmatis ΔDRKIN, a strain derived from mc(2)155 in which one copy of the duplication is lost, resulted in DNA replication defects and growth inhibition. The inhibitory effect could be linked to the deficiency of dTTP that resulted under these circumstances. The selective inhibition observed in the ΔDRKIN strain was found to be due solely to a reduced dosage of dinB2 in this strain. Mycobacterium bovis, which is closely related to M. tuberculosis, the tuberculosis pathogen, was found to be highly susceptible to gene 50 overexpression. Incidentally, these slow-growing pathogens harbor one copy of dinB2. The results indicate that the induction of a dTTP-limiting state can lead to growth inhibition in mycobacteria, with the effect being maximum in cells deficient in DinB2. Mycobacterium species, such as M. tuberculosis, the tuberculosis pathogen, are known to encode several Y family DNA polymerases, one of which is DinB2, an ortholog of the DNA repair-related protein DinP of Escherichia coli. Although this protein has been biochemically characterized previously and found to be capable of translesion synthesis in vitro, its in vivo function remains unknown. Using a novel method to induce dTTP deficiency in mycobacteria, we demonstrate that DinB2 can aid mycobacterial survival under such conditions. Apart from unraveling a specific role for the mycobacterial Y family DNA polymerase DinB2 for the first time, this study also paves the way for the

  6. Regulation of bacterial virulence gene expression by cell envelope stress responses

    PubMed Central

    Flores-Kim, Josué; Darwin, Andrew J

    2014-01-01

    The bacterial cytoplasm lies within a multilayered envelope that must be protected from internal and external hazards. This protection is provided by cell envelope stress responses (ESRs), which detect threats and reprogram gene expression to ensure survival. Pathogens frequently need these ESRs to survive inside the host, where their envelopes face dangerous environmental changes and attack from antimicrobial molecules. In addition, some virulence genes have become integrated into ESR regulons. This might be because these genes can protect the cell envelope from damage by host molecules, or it might help ESRs to reduce stress by moderating the assembly of virulence factors within the envelope. Alternatively, it could simply be a mechanism to coordinate the induction of virulence gene expression with entry into the host. Here, we briefly describe some of the bacterial ESRs, followed by examples where they control virulence gene expression in both Gram-negative and Gram-positive pathogens. PMID:25603429

  7. Mutations in the control of virulence sensor gene from Streptococcus pyogenes after infection in mice lead to clonal bacterial variants with altered gene regulatory activity and virulence.

    PubMed

    Mayfield, Jeffrey A; Liang, Zhong; Agrahari, Garima; Lee, Shaun W; Donahue, Deborah L; Ploplis, Victoria A; Castellino, Francis J

    2014-01-01

    The cluster of virulence sensor (CovS)/responder (CovR) two-component operon (CovRS) regulates ∼15% of the genes of the Group A Streptococcal pyogenes (GAS) genome. Bacterial clones containing inactivating mutations in the covS gene have been isolated from patients with virulent invasive diseases. We report herein an assessment of the nature and types of covS mutations that can occur in both virulent and nonvirulent GAS strains, and assess whether a nonvirulent GAS can attain enhanced virulence through this mechanism. A group of mice were infected with a globally-disseminated clonal M1T1 GAS (isolate 5448), containing wild-type (WT) CovRS (5448/CovR+S+), or less virulent engineered GAS strains, AP53/CovR+S+ and Manfredo M5/CovR+S+. SpeB negative GAS clones from wound sites and/or from bacteria disseminated to the spleen were isolated and the covS gene was subjected to DNA sequence analysis. Numerous examples of inactivating mutations were found in CovS in all regions of the gene. The mutations found included frame-shift insertions and deletions, and in-frame small and large deletions in the gene. Many of the mutations found resulted in early translation termination of CovS. Thus, the covS gene is a genomic mutagenic target that gives GAS enhanced virulence. In cases wherein CovS- was discovered, these clonal variants exhibited high lethality, further suggesting that randomly mutated covS genes occur during the course of infection, and lead to the development of a more invasive infection.

  8. Detection of virulence genes in Escherichia coli isolated from patients with cystitis and pyelonephritis.

    PubMed

    Firoozeh, Farzaneh; Saffari, Mahmood; Neamati, Foroogh; Zibaei, Mohammad

    2014-12-01

    Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) is a common cause of ascending urinary tract infections including cystitis and pyelonephritis. The purpose of this study was to investigate virulence genes among Escherichia coli isolated from patients with cystitis and pyelonephritis. Between December 2012 and June 2013, 150 E. coli isolates from hospitalized patients with pyelonephritis (n = 72) and cystitis (n=78) were collected at Shahid Beheshti Hospital in Kashan. A PCR assay was used to evaluate the presence of virulence genes including pap, hly, aer, sfa, cnf, afa, traT, and pathogenicity island (PAI) markers in isolates. Of the total 150 UPEC isolates, 130 (86.7%) were found to carry the virulence genes studied. Nineteen different virulence patterns were identified. The most prevalent virulence pattern was UPEC including traT-PAI operons. The pap, traT, aer, hly, and PAI operons were more prevalent among patients with pyelonephritis than cystitis, and the sfa, afa, and cnf genes were not detected in any of the isolates. Higher virulence gene diversity was found among pyelonephritis UPEC isolates in comparison to cystitis UPEC isolates, showing that UPEC strains that cause pyelonephritis need more virulence factors. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  9. Uropathogenic Escherichia coli virulence genes: invaluable approaches for designing DNA microarray probes.

    PubMed

    Jahandeh, Nadia; Ranjbar, Reza; Behzadi, Payam; Behzadi, Elham

    2015-01-01

    The pathotypes of uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) cause different types of urinary tract infections (UTIs). The presence of a wide range of virulence genes in UPEC enables us to design appropriate DNA microarray probes. These probes, which are used in DNA microarray technology, provide us with an accurate and rapid diagnosis and definitive treatment in association with UTIs caused by UPEC pathotypes. The main goal of this article is to introduce the UPEC virulence genes as invaluable approaches for designing DNA microarray probes. Main search engines such as Google Scholar and databases like NCBI were searched to find and study several original pieces of literature, review articles, and DNA gene sequences. In parallel with in silico studies, the experiences of the authors were helpful for selecting appropriate sources and writing this review article. There is a significant variety of virulence genes among UPEC strains. The DNA sequences of virulence genes are fabulous patterns for designing microarray probes. The location of virulence genes and their sequence lengths influence the quality of probes. The use of selected virulence genes for designing microarray probes gives us a wide range of choices from which the best probe candidates can be chosen. DNA microarray technology provides us with an accurate, rapid, cost-effective, sensitive, and specific molecular diagnostic method which is facilitated by designing microarray probes. Via these tools, we are able to have an accurate diagnosis and a definitive treatment regarding UTIs caused by UPEC pathotypes.

  10. Identification of virulence genes carried by bacteriophages obtained from clinically isolated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Karasartova, Djursun; Cavusoglu, Zeynep Burcin; Turegun, Buse; Ozsan, Murat T; Şahin, Fikret

    2016-12-01

    Bacteriophages play an important role in the pathogenicity of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) either by carrying accessory virulence factors or several superantigens. Despite their importance, there are not many studies showing the actual distribution of the virulence genes carried by the prophages obtained from the clinically isolated Staphylococcus. In this study, we investigated prophages obtained from methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strains isolated from hospital- and community-associated (HA-CA) infections for the virulence factors. In the study, 43 phages isolated from 48 MRSA were investigated for carrying toxin genes including the sak, eta, lukF-PV, sea, selp, sek, seg, seq chp, and scn virulence genes using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Southern blot. Restriction fragment length polymorphism was used to analyze phage genomes to investigate the relationship between the phage profiles and the toxin genes' presence. MRSA strains isolated from HA infections tended to have higher prophage presence than the MRSA strains obtained from the CA infections (97% and 67%, respectively). The study showed that all the phages with the exception of one phage contained one or more virulence genes in their genomes with different combinations. The most common toxin genes found were sea (83%) followed by sek (77%) and seq (64%). The study indicates that prophages encode a significant proportion of MRSA virulence factors.

  11. A Nonsynonymous SNP Catalog of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Virulence Genes and Its Use for Detecting New Potentially Virulent Sublineages.

    PubMed

    Mikheecheva, Natalya E; Zaychikova, Marina V; Melerzanov, Alexander V; Danilenko, Valery N

    2017-04-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis is divided into several distinct lineages, and various genetic markers such as IS-elements, VNTR, and SNPs are used for lineage identification. We propose an M. tuberculosis classification approach based on functional polymorphisms in virulence genes. An M. tuberculosis virulence genes catalog has been established, including 319 genes from various protein groups, such as proteases, cell wall proteins, fatty acid and lipid metabolism proteins, sigma factors, toxin-antitoxin systems. Another catalog of 1,573 M. tuberculosis isolates of different lineages has been developed. The developed SNP-calling program has identified 3,563 nonsynonymous SNPs. The constructed SNP-based phylogeny reflected the evolutionary relationship between lineages and detected new sublineages. SNP analysis of sublineage F15/LAM4/KZN revealed four lineage-specific mutations in cyp125, mce3B, vapC25, and vapB34. The Ural lineage has been divided into two geographical clusters based on different SNPs in virulence genes. A new sublineage, B0/N-90, was detected inside the Beijing-B0/W-148 by SNPs in irtB, mce3F and vapC46. We have found 27 members of B0/N-90 among the 227 available genomes of the Beijing-B0/W-148 sublineage. Whole-genome sequencing of strain B9741, isolated from an HIV-positive patient, was demonstrated to belong to the new B0/N-90 group. A primer set for PCR detection of B0/N-90 lineage-specific mutations has been developed. The prospective use of mce3 mutant genes as genetically engineered vaccine is discussed. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  12. A Nonsynonymous SNP Catalog of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Virulence Genes and Its Use for Detecting New Potentially Virulent Sublineages

    PubMed Central

    Mikheecheva, Natalya E.; Zaychikova, Marina V.; Melerzanov, Alexander V.

    2017-01-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis is divided into several distinct lineages, and various genetic markers such as IS-elements, VNTR, and SNPs are used for lineage identification. We propose an M. tuberculosis classification approach based on functional polymorphisms in virulence genes. An M. tuberculosis virulence genes catalog has been established, including 319 genes from various protein groups, such as proteases, cell wall proteins, fatty acid and lipid metabolism proteins, sigma factors, toxin–antitoxin systems. Another catalog of 1,573 M. tuberculosis isolates of different lineages has been developed. The developed SNP-calling program has identified 3,563 nonsynonymous SNPs. The constructed SNP-based phylogeny reflected the evolutionary relationship between lineages and detected new sublineages. SNP analysis of sublineage F15/LAM4/KZN revealed four lineage-specific mutations in cyp125, mce3B, vapC25, and vapB34. The Ural lineage has been divided into two geographical clusters based on different SNPs in virulence genes. A new sublineage, B0/N-90, was detected inside the Beijing-B0/W-148 by SNPs in irtB, mce3F and vapC46. We have found 27 members of B0/N-90 among the 227 available genomes of the Beijing-B0/W-148 sublineage. Whole-genome sequencing of strain B9741, isolated from an HIV-positive patient, was demonstrated to belong to the new B0/N-90 group. A primer set for PCR detection of B0/N-90 lineage-specific mutations has been developed. The prospective use of mce3 mutant genes as genetically engineered vaccine is discussed. PMID:28338924

  13. Variation in virulence of Beauveria bassiana and B. pseudobassiana to the pine weevil Pissodes nemorensis in relation to mycelium characteristics and virulence genes.

    PubMed

    Romón, Pedro; Hatting, Hardus; Goldarazena, Arturo; Iturrondobeitia, Juan Carlos

    2017-02-01

    Entomopathogenic fungi such as Beauveria spp. have potential applications in the biocontrol of insect pests but little is known regarding their infectivity to the pine weevil Pissodes nemorensis. In this study, five isolates of Beauveria pseudobassiana and five isolates of Beauveria bassiana were tested for characteristics correlating with virulence on P. nemorensis. Isolate UAMH301 had the lowest mean lethal concentration value whereas the highest value was obtained with isolate LRC137. Growth rate was negatively correlated with virulence in B. bassiana, because isolate LRC137, the least virulent isolate, grew much more rapidly than the other B. bassiana isolates on SDYA. In contrast, its growth on a hyperosmotic medium was the slowest. Sporulation rate and conidial area were not correlated with virulence. Mycelial cell density was positively correlated with virulence in both species, and the four tested genes appear to be one-copy genes. Bbchit1 and Bbhog1, genes respectively encoding a chitinase and a protein kinase, induced relative expression levels were positively correlated with virulence in B. pseudobassiana. We discuss in terms of previous morphological, physiological and genetic parameters related to virulence in Beauveria and the importance of testing the expression of putative virulence genes in comparison with their basal transcript levels.

  14. Vibrio cholerae anaerobic induction of virulence gene expression is controlled by thiol-based switches of virulence regulator AphB

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Zhi; Yang, Menghua; Peterfreund, Gregory L.; Tsou, Amy M.; Selamoglu, Nur; Daldal, Fevzi; Zhong, Zengtao; Kan, Biao; Zhu, Jun

    2011-01-01

    Bacterial pathogens have evolved sophisticated signal transduction systems to coordinately control the expression of virulence determinants. For example, the human pathogen Vibrio cholerae is able to respond to host environmental signals by activating transcriptional regulatory cascades. The host signals that stimulate V. cholerae virulence gene expression, however, are still poorly understood. Previous proteomic studies indicated that the ambient oxygen concentration plays a role in V. cholerae virulence gene expression. In this study, we found that under oxygen-limiting conditions, an environment similar to the intestines, V. cholerae virulence genes are highly expressed. We show that anaerobiosis enhances dimerization and activity of AphB, a transcriptional activator that is required for the expression of the key virulence regulator TcpP, which leads to the activation of virulence factor production. We further show that one of the three cysteine residues in AphB, C235, is critical for oxygen responsiveness, as the AphBC235S mutant can activate virulence genes under aerobic conditions in vivo and can bind to tcpP promoters in the absence of reducing agents in vitro. Mass spectrometry analysis suggests that under aerobic conditions, AphB is modified at the C235 residue. This modification is reversible between oxygen-rich aquatic environments and oxygen-limited human hosts, suggesting that V. cholerae may use a thiol-based switch mechanism to sense intestinal signals and activate virulence. PMID:21187377

  15. 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.

  16. Chamaecyparis obtusa Suppresses Virulence Genes in Streptococcus mutans

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Eun-Hee; Kang, Sun-Young; Park, Bog-Im; Kim, Young-Hoi; Lee, Young-Rae; Hoe, Jin-Hee; Choi, Na-Young; Ra, Ji-Young; An, So-Youn; You, Yong-Ouk

    2016-01-01

    Chamaecyparis obtusa (C. obtusa) is known to have antimicrobial effects and has been used as a medicinal plant and in forest bathing. This study aimed to evaluate the anticariogenic activity of essential oil of C. obtusa on Streptococcus mutans, which is one of the most important bacterial causes of dental caries and dental biofilm formation. Essential oil from C. obtusa was extracted, and its effect on bacterial growth, acid production, and biofilm formation was evaluated. C. obtusa essential oil exhibited concentration-dependent inhibition of bacterial growth over 0.025 mg/mL, with 99% inhibition at a concentration of 0.2 mg/mL. The bacterial biofilm formation and acid production were also significantly inhibited at the concentration greater than 0.025 mg/mL. The result of LIVE/DEAD® BacLight™ Bacterial Viability Kit showed a concentration-dependent bactericidal effect on S. mutans and almost all bacteria were dead over 0.8 mg/mL. Real-time PCR analysis showed that gene expression of some virulence factors such as brpA, gbpB, gtfC, and gtfD was also inhibited. In GC and GC-MS analysis, the major components were found to be α-terpinene (40.60%), bornyl acetate (12.45%), α-pinene (11.38%), β-pinene (7.22%), β-phellandrene (3.45%), and α-terpinolene (3.40%). These results show that C. obtusa essential oil has anticariogenic effect on S. mutans. PMID:27293453

  17. Virulence genes and antimicrobial susceptibility of Escherichia coli taken from women with vaginitis in Talca, Chile.

    PubMed

    Padilla, Carlos; Padilla, Andrés; Lobos, Olga

    2014-03-13

    Vaginitis is one of the most common reasons women visit a gynecologist. Escherichia coli has been isolated from women with vaginitis, but its role as a vaginal infection aetiological agent is controversial. This study aimed to detect virulence genes and determine the antimicrobial susceptibility of E. coli strains isolated from monomicrobial and polymicrobial cultures collected from women with vaginitis. The presence of the following virulence genes: papC, hly, iucC, afa, fimH, neuC, sfa/foc, cnf1, usp, and ibeA in two E. coli groups was determined by PCR. The antibacterial susceptibility of strains was tested. A higher percentage (93.3%) of isolated strains from monomicrobial cultures with virulence genes in relation to polymicrobial cultures (56.7%) was found. The most frequent virulence genes in both groups were hly (p = 0.0357), fimH (p = 0.000), and cfn1 (p = 0.000). In addition, E. coli isolated from monomicrobial cultures showed 5 genetic combinations compared to the 10 observed in the polymicrobial cultures. An increased number of strains were sensitive to cefotaxime, moxifloxacin, and ciprofloxacin. A high resistance to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole was observed. Most of the E. coli strains isolated from monomicrobial cultures and some from polymicrobial cultures showed virulence genes. A better understanding of the virulence and antibacterial susceptibility of E. coli strains isolated from patients with vaginitis can contribute to improved diagnosis and treatment of this disease.

  18. The distribution of Escherichia coli serovars, virulence genes, gene association and combinations and virulence genes encoding serotypes in pathogenic E. coli recovered from diarrhoeic calves, sheep and goat.

    PubMed

    Osman, K M; Mustafa, A M; Elhariri, M; Abdelhamed, G S

    2013-02-01

    Ruminants, especially cattle, have been implicated as a principal reservoir of one of the enterovirulent Escherichia coli pathotypes. The detection of the virulence genes in diarrhoeic calves and small ruminants has not been studied in Egypt. To determine the occurrence, serotypes and the virulence gene markers, stx1, stx2, hylA, Flic(h7) , stb, F41, K99, sta, F17, LT-I, LT-II and eae, rectal swabs were taken from diarrhoeic calves, sheep and goats and subjected to bacterial culture and PCR. The E. coli prevalence rate in the diarrhoeic animals was 63.6% in calves, 27.3% in goat and 9.1% in sheep. The 102 E. coli strains isolated from the calves, goat and sheep were 100% haemolytic non-verotoxic and fitted into the Eagg group. The isolates belonged to seven O serogroups (O25, O78, O86, O119, O158, O164 and O157). The eae gene was detected in six of the strains isolated from the calves. The 102 bovine, ovine and caprine E. coli strains isolated in this study were negative for stx1, stx2, F41, LT-I and Flic(h7) genes. The highest gene combinations were found to occur in the form of 24/102 isolates (23.5%) that carried the F17 gene predominantly associated with eaeA, hylA, K99 and Stb genes in the calves, while the hylA, K99 and Sta were the only genes found to be in conjunction in both calves and goats (6/102; 5.9% each). Our data show that in Egypt, large and small ruminants could be a potential source of infection in humans.

  19. Comparative genomic analysis of Mycobacterium iranicum UM_TJL against representative mycobacterial species suggests its environmental origin.

    PubMed

    Tan, Joon Liang; Ngeow, Yun Fong; Wee, Wei Yee; Wong, Guat Jah; Ng, Hien Fuh; Choo, Siew Woh

    2014-11-24

    Mycobacterium iranicum is a newly reported mycobacterial species. We present the first comparative study of M. iranicum UM_TJL and other mycobacteria. We found M. iranicum to have a close genetic association with environmental mycobacteria infrequently associated with human infections. Nonetheless, UM_TJL is also equipped with many virulence genes (some of which appear to be the consequence of transduction-related gene transfer) that have been identified in established human pathogens. Taken all together, our data suggest that M. iranicum is an environmental bacterium adapted for pathogenicity in the human host. This comparative study provides important clues and forms the basis for future functional studies on this mycobacterium.

  20. Virulence gene profiles of avian pathogenic Escherichia coli isolated from chickens with colibacillosis in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

    PubMed

    Mbanga, Joshua; Nyararai, Yvonne O

    2015-04-07

    Colibacillosis, a disease caused by avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC), is one of the main causes of economic losses in the poultry industry worldwide. This study was carried out in order to determine the APEC-associated virulence genes contained by E. coli isolates causing colibacillosis in chickens. A total of 45 E. coli isolates were obtained from the diagnostics and research branch of the Central Veterinary Laboratories, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. These isolates were obtained from chickens with confirmed cases of colibacillosis after postmortem examination. The presence of the iutA, hlyF, ompT, frz, sitD, fimH, kpsM, sitA, sopB, uvrY, pstB and vat genes were investigated by multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. Of the 45 isolates, 93% were positive for the presence of at least one virulence gene. The three most prevalent virulence genes were iutA (80%), fimH (33.3%) and hlyF (24.4%). The kpsM, pstB and ompT genes had the lowest prevalence, having been detected in only 2.2% of the isolates. All 12 virulence genes studied were detected in the 45 APEC isolates. Virulence gene profiles were constructed for each APEC isolate from the multiplex data. The APEC isolates were profiled as 62.2% fitting profile A, 31.1% profile B and 6.7% profile C. None of the isolates had more than seven virulence genes. Virulence profiles of Zimbabwean APEC isolates are different from those previously reported. Zimbabwean APEC isolates appear to be less pathogenic and may rely on environmental factors and stress in hosts to establish infection.

  1. Virulence Gene Pool Detected in Bovine Group C Streptococcus dysgalactiae subsp. dysgalactiae Isolates by Use of a Group A S. pyogenes Virulence Microarray ▿

    PubMed Central

    Rato, Márcia G.; Nerlich, Andreas; Bergmann, René; Bexiga, Ricardo; Nunes, Sandro F.; Vilela, Cristina L.; Santos-Sanches, Ilda; Chhatwal, Gursharan S.

    2011-01-01

    A custom-designed microarray containing 220 virulence genes of Streptococcus pyogenes (group A Streptococcus [GAS]) was used to test group C Streptococcus dysgalactiae subsp. dysgalactiae (GCS) field strains causing bovine mastitis and group C or group G Streptococcus dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis (GCS/GGS) isolates from human infections, with the latter being used for comparative purposes, for the presence of virulence genes. All bovine and all human isolates carried a fraction of the 220 genes (23% and 39%, respectively). The virulence genes encoding streptolysin S, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, the plasminogen-binding M-like protein PAM, and the collagen-like protein SclB were detected in the majority of both bovine and human isolates (94 to 100%). Virulence factors, usually carried by human beta-hemolytic streptococcal pathogens, such as streptokinase, laminin-binding protein, and the C5a peptidase precursor, were detected in all human isolates but not in bovine isolates. Additionally, GAS bacteriophage-associated virulence genes encoding superantigens, DNase, and/or streptodornase were detected in bovine isolates (72%) but not in the human isolates. Determinants located in non-bacteriophage-related mobile elements, such as the gene encoding R28, were detected in all bovine and human isolates. Several virulence genes, including genes of bacteriophage origin, were shown to be expressed by reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR). Phylogenetic analysis of superantigen gene sequences revealed a high level (>98%) of identity among genes of bovine GCS, of the horse pathogen Streptococcus equi subsp. equi, and of the human pathogen GAS. Our findings indicate that alpha-hemolytic bovine GCS, an important mastitis pathogen and considered to be a nonhuman pathogen, carries important virulence factors responsible for virulence and pathogenesis in humans. PMID:21525223

  2. Golden pigment production and virulence gene expression are affected by metabolisms in Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Lan, Lefu; Cheng, Alice; Dunman, Paul M; Missiakas, Dominique; He, Chuan

    2010-06-01

    The pathogenesis of staphylococcal infections is multifactorial. Golden pigment is an eponymous feature of the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus that shields the microbe from oxidation-based clearance, an innate host immune response to infection. Here, we screened a collection of S. aureus transposon mutants for pigment production variants. A total of 15 previously unidentified genes were discovered. Notably, disrupting metabolic pathways such as the tricarboxylic acid cycle, purine biosynthesis, and oxidative phosphorylation yields mutants with enhanced pigmentation. The dramatic effect on pigment production seems to correlate with altered expression of virulence determinants. Microarray analysis further indicates that purine biosynthesis impacts the expression of approximately 400 genes involved in a broad spectrum of functions including virulence. The purine biosynthesis mutant and oxidative phosphorylation mutant strains exhibit significantly attenuated virulence in a murine abscess model of infection. Inhibition of purine biosynthesis with a known small-molecule inhibitor results in altered virulence gene expression and virulence attenuation during infection. Taken together, these results suggest an intimate link between metabolic processes and virulence gene expression in S. aureus. This study also establishes the importance of purine biosynthesis and oxidative phosphorylation for in vivo survival.

  3. Golden Pigment Production and Virulence Gene Expression Are Affected by Metabolisms in Staphylococcus aureus▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Lan, Lefu; Cheng, Alice; Dunman, Paul M.; Missiakas, Dominique; He, Chuan

    2010-01-01

    The pathogenesis of staphylococcal infections is multifactorial. Golden pigment is an eponymous feature of the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus that shields the microbe from oxidation-based clearance, an innate host immune response to infection. Here, we screened a collection of S. aureus transposon mutants for pigment production variants. A total of 15 previously unidentified genes were discovered. Notably, disrupting metabolic pathways such as the tricarboxylic acid cycle, purine biosynthesis, and oxidative phosphorylation yields mutants with enhanced pigmentation. The dramatic effect on pigment production seems to correlate with altered expression of virulence determinants. Microarray analysis further indicates that purine biosynthesis impacts the expression of ∼400 genes involved in a broad spectrum of functions including virulence. The purine biosynthesis mutant and oxidative phosphorylation mutant strains exhibit significantly attenuated virulence in a murine abscess model of infection. Inhibition of purine biosynthesis with a known small-molecule inhibitor results in altered virulence gene expression and virulence attenuation during infection. Taken together, these results suggest an intimate link between metabolic processes and virulence gene expression in S. aureus. This study also establishes the importance of purine biosynthesis and oxidative phosphorylation for in vivo survival. PMID:20400547

  4. Bicarbonate Increases Binding Affinity of Vibrio cholerae ToxT to Virulence Gene Promoters

    PubMed Central

    Thomson, Joshua J.

    2014-01-01

    The major Vibrio cholerae virulence gene transcription activator, ToxT, is responsible for the production of the diarrhea-inducing cholera toxin (CT) and the major colonization factor, toxin coregulated pilus (TCP). In addition to the two primary virulence factors mentioned, ToxT is responsible for the activation of accessory virulence genes, such as aldA, tagA, acfA, acfD, tcpI, and tarAB. ToxT activity is negatively modulated by bile and unsaturated fatty acids found in the upper small intestine. Conversely, previous work identified another intestinal signal, bicarbonate, which enhances the ability of ToxT to activate production of CT and TCP. The work presented here further elucidates the mechanism for the enhancement of ToxT activity by bicarbonate. Bicarbonate was found to increase the activation of ToxT-dependent accessory virulence promoters in addition to those that produce CT and TCP. Bicarbonate is taken up into the V. cholerae cell, where it positively affects ToxT activity by increasing DNA binding affinity for the virulence gene promoters that ToxT activates regardless of toxbox configuration. The increase in ToxT binding affinity in the presence of bicarbonate explains the elevated level of virulence gene transcription. PMID:25182489

  5. Mammalian cell entry genes in Streptomyces may provide clues to the evolution of bacterial virulence.

    PubMed

    Clark, Laura C; Seipke, Ryan F; Prieto, Pilar; Willemse, Joost; van Wezel, Gilles P; Hutchings, Matthew I; Hoskisson, Paul A

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of virulence is key to appreciating the role specific loci play in pathogenicity. Streptomyces species are generally non-pathogenic soil saprophytes, yet within their genome we can find homologues of virulence loci. One example of this is the mammalian cell entry (mce) locus, which has been characterised in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. To investigate the role in Streptomyces we deleted the mce locus and studied its impact on cell survival, morphology and interaction with other soil organisms. Disruption of the mce cluster resulted in virulence towards amoebae (Acanthamoeba polyphaga) and reduced colonization of plant (Arabidopsis) models, indicating these genes may play an important role in Streptomyces survival in the environment. Our data suggest that loss of mce in Streptomyces spp. may have profound effects on survival in a competitive soil environment, and provides insight in to the evolution and selection of these genes as virulence factors in related pathogenic organisms.

  6. Mammalian cell entry genes in Streptomyces may provide clues to the evolution of bacterial virulence

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Laura C.; Seipke, Ryan F.; Prieto, Pilar; Willemse, Joost; van Wezel, Gilles P.; Hutchings, Matthew I.; Hoskisson, Paul A.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of virulence is key to appreciating the role specific loci play in pathogenicity. Streptomyces species are generally non-pathogenic soil saprophytes, yet within their genome we can find homologues of virulence loci. One example of this is the mammalian cell entry (mce) locus, which has been characterised in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. To investigate the role in Streptomyces we deleted the mce locus and studied its impact on cell survival, morphology and interaction with other soil organisms. Disruption of the mce cluster resulted in virulence towards amoebae (Acanthamoeba polyphaga) and reduced colonization of plant (Arabidopsis) models, indicating these genes may play an important role in Streptomyces survival in the environment. Our data suggest that loss of mce in Streptomyces spp. may have profound effects on survival in a competitive soil environment, and provides insight in to the evolution and selection of these genes as virulence factors in related pathogenic organisms. PMID:23346366

  7. 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.

  8. Extraintestinal Escherichia coli carrying virulence genes in coastal marine sediments.

    PubMed

    Luna, G M; Vignaroli, C; Rinaldi, C; Pusceddu, A; Nicoletti, L; Gabellini, M; Danovaro, R; Biavasco, F

    2010-09-01

    Despite the recognized potential of long-term survival or even growth of fecal indicators bacteria (FIB) in marine sediments, this compartment is largely ignored by health protection authorities. We conducted a large-scale study over approximately 50 km of the Marche coasts (Adriatic Sea) at depths ranging from 2 to 5 m. Total and fecal coliforms (FC) were counted by culture-based methods. Escherichia coli was also quantified using fluorescence in situ hybridization targeting specific 16S rRNA sequences, which yielded significantly higher abundances than culture-based methods, suggesting the potential importance of viable but nonculturable E. coli cells. Fecal coliforms displayed high abundances at most sites and showed a prevalence of E. coli. FC isolates (n = 113) were identified by API 20E, additional biochemical tests, and internal transcribed spacer-PCR. E. coli strains, representing 96% of isolates, were then characterized for genomic relatedness and phylogenetic group (A, B1, B2, and D) of origin by randomly amplified polymorphic DNA and multiplex-PCR. The results indicated that E. coli displayed a wide genotypic diversity, also among isolates from the same station, and that 44 of the 109 E. coli isolates belonged to groups B2 and D. Further characterization of B2 and D isolates for the presence of 11 virulence factor genes (pap, sfa/foc, afa, eaeA, ibeA, traT, hlyA, stx(1), stx(2), aer, and fyuA) showed that 90% of B2 and 65% of D isolates were positive for at least one of these. Most of the variance of both E. coli abundance and assemblage composition (>62%) was explained by a combination of physical-chemical and trophic variables. These findings indicate that coastal sediments could represent a potential reservoir for commensal and pathogenic E. coli and that E. coli distribution in marine coastal sediments largely depends upon the physical and trophic status of the sediment. We conclude that future sampling designs aimed at monitoring the microbiological

  9. Both msa genes in Renibacterium salmoninarum are needed for full virulence in bacterial kidney disease

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Coady, A.M.; Murray, A.L.; Elliott, D.G.; Rhodes, L.D.

    2006-01-01

    Renibacterium salmoninarum, a gram-positive diplococcobacillus that causes bacterial kidney disease among salmon and trout, has two chromosomal loci encoding the major soluble antigen (msa) gene. Because the MSA protein is widely suspected to be an important virulence factor, we used insertion-duplication mutagenesis to generate disruptions of either the msa1 or msa2 gene. Surprisingly, expression of MSA protein in broth cultures appeared unaffected. However, the virulence of either mutant in juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) by intraperitoneal challenge was severely attenuated, suggesting that disruption of the msa1 or msa2 gene affected in vivo expression. Copyright ?? 2006, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  10. MITEs in the promoters of effector genes allow prediction of novel virulence genes in Fusarium oxysporum

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The plant-pathogenic fungus Fusarium oxysporum f.sp.lycopersici (Fol) has accessory, lineage-specific (LS) chromosomes that can be transferred horizontally between strains. A single LS chromosome in the Fol4287 reference strain harbors all known Fol effector genes. Transfer of this pathogenicity chromosome confers virulence to a previously non-pathogenic recipient strain. We hypothesize that expression and evolution of effector genes is influenced by their genomic context. Results To gain a better understanding of the genomic context of the effector genes, we manually curated the annotated genes on the pathogenicity chromosome and identified and classified transposable elements. Both retro- and DNA transposons are present with no particular overrepresented class. Retrotransposons appear evenly distributed over the chromosome, while DNA transposons tend to concentrate in large chromosomal subregions. In general, genes on the pathogenicity chromosome are dispersed within the repeat landscape. Effector genes are present within subregions enriched for DNA transposons. A miniature Impala (mimp) is always present in their promoters. Although promoter deletion studies of two effector gene loci did not reveal a direct function of the mimp for gene expression, we were able to use proximity to a mimp as a criterion to identify new effector gene candidates. Through xylem sap proteomics we confirmed that several of these candidates encode proteins secreted during plant infection. Conclusions Effector genes in Fol reside in characteristic subregions on a pathogenicity chromosome. Their genomic context allowed us to develop a method for the successful identification of novel effector genes. Since our approach is not based on effector gene similarity, but on unique genomic features, it can easily be extended to identify effector genes in Fo strains with different host specificities. PMID:23432788

  11. The Composition and Spatial Patterns of Bacterial Virulence Factors and Antibiotic Resistance Genes in 19 Wastewater Treatment Plants

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Bing; Xia, Yu; Wen, Xianghua; Wang, Xiaohui; Yang, Yunfeng; Zhou, Jizhong; Zhang, Yu

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial pathogenicity and antibiotic resistance are of concern for environmental safety and public health. Accumulating evidence suggests that wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are as an important sink and source of pathogens and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). Virulence genes (encoding virulence factors) are good indicators for bacterial pathogenic potentials. To achieve a comprehensive understanding of bacterial pathogenic potentials and antibiotic resistance in WWTPs, bacterial virulence genes and ARGs in 19 WWTPs covering a majority of latitudinal zones of China were surveyed by using GeoChip 4.2. A total of 1610 genes covering 13 virulence factors and 1903 genes belonging to 11 ARG families were detected respectively. The bacterial virulence genes exhibited significant spatial distribution patterns of a latitudinal biodiversity gradient and a distance-decay relationship across China. Moreover, virulence genes tended to coexist with ARGs as shown by their strongly positive associations. In addition, key environmental factors shaping the overall virulence gene structure were identified. This study profiles the occurrence, composition and distribution of virulence genes and ARGs in current WWTPs in China, and uncovers spatial patterns and important environmental variables shaping their structure, which may provide the basis for further studies of bacterial virulence factors and antibiotic resistance in WWTPs. PMID:27907117

  12. The Composition and Spatial Patterns of Bacterial Virulence Factors and Antibiotic Resistance Genes in 19 Wastewater Treatment Plants.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Bing; Xia, Yu; Wen, Xianghua; Wang, Xiaohui; Yang, Yunfeng; Zhou, Jizhong; Zhang, Yu

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial pathogenicity and antibiotic resistance are of concern for environmental safety and public health. Accumulating evidence suggests that wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are as an important sink and source of pathogens and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). Virulence genes (encoding virulence factors) are good indicators for bacterial pathogenic potentials. To achieve a comprehensive understanding of bacterial pathogenic potentials and antibiotic resistance in WWTPs, bacterial virulence genes and ARGs in 19 WWTPs covering a majority of latitudinal zones of China were surveyed by using GeoChip 4.2. A total of 1610 genes covering 13 virulence factors and 1903 genes belonging to 11 ARG families were detected respectively. The bacterial virulence genes exhibited significant spatial distribution patterns of a latitudinal biodiversity gradient and a distance-decay relationship across China. Moreover, virulence genes tended to coexist with ARGs as shown by their strongly positive associations. In addition, key environmental factors shaping the overall virulence gene structure were identified. This study profiles the occurrence, composition and distribution of virulence genes and ARGs in current WWTPs in China, and uncovers spatial patterns and important environmental variables shaping their structure, which may provide the basis for further studies of bacterial virulence factors and antibiotic resistance in WWTPs.

  13. Expression profiling of virulence and pathogenicity genes of Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri.

    PubMed

    Astua-Monge, Gustavo; Freitas-Astua, Juliana; Bacocina, Gisele; Roncoletta, Juliana; Carvalho, Sérgio A; Machado, Marcos A

    2005-02-01

    DNA macroarrays of 279 genes of Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri potentially associated with pathogenicity and virulence were used to compare the transcriptional alterations of this bacterium in response to two synthetic media. Data analysis indicated that 31 genes were up-regulated by synthetic medium XVM2, while only 7 genes were repressed. The results suggest that XVM2 could be used as an in vitro system to identify candidate genes involved in pathogenesis of X. axonopodis pv. citri.

  14. Implication of an Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Gene and a Phosphinothricin N-Acetyltransferase Gene in the Diversity of Pseudomonas cichorii Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Tanaka, Masayuki; Wali, Ullah Md; Nakayashiki, Hitoshi; Fukuda, Tatsuya; Mizumoto, Hiroyuki; Ohnishi, Kouhei; Kiba, Akinori; Hikichi, Yasufumi

    2011-01-01

    Pseudomonas cichorii harbors the hrp genes. hrp-mutants lose their virulence on eggplant but not on lettuce. A phosphinothricin N-acetyltransferase gene (pat) is located between hrpL and an aldehyde dehydrogenase gene (aldH) in the genome of P. cichorii. Comparison of nucleotide sequences and composition of the genes among pseudomonads suggests a common ancestor of hrp and pat between P. cichorii strains and P. viridiflava strains harboring the single hrp pathogenicity island. In contrast, phylogenetic diversification of aldH corresponded to species diversification amongst pseudomonads. In this study, the involvement of aldH and pat in P. cichorii virulence was analyzed. An aldH-deleted mutant (ΔaldH) and a pat-deleted mutant (Δpat) lost their virulence on eggplant but not on lettuce. P. cichorii expressed both genes in eggplant leaves, independent of HrpL, the transcriptional activator for the hrp. Inoculation into Asteraceae species susceptible to P. cichorii showed that the involvement of hrp, pat and aldH in P. cichorii virulence is independent of each other and has no relationship with the phylogeny of Asteraceae species based on the nucleotide sequences of ndhF and rbcL. It is thus thought that not only the hrp genes but also pat and aldH are implicated in the diversity of P. cichorii virulence on susceptible host plant species. PMID:24704843

  15. Uropathogenic Escherichia coli isolates with different virulence genes content exhibit similar pathologic influence on Vero cells.

    PubMed

    Obaid, Jamil M A S; Mansour, Samira R; Elshahedy, Mohammed S; Rabie, Tarik E; Azab, Adel M H

    2014-01-01

    Uropathogenic Escherichia coli are the major causative agent of urinary tract infection--they may simultaneously express a number of virulence factors to cause disease. The aim of this study was to investigate the relation between virulence factors content of fifteen UPEC isolates and their pathogenic potential. The isolates belonged to the five serotypes O78:K80, O114:K90, O142:K86, O164 and O157. Nine of the virulence factors have been explored, ibeA, pap, sfa/foc, cnfl, hly, fyuA, pil, ompT and traT. Virulence factors profiling of the isolates revealed a different content ranging from 22% to 100% of the virulence genes explored. The pathogenic capacity of all fifteen isolates when tested on Vero cells showed that the cytotoxicity for all tested strains on Vero cells was approximately equal and enhanced after growth in syncase broth, leading mainly to cell lysis. The toxic effects reduced slightly after heat treatment of the toxin, and greatly after formalin detoxification, but not all the deleterious effect was abolished. Endotoxin also has cytotoxic effects on Vero cells, but longer time is needed for cytolysis which is greatly diminished with formalin treatment. In conclusion, our study revealed that pathogenic strains of UPEC can exert their pathogenic effect on live cells or system with limited virulence factors gene content.

  16. Use of Metarhizium anisopliae Chitinase Genes for Genotyping and Virulence Characterization

    PubMed Central

    Niassy, Saliou; Subramanian, Sevgan; Ekesi, Sunday; Bargul, Joel L.; Villinger, Jandouwe; Maniania, Nguya K.

    2013-01-01

    Virulence is the primary factor used for selection of entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) for development as biopesticides. To understand the genetic mechanisms underlying differences in virulence of fungal isolates on various arthropod pests, we compared the chitinase genes, chi2 and chi4, of 8 isolates of Metarhizium anisopliae. The clustering of the isolates showed various groups depending on their virulence. However, the analysis of their chitinase DNA sequences chi2 and chi4 did not reveal major divergences. Although their protein translates have been implicated in fungal virulence, the predicted protein structure of chi2 was identical for all isolates. Despite the critical role of chitin digestion in fungal infection, we conclude that chi2 and chi4 genes cannot serve as molecular markers to characterize observed variations in virulence among M. anisopliae isolates as previously suggested. Nevertheless, processes controlling the efficient upregulation of chitinase expression might be responsible for different virulence characteristics. Further studies using comparative “in vitro” chitin digestion techniques would be more appropriate to compare the quality and the quantity of chitinase production between fungal isolates. PMID:23936804

  17. Virulence of Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates harboring bla KPC-2 carbapenemase gene in a Caenorhabditis elegans model.

    PubMed

    Lavigne, Jean-Philippe; Cuzon, Gaelle; Combescure, Christophe; Bourg, Gisèle; Sotto, Albert; Nordmann, Patrice

    2013-01-01

    Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) is a carbapenemase increasingly reported worldwide in Enterobacteriaceae. The aim of this study was to analyze the virulence of several KPC-2-producing K. pneumoniae isolates. The studied strains were (i) five KPC-2 clinical strains from different geographical origins, belonging to different ST-types and possessing plasmids of different incompatibility groups; (ii) seven transformants obtained after electroporation of either these natural KPC plasmids or a recombinant plasmid harboring only the bla KPC-2 gene into reference strains K. pneumoniae ATCC10031/CIP53153; and (iii) five clinical strains cured of plasmids. The virulence of K. pneumoniae isolates was evaluated in the Caenorhabditis elegans model. The clinical KPC producers and transformants were significantly less virulent (LT50: 5.5 days) than K. pneumoniae reference strain (LT50: 4.3 days) (p<0.01). However, the worldwide spread KPC-2 positive K. pneumoniae ST258 strains and reference strains containing plasmids extracted from K. pneumoniae ST258 strains had a higher virulence than KPC-2 strains belonging to other ST types (LT50: 5 days vs. 6 days, p<0.01). The increased virulence observed in cured strains confirmed this trend. The bla KPC-2 gene itself was not associated to increased virulence.

  18. Host–Pathogen Coevolution: The Selective Advantage of Bacillus thuringiensis Virulence and Its Cry Toxin Genes

    PubMed Central

    Papkou, Andrei; Laehnemann, David; Guenther, Patrick S.; Prahl, Swantje; Saebelfeld, Manja; Hollensteiner, Jacqueline; Liesegang, Heiko; Brzuszkiewicz, Elzbieta; Daniel, Rolf; Michiels, Nicolaas K.; Schulte, Rebecca D.; Kurtz, Joachim; Rosenstiel, Philip; Telschow, Arndt; Bornberg-Bauer, Erich; Schulenburg, Hinrich

    2015-01-01

    Reciprocal coevolution between host and pathogen is widely seen as a major driver of evolution and biological innovation. Yet, to date, the underlying genetic mechanisms and associated trait functions that are unique to rapid coevolutionary change are generally unknown. We here combined experimental evolution of the bacterial biocontrol agent Bacillus thuringiensis and its nematode host Caenorhabditis elegans with large-scale phenotyping, whole genome analysis, and functional genetics to demonstrate the selective benefit of pathogen virulence and the underlying toxin genes during the adaptation process. We show that: (i) high virulence was specifically favoured during pathogen–host coevolution rather than pathogen one-sided adaptation to a nonchanging host or to an environment without host; (ii) the pathogen genotype BT-679 with known nematocidal toxin genes and high virulence specifically swept to fixation in all of the independent replicate populations under coevolution but only some under one-sided adaptation; (iii) high virulence in the BT-679-dominated populations correlated with elevated copy numbers of the plasmid containing the nematocidal toxin genes; (iv) loss of virulence in a toxin-plasmid lacking BT-679 isolate was reconstituted by genetic reintroduction or external addition of the toxins. We conclude that sustained coevolution is distinct from unidirectional selection in shaping the pathogen's genome and life history characteristics. To our knowledge, this study is the first to characterize the pathogen genes involved in coevolutionary adaptation in an animal host–pathogen interaction system. PMID:26042786

  19. Host-Pathogen Coevolution: The Selective Advantage of Bacillus thuringiensis Virulence and Its Cry Toxin Genes.

    PubMed

    Masri, Leila; Branca, Antoine; Sheppard, Anna E; Papkou, Andrei; Laehnemann, David; Guenther, Patrick S; Prahl, Swantje; Saebelfeld, Manja; Hollensteiner, Jacqueline; Liesegang, Heiko; Brzuszkiewicz, Elzbieta; Daniel, Rolf; Michiels, Nicolaas K; Schulte, Rebecca D; Kurtz, Joachim; Rosenstiel, Philip; Telschow, Arndt; Bornberg-Bauer, Erich; Schulenburg, Hinrich

    2015-06-01

    Reciprocal coevolution between host and pathogen is widely seen as a major driver of evolution and biological innovation. Yet, to date, the underlying genetic mechanisms and associated trait functions that are unique to rapid coevolutionary change are generally unknown. We here combined experimental evolution of the bacterial biocontrol agent Bacillus thuringiensis and its nematode host Caenorhabditis elegans with large-scale phenotyping, whole genome analysis, and functional genetics to demonstrate the selective benefit of pathogen virulence and the underlying toxin genes during the adaptation process. We show that: (i) high virulence was specifically favoured during pathogen-host coevolution rather than pathogen one-sided adaptation to a nonchanging host or to an environment without host; (ii) the pathogen genotype BT-679 with known nematocidal toxin genes and high virulence specifically swept to fixation in all of the independent replicate populations under coevolution but only some under one-sided adaptation; (iii) high virulence in the BT-679-dominated populations correlated with elevated copy numbers of the plasmid containing the nematocidal toxin genes; (iv) loss of virulence in a toxin-plasmid lacking BT-679 isolate was reconstituted by genetic reintroduction or external addition of the toxins. We conclude that sustained coevolution is distinct from unidirectional selection in shaping the pathogen's genome and life history characteristics. To our knowledge, this study is the first to characterize the pathogen genes involved in coevolutionary adaptation in an animal host-pathogen interaction system.

  20. Detection of virulence genes in environmental strains of Vibrio cholerae from estuaries in northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Menezes, Francisca Gleire Rodrigues de; Neves, Soraya da Silva; Sousa, Oscarina Viana de; Vila-Nova, Candida Machado Vieira Maia; Maggioni, Rodrigo; Theophilo, Grace Nazareth Diogo; Hofer, Ernesto; Vieira, Regine Helena Silva dos Fernandes

    2014-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to detect the presence of Vibrio cholerae in tropical estuaries (Northeastern Brazil) and to search for virulence factors in the environmental isolates. Water and sediment samples were inoculated onto a vibrio-selective medium (TCBS), and colonies with morphological resemblance to V. cholerae were isolated. The cultures were identified phenotypically using a dichotomous key based on biochemical characteristics. The total DNA extracted was amplified by PCR to detect ompW and by multiplex PCR to detect the virulence genes ctx, tcp, zot and rfbO1. The results of the phenotypic and genotypic identification were compared. Nine strains of V. cholerae were identified phenotypically, five of which were confirmed by detection of the species-specific gene ompW. The dichotomous key was efficient at differentiating environmental strains of V. cholerae. Strains of V. cholerae were found in all four estuaries, but none possessed virulence genes.

  1. DETECTION OF VIRULENCE GENES IN ENVIRONMENTAL STRAINS OF Vibrio cholerae FROM ESTUARIES IN NORTHEASTERN BRAZIL

    PubMed Central

    de Menezes, Francisca Gleire Rodrigues; Neves, Soraya da Silva; de Sousa, Oscarina Viana; Vila-Nova, Candida Machado Vieira Maia; Maggioni, Rodrigo; Theophilo, Grace Nazareth Diogo; Hofer, Ernesto; Vieira, Regine Helena Silva dos Fernandes

    2014-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to detect the presence of Vibrio cholerae in tropical estuaries (Northeastern Brazil) and to search for virulence factors in the environmental isolates. Water and sediment samples were inoculated onto a vibrio-selective medium (TCBS), and colonies with morphological resemblance to V. cholerae were isolated. The cultures were identified phenotypically using a dichotomous key based on biochemical characteristics. The total DNA extracted was amplified by PCR to detect ompW and by multiplex PCR to detect the virulence genes ctx, tcp, zot and rfbO1. The results of the phenotypic and genotypic identification were compared. Nine strains of V. cholerae were identified phenotypically, five of which were confirmed by detection of the species-specific gene ompW. The dichotomous key was efficient at differentiating environmental strains of V. cholerae. Strains of V. cholerae were found in all four estuaries, but none possessed virulence genes. PMID:25229224

  2. Temperature-dependent expression of virulence genes in fish-pathogenic bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Guijarro, José A.; Cascales, Desirée; García-Torrico, Ana I.; García-Domínguez, Mario; Méndez, Jessica

    2015-01-01

    Virulence gene expression in pathogenic bacteria is modulated by environmental parameters. A key factor in this expression is temperature. Its effect on virulence gene expression in bacteria infecting warm-blooded hosts is well documented. Transcription of virulence genes in these bacteria is induced upon a shift from low environmental to a higher host temperature (37°C). Interestingly, host temperatures usually correspond to the optimum for growth of these pathogenic bacteria. On the contrary, in ectothermic hosts such as fish, molluscs, and amphibians, infection processes generally occur at a temperature lower than that for the optimal growth of the bacteria. Therefore, regulation of virulence gene expression in response to temperature shift has to be modulated in a different way to that which is found in bacteria infecting warm-blooded hosts. The current understanding of virulence gene expression and its regulation in response to temperature in fish-pathogenic bacteria is limited, but constant extension of our knowledge base is essential to enable a rational approach to the problem of the bacterial fish diseases affecting the aquaculture industry. This is an interesting issue and progress needs to be made in order to diminish the economic losses caused by these diseases. The intention of this review is, for the first time, to compile the scattered results existing in the field in order to lay the groundwork for future research. This article is an overview of those relevant virulence genes that are expressed at temperatures lower than that for optimal bacterial growth in different fish-pathogenic bacteria as well as the principal mechanisms that could be involved in their regulation. PMID:26217329

  3. Temperature-dependent expression of virulence genes in fish-pathogenic bacteria.

    PubMed

    Guijarro, José A; Cascales, Desirée; García-Torrico, Ana I; García-Domínguez, Mario; Méndez, Jessica

    2015-01-01

    Virulence gene expression in pathogenic bacteria is modulated by environmental parameters. A key factor in this expression is temperature. Its effect on virulence gene expression in bacteria infecting warm-blooded hosts is well documented. Transcription of virulence genes in these bacteria is induced upon a shift from low environmental to a higher host temperature (37°C). Interestingly, host temperatures usually correspond to the optimum for growth of these pathogenic bacteria. On the contrary, in ectothermic hosts such as fish, molluscs, and amphibians, infection processes generally occur at a temperature lower than that for the optimal growth of the bacteria. Therefore, regulation of virulence gene expression in response to temperature shift has to be modulated in a different way to that which is found in bacteria infecting warm-blooded hosts. The current understanding of virulence gene expression and its regulation in response to temperature in fish-pathogenic bacteria is limited, but constant extension of our knowledge base is essential to enable a rational approach to the problem of the bacterial fish diseases affecting the aquaculture industry. This is an interesting issue and progress needs to be made in order to diminish the economic losses caused by these diseases. The intention of this review is, for the first time, to compile the scattered results existing in the field in order to lay the groundwork for future research. This article is an overview of those relevant virulence genes that are expressed at temperatures lower than that for optimal bacterial growth in different fish-pathogenic bacteria as well as the principal mechanisms that could be involved in their regulation.

  4. Virulence Factors and Antibiotic Susceptibility of Staphylococcus aureus Isolates in Ready-to-Eat Foods: Detection of S. aureus Contamination and a High Prevalence of Virulence Genes

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is one of the leading causes of food poisoning. Its pathogenicity results from the possession of virulence genes that produce different toxins which result in self-limiting to severe illness often requiring hospitalization. In this study of 200 sushi and sashimi samples, S. aureus contamination was confirmed in 26% of the food samples. The S. aureus isolates were further characterized for virulence genes and antibiotic susceptibility. A high incidence of virulence genes was identified in 96.2% of the isolates and 20 different virulence gene profiles were confirmed. DNA amplification showed that 30.8% (16/52) of the S. aureus carried at least one SE gene which causes staphylococcal food poisoning. The most common enterotoxin gene was seg (11.5%) and the egc cluster was detected in 5.8% of the isolates. A combination of hla and hld was the most prevalent coexistence virulence genes and accounted for 59.6% of all isolates. Antibiotic resistance studies showed tetracycline resistance to be the most common at 28.8% while multi-drug resistance was found to be low at 3.8%. In conclusion, the high rate of S. aureus in the sampled sushi and sashimi indicates the need for food safety guidelines. PMID:26861367

  5. Virulence Factors and Antibiotic Susceptibility of Staphylococcus aureus Isolates in Ready-to-Eat Foods: Detection of S. aureus Contamination and a High Prevalence of Virulence Genes.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-05

    Staphylococcus aureus is one of the leading causes of food poisoning. Its pathogenicity results from the possession of virulence genes that produce different toxins which result in self-limiting to severe illness often requiring hospitalization. In this study of 200 sushi and sashimi samples, S. aureus contamination was confirmed in 26% of the food samples. The S. aureus isolates were further characterized for virulence genes and antibiotic susceptibility. A high incidence of virulence genes was identified in 96.2% of the isolates and 20 different virulence gene profiles were confirmed. DNA amplification showed that 30.8% (16/52) of the S. aureus carried at least one SE gene which causes staphylococcal food poisoning. The most common enterotoxin gene was seg (11.5%) and the egc cluster was detected in 5.8% of the isolates. A combination of hla and hld was the most prevalent coexistence virulence genes and accounted for 59.6% of all isolates. Antibiotic resistance studies showed tetracycline resistance to be the most common at 28.8% while multi-drug resistance was found to be low at 3.8%. In conclusion, the high rate of S. aureus in the sampled sushi and sashimi indicates the need for food safety guidelines.

  6. Temporal Profile of Biofilm Formation, Gene Expression and Virulence Analysis in Candida albicans Strains.

    PubMed

    de Barros, Patrícia Pimentel; Rossoni, Rodnei Dennis; De Camargo Ribeiro, Felipe; Junqueira, Juliana Campos; Jorge, Antonio Olavo Cardoso

    2017-04-01

    The characterization of Candida albicans strains with different degrees of virulence became very useful to understand the mechanisms of fungal virulence. Then, the objective of this study was to assess and compare the temporal profiles of biofilms formation, gene expression of ALS1, ALS3, HWP1, BCR1, EFG1, TEC1, SAP5, PLB2 and LIP9 and virulence in Galleria mellonella of C. albicans ATCC18804 and a clinical sample isolated from an HIV-positive patient (CA60). Although the CFU/mL counting was higher in biofilms formed in vitro by ATCC strain, the temporal profile of the analysis of the transcripts of the C. albicans strains was elevated to Ca60 compared to strain ATCC, especially in the genes HWP1, ALS3, SAP5, PLB2 and LIP9 (up regulation). Ca60 was more pathogenic for G. mellonella in the survival assay (p = 0.0394) and hemocytes density (p = 0.0349), agreeing with upregulated genes that encode the expression of hyphae and hydrolase genes of Ca60. In conclusion, the C. albicans strains used in this study differ in the amount of biofilm formation, virulence in vivo and transcriptional profiles of genes analyzed that can change factors associated with colonization, proliferation and survival of C. albicans at different niches. SAP5 and HWP1 were the genes more expressed in the formation of biofilm in vitro.

  7. Comparative Genomics of Ralstonia solanacearum Identifies Candidate Genes Associated with Cool Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Bocsanczy, Ana M.; Huguet-Tapia, Jose C.; Norman, David J.

    2017-01-01

    Strains of the Ralstonia solanacearum species complex in the phylotype IIB group are capable of causing Bacterial Wilt disease in potato and tomato at temperatures lower than 24°C. The capability of these strains to survive and to incite infection at temperatures colder than their normally tropical boundaries represents a threat to United States agriculture in temperate regions. In this work, we used a comparative genomics approach to identify orthologous genes linked to the lower temperature virulence phenotype. Six R. solanacearum cool virulent (CV) strains were compared to six strains non-pathogenic at low temperature (NPLT). CV strains can cause Bacterial Wilt symptoms at temperatures below 24°C, while NPLT cannot. Four R. solanacearum strains were sequenced for this work in order to complete the comparison. An orthologous genes comparison identified 44 genes present only in CV strains and 19 genes present only in NPLT strains. Gene annotation revealed a high percentage of genes compared with whole genomes in the transcriptional regulator and transport categories. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis identified 265 genes containing conserved non-synonymous SNPs in CV strains. Ten genes in the pathogenicity category were identified in this group. Comparisons of type 3 secretion system, type 6 secretion system (T6SS) clusters, and associated effectors did not indicate a correlation with the CV phenotype except for one T6SS VGR effector potentially associated with the CV phenotype. This is the first R. solanacearum genomic comparative analysis of multiple strains with different temperature related virulence. The candidate genes identified by this comparison are potential factors involved in virulence at low temperatures that need to be investigated. The high percentage of transcriptional regulators among the genes present only in CV strains supports the hypothesis that temperature dependent regulation of virulence genes explains the differential

  8. The Genome of a Pathogenic Rhodococcus: Cooptive Virulence Underpinned by Key Gene Acquisitions

    PubMed Central

    Letek, Michal; González, Patricia; MacArthur, Iain; Rodríguez, Héctor; Freeman, Tom C.; Valero-Rello, Ana; Blanco, Mónica; Buckley, Tom; Cherevach, Inna; Fahey, Ruth; Hapeshi, Alexia; Holdstock, Jolyon; Leadon, Desmond; Navas, Jesús; Ocampo, Alain; Quail, Michael A.; Sanders, Mandy; Scortti, Mariela M.; Prescott, John F.; Fogarty, Ursula; Meijer, Wim G.; Parkhill, Julian; Bentley, Stephen D.; Vázquez-Boland, José A.

    2010-01-01

    We report the genome of the facultative intracellular parasite Rhodococcus equi, the only animal pathogen within the biotechnologically important actinobacterial genus Rhodococcus. The 5.0-Mb R. equi 103S genome is significantly smaller than those of environmental rhodococci. This is due to genome expansion in nonpathogenic species, via a linear gain of paralogous genes and an accelerated genetic flux, rather than reductive evolution in R. equi. The 103S genome lacks the extensive catabolic and secondary metabolic complement of environmental rhodococci, and it displays unique adaptations for host colonization and competition in the short-chain fatty acid–rich intestine and manure of herbivores—two main R. equi reservoirs. Except for a few horizontally acquired (HGT) pathogenicity loci, including a cytoadhesive pilus determinant (rpl) and the virulence plasmid vap pathogenicity island (PAI) required for intramacrophage survival, most of the potential virulence-associated genes identified in R. equi are conserved in environmental rhodococci or have homologs in nonpathogenic Actinobacteria. This suggests a mechanism of virulence evolution based on the cooption of existing core actinobacterial traits, triggered by key host niche–adaptive HGT events. We tested this hypothesis by investigating R. equi virulence plasmid-chromosome crosstalk, by global transcription profiling and expression network analysis. Two chromosomal genes conserved in environmental rhodococci, encoding putative chorismate mutase and anthranilate synthase enzymes involved in aromatic amino acid biosynthesis, were strongly coregulated with vap PAI virulence genes and required for optimal proliferation in macrophages. The regulatory integration of chromosomal metabolic genes under the control of the HGT–acquired plasmid PAI is thus an important element in the cooptive virulence of R. equi. PMID:20941392

  9. The genome of a pathogenic rhodococcus: cooptive virulence underpinned by key gene acquisitions.

    PubMed

    Letek, Michal; González, Patricia; Macarthur, Iain; Rodríguez, Héctor; Freeman, Tom C; Valero-Rello, Ana; Blanco, Mónica; Buckley, Tom; Cherevach, Inna; Fahey, Ruth; Hapeshi, Alexia; Holdstock, Jolyon; Leadon, Desmond; Navas, Jesús; Ocampo, Alain; Quail, Michael A; Sanders, Mandy; Scortti, Mariela M; Prescott, John F; Fogarty, Ursula; Meijer, Wim G; Parkhill, Julian; Bentley, Stephen D; Vázquez-Boland, José A

    2010-09-30

    We report the genome of the facultative intracellular parasite Rhodococcus equi, the only animal pathogen within the biotechnologically important actinobacterial genus Rhodococcus. The 5.0-Mb R. equi 103S genome is significantly smaller than those of environmental rhodococci. This is due to genome expansion in nonpathogenic species, via a linear gain of paralogous genes and an accelerated genetic flux, rather than reductive evolution in R. equi. The 103S genome lacks the extensive catabolic and secondary metabolic complement of environmental rhodococci, and it displays unique adaptations for host colonization and competition in the short-chain fatty acid-rich intestine and manure of herbivores--two main R. equi reservoirs. Except for a few horizontally acquired (HGT) pathogenicity loci, including a cytoadhesive pilus determinant (rpl) and the virulence plasmid vap pathogenicity island (PAI) required for intramacrophage survival, most of the potential virulence-associated genes identified in R. equi are conserved in environmental rhodococci or have homologs in nonpathogenic Actinobacteria. This suggests a mechanism of virulence evolution based on the cooption of existing core actinobacterial traits, triggered by key host niche-adaptive HGT events. We tested this hypothesis by investigating R. equi virulence plasmid-chromosome crosstalk, by global transcription profiling and expression network analysis. Two chromosomal genes conserved in environmental rhodococci, encoding putative chorismate mutase and anthranilate synthase enzymes involved in aromatic amino acid biosynthesis, were strongly coregulated with vap PAI virulence genes and required for optimal proliferation in macrophages. The regulatory integration of chromosomal metabolic genes under the control of the HGT-acquired plasmid PAI is thus an important element in the cooptive virulence of R. equi.

  10. Antibiotic resistance profile and virulence genes of uropathogenic Escherichia coli isolates in relation to phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Adib, N; Ghanbarpour, R; Solatzadeh, H; Alizade, H

    2014-03-01

    Escherichia coli (E. coli) strains are the major cause of urinary tract infections (UTI) and belong to the large group of extra-intestinal pathogenic E. coli. The purposes of this study were to determine the antibiotic resistance profile, virulence genes and phylogenetic background of E. coli isolates from UTI cases. A total of 137 E. coli isolates were obtained from UTI samples. The antimicrobial susceptibility of confirmed isolates was determined by disk diffusion method against eight antibiotics. The isolates were examined to determine the presence and prevalence of selected virulence genes including iucD, sfa/focDE, papEF and hly. ECOR phylo-groups of isolates were determined by detection of yjaA and chuA genes and fragment TspE4.C2. The antibiogram results showed that 71% of the isolates were resistant to cefazolin, 60.42% to co-trimoxazole, 54.16% to nalidixic acid, 36.45% to gentamicin, 29.18% to ciprofloxacin, 14.58% to cefepime, 6.25% to nitrofurantoin and 0.00% to imipenem. Twenty-two antibiotic resistance patterns were observed among the isolates. Virulence genotyping of isolates revealed that 58.39% isolates had at least one of the four virulence genes. The iucD gene was the most prevalent gene (43.06%). The other genes including sfa/focDE, papEF and hly genes were detected in 35.76%, 18.97% and 2.18% isolates, respectively. Nine combination patterns of the virulence genes were detected in isolates. Phylotyping of 137 isolates revealed that the isolates fell into A (45.99%), B1 (13.14%), B2 (19.71%) and D (21.16%) groups. Phylotyping of multidrug resistant isolates indicated that these isolates are mostly in A (60.34%) and D (20.38%) groups. In conclusion, the isolates that possessed the iucD, sfa/focDE, papEF and hly virulence genes mostly belonged to A and B2 groups, whereas antibiotic resistant isolates were in groups A and D. Escherichia coli strains carrying virulence factors and antibiotic resistance are distributed in specific phylogenetic

  11. Steps toward broad-spectrum therapeutics: discovering virulence-associated genes present in diverse human pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Stubben, Chris J; Duffield, Melanie L; Cooper, Ian A; Ford, Donna C; Gans, Jason D; Karlyshev, Andrey V; Lingard, Bryan; Oyston, Petra CF; de Rochefort, Anna; Song, Jian; Wren, Brendan W; Titball, Rick W; Wolinsky, Murray

    2009-01-01

    Background New and improved antimicrobial countermeasures are urgently needed to counteract increased resistance to existing antimicrobial treatments and to combat currently untreatable or new emerging infectious diseases. We demonstrate that computational comparative genomics, together with experimental screening, can identify potential generic (i.e., conserved across multiple pathogen species) and novel virulence-associated genes that may serve as targets for broad-spectrum countermeasures. Results Using phylogenetic profiles of protein clusters from completed microbial genome sequences, we identified seventeen protein candidates that are common to diverse human pathogens and absent or uncommon in non-pathogens. Mutants of 13 of these candidates were successfully generated in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and the potential role of the proteins in virulence was assayed in an animal model. Six candidate proteins are suggested to be involved in the virulence of Y. pseudotuberculosis, none of which have previously been implicated in the virulence of Y. pseudotuberculosis and three have no record of involvement in the virulence of any bacteria. Conclusion This work demonstrates a strategy for the identification of potential virulence factors that are conserved across a number of human pathogenic bacterial species, confirming the usefulness of this tool. PMID:19874620

  12. Virulence characteristics of extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli deletion of gene encoding the outer membrane protein X

    PubMed Central

    MENG, Xianrong; LIU, Xueling; ZHANG, Liyuan; HOU, Bo; LI, Binyou; TAN, Chen; LI, Zili; ZHOU, Rui; LI, Shaowen

    2016-01-01

    Outer membrane protein X (OmpX) and its homologues have been proposed to contribute to the virulence in various bacterial species. But, their role in virulence of extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) is yet to be determined. This study evaluates the role of OmpX in ExPEC virulence in vitro and in vivo using a clinical strain PPECC42 of porcine origin. The ompX deletion mutant exhibited increased swimming motility and decreased adhesion to, and invasion of pulmonary epithelial A549 cell, compared to the wild-type strain. A mild increase in LD50 and distinct decrease in bacterial load in such organs as heart, liver, spleen, lung and kidney were observed in mice infected with the ompX mutant. Complementation of the complete ompX gene in trans restored the virulence of mutant strain to the level of wild-type strain. Our results reveal that OmpX contributes to ExPEC virulence, but may be not an indispensable virulence determinant. PMID:27149893

  13. [Differences in virulence genes in Vibrio cholerae eltor strains isolated from different sources in Turkmenistan territory].

    PubMed

    Smirnova, N I; Kostromitina, E A; Cheldyshova, N B; Kutyrev, V V

    2002-01-01

    Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) detected the presence of various genes associated with virulence in genome of strains V. cholerae eltor isolated in Turkmenistan territory during epidemic and epidemic-free perios. It was found that a complete set of virulence genes (ctxA+, tcpA+ and toxR+) contained strains isolated from patients, carriers and environment only in cholera epidemics. Strains isolated from the environment in the period free of epidemics did not contain ctxA and tcpA in 78.2% of cases, but 5.2% of the strains carried a complete set of virulence genes. There were also nontoxigenic strains containing genes tcpA and toxR. Such strains were isolated from the environment (16.6%) and vibrion carriers (42.9%). Isolated were also strains V.cholerae eltor carrying bacteriophage CTX phi with incomplete set of virulence genes and having genotype ctxA-, ace+ and zot+. Almost all the strains ctxA-, tcpA+ carry attRS1-site in genome. This shows that such strains may transform into toxigenic as a result of infection with bacteriophage CTX phi.

  14. Distribution and pathogenic relationship of virulence associated genes among Vibrio alginolyticus from the mariculture systems.

    PubMed

    Ren, Chunhua; Hu, Chaoqun; Jiang, Xiao; Sun, Hongyan; Zhao, Zhe; Chen, Chang; Luo, Peng

    2013-01-01

    Vibrio alginolyticus has been confirmed as an important pathogen for aquatic animals. However, the pathogenic mechanism of V. alginolyticus is not completely understood. A total of 31 isolates of V. alginolyticus from sea water, fish and shrimp on the mariculture systems were fingerprinted by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. The pathogenicity of these isolates was tested by challenge and the 21 genes associated with the virulence of Vibrio cholerae or Vibrio parahaemolyticus were examined in V. alginolyticus using PCR. The results showed that the 31 V. alginolyticus isolates belonged to 26 PFGE genotypes and the isolates from different source had different genotypes. Nine of the 31 isolates were confirmed as pathogenic strains by challenge. Moreover, 12 vibrio virulence genes were detected in this study. Of the detected genes, VCtoxR, VCtoxS, hlyA, VPtoxR and tlh were found in both pathogenic and non-pathogenic isolates. However, the other 7 virulence genes, ctxB, zot, tagA, stn, sto, tdh and trh, were only present in pathogenic isolates. Analysis of the relationship between virulence associated genes and pathogenicity of V. alginolyticus provides a possible explanation that the pathogenic mechanism of V. alginolyticus might be similar to that of V. parahaemolyticus instead of V. cholerae.

  15. H-NS, Its Family Members and Their Regulation of Virulence Genes in Shigella Species

    PubMed Central

    Picker, Michael A.; Wing, Helen J.

    2016-01-01

    The histone-like nucleoid structuring protein (H-NS) has played a key role in shaping the evolution of Shigella spp., and provides the backdrop to the regulatory cascade that controls virulence by silencing many genes found on the large virulence plasmid. H-NS and its paralogue StpA are present in all four Shigella spp., but a second H-NS paralogue, Sfh, is found in the Shigella flexneri type strain 2457T, which is routinely used in studies of Shigella pathogenesis. While StpA and Sfh have been proposed to serve as “molecular backups” for H-NS, the apparent redundancy of these proteins is questioned by in vitro studies and work done in Escherichia coli. In this review, we describe the current understanding of the regulatory activities of the H-NS family members, the challenges associated with studying these proteins and their role in the regulation of virulence genes in Shigella. PMID:27916940

  16. Effect of Negative Pressure on Proliferation, Virulence Factor Secretion, Biofilm Formation, and Virulence-Regulated Gene Expression of Pseudomonas aeruginosa In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Guo-Qi; Li, Tong-Tong; Li, Zhi-Rui; Zhang, Li-Cheng

    2016-01-01

    Objective. To investigate the effect of negative pressure conditions induced by NPWT on P. aeruginosa. Methods. P. aeruginosa was cultured in a Luria–Bertani medium at negative pressure of −125 mmHg for 24 h in the experimental group and at atmospheric pressure in the control group. The diameters of the colonies of P. aeruginosa were measured after 24 h. ELISA kit, orcinol method, and elastin-Congo red assay were used to quantify the virulence factors. Biofilm formation was observed by staining with Alexa Fluor® 647 conjugate of concanavalin A (Con A). Virulence-regulated genes were determined by quantitative RT-PCR. Results. As compared with the control group, growth of P. aeruginosa was inhibited by negative pressure. The colony size under negative pressure was significantly smaller in the experimental group than that in the controls (p < 0.01). Besides, reductions in the total amount of virulence factors were observed in the negative pressure group, including exotoxin A, rhamnolipid, and elastase. RT-PCR results revealed a significant inhibition in the expression level of virulence-regulated genes. Conclusion. Negative pressure could significantly inhibit the growth of P. aeruginosa. It led to a decrease in the virulence factor secretion, biofilm formation, and a reduction in the expression level of virulence-regulated genes. PMID:28074188

  17. Accessory genes confer a high replication rate to virulent feline immunodeficiency virus.

    PubMed

    Troyer, Ryan M; Thompson, Jesse; Elder, John H; VandeWoude, Sue

    2013-07-01

    Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a lentivirus that causes AIDS in domestic cats, similar to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS in humans. The FIV accessory protein Vif abrogates the inhibition of infection by cat APOBEC3 restriction factors. FIV also encodes a multifunctional OrfA accessory protein that has characteristics similar to HIV Tat, Vpu, Vpr, and Nef. To examine the role of vif and orfA accessory genes in FIV replication and pathogenicity, we generated chimeras between two FIV molecular clones with divergent disease potentials: a highly pathogenic isolate that replicates rapidly in vitro and is associated with significant immunopathology in vivo, FIV-C36 (referred to here as high-virulence FIV [HV-FIV]), and a less-pathogenic strain, FIV-PPR (referred to here as low-virulence FIV [LV-FIV]). Using PCR-driven overlap extension, we produced viruses in which vif, orfA, or both genes from virulent HV-FIV replaced equivalent genes in LV-FIV. The generation of these chimeras is more straightforward in FIV than in primate lentiviruses, since FIV accessory gene open reading frames have very little overlap with other genes. All three chimeric viruses exhibited increased replication kinetics in vitro compared to the replication kinetics of LV-FIV. Chimeras containing HV-Vif or Vif/OrfA had replication rates equivalent to those of the virulent HV-FIV parental virus. Furthermore, small interfering RNA knockdown of feline APOBEC3 genes resulted in equalization of replication rates between LV-FIV and LV-FIV encoding HV-FIV Vif. These findings demonstrate that Vif-APOBEC interactions play a key role in controlling the replication and pathogenicity of this immunodeficiency-inducing virus in its native host species and that accessory genes act as mediators of lentiviral strain-specific virulence.

  18. Virulence genes in bla(CTX-M) Escherichia coli isolates from chickens and humans.

    PubMed

    Randall, Luke; Wu, Guanghui; Phillips, Neil; Coldham, Nick; Mevius, Dik; Teale, Chris

    2012-08-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the presence of virulence genes in isolates of CTX-M Escherichia coli from diseased chickens, from healthy chickens and from urinary tract infections in people. Three CTX-M E. coli strains from three different instances of disease in poultry (two of which were E. coli related) were tested for bla(CTX-M) sequence type and replicon type. Additionally, they were tested for the presence of 56 virulence genes (encoding fimbriae, adhesins, toxins, microcins and iron acquisition genes) using a micro-array. Results were compared to the virulence genes present in isolates from 26 healthy chickens and from 10 people with urinary tract infections. All genes found in isolates from diseased birds, including the astA (heat stable toxin) and tsh (temperature sensitive haemagglutinin) genes which have previously been associated with colibacillosis in chickens, were also present in isolates from healthy birds. However, 6/10 of the virulence genes found were exclusive to isolates from humans. Genes exclusive to chicken isolates included ireA (sidephore receptor), lpfA (long polar fimbriae), mchF (microcin transporter protein) and tsh whilst genes exclusive to human isolates included ctdB (cytolethal distending toxin), nfaE (non-fimbrial adhesion), senB (plasmid encoded enterotoxin) and toxB (toxin B). The results support previous findings that CTX-M E. coli strains in chickens are generally different from those causing disease in humans, but genes such as astA and tsh in isolates from diseased birds with colisepticaemia were also present in isolates from healthy birds. Crown Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier India Pvt Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Han, Hesong; Wilson, Adam C

    2013-12-01

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

  20. In vivo expression of Helicobacter pylori virulence genes in patients with gastritis, ulcer, and gastric cancer.

    PubMed

    Avilés-Jiménez, Francisco; Reyes-Leon, Adriana; Nieto-Patlán, Erik; Hansen, Lori M; Burgueño, Juan; Ramos, Irma P; Camorlinga-Ponce, Margarita; Bermúdez, Hector; Blancas, Juan M; Cabrera, Lourdes; Ribas-Aparicio, Rosa María; Solnick, Jay V; Torres-López, Javier

    2012-02-01

    The best-studied Helicobacter pylori virulence factor associated with development of peptic ulcer disease or gastric cancer (GC) rather than asymptomatic nonatrophic gastritis (NAG) is the cag pathogenicity island (cagPAI), which encodes a type IV secretion system (T4SS) that injects the CagA oncoprotein into host epithelial cells. Here we used real-time reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) to measure the in vivo expression of genes on the cagPAI and of other virulence genes in patients with NAG, duodenal ulcer (DU), or GC. In vivo expression of H. pylori virulence genes was greater overall in gastric biopsy specimens of patients with GC than in those of patients with NAG or DU. However, since in vitro expression of cagA was not greater in H. pylori strains from patients with GC than in those from patients with NAG or DU, increased expression in GC in vivo is likely a result of environmental conditions in the gastric mucosa, though it may in turn cause more severe pathology. Increased expression of virulence genes in GC may represent a stress response to elevated pH or other environmental conditions in the stomach of patients with GC, which may be less hospitable to H. pylori colonization than the acidic environment in patients with NAG or DU.

  1. Identification and functional analysis of Penicillium digitatum genes putatively involved in virulence towards citrus fruit.

    PubMed

    López-Pérez, Mario; Ballester, Ana-Rosa; González-Candelas, Luis

    2015-04-01

    The fungus Penicillium digitatum, the causal agent of green mould rot, is the most destructive post-harvest pathogen of citrus fruit in Mediterranean regions. In order to identify P. digitatum genes up-regulated during the infection of oranges that may constitute putative virulence factors, we followed a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based suppression subtractive hybridization and cDNA macroarray hybridization approach. The origin of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) was determined by comparison against the available genome sequences of both organisms. Genes coding for fungal proteases and plant cell wall-degrading enzymes represent the largest categories in the subtracted cDNA library. Northern blot analysis of a selection of P. digitatum genes, including those coding for proteases, cell wall-related enzymes, redox homoeostasis and detoxification processes, confirmed their up-regulation at varying time points during the infection process. Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation was used to generate knockout mutants for two genes encoding a pectin lyase (Pnl1) and a naphthalene dioxygenase (Ndo1). Two independent P. digitatum Δndo1 mutants were as virulent as the wild-type. However, the two Δpnl1 mutants analysed were less virulent than the parental strain or an ectopic transformant. Together, these results provide a significant advance in our understanding of the putative determinants of the virulence mechanisms of P. digitatum.

  2. Differentially expressed genes of virulent and nonvirulent Entamoeba histolytica strains identified by suppression subtractive hybridization.

    PubMed

    Freitas, Michelle A R; Alvarenga, Ângela C; Fernandes, Helen C; Gil, Frederico F; Melo, Maria N; Pesquero, Jorge L; Gomes, Maria A

    2014-01-01

    Entamoeba histolytica is a parasite which presents capacity to degrade tissues and therefore has a pathogenic behavior. As this behavior is not shown by all strains, there have been several studies investigating molecular basis of the cytotoxicity process. Using the suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) technique, differential gene expressions of two E. histolytica strains, one virulent (EGG) and one nonvirulent (452), have been analyzed with the purpose of isolating genes which may be involved with amoebic virulence. Nine cDNA fragments presenting high homology with E. histolytica previously sequenced genes were subtracted. Of these, four genes were confirmed by RT-PCR. Two coding for hypothetical proteins, one for a cysteine-rich protein, expressed only in the virulent strain, EGG and another one, coding for grainin 2 protein, exclusive from 452 strain. This study provided new insight into the proteins differences in the virulent and nonvirulent E. histolytica strains. We believe that further studies with these proteins may prove association of them with tissue damage, providing new perceptions to improve treatment or diagnosis of the invasive disease.

  3. Effects of the HN gene c-terminal extensions on the Newcastle disease virus virulence

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) is a multifunctional protein that has receptor recognition, neuraminidase and fusion promotion activities. Sequence analysis revealed that the HN gene of many extremely low virulence NDV strains encodes a larger open reading frame...

  4. Carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa: association with virulence genes and biofilm formation.

    PubMed

    Rossi Gonçalves, Iara; Dantas, Raquel Cristina Cavalcanti; Ferreira, Melina Lorraine; Batistão, Deivid William da Fonseca; Gontijo-Filho, Paulo Pinto; Ribas, Rosineide Marques

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that causes frequently nosocomial infections, currently becoming more difficult to treat due to the various resistance mechanisms and different virulence factors. The purpose of this study was to determine the risk factors independently associated with the development of bacteremia by carbapenem-resistant P. aeruginosa, the frequency of virulence genes in metallo-β-lactamases producers and to evaluate their ability to produce biofilm. We conducted a case-control study in the Uberlândia Federal University - Hospital Clinic, Brazil. Polymerase Chain Reaction was performed for metallo-β-lactamases and virulence genes. Adhesion and biofilm assays were done by quantitative tests. Among the 157 strains analyzed, 73.9% were multidrug-resistant, 43.9% were resistant to carbapenems, 16.1% were phenotypically positive for metallo-β-lactamases, and of these, 10.7% were positive for blaSPM gene and 5.3% positive for blaVIM. The multivariable analysis showed that mechanical ventilation, enteral/nasogastric tubes, primary bacteremia with unknown focus, and inappropriate therapy were independent risk factors associated with bacteremia. All tested strains were characterized as strongly biofilm producers. A higher mortality was found among patients with bacteremia by carbapenem-resistant P. aeruginosa strains, associated independently with extrinsic risk factors, however it was not evident the association with the presence of virulence and metallo-β-lactamases genes. Copyright © 2016 Sociedade Brasileira de Microbiologia. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

  5. Sheeppox virus kelch-like gene SPPV-019 affects virus virulence

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Sheeppox virus (SPPV), a member of the Capripoxvirus genus of the Poxviridae, is the etiologic agent of a significant disease of sheep in the developing world. Genomic analysis of pathogenic and vaccine capripoxviruses identified genes with potential roles in virulence and host-range, including thr...

  6. Gene expression patterns and dynamics of the colonization of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) by highly virulent and weakly virulent strains of Fusarium oxysporum

    PubMed Central

    Niño-Sánchez, Jonathan; Tello, Vega; Casado-del Castillo, Virginia; Thon, Michael R.; Benito, Ernesto P.; Díaz-Mínguez, José María

    2015-01-01

    The dynamics of root and hypocotyl colonization, and the gene expression patterns of several fungal virulence factors and plant defense factors have been analyzed and compared in the interaction of two Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. phaseoli strains displaying clear differences in virulence, with a susceptible common bean cultivar. The growth of the two strains on the root surface and the colonization of the root was quantitatively similar although the highly virulent (HV) strain was more efficient reaching the central root cylinder. The main differences between both strains were found in the temporal and spatial dynamics of crown root and hypocotyl colonization. The increase of fungal biomass in the crown root was considerably larger for the HV strain, which, after an initial stage of global colonization of both the vascular cylinder and the parenchymal cells, restricted its growth to the newly differentiated xylem vessels. The weakly virulent (WV) strain was a much slower and less efficient colonizer of the xylem vessels, showing also growth in the intercellular spaces of the parenchyma. Most of the virulence genes analyzed showed similar expression patterns in both strains, except SIX1, SIX6 and the gene encoding the transcription factor FTF1, which were highly upregulated in root crown and hypocotyl. The response induced in the infected plant showed interesting differences for both strains. The WV strain induced an early and strong transcription of the PR1 gene, involved in SAR response, while the HV strain preferentially induced the early expression of the ethylene responsive factor ERF2. PMID:25883592

  7. Burkholderia cenocepacia ShvR-regulated genes that influence colony morphology, biofilm formation, and virulence.

    PubMed

    Subramoni, Sujatha; Nguyen, David T; Sokol, Pamela A

    2011-08-01

    Burkholderia cenocepacia is an opportunistic pathogen that primarily infects cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. Previously, we reported that ShvR, a LysR regulator, influences colony morphology, virulence, and biofilm formation and regulates the expression of an adjacent 24-kb genomic region encoding 24 genes. In this study, we report the functional characterization of selected genes in this region. A Tn5 mutant with shiny colony morphology was identified with a polar mutation in BCAS0208, predicted to encode an acyl-coenzyme A dehydrogenase. Mutagenesis of BCAS0208 and complementation analyses revealed that BCAS0208 is required for rough colony morphology, biofilm formation, and virulence on alfalfa seedlings. It was not possible to complement with BCAS0208 containing a mutation in the catalytic site. BCAS0201, encoding a putative flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD)-dependent oxidoreductase, and BCAS0207, encoding a putative citrate synthase, do not influence colony morphology but are required for optimum levels of biofilm formation and virulence. Both BCAS0208 and BCAS0201 contribute to pellicle formation, although individual mutations in each of these genes had no appreciable effect on pellicle formation. A mutant with a polar insertion in BCAS0208 was significantly less virulent in a rat model of chronic lung infection as well as in the alfalfa model. Genes in this region were shown to influence utilization of branched-chain fatty acids, tricarboxylic acid cycle substrates, l-arabinose, and branched-chain amino acids. Together, our data show that the ShvR-regulated genes BCAS0208 to BCAS0201 are required for the rough colony morphotype, biofilm and pellicle formation, and virulence in B. cenocepacia.

  8. DNA Adenine Methylation Regulates Virulence Gene Expression in Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium▿

    PubMed Central

    Balbontín, Roberto; Rowley, Gary; Pucciarelli, M. Graciela; López-Garrido, Javier; Wormstone, Yvette; Lucchini, Sacha; García-del Portillo, Francisco; Hinton, Jay C. D.; Casadesús, Josep

    2006-01-01

    Transcriptomic analyses during growth in Luria-Bertani medium were performed in strain SL1344 of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and in two isogenic derivatives lacking Dam methylase. More genes were repressed than were activated by Dam methylation (139 versus 37). Key genes that were differentially regulated by Dam methylation were verified independently. The largest classes of Dam-repressed genes included genes belonging to the SOS regulon, as previously described in Escherichia coli, and genes of the SOS-inducible Salmonella prophages ST64B, Gifsy-1, and Fels-2. Dam-dependent virulence-related genes were also identified. Invasion genes in pathogenicity island SPI-1 were activated by Dam methylation, while the fimbrial operon std was repressed by Dam methylation. Certain flagellar genes were repressed by Dam methylation, and Dam− mutants of S. enterica showed reduced motility. Altered expression patterns in the absence of Dam methylation were also found for the chemotaxis genes cheR (repressed by Dam) and STM3216 (activated by Dam) and for the Braun lipoprotein gene, lppB (activated by Dam). The requirement for DNA adenine methylation in the regulation of specific virulence genes suggests that certain defects of Salmonella Dam− mutants in the mouse model may be caused by altered patterns of gene expression. PMID:16997949

  9. Differential modulation of Bordetella pertussis virulence genes as evidenced by DNA microarray analysis.

    PubMed

    Hot, D; Antoine, R; Renauld-Mongénie, G; Caro, V; Hennuy, B; Levillain, E; Huot, L; Wittmann, G; Poncet, D; Jacob-Dubuisson, F; Guyard, C; Rimlinger, F; Aujame, L; Godfroid, E; Guiso, N; Quentin-Millet, M-J; Lemoine, Y; Locht, C

    2003-07-01

    The production of most factors involved in Bordetella pertussis virulence is controlled by a two-component regulatory system termed BvgA/S. In the Bvg+ phase virulence-activated genes (vags) are expressed, and virulence-repressed genes (vrgs) are down-regulated. The expression of these genes can also be modulated by MgSO(4) or nicotinic acid. In this study we used microarrays to analyse the influence of BvgA/S or modulation on the expression of nearly 200 selected genes. With the exception of one vrg, all previously known vags and vrgs were correctly assigned as such, and the microarray analyses identified several new vags and vrgs, including genes coding for putative autotransporters, two-component systems, extracellular sigma factors, the adenylate cyclase accessory genes cyaBDE, and two genes coding for components of a type III secretion system. For most of the new vrgs and vags the results of the microarray analyses were confirmed by RT-PCR analysis and/or lacZfusions. The degree of regulation and modulation varied between genes, and showed a continuum from strongly BvgA/S-activated genes to strongly BvgA/S-repressed genes. The microarray analyses also led to the identification of a subset of vags and vrgs that are differentially regulated and modulated by MgSO(4) or nicotinic acid, indicating that these genes may be targets for multiple regulatory circuits. For example, the expression of bilA, a gene predicted to encode an intimin-like protein, was found to be activated by BvgA/S and up-modulated by nicotinic acid. Furthermore, surprisingly, in the strain analysed here, which produces only type 2 fimbriae, the fim3 gene was identified as a vrg, while fim2 was confirmed to be a vag.

  10. 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

  11. The FTF gene family regulates virulence and expression of SIX effectors in Fusarium oxysporum.

    PubMed

    Niño-Sánchez, Jonathan; Casado-Del Castillo, Virginia; Tello, Vega; De Vega-Bartol, José J; Ramos, Brisa; Sukno, Serenella A; Díaz Mínguez, José María

    2016-09-01

    The FTF (Fusarium transcription factor) gene family comprises a single copy gene, FTF2, which is present in all the filamentous ascomycetes analysed, and several copies of a close relative, FTF1, which is exclusive to Fusarium oxysporum. An RNA-mediated gene silencing system was developed to target mRNA produced by all the FTF genes, and tested in two formae speciales: F. oxysporum f. sp. phaseoli (whose host is common bean) and F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici (whose host is tomato). Quantification of the mRNA levels showed knockdown of FTF1 and FTF2 in randomly isolated transformants of both formae speciales. The attenuation of FTF expression resulted in a marked reduction in virulence, a reduced expression of several SIX (Secreted In Xylem) genes, the best studied family of effectors in F. oxysporum, and lower levels of SGE1 (Six Gene Expression 1) mRNA, the presumptive regulator of SIX expression. Moreover, the knockdown mutants showed a pattern of colonization of the host plant similar to that displayed by strains devoid of FTF1 copies (weakly virulent strains). Gene knockout of FTF2 also resulted in a reduction in virulence, but to a lesser extent. These results demonstrate the role of the FTF gene expansion, mostly the FTF1 paralogues, as a regulator of virulence in F. oxysporum and suggest that the control of effector expression is the mechanism involved. © 2016 The Authors Molecular Plant Pathology Published by British Society for Plant Pathology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. FlhA influences Bacillus thuringiensis PlcR-regulated gene transcription, protein production, and virulence.

    PubMed

    Bouillaut, Laurent; Ramarao, Nalini; Buisson, Christophe; Gilois, Nathalie; Gohar, Michel; Lereclus, Didier; Nielsen-Leroux, Christina

    2005-12-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus cereus are closely related. B. thuringiensis is well known for its entomopathogenic properties, principally due to the synthesis of plasmid-encoded crystal toxins. B. cereus appears to be an emerging opportunistic human pathogen. B. thuringiensis and B. cereus produce many putative virulence factors which are positively controlled by the pleiotropic transcriptional regulator PlcR. The inactivation of plcR decreases but does not abolish virulence, indicating that additional factors like flagella may contribute to pathogenicity. Therefore, we further analyzed a mutant (B. thuringiensis 407 Cry(-) DeltaflhA) previously described as being defective in flagellar apparatus assembly and in motility as well as in the production of hemolysin BL and phospholipases. A large picture of secreted proteins was obtained by two-dimensional electrophoresis analysis, which revealed that flagellar proteins are not secreted and that production of several virulence-associated factors is reduced in the flhA mutant. Moreover, we quantified the effect of FlhA on plcA and hblC gene transcription. The results show that the flhA mutation results in a significant reduction of plcA and hblC transcription. These results indicate that the transcription of several PlcR-regulated virulence factors is coordinated with the flagellar apparatus. Consistently, the flhA mutant also shows a strong decrease in cytotoxicity towards HeLa cells and in virulence against Galleria mellonella larvae following oral and intrahemocoelic inoculation. The decrease in virulence may be due to both a lack of flagella and a lower production of secreted factors. Hence, FlhA appears to be an essential virulence factor with a pleiotropic role.

  13. Trypanosoma cruzi: attenuation of virulence and protective immunogenicity after monoallelic disruption of the cub gene.

    PubMed

    Barrio, Alejandra B; Van Voorhis, Wesley C; Basombrío, Miguel A

    2007-12-01

    Calmodulin-ubiquitin (cub) is a single-copy gene of Trypanosoma cruzi, which encodes a 208 aminoacid polypeptide of unknown function, containing putative calcium-binding domains. After targeted deletion, a clone (TulCub8) was derived where one of the two alleles was disrupted. This clone displayed a sharp and stable loss of virulence for mice. Parasitemias after inoculation of 10(6) trypomastigotes of the mutant, as compared to wild-type parasites were 68-fold lower (p=0.018) in adult Swiss mice and 27-fold lower (p=0.002) in newborn Balb/c mice. Epimastigote inocula of the mutant were strongly protective against infection by wild-type parasites. Virulence was not restored by serial passage in mice, showing that the attenuated phenotype is stable and gene-conversion from the intact cub allele does not occur at an appreciable rate. Retransfection of the missing cub allele restored virulence. Complementation experiments showed that the intact cub gene is necessary for full expression of virulence.

  14. Virulence Associated Genes-Deleted Salmonella Montevideo Is Attenuated, Highly Immunogenic and Confers Protection against Virulent Challenge in Chickens

    PubMed Central

    Lalsiamthara, Jonathan; Lee, John H.

    2016-01-01

    To construct a novel live vaccine against Salmonella enterica serovar Montevideo (SM) infection in chickens, two important bacterial regulatory genes, lon and cpxR, which are associated with invasion and virulence, were deleted from the wild type SM genome. Attenuated strains, JOL1625 (Δlon), JOL1597 (ΔcpxR), and JOL1599 (ΔlonΔcpxR) were thereby generated. Observations with scanning electron microscopy suggested that JOL1625 and JOL1599 cells showed increased ruffled surface which may be related to abundant extracellular polysaccharide (EPS) production. JOL1597 depicted milder ruffled surface but showed increased surface corrugation. ConA affinity-based fluorometric quantification and fluorescence microscopy revealed significant increases in EPS production in JOL1625 and JOL1599. Four weeks old chickens were used for safety and immunological studies. The mutants were not observed in feces beyond day 3 nor in spleen and cecum beyond day 7, whereas wild type SM was detected for at least 2 weeks in spleen and cecum. JOL1599 was further evaluated as a vaccine candidate. Chickens immunized with JOL1599 showed strong humoral responses, as indicated by systemic IgG and secretory IgA levels, as well as strong cell-mediated immune response, as indicated by increased lymphocyte proliferation. JOL1599-immunized groups also showed significant degree of protection against wild type challenge. Our results indicate that Δlon- and/or ΔcpxR-deleted SM exhibited EPS-enhanced immunogenicity and attenuation via reduced bacterial cell intracellular replication, conferred increased protection, and possess safety qualities favorable for effective vaccine development against virulent SM infections. PMID:27785128

  15. Antibiotic-resistance and virulence genes in Enterococcus isolated from tropical recreational waters

    PubMed Central

    Santiago-Rodriguez, Tasha M.; Rivera, Jessica I.; Coradin, Mariel; Toranzos, Gary A.

    2014-01-01

    The prevalence of enterococci harboring tetracycline and vancomycin-resistance genes, as well as the enterococcal surface protein (esp) has mostly been determined in clinical settings, but their prevalence in tropical recreational waters remains largely unknown. The present study determined the prevalence of tetM (tetracycline-resistance), vanA and vanB (vancomycin-resistance) in the bacterial and viral fractions, enterococci and their induced phages isolated from tropical recreational marine and fresh waters, dry and wet sands. Since lysogenic phages can act as vectors for antibiotic-resistance and virulence factors, the prevalence of the mentioned genes, as well as that of an integrase-encoding gene (int) specific for Enterococcus faecalis phages was determined. Up to 60 % and 54 % of the bacterial fractions and enterococci harbored at least one of the tested genes, respectively, suggesting that bacteria in tropical environments may be reservoirs of antibiotic-resistance and virulence genes. int was detected in the viral fractions and in one Enterococcus isolate after induction. This study opens the opportunity to determine if the presence of bacteria harboring antibiotic-resistance and virulence genes in tropical recreational waters represents a threat to public health. PMID:23981868

  16. Antibiotic-resistance and virulence genes in Enterococcus isolated from tropical recreational waters.

    PubMed

    Santiago-Rodriguez, Tasha M; Rivera, Jessica I; Coradin, Mariel; Toranzos, Gary A

    2013-09-01

    The prevalence of enterococci harboring tetracycline- and vancomycin-resistance genes, as well as the enterococcal surface protein (esp) has mostly been determined in clinical settings, but their prevalence in tropical recreational waters remains largely unknown. The present study determined the prevalence of tetM (tetracycline-resistance), vanA and vanB (vancomycin-resistance) in the bacterial and viral fractions, enterococci and their induced phages isolated from tropical recreational marine and fresh waters, dry and wet sands. Since lysogenic phages can act as vectors for antibiotic-resistance and virulence factors, the prevalence of the mentioned genes, as well as that of an integrase-encoding gene (int) specific for Enterococcus faecalis phages was determined. Up to 60 and 54% of the bacterial fractions and enterococci, respectively, harbored at least one of the tested genes suggesting that bacteria in tropical environments may be reservoirs of antibiotic-resistance and virulence genes. int was detected in the viral fractions and in one Enterococcus isolate after induction. This study presents the opportunity to determine if the presence of bacteria harboring antibiotic-resistance and virulence genes in tropical recreational waters represents a threat to public health.

  17. Organization of Biogenesis Genes for Aggregative Adherence Fimbria II Defines a Virulence Gene Cluster in Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Elias, Waldir P.; Czeczulin, John R.; Henderson, Ian R.; Trabulsi, Luiz R.; Nataro, James P.

    1999-01-01

    Several virulence-related genes have been described for prototype enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) strain 042, which has been shown to cause diarrhea in human volunteers. Among these factors are the enterotoxins Pet and EAST and the fimbrial antigen aggregative adherence fimbria II (AAF/II), all of which are encoded on the 65-MDa virulence plasmid pAA2. Using nucleotide sequence analysis and insertional mutagenesis, we have found that the genes required for the expression of each of these factors, as well as the transcriptional activator of fimbrial expression AggR, map to a distinct cluster on the pAA2 plasmid map. The cluster is 23 kb in length and includes two regions required for expression of the AAF/II fimbria. These fimbrial biogenesis genes feature a unique organization in which the chaperone, subunit, and transcriptional activator lie in one cluster, whereas the second, unlinked cluster comprises a silent chaperone gene, usher, and invasin reminiscent of Dr family fimbrial clusters. This plasmid-borne virulence locus may represent an important set of virulence determinants in EAEC strains. PMID:10074069

  18. Deletion of virulence associated genes from attenuated African swine fever virus isolate OUR T88/3 decreases its ability to protect against challenge with virulent virus.

    PubMed

    Abrams, Charles C; Goatley, Lynnette; Fishbourne, Emma; Chapman, David; Cooke, Lyndsay; Oura, Christopher A; Netherton, Christopher L; Takamatsu, Haru-Hisa; Dixon, Linda K

    2013-08-15

    African swine fever virus (ASFV) causes an acute haemorrhagic disease of domestic pigs against which there is no effective vaccine. The attenuated ASFV strain OUR T88/3 has been shown previously to protect vaccinated pigs against challenge with some virulent strains including OUR T88/1. Two genes, DP71L and DP96R were deleted from the OUR T88/3 genome to create recombinant virus OUR T88/3ΔDP2. Deletion of these genes from virulent viruses has previously been shown to reduce ASFV virulence in domestic pigs. Groups of 6 pigs were immunised with deletion virus OUR T88/3ΔDP2 or parental virus OUR T88/3 and challenged with virulent OUR T88/1 virus. Four pigs (66%) were protected by inoculation with the deletion virus OUR T88/3ΔDP2 compared to 100% protection with the parental virus OUR T88/3. Thus the deletion of the two genes DP71L and DP96R from OUR T88/3 strain reduced its ability to protect pigs against challenge with virulent virus.

  19. Intra- and inter-generic transfer of pathogenicity island-encoded virulence genes by cos phages.

    PubMed

    Chen, John; Carpena, Nuria; Quiles-Puchalt, Nuria; Ram, Geeta; Novick, Richard P; Penadés, José R

    2015-05-01

    Bacteriophage-mediated horizontal gene transfer is one of the primary driving forces of bacterial evolution. The pac-type phages are generally thought to facilitate most of the phage-mediated gene transfer between closely related bacteria, including that of mobile genetic elements-encoded virulence genes. In this study, we report that staphylococcal cos-type phages transferred the Staphylococcus aureus pathogenicity island SaPIbov5 to non-aureus staphylococcal species and also to different genera. Our results describe the first intra- and intergeneric transfer of a pathogenicity island by a cos phage, and highlight a gene transfer mechanism that may have important implications for pathogen evolution.

  20. Analysis of virulence genes and accessory gene regulator (agr) types among methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains in Iran.

    PubMed

    Cheraghi, Sara; Pourgholi, Leyla; Shafaati, Maryam; Fesharaki, Shirinsadat Hashemi; Jalali, Arash; Nosrati, Rahim; Boroumand, Mohammad Ali

    2017-09-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains are a major cause of hospital-acquired infections and are considered a serious public health concern. MRSA isolates have abundant virulence factors that are the basis for their pathogenicity. The accessory gene regulator (agr) locus co-ordinates the expression of these genes. The aim of this study was to determine the presence and frequency of various virulence genes encoding enterotoxins and adhesins as well as to identify agr specificity groups in MRSA isolates. This descriptive study included a total of 296 MRSA strains isolated from clinical samples collected in Tehran Heart Center (Tehran, Iran) between October 2004 and March 2013. Following DNA extraction, PCR-based assays were used to evaluate the presence of various virulence genes. IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows v.21.0 was used for statistical analysis. The results indicated that the most frequent toxin genes were see (120/296; 40.5%), followed by sea (79/296; 26.7%); the other genes were encoded less frequently. The presence of seb and seh was not found in any of the isolates. Furthermore, the most frequent adhesin genes were clfA, spa, cna, map/eap and bbp, found in 281 (94.9%), 275 (92.9%), 267 (90.2%), 265 (89.5%) and 264 (89.2%) isolates, respectively. The majority of isolates belonged to agr group I (53.0%), followed by agr group III (1.4%). None of the isolates belonged to agr group II. The relatively high frequency of various virulence genes suggests the emergence and pathogenic potential of MRSA isolates containing these genes in the study area. Copyright © 2017 International Society for Chemotherapy of Infection and Cancer. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. A Bistable Switch and Anatomical Site Control Vibrio cholerae Virulence Gene Expression in the Intestine

    PubMed Central

    Nielsen, Alex T.; Dolganov, Nadia A.; Rasmussen, Thomas; Otto, Glen; Miller, Michael C.; Felt, Stephen A.; Torreilles, Stéphanie; Schoolnik, Gary K.

    2010-01-01

    A fundamental, but unanswered question in host-pathogen interactions is the timing, localization and population distribution of virulence gene expression during infection. Here, microarray and in situ single cell expression methods were used to study Vibrio cholerae growth and virulence gene expression during infection of the rabbit ligated ileal loop model of cholera. Genes encoding the toxin-coregulated pilus (TCP) and cholera toxin (CT) were powerfully expressed early in the infectious process in bacteria adjacent to epithelial surfaces. Increased growth was found to co-localize with virulence gene expression. Significant heterogeneity in the expression of tcpA, the repeating subunit of TCP, was observed late in the infectious process. The expression of tcpA, studied in single cells in a homogeneous medium, demonstrated unimodal induction of tcpA after addition of bicarbonate, a chemical inducer of virulence gene expression. Striking bifurcation of the population occurred during entry into stationary phase: one subpopulation continued to express tcpA, whereas the expression declined in the other subpopulation. ctxA, encoding the A subunit of CT, and toxT, encoding the proximal master regulator of virulence gene expression also exhibited the bifurcation phenotype. The bifurcation phenotype was found to be reversible, epigenetic and to persist after removal of bicarbonate, features consistent with bistable switches. The bistable switch requires the positive-feedback circuit controlling ToxT expression and formation of the CRP-cAMP complex during entry into stationary phase. Key features of this bistable switch also were demonstrated in vivo, where striking heterogeneity in tcpA expression was observed in luminal fluid in later stages of the infection. When this fluid was diluted into artificial seawater, bacterial aggregates continued to express tcpA for prolonged periods of time. The bistable control of virulence gene expression points to a mechanism that could

  2. Biosynthesis of mycobacterial methylglucose lipopolysaccharides.

    PubMed

    Mendes, Vitor; Maranha, Ana; Alarico, Susana; Empadinhas, Nuno

    2012-08-01

    Mycobacterial pathogenesis is closely associated with a unique cell envelope rich in complex carbohydrates and unique lipids, among which are the mycolic acids. Mycobacteria also synthesize unique intracellular polymethylated polysaccharides (PMPSs), namely methylglucose lipopolysaccharides (MGLPs), which are acylated with short-chain fatty acids, and methylmannose polysaccharides (MMPs). Since PMPSs modulate the synthesis of long-chain fatty acids in vitro, the possibility of a similar role in vivo and the regulation of mycolic acids assembly have been anticipated. Unlike MGLPs, MMPs have been identified in M. smegmatis and other fast-growing mycobacteria but not in M. tuberculosis, implying an essential role for MGLPs in this pathogen and turning the biosynthetic enzymes into attractive drug targets. The genome of M. tuberculosis was decoded 14 years ago but only recently has the identity of the genes involved in MGLPs biosynthesis been investigated. Two gene clusters (Rv1208-Rv1213 and Rv3030-Rv3037c) containing a few genes considered to be essential for M. tuberculosis growth, have initially been proposed to coordinate MGLPs biosynthesis. Among these genes, only the product of Rv1208 for the first step in the MGLPs pathway has, so far, been crystallized and its three-dimensional structure been determined. However, recent results indicate that at least three additional clusters may be involved in this pathway. The functional assignment of authentic roles to some of these M. tuberculosis H37Rv genes sheds new light on the intricacy of MGLPs biogenesis and renewed interest on their biological role.

  3. cj0371: A Novel Virulence-Associated Gene of Campylobacter jejuni

    PubMed Central

    Du, Xueqing; Wang, Nan; Ren, Fangzhe; Tang, Hong; Jiao, Xinan; Huang, Jinlin

    2016-01-01

    Campylobacter jejuni is the major cause of human bacterial diarrhea worldwide. Its pathogenic mechanism remains poorly understood. cj0371 is a novel gene that was uncovered using immunoscreening. There have been no previous reports regarding its function. In this study, we constructed an insertion mutant and complement of this gene in C. jejuni and examined changes in virulence. We observed that the cj0371 mutant showed significantly increased invasion and colonization ability. We also investigated the role of cj0371 in motility, chemotaxis, and growth kinetics to further study its function. We found that the cj0371 mutant displays hypermotility, enhanced chemotaxis, and enhanced growth kinetics. In addition, we localized the Cj0371 protein at the poles of C. jejuni by fluorescence microscopy. We present data that collectively significantly proves our hypothesis that cj0371 is a new virulence-associated gene and through the influence of chemotaxis plays a negative role in C. jejuni pathogenicity. PMID:27471500

  4. Expression of virulence genes by Listeria monocytogenes J0161 in natural environment

    PubMed Central

    Tirumalai, Prem Saran; Prakash, Soam

    2012-01-01

    Majority of studies concerning the gene expression of Listeria monocytogenes have been done on pure culture states. Our objective was to study L.monocytogenes in a co-cultured state and to understand if microbes in their natural state of existence are different in their expression than that of the purely cultured lab grown forms. For a long period discussions have been on the expression of prfA, (which is a virulence gene regulator) in a mammalian host and its role in causing the switch from a saprophytic to pathogenic form of L.monocytogenes. We, in this paper for the first time report the expression of prfA and other virulence genes by L.monocytogenes under different extracellular conditions, and also as a pure culture biofilms, that is different from the previous reports. We also report that the expression of prfA seems to vary considerably when co-cultured with Bacillus subtilis. PMID:24031897

  5. Evaluating the virulence of a Brucella melitensis hemagglutinin gene in the caprine model.

    PubMed

    Perry, Quinesha L; Hagius, Sue D; Walker, Joel V; Elzer, Philip H

    2010-10-01

    With the completion of the genomic sequence of Brucella melitensis 16M, a putative hemagglutinin gene was identified which is present in 16M and absent in Brucella abortus. The possibility of this hemagglutinin being a potential virulence factor was evaluated via gene replacement in B. melitensis yielding 16MΔE and expression in trans in B. abortus 2308-QAE. Utilizing the caprine brucellosis model, colonization and pathogenesis studies were performed to evaluate these strains. B. melitensis 16M hemagglutinin gene expression in trans in 2308-QAE revealed a significant (p≤0.05) increase in colonization and abortion rates when compared to B. abortus 2308, mimicking B. melitensis 16M virulence in pregnant goats. The B. melitensis disruption mutant's colonization and abortion rates demonstrated no attenuation in colonization but displayed a 28% reduction in abortions when compared to parental B. melitensis 16M.

  6. In silico clustering of Salmonella global gene expression data reveals novel genes co-regulated with the SPI-1 virulence genes through HilD

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Flores, Irma; Pérez-Morales, Deyanira; Sánchez-Pérez, Mishael; Paredes, Claudia C.; Collado-Vides, Julio; Salgado, Heladia; Bustamante, Víctor H.

    2016-01-01

    A wide variety of Salmonella enterica serovars cause intestinal and systemic infections to humans and animals. Salmonella Patogenicity Island 1 (SPI-1) is a chromosomal region containing 39 genes that have crucial virulence roles. The AraC-like transcriptional regulator HilD, encoded in SPI-1, positively controls the expression of the SPI-1 genes, as well as of several other virulence genes located outside SPI-1. In this study, we applied a clustering method to the global gene expression data of S. enterica serovar Typhimurium from the COLOMBOS database; thus genes that show an expression pattern similar to that of SPI-1 genes were selected. This analysis revealed nine novel genes that are co-expressed with SPI-1, which are located in different chromosomal regions. Expression analyses and protein-DNA interaction assays showed regulation by HilD for six of these genes: gtgE, phoH, sinR, SL1263 (lpxR) and SL4247 were regulated directly, whereas SL1896 was regulated indirectly. Interestingly, phoH is an ancestral gene conserved in most of bacteria, whereas the other genes show characteristics of genes acquired by Salmonella. A role in virulence has been previously demonstrated for gtgE, lpxR and sinR. Our results further expand the regulon of HilD and thus identify novel possible Salmonella virulence genes. PMID:27886269

  7. Probiotics Affect Virulence-Related Gene Expression in Escherichia coli O157:H7▿

    PubMed Central

    Medellin-Peña, Maira Jessica; Wang, Haifeng; Johnson, Roger; Anand, Sanjeev; Griffiths, Mansel W.

    2007-01-01

    The attachment of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 (EHEC O157) to host intestinal epithelial cells is essential for the development of hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic-uremic syndrome in humans. Genes involved in attachment are carried within a pathogenicity island named the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE), known to be directly activated by quorum sensing (QS). In the present study, we investigated autoinducer-2 (AI-2) production and the expression of several virulence-related genes in EHEC O157 grown in the absence and presence of a Lactobacillus acidophilus-secreted molecule(s). Transcription of important EHEC O157 virulence-related genes was studied by constructing promoter-reporter fusions and reverse transcriptase PCR. Shiga toxin (Stx) production was assayed by an enzyme immunoassay. When EHEC O157 was grown in the presence of chromatographically selected fractions of L. acidophilus La-5 cell-free spent medium, we observed a significant reduction of both extracellular AI-2 concentration and the expression of important virulence-related genes, although no significant difference in Stx production was observed. We show here that L. acidophilus La-5 secretes a molecule(s) that either acts as a QS signal inhibitor or directly interacts with bacterial transcriptional regulators, controlling the transcription of EHEC O157 genes involved in colonization. PMID:17496132

  8. Virulence Genes of S. aureus from Dairy Cow Mastitis and Contagiousness Risk.

    PubMed

    Magro, Giada; Biffani, Stefano; Minozzi, Giulietta; Ehricht, Ralf; Monecke, Stefan; Luini, Mario; Piccinini, Renata

    2017-06-21

    Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a major agent of dairy cow intramammary infections: the different prevalences of mastitis reported might be related to a combination of S. aureus virulence factors beyond host factors. The present study considered 169 isolates from different Italian dairy herds that were classified into four groups based on the prevalence of S. aureus infection at the first testing: low prevalence (LP), medium-low (MLP), medium-high (MHP) and high (HP). We aimed to correlate the presence of virulence genes with the prevalence of intramammary infections in order to develop new strategies for the control of S. aureus mastitis. Microarray data were statistically evaluated using binary logistic regression and correspondence analysis to screen the risk factors and the relationship between prevalence group and gene. The analysis showed: (1) 24 genes at significant risk of being detected in all the herds with infection prevalence >5%, including genes belonging to microbial surface components recognizing adhesive matrix molecules (MSCRAMMs), immune evasion and serine proteases; and (2) a significant correlation coefficient between the genes interacting with the host immune response and HP isolates against LP ones. These results support the hypothesis that virulence factors, in addition to cow management, could be related to strain contagiousness, offering new insights into vaccine development.

  9. Characterization of aminoglycoside resistance and virulence genes among Enterococcus spp. isolated from a hospital in China.

    PubMed

    Li, Wanxiang; Li, Jing; Wei, Quhao; Hu, Qingfeng; Lin, Xiaowei; Chen, Mengquan; Ye, Renji; Lv, Huoyang

    2015-03-11

    This study investigated the aminoglycoside resistance phenotypes and genotypes, as well as the prevalence of virulence genes, in Enterococcus species isolated from clinical patients in China. A total of 160 enterococcal isolates from various clinical samples collected from September 2013 to July 2014 were identified to the species level using the VITEK-2 COMPACT system. The antimicrobial susceptibilities of the identified Enterococcus strains were determined by the Kirby-Bauer (K-B) disc diffusion method. PCR-based assays were used to detect the aminoglycoside resistance and virulence genes in all enterococcal isolates. Of 160 Enterococcus isolates, 105 were identified as E. faecium, 35 as E. faecalis, and 20 isolates were classified as "other" Enterococcus species. High-level aminoglycoside resistance (HLAR) for gentamicin, streptomycin, and both antibiotics was identified in 58.8, 50, and 34.4% of strains, respectively. The most common virulence gene (50.6% of isolates) was efaA, followed by asa1 (28.8%). The most prevalent aminoglycoside resistance genes were aac(6')-Ie-aph(2''), aph(2')-Id, aph(3')-IIIa, and ant(6')-Ia, present in 49.4%, 1.3%, 48.8% and 31.3% of strains, respectively. Overall, E. faecium and E. faecalis were most frequently associated with hospital-acquired enterococcal infections in Zhejiang Province. All aminoglycoside resistance genes, except aph(2'')-Id, were significantly more prevalent in HLAR strains than amongst high level aminoglycoside susceptible (HLAS) strains, while there was no significant difference between HLAR and HLAS strains in regard to the prevalence of virulence genes, apart from esp, therefore, measures should be taken to manage infections caused by multi-drug resistant Enterococcus species.

  10. Attenuation and quantitation of virulence gene expression in quorum-quenched Dickeya chrysanthemi.

    PubMed

    Hosseinzadeh, Saeed; Shams-Bakhsh, Masoud; Sadeghizadeh, Majid

    2017-01-01

    N-Acyl-homoserine lactones (AHLs)-dependent quorum sensing (QS) system(s) is recruited by the soft rot bacterium Dickeya chrysanthemi for coordinating its social activities such as secretion of plant cell wall-degrading enzymes, while the main signal molecule and quantity dependence of virulence to QS in this bacterium have not been clarified. To do this end, the involvement of AHLs in African violet leaves and potato tuber maceration; swarming motility; pectate lyase and polygalacturonase enzymes production and in planta expression of virulence genes including pelE, pehX and pemA by electroporating two quorum-quenching vectors. The expression of two types of AHL-lactonase expressing vector caused dramatic decrease in swarming motility, production of pectinolytic enzymes and macerating of plant tissues. The maximum ability of quenching of QS in repression of D. chrysanthemi virulence was assessed quantitatively by q-RT-PCR, as expression of pelE, pehX and pemA genes were decreased 90.5-92.18 % in quenched cells. We also showed that virulence and pathogenicity of this bacterium was under the control of DHL-dependent QS system and that the existence of second DHL operating system is probable for this bacterium. Thus, this signal molecule would be the key point for future research to design DHL-specific lactonase enzymes using bioinformatics methods.

  11. A Novel Virulence Gene in Klebsiella pneumoniae Strains Causing Primary Liver Abscess and Septic Metastatic Complications

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Chi-Tai; Chuang, Yi-Ping; Shun, Chia-Tung; Chang, Shan-Chwen; Wang, Jin-Town

    2004-01-01

    Primary Klebsiella pneumoniae liver abscess complicated with metastatic meningitis or endophthalmitis is a globally emerging infectious disease. Its pathogenic mechanism remains unclear. The bacterial virulence factors were explored by comparing clinical isolates. Differences in mucoviscosity were observed between strains that caused primary liver abscess (invasive) and those that did not (noninvasive). Hypermucoviscosity correlated with a high serum resistance and was more prevalent in invasive strains (52/53 vs. 9/52; P < 0.0001). Transposon mutagenesis identified candidate virulence genes. A novel 1.2-kb locus, magA, which encoded a 43-kD outer membrane protein, was significantly more prevalent in invasive strains (52/53 vs. 14/52; P < 0.0001). The wild-type strain produced a mucoviscous exopolysaccharide web, actively proliferated in nonimmune human serum, resisted phagocytosis, and caused liver microabscess and meningitis in mice. However, magA− mutants lost the exopolysaccharide web and became extremely serum sensitive, phagocytosis susceptible, and avirulent to mice. Virulence was restored by complementation using a magA-containing plasmid. We conclude that magA fits molecular Koch's postulates as a virulence gene. Thus, this locus can be used as a marker for the rapid diagnosis and for tracing the source of this emerging infectious disease. PMID:14993253

  12. Microevolution of Virulence-Related Genes in Helicobacter pylori Familial Infection

    PubMed Central

    Furuta, Yoshikazu; Konno, Mutsuko; Osaki, Takako; Yonezawa, Hideo; Ishige, Taichiro; Imai, Misaki; Shiwa, Yuh; Shibata-Hatta, Mari; Kanesaki, Yu; Yoshikawa, Hirofumi; Kamiya, Shigeru; Kobayashi, Ichizo

    2015-01-01

    Helicobacter pylori, a bacterial pathogen that can infect human stomach causing gastritis, ulcers and cancer, is known to have a high degree of genome/epigenome diversity as the result of mutation and recombination. The bacteria often infect in childhood and persist for the life of the host. One of the reasons of the rapid evolution of H. pylori is that it changes its genome drastically for adaptation to a new host. To investigate microevolution and adaptation of the H. pylori genome, we undertook whole genome sequencing of the same or very similar sequence type in multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) with seven genes in members of the same family consisting of parents and children in Japan. Detection of nucleotide substitutions revealed likely transmission pathways involving children. Nonsynonymous (amino acid changing) mutations were found in virulence-related genes (cag genes, vacA, hcpDX, tnfα, ggt, htrA and the collagenase gene), outer membrane protein (OMP) genes and other cell surface-related protein genes, signal transduction genes and restriction-modification genes. We reconstructed various pathways by which H. pylori can adapt to a new human host, and our results raised the possibility that the mutational changes in virulence-related genes have a role in adaptation to a child host. Changes in restriction-modification genes might remodel the methylome and transcriptome to help adaptation. This study has provided insights into H. pylori transmission and virulence and has implications for basic research as well as clinical practice. PMID:25978460

  13. Feline mycobacterial infections.

    PubMed

    Gunn-Moore, Danièlle A

    2014-08-01

    Mycobacteria of feline importance include (1) obligate pathogens (tuberculosis), (2) mycobacteria that are difficult to grow, so the environmental niche is unknown (feline leprosy syndrome), and (3) facultative pathogenic opportunistic saprophytes (non-tuberculous mycobacteriosis). Most cats present with cutaneous disease, although some have systemic involvement. Diagnosis is challenging because there are no pathognomonic histopathological changes and many mycobacteria fail to culture, so molecular diagnostics are required. Treatment can involve extended multidrug therapy and prognosis is variable. This article reviews the microbiology, clinical diagnosis, management and prognosis of feline mycobacterial infections.

  14. Evolution of the cutinase gene family: evidence for lateral gene transfer of a candidate Phytophthora virulence factor.

    PubMed

    Belbahri, Lassaad; Calmin, Gautier; Mauch, Felix; Andersson, Jan O

    2008-01-31

    Lateral gene transfer (LGT) can facilitate the acquisition of new functions in recipient lineages, which may enable them to colonize new environments. Several recent publications have shown that gene transfer between prokaryotes and eukaryotes occurs with appreciable frequency. Here we present a study of interdomain gene transfer of cutinases -- well documented virulence factors in fungi -- between eukaryotic plant pathogens Phytophthora species and prokaryotic bacterial lineages. Two putative cutinase genes were cloned from Phytophthora brassicae and Northern blotting experiments showed that these genes are expressed early during the infection of the host Arabidopsis thaliana and induced during cyst germination of the pathogen. Analysis of the gene organisation of this gene family in Phytophthora ramorum and P. sojae showed three and ten copies in tight succession within a region of 5 and 25 kb, respectively, probably indicating a recent expansion in Phytophthora lineages by gene duplications. Bioinformatic analyses identified orthologues only in three genera of Actinobacteria, and in two distantly related eukaryotic groups: oomycetes and fungi. Together with phylogenetic analyses this limited distribution of the gene in the tree of life strongly support a scenario where cutinase genes originated after the origin of land plants in a microbial lineage living in proximity of plants and subsequently were transferred between distantly related plant-degrading microbes. More precisely, a cutinase gene was likely acquired by an ancestor of P. brassicae, P. sojae, P. infestans and P. ramorum, possibly from an actinobacterial source, suggesting that gene transfer might be an important mechanism in the evolution of their virulence. These findings could indeed provide an interesting model system to study acquisition of virulence factors in these important plant pathogens.

  15. Virulence Gene Regulation by l-Arabinose in Salmonella enterica

    PubMed Central

    López-Garrido, Javier; Puerta-Fernández, Elena; Cota, Ignacio; Casadesús, Josep

    2015-01-01

    Invasion of the intestinal epithelium is a critical step in Salmonella enterica infection and requires functions encoded in the gene cluster known as Salmonella Pathogenicity Island 1 (SPI-1). Expression of SPI-1 genes is repressed by l-arabinose, and not by other pentoses. Transport of l-arabinose is necessary to repress SPI-1; however, repression is independent of l-arabinose metabolism and of the l-arabinose-responsive regulator AraC. SPI-1 repression by l-arabinose is exerted at a single target, HilD, and the mechanism appears to be post-translational. As a consequence of SPI-1 repression, l-arabinose reduces translocation of SPI-1 effectors to epithelial cells and decreases Salmonella invasion in vitro. These observations reveal a hitherto unknown role of l-arabinose in gene expression control and raise the possibility that Salmonella may use L-arabinose as an environmental signal. PMID:25991823

  16. Differences in virulence gene expression between atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli strains isolated from diarrheic and healthy ruminants

    PubMed Central

    Horcajo, Pilar; Domínguez-Bernal, Gustavo; Carrión, Javier; De La Fuente, Ricardo; Ruiz-Santa-Quiteria, José A.; Orden, José A.

    2013-01-01

    Differences in the pathogenicity of atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) strains may be due, at least partially, to different expression patterns of some virulence genes. To investigate this hypothesis, the virulence gene expression patterns of 6 atypical EPEC strains isolated from healthy and diarrheic ruminants were compared using quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction after growing the bacteria in culture medium alone or after binding it to HeLa epithelial cells. Some virulence genes in strains from diarrheic animals were upregulated relative to their expression in strains from healthy animals. When bacteria were cultured in the presence of HeLa cells, the ehxA and efa1/lifA genes, previously associated with the production of diarrhea, were expressed at higher levels in strains from diarrheic animals than in strains from healthy animals. Thus, the expression levels of some virulence genes may help determine which atypical EPEC strains cause diarrhea in ruminants. PMID:24082409

  17. Differences in virulence gene expression between atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli strains isolated from diarrheic and healthy ruminants.

    PubMed

    Horcajo, Pilar; Domínguez-Bernal, Gustavo; Carrión, Javier; De La Fuente, Ricardo; Ruiz-Santa-Quiteria, José A; Orden, José A

    2013-04-01

    Differences in the pathogenicity of atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) strains may be due, at least partially, to different expression patterns of some virulence genes. To investigate this hypothesis, the virulence gene expression patterns of 6 atypical EPEC strains isolated from healthy and diarrheic ruminants were compared using quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction after growing the bacteria in culture medium alone or after binding it to HeLa epithelial cells. Some virulence genes in strains from diarrheic animals were upregulated relative to their expression in strains from healthy animals. When bacteria were cultured in the presence of HeLa cells, the ehxA and efa1/lifA genes, previously associated with the production of diarrhea, were expressed at higher levels in strains from diarrheic animals than in strains from healthy animals. Thus, the expression levels of some virulence genes may help determine which atypical EPEC strains cause diarrhea in ruminants.

  18. Involvement of the Haemophilus ducreyi gmhA Gene Product in Lipooligosaccharide Expression and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Bauer, Beth A.; Stevens, Marla K.; Hansen, Eric J.

    1998-01-01

    The lipooligosaccharide (LOS) present in the outer membrane of Haemophilus ducreyi is likely a virulence factor for this sexually transmitted pathogen. An open reading frame in H. ducreyi 35000 was found to encode a predicted protein that had 87% identity with the protein product of the gmhA (isn) gene of Haemophilus influenzae. In H. influenzae type b, inactivation of the gmhA gene caused the synthesis of a significantly truncated LOS which possessed only lipid A and a single 2-keto-3-deoxyoctulosonic acid molecule (A. Preston, D. J. Maskell, A. Johnson, and E. R. Moxon, J. Bacteriol. 178:396–402, 1996). The H. ducreyi gmhA gene was able to complement a gmhA-deficient Escherichia coli strain, a result which confirmed the identity of this gene. When the gmhA gene of H. ducreyi was inactivated by insertion of a cat cartridge, the resultant H. ducreyi gmhA mutant, 35000.252, expressed a LOS that migrated much faster than wild-type LOS in sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. When the wild-type H. ducreyi strain and its isogenic gmhA mutant were used in the temperature-dependent rabbit model for dermal lesion production by H. ducreyi, the gmhA mutant was found to be substantially less virulent than the wild-type parent strain. The H. ducreyi gmhA gene was amplified by PCR from the H. ducreyi chromosome and cloned into the pLS88 vector. When the H. ducreyi gmhA gene was present in trans in gmhA mutant 35000.252, expression of the gmhA gene product restored the virulence of this mutant to wild-type levels. These results indicate that the gmhA gene product of H. ducreyi is essential for the expression of wild-type LOS by this pathogen. PMID:9712780

  19. Deregulation of Listeria monocytogenes virulence gene expression by two distinct and semi-independent pathways.

    PubMed

    Milenbachs Lukowiak, Andrea; Mueller, Kimberly J; Freitag, Nancy E; Youngman, Philip

    2004-02-01

    Expression of the major virulence cluster in Listeria monocytogenes is positively regulated by the transcription factor PrfA and is influenced by several environmental factors, including the presence of readily metabolized carbohydrates such as cellobiose and glucose. Although little is understood about the mechanisms through which environmental factors influence expression of the PrfA regulon, evidence for structural and functional similarities of PrfA to the CRP-FNR family of regulatory proteins suggests the possibility that PrfA activity could be modulated by a small molecule ligand. The identity of components of the PrfA-associated regulatory pathway was sought through the isolation of mutants that exhibit high levels of PrfA-controlled gene expression in the presence of cellobiose or glucose. Here are described the properties and preliminary genetic analysis in two different genetic loci, gcr and csr, both unlinked by general transduction to the major virulence cluster. A mutation in gcr deregulates the expression of PrfA-controlled genes in the presence of several repressing sugars and other environmental conditions, a phenotype similar to that of a G145S substitution in PrfA itself. A mutation in the csr locus, within csrA, results in a cellobiose-specific defect in virulence gene regulation. Gene products encoded by the csr locus share homology with proteins involved in the sensing and transport of beta-glucosides in other bacteria. Mutations in both gcr and csr are required for full relief of cellobiose-mediated repression of the PrfA regulon. These results suggest the existence of two semi-independent pathways for cellobiose-mediated repression and further reconcile conflicting reports in previous literature concerning the repressive effects of carbohydrates on virulence gene expression in L. monocytogenes.

  20. Lipooligosaccharide locus classes and putative virulence genes among chicken and human Campylobacter jejuni isolates.

    PubMed

    Ellström, Patrik; Hansson, Ingrid; Nilsson, Anna; Rautelin, Hilpi; Olsson Engvall, Eva

    2016-11-21

    Campylobacter cause morbidity and considerable economic loss due to hospitalization and post infectious sequelae such as reactive arthritis, Guillain Barré- and Miller Fischer syndromes. Such sequelae have been linked to C. jejuni harboring sialic acid structures in their lipooligosaccharide (LOS) layer of the cell wall. Poultry is an important source of human Campylobacter infections but little is known about the prevalence of sialylated C. jejuni isolates and the extent of transmission of such isolates to humans. Genotypes of C. jejuni isolates from enteritis patients were compared with those of broiler chicken with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), to study the patterns of LOS biosynthesis genes and other virulence associated genes and to what extent these occur among Campylobacter genotypes found both in humans and chickens. Chicken and human isolates generally had similar distributions of the putative virulence genes and LOS locus classes studied. However, there were significant differences regarding LOS locus class of PFGE types that were overlapping between chicken and human isolates and those that were distinct to each source. The study highlights the prevalence of virulence associated genes among Campylobacter isolates from humans and chickens and suggests possible patterns of transmission between the two species.

  1. In silico identification of potential virulence genes in 1,3-propanediol producer Klebsiella pneumonia.

    PubMed

    Gao, L R; Jiang, X; Fu, S L; Gong, H

    2014-11-10

    The pathogenic characteristics of Klebsiella pneumoniae could pose security risks for industrial applications. In this study, the existence and distribution of 2457 known virulence genes (VFs) in 9 strains of K. pneumoniae were systematically analyzed by high-throughput in silico methods. We found different numbers and types of VFs in 9 K. pneumoniae strains using database sequences. Some VFs in the database were highly homologous with the corresponding genes in K. pneumoniae genomes. Four large fragments with contiguous potential virulence genes named VF1, VF2, VF3 and VF4 were identified. VF1 and VF2 were found in all 9 sequenced strains and the 1,3-propanediol-producing strain KG1. When the VF2 fragment was knocked out in KG1, cell growth and 1,3-propanediol production in the mutant were nearly the same as in KG1. Consequently the resulting information by in silico methods is useful for identifying potential virulence genes of K. pneumoniae used for 1,3-propanediol production.

  2. First Detection of Puccinia hordei virulence to barley leaf rust resistance gene Rph3 and combination with virulence to Rph7 in North America

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Barley leaf rust, caused by Puccinia hordei Otth., has been problematic in United States barley, Hordeum vulgare L., production in the Mid-Atlantic coast region and California. During the early 1990’s P. hordei pathoytpes with virulence to resistance gene Rph7 caused average yield losses from 6-16%....

  3. Virulence-associated gene pattern of porcine and human Yersinia enterocolitica biotype 4 isolates.

    PubMed

    Schneeberger, M; Brodard, I; Overesch, G

    2015-04-02

    Yersinia enterocolitica 4/O:3 is the most important human pathogenic bioserotype in Europe and the predominant pathogenic bioserotype in slaughter pigs. Although many studies on the virulence of Y. enterocolitica strains have showed a broad spectrum of detectable factors in pigs and humans, an analysis based on a strict comparative approach and serving to verify the virulence capability of porcine Y. enterocolitica as a source for human yersiniosis is lacking. Therefore, in the present study, strains of biotype (BT) 4 isolated from Swiss slaughter pig tonsils and feces and isolates from human clinical cases were compared in terms of their spectrum of virulence-associated genes (yadA, virF, ail, inv, rovA, ymoA, ystA, ystB and myfA). An analysis of the associated antimicrobial susceptibility pattern completed the characterization. All analyzed BT 4 strains showed a nearly similar pattern, comprising the known fundamental virulence-associated genes yadA, virF, ail, inv, rovA, ymoA, ystA and myfA. Only ystB was not detectable among all analyzed isolates. Importantly, neither the source of the isolates (porcine tonsils and feces, humans) nor the serotype (ST) had any influence on the gene pattern. From these findings, it can be concluded that the presence of the full complement of virulence genes necessary for human infection is common among porcine BT 4 strains. Swiss porcine BT 4 strains not only showed antimicrobial susceptibility to chloramphenicol, cefotaxime, ceftazidime, ciprofloxacin, colistin, florfenicol, gentamicin, kanamycin, nalidixic acid, sulfamethoxazole, streptomycin, tetracycline and trimethoprim but also showed 100% antibiotic resistance to ampicillin. The human BT 4 strains revealed comparable results. However, in addition to 100% antibiotic resistance to ampicillin, 2 strains were resistant to chloramphenicol and nalidixic acid. Additionally, 1 of these strains was resistant to sulfamethoxazole. The results demonstrated that Y. enterocolitica BT 4

  4. Subtyping Escherichia coli Virulence Genes Isolated from Feces of Beef Cattle and Clinical Cases in Alberta.

    PubMed

    Tostes, Renata; Goji, Noriko; Amoako, Kingsley; Chui, Linda; Kastelic, John; DeVinney, Rebekah; Stanford, Kim; Reuter, Tim

    2017-01-01

    Clinical outcomes of Shiga toxin (stx)-producing Escherichia coli infection are largely determined by virulence gene subtypes. This study used a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-pyrosequencing assay to analyze single-nucleotide polymorphisms for subtyping three major virulence genes (stx1, stx2, eae) of pathogenic E. coli (O157, O26, O111, and O103) isolated from cattle over a 2-year interval (n = 465) and human clinical cases (n = 42) in western Canada. Most bovine isolates were PCR positive for at least one target virulence gene (367/465), whereas 100% of human isolates harbored eae in combination with at least one stx gene. Four Shiga toxin (1a, 2a, 2c, and 2e) and four eae (λ/γ1-eae, ɛ-eae, θ/γ2-eae, and β-eae) subtypes were identified in over 25 distinct virulence genotypes. Among cattle isolates, every serogroup, but O103, presented a dominant genotype (O157: stx1a+stx2a+λ/γ1-eae, O26: β-eae alone, and O111: stx1a+θ/γ2-eae). Similar patterns were found in human isolates, although it was not possible to establish a clear genotypic association between the two sources. Many O157 and non-O157 cattle isolates lacked stx genes; the absence was greater in non-O157 (75/258) and O157:non-H7 (19/40) than in O157:H7 strains (1/164). In addition, there was a greater diversity of virulence genotypes of E. coli isolated from cattle than those of human diseases, which could be due to sample characteristics (e.g., source and clinical condition). However, the majority of cattle strains had virulence profiles identical to those of clinical cases. Consequently, determining the presence of certain stx (stx1a and stx2a) and eae (λ/γ1-eae) subtypes known to cause human disease would be a valuable tool for risk assessment and prediction of disease outcome along the farm-to-fork continuum.

  5. Antimicrobial resistance and virulence genes in enterococci from wild game meat in Spain.

    PubMed

    Guerrero-Ramos, Emilia; Cordero, Jorge; Molina-González, Diana; Poeta, Patrícia; Igrejas, Gilberto; Alonso-Calleja, Carlos; Capita, Rosa

    2016-02-01

    A total of 55 enterococci (45 Enterococcus faecium, 7 Enterococcus faecalis, and three Enterococcus durans) isolated from the meat of wild game animals (roe deer, boar, rabbit, pheasant, and pigeon) in North-Western Spain were tested for susceptibility to 14 antimicrobials by the disc diffusion method. All strains showed a multi-resistant phenotype (resistance to between three and 10 antimicrobials). The strains exhibited high percentages of resistance to erythromycin (89.1%), tetracycline (67.3%), ciprofloxacin (92.7%), nitrofurantoin (67.3%), and quinupristin-dalfopristin (81.8%). The lowest values (9.1%) were observed for high-level resistance to gentamicin, kanamycin, and streptomycin. The average number of resistances per strain was 5.8 for E. faecium isolates, 7.9 for E. faecalis, and 5.7 for E. durans. Genes encoding antimicrobial resistance and virulence were studied by polymerase chain reaction. A total of 15 (57.7%) of the 26 vancomycin-resistant isolates harboured the vanA gene. Other resistance genes detected included vanB, erm(B) and/or erm(C), tet(L) and/or tet(M), acc(6')-aph(2″), and aph(3')-IIIa in strains resistant to vancomycin, erythromycin, tetracycline, gentamicin, and kanamycin, respectively. Specific genes of the Tn5397 transposon were detected in 54.8% of the tet(M)-positive enterococci. Nine virulence factors (gelE, agg, ace, cpd, frs, esp, hyl, efaAfs and efaAfm) were studied. All virulence genes, with the exception of the frs gene, were found to be present in the enterococcal isolates. At least one virulence gene was detected in 20.0% of E. faecium, 71.4% of E. faecalis and 33.3% of E. durans isolates, with ace and cpd being the most frequently detected genes (6 isolates each). This suggests that wild game meat might play a role in the spreading through the food chain of enterococci with antimicrobial resistance and virulence determinants to humans.

  6. Coronavirus Gene 7 Counteracts Host Defenses and Modulates Virus Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Cruz, Jazmina L. G.; Sola, Isabel; Becares, Martina; Alberca, Berta; Plana, Joan; Enjuanes, Luis; Zuñiga, Sonia

    2011-01-01

    Transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV) genome contains three accessory genes: 3a, 3b and 7. Gene 7 is only present in members of coronavirus genus a1, and encodes a hydrophobic protein of 78 aa. To study gene 7 function, a recombinant TGEV virus lacking gene 7 was engineered (rTGEV-Δ7). Both the mutant and the parental (rTGEV-wt) viruses showed the same growth and viral RNA accumulation kinetics in tissue cultures. Nevertheless, cells infected with rTGEV-Δ7 virus showed an increased cytopathic effect caused by an enhanced apoptosis mediated by caspase activation. Macromolecular synthesis analysis showed that rTGEV-Δ7 virus infection led to host translational shut-off and increased cellular RNA degradation compared with rTGEV-wt infection. An increase of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 (eIF2α) phosphorylation and an enhanced nuclease, most likely RNase L, activity were observed in rTGEV-Δ7 virus infected cells. These results suggested that the removal of gene 7 promoted an intensified dsRNA-activated host antiviral response. In protein 7 a conserved sequence motif that potentially mediates binding to protein phosphatase 1 catalytic subunit (PP1c), a key regulator of the cell antiviral defenses, was identified. We postulated that TGEV protein 7 may counteract host antiviral response by its association with PP1c. In fact, pull-down assays demonstrated the interaction between TGEV protein 7, but not a protein 7 mutant lacking PP1c binding motif, with PP1. Moreover, the interaction between protein 7 and PP1 was required, during the infection, for eIF2α dephosphorylation and inhibition of cell RNA degradation. Inoculation of newborn piglets with rTGEV-Δ7 and rTGEV-wt viruses showed that rTGEV-Δ7 virus presented accelerated growth kinetics and pathology compared with the parental virus. Overall, the results indicated that gene 7 counteracted host cell defenses, and modified TGEV persistence increasing TGEV survival. Therefore, the acquisition of

  7. Various Enterotoxin and Other Virulence Factor Genes Widespread Among Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis Strains.

    PubMed

    Kim, Min-Ju; Han, Jae-Kwang; Park, Jong-Su; Lee, Jin-Sung; Lee, Soon-Ho; Cho, Joon-Il; Kim, Keun-Sung

    2015-06-01

    Many strains of Bacillus cereus cause gastrointestinal diseases, and the closely related insect pathogen Bacillus thuringiensis has also been involved in outbreaks of diarrhea. The diarrheal diseases are attributed to enterotoxins. Sixteen reference strains of B. cereus and nine commercial and 12 reference strains of B. thuringiensis were screened by PCR for the presence of 10 enterotoxigenic genes (hblA, hblC, hblD, nheA, nheB, nheC, cytK, bceT, entFM, and entS), one emetogenic gene (ces), seven hemolytic genes (hlyA, hlyII, hlyIII, plcA, cerA, cerB, and cerO), and a pleiotropic transcriptional activator gene (plcR). These genes encode various enterotoxins and other virulence factors thought to play a role in infections of mammals. Amplicons were successfully generated from the strains of B. cereus and B. thuringiensis for each of these sequences, except the ces gene. Intriguingly, the majority of these B. cereus enterotoxin genes and other virulence factor genes appeared to be widespread among B. thuringiensis strains as well as B. cereus strains.

  8. Polygalacturonase gene pgxB in Aspergillus niger is a virulence factor in apple fruit

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ying; Yang, Feng; Li, Yan-Hong; Liu, He-Ping; Chen, Xiao-Yan

    2017-01-01

    Aspergillus niger, a saprophytic fungus, is widely distributed in soil, air and cereals, and can cause postharvest diseases in fruit. Polygalacturonase (PG) is one of the main enzymes in fungal pathogens to degrade plant cell wall. To evaluate whether the deletion of an exo-polygalacturonase gene pgxB would influence fungal pathogenicity to fruit, pgxB gene was deleted in Aspergillus niger MA 70.15 (wild type) via homologous recombination. The ΔpgxB mutant showed similar growth behavior compared with the wild type. Pectin medium induced significant higher expression of all pectinase genes in both wild type and ΔpgxB in comparison to potato dextrose agar medium. However, the ΔpgxB mutant was less virulent on apple fruits as the necrosis diameter caused by ΔpgxB mutant was significantly smaller than that of wild type. Results of quantitive-PCR showed that, in the process of infection in apple fruit, gene expressions of polygalacturonase genes pgaI, pgaII, pgaA, pgaC, pgaD and pgaE were enhanced in ΔpgxB mutant in comparison to wild type. These results prove that, despite the increased gene expression of other polygalacturonase genes in ΔpgxB mutant, the lack of pgxB gene significantly reduced the virulence of A. niger on apple fruit, suggesting that pgxB plays an important role in the infection process on the apple fruit. PMID:28257463

  9. Bistable Expression of Virulence Genes in Salmonella Leads to the Formation of an Antibiotic-Tolerant Subpopulation

    PubMed Central

    Arnoldini, Markus; Vizcarra, Ima Avalos; Peña-Miller, Rafael; Stocker, Nicolas; Diard, Médéric; Vogel, Viola; Beardmore, Robert E.; Hardt, Wolf-Dietrich; Ackermann, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Phenotypic heterogeneity can confer clonal groups of organisms with new functionality. A paradigmatic example is the bistable expression of virulence genes in Salmonella typhimurium, which leads to phenotypically virulent and phenotypically avirulent subpopulations. The two subpopulations have been shown to divide labor during S. typhimurium infections. Here, we show that heterogeneous virulence gene expression in this organism also promotes survival against exposure to antibiotics through a bet-hedging mechanism. Using microfluidic devices in combination with fluorescence time-lapse microscopy and quantitative image analysis, we analyzed the expression of virulence genes at the single cell level and related it to survival when exposed to antibiotics. We found that, across different types of antibiotics and under concentrations that are clinically relevant, the subpopulation of bacterial cells that express virulence genes shows increased survival after exposure to antibiotics. Intriguingly, there is an interplay between the two consequences of phenotypic heterogeneity. The bet-hedging effect that arises through heterogeneity in virulence gene expression can protect clonal populations against avirulent mutants that exploit and subvert the division of labor within these populations. We conclude that bet-hedging and the division of labor can arise through variation in a single trait and interact with each other. This reveals a new degree of functional complexity of phenotypic heterogeneity. In addition, our results suggest a general principle of how pathogens can evade antibiotics: Expression of virulence factors often entails metabolic costs and the resulting growth retardation could generally increase tolerance against antibiotics and thus compromise treatment. PMID:25136970

  10. Nontuberculous mycobacterial osteomyelitis

    PubMed Central

    Bi, Sheng; Hu, Fei-Shu; Yu, Hai-Ying; Xu, Kai-Jin; Zheng, Bei-Wen; Ji, Zhong-Kang; Li, Jun-Jie; Deng, Mei; Hu, Hai-Yang; Sheng, Ji-Fang

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Osteomyelitis caused by nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) can have severe consequences and a poor prognosis. Physicians therefore need to be alert to this condition, especially in immunocompromised patients. Although the pathogenesis of NTM osteomyelitis is still unclear, studies in immunodeficient individuals have revealed close relationships between NTM osteomyelitis and defects associated with the interleukin-12–interferon-γ–tumor necrosis factor-α axis, as well as human immunodeficiency virus infection, various immunosuppressive conditions, and diabetes mellitus. Culture and species identification from tissue biopsies or surgical debridement tissue play crucial roles in diagnosing NTM osteomyelitis. Suitable imaging examinations are also important. Adequate surgical debridement and the choice of appropriate, combined antibiotics for long-term anti-mycobacterial chemotherapy, based on in vitro drug susceptibility tests, are the main therapies for these bone infections. Bacillus Calmette–Guerin vaccination might have limited prophylactic value. The use of multiple drugs and long duration of treatment mean that the therapeutic process needs to be monitored closely to detect potential side effects. Adequate duration of anti-mycobacterial chemotherapy together with regular monitoring with blood and imaging tests are key factors determining the recovery outcome in patients with NTM osteomyelitis. PMID:25915177

  11. Nontuberculous mycobacterial osteomyelitis.

    PubMed

    Bi, Sheng; Hu, Fei-Shu; Yu, Hai-Ying; Xu, Kai-Jin; Zheng, Bei-Wen; Ji, Zhong-Kang; Li, Jun-Jie; Deng, Mei; Hu, Hai-Yang; Sheng, Ji-Fang

    2015-01-01

    Osteomyelitis caused by nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) can have severe consequences and a poor prognosis. Physicians therefore need to be alert to this condition, especially in immunocompromised patients. Although the pathogenesis of NTM osteomyelitis is still unclear, studies in immunodeficient individuals have revealed close relationships between NTM osteomyelitis and defects associated with the interleukin-12-interferon-γ-tumor necrosis factor-α axis, as well as human immunodeficiency virus infection, various immunosuppressive conditions, and diabetes mellitus. Culture and species identification from tissue biopsies or surgical debridement tissue play crucial roles in diagnosing NTM osteomyelitis. Suitable imaging examinations are also important. Adequate surgical debridement and the choice of appropriate, combined antibiotics for long-term anti-mycobacterial chemotherapy, based on in vitro drug susceptibility tests, are the main therapies for these bone infections. Bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccination might have limited prophylactic value. The use of multiple drugs and long duration of treatment mean that the therapeutic process needs to be monitored closely to detect potential side effects. Adequate duration of anti-mycobacterial chemotherapy together with regular monitoring with blood and imaging tests are key factors determining the recovery outcome in patients with NTM osteomyelitis.

  12. Intracellular and Interstitial Expression of Helicobacter pylori Virulence Genes in Gastric Precancerous Intestinal Metaplasia and Adenocarcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Semino-Mora, Cristina; Doi, Sonia Q.; Marty, Aileen; Simko, Vlado; Carlstedt, Ingemar; Dubois, Andre

    2008-01-01

    Gastric intestinal metaplasia (IM) and gastric cancer are associated with Helicobacter pylori, but the bacterium often is undetectable in these lesions. To unravel this apparent paradox, IM, H. pylori presence, and the expression of H. pylori virulence genes were quantified concurrently using histologic testing, in situ hybridization, and immunohistochemistry. H. pylori was detected inside metaplastic, dysplastic, and neoplastic epithelial cells, and cagA and babA2 expression was colocalized. Importantly, expression of cagA was significantly higher in patients with IM and adenocarcinoma than in control subjects. The preneoplastic “acidic” MUC2 mucin was detected only in the presence of H. pylori, and MUC2 expression was higher in patients with IM, dysplasia, and cancer. These novel findings are compatible with the hypothesis that all stages of gastric carcinogenesis are fostered by persistent intracellular expression of H. pylori virulence genes, especially cagA inside MUC2-producing precancerous gastric cells and pleomorphic cancer cells. PMID:12695995

  13. Expression of Streptococcus pneumoniae Virulence-Related Genes in the Nasopharynx of Healthy Children.

    PubMed

    Sakai, Fuminori; Talekar, Sharmila J; Lanata, Claudio F; Grijalva, Carlos G; Klugman, Keith P; Vidal, Jorge E

    2013-01-01

    Colonization and persistence in the human nasopharynx are prerequisites for Streptococcus pneumoniae disease and carriage acquisition, which normally occurs during early childhood. Animal models and in vitro studies (i.e. cell adhesion and cell cytotoxicity assays) have revealed a number of colonization and virulence factors, as well as regulators, implicated in nasopharyngeal colonization and pathogenesis. Expression of genes encoding these factors has never been studied in the human nasopharynx. Therefore, this study analyzed expression of S. pneumoniae virulence-related genes in human nasopharyngeal samples. Our experiments first demonstrate that a density of ≥10(4) CFU/ml of S. pneumoniae cells in the nasopharynx provides enough DNA and RNA to amplify the lytA gene by conventional PCR and to detect the lytA message, respectively. A panel of 21 primers that amplified S. pneumoniae sequences was designed, and their specificity for S. pneumoniae sequences was analyzed in silico and validated against 20 related strains inhabitants of the human upper respiratory tract. These primers were utilized in molecular reactions to find out that all samples contained the genes ply, pavA, lytC, lytA, comD, codY, and mgrA, whereas nanA, nanB, pspA, and rrgB were present in ∼91-98% of the samples. Gene expression studies of these 11 targets revealed that lytC, lytA, pavA and comD were the most highly expressed pneumococcal genes in the nasopharynx whereas the rest showed a moderate to low level of expression. This is the first study to evaluate expression of virulence- and, colonization-related genes in the nasopharynx of healthy children and establishes the foundation for future gene expression studies during human pneumococcal disease.

  14. Diagnostic Strategy for Identifying Avian Pathogenic Escherichia coli Based on Four Patterns of Virulence Genes

    PubMed Central

    Schaeffer, Brigitte; Brée, Annie; Mora, Azucena; Dahbi, Ghizlane; Biet, François; Oswald, Eric; Mainil, Jacques; Blanco, Jorge; Moulin-Schouleur, Maryvonne

    2012-01-01

    In order to improve the identification of avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) strains, an extensive characterization of 1,491 E. coli isolates was conducted, based on serotyping, virulence genotyping, and experimental pathogenicity for chickens. The isolates originated from lesions of avian colibacillosis (n = 1,307) or from the intestines of healthy animals (n = 184) from France, Spain, and Belgium. A subset (460 isolates) of this collection was defined according to their virulence for chicks. Six serogroups (O1, O2, O5, O8, O18, and O78) accounted for 56.5% of the APEC isolates and 22.5% of the nonpathogenic isolates. Thirteen virulence genes were more frequently present in APEC isolates than in nonpathogenic isolates but, individually, none of them could allow the identification of an isolate as an APEC strain. In order to take into account the diversity of APEC strains, a statistical analysis based on a tree-modeling method was therefore conducted on the sample of 460 pathogenic and nonpathogenic isolates. This resulted in the identification of four different associations of virulence genes that enables the identification of 70.2% of the pathogenic strains. Pathogenic strains were identified with an error margin of 4.3%. The reliability of the link between these four virulence patterns and pathogenicity for chickens was validated on a sample of 395 E. coli isolates from the collection. The genotyping method described here allowed the identification of more APEC isolates with greater reliability than the classical serotyping methods currently used in veterinary laboratories. PMID:22378905

  15. Phosphorylation Events in the Multiple Gene Regulator of Group A Streptococcus Significantly Influence Global Gene Expression and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Sanson, Misu; Makthal, Nishanth; Gavagan, Maire; Cantu, Concepcion; Olsen, Randall J.; Musser, James M.

    2015-01-01

    Whole-genome sequencing analysis of ∼800 strains of group A Streptococcus (GAS) found that the gene encoding the multiple virulence gene regulator of GAS (mga) is highly polymorphic in serotype M59 strains but not in strains of other serotypes. To help understand the molecular mechanism of gene regulation by Mga and its contribution to GAS pathogenesis in serotype M59 GAS, we constructed an isogenic mga mutant strain. Transcriptome studies indicated a significant regulatory influence of Mga and altered metabolic capabilities conferred by Mga-regulated genes. We assessed the phosphorylation status of Mga in GAS cell lysates with Phos-tag gels. The results revealed that Mga is phosphorylated at histidines in vivo. Using phosphomimetic and nonphosphomimetic substitutions at conserved phosphoenolpyruvate:carbohydrate phosphotransferase regulation domain (PRD) histidines of Mga, we demonstrated that phosphorylation-mimicking aspartate replacements at H207 and H273 of PRD-1 and at H327 of PRD-2 are inhibitory to Mga-dependent gene expression. Conversely, non-phosphorylation-mimicking alanine substitutions at H273 and H327 relieved inhibition, and the mutant strains exhibited a wild-type phenotype. The opposing regulatory profiles observed for phosphorylation- and non-phosphorylation-mimicking substitutions at H273 extended to global gene regulation by Mga. Consistent with these observations, the H273D mutant strain attenuated GAS virulence, whereas the H273A strain exhibited a wild-type virulence phenotype in a mouse model of necrotizing fasciitis. Together, our results demonstrate phosphoregulation of Mga and its direct link to virulence in M59 GAS strains. These data also lay a foundation toward understanding how naturally occurring gain-of-function variations in mga, such as H201R, may confer an advantage to the pathogen and contribute to M59 GAS pathogenesis. PMID:25824840

  16. Association of Interferon-γ Receptor-1 Gene Polymorphism with Nontuberculous Mycobacterial Lung Infection among Iranian Patients with Pulmonary Disease.

    PubMed

    Farnia, Poopak; Ghanavi, Jalaledin; Saif, Shima; Farnia, Parissa; Velayati, Ali Akbar

    2017-07-01

    Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) cause significant pulmonary infections in humans. Researchers have reported an association between interferon-gamma receptor-1 (IFN-γR1 or IFNGR1) deficiency and susceptibility to NTM, but the relevance of polymorphism within these genes is not yet clear. In this study, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), T to C, at position-56 in NTM patients with pulmonary disease was investigated. Molecular identification of Mycobacterium isolates was performed with hsp65 genes using polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). Then, the host genomic DNA from confirmed NTM patients (N = 80) and control subjects (N = 80) were screened for SNPs of IFNGR1 (T-56C) by PCR-RFLP. The results indicated that NTM patients had higher TC (26/80; 32.5%) or CC (46/80; 57.5%) genotypes in comparison with control groups (TC genotypes [22/80, 27.5%]; CC genotypes [6/80, 7.5%]) (P < 0.05). In this regard, all the patients infected with rapid-growing Mycobacterium (RGM, i.e., Mycobacterium chelonae and Mycobacterium fortuitum) had CC genotypes (100%). In contrary, only 50.7% (35/69) of infected patients with slow-growing Mycobacterium (i.e., Mycobacterium simiae, Mycobacterium kansasii, and Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare) had CC genotypes. Thus, patients with CC mutation in IFNGR1 at position-56 are more likely to develop RGM infection. In overall, there is a significant association between SNP of IFNGR1 at position-56 and susceptibility to NTM infection. Based on these data, we propose SNP of IFNGR1 at position-56 as a suitable "biomarker" for identifying populations at higher risk of infection.

  17. Gene Deletion Strategy To Examine the Involvement of the Two Chondroitin Lyases in Flavobacterium columnare Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Li, Nan; Qin, Ting; Zhang, Xiao Lin; Huang, Bei; Liu, Zhi Xin; Xie, Hai Xia; Zhang, Jin; McBride, Mark J.

    2015-01-01

    Flavobacterium columnare is an important bacterial pathogen of freshwater fish that causes high mortality of infected fish and heavy economic losses in aquaculture. The pathogenesis of this bacterium is poorly understood, in part due to the lack of efficient methods for genetic manipulation. In this study, a gene deletion strategy was developed and used to determine the relationship between the production of chondroitin lyases and virulence. The F. johnsoniae ompA promoter (PompA) was fused to sacB to construct a counterselectable marker for F. columnare. F. columnare carrying PompA-sacB failed to grow on media containing 10% sucrose. A suicide vector carrying PompA-sacB was constructed, and a gene deletion strategy was developed. Using this approach, the chondroitin lyase-encoding genes, cslA and cslB, were deleted. The ΔcslA and ΔcslB mutants were both partially deficient in digestion of chondroitin sulfate A, whereas a double mutant (ΔcslA ΔcslB) was completely deficient in chondroitin lyase activity. Cells of F. columnare wild-type strain G4 and of the chondroitin lyase-deficient ΔcslA ΔcslB mutant exhibited similar levels of virulence toward grass carp in single-strain infections. Coinfections, however, revealed a competitive advantage for the wild type over the chondroitin lyase mutant. The results indicate that chondroitin lyases are not essential virulence factors of F. columnare but may contribute to the ability of the pathogen to compete and cause disease in natural infections. The gene deletion method developed in this study may be employed to investigate the virulence factors of this bacterium and may have wide application in many other members of the phylum Bacteroidetes. PMID:26253667

  18. Gene deletion strategy to examine the involvement of the two chondroitin lyases in Flavobacterium columnare virulence.

    PubMed

    Li, Nan; Qin, Ting; Zhang, Xiao Lin; Huang, Bei; Liu, Zhi Xin; Xie, Hai Xia; Zhang, Jin; McBride, Mark J; Nie, Pin

    2015-11-01

    Flavobacterium columnare is an important bacterial pathogen of freshwater fish that causes high mortality of infected fish and heavy economic losses in aquaculture. The pathogenesis of this bacterium is poorly understood, in part due to the lack of efficient methods for genetic manipulation. In this study, a gene deletion strategy was developed and used to determine the relationship between the production of chondroitin lyases and virulence. The F. johnsoniae ompA promoter (PompA) was fused to sacB to construct a counterselectable marker for F. columnare. F. columnare carrying PompA-sacB failed to grow on media containing 10% sucrose. A suicide vector carrying PompA-sacB was constructed, and a gene deletion strategy was developed. Using this approach, the chondroitin lyase-encoding genes, cslA and cslB, were deleted. The ΔcslA and ΔcslB mutants were both partially deficient in digestion of chondroitin sulfate A, whereas a double mutant (ΔcslA ΔcslB) was completely deficient in chondroitin lyase activity. Cells of F. columnare wild-type strain G4 and of the chondroitin lyase-deficient ΔcslA ΔcslB mutant exhibited similar levels of virulence toward grass carp in single-strain infections. Coinfections, however, revealed a competitive advantage for the wild type over the chondroitin lyase mutant. The results indicate that chondroitin lyases are not essential virulence factors of F. columnare but may contribute to the ability of the pathogen to compete and cause disease in natural infections. The gene deletion method developed in this study may be employed to investigate the virulence factors of this bacterium and may have wide application in many other members of the phylum Bacteroidetes.

  19. Dissection of the contributions of cyclophilin genes to development and virulence in a fungal insect pathogen.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yonghong; Keyhani, Nemat O; Zhang, Yongjun; Luo, Zhibing; Fan, Yanhua; Li, Yujie; Zhou, Qiaosheng; Chen, Jianjun; Pei, Yan

    2016-11-01

    Cyclophilins are ubiquitous proteins found in all domains of life, catalyzing peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerization (PPIase activity) and functioning in diverse cellular processes. The filamentous insect pathogenic fungus, Beauveria bassiana, contains 11 cyclophilin genes whose roles were probed via individual gene knockouts, construction of over-expression strains, and a simultaneous gene knockdown strategy using tandem SiRNA. Mutants were examined for effects on conidiation, hyphal growth, cyclosporine and stress resistance, and insect virulence. BbCypA was found to be the most highly expressed cyclophilin during growth and purified recombinant BbCypA displayed cyclosporine sensitive PPIase activity. Except for ΔBbCypA, targeted gene knockouts or overexpression of any cyclophilin resulted in temperature sensitivity (TS). Specific cyclophilin mutants showed impaired hyphal growth and differential effects on conidiation and cyclosporine resistance. Insect bioassays revealed decreased virulence for two cyclophilins (ΔBbCypE and ΔBbCyp6) and the simultaneous gene knockdown mutant constructs (SiRNA30). The BbSiRNA30 strains were unaffected in growth, conidiation, or under osmotic or cell wall perturbing stress, but did show increased resistance to cyclosporine and a TS phenotype. These results revealed common and unique roles for cyclophilins in B. bassiana and validate a method for examining the effects of multi-gene families via simultaneous gene knockdown. © 2016 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Speciation and frequency of virulence genes of Enterococcus spp. isolated from rainwater tank samples in Southeast Queensland, Australia.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, W; Sidhu, J P S; Toze, S

    2012-06-19

    In this study, 212 Enterococcus isolates from 23 rainwater tank samples in Southeast Queensland (SEQ), Australia were identified to the species level. The isolates were also tested for the presence of 6 virulence genes associated with Enterococcus related infections. Among the 23 rainwater tank samples, 20 (90%), 10 (44%), 7 (30%), 5 (22%), 4 (17%), 2 (9%), and 1 (4%) samples yielded E. faecalis, E. mundtii, E. casseliflavus, E. faecium, E. hirae, E. avium, and E. durans, respectively. Among the 6 virulence genes tested, gelE and efaA were most prevalent, detected in 19 (83%) and 18 (78%) of 23 rainwater tank samples, respectively. Virulence gene ace was also detected in 14 (61%) rainwater tank samples followed by AS, esp (E. faecalis variant), and cylA genes which were detected in 3 (13%), 2 (9%), and 1 (4%) samples, respectively. In all, 120 (57%) Enterococcus isolates from 20 rainwater tank samples harbored virulence genes. Among these tank water samples, Enterococcus spp. from 5 (25%) samples harbored a single virulence gene and 15 (75%) samples were harboring two or more virulence genes. The significance of these strains in terms of health implications remains to be assessed. The potential sources of these strains need to be identified for the improved management of captured rainwater quality. Finally, it is recommended that Enterococcus spp. should be used as an additional fecal indicator bacterium in conjunction with E. coli for the microbiological assessment of rainwater tanks.

  1. Characterization of antimicrobial resistance patterns and detection of virulence genes in Campylobacter isolates in Italy.

    PubMed

    Di Giannatale, Elisabetta; Di Serafino, Gabriella; Zilli, Katiuscia; Alessiani, Alessandra; Sacchini, Lorena; Garofolo, Giuliano; Aprea, Giuseppe; Marotta, Francesca

    2014-02-19

    Campylobacter has developed resistance to several antimicrobial agents over the years, including macrolides, quinolones and fluoroquinolones, becoming a significant public health hazard. A total of 145 strains derived from raw milk, chicken faeces, chicken carcasses, cattle faeces and human faeces collected from various Italian regions, were screened for antimicrobial susceptibility, molecular characterization (SmaI pulsed-field gel electrophoresis) and detection of virulence genes (sequencing and DNA microarray analysis). The prevalence of C. jejuni and C. coli was 62.75% and 37.24% respectively. Antimicrobial susceptibility revealed a high level of resistance for ciprofloxacin (62.76%), tetracycline (55.86%) and nalidixic acid (55.17%). Genotyping of Campylobacter isolates using PFGE revealed a total of 86 unique SmaI patterns. Virulence gene profiles were determined using a new microbial diagnostic microarray composed of 70-mer oligonucleotide probes targeting genes implicated in Campylobacter pathogenicity. Correspondence between PFGE and microarray clusters was observed. Comparisons of PFGE and virulence profiles reflected the high genetic diversity of the strains examined, leading us to speculate different degrees of pathogenicity inside Campylobacter populations.

  2. Expression of the Salmonella virulence plasmid gene spvB in cultured macrophages and nonphagocytic cells.

    PubMed Central

    Fierer, J; Eckmann, L; Fang, F; Pfeifer, C; Finlay, B B; Guiney, D

    1993-01-01

    Certain serotypes of salmonellae carry virulence plasmids that greatly enhance the pathogenicity of these bacteria in experimentally infected mice. This phenotype is largely attributable to the 8-kb spv regulon. However, spv genes are not expressed while bacteria grow in vitro. We now show that spvB, which is required for virulence, is expressed rapidly after Salmonella dublin is ingested by cultured J774 and murine peritoneal macrophages and that expression is not affected by the alkalinization of intracellular vesicles. The level of induction of spvB is reduced when macrophages are pretreated with gamma interferon. spvB is also expressed in human and canine epithelial cell lines and a human hepatoma cell line. In all cases, spvB expression is dependent on the spvR gene, just as it is in stationary-phase cultures in vitro. These data suggest that spv virulence genes are expressed by intracellular salmonellae in vivo in response to a signal that is common to the intracellular compartments of cells that are invaded by salmonellae. PMID:8225598

  3. Characterization of Antimicrobial Resistance Patterns and Detection of Virulence Genes in Campylobacter Isolates in Italy

    PubMed Central

    Di Giannatale, Elisabetta; Di Serafino, Gabriella; Zilli, Katiuscia; Alessiani, Alessandra; Sacchini, Lorena; Garofolo, Giuliano; Aprea, Giuseppe; Marotta, Francesca

    2014-01-01

    Campylobacter has developed resistance to several antimicrobial agents over the years, including macrolides, quinolones and fluoroquinolones, becoming a significant public health hazard. A total of 145 strains derived from raw milk, chicken faeces, chicken carcasses, cattle faeces and human faeces collected from various Italian regions, were screened for antimicrobial susceptibility, molecular characterization (SmaI pulsed-field gel electrophoresis) and detection of virulence genes (sequencing and DNA microarray analysis). The prevalence of C. jejuni and C. coli was 62.75% and 37.24% respectively. Antimicrobial susceptibility revealed a high level of resistance for ciprofloxacin (62.76%), tetracycline (55.86%) and nalidixic acid (55.17%). Genotyping of Campylobacter isolates using PFGE revealed a total of 86 unique SmaI patterns. Virulence gene profiles were determined using a new microbial diagnostic microarray composed of 70-mer oligonucleotide probes targeting genes implicated in Campylobacter pathogenicity. Correspondence between PFGE and microarray clusters was observed. Comparisons of PFGE and virulence profiles reflected the high genetic diversity of the strains examined, leading us to speculate different degrees of pathogenicity inside Campylobacter populations. PMID:24556669

  4. Growth of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis in human plasma: impacts on virulence and metabolic gene expression

    PubMed Central

    Rosso, Marie-Laure; Chauvaux, Sylvie; Dessein, Rodrigue; Laurans, Caroline; Frangeul, Lionel; Lacroix, Céline; Schiavo, Angèle; Dillies, Marie-Agnès; Foulon, Jeannine; Coppée, Jean-Yves; Médigue, Claudine; Carniel, Elisabeth; Simonet, Michel; Marceau, Michaël

    2008-01-01

    Background In man, infection by the Gram-negative enteropathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis is usually limited to the terminal ileum. However, in immunocompromised patients, the microorganism may disseminate from the digestive tract and thus cause a systemic infection with septicemia. Results To gain insight into the metabolic pathways and virulence factors expressed by the bacterium at the blood stage of pseudotuberculosis, we compared the overall gene transcription patterns (the transcriptome) of bacterial cells cultured in either human plasma or Luria-Bertani medium. The most marked plasma-triggered metabolic consequence in Y. pseudotuberculosis was the switch to high glucose consumption, which is reminiscent of the acetogenic pathway (known as "glucose overflow") in Escherichia coli. However, upregulation of the glyoxylate shunt enzymes suggests that (in contrast to E. coli) acetate may be further metabolized in Y. pseudotuberculosis. Our data also indicate that the bloodstream environment can regulate major virulence genes (positively or negatively); the yadA adhesin gene and most of the transcriptional units of the pYV-encoded type III secretion apparatus were found to be upregulated, whereas transcription of the pH6 antigen locus was strongly repressed. Conclusion Our results suggest that plasma growth of Y. pseudotuberculosis is responsible for major transcriptional regulatory events and prompts key metabolic reorientations within the bacterium, which may in turn have an impact on virulence. PMID:19055764

  5. Alternaria Toxins: Potential Virulence Factors and Genes Related to Pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Meena, Mukesh; Gupta, Sanjay K.; Swapnil, Prashant; Zehra, Andleeb; Dubey, Manish K.; Upadhyay, Ram S.

    2017-01-01

    Alternaria is an important fungus to study due to their different life style from saprophytes to endophytes and a very successful fungal pathogen that causes diseases to a number of economically important crops. Alternaria species have been well-characterized for the production of different host-specific toxins (HSTs) and non-host specific toxins (nHSTs) which depend upon their physiological and morphological stages. The pathogenicity of Alternaria species depends on host susceptibility or resistance as well as quantitative production of HSTs and nHSTs. These toxins are chemically low molecular weight secondary metabolites (SMs). The effects of toxins are mainly on different parts of cells like mitochondria, chloroplast, plasma membrane, Golgi complex, nucleus, etc. Alternaria species produce several nHSTs such as brefeldin A, tenuazonic acid, tentoxin, and zinniol. HSTs that act in very low concentrations affect only certain plant varieties or genotype and play a role in determining the host range of specificity of plant pathogens. The commonly known HSTs are AAL-, AK-, AM-, AF-, ACR-, and ACT-toxins which are named by their host specificity and these toxins are classified into different family groups. The HSTs are differentiated on the basis of bio-statistical and other molecular analyses. All these toxins have different mode of action, biochemical reactions and signaling mechanisms to cause diseases. Different species of Alternaria produced toxins which reveal its biochemical and genetic effects on itself as well as on its host cells tissues. The genes responsible for the production of HSTs are found on the conditionally dispensable chromosomes (CDCs) which have been well characterized. Different bio-statistical methods like basic local alignment search tool (BLAST) data analysis used for the annotation of gene prediction, pathogenicity-related genes may provide surprising knowledge in present and future. PMID:28848500

  6. 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.

  7. Role of mga in growth phase regulation of virulence genes of the group A streptococcus.

    PubMed Central

    McIver, K S; Scott, J R

    1997-01-01

    To determine whether growth phase affects the expression of mga and other virulence-associated genes in the group A streptococcus (GAS), total RNA was isolated from the serotype M6 GAS strain JRS4 at different phases of growth and transcript levels were quantitated by hybridization with radiolabeled DNA probes. Expression of mga (which encodes a multiple gene regulator) and the Mga-regulated genes emm (which encodes M protein) and scpA (which encodes a complement C5a peptidase) was found to be maximal in exponential phase and shut off as the bacteria entered stationary phase, while the housekeeping genes recA and rpsL showed constant transcript levels over the same period of growth. Expression of mga from a foreign phage promoter in a mga-deleted GAS strain (JRS519) altered the wild-type growth phase-dependent transcription profile seen for emm and scpA, as well as for mga. Therefore, the temporal control of mga expression requires its upstream promoter region, and the subsequent growth phase regulation of emm and scpA is Mga dependent. A number of putative virulence genes in JRS4 were shown not to require Mga for their expression, although several exhibited growth phase-dependent regulation that was similar to mga, i.e., slo (which encodes streptolysin O) and plr (encoding the plasmin receptor/glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase). Still others showed a markedly different pattern of expression (the genes for the superantigen toxins MF and SpeC). These results suggest the existence of complex levels of global regulation sensitive to growth phase that directly control the expression of virulence genes and mga in GAS. PMID:9260962

  8. Relationship of biofilm formation and different virulence genes in uropathogenic Escherichia coli isolates from Northwest Iran

    PubMed Central

    Fattahi, Sargol; Kafil, Hossein Samadi; Nahai, Mohammad Reza; Asgharzadeh, Mohammad; Nori, Roghaya; Aghazadeh, Mohammad

    2015-01-01

    Background and objectives: The Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacterium is one of the main causative agents of urinary tract infections (UTI) worldwide. The ability of this bacterium to form biofilms on medical devices such as catheters plays an important role in the development of UTI. The aim of the present study was to investigate the possible relationship between virulence factors and biofilm formation of E. coli isolates responsible for urinary tract infection. Materials and methods: A total of 100 E. coli isolates isolated from patients with UTI were collected and characterized by routine bacteriological methods. In vitro biofilm formation by these isolates was determined using the 96-well microtiter-plate test, and the presence of fimA, papC, and hly virulence genes was examined by PCR assay. Data analysis was performed using SPSS 16.0 software. Results: From 100 E. coli isolates isolated from UTIs, 92% were shown to be biofilm positive. The genes papC, fimA, and hly were detected in 43%, 94% and 26% of isolates, respectively. Biofilm formation in isolates that expressed papC, fimA, and hly genes was 100%, 93%, and 100%, respectively. A significant relationship was found between presence of the papC gene and biofilm formation in E. coli isolates isolated from UTI (P<0.01), but there was no statistically significant correlation between presence of fimA and hly genes with biofilm formation (P<0.072, P<0.104). Conclusion: Results showed that fimA and hly genes do not seem to be necessary or sufficient for the production of biofilm in E. coli, but the presence of papC correlates with increased biofilm formation of urinary tract isolates. Overall, the presence of fimA, papC, and hly virulence genes coincides with in vitro biofilm formation in uropathogenic E. coli isolates. PMID:26213679

  9. Genome-Wide Identification of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Virulence-Related Genes Using a Caenorhabditis elegans Infection Model

    PubMed Central

    Feinbaum, Rhonda L.; Urbach, Jonathan M.; Liberati, Nicole T.; Djonovic, Slavica; Adonizio, Allison; Carvunis, Anne-Ruxandra; Ausubel, Frederick M.

    2012-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PA14 is an opportunistic human pathogen capable of infecting a wide range of organisms including the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We used a non-redundant transposon mutant library consisting of 5,850 clones corresponding to 75% of the total and approximately 80% of the non-essential PA14 ORFs to carry out a genome-wide screen for attenuation of PA14 virulence in C. elegans. We defined a functionally diverse 180 mutant set (representing 170 unique genes) necessary for normal levels of virulence that included both known and novel virulence factors. Seven previously uncharacterized virulence genes (ABC transporters PchH and PchI, aminopeptidase PepP, ATPase/molecular chaperone ClpA, cold shock domain protein PA0456, putative enoyl-CoA hydratase/isomerase PA0745, and putative transcriptional regulator PA14_27700) were characterized with respect to pigment production and motility and all but one of these mutants exhibited pleiotropic defects in addition to their avirulent phenotype. We examined the collection of genes required for normal levels of PA14 virulence with respect to occurrence in P. aeruginosa strain-specific genomic regions, location on putative and known genomic islands, and phylogenetic distribution across prokaryotes. Genes predominantly contributing to virulence in C. elegans showed neither a bias for strain-specific regions of the P. aeruginosa genome nor for putatively horizontally transferred genomic islands. Instead, within the collection of virulence-related PA14 genes, there was an overrepresentation of genes with a broad phylogenetic distribution that also occur with high frequency in many prokaryotic clades, suggesting that in aggregate the genes required for PA14 virulence in C. elegans are biased towards evolutionarily conserved genes. PMID:22911607

  10. Quorum sensing and the regulation of virulence gene expression in pathogenic bacteria.

    PubMed

    Winzer, K; Williams, P

    2001-05-01

    For many pathogens, the outcome of the interaction between host and bacterium is strongly affected by the bacterial population size. Coupling the production of virulence factors with cell population density ensures that the mammalian host lacks sufficient time to mount an effective defence against consolidated attack. Such a strategy depends on the ability of an individual bacterial cell to sense other members of the same species and in response, differentially express specific sets of genes. Such cell-cell communication is called "quorum sensing" and involves the direct or indirect activation of a response regulator by a small diffusible signal molecule. A number of chemically distinct quorum-sensing signal molecules have been described including the N-acyl-L-homoserine lactones (AHLs) in Gram-negative bacteria and post-translationally modified peptides in Gram-positive bacteria. For example, the human pathogens Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus employ AHLs and peptides, respectively, to control the expression of multiple virulence genes in concert with cell population density. Apart from their role in signal transduction, certain quorum-sensing signal molecules, notably N-(3-oxododecanoyl)homoserine lactone, possess intrinsic pharmacological and immunomodulatory activities such that they may function as virulence determinants per se. While quorum-sensing signal molecules have been detected in tissues in experimental animal model and human infections, the mutation of genes involved in either quorum-sensing signal generation or signal transduction frequently results in the attenuation of virulence. Thus, interference with quorum sensing represents a promising strategy for the therapeutic or prophylactic control of infection.

  11. 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

  12. Role of feedback and network architecture in controlling virulence gene expression in Bordetella.

    PubMed

    Prajapat, Mahendra Kumar; Saini, Supreet

    2013-11-01

    Bordetella is a Gram-negative bacterium responsible for causing whooping cough in a broad range of host organisms. For successful infection, Bordetella controls expression of four distinct classes of genes (referred to as class 1, 2, 3, and 4 genes) at distinct times in the infection cycle. This control is executed by a single two-component system, BvgAS. Interestingly, the transmembrane component of the two-component system, BvgS, consists of three phospho-transfer domains leading to phosphorylation of the response regulator, BvgA. Phosphorylated BvgA then controls expression of virulence genes and also controls bvgAS transcription. In this work, we perform simulations to characterize the role of the network architecture in governing gene expression in Bordetella. Our results show that the wild-type network is locally optimal for controlling the timing of expression of the different classes of genes involved in infection. In addition, the interplay between environmental signals and positive feedback aids the bacterium identify precise conditions for and control expression of virulence genes.

  13. Identification of Genes Preferentially Expressed by Highly Virulent Piscine Streptococcus agalactiae upon Interaction with Macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Chang-Ming; Chen, Rong-Rong; Kalhoro, Dildar Hussain; Wang, Zhao-Fei; Liu, Guang-Jin; Lu, Cheng-Ping; Liu, Yong-Jie

    2014-01-01

    Streptococcus agalactiae, long recognized as a mammalian pathogen, is an emerging concern with regard to fish. In this study, we used a mouse model and in vitro cell infection to evaluate the pathogenetic characteristics of S. agalactiae GD201008-001, isolated from tilapia in China. This bacterium was found to be highly virulent and capable of inducing brain damage by migrating into the brain by crossing the blood–brain barrier (BBB). The phagocytosis assays indicated that this bacterium could be internalized by murine macrophages and survive intracellularly for more than 24 h, inducing injury to macrophages. Further, selective capture of transcribed sequences (SCOTS) was used to investigate microbial gene expression associated with intracellular survival. This positive cDNA selection technique identified 60 distinct genes that could be characterized into 6 functional categories. More than 50% of the differentially expressed genes were involved in metabolic adaptation. Some genes have previously been described as associated with virulence in other bacteria, and four showed no significant similarities to any other previously described genes. This study constitutes the first step in further gene expression analyses that will lead to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms used by S. agalactiae to survive in macrophages and to cross the BBB. PMID:24498419

  14. Prevalence of diarrheagenic Escherichia coli virulence genes in the feces of slaughtered cattle, chickens, and pigs in Burkina Faso

    PubMed Central

    Kagambèga, Assèta; Martikainen, Outi; Siitonen, Anja; Traoré, Alfred S; Barro, Nicolas; Haukka, Kaisa

    2012-01-01

    We investigated the prevalence of the virulence genes specific for five major pathogroups of diarrheagenic Escherichia coli (DEC) in primary cultures from feces of animals slaughtered for human consumption in Burkina Faso. For the study, 704 feces samples were collected from cattle (n = 304), chickens (n = 350), and pigs (n = 50) during carcass processing. The presence of the virulence-associated genes in the mixed bacterial cultures was assessed using 16-plex polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Virulence genes indicating presence of DEC were detected in 48% of the cattle, 48% of the chicken, and 68% of the pig feces samples. Virulence genes specific for different DECs were detected in the following percentages of the cattle, chicken, and pig feces samples: Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) in 37%, 6%, and 30%; enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) in 8%, 37%, and 32%; enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) in 4%, 5%, and 18%; and enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) in 7%, 6%, and 32%. Enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC) virulence genes were detected in 1% of chicken feces samples only. The study was the first of its kind in Burkina Faso and revealed the common occurrence of the diarrheal virulence genes in feces of food animals. This indicates that food animals are reservoirs of DEC that may contaminate meat because of the defective slaughter and storage conditions and pose a health risk to the consumers in Burkina Faso. PMID:23170227

  15. Comparison of virulence gene profiles of Escherichia coli isolates from sows with coliform mastitis and healthy sows.

    PubMed

    Gerjets, Imke; Traulsen, Imke; Reiners, Kerstin; Kemper, Nicole

    2011-09-28

    Coliform mastitis (CM) is not only a serious economical and animal welfare touching problem in dairy cattle, but also in sows after farrowing. Due to this disease, the essential adequate supply with colostrum for the growth and the health of the piglets is not ensured. Besides other influencing factors, Escherichia (E.) coli is of great importance as a causative agent of this multifactorial disease. In this study, E. coli isolates from milk samples of healthy and CM-affected sows were examined for the presence of virulence genes associated with extraintestinal E. coli strains, enterotoxigenic E. coli and other pathogenic E. coli. The isolated E. coli harbored mainly virulence genes of extraintestinal E. coli strains (especially fimC, ompA, traT, hra, kpsMTII, iroN). The virulence gene spectrum for both samples from CM-affected and healthy sows did not differ significantly. Particular virulence gene profiles of E. coli isolates from diseased sows were not detected. This study provides novel insights into the role of E. coli in association with mastitis in sows since it is the first time E. coli isolates from CM-affected sows' milk were analysed for virulence genes. Because there were no differences in the prevalence of E. coli and their virulence-associated genes between healthy and diseased sows, other causative factors seem to have greater influence on the pathogenesis of porcine CM. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Antibiotic resistance and virulence genes of extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli from tropical estuary, South India.

    PubMed

    Sukumaran, Divya; Mohamed Hatha, Abdulla A

    2015-05-18

    Escherichia coli strains can cause a variety of intestinal and extraintestinal diseases. Extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC) strains have the ability to cause severe extraintestinal infections. Multidrug resistance among ExPEC could complicate human infections. Escherichia coli strains were isolated during the period of January 2010 to December 2012 from five different stations set at Cochin estuary. Susceptibility testing was determined by the disk-diffusion method using nine different antimicrobial agents. A total of 155 strains of Escherichia coli were screened for the presence of virulence factor genes including papAH, papC, sfa/focDE, iutA,and kpsMT II associated with ExPEC. Among the 155 E. coli isolates, 26 (16.77%), carried two or more virulence genes typical of ExPEC. Furthermore, 19.23% of the ExPEC isolates with multidrug resistance were identified to belong to phylogenetic groups B2 and D. Statistically significant association of iutA gene in ExPEC was found with papC (p < 0.001) and kpsMT II (p < 0.001) genes. ExPEC isolates were mainly resistant to ampicillin (23.07%), tetracycline (19.23%), co-trimoxazole (15.38%), and cefotaxime (15.38%). The adhesion genes papAH and sfa/focDE were positively associated with resistance to gentamicin, chloramphenicol, and cefotaxime (p < 0.05). Co-occurrence of virulence factor genes with antibiotic resistance among ExPEC poses considerable threat to those who use this aquatic system for a living and for recreation.

  17. Prevalence of ten putative virulence genes in the emerging foodborne pathogen Arcobacter isolated from food products.

    PubMed

    Girbau, Cecilia; Guerra, Cristian; Martínez-Malaxetxebarria, Irati; Alonso, Rodrigo; Fernández-Astorga, Aurora

    2015-12-01

    Arcobacter spp. are considered to be emerging food- and waterborne pathogens for both humans and animals. However, their virulence mechanisms are still poorly understood. In this study the presence of ten virulence genes (cadF, ciaB, cj1349, hecA, hecB, mviN, pldA, irgA, tlyA and iroE) was assessed in a set of 47 strains of Arcobacter butzleri, 10 of Arcobacter cryaerophilus and 1 Arcobacter skirrowii strain recovered from different food products (pork, chicken, beef, milk, clams and mussels). Overall, the genes cadF, ciaB, cj1349, mviN, pldA and tlyA were detected in all A. butzleri and A. skirrowii strains. Lower detection rates were observed for irgA, iroE, hecA and hecB. The genes hecB and iroE were detected neither in A. cryaerophilus nor in A. skirrowii. The genes hecA and irgA were not detected in A. skirrowii. It was noteworthy that the genes hecA and hecB were significantly (P < 0.05) highly detected in A. butzleri strains isolated from clams compared with strains isolated from milk and chicken. Therefore, our findings underline clams as a source of A. butzleri strains with high prevalence of putative virulence genes. This could be hazardous to human health, especially because these bivalves are usually consumed raw or undercooked.

  18. Reduced Set of Virulence Genes Allows High Accuracy Prediction of Bacterial Pathogenicity in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Iraola, Gregorio; Vazquez, Gustavo; Spangenberg, Lucía; Naya, Hugo

    2012-01-01

    Although there have been great advances in understanding bacterial pathogenesis, there is still a lack of integrative information about what makes a bacterium a human pathogen. The advent of high-throughput sequencing technologies has dramatically increased the amount of completed bacterial genomes, for both known human pathogenic and non-pathogenic strains; this information is now available to investigate genetic features that determine pathogenic phenotypes in bacteria. In this work we determined presence/absence patterns of different virulence-related genes among more than finished bacterial genomes from both human pathogenic and non-pathogenic strains, belonging to different taxonomic groups (i.e: Actinobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Firmicutes, etc.). An accuracy of 95% using a cross-fold validation scheme with in-fold feature selection is obtained when classifying human pathogens and non-pathogens. A reduced subset of highly informative genes () is presented and applied to an external validation set. The statistical model was implemented in the BacFier v1.0 software (freely available at ), that displays not only the prediction (pathogen/non-pathogen) and an associated probability for pathogenicity, but also the presence/absence vector for the analyzed genes, so it is possible to decipher the subset of virulence genes responsible for the classification on the analyzed genome. Furthermore, we discuss the biological relevance for bacterial pathogenesis of the core set of genes, corresponding to eight functional categories, all with evident and documented association with the phenotypes of interest. Also, we analyze which functional categories of virulence genes were more distinctive for pathogenicity in each taxonomic group, which seems to be a completely new kind of information and could lead to important evolutionary conclusions. PMID:22916122

  19. Human Serum Promotes Candida albicans Biofilm Growth and Virulence Gene Expression on Silicone Biomaterial

    PubMed Central

    Samaranayake, Yuthika Hemamala; Cheung, Becky P. K.; Yau, Joyce Y. Y.; Yeung, Shadow K. W.; Samaranayake, Lakshman P.

    2013-01-01

    Objectives Systemic candidal infections are a common problem in hospitalized patients due to central venous catheters fabricated using silicone biomaterial (SB). We therefore evaluated the effect of human serum on C. albicans biofilm morphology, growth, and the expression of virulence-related genes on SB in vitro. Methods We cultivated C. albicans SC5314 (wild-type strain, WT) and its derivative HLC54 (hyphal mutant, HM) for 48 h in various conditions, including the presence or absence of SB discs, and human serum. The growth of planktonic and biofilm cells of both strains was monitored at three time points by a tetrazolium salt reduction assay and by scanning electron microscopy. We also analyzed by RT-PCR its expression of the virulence-related genes ALS3, HWP1, EAP1, ECE1, SAP1 - SAP10, PLB1, PLB2, PLC and PLD. Results At each time point, planktonic cells of WT strain cultured in yeast nitrogen base displayed a much higher expression of EAP1 and HWP1, and a moderately higher ALS3 expression, than HM cells. In planktonic cells, expression of the ten SAP genes was higher in the WT strain initially, but were highly expressed in the HM strain by 48 h. Biofilm growth of both strains on SB was promoted in the presence of human serum than in its absence. Significant upregulation of ALS3, HWP1, EAP1, ECE1, SAP1, SAP4, SAP6 - SAP10, PLB1, PLB2 and PLC was observed for WT biofilms grown on serum-treated SB discs for at least one time point, compared with biofilms on serum-free SB discs. Conclusions Human serum stimulates C. albicans biofilm growth on SB discs and upregulates the expression of virulence genes, particularly adhesion genes ALS3 and HWP1, and hydrolase-encoding genes SAP, PLB1 and PLB2. This response is likely to promote the colonization of this versatile pathogen within the human host. PMID:23704884

  20. [Investigation of the virulence genes in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from biomaterial surfaces].

    PubMed

    Sudağidan, Mert; Cavuşoğlu, Cengiz; Bacakoğlu, Feza

    2008-01-01

    Staphylococci are the most important agents of nosocomial infections originating from biomaterials. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of virulence genes and their phenotypic expressions in 11 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from the surfaces of clinically used biomaterials of 48 thorasic intensive-care unit patients. By the use of specific primers, the presence of genes encoding the attachment and biofilm production (icaA, icaC, bap), methicillin resistance (mecA), enterotoxins A-E (sea, seb, sec, sed, see), toxic shock syndrome toxin (tst), exfoliative toxins A and B (eta and etb), alpha- and beta-hemolysins (hla and hlb), staphylococcal exotoxin-like protein-1 (set1), proteases (sspA, sspB, aur, serine proteaz gene), lipase (geh) and the regulatory genes (sarA and agrCA) were investigated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The phenotypic properties of the isolates such as biofilm formation, antibiotic susceptibility, extracellular protease and lipase production were also evaluated. None of the isolates were found to be biofilm and/or slime producers, however, all strains were found to have icaA gene which is responsible for biofilm formation. Nevertheless the presence of icaC and bap genes that are also responsible for biofilm formation were not detected. All the strains have had mecA gene and were resistant to oxacillin, penicilin G and gentamicin, while 10 were also resistant to erythromycin and nine were also resistant to ofloxacin. The isolates were susceptible to vancomycin, teicoplanin and co-trimoxazole. Screening of toxin and regulatory genes revealed that all the strains harboured sea, set1, hla, hlb and sarA genes. The phenotypic tests for the determination of extracellular protease production revealed that all the strains formed very weak zones on skim milk and milk agar plates, and yielded negative results on casein agar plates. Furthermore, all strains were found to harbour sspA, sspB, aur and serine

  1. Drug Targets in Mycobacterial Sulfur Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Bhave, Devayani P.; Muse, Wilson B.; Carroll, Kate S.

    2011-01-01

    The identification of new antibacterial targets is urgently needed to address multidrug resistant and latent tuberculosis infection. Sulfur metabolic pathways are essential for survival and the expression of virulence in many pathogenic bacteria, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In addition, microbial sulfur metabolic pathways are largely absent in humans and therefore, represent unique targets for therapeutic intervention. In this review, we summarize our current understanding of the enzymes associated with the production of sulfated and reduced sulfur-containing metabolites in Mycobacteria. Small molecule inhibitors of these catalysts represent valuable chemical tools that can be used to investigate the role of sulfur metabolism throughout the Mycobacterial lifecycle and may also represent new leads for drug development. In this light, we also summarize recent progress in the development of inhibitors of sulfur metabolism enzymes. PMID:17970225

  2. Comparison of livestock-associated and health care-associated MRSA-genes, virulence, and resistance.

    PubMed

    Mutters, Nico T; Bieber, Christian P; Hauck, Catherine; Reiner, Gerald; Malek, Veronika; Frank, Uwe

    2016-12-01

    Livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) may colonize and infect humans with close contact to pigs. We compared phenotypic and genotypic differences in resistance and virulence of LA-MRSA isolates from farms and farmers with hospital-acquired methicillin-resistant S. aureus (HA-MRSA) and assessed carriage rates. Samples from pigs (n=330), occupationally exposed personnel (n=63), the farm environment (n=134), and hospital patients (n=220) were obtained. Approximately 50% (166/330) of pigs were MRSA positive. All LA-MRSA were resistant to tetracycline, compared to only 8% of HA-MRSA (P<0.001). In contrast, HA-MRSA isolates showed significantly higher resistance rates to quinolones (81% versus 7%; P<0.001). All strains isolated from occupationally exposed personnel (61.9%; 39/63) belonged to CC398. HA-MRSA isolates were diversely distributed, with predominance of CC5 (62.7%). Human strains carried significantly more virulence genes than porcine strains, especially exotoxins (P<0.001) and immune-evasion cluster genes (P<0.001). There were significant differences in resistance patterns and recognized genotypic virulence loci between LA-MRSA and HA-MRSA. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. A trans-acting leader RNA from a Salmonella virulence gene.

    PubMed

    Choi, Eunna; Han, Yoontak; Cho, Yong-Joon; Nam, Daesil; Lee, Eun-Jin

    2017-09-05

    Bacteria use flagella to move toward nutrients, find its host, or retract from toxic substances. Because bacterial flagellum is one of the ligands that activate the host innate immune system, its synthesis should be tightly regulated during host infection, which is largely unknown. Here, we report that a bacterial leader mRNA from the mgtCBR virulence operon in the intracellular pathogen Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium binds to the fljB coding region of mRNAs in the fljBA operon encoding the FljB phase 2 flagellin, a main component of bacterial flagella and the FljA repressor for the FliC phase 1 flagellin, and degrades fljBA mRNAs in an RNase E-dependent fashion during infection. A nucleotide substitution of the fljB flagellin gene that prevents the mgtC leader RNA-mediated down-regulation increases the fljB-encoded flagellin synthesis, leading to a hypermotile phenotype inside macrophages. Moreover, the fljB nucleotide substitution renders Salmonella hypervirulent, indicating that FljB-based motility must be compromised in the phagosomal compartment where Salmonella resides. This suggests that this pathogen promotes pathogenicity by producing a virulence protein and limits locomotion by a trans-acting leader RNA from the same virulence gene during infection.

  4. Virulence Genes in Expanded-Spectrum-Cephalosporin-Resistant and -Susceptible Escherichia coli Isolates from Treated and Untreated Chickens.

    PubMed

    Baron, S; Delannoy, S; Bougeard, S; Larvor, E; Jouy, E; Balan, O; Fach, P; Kempf, I

    2015-12-14

    This study investigated antimicrobial resistance, screened for the presence of virulence genes involved in intestinal infections, and determined phylogenetic groups of Escherichia coli isolates from untreated poultry and poultry treated with ceftiofur, an expanded-spectrum cephalosporin. Results show that none of the 76 isolates appeared to be Shiga toxin-producing E. coli or enteropathogenic E. coli. All isolates were negative for the major virulence factors/toxins tested (ehxA, cdt, heat-stable enterotoxin [ST], and heat-labile enterotoxin [LT]). The few virulence genes harbored in isolates generally did not correlate with isolate antimicrobial resistance or treatment status. However, some of the virulence genes were significantly associated with certain phylogenetic groups.

  5. Virulence gene regulation by CvfA, a putative RNase: the CvfA-enolase complex in Streptococcus pyogenes links nutritional stress, growth-phase control, and virulence gene expression.

    PubMed

    Kang, Song Ok; Caparon, Michael G; Cho, Kyu Hong

    2010-06-01

    Streptococcus pyogenes, a multiple-auxotrophic human pathogen, regulates virulence gene expression according to nutritional availability during various stages in the infection process or in different infection sites. We discovered that CvfA influenced the expression of virulence genes according to growth phase and nutritional status. The influence of CvfA in C medium, rich in peptides and poor in carbohydrates, was most pronounced at the stationary phase. Under these conditions, up to 30% of the transcriptome exhibited altered expression; the levels of expression of multiple virulence genes were altered, including the genes encoding streptokinase, CAMP factor, streptolysin O, M protein (more abundant in the CvfA(-) mutant), SpeB, mitogenic factor, and streptolysin S (less abundant). The increase of carbohydrates or peptides in media restored the levels of expression of the virulence genes in the CvfA(-) mutant to wild-type levels (emm, ska, and cfa by carbohydrates; speB by peptides). Even though the regulation of gene expression dependent on nutritional stress is commonly linked to the stringent response, the levels of ppGpp were not altered by deletion of cvfA. Instead, CvfA interacted with enolase, implying that CvfA, a putative RNase, controls the transcript decay rates of virulence factors or their regulators according to nutritional status. The virulence of CvfA(-) mutants was highly attenuated in murine models, indicating that CvfA-mediated gene regulation is necessary for the pathogenesis of S. pyogenes. Taken together, the CvfA-enolase complex in S. pyogenes is involved in the regulation of virulence gene expression by controlling RNA degradation according to nutritional stress.

  6. Virulence genes of Helicobacter pylori in the Dominican Republic

    PubMed Central

    Shiota, Seiji; Cruz, Modesto; Abreu, José A. Jiménez; Mitsui, Takahiro; Terao, Hideo; Disla, Mildre; Iwatani, Shun; Nagashima, Hiroyuki; Matsuda, Miyuki; Uchida, Tomohisa; Tronilo, Lourdes; Rodríguez, Eduardo

    2014-01-01

    Although the incidence of gastric cancer in the Dominican Republic is not high, the disease remains a significant health problem. We first conducted a detailed analysis of Helicobacter pylori status in the Dominican Republic. In total, 158 patients (103 females and 55 males; mean age 47.1±16.2 years) were recruited. The status of H. pylori infection was determined based on four tests: rapid urease test, culture test, histological test and immunohistochemistry. The status of cagA and vacA genotypes in H. pylori was examined using PCR and gene sequencing. The overall prevalence of H. pylori infection was 58.9 %. No relationship was found between the H. pylori infection rate and the age range of 17–91 years. Even in the youngest group (patients aged <29 years), the H. pylori infection rate was 62.5 %. Peptic ulcer was found in 23 patients and gastric cancer was found in one patient. The H. pylori infection rate in patients with peptic ulcer was significantly higher than that in patients with gastritis (82.6 versus 54.5 %, P<0.01). The cagA-positive/vacA s1m1 genotype was the most prevalent (43/64, 67.2 %). Compared with H. pylori-negative patients, H. pylori-positive patients showed more severe gastritis. Furthermore, the presence of cagA was related to the presence of more severe gastritis. All CagA-positive strains had Western-type CagA. In conclusion, we found that H. pylori infection is a risk factor for peptic ulcer in the Dominican Republic. Patients with cagA-positive H. pylori could be at higher risk for severe inflammation and atrophy. PMID:24965801

  7. Virulence genes of Helicobacter pylori in the Dominican Republic.

    PubMed

    Shiota, Seiji; Cruz, Modesto; Abreu, José A Jiménez; Mitsui, Takahiro; Terao, Hideo; Disla, Mildre; Iwatani, Shun; Nagashima, Hiroyuki; Matsuda, Miyuki; Uchida, Tomohisa; Tronilo, Lourdes; Rodríguez, Eduardo; Yamaoka, Yoshio

    2014-09-01

    Although the incidence of gastric cancer in the Dominican Republic is not high, the disease remains a significant health problem. We first conducted a detailed analysis of Helicobacter pylori status in the Dominican Republic. In total, 158 patients (103 females and 55 males; mean age 47.1±16.2 years) were recruited. The status of H. pylori infection was determined based on four tests: rapid urease test, culture test, histological test and immunohistochemistry. The status of cagA and vacA genotypes in H. pylori was examined using PCR and gene sequencing. The overall prevalence of H. pylori infection was 58.9 %. No relationship was found between the H. pylori infection rate and the age range of 17-91 years. Even in the youngest group (patients aged <29 years), the H. pylori infection rate was 62.5 %. Peptic ulcer was found in 23 patients and gastric cancer was found in one patient. The H. pylori infection rate in patients with peptic ulcer was significantly higher than that in patients with gastritis (82.6 versus 54.5 %, P<0.01). The cagA-positive/vacA s1m1 genotype was the most prevalent (43/64, 67.2 %). Compared with H. pylori-negative patients, H. pylori-positive patients showed more severe gastritis. Furthermore, the presence of cagA was related to the presence of more severe gastritis. All CagA-positive strains had Western-type CagA. In conclusion, we found that H. pylori infection is a risk factor for peptic ulcer in the Dominican Republic. Patients with cagA-positive H. pylori could be at higher risk for severe inflammation and atrophy. © 2014 The Authors.

  8. Metabolomics: Applications and Promise in Mycobacterial Disease

    PubMed Central

    Banoei, Mohammad Mehdi; Winston, Brent W.; Schraufnagel, Dean E.

    2015-01-01

    Until recently, the study of mycobacterial diseases was trapped in culture-based technology that is more than a century old. The use of nucleic acid amplification is changing this, and powerful new technologies are on the horizon. Metabolomics, which is the study of sets of metabolites of both the bacteria and host, is being used to clarify mechanisms of disease, and can identify changes leading to better diagnosis, treatment, and prognostication of mycobacterial diseases. Metabolomic profiles are arrays of biochemical products of genes in their environment. These complex patterns are biomarkers that can allow a more complete understanding of cell function, dysfunction, and perturbation than genomics or proteomics. Metabolomics could herald sweeping advances in personalized medicine and clinical trial design, but the challenges in metabolomics are also great. Measured metabolite concentrations vary with the timing within a condition, the intrinsic biology, the instruments, and the sample preparation. Metabolism profoundly changes with age, sex, variations in gut microbial flora, and lifestyle. Validation of biomarkers is complicated by measurement accuracy, selectivity, linearity, reproducibility, robustness, and limits of detection. The statistical challenges include analysis, interpretation, and description of the vast amount of data generated. Despite these drawbacks, metabolomics provides great opportunity and the potential to understand and manage mycobacterial diseases. PMID:26196272

  9. Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli from humans and animals differ in major phenotypical traits and virulence genes.

    PubMed

    Uber, Ana Paula; Trabulsi, Luiz R; Irino, Kinue; Beutin, Lothar; Ghilardi, Angela C R; Gomes, Tânia A T; Liberatore, Ana Maria A; de Castro, Antônio F P; Elias, Waldir P

    2006-03-01

    Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) is characterized by the expression of the aggregative adherence pattern to cultured epithelial cells. In this study, we determined the phenotypic and genotypic relationships among 86 EAEC strains of human and animal (calves, piglets and horses) feces. Serotypes and the presence of EAEC virulence markers were determined, and these results were associated with ribotyping. Strains harboring aggR (typical EAEC) of human origin were found carrying several of the searched markers, while atypical EAEC harbored none or a few markers. The strains of animal origin were classified as atypical EAEC (strains lacking aggR) and harbored only irp2 or shf. Strains from humans and animals belonged to several different serotypes, although none of them prevailed. Sixteen ribotypes were determined, and there was no association with virulence genes profiles or serotypes. Relationship was not found among the strains of this study, and the assessed animals may not represent a reservoir of human pathogenic typical EAEC.

  10. Virulence Gene Profiles of Multidrug-Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa Isolated From Iranian Hospital Infections

    PubMed Central

    Fazeli, Nastaran; Momtaz, Hassan

    2014-01-01

    Background: The most common hospital-acquired pathogen is Pseudomonas aeruginosa. It is a multidrug resistant bacterium causing systemic infections. Objectives: The present study was carried out in order to investigate the distribution of virulence factors and antibiotic resistance properties of Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolated from various types of hospital infections in Iran. Patients and Methods: Two-hundred and seventeen human infection specimens were collected from Baqiyatallah and Payambaran hospitals in Tehran, Iran. The clinical samples were cultured immediately and samples positive for P. aeruginosa were analyzed for the presence of antibiotic resistance and bacterial virulence genes using PCR (polymerase chain reaction). Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed using disk diffusion methodology with Müeller–Hinton agar. Results: Fifty-eight out of 127 (45.66%) male infection specimens and 44 out of 90 (48.88%) female infection specimens harbored P. aeruginosa. Also, 65% (in male specimens) and 21% (in female specimens) of respiratory system infections were positive for P. aeruginosa, which was a high rate. The genes encoding exoenzyme S (67.64%) and phospholipases C (45.09%) were the most common virulence genes found among the strains. The incidences of various β-lactams encoding genes, including blaTEM, blaSHV, blaOXA, blaCTX-M, blaDHA, and blaVEB were 94.11%, 16.66%, 15.68%, 18.62%, 21.56%, and 17.64%, respectively. The most commonly detected fluoroquinolones encoding gene was gyrA (15. 68%). High resistance levels to penicillin (100%), tetracycline (90.19%), streptomycin (64.70%), and erythromycin (43.13%) were observed too. Conclusions: Our findings should raise awareness about antibiotic resistance in hospitalized patients in Iran. Clinicians should exercise caution in prescribing antibiotics, especially in cases of human infections. PMID:25763199

  11. Comparison of phenotypic and virulence genes characteristics in human and chicken isolates of Proteus mirabilis

    PubMed Central

    Barbour, Elie K; Hajj, Zahi G; Hamadeh, Shadi; Shaib, Houssam A; Farran, Mohamad T; Araj, George; Faroon, Obaid; Barbour, Kamil E; Jirjis, Faris; Azhar, Esam; Kumosani, Taha; Harakeh, Steve

    2012-01-01

    The objective of this work is to compare the phenotypic and virulence genes characteristics in human and chicken isolates of Proteus mirabilis. The bacterial examination of 50 livers of individual broilers, marketed by four major outlets, revealed a high recovery of P. mirabilis (66%), and a low recovery frequency of Salmonella spp. (4%), Serratia odorifera (2%), Citrobacter brakii (2%), and Providencia stuartii (2%). The phenotypic biochemical characterization of the recovered 33 chicken isolates of P. mirabilis were compared to 30 human isolates (23 urinary and six respiratory isolates). The comparison revealed significant differences in the presence of gelatinase enzyme (100% presence in chicken isolates versus 91.3 and 83.3% presence in human urinary and respiratory isolates, respectively, P<0.05). The H2S production occurred in 100% of chicken isolates versus 95.6 and 66.7% presence in human urinary and respiratory isolates, respectively, P<0.05). The other 17 biochemical characteristics did not differ significantly among the three groups of isolates (P>0.05). Two virulence genes, the mrpA and FliL, were having a typical 100% presence in randomly selected isolates of P. mirabilis recovered from chicken livers (N = 10) versus isolates recovered from urinary (N = 5) and respiratory specimens of humans (N = 5) (P>0.05). The average percentage similarity of mrpA gene nucleotide sequence of poultry isolates to human urinary and respiratory isolates was 93.2 and 97.5-%, respectively. The high similarity in phenotypic characteristics, associated with typical frequency of presence of two virulence genes, and high similarity in sequences of mrpA gene among poultry versus human P. mirabilis isolates justifies future investigations targeting the evaluation of adaptable pathogenicity of avian Proteus mirabilis isolates to mammalian hosts. PMID:23182140

  12. Macrolide, glycopeptide resistance and virulence genes in Enterococcus species isolates from dairy cattle.

    PubMed

    Iweriebor, Benson C; Obi, Larry C; Okoh, Anthony I

    2016-07-01

    The genus Enterococcus is known to possess the capacity to acquire and disseminate antimicrobial resistant determinants alongside the ability to produce various virulence genes that enables it to establish infections. We assessed the prevalence and antibiogram profiles of Enterococcus spp. in faecal samples of dairy cattle. Faecal swab samples were collected from 400 dairy cattle from two commercial cattle farms in two rural communities in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Confirmation of enterococci isolates was carried out by PCR targeting of the tuf gene. Species delineation was by species-specific primers targeting the superoxide dismutase (sod A) gene in a multiplex PCR assay. Isolates were screened for the presence of the following virulence genes (ace, gel E, esp, efa A, cyl A and hyl E) and antimicrobial resistance determinants to erythromycin, vancomycin and streptomycin were evaluated molecularly. A total of 340 isolates were confirmed as belonging to the genus Enterococcus . Species distribution among the isolates consisted of Enterococcus faecium (52.94 %) and Enterococcus durans (23.53 %) in preponderance compared to the three other species, namely Enterococcus faecalis (8.8 %), Enterococcus hirae (8.6 %) and Enterococcus casseliflavus (5.9 %). All were resistant to vancomycin, while 99 % showed resistance to aminoglycoside and 94 % to macrolide. Three virulence genes (ace, gel E and esp) were detected in almost all the confirmed isolates. The resistance determinants van B (19.7 %), van C1 (25 %), van C2/3 (26.3 %) erm B (40.29 %) and str A (50.88 %) were detected among the isolates. A high prevalence of multidrug-resistant enterococci isolates was detected in this study and the genetic repertoire to survive in the presence of antimicrobial agents was present in these organisms.

  13. Comparison of phenotypic and virulence genes characteristics in human and chicken isolates of Proteus mirabilis.

    PubMed

    Barbour, Elie K; Hajj, Zahi G; Hamadeh, Shadi; Shaib, Houssam A; Farran, Mohamad T; Araj, George; Faroon, Obaid; Barbour, Kamil E; Jirjis, Faris; Azhar, Esam; Kumosani, Taha; Harakeh, Steve

    2012-10-01

    The objective of this work is to compare the phenotypic and virulence genes characteristics in human and chicken isolates of Proteus mirabilis. The bacterial examination of 50 livers of individual broilers, marketed by four major outlets, revealed a high recovery of P. mirabilis (66%), and a low recovery frequency of Salmonella spp. (4%), Serratia odorifera (2%), Citrobacter brakii (2%), and Providencia stuartii (2%). The phenotypic biochemical characterization of the recovered 33 chicken isolates of P. mirabilis were compared to 30 human isolates (23 urinary and six respiratory isolates). The comparison revealed significant differences in the presence of gelatinase enzyme (100% presence in chicken isolates versus 91.3 and 83.3% presence in human urinary and respiratory isolates, respectively, P,0.05). The H(2)S production occurred in 100% of chicken isolates versus 95.6 and 66.7% presence in human urinary and respiratory isolates, respectively, P,0.05). The other 17 biochemical characteristics did not differ significantly among the three groups of isolates (P.0.05). Two virulence genes, the mrpA and FliL, were having a typical 100% presence in randomly selected isolates of P. mirabilis recovered from chicken livers (N510) versus isolates recovered from urinary (N55) and respiratory specimens of humans (N55) (P.0.05). The average percentage similarity of mrpA gene nucleotide sequence of poultry isolates to human urinary and respiratory isolates was 93.2 and 97.5-%, respectively. The high similarity in phenotypic characteristics, associated with typical frequency of presence of two virulence genes, and high similarity in sequences of mrpA gene among poultry versus human P. mirabilis isolates justifies future investigations targeting the evaluation of adaptable pathogenicity of avian Proteus mirabilis isolates to mammalian hosts.

  14. Relationship between Helicobacter pylori Virulence Genes and Clinical Outcomes in Saudi Patients

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Helicobacter pylori has been strongly associated with gastritis, gastric and duodenal ulcers, and it is a risk factor for gastric cancer. Two major virulence factors of H. pylori have been described: the cytotoxin-associated gene product (cagA) and the vacuolating toxin (vacA). Since considerable geographic diversity in the prevalence of H. pylori virulence factors has been reported, the aim of this work was to determine if there is a significant correlation between different H. pylori virulence genes (cagA and vacA) in 68 patients, from Saudi Arabia, and gastric clinical outcomes. H. pylor was recognized in cultures of gastric biopsies. vacA and cagA genes were detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The cagA gene was obtained with 42 isolates (61.8%). The vacA s- and m- region genotypes were determined in all strains studied. Three genotypes were found: s1/m1 (28%), s1/m2 (40%) and s2/m2 (26%). The s2/m1 genotype was not found in this study. The relation of the presence of cagA and the development of cases to gastritis and ulcer was statistically significant (P < 0.05). The study showed a significant correlation between the vacA s1/m2 genotype and gastritis cases, and a significant correlation between vacA s1/m1 genotype and peptic ulcer cases. The results of this study might be used for the identification of high-risk patients who are infected by vacA s1/m1 genotype of H. pylori strains. In conclusion, H. pylori strains of vacA type s1 and the combination of s1/m1 were associated with peptic ulceration and the presence of cagA gene. PMID:22323867

  15. Phenotypic and genotypic analysis of pathogenic Escherichia coli virulence genes recovered from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

    PubMed

    Al-Arfaj, Abdullah A; Ali, Mohamed S; Hessain, Ashgan M; Zakri, Adel M; Dawoud, Turki M; Al-Maary, Khalid S; Moussa, Ihab M

    2016-11-01

    The current study was carried out to evaluate the phenotypic and genotypic characterization of avian pathogenic Escherichia coli recovered from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. During the period of 10th February-30th May 2015, 70 E. coli strains were isolated from chicken farms located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. All strains were tested phenotypically by standard microbiological techniques, serotyped and the virulence genes of such strains were detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Most of the recovered strains from chickens belonged to serotype O111:K58 25 strains (35.7%), followed by serotype O157:H7 13 strains (18.57%), followed by serotype O114:K90 10 strains (14.29%), then serotype O126:K71 9 strains (12.9%), serotype O78:K80 8 strains (11.43%) and in lower percentage serotype O114:K90 and O119:K69 5 strains (7.14%). The virulence genotyping of E. coli isolates recovered from broilers revealed the presence of the uidA gene in all the field isolates (6 serovars) examined in an incidence of 100%, as well as the cvaC gene was also present in all field isolates (6 serovars), while the iutA gene and the iss gene were detected in 5 out of 6 field serovars in an incidence of 81.43% and 64.29%, respectively. Phenotypical examination of the other virulence factors revealed that 65 isolates were hemolytic (92.9%), as well as 15 isolates (21.42%) were positive for enterotoxin production. Meanwhile, 21 isolates (30%) were positive for verotoxin production, 58 isolates (82.86%) for the invasiveness and 31 isolates (44.29%) for Congo red binding activities of the examined serotypes.

  16. 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.

  17. Mutation in fucose synthesis gene of Klebsiella pneumoniae affects capsule composition and virulence in mice.

    PubMed

    Pan, Po-Chang; Chen, Hui-Wen; Wu, Po-Kuan; Wu, Yu-Yang; Lin, Chun-Hung; Wu, June H

    2011-02-01

    The emerging pathogenicity of Klebsiella pneumoniae (KP) is evident by the increasing number of clinical cases of liver abscess (LA) due to KP infection. A unique property of KP is its thick mucoid capsule. The bacterial capsule has been found to contain fucose in KP strains causing LA but not in those causing urinary tract infections. The products of the gmd and wcaG genes are responsible for converting mannose to fucose in KP. A KP strain, KpL1, which is known to have a high death rate in infected mice, was mutated by inserting an apramycin-resistance gene into the gmd. The mutant expressed genes upstream and downstream of gmd, but not gmd itself, as determined by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. The DNA mapping confirmed the disruption of the gmd gene. This mutant decreased its ability to kill infected mice and showed decreased virulence in infected HepG2 cells. Compared with wild-type KpL1, the gmd mutant lost fucose in capsular polysaccharides, increased biofilm formation and interacted more readily with macrophages. The mutant displayed morphological changes with long filament forms and less uniform sizes. The mutation also converted the serotype from K1 of wild-type to K2 and weak K3. The results indicate that disruption of the fucose synthesis gene affected the pathophysiology of this bacterium and may be related to the virulence of this KpL1 strain.

  18. Different distribution patterns of ten virulence genes in Legionella reference strains and strains isolated from environmental water and patients.

    PubMed

    Zhan, Xiao-Yong; Hu, Chao-Hui; Zhu, Qing-Yi

    2016-04-01

    Virulence genes are distinct regions of DNA which are present in the genome of pathogenic bacteria and absent in nonpathogenic strains of the same or related species. Virulence genes are frequently associated with bacterial pathogenicity in genus Legionella. In the present study, an assay was performed to detect ten virulence genes, including iraA, iraB, lvrA, lvrB, lvhD, cpxR, cpxA, dotA, icmC and icmD in different pathogenicity islands of 47 Legionella reference strains, 235 environmental strains isolated from water, and 4 clinical strains isolated from the lung tissue of pneumonia patients. The distribution frequencies of these genes in reference or/and environmental L. pneumophila strains were much higher than those in reference non-L. pneumophila or/and environmental non-L. pneumophila strains, respectively. L. pneumophila clinical strains also maintained higher frequencies of these genes compared to four other types of Legionella strains. Distribution frequencies of these genes in reference L. pneumophila strains were similar to those in environmental L. pneumophila strains. In contrast, environmental non-L. pneumophila maintained higher frequencies of these genes compared to those found in reference non-L. pneumophila strains. This study illustrates the association of virulence genes with Legionella pathogenicity and reveals the possible virulence evolution of non-L. pneumophia strains isolated from environmental water.

  19. 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.

  20. Differential expression of the virulence-associated protein p57 and characterization of its duplicated gene rosa in virulent and attenuated strains of Renibacterium salmoninarum

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Farrell, C. L.; Strom, M.S.

    1999-01-01

    Virulence mechanisms utilized by the salmonid fish pathogen Renibacterium salmoninarum are poorly understood. One potential virulence factor is p57 (also designated MSA for major soluble antigen), an abundant 57 kDa soluble protein that is predominately localized on the bacterial cell surface with significant levels released into the extracellular milieu. Previous studies of an attenuated strain, MT 239, indicated that it differs from virulent strains in the amount of surface-associated p57. In this report, we show overall expression of p57 in R. salmoninarum MT 239 is considerably reduced as compared to a virulent strain, ATCC 33209. The amount of cell-associated p57 is decreased while the level of p57 in the culture supernatant is nearly equivalent between the strains. To determine if lowered amount of cell-associated p57 was due to a sequence defect in p57, a genetic comparison was performed. Two copies of the gene encoding p57 (msa1 and msa2) were found in 33209 and MT 239, as well as in several other virulent isolates. Both copies from 33209 and MT 239 were cloned and sequenced and found to be identical to each other, and identical between the 2 strains. A comparison of msa1 and msa2 within each strain showed that their sequences diverge 40 base pairs 5, to the open reading frame, while sequences 3' to the open reading frame are essentially identical for at least 225 base pairs. Northern blot analysis showed no difference in steady state levels of rosa mRNA between the 2 strains. These data suggest that while cell-surface localization of p57 may be important for R. salmoninarum virulence, the differences in localization, and total p57 expression between 33209 anti MT 239 are not due to differences in rosa sequence or differences in steady state transcript levels.

  1. Distribution of virulence genes of Staphylococcus aureus isolated from stable nasal carriers.

    PubMed

    Nashev, Dimitar; Toshkova, Katia; Salasia, S Isrina O; Hassan, Abdulwahed A; Lämmler, Christoph; Zschöck, Michael

    2004-04-01

    In the present study, we report data on virulence determinants of Staphylococcus aureus from stable nasal carriers, emphasizing on the genes encoding fibronectin (fnbA, fnbB) and collagen (cna) adhesive molecules. Of the 44 S. aureus isolates included, 32 isolates (16 pairs) were cultured from the anterior nares of 16 healthy carriers, eight isolates (four pairs) were collected from the nose of four patients with recurrent skin infections and four isolates were obtained from the infection site of these patients. The period between the two nasal swabs taken was 3-5 days. The persistency of carriage could be demonstrated by the indistinguishable genotypic characteristics of the S. aureus isolates in each pair. This could be shown by determination of gene polymorphisms of coa gene and the X-region and IgG-binding region encoding segments of spa gene. In addition, the isolates within the pairs showed identical toxin patterns. This was determined by PCR amplification of the genes encoding staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEA to SEJ) and TSST-1. The genotypic properties also yielded an identity between persistent nasal carriage isolates and the corresponding skin infection isolates of the four patients. In addition, all S. aureus nasal and skin infection isolates were positive for gene fnbA, fnbB and cna could be found with a high frequency. Among the 44 isolates investigated, 16 isolates (36.7%) harbored gene fnbB and 21 isolates (47.7%) gene cna. The data in the present study showed a relatively wide distribution of the genes fnb and cna among the investigated isolates, indicating that the persistent carriage of strains harboring these virulence determinants may increase the risk for subsequent invasive infections in carriers.

  2. Reduced Fitness of Virulent Aphis glycines (Hemiptera: Aphididae) Biotypes May Influence the Longevity of Resistance Genes in Soybean.

    PubMed

    Varenhorst, Adam J; McCarville, Michael T; O'Neal, Matthew E

    2015-01-01

    Sustainable use of insect resistance in crops require insect resistance management plans that may include a refuge to limit the spread of virulence to this resistance. However, without a loss of fitness associated with virulence, a refuge may not prevent virulence from becoming fixed within a population of parthenogenetically reproducing insects like aphids. Aphid-resistance in soybeans (i.e., Rag genes) prevent outbreaks of soybean aphid (Aphis glycines), yet four biotypes defined by their capacity to survive on aphid-resistant soybeans (e.g., biotype-2 survives on Rag1 soybean) are found in North America. Although fitness costs are reported for biotype-3 on aphid susceptible and Rag1 soybean, it is not clear if virulence to aphid resistance in general is associated with a decrease in fitness on aphid susceptible soybeans. In laboratory assays, we measured fitness costs for biotype 2, 3 and 4 on an aphid-susceptible soybean cultivar. In addition, we also observed negative cross-resistance for biotype-2 on Rag3, and biotype-3 on Rag1 soybean. We utilized a simple deterministic, single-locus, four compartment genetic model to account for the impact of these findings on the frequency of virulence alleles. When a refuge of aphid susceptible was included within this model, fitness costs and negative cross-resistance delayed the increase of virulence alleles when virulence was inherited recessively or additively. If virulence were inherited additively, fitness costs decreased the frequency of virulence. Combined, these results suggest that a refuge may prevent virulent A. glycines biotypes from overcoming Rag genes if this aphid-resistance were used commercially in North America.

  3. Reduced Fitness of Virulent Aphis glycines (Hemiptera: Aphididae) Biotypes May Influence the Longevity of Resistance Genes in Soybean

    PubMed Central

    Varenhorst, Adam J.; McCarville, Michael T.; O’Neal, Matthew E.

    2015-01-01

    Sustainable use of insect resistance in crops require insect resistance management plans that may include a refuge to limit the spread of virulence to this resistance. However, without a loss of fitness associated with virulence, a refuge may not prevent virulence from becoming fixed within a population of parthenogenetically reproducing insects like aphids. Aphid-resistance in soybeans (i.e., Rag genes) prevent outbreaks of soybean aphid (Aphis glycines), yet four biotypes defined by their capacity to survive on aphid-resistant soybeans (e.g., biotype-2 survives on Rag1 soybean) are found in North America. Although fitness costs are reported for biotype-3 on aphid susceptible and Rag1 soybean, it is not clear if virulence to aphid resistance in general is associated with a decrease in fitness on aphid susceptible soybeans. In laboratory assays, we measured fitness costs for biotype 2, 3 and 4 on an aphid-susceptible soybean cultivar. In addition, we also observed negative cross-resistance for biotype-2 on Rag3, and biotype-3 on Rag1 soybean. We utilized a simple deterministic, single-locus, four compartment genetic model to account for the impact of these findings on the frequency of virulence alleles. When a refuge of aphid susceptible was included within this model, fitness costs and negative cross-resistance delayed the increase of virulence alleles when virulence was inherited recessively or additively. If virulence were inherited additively, fitness costs decreased the frequency of virulence. Combined, these results suggest that a refuge may prevent virulent A. glycines biotypes from overcoming Rag genes if this aphid-resistance were used commercially in North America. PMID:26372106

  4. Characterization of Shiga toxin subtypes and virulence genes in porcine Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli

    DOE PAGES

    Baranzoni, Gian Marco; Fratamico, Pina M.; Gangiredla, Jayanthi; ...

    2016-04-21

    Similar to ruminants, swine have been shown to be a reservoir for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), and pork products have been linked with outbreaks associated with STEC O157 and O111:H-. STEC strains, isolated in a previous study from fecal samples of late-finisher pigs, belonged to a total of 56 serotypes, including O15:H27, O91:H14, and other serogroups previously associated with human illness. The isolates were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and a high-throughput real-time PCR system to determine the Shiga toxin (Stx) subtype and virulence-associated and putative virulence-associated genes they carried. Select STEC strains were further analyzed using amore » Minimal Signature E. coli Array Strip. As expected, stx2e (81%) was the most common Stx variant, followed by stx1a (14%), stx2d (3%), and stx1c (1%). The STEC serogroups that carried stx2d were O15:H27, O159:H16 and O159:H-. Similar to stx2a and stx2c, the stx2d variant is associated with development of hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome, and reports on the presence of this variant in STEC strains isolated from swine are lacking. Moreover, the genes encoding heat stable toxin (estIa) and enteroaggregative E. coli heat stable enterotoxin-1 (astA) were commonly found in 50 and 44% of isolates, respectively. The hemolysin genes, hlyA and ehxA, were both detected in 7% of the swine STEC strains. Although the eae gene was not found, other genes involved in host cell adhesion, including lpfAO113 and paa were detected in more than 50% of swine STEC strains, and a number of strains also carried iha, lpfAO26, lpfAO157, fedA, orfA, and orfB. Furthermore, the present work provides new insights on the distribution of virulence factors among swine STEC strains and shows that swine may carry Stx1a-, Stx2e-, or Stx2d-producing E. coli with virulence gene profiles associated with human infections.« less

  5. Characterization of Shiga Toxin Subtypes and Virulence Genes in Porcine Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Baranzoni, Gian Marco; Fratamico, Pina M.; Gangiredla, Jayanthi; Patel, Isha; Bagi, Lori K.; Delannoy, Sabine; Fach, Patrick; Boccia, Federica; Anastasio, Aniello; Pepe, Tiziana

    2016-01-01

    Similar to ruminants, swine have been shown to be a reservoir for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), and pork products have been linked with outbreaks associated with STEC O157 and O111:H-. STEC strains, isolated in a previous study from fecal samples of late-finisher pigs, belonged to a total of 56 serotypes, including O15:H27, O91:H14, and other serogroups previously associated with human illness. The isolates were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and a high-throughput real-time PCR system to determine the Shiga toxin (Stx) subtype and virulence-associated and putative virulence-associated genes they carried. Select STEC strains were further analyzed using a Minimal Signature E. coli Array Strip. As expected, stx2e (81%) was the most common Stx variant, followed by stx1a (14%), stx2d (3%), and stx1c (1%). The STEC serogroups that carried stx2d were O15:H27, O159:H16 and O159:H-. Similar to stx2a and stx2c, the stx2d variant is associated with development of hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome, and reports on the presence of this variant in STEC strains isolated from swine are lacking. Moreover, the genes encoding heat stable toxin (estIa) and enteroaggregative E. coli heat stable enterotoxin-1 (astA) were commonly found in 50 and 44% of isolates, respectively. The hemolysin genes, hlyA and ehxA, were both detected in 7% of the swine STEC strains. Although the eae gene was not found, other genes involved in host cell adhesion, including lpfAO113 and paa were detected in more than 50% of swine STEC strains, and a number of strains also carried iha, lpfAO26, lpfAO157, fedA, orfA, and orfB. The present work provides new insights on the distribution of virulence factors among swine STEC strains and shows that swine may carry Stx1a-, Stx2e-, or Stx2d-producing E. coli with virulence gene profiles associated with human infections. PMID:27148249

  6. Construction of a Multiplex Promoter Reporter Platform to Monitor Staphylococcus aureus Virulence Gene Expression and the Identification of Usnic Acid as a Potent Suppressor of psm Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Peng; Wang, Yanli; Villanueva, Iván; Ho, Pak Leung; Davies, Julian; Kao, Richard Yi Tsun

    2016-01-01

    As antibiotic resistance becomes phenomenal, alternative therapeutic strategies for bacterial infections such as anti-virulence treatments have been advocated. We have constructed a total of 20 gfp-luxABCDE dual-reporter plasmids with selected promoters from S. aureus virulence-associated genes. The plasmids were introduced into various S. aureus strains to establish a gfp-lux based multiplex promoter reporter platform for monitoring S. aureus virulence gene expressions in real time to identify factors or compounds that may perturb virulence of S. aureus. The gene expression profiles monitored by luminescence correlated well with qRT-PCR results and extrinsic factors including carbon dioxide and some antibiotics were shown to suppress or induce the expression of virulence factors in this platform. Using this platform, sub-inhibitory ampicillin was shown to be a potent inducer for the expression of many virulence factors in S. aureus. Bacterial adherence and invasion assays using mammalian cells were employed to measure S. aureus virulence induced by ampicillin. The platform was used for screening of natural extracts that perturb the virulence of S. aureus and usnic acid was identified to be a potent repressor for the expression of psm. PMID:27625639

  7. Construction of a Multiplex Promoter Reporter Platform to Monitor Staphylococcus aureus Virulence Gene Expression and the Identification of Usnic Acid as a Potent Suppressor of psm Gene Expression.

    PubMed

    Gao, Peng; Wang, Yanli; Villanueva, Iván; Ho, Pak Leung; Davies, Julian; Kao, Richard Yi Tsun

    2016-01-01

    As antibiotic resistance becomes phenomenal, alternative therapeutic strategies for bacterial infections such as anti-virulence treatments have been advocated. We have constructed a total of 20 gfp-luxABCDE dual-reporter plasmids with selected promoters from S. aureus virulence-associated genes. The plasmids were introduced into various S. aureus strains to establish a gfp-lux based multiplex promoter reporter platform for monitoring S. aureus virulence gene expressions in real time to identify factors or compounds that may perturb virulence of S. aureus. The gene expression profiles monitored by luminescence correlated well with qRT-PCR results and extrinsic factors including carbon dioxide and some antibiotics were shown to suppress or induce the expression of virulence factors in this platform. Using this platform, sub-inhibitory ampicillin was shown to be a potent inducer for the expression of many virulence factors in S. aureus. Bacterial adherence and invasion assays using mammalian cells were employed to measure S. aureus virulence induced by ampicillin. The platform was used for screening of natural extracts that perturb the virulence of S. aureus and usnic acid was identified to be a potent repressor for the expression of psm.

  8. Rational engineering of a virulence gene from Mycobacterium tuberculosis facilitates proteomic analysis of a natural protein N-terminus

    PubMed Central

    Reyna, Cristal; Mba Medie, Felix; Champion, Matthew M.; Champion, Patricia A.

    2016-01-01

    Mass spectrometry (MS) for the detection of proteins is an indispensable tool for evaluating the biological processes of the proteome. Proteomics frequently requires proteolysis of proteins into peptide fragments. Proteins can be refractory to ideal proteolysis at the sequence level rendering them difficult to analyze by routine proteomics methods. EsxA (ESAT-6, Early Secreted Antigen, 6kDa) is a major virulence determinant of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the cause of human tuberculosis. EsxA is routinely used to evaluate mycobacterial virulence in the laboratory and as a biomarker for tuberculosis in humans. The sequence of EsxA hinders deeper MS analysis beyond routine detection. Here we engineer the sequence of EsxA to add desirable tryptic properties aimed at improving complex MS analysis. We demonstrate that EsxA variants are amenable to MS analysis and remain functional in established in vitro and ex vivo assays of Esx-1-function. We provide the first demonstration of molecular engineering to specifically improve MS analysis of individual microbial proteins. PMID:27625110

  9. The Role of the st313-td Gene in Virulence of Salmonella Typhimurium ST313

    PubMed Central

    Herrero-Fresno, Ana; Wallrodt, Inke; Leekitcharoenphon, Pimlapas; Olsen, John Elmerdahl; Aarestrup, Frank M.; Hendriksen, Rene S.

    2014-01-01

    Multidrug-resistant Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium ST313 has emerged in sub-Saharan Africa causing severe infections in humans. Therefore, it has been speculated that this specific sequence type, ST313, carries factors associated with increased pathogenicity. We assessed the role in virulence of a gene with a yet unknown function, st313-td, detected in ST313 through comparative genomics. Additionally, the structure of the genomic island ST313-GI, harbouring the gene was determined. The gene st313-td was cloned into wild type S. Typhimurium 4/74 (4/74-C) as well as knocked out in S. Typhimurium ST313 02–03/002 (Δst313-td) followed by complementation (02-03/002-C). Δst313-td was less virulent in mice following i.p. challenge than the wild type and this phenotype could be partly complemented in trans, indicating that st313-td plays a role during systemic infection. The gene st313-td was shown not to affect invasion of cultured epithelial cells, while the absence of the gene significantly affects uptake and intracellular survival within macrophages. The gene st313-td was proven to be strongly associated to invasiveness, harboured by 92.5% of S. Typhimurium blood isolates (n = 82) and 100% of S. Dublin strains (n = 50) analysed. On the contrary, S. Typhimurium isolates of animal and food origin (n = 82) did not carry st313-td. Six human, non-blood isolates of S. Typhimurium from Belarus, China and Nepal harboured the gene and belonged to sequence types ST398 and ST19. Our data showed a global presence of the st313-td gene and in other sequence types than ST313. The gene st313-td was shown to be expressed during logarithmic phase of growth in 14 selected Salmonella strains carrying the gene. This study reveals that st313-td plays a role in S. Typhimurium ST313 pathogenesis and adds another chapter to understanding of the virulence of S. Typhimurium and in particular of the emerging sequence type ST313. PMID:24404174

  10. [Biologics and mycobacterial diseases].

    PubMed

    Tsuyuguchi, Kazunari; Matsumoto, Tomoshige

    2013-03-01

    Various biologics such as TNF-alpha inhibitor or IL-6 inhibitor are now widely used for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Many reports suggested that one of the major issues is high risk of developing tuberculosis (TB) associated with using these agents, which is especially important in Japan where tuberculosis still remains endemic. Another concern is the risk of development of nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) diseases and we have only scanty information about it. The purpose of this symposium is to elucidate the role of biologics in the development of mycobacterial diseases and to establish the strategy to control them. First, Dr. Tohma showed the epidemiologic data of TB risks associated with using biologics calculated from the clinical database on National Database of Rheumatic Diseases by iR-net in Japan. He estimated TB risks in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients to be about four times higher compared with general populations and to become even higher by using biologics. He also pointed out a low rate of implementation of QuantiFERON test (QFT) as screening test for TB infection. Next, Dr. Tokuda discussed the issue of NTM disease associated with using biologics. He suggested the airway disease in RA patients might play some role in the development of NTM disease, which may conversely lead to overdiagnosis of NTM disease in RA patients. He suggested that NTM disease should not be uniformly considered a contraindication to treatment with biologics, considering from the results of recent multicenter study showing relatively favorable outcome of NTM patients receiving biologics. Patients with latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) should receive LTBI treatment before starting biologics. Dr. Kato, a chairperson of the Prevention Committee of the Japanese Society for Tuberculosis, proposed a new LTBI guideline including active implementation of LTBI treatment, introducing interferon gamma release assay, and appropriate selection of persons at high risk for

  11. Current European Labyrinthula zosterae Are Not Virulent and Modulate Seagrass (Zostera marina) Defense Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    Brakel, Janina; Werner, Franziska Julie; Tams, Verena; Reusch, Thorsten B. H.; Bockelmann, Anna-Christina

    2014-01-01

    Pro- and eukaryotic microbes associated with multi-cellular organisms are receiving increasing attention as a driving factor in ecosystems. Endophytes in plants can change host performance by altering nutrient uptake, secondary metabolite production or defense mechanisms. Recent studies detected widespread prevalence of Labyrinthula zosterae in European Zostera marina meadows, a protist that allegedly caused a massive amphi-Atlantic seagrass die-off event in the 1930's, while showing only limited virulence today. As a limiting factor for pathogenicity, we investigated genotype×genotype interactions of host and pathogen from different regions (10–100 km-scale) through reciprocal infection. Although the endophyte rapidly infected Z. marina, we found little evidence that Z. marina was negatively impacted by L. zosterae. Instead Z. marina showed enhanced leaf growth and kept endophyte abundance low. Moreover, we found almost no interaction of protist×eelgrass-origin on different parameters of L. zosterae virulence/Z. marina performance, and also no increase in mortality after experimental infection. In a target gene approach, we identified a significant down-regulation in the expression of 6/11 genes from the defense cascade of Z. marina after real-time quantitative PCR, revealing strong immune modulation of the host's defense by a potential parasite for the first time in a marine plant. Nevertheless, one gene involved in phenol synthesis was strongly up-regulated, indicating that Z. marina plants were probably able to control the level of infection. There was no change in expression in a general stress indicator gene (HSP70). Mean L. zosterae abundances decreased below 10% after 16 days of experimental runtime. We conclude that under non-stress conditions L. zosterae infection in the study region is not associated with substantial virulence. PMID:24691450

  12. Study of the clinical relevance of Helicobacter pylori virulence genes to gastric diseases among Egyptian patients.

    PubMed

    El-Khlousy, Mona; Rahman, Eiman A; Mostafa, Sally; Bassam, Amira; Elgawad, Heba A; Elnasr, Mohamed S; Mohey, Mohammad; Ghaith, Doaa

    2016-06-01

    Helicobacter pylori infection is common in Egypt. It has been associated with gastritis, ulcers and it is a risk factor for gastric cancer. We aimed to study the correlation between the presence of H. pylori virulence factors and the histopathological and endoscopic findings in gastric biopsies. Gastric biopsies from thirty seven patients scheduled for diagnostic endoscopy in Cairo University hospital were included in the study. All gastric biopsies were subjected to histopathological examination and PCR assay for detection of 16S rRNA gene to diagnose H. pylori infection, detection of H. pylori virulence factors by PCR for cagA and vacA genotypes and serological analysis of H. pylori (cagA, vacA, P25, and P19) IgG antibodies by immunoblot assay were done. H. pylori infection was detected in 23 (62.2%) cases by histopathology while 28/37 (75.7%) were positive for H. pylori 16S rRNA gene by PCR. By PCR seventeen samples out of 37 (45.9%) were positive for cagA gene and five (13.5%) for cag empty site gene. The most common vacA genotype identified was vacA s2m2 genotype in 10 (27.02%). No statistical correlation was found between IgG antibodies against different antigens of H. pylori virulence factors (cagA, vacA, p25, and p19) and the degree of gastritis except for IgG antibodies against the UreA antigen. Copyright © 2016 Arab Journal of Gastroenterology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Virulence Gene-Associated Mutant Bacterial Colonies Generate Differentiating Two-Dimensional Laser Scatter Fingerprints

    PubMed Central

    Leprun, Lena; Drolia, Rishi; Bai, Xingjian; Kim, Huisung; Aroonnual, Amornrat; Bae, Euiwon; Mishra, Krishna K.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT In this study, we investigated whether a laser scatterometer designated BARDOT (bacterial rapid detection using optical scattering technology) could be used to directly screen colonies of Listeria monocytogenes, a model pathogen, with mutations in several known virulence genes, including the genes encoding Listeria adhesion protein (LAP; lap mutant), internalin A (ΔinlA strain), and an accessory secretory protein (ΔsecA2 strain). Here we show that the scatter patterns of lap mutant, ΔinlA, and ΔsecA2 colonies were markedly different from that of the wild type (WT), with >95% positive predictive values (PPVs), whereas for the complemented mutant strains, scatter patterns were restored to that of the WT. The scatter image library successfully distinguished the lap mutant and ΔinlA mutant strains from the WT in mixed-culture experiments, including a coinfection study using the Caco-2 cell line. Among the biophysical parameters examined, the colony height and optical density did not reveal any discernible differences between the mutant and WT strains. We also found that differential LAP expression in L. monocytogenes serotype 4b strains also affected the scatter patterns of the colonies. The results from this study suggest that BARDOT can be used to screen and enumerate mutant strains separately from the WT based on differential colony scatter patterns. IMPORTANCE In studies of microbial pathogenesis, virulence-encoding genes are routinely disrupted by deletion or insertion to create mutant strains. Screening of mutant strains is an arduous process involving plating on selective growth media, replica plating, colony hybridization, DNA isolation, and PCR or immunoassays. We applied a noninvasive laser scatterometer to differentiate mutant bacterial colonies from WT colonies based on forward optical scatter patterns. This study demonstrates that BARDOT can be used as a novel, label-free, real-time tool to aid researchers in screening virulence gene

  14. Large Scale Analysis of Virulence Genes in Escherichia coli Strains Isolated from Avalon Bay, CA

    PubMed Central

    Hamilton, Matthew J.; Hadi, Asbah Z.; Griffith, John F.; Ishii, Satoshi; Sadowsky, Michael J.

    2010-01-01

    Contamination of recreational waters with E. coli and Enterococcus sp. is a widespread problem resulting in beach closures and loss of recreational activity. While E. coli is frequently used as an indicator of fecal contamination, and has been extensively measured in waterways, few studies have examined the presence of potentially pathogenic E. coli strains in beach waters. In this study, a combination of high-throughput, robot-assisted colony hybridization and PCR-based analyses were used to determine the genomic composition and frequency of virulence genes present in E. coli isolated from beach water in Avalon Bay, Santa Catalina Island, CA. A total of 24,493 E. coli isolates were collected from two sites at a popular swimming beach between August through September 2007 and from July through August 2008. All isolates were examined for the presence of shiga-like toxins (stx1/stx2), intimin (eaeA), and enterotoxins (ST/LT). Of the 24,493 isolates examined, 3.6% contained the eaeA gene, indicating that these isolates were potential EPEC strains. On five dates, however, greater than 10% of the strains were potential EPEC, suggesting that incidence of virulence genes at this beach has a strong temporal component. No STEC or ETEC isolates were detected, and only eight (<1.0%) of the potential EPEC isolates were found to carry the EAF plasmid. The potential EPEC isolates mainly belonged to E. coli phylogenetic groups B1 or B2, and carried the beta intimin subtype. DNA fingerprint analyses of the potential EPEC strains indicated that the isolates belonged to several genetically diverse groups, although clonal isolates were frequently detected. While the presence of virulence genes alone cannot be used to determine the pathogenicity of strains, results from this study show that potential EPEC strains can be found in marine beach water and their presence needs to be considered as one of the factors used in decisions concerning beach closures. PMID:20643468

  15. Virulence Meets Metabolism: Cra and KdpE Gene Regulation in Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Njoroge, Jacqueline W.; Nguyen, Y.; Curtis, Meredith M.; Moreira, Cristiano G.; Sperandio, Vanessa

    2012-01-01

    ABSTRACT Gastrointestinal (GI) bacteria sense diverse environmental signals as cues for differential gene regulation and niche adaptation. Pathogens such as enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), which causes bloody diarrhea, use these signals for the temporal and energy-efficient regulation of their virulence factors. One of the main virulence strategies employed by EHEC is the formation of attaching and effacing (AE) lesions on enterocytes. Most of the genes necessary for the formation of these lesions are grouped within a pathogenicity island, the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE), whose expression requires the LEE-encoded regulator Ler. Here we show that growth of EHEC in glycolytic environments inhibits the expression of ler and consequently all other LEE genes. Conversely, growth within a gluconeogenic environment activates expression of these genes. This sugar-dependent regulation is achieved through two transcription factors: KdpE and Cra. Both Cra and KdpE directly bind to the ler promoter, and Cra’s affinity to this promoter is catabolite dependent. Moreover, we show that the Cra and KdpE proteins interact in vitro and that KdpE’s ability to bind DNA is enhanced by the presence of Cra. Cra is important for AE lesion formation, and KdpE contributes to this Cra-dependent regulation. The deletion of cra and kdpE resulted in the ablation of AE lesions. One of the many challenges that bacteria face within the GI tract is to successfully compete for carbon sources. Linking carbon metabolism to the precise coordination of virulence expression is a key step in the adaptation of pathogens to the GI environment. PMID:23073764

  16. Correlation of Phenotypic Profiles Using Targeted Proteomics Identifies Mycobacterial Esx-1 Substrates

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The Esx/WXG-100 (ESAT-6/Wss) exporters are multiprotein complexes that promote protein translocation across the cytoplasmic membrane in a diverse range of pathogenic and nonpathogenic bacterial species. The Esx-1 (ESAT-6 System-1) system mediates virulence factor translocation in mycobacterial pathogens, including the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Although several genes have been associated with Esx-1-mediated transport and virulence, the contribution of individual Esx-1 genes to export is largely undefined. A unique aspect of Esx-1 export is that several substrates require each other for export/stability. We exploited substrate “codependency” to identify Esx-1 substrates. We simultaneously quantified changes in the levels of 13 Esx-1 proteins from both secreted and cytosolic protein fractions generated from 16 Esx-1-deficient Mycobacterium marinum strains in a single experiment using MRM/SRM targeted mass spectrometry. This expansion of measurable Esx-1 proteins allowed us to define statistical rules for assigning novel substrates using phenotypic profiles of known Esx-1 substrates. Using this approach, we identified three additional Esx-1 substrates encoded by the esx-1 region. Our studies begin to address how disruption of specific genes affects several proteins in the Esx-1 complex. Overall, our findings illuminate relationships between Esx-1 proteins and create a framework for the identification of secreted substrates applicable to other protein exporters and pathways. PMID:25106450

  17. Correlation of phenotypic profiles using targeted proteomics identifies mycobacterial esx-1 substrates.

    PubMed

    Champion, Matthew M; Williams, Emily A; Pinapati, Richard S; Champion, Patricia A DiGiuseppe

    2014-11-07

    The Esx/WXG-100 (ESAT-6/Wss) exporters are multiprotein complexes that promote protein translocation across the cytoplasmic membrane in a diverse range of pathogenic and nonpathogenic bacterial species. The Esx-1 (ESAT-6 System-1) system mediates virulence factor translocation in mycobacterial pathogens, including the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Although several genes have been associated with Esx-1-mediated transport and virulence, the contribution of individual Esx-1 genes to export is largely undefined. A unique aspect of Esx-1 export is that several substrates require each other for export/stability. We exploited substrate "codependency" to identify Esx-1 substrates. We simultaneously quantified changes in the levels of 13 Esx-1 proteins from both secreted and cytosolic protein fractions generated from 16 Esx-1-deficient Mycobacterium marinum strains in a single experiment using MRM/SRM targeted mass spectrometry. This expansion of measurable Esx-1 proteins allowed us to define statistical rules for assigning novel substrates using phenotypic profiles of known Esx-1 substrates. Using this approach, we identified three additional Esx-1 substrates encoded by the esx-1 region. Our studies begin to address how disruption of specific genes affects several proteins in the Esx-1 complex. Overall, our findings illuminate relationships between Esx-1 proteins and create a framework for the identification of secreted substrates applicable to other protein exporters and pathways.

  18. Cas9-dependent endogenous gene regulation is required for bacterial virulence.

    PubMed

    Sampson, Timothy R; Weiss, David S

    2013-12-01

    CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)-Cas (CRISPR-associated) systems are known to mediate bacterial defence against foreign nucleic acids. We recently demonstrated a non-canonical role for a CRISPR-Cas system in controlling endogenous gene expression, which had not previously been appreciated. In the present article, we describe the studies that led to this discovery, beginning with an unbiased genome-wide screen to identify virulence genes in the intracellular pathogen Francisella novicida. A gene annotated as encoding a hypothetical protein, but which we now know encodes the Cas protein Cas9, was identified as one of the most critical to the ability of F. novicida to replicate and survive during murine infection. Subsequent studies revealed a role for this protein in evasion of the host innate immune response. Specifically, Cas9 represses the expression of a BLP (bacterial lipoprotein) that could otherwise be recognized by TLR2 (Toll-like receptor 2), a host protein involved in initiating an antibacterial pro-inflammatory response. By repressing BLP levels, Cas9 mediates evasion of TLR2, promoting bacterial virulence. Finally, we described the molecular mechanism by which Cas9 functions in complex with two small RNAs to target the mRNA encoding the BLP for degradation. This work greatly broadened the paradigm for CRISPR-Cas function, highlighting a role in gene regulation that could be conserved in numerous bacteria, and elucidating its integral contribution to bacterial pathogenesis.

  19. 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.

  20. Virulence genes, antibiotic resistance and integrons in Escherichia coli strains isolated from synanthropic birds from Spain.

    PubMed

    Sacristán, C; Esperón, F; Herrera-León, S; Iglesias, I; Neves, E; Nogal, V; Muñoz, M J; de la Torre, A

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the presence of virulence genes and antibiotic resistance profiles in 164 Escherichia coli strains isolated from birds (feral pigeons, hybrid ducks, house sparrows and spotless starlings) inhabiting urban and rural environments. A total of eight atypical enteropathogenic E. coli strains were identified: one in a house sparrow, four in feral pigeons and three in spotless starlings. Antibiotic resistance was present in 32.9% (54) of E. coli strains. The dominant type of resistance was to tetracycline (21.3%), ampicillin (19.5%) and sulfamethoxazole (18.9%). Five isolates had class 1 integrons containing gene cassettes encoding for dihydrofolate reductase A (dfrA) and aminoglycoside adenyltransferase A (aadA), one in a feral pigeon and four in spotless starlings. To our knowledge, the present study constitutes the first detection of virulence genes from E. coli in spotless starlings and house sparrows, and is also the first identification worldwide of integrons containing antibiotic resistance gene cassettes in E. coli strains from spotless starlings and pigeons.

  1. Antimicrobial resistance and virulence genes in Escherichia coli and enterococci from red foxes (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Radhouani, Hajer; Igrejas, Gilberto; Gonçalves, Alexandre; Pacheco, Rui; Monteiro, Ricardo; Sargo, Roberto; Brito, Francisco; Torres, Carmen; Poeta, Patrícia

    2013-10-01

    The aims of the study were to analyse the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance and the mechanisms implicated, as well as the virulence factors, in faecal Escherichia coli and Enterococcus spp. from red foxes. From 52 faecal samples, 22 E. coli (42.3%) and 50 enterococci (96.2%) isolates were recovered (one/sample). A high percentage of E. coli isolates exhibited resistance to streptomycin, tetracycline, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole or ampicillin (54-27%), and they harboured the aadA, tet(A) and/or tet(B), sul1 and blaTEM resistance genes, respectively. The E. coli isolates were ascribed to the 4 major phylogroups, D (41% of isolates), A (31.8%), B1 (18.2%) and B2 (9.1%), and carried the fimA (63.3%) or aer (13.6%) virulence genes. Among enterococcal isolates, Enterococcus faecium was the most prevalent species (50%). A high percentage of enterococcal isolates showed tetracycline resistance (88%) harbouring different combinations of tet(M) and tet(L) genes. The erm(B) or the aph(3')-IIIa gene were identified in most of our erythromycin- or kanamycin-resistant enterococci, respectively. This report suggests the role of red foxes from rural areas in the cycle of transmission and spread of antimicrobial-resistant E. coli and enterococci into the environment, representing a reservoir of these antimicrobial-resistant microorganisms.

  2. 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

  3. A mutation in the aroE gene affects pigment production, virulence, and chemotaxis in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hong-Il; Noh, Tae-Hwan; Lee, Chang-Soo; Park, Young-Jin

    2015-01-01

    Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) causes bacterial blight (BB) in rice. To study its function, a random insertion mutation library of Xoo was constructed using the Tn5 transposon. A mutant strain with decreased virulence against the susceptible rice cultivar IR24 was isolated from the library (aroE mutant), which also had extremely low pigment production. Thermal asymmetric interlaced-polymerase chain reaction (TAIL-PCR) and sequence analysis of the mutant revealed that the transposon was inserted into the aroE gene (encoding shikimate dehydrogenase). To investigate gene expression changes in the pigment- and virulence-deficient mutant, DNA microarray analysis was performed, which showed downregulation of 20 genes involved in the chemotaxis of Xoo. Our findings reveal that mutation of the aroE gene affects virulence and pigment production, as well as expression of genes involved in Xoo chemotaxis.

  4. Virulence factors genes of Staphylococcus spp. isolated from caprine subclinical mastitis.

    PubMed

    Salaberry, Sandra Renata Sampaio; Saidenberg, André Becker Simões; Zuniga, Eveline; Melville, Priscilla Anne; Santos, Franklin Gerônimo Bispo; Guimarães, Ednaldo Carvalho; Gregori, Fábio; Benites, Nilson Roberti

    2015-08-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate genes involved in adhesion expression, biofilm formation, and enterotoxin production in isolates of Staphylococcus spp. from goats with subclinical mastitis and associate these results with the staphylococcal species. One hundred and twenty-four isolates were identified and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed to detect the following genes: cna, ebpS, eno, fib, fnbA, fnbB, bap, sea, seb, sec, sed and see. The most commonly Staphylococcus species included S. epidermidis, S. lugdunensis, S. chromogenes, S. capitis ss capitis and S. intermedius. With the exception of fnbB, the genes were detected in different frequencies of occurrence in 86.3% of the Staphylococcus spp. isolates. Eno (73.2%) and bap (94.8%) were more frequently detected in coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS); ebpS (76%), fib (90.9%) and fnbA (87%) were the most frequent genes in coagulase-positive staphylococci (CPS). Regarding enterotoxins, genes sed (28.2%) and see (24.2%) had a higher frequency of occurrence; sec gene was more frequently detected in CPS (58.8%). There was no association between the presence of the genes and the Staphylococcus species. Different virulence factors genes can be detected in caprine subclinical mastitis caused by CNS and CPS. The knowledge of the occurrence of these virulence factors is important for the development of effective control and prevention measures of subclinical mastitis caused by CNS and CPS in goats. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Detection of virulence-associated genes in pathogenic and commensal avian Escherichia coli isolates.

    PubMed

    Paixão, A C; Ferreira, A C; Fontes, M; Themudo, P; Albuquerque, T; Soares, M C; Fevereiro, M; Martins, L; Corrêa de Sá, M I

    2016-07-01

    Poultry colibacillosis due to Avian Pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) is responsible for several extra-intestinal pathological conditions, leading to serious economic damage in poultry production. The most commonly associated pathologies are airsacculitis, colisepticemia, and cellulitis in broiler chickens, and salpingitis and peritonitis in broiler breeders. In this work a total of 66 strains isolated from dead broiler breeders affected with colibacillosis and 61 strains from healthy broilers were studied. Strains from broiler breeders were typified with serogroups O2, O18, and O78, which are mainly associated with disease. The serogroup O78 was the most prevalent (58%). All the strains were checked for the presence of 11 virulence genes: 1) arginine succinyltransferase A (astA); ii) E.coli hemeutilization protein A (chuA); iii) colicin V A/B (cvaA/B); iv) fimbriae mannose-binding type 1 (fimC); v) ferric yersiniabactin uptake A (fyuA); vi) iron-repressible high-molecular-weight proteins 2 (irp2); vii) increased serum survival (iss); viii) iron-uptake systems of E.coli D (iucD); ix) pielonefritis associated to pili C (papC); x) temperature sensitive haemaglutinin (tsh), and xi) vacuolating autotransporter toxin (vat), by Multiplex-PCR. The results showed that all genes are present in both commensal and pathogenic E. coli strains. The iron uptake-related genes and the serum survival gene were more prevalent among APEC. The adhesin genes, except tsh, and the toxin genes, except astA, were also more prevalent among APEC isolates. Except for astA and tsh, APEC strains harbored the majority of the virulence-associated genes studied and fimC was the most prevalent gene, detected in 96.97 and 88.52% of APEC and AFEC strains, respectively. Possession of more than one iron transport system seems to play an important role on APEC survival.

  6. Small RNA pyrosequencing in the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica reveals strain-specific small RNAs that target virulence genes

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Small RNA mediated gene silencing is a well-conserved regulatory pathway. In the parasite Entamoeba histolytica an endogenous RNAi pathway exists, however, the depth and diversity of the small RNA population remains unknown. Results To characterize the small RNA population that associates with E. histolytica Argonaute-2 (EhAGO2-2), we immunoprecipitated small RNAs that associate with it and performed one full pyrosequencing run. Data analysis revealed new features of the 27nt small RNAs including the 5′-G predominance, distinct small RNA distribution patterns on protein coding genes, small RNAs mapping to both introns and exon-exon junctions, and small RNA targeted genes that are clustered particularly in sections of genome duplication. Characterization of genomic loci to which both sense and antisense small RNAs mapped showed that both sets of small RNAs have 5′-polyphosphate termini; strand-specific RT-PCR detected transcripts in both directions at these loci suggesting that both transcripts may serve as template for small RNA generation. In order to determine whether small RNA abundance patterns account for strain-specific gene expression profiles of E. histolytica virulent and non-virulent strains, we sequenced small RNAs from a non-virulent strain and found that small RNAs mapped to genes in a manner consistent with their regulation of strain-specific virulence genes. Conclusions We provided a full spectrum analysis for E. histolytica AGO2-2 associated 27nt small RNAs. Additionally, comparative analysis of small RNA populations from virulent and non-virulent amebic strains indicates that small RNA populations may regulate virulence genes. PMID:23347563

  7. A novel class of gene controlling virulence in plant pathogenic ascomycete fungi

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Shun-Wen; Kroken, Scott; Lee, Bee-Na; Robbertse, Barbara; Churchill, Alice C. L.; Yoder, O. C.; Turgeon, B. Gillian

    2003-01-01

    Insertional mutants of the fungal maize pathogen Cochliobolus heterostrophus were screened for altered virulence. One mutant had 60% reduction in lesion size relative to WT but no other detectable change in phenotype. Analysis of sequence at the insertion site revealed a gene (CPS1) encoding a protein with two AMP-binding domains. CPS1 orthologs were detected in all Cochliobolus spp. examined, in several other classes of ascomycete fungi, and in animals but not in basidiomycete fungi, bacteria, or plants. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that CPS1 represents a previously undescribed subset of adenylate-forming enzymes that have diverged from certain acyl-CoA ligases, which in bacteria are involved in biosynthesis of nonribosomal peptides or polyketide/peptide hybrids. Disruption of CPS1 caused reduced virulence of both race T and race O of C. heterostrophus on maize, of Cochliobolus victoriae on oats, and of Gibberella zeae on wheat. These results suggest that CPS1 functions as a general fungal virulence factor in plant pathogenic ascomycetes. PMID:12730371

  8. Salmonella Modulates Metabolism During Growth under Conditions that Induce Expression of Virulence Genes

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Young-Mo; Schmidt, Brian; Kidwai, Afshan S.; Jones, Marcus B.; Deatherage, Brooke L.; Brewer, Heather M.; Mitchell, Hugh D.; Palsson, Bernhard O.; McDermott, Jason E.; Heffron, Fred; Smith, Richard D.; Peterson, Scott N.; Ansong, Charles; Hyduke, Daniel R.; Metz, Thomas O.; Adkins, Joshua N.

    2013-04-05

    Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) is a facultative pathogen that uses complex mechanisms to invade and proliferate within mammalian host cells. To investigate possible contributions of metabolic processes in S. Typhimurium grown under conditions known to induce expression of virulence genes, we used a metabolomics-driven systems biology approach coupled with genome scale modeling. First, we identified distinct metabolite profiles associated with bacteria grown in either rich or virulence-inducing media and report the most comprehensive coverage of the S. Typhimurium metabolome to date. Second, we applied an omics-informed genome scale modeling analysis of the functional consequences of adaptive alterations in S. Typhimurium metabolism during growth under our conditions. Excitingly, we observed possible sequestration of metabolites recently suggested to have immune modulating roles. Modeling efforts highlighted a decreased cellular capability to both produce and utilize intracellular amino acids during stationary phase culture in virulence conditions, despite significant abundance increases for these molecules as observed by our metabolomics measurements. Model-guided analysis suggested that alterations in metabolism prioritized other activities necessary for pathogenesis instead, such as lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis.

  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. Virulence, bacterocin genes and antibacterial susceptibility in Enterococcus faecalis strains isolated from water wells for human consumption.

    PubMed

    Padilla, Carlos; Lobos, Olga

    2013-12-01

    The objectives of this study were to detect genes for virulence and bacteriocins in addition to studying the antimicrobial susceptibility of 78 strains of E. faecalis isolated from water wells for human consumption. The virulence and bacteriocin genes of 78 E. faecalis were amplified by PCR and visualized in agarose gels. The antimicrobial susceptibility was determined through diffusion agar tests and the MIC through microdilution. It was observed that the major percentage of virulence genes in the E. faecalis strains corresponds to aggA (93.5%). The bacteriocin gene entA (64.1%) is the most frequently detected. The studied strains exhibited different virulence and bacteriocin genes, and an important antibacterial resistance. The most common resistant phenotype (n = 14) corresponds to tetracycline and chloramphenicol and the less frequent (n = 2) to ciprofloxacin and moxifloxacin. Eight different genetic profiles were observed for virulence y bacteriocin genes. It was determined a statistical association between the bacterial resistance and some of the genetic profiles detected.

  11. Phosphorylation regulates mycobacterial proteasome.

    PubMed

    Anandan, Tripti; Han, Jaeil; Baun, Heather; Nyayapathy, Seeta; Brown, Jacob T; Dial, Rebekah L; Moltalvo, Juan A; Kim, Min-Seon; Yang, Seung Hwan; Ronning, Donald R; Husson, Robert N; Suh, Joowon; Kang, Choong-Min

    2014-09-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis possesses a proteasome system that is required for the microbe to resist elimination by the host immune system. Despite the importance of the proteasome in the pathogenesis of tuberculosis, the molecular mechanisms by which proteasome activity is controlled remain largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate that the α-subunit (PrcA) of the M. tuberculosis proteasome is phosphorylated by the PknB kinase at three threonine residues (T84, T202, and T178) in a sequential manner. Furthermore, the proteasome with phosphorylated PrcA enhances the degradation of Ino1, a known proteasomal substrate, suggesting that PknB regulates the proteolytic activity of the proteasome. Previous studies showed that depletion of the proteasome and the proteasome-associated proteins decreases resistance to reactive nitrogen intermediates (RNIs) but increases resistance to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Here we show that PknA phosphorylation of unprocessed proteasome β-subunit (pre-PrcB) and α-subunit reduces the assembly of the proteasome complex and thereby enhances the mycobacterial resistance to H2O2 and that H2O2 stress diminishes the formation of the proteasome complex in a PknA-dependent manner. These findings indicate that phosphorylation of the M. tuberculosis proteasome not only modulates proteolytic activity of the proteasome, but also affects the proteasome complex formation contributing to the survival of M. tuberculosis under oxidative stress conditions.

  12. Pulmonary Mycobacterial Granuloma

    PubMed Central

    Shaler, Christopher R.; Kugathasan, Kapilan; McCormick, Sarah; Damjanovic, Daniela; Horvath, Carly; Small, Cherrie-Lee; Jeyanathan, Mangalakumari; Chen, Xiao; Yang, Ping-Chang; Xing, Zhou

    2011-01-01

    The granuloma, a hallmark of host defense against pulmonary mycobacterial infection, has long been believed to be an active type 1 immune environment. However, the mechanisms regarding why granuloma fails to eliminate mycobacteria even in immune-competent hosts, have remained largely unclear. By using a model of pulmonary Mycobacterium bovis Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) infection, we have addressed this issue by comparing the immune responses within the airway luminal and granuloma compartments. We found that despite having a similar immune cellular profile to that in the airway lumen, the granuloma displayed severely suppressed type 1 immune cytokine but enhanced chemokine responses. Both antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and T cells in granuloma produced fewer type 1 immune molecules including tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interferon-γ (IFN-γ), and nitric oxide. As a result, the granuloma APCs developed a reduced capacity to phagocytose mycobacteria and to induce T-cell proliferation. To examine the molecular mechanisms, we compared the levels of immune suppressive cytokine IL-10 in the airway lumen and granuloma and found that both granuloma APCs and T cells produced much more IL-10. Thus, IL-10 deficiency restored type 1 immune activation within the granuloma while having a minimal effect within the airway lumen. Hence, our study provides the first experimental evidence that, contrary to the conventional belief, the BCG-induced lung granuloma represents a symbiotic host-microbe microenvironment characterized by suppressed type 1 immune activation. PMID:21406169

  13. Identification of virulence genes in the corn pathogen Colletotrichum graminicola by Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation.

    PubMed

    Münch, Steffen; Ludwig, Nancy; Floss, Daniela S; Sugui, Janyce A; Koszucka, Anna M; Voll, Lars M; Sonnewald, Uwe; Deising, Holger B

    2011-01-01

    A previously developed Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation (ATMT) protocol for the plant pathogenic fungus Colletotrichum graminicola led to high rates of tandem integration of the whole Ti-plasmid, and was therefore considered to be unsuitable for the identification of pathogenicity and virulence genes by insertional mutagenesis in this pathogen. We used a modified ATMT protocol with acetosyringone present only during the co-cultivation of C. graminicola and A. tumefaciens. Analysis of 105 single-spore isolates randomly chosen from a collection of approximately 2000 transformants, indicated that almost 70% of the transformants had single T-DNA integrations. Of 500 independent transformants tested, 10 exhibited attenuated virulence in infection assays on whole plants. Microscopic analyses primarily revealed defects at different pre-penetration stages of infection-related morphogenesis. Three transformants were characterized in detail. The identification of the T-DNA integration sites was performed by amplification of genomic DNA ends after endonuclease digestion and polynucleotide tailing. In one transformant, the T-DNA had integrated into the 5'-flank of a gene with similarity to allantoicase genes of other Ascomycota. In the second and third transformants, the T-DNA had integrated into an open reading frame (ORF) and into the 5'-flank of an ORF. In both cases, the ORFs have unknown function.

  14. Cotton plants export microRNAs to inhibit virulence gene expression in a fungal pathogen.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Tao; Zhao, Yun-Long; Zhao, Jian-Hua; Wang, Sheng; Jin, Yun; Chen, Zhong-Qi; Fang, Yuan-Yuan; Hua, Chen-Lei; Ding, Shou-Wei; Guo, Hui-Shan

    2016-09-26

    Plant pathogenic fungi represent the largest group of disease-causing agents on crop plants, and are a constant and major threat to agriculture worldwide. Recent studies have shown that engineered production of RNA interference (RNAi)-inducing dsRNA in host plants can trigger specific fungal gene silencing and confer resistance to fungal pathogens(1-7). Although these findings illustrate efficient uptake of host RNAi triggers by pathogenic fungi, it is unknown whether or not such an uptake mechanism has been evolved for a natural biological function in fungus-host interactions. Here, we show that in response to infection with Verticillium dahliae (a vascular fungal pathogen responsible for devastating wilt diseases in many crops) cotton plants increase production of microRNA 166 (miR166) and miR159 and export both to the fungal hyphae for specific silencing. We found that two V. dahliae genes encoding a Ca(2+)-dependent cysteine protease (Clp-1) and an isotrichodermin C-15 hydroxylase (HiC-15), and targeted by miR166 and miR159, respectively, are both essential for fungal virulence. Notably, V. dahliae strains expressing either Clp-1 or HiC-15 rendered resistant to the respective miRNA exhibited drastically enhanced virulence in cotton plants. Together, our findings identify a novel defence strategy of host plants by exporting specific miRNAs to induce cross-kingdom gene silencing in pathogenic fungi and confer disease resistance.

  15. Virulence gene typing of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus as a complement in epidemiological typing.

    PubMed

    Nowrouzian, Forough L; Karami, Nahid; Welinder-Olsson, Christina; Ahrén, Christina

    2013-06-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has widely spread to all parts of the world. For surveillance and effective infection control molecular typing is required. We have evaluated the utility of virulence gene determination as a complementary tool for epidemiological typing of MRSA in relation to spa-typing and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). We assessed 63 community-acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA) isolates detected in the West part of Sweden for 30 virulence factor genes (VF) and agr allele variations by serial polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays. These isolates belonged to sequence types (ST) 8, 80, 45 and 30 as classified by multilocus sequence typing. The isolates in each spa-type and PFGE-type were examined over an extended time-period and constituted a varying number of PFGE-subtypes (5-14) and spa-types (3-11) within four major PFGE types. Each ST had a unique VF profile. For isolates within a major PFGE type showing high diversity both in PFGE subtypes and spa the VF profile varied as well in contrast to those with low diversity where no alterations were seen. Thus, the accuracy of each typing method does not only vary by the method per se but is rather dependent on the genetic repertoire of the typed strains and genes evaluated. For strains demonstrating high diversity VF typing may be a useful complement in the epidemiological investigations, and may highlight the accurate discriminatory power of spa or PFGE typing.

  16. Occurrence of virulence genes among Vibrio cholerae and Vibrio parahaemolyticus strains from treated wastewaters.

    PubMed

    Khouadja, Sadok; Suffredini, Elisabetta; Baccouche, Besma; Croci, Luciana; Bakhrouf, Amina

    2014-10-01

    Pathogenic Vibrio species are an important cause of foodborne illnesses. The aim of this study was to describe the occurrence of potentially pathogenic Vibrio species in the final effluents of a wastewater treatment plant and the risk that they may pose to public health. During the 1-year monitoring, a total of 43 Vibrio strains were isolated: 23 Vibrio alginolyticus, 1 Vibrio cholerae, 4 Vibrio vulnificus, and 15 Vibrio parahaemolyticus. The PCR investigation of V. parahaemolyticus and V. cholerae virulence genes (tlh, trh, tdh, toxR, toxS, toxRS, toxT, zot, ctxAB, tcp, ace, vpi, nanH) revealed the presence of some of these genes in a significant number of strains. Intraspecies variability and genetic relationships among the environmental isolates were analyzed by random amplified polymorphic DNA-PCR (RAPD-PCR). We report the results of the first isolation and characterization of an environmental V. cholerae non-O1 non-O139 and of a toxigenic V. parahaemolyticus strain in Tunisia. We suggest that non-pathogenic Vibrio might represent a marine reservoir of virulence genes that can be transmitted between strains by horizontal transfer.

  17. Metabolic genetic screens reveal multidimensional regulation of virulence gene expression in Listeria monocytogenes, and an aminopeptidase that is critical for PrfA protein activation.

    PubMed

    Friedman, Sivan; Linsky, Marika; Lobel, Lior; Rabinovich, Lev; Sigal, Nadejda; Herskovits, Anat A

    2017-04-10

    Listeria monocytogenes is an environmental saprophyte and intracellular bacterial pathogen. Upon invading mammalian cells, the bacterium senses abrupt changes in its metabolic environment, which are rapidly transduced to regulation of virulence gene expression. To explore the relationship between L. monocytogenes metabolism and virulence, we monitored virulence gene expression dynamics across a library of genetic mutants grown under two metabolic conditions known to activate the virulent state: charcoal-treated rich medium containing glucose 1-phosphate and minimal defined medium containing limiting concentrations of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). We identified over 100 distinct mutants that exhibit aberrant virulence gene expression profiles, the majority of which mapped to non-essential metabolic genes. Mutants displayed enhanced, decreased, early and late virulence gene expression profiles as well as persistent levels, demonstrating a high plasticity in virulence gene regulation. Among the mutants, one was noteworthy for its particularly low virulence gene expression level and mapped to an x-prolyl aminopeptidase (PepP). We show that this peptidase plays a role in posttranslational activation of the major virulence regulator, PrfA. Specifically, PepP mediates recruitment of PrfA to the cytoplasmic membrane, a step identified as critical for PrfA protein activation. This study establishes a novel step in the complex mechanism of PrfA activation, and further highlights the cross regulation of metabolism and virulence.

  18. Identification of novel virulence-related genes in Aeromonas hydrophila by screening transposon mutants in a Tetrahymena infection model.

    PubMed

    Pang, Maoda; Xie, Xing; Dong, Yuhao; Du, Hechao; Wang, Nannan; Lu, Chengping; Liu, Yongjie

    2017-02-01

    Outbreaks of motile Aeromonad septicemia (MAS) in fish caused by sequence type (ST) 251 Aeromonas hydrophila have become a prominent problem for the aquaculture industry. The pathogenesis of A. hydrophila is very complicated, and some virulence factors remain to be identified. In this study, to identify novel virulence-related factors, ST251 A. hydrophila strain NJ-35 was used as the parental strain to construct a mutant library comprising 1030 mutant strains by transposon insertion mutagenesis. Subsequently, 33 virulence-attenuated transposon insertion mutants were identified using Tetrahymena and zebrafish as model hosts in sequence. Thermal asymmetric interlaced (Tail)-PCR and Southern blot analysis identified 21 single transposon insertion sites. Seven of the insertion sites are located in non-coding regions, whereas the other 14 insertion sites are located in genes, including aroA, rmlA, rtxA, chiA and plc. All insertion mutants exhibited attenuated virulence in Tetrahymena and zebrafish. Furthermore, the relationship of two genes, chiA and trkH, to virulence was confirmed by gene inactivation and subsequent restoration assays. This study provides new information about the genetic determinants of A. hydrophila pathogenicity and validates the Aeromonas-Tetrahymena co-culture model for high-throughput screening of A. hydrophila virulence factors. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. RovM, a novel LysR-type regulator of the virulence activator gene rovA, controls cell invasion, virulence and motility of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Heroven, Ann Kathrin; Dersch, Petra

    2006-12-01

    RovA is a MarR-type transcriptional regulator that controls transcription of rovA, the expression of the primary invasive factor invasin and other virulence genes of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis in response to environmental signals. Using a genetic approach to identify regulatory components that negatively influence rovA expression, we identified a new LysR-type regulatory protein, designated RovM, which exhibits homology to the virulence regulator PecT/HexA of plant pathogenic Erwinia species. DNA-binding studies revealed that RovM interacts specifically with a short binding site between promoters P1 and P2 within the rovA regulatory region and negatively modulates rovA transcription in cooperation with the histone-like protein H-NS. The rovM gene itself is under positive autoregulatory control and is significantly induced during growth in minimal media as shown in regulation studies. Disruption of the rovM gene leads to a significant increase of RovA and invasin synthesis and enhances internalization of Y. pseudotuberculosis into host cells. Finally, we show that a Y. pseudotuberculosis rovM mutant is more virulent than wild type and higher numbers of the bacteria are detectable in gut-associated lymphatic tissues and organs in the mouse infection model system. In contrast, elevated levels of the RovM protein, which exert a positive effect on flagellar motility, severely attenuate the ability of Y. pseudotuberculosis to disseminate to deeper tissues. Together, our data show, that RovM is a key regulator implicated in the environmental control of virulence factors, which are crucial for the initiation of a Yersinia infection.

  20. Recurrent nontuberculous mycobacterial endophthalmitis: a diagnostic conundrum

    PubMed Central

    Venkateswaran, Nandini; Yeaney, Gabrielle; Chung, Mina; Hindman, Holly B

    2014-01-01

    Objective To report a case of recurrent nontuberculous mycobacterial endophthalmitis in the context of neurotrophic keratopathy secondary to herpes zoster ophthalmicus that had an atypical presentation and complex course, and highlights the challenges of causative organism identification and therapeutic interventions in this condition. Methods A retrospective chart review was conducted to determine the visual outcomes of the patient. Results A 68-year-old pseudophakic male with long-standing neurotrophic keratopathy and perforated descemetocele managed with cyanoacrylate glue and a contact bandage lens in the left eye, began experiencing recurrent episodes of endophthalmitis after undergoing a penetrating keratoplasty. Several therapeutic procedures including an anterior chamber washout, two pars plana vitrectomies, explantation of the posterior chamber intraocular lens and capsular bag, and multiple intravitreal antimicrobial injections, were performed to which he has ultimately responded favorably, with no signs of infection to date and stable visual acuity. The causative organism of his recurrent infections was initially identified as Mycobacterium abscessus through biochemical testing and 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid gene sequencing; however, repeat polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing of the 65 kDa heat shock protein (hsp65) gene for experimental purposes confirmed the accurate identification of the organism to be Mycobacterium chelonae. Given the greater reliability of PCR and sequencing of the hsp65 gene over traditional biochemical tests and culture techniques, M. chelonae was likely the infectious agent all along, and the organism was originally misidentified on the basis of less accurate tests. Conclusion Recurrent atypical mycobacterial endophthalmitis requires expedient identification and management to prevent poor visual outcomes. Standard biochemical testing can identify the causative organism but is limited by the inability to distinguish

  1. Mycobacterial disease, immunosuppression, and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

    PubMed Central

    Collins, F M

    1989-01-01

    The mycobacteria are an important group of acid-fast pathogens ranging from obligate intracellular parasites such as Mycobacterium leprae to environmental species such as M. gordonae and M. fortuitum. The latter may behave as opportunistic human pathogens if the host defenses have been depleted in some manner. The number and severity of such infections have increased markedly with the emergence of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic. These nontuberculous mycobacteria tend to be less virulent for humans than M. tuberculosis, usually giving rise to self-limiting infections involving the cervical and mesenteric lymph nodes of young children. However, the more virulent serovars of M. avium complex can colonize the bronchial and intestinal mucosal surfaces of healthy individuals, becoming virtual members of the commensal gut microflora and thus giving rise to low levels of skin hypersensitivity to tuberculins prepared from M. avium and M. intracellulare. Systemic disease develops when the normal T-cell-mediated defenses become depleted as a result of old age, cancer chemotherapy, or infection with human immunodeficiency virus. As many as 50% of human immunodeficiency virus antibody-positive individuals develop mycobacterial infections at some time during their disease. Most isolates of M. avium complex from AIDS patients fall into serotypes 4 and 8. The presence of these drug-resistant mycobacteria in the lungs of the AIDS patient makes their effective clinical treatment virtually impossible. More effective chemotherapeutic, prophylactic, and immunotherapeutic reagents are urgently needed to treat this rapidly increasing patient population. PMID:2680057

  2. Occurrence of motile Aeromonas in municipal drinking water and distribution of genes encoding virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Pablos, Manuel; Rodríguez-Calleja, Jose M; Santos, Jesús A; Otero, Andrés; García-López, María-Luisa

    2009-10-31

    Aeromonas-associated cases of gastroenteritis are generally considered waterborne. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the potential microbiological risk associated with the presence of these bacteria in public drinking water. Over a period of one year, 132 drinking-water samples were monitored in León (NW of Spain, 137,000 inhabitants) for mandatory drinking-water standards and the occurrence of Aeromonas spp. Samples were taken at the municipal water treatment plant, one storage facility, and two public artesian drinking-water fountains. Because of low numbers of coliforms or Clostridium perfringens, the non-compliance rate with microbial standards was 3.8% whereas the percentage of positive samples for motile mesophilic Aeromonas was 26.5%. For all but two samples, Aeromonas was recovered between October and early March when the temperature was below 14 degrees C and the residual chlorine ranged from 0.21 to 0.72 mg/l. An apparent relationship was observed between rainfall and the incidence of Aeromonas. The 35 selected Aeromonas isolates were identified as A. caviae and A. media. The alt and laf genes were present in all isolates, the aerA gene was present in six isolates, and the four remaining genes investigated (hlyA, ast, stx1 and stx2) were absent. The combinations of putative virulence genes were: aerA(-)/hlyA(-)/alt(+)/ast(-)/laf(+)/stx1(-)/stx2(-) (82.9%) and aerA(+)/hlyA(-)/alt(+)/ast(-)/laf(+)/stx1(-)/stx2(-) (17.1%). None of the isolates bore plasmids. As Aeromonas strains harbouring two or more virulence-associated genes have the potential to cause disease by direct transmission via drinking water or by water use in food preparation, it would be advisable to control excessive numbers of these bacteria in drinking-water supplies.

  3. Coliform bacteria isolated from recreational lakes carry class 1 and class 2 integrons and virulence-associated genes.

    PubMed

    Koczura, R; Krysiak, N; Taraszewska, A; Mokracka, J

    2015-08-01

    To characterize the integron-harbouring Gram-negative bacteria in recreational lakes, with focus on the genetic content of integrons, antimicrobial resistance profiles and virulence-associated genes. The presence and structure of integrons in coliform bacteria isolated from the water of four recreational lakes located in Poznań, Poland, was determined by PCR method. Antimicrobial resistance testing was done by disc diffusion method. Virulence-associated genes in integron-bearing Escherichia coli isolates were detected by PCR. A total of 155 integron-bearing strains of coliform bacteria were cultured. Sequence analysis showed the presence of dfrA7, aadA1, dfrA1-aadA1, dfrA17-aadA5 and dfrA12-orfF-aadA2 gene cassette arrays in class 1 integrons and dfrA1-sat2-aadA1 in class 2 integrons. Higher frequency of integron-positive bacteria and higher antimicrobial resistance ranges were noted in colder months (January and November) compared with spring and summer months. The integron-harbouring E. coli carried up to nine virulence-associated genes, with the highest frequency of kpsMT (84.6%) and traT (783%), coding for group 2 capsule and determining human serum resistance respectively. Integron-bearing multidrug resistant coliform bacteria carrying virulence genes are present in waters of recreational lakes. This study presents antimicrobial resistance and virulence-associated genes in integron-bearing coliform bacteria present in the waters of recreational lakes, which showed that multidrug resistant bacteria with virulence traits might pose a threat to public health. Moreover, the presence of genes typical for enterotoxigenic and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli is a concern. © 2015 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  4. Prevalence of Putative Virulence Genes in Campylobacter and Arcobacter Species Isolated from Poultry and Poultry By-Products in Tunisia.

    PubMed

    Jribi, Hela; Sellami, Hanen; Hassena, Amal Ben; Gdoura, Radhouane

    2017-10-01

    Campylobacter and Arcobacter spp. are common causes of gastroenteritis in humans; these infections are commonly due to undercooked poultry. However, their virulence mechanism is still poorly understood. The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of genotypic virulence markers in Campylobacter and Arcobacter species using PCR. The prevalence of virulence and cytolethal distending toxin (CDT) genes was estimated in 71 Campylobacteraceae isolates. PCR was used to detect the presence of virulence genes (iam, cadF, virB1, flaA, cdtA, cdtB, and cdtC) using specific primers for a total of 45 Campylobacter isolates, including 37 C. jejuni and 8 C. coli. All the Campylobacter isolates were positive for the cadF gene. The plasmid gene virB11 was not detected in any strain. The invasion associated marker was not detected in C. jejuni. Lower detection rates were observed for flaA, cdtA, cdtB, and cdtC. The presence of nine putative Arcobacter virulence genes (cadF, ciaB, cj1349, mviN, pldA, tlyA, irgA, hecA, and hecB) was checked in a set of 22 Arcobacter butzleri and 4 Arcobacter cryaerophilus isolates. The pldA and mviN genes were predominant (88.64%). Lower detection rates were observed for tlyA (84.76%), ciaB (84.61%), cadF and cj1349 (76.92%), IrgA and hecA (61.53%), and hecB (57.69%). The findings revealed that a majority of the Campylobacteraceae strains have these putative virulence genes that may lead to pathogenic effects in humans.

  5. Deletion of AS87_03730 gene changed the bacterial virulence and gene expression of Riemerella anatipestifer

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaolan; Yue, Jiaping; Ding, Chan; Wang, Shaohui; Liu, Beibei; Tian, Mingxing; Yu, Shengqing

    2016-01-01

    Riemerella anatipestifer is an important pathogen of waterfowl, which causes septicemia anserum exsudativa in ducks. In this study, an AS87_03730 gene deletion R. anatipestifer mutant Yb2ΔAS87_03730 was constructed to investigate the role of AS87_03730 on R. anatipestifer virulence and gene regulation. By deleting a 708-bp fragment from AS87_03730, the mutant Yb2ΔAS87_03730 showed a significant decreased growth rate in TSB and invasion capacity in Vero cells, compared to wild-type strain Yb2. Moreover, the median lethal dose (LD50) of Yb2ΔAS87_03730 was 1.24 × 107 colony forming units (CFU), which is about 80-fold attenuated than that of Yb2 (LD50 = 1.53 × 105 CFU). Furthermore, RNA-Seq analysis and Real-time PCR indicated 19 up-regulated and two down-regulated genes in Yb2ΔAS87_03730. Functional analysis revealed that 12 up-regulated genes were related to “Translation, ribosomal structure and biogenesis”, two were classified into “Cell envelope biogenesis, outer membrane”, one was involved in “Amino acid transport and metabolism”, and the other four had unknown functions. Polymerase chain reaction and sequence analysis indicated that the AS87_03730 gene is highly conserved among R. anatipestifer strains, as the percent sequence identity was over 93.5%. This study presents evidence that AS87_03730 gene is involved in bacterial virulence and gene regulation of R. anatipestifer. PMID:26928424

  6. Bacillus cereus from blood cultures: virulence genes, antimicrobial susceptibility and risk factors for blood stream infection.

    PubMed

    Horii, Toshinobu; Notake, Shigeyuki; Tamai, Kiyoko; Yanagisawa, Hideji

    2011-11-01

    We characterized the profiles of virulence genes and antimicrobial susceptibility of Bacillus cereus isolates from blood cultures as well as the risk factors for blood stream infections (BSIs). The diversity of virulence gene patterns was found to be wide among 15 B. cereus isolates from BSIs and also among 11 isolates from contaminated blood cultures. The MicroScan broth microdilution method yielded results corresponding with those of the agar dilution (reference) method for levofloxacin, linezolid, and vancomycin, while the Etest results were consistent with the reference results for clindamycin, gentamicin, imipenem, levofloxacin, and linezolid. Compared with the reference values, however, some isolates showed marked differences of the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) for ampicillin and clindamycin when determined using the MicroScan method, or the MICs for ampicillin, meropenem, and vancomycin when determined using the Etest method. Significantly more patients were treated with antimicrobials for more than 3 days during the 3-month period before isolation in the BSI group. Prior antimicrobial therapy may be a risk factor for BSIs due to B. cereus.

  7. Inhibition of Virulence Gene Expression in Staphylococcus aureus by Novel Depsipeptides from a Marine Photobacterium

    PubMed Central

    Mansson, Maria; Nielsen, Anita; Kjærulff, Louise; Gotfredsen, Charlotte H.; Wietz, Matthias; Ingmer, Hanne; Gram, Lone; Larsen, Thomas O.

    2011-01-01

    During a global research expedition, more than five hundred marine bacterial strains capable of inhibiting the growth of pathogenic bacteria were collected. The purpose of the present study was to determine if these marine bacteria are also a source of compounds that interfere with the agr quorum sensing system that controls virulence gene expression in Staphylococcus aureus. Using a gene reporter fusion bioassay, we recorded agr interference as enhanced expression of spa, encoding Protein A, concomitantly with reduced expression of hla, encoding α-hemolysin, and rnaIII encoding RNAIII, the effector molecule of agr. A marine Photobacterium produced compounds interfering with agr in S. aureus strain 8325-4, and bioassay-guided fractionation of crude extracts led to the isolation of two novel cyclodepsipeptides, designated solonamide A and B. Northern blot analysis confirmed the agr interfering activity of pure solonamides in both S. aureus strain 8325-4 and the highly virulent, community-acquired strain USA300 (CA-MRSA). To our knowledge, this is the first report of inhibitors of the agr system by a marine bacterium. PMID:22363239

  8. Allele-Dependent Differences in Quorum-Sensing Dynamics Result in Variant Expression of Virulence Genes in Staphylococcus aureus

    PubMed Central

    Geisinger, Edward; Chen, John

    2012-01-01

    Agr is an autoinducing, quorum-sensing system that functions in many Gram-positive species and is best characterized in the pathogen Staphylococcus aureus, in which it is a global regulator of virulence gene expression. Allelic variations in the agr genes have resulted in the emergence of four quorum-sensing specificity groups in S. aureus, which correlate with different strain pathotypes. The basis for these predilections is unclear but is hypothesized to involve the phenomenon of quorum-sensing interference between strains of different agr groups, which may drive S. aureus strain isolation and divergence. Whether properties intrinsic to each agr allele directly influence virulence phenotypes within S. aureus is unknown. In this study, we examined group-specific differences in agr autoinduction and virulence gene regulation by utilizing congenic strains, each harboring a unique S. aureus agr allele, enabling a dissection of agr locus-dependent versus genotype-dependent effects on quorum-sensing dynamics and virulence factor production. Employing a reporter fusion to the principal agr promoter, P3, we observed allele-dependent differences in the timing and magnitude of agr activation. These differences were mediated by polymorphisms within the agrBDCA genes and translated to significant variations in the expression of a key transcriptional regulator, Rot, and of several important exoproteins and surface factors involved in pathogenesis. This work uncovers the contribution of divergent quorum-sensing alleles to variant expression of virulence determinants within a bacterial species. PMID:22467783

  9. Prevalence of Virulence/Stress Genes in Campylobacter jejuni from Chicken Meat Sold in Qatari Retail Outlets.

    PubMed

    Abu-Madi, Marawan; Behnke, Jerzy M; Sharma, Aarti; Bearden, Rebecca; Al-Banna, Nadia

    2016-01-01

    Chicken meat from the shelves of supermarkets in Qatar was tested for the presence of Campylobacter spp. and the presence of five virulence genes (htrB, cdtB, clpP, cadF and ciaB) was assessed in isolates. Forty eight percent of the chickens provided for supermarkets by Saudi (53%) and Qatari (45.9%) producers were found to be contaminated and the most important factor affecting the overall prevalence of contaminated chickens was the store from which chicken samples originated. Variation in prevalence of Campylobacter in chicken meat from different stores was evident even when the same producer supplied the three stores in our survey. Differences in the prevalence and in the combinations of virulence genes in isolates that can and cannot grow in a classic maintenance medium (Karmali) were identified, providing a starting point for linking presence/absence of particular virulence genes with actual in vivo virulence and pathogenicity. Because of the relatively low infective doses of Campylobacter that are required to initiate infection in humans, it will be important to explore further the relationships we identified between certain Campylobacter virulence genes and their capacity for survival in poultry meat, and hence their contribution to the incidence of campylobacteriosis.

  10. Comparisons of Salmonella conjugation and virulence gene hyperexpression mediated by rumen protozoa from domestic and exotic ruminants.

    PubMed

    Brewer, Matt T; Xiong, Nalee; Dier, Jeffery D; Anderson, Kristi L; Rasmussen, Mark A; Franklin, Sharon K; Carlson, Steve A

    2011-08-05

    Recent studies have identified a phenomenon in which ciliated protozoa engulf Salmonella and the intra-protozoal environment hyperactivates virulence gene expression and provides a venue for conjugal transfer of antibiotic resistance plasmids. The former observation is relegated to Salmonella bearing the SGI1 multiresistance integron while the latter phenomenon appears to be a more generalized event for recipient Salmonella. Our previous studies have assessed virulence gene hyperexpression only with protozoa from the bovine rumen while conjugal transfer has been demonstrated in rumen protozoa from cattle and goats. The present study examined virulence gene hyperexpression for Salmonella exposed to rumen protozoa obtained from cattle, sheep, goats, or two African ruminants (giraffe and bongo). Conjugal transfer was also assessed in these protozoa using Salmonella as the recipient. Virulence gene hyperexpression was only observed following exposure to the rumen protozoa from cattle and sheep while elevated virulence was also observed in these animals. Conjugal transfer events were, however, observed in all protozoa evaluated. It therefore appears that the protozoa-based hypervirulence is not universal to all ruminants while conjugal transfer is more ubiquitous. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Diversity of antimicrobial resistance and virulence genes in methicillin-resistant non-Staphylococcus aureus staphylococci from veal calves.

    PubMed

    Argudín, M Angeles; Vanderhaeghen, Wannes; Butaye, Patrick

    2015-04-01

    In this study we determined whether methicillin-resistant non-Staphylococcus aureus (MRNAS) from veal calves may be a potential reservoir of antimicrobial-resistance and virulence genes. Fifty-eight MRNAS were studied by means of DNA-microarray and PCR for detection of antimicrobial resistance and virulence genes. The isolates carried a variety of antimicrobial-resistance genes [aacA-aphD, aadD, aph3, aadE, sat, spc, ampA, erm(A), erm(B), erm(C), erm(F), erm(T), lnu(A), msr(A)-msr(B), vga(A), mph(C), tet(K), tet(M), tet(L), cat, fexA, dfrA, dfrD, dfrG, dfrK, cfr, fusB, fosB, qacA, qacC, merA-merB]. Some isolates carried resistance genes without showing the corresponding resistance phenotype. Most MRNAS carried typical S. aureus virulence factors like proteases (sspP) and enterotoxins (seg) genes. Most Staphylococcus epidermidis isolates carried the arginine catabolic element, and nearly 40% of the Staphylococcus sciuri isolates carried leukocidins, and/or fibronectin-binding protein genes. MRNAS were highly multi-resistant and represent an important reservoir of antimicrobial resistance and virulence genes.

  12. Evidence that PrfA, the pleiotropic activator of virulence genes in Listeria monocytogenes, can be present but inactive.

    PubMed Central

    Renzoni, A; Klarsfeld, A; Dramsi, S; Cossart, P

    1997-01-01

    All virulence genes of Listeria monocytogenes identified to date are positively regulated by PrfA, a transcriptional activator belonging to the Crp-Fnr family. Low temperature and cellobiose are two environmental signals known to repress expression of virulence genes in L. monocytogenes. In the present work, we analyzed the effect of temperature and cellobiose on the expression of the PrfA protein. At low temperature, PrfA was undetected, although prfA monocistronic transcripts are present. In contrast, PrfA was fully expressed in the presence of cellobiose. These results strongly suggest that virulence gene activation depends on both the presence of PrfA and additional regulatory pathways that either modify PrfA or act synergistically with PrfA. PMID:9119495

  13. Virulence genes and genetic diversity of Streptococcus suis serotype 2 isolates from Thailand.

    PubMed

    Maneerat, K; Yongkiettrakul, S; Kramomtong, I; Tongtawe, P; Tapchaisri, P; Luangsuk, P; Chaicumpa, W; Gottschalk, M; Srimanote, P

    2013-11-01

    Isolates of Streptococcus suis from different Western countries as well as those from China and Vietnam have been previously well characterized. So far, the genetic characteristics and relationship between S. suis strains isolated from both humans and pigs in Thailand are unknown. In this study, a total of 245 S. suis isolates were collected from both human cases (epidemic and sporadic) and pigs (diseased and asymptomatic) in Thailand. Bacterial strains were identified by biochemical tests and PCR targeting both, the 16S rRNA and gdh genes. Thirty-six isolates were identified as serotype 2 based on serotyping and the cps2-PCR. These isolates were tested for the presence of six virulence-associated genes: an arginine deiminase (arcA), a 38-kDa protein and protective antigen (bay046), an extracellular factor (epf), an hyaluronidase (hyl), a muramidase-released protein (mrp) and a suilysin (sly). In addition, the genetic diversities of these isolates were studied by RAPD PCR and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis. Four virulence-associated gene patterns (VAGP 1 to 4) were obtained, and the majority of isolates (32/36) carried all genes tested (VAGP1). Each of the three OPB primers used provided 4 patterns designated RAPD-A to RAPD-D. Furthermore, MLST analysis could also distinguish the 36 isolates into four sequence types (STs): ST1 (n = 32), ST104 (n = 2), ST233 (n = 1) and a newly identified ST, ST336 (n = 1). Dendrogram constructions based on RAPD patterns indicated that S. suis serotype 2 isolates from Thailand could be divided into four groups and that the characteristics of the individual groups were in complete agreement with the virulence gene profiles and STs. The majority (32/36) of isolates recovered from diseased pigs, slaughterhouse pigs or human patients could be classified into a single group (VAGP1, RAPD-A and ST1). This genetic information strongly suggests the transmission of S. suis isolates from pigs to humans in Thailand. Our findings are

  14. Mycobacterial endocarditis: a comprehensive review

    PubMed Central

    Shi-Min, Yuan

    2015-01-01

    Objective A systematic analysis was made in view of the epidemiology, clinical features, diagnosis, treatment and main outcomes of mycobacterial endocarditis. Methods The data source of the present study was based on a comprehensive literature search in MEDLINE, Highwire Press and Google search engine for publications on mycobacterial endocarditis published between 2000 and 2013. Results The rapidly growing mycobacteria become the predominant pathogens with Mycobacterium chelonae being the most common. This condition has changed significantly in terms of epidemiology since the 21st century, with more broad patient age range, longer latency, prevailed mitral valve infections and better prognosis. Conclusion Mycobacterial endocarditis is rare and the causative pathogens are predominantly the rapidly growing mycobacteria. Amikacin, ciprofloxacin and clarithromycin are the most frequently used targeted antimicrobial agents but often show poor responses. Patients with deep infections may warrant a surgical operation or line withdrawal. With periodic multidrug therapy guided by drug susceptibility testing, and surgical managements, patients may achieve good therapeutic results. PMID:25859873

  15. Salmonella grows vigorously on seafood and expresses its virulence and stress genes at different temperature exposure.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Rakesh; Datta, Tirtha K; Lalitha, Kuttanappilly V

    2015-11-03

    Seafood is not considered the natural habitat of Salmonella except the river fish, but still, the incidence of Salmonella in seafood is in a steady rise. By extending our understanding of Salmonella growth dynamics and pathogenomics in seafood, we may able to improve seafood safety and offer better strategies to protect the public health. The current study was thus aimed to assess the growth and multiplication of non-typhoidal and typhoidal Salmonella serovars on seafood and further sought to evaluate their virulence and stress genes expression while in contact with seafood at varying temperature exposure. Salmonella enterica Weltevreden and Salmonella enterica Typhi were left to grow on fish fillets at -20, 4, room temperature (RT) and 45 °C for a period of one week. Total RNA from both Salmonella serovars were extracted and qRT-PCR based relative gene expression approach was used to detect the expression of rpoE, invA, stn and fimA genes at four different temperature conditions studied on incubation days 0, 1, 3, 5 and 7. Salmonella Weltevreden growth on seafood was increased ~4 log10 at RT and 45 °C, nevertheless, nearly 2 and >4 log 10 reduction was observed in cell count stored at 4 and -20 °C on seafood, respectively. Growth pattern of Salmonella Typhi in seafood has shown identical pattern at RT and 45 °C, however, growth was sharply reduced at 4 and -20 °C as compared to the Salmonella Weltevreden. Total RNA of Salmonella Weltevreden was in the range from 1.3 to 17.6 μg/μl and maximum concentration was obtained at 45 °C on day 3. Similarly, RNA concentration of Salmonella Typhi was ranged from 1.2 to 11.8 μg/μl and maximum concentration was obtained at 45 °C on day 3. The study highlighted that expression of invA and stn genes of Salmonella Weltevreden was >8-fold upregulated at RT, whereas, fimA gene was increasingly down regulated at room temperature. Storage of Salmonella Weltevreden at 45 °C on seafood resulted in an increased expression

  16. Genes Similar to the Vibrio parahaemolyticus Virulence-Related Genes tdh, tlh, and vscC2 Occur in Other Vibrionaceae Species Isolated from a Pristine Estuary

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Savannah L.; Gutierrez West, Casandra K.; Mejia, Diana M.

    2014-01-01

    Detection of the human pathogen Vibrio parahaemolyticus often relies on molecular biological analysis of species-specific virulence factor genes. These genes have been employed in determinations of V. parahaemolyticus population numbers and the prevalence of pathogenic V. parahaemolyticus strains. Strains of the Vibrionaceae species Photobacterium damselae, Vibrio diabolicus, Vibrio harveyi, and Vibrio natriegens, as well as strains similar to Vibrio tubiashii, were isolated from a pristine salt marsh estuary. These strains were examined for the V. parahaemolyticus hemolysin genes tdh, trh, and tlh and for the V. parahaemolyticus type III secretion system 2α gene vscC2 using established PCR primers and protocols. Virulence-related genes occurred at high frequencies in non-V. parahaemolyticus Vibrionaceae species. V. diabolicus was of particular interest, as several strains were recovered, and the large majority (>83%) contained virulence-related genes. It is clear that detection of these genes does not ensure correct identification of virulent V. parahaemolyticus. Further, the occurrence of V. parahaemolyticus-like virulence factors in other vibrios potentially complicates tracking of outbreaks of V. parahaemolyticus infections. PMID:24212573

  17. Genes similar to the Vibrio parahaemolyticus virulence-related genes tdh, tlh, and vscC2 occur in other vibrionaceae species isolated from a pristine estuary.

    PubMed

    Klein, Savannah L; Gutierrez West, Casandra K; Mejia, Diana M; Lovell, Charles R

    2014-01-01

    Detection of the human pathogen Vibrio parahaemolyticus often relies on molecular biological analysis of species-specific virulence factor genes. These genes have been employed in determinations of V. parahaemolyticus population numbers and the prevalence of pathogenic V. parahaemolyticus strains. Strains of the Vibrionaceae species Photobacterium damselae, Vibrio diabolicus, Vibrio harveyi, and Vibrio natriegens, as well as strains similar to Vibrio tubiashii, were isolated from a pristine salt marsh estuary. These strains were examined for the V. parahaemolyticus hemolysin genes tdh, trh, and tlh and for the V. parahaemolyticus type III secretion system 2α gene vscC2 using established PCR primers and protocols. Virulence-related genes occurred at high frequencies in non-V. parahaemolyticus Vibrionaceae species. V. diabolicus was of particular interest, as several strains were recovered, and the large majority (>83%) contained virulence-related genes. It is clear that detection of these genes does not ensure correct identification of virulent V. parahaemolyticus. Further, the occurrence of V. parahaemolyticus-like virulence factors in other vibrios potentially complicates tracking of outbreaks of V. parahaemolyticus infections.

  18. Development and validation of a resistance and virulence gene microarray targeting Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Margaret A.; Lim, Ji Youn; Soyer, Yesim; Harbottle, Heather; Chang, Yung-Fu; New, Daniel; Orfe, Lisa H.; Besser, Thomas E.; Call, Douglas R.

    2010-01-01

    A microarray was developed to simultaneously screen Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica for multiple genetic traits. The final array included 203 60-mer oligonucleotide probes, including 117 for resistance genes, 16 for virulence genes, 25 for replicon markers, and 45 other markers. Validity of the array was tested by assessing interlaboratory agreement among four collaborating groups using a blinded study design. Internal validation indicated that the assay was reliable (area under the receiver-operator characteristic curve=0.97). Inter-laboratory agreement, however, was poor when estimated using the intraclass correlation coefficient, which ranged from 0.27 (95% confidence interval 0.24, 0.29) to 0.29 (0.23, 0.34). These findings suggest that extensive testing and procedure standardization will be needed before bacterial genotyping arrays can be readily shared between laboratories. PMID:20362014

  19. A novel putative enterococcal pathogenicity island linked to the esp virulence gene of Enterococcus faecium and associated with epidemicity.

    PubMed

    Leavis, Helen; Top, Janetta; Shankar, Nathan; Borgen, Katrine; Bonten, Marc; van Embden, Jan; Willems, Rob J L

    2004-02-01

    Enterococcus faecalis harbors a virulence-associated surface protein encoded by the esp gene. This gene has been shown to be part of a 150-kb putative pathogenicity island. A gene similar to esp has recently been found in Enterococcus faecium isolates recovered from hospitalized patients. In the present study we analyzed the polymorphism in the esp gene of E. faecium, and we investigated the association of esp with neighboring chromosomal genes. The esp gene showed considerable sequence heterogeneity in the regions encoding the nonrepeat N- and C-terminal domains of the Esp protein as well as differences in the number of repeats. DNA sequencing of chromosomal regions flanking the esp gene of E. faecium revealed seven open reading frames, representing putative genes implicated in virulence, regulation of transcription, and antibiotic resistance. These flanking regions were invariably associated with the presence or absence of the esp gene in E. faecium, indicating that esp in E. faecium is part of a distinct genetic element. Because of the presence of virulence genes in this gene cluster, the lower G+C content relative to that of the genome, and the presence of esp in E. faecium isolates associated with nosocomial outbreaks and clinically documented infections, we conclude that this genetic element constitutes a putative pathogenicity island, the first one described in E. faecium. Except for the presence of esp and araC, this pathogenicity island is completely different from the esp-containing pathogenicity island previously disclosed in E. faecalis.

  20. Methicillin resistance and virulence genes in invasive and nasal Staphylococcus epidermidis isolates from neonates.

    PubMed

    Salgueiro, Vivian Carolina; Iorio, Natalia Lopes Pontes; Ferreira, Marcelle Cristina; Chamon, Raiane Cardoso; Dos Santos, Kátia Regina Netto

    2017-01-13

    Staphylococcus epidermidis is an opportunistic pathogen involved in hospital-acquired infections, particularly in those related to medical devices. This study characterized 50 genetically unrelated S. epidermidis isolates from bloodstream infections (BSIs, n = 31) and nares (n = 19) of neonates in relation to staphylococcal chromosomal cassette mec (SCCmec) type, biofilm production and associated genes, and the arginine catabolic mobile elements (ACME), in order to detect virulence factors that could discriminate a potential invasiveness isolate or predict an increasing pathogenicity. Isolates from both groups showed no difference for biofilm production and ACME genes detection. However, BSI isolates harbored more frequently the sdrF and sesI genes (p < 0.05), whereas biofilm producer isolates were associated with presence of the aap gene. The sdrF gene was also significantly more in the biofilm producer isolates from BSI. The SCCmec type IV and the ccr2 complex were related to BSI isolates (p < 0.05), while 83% of the nasal isolates were non-typeable for the SCCmec elements, with the mec complex and ccr undetectable as the most frequent profile. Despite the great clonal diversity displayed by S. epidermidis isolates from neonates, BSI isolates harbored more frequently the sdrF and sesI adhesin genes, while nasal isolates were very variable in SCCmec composition. These aspects could be advantageous to improve colonization in the host increasing its pathogenicity.

  1. Instability of the Magnaporthe oryzae avirulence gene AVR-Pita alters virulence.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Erxun; Jia, Yulin; Singh, Pratibha; Correll, James C; Lee, Fleet N

    2007-10-01

    The avirulence gene AVR-Pita of Magnaporthe oryzae determines the efficacy of the resistance gene Pi-ta in rice. The structures of the AVR-Pita alleles in 39 US isolates of M. oryzae were analyzed using polymerase chain reaction. A series of allele-specific primers were developed from the AVR-Pita gene to examine the presence of AVR-Pita. Orthologous alleles of the AVR-Pita gene were amplified from avirulent isolates. Sequence analysis of five alleles revealed three introns at identical positions in the AVR-Pita gene. All five alleles were predicted to encode metalloprotease proteins highly similar to the AVR-Pita protein. In contrast, the same regions of the AVR-Pita alleles were not amplified in the most virulent isolates, and significant variations of DNA sequence at the AVR-Pita allele were verified by Southern blot analysis. A Pot3 transposon was identified in the DNA region encoding the putative protease motif of the AVR-Pita protein from a field isolate B2 collected from a Pi-ta-containing cultivar Banks. These findings show that transposons can contribute to instability of AVR-Pita and is one molecular mechanism for defeating resistance genes in rice cultivar Banks.

  2. Induction of Virulence Gene Expression in Staphylococcus aureus by Pulmonary Surfactant

    PubMed Central

    Ishii, Kenichi; Adachi, Tatsuo; Yasukawa, Jyunichiro; Suzuki, Yutaka; Hamamoto, Hiroshi

    2014-01-01

    We performed a genomewide analysis using a next-generation sequencer to investigate the effect of pulmonary surfactant on gene expression in Staphylococcus aureus, a clinically important opportunistic pathogen. RNA sequence (RNA-seq) analysis of bacterial transcripts at late log phase revealed 142 genes that were upregulated >2-fold following the addition of pulmonary surfactant to the culture medium. Among these genes, we confirmed by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR analysis that mRNA amounts for genes encoding ESAT-6 secretion system C (EssC), an unknown hypothetical protein (NWMN_0246; also called pulmonary surfactant-inducible factor A [PsiA] in this study), and hemolysin gamma subunit B (HlgB) were increased 3- to 10-fold by the surfactant treatment. Among the major constituents of pulmonary surfactant, i.e., phospholipids and palmitate, only palmitate, which is the most abundant fatty acid in the pulmonary surfactant and a known antibacterial substance, stimulated the expression of these three genes. Moreover, these genes were also induced by supplementing the culture with detergents. The induction of gene expression by surfactant or palmitate was not observed in a disruption mutant of the sigB gene, which encodes an alternative sigma factor involved in bacterial stress responses. Furthermore, each disruption mutant of the essC, psiA, and hlgB genes showed attenuation of both survival in the lung and host-killing ability in a murine pneumonia model. These findings suggest that S. aureus resists membrane stress caused by free fatty acids present in the pulmonary surfactant through the regulation of virulence gene expression, which contributes to its pathogenesis within the lungs of the host animal. PMID:24452679

  3. Induction of virulence gene expression in Staphylococcus aureus by pulmonary surfactant.

    PubMed

    Ishii, Kenichi; Adachi, Tatsuo; Yasukawa, Jyunichiro; Suzuki, Yutaka; Hamamoto, Hiroshi; Sekimizu, Kazuhisa

    2014-04-01

    We performed a genomewide analysis using a next-generation sequencer to investigate the effect of pulmonary surfactant on gene expression in Staphylococcus aureus, a clinically important opportunistic pathogen. RNA sequence (RNA-seq) analysis of bacterial transcripts at late log phase revealed 142 genes that were upregulated >2-fold following the addition of pulmonary surfactant to the culture medium. Among these genes, we confirmed by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR analysis that mRNA amounts for genes encoding ESAT-6 secretion system C (EssC), an unknown hypothetical protein (NWMN_0246; also called pulmonary surfactant-inducible factor A [PsiA] in this study), and hemolysin gamma subunit B (HlgB) were increased 3- to 10-fold by the surfactant treatment. Among the major constituents of pulmonary surfactant, i.e., phospholipids and palmitate, only palmitate, which is the most abundant fatty acid in the pulmonary surfactant and a known antibacterial substance, stimulated the expression of these three genes. Moreover, these genes were also induced by supplementing the culture with detergents. The induction of gene expression by surfactant or palmitate was not observed in a disruption mutant of the sigB gene, which encodes an alternative sigma factor involved in bacterial stress responses. Furthermore, each disruption mutant of the essC, psiA, and hlgB genes showed attenuation of both survival in the lung and host-killing ability in a murine pneumonia model. These findings suggest that S. aureus resists membrane stress caused by free fatty acids present in the pulmonary surfactant through the regulation of virulence gene expression, which contributes to its pathogenesis within the lungs of the host animal.

  4. Prevalence of virulence genes in strains of Campylobacter jejuni isolated from human, bovine and broiler.

    PubMed

    González-Hein, Gisela; Huaracán, Bernardo; García, Patricia; Figueroa, Guillermo

    2013-12-01

    Campylobacter jejuni isolates of different origins (bovine, broiler meat, human) were screened by polymerase chain reaction for the presence of 4 genes cdtB, cst-II, ggt, and virB11, previously linked to virulence such as adherence, invasion, colonization, molecular mimicry, and cytotoxin production. In addition, the isolates were screened for the presence of the global gene regulator csrA linked to oxidative stress responses, biofilms formation, and cell adhesion. All the C. jejuni isolates were positive for cdtB gene. The csrA gene was detected in 100% and 92% of C. jejuni isolates from human and animal origin and the virB11 gene was detected in 7.3% and 3.6% isolates from chicken and human respectively. All isolates from bovine were negative for the virB11 gene. The isolates showed a wide variation for the presence of the remaining genes. Of the C. jejuni recovered from human 83.6%, and 32.7% were positive for cst-II, and ggt respectively. Out of the isolates from chicken 40% and 5.5% isolates revealed the presence of cst-II, and ggt, respectively. Finally of the C. jejuni isolates from bovine, 97.7% and 22.7% were positive for cst-II, and ggt respectively. We conclude that the genes of this study circulate among humans and animals. These results led us to hypothesize that the isolates associated with enteritis (cdtB positives) are not selected by environmental or host-specific factors. On the other hand, the high frequencies of csrA gene in C. jejuni show that this gene is important for the survival of C. jejuni in animals and humans.

  5. Prevalence of virulence genes in strains of Campylobacter jejuni isolated from human, bovine and broiler

    PubMed Central

    González-Hein, Gisela; Huaracán, Bernardo; García, Patricia; Figueroa, Guillermo

    2013-01-01

    Campylobacter jejuni isolates of different origins (bovine, broiler meat, human) were screened by polymerase chain reaction for the presence of 4 genes cdtB, cst-II, ggt, and virB11, previously linked to virulence such as adherence, invasion, colonization, molecular mimicry, and cytotoxin production. In addition, the isolates were screened for the presence of the global gene regulator csrA linked to oxidative stress responses, biofilms formation, and cell adhesion. All the C. jejuni isolates were positive for cdtB gene. The csrA gene was detected in 100% and 92% of C. jejuni isolates from human and animal origin and the virB11 gene was detected in 7.3% and 3.6% isolates from chicken and human respectively. All isolates from bovine were negative for the virB11 gene. The isolates showed a wide variation for the presence of the remaining genes. Of the C. jejuni recovered from human 83.6%, and 32.7% were positive for cst-II, and ggt respectively. Out of the isolates from chicken 40% and 5.5% isolates revealed the presence of cst-II, and ggt, respectively. Finally of the C. jejuni isolates from bovine, 97.7% and 22.7% were positive for cst-II, and ggt respectively. We conclude that the genes of this study circulate among humans and animals. These results led us to hypothesize that the isolates associated with enteritis (cdtB positives) are not selected by environmental or host-specific factors. On the other hand, the high frequencies of csrA gene in C. jejuni show that this gene is important for the survival of C. jejuni in animals and humans. PMID:24688515

  6. Analysis of occurrence of virulence genes among Yersinia enterocolitica isolates belonging to different biotypes and serotypes.

    PubMed

    Kot, B; Piechota, M; Jakubczak, A

    2010-01-01

    The 150 Y enterocolitica strains isolated from humans and from pigs belonged to biotypes 4 (68.7%), 1A (18.7%) and 2 (4%), or were biochemically untypeable (8.6%). Biotype 4 was comprised of Y. enterocolitica strains representing serotype O:3, within biotype 1A the strains either belonged to serotypes O:5 and O:6 or were untypeable, and biotype 2 was represented by the strains of serotype O:9. The strains which were biochemically untypeable belonged to serotypes O:5, O:6 and O:3. Among the strains tested there also were those of an unidentified biotype and serotype. Nearly all the strains of biotype 1A represented genotype ystB+myfA+, and few belonged to genotype ystB+. The presence of the ystB gene in the strains of biotype 1A and only occasional occurrence of the gene in the other biotypes makes ystB a distinguishing marker of biotype 1A. The strains of genotype ystA+ail+myfA+yadA+ predominated in biotype 4 (serotype O:3). The strains of biotype 2 (serotype O:9) represented genotype ystA+ail+myfA+, and the plasmid yadA gene was detected in some of them. Within the group of biochemically untypeable strains ystB- and myfA-specific PCR products were mainly obtained. The genotypes determined for the tested biotypes and serotypes of Y. enterocolitica, based upon the selected genes of virulence, can be applied as distinguishing markers and indicators of the potential virulence of Y. enterocolitica strains, excluding bioserotyping.

  7. 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.

  8. Therapy of nontuberculous mycobacterial infections.

    PubMed

    Jogi, Reena; Tyring, Stephen K

    2004-01-01

    Mycobacterial infections are increasing in incidence worldwide, partly as a result of the increase in immunocompromised individuals. They cause a large number of cutaneous infections with a broad array of manifestations. Because of their diverse manifestations and sometimes fastidious nature, infections with mycobacteria are often misdiagnosed, leading to delay in and sometimes failure of therapy. In addition, many mycobacteria display both in vitro and in vivo drug resistance to antimicrobial agents. Early recognition of affected patients, initiation of appropriate antimicrobial therapy based on current guidelines, and tailoring of therapy after susceptibility testing is available are therefore essential to the successful treatment of mycobacterial infections.

  9. Cloning and expression of Staphylococcus saprophyticus urease gene sequences in Staphylococcus carnosus and contribution of the enzyme to virulence.

    PubMed Central

    Gatermann, S; Marre, R

    1989-01-01

    The urease gene of Staphylococcus saprophyticus CCM883 was cloned and expressed in Staphylococcus carnosus TM300. In vitro translation of the cloned DNA sequences revealed six polypeptides (of 70, 47, 29, 27, 20, and 17 kilodaltons) that were associated with enzyme activity. Introduction of the cloned genes into a urease-negative mutant of S. saprophyticus restored the virulence of this strain, confirming our previous suggestion (S. Gatermann, J. John, and R. Marre, Infect. Immun. 57:110-116, 1989) that this enzyme is a major virulence factor of the organism and contributes mainly to cystopathogenicity. Images PMID:2777370

  10. Expression of Vibrio cholerae virulence genes in response to environmental signals.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Kenneth M

    2002-09-01

    Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of Asiatic cholera, is a gram-negative motile bacterial species acquired via oral ingestion of contaminated food or water sources. The O1 serogroup of V. cholerae is responsible for pandemic cholera and is divided into two biotypes, classical and El Tor (Butterton and Calderwood, 1995; Mekalanos, 1985). The El Tor biotype is responsible for the current cholera pandemic. In the absence of disease, the vibrio life cycle consists of a free-swimming phase in marine and estuarine environments in association with zooplankton, crustaceans, insects, and water plants. Vibrios interact with various surfaces found in the environment to generate biofilms which may promote survival (Watnick etaL, 1999). Within the host the motile vibrios must evade the innate host defense mechanisms, penetrate the mucus layer covering the intestinal villi, adhere to and colonize the epithelial surface of the small intestine, assume a non-motile phase, replicate and cause disease by secreting numerous exoproteins at the site of infection (Oliver and Kaper, 1997). The voluminous diarrhea associated with cholera infection leads to the dissemination of the vibrios back into a watery environment and thus a continuation of the environmental phase of the life cycle. The host phase of the vibrio life cycle is only possible through the action of a group of virulence genes (ToxR-regulon) controlled by a complex and incompletely understood regulatory cascade. The ToxR regulon colonization and toxin genes are coordinately expressed in response to specific host signals that have yet to be completely defined (Skorupsky and Taylor 1997). Although little is known regarding the host signals that impact the ToxR regulatory cascade, it is clear that these intraintestinal signals play an important role in maximizing the ability of the vibrios to survive and multiply within the host. Key to understanding the complex events involved in the pathogenesis of V. cholerae will be

  11. High Prevalence of Virulence Genes in Specific Genotypes of Atypical Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yanmei; Bai, Xiangning; Jin, Yujuan; Hu, Bin; Wang, Hong; Sun, Hui; Fan, Ruyue; Fu, Shanshan; Xiong, Yanwen

    2017-01-01

    Atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (aEPEC) strains are emerging enteropathogens that have been detected worldwide. A collection of 228 aEPEC strains (121 from diarrheal patients, 27 from healthy carriers, 47 from animals and 33 from raw meats) were investigated for serotypes, virulence gene profiles and phylogenetic relationships. Sixty-six O serogroups were identified. Serogroup O51 was the most prevalent, followed by O119, O26 and O76. For the 20 virulence genes detected, statistically significant differences were observed in the overall prevalence of efa1 (lifA), nleB, nleE, set/ent, paa, and ehxA genes among strains from diarrheal patients, healthy carriers, animals and raw meats, respectively. Strains from diarrheal patients had significantly higher levels of efa1 (lifA) (29.8 vs. 0%, P = 0.0002), nleB (41.3 vs. 7.4%, P = 0.0004), nleE (43.8 vs. 7.4%, P = 0.0002) and set/ent (41.3 vs. 7.4%, P = 0.0004) genes than strains obtained from healthy carriers. The paa gene was identified more often in isolates from raw meats (63.6 vs. 14.8%, P < 0.0001), animals (42.6 vs. 14.8%, P < 0.0122), and diarrheal patients (36.4 vs. 14.8%, P < 0.0225) than in strains obtained from healthy carriers. The ehxA gene was detected more frequently in strains from raw meats than in strains from diarrheal patients (27.3 vs. 2.5%, P = 0.0000) and healthy carriers (27.3 vs. 7.4%, P = 0.0474). The phylogenetic marker, yjaA, was more frequently observed in strains among healthy carriers than in diarrheal patient strains. Among the 228 aEPEC strains, 79 sequence types (STs) were identified. The prominent STs, which comprised strains carrying the four OI-122 genes and lpfA, were ST40, ST328, and ST29. Overall, the results indicate that aEPEC strains isolated in China are highly heterogeneous. aEPEC strains that are potentially more pathogenic appear to be related to specific STs or clonal complexes and serotypes. The high prevalence of diarrhea-associated genes in animal or raw meat

  12. A Naturally Occurring Single Amino Acid Replacement in Multiple Gene Regulator of Group A Streptococcus Significantly Increases Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Sanson, Misu; O'Neill, Brian E.; Kachroo, Priyanka; Anderson, Jeff R.; Flores, Anthony R.; Valson, Chandni; Cantu, Concepcion C.; Makthal, Nishanth; Karmonik, Christof; Fittipaldi, Nahuel; Kumaraswami, Muthiah; Musser, James M.; Olsen, Randall J.

    2016-01-01

    Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are the most common source of genetic variation within a species; however, few investigations demonstrate how naturally occurring SNPs may increase strain virulence. We recently used group A Streptococcus as a model pathogen to study bacteria strain genotype–patient disease phenotype relationships. Whole-genome sequencing of approximately 800 serotype M59 group A Streptococcus strains, recovered during an outbreak of severe invasive infections across North America, identified a disproportionate number of SNPs in the gene encoding multiple gene regulator of group A Streptococcus (mga). Herein, we report results of studies designed to test the hypothesis that the most commonly occurring SNP, encoding a replacement of arginine for histidine at codon 201 of Mga (H201R), significantly increases virulence. Whole transcriptome analysis revealed that the H201R replacement significantly increased expression of mga and 54 other genes, including many proven virulence factors. Compared to the wild-type strain, a H201R isogenic mutant strain caused significantly larger skin lesions in mice. Serial quantitative bacterial culture and noninvasive magnetic resonance imaging also demonstrated that the isogenic H201R strain was significantly more virulent in a nonhuman primate model of joint infection. These findings show that the H201R replacement in Mga increases the virulence of M59 group A Streptococcus and provide new insight to how a naturally occurring SNP in bacteria contributes to human disease phenotypes. PMID:25476528

  13. Inhibition of Competence Development, Horizontal Gene Transfer and Virulence in Streptococcus pneumoniae by a Modified Competence Stimulating Peptide

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Luchang; Lau, Gee W.

    2011-01-01

    Competence stimulating peptide (CSP) is a 17-amino acid peptide pheromone secreted by Streptococcus pneumoniae. Upon binding of CSP to its membrane-associated receptor kinase ComD, a cascade of signaling events is initiated, leading to activation of the competence regulon by the response regulator ComE. Genes encoding proteins that are involved in DNA uptake and transformation, as well as virulence, are upregulated. Previous studies have shown that disruption of key components in the competence regulon inhibits DNA transformation and attenuates virulence. Thus, synthetic analogues that competitively inhibit CSPs may serve as attractive drugs to control pneumococcal infection and to reduce horizontal gene transfer during infection. We performed amino acid substitutions on conserved amino acid residues of CSP1 in an effort to disable DNA transformation and to attenuate the virulence of S. pneumoniae. One of the mutated peptides, CSP1-E1A, inhibited development of competence in DNA transformation by outcompeting CSP1 in time and concentration-dependent manners. CSP1-E1A reduced the expression of pneumococcal virulence factors choline binding protein D (CbpD) and autolysin A (LytA) in vitro, and significantly reduced mouse mortality after lung infection. Furthermore, CSP1-E1A attenuated the acquisition of an antibiotic resistance gene and a capsule gene in vivo. Finally, we demonstrated that the strategy of using a peptide inhibitor is applicable to other CSP subtype, including CSP2. CSP1-E1A and CSP2-E1A were able to cross inhibit the induction of competence and DNA transformation in pneumococcal strains with incompatible ComD subtypes. These results demonstrate the applicability of generating competitive analogues of CSPs as drugs to control horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance and virulence genes, and to attenuate virulence during infection by S. pneumoniae. PMID:21909280

  14. Adherence and virulence genes of Escherichia coli from children diarrhoea in the Brazilian Amazon

    PubMed Central

    Benevides-Matos, Najla; Pieri, Fabio A.; Penatti, Marilene; Orlandi, Patrícia P.

    2015-01-01

    The bacterial pathogen most commonly associated with endemic forms of childhood diarrhoea is Escherichia coli . Studies of epidemiological characteristics of HEp-2 cell-adherent E. coli in diarrhoeal disease are required, particularly in developing countries. The aim of this study was evaluate the presence and significance of adherent Escherichia coli from diarrhoeal disease in children. The prevalence of LA, AA, and DA adherence patterns were determined in HEp-2 cells, the presence of virulence genes and the presence of the O serogroups in samples obtained from 470 children with acute diarrhoea and 407 controls in Porto Velho, Rondônia, Brazil. E. coli isolates were identified by PCR specific for groups of adherent E. coli . Out of 1,156 isolates obtained, 128 (11.0%) were positive for eae genes corresponding to EPEC, however only 38 (29.6%) of these amplified bfpA gene . EAEC were isolated from 164 (14.1%) samples; of those 41(25%), 32 (19%) and 16 (9.7%) amplified eagg , aggA or aafA genes, respectively and aggA was significantly associated with diarrhoea ( P = 0.00006). DAEC identified by their adhesion pattern and there were few isolates. In conclusion, EAEC was the main cause of diarrhoea in children, especially when the aggA gene was present, followed by EPEC and with a negligible presence of DAEC. PMID:26221098

  15. Adherence and virulence genes of Escherichia coli from children diarrhoea in the Brazilian Amazon.

    PubMed

    Benevides-Matos, Najla; Pieri, Fabio A; Penatti, Marilene; Orlandi, Patrícia P

    2015-03-01

    The bacterial pathogen most commonly associated with endemic forms of childhood diarrhoea is Escherichia coli . Studies of epidemiological characteristics of HEp-2 cell-adherent E. coli in diarrhoeal disease are required, particularly in developing countries. The aim of this study was evaluate the presence and significance of adherent Escherichia coli from diarrhoeal disease in children. The prevalence of LA, AA, and DA adherence patterns were determined in HEp-2 cells, the presence of virulence genes and the presence of the O serogroups in samples obtained from 470 children with acute diarrhoea and 407 controls in Porto Velho, Rondônia, Brazil. E. coli isolates were identified by PCR specific for groups of adherent E. coli . Out of 1,156 isolates obtained, 128 (11.0%) were positive for eae genes corresponding to EPEC, however only 38 (29.6%) of these amplified bfpA gene . EAEC were isolated from 164 (14.1%) samples; of those 41(25%), 32 (19%) and 16 (9.7%) amplified eagg , aggA or aafA genes, respectively and aggA was significantly associated with diarrhoea ( P = 0.00006). DAEC identified by their adhesion pattern and there were few isolates. In conclusion, EAEC was the main cause of diarrhoea in children, especially when the aggA gene was present, followed by EPEC and with a negligible presence of DAEC.

  16. Population genomics of virulence genes of Plasmodium falciparum in clinical isolates from Uganda.

    PubMed

    Ruybal-Pesántez, Shazia; Tiedje, Kathryn E; Tonkin-Hill, Gerry; Rask, Thomas S; Kamya, Moses R; Greenhouse, Bryan; Dorsey, Grant; Duffy, Michael F; Day, Karen P

    2017-09-18

    Plasmodium falciparum causes a spectrum of malarial disease from asymptomatic to uncomplicated through to severe. Investigations of parasite virulence have associated the expression of distinct variants of the major surface antigen of the blood stages known as Pf EMP1 encoded by up to 60 var genes per genome. Looking at the population genomics of var genes in cases of uncomplicated malaria, we set out to determine if there was any evidence of a selective sweep of specific var genes or clonal epidemic structure related to the incidence of uncomplicated disease in children. By sequencing the conserved DBLα domain of var genes from six sentinel sites in Uganda we found that the parasites causing uncomplicated P. falciparum disease in children were highly diverse and that every child had a unique var DBLα repertoire. Despite extensive var DBLα diversity and minimal overlap between repertoires, specific DBLα types and groups were conserved at the population level across Uganda. This pattern was the same regardless of the geographic distance or malaria transmission intensity. These data lead us to propose that any parasite can cause uncomplicated malarial disease and that these diverse parasite repertoires are composed of both upsA and non-upsA var gene groups.

  17. Clinical and Genomic Analysis of Liver Abscess-Causing Klebsiella pneumoniae Identifies New Liver Abscess-Associated Virulence Genes

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Meiping; Tu, Jianfei; Jiang, Jianping; Bi, Yingmin; You, Weibo; Zhang, Yanliang; Ren, Jianmin; Zhu, Taohui; Cao, Zhuo; Yu, Zuochun; Shao, Chuxiao; Shen, Zhen; Ding, Baixing; Yuan, Jinyi; Zhao, Xu; Guo, Qinglan; Xu, Xiaogang; Huang, Jinwei; Wang, Minggui

    2016-01-01

    Hypervirulent variants of Klebsiella pneumoniae (hvKp) that cause invasive community-acquired pyogenic liver abscess (PLA) have emerged globally. Little is known about the virulence determinants associated with hvKp, except for the virulence genes rmpA/A2 and siderophores (iroBCD/iucABCD) carried by the pK2044-like large virulence plasmid. Here, we collected most recent clinical isolates of hvKp from PLA samples in China, and performed clinical, molecular, and genomic sequencing analyses. We found that 90.9% (40/44) of the pathogens causing PLA were K. pneumoniae. Among the 40 LA-Kp, K1 (62.5%), and K2 (17.5%) were the dominant serotypes, and ST23 (47.5%) was the major sequence type. S1-PFGE analyses demonstrated that although 77.5% (31/40) of the LA-Kp isolates harbored a single large virulence plasmid varied in size, 5 (12.5%) isolates had no plasmid and 4 (10%) had two or three plasmids. Whole genome sequencing and comparative analysis of 3 LA-Kp and 3 non-LA-Kp identified 133 genes present only in LA-Kp. Further, large scale screening of the 133 genes in 45 LA-Kp and 103 non-LA-Kp genome sequences from public databases identified 30 genes that were highly associated with LA-Kp, including iroBCD, iucABCD and rmpA/A2 and 21 new genes. Then, these 21 new genes were analyzed in 40 LA-Kp and 86 non-LA-Kp clinical isolates collected in this study by PCR, showing that new genes were present 80–100% among LA-Kp isolates while 2–11% in K. pneumoniae isolates from sputum and urine. Several of the 21 genes have been proposed as virulence factors in other bacteria, such as the gene encoding SAM-dependent methyltransferase and pagO which protects bacteria from phagocytosis. Taken together, these genes are likely new virulence factors contributing to the hypervirulence phenotype of hvKp, and may deepen our understanding of virulence mechanism of hvKp. PMID:27965935

  18. Clinical and Genomic Analysis of Liver Abscess-Causing Klebsiella pneumoniae Identifies New Liver Abscess-Associated Virulence Genes.

    PubMed

    Ye, Meiping; Tu, Jianfei; Jiang, Jianping; Bi, Yingmin; You, Weibo; Zhang, Yanliang; Ren, Jianmin; Zhu, Taohui; Cao, Zhuo; Yu, Zuochun; Shao, Chuxiao; Shen, Zhen; Ding, Baixing; Yuan, Jinyi; Zhao, Xu; Guo, Qinglan; Xu, Xiaogang; Huang, Jinwei; Wang, Minggui

    2016-01-01

    Hypervirulent variants of Klebsiella pneumoniae (hvKp) that cause invasive community-acquired pyogenic liver abscess (PLA) have emerged globally. Little is known about the virulence determinants associated with hvKp, except for the virulence genes rmpA/A2 and siderophores (iroBCD/iucABCD) carried by the pK2044-like large virulence plasmid. Here, we collected most recent clinical isolates of hvKp from PLA samples in China, and performed clinical, molecular, and genomic sequencing analyses. We found that 90.9% (40/44) of the pathogens causing PLA were K. pneumoniae. Among the 40 LA-Kp, K1 (62.5%), and K2 (17.5%) were the dominant serotypes, and ST23 (47.5%) was the major sequence type. S1-PFGE analyses demonstrated that although 77.5% (31/40) of the LA-Kp isolates harbored a single large virulence plasmid varied in size, 5 (12.5%) isolates had no plasmid and 4 (10%) had two or three plasmids. Whole genome sequencing and comparative analysis of 3 LA-Kp and 3 non-LA-Kp identified 133 genes present only in LA-Kp. Further, large scale screening of the 133 genes in 45 LA-Kp and 103 non-LA-Kp genome sequences from public databases identified 30 genes that were highly associated with LA-Kp, including iroBCD, iucABCD and rmpA/A2 and 21 new genes. Then, these 21 new genes were analyzed in 40 LA-Kp and 86 non-LA-Kp clinical isolates collected in this study by PCR, showing that new genes were present 80-100% among LA-Kp isolates while 2-11% in K. pneumoniae isolates from sputum and urine. Several of the 21 genes have been proposed as virulence factors in other bacteria, such as the gene encoding SAM-dependent methyltransferase and pagO which protects bacteria from phagocytosis. Taken together, these genes are likely new virulence factors contributing to the hypervirulence phenotype of hvKp, and may deepen our understanding of virulence mechanism of hvKp.

  19. Reciprocal interaction between dental alloy biocorrosion and Streptococcus mutans virulent gene expression.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Songmei; Qiu, Jing; Ren, Yanfang; Yu, Weiqiang; Zhang, Fuqiang; Liu, Xiuxin

    2016-04-01

    Corrosion of dental alloys is a major concern in dental restorations. Streptococcus mutans reduces the pH in oral cavity and induces demineralization of the enamel as well as corrosion of restorative dental materials. The rough surfaces of dental alloys induced by corrosion enhance the subsequent accumulation of plaque. In this study, the corrosion process of nickel-chromium (Ni-Cr) and cobalt-chromium (Co-Cr) alloys in a nutrient-rich medium containing S. mutans was studied using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and electrochemical corrosion test. Our results showed that the release of Ni and Co ions increased, particularly after incubation for 3 days. The electrochemical corrosion results showed a significant decrease in the corrosion resistance (Rp) value after the alloys were immersed in the media containing S. mutans for 3 days. Correspondingly, XPS revealed a reduction in the relative dominance of Ni, Co, and Cr in the surface oxides after the alloys were immersed in the S. mutans culture. After removal of the biofilm, the pre-corroded alloys were re-incubated in S. mutans medium, and the expressions of genes associated with the adhesion and acidogenesis of S. mutans, including gtfBCD, gbpB, fif and ldh, were evaluated by detecting the mRNA levels using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). We found that the gtfBCD, gbpB, ftf and Idh expression of S. mutans were noticeably increased after incubation with pre-corroded alloys for 24 h. This study demonstrated that S. mutans enhanced the corrosion behavior of the dental alloys, on the other hand, the presence of corroded alloy surfaces up-regulated the virulent gene expression in S. mutans. Compared with smooth surfaces, the rough corroded surfaces of dental alloys accelerated the bacteria-adhesion and corrosion process by changing the virulence gene expression of S. mutans.

  20. Virulence genes and cytokine profile in systemic murine Campylobacter coli infection.

    PubMed

    Klančnik, Anja; Pogačar, Maja Šikić; Raspor, Peter; Abram, Maja; Možina, Sonja Smole; Vučković, Darinka

    2015-01-01

    Campylobacter coli are one of the most common bacteria in bacterial gastroenteritis and acute enterocolitis in humans. However, relatively little is known regarding the mechanisms of pathogenesis and host response to C. coli infections. To investigate the influence of genetic changes, we first used PCR to demonstrate the presence of the known virulence genes cadF, virB11, cdtB, cdtC and ceuE in the clinical isolate C. coli 26536, which was isolated from the liver of infected BALB/c mice. Sequence analyses of the cadF, virB11, cdtB and ceuE genes in C. coli 26536 confirmed the stability in these virulence genes during their transmission through the host. We further investigated C. coli infection for the bacterial clearance from the liver and spleen of infected mice, and for their immune response. C. coli persisted well in both organs, with better survival in the liver. We also determined the levels of several pro-inflammatory cytokines (i.e., interleukin [IL]-6, IL-12, interferon-γ, tumor necrosis factor-α) and the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 in plasma and in liver homogenates from the infected mice, using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. The lowest levels among these cytokines were for tumor necrosis factor-α in the plasma and IL-6 in the liver on days 1, 3 and 8 post-infection. The most pronounced production was for IL-10, in both plasma (days 1 and 8 post-infection) and liver (day 8 post-infection), which suggests that it has a role in healing of the organ inflammation. Our findings showed dynamic relationships between pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and thus contribute toward clarification of the healing processes involved in the resolution of C. coli infections.

  1. Relationship between oviposition, virulence gene expression and parasitism success in Cotesia typhae nov. sp. parasitoid strains.

    PubMed

    Benoist, R; Chantre, C; Capdevielle-Dulac, C; Bodet, M; Mougel, F; Calatayud, P A; Dupas, S; Huguet, E; Jeannette, R; Obonyo, J; Odorico, C; Silvain, J F; Le Ru, B; Kaiser, L

    2017-09-22

    Studying mechanisms that drive host adaptation in parasitoids is crucial for the efficient use of parasitoids in biocontrol programs. Cotesia typhae nov. sp. (Fernández-Triana) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) is a newly described parasitoid of the Mediterranean corn borer Sesamia nonagrioides (Lefebvre) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Braconidae are known for their domesticated bracovirus, which is injected with eggs in the host larva to overcome its resistance. In this context, we compared reproductive success traits of four Kenyan strains of C. typhae on a French and a Kenyan populations of its host. Differences were found between the four strains and the two most contrasted ones were studied more thoroughly on the French host population. Parasitoid offspring size was correlated with parasitism success and the expression of bracovirus virulence genes (CrV1 and Cystatin) in the host larva after parasitism. Hybrids between these two parasitoid strains showed phenotype and gene expression profiles similar to the most successful parental strain, suggesting the involvement of dominant alleles in the reproductive traits. Ovary dissections revealed that the most successful strain injected more eggs in a single host larva than the less successful one, despite an equal initial ovocyte number in ovaries. It can be expected that the amount of viral particles increase with the number of eggs injected. The ability to bypass the resistance of the allopatric host may in consequence be related to the oviposition behaviour (eggs allocation). The influence of the number of injected eggs on parasitism success and on virulence gene expression was evaluated by oviposition interruption experiments.

  2. The type VI secretion system gene cluster of Salmonella typhimurium: required for full virulence in mice.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ji; Guo, Ji-Tao; Li, Yong-Guo; Johnston, Randal N; Liu, Gui-Rong; Liu, Shu-Lin

    2013-07-01

    Type VI secretion system (T6SS) has increasingly been believed to participate in the infection process for many bacterial pathogens, but its role in the virulence of Salmonella typhimurium remains unclear. To look into this, we deleted the T6SS cluster from the genome of S. typhimurium 14028s and analyzed the phenotype of the resulting T6SS knockout mutant (T6SSKO mutant) in vitro and in vivo. We found that the T6SSKO mutant exhibited reduced capability in colonizing the spleen and liver in an in vivo colonization competition model in BALB/c mice infected by the oral route. Additionally, infection via intraperitoneal administration also showed that the T6SSKO mutant was less capable of colonizing the mouse spleen and liver than the wild-type strain. We did not detect significant differences between the T6SSKO and wild-type strains in epithelial cell invasion tests. However, in the macrophage RAW264.7 cell line, the T6SSKO mutant survived and proliferated significantly more poorly than the wild-type strain. These findings indicate that T6SS gene cluster is required for full virulence of S. typhimurium 14028s in BALB/c mice, possibly due to its roles in bacterial survival and proliferation in macrophages.

  3. Virulence of Meloidogyne incognita to expression of N gene in pepper

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Four pepper genotypes classified as resistant and four pepper genotypes classified as susceptible to several avirulent populations of M. incognita were compared for their reactions against a population of Meloidogyne incognita (Chitwood) Kofoid and White which had been shown to be virulent to resistant bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) in preliminary tests. The virulent population of M. incognita originated from a commercial bell pepper field in California. The resistant pepper genotypes used in all experiments were the Capsicum annuum cultivars Charleston Belle, Carolina Wonder, and Carolina Cayenne, and the C. chinense cultigen PA-426. The susceptible pepper genotypes used in the experiments were the C. annuum cultivars Keystone Resistant Giant, Yolo Wonder B, California Wonder, and the C. chinense cultigen PA-350. Root gall indices (GI) were ≥ 3.0 for all genotypes in both tests except for PA-426 (GI=2.57) in test 1 and ‘Carolina Cayenne’ (GI=2.83) in test 2. Numbers of eggs per gram fresh root weight ranged from 20,635 to 141,319 and reproductive indices ranged from 1.20 to 27.2 for the pepper genotypes in both tests, indicating that all eight pepper genotypes tested were susceptible to the M. incognita population used in these tests. The M. incognita population used in these studies overcame resistance conferred by the N gene in all resistant genotypes of both C. annuum and C. chinense. PMID:22791917

  4. Virulence of Meloidogyne incognita to expression of N gene in pepper.

    PubMed

    Thies, Judy A

    2011-06-01

    Four pepper genotypes classified as resistant and four pepper genotypes classified as susceptible to several avirulent populations of M. incognita were compared for their reactions against a population of Meloidogyne incognita (Chitwood) Kofoid and White which had been shown to be virulent to resistant bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) in preliminary tests. The virulent population of M. incognita originated from a commercial bell pepper field in California. The resistant pepper genotypes used in all experiments were the Capsicum annuum cultivars Charleston Belle, Carolina Wonder, and Carolina Cayenne, and the C. chinense cultigen PA-426. The susceptible pepper genotypes used in the experiments were the C. annuum cultivars Keystone Resistant Giant, Yolo Wonder B, California Wonder, and the C. chinense cultigen PA-350. Root gall indices (GI) were ≥ 3.0 for all genotypes in both tests except for PA-426 (GI=2.57) in test 1 and 'Carolina Cayenne' (GI=2.83) in test 2. Numbers of eggs per gram fresh root weight ranged from 20,635 to 141,319 and reproductive indices ranged from 1.20 to 27.2 for the pepper genotypes in both tests, indicating that all eight pepper genotypes tested were susceptible to the M. incognita population used in these tests. The M. incognita population used in these studies overcame resistance conferred by the N gene in all resistant genotypes of both C. annuum and C. chinense.

  5. Occurrence of Putative Virulence Genes in Arcobacter Species Isolated from Humans and Animals

    PubMed Central

    Douidah, Laid; de Zutter, Lieven; Baré, Julie; De Vos, Paul; Vandamme, Peter; Vandenberg, Olivier; Van den Abeele, Anne-Marie

    2012-01-01

    Interest in arcobacters in veterinary and human public health has increased since the first report of the isolation of arcobacters from food of animal origin. Since then, studies worldwide have reported the occurrence of arcobacters on food and in food production animals and have highlighted possible transmission, especially of Arcobacter butzleri, to the human population. In humans, arcobacters are associated with enteritis and septicemia. To assess their clinical relevance for humans and animals, evaluation of potential virulence factors is required. However, up to now, little has been known about the mechanisms of pathogenicity. Because of their close phylogenetic affiliation to the food-borne pathogen Campylobacter and their similar clinical manifestations, the presence of nine putative Campylobacter virulence genes (cadF, ciaB, cj1349, hecA, hecB, irgA, mviN, pldA, and tlyA) previously identified in the recent Arcobacter butzleri ATCC 49616 genome sequence was determined in a large set of human and animal Arcobacter butzleri, Arcobacter cryaerophilus, and Arcobacter skirrowii strains after the development of rapid and accurate PCR assays and confirmed by sequencing and dot blot hybridization. PMID:22170914

  6. Shigella in Brazilian children with acute diarrhoea: prevalence, antimicrobial resistance and virulence genes.

    PubMed

    Sousa, Mireille Ângela Bernardes; Mendes, Edilberto Nogueira; Collares, Guilherme Birchal; Péret-Filho, Luciano Amedée; Penna, Francisco José; Magalhães, Paula Prazeres

    2013-02-01

    Diarrhoeal disease is still considered a major cause of morbidity and mortality among children. Among diarrhoeagenic agents, Shigella should be highlighted due to its prevalence and the severity of the associated disease. Here, we assessed Shigella prevalence, drug susceptibility and virulence factors. Faeces from 157 children with diarrhoea who sought treatment at the Children's Hospital João Paulo II, a reference children´s hospital in Belo Horizonte, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, were cultured and drug susceptibility of the Shigella isolates was determined by the disk diffusion technique. Shigella virulence markers were identified by polymerase chain reaction. The bacterium was recovered from 10.8% of the children (88.2% Shigella sonnei). The ipaH, iuc, sen and ial genes were detected in strains isolated from all shigellosis patients; set1A was only detected in Shigella flexneri. Additionally, patients were infected by Shigella strains of different ial, sat, sen and set1A genotypes. Compared to previous studies, we observed a marked shift in the distribution of species from S. flexneri to S. sonnei and high rates of trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole resistance.

  7. Shigella in Brazilian children with acute diarrhoea: prevalence, antimicrobial resistance and virulence genes

    PubMed Central

    Sousa, Mireille Ângela Bernardes; Mendes, Edilberto Nogueira; Collares, Guilherme Birchal; Péret-Filho, Luciano Amedée; Penna, Francisco José; Magalhães, Paula Prazeres

    2013-01-01

    Diarrhoeal disease is still considered a major cause of morbidity and mortality among children. Among diarrhoeagenic agents, Shigella should be highlighted due to its prevalence and the severity of the associated disease. Here, we assessed Shigella prevalence, drug susceptibility and virulence factors. Faeces from 157 children with diarrhoea who sought treatment at the Children's Hospital João Paulo II, a reference children´s hospital in Belo Horizonte, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, were cultured and drug susceptibility of the Shigella isolates was determined by the disk diffusion technique. Shigella virulence markers were identified by polymerase chain reaction. The bacterium was recovered from 10.8% of the children (88.2% Shigella sonnei). The ipaH, iuc, sen and ial genes were detected in strains isolated from all shigellosis patients; set1A was only detected in Shigella flexneri. Additionally, patients were infected by Shigella strains of different ial, sat, sen and set1A genotypes. Compared to previous studies, we observed a marked shift in the distribution of species from S. flexneri to S. sonnei and high rates of trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole resistance. PMID:23440111

  8. Characterization of DNase activity and gene in Streptococcus suis and evidence for a role as virulence factor

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The Gram-positive bacterium Streptococcus suis serotype 2 is an important swine pathogen and emerging zoonotic agent. Multilocus sequence typing allowed dividing S. suis serotype 2 into sequence types (STs). The three major STs of S. suis serotype 2 from North America are 1 (most virulent), 25 (intermediate virulence) and 28 (less virulent). Although the presence of DNase activity in S. suis has been previously reported, little data is available. The aim of this study was to investigate DNase activity in S. suis according to STs, to characterize the activity and gene, and to provide evidence for a potential role in virulence. Results We showed that ST1 and ST28 strains exhibited DNase activity that was absent in ST25 strains. The lack of activity in ST25 isolates was associated with a 14-bp deletion resulting in a shifted reading frame and a premature stop codon. The DNase of S. suis P1/7 (ST1) was cell-associated and active on linear DNA. A DNase-deficient mutant of S. suis P1/7 was found to be less virulent in an amoeba model. Stimulation of macrophages with the DNase mutant showed a decreased secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and matrix metalloproteinase-9 compared to the parental strain. Conclusions This study further expands our knowledge of S. suis DNase and its potential role in virulence. PMID:24996230

  9. Inheritance of Virulence, Construction of a Linkage Map, and Mapping Dominant Virulence Genes in Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici through Characterization of a Sexual Population with Genotyping-by-Sequencing.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Congying; Wang, Meinan; Skinner, Daniel Z; See, Deven R; Xia, Chongjing; Guo, Xinhong; Chen, Xianming

    2017-09-06

    Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst), the wheat stripe rust pathogen, is a dikaryotic, biotrophic, and macrocyclic fungus. Genetic study of Pst virulence was not possible until the recent discovery of Berberis spp. and Mahonia spp. as alternate hosts. To determine inheritance of virulence and map virulence genes, a segregating population of 119 isolates was developed by self-fertilizing Pst isolate 08-220 (race PSTv-11) on barberry leaves under controlled greenhouse conditions. The progeny isolates were phenotyped on a set of 29 wheat lines with single genes for race-specific resistance and genotyped with simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers, simple sequence repeat derived from secreted protein genes (SP-SNP), and SNP markers from genotyping- by-sequencing (GBS). Using the GBS technique, 10,163 polymorphic GBS-SNP markers were identified. Clustering and principal component analysis grouped these markers into six genetic groups, and a genetic map, consisting of six linkage groups, was constructed with 805 markers. The six clusters or linkage groups resulting from these analyses indicated a haploid chromosome number of six in Pst. Through virulence testing of the progeny isolates, the parental isolate was found to be homozygous for the avirulence loci corresponding to resistance genes Yr5, Yr10, Yr15, Yr24, Yr32, YrSP, YrTr1, Yr45, and Yr53 and homozygous for the virulence locus corresponding to resistance gene Yr41. Segregation was observed for virulence phenotypes in response to the remaining 19 single-gene lines. A single dominant gene or two dominant genes with different non-allelic gene interactions were identified for each of the segregating virulence phenotypes. Of 27 dominant virulence genes identified, 17 were mapped to two chromosomes. Markers tightly linked to some of the virulence loci may facilitate further studies to clone these genes. The virulence genes and their inheritance information are useful for understanding the host-pathogen interactions

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

    PubMed Central

    Hampel, Martin; Jakobi, Mareike; Schmitz, Lara; Meyer, Ute; Finkernagel, Florian; Doehlemann, Gunther; Heimel, Kai

    2016-01-01

    The unfolded protein response (UPR), a conserved eukaryotic signaling pathway to ensure protein homeostasis in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), coordinates biotrophic development in the corn smut fungus Ustilago maydis. Exact timing of UPR activation is required for virulence and presumably connected to the elevated expression of secreted effector proteins during infection of the host plant Zea mays. In the baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, expression of UPR target genes is induced upon binding of the central regulator Hac1 to unfolded protein response elements (UPREs) in their promoters. While a role of the UPR in effector secretion has been described previously, we investigated a potential UPR-dependent regulation of genes encoding secreted effector proteins. In silico prediction of UPREs in promoter regions identified the previously characterized effector genes pit2 and tin1-1, as bona fide UPR target genes. Furthermore, direct binding of the Hac1-homolog Cib1 to the UPRE containing promoter fragments of both genes was confirmed by quantitative chromatin immunoprecipitation (qChIP) analysis. Targeted deletion of the UPRE abolished Cib1-dependent expression of pit2 and significantly affected virulence. Furthermore, ER stress strongly increased Pit2 expression and secretion. This study expands the role of the UPR as a signal hub in fungal virulence and illustrates, how biotrophic fungi can coordinate cellular physiology, development and regulation of secreted virulence factors. PMID:27093436

  11. 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

    Summary The competence regulon of Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) is crucial for genetic transformation. During competence development, the alternative sigma factor ComX is activated, which in turn, initiates transcription of 80 “late” competence genes. Interestingly, only 16 late genes are essential for genetic transformation. We hypothesized that these late genes that are dispensable for competence are beneficial to pneumococcal fitness during infection. These late genes were systematically deleted, and the resulting mutants were examined for their fitness during mouse models of bacteremia and acute pneumonia. Among these, 14 late genes were important for fitness in mice. Significantly, deletion of some late genes attenuated pneumococcal fitness to the same level in both wild-type and ComX-null genetic backgrounds, suggesting that the constitutive baseline expression of these genes was important for bacterial fitness. In contrast, some mutants were attenuated only in the wild-type genetic background but not in the ComX-null background, suggesting that specific expression of these genes during competence state contributed to pneumococcal fitness. Increased virulence during competence state was partially caused by the induction of allolytic enzymes that enhanced pneumolysin release. These results distinguish the role of basal expression versus competence induction in virulence functions encoded by ComX-regulated late competence genes. Graphical abstract During genetic transformation of pneumococcus, the alternative sigma factor ComX regulates expression of 14 late competence genes important for virulence. The constitutive baseline expression of some of these genes is important for bacteremia and acute pneumonia infections. In contrast, elevated expression of DprA, CbpD, CibAB, and Cinbox are dependent on competence development, enhancing the release of pneumolysin. These results distinguish the role of basal expression versus competence induction in

  12. Antimicrobial susceptibility, virulence genes, and randomly amplified polymorphic DNA analysis of Staphylococcus aureus recovered from bovine mastitis in Ningxia, China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dong; Zhang, Limei; Zhou, Xuezhang; He, Yulong; Yong, Changfu; Shen, Mingliang; Szenci, Otto; Han, Bo

    2016-12-01

    Staphylococcus aureusis the leading pathogen involved inbovine mastitis, but knowledgeabout antimicrobial resistance, virulence factors, and genotypes of Staphylococcus aureus resulting in bovine mastitis in Ningxia, China, is limited. Therefore, antimicrobial susceptibility, virulence gene, and randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analyses of Staph. aureus were carried out. A total of 327 milk samples from cows with clinical and subclinical mastitis in 4 regions of Ningxia were used for the isolation and identification of pathogens according to phenotypic and molecular characteristics. Antimicrobial susceptibility against 22 antimicrobial agents was determined by disk diffusion. The presence of 8 virulence genes in Staph. aureus isolates was tested by PCR. Genotypes of isolates were investigated based on RAPD. Results showed that 35 isolates obtained from mastitis milk samples were identified as Staph. aureus. The isolates were resistant to sulfamethoxazole (100%), penicillin G (94.3%), ampicillin (94.3%), erythromycin (68.6%), azithromycin (68.6%), clindamycin (25.7%), amoxicillin (11.4%), and tetracycline (5.7%). All of the isolates contained one or more virulence genes with average (standard deviation) of 6.6±1.6. The most prevalent virulence genes were hlb (97.1%), followed by fnbpA, hla, coa (94.3% each), nuc (85.7%), fnbpB (80%), clfA (77.1%), and tsst-1 (40%). Nine different gene patterns were found and 3 of them were the dominant gene combinations (77.1%). Staphylococcus aureus isolates (n=35) were divided into 6 genotypes by RAPD tying, the genotypes III and VI were the most prevalent genotypes. There was greatvariation in genotypes of Staph. aureus isolates, not only among different farms, but also within the same herd in Ningxia province. The study showed a high incidence of Staph. aureus with genomic variation of resistance genes, which is matter of great concern in public and animal health in Ningxia province of China.

  13. High frequency of virulence factor genes tdh, trh, and tlh in Vibrio parahaemolyticus strains isolated from a pristine estuary.

    PubMed

    Gutierrez West, Casandra K; Klein, Savannah L; Lovell, Charles R

    2013-04-01

    Virulence factor genes encoding the thermostable direct hemolysin (tdh) and the thermostable direct hemolysin-related hemolysin (trh) are strongly correlated with virulence of the emergent human pathogen Vibrio parahaemolyticus. The gene encoding the thermolabile hemolysin (tlh) is also considered a signature molecular marker for the species. These genes are typically reported in very low percentages (1 to 2%) of nonclinical strains. V. parahaemolyticus strains were isolated from various niches within a pristine estuary (North Inlet, SC) and were screened for these genes using both newly designed PCR primers and more commonly used primers. DNA sequences of tdh and trh were recovered from 48% and 8.3%, respectively, of these North Inlet strains. The recovery of pathogenic V. parahaemolyticus strains in such high proportions from an estuarine ecosystem that is virtually free of anthropogenic influences indicates the potential for additional, perhaps environmental roles of the tdh and trh genes.

  14. Diversity of CRISPR loci and virulence genes in pathogenic Escherichia coli isolates from various sources.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Yun; Yin, Shuang; Dudley, Edward G; Cutter, Catherine N

    2015-07-02

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains, including those of O157:H7 and the "big six" serogroups (i.e., O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145) are food-borne pathogens that pose a serious health threat to humans. Ruminants, especially cattle, are a major reservoir for O157 and non-O157 STEC. In the present study, 115 E. coli strains isolated from small and very small beef processing plants were screened for virulence genes (stx1, stx2, eae) using a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Thirteen (11.3%) of the 115 isolates tested positive for stx1, stx2, or eae genes, but only 4 (3.5%) tested positive for either stx1 or stx2. A multiplex PCR reaction targeting eight O-serogroups (O26, O45, O103, O111, O113, O121, O145, O157) identified 12 isolates as O26, O103, O111, or O145, with E. coli O26 being the most predominant serogroup (61.5%). The thirteen isolates were further analyzed using Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) subtyping. Consistent with previous studies, CRISPR alleles from strains of the same serogroup were similar in their spacer content and order, regardless of the isolation source. A completely different CRISPR allele was observed in one isolate ("7-J") which exhibited a different O-serogroup (O78). Our results confirmed previous findings that CRISPR loci are conserved among phylogenetically-related strains. In addition, 8 E. coli O26 isolates and a collection of 42 E. coli O26 isolates were screened for 12 enterohemorrhagic E. coli-specific genes. Seven genes (ECs848-Hypothetical Protein, ECs2226-Hypothetical Protein, ECs3857-nleB, ECs3858-Hypothetical Protein, ECs4552-escF, ECs4553-Hypothetical Protein, and ECs4557-sepL) were found in all 50 isolates. An additional 5 genes (ECs1322-ureA urease subunit γ, ECs1323-ureB urease subunit β, ECs1326-ureF, ECs1561-Hypothetical Protein, and ECs1568-Hypothetical Protein) were found to be highly prevalent in isolates from human sources, while lower in

  15. The Pneumocystis Ace2 transcription factor regulates cell wall-remodeling genes and organism virulence.

    PubMed

    Kottom, Theodore J; Limper, Andrew H

    2013-08-16

    Pneumocystis carinii (Pc) β-glucans are major components of the organism cell wall; yet, the regulation of Pc cell wall genesis and remodeling is not well understood. Ace2 transcription factors, which are present in many fungi, regulate glucanases and other enzymes needed for cell wall remodeling. The cloning and heterologous expression of PcAce2 in ace2Δ Saccharomyces cerevisiae demonstrated that PcAce2 can restore the defective glucanase and endochitinase gene expression of the mutant as well as regulate cell wall β-glucan biosynthetic genes. Furthermore, when a reconstructed yeast system was used, PcAce2 activated the transcription of the Pneumocystis gsc1 β-glucan synthetase, confirming the activity of a Pc transcription factor on a native Pneumocystis promoter and gene for the first time. We further observed that Pneumocystis binding to host extracellular matrix proteins and lung epithelial cells induced the phosphorylation (activation) of the PcAce2 transcription factor. Finally, we present a novel method that confirms the role of PcAce2 in modulating organism virulence using ace2Δ Candida glabrata infection in neutropenic mice. Together, these results indicate that the adherence of Pc to lung matrix proteins and epithelial cells leads to the activation of the Ace2 transcription factor, which regulates cell wall degradation and biosynthesis genes that are required for cell wall remodeling.

  16. Effects of a Mutation in the gyrA Gene on the Virulence of Uropathogenic Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez-Céspedes, Javier; Sáez-López, Emma; Frimodt-Møller, N.; Vila, Jordi

    2015-01-01

    Fluoroquinolones are among the drugs most extensively used for the treatment of bacterial infections in human and veterinary medicine. Resistance to quinolones can be chromosome or plasmid mediated. The chromosomal mechanism of resistance is associated with mutations in the DNA gyrase- and topoisomerase IV-encoding genes and mutations in regulatory genes affecting different efflux systems, among others. We studied the role of the acquisition of a mutation in the gyrA gene in the virulence and protein expression of uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC). The HC14366M strain carrying a mutation in the gyrA gene (S83L) was found to lose the capacity to cause cystitis and pyelonephritis mainly due to a decrease in the expression of the fimA, papA, papB, and ompA genes. The levels of expression of the fimA, papB, and ompA genes were recovered on complementing the strain with a plasmid containing the gyrA wild-type gene. However, only a slight recovery was observed in the colonization of the bladder in the GyrA complement strain compared to the mutant strain in a murine model of ascending urinary tract infection. In conclusion, a mutation in the gyrA gene of uropathogenic E. coli reduced the virulence of the bacteria, likely in association with the effect of DNA supercoiling on the expression of several virulence factors and proteins, thereby decreasing their capacity to cause cystitis and pyelonephritis. PMID:26014933

  17. A vir-repressed gene of Bordetella pertussis is required for virulence.

    PubMed Central

    Beattie, D T; Shahin, R; Mekalanos, J J

    1992-01-01

    Coordinate regulation of gene expression in Bordetella pertussis is controlled by the products of the vir locus, BvgA and BvgS. In the presence of modulating signals such as MgSO4 and nicotinic acid, expression of vir-activated genes (vag) is reduced, while expression of vir-repressed genes (vrg) is maximal. We have cloned one of these vir-repressed genes, vrg-6, in Escherichia coli. DNA sequencing has shown that vrg-6 is contained on a single EcoRI restriction endonuclease fragment and is predicted to code for a protein of 105 amino acids with a molecular weight of 11,441. The predicted protein product appears to have two domains, one consisting of seven hydrophobic proline-rich pentameric repeats and the other consisting of five alkaline trimeric repeats. Southern blot analysis has revealed vrg-6-homologous sequences in the chromosomes of Bordetella bronchiseptica and Bordetella parapertussis, but, unlike Bordetella pertussis, these species do not express vrg-6-homologous RNA when grown under modulating conditions. In order to assess the role of vrg gene products in B. pertussis pathogenesis, two 18323 derivatives which harbor TnphoA insertions in vrg genes were analyzed in a mouse model of respiratory infection. Strain SK6, which carries a vrg-6::TnphoA mutation, failed to induce lymphocytosis and was significantly less able to colonize lungs and trachea than its parent strain 18323 or than SK18, which harbors a TnphoA fusion in the vrg-18 locus. This is the first evidence that a vir-repressed gene may play an important role in the virulence of B. pertussis and the pathogenesis of whooping cough. Images PMID:1730491

  18. Frequency, virulence genes and antimicrobial resistance of Listeria spp. isolated from bovine clinical mastitis.

    PubMed

    Jamali, Hossein; Radmehr, Behrad

    2013-11-01

    The aims of this study were to determine the prevalence, characteristics and antimicrobial resistance of Listeria spp. isolated from bovine clinical mastitis in Iran. Listeria spp. were detected in 21/207 bovine mastitic milk samples from dairy farms in Iran, comprising L. monocytogenes (n=17), L. innocua (n=3) and L. ivanovii (n=1). L. monocytogenes isolates were grouped into serogroups '4b, 4d, 4e', '1/2a, 3a', '1/2b, 3b, 7' and '1/2c, 3c'; all harboured inlA, inlC and inlJ virulence genes. Listeria spp. were most frequently resistant to penicillin G (14/21 isolates, 66.7%) and tetracyclines (11/21 isolates, 52.4%). Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. A Genome-Wide Screen Reveals that the Vibrio cholerae Phosphoenolpyruvate Phosphotransferase System Modulates Virulence Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    Millet, Yves A.; Chao, Michael C.; Sasabe, Jumpei; Davis, Brigid M.

    2015-01-01

    Diverse environmental stimuli and a complex network of regulatory factors are known to modulate expression of Vibrio cholerae's principal virulence factors. However, there is relatively little known about how metabolic factors impinge upon the pathogen's well-characterized cascade of transcription factors that induce expression of cholera toxin and the toxin-coregulated pilus (TCP). Here, we used a transposon insertion site (TIS) sequencing-based strategy to identify new factors required for expression of tcpA, which encodes the major subunit of TCP, the organism's chief intestinal colonization factor. Besides identifying most of the genes known to modulate tcpA expression, the screen yielded ptsI and ptsH, which encode the enzyme I (EI) and Hpr components of the V. cholerae phosphoenolpyruvate phosphotransferase system (PTS). In addition to reduced expression of TcpA, strains lacking EI, Hpr, or the associated EIIAGlc protein produced less cholera toxin (CT) and had a diminished capacity to colonize the infant mouse intestine. The PTS modulates virulence gene expression by regulating expression of tcpPH and aphAB, which themselves control expression of toxT, the central activator of virulence gene expression. One mechanism by which PTS promotes virulence gene expression appears to be by modulating the amounts of intracellular cyclic AMP (cAMP). Our findings reveal that the V. cholerae PTS is an additional modulator of the ToxT regulon and demonstrate the potency of loss-of-function TIS sequencing screens for defining regulatory networks. PMID:26056384

  20. Disruptions of the genes involved in lysine biosynthesis, iron acquisition, and secondary metabolisms affect virulence and fitness in Metarhizium robertsii

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    To evaluate the total contribution of polyketide synthase (PKS) and nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) pathways to M. robertsii fitness and virulence, mutants deleted for mrpptA, a gene required for their activation were generated. 'mrpptA strains failed to produce any of the nonribosomal peptid...

  1. Virulence gene content in Escherichia coli isolates from poultry flocks with clinical signs of colibacillosis in Brazil.

    PubMed

    De Carli, Silvia; Ikuta, Nilo; Lehmann, Fernanda Kieling Moreira; da Silveira, Vinicius Proença; de Melo Predebon, Gabriela; Fonseca, André Salvador Kazantzi; Lunge, Vagner Ricardo

    2015-11-01

    Escherichia coli is a commensal bacterium of the bird's intestinal tract, but it can invade different tissues resulting in systemic symptoms (colibacillosis). This disease occurs only when the E. coli infecting strain presents virulence factors (encoded by specific genes) that enable the adhesion and proliferation in the host organism. Thus, it is important to differentiate pathogenic (APEC, avian pathogenic E. coli) and non-pathogenic or fecal (AFEC, avian fecal E. coli) isolates. Previous studies analyzed the occurrence of virulence factors in E. coli strains isolated from birds with colibacillosis, demonstrating a high frequency of the bacterial genes cvaC, iroN, iss, iutA, sitA, tsh, fyuA, irp-2, ompT and hlyF in pathogenic strains. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the occurrence and frequency of these virulence genes in E. coli isolated from poultry flocks in Brazil. A total of 138 isolates of E. coli was obtained from samples of different tissues and/or organs (spleen, liver, kidney, trachea, lungs, skin, ovary, oviduct, intestine, cloaca) and environmental swabs collected from chicken and turkey flocks suspected to have colibacillosis in farms from the main Brazilian producing regions. Total DNA was extracted and the 10 virulence genes were detected by traditional and/or real-time PCR. At least 11 samples of each gene were sequenced and compared to reference strains. All 10 virulence factors were detected in Brazilian E. coli isolates, with frequencies ranging from 39.9% (irp-2) to 68.8% (hlyF and sitA). Moreover, a high nucleotide similarity (over 99%) was observed between gene sequences of Brazilian isolates and reference strains. Seventy-nine isolates were defined as pathogenic (APEC) and 59 as fecal (AFEC) based on previously described criteria. In conclusion, the main virulence genes of the reference E. coli strains are also present in isolates associated with colibacillosis in Brazil. The analysis of this set of virulence factors can be

  2. Enhanced protection against pulmonary mycobacterial challenge by chitosan-formulated polyepitope gene vaccine is associated with increased pulmonary secretory IgA and gamma-interferon(+) T cell responses.

    PubMed

    Ai, Wenqing; Yue, Yan; Xiong, Sidong; Xu, Wei

    2013-03-01

    Induction of local (pulmonary) immunity plays a critical role in preventing dissemination of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb) during the early infection stage. To induce specific mucosal immunity, chitosan, a natural cationic polysaccharide, was employed as a mucosal gene carrier and complexed with pHSP65pep, our previously constructed multi-epitope gene vaccine, which induces splenic gamma-interferon (IFN-γ)(+) T helper cell 1 responses. The resultant chitosan-pHSP65pep was administered intranasally to BALB/c mice with four doses of 50 μg DNA followed by mycobacterial challenge 4 weeks after the final immunization. It was found that the chitosan formulation significantly induced production of secretory immunoglobulin A (P < 0.05) as determined by measuring its concentrations in lung lavage fluid and enhanced pulmonary CD4(+) and CD8(+) IFN-γ(+) T cell responses (P < 0.001) compared with naked gene vaccine. Improved protection against Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) challenge was consistently achieved by the chitosan-DNA formulation both as the vaccine alone or in a BCG prime-vaccine boost immunization scenario. Our study shows that mucosal delivery of gene vaccine in a chitosan formulation remarkably enhances specific SIgA concentrations and mucosal IFN-γ(+) T cell response, which correlated positively with immunological protection.

  3. Rhodococcus erythropolis BG43 Genes Mediating Pseudomonas aeruginosa Quinolone Signal Degradation and Virulence Factor Attenuation.

    PubMed

    Müller, Christine; Birmes, Franziska S; Rückert, Christian; Kalinowski, Jörn; Fetzner, Susanne

    2015-11-01

    Rhodococcus erythropolis BG43 is able to degrade the Pseudomonas aeruginosa quorum sensing signal molecules PQS (Pseudomonas quinolone signal) [2-heptyl-3-hydroxy-4(1H)-quinolone] and HHQ [2-heptyl-4(1H)-quinolone] to anthranilic acid. Based on the hypothesis that degradation of HHQ might involve hydroxylation to PQS followed by dioxygenolytic cleavage of the heterocyclic ring and hydrolysis of the resulting N-octanoylanthranilate, the genome was searched for corresponding candidate genes. Two gene clusters, aqdA1B1C1 and aqdA2B2C2, each predicted to code for a hydrolase, a flavin monooxygenase, and a dioxygenase related to 1H-3-hydroxy-4-oxoquinaldine 2,4-dioxygenase, were identified on circular plasmid pRLCBG43 of strain BG43. Transcription of all genes was upregulated by PQS, suggesting that both gene clusters code for alkylquinolone-specific catabolic enzymes. An aqdR gene encoding a putative transcriptional regulator, which was also inducible by PQS, is located adjacent to the aqdA2B2C2 cluster. Expression of aqdA2B2C2 in Escherichia coli conferred the ability to degrade HHQ and PQS to anthranilic acid; however, for E. coli transformed with aqdA1B1C1, only PQS degradation was observed. Purification of the recombinant AqdC1 protein verified that it catalyzes the cleavage of PQS to form N-octanoylanthranilic acid and carbon monoxide and revealed apparent Km and kcat values for PQS of ∼27 μM and 21 s(-1), respectively. Heterologous expression of the PQS dioxygenase gene aqdC1 or aqdC2 in P. aeruginosa PAO1 quenched the production of the virulence factors pyocyanin and rhamnolipid and reduced the synthesis of the siderophore pyoverdine. Thus, the toolbox of quorum-quenching enzymes is expanded by new PQS dioxygenases.

  4. Rhodococcus erythropolis BG43 Genes Mediating Pseudomonas aeruginosa Quinolone Signal Degradation and Virulence Factor Attenuation

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Christine; Birmes, Franziska S.; Rückert, Christian; Kalinowski, Jörn

    2015-01-01

    Rhodococcus erythropolis BG43 is able to degrade the Pseudomonas aeruginosa quorum sensing signal molecules PQS (Pseudomonas quinolone signal) [2-heptyl-3-hydroxy-4(1H)-quinolone] and HHQ [2-heptyl-4(1H)-quinolone] to anthranilic acid. Based on the hypothesis that degradation of HHQ might involve hydroxylation to PQS followed by dioxygenolytic cleavage of the heterocyclic ring and hydrolysis of the resulting N-octanoylanthranilate, the genome was searched for corresponding candidate genes. Two gene clusters, aqdA1B1C1 and aqdA2B2C2, each predicted to code for a hydrolase, a flavin monooxygenase, and a dioxygenase related to 1H-3-hydroxy-4-oxoquinaldine 2,4-dioxygenase, were identified on circular plasmid pRLCBG43 of strain BG43. Transcription of all genes was upregulated by PQS, suggesting that both gene clusters code for alkylquinolone-specific catabolic enzymes. An aqdR gene encoding a putative transcriptional regulator, which was also inducible by PQS, is located adjacent to the aqdA2B2C2 cluster. Expression of aqdA2B2C2 in Escherichia coli conferred the ability to degrade HHQ and PQS to anthranilic acid; however, for E. coli transformed with aqdA1B1C1, only PQS degradation was observed. Purification of the recombinant AqdC1 protein verified that it catalyzes the cleavage of PQS to form N-octanoylanthranilic acid and carbon monoxide and revealed apparent Km and kcat values for PQS of ∼27 μM and 21 s−1, respectively. Heterologous expression of the PQS dioxygenase gene aqdC1 or aqdC2 in P. aeruginosa PAO1 quenched the production of the virulence factors pyocyanin and rhamnolipid and reduced the synthesis of the siderophore pyoverdine. Thus, the toolbox of quorum-quenching enzymes is expanded by new PQS dioxygenases. PMID:26319870

  5. Interacting networks of resistance, virulence and core machinery genes identified by genome-wide epistasis analysis

    PubMed Central

    Pesonen, Maiju; Musser, James M.; Bentley, Stephen D.; Aurell, Erik; Corander, Jukka

    2017-01-01

    Recent advances in the scale and diversity of population genomic datasets for bacteria now provide the potential for genome-wide patterns of co-evolution to be studied at the resolution of individual bases. Here we describe a new statistical method, genomeDCA, which uses recent advances in computational structural biology to identify the polymorphic loci under the strongest co-evolutionary pressures. We apply genomeDCA to two large population data sets representing the major human pathogens Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) and Streptococcus pyogenes (group A Streptococcus). For pneumococcus we identified 5,199 putative epistatic interactions between 1,936 sites. Over three-quarters of the links were between sites within the pbp2x, pbp1a and pbp2b genes, the sequences of which are critical in determining non-susceptibility to beta-lactam antibiotics. A network-based analysis found these genes were also coupled to that encoding dihydrofolate reductase, changes to which underlie trimethoprim resistance. Distinct from these antibiotic resistance genes, a large network component of 384 protein coding sequences encompassed many genes critical in basic cellular functions, while another distinct component included genes associated with virulence. The group A Streptococcus (GAS) data set population represents a clonal population with relatively little genetic variation and a high level of linkage disequilibrium across the genome. Despite this, we were able to pinpoint two RNA pseudouridine synthases, which were each strongly linked to a separate set of loci across the chromosome, representing biologically plausible targets of co-selection. The population genomic analysis method applied here identifies statistically significantly co-evolving locus pairs, potentially arising from fitness selection interdependence reflecting underlying protein-protein interactions, or genes whose product activities contribute to the same phenotype. This discovery approach greatly

  6. Interacting networks of resistance, virulence and core machinery genes identified by genome-wide epistasis analysis.

    PubMed

    Skwark, Marcin J; Croucher, Nicholas J; Puranen, Santeri; Chewapreecha, Claire; Pesonen, Maiju; Xu, Ying Ying; Turner, Paul; Harris, Simon R; Beres, Stephen B; Musser, James M; Parkhill, Julian; Bentley, Stephen D; Aurell, Erik; Corander, Jukka

    2017-02-01

    Recent advances in the scale and diversity of population genomic datasets for bacteria now provide the potential for genome-wide patterns of co-evolution to be studied at the resolution of individual bases. Here we describe a new statistical method, genomeDCA, which uses recent advances in computational structural biology to identify the polymorphic loci under the strongest co-evolutionary pressures. We apply genomeDCA to two large population data sets representing the major human pathogens Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) and Streptococcus pyogenes (group A Streptococcus). For pneumococcus we identified 5,199 putative epistatic interactions between 1,936 sites. Over three-quarters of the links were between sites within the pbp2x, pbp1a and pbp2b genes, the sequences of which are critical in determining non-susceptibility to beta-lactam antibiotics. A network-based analysis found these genes were also coupled to that encoding dihydrofolate reductase, changes to which underlie trimethoprim resistance. Distinct from these antibiotic resistance genes, a large network component of 384 protein coding sequences encompassed many genes critical in basic cellular functions, while another distinct component included genes associated with virulence. The group A Streptococcus (GAS) data set population represents a clonal population with relatively little genetic variation and a high level of linkage disequilibrium across the genome. Despite this, we were able to pinpoint two RNA pseudouridine synthases, which were each strongly linked to a separate set of loci across the chromosome, representing biologically plausible targets of co-selection. The population genomic analysis method applied here identifies statistically significantly co-evolving locus pairs, potentially arising from fitness selection interdependence reflecting underlying protein-protein interactions, or genes whose product activities contribute to the same phenotype. This discovery approach greatly

  7. Sir2 paralogues cooperate to regulate virulence genes and antigenic variation in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Tonkin, Christopher J; Carret, Céline K; Duraisingh, Manoj T; Voss, Till S; Ralph, Stuart A; Hommel, Mirja; Duffy, Michael F; Silva, Liliana Mancio da; Scherf, Artur; Ivens, Alasdair; Speed, Terence P; Beeson, James G; Cowman, Alan F

    2009-04-14

    Cytoadherance of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes in the brain, organs and peripheral microvasculature is linked to morbidity and mortality associated with severe malaria. Parasite-derived P. falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) molecules displayed on the erythrocyte surface are responsible for cytoadherance and undergo antigenic variation in the course of an infection. Antigenic variation of PfEMP1 is achieved by in situ switching and mutually exclusive transcription of the var gene family, a process that is controlled by epigenetic mechanisms. Here we report characterisation of the P. falciparum silent information regulator's A and B (PfSir2A and PfSir2B) and their involvement in mutual exclusion and silencing of the var gene repertoire. Analysis of P. falciparum parasites lacking either PfSir2A or PfSir2B shows that these NAD(+)-dependent histone deacetylases are required for silencing of different var gene subsets classified by their conserved promoter type. We also demonstrate that in the absence of either of these molecules mutually exclusive expression of var genes breaks down. We show that var gene silencing originates within the promoter and PfSir2 paralogues are involved in cis spreading of silenced chromatin into adjacent regions. Furthermore, parasites lacking PfSir2A but not PfSir2B have considerably longer telomeric repeats, demonstrating a role for this molecule in telomeric end protection. This work highlights the pivotal but distinct role for both PfSir2 paralogues in epigenetic silencing of P. falciparum virulence genes and the control of pathogenicity of malaria infection.

  8. The effect of γ radiation on the expression of the virulence genes of Salmonella typhimurium and Vibrio spp.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lim, Sangyong; Jung, Jinwoo; Kim, Dongho

    2007-11-01

    The principle benefit of food irradiation is the reduction of food-borne bacteria in food products. However, the microbiological safety with respect to increased virulence of surviving pathogens after irradiation remains an important issue with regard to the effectiveness of food irradiation. In this study, the transcriptional changes of virulence genes of Salmonella and Vibrio spp. after γ radiation were investigated by real-time PCR (RT-PCR). Samonella typhimurium is dependent upon the products of a large number of genes located within Salmonella pathogenicity islands (SPI) on the chromosome. The expressions of seven genes including four SPI genes, hilD, ssrB, pipB, and sopD, were measured at 1 h after 1 kGy irradiation. Compared with non-irradiated controls, the expression of hilD encoded within SPI1 and sopD encoding SPI1-related effector proteins was reduced about 4- and 16-fold, respectively. The expressions of Vibrio toxin genes, vvhA, ctxA, and tdh, were also monitored during the course of a growth cycle after re-inoculation of irradiated Vibrio spp. (0.5 and 1.0 kGy). The expressions of Vibrio toxin genes tested did not increase compared with non-irradiated counterparts. Results from this study indicate that γ radiation is much more likely to reduce the virulence gene expression of surviving pathogens.

  9. 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

  10. Detection of multiple virulence-associated genes of Listeria monocytogenes by PCR in artificially contaminated milk samples.

    PubMed Central

    Cooray, K J; Nishibori, T; Xiong, H; Matsuyama, T; Fujita, M; Mitsuyama, M

    1994-01-01

    The inhibitory effect of milk in the PCR detection of Listeria monocytogenes could be overcome by washing the contaminated milk sample with phosphate-buffered saline and concentrating the bacteria to 1/10 of the original volume. In order to avoid a possible failure in the detection of virulent L. monocytogenes, a one-step procedure which enabled demonstration of three virulence-associated genes, prfA, hlyA, and plcB, simultaneously in a single PCR mixture was developed. Images PMID:8085838

  11. The agr Locus Regulates Virulence and Colonization Genes in Clostridium difficile 027

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Melissa J.; Clare, Simon; Goulding, David; Faulds-Pain, Alexandra; Barquist, Lars; Browne, Hilary P.; Pettit, Laura; Dougan, Gordon; Lawley, Trevor D.

    2013-01-01

    The transcriptional regulator AgrA, a member of the LytTR family of proteins, plays a key role in controlling gene expression in some Gram-positive pathogens, including Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecalis. AgrA is encoded by the agrACDB global regulatory locus, and orthologues are found within the genome of most Clostridium difficile isolates, including the epidemic lineage 027/BI/NAP1. Comparative RNA sequencing of the wild type and otherwise isogenic agrA null mutant derivatives of C. difficile R20291 revealed a network of approximately 75 differentially regulated transcripts at late exponential growth phase, including many genes associated with flagellar assembly and function, such as the major structural subunit, FliC. Other differentially regulated genes include several involved in bis-(3′-5′)-cyclic dimeric GMP (c-di-GMP) synthesis and toxin A expression. C. difficile 027 R20291 agrA mutant derivatives were poorly flagellated and exhibited reduced levels of colonization and relapses in the murine infection model. Thus, the agr locus likely plays a contributory role in the fitness and virulence potential of C. difficile strains in the 027/BI/NAP1 lineage. PMID:23772065

  12. Type IV secretion systems: tools of bacterial horizontal gene transfer and virulence

    PubMed Central

    Juhas, Mario; Crook, Derrick W; Hood, Derek W

    2008-01-01

    Type IV secretion systems (T4SSs) are multisubunit cell-envelope-spanning structures, ancestrally related to bacterial conjugation machines, which transfer proteins and nucleoprotein complexes across membranes. T4SSs mediate horizontal gene transfer, thus contributing to genome plasticity and the evolution of pathogens through dissemination of antibiotic resistance and virulence genes. Moreover, T4SSs are also used for the delivery of bacterial effector proteins across the bacterial membrane and the plasmatic membrane of eukaryotic host cell, thus contributing directly to pathogenicity. T4SSs are usually encoded by multiple genes organized into a single functional unit. Based on a number of features, the organization of genetic determinants, shared homologies and evolutionary relationships, T4SSs have been divided into several groups. Type F and P (type IVA) T4SSs resembling the archetypal VirB/VirD4 system of Agrobacterium tumefaciens are considered to be the paradigm of type IV secretion, while type I (type IVB) T4SSs are found in intracellular bacterial pathogens, Legionella pneumophila and Coxiella burnetii. Several novel T4SSs have been identified recently and their functions await investigation. The most recently described GI type T4SSs play a key role in the horizontal transfer of a wide variety of genomic islands derived from a broad spectrum of bacterial strains. PMID:18549454

  13. Antimicrobial resistance and virulence gene profiles in P. multocida strains isolated from cats

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, Thais Sebastiana Porfida; Felizardo, Maria Roberta; de Gobbi, Debora Dirani Sena; Moreno, Marina; Moreno, Andrea Micke

    2015-01-01

    Cats are often described as carriers of Pasteurella multocida in their oral microbiota. This agent is thought to cause pneumonia, conjunctivitis, rhinitis, gingivostomatitis, abscess and osteonecrosis in cats. Human infection with P. multocida has been described in several cases affecting cat owners or after cat bites. In Brazil, the cat population is approximately 21 million animals and is increasing, but there are no studies of the presence of P. multocida in the feline population or of human cases of infection associated with cats. In this study, one hundred and ninety-one healthy cats from owners and shelters in São Paulo State, Brazil, were evaluated for the presence of P. multocida in their oral cavities. Twenty animals were positive for P. multocida , and forty-one strains were selected and characterized by means of biochemical tests and PCR. The P. multocida strains were tested for capsular type, virulence genes and resistance profile. A total of 75.6% (31/41) of isolates belonged to capsular type A, and 24.4% (10/41) of the isolates were untypeable. None of the strains harboured toxA, tbpA or pfhA genes. The frequencies of the other genes tested were variable, and the data generated were used to build a dendrogram showing the relatedness of strains, which were clustered according to origin. The most common resistance profile observed was against sulfizoxazole and trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole. PMID:26221117

  14. Antimicrobial resistance and virulence gene profiles in P. multocida strains isolated from cats.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Thais Sebastiana Porfida; Felizardo, Maria Roberta; de Gobbi, Debora Dirani Sena; Moreno, Marina; Moreno, Andrea Micke

    2015-03-01

    Cats are often described as carriers of Pasteurella multocida in their oral microbiota. This agent is thought to cause pneumonia, conjunctivitis, rhinitis, gingivostomatitis, abscess and osteonecrosis in cats. Human infection with P. multocida has been described in several cases affecting cat owners or after cat bites. In Brazil, the cat population is approximately 21 million animals and is increasing, but there are no studies of the presence of P. multocida in the feline population or of human cases of infection associated with cats. In this study, one hundred and ninety-one healthy cats from owners and shelters in São Paulo State, Brazil, were evaluated for the presence of P. multocida in their oral cavities. Twenty animals were positive for P. multocida , and forty-one strains were selected and characterized by means of biochemical tests and PCR. The P. multocida strains were tested for capsular type, virulence genes and resistance profile. A total of 75.6% (31/41) of isolates belonged to capsular type A, and 24.4% (10/41) of the isolates were untypeable. None of the strains harboured toxA, tbpA or pfhA genes. The frequencies of the other genes tested were variable, and the data generated were used to build a dendrogram showing the relatedness of strains, which were clustered according to origin. The most common resistance profile observed was against sulfizoxazole and trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole.

  15. Central metabolism controls transcription of a virulence gene regulator in Vibrio cholerae

    PubMed Central

    Minato, Yusuke; Fassio, Sara R.; Wolfe, Alan J.

    2013-01-01

    ToxT is the central regulatory protein involved in activation of the main virulence genes in Vibrio cholerae. We have identified transposon insertions in central metabolism genes, whose disruption increases toxT transcription. These disrupted genes encode the primary respiration-linked sodium pump (NADH : ubiquinone oxidoreductase or NQR) and certain tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle enzymes. Observations made following stimulation of respiration in the nqr mutant or chemical inhibition of NQR activity in the TCA cycle mutants led to the hypothesis that NQR affects toxT transcription via the TCA cycle. That toxT transcription increased when the growth medium was supplemented with citrate, but decreased with oxaloacetate, focused our attention on the TCA cycle substrate acetyl-CoA and its non-TCA cycle metabolism. Indeed, both the nqr and the TCA cycle mutants increased acetate excretion. A similar correlation between acetate excretion and toxT transcription was observed in a tolC mutant and upon amino acid (NRES) supplementation. As acetate and its tendency to decrease pH exerted no strong effect on toxT transcription, and because disruption of the major acetate excretion pathway increased toxT transcription, we propose that toxT transcription is regulated by either acetyl-CoA or some close derivative. PMID:23429745

  16. Transcriptional Modulation of Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli Virulence Genes in Response to Epithelial Cell Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Kansal, Rita; Rasko, David A.; Sahl, Jason W.; Munson, George P.; Roy, Koushik; Luo, Qingwei; Sheikh, Alaullah; Kuhne, Kurt J.

    2013-01-01

    Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) strains are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality due to diarrheal illness in developing countries. There is currently no effective vaccine against these important pathogens. Because genes modulated by pathogen-host interactions potentially encode putative vaccine targets, we investigated changes in gene expression and surface morphology of ETEC upon interaction with intestinal epithelial cells in vitro. Pan-genome microarrays, quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR), and transcriptional reporter fusions of selected promoters were used to study changes in ETEC transcriptomes. Flow cytometry, immunofluorescence microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy were used to investigate alterations in surface antigen expression and morphology following pathogen-host interactions. Following host cell contact, genes for motility, adhesion, toxin production, immunodominant peptides, and key regulatory molecules, including cyclic AMP (cAMP) receptor protein (CRP) and c-di-GMP, were substantially modulated. These changes were accompanied by visible changes in both ETEC architecture and the expression of surface antigens, including a novel highly conserved adhesin molecule, EaeH. The studies reported here suggest that pathogen-host interactions are finely orchestrated by ETEC and are characterized by coordinated responses involving the sequential deployment of multiple virulence molecules. Elucidation of the molecular details of these interactions could highlight novel strategies for development of vaccines for these important pathogens. PMID:23115039

  17. The agr locus regulates virulence and colonization genes in Clostridium difficile 027.

    PubMed

    Martin, Melissa J; Clare, Simon; Goulding, David; Faulds-Pain, Alexandra; Barquist, Lars; Browne, Hilary P; Pettit, Laura; Dougan, Gordon; Lawley, Trevor D; Wren, Brendan W

    2013-08-01

    The transcriptional regulator AgrA, a member of the LytTR family of proteins, plays a key role in controlling gene expression in some Gram-positive pathogens, including Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecalis. AgrA is encoded by the agrACDB global regulatory locus, and orthologues are found within the genome of most Clostridium difficile isolates, including the epidemic lineage 027/BI/NAP1. Comparative RNA sequencing of the wild type and otherwise isogenic agrA null mutant derivatives of C. difficile R20291 revealed a network of approximately 75 differentially regulated transcripts at late exponential growth phase, including many genes associated with flagellar assembly and function, such as the major structural subunit, FliC. Other differentially regulated genes include several involved in bis-(3'-5')-cyclic dimeric GMP (c-di-GMP) synthesis and toxin A expression. C. difficile 027 R20291 agrA mutant derivatives were poorly flagellated and exhibited reduced levels of colonization and relapses in the murine infection model. Thus, the agr locus likely plays a contributory role in the fitness and virulence potential of C. difficile strains in the 027/BI/NAP1 lineage.

  18. Occurrence of Virulence Genes Associated with Diarrheagenic Pathotypes in Escherichia coli Isolates from Surface Water

    PubMed Central

    Ahmed, Warish; Hodgers, Leonie; Toze, Simon

    2013-01-01

    Escherichia coli isolates (n = 300) collected from six sites in subtropical Brisbane, Australia, prior to and after storm events were tested for the presence of 11 virulence genes (VGs) specific to diarrheagenic pathotypes. The presence of eaeA, stx1, stx2, and ehxA genes specific for the enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) pathotype was detected in 56%, 6%, 10%, and 13% of isolates, respectively. The VGs astA (69%) and aggR (29%), carried by enteroaggregative (EAEC) pathotypes, were frequently detected in E. coli isolates. The enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) gene bfp was detected in 24% of isolates. In addition, enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC) VG ipaH was also detected in 14% of isolates. During dry periods, isolates belonging to the EAEC pathotype were most commonly detected (23%), followed by EHEC (11%) and EPEC (11%). Conversely, a more uniform prevalence of pathotypes, EPEC (14%), EAEC (12%), EIEC (10%), EHEC (7%), and ETEC (7%), was observed after the storm events. The results of this study highlight the widespread occurrence of potentially diarrheagenic pathotypes in the urban aquatic ecosystems. While the presence of VGs in E. coli isolates alone is insufficient to determine pathogenicity, the presence of diarrheagenic E. coli pathotypes in high frequency after the storm events could lead to increased health risks if untreated storm water were to be used for nonpotable purposes and recreational activities. PMID:23124225

  19. Virulence Genes and Antimicrobial Resistance Profiles of Pasteurella multocida Strains Isolated from Rabbits in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, Thais Sebastiana Porfida; Felizardo, Maria Roberta; Sena de Gobbi, Débora Dirani; Gomes, Cleise Ribeiro; Nogueira Filsner, Pedro Henrique de Lima; Moreno, Marina; Paixão, Renata; Pereira, Jucélia de Jesus; Micke Moreno, Andrea

    2012-01-01

    Pasteurella multocida is responsible for a wide range of diseases in domestic animals. In rabbits, the agent is related to nasal discharge, pneumonia, otitis media, pyometra, orchitis, abscess, and septicemia. One hundred and forty rabbits with respiratory diseases from four rabbitries in São Paulo State, Brazil were evaluated for the detection of P. multocida in their nasal cavities. A total of twenty-nine animals were positive to P. multocida isolation, and 46 strains were selected and characterized by means of biochemical tests and PCR. P. multocida strains were tested for capsular type, virulence genes, and resistance profile. A total of 45.6% (21/46) of isolates belonged to capsular type A, and 54.34% (25/46) of the isolates were untypeable. None of the strains harboured toxA or pfhA genes. The frequency of the other twenty genes tested was variable, and the data generated was used to build a dendrogram, showing the relatedness of strains, which were clustered according to origin. Resistance revealed to be more common against sulfonamides and cotrimoxazole, followed by erythromycin, penicillin, and amoxicillin. PMID:22919347

  20. Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli strains isolated from dairy products - Genetic diversity and virulence gene profiles.

    PubMed

    Douëllou, T; Delannoy, S; Ganet, S; Mariani-Kurkdjian, P; Fach, P; Loukiadis, E; Montel, Mc; Thevenot-Sergentet, D

    2016-09-02

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) are widely recognized as pathogens causing food borne disease. Here we evaluate the genetic diversity of 197 strains, mainly STEC, from serotypes O157:H7, O26:H11, O103:H2, O111:H8 and O145:28 and compared strains recovered in dairy products against strains from human, meat and environment cases. For this purpose, we characterized a set of reference-collection STEC isolates from dairy products by PFGE DNA fingerprinting and a subset of these by virulence-gene profiling. PFGE profiles of restricted STEC total DNA showed high genomic variability (0.9976 on Simpson's discriminatory index), enabling all dairy isolates to be differentiated. High-throughput real-time PCR screening of STEC virulence genes were applied on the O157:H7 and O26:H11 STEC isolates from dairy products and human cases. The virulence gene profiles of dairy and human STEC strains were similar. Nevertheless, frequency-wise, stx1 was more prevalent among dairy O26:H11 isolates than in human cases ones (87% vs. 44%) while stx2 was more prevalent among O26:H11 human isolates (23% vs. 81%). For O157:H7 isolates, stx1 (0% vs. 39%), nleF (40% vs 94%) and Z6065 (40% vs 100%) were more prevalent among human than dairy strains. Our data point to differences between human and dairy strains but these differences were not sufficient to associate PFGE and virulence gene profiles to a putative lower pathogenicity of dairy strains based on their lower incidence in disease. Further comparison of whole-genome expression and virulence gene profiles should be investigated in cheese and intestinal tract samples.

  1. 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.

  2. Effects of Enterococcus faecalis fsr genes on production of gelatinase and a serine protease and virulence.

    PubMed

    Qin, X; Singh, K V; Weinstock, G M; Murray, B E

    2000-05-01

    Three agr-like genes (fsrA, fsrB, and fsrC, for Enterococcus faecalis regulator) were found upstream of the previously reported gelatinase gene (gelE) and a downstream putative serine protease gene (sprE; accession number Z12296) of Enterococcus faecalis OG1RF. The deduced amino acid sequence of fsrA shows 26% identity and 38% similarity to Staphylococcus aureus AgrA (the response regulator of the accessory gene regulator system in the agr locus), FsrB shows 23% identity and 41% similarity to S. aureus AgrB, and FsrC shows 23% identity and 36% similarity to S. aureus AgrC (the sensor transducer of Agr system). Northern blot analysis suggested that gelE and sprE are cotranscribed and that fsrB and fsrC are also cotranscribed in OG1RF. Northern blot analysis of fsrA, fsrB, fsrC, gelE, and sprE insertion mutants showed that fsrB, fsrC, gelE, and sprE are not expressed in fsrA, fsrB, and fsrC mutants, while insertion in an open reading frame further upstream of fsrA did not effect the expression of these genes, suggesting that agr-like genes may be autoregulated and that they regulate gelE and sprE expression, as further confirmed by complementation of fsr gene mutations with a 6-kb fragment which contains all three fsr genes in the shuttle vector, pAT18. Testing of 95 other isolates of E. faecalis showed that 62% produced gelatinase (Gel(+)), while 91% (including all Gel(+) strains) hybridized to a gelE probe; 71% (including all Gel(+) strains) hybridized to an fsr probe, corroborating the conclusion that both gelE and fsr are necessary for gelatinase production. Testing of fsrA, fsrB, and sprE mutants in a mouse peritonitis model showed that sprE and agr-like gene mutants resulted in highly significantly prolonged survival compared to the parent strain OG1RF, a finding similar to what we had previously shown for a gelE mutant. These results suggest that sprE and agr-like genes contribute to the virulence of E. faecalis OG1RF in this model.

  3. Antimicrobial resistance and virulence-related genes of Streptococcus obtained from dairy cows with mastitis in Inner Mongolia, China.

    PubMed

    Ding, Yuexia; Zhao, Junli; He, Xiuling; Li, Man; Guan, Hong; Zhang, Ziying; Li, Peifeng

    2016-01-01

    Mastitis is the most expensive disease in the dairy cattle industry and results in decreased reproductive performance. Streptococcus, especially Streptococcus agalactiae, possesses a variety of virulence factors that contribute to pathogenicity. Streptococcus isolated from mastitis was tested to assess the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance and distribution of antibiotic resistance- and virulence-related genes. Eighty-one Streptococcus isolates were phenotypically characterized for antimicrobial resistance against 15 antibiotics by determining minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) using a micro-dilution method. Resistance- and virulence-related genes were detected by PCR. High percentage of resistance to β-lactams, along with tetracycline and erythromycin, was found. Resistance to three or more of seven antimicrobial agents was observed at 88.9%, with penicillin-tetracycline-erythromycin-clindamycin as the major profile in Streptococcus isolates. Resistant genes were detected by PCR, the result showed that 86.4, 86.4, 81.5, and 38.3% of isolates were mainly carrying the pbp2b, tetL, tetM, and ermB genes, respectively. Nine virulence genes were investigated. Genes cyl, glnA, cfb, hylB, and scaA were found to be in 50% of isolates, while 3.7, 21, and 4.9% of isolates were positive for bca, lmb, and scpB, genes, respectively. None of the isolates carried the bac gene. This study suggests the need for prudent use of antimicrobial agents in veterinary clinical medicine to avoid the increase and dissemination of antimicrobial resistance arising from the use of antimicrobial drugs in animals.

  4. Mycobacterium tuberculosis Zinc Metalloprotease-1 Assists Mycobacterial Dissemination in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Vemula, Mani H.; Medisetti, Raghavender; Ganji, Rakesh; Jakkala, Kiran; Sankati, Swetha; Chatti, Kiranam; Banerjee, Sharmistha

    2016-01-01

    Zinc metalloprotease-1 (Zmp1) from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb), the tuberculosis (TB) causing bacillus, is a virulence factor involved in inflammasome inactivation and phagosome maturation arrest. We earlier reported that Zmp1 was secreted under granuloma-like stress conditions, induced Th2 cytokine microenvironment and was highly immunogenic in TB patients as evident from high anti-Zmp1 antibody titers in their sera. In this study, we deciphered a new physiological role of Zmp1 in mycobacterial dissemination. Exogenous treatment of THP-1 cells with 500 nM and 1 μM of recombinant Zmp1 (rZmp1) resulted in necrotic cell death. Apart from inducing secretion of necrotic cytokines, TNFα, IL-6, and IL-1β, it also induced the release of chemotactic chemokines, MCP-1, MIP-1β, and IL-8, suggesting its likely function in cell migration and mycobacterial dissemination. This was confirmed by Gap closure and Boyden chamber assays, where Zmp1 treated CHO or THP-1 cells showed ∼2 fold increased cell migration compared to the untreated cells. Additionally, Zebrafish-M. marinum based host–pathogen model was used to study mycobacterial dissemination in vivo. Td-Tomato labeled M. marinum (TdM. marinum) when injected with rZmp1 showed increased dissemination to tail region from the site of injection as compared to the untreated control fish in a dose-dependent manner. Summing up these observations along with the earlier reports, we propose that Zmp1, a multi-faceted protein, when released by mycobacteria in granuloma, may lead to necrotic cell damage and release of chemotactic chemokines by surrounding infected macrophages, attracting new immune cells, which in turn may lead to fresh cellular infections, thus assisting mycobacterial dissemination. PMID:27621726

  5. MvirDB--a microbial database of protein toxins, virulence factors and antibiotic resistance genes for bio-defence applications.

    PubMed

    Zhou, C E; Smith, J; Lam, M; Zemla, A; Dyer, M D; Slezak, T

    2007-01-01

    Knowledge of toxins, virulence factors and antibiotic resistance genes is essential for bio-defense applications aimed at identifying 'functional' signatures for characterizing emerging or engineered pathogens. Whereas genetic signatures identify a pathogen, functional signatures identify what a pathogen is capable of. To facilitate rapid identification of sequences and characterization of genes for signature discovery, we have collected all publicly available (as of this writing), organized sequences representing known toxins, virulence factors, and antibiotic resistance genes in one convenient database, which we believe will be of use to the bio-defense research community. MvirDB integrates DNA and protein sequence information from Tox-Prot, SCORPION, the PRINTS virulence factors, VFDB, TVFac, Islander, ARGO and a subset of VIDA. Entries in MvirDB are hyperlinked back to their original sources. A blast tool allows the user to blast against all DNA or protein sequences in MvirDB, and a browser tool allows the user to search the database to retrieve virulence factor descriptions, sequences, and classifications, and to download sequences of interest. MvirDB has an automated weekly update mechanism. Each protein sequence in MvirDB is annotated using our fully automated protein annotation system and is linked to that system's browser tool. MvirDB can be accessed at http://mvirdb.llnl.gov/.

  6. Comparative analysis of the genomes of clinical isolates of Mycobacterium avium subsp. hominissuis regarding virulence-related genes.

    PubMed

    Jeffrey, Brendan; Rose, Sasha J; Gilbert, Kerrigan; Lewis, Matthew; Bermudez, Luiz E

    2017-07-01

    Mycobacterium avium subsp. hominissuis is a member of the M. avium complex, a heterogeneous group of bacteria that cause lung infection in immunocompetent patients or disseminated infection in patients with immunosuppression. The bacteria belonging to this complex have variable virulence, depending on the strain considered, and therefore a representative of the most common clinical phenotype was analysed. The genomic sequences of four M. avium subsp. hominissuis isolates obtained from clinical specimens were completed. Mav101, Mav100 and MavA5 were isolated from the blood of patients with AIDS. MavA5 was disseminated from the lung, while Mav3388 was isolated from the lungs of a patient with chronic lung disease. The sequences were annotated using the published Mav104 genome as a blueprint. Functional and virulence analyses of the sequences were carried out. Mice studies comparing the virulence of the strains were performed. Findings showed that while Mav101 was very similar to Mav104, there were numerous differences between Mav104 and the remaining strains at nucleotide and predicted protein levels. The presence of genes associated with biofilm formation and several known virulence-related genes were sometimes differentially present among the isolates, suggesting overlapping functions by different genetic determinants. The sequences provided important information about M. avium heterogenicity and evolution as a pathogen. The limitation is the lack of understanding on possible overlapping functions of genes/proteins.

  7. Effects of partial deletion of the wzm and wzt genes on lipopolysaccharide synthesis and virulence of Brucella abortus S19.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiuran; Wang, Lin; Lu, Tiancheng; Yang, Yanling; Chen, Si; Zhang, Rui; Lang, Xulong; Yan, Guangmou; Qian, Jing; Wang, Xiaoxu; Meng, Lingyi; Wang, Xinglong

    2014-06-01

    Brucellosis is a worldwide human and animal infectious disease, and the effective methods of its control are immunisation of animals by vaccination and elimination. Brucella abortus S19 is one of the popular vaccines with virulence in the control of cattle Brucellosis. In the present study, allelic exchange plasmids of wzm and wzt genes and partial knockout mutants of wzm and wzt were constructed to evaluate the resulting difference in virulence of B. abortus S19. PCR analysis revealed that the target genes were knocked out. The mutants were rough mutants and they could be differentiated from natural infection by the Rose Bengal plate and standard agglutination tests. The molecular weights of lipopolysaccharides of the Δwzm and Δwzt mutants were clustered between 25 and 40 kDa, and 30 and 35 kDa separately, and were markedly different from those in B. abortus S19. The virulence of B. abortus Δwzm and Δwzt was decreased compared with that of B. abortus S19 in mice. All these results identified that there were several differences between the wzm and wzt genes on lipopolysaccharide synthesis and on the virulence of B. abortus.

  8. Significance of tagI and mfd genes in the virulence of non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae.

    PubMed

    Spricigo, Denis A; Cortés, Pilar; Moranta, David; Barbé, Jordi; Bengoechea, José Antonio; Lagostera, Montserrat

    2014-09-01

    Non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is an opportunist pathogen well adapted to the human upper respiratory tract and responsible for many respiratory diseases. In the human airway, NTHi is exposed to pollutants, such as alkylating agents, that damage its DNA. In this study, we examined the significance of genes involved in the repair of DNA alkylation damage in NTHi virulence. Two knockout mutants, tagI and mfd, encoding N³-methyladenine-DNA glycosylase I and the key protein involved in transcription-coupled repair, respectively, were constructed and their virulence in a BALB/c mice model was examined. This work shows that N³-methyladenine-DNA glycosylase I is constitutively expressed in NTHi and that it is relevant for its virulence.

  9. Impact of virulence genes on sepsis severity and survival in Escherichia coli bacteremia

    PubMed Central

    Mora-Rillo, Marta; Fernández-Romero, Natalia; Francisco, Carolina Navarro-San; Díez-Sebastián, Jesús; Romero-Gómez, Maria Pilar; Fernández, Francisco Arnalich; López, Jose Ramon Arribas; Mingorance, Jesús

    2015-01-01

    Extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) are a frequent cause of bacteremia and sepsis, but the role of ExPEC genetic virulence factors (VFs) in sepsis development and outcome is ill-defined. Prospective study including 120 adult patients with E. coli bacteremia to investigate the impact of bacterial and host factors on sepsis severity and mortality. Patients' clinical and demographic data were registered. Phylogenetic background of E. coli isolates was analyzed by SNP pyrosequencing and VFs by PCR. The E. coli isolates presented an epidemic population structure with 6 dominant clones making up to half of the isolates. VF gene profiles were highly diverse. Multivariate analysis for sepsis severity showed that the presence of cnf and blaTEM genes increased the risk of severe illness by 6.75 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.79–24.71) and 2.59 (95% CI 1.04–6.43) times respectively, while each point in the Pitt score increased the risk by 1.34 (95% CI 1.02–1.76) times. Multivariate analysis for mortality showed that active chemotherapy (OR 17.87, 95% CI 3.35–95.45), McCabe-Jackson Index (OR for rapidly fatal category 120.15, 95% CI 4.19–3446.23), Pitt index (OR 1.78, 95% CI 1.25–2.56) and presence of fyuA gene (OR 8.05, 95% CI 1.37–47.12) were associated to increased mortality while the presence of P fimbriae genes had a protective role (OR 0.094, 95%IC 0.018–0.494). Bacteremic E. coli had a high diversity of genetic backgrounds and VF gene profiles. Bacterial VFs and host determinants had an impact on disease evolution and mortality. PMID:25654604

  10. Horizontal Gene Transfer of the Secretome Drives the Evolution of Bacterial Cooperation and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Nogueira, Teresa; Rankin, Daniel J.; Touchon, Marie; Taddei, François; Brown, Sam P.; Rocha, Eduardo P.C.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Background Microbes engage in a remarkable array of cooperative behaviors, secreting shared proteins that are essential for foraging, shelter, microbial warfare, and virulence. These proteins are costly, rendering populations of cooperators vulnerable to exploitation by nonproducing cheaters arising by gene loss or migration. In such conditions, how can cooperation persist? Results Our model predicts that differential gene mobility drives intragenomic variation in investment in cooperative traits. More mobile loci generate stronger among-individual genetic correlations at these loci (higher relatedness) and thereby allow the maintenance of more cooperative traits via kin selection. By analyzing 21 Escherichia genomes, we confirm that genes coding for secreted proteins—the secretome—are very frequently lost and gained and are associated with mobile elements. We show that homologs of the secretome are overrepresented among human gut metagenomics samples, consistent with increased relatedness at secretome loci across multiple species. The biosynthetic cost of secreted proteins is shown to be under intense selective pressure, even more than for highly expressed proteins, consistent with a cost of cooperation driving social dilemmas. Finally, we demonstrate that mobile elements are in conflict with their chromosomal hosts over the chimeric ensemble's social strategy, with mobile elements enforcing cooperation on their otherwise selfish hosts via the cotransfer of secretome genes with “mafia strategy” addictive systems (toxin-antitoxin and restriction-modification). Conclusion Our analysis matches the predictions of our model suggesting that horizontal transfer promotes cooperation, as transmission increases local genetic relatedness at mobile loci and enforces cooperation on the resident genes. As a consequence, horizontal transfer promoted by agents such as plasmids, phages, or integrons drives microbial cooperation. PMID:19800234

  11. Horizontal gene transfer of the secretome drives the evolution of bacterial cooperation and virulence.

    PubMed

    Nogueira, Teresa; Rankin, Daniel J; Touchon, Marie; Taddei, François; Brown, Sam P; Rocha, Eduardo P C

    2009-11-03

    Microbes engage in a remarkable array of cooperative behaviors, secreting shared proteins that are essential for foraging, shelter, microbial warfare, and virulence. These proteins are costly, rendering populations of cooperators vulnerable to exploitation by nonproducing cheaters arising by gene loss or migration. In such conditions, how can cooperation persist? Our model predicts that differential gene mobility drives intragenomic variation in investment in cooperative traits. More mobile loci generate stronger among-individual genetic correlations at these loci (higher relatedness) and thereby allow the maintenance of more cooperative traits via kin selection. By analyzing 21 Escherichia genomes, we confirm that genes coding for secreted proteins-the secretome-are very frequently lost and gained and are associated with mobile elements. We show that homologs of the secretome are overrepresented among human gut metagenomics samples, consistent with increased relatedness at secretome loci across multiple species. The biosynthetic cost of secreted proteins is shown to be under intense selective pressure, even more than for highly expressed proteins, consistent with a cost of cooperation driving social dilemmas. Finally, we demonstrate that mobile elements are in conflict with their chromosomal hosts over the chimeric ensemble's social strategy, with mobile elements enforcing cooperation on their otherwise selfish hosts via the cotransfer of secretome genes with "mafia strategy" addictive systems (toxin-antitoxin and restriction-modification). Our analysis matches the predictions of our model suggesting that horizontal transfer promotes cooperation, as transmission increases local genetic relatedness at mobile loci and enforces cooperation on the resident genes. As a consequence, horizontal transfer promoted by agents such as plasmids, phages, or integrons drives microbial cooperation.

  12. Identification of Burkholderia pseudomallei Genes Required for the Intracellular Life Cycle and In Vivo Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Pilatz, Sabine; Breitbach, Katrin; Hein, Nadine; Fehlhaber, Beate; Schulze, Jessika; Brenneke, Birgit; Eberl, Leo; Steinmetz, Ivo

    2006-01-01

    The bacterial pathogen Burkholderia pseudomallei invades host cells, escapes from endocytic vesicles, multiplies intracellularly, and induces the formation of actin tails and membrane protrusions, leading to direct cell-to-cell spreading. This study was aimed at the identification of B. pseudomallei genes responsible for the different steps of this intracellular life cycle. B. pseudomallei transposon mutants were screened for a reduced ability to form plaques on PtK2 cell monolayers as a result of reduced intercellular spreading. Nine plaque assay mutants with insertions in different open reading frames were selected for further studies. One mutant defective in a hypothetical protein encoded within the Bsa type III secretion system gene cluster was found to be unable to escape from endocytic vesicles after invasion but still multiplied within the vacuoles. Another mutant with a defect in a putative exported protein reached the cytoplasm but exhibited impaired actin tail formation in addition to a severe intracellular growth defect. In four mutants, the transposon had inserted into genes involved in either purine, histidine, or p-aminobenzoate biosynthesis, suggesting that these pathways are essential for intracellular growth. Three mutants with reduced plaque formation were shown to have gene defects in a putative cytidyltransferase, a putative lipoate-protein ligase B, and a hypothetical protein. All nine mutants proved to be significantly attenuated in a murine model of infection, with some mutants being essentially avirulent. In conclusion, we have identified a number of novel major B. pseudomallei virulence genes which are essential for the intracellular life cycle of this pathogen. PMID:16714590

  13. Trichothecenes and aspinolides produced by Trichoderma arundinaceum regulate expression of Botrytis cinerea genes involved in virulence and growth.

    PubMed

    Malmierca, Mónica G; Izquierdo-Bueno, Inmaculada; McCormick, Susan P; Cardoza, Rosa E; Alexander, Nancy J; Barua, Javier; Lindo, Laura; Casquero, Pedro A; Collado, Isidro G; Monte, Enrique; Gutiérrez, Santiago

    2016-11-01

    Trichoderma arundinaceum (Ta37) and Botrytis cinerea (B05.10) produce the sesquiterpenoids harzianum A (HA) and botrydial (BOT), respectively. TaΔTri5, an HA non-producer mutant, produces high levels of the polyketide compounds aspinolides (Asp) B and C. We analyzed the role of HA and Asp in the B. cinerea-T. arundinaceum interaction, including changes in BOT production as well as transcriptomic changes of BcBOT genes involved in BOT biosynthesis, and also of genes associated with virulence and ergosterol biosynthesis. We found that exogenously added HA up-regulated the expression of the BcBOT and all the virulence genes analyzed when B. cinerea was grown alone. However, a decrease in the amount of BOT and a down-regulation of BcBOT gene expression was observed in the interaction zone of B05.10-Ta37 dual cultures, compared to TaΔTri5. Thus, the confrontation with T. arundinaceum results in an up-regulation of most of the B. cinerea genes involved in virulence yet the presence of T. arundinaceum secondary metabolites, HA and AspC, act separately and together to down-regulate the B. cinerea genes analyzed. The present work emphasizes the existence of a chemical cross-regulation between B. cinerea and T. arundinaceum and contributes to understanding how a biocontrol fungus and its prey interact with each other.

  14. Predicted highly expressed genes in Nocardia farcinica and the implication to its primary metabolism and nocardial virulence

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, Gang; Nie, Lei; Zhang, Weiwen

    2006-02-23

    Nocardia farcinica is a gram positive, filamentous bacterium, and is considered an opportunistic pathogen. In this study, the highly expressed genes in N. farcinica were predicted using the codon adaptation index (CAI) as a numerical estimator of gene expressivity. Using ribosomal protein (RP) genes as references, the top {approx}10% of the genes were predicted to be the predicted highly expressed (PHX) genes in N. farcinica using a CAI cutoff of greater than 0.73. Consistent with early analysis in Streptomyces genomes, most of the PHX genes in N. farcinica were involved in various ''house-keeping'' functions important for cell growth. However, fifteen genes putatively involved in no cardial virulence were predicted as PHX in N. farcinica, which included genes encoding four Mce virulence proteins, cyclopropane fatty acid synthase which is involved in the modification of cell wall important for nocardia virulence, polyketide synthase PKS13 for mycolic acid synthesis and non-ribosomal peptide synthetase involved in biosynthesis of a mycobactin-related siderophore. In addition, multiple genes involved in defense against reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by the phagocyte were predicted with high expressivity, which included alkylhydroperoxide reductase (ahpC), catalase (katG), superoxide dismutase (sodF), thioredoxin, thioredoxin reductase, glutathione peroxidase, and peptide methionine sulfoxide reductase, suggesting that combating against ROS was essential for survival of N. farcinica in host cells. The study also showed that the distribution of PHX genes in the N. farcinica circular chromosome was uneven, with more PHX genes located in the regions close to replication initiation site. The results provided the first approximates of global gene expression patterns in N. farcinica, which will be useful in guiding experimental design for further investigation.

  15. Norlichexanthone Reduces Virulence Gene Expression and Biofilm Formation in Staphylococcus aureus

    PubMed Central

    Bojer, Martin S.; Zhao, Yu; Friberg, Cathrine; Ifrah, Dan; Glasser Heede, Nina; Larsen, Thomas O.; Frøkiær, Hanne; Frees, Dorte; Zhang, Lixin; Dai, Huanqin

    2016-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a serious human pathogen and antibiotic resistant, community-associated strains, such as the methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strain USA300, continue to spread. To avoid resistance, anti-virulence therapy has been proposed where toxicity is targeted rather than viability. Previously we have shown that norlichexanthone, a small non-reduced tricyclic polyketide produced by fungi and lichens, reduces expression of hla encoding α-hemolysin as well as the regulatory RNAIII of the agr quorum sensing system in S. aureus 8325–4. The aim of the present study was to further characterise the mode of action of norlichexanthone and its effect on biofilm formation. We find that norlichexanthone reduces expression of both hla and RNAIII also in strain USA300. Structurally, norlichexanthone resembles ω-hydroxyemodin that recently was shown to bind the agr two component response regulator, AgrA, which controls expression of RNAIII and the phenol soluble modulins responsible for human neutrophil killing. We show that norlichexanthone reduces S. aureus toxicity towards human neutrophils and interferes directly with AgrA binding to its DNA target. In contrast to ω-hydroxyemodin however, norlichexanthone reduces staphylococcal biofilm formation. Transcriptomic analysis revealed that genes regulated by the SaeRS two-component system are repressed by norlichexanthone when compared to untreated cells, an effect that was mitigated in strain Newman carrying a partially constitutive SaeRS system. Our data show that norlichexanthone treatment reduces expression of key virulence factors in CA-MRSA strain USA300 via AgrA binding and represses biofilm formation. PMID:28005941

  16. Effects of changes in membrane sodium flux on virulence gene expression in Vibrio cholerae

    PubMed Central

    Häse, Claudia C.; Mekalanos, John J.

    1999-01-01

    The expression of several virulence factors of Vibrio cholerae is coordinately regulated by the ToxT molecule and the membrane proteins TcpP/H and ToxR/S, which are required for toxT transcription. To identify proteins that negatively affect toxT transcription, we screened transposon mutants of V. cholerae carrying a chromosomally integrated toxT∷lacZ reporter construct for darker blue colonies on media containing 5-bromo-4-chlor-3-indolyl β-d galactoside (X-gal). Two mutants had transposon insertions in a region homologous to the nqr gene cluster of Vibrio alginolyticus, encoding a sodium-translocating NADH–ubiquinone oxidoreductase (NQR). In V. alginolyticus, NQR is a respiration-linked Na+ extrusion pump generating a sodium motive force that can be used for solute import, ATP synthesis, and flagella rotation. Inhibition of NQR enzyme function in V. cholerae by the specific inhibitor 2-n-heptyl-4-hydroxyquinoline N-oxide (HQNO) resulted in elevated toxT∷lacZ activity. Increased toxT∷lacZ expression in an nqr mutant strain compared with the parental strain was observed when the TcpP/H molecules alone were strongly expressed, suggesting that the negative effect of the NQR complex on toxT transcription is mediated through TcpP/H. However, the ability of the TcpP/H proteins to activate the toxT∷lacZ reporter construct was greatly diminished in the presence of high NaCl concentrations in the growth medium. The flagellar motor of V. cholerae appears to be driven by a sodium motive force, and modulation of flagella rotation by inhibitory drugs, high media viscosity, or specific mutations resulted in increases of toxT∷lacZ expression. Thus, the regulation of the main virulence factors of V. cholerae appears to be modulated by endogenous and exogenous sodium levels in a complex way. PMID:10077658

  17. Riemerella anatipestifer M949_1360 Gene Functions on the Lipopolysaccharide Biosynthesis and Bacterial Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Guijing; Wang, Xiaolan; Dou, Yafeng; Wang, Shaohui; Tian, Mingxing; Qi, Jingjing; Li, Tao; Ding, Chan; Wu, Yantao; Yu, Shengqing

    2016-01-01

    Riemerella anatipestifer causes septicemic and exudative diseases in poultry, resulting in major economic losses to the duck industry. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS), as an important virulence factor in Gram-negative bacteria, can be recognized by the immune system and plays a crucial role in many interactions between bacteria and animal hosts. In this study, we screened out one LPS defective mutant strain RAΔ604 from a random transposon mutant library of R. anatipestifer serotype 1 strain CH3, which did not react with the anti-CH3 LPS monoclonal antibody 1C1 in an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Southern blot analysis confirmed that the genome of RAΔ604 contained a single Tn4351 insert. Then, we found that the M949_1360 gene was inactivated by insertion of the transposon. Using silver staining and western blot analyses, we found that the LPS pattern of RAΔ604 was defective, as compared with that of the wild-type (WT) strain CH3. The mutant strain RAΔ604 showed no significant influence on bacterial growth, while bacterial counting and Live/dead BacLight Bacterial Viability staining revealed that bacterial viability was decreased, as compared with the WT strain CH3. In addition, the abilities of the mutant strain RAΔ604 to adhere and invade Vero cells were significantly decreased. Animal studies revealed that the virulence of the mutant strain RAΔ604 was decreased by more than 200-fold in a duck infection model, as compared with the WT strain CH3. Furthermore, immunization with live bacteria of the mutant strain RAΔ604 protected 87.5% ducks from challenge with R. anatipestifer serotype 1 strain WJ4, indicating that the mutant strain RAΔ604 could be used as a potential vaccine candidate in the future. PMID:27500736

  18. Evaluating virulence of waterborne and clinical Aeromonas isolates using gene expression and mortality in neonatal mice followed by assessing cell culture's ability to predict virulence based on transcriptional response.

    PubMed

    Hayes, S L; Rodgers, M R; Lye, D J; Stelma, G N; McKinstry, C A; Malard, J M; Vesper, S J

    2007-10-01

    To assess the virulence of Aeromonas spp. using two models, a neonatal mouse assay and a mouse intestinal cell culture. After artificial infection with a variety of Aeromonas spp., mRNA extracts from the two models were processed and hydridized to murine microarrays to determine host gene response. Definition of virulence was determined based on host mRNA production in murine neonatal intestinal tissue and mortality of infected animals. Infections of mouse intestinal cell cultures were then performed to determine whether this simpler model system's mRNA responses correlated to neonatal results and therefore be predictive of virulence of Aeromonas spp. Virulent aeromonads up-regulated transcripts in both models including multiple host defense gene products (chemokines, regulation of transcription and apoptosis and cell signalling). Avirulent species exhibited little or no host response in neonates. Mortality results correlated well with both bacterial dose and average fold change of up-regulated transcripts in the neonatal mice. Cell culture results were less discriminating but showed promise as potentially being able to be predictive of virulence. Jun oncogene up-regulation in murine cell culture is potentially predictive of Aeromonas virulence. Having the ability to determine virulence of waterborne pathogens quickly would potentially assist public health officials to rapidly assess exposure risks.

  19. Gene expression profiling of the plant pathogenic basidiomycetous fungus Rhizoctonia solani AG 4 reveals putative virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Lakshman, Dilip K; Alkharouf, Nadim; Roberts, Daniel P; Natarajan, Savithiry S; Mitra, Amitava

    2012-01-01

    Rhizoctonia solani is a ubiquitous basidiomycetous soilborne fungal pathogen causing damping-off of seedlings, aerial blights and postharvest diseases. To gain insight into the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis a global approach based on analysis of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) was undertaken. To get broad gene-expression coverage, two normalized EST libraries were developed from mycelia grown under high nitrogen-induced virulent and low nitrogen/methylglucose-induced hypovirulent conditions. A pilot-scale assessment of gene diversity was made from the sequence analyses of the two libraries. A total of 2280 cDNA clones was sequenced that corresponded to 220 unique sequence sets or clusters (contigs) and 805 singlets, making up a total of 1025 unique genes identified from the two virulence-differentiated cDNA libraries. From the total sequences, 295 genes (38.7%) exhibited strong similarities with genes in public databases and were categorized into 11 functional groups. Approximately 61.3% of the R. solani ESTs have no apparent homologs in publicly available fungal genome databases and are considered unique genes. We have identified several cDNAs with potential roles in fungal pathogenicity, virulence, signal transduction, vegetative incompatibility and mating, drug resistance, lignin degradation, bioremediation and morphological differentiation. A codon-usage table has been formulated based on 14694 R. solani EST codons. Further analysis of ESTs might provide insights into virulence mechanisms of R. solani AG 4 as well as roles of these genes in development, saprophytic colonization and ecological adaptation of this important fungal plant pathogen.

  20. Mycobacterial manipulation of vacuolar sorting.

    PubMed

    Philips, Jennifer A

    2008-12-01

    Approximately one-third of the world's population is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and the World Health Organization estimates 1.6 million deaths were caused by M. tuberculosis in 2005. The enormous worldwide burden of disease underscores the proficiency by which M. tuberculosis is able to evade eradication by the host, subverting innate and adaptive defences. At the cellular level, mycobacteria are able to modulate macrophage defences by altering phagosome maturation. This review focuses on the bacterial proteins and lipids that are important in establishing the mycobacterial replicative niche. While there is a detailed molecular description of the vacuole and an increasing number of bacterial effectors have been implicated in creating this compartment, exactly how they intersect host cell processes remains ill-defined. However, the emerging picture is that an array of lipid and protein effectors collaborate to create and maintain the mycobacterial phagosome.

  1. Does the possession of virulence factor genes mean that those genes will be active?

    PubMed

    Edberg, Stephen C

    2009-01-01

    There are a number of relationships the host can establish with the microbes we ingest. For the vast majority of microbes, they have a short-lived liaison with the human host. Either they are destroyed by the stomach acid or bile, or can not establish even a temporary residency in the gastrointestinal tract. Early in life the mucosal surfaces of the body establishes a resident, and generally stable, normal flora. These normal flora microbes, the majority of which are bacteria, have specific receptors for specific areas of the alimentary tract. If the foreign microbe can establish residency, it then may transiently or permanently become part of the normal flora. However, in order to produce disease, it must possess an additional set of virulence factors. While some of these are known, many are not. Those that are known include enzymes, such as protease, lipase, and esterase. Accordingly, VFAR may not be associated with human disease and its presence or absence has no public health meaning.

  2. Myeloid Growth Factors Promote Resistance to Mycobacterial Infection by Curtailing Granuloma Necrosis through Macrophage Replenishment

    PubMed Central

    Pagán, Antonio J.; Yang, Chao-Tsung; Cameron, James; Swaim, Laura E.; Ellett, Felix; Lieschke, Graham J.; Ramakrishnan, Lalita

    2015-01-01

    Summary The mycobacterial ESX-1 virulence locus accelerates macrophage recruitment to the forming tuberculous granuloma. Newly recruited macrophages phagocytose previously infected apoptotic macrophages to become new bacterial growth niches. Granuloma macrophages can then necrose, releasing mycobacteria into the extracellular milieu, which potentiates their growth even further. Using zebrafish with genetic or pharmacologically induced macrophage deficiencies, we find that global macrophage deficits increase susceptibility to mycobacterial infection by accelerating granuloma necrosis. This is because reduction in the macrophage supply below a critical threshold decreases granuloma macrophage replenishment to the point where apoptotic infected macrophages, failing to get engulfed, necrose. Reducing macrophage demand by removing bacterial ESX-1 offsets the susceptibility of macrophage deficits. Conversely, increasing macrophage supply in wild-type fish by overexpressing myeloid growth factors induces resistance by curtailing necrosis. These findings may explain the susceptibility of humans with mononuclear cytopenias to mycobacterial infections and highlight the therapeutic potential of myeloid growth factors in tuberculosis. PMID:26159717

  3. Myeloid Growth Factors Promote Resistance to Mycobacterial Infection by Curtailing Granuloma Necrosis through Macrophage Replenishment.

    PubMed

    Pagán, Antonio J; Yang, Chao-Tsung; Cameron, James; Swaim, Laura E; Ellett, Felix; Lieschke, Graham J; Ramakrishnan, Lalita

    2015-07-08

    The mycobacterial ESX-1 virulence locus accelerates macrophage recruitment to the forming tuberculous granuloma. Newly recruited macrophages phagocytose previously infected apoptotic macrophages to become new bacterial growth niches. Granuloma macrophages can then necrose, releasing mycobacteria into the extracellular milieu, which potentiates their growth even further. Using zebrafish with genetic or pharmacologically induced macrophage deficiencies, we find that global macrophage deficits increase susceptibility to mycobacterial infection by accelerating granuloma necrosis. This is because reduction in the macrophage supply below a critical threshold decreases granuloma macrophage replenishment to the point where apoptotic infected macrophages, failing to get engulfed, necrose. Reducing macrophage demand by removing bacterial ESX-1 offsets the susceptibility of macrophage deficits. Conversely, increasing macrophage supply in wild-type fish by overexpressing myeloid growth factors induces resistance by curtailing necrosis. These findings may explain the susceptibility of humans with mononuclear cytopenias to mycobacterial infections and highlight the therapeutic potential of myeloid growth factors in tuberculosis.

  4. The Riemerella anatipestifer AS87_01735 Gene Encodes Nicotinamidase PncA, an Important Virulence Factor

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaolan; Liu, Beibei; Dou, Yafeng; Fan, Hongjie; Wang, Shaohui; Li, Tao; Ding, Chan

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Riemerella anatipestifer is a major bacterial pathogen that causes septicemic and exudative diseases in domestic ducks. In our previous study, we found that deletion of the AS87_01735 gene significantly decreased the bacterial virulence of R. anatipestifer strain Yb2 (mutant RA625). The AS87_01735 gene was predicted to encode a nicotinamidase (PncA), a key enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of nicotinamide to nicotinic acid, which is an important reaction in the NAD+ salvage pathway. In this study, the AS87_01735 gene was expressed and identified as the PncA-encoding gene, using an enzymatic assay. Western blot analysis demonstrated that R. anatipestifer PncA was localized to the cytoplasm. The mutant strain RA625 (named Yb2ΔpncA in this study) showed a similar growth rate but decreased NAD+ quantities in both the exponential and stationary phases in tryptic soy broth culture, compared with the wild-type strain Yb2. In addition, Yb2ΔpncA-infected ducks showed much lower bacterial loads in their blood, and no visible histological changes were observed in the heart, liver, and spleen. Furthermore, Yb2ΔpncA immunization of ducks conferred effective protection against challenge with the virulent wild-type strain Yb2. Our results suggest that the R. anatipestifer AS87_01735 gene encodes PncA, which is an important virulence factor, and that the Yb2ΔpncA mutant can be used as a novel live vaccine candidate. IMPORTANCE Riemerella anatipestifer is reported worldwide as a cause of septicemic and exudative diseases of domestic ducks. The pncA gene encodes a nicotinamidase (PncA), a key enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of nicotinamide to nicotinic acid, which is an important reaction in the NAD+ salvage pathway. In this study, we identified and characterized the pncA-homologous gene AS87_01735 in R. anatipestifer strain Yb2. R. anatipestifer PncA is a cytoplasmic protein that possesses similar PncA activity, compared with other organisms. Generation of the

  5. Escherichia coli virulence genes profile of surface waters as an indicator of water quality.

    PubMed

    Masters, N; Wiegand, A; Ahmed, W; Katouli, M

    2011-12-01

    We compared the presence of 58 known virulence genes (VGs) associated with Escherichia coli strains causing intestinal (InPEC) and extra-intestinal (ExPEC) infections in three estuarine, four brackish and 13 freshwater sites during the dry and wet seasons. The most common VGs observed in water samples during the dry season belonged to ExPEC (traT; 80% and ompA; 70%) whilst east1 (70%) gene was the most common among InPEC. More types of VGs were observed in water samples during wet season and included those found among InPEC (e.g. eaeA; 100%; fyuA, 90%; paa, 65%; cdt, 60%; and stx(2), 60%) and ExPEC (e.g. iroN(E.coli), 90%; iss, 90% and kpsMTII, 80%). Eight VGs were found exclusively in the wet season, of which four were found in all three water types indicating their association with storm-water run off. The number of VGs associated with ExPEC were significantly (P < 0.05) higher in only brackish and estuarine waters during the wet season compared to the dry season. There was no correlation between the number of E. coli and the presence of VGs in any of the water types in both seasons but we found similarities in VG profiles of sites with similar land uses.

  6. Identification of a Third msa Gene in Renibacterium salmoninarum and the Associated Virulence Phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Rhodes, Linda D.; Coady, Alison M.; Deinhard, Rebecca K.

    2004-01-01

    Renibacterium salmoninarum, a gram-positive diplococcobacillus, causes bacterial kidney disease, a condition that can result in extensive morbidity and mortality among stocks of fish. An immunodominant extracellular protein, called major soluble antigen (MSA), is encoded by two identical genes, msa1 and msa2. We found evidence for a third msa gene, msa3, which appears to be a duplication of msa1. Unlike msa1 and msa2, msa3 is not present in all isolates of R. salmoninarum. The presence of the msa3 locus does not affect total MSA production in culture conditions. In a challenge study, isolates possessing the msa3 locus reduced median survival in juvenile chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) by an average of 34% at doses of ≤105 cells per fish compared to isolates lacking the msa3 locus. In contrast, no difference in survival was observed at the highest dose, 106 cells per fish. The phenotype associated with the msa3 locus and its nonuniform distribution may contribute to observed differences in virulence among R. salmoninarum isolates. PMID:15528510

  7. Characterization of Frog Virus 3 knockout mutants lacking putative virulence genes.

    PubMed

    Andino, Francisco De Jesús; Grayfer, Leon; Chen, Guangchun; Chinchar, V Gregory; Edholm, Eva-Stina; Robert, Jacques

    2015-11-01

    To identify ranavirus virulence genes, we engineered Frog Virus 3 (FV3) knockout (KO) mutants defective for a putative viral caspase activation and recruitment domain-containing (CARD) protein (Δ64R-FV3) and a β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase homolog (Δ52L-FV3). Compared to wild type (WT) FV3, infection of Xenopus tadpoles with Δ64R- or Δ52L-FV3 resulted in significantly lower levels of mortality and viral replication. We further characterized these and two earlier KO mutants lacking the immediate-early18kDa protein (FV3-Δ18K) or the truncated viral homolog of eIF-2α (FV3-ΔvIF-2α). All KO mutants replicated as well as WT-FV3 in non-amphibian cell lines, whereas in Xenopus A6 kidney cells replication of ΔvCARD-, ΔvβHSD- and ΔvIF-2α-FV3 was markedly reduced. Furthermore, Δ64R- and ΔvIF-2α-FV3 were more sensitive to interferon than WT and Δ18-FV3. Notably, Δ64R-, Δ18K- and ΔvIF-2α- but not Δ52L-FV3 triggered more apoptosis than WT FV3. These data suggest that vCARD (64R) and vβ-HSD (52L) genes contribute to viral pathogenesis.

  8. Identification of a type I nitroreductase gene in non-virulent Trypanosoma rangeli.

    PubMed

    Montenegro, Marjorie; Cuervo, Claudia; Cardenas, Constanza; Duarte, Silvia; Díaz, Jenny R; Thomas, M Carmen; Lopez, Manuel C; Puerta, Concepcion J

    2017-07-01

    Trypanosomatid type I nitroreductases (NTRs), i.e., mitochondrial enzymes that metabolise nitroaromatic pro-drugs, are essential for parasite growth, infection, and survival. Here, a type I NTR of non-virulent protozoan Trypanosoma rangeli is described and compared to those of other trypanosomatids. The NTR gene was isolated from KP1(+) and KP1(-) strains, and its corresponding transcript and 5' untranslated region (5'UTR) were determined. Bioinformatics analyses and nitro-drug activation assays were also performed. The results indicated that the type I NTR gene is present in both KP1(-) and KP1(+) strains, with 98% identity. However, the predicted subcellular localisation of the protein differed among the strains (predicted as mitochondrial in the KP1(+) strain). Comparisons of the domains and 3D structures of the NTRs with those of orthologs demonstrated that the nitroreductase domain of T. rangeli NTR is conserved across all the strains, including the residues involved in the interaction with the FMN cofactor and in the tertiary structure characteristics of this oxidoreductase protein family. mRNA processing and expression were also observed. In addition, T. rangeli was shown to be sensitive to benznidazole and nifurtimox in a concentration-dependent manner. In summary, T. rangeli appears to have a newly discovered functional type I NTR.

  9. Virulence genes and genetic relationship of L. monocytogenes isolated from human and food sources in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Rosana Macedo de; Barbosa, André Victor; Lisbôa, Rodrigo de Castro; Santos, André Felipe das Mercês; Hofer, Ernesto; Vallim, Deyse Christina; Hofer, Cristina Barroso

    The herein presented assay provided a bacteriological and molecular characterization of 100 samples of L. monocytogenes isolated from human (43) and food (57) sources, from several regions of Brazil, and collected between 1975 and 2013. Antigenic characterization defined 49% of serotype 4b samples, followed by 28% of serotype 1/2b, 14% of serotype 1/2c, 8% of serotype 1/2a, and 1% of serotype 3b. Both type of samples from human and food origin express the same serotype distribution. Multiplex PCR analysis showed 13 strains of type 4b with the amplification profile 4b-VI (Variant I). Virulence genes hly, inlA, inlB, inlC, inlJ, actA, plcA, and prfA were detected in all samples, highlighting a deletion of 105pb on the actA gene in 23% of serotype 4b samples. Macrorestriction profile with ApaI at PFGE showed 55 pulsotypes, with the occurrence of the same pulsotype in hospitalized patients in São Paulo in 1992 and 1997, and two other highly related pulsotypes in patients hospitalized in Rio de Janeiro in 2008. Recognized pulsotypes in listeriosis cases have also been detected in food. Thus, the prevalence of a serotype and the persistence of certain pulsotypes herald future problems. Copyright © 2017 Sociedade Brasileira de Infectologia. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

  10. Plasma is the main regulator of Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilms virulence genes transcription in human blood.

    PubMed

    França, Angela; Cerca, Nuno

    2016-03-01

    Staphylococcus epidermidis is frequently associated with the emergence of medical-device-associated bloodstream infections, due to its ability to form biofilms on the surface of vascular catheters. Although these biofilms may be in continuous contact with human blood, how S. epidermidis biofilm cells interact with blood and its cellular and soluble components is poorly understood. Herein, we evaluated biofilm structure, biofilm cells culturability and viability, and the transcription of a panel of genes associated with S. epidermidis biofilms virulence, upon interaction with whole human blood or plasma. Our results showed that although whole human blood caused significant alterations in biofilm structure and in the number of culturable and viable cells, plasma was the main regulator of the transcription of genes with central role in biofilm formation, maturation and immune evasion. These findings highlight the urgent need to intensify studies aiming to evaluate the impact of host soluble factors on S. epidermidis biofilms fitness and persistence. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. RNAi-mediated silencing of fungal acuD gene attenuates the virulence of Penicillium marneffei.

    PubMed

    Sun, Jiufeng; Li, Xiqing; Feng, Peiying; Zhang, Junmin; Xie, Zhi; Song, Erwei; Xi, Liyan

    2014-02-01

    A number of pathogens, most of them intracellular, employ the glyoxylate cycle in order to ingest fatty acids as carbon sources as a way of coping with nutrient deprivation during the infection process. Isocitrate lyase, which is encoded by the pathogen's acuD gene, plays a pivotal role in the glyoxylate cycle, which has been implicated in fungal pathogenesis. In this study, the acuD gene of Penicillium marneffei was knocked down using siRNA expressed by a filamentous fungi expression system. The acuD siRNA reduced the acuD gene's mRNA and protein expression by 21.5 fold and 3.5 fold, respectively. When macrophages were infected with different transformants of P. marneffei, the knockdown of acuD expression with RNA interference was lethal to the pathogens. In addition, the secretion of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interferon-gamma from the infected macrophages was reduced. Moreover, the RNAi-mediated silencing of acuD expression reduced the fungal burden in the nude mice infected with P. marneffei; inhibited the inflammatory response in the lungs, livers, and spleens during the chronic phase instead of the acute phase of infection; and thus prolonged survival of the infected animals. Collectively, our data indicate that the RNAi-mediated silencing of acuD expression could attenuate virulence of P. marneffei. The endogenous expression of the delivered siRNA vector could be used to evaluate the role of functional genes by continuous and stable expression of siRNA.

  12. Serotypes, virulence genes, and PFGE patterns of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli isolated from Cuban pigs with diarrhea.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Miguel; Lazo, Leonel; Blanco, Jesús E; Dahbi, Ghizlane; Mora, Azucena; López, Cecilia; González, Enrique A; Blanco, Jorge

    2006-03-01

    Thirty-six enteropathogenic Escherichia coli strains isolated from Cuban pigs with diarrhea were serotyped and screened by PCR for the presence of virulence genes. The 36 isolates belonged to 11 O serogroups and 14 O:H serotypes, with 53% of the isolates belonging to only two serotypes: O141:H- (13 isolates) and O157:H19 (6 isolates). Genes coding for STb, STa, VT2e, and LT toxins were identified in 69, 61, 53, and 6% of the isolates, respectively. The most prevalent fimbrial adhesin was F18, detected in 22 (61%) isolates. The gene encoding F6 (P987) colonization factor was identified in three (8%) isolates. None of the 36 isolates assayed contained genes encoding F4 (K88), F5 (K99), or F41. The seropathotype O141:H-:STa/STb/VT2e/F18 (13 isolates) was the most frequently detected, followed by O157:H19:VT2e/F18 (5 isolates). A genetic diversity study, carried out by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) of 24 representative isolates, revealed 21 distinct restriction patterns clustered in 18 groups (I-XVIII). Isolates of the same serotype were placed together in a dendrogram, but isolates of serotype O157:H19 showed a high degree of polymorphism. The results of this study demonstrate the presence in Cuba of different clusters among one of the most prevalent serotypes isolated from pigs with diarrhea. Further experiments are needed to determine whether some of these clusters have appeared recently; if so, their evolution, as well as their possible association with pathogenicity in farms should be studied.

  13. Prevalence of Campylobacter species in milk and milk products, their virulence gene profile and anti-bio gram.

    PubMed

    Modi, Shivani; Brahmbhatt, M N; Chatur, Y A; Nayak, J B

    2015-01-01

    During the last decades, number of food poisoning cases due to Campylobacter occurred, immensely. After poultry, raw milk acts as a second main source of Campylobacter. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to detect the prevalence of Campylobacters in milk and milk products and to know the antibiotic sensitivity and virulence gene profile of Campylobacter spp. in Anand city, Gujarat, India. A total of 240 samples (85 buffalo milk, 65 cow milk, 30 cheese, 30 ice-cream and 30 paneer) were collected from the different collection points in Anand city. The samples were processed by microbiological culture method, and presumptive isolates were further confirmed by genus and species-specific polymerase chain reaction using previously reported primer. The isolates were further subjected to antibiotic susceptibility assay and virulence gene detection. Campylobacter species were detected in 7 (2.91%) raw milk samples whereas none of the milk product was positive. All the isolate identified were Campylobacter jejuni. Most of the isolates showed resistance against nalidixic acid, ciprofloxacin, and tetracyclin. All the isolates have three virulence genes cadF, cdtB and flgR whereas only one isolate was positive for iamA gene and 6 isolates were positive for fla gene. The presence of Campylobacter in raw milk indicates that raw milk consumption is hazardous for human being and proper pasteurization of milk and adaptation of hygienic condition will be necessary to protect the consumer from this zoonotic pathogen.

  14. Natural Variation in the VELVET Gene bcvel1 Affects Virulence and Light-Dependent Differentiation in Botrytis cinerea

    PubMed Central

    Schumacher, Julia; Pradier, Jean-Marc; Simon, Adeline; Traeger, Stefanie; Moraga, Javier; Collado, Isidro González; Viaud, Muriel; Tudzynski, Bettina

    2012-01-01

    Botrytis cinerea is an aggressive plant pathogen causing gray mold disease on various plant species. In this study, we identified the genetic origin for significantly differing phenotypes of the two sequenced B. cinerea isolates, B05.10 and T4, with regard to light-dependent differentiation, oxalic acid (OA) formation and virulence. By conducting a map-based cloning approach we identified a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in an open reading frame encoding a VELVET gene (bcvel1). The SNP in isolate T4 results in a truncated protein that is predominantly found in the cytosol in contrast to the full-length protein of isolate B05.10 that accumulates in the nuclei. Deletion of the full-length gene in B05.10 resulted in the T4 phenotype, namely light-independent conidiation, loss of sclerotial development and oxalic acid production, and reduced virulence on several host plants. These findings indicate that the identified SNP represents a loss-of-function mutation of bcvel1. In accordance, the expression of the B05.10 copy in T4 rescued the wild-type/B05.10 phenotype. BcVEL1 is crucial for full virulence as deletion mutants are significantly hampered in killing and decomposing plant tissues. However, the production of the two best known secondary metabolites, the phytotoxins botcinic acid and botrydial, are not affected by the deletion of bcvel1 indicating that other factors are responsible for reduced virulence. Genome-wide expression analyses of B05.10- and Δbcvel1-infected plant material revealed a number of genes differentially expressed in the mutant: while several protease- encoding genes are under-expressed in Δbcvel1 compared to the wild type, the group of over-expressed genes is enriched for genes encoding sugar, amino acid and ammonium transporters and glycoside hydrolases reflecting the response of Δbcvel1 mutants to nutrient starvation conditions. PMID:23118899

  15. The regulatory gene VosA affects conidiogenesis and is involved in virulence of the fungal cereal pathogen Cochliobolus sativus.

    PubMed

    Wang, Rui; Leng, Yueqiang; Zhong, Shaobin

    2015-10-01

    VosA is one of the four components in the velvet complex shown to be involved in regulation of fungal development and secondary metabolism in filamentous fungi. However, the function of VosA has only been studied in a few plant pathogenic fungi. In this study, we identified the ortholog (CsVosA) of VosA in the cereal spot blotch pathogen Cochliobolus sativus and generated gene knockout mutants for functional characterization of the gene. Conidia of the CsVosA knockout mutants (ΔCsVosA) lacked trehalose, were significantly reduced in viability, had less pigmentation, and showed a dramatic reduction in tolerance to heat, oxidative, and ion stresses. However, ΔCsVosA produced more conidia than the wild type under both constant dark, and constant light conditions, suggesting that CsVosA is a negative-feedback regulator in conidiation. Interestingly, the ΔCsVosA mutants exhibited a hypermorphic conidiation phenotype with indeterminate growth of the conidial tip cells resulting in head-to-tail (acropetal) arrays of conidiogenesis, indicating that some genes involved in conidiation are also regulated by CsVosA. The ΔCsVosA mutants showed significant reduction in virulence on susceptible barley plants and the two genes for nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) involved in virulence during host infection were down-regulated in ΔCsVosA, suggesting that CsVosA may affect virulence of the fungus by regulating the expression of the genes for NRPSs, as well as other genes directly or indirectly involved in virulence. Copyright © 2015 The British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Detection of phenotypes, virulence genes and phylotypes of avian pathogenic and human diarrheagenic Escherichia coli in Egypt.

    PubMed

    Ramadan, Hazem; Awad, Amal; Ateya, Ahmed

    2016-06-30

    The purpose from this study was to determine phenotypes, intestinal virulence-associated genes, and phylotypic profiling of human diarrheagenic E. coli (DEC) and avian pathogenic E. coli (APEC). A total of 108 chicken visceral organs (liver, spleen, heart) from 36 diseased birds (three organs per each bird) and 78 human stool samples (50 diarrheic patients and 28 healthy persons) were randomly collected during the first half of 2015 in the district of Mansoura city, Egypt. Conventional culturing, serotyping, and molecular characterization of virulence genes and phylogroups were performed. Sixty-five (35%) biochemically identified E. coli isolates were detected from chicken visceral (29/108; 26.9%) and human stool samples (36/78; 46.2%). Serotypes O78, O2, and O1 were the most prevalent serotypes (62%) distinguished from APEC isolates, and only two similar serotypes (O119:H4 and O26:H11) were identified from both APEC and DEC isolates. By polymerase chain reaction (PCR), the respective percentages of 100 and 35 with eae and Shiga toxin genes were detected from APEC isolates while 50%, 27.8%, and 19.4% of human DEC isolates harbored eae, stx1, and stx2 genes, respectively. Phylogrouping revealed a significantly higher occurrence of pathogenic phylogroups (D and B2) in APEC (19/29; 65.5%) than in human DEC isolates (8/36; 22.2%). APEC isolates shared serotypes, virulence genes, and phylotypes with human DEC isolates, which is a subsequent potential public health concern. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report in Egypt that determines virulence gene and phylogroup coexistence between APEC and DEC isolates.

  17. Identifying Virulence-Associated Genes Using Transcriptomic and Proteomic Association Analyses of the Plant Parasitic Nematode Bursaphelenchus mucronatus

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Lifeng; Chen, Fengmao; Pan, Hongyang; Ye, Jianren; Dong, Xuejiao; Li, Chunyan; Lin, Fengling

    2016-01-01

    Bursaphelenchus mucronatus (B. mucronatus) isolates that originate from different regions may vary in their virulence, but their virulence-associated genes and proteins are poorly understood. Thus, we conducted an integrated study coupling RNA-Seq and isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) to analyse transcriptomic and proteomic data of highly and weakly virulent B. mucronatus isolates during the pathogenic processes. Approximately 40,000 annotated unigenes and 5000 proteins were gained from the isolates. When we matched all of the proteins with their detected transcripts, a low correlation coefficient of r = 0.138 was found, indicating probable post-transcriptional gene regulation involved in the pathogenic processes. A functional analysis showed that five differentially expressed proteins which were all highly expressed in the highly virulent isolate were involved in the pathogenic processes of nematodes. Peroxiredoxin, fatty acid- and retinol-binding protein, and glutathione peroxidase relate to resistance against plant defence responses, while β-1,4-endoglucanase and expansin are associated with the breakdown of plant cell walls. Thus, the pathogenesis of B. mucronatus depends on its successful survival in host plants. Our work adds to the understanding of B. mucronatus’ pathogenesis, and will aid in controlling B. mucronatus and other pinewood nematode species complexes in the future. PMID:27618012

  18. Multiple mycobacterial antigens are targets of the adaptive immune response in pulmonary sarcoidosis

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Introduction Sarcoidosis is a multisystem granulomatous disease for which the association with mycobacteria continues to strengthen. It is hypothesized that a single, poorly degradable antigen is responsible for sarcoidosis pathogenesis. Several reports from independent groups support mycobacterial antigens having a role in sarcoidosis pathogenesis. To identify other microbial targets of the adaptive immune response, we tested the ability of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells to recognize multiple mycobacterial antigens. Methods Fifty-four subjects were enrolled in this study: 31 sarcoidosis patients, nine non-tuberculosis mycobacterial (NTM) infection controls, and 14 PPD- controls. Using flow cytometry, we assessed for Th1 immune responses to ESAT-6, katG, Ag85A, sodA, and HSP. Results Alveolar T-cells from twenty-two of the 31 sarcoidosis patients produced a CD4+ response to at least one of ESAT-6, katG, Ag85A, sodA, or HSP, compared to two of 14 PPD- controls (p = 0.0008) and five of nine NTM controls (p = 0.44), while eighteen of the 31 sarcoidosis subjects tested produced a CD8+ response to at least one of the mycobacterial antigens compared to two of 14 PPD- controls (p = 0.009) and three of nine NTM controls (0.26). Not only did the BAL-derived T cells respond to multiple virulence factors, but also to multiple, distinct epitopes within a given protein. The detection of proliferation upon stimulation with the mycobacterial virulence factors demonstrates that these responses are initiated by antigen specific recognition. Conclusions Together these results reveal that antigen-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells responses to multiple mycobacterial epitopes are present within sites of active sarcoidosis involvement, and that these antigen-specific responses are present at the time of diagnosis. PMID:21092305

  19. Molecular immunity to mycobacteria: knowledge from the mutation and phenotype spectrum analysis of Mendelian susceptibility to mycobacterial diseases

    PubMed Central

    Qu, Hui-Qi; Fisher-Hoch, Susan P.; McCormick, Joseph B.

    2011-01-01

    Summary Understanding molecular immunity against mycobacterial infection is critical for the development of effective strategies to control tuberculosis (TB), which is a major health issue in the developing world. Host immunogenetic studies represent an indispensable approach to understand the molecular mechanisms against mycobacterial infection. A superb paradigm is the identification of rare mutations causing Mendelian susceptibility to mycobacterial diseases (MSMD). Mutations in the interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) receptor genes are highly specific (although not exclusive) for mycobacterial infection. Only dominant negative mutations of STAT1 have specific susceptibility to mycobacterial infection. Mutations in the interleukin-12 (IL-12) signaling genes have phenotypes with non-specificity. Current studies highlight a complex molecular network in antimycobacterial immunity, centered on IFN-γ signaling. PMID:21330176

  20. Core-Gene-Encoded Peptide Regulating Virulence-Associated Traits in Streptococcus mutans

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jeong Nam; Stanhope, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    Recently, high-coverage genome sequence of 57 isolates of Streptococcus mutans, the primary etiological agent of human dental caries, was completed. The SMU.1147 gene, encoding a 61-amino-acid (61-aa) peptide, was present in all sequenced strains of S. mutans but absent in all bacteria in current databases. Reverse transcription-PCR revealed that SMU.1147 is cotranscribed with scnK and scnR, which encode the histidine kinase and response regulator, respectively, of a two-component system (TCS). The C terminus of the SMU.1147 gene product was tagged with a FLAG epitope and shown to be expressed in S. mutans by Western blotting with an anti-FLAG antibody. A nonpolar mutant of SMU.1147 formed less biofilm in glucose-containing medium and grew slower than did the wild-type strain under aerobic and anaerobic conditions, at low pH, or in the presence of H2O2. Mutation of SMU.1147 dramatically reduced genetic competence and expression of comX and comY, compared to S. mutans UA159. The competence defect of the SMU.1147 mutant could not be overcome by addition of sigX-inducing peptide (XIP) in defined medium or by competence-stimulating peptide (CSP) in complex medium. Complementation with SMU.1147 on a plasmid restored all phenotypes. Interestingly, mutants lacking either one of the TCS components and a mutant lacking all three genes behaved like the wild-type strain for all phenotypes mentioned above, but all mutant strains grew slower than UA159 in medium supplemented with 0.3 M NaCl. Thus, the SMU.1147-encoded peptide affects virulence-related traits and dominantly controls quorum-sensing pathways for development of genetic competence in S. mutans. PMID:23603743

  1. Salmonella enterica virulence genes are required for bacterial attachment to plant tissue.

    PubMed

    Barak, Jeri D; Gorski, Lisa; Naraghi-Arani, Pejman; Charkowski, Amy O

    2005-10-01

    Numerous Salmonella enterica food-borne illness outbreaks have been associated with contaminated vegetables, in particular sprouted seeds, and the incidence of reported contamination has steadily risen. In order to understand the physiology of S. enterica serovar Newport on plants, a screen was developed to identify transposon mutants that were defective in attachment to alfalfa sprouts. Twenty independent mutants from a pool of 6,000 were selected for reduced adherence to alfalfa sprouts. Sixty-five percentage of these mutants had insertions in uncharacterized genes. Among the characterized genes were strains with insertions in the intergenic region between agfB, the surface-exposed aggregative fimbria (curli) nucleator, and agfD, a transcriptional regulator of the LuxR superfamily, and rpoS, the stationary-phase sigma factor. Both AgfD and RpoS have been reported to regulate curli and cellulose production and RpoS regulates other adhesins such as pili. The intergenic and rpoS mutants were reduced in initial attachment to alfalfa sprouts by 1 log unit compared to the wild type. Mutations of agfA, curli subunit, and agfB in S. enterica serovar Enteritidis differentially affected attachment to plant tissue. The agfA mutation was not reduced in ability to attach to or colonize alfalfa sprouts, whereas the agfB mutation was reduced. Thus, agfB alone can play a role in attachment of S. enterica to plant tissue. These results reveal that S. enterica genes important for virulence in animal systems are also required for colonization of plants, a secondary host that can serve as a vector of S. enterica from animal to animal.

  2. TcpP protein is a positive regulator of virulence gene expression in Vibrio cholerae.

    PubMed

    Häse, C C; Mekalanos, J J

    1998-01-20

    The production of several virulence factors in Vibrio cholerae O1, including cholera toxin and the pilus colonization factor TCP (toxin-coregulated pilus), is strongly influenced by environmental conditions. To specifically identify membrane proteins involved in these signal transduction events, we examined a transposon library of V. cholerae generated by Tnbla mutagenesis for cells that produce TCP when grown under various nonpermissive conditions. To select for TCP-producing cells we used the recently described bacteriophage CTX phi-Kan, which uses TCP as its receptor and carries a gene encoding resistance to kanamycin. Among the isolated mutants was a transposon insertion in a gene homologous to nqrB from Vibrio alginolyticus, which encodes a subunit of a Na(+)-translocating NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase, and tcpI, encoding a chemo-receptor previously implicated in the negative regulation of TCP production. A third transposon mutant had an insertion in tcpP, which is in an operon with tcpH, a known positive regulator of TCP production. However, TcpP was shown to be essential for TCP production in V. cholerae, as a tcpP-deletion strain was deficient in pili production. The amino-terminal region of TcpP shows sequence homology to the DNA-binding domains of several regulatory proteins, including ToxR from V. cholerae and PsaE from Yersinia pestis. Like ToxR, TcpP activates transcription of the toxT gene, an essential activator of tcp operon transcription. Furthermore, TcpH, with its large periplasmic domain and inner membrane anchor, has a structure similar to that of ToxS and was shown to enhance the activity of TcpP. We propose that TcpP/TcpH constitute a pair of regulatory proteins functionally similar to ToxR/ToxS and PsaE/PsaF that are required for toxT transcription in V. cholerae.

  3. Metagenomic analysis of virulence-associated and antibiotic resistance genes of microbes in rumen of Indian buffalo (Bubalus bubalis).

    PubMed

    Singh, K M; Jakhesara, S J; Koringa, P G; Rank, D N; Joshi, C G

    2012-10-10

    A major research goal in rumen microbial ecology is to understand the relationship between community composition and its function, particularly involved in fermentation process is of a potential interest. The buffalo rumen microbiota impacts human food safety as well as animal health. Although the bacteria of bovine rumen have been well characterized, techniques have been lacking to correlate total community structure with gene function. We applied 454 next generations sequencing technology to characterize general microbial diversity present in buffalo rumen metagenome and also identified the repertoire of microbial genes present, including genes associated with antibiotic resistance and bacterial virulence. Results suggest that over six percent (6.44%) of the sequences from our buffalo rumen pool sample could be categorized as virulence genes and genes associated with resistance to antibiotic and toxic compounds (RATC), which is a higher proportion of virulence genes reported from metagenome samples of chicken cecum (5.39%), cow rumen (4.43%) and Sargasso sea (2.95%). However, it was lower than the proportion found in cow milk (11.33%) cattle faeces (8.4%), Antarctic marine derived lake (8.45%), human fecal (7.7%) and farm soil (7.79%). The dynamic nature of metagenomic data, together with the large number of RATC classes observed in samples from widely different ecologies indicates that metagenomic data can be used to track potential targets and relative amounts of antibiotic resistance genes in individual animals. In addition, these data can be also used to generate antibiotic resistance gene profiles to facilitate an understanding of the ecology of the microbial communities in each habitat as well as the epidemiology of antibiotic resistant gene transport between and among habitats. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. vimA Gene Downstream of recA Is Involved in Virulence Modulation in Porphyromonas gingivalis W83

    PubMed Central

    Abaibou, Hafid; Chen, Zhuo; Olango, G. Jon; Liu, Yi; Edwards, Jessica; Fletcher, Hansel M.

    2001-01-01

    A 0.9-kb open reading frame encoding a unique 32-kDa protein was identified downstream of the recA gene of Porphyromonas gingivalis. Reverse transcription-PCR and Northern blot analysis showed that both the recA gene and this open reading frame are part of the same transcriptional unit. This cloned fragment was insertionally inactivated using the ermF-ermAM antibiotic resistance cassette to create a defective mutant by allelic exchange. When plated on Brucella blood agar, the mutant strain, designated P. gingivalis FLL92, was non-black pigmented and showed significant reduction in beta-hemolysis compared with the parent strain, P. gingivalis W83. Arginine- and lysine-specific cysteine protease activities, which were mostly soluble, were approximately 90% lower than that of the parent strain. Expression of the rgpA, rgpB, and kgp protease genes was the same in P. gingivalis FLL92 as in the wild-type strain. In contrast to the parent strain, P. gingivalis FLL92 showed increased autoaggregration in addition to a significant reduction in hemagglutinating and hemolysin activities. In in vivo experiments using a mouse model, P. gingivalis FLL92 was dramatically less virulent than the parent strain. A molecular survey of this mutant and the parent strain using all known P. gingivalis insertion sequence elements as probes suggested that no intragenomic changes due to the movement of these elements have occurred in P. gingivalis FLL92. Taken together, these results suggest that the recA downstream gene, designated vimA (virulence-modulating gene), plays an important role in virulence modulation in P. gingivalis W83, possibly representing a novel posttranscriptional or translational regulation of virulence factors in P. gingivalis. PMID:11119521

  5. A study of Staphylococcus aureusnasal carriage, antibacterial resistance and virulence factor encoding genes in a tertiary care hospital, Kayseri, Turkey.

    PubMed

    Oguzkaya-Artan, M; Artan, C; Baykan, Z; Sakalar, C; Turan, A; Aksu, H

    2015-01-01

    This study was to determine the virulence encoding genes, and the antibiotic resistance patterns of the Staphylococcus aureus isolates, which were isolated from the nasal samples of chest clinic patients. The nasal samples of the in-patients (431) and out-patients (1857) in Kayseri Training and Research Hospital's Chest Clinic, Kayseri, Turkey, were cultured on CHROMagar (Biolife, Italiana) S. aureus, and subcultured on sheep blood agar for the isolation of S. aureus. Disc diffusion method was used for antimicrobial susceptibility testing. The occurrence of the staphylococcal virulence encoding genes (enterotoksins [sea, seb, sec, see, seg, seh, sei, sej], fibronectin-binding proteins A, B [fnbA, fnbB], toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 [tst]) were detected by polymerase chain reaction. Forty-five of the 55 (81.8%) S. aureus isolates from inpatients, and 319 (90.6%) isolates from tested 352 out-patient's isolates were suspected to all the antibiotics tested. methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) was detected in 1.2% of S. aureus isolates. Rifampin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, clindamycin, erythromycin, gentamicin resistance rates were 1.2%, 1.7%, 2.0%, 8.8%, and 1.2%, respectively. The isolates were susceptible to teicoplanin and vancomycin. The genes most frequently found were tst (92.7%), seg (85.8%), sea (83.6%), fnbA (70.9%). There was no statistical significance detected between MRSA and mecA-negative S. aureus isolates in encoding genes distribution (P > 0.05). Our results show that virulence factor encoding genes were prevalent in patients with S. aureus carriage, whereas antibiotic resistance was low. These virulence determinants may increase the risk for subsequent invasive infections in carriers.

  6. CcpA and LacD.1 Affect Temporal Regulation of Streptococcus pyogenes Virulence Genes ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Kietzman, Colin C.; Caparon, Michael G.

    2010-01-01

    Production of H2O2 follows a growth phase-dependent pattern that mimics that of many virulence factors of Streptococcus pyogenes. To gain greater insight into mechanisms coupling virulence factor expression to growth phase, we investigated the molecular basis for H2O2 generation and its regulation. Deletion of the gene encoding lactate oxidase (lctO) or culture in the presence of glucose eliminated H2O2 production, implicating carbohydrate regulation of lctO as a key element of growth phase control. In examining known carbohydrate-responsive regulators, deletion of the gene encoding CcpA but not that encoding LacD.1 resulted in both derepression and an uncoupling of lctO transcription from its growth phase pattern. Expanding this analysis to additional virulence factors demonstrated both negative (cfa, encoding CAMP factor) and positive (speB, encoding a cysteine protease) regulation by CcpA and that CcpA mutants were highly cytotoxic for cultured macrophages. This latter property resulted from enhanced transcription of the streptolysin S biogenesis operon. Examination of CcpA-promoter interactions using a DNA pull-down assay mimicking physiological conditions showed direct binding to the promoters of lctO and speB but not those of sagA. CcpA but not LacD.1 mutants were attenuated in a murine model of soft-tissue infection, and analysis of gene expression in infected tissue indicated that CcpA mutants had altered expression of lctO, cfa, and speB but not the indirectly regulated sagA gene. Taken together, these data show that CcpA regulates virulence genes via at least three distinct mechanisms and that disruption of growth phase regulation alters transcriptional patterns in infected tissues. PMID:19841076

  7. Inactivation of the ABC transporter ATPase gene in Brucella abortus strain 2308 attenuated the virulence of the bacteria.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Min; Han, Xiangan; Liu, Haiwen; Tian, Mingxing; Ding, Chan; Song, Jun; Sun, Xiaoqing; Liu, Zongping; Yu, Shengqing

    2013-06-28

    Brucella abortus is a Gram-negative, facultative intracellular bacterial pathogen of human and other animals. Brucella lipopolysaccharide has been identified as an important virulence factor. In this study, the ABC transporter ATPase gene (BAB1_0542) of B. abortus strain S2308 was inactivated by deleting a 446-bp fragment from the gene, thereby generating the mutant strain, S2308ΔATP. Real time PCR analysis confirmed the inactivation of this gene with no polar effect on the transcription of adjacent genes on the chromosome. The mutant was identified as a rough phenotype strain using heat agglutination test and crystal violet staining. The mutant strain had a different growth rate in Tryptic Soy Broth (TSB), compared to the wild type S2308 strain. Moreover, the mutant strain showed attenuated virulence in vitro and in vivo in RAW264.7 macrophages and Balb/c mice, respectively. Complementation of the mutant strain recovered the smooth phenotype of the bacteria and the complemented strain C2308ΔATP survived for more than four weeks in Balb/c mice, comparable to wild type strain S2308. Furthermore, immunization with the mutant strain protected mice from virulent strain challenge, which suggests the potential for the mutant strain S2308ΔATP as a future vaccine candidate. MHC I, MHC II and co-stimulatory molecule expression levels in mice following infection of S2308ΔATP and S2308 were also investigated.

  8. [NP gene of pandemic H1N1 virus attenuates virulence of mouse-adapted human influenza virus].

    PubMed

    Zhirnov, O P; Syrtsev, V V; Schwalm, F; Klenk, H D

    2011-01-01

    The authors studied a possible role of the caspase cleavage motif located in the nucleoprotein (NP) of pandemic influenza virus H1N1 in the regulation of viral virulence properties. A reverse genetics method was used to obtain chimeric seasonal-like mouse-adapted influenza virus hvA/PE/8/34 (H1N10) carrying either the NP gene of wild type pandemic virus with incomplete caspase motif ETGC or mutated pandemic NP with natural caspase cleavage site of human type ETDG. The wild-type NP gene of the pandemic virus was found to poorly fit to the gene pattern of closely related seasonal-like hvA/PR/8/34 virus (H1N1) and did not rescue mature virus production whereas a mutated NP with human-type caspase cleavage site maintained gene fitness, giving rise to a chimeric virus. The generated chimeric virus hvA/PR/8/34 carrying the mutated pandemic NP successfully replicated in the murine lung, but was attenuated and did not reach the virulence level of seasonal-like mouse-adapted virus hvA/PR/8/34. The findings indicate that the NP caspase cleavage site plays a role in viral adaptation and viral virulence in mammals.

  9. PCR assay targeting virulence genes of Helicobacter pylori isolated from drinking water and clinical samples in Lahore metropolitan, Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Samra, Zahoor Qadir; Javaid, Umber; Ghafoor, Sadia; Batool, Aleeza; Dar, Nadia; Athar, Muhammad Amin

    2011-03-01

    Helicobacter pylorus is considered for chronic gastritis, gastric ulcers and adenocarcinoma and its high infection rate is observed in overcrowded and lower socioeconomic groups in developing countries. This study was designed to identify the role of drinking water in the transmission and prevalence of H. pylori (HP). Selective HP medium was developed for enrichment and presumptive identification of H. pylori by urease, catalase and species specific 16S rRNA tests. The virulence genes (vacA 's' and 'm' regions and cagA) of H. pylori in 90 out of 225 H. pylori positive drinking water samples were present (40%). Ten out of 18 biopsies (55.55%) and 15 out of 50 vomiting fluids of gastric disease patients (30%) were also positive for virulence genes. Anti-H. pylori antibodies were also detected in 31 out of 50 patients' sera. The presence of virulence genes was also directly confirmed by hybridization studies using non-radioactive DNA probes of 16S rRNA, vacA and cagA genes. The presence of H. pylori in water is due to poor sanitary conditions, improper waste disposal and lack of public health education. PCR-based analysis and colony hybridization can be used for detection of H. pylori in clinical and environmental samples.

  10. The discovery of the virulence gene ToxA in the wheat and barley pathogen Bipolaris sorokiniana.

    PubMed

    McDonald, Megan C; Ahren, Dag; Simpfendorfer, Steven; Milgate, Andrew; Solomon, Peter S

    2017-01-17

    Bipolaris sorokiniana is the causal agent of multiple diseases on wheat and barley and is the primary constraint to cereal production throughout South Asia. Despite its significance, the molecular basis of disease is poorly understood. To address this, the genomes of three Australian isolates of B. sorokiniana were sequenced and screened for known pathogenicity genes. Sequence analysis revealed that the isolate BRIP10943 harboured the ToxA gene, which has been associated previously with disease in the wheat pathogens Parastagonospora nodorum and Pyrenophora tritici-repentis. Analysis of the regions flanking ToxA within B. sorokiniana revealed that it was embedded within a 12-kb genomic element nearly identical to the corresponding regions in P. nodorum and P. tritici-repentis. A screen of 35 Australian B. sorokiniana isolates confirmed that ToxA was present in 12 isolates. Sequencing of the ToxA genes within these isolates revealed two haplotypes, which differed by a single non-synonymous nucleotide substitution. Pathogenicity assays showed that a B. sorokiniana isolate harbouring ToxA was more virulent on wheat lines that contained the sensitivity gene when compared with a non-ToxA isolate. This work demonstrates that proteins that confer host-specific virulence can be horizontally acquired across multiple species. This acquisition can dramatically increase the virulence of pathogenic strains on susceptible cultivars, which, in an agricultural setting, can have devastating economic and social impacts.

  11. Triethylene Glycol Up-Regulates Virulence-Associated Genes and Proteins in Streptococcus mutans

    PubMed Central

    Sadeghinejad, Lida; Cvitkovitch, Dennis G.; Siqueira, Walter L.; Santerre, J. Paul; Finer, Yoav

    2016-01-01

    Triethylene glycol dimethacrylate (TEGDMA) is a diluent monomer used pervasively in dental composite resins. Through hydrolytic degradation of the composites in the oral cavity it yields a hydrophilic biodegradation product, triethylene glycol (TEG), which has been shown to promote the growth of Streptococcus mutans, a dominant cariogenic bacterium. Previously it was shown that TEG up-regulated gtfB, an important gene contributing to polysaccharide synthesis function in biofilms. However, molecular mechanisms related to TEG’s effect on bacterial function remained poorly understood. In the present study, S. mutans UA159 was incubated with clinically relevant concentrations of TEG at pH 5.5 and 7.0. Quantitative real-time PCR, proteomics analysis, and glucosyltransferase enzyme (GTF) activity measurements were employed to identify the bacterial phenotypic response to TEG. A S. mutans vicK isogenic mutant (SMΔvicK1) and its associated complemented strain (SMΔvicK1C), an important regulatory gene for biofilm-associated genes, were used to determine if this signaling pathway was involved in modulation of the S. mutans virulence-associated genes. Extracted proteins from S. mutans biofilms grown in the presence and absence of TEG were subjected to mass spectrometry for protein identification, characterization and quantification. TEG up-regulated gtfB/C, gbpB, comC, comD and comE more significantly in biofilms at cariogenic pH (5.5) and defined concentrations. Differential response of the vicK knock-out (SMΔvicK1) and complemented strains (SMΔvicK1C) implicated this signalling pathway in TEG-modulated cellular responses. TEG resulted in increased GTF enzyme activity, responsible for synthesizing insoluble glucans involved in the formation of cariogenic biofilms. As well, TEG increased protein abundance related to biofilm formation, carbohydrate transport, acid tolerance, and stress-response. Proteomics data was consistent with gene expression findings for the

  12. To catch a killer. What can mycobacterial models teach us about Mycobacterium tuberculosis pathogenesis?

    PubMed

    Shiloh, Michael U; Champion, Patricia A DiGiuseppe

    2010-02-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the causative agent of the global tuberculosis epidemic. To combat this successful human pathogen we need a better understanding of the basic biology of mycobacterial pathogenesis. The use of mycobacterial model systems has the potential to greatly facilitate our understanding of how M. tuberculosis causes disease. Recently, studies using mycobacterial models, including M. bovis BCG, M. marinum, and M. smegmatis have significantly contributed to understanding M. tuberculosis. Specifically, there have been advances in genetic manipulation of M. tuberculosis using inducible promoters and recombineering that alleviate technical limitations in working with mycobacteria. Model systems have helped elucidate how secretion systems function at both the molecular level and during virulence. Mycobacterial models have also led to interesting hypotheses about how M. tuberculosis mediates latent infection and host response. While there is utility in using model systems to understand tuberculosis, each of these models represent distinct mycobacterial species with unique environmental adaptations. Directly comparing findings in model mycobacteria to those in M. tuberculosis will illuminate the similarities and differences between these species and increase our understanding of why M. tuberculosis is such a potent human pathogen. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Virulence deficiency caused by a transposon insertion in the purH gene of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae.

    PubMed

    Chatterjee, Subhadeep; Sonti, Ramesh V

    2005-07-01

    Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae causes bacterial leaf blight, a serious disease of rice. We have identified a Tn5-induced virulence-deficient mutant (BXO1704) of X. oryzae pv. oryzae. The BXO1704 mutant exhibited growth deficiency in minimal medium but was proficient in inducing a hypersensitive response in a non-host tomato plant. Sequence analysis of the chromosomal DNA flanking the Tn5 insertion indicated that the Tn5 insertion is in the purH gene, which is highly homologous to purH genes of other closely related plant pathogenic bacteria Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri and Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris. Purine supplementation reversed the growth deficiency of BXO1704 in minimal medium. These results suggest that the virulence deficiency of BXO1704 may be due to the inability to use sufficient purine in the host.

  14. A gene cluster required for coordinated biosynthesis of lipopolysaccharide and extracellular polysaccharide also affects virulence of Pseudomonas solanacearum.

    PubMed Central

    Kao, C C; Sequeira, L

    1991-01-01

    Bacterial cell surface components can be important determinants of virulence. At least three gene clusters important for extracellular polysaccharide (EPS) biosynthesis have been previously identified in the plant pathogen Pseudomonas solanacearum. We have found that one of these gene clusters, named ops, is also required for lipopolysaccharide (LPS) biosynthesis. Mutations in any complementation unit of this cluster decreased EPS production, prevented the binding of an LPS-specific phage, and altered the mobility of purified LPS in sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. However, restoration of LPS biosynthesis alone was not sufficient to restore virulence to the wild-type level, suggesting that EPS is important for pathogenesis. Images FIG. 2 FIG. 3 PMID:1744040

  15. Pallial mucus of the oyster Crassostrea virginica regulates the expression of putative virulence genes of its pathogen Perkinsus marinus.

    PubMed

    Pales Espinosa, Emmanuelle; Corre, Erwan; Allam, Bassem

    2014-04-01

    Perkinsus marinus is a pathogen responsible for severe mortalities of the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica along the East and Gulf coasts of the United States. When cultivated, the pathogenicity of this microorganism decreases significantly, hampering the study of its virulence factors. Recent investigations have shown a significant increase of the in vivo virulence of P. marinus exposed to oyster pallial mucus. In the current study, we investigated the effect of pallial mucus on P. marinus gene expression compared with cultures supplemented with oyster digestive extracts or with un-supplemented cultures. In parallel, parasite cells cultured under these three conditions were used to challenge oysters and to assess virulence in vivo. Perkinsus marinus mRNA sequencing was performed on an Illumina GAIIX sequencer and data were analysed using the Tuxedo RNAseq suite for mapping against the draft P. marinus genome and for differential expression analysis. Results showed that exposure of P. marinus to mucus induces significant regulation of nearly 3,600 transcripts, many of which are considered as putative virulence factors. Pallial mucus is suspected to mimic internal host conditions, thereby preparing the pathogen to overcome defense factors before invasion. This hypothesis is supported by significant regulation in several antioxidant proteins, heat shock proteins, protease inhibitors and proteasome subunits. In addition, mucus exposure induced the modulation of several genes known to affect immunity and apoptosis in vertebrates and invertebrates. Several proteases (proteolysis) and merozoite surface proteins (cell recognition) were also modulated. Overall, these results provide a baseline for targeted, in depth analysis of candidate virulence factors in P. marinus.

  16. Accessory Gene Regulator-1 Locus Is Essential for Virulence and Pathogenesis of Clostridium difficile

    PubMed Central

    Odo, Chioma; DuPont, Herbert L.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is responsible for most of the definable cases of antibiotic- and hospital-associated diarrhea worldwide and is a frequent cause of morbidity and mortality in older patients. C. difficile, a multidrug-resistant anaerobic pathogen, causes disease by producing toxins A and B, which are controlled by an accessory gene regulator (Agr) quorum signaling system. Some C. difficile strains encode two Agr loci in their genomes, designated agr1 and agr2. The agr1 locus is present in all of the C. difficile strains sequenced to date, whereas the agr2 locus is present in a few strains. The functional roles of agr1 and agr2 in C. difficile toxin regulation and pathogenesis were unknown until now. Using allelic exchange, we deleted components of both agr loci and examined the mutants for toxin production and virulence. The results showed that the agr1 mutant cannot produce toxins A and B; toxin production can be restored by complementation with wild-type agr1. Furthermore, the agr1 mutant is able to colonize but unable to cause disease in a murine CDI model. These findings have profound implications for CDI treatment because we have uncovered a promising therapeutic target for the development of nonantibiotic drugs to treat this life-threatening emerging pathogen by targeting the toxins directly responsible for disease. PMID:27531912

  17. Human influence and biotic homogenization drive the distribution of Escherichia coli virulence genes in natural habitats.

    PubMed

    Cabal, Adriana; Vicente, Joaquin; Alvarez, Julio; Barasona, Jose Angel; Boadella, Mariana; Dominguez, Lucas; Gortazar, Christian

    2017-02-18

    Cattle are the main reservoirs for Shiga-toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), the only known zoonotic intestinal E. coli pathotype. However, there are other intestinal pathotypes that can cause disease in humans, whose presence has been seldom investigated. Thus, our aim was to identify the effects of anthropic pressure and of wild and domestic ungulate abundance on the distribution and diversity of the main human E. coli pathotypes and nine of their representative virulence genes (VGs). We used a quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) for the direct detection and quantification of the genus-specific gene uidA, nine E. coli VGs (stx1, sxt2, eae, ehxA, aggR, est, elt, bfpA, invA), as well as four genes related to O157:H7 (rfbO157 , fliCH7 ) and O104:H4 (wzxO104 , fliCH4 ) serotypes in animals (feces from deer, cattle, and wild boar) and water samples collected in three areas of Doñana National Park (DNP), Spain. Eight of the nine VGs were detected, being invA, eae, and stx2 followed by stx1, aggR, and ehxA the most abundant ones. In quantitative terms (gene copies per mg of sample), stx1 and stx2 gave the highest values. Significant differences were seen regarding VGs in the three animal species in the three sampled areas. The serotype-related genes were found in all but one sample types. In general, VGs were more diverse and abundant in the northern part of the Park, where the surface waters are more contaminated by human waste and farms. In the current study, we demonstrated that human influence is more relevant than host species in shaping the E. coli VGs spatial pattern and diversity in DNP. In addition, wildlife could be potential reservoirs for other pathotypes different from STEC, however further isolation steps would be needed to completely characterize those E. coli.

  18. Coronavirus virulence genes with main focus on SARS-CoV envelope gene.

    PubMed

    DeDiego, Marta L; Nieto-Torres, Jose L; Jimenez-Guardeño, Jose M; Regla-Nava, Jose A; Castaño-Rodriguez, Carlos; Fernandez-Delgado, Raul; Usera, Fernando; Enjuanes, Luis

    2014-12-19

    models and in humans. The modification or deletion of different motifs within E protein, including the transmembrane domain that harbors an ion channel activity, small sequences within the middle region of the carboxy-terminus of E protein, and its most carboxy-terminal end, which contains a PDZ domain-binding motif (PBM), is sufficient to attenuate the virus. Interestingly, a comprehensive collection of SARS-CoVs in which these motifs have been modified elicited full and long-term protection even in old mice, making those deletion mutants promising vaccine candidates. These data indicate that despite its small size, E protein drastically influences the replication of CoVs and their pathogenicity. Although E protein is not essential for CoV genome replication or subgenomic mRNA synthesis, it affects virus morphogenesis, budding, assembly, intracellular trafficking, and virulence. In fact, E protein is responsible in a significant proportion of the inflammasome activation and the associated inflammation elicited by SARS-CoV in the lung parenchyma. This exacerbated inflammation causes edema accumulation leading to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and, frequently, to the death of infected animal models or human patients. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. CORONAVIRUS VIRULENCE GENES WITH MAIN FOCUS ON SARS-CoV ENVELOPE GENE

    PubMed Central

    DeDiego, Marta L.; Nieto-Torres, Jose L.; Jimenez-Guardeño, Jose M.; Regla-Nava, Jose A.; Castaño-Rodriguez, Carlos; Fernandez-Delgado, Raul; Usera, Fernando; Enjuanes, Luis

    2014-01-01

    models and in humans. The modification or deletion of different motifs within E protein, including the transmembrane domain that harbors an ion channel activity, small sequences within the middle region of the carboxy-terminus of E protein, and its most carboxy-terminal end, which contains a PDZ domain-binding motif (PBM) is sufficient to attenuate the virus. Interestingly, a comprehensive collection of SARS-CoVs in which these motifs have been modified elicited full and long-term protection even in old mice, making those deletion mutants promising vaccine candidates. These data indicate that despite its small size, E protein drastically influences the replication of CoVs and their pathogenicity. Although E protein is not essential for CoV genome replication or subgenomic mRNA synthesis, it affects virus morphogenesis, budding, assembly, intracellular trafficking, and virulence. In fact, E protein is responsible in a significant proportion of the inflammasome activation and the associated inflammation elicited by SARS-CoV in the lung parenchyma. This exacerbated inflammation causes edema accumulation leading to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and, frequently, to the death of infected animal models or human patients. PMID:25093995

  20. Modulation of virulence genes by the two-component system PhoP-PhoQ in avian pathogenic Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Tu, Jian; Huang, Boyan; Zhang, Yu; Zhang, Yuxi; Xue, Ting; Li, Shaocan; Qi, Kezong

    2016-01-01

    Avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) infections are a very important problem in the poultry industry. PhoP-PhoQ is a two-component system that regulates virulence genes in APEC. In this study, we constructed strains that lacked the PhoP or PhoQ genes to assess regulation of APEC pathogenicity by the PhoP-PhoQ two-component system. The PhoP mutant strain AE18, PhoQ mutant strain AE19, and PhoP/PhoQ mutant strain AE20 were constructed by the Red homologous recombination method. Swim plates were used to evaluate the motility of the APEC strains, viable bacteria counting was used to assess adhesion and invasion of chick embryo fibroblasts, and Real-Time PCR was used to measure mRNA expression of virulence genes. We first confirmed that AE18, AE19, and AE20 were successfully constructed from the wild-type AE17 strain. AE18, AE19, and AE20 showed significant decreases in motility of 70.97%, 83.87%, and 37.1%, respectively, in comparison with AE17. Moreover, in comparison with AE17, AE18, AE19, and AE20 showed significant decreases of 63.11%, 65.42%, and 30.26%, respectively, in CEF cell adhesion, and significant decreases of 59.83%, 57.82%, and 37.90%, respectively, in CEF cell invasion. In comparison with AE17, transcript levels of sodA, polA, and iss were significantly decreased in AE18, while transcript levels of fimC and iss were significantly decreased in AE19. Our results demonstrate that deletion of PhoP or PhoQ inhibits invasion and adhesion of APEC to CEF cells and significantly reduces APEC virulence by regulating transcription of virulence genes.

  1. Mutation of the Erwinia amylovora argD gene causes arginine auxotrophy, nonpathogenicity in apples, and reduced virulence in pears.

    PubMed

    Ramos, Laura S; Lehman, Brian L; Peter, Kari A; McNellis, Timothy W

    2014-11-01

    Fire blight is caused by Erwinia amylovora and is the most destructive bacterial disease of apples and pears worldwide. In this study, we found that E. amylovora argD(1000)::Tn5, an argD Tn5 transposon mutant that has the Tn5 transposon inserted after nucleotide 999 in the argD gene-coding region, was an arginine auxotroph that did not cause fire blight in apple and had reduced virulence in immature pear fruits. The E. amylovora argD gene encodes a predicted N-acetylornithine aminotransferase enzyme, which is involved in the production of the amino acid arginine. A plasmid-borne copy of the wild-type argD gene complemented both the nonpathogenic and the arginine auxotrophic phenotypes of the argD(1000)::Tn5 mutant. However, even when mixed with virulent E. amylovora cells and inoculated onto immature apple fruit, the argD(1000)::Tn5 mutant still failed to grow, while the virulent strain grew and caused disease. Furthermore, the pCR2.1-argD complementation plasmid was stably maintained in the argD(1000)::Tn5 mutant growing in host tissues without any antibiotic selection. Therefore, the pCR2.1-argD complementation plasmid could be useful for the expression of genes, markers, and reporters in E. amylovora growing in planta, without concern about losing the plasmid over time. The ArgD protein cannot be considered an E. amylovora virulence factor because the argD(1000)::Tn5 mutant was auxotrophic and had a primary metabolism defect. Nevertheless, these results are informative about the parasitic nature of the fire blight disease interaction, since they indicate that E. amylovora cannot obtain sufficient arginine from apple and pear fruit tissues or from apple vegetative tissues, either at the beginning of the infection process or after the infection has progressed to an advanced state.

  2. Relationship between virulence factor genes in bovine Staphylococcus aureus subclinical mastitis isolates and binding to anti-adhesin antibodies.

    PubMed

    Scarpa, Melania; Piccinini, Renata; Brun, Paola; Grillo, Alessia; Palù, Giorgio; Mengoli, Carlo; Daprà, Valentina; Castagliuolo, Ignazio; Zecconi, Alfonso

    2010-05-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is the most common aetiologic agent of contagious bovine mastitis. It is characterized by a wide array of virulence factors. The differences among strains jeopardize the development of effective vaccines against Staph. aureus mastitis. We tested the immunogenicity of a peptide subunit vaccine coding for three different adhesion factors, fibrinogen-binding protein (Efb), fibronectin-binding protein A (FnbpA) and clumping factor A (ClfA). Then we evaluated the influence of some virulence factors on the ability of specific anti-adhesin antibodies to react with sixteen Staph. aureus strains isolated from bovine subclinical mastitis. Immunization with the recombinant adhesins stimulated a strong humoural (IgG and IgA) and mucosal IgA immune response in all animals tested. Hyperimmune serum recognized with diverse efficiency the sixteen Staph. aureus strains and this circumstance correlated well with the level of expression of adhesins. Among the different virulence factors considered to classify strains, spa gene polymorphisms showed the strongest influence on isolate reactions to hyperimmune serum. Our results indicate the importance of a disease- and environment-specific analysis of isolates. Thus, as opposed to other pathogens to obtain an effective vaccine we should characterize multiple strains and identify the prevalent virulence factors expressed.

  3. The alternative sigma factor B modulates virulence gene expression in a murine Staphylococcus aureus infection model but does not influence kidney gene expression pattern of the host.

    PubMed

    Depke, Maren; Burian, Marc; Schäfer, Tina; Bröker, Barbara M; Ohlsen, Knut; Völker, Uwe

    2012-01-01

    Infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus are associated with significant morbidity and mortality and are an increasing threat not only in hospital settings. The expression of the staphylococcal virulence factor repertoire is known to be affected by the alternative sigma factor B (SigB). However, its impact during infection still is a matter of debate. Kidney tissues of controls or mice infected with S. aureus HG001 or its isogenic sigB mutant were analyzed by transcriptome profiling to monitor the host response, and additionally expression of selected S. aureus genes was monitored by RT-qPCR. Direct transcript analysis by RT-qPCR revealed significant SigB activity in all mice infected with the wild-type strain, but not in its isogenic sigB mutant (p<0.0001). Despite a clear-cut difference in the SigB-dependent transcription pattern of virulence genes (clfA, aur, and hla), the host reaction to infection (either wild type or sigB mutant) was almost identical. Despite its significant activity in vivo, loss of SigB did neither have an effect on the outcome of infection nor on murine kidney gene expression pattern. Thus, these data support the role of SigB as virulence modulator rather than being a virulence determinant by itself.

  4. Exposure to Synthetic Gray Water Inhibits Amoeba Encystation and Alters Expression of Legionella pneumophila Virulence Genes

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Jingrang; Ashbolt, Nicholas J.

    2014-01-01

    Water conservation efforts have focused on gray water (GW) usage, especially for applications that do not require potable water quality. However, there is a need to better understand environmental pathogens and their free-living amoeba (FLA) hosts within GW, given their growth potential in stored gray water. Using synthetic gray water (sGW) we examined three strains of the water-based pathogen Legionella pneumophila and its FLA hosts Acanthamoeba polyphaga, A. castellanii, and Vermamoeba vermiformis. Exposure to sGW for 72 h resulted in significant inhibition (P < 0.0001) of amoebal encystation versus control-treated cells, with the following percentages of cysts in sGW versus controls: A. polyphaga (0.6 versus 6%), A. castellanii (2 versus 62%), and V. vermiformis (1 versus 92%), suggesting sGW induced maintenance of the actively feeding trophozoite form. During sGW exposure, L. pneumophila culturability decreased as early as 5 h (1.3 to 2.9 log10 CFU, P < 0.001) compared to controls (Δ0 to 0.1 log10 CFU) with flow cytometric analysis revealing immediate changes in membrane permeability. Furthermore, reverse transcription-quantitative PCR was performed on total RNA isolated from L. pneumophila cells at 0 to 48 h after sGW incubation, and genes associated with virulence (gacA, lirR, csrA, pla, and sidF), the type IV secretion system (lvrB and lvrE), and metabolism (ccmF and lolA) were all shown to be differentially expressed. These results suggest that conditions within GW may promote interactions between water-based pathogens and FLA hosts, through amoebal encystment inhibition and alteration of bacterial gene expression, thus warranting further exploration into FLA and L. pneumophila behavior in GW systems. PMID:25381242

  5. Virulence Genes Content and Antimicrobial Resistance in Escherichia coli from Broiler Chickens.

    PubMed

    Mohamed, Moemen A; Shehata, Mostafa A; Rafeek, Elshimaa

    2014-01-01

    A total of 121 E. coli strains were isolated from broiler chickens (96 extraintestinal pathogenic (ExPEC) strains from diseased broiler chickens and 25 avian fecal E. coli (AFEC) from healthy ones). Ten of the isolates (6 from diseased chickens and 4 from healthy birds) were serogrouped and 25 were examined for 4 virulence markers (tsh, papC, colV, and iss genes) as well as for their antimicrobial resistance. Five strains were nontypable and the rest were serotyped as follows: O86:K61 (2/5), O78:K80 (1/5), and O128:K67 (1/5) were recovered from diseased chickens, while O111:K58 strain (1/4) was isolated from healthy ones. The iss gene was found in 72.2% of the examined ExPEC strains in contrast to zero percentages (0%) in the AFEC strains, which may serve as a good marker for distinguishing APEC and its knocking out may help in creation of candidate vaccine that may prove sucess in elimination of infections in broiler chickens. Antimicrobial resistance patterns revealed a complete resistance to gentamicin, pefloxacin, amoxicillin, and enrofloxacin among examined strains followed by varying degrees of resistance for the rest of tested agents. The highest resistance was recorded against norfloxacin, in 24 isolates (96%), in contrast to the lowest resistance was recorded against colistin sulphate, in 14 strains (56%). These findings suggest the need for the prudent use of antimicrobials with broiler chickens and act as a warrant for the possibility of avian sources to transmit these resistant isolates to humans.

  6. Exposure to synthetic gray water inhibits amoeba encystation and alters expression of Legionella pneumophila virulence genes.

    PubMed

    Buse, Helen Y; Lu, Jingrang; Ashbolt, Nicholas J

    2015-01-01

    Water conservation efforts have focused on gray water (GW) usage, especially for applications that do not require potable water quality. However, there is a need to better understand environmental pathogens and their free-living amoeba (FLA) hosts within GW, given their growth potential in stored gray water. Using synthetic gray water (sGW) we examined three strains of the water-based pathogen Legionella pneumophila and its FLA hosts Acanthamoeba polyphaga, A. castellanii, and Vermamoeba vermiformis. Exposure to sGW for 72 h resulted in significant inhibition (P < 0.0001) of amoebal encystation versus control-treated cells, with the following percentages of cysts in sGW versus controls: A. polyphaga (0.6 versus 6%), A. castellanii (2 versus 62%), and V. vermiformis (1 versus 92%), suggesting sGW induced maintenance of the actively feeding trophozoite form. During sGW exposure, L. pneumophila culturability decreased as early as 5 h (1.3 to 2.9 log10 CFU, P < 0.001) compared to controls (Δ0 to 0.1 log10 CFU) with flow cytometric analysis revealing immediate changes in membrane permeability. Furthermore, reverse transcription-quantitative PCR was performed on total RNA isolated from L. pneumophila cells at 0 to 48 h after sGW incubation, and genes associated with virulence (gacA, lirR, csrA, pla, and sidF), the type IV secretion system (lvrB and lvrE), and metabolism (ccmF and lolA) were all shown to be differentially expressed. These results suggest that conditions within GW may promote interactions between water-based pathogens and FLA hosts, through amoebal encystment inhibition and alteration of bacterial gene expression, thus warranting further exploration into FLA and L. pneumophila behavior in GW systems.

  7. Lsr2 is a nucleoid-associated protein that targets AT-rich sequences and virulence genes in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Gordon, Blair R G; Li, Yifei; Wang, Linru; Sintsova, Anna; van Bakel, Harm; Tian, Songhai; Navarre, William Wiley; Xia, Bin; Liu, Jun

    2010-03-16

    Bacterial nucleoid-associated proteins play important roles in chromosome organization and global gene regulation. We find that Lsr2 of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a unique nucleoid-associated protein that binds AT-rich regions of the genome, including genomic islands acquired by horizontal gene transfer and regions encoding major virulence factors, such as the ESX secretion systems, the lipid virulence factors PDIM and PGL, and the PE/PPE families of antigenic proteins. Comparison of genome-wide binding data with expression data indicates that Lsr2 binding results in transcriptional repression. Domain-swapping experiments demonstrate that Lsr2 has an N-terminal dimerization domain and a C-terminal DNA-binding domain. Nuclear magnetic resonance analysis of the DNA-binding domain of Lsr2 and its interaction with DNA reveals a unique structure and a unique mechanism that enables Lsr2 to discriminately target AT-rich sequences through interactions with the minor groove of DNA. Taken together, we provide evidence that mycobacteria have employed a structurally distinct molecule with an apparently different DNA recognition mechanism to achieve a function similar to the Enterobacteriaceae H-NS, likely coordinating global gene regulation and virulence in this group of medically important bacteria.

  8. Prevalence of virulence genes in Escherichia coli strains isolated from piglets in the suckling and weaning period in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Toledo, Andrea; Gómez, Daniela; Cruz, Celene; Carreón, Rosalba; López, Jorge; Giono, Silvia; Castro, Ana María

    2012-01-01

    Faecal Escherichia coli isolates from suckling (n = 503) and weaning (n = 450) piglets with and without diarrhoea from 10 farms in Mexico were examined for identification and prevalence of virulence genes. E. coli isolates were tested further for enterotoxin (LT, STa, STb, Stx1, Stx2 and EAST1), fimbrial (F4, F5, F6, F17, F18 and F41) and eae adhesin genes by multiplex PCR. Of the 953 isolates of E. coli examined by multiplex PCR, 650 (68.2 %) isolates were positive for at least one adhesin gene. Among the isolates from diarrhoeic piglets, F41 (72 %) was the most prevalent adhesin followed by eae adhesin (27 %), F6 (12 %), F17 (9 %), F18 (9 %), F5 (8 %) and F4 (3 %). Enterotoxin genes were detected in 424 (44.5 %) of the isolates, of which EAST1 (38 %) and STa (30 %) were the most common, followed by STb (17 %), Stx2 (6 %) and LT (5 %). Twenty-three per cent of isolates from suckling piglets and 43 % of isolates from weaned piglets carried both enterotoxin and adhesin genes, the most common virotypes being F41 : STa, F41 : EAST1, EAST1 : eae, F41 : F6, F41 : STa : STb, F41 : eae and F17 : eae. The present study examined for the first time, to our knowledge, the prevalence of 13 virulence genes among E. coli strains isolated from piglets with and without diarrhoea in Mexico. The results suggested that there are a wide variety of virulence genes associated with diarrhoea in piglets. This study provides baseline information on the significance of specific virotypes associated with suckling and weaning periods in piglets in Mexico.

  9. Correlation of virulence genes to clinical manifestations and outcome in patients with Streptococcus dysgalactiae subspecies equisimilis bacteremia.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Chia-Ta; Chi, Chih-Yu; Ho, Cheng-Mao; Lin, Po-Chang; Chou, Chia-Hui; Wang, Jen-Hsien; Wang, Jui-Hsing; Lin, Hsiao-Chuan; Tien, Ni; Lin, Kuo-Hsi; Ho, Mao-Wang; Lu, Jang-Jih

    2014-12-01

    Streptococcus dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis (SDSE) is increasingly recognized as a human pathogen responsible for invasive infection and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS). The pathogen possesses virulence genes that resemble those found in Streptococcus pyogenes (GAS). We analyzed the association between these specific toxic genes, clinical presentations, and outcome in patients with SDSE infections. Patients (older than 18 years) with community-acquired invasive bacteremia caused by SDSE bacteremia who were undergoing treatment at China Medical University Hospital from June 2007 to December 2010 were included in this study. Multiplex polymerase chain reaction was performed to identify virulence genes of the SDSE isolates. Demographic data, clinical presentations, and outcome in patients with SDSE infections were reviewed and analyzed. Forty patients with 41 episodes of SDSE bacteremia were reviewed. The median age of the patients with SDSE infection was 69.7 years; 55% were female and 78% had underlying diseases. Malignancy (13, 33%) and diabetes mellitus (13, 33%) were the most common comorbidities. The 30-day mortality rate was 12%. Compared with the survivors, the non-survivors had a higher rate of diabetes mellitus (80% vs. 26%), liver cirrhosis (60% vs.11%), shock (60% vs.17%), STSS (60% vs. 8%), and a high Pittsburgh bacteremia score >4 (40% vs. 6%). Most isolates had scpA, ska, saga, and slo genes, whereas speC, speG, speH, speI, speK, smez, and ssa genes were not detected. speA gene was identified only in one patient with STSS (1/6, 17%). All isolates were susceptible to penicillin, cefotaxime, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, vancomycin, and linezolid. In invasive SDSE infections, most isolates carry putative virulence genes, such as scpA, ska, saga, and slo. Clinical SDSE isolates in Taiwan remain susceptible to penicillin cefotaxime, and levofloxacin. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  10. Helicobacter pylori with East Asian-type cagPAI genes is more virulent than strains with Western-type in some cagPAI genes.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Xiao-Yan; Yan, Jin-Jun; Yang, Ya-Chao; Wu, Chun-Mei; Hu, Yan; Geng, Jian-Li

    The severity of Helicobacter pylori-related disease is correlated with the presence and integrity of a cag pathogenicity island (cagPAI). cagPAI genotype may have a modifying effect on the pathogenic potential of the infecting strain. After analyzing the sequences of cagPAI genes, some strains with the East Asian-type cagPAI genes were selected for further analysis to examine the association between the diversity of the cagPAI genes and the virulence of H. pylori. The results showed that gastric mucosal inflammatory cell infiltration was significantly higher in patients with East Asian-type cagPAI genes H. pylori strain compared with mosaicism cagPAI genes H. pylori strain (p<0.05). H. pylori strains with the East Asian-type cagPAI genes were closely associated with IL-8 secretion in vitro and in vivo compared with H. pylori strains with the mosaicism cagPAI genes (p<0.01). H. pylori strains with East Asian-type cagPAI genes are able to strongly translocate CagA to host cells. These results suggest that H. pylori strains with East Asian-type cagPAI genes are more virulent than the strains of cagPAI gene/genes that are Western type. Copyright © 2017 Sociedade Brasileira de Microbiologia. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

  11. Selected Lactic Acid-Producing Bacterial Isolates with the Capacity to Reduce Salmonella Translocation and Virulence Gene Expression in Chickens

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Xiaojian; Brisbin, Jennifer; Yu, Hai; Wang, Qi; Yin, Fugui; Zhang, Yonggang; Sabour, Parviz; Sharif, Shayan; Gong, Joshua

    2014-01-01

    Background Probiotics have been used to control Salmonella colonization/infection in chickens. Yet the mechanisms of probiotic effects are not fully understood. This study has characterized our previously-selected lactic acid-producing bacterial (LAB) isolates for controlling Salmonella infection in chickens, particularly the mechanism underlying the control. Methodology/Principal Findings In vitro studies were conducted to characterize 14 LAB isolates for their tolerance to low pH (2.0) and high bile salt (0.3–1.5%) and susceptibility to antibiotics. Three chicken infection trials were subsequently carried out to evaluate four of the isolates for reducing the burden of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium in the broiler cecum. Chicks were gavaged with LAB cultures (106–7 CFU/chick) or phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) at 1 day of age followed by Salmonella challenge (104 CFU/chick) next day. Samples of cecal digesta, spleen, and liver were examined for Salmonella counts on days 1, 3, or 4 post-challenge. Salmonella in the cecum from Trial 3 was also assessed for the expression of ten virulence genes located in its pathogenicity island-1 (SPI-1). These genes play a role in Salmonella intestinal invasion. Tested LAB isolates (individuals or mixed cultures) were unable to lower Salmonella burden in the chicken cecum, but able to attenuate Salmonella infection in the spleen and liver. The LAB treatments also reduced almost all SPI-1 virulence gene expression (9 out of 10) in the chicken cecum, particularly at the low dose. In vitro treatment with the extracellular culture fluid from a LAB culture also down-regulated most SPI-1 virulence gene expression. Conclusions/Significance The possible correlation between attenuation of Salmonella infection in the chicken spleen and liver and reduction of Salmonella SPI-1 virulence gene expression in the chicken cecum by LAB isolates is a new observation. Suppression of Salmonella virulence gene expression in vivo can be one

  12. Safety of raw meat and shellfish in Vietnam: an analysis of Escherichia coli isolations for antibiotic resistance and virulence genes.

    PubMed

    Van, Thi Thu Hao; Chin, James; Chapman, Toni; Tran, Linh Thuoc; Coloe, Peter J

    2008-06-10

    This study was conducted to examine a current baseline profile of antimicrobial resistance and virulence of Escherichia coli isolated from foods commonly sold in the market place in Vietnam. E. coli were isolated from 180 samples of raw meat, poultry and shellfish and also isolated from 43 chicken faeces samples. Ninety-nine E. coli isolates recovered from all sources were selected for the investigation of their susceptibility to 15 antimicrobial agents by the disk diffusion method. Eighty-four percent of the isolates were resistant to one or more antibiotics, and multi-resistance, defined as resistance to at least 3 different classes of antibiotics, was detected in all sources. The rates of multi-resistance were up to 89.5% in chicken, 95% in chicken faeces and 75% in pork isolates. Resistance was most frequently observed to tetracycline (77.8%), sulfafurazole (60.6%), ampicillin (50.5%), amoxicillin (50.5%), trimethoprim (51.5%), chloramphenicol (43.4%), streptomycin (39.4%), nalidixic acid (34.3%) and gentamicin (24.2%). In addition, the isolates also displayed resistance to fluoroquinolones (ciprofloxacin 16.2%, norfloxacin 17.2%, and enrofloxacin 21.2%), with chicken isolates showing the highest rates of resistance to these antibiotics (52.6-63.2%). Thirty-eight multi-resistant isolates were selected for further the examination of antibiotic resistance genes and were also evaluated for virulence gene profiles by multiplex and uniplex polymerase chain reaction. The beta-lactam TEM gene and tetracycline resistance tetA, tetB genes were frequently detected in the tested isolates (84.2% and 89.5% respectively). Genes which are responsible for resistance to streptomycin (aadA) (68.4%), chloramphenicol (cmlA) (42.1%), sulfonamides (sulI) (39.5%), trimethoprim (dhfrV) (26.3%) and kanamycin (aphA-1) (23.7%) were also widely distributed. Plasmid-mediated ampC genes were detected in E. coli isolates from chicken and pork. The isolates were tested for the presence of 58

  13. The Hos2 Histone Deacetylase Controls Ustilago maydis Virulence through Direct Regulation of Mating-Type Genes

    PubMed Central

    Elías-Villalobos, Alberto; Fernández-Álvarez, Alfonso; Moreno-Sánchez, Ismael; Helmlinger, Dominique; Ibeas, José I.

    2015-01-01

    Morphological changes are critical for host colonisation in plant pathogenic fungi. These changes occur at specific stages of their pathogenic cycle in response to environmental signals and are